Monday, August 25, 2014

Ruminating on Showrooming and Webrooming in the Digital Age

When e-Commerce giants such as Amazon took the retail industry by storm, there was a lot of FUD on showrooming. As a digital native, even I indulged in showrooming before heading out to my favourite e-commerce site to buy the product online.

But a recent study conducted in US has found that many folks also engage in reverse showrooming (aka webrooming). In reverse showrooming," or "webrooming," consumers go online to research products, but then actually go to a bricks-and-mortar store to complete their purchase.

The following link on Business-Insider throws more details on this phenomenon.

This report came as a surprise to me and I would assume that retailers are happy about this trend :)
Retailers are also trying out innovative techniques to capitalize on this trend. Some of them include deploying knowledgeable sales staff that educate the customer and create a superior in-store customer experience. BLE technology enabled beacons push personalized offers to the customer mobile app while he is in the store. m-Wallets would enable contact-less and hassle-free payments at POS.

Retailers are also embracing BOPiS (Buy Online Pick Up In Store) ! This greatly reduces the logistics/shipping costs, as the existing transportation network is used for delivery.

Popular e-Commerce software vendors such as Hybris have also started catering to this market and have an in-store solution for retailers.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A good comparison of BLE and Classic Bluetooth

The following link gives a good overview of the differences between BLE (Bluetooth low energy) and classic bluetooth. Definitely worth a perusal.

The fundamental reason why BLE is becoming so popular in beacons is the extremely Low Power Consumption of BLE devices. Its low power consumption makes it possible to power a small device with a tiny coin cell battery for 5–10 years !

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How does Facebook protect its users from malicious URLs?

The following post gives a good overview of the various techniques (such as link shim) used by Facebook to protect its users from malicious websites - whose links would be embedded in posts.

Facebook has its internal blacklist of malicious links and also queries external partners such as McAfee, Google, Web of Trust, and Websense.  When FB detects that a URL is malicious, it displays an interstitial page before the browser actually requests the suspicious page. This protects the user, who now has to make a conscious decision as to whether he wants to proceed to the malicious page.

BTW, if you have not already installed the 'Web of Trust' browser plugin for your browser, do so immediately :)

Another interesting point was the fact that it is more secure to run a check at click time than at display time. If one relied on display-time filtering alone, we would not be able to retroactively block any malicious URLs - lying in an email or an old page.