Tag Archive: technology

Facebook Gifts

Looks like Facebook is finally going to have an answer to Wall Street’s big question about how it is going to make money. The official invitations to members of the press have been sent and the conference is on November 15 at FAO Schwarz in Manhattan. Although a bit delayed, majorly due to Hurricane Sandy, this conference will be centered around Facebook Gifts, the company’s e-commerce initiative.

The company began rolled out its Facebook Gifts app on Sept. 27, but only to members in the United States. About 2 weeks back, the company added the ability to donate to a charity.

Facebook’s popularity has been going down and I have also written about it multiple times. But this is a very smart initiative by the company. In case you are not aware about how Facebook Gifts work, here is the link that explains it in detail

It’s too early to say but if introduced in the right way, being very simple to use by the user and intuitive for the sender and the receiver, it is very scalable. Social gifting has been a huge market and it always will be.


Our Study on Ecommerce


How low can Facebook go?

Facebook’s stock is up to around $20, after the Tuesday interview of Mark Zuckerberg. It rose to about 8% after the interview and some days back it was down to around $17.7. The company’s value is down to about 50% of what it was at the time when its IPO was launched. Can it go any lower? I say yes, it will definitely go lower. But is underwriting by Facebook’s key Wall Street underwriters JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley hurting the market sentiment? I feel, it is more than what meets the eye. Facebook has been in trouble since a long time now and I had written about it long back.

All facts had been pointing in that direction. Of course underwriting hurts the share value big time, but there are more basic reasons that might be affecting the company’s stock value. Firstly, I would like to tell you that there are 2 more expirations due by November 17 which will result in an availability of over 58% of the total shares, that is about 1.58 billion shares.  With such amount of shares floating in the market, the share value is bound to go further down. Then, there are 2 lookups after November 13 that will liquidate the market with another 12% of the stocks. I have a feeling that the share price would drop to $7 by the end of this year.

The signs were clearly visible. As per the Distimo report, 2011-2012, Facebook’s app is no longer the most downloaded Social Mobile app. Facebook’s popularity is dropping in individual markets like Spain, Australia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. Another survey by eMarketer this year revealed that Twitter beats Facebook for Mobile Advertising Revenues, despite of Facebook’s earnest efforts to improve its advertising revenues.  There are other facts which state how the once famous and loved-by-all Facebook is in trouble. Though there are some endeavors being pursued by Facebook but will it be able to come back to its original share price. I sincerely doubt that.


Our Market Research

Recently we did a market research on ecommerce and other online commerce platforms and solutions. We will provide the full report in some parts. Here is the final one.

A special note on mobile commerce

Morgan Stanley has predicted that, by 2015, more users will connect to the web via mobile devices than desktops and laptops. So you as a company can no longer afford to ignore mobile commerce as part of your multi-channel strategy.Shop.org and Forrester research have found that more than 70% of online retailers are either having or developing a mobile commerce strategy. And for good reason – the opportunities are immense. Smart phones, tablets and hand held devices are driving this explosive growth. (Demandware, ‘Critical Success Factors for Mobile Commerce’, 2011)

People are not just using smartphones for making purchase transactions. It is also influencing the purchase decisions in other channels as well. People do comparison shopping, search for prospective buyers, locate brick and mortar stores and read reviews from their smart phones. According to a recent research by Dell out of all the people who used mobile phones to help them shop only 25% transacted a purchase and the rest used if for other purposes. These trends are only going to accelerate with the increasing adoption rates of smart phones and as vendors optimize the online experience for their users. So an organization should not treat mobile commerce as a separate channel but it should be a part of its overall strategy.

Success in this field relies on a vendor’s ability to deliver a shopping experience that leverages the characteristics of different devices. Typically mobile phones are used by people to shop when they are on the run and don’t have a lot of time. That means a different set of requirements. At minimum, your mobile commerce strategy should address the following:

  • Speed and Security – People expect the website to load as quickly as it does on their desktops. They also expect that payment through their smart phones is safe and is that their personal and personal information is not susceptible to theft.
  • A website or an application – If you have a powerful brand or a loyal set of customers a native application might not be a bad idea but in other cases, a website might be a better alternative.
  • Enriching the mobile experience – Native apps can leverage the functionality of mobile devices like the camera or the GPS and can provide options of offline purchases. Other features like inbuilt search, streamlined checkout process, presence in comparison shopping engines may further enrich the customer experience. A prime example would be combining the real store inventory information, geo-location services and personalized promotional offers to a consumer’s mobile device while he is in the proximity of the store.

HTML5 and 4G networks are already helping vendors to expand their offerings to its users. Capabilities such as barcode scanning, QR codes and NFC, GPS geo-location services, real time content sharing are already feasible from within a mobile website. And the pace with which more capabilities are being added is neck breaking. So retailers need to plan for the future by adapting to this rapid evolution and formulation an agile strategy to match the speed of this change.

Ecommerce is a very exciting space to watch for as of now. Some will succeed, some consolidate and most perish.


Our Market Research

Recently we did a market research on ecommerce and other online commerce platforms and solutions. We will provide the full report in some parts. Here is the fourth one.

Expectations from ecommerce providers

The ecommerce provider should be able to provide these capabilities:

Basic Capabilities that include:

  • Creation and management of Web storefronts
  • Product visualization
  • Shopping cart management
  • Personalization
  • Transaction management
  • Taxation
  • Settlement

Middle Level Capabilities

  • Interactive Site Presentation
  • Order management
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Multiple browser support
  • Site merchandising management
  • Site/product search
  • Customer/account management
  • Customer community management or participation
  • Integration with social media
  • Warranty/returns management
  • CPQ
  • Mobile stores

Advance Capabilities

  • Lead management
  • Integration capabilities
  • Product management
  • Content management
  • Multichannel selling
  • Interactive selling
  • Campaign management
  • Locator and matching
  • Personalization/preference profiling
  • Entry and management of large orders, ordering from sales contracts, and distributed order management
  • Management of certified partners and product entitlement
  • Internationalization and multisite management


Our Market Research

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