Thursday, June 30, 2011

Indian Social Media Landscape

An interesting snapshot of whats happening in the social media space in India and why brands need to be re-looking at their marketing strategies.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Twitter plans bolder advertisements

By Tim Bradshaw in

Twitter is looking at introducing advertisements among the short messages that users see in the most active part of the social networking service, according to people with direct knowledge of its plans.

The move comes as Twitter looks at a wider range of options to generate revenues from a service that has so far failed to make money from its audience as effectively as rivals such as Facebook.

The move to place “promoted tweets” in the main “stream” of tweets on the service is likely to be controversial with users who have seen only limited and unobtrusive marketing messages so far in Twitter’s five-year history.

Read more

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Forrester: U.S. Mobile Commerce To Reach $31 Billion By 2016

Article in TechCrunch on June 17, 2011

Forrester Research has just released a new report this morning projecting U.S. mobile commerce to reach $31 billion by 2016, growing at a 39% compound rate. But the report says that mobile commerce is only expected to be 7% of overall eCommerce sales by 2016 and only 1% of general retail sales.

This year alone, mobile commerce sales are expected to reach $6 billion as more consumers look to their smartphones to make purchases. Forrester says that most retailers are continuing to invest in mobile apps and mobile optimized sites. In a recent survey of major retailers, the firm found that only 9 percent of online retailers didn’t have a mobile presence or strategy.

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Social and Mobile Commerce Leading the Way for eCommerce Growth

Social and mobile will continue to grow in importance for retailers, serving as the main growth engines for ecommerce online sales. According to eMarketer, retail ecommerce online sales as a whole are expected to grow at a cumulative average growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3% between 2009 and 2015:

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Why Indian grocers' biggest worry isn't the Walmarts

Last year, Chandan, a 60-year-old grocery store on MG Road, Pune, was revamped. It wasn't just a face-lift. A new floor was added, walk-in aisles were widened and advertising spaces carved out in strategic spots.

The results were immediate. "My monthly sales surged by 30-35% to cross Rs 13 lakh," says Manish Chandan, the 42-year-old, third-generation owner of the store. But Chandan is not popping the champagne. Instead, he is rethinking his investment.

"Sometimes, I wonder if we would have earned higher returns by parking the money in a savings account," he says. Stumped? This is the paradox of tradition retail: growing steadily by 4% a year—there are 9.8 million stores in India now—yet not generating enough revenue to keep store owners happy.

Read more of this insightful article by Kamya Jaiswalin the Economic Times

The article highlights a number of salient feature which have formed the backbone of the channel development of AaramShop.

So What Comes After Social Commerce?

By Om Malik

A year and a half ago, I spent a few hours at the offices of Hunch, a New York-based startup, learning about their decision engine. By asking you seemingly random questions, the engine helped you make decisions. Hunch’s engine was a nice way to aggregate what you liked, then help you find information based on that assumption. For me, the real potential of this decision engine was commerce, and that’s why I thought perhaps Amazon should buy Hunch. It could use the decision engine to help customers sift through the ever-expanding array of offerings and make purchasing decisions. That little kernel of an idea still looms large in my thinking, especially as I wonder what the future of media and e-commerce looks like.

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Related reading

Friday, June 24, 2011

Social Commerce highlights of 2010

A Year in Social Commerce [infographic]

Well, what a year it’s been in social commerce. A year ago, the future was set to be social commerce. Today, the future’s already here, it’s just unevenly distributed – in true Gibsonian fashion.

So here’s our infographic summarising social commerce highlights of 2010. Use as creative stimulus for your 2011 social commerce initiatives, or as proof-points to persuade budget holders that the future of social media is here, and it’s called social commerce.

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Grocery Ecommerce Solutions Taking Off According To Nielsen

When driving along you might occasionally see a truck that is delivering groceries to people at their homes. It’s a pretty simple system: users of these services order their items online, pay through an ecommerce solution, and have it all shipped to their homes. Last year consumers spent $12 billion buying groceries online. In 2014 it is expected to hit $25 billion.Some readers might remember online grocer “HomeGrocer,” the startup that pioneered the online grocery industry. Webvan later bought them out (that’s when some say they went downhill) and then ultimately out of business.

Other companies have been diving into the online grocery business and, by the numbers, things are looking pretty good. Safeway is doing it nationwide, Amazon’s “Amazon Fresh” has been roaming the Seattle streets delivering groceries, and even the giant Wal-Mart is delivering fresh foods in San Jose, CA.

