September 11th, 2013 at 11:47AM

Kuliza acquires Crowdnub

I am happy to announce today that Kuliza Technologies has acquired Crowdnub, the social app tool that we lovingly hand crafted. It is now available for brand marketers as ‘MobiChirp’, as a part of Kuliza’s suite of social and mobile offerings.

image

As we studied the market and honed Crowdnub, we realized the landscape was changing fast and brands’ social marketing needs would be better served by a more holistic solution. So it made sense to align with Kuliza who was building the other pieces. We are happy Crowdnub has made Kuliza’s MobiChirp offering more robust.

It is a pure tech acquisition and not a talent acquisition. While I move on to my next exciting challenge in life, I thank my team, investors, clients, media, and other well-wishers who joined us in our journey at Adepto and made it a rewarding experience.

I wish the team at Kuliza great success.

Kiran Kumar

CEO, Co-founder

Adepto Solutions.

November 6th, 2012 at 2:40PM

What’d you do if you were in my shoes? My shoe-size is 8.

This post first appeared in therodinhoods.com, a start-up community cheer-led by Alok ‘Rodinhood’ Kejriwal.

——

In my shoes

Kiran Kumar (Me): Hey Rodinhood. We built a great product and our beta users love it. But we are in a situation that many successful companies have been and many Startups will be.

The Smart Rodinhooder (TSR) likes brevity so picks up only the italicized parts of my preamble and ignores the rest. 

TSR: OK, so what is this ‘great’ product you built. Give it to me in just ‘20 words’.

(Seeing the emphasis on 20 words, I thought TSR sounded like a mentor on the ‘Power of Ideas’ Program)

Me: We built ‘Crowdnub’, a smarter Social App platform. With Crowdnub, you can build a rich custom-like Social App in minutes.

TSR: 20 words indeed. But platform and custom-like? Sounds a bit counter-intuitive. Explain.

Me: OK. If you are a brand manager or an agency who manages a brand on Facebook, and you wanted run something quick like a sweepstake or a contest, you would choose one of the many platforms that offer snacky widgets for sub-$50 a month. On the other hand, if you wanted to do something elaborate, like tell a story about a new movie or a automobile launch using a lot of content, you would build a custom application because the platforms have limitations.

TSR: So what are you doing different? 

Me: Crowdnub offers the richness of a custom-app with the convenience of a SaaS platform. 

TSR: How? 

Me:Think of the the Social App as a pizza. It has two layers. 

Crowdnub Pizza

Source: www.cakechooser.com

The creative layer with which the user interacts with the content (toppings - images, videos, maps, polls, multiple choice, rating, user submissions, game-play type) and a social layer (pizza base - gamification, points, virtual and real reward distribution, OpenGraph actions, liking, sharing, the works). Crowdnub provides a feature-rich creative layer with options seen only in custom-Apps on top of a robust social layer.

TSR: You said pizza and I am now hungry. Quick advice. Sell benefits, not features.

Me: Advice taken. When you use Crowdnub, you are using a next-generation technology platform. You are saving costs and time, big time.

TSR: Now we are talking. Why is your technology that good?

Me: You see Apps have a short shelf-life because APIs and policies of the platforms change constantly. The Tech too changes fast. There is always a better way to do things - a new language, a new standard, a better framework, a more robust database management system etc. To be on top of this all takes Technology to be in your DNA. Brands now take social seriously. If as an agency, Technology is not your métier, you may want to use Crowdnub next time, because tech is in our DNA.

TSR: And what was that about saving time and costs? 

Me: On Crowdnub, you create one App and run campaigns for your different needs within that one App via a beautiful CMS. So if you have your content ready, you can create and run your first campaign in no time. Our pricing is variable, meaning you don’t pay a fixed cost but only for the number of days you run the campaign based on the features you select for the campaign.

There are a few other things too.

TSR: What features or benefits?

Me: Benefits

TSR: Go on.

Me: You see the dark side of Social Apps is that Users have to ‘Allow’ the App. Some users typically drop off at this point. With Crowdnub, since you are changing the campaigns in your App and not creating another App, Users who have allowed the App once will see your next campaign without any friction. Another positive is that all the user behaviour data is available to you in one App. This is a big deal if the brand cares about data. Crowdnub provides powerful targeting capabilities. You can show different content to different people in the same App.

