Snapdeal’s Shopo Marketplace to Shut Down on Friday

Snapdeal's Shopo Marketplace to Shut Down on Friday

Snapdeal’s Shopo Marketplace to Shut Down on Friday
Snapdeal-owned marketplace Shopo will close down from February 10, after a year and a half of operations.

The move comes at a time when Snapdeal is aggressively looking at optimising costs amid intense battle with Flipkart and Amazon.

“We started, a year and a half ago, from a small conference room with our mission to enable small and individual sellers across India to sell online. In this short time, we have together discovered the dynamism and vibrance in the C2C space in India,” Shopo said in a blog post.

It added that its team has helped more than 2 lakh sellers start and grow their online shops.
“However, we realise that it will take some more years for a broader ecosystem to develop around the C2C segment,” the blog said.

The SoftBank backed Snapdeal said that it has absorbed all Shopo employees.

In 2013, Snapdeal had acquired Shopo. The platform allows small and medium-sized businesses to chat, buy and sell on the platform on a zero-commission model.

In 2015, Snapdeal had also announced an investment of $100 million in the marketplace over the next two years.

Tags: Snapdeal, Shopo, Apps, Internet, Online Marketplace

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Amazon Launches Marketplace, Dell Partners with Microsoft

Etsy has long been known as the biggest name in the market for handmade goods. But it’s now facing some huge competition thanks to a new handmade marketplace from eCommerce giant Amazon. And that’s not the only way that Amazon broke into the news this week.

Read on for a full list of small business related headlines in this week’s Small Business Trends News and Information Roundup.

Retail Trends

Amazon Takes Aim at Etsy with Handmade

Watch out Etsy, Amazon is issuing a challenge for the handmade market space with a new store featuring only artisan made products. Named Handmade at Amazon, the new store is tailored for factory-free handmade items. Amazon says it already features more than 80,000 handcrafted products from artisans in more than 60 countries.

44 Percent of Shoppers Go to Amazon First – Are You There?

Here’s one reason why your small business should consider selling products at Amazon.com. According to a new study from BloomReach, 44 percent of American consumers go directly to Amazon before using search engines like Google (34 percent) or a retailer’s site (21 percent) to search for products.

Technology

Dell and Microsoft Partnership Creates Onramp to the Cloud for Small Businesses

At Dell World 2015, the annual Dell customer convention this week in Austin, the big buzz was about Dell’s acquisition of cloud computing provider EMC, and the announcement of the Dell Hybrid Cloud System for Microsoft. Both are primarily of interest to larger enterprises.

Your Turn to Try Dropbox Paper – A New Collaborative Writing Tool

About six months ago, Dropbox quietly announced Notes — a collaborative note-taking tool — launching it as an invite-only beta version for a few select people to play with. Back then, Dropbox said Notes was “a new way for teams to write together.” However, now Dropbox has officially rebranded Notes to Dropbox Paper and its beta-testing phase is expanding significantly.

Google Will Provide Yahoo with Search Services, Search Ads

Former search heavyweight Yahoo has entered into an agreement with current champion Google. Yahoo will gain access to Google’s Web and Image search results services along with search advertisements under the deal. The Google Yahoo deal is not a bad setup for either party.

Relaunch of Wix Music Platform Adds Distribution, Concert Promotion

Wix has relaunched and added additional components to its Wix Music platform, which debuted in March. It was mainly positioned as a platform allowing musicians to upload their recorded music directly to their new Wix site and sell it immediately. Initially, Wix also offered specialty site themes.

NASA Says It Will Start Licensing Technology to Startups

Could NASA be looking for funding to gear up for a trip to Mars? Public interest in manned missions to Mars has been a fantasy for decades and is slowly becoming a reality. Riding the wave of enthusiasm, NASA has tentative plans for missions to Mars and the asteroid belt.

Amazon Space Needle Will Provide Analytics, Data Transfer

Amazon is announcing a service called Space Needle to help clients of its Amazon Web Services leverage the amount of data now available from their customers. The quantity of data now available to businesses large and small especially gathered from online traffic and customer behavior is vast.