Read more

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How Social Commerce Works: The Social Psychology of Social Shopping

Paul Marsden on how social shopping works:

As a social psychologist, I’m interested in how social commerce works. Not for academic reasons, but for a purely practical reason. Understanding why it makes commercial sense to help people to connect where they buy and buy where they connect provides businesses with a strategic advantage; the opportunity to reap the rewards of a powerful insight-led social commerce strategy, as opposed to merely deploying social commerce as a set of tactical tools.

Jumping to the conclusion of a rather long post, I think that a psychologically informed understanding of how social commerce works points to the possibility of six particularly effective social commerce strategies.

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Consumer Experiences and Attitude towards online grocery buying. - A survey.

A survey into consumer experiences and attitudes towards online grocery shopping done in the UK has a series of interesting insights. Some which were particularly interesting was about the offline grocery buying behavior; Three key factors were Impulse Purchase : 72.5%, Immediate possession of the product : 66.2% and the physical touch and feel : 55%.

The need for immediate possession we believe can be the single largest issue when it comes to success of online grocery retail (or the lack of it). The hybrid retail model pioneered by AaramShop addresses this concern in an adequate manner.

Read the survey report here;

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Study Evaluates Consumer Behaviors, Attitudes Toward “Social Commerce”

Shoppers are willing to interact with retailers through a variety of social networks and retailers have limitless opportunities to capitalize on the momentum, according to the 2011 Social Commerce Study, a joint research project by, comScore and Social Shopping Labs. The report, which evaluates shopping directly influenced by social media, polled 1787 adult online shoppers in April 2011.

According to the survey, 42 percent of online consumers have “followed” a retailer proactively through Facebook, Twitter or a retailer’s blog, and the average person follows about six retailers. While shoppers’ reasoning for following a retailer varies, the majority of respondents (58%) said they follow companies to find deals, while nearly half (49%) say they want to keep up to date on products. More than one-third also follow retailers for information on contests and events (39%).

Read more

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Careers Give India’s Women New Independence

Not long ago, an Indian woman, even a working Indian woman, would almost always have moved from her parents’ house to her husband’s. Perhaps her only freedom would be during college, when she might live on campus or take a room for a year or two at what is known here as the working women’s hostel.

That trajectory has begun to loosen, as a surging economy creates new jobs, prompts young professionals to leave home and live on their own and slowly, perhaps unwittingly, nudges a traditional society to accept new freedoms for women.

Snapshot of Women Consumers

The Juxt Indian Women 2010 Study highlights;

1. There are 40 million working women in India, 148 million female students and 260 million housewives.

2. 72% of working women are working mothers.

3. Southern region contributes the highest proportion of working women.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Choice of the mall and convenience of the neighbourhood store.

Hate weekend crowds at malls but still have to do grocery shopping?

Relief may be at hand. AaramShop, a hybrid retail platform, promises home delivery by partnering with kiranawalas, or mom-and-pop stores, to deliver items of day-to-day use at the click of a button.

“Our research indicates that at least 25 per cent of the people in metros have moved away from kirana stores to large formats. Yet, it is the traditional retailer who has the reach and access to customers though not the sophistication of big box retailers. With this initiative, we are trying to build a network of kirana stores that will help consumers shop from the comfort of their home,” Mr Vijay Singh, Managing Director and CEO, AaramShop, told Business Line.

Read more of this Hindu Business Line Article.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

5 Insights on CPG Going Online

For CPG manufacturers, going online enables a deeper, more personalized relationship with the shopper, reports Nielsen.

Five things to know about online grocery shopping:

  1. Consumers love online grocery shopping, but it takes time getting used to. You can simply the process by improving the online experience with navigation, search, online help and porting over shopping lists. Deliver a better time-saving experience and consumers will hang on.
Read more at this great Digital CPG Blog.

Friday, June 10, 2011

We are live.

AaramShop is now live.

It is still in it's BETA phase and we are sure there are going to be a few glitches in both the offline and online transactions. If you are in the AaramShop coverage areas in New Delhi, please give it a shot and keep us informed of your experience.

If you are currently out of the coverage area, suggest you browse around and also help us create an AaramShop in your area.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Just-in-Time Consumer

A recent Wall Street Journal article suggested that the trend of U.S. consumers making more frequent shopping trips, but buying less each trip was new, a result of the continuing tough economic conditions and a desire by consumers “to keep cash on hand.” What’s more, the article noted that food and consumer packaged goods companies as well as retailers have been introducing smaller package sizes and changing displays to attract shoppers interested in smaller sizes. Nielsen’s research supports findings in the article and we’ve taken a deeper dive into the issues to identify trends for small and large trips within specific retail channels and consumer segments.

