Sunday 31 January 2016

Snapdeal upgrades website & app with new ‘Phoenix2’ features

Ecommerce Marketplace, Snapdeal has recently revamped its website with new features to enhance the customer experience and increase sales. It has also upgraded its app. The app re-work project was specially codenamed ‘Phoenix2’. It is available on Google play for Android app users and in the App store for iOS users.

    The features of the new website include:

    Product selfies
    Enhanced order-tracking
    A new ‘my order’ page

    “The product has been redesigned to improve the overall information architecture. The ‘product selfie’ allows users to post a picture of themselves with the product. We have had a phenomenal response to it so far as customers get to see actual people using the product,”said Anand Chandrasekaran, chief product officer, Snapdeal.

    Features of Snapdeal app:

    Redesigned search & listings (optimised for clear pricing & discounting indicators)
    New category navigation grid
    Visual Search (for fashion category)
    Cashback offers
    Integration with FreeCharge wallet 

    “This is the update on which we will be doing our entire set of annual launches and you will now see a better post-order customer experience that rolls out on this, along with a lot of personalisation, design changes. Large sums of our design thoughts have found expression, but more of that will find their way into the app in the coming weeks,” 

      Around the Ecommerce world in 5 mins

      Ecommerce is changing everyday, and sometimes by the minute. So many new ideas and developments everyday, becomes hard to keep track.
      We bring to you a curated digest of ecommerce developments/happenings around the world, compiled from various publications across the Internet.
      Amozon,Alibaba and Rakuten: who is winning the globle E- Commerce game ?
      Amazon has been an ecommerce powerhouse in the West, while its two Asian counterparts – Alibaba in China and Rakuten in Japan – have been growing rapidly. Should Amazon fear their entry into the global ecommerce market? Like most U.S. companies who are leading the way in their own field, Amazon has been considered the number one ecommerce platform by many businesses worldwide. While the ecommerce behemoth is wooing more and more non-Americans, it has two formidable competitors in Asia: Alibaba in China and Rakuten in Japan.
      Etsy Starts Tear by Testing Search
      Etsy initiated some tests of its search feature this month, but it will be difficult to see since some shoppers will be included in the testing and others will not. The tests will tailor search results to individual shoppers based on their history on Etsy, explained Jaime DeLanghe in an announcement on Thursday. The goal of the testing, she explained, is to identify signals that best match individual shoppers to individual items.
      Nestle increasesgloble ecommerce capabilities
      NestlĂ© has revealed a partnership with Alibaba in China to strengthen its ecommerce capabilities globally. The partnership will help the manufacturer grow online sales, build key brands and offer new products to millions of customers.  NestlĂ© will use – the largest online shopping site in China and owned by Alibaba – to expanding its offering to customers in rural areas.
      PayPal Grows Revenue 21 Percent in forth Quarter 2015
      PayPal reported a stronger fourth-quarter performance than its former owner eBay after the breakup last year. It grew revenue 21 percent FX-neutral to $2.6 billion, and it announced a $2 billion stock repurchase program. In a press release, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said, “We exited 2015 with great momentum. Our strong results reflect PayPal’s progress in delivering on our strategy to drive the digital payments revolution.”
      Amozon Acussed of Divulgin aCostmers account Info
      An Amazon customer says the company’s customer service reps divulged his information to a hacker who was able to use that data to trick his bank into issuing a new copy of his credit card. Tech publications are running wild with the story, which the customer posted on – possibly in part because he was a software developer who said he followed best practices such as using unique passwords, two factor authentication, and a secure computer.

      India Post gears up to handle ecommerce orders; COD is key

      India Post has said that its cash on delivery business is set to go up. India Post has been increasingly associating with leading ecommerce companies to handle their logistics. This business has ensured that the postal department has been on its toes.
      India Post delivered COD orders worth Rs. 500 crores in March 2015, and this number has gone up to Rs. 1,000 crores in December 2015, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for IT and Communications.
      The Minister was speaking at the Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting.

      Digital function a key player in postal logistics

      Underlining the importance of digitization, Mr. Prasad said that India’s Digital India project would help the ecommerce industry reach out to the most inaccessible places of the country.
      India’s postal department has access to some of the most remote areas of the country, making it a viable player in ecommerce. India Post has taken several steps to augment its role as logistics for ecommerce. It has set up 48 Parcel Processing Centres, and plans to create nine more in the coming months.
      India’s postal department is turning out to be a reliable logistics player for ecommerce. Online sellers will do well to explore this option!