Andy Rhodes of Dell: View IoT as an Opportunity, Before it Becomes a Threat

At this week’s Dell World event, as the case at last month’s Dreamforce event, some of the main focus was around the Internet of Things (IoT).

Employment

Square Snatches Yahoo Chief Development Officer Jacqueline Reses

Square Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey has lured a top Yahoo executive away from CEO Marissa Mayer. Jacqueline Reses had been Yahoo’s chief development officer and her move to Square is viewed as a blow to Yahoo, sources told BloombergBusiness. Yahoo has lost a handful of top executives recently.

Finance

Big Bank Lending Up, Says Biz2Credit Index

Institutional lenders reached an all-time high in the number of small business loans they approved, as did big banks, the latest Biz2Credt Small Business Lending Index reveals. Small banks, however, reached an all-time low in total number of approved small business loans.

Marketing Tips

More Sales & Better PPC ROI with The Bing Ads Holiday Planning Guide

If you’re in the mood for holiday cheer and a little inspiration for your PPC and online marketing plans, look no further than our holiday planning guide for digital marketers.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Future Solutions Media Repairs Online Reputations

Online reviews have the potential to make or break your company’s reputation. But even companies with great products and services can see sales suffer due to just a few negative comments. That’s where Future Solutions Media comes in.

Social Media

Get Customer Feedback Fast with New Twitter Polls

Twitter has unveiled Twitter Polls, a new feature that allows for the collection of feedback in a more straightforward way than previously possible on the service.

Social Media Usage Nearly 10 Times Higher Than a Decade Ago

With the Internet increasingly available to the public, reaching out to the rural areas, social media usage has been on the rise. This has created a forum that enables small businesses to reach target customers more easily. The Pew Research Center has released a study that looks for social media usage trending by different groups. The study suggests U.S.

Did You Know 45 Percent of Pinterest Users are Outside the U.S.?

Nearly half of Pinterest users are from abroad. The revelation may come as a surprise to small business owners and other marketers that have been under the impression that they were targeting a primarily domestic audience. The report comes from Marketing Land. Pinterest recently crossed the big boys line — 100 million monthly active users.

Startup

HelloGiggles by Zooey Deschanel Acquired by Time Inc. for $20 Million

Time Inc. has acquired HelloGiggles, an online platform dedicated to upbeat coverage of young women’s topics and issues. The small site — founded in 2011 by actress, musician and TV personality Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer and Sophia Rossi — was nabbed for a purchase price of around $20 million, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Legal

Jury: Apple Used Patented Tech in iPhone, Could Owe $862 Million

Apple could face a stiff penalty after a jury found it violated patent laws by using certain technology in its iPhones. A jury in a U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin, has ruled against Apple in a patent infringement case filed in February 2014 by Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) regarding patent 5,781,752.

TPPA Has Serious Implications for Content Creators

Internet service providers (ISPs) and their customers could soon be subject to a takedown and potential criminal penalties similar to the DMCA request process. According to a chapter of the final version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TTPA) leaked by Wikileaks, several new criminal penalties will be enforced in the countries that are part of this deal. These include the U.S.

Are Fiverrs Running Scared From Amazon Fake Reviews Lawsuit?

Less than a week after Amazon cracked down on fake reviews by filing a lawsuit, the sale of fake reviews at Fiverr.com still seems to be occurring.  And people still appear to be buying the services. But it’s put a dent in the activity. Amazon sued 1,114 reviewers in Washington state court on October 16, 2015.

Mobile Technology

Newest Toshiba DynaPad is 2-in-1 with Stylus

There’s a new 2-in-1 tablet coming to market from Toshiba, in collaboration with Microsoft. The company recently introduced its newest dynaPad, a Windows 10 tablet. With boasts that dynaPad is not only a notebook but also can be held and written on the way people write on paper, this one’s for the note takers.

BLOCKS Smartwatch Has Modules, Each Capable of Its Own Function

Smartwatches are trying to find their audience, and even Apple is having a hard time of it as the segment continues to evolve. So, what is the best way to increase the adoption rate of smartwatches? If you ask the people at BLOCKS Wearables, they will tell you they have the answer. It is a modular smartwatch that gives the user more control of the options they want.

