India has a large rural area all across the country where the lifestyle of people is dramatically different than from people who are living in the urban areas. In these parts of India, the main sources of livelihood are farming as well as different types of small cottage industries. India has an extensive handloom and handicraft industry, most of which is managed by people coming from the rural parts of the country. These industrial make up a large part of the country’s export markets and therefore play a vital role in boosting the country’s economy. Therefore, most experts agree to the fact that these industries make up the crux of the national economy.
However, a brief look at the methods of production that are used by the people living in the rural areas would suggest that the techniques of production that are used by them are quite old and not in keeping with the needs of modern times. Most of the handlooms and handicrafts that are made in the rural areas are known for their exquisite beauty and intricate artwork. To make sure that such a quality is maintained at all times, it becomes necessary that a strict procedure is followed that has been passed down through centuries to the artisans of today. However, it is this same adherence to age old techniques that often makes it difficult for the people living in the rural areas to adopt new methods of working.
Even in some cases where new methods of production can be implemented by keeping intact the quality and richness of the work for which it is so well known, there is still a mental resistance among people living in the rural areas to adopt new technology. The reason for this is that more often than not they have limited educational qualifications and even more limited exposure to the outer world. In rural areas, life remains the same for hundreds of years which mean people usually see very little change in their day to day lives. This is quite unlike the urban areas where people are exposed to new ideas and changes in infrastructure every now and then. This leads to a natural lack of confidence among people in the rural areas to adopt new ideas and techniques. They tend to feel more at home and comfortable with working methods that are known to them and have been practiced by them for hundreds of years.
Another reason for which they tend to avoid new technology and working ways is that in most cases these would require certain financial resources which they do not have. Most rural people struggle to earn their daily bread and have little extra resources to invest in new machinery. Such factors make it increasingly difficult for them to adapt to new ways of working even when the situation so. More often than not, advanced production techniques used in other parts of the world make it difficult for them to compete. These advanced machineries and working methods can meet up larger production requirements but make it difficult for the rural people of India to match up to them.
In order to help the rural people of India adapt to new technological methods, steps should be taken to enhance their self respect and confidence as that can go a long way in making them open to new technology. They should also be taught about the benefits of new technology and how it can help them to grow as a community. Additional government policies should be adapted so that they can earn more from their own efforts and be self reliant. This will further encourage them to invest in new technology.
Instant messaging apps have completely transformed the way we converse with each other. While SMS messaging was once the most well-liked way to stay connected, it is nowadays considered outdated. On the other hand, these messaging apps offer a range of features that allow users to interact in real time and share different types of media files.
Here is a brief look at the top 5 instant messaging applications for smartphones that are available right now.
WhatsApp is currently one of the world’s most extensively used mobile messaging apps. The app offers a range of useful features such as remarkably easy installation and setup, automatic syncing with all phone contacts as well as feature-rich and ad-free user experience. Such facts combine together to make WhatsApp an extremely popular messaging app for mobiles. The users can send photos, text, voice and even short video clips to the contacts in their WhatsApp friend list. The app also continuously adds various new features to it, like emoji and fully encrypted messaging options between the WhatsApp users. As the app requires phone functionality, it won’t function on all devices. Although once WhatsApp used to come with a subscription fee, now the fee has been waived off completely and it’s free.
Viber is a mobile messaging application for Android and iOS and it is easy to install and use the app. It offers a range of options that makes communication easier. Viber uses the user’s phone number as the login. The app also syncs with the phone to help seek all Viber-using contacts. The Viber app can be used for sending text, emoticons, stickers, photos, voice messages and video messages to all other Viber users. The services offered by Viber are all available for free. The Viber Out option allows users to call non-Viber numbers as well as landline phones worldwide in exchange for a fee. Viber has also recently introduced secured encrypted messaging features along with color-coded icon that indicates chat encryption and security. A user will need phone functionality and a SIM card to chat with Viber.