      Thursday 28 January 2016

      Ecommerce merchants to dispatch goods at Delhi metro stops

      Come February, Delhi Metro stations will double up as terminals for e-commerce sites, with customers being given the option of getting products delivered at select stations so they can collect them at their convenience.
      The arrangement is expected to come in handy for those who make online purchase but are generally not at home to receive things ordered. Now they can ask the portals to have the products delivered at designated Metro terminals from where they can collect them during travel
      Payment on delivery option, using credit or debit cards will also be provided to the customers at the ‘Automated Parcel Delivery Terminals’ at 10 stations including those in Gurgaon and Noida, a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) official said.
      The chosen stations, distributed over the busiest lines of Metro, are MG Road, HUDA City Centre, Noida Sector 18, Laxmi Nagar, Vaishali, Nehru Place, Dwarka Sector 9, Kashmere Gate, Rajiv Chowk and GTB Nagar.
      “This is a move to provide last mile delivery option to the customers of e-tailers which will act as a revenue generation model for DMRC as we are providing the space for setting up these kiosks,” a metro official said.
      Under the arrangement, customers will be given the option to get their merchandise delivered to these designated terminals during their online purchase itself.
      Those who opt for it will receive a unique identity number (One Time Password) via SMS or e-mail after confirmation of purchase.
      “Then the customer will be able to receive his order from these terminals by providing the password to the staff.”
      Metro authorities declined to name any e-commerce sites, several of which have come up and grown increasingly popular in recent times, saying the details were being worked out.

      Revolutions in visual search aiding online sellers & buyers

      Online shopping has brought with it the need for visual recommendations. When buying apparel or shoes online, it is not enough that a shopper gets recommendations based on their most-searched items. A shopper should be able to search for things using their images as well.

      Start-ups in the visual search field

      Many companies are identifying the importance of enabling a customer to search for apparel via images. With this end in mind, several start-ups are providing their services to leading online stores. Stylumia Intelligence, SnapShopr, Visenze, and iLenze are some of the start-ups that provide visual search platforms.
      Some companies like Stylumia have thought of innovations in the search field. Stylumia, started by Ram Prakash and Ganesh Subramaniam, is the first program that allows input in Indian languages. It also takes images from different sources to gauge the fashion trends.
      Ram Prakash explains, “We are developing a technology which takes natural images, videos, be it Bollywood videos or TV serials, whatever influences fashion, and decipher and extract fashion elements from that.”
      Prakash maintains that the current trends in visual search are unable to analyse intelligence form the visual search results, and the analysis is only on a superficial level.
      “They do not have a way to see all the relevant data together. That’s another problem that we are trying to solve,” said Prakash.

      Launching in April

      Stylumia is going to officially take off in the first week of April. It has already signed up leading retailers.
      Ganesh Subramaniam remarked, “There’s a lot of interest among both online and offline retailers in this space. Our aim is to provide the most accurate prediction of demand and our consistency will improve as we work with more retailers and brands and get more and more data.”
      It is becoming evident that the conventional recommendations and search modes are insufficient. Indian online sellers can do well to introduce visual search to help their shoppers search more accurately for that elusive garment.

