In-app Mobile Adspend Expected To Reach $16.9 billion by 2018


juniperAccording to a recent research report by Juniper Research, In-app mobile adspend is expected to reach $16.9 billion by 2018, up from $3.5 billion last year. As per the report, the growth will be driven by several key factors including improved targeting capabilities, as well as a trend for more effective interactive rich media ads to be deployed in preference to traditional static display advertising.

The report revealed that while smartphones currently account for approximately 70% of in app adspend, the growth in tablet users and usage would propel greater medium-term spend. It observed that tablet in-app adspend would be further fuelled by the fact that CPMs (Cost per 1,000 impressions) are significantly higher than those for smartphones, particularly for rich media ads, which also have higher CPMs than static display ads. By 2018, the tablet/smartphone adspend split is expected to be almost 50/50.

The report also observed that although app downloads will increase exponentially to 2018, the majority of in-app advertising expenditure is likely to be spent on advertising with social mobile giants such as Facebook and Twitter.

According to the report, by 2018, the Global mobile ad-spend will surpass $39 billion, up from $13 billion in 2013.  Rich media ad spend is expected to surpass display ad spend in apps by 2018, as more engaging ad formats see huge uptake. The report also found that, advertisers can increase conversions by simply adding mobile optimised features, for instance a ‘click to call’ button, or by linking to the relevant app store.

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Zepo : India E-Commerce Census 2013-14 .Your neighborhood businessman goes online!


Ecommerce is to small businesses today, what the telephone was in the 90’s – another great medium to take orders!

5 years ago, a designer running a boutique in the HauzKhas village in Delhi, wouldn’t have thought it was possible to sell her dresses all the way to a customer in Chennai. With the growing usage of internet and social media, the far-fetched has become a reality now. And it won’t be long before you find every business in the neighborhood handing out business cards with not just telephone numbers but their website address too!

Zepo, an ecommerce platform, based out of Mumbai, is playing its part in trying to facilitate small retailers and manufacturers across India, setup their own exclusive retail space on the web; their own online stores at literally half the cost.

It recently concluded a survey of the 900+ online stores operating on its platform. The figures not only substantiate the claims that ecommerce is becoming a preferred point of sale among SMEs but also provides insights into the ecommerce trends of small businesses.

India Ecommerce Census

Put your comment in the comments section. Checkout Zepo


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All Apple Apps must be optimised for iOS 7 from 1st Feb 2014

Apple Ios7

Apple is requiring all apps submitted to its App Store after 1 February 2014 to be optimised for iOS 7 and built using the latest version of the Xcode 5 development framework. The change applies to both new apps and updates.

Over the past few years, Apple has been encouraging developers to support the latest editions of its OS more rapidly.

This is likely to be even more important with iOS 7, which represents the biggest upgrade in terms of functionality between versions of Apple’s mobile OS, featuring a distinct new look that older apps will not fit into.

According to Apple’s developer support centre, 76 per cent of all iOS devices are running the latest version, compared to 20 per cent using iOS 6.

Xcode 5 includes 64-bit support and access to features such as multitasking APIs. An app can be built against the latest version of Xcode without having to be redesigned, according to TechCrunch, but may need to be reworked to function correctly for iOS 7.

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Windows Phone Store reaches 200,000 apps


Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store now has more than 200,000 titles, with the app store seeing more than 12 million ‘transactions’ per day, the company revealed.

In a post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Todd Brix, director of the Windows Phone apps team, said the company is “already seeing momentum build” in the Store, driven by promotions and the run-up to Christmas.

Brix urged developers to finish their Windows Phone titles or update those they already offer to take advantage of the Christmas uptick in demand and slew of recently-launched Windows Phone devices.

Microsoft introduced gift cards to encourage users to discover and purchase apps on their new devices, with the company forecasting that more than $100 million worth will be available in user accounts across 41 markets.

Microsoft is establishing more direct billing relationships with operators to boost uptake in markets where credit card penetration is low. According to Brix, there are now 51 operator connections in 31 markets for direct billing, “substantially more than any other smartphone platform”.

The company has seen a six-fold increase in transaction volume in developing markets where direct billing has been introduced.

Brix also promised “creative new approaches” in the new year to help developer reach users.

He also recommended developers focus on a number of areas to boost downloads and revenue.

These include selecting the global distribution option in the Dev Center when submitting apps to boost geographic reach, and publishing to markets where direct billing is available, as this has been shown to boost downloads.