HTC One A9 Smartphone Boasts Power and Beauty

In case you are experiencing phone fever with all the new models being announced, here is one more to get your interest up. HTC recently unveiled its newest smartphone, the HTC One A9. And this one is setting itself up as not only a beautiful option but powerful, too. HTC is putting an emphasis on the beauty of the One A9.

Try Out the Latest Android Google Search App – It’s In Beta

Google now has a beta channel for testing the latest features on the Android Google Search app. If you want to test Google Play’s beta service, click here. Testers will receive a testing version of the Google app, Google announced, adding, “Please note that testing versions may be unstable or have a few bugs.

Meet Marshmallow, Newest Android System (Where Do They Get These Names?)

Android 6.0 Marshmallow began rolling out this month and is set to displace Lollipop as the latest Android operating system. But you may not notice too many changes at first glance. Here is a look at some of the more interesting new features. In appearance, there is little change between Marshmallow and it’s sugary predecessor. That’s because Android 6.

Verizon Says It’s Added 1.3 Million Wireless Customers

The growing mobile market got a boost when the nation’s largest wireless carrier, Verizon, reported it had enlisted an additional 1.3 million wireless customers during its third quarter.
Image: Amazon

[“source-ndtv”]

Julia Kurnia of Zidisha: How Non-Profit Used Tech Startup Tactics to Build a Microlending Marketplace

julia kurnia3

Small Business Trends: Tell us a little bit of your personal background.

Julia Kurnia: I’ve always been interested in using technology to bring better opportunities, better access to capital to the world’s poorest places. When Kiva got started in 2005, I was very excited by the idea and I got a job working with one of Kiva’s first intermediary banks in West Africa. Kiva is a non-profit website that allows you to fund loans, which are then managed by local banks in developing countries. So I worked with one of the local banks that actually raised money, and then managed loans from Kiva.

There was kind of this immense desire on the part of people in wealthy countries to do something more direct that would help people in developing countries. The frustrating thing was that we had to spend a lot of money to manage the loans. We had to pay a loan officer to go and visit the borrowers and post their stories on the website, and to travel, and rent and office. And all of this ended up costing about a third of the value of the loans that we were making. So even though we received capital at zero cost from Kiva, we would have to charge the borrower’s 30 percent or 40 percent interest to cover our management costs. And that’s about the average rate charged for Kiva and also general micro-finance loans around the world.

Small Business Trends: Fast forward a little bit to the idea that you had for Zidisha and why you were able to do what you did at such a lower cost, compared to Kiva.

Julia Kurnia: In the following years, I started working with the U.S. Government managing grants in various countries in Africa. Over the years the internet just exploded, and cost of using the internet came way down in the world’s poorest places. Younger adults – people in their 20’s where they were growing up with Facebook and they were using the internet from cheap cyber cafes on every street corner.

I imagined something like Kiva, but without the bank intermediaries. It would be directly between the lender and the borrower. And by doing so, we could eliminate that 40% cost that was eating into the borrower’s profit margin.

Small Business Trends: Basically you were able to leverage the growth of the internet that was reaching into even the poorer parts of the world. Be able to leverage technology to create a marketplace that was more efficient, but also made it more possible for these loans to be done without having to pay exorbitant fees.

Julia Kurnia: Yes. At Zidisha, we don’t have any loan officers or bank intermediaries. The lender and the borrower interact directly. And by cutting out the intermediary, we’ve been able to get that 30 percent, 40 percent costs down to just five percent. The borrowers pay five percent for each loan.

Small Business Trends: Wow … Last year you were part of Y Combinator, and you mentioned that they helped you because your background isn’t necessarily in technology. But …

Julia Kurnia: No.

Small Business Trends: … they were able to help you to do things for yourself that you probably didn’t think you would have done four or five years ago.

Julia Kurnia: Yes. Y Combinator made us much more like a tech startup and less like a traditional charity or non-profit, which is a good thing because they introduced us to a lot of expertise and resources that hadn’t been on the radar previously. One example is using data science to automatically detect a suspicious loan application that we would have previously had to scrutinize manually.

Small Business Trends: So that’s another one of those areas where being able to use technology allowed you to not have to bring in these loans officers that add cost and make it maybe a little less efficient.

