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Archive for the ‘Retail’ Category

I’m happy to announce that I’ve published a book! Entitled FROM DISLOYALTY TO OMNICHANNEL CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT, my book is available in Kindle and EPUB formats. In this eBook, I trace the arc of loyalty programs run by brands during the last 5-7 years and predict the trajectory of their customer engagement management strategies over the remaining 3-4 years of the current decade. Contrary to popular opinion, loyalty is still a thing and many brands are making sizeable investments to go beyond […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Oct - 6 - 2017 Add Comments READ FULL POST

I recently read the following tweet: After Banks figure this out and do something with eKYC, they will realize that people are not ready to pay MDR, want privacy — Srikanth ஸ்‌ரீகாந்த் (@logic) February 20, 2017 I replied back pointing out that: But Merchants pay MDR, not Consumers! — S.Ketharaman (@s_ketharaman) February 20, 2017 He replied back with the following tweet: nice dream. — Srikanth ஸ்‌ரீகாந்த் (@logic) February 20, 2017 @logic was implying that merchants will definitely pass on the […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Jul - 14 - 2017 4 Comments READ FULL POST

I noticed a huge crowd during a recent visit to my bank branch. I happened to spot the bank’s Head of Relationship Banking – let me call her Sonia – in the branch. I asked her how come their branch was so full when finsurgents have been predicting the death of branches for so long. Sonia told me that, let alone die, their branches are growing. Despite the fact that branches are expensive – think mounting real estate costs – […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Jun - 9 - 2017 4 Comments READ FULL POST

If you think bots will never replace human agents, you’re amongst the lucky few who has been served by intelligent human agents. Let's stop pretending that live agents have IQ of 140+ when we claim that chatbots are too dumb to replace them. — GTM360 (@GTM360) March 29, 2017 I admit that I’ve also been among the lucky few at times. But more often than not, I come across fairly dumb human agents. And, lately, I’ve started experiencing fairly intelligent […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On May - 26 - 2017 4 Comments READ FULL POST

Contrary to popular belief, Flipkart didn’t pioneer ecommerce in India. That distinction belongs to Fabmall, the startup that introduced ecommerce in the mid-1990s well before Flipkart was founded in 2007. I remember placing orders from a dial-up modem in 1998 and paying online by credit card, which was the only mode of payment supported by ecommerce forerunners like Fabmall, Rediff and IndiaTimes Shopping. That said, Flipkart did pioneer COD in India. The new payment method, launched in 2010, gave a […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Apr - 21 - 2017 1 Comment READ FULL POST

In Reliance JioFi First Impressions, I’d shared my experience of buying the Portable 4G Pocket WiFi Router and onboarding the 4G Internet connection from Reliance Jio in September 2016. I’d followed this up with another post a month later in which I’d recounted my first two months’ experience with Reliance Jio. At the time, the Internet service was free. Reliance Jio recently announced the end of its free trial period by 31 March 2017 and launched a membership program called Jio […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Mar - 17 - 2017 Add Comments READ FULL POST

With over 100 million users a year ago, PayTM was already ahead of its digital payment competitors before the Nov. 2016 demonetization of high value currency notes in India. On the back of the push for #CashlessIndia consequent to #CurrencySwitch, the Alibaba-backed mobile wallet has increased its lead over its other mobile wallets (e.g. MobiKwik, PayZapp) and account-to-account money transfer apps (e.g. UPI). Today, PayTM boasts 150M users (Source: Wikipedia). Based on my personal experience and anecdotal evidence, I advance five […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Jan - 20 - 2017 1 Comment READ FULL POST

On the back of the demonetization of high value currency notes in India, the government has been aggressively pushing cashless payments. Trending on Twitter under the hashtag #CashlessIndia, the initiative has attracted criticism from the blogosphere and mainstream media on the grounds that India is not yet ready for digital payments. The average urban business-sensitive citizen seems to echo the same sentiment, judging by the results of the following poll conducted by Economic Times. See MediaNama article titled Cash vs […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Jan - 6 - 2017 1 Comment READ FULL POST

In a recent editorial titled “How To Reduce Card Interchange Charges”, Economic Times advocates a combination of subsidy and competition to reduce merchant fees for accepting card payments. In case you missed it, the government of India has been aggressively pushing cashless payments recently after it demonetized the INR 500 and 1000 notes (and announced plans to introduce newly designed notes in INR 500, 1000 and 2000 denominations). Since payment card is the most widely used digital payment in India, there’s […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Dec - 16 - 2016 4 Comments READ FULL POST

In Omnichannel Couponing Drives CEM Success – Part 1, I’d highlighted the challenge of space in the couponing phase of a CEM program. To recap, space-related issues range from where to insert the code, how to make the code large enough to be visible but small enough to fit on the existing package through to ensuring that there’s enough space on the label to provide instructions on how to submit the code. Subsequently, I’ve come across a few more CEM […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Dec - 2 - 2016 1 Comment READ FULL POST
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