Shoppers Stop partners with ToneTag, a proximity communications firm, to integrate and deploy ToneTag sound-based contactless payments at Shoppers Stop stores. This technology will enable  customers to make ‘cardless’, ‘cashless’ and ‘contactless’ payments at Shoppers Stop stores across India.  The ToneTag technology will use sound-waves from mobile phones to make electronic payments.

With ToneTag’s sound pay technology, customers can make secure payments within a matter of seconds and experience a faster check out. This launch is a fin-tech revolution and a significant step towards the adoption of cashless payments in India-in line with the vision of Digital India.

Govind Shrikhande, Customer Care Associate & Managing Director, Shoppers Stop Ltd. said

Our collaboration with ToneTag is yet another step in the direction of digitizing all our Shoppers Stop stores. Our paramount focus is to offer our customers a convenient, fast and enhanced shopping experience. With ToneTag’s sound-based technology, our customers will now have multiple payment options for a smooth, fast and convenient shopping experience.

Kumar Abhishek, CEO, ToneTag said

Shoppers Stop’s contribution towards digitization has been exemplary. I am a strong believer that Shoppers Stop and ToneTag will continue to strive for best consumer experience by bringing great retail technology with simple user interface.

ToneTag’s breakthrough technology uses audio signals or ‘tone tags’ for data exchange between devices.  Payment instructions can be transmitted, using a sound signal, through a traditional phone line, without any additional hardware or software requirements or dependencies.  This makes highly inter-operable and secure cashless payments possible from any mobile phone to another phone or computing device.

About ToneTag

ToneTag is a sound based proximity communication provider that enables contactless proximity communication, location based services and customer engagement services among a multitude of other solutions. Backed by Reliance VC among a host of investors, ToneTag has enabled contactless, offline, proximity communication on any device through sound and their team continues to innovate and transform the way devices will communicate with each other in the near future. For more information, please visit ToneTag

iPredictt Data Labs, an advanced data analytics company introduced the Chatbots functionality based on Artificial Intelligence [AI] to their recruitment intelligence platform, Careerletics. The AI Chatbots automatically identifies the scope of missing data in the profiles of candidates who have uploaded their resumes on Careerletics and reaches out to those candidates to fill in the missing information via chat links. This will help resolve one of the key problems of incomplete data available in resumes for pre-interview evaluation.

AI chatbots can assist users with rather simple quick responses and gives customer service representatives a chance to handle pressing problems for its clients. Once the set of resumes are uploaded on the platform, Careerletics, the Chatbot triggers a chat link with questions to the candidates. The candidate then clicks on the link and answers all questions such as current CTC, expected CTC, preferred location, reasons for applying for the job, notice period etc. This data immediately is saved into the database and enables the predictive algorithms to provide much more accurate results.

Rohit Verma, CEO, iPredictt commented

Resume data, the main source of information for a talent acquirer is mostly incomplete. Employers invariably then have an arduous task upon them to touch base with multiple candidates to source the missing data. This is a time taking process and delays the hiring time thus causing immense loss to the business.

We have automated that process by using an AI based Chatbot in our platform, Careerletics which can connect with hundreds of resumes at one time and collect information. This updates the data base in real time and helps simplify the process, making it easy for the TA to perform their function much more efficiently.

About Careerletics

Careerletics is a SaaS based recruitment intelligence platform by iPredictt Data Labs that uses advanced Predictive analytics to exponentially improve quality of new hires at added speed. The platform calculates an Employability Score and Probability of ‘Offer Decline’ for candidates. The Platform helps at the pre-selection stage by bringing in auto parsing of resumes, skill set identification and over median accuracy in JD-candidate matchmaking, thus delivering high quality of candidates from among searched resumes. For more information, please visit Careerletics

About iPredictt Data Labs

iPredictt Data Labs is a big data analytics company that provides machine learning software to B2C companies to solve their complex data challenges. The company brings groundbreaking new approaches to transform how data-rich companies can make sense of structured and unstructured data. The company differentiates itself by offering premium data science solutions that are customized for businesses trying to mine their data for getting better return on technology investment. For more information, please visit iPredictt Data Labs

Flurry Analytics, division of Yahoo announced the findings for State of the App Nation in India – the study uncovers insights around mobile app activity and their usage, emerging growth categories & device adoption trends in India.