Julia Kurnia: Yes. Yes, that’s right.

Small Business Trends: Talk about the marketplace itself. How many people are getting loans, and how many people are loaning money.

Julia Kurnia: We were founded in 2009. We grew very slowly at first, and more rapidly in the past year since completing Y Combinator. So today we’ve crowd-funded a little over $3.5 million worth of loans. And that’s about 17,000 loans between about 25,000 people – lenders and borrowers all over the world.

Small Business Trends: That’s made up of loans averaging a couple hundred bucks. It’s not massive amounts of money per loan. It’s these $100, $200 loans that are going to folks in Africa and Asia, and that money goes a long way.

Julia Kurnia: Yes. One example is college tuition. That’s a popular use of small loans among the young adults who are joining our platform. In Ghana, $200 is enough to go to university for a semester.

Small Business Trends: Man, that almost left me speechless there. That might get you a book in one semester here in the States.

Julia Kurnia: Yes, but the amazing thing about connecting people directly and doing so at low cost is that you can take advantage of the huge differences in purchasing power. For the price of one night’s dinner in New York, you could start an entire restaurant in Indonesia.

Small Business Trends: Wow. Now let’s talk about the folks that are lending to the borrowers. How is this marketplace done differently from their perspective?

Julia Kurnia: For one thing, it’s very transparent. When you go on our website, you aren’t interacting with us or our employees. You’re interacting directly with the borrower. You can ask them questions. You’re reading the story that they wrote themselves with no editing from anyone. You can exchange photos. Lenders also like being able to see the exact cost the borrower is paying for their loan, and being able to choose to whom their funds go. They also like being able to renew it over and over, so on average, $100 put into a loan fund at Zidisha funds about $200 to $300 worth of loans in a year.

Small Business Trends: So basically, kind of to sum things up, you’re able to leverage technology to create a marketplace that allows you to reach the same folks, and for them to only pay 5% as opposed to 40 percent transaction fees.

Julia Kurnia: Yes, and this would not have been possible 10 years ago.

Small Business Trends: And I’m kind of looking at it also from the perspective of looking to the future. Kiva actually had — I think you mentioned — hundreds of employees if not more. And …

Julia Kurnia: I believe so.

Small Business Trends: And many more resources at their disposal, but you were able to basically make it a little different business model. But it’s actually better for the borrowers because now they’re not having to pay those higher transaction fees.

Julia Kurnia: That’s right. We never had major backing, or millions of dollars worth of grants the way Kiva did. And that forced us to stay very lean. So almost everything is automated and decentralized to our users.

Small Business Trends: So if I asked you to peer out into the future — maybe a year or two out — as we know technology is constantly morphing. But where do you think technology is going to take your marketplace?

Julia Kurnia: I think, in hindsight, we were very early to market. So when we started doing this in 2009, perhaps two percent of the people in Kenya or the other countries where we operated were online. These days it’s more like 10 percent to 20 percent. So it’s an exploding market that’s driven a lot of our recent growth. And I expect that to continue.

Small Business Trends: Very good. And you said you’re up to about 30,000 members, borrowers and lenders total?

Julia Kurnia: Yes. Yes, almost 30,000.

Small Business Trends: And it sounds like the growth rates, you could be seeing those kind of numbers double over a year or two period.

Julia Kurnia: Yes, at least. Our monthly loan funding volume has more than tripled in the past year.

Small Business Trends: You’re seeing that kind of growth and that kind of scale, but it seems like you’re able to do that without adding a whole bunch of additional employees. And, you’re right now the main employee.

Julia Kurnia: Yes. We’re mostly a volunteer-driven community similar to Wikipedia in that respect. We expect to add many more volunteers and have our users very involved in the process. And we try to stay out of the way as much as possible and make the platform useful for everyone.

Small Business Trends: Even from that perspective, it’s the collaboration that you need to do – technology makes that easier for you to do and have this army of volunteers ready to help out.

Julia Kurnia: Yes.

Small Business Trends: Where could people learn more about Zidisha, and maybe how they can play a role in this?