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Marketplaces vs. Online Sellers: A Story of Broken Promises


E-commerce marketplaces are to online sellers what shopping complexes are to retailers.

Marketplaces have not only leveled the ecommerce playing field for SMBs but also provided so much more visibility to these niche brands that are taking the online shopping industry by storm.

So naturally, when an online marketplace, let’s call them for namesake, approached Saumya Gupta to host her brand, Ten On Ten’s apparel on their marketplace, she was more than stoked. With an online presence, spanning from her own online store to selling on bigger marketplaces like Flipkart, Myntra and ShopClues, this was more than a welcome move.

Saumya Gupta, like so many entrepreneurs today, is the one-woman show behind her very own successful apparel brand, Ten On Ten Clothing. From scooting the bazaars of Mumbai for raw materials to taking customer calls at 2 in the night, she is CEO to customer service executive all rolled into one.

The first couple of months of tying up with ScamTag did brilliantly for Ten On Ten. Saumya was seeing a flurry of orders coming in from ScamTag and was happy about the exposure and the subsequent customer interest Ten On Ten was gathering.

Without complaints, she diligently processed the orders she received, undertook a quality check at her end to keep up with the belief that only the best reach the customer and never came across an unhappy customer. All was hunky dory! Until, the day, she asked the team at ScamTag to pay her for the orders she had processed and the stock they still had at their warehouses, which summed up to a total of Rs. 1.8 lacs! Only to be denied what she had rightfully earned as an entrepreneur, even after having signed anMoU with ScamTag.

So what the hell happened?

ScamTag refused to settle all payments for Ten On Ten citing reasons like repetitive customer complaints, return of goods by the customers and products not meeting their quality checks. All of which, Saumya, was not even once informed about.

Once ScamTag refused payment to Saumya, she had no option but to take a legal recourse. And even then did not straighten their act. From the company complaining to having never received the signed MoU, to managers acting as CEOs, to even going to the lengths of stalking Saumya on WhatsApp (!), they must have tried every trick in the trade to get to her to withdraw her demand for getting paid!

Finally after haggling between their respective lawyers and much threat, over a period of 3 months, the company returned 1.1 lac in cash out of the 1.8 lacs they owed her. And returned goods worth Rs. 70,000! How is an entrepreneur supposed to react to such a scenario, other than completely giving up faith in online marketplaces?

Should you be wary of all online marketplaces?

To understand the same, a little backdrop into how marketplaces operate is needed. You see, traditional online marketplaces are nothing but a collection of online shops, much like a shopping complex. Each brand maintains its own shop and controls its own inventory. And the best part about it being, other than the low commission of around 10%-12% per sale, is that the store owner knows exactly who the customer is! They can directly interact with the customer, address concerns and redress returns accordingly.

However, in the case of marketplaces like ScamTag, they are a “shopping website that hosts flash sales”. To give you a fairer idea, such marketplaces work on the basis of purchase-order. A customer buys a product on their website and the marketplace raises a purchase order for the same. Once the brand owner, in this case Saumya, receives the purchase order, the order is processed, quality checked and sent back to ScamTag which subsequently sends it to the customer. The downside to such a model being that the store owner is never in touch with the end customer and has to rely completely on the marketplace to act as a mediator, which operates on anything around 30% to 60% commission per sale.

As a word of advice to fellow entrepreneurs, Saumya strongly suggests, reading between the lines before signing MoUs of any kind and better still, always having a lawyer look at the documents you are about to sign. And always choosing wisely about whom to do business with.

Even though ScamTag was a relatively new venture, Saumya saw an opportunity and went for it. But only to be disappointed. Today, she has sworn-off marketplaces that work on the purchase-order or flash sales model completely, standing firmly in favor of inventory-based marketplaces or rather selling via her own online store.

This post is not a discouragement for anyone wanting to sell on online marketplaces. On the contrary, we advise online sellers to sell at online marketplaces too, in order to get that more visibility for their brand and grow their sales. But as a final word of advice, when choosing a marketplace to sell on, make sure you choose wisely and do a thorough background check on the company you’re about to tie-up with. Also, do read all agreements very carefully and better still have a lawyer look into the same.

Have you endured something like that? What is your take on the entire episode? Do drop in and join in the conversation in the comments below! Let this be a word of advice for all fellow entrepreneurs and e-tailers.

