GoNabit introduces loyalty rewards program, adds Switching Costs to social buying

@GoNabit today sent out out an email to some of its customers informing them of a new loyalty rewards program called REDpoints. Under the program, registered (and logged in) users receive points for viewing the deal of the day and making purchases. The points are rewarded as follows

  • Viewing the Daily Nabit when logged in on GoNabit.com = 1 REDpoint
  • Buying the Daily Nabit before it tips = 150 REDpoints
  • Buying the Daily Nabit after it tips = 50 REDpoints

What will these points get you? 100 REDpoints give you $1 of GoNabit store credit. Pretty nifty idea really, but not really ground-breaking.

But here is why this this is a brilliant move by GoNabit. The one thing that has separated Social Buying sites from other eCommerce websites is the lack of switching costs for a user, or for that matter a seller. What this means is that once you register and use a site like eBay or Souq.com, you build up a feedback rating with every purchase or sale which in turns helps you do the same easier; every action is cumulative. But with GoNabit or any other Groupon clone, there was simply no need for a user to stay loyal to any one of them. The website with the better deal got the user’s money and this battle was fought everyday.

Except now, there’s one reason to choose GoNabit over, say, Cobone. Of course, the site with the better deal still wins but users may feel more rewarded making a purchase on, or even when simply visiting GoNabit. In a world (especially our region) where Social buying websites are cropping up much like “falafel carts” (credit: @AFahad), GoNabit’s program does set it a little apart and may work well for both them and their users

Your move @CoboneDeals

P.s. Here’s a tip, if you’re logged in to GoNabit, view the deals from all the cities and you can rack up 6 REDpoints everyday instead of just 1. Not much, but it may still count

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Is Firefox’s 20% market share worth more than just 20%?

About a month and a half ago Mozilla announced Firefox officially held a market share greater than 20%. At the time of posting this marketshare.hitslink shows the share to be 20.41%.

Not too shabby owning a fifth of the market. However a look at the statistics of some of the popular Technology website shows a Firefox market share exceeding 50%. Arstechnica reports a Firefox usage of 51.34%, ReadWriteWeb at 55.04% and Techcrunch just shy of 60% at 57.80%

You might argue that technology websites are likely to be viewed by enthusiasts who are likely to move away from the standard shipped browser and that real number lie in average users. But then again it is the enthusiasts who spend a lot more time browsing than their, if I may say, ‘regular’ counterparts. This is real life scenario.

Doesn’t this increase Firefox’s usage statistics then? As an unrealistically simplified example let’s take 20 people browsing for an hour each versus 70 people browsing for 15 minutes each. Firefox’s timewise usage is higher than IE in this example but that’s not what I’m going for. The point is Firefox may be pegged at 20% (which by the way is a huge achievement) but it’s 20% weighs and counts for a lot more.

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Yes, Microsoft DOES have a Speed Problem

Scoble asks if Microsoft has a Speed problem. Examples of Microsoft Maps, Spaces and Hotmail are brought in. I couldn’t agree more. While the three products listed above have alternatives which match if not exceed the feature list provided by Microsoft, there are quite a few Microsoft solutions which still dominate in their relative section.

I’m talking about Microsoft Outlook. Even without Exchange it is a powerful and feature-laden piece of software which has no complete alternative. The same is the case for Microsoft Office. Sure there’s Open Office, Zoho and Google Docs but it’s only Word 2007 that gives me a built in reference manager for when I’m writing my essays. Most people may disagree with me but I believe Windows Media Player 11 is excellent as a media player.

All these have something common in them apart from the fact they’re developed by Microsoft. They are all bloated pieces of software. Add a couple of Gigs and browsing through Artists becomes a pain in WMP. having a huge .PST file in outlook slows it down to a crawl and Office in general can takes ages to start.

Microsoft really does need to start making leaner software. Scoble says if you can’t make them fast, I just don’t want to have any part” ; and this is echoed by a lot of users too. Speed has always been of a lot of importance. But a lot more attention is paid to it right now especially since users see a lack of peformance improvement despite multifold increase in hardware.

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Never mind Gmail, let’s take Chrome out of Beta!

Techcrunch reports that Google VP Marissa Mayer told Michael Arrington (of Techcrunch) that Google will be taking Chrome out of Beta. Turns out this is not news at all. Windowsitpro reports Google VP Sundar Pichai already told the same thing to The Times in UK with a time frame; January. This is most likely due to their decision to increase market share by convincing OEMs to bundle Chrome with new PCs who won’t accept a Beta product.

Gmail despite having a range of features has still been in Beta for years. But Chrome is still an immature product. Speed is its greatest advantage but Opera almost matches that and preliminary tests of Firefox 3.1 Betas show it is likely to match, if not beat, Chrome. In addition FireFox has a wide variety of addons which Chrome is yet to match.

I just think Google is better off developing a fuller product and then distributing the product en-masse rather than ship an incomplete product only to have users switch to a fuller browser.

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WordPress to get some competition with Microsoft’s Oxite

Microsoft’s Mix Online today announced a blogging platform named Oxite. Unlike Microsoft but I’ll live. However what stands out most is that the platform is ‘open source’ and ‘standards compliant’.  This right here could be a game changer.

Most people point out that WordPress already has a huge community around it developing themes and plugins but let’s not forget Microsoft also has an evangelist following of its developers. You may be quick to dismiss the product and say it won’t beat WordPress, and you’re right. However competition doesn’t necessarily mean have the highest market share, it means fight for existing market share. IE is still the browser market leader but does that make Firefox and Opera less competitive? I didn’t think so.

Ed Bott says “This one is worth watching.” and he’s right.

Have a look at the features here.

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Why does Google continue to work with Mozilla while developing a product which is competition with it?

We’ve got a lot of people wondering why Google recently renewed the search deal with Firefox when they had plans to release their own browser. Why the answer to isn’t obvious is beyond me but hey I’ll take my own shot at the obvious answer anyway. So how do I put this simple, let’s see. How about, urm, because it makes damn business sense. Firefox drives a lot of traffic through Google. If Google were to decide to not extend the deal, it would lose anywhere between 15-30% – depends on what continent and service you’re looking at – of the browser share market.

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