Published September 5, 2007
Business India , E-Commerce , Technology
Recently whenever we have visited a customer who is looking at e-commerce channel for customer acquisition talk of m-commerce and social networking comes in. The huge marketing and access potential these 2 buzz words offer is of interest to every b2c organization. Although they might be root to our problem but real case begins with lot of customer incorrectly budget their IT spend for e-commerce segment as advertising online.
This clearly spill out companies mind set and they are yet to show confidence in channel for generation of revenue due to the fact no stand alone success story is available to lead the chart. On the other hand m-commerce applications are not helping the case with most of them targeting distribution of information at a cost. Most of the M-Commerce players can be easily terms as Mobile Marketing companies instead of pure commerce players.
Overall its been seen customer with established e-commerce channel benefit 70% more then one only relying on just m-commerce play. We all know M-commerce is here to stay but investment in e-commerce infrastructure is for long term as today we have mobile platform tomorrow we might have interaction happening with the refrigerators directly for placing grocery orders online. This means e-channel is scalable to service such other platforms but basic investment in e-commerce platform is something clients should not run away from.
With M-Commerce client sees immediate reach out and ability to reach out to more#’s is always more attractive. This means m-commerce is restricting clients investment as brand building efforts instead of providing a channel for revenue generation. In order for successful growth of m-commerce or any kind of e-currency based commerce need for platform based adoption is requested with m-commerce or others also acting out channel for customer acquisition and retention.
When i sat down to do a post it was to be agencyfaqs.com vs exchange4media.com which is a better service portal for media professionals in India. If you take notice regular blogs which people follow like contentsutra.com or alootechie.com generally refer to these 2 sources on recent news announcements.
Business model wise both these sites sit on the same plane with basics principle of “content being the king” . But with changing landscape of digital media world and internet playing an important communication and management tool for media companies and individuals alike the need of the hour is for re-invention of the business model to make it more commercially viable rather than just being dependent on advertisement for newsletters etc. Few of the areas both the portals can grow
freelancer Marketplace – In India till date for free lancers their is no common marketplace available where media professionals talent could be attracted and common billing platform be provided. So that based on strict guidelines and process managed via software freelancers and agencies can interact with each other. With freelancers counting for a large contingent working in print & media industry it makes more sense for these portals to move forward from the job boards and integrate a full blown marketplace.
With so much news on agencies coming in its about time these portals try to organize information in terms of profiling of agencies including structuring of all news information on key people in agencies, campaign they run client maintained. As such information is useful for corporates researching which media company they would like to select. This can be based on subscription model for corporates. Currently agencyfaqs does sort the information based on product and agency wise. But still lack of ONE VIEW take the sheen out of such valuable content they have to offer.
I like the agencyfaqs.com message board and advertisement/campaign ranking system especially Cirus used to be really good. But exchange4media scores on account of analysis figures needed on numbers from the industry.
Site design wise Agencyfaqs.com scores way above exchange4media.com . But both the site need serious design restructuring . They need to give it a portal outlook for making it look more easy to use software as advertisement on pages it really making it difficult to find information in right corners.
In an recent interview our finance minister talked about india’s plan to open up Indian Banking sector for foreign banks and reforming the sector to take advantage of international practices. Though this may sound good news for the Barclays, Citibank’s etc. Its also good news for indians who have higher rate of bank account usage against their other third world counterparts.
With Virtual banks becoming established brand names in the west example ING this brings us to a new chapter of opportunities which may open up in financial sector. Though before we discuss the opportunity lets look at the market available. With increasing penetration of internet connectivity at work place we do see a increase in usage of net banking atleast to query account transaction details or to save cost associated in getting paper statements. With more options available people are now understanding difference between banks and charges imposed. Underlying statement is if bank has fully computerized its operations then most of the charges to be levied can be done away with.
Lets take an example what kind of product an Virtual Bank would offer and how optimal they can operate to reduce cost and offer quality service to customer. One Bank per city. Account sign up via website to reduce paper application processing cost. Zero minimum account keeping fees and higher interest earning savings account. Money deposit facility via inter bank net banking facility only. Tie up with other banks for letting own customers access their accounts via ATM.
All operations supported by 100% contact center operations. Keeping in mind current RBI regulations a cooperative bank can also enhance its operations and deposit base with such initiative.
Target Base : Existing account holders which need a saving account which does offer higher interest rate but charges high transaction fees for accessing the money which acts as a detterant. Second availability of money via any banks ATM will be added advantage as it increases reach .All account view is available via internet,phone banking and ATM.
As indian market has become mature enough to take full advantage of NET BANKING. Such products even if introduced b by existing banks would find takers with right branding and targeting.
With more and more new travel portals coming online the first point of differentiation being looked at is the customer base they are trying to reach out to. Most of them are using same GDS technology at backend to pull fares for customers or are trying to rope in same hotels offerings. As a user then relying on a travel portal becomes specific on the user interface design they offer.
Hence the need for travel portals to evolve further by making investment in new technology initiatives other than one which allow them to be a better GDS deal aggregators or generating algorithm for fare construction.
If we look at Indian market portals can actually survive without the GDS as major chunk of online sales are coming thanks to ever growing number of low cost airlines + big daddy of all airlines “INDIAN” airlines. All of these airlines are ready to provide white label access directly to their reservation engines hence bypassing the GDS completed and giving the same real time online reservation capabilities. Earlier when yatra.com was taking booking for Air deccan when they started it took them time to issue E-ticket after accepting payment online due to the same factor that air deccan online reservation engine was not e-integrated with their own engine. Though they could get the flight details and fare but to confirm seat it was a different process. Second reasons why travel portals can survive without GDS as biggest mode of transportation which would soon open up their reservation engine for travel portal is railway which will again increase the revenue volumes for such portals.
According to Sid things travel portal should do to maintain their ‘A’ Game strategy
– create market specific travel platform driven by technology as they can grow if they also create market hence deriving value on fare construction to deal aggregation of Tier-II cities.
– Try to bring hotels online throw hotels free hotel reservation system with requirement to connect to internet for 2 hours every day to maintain current hotel availability status.
– Bring in room rate exchange system like airlines whereas room rates can go up and down based on availability. This would also help people plan holidays in advance.
Overall travel portals need to get innovative in terms of business model on offer, they need to take advantage of bus,car and train ticket reservation before hotel content becomes more instant available like in western countries.