Guest post by : Nitin Purswani , CEO of Zepo

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India's Cell Phone Market is driven by India made phones


India’s cell phone market has seen a tremendous growth in the last few years. With cheap Chinese handsets (Smart phones) entering the Indian market has eaten up the market share from Samsung,NOKIA. Some of the best cell phones in India have been launched by the rising star Indian brands like Micromax, Karbonn, LAVA & Intex. The Indian consumers are now getting more inclined towards buying the cheap Indian cell phone brands as compared to the global brands like Samsung, Apple , Blackberry, Nokia.

Some of the latest handsets introduced in the Indian market today by top Indian cell phone manufacturer Micromax is the Canvas series and Titanium series by Karbonn. Samsung had launched their top of the line S4 series and Apple’s Iphone 5S recently competes with the Indian brands. This year Micromax and Karbonn are planning to introduce a number of low cost smart phones, which will definitely take the market in a big way.

From a promotion and branding perspective the Indian brands are giving their international counterparts a run for their money by bringing in some top celebrities to drive the brands. Micromax recently signed up Hollywood super star Hugh Jackman as their brand ambassador. With this Indian brands are projecting themselves as a global brand and not cheap phone brands.

Micromax and Karbonn are planning to start manufacturing their devices in India in the recent future. Indian consumers aren’t aware of a drawback to purchasing Indian phones. The Indian phones unfortunately works only in India and the Indian sub-continent, if a user is roaming  internationally in locations such as US ,Europe or Middle East, these phones won’t work. Indian handset OEM’s should try and solve this issue soon, as then eventually their handsets can be sold overseas. With time we will see a lot of focus on building the devices within India and not import the parts from China, which increases the duty of the imported parts and is passed on to the consumers.

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Foodpanda has revolutionized the Food ordering business around the world


FoodpandaDid you ever think one day you will be able to order your favourite food through a website fast and hassle free ? Yes, that has happened. the world’s largest online food ordering platform does that.It was initiated by the leading startup incubator Rocket Internet. Foodpanda was launched in 2012 and is headquartered in Berlin. The company is fully operational in 30 countries across Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Africa and Europe, currently employs more than 500 people worldwide, and continues to grow at an impressive speed.

India experience has been simply amazing for Foodpanda. The concept is great. Foodpanda makes ordering food online easy, fast and fun so that you don’t have to take the pain of cooking and cleaning up.

The process of ordering food is very simple with just a few clicks you can order from a wide variety of delicious cuisines online. The best part is , the site gives you variety of cuisine and restaurant options to choose from under one roof. Hot food is conveniently delivered to your home or office after you have place the order.

Very interesting to see how a site like  Foodpanda has created such a fantastic business model, just by aggregating restaurants and food ordering service, making life easier for foodies.

How does the Website work ?

Ordering food from Foodpands is just four quick fast steps.

Step 1: Enter your city and location in the home page and hit the find food button. You get a whole list of restaurants with option to sort cuisines by relevance, rating, minimum order value or Delivery fee options. Pick the restaurant you like and order. The food can be ordered  from 11AM to 11PM only, it’s because all the restaurants generally takes orders during this time.

Step 2 :  Once you have identified the restaurant , you can now order the food you like. Browse the menu and select the items you will like to order and add to cart. Interesting part I noticed is if you try to order food before 11AM or after 11PM , the site simply refuses to take order, it says “Food Panda “ is closed.

Step 3 : Now that you have selected the menu items, hit the “Order Now” button, add your delivery address and you can decide to pay online or pay cash on delivery. The payment process is simple and standard, you can pay by Credit card, Debit card or Internet banking.

Step 4 : Now that you have placed the ordered, you should now receive an SMS confirmation. So that’s it! Just wait for the ordered to be delivered.

Once you have received the order, you can now decide to rate the restaurant and write a review in the restaurants page , so that others can know how the experience was. I liked this review system as it lets one know the overall service , quality of food and overall experience.

Do try ordering and share your experience by putting it on the comments system

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Smartphones Account for 55 Percent of Mobile Phones Sold in Q3-2013 : Ericsson


smartphoneAccording to a recent report by Ericsson, Smartphone uptake continued its strong momentum and accounted for around 55 per cent of all mobile phones sold in July-September period compared to around 40 per cent for the full year in 2012. The report said mobile subscriptions across the world are expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2019, and more than 60 per cent of these – 5.6 billion – will be for smartphones.

As per the report, total mobile subscriptions up to and including Q3 2013 are at around 6.6 billion, including 113 million new subscriptions added during the third quarter. India saw the second highest number of new mobile subscriptions in Q3 2013, following China.