The State of the App Nation in India study is backed by data gleaned from over 940,000 applications, across 2.1 billion global devices from across the world, and the 58,000 apps, across 147 million devices from India, that use Flurry.

The trends show Asia and India leading the phablet revolution. The phablet [devices with screens between 5″ and 6.9″] is the fastest growing mobile device globally. In India, phablets have a market share of 61%, outpacing growth in the US which has 48% market share. When looking into the mobile usage in India, one major trend emerged – India’s mobile usage looks a lot like global usage did six months ago, still ascending on the growth curve but not at the rate we saw the year prior.

Presenting the study in Bangalore, Christopher Klotzbach, Director, Flurry from Yahoo said

As smartphones celebrate their first decade; the mobile app industry has grown into a dog-eat-dog world. The decelerating rate of global growth could signal market maturity, saturation or simply the end of the app gold rush. Going back to India’s six-month mobile trend delay, there is no better time for local developers to innovate, and lessen or possibly stop a local industry pause. We are excited to see what app developers do in the next decade and watch which industry they chose to disrupt, again.

Key Insights and Trends from Flurry : State of the App Nation in India

Note : All data as measured by Flurry YoY from 2015~2016

India’s app usage grew 43% YoY : The India app usage grew at 92% during the same period last year (2015).

Asia and India are leading the phablet revolution : Indian mobile consumers are phablet lovers, with the form factor size securing 61% of the market share in India. This footprint is also the driving force behind global adoption figures.

Diversification of apps : App categories seeing the fastest growth in India

The top 3 app growth categories in India are Music, Media and Entertainment followed by Business and Finance apps, and Utilities and Productivity apps.

  • Music, Media and Entertainment applications saw the biggest usage increase at 188% YOY, which can be attributed to rise of phablet devices and better Internet connectivity in India.
  • Business and Finance apps grew 176% YoY.
  • Utilities and Productivity apps grew 99% YoY

Messaging and social apps remain one of the most engaged categories in Asia and India : Time spent in Messaging and Social apps grew by an impressive 52% in India and 44% globally.

Personalization apps see decline : Much like the global trends, Personalization apps saw the biggest usage decrease at -32%. This decrease is due to operating systems integrating the functionality of these apps natively.

Indian mobile consumers have very diverse tastes while selecting their mobile manufacturer : More than 12 mobile makers have a substantial footprint locally with Samsung leading with 40% market share, followed by brands like Micromax, Redmi and Lenovo. This is an interesting phenomenon, compared to mobile manufacturer popularity globally where on average there are about six major mobile manufacturers.

Sticky Apps Tied to Daily Habits : Some of the most successful app categories throughout the years have tapped into the mobile addict population. They are also apps that rely on live data, such as Business and Finance [up 43% globally in time-spent; up 176% in India].

Interestingly in India, this trend is best seen in Health and Fitness app usage [up 27% locally]. These apps see high hourly engagement throughout the day, as users turn to their mobile and wearable devices to track their fitness goals and progress.

Shopping Apps Spell the Doom and Gloom of Brick and Mortars : In 2016, shopping apps continued to gain popularity, growing 31% globally and 12% in India.

Video Killed the Gaming Star : Gaming, the app category known as ‘the darling of the mobile industry’, saw time-spent decline by 4% globally and a small growth in India of just 8%.

Mobile consumers in India are night owls : With peak usage rolling in around 9 PM. Indian users are generally slower to turn to their phones in the morning but quickly scale usage throughout the later morning hours.

Top Global Trends

  • The burgeoning trend of ‘Communitainment’ (or, social sharing of media) is driving mobile consumers to spend more than 2 hours/day on Social and Messaging apps.
  • The average mobile consumer spends just under 5 hours a day on their smartphones.
  • Shopping applications saw over 17 billion sessions in 2016; effectively changing retail window shoppers into mobile impulse buyers.
  • Compared to 2015, global app usage grew by 11% in 2016. In previous years, we’ve seen all app categories grow in tandem; however, for 2016 year the story is different. In 2016 mobile apps started eating their own, with session and time-spent growth in some app categories occurring at the expense of others. While Messaging and Social apps use rose year-over-year by 44%, Personalization apps (like emoji keyboards) declined by 46%.