Julia Kurnia: I would recommend going to our website. It’s Zidisha.org.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Amazon Launches Marketplace, Dell Partners with Microsoft

handmade amazon

Etsy has long been known as the biggest name in the market for handmade goods. But it’s now facing some huge competition thanks to a new handmade marketplace from eCommerce giant Amazon. And that’s not the only way that Amazon broke into the news this week.

Read on for a full list of small business related headlines in this week’s Small Business Trends News and Information Roundup.

Retail Trends

Amazon Takes Aim at Etsy with Handmade

Watch out Etsy, Amazon is issuing a challenge for the handmade market space with a new store featuring only artisan made products. Named Handmade at Amazon, the new store is tailored for factory-free handmade items. Amazon says it already features more than 80,000 handcrafted products from artisans in more than 60 countries.

44 Percent of Shoppers Go to Amazon First – Are You There?

Here’s one reason why your small business should consider selling products at Amazon.com. According to a new study from BloomReach, 44 percent of American consumers go directly to Amazon before using search engines like Google (34 percent) or a retailer’s site (21 percent) to search for products.

Technology

Dell and Microsoft Partnership Creates Onramp to the Cloud for Small Businesses

At Dell World 2015, the annual Dell customer convention this week in Austin, the big buzz was about Dell’s acquisition of cloud computing provider EMC, and the announcement of the Dell Hybrid Cloud System for Microsoft. Both are primarily of interest to larger enterprises.

Your Turn to Try Dropbox Paper – A New Collaborative Writing Tool

About six months ago, Dropbox quietly announced Notes — a collaborative note-taking tool — launching it as an invite-only beta version for a few select people to play with. Back then, Dropbox said Notes was “a new way for teams to write together.” However, now Dropbox has officially rebranded Notes to Dropbox Paper and its beta-testing phase is expanding significantly.

Google Will Provide Yahoo with Search Services, Search Ads

Former search heavyweight Yahoo has entered into an agreement with current champion Google. Yahoo will gain access to Google’s Web and Image search results services along with search advertisements under the deal. The Google Yahoo deal is not a bad setup for either party.

Relaunch of Wix Music Platform Adds Distribution, Concert Promotion

Wix has relaunched and added additional components to its Wix Music platform, which debuted in March. It was mainly positioned as a platform allowing musicians to upload their recorded music directly to their new Wix site and sell it immediately. Initially, Wix also offered specialty site themes.

NASA Says It Will Start Licensing Technology to Startups

Could NASA be looking for funding to gear up for a trip to Mars? Public interest in manned missions to Mars has been a fantasy for decades and is slowly becoming a reality. Riding the wave of enthusiasm, NASA has tentative plans for missions to Mars and the asteroid belt.

Amazon Space Needle Will Provide Analytics, Data Transfer

Amazon is announcing a service called Space Needle to help clients of its Amazon Web Services leverage the amount of data now available from their customers. The quantity of data now available to businesses large and small especially gathered from online traffic and customer behavior is vast.

Andy Rhodes of Dell: View IoT as an Opportunity, Before it Becomes a Threat

At this week’s Dell World event, as the case at last month’s Dreamforce event, some of the main focus was around the Internet of Things (IoT).

Employment

Square Snatches Yahoo Chief Development Officer Jacqueline Reses

Square Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey has lured a top Yahoo executive away from CEO Marissa Mayer. Jacqueline Reses had been Yahoo’s chief development officer and her move to Square is viewed as a blow to Yahoo, sources told BloombergBusiness. Yahoo has lost a handful of top executives recently.

Finance

Big Bank Lending Up, Says Biz2Credit Index

Institutional lenders reached an all-time high in the number of small business loans they approved, as did big banks, the latest Biz2Credt Small Business Lending Index reveals. Small banks, however, reached an all-time low in total number of approved small business loans.

Marketing Tips

More Sales & Better PPC ROI with The Bing Ads Holiday Planning Guide

If you’re in the mood for holiday cheer and a little inspiration for your PPC and online marketing plans, look no further than our holiday planning guide for digital marketers.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Future Solutions Media Repairs Online Reputations

Online reviews have the potential to make or break your company’s reputation. But even companies with great products and services can see sales suffer due to just a few negative comments. That’s where Future Solutions Media comes in.