Telegram is a mobile messaging app that is particularly aimed at all security conscious users. Telegram features encrypted and fast chat messaging features, with top notch client-server encryption that comes with all standard chats. The Secure Chat mode offers end-to-end encryption to make sure that only the two users involved can read it. The messages can even be set to self-destruct. It also allows users to share documents and videos and also participate in extensive group chats consisting of 200 users.
Google has come up with a very user friendly messaging app that allows people to make the best of AI assistant functions that comes with traditional SMS and chat features. Google Allo is made for Android and iOS and comes with common mobile messaging features like chat, stickers, photo messaging, emoji, and also a doodle cum annotation tool for images. However, the addition that makes this app stand out from all others is Google Assistant, an AI-powered assistant that is capable of suggesting quick messaging replies and find information that is relevant to the chat conversations, like the weather report, nearby restaurants and more. The app also offers an Incognito chat mode which offers end-to-end encryption along with self-destructing messages and private notifications.
WeChat is the mobile chat application that literally dominates the Chinese web mobile market with nearly 700 million users. WeChat offers users with excellent free mobile messaging facilities, group chat, video calls and voice calls, multimedia messaging (video, images, stickers, audio, etc). WeChat also includes numerous quirky features like “People Nearby”, “Friend Radar,” and “Shake” in order to find new people quickly to chat with.
When it comes to the effective marketing and promotion of a business, it is highly significant at the present time to have a well developed website that can serve as a portal of communication between the business owners and their patrons. However, it is not just enough to invest in creating a website for a business. A company should also promote the website in the most effective way so that it enjoys the maximum level of traffic. This is something that can be achieved with the help of search engine marketing. Having a result driven search engine marketing strategy can create new leads and boost the number of conversions within a given period. Compared to many other means or types of advertising and marketing techniques, search engine marketing is often very cost effective. It is due to this reason that most business firms nowadays focus on availing high end Search Engine Marketing or SEM services.
With the help of search engine marketing, it is possible for companies to increase the value and effectiveness of their web promotion strategy to a great extent. The website of the business owner can have maximum exposure in the online world through search engine marketing and this can increase the number of visitors that it has within a specific period of time. Since organic search rankings can be availed free of cost, the search engines can be used by the business owner to effectively discover the business based on specific keywords. This can make it easier for the target audience to discover the site and boost its traffic. There are different forms of search engine marketing methods, such as pay pre click marketing and organic search engine optimization that can be used in unique ways to get the attention of the target customers.
Here are some of the common SEM methods that are used by the various business firms and their websites.
Organic Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of applying specific techniques for maximizing a site’s ranking in the organic or the natural search results. The organic search results represent the rankings of the web pages that are showed by search engines when people search for some specific phrase or word, also known as a “keyword phrase” or a “keyword”.
Local search results are important to businesses that mainly cater to a specific market that is focused locally, instead of nationally or internationally. Business firms that mainly cater to the locals can easily get listed by the cities in the search engines and directories. The people staying in the local area can easily find the business through the local search results as they appear in the search engines. This can help the business firm to beat local competition and boost profits.
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
Pay Per Click Advertising is a method of placing adverts for a website with the leading search engines like Google or Yahoo. The ads are published by a site that gets a payment from the client site based on the number of clicks that the ad generates. The amount that the client website is willing to pay for per click is decided in advance. The more is the amount of the bid, the higher is the ad going to appear in search engine results. In the recent times, Google AdWords has also implemented another factor that determines the ranking of the adverts. This is based on relevancy or importance of the ad that Google puts on the site. This is a factor that is rather difficult to control or manipulate. PPC ads are known to deliver fast results.
Recently people who used Google Docs and Gmail were victims of a phishing scam that was carried out on a widespread basis. In response to it Google has said that it will be coming out with a new security feature for the Gmail application on Android phones. It is expected to warn users regarding links that happen to be suspicious in nature. However, experts are saying that even this feature may not be enough to prevent such attacks since it involved a Google Docs app that was false and malicious in intent. The app in question was hosted on the own domain of Google itself.
