India is witnessing e-commerce revolution. And in order to succeed, startups are trying out all kinds of unique and innovative business ideas. One such startup called Aaramshop has tied up with your local kirana stores in your neighborhood and let you purchase your groceries online. They then send your order to the store which delivers it to you.
Shopping at aaramshop is a 3 step process:
With new online shopping websites spawning up every week, do we need another one?
Yes, we’re in the middle of online shopping/ecommerce evolution in India. More choice promotes competition among the sellers to offer discounted products with a good shopping experience. That makes the consumer a winner (of course these companies make good profits too).
So how’s ZAPstore any different? Is it one of those websites that just sells gadgets or something more? Here’s a review.
I use Google search a gazillion times a day and love how Google search evolved over the years.. ahem.. Social Search. While I am totally fine with the idea of Search "Featured Ads" as Google’s primary source of money, I am not okay with them tweaking the actual search results for money.
Back in 1989, when Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web, he wouldn’t have imagined his invention would scale the heights we see today. The internet is one of the most popular and widespread technological blessing which achieved the highest penetration into human life in a very short span of time. Internet is now used by almost everybody everywhere and is a part of our routine! It is one of the biggest blessings upon mankind by the information technology revolution.
Traditionally internet has been of a one-sided nature. Users would open their browser, connect to a website and gain “static” information from it. Users didn’t really own any content on the internet until the introduction of web mails. This was when people could register on a mail service and a send a text message to other users also registered on a mail service. The flavor of multimedia came into being in around the year 1999 with file sharing services like Napster enticing users to share content with others on the internet. Though this phenomenon gave way to legal issues, it was a platform for what would later emerge as the most widely accepted and popular form of the internet, the Web 2.0.
The term “Web 2.0” was first coined by Tim O’Reilly in 2004. This doesn’t refer to a technological enhancement of the internet, but refers to the way people started using the internet. It is all about creativity, information sharing and collaboration among users. Blogs, wikis, picture sharing sites, video sharing sites, social networking sites, podcasts and other sites which allow users to collaborate content are the outcome of this web 2.0 revolution. Users own the content, the internet helps them share it with others across the globe who have a browser and an internet connection. Till a few years ago, a user had to have a computer to log on to the internet. Technological advances have made internet more accessible in the form of smart phones and other mobile devices. This paradigm shift has drawn many more people into using the internet and the vast increase in the number of internet users over the past few years can no doubt be attributed to this.
“Cloud computing” is another trend now where users (business/individuals) do not worry about the infrastructure involved in a service offering, rather just care about the software being offered as a service. This makes things way easy for especially SMEs with lower budgets, assisting rapid deployment of their products or services into the market. This trend gave birth to a new business model involving infrastructure services (like data centers) serving their clients (the actual businesses) which in turn serve their customers, all through the spectacular wire(less)-based-technology called internet.
Among the web 2.0 pioneers stand the giants in web world Google, Yahoo, Microsoft along with other players. Though it is impossible to list down the applications we all like, notable among them are YouTube, Flickr, Blogger, Facebook, Last FM, eBay to name a few. We can’t imagine our lives without these great apps these days. Not only has it made information sharing easy, it has made it easy to get information come to you. With content aggregation tools like Google Reader, it is so much easy to get content from your favorite websites or blogs delivered to your account. What else would be a better definition of “information at your fingertips”? Such applications are called “mashups”. Other popular examples are Google Maps, Yahoo pipes, Digg, etc.
While Wikipedia has become a standard encyclopaedia for everyone, sites like Facebook and Orkut have become a convenient way of staying in touch with family and pals. Likewise, Amazon and eBay has become the favorite destinations for shoppers online. Now, people shop from the luxury of their couch and get items delivered to their home at no or nominal cost. The concept of online shopping became popular after the introduction of “Viaweb”, a web based online store creation tool. Another tool worth mentioning is a “blog”. Short for “web log”, it generally refers to a site maintained by an individual. Blogging is one of the most useful results of the web 2.0 phenomenon enabling many amateur and professional writers to express their ideas easily and effectively. A large number of people ranging from kids to oldies blog, thanks to tools from Google (Blogger), Microsoft (Spaces), WordPress, etc. When people upload content on the internet, they also want it to be searchable. This is facilitated by tagging the content. “Tags” are keywords which describe what the content is about. This concept is referred to as Folksonomy in the web 2.0 lingo. Go to this site for an extensive web 2.0 site listing.
Speaking of Web 2.0 and not mentioning YouTube and Flickr? That would be awful :). Undoubtedly the favorite apps around in the multimedia category, both have a similar history. Both were not started by the companies that currently own them. Google bought YouTube in the year 2006 and Yahoo bought Flickr in the year 2005, both aiming at expanding their umbrella of services offered to attract more users. Both companies extensively depend on the advertising revenue from their sites. This advertising business model has been a very successful and lucrative one as seen in the case of web giants like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft which have multiplied their revenues quite fast.
