PriceTracker – a new wave in retail software

PriceTracker

PriceTracker is a breakthrough in modern web applications. Data from many different sources, websites and shops is collected and done on a historical level within our database. Each item is catalogued and saved with data collected every 3-4 hours. This means as soon as there is an update to a product we will catch it! With over 100000 sites and growing PriceTracker has the ability to shake up the whole retail market.

Stage One Benefits

Stage One benefits are endless for users who subscribe to the service. Once deployment a wealth of information will be available to all. This information will be available in graphs and statistical information on past sales history and sale price throughout the time it was listed on a seller’s website. With this each site that is crawled the data will be instantly available to all members.

This will mean that all of the members will have a competitive edge over other sellers or buyers. With a wealth of information available the possibilities.

Early Adopters Benefits

Throughout the early adoption of this product users will find a myriad of benefits. With users being able to comment, review and even share pricing that is listed on PriceTracker it promotes an online community based environment where users can interact. Products with a high amount of user interaction will automatically rise to the front of the trending topic on our website. This will expose the product to a high level of traffic and allow other uses to see a product that they may not have been aware of.

With all buyers being allowed to freely list and integrate their products the listed products is expected to grow by over 1000% in the first year.

Being a product search based website means that users can easily find what they are after with results being shown in a grid format from lowest to highest sales value. A buyer can than quickly and effectively pick a desired website to buy the goods from.

Increasing Success Expectation

It is expected that as users being to use the service and interact within the community the amount of relevant data for both customers and sellers will grow immensely. As well as that as businesses integrate their stock on hand and sell prices with our service the amount of data collected and stored will go through the roof. With a higher amount of data means a greater understanding and historical view of the market for that particular item. This will in return give a greater return for both the customer and sellers.

Activating Network Effects: Snapchat

The term network effects is the definition of a product, service or platform that becomes increasingly used and therefore increases in overall value. Within these effects are different types, these are direct, indirect, local network and cross-network. Snapchat uses a few of these types and this will be discussed in more detail within this post.

Snapchat is an photo sharing application available for both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The concept of the application is quite simple, a user adds another friend or “snapchatter” via their Snapchat username and can quickly send short videos, photos or text which instantly vanish after viewing.

Direct Network Effects

Snapchat has had a great example of direct network effects, with one of them being the sheer volume of user’s who have adapted to Snapchat in a small period of time. The application was launched back in September 2011 and since then has skyrocketed to almost 100 Million monthly active users. [1]
With this the value of the company and application has grown tremendously and has created a snowball effect with many more joining to interact with friends and family through Snapchat.

This effect is similar to many other large internet based companies or platforms that have have become successful in the marketplace. For instance YouTube launched in 2005 and shortly after was purchased by Google for $1.65 Billion USD and then six years later merged with Google Video.

Indirect Network Effect

As snapchat has generated a large user base an realistically a very short time span the company has adapted many new ways to harness this new found opportunity. This slowly started with the addition of Snapchat Stories. This new found feature allowed “Snapchatters” to quickly and easily add multiple photos and videos to their story that will be visible for 24 Hours. These photos and videos are showed in order that the Snapchatter has added them, thus creating the concept of a story. Any other user that has added the Snapchatter can see this Story and playback easy Snap an unlimited amount of times within that 24 Hour window. Since this rise over 1 Billion Snapchat Stories are viewed every day. This feature then spawned a whole new unforeseen opening allowing Snapchat to unlock this feature to other paying companies for their snaps to be viewed under their own stories, thus creating Snapchat Discover.

Cross-Network Effect

Cross-Network Effects are the ability for another party to benefit from the rise of Snapchat. This in particular can be related in many ways. Firstly, other companies using the Snapchat Discover to promote their company or Snap will receive a higher amount of exposure as snapchat receive more users. As well as this many use their Snapchat accounts for business or financial gain, promoting themselves, their lives or even their products on their Stories for all of their follower to see and view. As more users connect with them and come to snapchat the more possibility the promoter’s business can flourish due to the extra publicity.

Local Network Effect 

This effect can be taken many different ways in regards to Snapchat. Personally I find the most applicable being that as Snapchat grows user’s can expand their connectivity with other users, celebrities or even have a larger Discover network. The reverse is also possible with user’s having the possibility to have more follower’s or “worth” within the Snapchat community.