A step in the right direction
However, it is still being said that this particular feature represents a correct step considering the number of people who use Google regularly on their Android smartphones. The fact that these phishing attacks are only becoming more sophisticated with each passing day also makes this a right step to take in the present situation. These attacks have improved to an extent where even users, who happen to be extremely tech savvy, are being fooled. As part of said attack people received emails from their contacts where it was said that the sender in question was sharing a document with them.
When people clicked to open the document they saw a webpage that was being hosted by Google itself and for all intents and purposes was harmless in appearance. The page does not ask your password, instead listing all your Google accounts so that you can click them. In this attack your permission is also sought in order to provide permission to the Google Docs app. The only catch in this case was that the app was a fake one. Once it was able to gain the necessary access the virus started to spread to each and every one that was there on your Gmail contact list.
The new protection
With the new system being installed in the Gmail app on Android phones there is significant reliance on the Safe Browsing technology of Google. With this technology the users will be warned any time they visit a webpage that is actually a fake and just imitating another legitimate website. Example of such websites could include online stores, banks, or just about any other site where your username and password details are being asked. There is a definite message that will be shown on Gmail in case you are trying to open a suspicious link that has been sent to your email. The warning message would read as below:
“The site you are trying to visit has been identified as a forgery, intended to trick you into disclosing financial, personal or other sensitive information.”
You will then be informed that in case you wish to go ahead and open the site in question you are doing so at your own risk.
What else has Google done?
Google has also acted against the perpetrators of said phishing attack. It has disabled the accounts that were used to carry out the operation, done away with the false pages, and also, with the help of its abuse team and the Safe Browsing technology, pushed the updates through. The tech giant has also asked its users to come forth and report any thing that they suspect as a phishing attack on the Gmail app. Considering how these phishing scams have become more convincing, it is expected that the new feature by Google will be of immense help to the people who use said app on their Android phones. Google itself is also hopeful that now more people would be careful about clicking on these links.
As far as social media optimization is concerned Facebook ranks right up there as the very-best option that you have in this regard. It has at least 1.59 billion users. As far as social platforms are concerned it makes up the largest demographic blend. It gives your business a fantastic medium where you can get in touch with your customers – existing and prospective – all across the world.
As far as advertising is concerned, managing Facebook is the easiest thing to do. Facebook also provides you the best platform to target people. Facebook ads can be used to match its current buyers with more than two million similar prospects that have the same characteristics. They are then taken to an opt-in page where their name and emails can be captured.
Twitter is one platform where your posts have the potential to go viral. When people share your posts and your content is re-tweeted you are likely to gain more followers. Most of the times companies share their recent news, articles, and updates that they normally upload on other major media channels. If you use hash tags you can have a major difference in building momentum for what you are posting on the platform.
So, when you are posting on Twitter you need to be aware of the topics that are trending on the micro-blogging platform. You need to include hash tags that are relevant in the present context. Quite often you can also re-tweet people with many followers as in that case some of those followers may follow you as well.
In case you are working in a field that can be classed as being a business-to-business (B2B) one, you can do worse than use LinkedIn for social media optimization. In this regard LinkedIn is what your focus should be on. LinkedIn is the best platform to connect with professionals from various industries. You can easily target them using categories such as job title, and industry to name a few. Just like any other social media platforms building relationships is the main priority on this platform as well. You should prioritize building connections as opposed to starting off with a sales pitch.
LinkedIn Groups is one of the best features that you can have with regards to businesses. As a business you should establish groups that come within your niche category – you can invite others as well. These people must be there in the target market. Companies that have been successful in this regard normally focus on building new relationships with the best prospects. They normally work by identifying the professional titles of the people in question.
As a photo-sharing platform Instagram happens to be really popular – in fact the most popular. A lot of companies use this platform at tradeshows and events as part of their social media optimization strategy. When they host events they provide incentives to attendees to post photos on Instagram and use the hash tag for the event. At times, raffles and other free giveaways are also provided to people who take part in such events.