TSR: The last one is a feature but I will excuse you. However, a ‘platform’ has limitations right? Brands always want something new.

Me: True. Crowdnub is flexible and allows for full customization. You can simply change the topping (say a flash/HTML game) and run it on the base (social layer). We can also customize the base per the brands needs.

TSR: Who are the customers who loved it.

Me: This is what Meghana Bhat, ECD, WebChutney said after using Crowdnub for their client Saint Gobain.

"Crowdnub delivers what it promises, but what’s even more interesting is how easy it is to uniquely mix the rich features that platform offers. We were able to set up a quiz app within hours and the users responded by answering 99.6% of all the question that popped up in the app (only 0.04% clicked on the ‘skip’ button). Clearly, this is one of the easiest ways to boost engagement with a brand.”

Khushboo Salian, Brand Manager of Wildcraft, India’s premier outdoor gear company, used Crowdnub and said this.

"Crowdnub’s claims are seriously true. We couldn’t have done what we did in such a short span of time without Crowdnub. We actually launched our campaign just a few hours after our first one ended. Congrats to the Crowdnub team."

(Read the full-story on "How Wildcraft launched a rich custom-like Facebook App in no time and achieved 80% Engagement rate.")

TSR: You guys seemed to have covered all the bases then. What was the situation you were talking about being in initially?

Me: Well how do we take this message to the larger audience; that the biggest challenge that the world faces is not malaria or malnutrition but the complexity of Apps.

TSR: You talk a little too much.

Me: Sorry. 

TSR: Essentially you are saying your challenge is marketing.

Me: Yes. So what’d you do if you were in my shoes?

TSR: How much can you spend on Advertising?

Me: Zilch. We are a start-up.

TSR: What the $&%*. How can you spread the word without spending any money?

Me: But Alok said advertising is not marketing.

TSR: (Cusses Alok under the breath “Need to teach this Alok fellow a lesson. Maybe I will pan him anonymously on Quora this week”.)

OK my friend, here is what you do…

juiiii..juiiii…peep…peep..

At this point, I wake up and realize that it is not TSR but my year-and-half son driving his imaginary car in bed.

So if you are that TSR I have been talking to in my sleep (never mind the shoe size), please leave your comments below or write to me at kiran (at) adeptocorp (dot) com with your ideas. Appreciate your help.

Kiran Kumar is the Co-founder and CEO of Adepto Solutions. The first Product company set up by ex-Googlers in India.

@kkirank

#Rodinhoods#marketing strategies
October 14th, 2012 at 6:14PM

Avenues 2012 : Sample Slide Deck for Participants of the Abhyutthan Event in IIT-B SJM School of Management

This Presentation is designed to be an illustrative reference for participants of the Abhyutthan Event who are required to present a slide-deck as part of Round One.

The example in the deck is based on a fictitious company called ‘Movies Always’.

#abhyutthan#avenues 2012#sjmsom iit-b
September 24th, 2012 at 5:07PM

How LinkedIn can stop people from saying ‘Mujhse Fraandship Karoge’ and make more money.

How often have you got LinkedIn Invitations “to connect” from people claiming that you have done business with them in the past, when you are surer about the opposite than your kid’s birthday?

My guess is quite often. And if you have a generic title like CEO - which makes you a dumb target of luxury marketing whether or not you can afford them - you probably get more.

For long, I was angry with people who would just blatantly lie and say ‘We’ve done business together’ as a reason to connect over LinkedIn.

I wondered why can’t they simply be honest and write a personal message and say, hey, I don’t know you, but I would like to get connected for yada yada..

But I realized today, I’ve been getting mad at the wrong people. I should be mad at LinkedIn.

Consider this, I was looking to connect with Ajay Kelkar of Cequity. Since I don’t know him, I selected that option and drafted my email.

But, see what LinkedIn tells me AFTER I click on ‘Send Invitation’

Firstly, why give me the option to select ‘I don’t know Ajay’, allow me to type my message, and then coolly tell me that I can’t send the message. Simply bad UX.

