Will eMail become a better channel for promotion & commerce?

Posted in Ideas, Marketing & SoMe, Technology

Google has already made some great progress with Gmail. The recent changes with Inbox further provides easy categorization of mails automatically.

Even before Google announced Inbox, Gmail started categorizing promotion mails under “Promotion” folder. Many thought that will make such mails redundant. But maybe not.

With Google experimenting Grid view for promotion mails, they can actually find more people looking at the promotion – people who are really interested in exploring . Plus these folks need not click a mail, a painful process, to see the details.


They have so far not made this feature available to all, so there is not much data available.

Another interesting possibility is to actually allow marketers to provide specific product promotion and buy button within the mail itself. If the offer is too good, why not let eager shoppers shop immediately?

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The Math behind A/B testing to ascertain which site is better

Posted in Analytics, Decision Making, Marketing & SoMe, Technology

Assume you have two website designs – A & B on your eCommerce website, and you end up with 45 conversions out of 100 visitors for design A and 50 conversions out of 100 visitors for design B.


What’s the chance that design B is better than design A?

10%? No, that’s wrong. Design B is actually 76% better than design A and to make the switch, this probability has to be > 90%. Part-2 above also provides a shortcut formula to make this calculation.

The below three part series provide very good English and Math explanation on how to evaluate results from split testing on two designs.

Part – 1, Part – 2, Part – 3


How Happy Birthday is said on greeting channels today

Posted in Analytics, Data visualization, Marketing & SoMe

I was researching digital marketing and social media concepts on my birthday. And I could not stop myself doing some analysis on all the greetings that I received. I plotted 200+ greetings that I got via various channels on “Personalization” and “Convenience” axis.


“Personalization” reflects how much personalization is possible via a given channel. It is not about you but about the ability and common usage of a given channel.

“Convenience” reflects convenience of people to use a given channel to send greetings. I received a large number of greetings on Facebook and hence the convenience factor is high for this channel. It is clear that new social media channels provides high degree of convenience and allow us to use special occasions to be in frequent touch.

I should clarify – it is the channel that does not allow personalization. And not the people. Over a phone, you will talk more. Over a facebook greeting, you will be short. This is how I do. I write short messages on Facebook or whatsapp for greetings and find it very convenient to wish my friends.

To all my friends,  once again thank you for your wonderful wishes.

Overlay maps for superior visulaization

Posted in Data visualization, Ideas

Overlaying custom information or crowd sourced information where a location based decision has to be made is very interesting. I recently did an entry on eRealtor market in India and I feel the real estate websites can make use of such maps in different ways. The possibilities are many and can help provide differentiation.

Where else such a map can be used? What other location based searches that you do? Can this be used for hotel bookings and travel planning websites where customers can share their experiences? Imagine a map where you can clearly identify which is a good location to stay and which is not. Now zoom out at state or country level and you know which is a good place to make travel plans etc.

Wearables – What Consumers Are Buying

Posted in Hot, Internet of Things (IoT)

Earlier this year I did a blog post on wearable device market and also created a snapshot diagram of some popular wearable devices. Since then the market has exploded and now there are over 100s of wearable devices out there.

Now, let us look at what consumers are buying. Here is the distribution according to this report –

source – Techcrunch

The growth in the number of companies and wearables that have come up recently and the above data shows an increasing interest from consumers around wearables.

I am also interested in knowing about the frequency of usage of these devices as well any drop-off rate after a period of usage. I believe that to provide the next set of challenges and opportunities for new and existing companies to solve!

Smart Watch – Why I may wear one!

Posted in Hot, Internet of Things (IoT)

Earlier this year I did a blog post on wearable device market and also created a snapshot diagram of some popular wearable devices. Since then the market has exploded and now there are over 100s of wearable devices out there. Sometimes it is difficult to keep pace with all the new devices that are coming up but there is lot of buzz in the market with Apple launching its maiden watch.

Apple Watch

Why will I use a smart watch?