Read the full Nielsen report;

Social Media Data: The Benefits of Friends

The real money in social media might not reside in the ads that sit on Web sites like Facebook and Twitter, but in the data produced by users' frantic friending and sharing.

The rationale is simple. Internet users are now spending 22 percent of their time in social media, and Internet activity leaves behind a trail of data: what people like, what they share, and who is connected to whom with similar tastes. For publishers and application makers, licensing all that social data is a no-brainer—found money for what is in essence a waste product of their services. For advertisers, social data is a potential boon: a way to find likely customers based on their sharing and communication habits.

Online Commerce is Fastest Growing Segment for CPG

“Consumer packaged goods giant P&G has indicated a desire to source 10% of its sales online. Given that it currently sources less than 1%, that sounds like an aggressive goal but one that it is putting its formidable resources against delivering. Many other CPG companies from Kraft, J&J and General Mills to Pinnacle Foods are placing a strategic imperative on the etailing selling space,” reports Chief Marketer.

With the numerous options to sell online through retailers and the ability to sell direct to consumers through other platforms, it shouldn’t take P&G that long to reach their goal. Etailers are well positioned to deliver on convenience “and selection (the online shelf set doesn’t have to adhere to the space limits of the brick and mortar shelf).”

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Consumers Spend Equal Time on the Web, TV

There’s one graph every digital business uses: It shows the huge gap between the percentage of consumer time spent on the Internet and that of marketer budgets spent on online ads. Forrester Research is giving them new ammunition.

A new consumer survey from the researcher found that for the first year, the amount of time U.S. households spent watching TV and using the Internet is equal at 13 hours. This comes on the heels of research showing that younger consumers (18-30) already spent more time on the Web than watching TV. Now, people 31-44 are also spending more time online than with TV.

Young Users Hating on Brands.

Bad news for brands enamored with the possibility of connecting one-on-one with each and every consumer through the magic of social media: Young people don’t want to be friends with you.
According to a new report from Forrester Research, just 6 percent of 12-17-year-olds who use the Web desire to be friends with a brand on Facebook, despite the fact that half of this demographic uses the site.
Among Web-connected 18-24-year-olds, that figure doubles—meaning that 12 percent of that demo is OK with befriending brands—though the vast majority of young adults are not, per Forrester.

Within arms’ reach of the retailer and consumer.

In a competitive environment, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies are increasingly forced to get within arms’ reach of the retailer and consumer. CPG companies that have a Route-to-Market strategy that includes a direct focus on mom-and-pop stores are the most successful in reaching the “base of the pyramid”.

The buy-in-bulk mentality is unlikely to have a major impact in developing markets, as transport limitations, poor cash flow and infrastructure will restrict purchasing options. Nielsen’s research has indicated that modern trade is on the increase in a large number of emerging markets. However, even with the increase in Modern Trade, mom-and-pop stores will continue to command a major share of the retailing environment.

Read more here;

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wal-Mart may tie up with 'kirana stores' for bigger India play

Times of India recently carried this report on how Wal-mart is looking at "partnering" with Kirana Stores in India, which has to be the strategy for the for the retailing major if it is to make a substantial impact on the retailing space in India. The question remains that will the independent retailer bite the bait or would Wal-mart (and the other LFRs) need to settle for high cost of real estate and own the entire shopping experience.

Friday, June 3, 2011

FDI in multibrand retail to change India's retail skyline

Retail giant Wal-Mart is open to exploring a relationship with any Indian retailer for its front-end operations but of course, that's only if, and when, foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail is allowed, report CNBC-TV18’s Tanvi Shukla and Shruti Rajkumar.

The call for opening up the retail sector to foreign-direct investment is increasing in volume with key policy makers and government advisors giving the move their endorsement. The inter-ministerial group (IMG) on inflation, set up by the prime minister, has also given its blessings, saying FDI in multi-brand retail will help control rising prices.

Would this be an opportunity or a bane for the traditional retailers across India?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Coverage update

AaramShop will bring aaram to the following areas at the time of commencement of services on the 7th of June;

- in South Delhi
Vasant Kunj
Safdarjung Enclave
Hauz Khas
Green Park
Malviya Nagar
Vasant Vihar

- in West Delhi
Hari Nagar
Maya Enclave
Rajouri Garden

For a more comprehensive understanding of the coverage areas, please visit "Locate an AaramShop" section on and key in your locality details.

The importance of mobile.

The online research process.