Issues

Snapchat is a game changer when it comes to the social networking marketplace and with over 400 Million snaps being sent back in 2013 alone [2] and does show that this kind of market has potential. Though it does not come without it’s issues. One large issue is the anonymity behind a user’s Snapchat profile. Pictures or Videos can be sent and shared without prior consent or even added to a Snapchat story within their friends group to view for 24 Hours. As well as this user’s can easily screenshot a video or photo, though the sender does receive a notification, nothing is stopping the recipient from sharing this further.

Leveraging the Long Tail

The first ever game is quite debatable, though it is quite obvious that since the beginning of the technology boom gaming has risen in popularity. With this many new platforms have spawned to allow users to buy, share and even converse about games. One of the most popular and well-known service in this market is Steam. The platform was created by Valve and has been around since 2003 [1]. Now since that date the company has expanded to house over eleven thousand games and an average of six million active users. Value have taken a different tack with Steam and instead of being a standard store selling games they have opted to expand. Greenlight helped take an ordinary business model and bring a fresh new twist to the marketplace. Greenlight offers developer’s to post their games, screenshots and videos and users can vote for which games they would like to see make it onto the store. [2] This brings forth many indie titles that once may not be able to collect market hype from large development conglomerates and can easily receive high exposure. With the internet being an endless marketplace and the amount of games being hosted infinite, Value decided it would be in the company’s best interests to rebrand how large sections of their site would work. The largest change was how users share and discuss games. The first step to this change was the integration of social networks. Though instead of integrating an existing service like Facebook, Value opted to create their own, within the Steam community. Users were allowed to like, share and even recommend games to their other Steam friends. Community forums are created for each game and act as a point of discussion where a gamer can share and have a conversation about the games they play.

With the shift in company design and online presence it offers Steam a leg up over its competitors. The website is completely user managed with purchases and community being driven by the user cutting down on costs for staff. Simply being online and being a digital only service also cuts down the financial footprint that is required. The site also takes a different tack for advertising, with the games advertising themselves. Since Steam is one of a few systems like it in the market the customers come to find what they are after and with it abundance of pre-release games and Greenlight only offers to offers many reasons why it can easily one-up its competitors.

OneDrive as a Software above the Level of a Single Device

The boom in online applications has been enormous since the turn of the century. Many companies that once did not exists have risen to the top in their categories and even many new technologies have risen. One of these areas of interest is cloud computing and today in this post the main focus will be an application that is primarily targeted as SaaS (Software as a Service).

OneDrive, formally known as Skydrive is a multi-platform cloud based service run by Microsoft which allows users to upload files and documents to an online “repository” for storage and backup. A basic user account is allowed 15GB of storage space in a secure cloud solution. A user can opt to pay extra and receive anywhere from 100GB, 200GB or 1TB of storage. The data that is uploaded to the user’s OneDrive account can be accessed anywhere in the world from a web browser or via Microsoft’s OneDrive iOS and Android application. As well as this Microsoft have integrated OneDrive into both Office 365 and Windows 8/8.1.

With the integration of Office 365 and OneDrive, Microsoft have adapted to allow online versions of the Office Suite to be run from within a web browser. When a file that the Office Suite supports is uploaded to OneDrive a user can quickly edit the file using a cut-down version of Office. This means that users can easily edit, access and upload files to their OneDrive account from any device assuming they have an active internet connection. As well as this any user who has an active Office 365 Subscription is also given 1TB of online storage.

Microsoft have also opened a Partner App’s section on their website allowing companies who offer integration with OneDrive’s services to showcase them. This allows users to find alternatives that support OneDrive and instead of saving locally whilst working with these applications can have their data synchronized to their account.

OneDrive brings simplicity to the online storage space. With simple features like allowing easy access to files, securely backup and even share files, folders and collaborate on documents with only a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a screen. Microsoft have also taken this technology a step further allowing a user to quickly and easily recover deleted files and easily restore these to their account.