About Flurry

Flurry is an industry-leading mobile analytics, monetization and advertising platform. With Flurry, developers and marketers can analyze user interactions with mobile applications and advertise in-apps.

Flurry supports more than 250,000 developers, reaching more than 940,000 apps across more than 2.1 billion devices with 10 billion sessions every day. Flurry was acquired by Yahoo! in July 2014. For more information on Flurry, visit developer.yahoo.com or the Flurry Insights blog

Mindtree has released the findings of a study on how rapidly evolving digital trends like social media, mobile apps & automation are reshaping the way retailers engage with customers. Titled Sixth Sense of Retail, the study is based on a survey conducted with 2,000 consumers across in UK by Censuswide – an independent polling company.

The study has identified widely diverse shopper preferences across age and gender pertaining to new retail technologies like automation, artificial intelligence and robotics. Over half [51 per cent] of young shoppers in the age group of 16-24 years were comfortable with the idea of automated technologies and would visit robot-driven stores.

78 per cent of older shoppers over 55 years of age were apprehensive about this trend. Additionally, opinions were divided by gender with 44 per cent of men happy with a robotic shopping experience, compared with just 30 per of women. In order to address this sharp divide retailers should adopt a balanced mix of technology and human assistance to accommodate customers of different ages and genders.

The study also states that there is a growing demand for retailers to deliver more personalized experiences with nearly one in five [17 per cent] of 16~24 year olds asking for more personalized engagement from retailers throughout the purchasing cycle. It also highlights the influence of social media on shopping decisions.

Facebook has been reaffirmed as the most influential social platform with just under one third of consumers [32 per cent] acknowledging it as a major influencer for shopping and purchasing decisions. Retailers therefore need to harness social media channels to drive brand loyalty by harvesting the growing volumes of customer data available across multi-channels. Consumers should be reached through social channel engagements that are personalized around preferences the retailer is looking at appealing to.

Infographic Source – Mindtree Sixth Sense of Retail Report

Further, as more consumers go online to make purchases, it is important retailers create content that is optimised for mobile platforms. They should focus on building strong digital relationships with customers, providing the blueprint for successful conversions both in-store and online.

Anil Gandharve, Associate Vice President of Retail, CPG and Manufacturing, Mindtree said

The retail industry has an exciting future ahead, but the key to success will be driven by the right balance between technology and in-store human experience. Additionally, retailers need to harness personalized customer information available through social media and mobile phone apps, to develop more impactful customer relationships.

Sixth Sense of Retail report is available here and the infographic is available here

“Where are you now?” and “What’s your ETA?” Whether you are heading to a party or meeting up for dinner, you probably hear questions like this pretty often from family and friends. Soon Google Maps users worldwide will be able to answer those questions in just a few taps, without ever leaving the app.

Google Maps has announced a new real-time location sharing feature which will be available for both Android and iOS users. Users will be able to share their real-time location with anyone and the people they share with will be able to see the location on Android, iPhone, mobile web, and desktop.

Whenever you want to let someone know where you are, just open the side menu or tap the blue dot that represents where you are. Tap “Share location” and then select who to share with and how long to share-and you’re done! You can share your real-time location with your Google contacts, or even share with friends and family by sending a link on your favorite messenger apps. When you are sharing your location, the people you have chosen to share with will see you on their map.

And you will see an icon above the compass on your own map reminding you that you are actively sharing your location. You can change your mind and stop sharing at any time-it’s entirely up to you.

Next time you are on your way or running late, you can share your real-time location and trip progress from navigation as well. During your next trip, tap the “More” button on the bottom on the navigation screen, and then tap “Share trip.” When you share your trip with people, they will see your expected arrival time and can follow your journey as you head towards your destination. Sharing automatically ends when you arrive.

Sanket Gupta, Product Manager, Google Maps, said

Location sharing on Google Maps is rolling worldwide over the coming week, and you will be able to quickly let your friends and family know where you are and when you’ll get where you are going. The answer to ‘where are you?’ is only a tap away.