I somehow feel this is just the first phase of the internet phenomenon. With the growing popularity of the internet, however, it is a known fact that we would soon (some say it could be as early as 2010) run out of the IP addresses the current infrastructure can support. We already see network equipment being manufactured to be IPv6 ready. It would be soon that the world would migrate from IPv4 networking technology to IPv6 technology and when this happens, a whole new opportunities galore would open up inviting more and more users to innovate and contribute to make the internet even more useful and successful. Compared to IPv4, IPv6 would support thousands of times the number of addresses. In the cartoon above from xkcd titled “Map of the Internet – IPv4 space, 2006”, the white area represents addresses already taken and the green patches represent available ones. There is a comment on the site which reads “For the IPv6 map, just imagine XP default desktop picture”! There is sure a long way to go for this engineering marvel of the century.
Update: Here is what Google has to say about the next internet!
Mega online retailer Flipkart has launched an Android tablet in India. Launched under the Flipkart owned Digiflip Pro brand, the XT712 tablet, priced at INR 9,999 comes in two colors – black & white and offers comparable specs to tablets fro HP, Lenovo & Samsung. Here is a quick list of the tablet’s configuration:
Flipkart is offering the following offers in order to promote the tablet’s sale in India:
The tablet seems like a good alternative to people looking for an affordable stock Android tablet. However, be aware that this tablet comes with Android Jellybean 4.2.2 which is super outdated (introduced in Feb 2013). Furthermore, the discount offers seem to have a big catch and might not be useful for most customers.
Following acquisition by Flipkart.com in February, online retailer letsbuy.com has shut down its operations in India. Users landing on the home page are being shown a message stating that letsbuy has merged its operations with flipkart – the largest player in the category. All the links in the header now point to corresponding categories on flipkart. Here is the full message:
Dear Visitor,Yours sincerely,The Letsbuy team
There were multiple speculations as to what flipkart wants to do with letsbuy when it acquired it in February and one of them did point at such an outcome. Letsbuy was the biggest competitor for flipkart as far as electronics & gadgets sale was concerned. Eliminating a bigger competitor will enable flipkart to monopolize the category. However, what they probably fail to understand is that electronics and gadget online shoppers are probably the smartest of all and possess the ability to figure out when they are not being offered the best deal.
After much speculation, Amazon has launched in India as junglee.com – a shopping service for Indian customers. Contrary to what people had been hoping for, Amazon is not directly selling products in India. Instead, they are maintaining a catalog of about 1.2 crore products being sold online in India by multiple e-retailers and lets users search for them, read the reviews and then buy them from whichever site they choose to. In addition to product reviews, junglee.com will also have seller reviews so that users can take an informed decision. Interestingly, amazon.com is also listed as a seller. However,it might not be worth using it to purchase anything other than Kindle.
In my initial analysis I found that most products listed on junglee.com are overpriced compared to what they are priced at other popular ecommerce sites in India.
In my opinion, Amazon needs to do a lot more in order to establish properly in India. And I believe that they are planning to launch their own online store in due course of time. An interesting thing to note is that India’s top three online sellers – flipkart, letsbuy & Infibeam are not listed with junglee.com. They are the biggest online sellers in India and offer the cheapest prices on everything they sell. Another thing to note is that once someone has a good experience shopping online at a certain site, the person is more likely to trust that site for future purchases unless some other site is offering a significantly lower price. This means that junglee.com seller reviews will be most useful to first time online buyers, many of who might choose to rely on word of mouth reviews from their tech savvy friends instead of junglee.com. This makes all this effort more or less redundant for now.
I hope that amazon opens up their store soon. Although the current ecommerce sites are doing pretty well for now, however, everyone knows that everything goes down the toilet without healthy competition.
Good news for people who want to buy Amazon kindle here in India. Popular eCommerce site Indiaplaza.in is selling Amazon Kindle in Indian rupees! And their prices are by far the cheapest you can get anywhere on the web!
Indiaplaza.in is offering the following models:
Apple’s AirPrint solved printing problems for Apple iOS (iOS4.2+) devices only like the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It took a lot of criticism as it requires AirPrint enabled printers (a hack for Non-AirPrint Printers) and wouldn’t work with older iPhone/iPod touch (stuck with older iOS firmware).
Google’s new solution (again cloud based) by the name of Google Cloud Print supports printing to ‘Cloud-aware printers’ and also to your personal/office’s legacy printers from almost any mobile device (which has internet connectivity) – say your iPhone/iPad or Android mobile or even a blackberry phone (still obsolete the mobile phone?).
A very Happy Independence Day from woikr! May this day brings more and more gadgets to India at cheap prices :).
In addition to the 64th Indian Independence day, today is woikr’s 2nd anniversary and we have a special article for you. We present you with the Indian tech startups that we are proud of. These have been formed within the last decade and showcase the skill set of the abundant Indian talent.
In addition to our list, we are pretty sure that there are many more which you might know of. Feel free to add them in the comments below. Here is our list (in no specific order):