With solutions like OneDrive in the market and the offering of large and possibly over excessive data allowances there is more pros than cons. Microsoft have adapted a solution that allows almost any user to easily convert to a cloud based solution allowing easily access to their data anywhere in the world and simply forget about ever losing a file again.

Innovation in Assembly

Innovation in Assembly refers to the reuse and remix of already existing systems and using them in a way that may benefit the business and thus beat the competition. As Web 2.0 has risen many companies have adapted and risen, rewriting already existing business models and using new technology have risen to the surface. Once company in particular that is recently become a big contender in it’s market is Spotify.

The best definition of Spotify would probably be their own, “Spotify is an online music service offering users the ability to stream audio music files on-demand from a personal computer using Spotify’s unique proprietary technology.” (Spotify). This service is simple in its nature and allows users to quickly sign up via email address or linking an existing Facebook account. Once signed up a user can easily access the entire music library free of charge. Being a freemium experience listener’s will be occasionally presented with audio ads between songs and ads on the program itself. If the user wishes they can upgrade for $11.99/month and receive an ad free listening experience, higher bit rate (320Kbps), and the ability to sync Spotify tracks to your mobile device for offline listening.

The music marketplace was one that has been primarily dominated by iTunes many years. With their business model being song sales based off a per song basis or albums based off a fixed price. This meant that buying multiple songs or albums can become quite costly. Due to this fact, Spotify has become a big contender in the market and is slowly rising with Spotify reporting 60 million active users and over 15 million paying subscribers. With this Spotify has recently expanded with the option of Spotify Family. The family account allows other family members to join at a discounted rate, which encourages the whole family to join.

Spotify has also added the ability for users to access their databases, songs and playlist all through their API allowing developers extended functionality and easy integration into their own programs and code.

fe71a6862f[1]

Spotify has adapted a new way to look at sales of music and have taken a new approach with subscription based services and have also done this with one of the ways they advertise. In tandem with tradition internet marketing ads Spotify have adopted Facebook marketing. Though this marketing is not one of a tradition standard. Users who use Spotify with a linked Facebook account are accepting terms and conditions that allows Spotify to show what the user has been listening to. This content appears on the listener’s friend’s news feed. In doing this it quickly and efficiently advertises Spotify to other users and shares what the particular user is listening to. Adding this social aspect broadens the businesses horizons and offers a greater level of exposure.

Spotify has adapted in the marketplace and taken a standard business model that has been done a thousand times over and remixed it to become something new, fresh and exciting that is relevant and an innovation in Web 2.0.

Harnessing the Collective Intelligence

Technology has developed dramatically since the  turn of the century and many new opportunities have arisen. Many have found themselves shopping, eating or even hiring a trade and are in need of a way to find a reliable yet reputable business. Well with the up-rise of technology and this demand growing higher a solution was brought forward, Yelp. This service allows users to quickly add reviews for almost any type of retail business allowing other users to quickly gauge what they should expect from their experience.

A user can register both online or on their smartphone/device and within minutes be posting review though anyone is more than welcome to surf content that is listed on Yelp. Though Yelp takes this service further with the ability to easily post photos or even a star rating of the business place or whilst they are there. This information expands on just the reviews and adds any easy way for the business owner to quickly collect photos from customers. Once a review has been posted other users can mark if the comment was, “Useful”, “Funny” or “Cool”. Once a user receives a commandment their profile is then updated to reflect this. Doing this helps other user’s distinguish if you are likely to rate badly, if you are quite new or a reputable source.

Though the benefits do not all stop at just the user. Businesses who are successful will receive credit for their hard work thus bringing many others who many not even know about them. However the opposite is more than possible, if customer’s have a disappointing experience their review tarnishes their Yelp page for everyone to see. A collective community like this can easily make or break a company and quickly show how what reviews are like from real experiences with real reviews.

In the end Yelp is a resource that is made to help others find the best for them. It offers a simple solution to an age old issue. With other’s who have experienced the business first hand it gives other retailers a major upper hand.

 

 

 

 

About me!

I see you made your way to my blog! Well welcome.

I’m Matt Biggs and I am into my second year of my IT Degree. I have been starting to put a focus onto enterprise systems and management and decided I wanted to try something a little different.

Hopefully this subject should let me delve into the world of modern social technologies and advance myself in web 2.0.