According to the report, there was a net addition of 10 million mobile subscriptions in India, taking the total number of Indian mobile subscriptions to 742 million. The report forecasts that the total smartphone subscriptions will reach 1.9 billion at the end of 2013 and are expected to grow to 5.6 billion in 2019.

An increase in Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa subscriptions is one of the key factors leading to an increase in smartphone subscriptions.

Commenting on the insights, Ericsson Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy Douglas Gilstrap said:”The rapid pace of smartphone uptake has been phenomenal and is set to continue. It took more than five years to reach the first billion smartphone subscriptions, but it will take less than two to hit the 2 billion mark. Between now and 2019, smartphone subscriptions will triple. Interestingly, this trend will be driven by uptake in India and other emerging markets as lower-priced smartphone models become available.”

The report also revealed that due to availability of smartphones in lower price ranges, in 2016 there will be more smartphone subscriptions globally than those for basic phones.

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Tata Docomo Launches Endless Music Service via Retail for its Prepay Customers


tatadocomoYesterday Tata Docomo launched a new value added service – Endless Music. This value added service will be available to all Tata Docomo prepay GSM customers through electronic voucher distribution (EVD). Endless Music service will be available for both basic and smart phone users. All that a customer has to do is to visit any Tata Docomo retail partner outlet and recharge with the select denomination.

Commenting on the launch Mr Rishi Mohan Malhotra, Head – VAS Marketing, Tata Docomo, said “We have been investing in developing alternate channels of discovery to deliver content and offerings across all available physical, virtual and digital resources. The launch of Endless Music service via EVD is in keeping with Tata Docomo’s tradition of transparent transactions and customer satisfaction which shall meet the individual needs and requirements of our consumers. Through this service which is NON auto renewable, Tata Docomo aims at changing the way music is sold & consumed thus reinventing the way our customers experience music. With the launch of this service, our customers can now access the best of the Bollywood & regional music content with thousands of songs to choose from.”

He further added,”Offering Endless Music service via the retail model is a diverse strategy to ensure better adoption and long-term service usage. Through this service, Tata Docomo is also giving its retailers an opportunity to better engage with end-consumers to further understand their needs and preferences.”

With a validity period of 30 days, customers in Andhra Pradesh will have to recharge with RC 46 followed by dialing 59090 (toll free number) to avail the benefits of listening to free 300 minutes of music. Similarly, with RC 92 and RC 131, customers can avail 600 minutes of music valid for 30 days and 1000 minutes of music valid for 60 days respectively. The subscription will expire once the minutes are consumed or the validity is over. Such a model will avoid accidental activations and charges to customers and safeguard their interests in a transparent manner. Available at affordable price points, Endless Music will also enable customers to set their favourite song and as caller tune at additional charges. This service has been launched in partnership with Hungama Mobile, which has one the largest repository of different music genres.

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PricePanda releases iPhone App to enforce M-Commerce in SEA


pricepandaLeading price comparison website PricePanda has launched its iOS app in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore. Only a few weeks ago the company already introduced its app for Android. With their new app, PricePanda’s broad selection of prices and products in various categories such as Computers, Health and Beauty or Home Appliances is just a few clicks away.

M-Commerce is exploding in South East Asia – the number of users who access the internet via their phones is increasing rapidly and leapfrogging the traditional desktop users. According to Nielsen’s report “Decoding the Asian Mobile Consumer markets such as Singapore (87%) or Malaysia (80%) already have higher smartphone penetration rates than for instance the US smartphone market (60%). In South East Asia alone, smartphone owners spent an average of more than three hours per day on their smartphones. As this growth gains momentum, mobile commerce will play an increasingly critical role in shaping the future of retail in Asia.

Louis Iskandar, co-founder at PricePanda: “We are delighted to offer our app for both iOS and Android devices in South East Asia from now onwards. M-commerce is not just an additional channel for us, but is also an entry point to gaining many more customers with our quick and easy-to-use price comparison app. With an increase of 61% in smartphone sales in the last years in South East Asia, the m-commerce wave is quickly catching on all markets we operate in and will play a key role in shaping the future of retail in Asia. Therefore PricePanda seizes this enormous opportunity and supports the m-commerce movement with a valuable app.”

The free PricePanda App in brief:

  • Compare prices for thousands of products to find the best deal on the go
  • Visit the shop’s website or call them directly from within the app
  • Search for offers by entering the product name
  • Discover top products and swipe through them
  • Browse through dozens categories and find new products
  • Order on the go, get the product delivered to your doorstep
  • Fast and intuitive navigation
  • International known brands and product assortment


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