Social Media

Get Customer Feedback Fast with New Twitter Polls

Twitter has unveiled Twitter Polls, a new feature that allows for the collection of feedback in a more straightforward way than previously possible on the service.

Social Media Usage Nearly 10 Times Higher Than a Decade Ago

With the Internet increasingly available to the public, reaching out to the rural areas, social media usage has been on the rise. This has created a forum that enables small businesses to reach target customers more easily. The Pew Research Center has released a study that looks for social media usage trending by different groups. The study suggests U.S.

Did You Know 45 Percent of Pinterest Users are Outside the U.S.?

Nearly half of Pinterest users are from abroad. The revelation may come as a surprise to small business owners and other marketers that have been under the impression that they were targeting a primarily domestic audience. The report comes from Marketing Land. Pinterest recently crossed the big boys line — 100 million monthly active users.

Startup

HelloGiggles by Zooey Deschanel Acquired by Time Inc. for $20 Million

Time Inc. has acquired HelloGiggles, an online platform dedicated to upbeat coverage of young women’s topics and issues. The small site — founded in 2011 by actress, musician and TV personality Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer and Sophia Rossi — was nabbed for a purchase price of around $20 million, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Legal

Jury: Apple Used Patented Tech in iPhone, Could Owe $862 Million

Apple could face a stiff penalty after a jury found it violated patent laws by using certain technology in its iPhones. A jury in a U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin, has ruled against Apple in a patent infringement case filed in February 2014 by Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) regarding patent 5,781,752.

TPPA Has Serious Implications for Content Creators

Internet service providers (ISPs) and their customers could soon be subject to a takedown and potential criminal penalties similar to the DMCA request process. According to a chapter of the final version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TTPA) leaked by Wikileaks, several new criminal penalties will be enforced in the countries that are part of this deal. These include the U.S.

Are Fiverrs Running Scared From Amazon Fake Reviews Lawsuit?

Less than a week after Amazon cracked down on fake reviews by filing a lawsuit, the sale of fake reviews at Fiverr.com still seems to be occurring.  And people still appear to be buying the services. But it’s put a dent in the activity. Amazon sued 1,114 reviewers in Washington state court on October 16, 2015.

Mobile Technology

Newest Toshiba DynaPad is 2-in-1 with Stylus

There’s a new 2-in-1 tablet coming to market from Toshiba, in collaboration with Microsoft. The company recently introduced its newest dynaPad, a Windows 10 tablet. With boasts that dynaPad is not only a notebook but also can be held and written on the way people write on paper, this one’s for the note takers.

BLOCKS Smartwatch Has Modules, Each Capable of Its Own Function

Smartwatches are trying to find their audience, and even Apple is having a hard time of it as the segment continues to evolve. So, what is the best way to increase the adoption rate of smartwatches? If you ask the people at BLOCKS Wearables, they will tell you they have the answer. It is a modular smartwatch that gives the user more control of the options they want.

HTC One A9 Smartphone Boasts Power and Beauty

In case you are experiencing phone fever with all the new models being announced, here is one more to get your interest up. HTC recently unveiled its newest smartphone, the HTC One A9. And this one is setting itself up as not only a beautiful option but powerful, too. HTC is putting an emphasis on the beauty of the One A9.

Try Out the Latest Android Google Search App – It’s In Beta

Google now has a beta channel for testing the latest features on the Android Google Search app. If you want to test Google Play’s beta service, click here. Testers will receive a testing version of the Google app, Google announced, adding, “Please note that testing versions may be unstable or have a few bugs.

Meet Marshmallow, Newest Android System (Where Do They Get These Names?)

Android 6.0 Marshmallow began rolling out this month and is set to displace Lollipop as the latest Android operating system. But you may not notice too many changes at first glance. Here is a look at some of the more interesting new features. In appearance, there is little change between Marshmallow and it’s sugary predecessor. That’s because Android 6.

Verizon Says It’s Added 1.3 Million Wireless Customers

The growing mobile market got a boost when the nation’s largest wireless carrier, Verizon, reported it had enlisted an additional 1.3 million wireless customers during its third quarter.
Image: Amazon

[“source-smallbiztrends”]