Secondly, the message seems to suggest you cannot send invitations to people you are not connected to, but LinkedIn has an InMail program through which you can send emails/invitations to people you don’t know. It is a useful service and comes at a price.

Aside from creating a bad user experience, LinkedIn is losing an opportunity here to advertise their InMail program. Here is what LinkedIn can do instead.

  • Like Facebook, allow people to send a message to everyone, whether connected or not (remember, Users are doing it anyway, if you give a choice for people to be honest, most will take it.)

  • When people select, ‘I don’t know xxx’, ask them if they want to send an InMail instead with assured delivery to the inbox. For those that are already InMail users, the message box could say, ‘You have xx InMails, send an InMail to Ajay instead.’

  • Design and enforce penalties. Strongly forewarn users to be very careful when they say they know the recipient in any way. Inform them about the risks if the recipient disputes the claim. 

  • Allow recipients to mark messages with false claims as such without direct feedback to the sender. Most people would like to be polite.

  • For the recipient, put all these unsolicited requests in a separate inbox and make it unobtrusive.

Coming back to my peeve, as a way of introduction, LinkedIn provides a standard sentence.

‘I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.’

When seeking to connect, it is not sufficient introduction because it doesn’t say why. 
But it is not LinkedIn’s job to do it. It is the users’. 

You sure wouldn’t lose anything by providing a little more context. But you would very likely come across as silly, if you just leave it at that and worse lie about knowing the person.

It is like asking ‘Mujhse Fraandship Karoge?’ on LinkedIn.

You are warned.

(For the uninitiated, ‘Mujhse fraandship karoge’, is a common crude opening line used by Indian men with women (presumably) in online chat rooms. It is a ‘loose’ request for friendship but very often means much else.)
- @kkirank

#LinkedIn#Cequity#InMail
July 23rd, 2012 at 12:43PM

PIVOTING TO A BETTER PRODUCT. THE CROWDNUB STORY.

The cartoon is from the New Yorker.

Source: The NewYorker

By December 2011, enough VC money has already flowed into big and fledgling eCommerce businesses in India, and was (and is) fast flowing out too.

When you are leaking money from your core operations, you don’t have much room to experiment with new marketing channels, including Social Media, a channel that is the most sexed up and the least understood.

It was in such times and on one nippy morning in December when Ashok, our Head of Products, pulled me into a room and gave me an update of our Social Commerce product Trolly. It wasn’t good news. 

While Trolly was delivering promised results to those who used it diligently, we were not getting the traction. Trolly was built just for eCommerce businesses and that was the problem. 

The solution was to expand the funnel and make the Trolly proposition relevant to other businesses as well. But that meant we had to break down the rigidities and rebuild it grounds up. 

A young tech company will make many trips back to the drawing board until it finds market fit and acceptability. Every such story is an experience, a lesson, and possibly, an inspiration.

Here is the story of how we did it.


We designed a new identity

Now that the focus was not just eCom businesses, it didn’t make sense to call it Trolly. So after many exhausting deliberations (you know the pain in finding a suitable dotcom), we called the new product ‘Crowdnub’, which translates to ‘The essence of people.’ It is a Social Media product after all.

social app platform


We built a better proposition

If we are back at the drawing board, why not build a better product proposition.

We set the goal for Crowdnub to give any brand the power of a bespoke application on a SaaS platform.

Using this platform, brands could build virality for their brand, engage users deeply, drive them to their offline/online properties, and glean rich insights about their user base. Not just that, Crowdnub would do all this across desktop, tablet, and mobile, and on multiple social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

Brands typically use several apps to achieve the above. Our belief is that they should use just one app. This reduces user-friction towards ‘allowing’ apps and makes data mining easy.

We call this belief, The 1-App Methodology.


We give the holy grail. Data. 

One of the reasons why Social media turned from fad to fabulous is brands can now finally get the missing dimension in data, the Social Graph

Crowdnub combines App-level data with Facebook Insights and custom Google Analytics reporting to generate a richer profile and understanding of the users.

