MAGIC BOX

Monday, April 26, 2010

Login with Twitter, Facebook or your favorite social account!

Social networks are where people hang out these days, it is the fulcrum of the time they spend online. And they are starting to expect the same kind of experience and personalization everywhere.

We, at Infibeam, want to keep up with the times and expectations of our customers, so we are introducing a new feature - You can now login to Infibeam.com via your favorite social network!

The immediate benefit is that there is NO registration step for, you, the customer. Just a one-click-login and you can start buying books, mobile phones or any product from the vast catalog of Infibeam.com :-)


Note: Facebook support is coming real soon.

We're the first ecommerce site in India to introduce such a feature to improve the usability of our site for our customers. So please do check out the new feature and let us know your feedback!

Update: We have an official press release out!

Write a Review competition

An essential part of online shopping is to read reviews by people who have bought or used that product. We don't buy without it! But how often do you and I go back to add reviews to a product?

In order to incentivize this, we are launching a “Write a Review” contest! So if you write a good review and yours is the best review of the day, you get a gift voucher from Infibeam! Here are the rules.

Don't worry about the language, or grammar, just get your experience across. Our customers give us the purpose of our existence, now we want to help our customers to help each other. Join the reviews competition on Infibeam.com and lets work together to create a better shopping experience :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Expansion into a full ecommerce store

Continuing Vishal's memoirs:

As we have been discussing, we started out as a lead generator for selling cars and bikes. Customers started using our service and we started car rentals as well. Then customers started asking us for car accessories! This led us to look at expanding our store to other product domains.

To understand that expansion, let's take a step back and understand how ecommerce is different from normal retail shops.

The physical shops that you visit actually store merchandise (whether it is computers, CDs or books) that you can buy instantly from them at each location. The demand is local as well. Compare that to an ecommerce store – where we have a huge list of products that you can buy – BUT we do not have physical inventory repeated each location (in theory, we can satisfy country wide demand from one location and not have to replicate inventory at each location).

It is very hard to forecast across lakhs of products when and how much inventory to order. In addition, order allocation across multiple locations is another big challenge. Initially, we started working with suppliers to reactively order the item after customer order is placed to reduce inventory risk. Across time, we had enough buying history to predictively order several products and we continue to fulfill merchandise across our many locations.

These are some of the challenges of running an ecommerce store, and you can now imagine how many complicated it can get, and why technology is important to remain on top of things.”

This is the behind-the-scenes picture, let's see how Infibeam started building out that picture.

First we needed the list of 'things' that we can sell, the “catalog”. The bigger the list, the bigger the “selection” for the customer.

So, in early 2008, we acquired a small outfit in Delhi that created digital catalog for retailers. Subsequently, we expanded fulfilment operations in North India.

We soon added more categories such as mobile store, health equipment, and cameras.

In May 2008, we launched our books store with more than 3 million books in our catalog. We continued adding selection across retail categories like mobile phones, apparel, home appliances and many more. By the end of 2008, we were selling products across all retail categories and business was growing. We had the entire roster of products that we could possibly sell.

Going back to our history of how we started selling cars and then customers started asking for car accessories, we were mentally in the space around products, and we came across the customized products space. For example, people want to buy mugs or keychains, wouldn't it be more appealing if it can be customized? That is when we decided this is an exciting market and we should be part it. We then acquired an ecommerce company in gifting and customized goods – PicSquare.com in Bangalore. It was started by two IITians - Manish Agarwal and Kartik Jain, a fantastic team. Soon, we expanded our presence in Bangalore and started fulfilment operations in South India.”

Stay tuned in for more stories behind-the-scenes at InfiBeam, by subscribing to our RSS feed or via email.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Delivering Rashmi Bansal's "Connect the Dots"


Rashmi Bansal checking out the Infibeam Pi,
along with Somesh of Infibeam checking out the book

Rashmi Bansal's book “Stay Hungry Stay Foolish” (2008) was a runaway success. She's now back again with another book called “Connect The Dots” and seems to be a big hit as we can see by the reactions on Twitter:

@Soamaansh says: “@rashmibansal received the signed copy of connect the dots..excited to read the same.”

@gauravgupta says: “Bought a copy of "Stay Hungry Stay Foolish" by @rashmibansal . Interesting read!”


And we are happy to deliver the book to you, and help keep you inspired:

@sauravmodi says: “@rashmibansal ordered from infibeam.com..they claimed to deliver it in 5 working days but they delivered in say 2 days..great service..

@ravisagar says: “@rashmibansal Hey I got your new book delievered. Quite fast. Delivered in 1 day!! cool.”

@viralsachde says: “Received @rashmibansal s new book, connect the dots from @infibeam with in 24 hr #toofast that too with free shiping and 30 rs less on mrp”

Do let us know what inspired you in the book!

Last, but not the least, Rashmi is already working on the third book! Read more about that in our interview with Rashmi Bansal over in our News section.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Infibeam Pi at Barcamp Ahmedabad 3

We had the privilege of talking about Pi at the recent Barcamp Ahmedabad 3 where the topic of focus was "Creativity and Entrepreneurship".



We were happy to see the audience enthusiasm, and especially people such as Kartik Mistry were thrilled with reading text in our mother tongue languages:

 
Photo taken by Kartik Mistry

Some of the questions by the enthusiastic audience included developing apps for Pi, when are we launching a version with WiFi included, about touch screens and Pi, and so on.

Phew!

We know that "yeh dil maange more", and we are all for it. We are already hard at work on the next generation of Pi, and adding features that make sense now and the ones which are most beneficial. We can't promise adding all your feature requests straight away, but we are definitely considering all of them!

For example, most people never considered local language support as an important feature until we announced the Pi. Those are the kind of latent needs and important needs that we are also looking at.

For more info about Barcamp Ahmedabad 3, please do read Paras Shah's photolog of the event.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Infibeam's IPL Fever Quiz Contest

We have had a IPL Quiz everyday for the past few weeks over at our Facebook page and getting amazing participation (currently, 1300+ people!) with people winning autographed bats, books, headphones, SD cards, and so on. And importantly, we're all having a whole lot of fun in discussing the IPL matches.

Because it has been so much fun, we decided to go up a notch, and are now starting the "IPL Fever Quiz at Infibeam".

The rules are simple - Answer all the questions through the course of IPL, and we'll pick a lucky winner who correctly answers each question, and the bonus - we have a mega "surprize" in store for one lucky winner among people who answer all the questions (which will go on till the IPL season ends). So let the IPL Fever Quiz begin!

Prizes include Nokia phones, pen drives, video games, and much more!