Category Archives: e-Business

Social Media teaches New Ideas

Social media has taken the world by storm in the past decade. Linkedin has personal profiles that can display the history and integrity of any individual. This is good for people like Scott Reiman. Presidents can display their profiles like Scott on this website. They can then go to other social media accounts to keep up with the latest events. The point to updating this personal profile is so that other companies and businesses can reach out to the person. They can see their entire profile at a page like this. Some social media websites have this integrated into each person’s account, but having a separate website for this information is a little more important. All of the updates in the person’s life is put in another place with a site like this. They are not constantly battling with the front page for status updates. Continue reading

Website Marketing Options

Every website on the internet has a different appeal to different types of customers. Some customers can be found all over the country or the world. However, there are many websites that work best when they are marketed to the people who live closest to the hometown of the business. This means that there must be local website marketing options for a business that thrives on the people that are closest to it. Continue reading

Improving Search Engine Optimization for Existing Web Content

As a small business owner, you are aware of the budgetary constraints that prevent you from creating fresh content for your website from scratch. However, if your existing content does not rank high in search engines, you need to do something to ensure a better ranking. roi.com.au recommends a few simple steps that will help improve search engine rankings without you having to commission an entirely new set of content for all the pages. Continue reading

Understanding Google’s Hummingbird

Google has taken the webmasters and bloggers by a storm once the web giant announced the change in its search engine algorithm, the newest kid on the block, Google Hummingbird. Unlike Google Panda or Penguin, this is not an update but a completely new way to look at the web of things. So let us try to understand the implications of this change and how it may affect the bloggers and content providers: Continue reading

Free Online Classifieds

New technologies have become essential not only in our everyday life, but also when it comes to business and trade. That is the case of small business transactions, where we find there is a huge volume of transactions that involve millions of people each day.

People buy, sell, and trade all kinds of items every day, and one of the best ways to do so is by posting ads online. It is a simple way of obtaining many benefits in little time and a good chance of making great deals. How? Where?

OLX India is the next generation of free online classifieds. Wherever you may be, OLX is the best, easiest, fastest way to solve the complications involved in selling, buying and trading. Since it was founded in 2006, OLX has experienced a rapid growth and is now available in 40 languages and used in over 105 countries. And what’s more, all of this is completely free.

OLX has also discovered the advantages of using mobiles in order to improve their services. This is where Smartphone Apps come into play. With the implementation of OLX Classifieds Mobile Apps, finding, buying and selling products has become increasingly easier, even more than doing so from a computer.

The process is simple. You can instantly post your ad by clicking on the picture of the product you wish to sell from the App, including a summary of its features, the price you wish to charge for the product and providing your contact information.

It is also very easy to find products near you by using the location of your phone. It will automatically search offers that have been posted near your area and might be of interest to you.

If you wish to share your ads with people you know, there is also an option to share it on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and via email. These social networks are also a good way of sharing it with the rest of the world.

E-Commerce for Services Management – A Case Study

Food Plaza, the new organic multi-cuisine hotel cum restaurant was finally inaugurated in December 2012. This restaurant is based out of Rohtak, Haryana, which is an extension of the National Capital Region of India. It opened its doors with a promise of delicious food cooked and served with the authentic localized style and aroma of the distant exotic locations. But what are equally delicious are its ambitious plans to drive the existing business using social technologies. This restaurant wants to be much more than a place to dine, for the strategic focus of the senior management was very different. The focus on differentiation using technology was on the minds of the management. So how could the latest technology be used to create a differentiating factor for the restaurant in the minds of the customer? Marketing services successfully is always a big challenge.

This problem was resolved by going the “e-business” way. It was not an easy decision to move away from what everyone was doing. Even harder was implementing such an executive level decision. But Food Plaza decided to provide a vast social networking experience and not just food to its visitors. Inside the restaurant, located at the corner of Sheela Bypass and Delhi Road, a 100-square-feet LCD monitor constantly streams Twitter mentions with hashtags, restaurant specific news and blog updates, and eFood-Plaza check-ins. eFood-Plaza is a Web and mobile application developed by Food Plaza that allows registered users to connect with friends and update their location information. Points are awarded for “checking in” at the restaurant and then updating the Facebook status or Tweeting. Customers see tweets and status updates and reply to them or add their own messages with their cell phones or other mobile devices. A free WiFi zone has also been added which even facilitates streaming video entertainment for every visitor. Every status update, photo posts or tweet made after checking into eFood-Plaza, which gets over 10 likes or 5 retweets become eligible for brownie points, redeemable at Food Plaza. This makes young visitors go crazy about updating their status messages after checking into e-Food Plaza, with the objective of encashing on the additional value from such promotional campaigns.

This restaurant has multiple options for placing an order. You can place your order to a restaurant waiter directly, or by using a smartphone while you are located close by, or you can place the order online yourself for free delivery. Food Plaza was also designed and placed optimally for Location Based Services. Food Plaza also has its own Facebook page, which it uses for social marketing and for running marketing campaigns. Tagging yourself on its Facebook wall makes you eligible to win promotional coupons up to Rs.500/-. Food Plaza offers Rs. 500/- worth of food to whoever is the first in every week to post a picture of him or her in front of the restaurant’s “tag wall”, a wall in the front of the restaurant inviting people to write status updates using a Magic Marker and get over 50 Facebook likes. Food Plaza also uses social networks for promoting its “Chak De Rohtak” campaign for improving the conditions of women empowerment and children education. These campaigns have also added to the engagement with its customer segment, even beyond their presence in the restaurant.

But what makes Food Plaza really stand out is its use of crowd-sourcing for both marketing and menu development. This restaurant has developed an App for customers with smart-phones, which allow them to invent their own dishes and to give their recipes innovative names. Every time someone orders an item invented by another customer, the inventor receives a voucher with an in-store credit. With Food Plaza’s list of ingredients, millions of combinations are possible. Some customers will no doubt use their extensive social networks to promote the burgers they invented. Those with thousands of followers on social networks could conceivably earn “free dishes” for the rest of their lives if they constantly promote Food Plaza. All of these measures create very low-cost incentives for large numbers of customers to actively promote the restaurant. They also generate word-of-mouth “buzz” with minimal expenditure. All it takes is establishing a presence on social networks and rolling out promotions. One would feel that such a strategy would actually go beyond the regularly posited “theories of services marketing

Competing with the other restaurants based out of Rohtak won’t be easy for Food Plaza. But by using social networking technology to forge ties with customers and giving those customers a stake in the success of dishes, Food Plaza hopes to have the recipe for not only multiple successful recipes but also a successful business model. With huge success the Food Plaza wanted to have faster reach in different parts of India. It has done an acquisition of a well known multi-cuisine restaurant ‘Brown Chilli’ having presence in all metro cities in India. The Brown Chilli is having fully IT enabled integrated system to perform all aspects of operation and analysis requirement but lacking the innovativeness of Food Plaza.

Disclaimer: This is a case study which has been created fictitiously. The purpose of this case study is to create a scenario for academic discussions in classroom teaching. This case bears no intentional resemblance with any real life institution or person operating any similar business, even if there is close resemblance in terms of name or business processes or both, to any existing organization.

References: Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2004). Management information systems: managing the digital firm. New Jersey, 8.