One example is how a retail chain is proposing to use Crowdnub is to collect membership IDs of Loyalty card users through rich engagements on the Fan page and tie them back to rich social, demographic, and geographic information about those members. This would have only been possible with a bespoke application, but now there is Crowdnub.


We blurred the lines

Together, Mobile and Social deliver phenomenal user reach. Traditionally though, they are treated with separate pairs of gloves. Crowdnub’s platform-agnosticism means that this convergence is the default.

An offline business can drive their users to their social assets using Crowdnub’s mobile web platform that’s accessible through simple QR codes or smart links. Likewise, they can drive their social fans to their offline stores using various flexible rewards and loyalty programs that come standard with Crowdnub.


We enhanced the User Experience

The valley is buzzing with Apps built on some of the latest front-end technologies that exist today including HTML5, CSS3 and various client-storage techniques that deliver a near-zero latency once the app is loaded. Crowdnub too got the best.

One of the first impressions that Crowdnub leaves on your mind is the “native app” feeling inside a browser. You get the ‘drive by wire' feeling every time you interact with the application. You can try it out here. Allow it to load and see what we mean.

Near-zero latency while transitioning between engagements have a dramatic impact on how much content can be consumed by a user per session. Plus, Crowdnub leverages the bleeding edge OpenGraph technologies to ensure that every action that a user takes on the content gets the maximum legally allowed reach. 

More content consumption = More time spent = you get the drift. 


We built it for scale

In geek speak,  we built Crowdnub with modern, industrial-strength, polyglot language frameworks like Ruby and NodeJS and on top of battle-tested no-SQL databases like MongoDB and message queues like Redis.

In plain speak, Crowdnub uses the latest cloud infrastructure to be very elastic and extremely scalable. When you wish large brands to use your product, scalability is the operative word.

Being on the cloud also means time to take campaigns live is not weeks but just a few minutes.


Conclusion

Recently, we received a call from an ambitious and talented techie from Chandigarh. We have some positions open and he wanted to apply. When asked why he wants to join us, he said he wanted exposure to the technologies we were working on and that there aren’t many Indian tech companies who do that. We all walked around with inflated chests for two days after this call. 

One of the by-products of entrepreneurship is that you inspire and attract other similar minds. 

By sincerely making a good product better, with ever more focus on cutting-edge technology, and with commercial success, we hope we will inspire more people.

- @kkirank

1 note #crowdnub#social marketing platform#social media marketing#pivoting
February 21st, 2012 at 11:40AM

RIP Facebook Stores?

Bloomberg recently reported that Gamestop, JC Penney, Gap, and Nordstrom have all closed their Facebook stores.  Just to be sure I checked Nordstrom’s Facebook page.  It is true, the shopping tab is gone. 

In the summer of 2011, I walked out of Payvment’s Palo Alto office blown away. They had more than 60,000 merchants on the Facebook Commerce Platform. But I was still intrigued about the proposition of Facebook Stores. I wondered shouldn’t the focus first be on engagement rather than sale.

I present three counter-arguments to arguments that favor an F-Store.

1 - There are a lot of people on Facebook and they discuss many things. Shopping is one of them and so it makes sense for you to open a store there.

Except that Facebook is more like a community center where we share little tidbits of our day with people we know, a gossip chamber where we drop in once a day to sniff something new, a silent sojourn we take to keep up with the lives of people we didn’t keep in our lives  - whatever it is, it is not a place to shop.  Because, we don’t go to Facebook with an intention to buy something. If we have that intention, we are more likely to go to the store that sells what we want.

2 - OK, but it is good to have a Facebook store so you are only a tab away. 

If we agree that people who don’t have shopping on their mind won’t miss not having stores on Facebook, it leaves only two other types of people, impulse buyers and die-hard fans, to whom a Facebook Store may be relevant. 

Often, when people have an impulse for a product, it is usually also for a specific kind of product. If they want to eat a chocolate, they might want to eat a Lindt, if they feel like having a soft drink, it might be a Diet Pepsi. Since impulse buyers also express their brand affinity, it is permissible to put them in the same category as die-hard fans.