You should only use Pinterest when you have some fantastic images to share. This site has the capability to make high-quality images go viral and much of this can be credited to its visual nature. In case your image happens to be pinned by a member who is highly followed it can potentially be viewed by millions of people. It is also a great platform for promoting products. There are several companies that post photos of images and book covers that have quotes. These quotes are attributed to their authors and this helps in promoting their books.
You can also use Yelp and YouTube for social media optimization work.
As businesses it is always important to keep acquiring new customers on a regular basis in order to stay in the hunt for as long as may be possible. It is the responsibility of the companies to make sure that their products and services are working, that they are giving people what they want. There could be a few users of your product who are paying a lot of money or there may be thousands of people who are visiting your store and website without paying any money. It does not matter how you get customers and then keep them. All that matters is that you do so.
Being ready for the customers
However, organizations really need to ask themselves – are they ready for the customers that they are looking to get? They need to see if their teams are really equipped to handle a glut of users heading straight for their products and services. Moreover, they need to be able to evaluate their promotional strategy and its overall worth. Are they going to use the public relations methods that have been used traditionally or are they looking for inbound marketing? The first hard question that needs to be asked in this regard is if their product is ready to be bought by the user.
Judging the product quality vis-à-vis the buyers
Mark Zuckerberg has a famous quote – “move fast and break things”. For some startups this could be very-useful advice. However, when it comes to acquiring customers this might not be the soundest advice. It is always better to give customers the respect that they deserve. You must have spent plenty of time in developing your product. You should also devote a similar time in order to acquire consumers for the same. The strategy needs to be thought out with plenty of care and consideration.
Shopping is one aspect of our lives that has been impacted the most because of the technological advancements that we see around ourselves today. In fact, most of the tools that you use for shopping now may become obsolete five years down the line. Right now could be the best time to be a shopper. You have so much information around you that a wrong decision feels like a criminal act. The prices are so transparent that it is perfect and you are getting flooded with special offers every now and then. The retailers on the other hand may be experiencing nightmares right now.
How are the retailers feeling right now?
There are already plenty of names in the United States of America such as Tower Records, Linens ’n Things, Circuit City, and Borders that have fallen by the wayside. More are expected to follow suit quite soon. The retail sector experiences such disruption every five decades or so. 150 years back the modern departmental store came into being because of increase of railroad networks as well as spurt of big cities across the United States of America. 50 years after this we saw the automobile industry that spurted out cars by the millions.
History of retail sector
This was followed 50 years later by shopping malls that were full of specialty retailers. They were mainly there in the suburbs that were forming slowly at that time. They posed a major challenge the departmental stores that were operating in the cities. Discount chains such as Kmart and Wal-Mart started to spread around during the 60s and 70s. They were followed by what were known as the big-box category killers such as Home Depot and Circuit City. All these either transformed or undermined the old malls.
Online shopping, as a trend, is getting more popular by the day, and there are some specific reasons for the same. First of all, no long do people have time in this day and age to go and spend long hours in shopping malls and other such entities in order to buy something. Secondly – and this could be the more-important reason of the two – the offers on online shopping platforms are so much more attractive than their physical counterparts. No matter what you are looking for – books, movie tickets, electronic items, insurance plans, accessories, flight and rail tickets, and apparels – it is now the norm to look for them on the internet.
We sell everything
These days, the number of online stores has increased at a phenomenal rate. No matter what you are looking for on the internet you can be sure that there is some or the other online store that is selling it. These days, people are also booking cars and houses on the internet for that matter. India is still at a stage where online shopping is yet to catch on in the truest sense of the term. However, it has indeed become much more popular than say three or four years back.
How does online shopping happen in India?
Quite often it so happens that people watch advertisements of online stores on their television or even while surfing the net. They visit those sites as well. However, it is not always that they make the crucial decision of buying the product that they came looking for in the first place. There are some definite reasons for this as well. Most of the people over here are afraid that they might be subjected to online theft and such other acts of crime if they shopped online. This has been found in a number of surveys done recently.