      Ecommerce marketplaces’ initiatives to attract more online sellers

      The likes of Flipkart, Paytm, Amazon and Snapdeal are doing what ever it takes to onboard more and more online sellers, which will help them to grow their Gross Merchandise value (GMV). The key priority is to not only attract greater number of online sellers, but also ensure that they are active merchants.
      Ecommerce marketplaces are helping sellers:
      ·         List products online
      ·         Develop attractive pricing models
      ·         With efficient financial assistance
      ·         By increasing warehousing space
      ·         By Building technology to enhance user-friendly platforms
      Last year Snapdeal launched initiatives such as ‘Sherpalo’ a seller service interface and also mobile marketplace ‘Shopo’ to empower sellers.
      “2016 will be the year that merchants start seeing the benefits of selling online, but a lot more needs to be done by us. Last year was the year of oiling the machinery,” said Sandeep Komaravelly, senior VP at Snapdeal and head of its mobile marketplace Shopo.
      Alibaba backed, Paytm created Paytm Go Big to facilitate merchants selling online. It has also rolled out Paytm Force, which provides Professional services for its sellers.
      “By the end of 2015, we had 1.7 lakh sellers, of whom about 1lakh were verified with catalogues. Over the next 12 months, we are looking to have 5 lakh verified sellers on board, ” stated Sudhanshu Gupta, assistant vice-president (business) at Paytm.
      Amazon has focussed efforts on building its database of Small and Medium enterprises. Initiatives such as Fulfilment by Amazon and Amazon’s global seller programme have been received well by online sellers.
      “We have seen significant traction from small and medium enterprises across the country and are witnessing over 250% growth in sellers year-over-year. Currently, over 55,000 Indian sellers sell on our platform,” reasoned Gopal Pillai, director (seller services), Amazon India.
      Through its seller initiatives Flipkart is aiming to grow small Indian brands into large ones. It recently offered priority status to sellers who invest in warehouse space and also cut the Service Level Agreement procurement time to 48 hours to make its sellers more efficient.
      “Our focus is to nurture small brands into big brands. Over the past one year we have seen that domestic brands in the accessories and home and kitchen appliances categories including Maharaja Whiteline, Bajaj, Nova, Ambrane and Maxx have grown at an aggressive 150% and contribute about 70% of (gross merchandise value) for the category itself,” said Adarsh Menon, vice-president of Flipkart’s electronics category.
      ShopClues, Myntra, Craftsvilla
      Other ecommerce firms which are attempting to seduce more online sellers to sign up include ShopClues, Myntra and Craftsvilla. While ShopClues launched a sellers club for its vendors, Myntra built a visual analytics tool and Craftsvilla tied up with banks to provide financial assistance to sellers.

      India Post E-commerce Cash On Delivery To Grow 200% In FY2015-16

      India Post e-commerce cash on delivery (COD) is planned to grow 200 percent in FY 2015-16 thereby helping e-commerce delivery to reach every nook and corner of India.
      The Department of Post through India Post handled COD worth Rs 500 crores up to March 2015 which has crossed Rs 1,000 crores till December 2015 and is expected to reach around Rs 1,500 crores by the end of the current financial year showing a jump of 200 percent.
      Speaking at Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting, Ravi Shankar Prasad, union minister for communications & IT said, “Various steps were taken by the Department of Posts for gearing up its capabilities for handling e-commerce parcel business as well as introducing services such as COD which have completely revolutionized the e-commerce business in India.”
      “India Post handled COD worth Rs 500 crores up to March 2015 which has crossed Rs 1,000 crores till December 2015 and is expected to reach around Rs 1,500 crores by the end of the current financial year,” added Ravi Shankar Prasad.
      Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “NDA government’s initiative to digitalize functioning would help in making e-commerce reach every corner and this initiative would further enhance India posts reach as national carrier.”
      The minister also highlighted that the government’s ‘Digital India Project’ was working to bring Internet and broadband to the remotest corners of the country giving further boost to the growing e-commerce market.
      Department of Posts, with its largest postal network in the world is the biggest potential partner to the e-commerce companies being the only last mile logistics handler across the country.
      With the IT Modernization Project in an advanced stage of implementation, Department of Posts is well set to redefine its operations to tap the e-commerce industry. This is not only going to further augment its revenue but it will also play a larger role in connecting India more comprehensively by reaching out to the door step of the consumers across the country, thereby bridging the digital and urban rural divide in terms of availability of products.
      The department had set up 48 new Parcel Processing Centers so far and 9 more such centers are coming up during the current financial year. These efforts in the last eighteen months have resulted in an overall revenue growth in the parcel segment by 45 percent during 2014-15 and more than 100 percent in the current financial year.
      Amazon India booking has increased from average 50,000 articles per month last year to 3 lakhs articles per month in the current year and so is the case of other players like Flipkart, Myntra etc. where the bookings have increased from 15,000 per month to 30,000 – 50,000 per month.
      The members of the Consultative Committee appreciated the steps taken by the Department of Posts and complimented on its efforts to bring rural India into the e-commerce mainstream as well as enhancing its revenues through parcel and Speed Post business.
      The meeting was attended by Nepal Singh, Raj Babbar, Bhola Singh, Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Ranjanben Bhatt and K Gopal.