So then, if I am a die-hard fan, do I really care if my beloved brand store is just a tab away? In any case, the ‘tab away’ is still a click away. Why can’t I click on a link from Facebook and land up on their website?

3 - Fine. But it doesn’t hurt to have a Store tab, does it?

Every business activity has a cost. Besides the cost of the service itself, there are maintenance and human resource costs. For some businesses this cost may not be significant and probably pays for the trickle of business that F-Stores can bring. But there are others who take a strong view against anything that doesn’t move the needle.

“We just didn’t get the return on investment we needed from the Facebook market, so we shut it down pretty quickly,” Ashley Sheetz, Gamestop’s Vice President of Marketing and Strategy is reported to have said.

In the chain of events from - finding a lead, curating and converting it into a customer - Facebook stores come into play, if at all, in the last stage. Facebook’s utility is many times more significant for the stages that precede the sale event.

It is all about Engagement 

It is true for any business that it should engage the prospects before they become customers. Traditionally, businesses sought to do this on their websites. But people are spending more time on social networks than on any other property.

According to the FireClick Index, the Average User Session on Fashion & Apparel sites is 3 to 4 minutes.  A truism from brick-and-mortar retail is that the more you browse the more you fill your shopping cart.  By that same virtue, a retailer needs to drive up the engagement metric to get the conversions.  And Facebook is the place to do it.

The Complexity of Engagements

What is worse than a Facebook page without fans? To have one with many fans. If you are doing nothing for them that is. I heard a story of a popular consumer brand that targets  young males. They have over 2 million fans and the CMO woefully admitted that it is quite a challenge to keep all the testosterone on leash.

The whole premise of having a group of people in one place is to influence them on your brand proposition. Nordstrom runs a campaign called ‘Sample Saturday’ and gives their Facebook Fans an opportunity to sample the beauty products. Beautiful.

Nordstrom Sample Saturday

It however does this on a first-come-first-serve basis. What if Nordstrom wanted to offer this to only those fans that have a deeper engagement with the brand. To take the point forward, here is an example of a hypothetical Coffee chain, Starducks Coffee, and the many things it may want to do to promote its brand and convert leads into customers.

starducks_social_engagement_needs

While Facebook’s standard features and other free widgets are useful, rich and deep engagements require applications that can manage the complexity of automating the engagements, and the distribution and tracking of rewards.

Apps’ the Way

Apps today are designed to do increasingly complex tasks and getting simpler to use. More good news is that the results are measurable.

Our own application, Trolly, has helped our client 99labels, a flash sales fashion retailer, achieve up to 8 minutes user engagement on their Facebook Page. Compared to the Average session duration discussed above, it is a over 122%. 99labels’ Facebook users saw up to 15 products per session and engaged with 70% of the products on Trolly. Not just that, 1 in 4 Trolly Users who engaged with 99labels products on Facebook visited the website with a strong ‘intent to buy’. You can download the full case-study from our website trollyapp.com.

Conclusion

On reflection, the reason why many stores may have added an F-Store in a rush was because it was the easiest part of the Facebook Strategy. F-stores may yet prove useful but they will certainly tank if the other more important parts are not addressed. 

At Google where I worked before, there was a motto. Focus on the User and all else will follow. In the case of social marketing, the motto is, Engage the User and all else will follow.

@kkirank

Kiran Kumar is the CEO and Co-Founder of Adepto Solutions, a company founded by ex-Googlers. Trolly, a Social Marketing Suite built by the company will be exhibited at ad:tech in New Delhi on Feb 23-24.

#Social Marketing#gamestop#nordstrom#f-stores#facebook stores#f-Commerce#facebook commerce
November 29th, 2011 at 12:43PM

5 Steps to making a Valley-style Product Video in India

In these times, if you are a product company and you don’t have a video that explains your product, quite frankly, you are asking too much from your visitors.

Your site analytics should tell you how much time people spend on your website. If you are a start-up, and a geeky product company at that, chances are it will be less than 5 minutes. So it is very important you have an effective product video that encapsulates your raison d’être in just a couple of minutes. 

Now that is the simple part. Making ‘effective’ videos is expensive anywhere in the world. You are more screwed if you are an India based start-up and want to create a valley-style video for that market, which was roughly our situation. 