The question of reliability
Quite often these people are also afraid regarding the reliability of these online platforms. They are apprehensive about the same. In fact, this is quite a common trend still now. However, it is expected that with time people in India will slowly and surely get used to the notion of shopping online. Experts feel that the next generation will herald the biggest change in this regard. Already most of the people doing online shopping in India can be classed as young folks and it is expected that in the days ahead they will make the situation much better for the online sellers.
The big brands
A cursory glance at the ones that are doing well in the online shopping scenario in India would reveal that it is the big brands such as Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra, Homeshop, eBay, Amazon, etc., that are doing well. They have huge repositories of goods and offer discounts that cannot be afforded by the smaller players. They are much more than shopping stores. They are actually wholesalers that are selling their ware much like what a retail store would do. But they are doing so at wholesale prices.
Why are they surging ahead?
Apart from some wonderful discounts that you are sure to not get anywhere else these sites also enable you to return products within a 30-day time-span in case the said product turns out to be a defective one. The increasing use of smartphones has also played into their hands as these service providers are making apps of their brands and then releasing them on platforms such as Apple Store and Google Playstore from where users can download and install the apps and then buy the products that they wish to. It is expected that even as smartphones become cheaper and more abundantly available more people will be shopping online.
For past few years, there has been a continuous battle between three gigantic mobile operating systems- Android, iOS and Windows. Undoubtedly, Android is still leading in this competition, though iOS is not far behind yet Windows can change the game for certainty at anytime. We all know that in terms of sophistication and performance, iOS is way ahead than its other two competitors, but when comes to popularity why the statistics say otherwise? There are quite many factors behind this. Let us discuss them here in this article in a language which can be comprehended by one and all.
Usability and Affordability
India has been a prime target of all kinds of industries because it has a huge market base. Talk about hospitality, retail, FMCG- all big names are in a rush to make foothold in India. This enormous customer-base is the USP of Indian market. And this is where iOS lags behind than Android. iOS is used only in iPhones which is costly. And the fact is, though India has one of the hugest smartphone markets in the world, most of its users cannot afford Apple products. There will be huge queues in front of the Apple stores every time it launches a new version of iPhone or Macbook or any of the products.
Still it cannot beat the combined market of Samsung, Lenovo, Macromax, and so on. These phones come in all price ranges, thus can be afforded by students to people from low income group. A new first hand Android smartphone can be bought for Rs 4500 and with a limited internet package it is quite affordable. On the contrary, even the oldest iPhone will cost you no less than Rs 20,000 if not more.
On the other hand, mobile phone giant Nokia which almost vanished after Android came into the picture, resurfaced with Windows 10. In terms of affordability, it is within reach of most of the customers. Nokia has enjoyed a goodwill of long lasting and sturdy handsets and hardcore Nokia lover will go for these phones, no matter what operating system is installed. Most used apps in India are WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Dropbox and they are compatible with Windows 10 as well, but when it comes to receiving updates on these apps, it still lacks the speed as well as smoothness of other two operating systems.
The interface of iOS is too sophisticated. It is so direct that it is difficult to mess up. On the contrary, Android is complicated when compared to Apple’s product. But people in India would rather prefer this complicated interface because they can handle it better. If you talk to a senior citizen who regularly uses a smartphone to stay connected with children living abroad, he would vouch for an Android phone because even if anything goes wrong with it, it can be fixed conveniently. But most of them would be too scared and cautious while using iPhones and iPad because if it is messed up, it will cost quite a fortune in fixing it. It is same with Windows phones as well. Though they don’t cost much, but they are obviously not user friendly and apps lack all the features.
That section of the society which uses Apple products would always regard Android or Windows as their poor cousin, but unfortunately, this is a very small section when you compare it to the Android market. The features are limitless in this operating system. It is affordable and easy to use. Smartphone is something we use every day in almost every chore of our life and Android fits the bill just too perfectly.