Sunday, April 01, 2012 - a third eye view. Some good, some strange findings

Its a lazy Sunday morning and I was just sitting at home, having a cup of tea with Sunday Times. My roomie turned the television on among all crappy Sunday morning shows, one thing noticed my attention - All new online lifestyle store: JABONG.COM!

Lot of things have been written about current and future shape of e-commerce in India, and this subject being one of my favorite, I decided to do some 'khufiapanti'! While TV ad seems quite boring and uninteresting, they have managed to create a good looking product. Lot of options and filters to choose product of your choice. Messaging is simple: Free Shipping, Cash on Delivery, 30 day return policy and Free Hotline! Enough to excite an Indian online buyer.

Then I decided to go more deeper and check out some other facts about site. Name 'Jabong' means a tropical fruit. Neither logo, nor anything on site relates to Jabong fruit btw! I don't even know how many Indians would be knowing about this strange name. This led me to check traffic on site, and here are some interesting facts:
  • Alexa traffic rank: 119 in India (now that's impressive!)
  • 1.6 Mn Unique visitors / month
  • 8.2 Mn page views
  • More than 6 page views / visit

Some images for better understanding of traffic on site:

Site page views:

Site traffic details from Google Ad Planner:

Visitor Demographics (Alexa):

Well, everything is interesting about site traffic, isn't it? A lesser known weird name, in highly cluttered e-commerce market generates so much of traffic. I was surprised. I decided to check how much of this could be organic. I went on to check popularity of site on Google's organic search and found this:
  • 'Jabong' keyword has very 'low' search volume and generates approx 8100 search queries on Google
  • '' is even lesser popular and generates approx 1000 queries on Google

I could not figure out exact % of organic traffic, but its clear that name 'Jabong' is not popular among people and visitors do not search for 'Jabong' on Google. So, where do they come from?

Well, here is a possible answer: Social Media!

I went on to check social presence of Jabong, and it was a sweet surprise!

  • Staggering 192,138 'likes' on facebook!! However, none of those is my friend :-(
  • 11232 followers on Twitter! Btw, none of these followers in my network, again!

This brand is definitely doing some wonders on social media! Its kind of silent penetration which nobody noticed till date. I also checked if Jabong has been covered by news portals. Google News search throws only 4 relevant news items, most of which including ET, Hindu Business Line and Tech Crunch covers Jabong as just another e-commerce portal. So, Where does this site get traffic from? Paid promotions?? May be.

This led me to check origin of site and and a quick whois check revealed that domain was created in 2004 and last updated on 9th feb 2012. Even traffic data shows minimal traffic before february. So, its clear that site started operating only in february. Now, if that's the case - getting 8.2mn page views within 2 months is a huge success!

I also landed on this linkedin page, clearly suggesting they launched site 2-3 months back:

Now I strongly feel that getting such numbers organically in 2 months is highly difficult... and if you get it, you must get covered by all technology blogs and news media for sure! Question is why isn't anyone talking about it?

Also, here is an interesting finding. Google search of 'jabong' results shows a negative review on mouthshut on first page of results (written just one day ago). shows overall rating of 1 star, out of 4 ratings. People talk about poor service and bad experience.

So, site's quality and 'look n feel' is nice. Site traffic is impressive and growing exponentially. It has managed to get huge numbers on Social Media profiles as well! However, some facts and figures shows different picture. Also, their huge TV advertising campaign is supported by online campaign and that should be driving traffic for the moment.

It will be interesting to see how fares in long run. E-commerce is game of trust service and quality. has a long mile to catch up on these factors. While flipkart, ebay, snapdeal and infibeam of the world are enjoying leadership position, I would love to see how Jabong differentiates and establishes its connect with consumers. Surely, there is a market for everyone and its up to to leverage potential of it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Riding together Because its Ride For a Cause!

“Some ride for Passion, Some ride for Fun.” We had a different reason when we started our ride on Sunday, 18th September. This time, a humanitarian effort from Konkan Moto Tours was motivating everyone to ride. Ride For Cause – as it is called, was planned with a mission to generate support and donation for poor children. Konkan Moto Tours had partnered with Grant Foundation to generate support and spread awareness about this noble cause.

Earlier, on previous day me and Abhishek had been busy calling out all riders and busy preparing ride map. It was evening when we finished up creating final list of riders and charted out final route map for this ride. On other side, Pratish was assigned task of getting rider’s t-shirts and other printing material ready. He was to decide on mechanic who would join us for ride. Finally, as it happens with all such rides, everything seemed in order at 2:30 am. Now it was time to catch much needed sleep before we wake up for ride at 5:30.

Flag off - Ride for CauseIt was 7 am in morning when we assembled at Kalanagar Bus Stop, Bandra. There was pinch of enthusiasm in air as we met all fellow riders for first time. We saw some old faces and some new. In next few minutes, we started our briefing session for today’s ride. Finally, at 8 am, everyone was geared up and ready to rock the tarmac. We started in single rider formation and everyone followed lead rider to reach our first destination – Vitthal Kamath’s restaurant on NH17. After crossing Vashi bridge, we took Palm Beach road to reach Panvel. And I can’t say what a pleasure it was to ride on one of bestest road of city. We were cruising at 90 – 100 kmph on this bright sunny morning and I promise, anyone who saw us that morning on palm beach road, couldn’t have moved his eyes away from this troupe.