So how and where do you start? At this point, I request you to watch our video below because I will be referring to and elaborating on the elements in it going further. (Yes, another view doesn’t hurt as well).  

OK, this is how we did it and not necessarily in this order.

Step 1: We did the heavy lifting.

Till all the product developers, due to a mutant gene in them, can turn into great storytellers, we have to rely on production companies that will do the job for us.  

Ideally, you want to just give them the brief and get the best result within a deadline. 

A good production firm that has a track record of excellent work, marquee clientele, and sex appeal (meaning you can brag about hiring them) could do that. But they charge you a hefty fee for having worked their bottoms off suffering boorish, domineering, and hard-balling clients earlier in their career. Unless one of them is suffering from a Jerry Maguire moment, they will be as expensive as they come. I read it here that it costs around US$15000 to make a 3 minute product video in the Valley. 

Since we don’t have that money, we got a smaller company to do the job (we found them on Google). The company we chose was cost-effective but we did a lot of heavy-lifting (we actually gave them the complete voice-over script). 

Step 2: We id’ed our audience 

It is sweet if everyone swoons over your work of art, but you should first really care if your message is hitting your target audience. So a very important step is to identify that audience. In our case, our product Trolly is designed for online retailers, so the video starts with ‘John is an online retailer….’ . You will see the entire script and play is designed for online retailers. Here is a snapshot of the storyboard.

Step 3: We id’ed our market 

Again, you will see that in our video we use anglican names and personalities. Why? Because our main market is the US. If our target market were India, we would be better off with Raj or something like that instead of John. 

(On a side note, the name of our product Trolly has amused and bemused people. We intended for it to infer to a Shopping cart (a Trolley as understood in India) but Californians were amused because Trolley means a mini-Train to them. Others were bemused at its close resemblance to ‘Troll’. All I can say is none of the inferences were desired. We may have the hindsight now but we do not have the resources to go for a rebranding. Talking about it aloud like this may clear the confusion just as well, or so we hope :-).

Also, you would have noticed the american voice over in the video. A lot of people ask us how did we do it. No, we didn’t get the voice recorded in the US, nor it is an Indian faking an accent (Never do that. It will be what it is, a fake). There are many expats who live in India now, and in a place like Bangalore, it is not hard to find them. Our production company did a good job on this. Sometimes you get even luckier. In the earlier version of the Trolly video, we used a lady’s voice over. She had never given her voice before, but she was a natural. You can hear her voice in the video below.  

The voice recording was done in a single take in less than an hour. (The video itself was done entirely in-house using Balsamic at a cost of less than $1000. We have since changed Trol.ly to trollyapp.com) 

Step 4: We were clear, very clear, on what we wanted to communicate.

Now nobody knows your product better than you. That is also a problem. You want to tell everything there is about the product. If only the visitors were willing to hear all about it. Since they really can spare only a couple of minutes, we need to choose which parts of our product story we want to tell and which to leave out. 

In our case, we didn’t need to tell the online retailers that Social Media is important to them. They’d probably shoot the next person who says that. We may have a chance if we empathized with them instead. Therefore the opening lines.. “John is an online retailer and understands the power of Social Media for his business. But he is overwhelmed by the options…” 

From here on we focused on staying clear of any jargon or on how beautiful Trolly is under the hood, but explained how Trolly solves the problem for them in as simple words as possible.

Step 5: We chose ‘effective’ over ‘creative’.

Effective - When the video explains what we do

Creative - When we have to explain the video

The point of the light-hearted sarcasm above is that production companies perhaps feel compelled to be creative. Take a look at this.

As you saw, the part about users sharing purchases and other products with their friends is depicted through morphing and moving elements. To communicate the utility of a software product is challenging as it is, to offer it wrapped in layers of metaphors is to make a tough job harder. 

So, while it was creative, it wasn’t effective. We wanted to make our point simple, straight, and quick. So we mercilessly asked them to chop off that part. See how it looks now in the video (see the video at beginning of this post between 0.34 to 0.49).