Let us first compare a smart watch with a smart phone – since it is in some way a step-down version of phone in terms of size and features. Today, consuming information on phone is a 5-step process –

1. Take out the phone from pocket
2. Activate the phone
3. Press the unlock button
4. Type in your security code
5. Open the relevant application

If you are looking for extremely quick information consumption, these steps on phone get in the way. This is where I feel lies the most critical utility of smart watches. Smart watches will serve as extremely rapid information consumption devices.

And that will be my most common use case. I will use it for notification services, calendar services and any other information that I want to consume rapidly – faster than I can do today with phone.

I have frequent need to locate my keys, wallet and my phone. Yes, I do. I expect my watch to act as a locator. And there are already watches like Filip that help locate your kids. I am not a fitness enthusiast but I can understand how smart watches can help with health tracking and provide rapid information about your health data.

I expect future smart watch applications to provide applications based on user profile and certain set of rapid information consumption. A traveler profile – using weather, appointment, flight status notifications or a busy executive profile or a fitness profile. All of them consuming relevant information in the quickest possible way.

eRealtor market in India

Posted in Marketing & SoMe

The Indian reality market has seen huge explosion in the last decade. In response, there are several players who have emerged in the eRealtor sector providing online assistance and brokerage that can help you buy, sell or rent homes of different shapes and proportions. Some of the notable ones are –

1. IndiaHomes
2. 99acres
3. Housing.com
4. CommonFloor
5. Makaan
6. Mabicbricks
7. IndiaProperty
8. PropTiger
9. HomeShikari

Realty Market

As a core function, all the eRealtors provide services such as map based listing, filtering features, mobile support, verified listing, site photographs, information about nearby locality etc. For a consumer, it is difficult to select any one of them based on features alone – since there is some uniformity about the hygiene features that everyone provides.

Which one are preferred by customers?

I did research on traffic share and technology used by the eRealtor companies and the analysis point to a certain usage and search pattern but I feel it is finally the overall experience of doing business and service that makes customer stick to some eRealtors compared to others. Secondly, marketing plays a very important role in driving traffic in a multi-player market that offer little perceived differentiation. Some of the players like 99acres and Magicbricks are big on marketing and receives top traffic in this sector.

Lastly, company that gets attention from consumer is the one that establishes leader status in a niche position. For example Housing.com with its map-based innovative search got much media attention that helped them get significant traction from new customers.

I will publish the research matrix in one of my next blogs.

Even a simple transaction is no longer simple – Recharge coupons story

Posted in Decision Making, Disruption Opportunities

Life was simple when cable television and mobile started prepaid model. All you have to do is to decide the right recharge amount to continue to use the service, go online and recharge. The only additional complexity was selecting the call rate for different recharge option in case of prepaid mobile.

It ain’t simple any longer. I was recently trying to recharge my cable television account and I was shown a variety of coupons that I can get *free*. And then you have services like paytm and freecharge that formalizes this business model.


While the idea of using coupons to market and get customer is great, there are few problems with this approach.

1. A simple recharge option has to go through a complex decision making process. The reason I am online is not to shop but to recharge the account.  The decision making and hence the transaction is slowed down because there are just too many coupons to chose from.

2. Feeling of losing out on something. There will be a tendency to perhaps check all the coupons to avoid the fear of losing out on something free. After navigating to the third page, it is easy to forget that you logged in to recharge your prepaid account and not shopping.

3. Most options are not useful. At least that’s how they appeal to me. Maybe I was not looking to shop but to recharge or maybe I do not have need to use any of the options in near future.

What can be done

The current model needs to be flipped. When I am shopping, show me the option to recharge and not the other way round. The money for this recharge can still come from the mobile or cable provider. The benefit with this approach is that it will give me a sense of instant discount or benefit on the purchases that I am making. The coupons are suddenly useful. While I may accumulate more in my prepaid account but there is almost a certainty of using the extra recharge sooner or later.