In no time, we were at Vitthal Kamath’s restaurant. Everyone had breakfast, which followed by a short introductory session. Such introduction talks are really helpful in such rides because this is only time when you get to speak to everyone on common platform. We met people with diverse experience and diverse background. However, only thing common between each of us was passion for riding. Soon, we started towards our first re group point, Pali. Pali is situated on NH 17, and it has one of most beautiful Ganesha temple in Maharshtra. It’s one of most sacred ashtavinayak temple in Maharashtra.

RIders line upRoads have been badly affected due to heavy rains this season. Elephant sized pot holes and broken tar made our journey little bit difficult. We took left turn from junction near Nagothane to go towards Pali where beautiful curves and dense trees made our journey bit easy. However, when we reached Pali, potholes had shown its effect on my bike. I realized my rear wheel was making weary noise and there was something wrong with it. Quickly, I asked mechanic to fix it and we had to open whole drum to check reason of noise. It came out that spring connecting break shoe within drum had been broken which we replaced quickly and got my bike running again. Thanks to sincere efforts of Parvezbhai.

Riders with KMT flagRoad to Khopoli was worst of whole journey. We would have taken more than 1:30 hours to complete those 40 kms. Broken roads, gravels and potholes made our journey miserable and our back aching. However, good and bad roads are part of any ride and true rider will take it as challenge. With same spirit, we completed this weary patch and reached Khopoli. Khopoli is an industrial town and we saw lots of industrial units in this area. It shows economical and industrial progress of this part of Maharashtra.

By the time we reached Khopoli, everyone was tired and bit irritated because of bad roads. Ride with KMT is not complete without experiencing Konkani food. We decided to stop over at Mauli Dhaba on NH4 to have complete malwani food experience. It was rejuvenating and refreshing experience to sit together and have truly Maharashtrian food with bunch of riders. Amazing food and gentleness of waiters made food more delicious. Finally, at 3:30, we started towards Panvel, our final destination for this ride.

Roads were now smooth and pretty vacant. Everyone enjoyed this patch of route the most and reached Panvel Naka with smiling face and joyful experience. We announced end of ride at 5:00 and everyone dispersed with memory of lifetime!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Indian Govt bans Bulk SMS for 72 hours

Indian Government banned sending bulk sms and mms for next 72 hours in lieu of very important Ayodhya verdict. According to some estimates, the bulk SMS business in India accounts for revenues of roughly Rs 20 crore every month.Bulk sms is a very effective and potential communication tool for many brands. This cost effective tool is being used as marketing tool by almost all major banks, corporate, brands, public services etc.

A very cost effective and direct communication medium is now banned for next 3 days; according to popular news channels' latest tweets:
@starnewslive and @ndtv. Stopping these services means, you won't get your morning news alert, your bank transaction sms, latest offer information in nearby mall and even a internal informative sms from your company (if they are using it).

On the other side, everyone knows how important is verdict about 'Ayodhya'. It's one of biggest national issue. This judgment is super sensitive in many ways, be it communal, political, cultural or historical. Surely, government is taking all steps to handle unexpected havoc after the judgment. However, I personally feel that this is more than what we can expect in a demographic country like India.

How can government cut off people from this very important communication medium? Why should all those suffer just because of Ayodhya verdict? Why should a marketer stop communicating with their audience for no reason at all? Will they ban Blogs, emailers and outbound calls, too? Are tv channels, radio stations and print next in line??

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Volkswagen breaks clutter with audio ad in today's Times of India

Ask any marketer, how tough is it to break the clutter today? Any marketer would it difficult to choose among plenty of media vehicles and ad spaces. It's never easy to choose right channel and right vehicle for your brand. But, how many times we think about quality of message? How many times we think about 'idea' behind it?

I saw a brilliant campaign in today's Times of India. Volkswagen, a German automobile manufacturer has come up with this innovative campaign in today's (21st September, 2010) . A full page advertisement on last page of TOI in any other case would never break clutter. However, Volkswagen did this with superb innovation built within advertisement.

Can you think of Audio enabled print advertisement? Can you think of a print ad that sings? Well, here it is. This full page TOI advertisement speaks!! Yes, they have attached an IR enabled light weight speaker on this advertisement and as soon as you open your paper, this light sensitive speaker starts speaking! A wonderful brand message with print ad, that would surely catch your attention! I am amazed!! Here are some pics...
As they call it 'Power of Idea', I think this is power of Idea. My friends have been tweeting and posting updates on facebook about the campaign. I am sure, people are discussing it at their workplaces and among their friends. This proves, good Idea goes beyond media vehicles and ad spaces. Such innovation can become talks of town within hours!
[Photo Courtesy: Varun Attrey]

Update 1: Just realized this campaign is also on Hindu