Conclusion

To summarize, to get an effective video done is not just about finding the cheapest production company. You have to do a lot of homework. You need to -

  1. Mark your market
  2. Know your audience
  3. Be very clear on what you want to communicate
  4. Find the right production company, and
  5. Choose the style that is effective rather than just creative. 

If it hadn’t been for the appreciation we got from Gillian Muessig, President and Co-founder of SEOMoz for our video (during the Social India Conference organized by Akshaya Patra Foundation), I wouldn’t have written this blogpost. Her appreciation (considering that she is from our target market) made us think we may have done something right, and therefore, sharing our experiences could benefit others.

But that said, we don’t want to be presumptuous. If you did not like the video, please tell us why and what can improve. You’d help us and others who read this post. Appreciate your comments, please leave them below. 

@kkirank

2 notes #product video#start up product video#cheap product video#quick product video#effective product video
November 15th, 2011 at 11:29AM

Shopping on Facebook!

Have I or a friend or a friends friend ever bought something on Facebook? Especially with the holiday season approaching, I’m in the mood for some retail therapy and since I spend so much time on Facebook I’m wondering why I haven’t combined the two yet.  When I trust friends on Facebook for recommendations on movies and which restaurant to eat at next, what stops me from finding my favorite pair of jeans and buying it on Facebook? It’s funny to realize I might know more people who’ve spent $5 just to get a level ahead of someone on Farmville than spend it on a shopping site for something they can use in real life. Wonder if the story would be any different if Facebook itself were to develop a shopping site that offered products on discounts. Most likely not, which says something about me or Facebook! Shopping sites exist, just like shopping malls and we all like them but we need a compelling message to use them.
 
If my friend bought something that I’m looking for and came home just to show me how awesome it is, tell me where to go and the discount available on it, I’d most likely pick up my bag, visit the store and bring it home. Something of this sort (assuming it’s presented well) would be a massive hit on Facebook aswell- Where I caught a friend purchase a pair of earrings of my favorite brand in my live feed, especially on a discount! These alerts also make me eligible to see all the discounts of my favorite brands without having to become a fan of each of them. The answer to my initial question isn’t a lack of trust in online banking or in Facebook; it is simply being aware and seeing my friends buy, share and recommend it for me! That’s what social is about anyways- connecting lives; so why not become a part of each others shopping stories?
 
Think about this- 71% Indians trust recommendations from their family, 64% from friends and 29% from product reviews while making an online purchase decision. This is quiet a contrast from the age old challenge of ‘Indians don’t buy online.’ I see there are thousands of folks out there, just like me, waiting to hear from friends before they make a move. ‘Approach me, through my friends’ is the message I’d send out to all the E-commerce stores out there on Facebook.
- Remita


@remitadsouza

#Facebook Shopping, Social engagement, E-commerce, Retail Therapy
November 14th, 2011 at 11:17AM

Giving back to the community, Adepto Style.

Since the day Kiran and I started Adepto, we are constantly looking for opportunities to give back to the community. Turns out that being philanthropic, while trying to grapple with issues of a fledgling company, is a challenge. We thought-experimented with creating apps or sites that could power small changes in the society (including a mobile app that could predict bus arrivals for the daily commuter to help save time). But none of them survived to see the proverbial light of the day.
 
Twenty months later, we have an incredibly gifted team that shares the same enthusiasm and passion to change the world. Startups like us, while poised for a great future, may not be exactly sitting on a pile of cash. But that does not make you philanthropically challenged either. You do what you can to better the society in little ways using your core competence. Our products are changing the way ecommerce is done using powerful social media platforms and tools. We plan to empower charitable organizations in Bangalore with the same innovative expertise and experience that we have garnered while building our products. Bi-annually, we’ll choose a charitable organization that either does not have a web presence or is struggling with one. Our team will spend an entire weekend hacking together a beautiful website complete with social media integration and powered by a cloud based platform. We strongly believe that a good web and social media presence will go a long way in spreading the cause. And this is a small way for us to give back to the community.
-Prem

@premjg

#Adepto, Social applications, Ecommerce, Philanthropy
October 14th, 2011 at 10:12PM
More proof for why social gaming is the next big thing.

More proof for why social gaming is the next big thing.