Business, Marketing, Strategy, Technology, Web

Loyalty Card and Analytics together via Apps! – Way to go GBK


Everyone knows that Apps! are serious business. Instagram acquired for $1 billion, over billions of apps on iPhone and Android, to a large degree windows phone and blackberry failing due to lacks of apps! There is Facebook App, LinkedIn App, BBC News App, NDTV App, Hotel Booking Apps, Amazon Apps – many many apps! Most of the apps however are of 1 category – taking interaction from the user from the computer to their mobile device – which makes sense as it keeps the user engaged all the time.

gbkTill now, I have not seen many real consumer based companies moving to Apps to keep the user engaged and also gather useful analytics for themselves. This attempt by a Gourmet Burger Kitchen in the UK seems like a clever entry point.

Loyalty Cards have been around for a long long time. They give the user an incentive to come back, generate more revenue for the service provider and many times the user introduces other users to the brand as well. All this has been fairly well understood. Till now – loyalty cards existed like cards and not Apps!

By introducing the GBK App as a loyalty card – GBK gets so much more information and in turn helps grow the business.

  • User Analytics – App helps you measure number of repeat visits (per week, per month, per year)
  • Customer Retention – If the user starts using the app but does not come back then surely you can give them some special coupon to get the repeat business!
  • Location – When you are in the restaurant business, one of the most important things for you is Location! Through this app though you get to know exactly how many people and which people frequent which areas for GBK.
  • Paperless and Convenience – We all want to be green! And no one wants to look for bits of paper when you can have it in your smartphone.
  • Customer Categorisation – As the user needs to use to app before ordering to get the discount – you know their usual order size and margins – better of all you know the customer details. You can focus on the most profitable customers!

I believe this is just the start of the move of loyalty cards – maybe one day the term itself will change to Loyalty App!

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Entrepreneurship, Web

(Don’t) Talk to Strangers!

If that’s the advice that you have got from your parents, a new web service called advises just the opposite. It’s a new chat service where you can start the chat at the click of a button with any random person. It requires no registration, no user name or identity. The only handles used are “You” and “Stranger”. However Omegle is not exactly the first website to have introduced the concept of anonymous chat. Another website called “A Nice Chat” established earlier also links you with unknown strangers although you are expected to pick a nickname for yourself first.

Omegle was launched by an 18-yr old high school boy named Leaf K. Brooks from Brattleboro, Vermont, US on 25th March this year. Less than 3 months old, this service has encountered an increasing number of visitors each day. On an average about 2500 users are signed in at a time. Currently the site was reported to be getting 150,000 hits per day.


Brooks idea behind Omegle: “The usual chats were getting a bit stagnant. It’s hard to learn new things from someone who’s just like you. So my goal with Omegle is to bring together people who maybe aren’t all that similar, and let them talk in an anonymous, safe environment.”

There have been polarized views of this service. Some people have praised the opportunity that this service provides to chat with new people from different corners of the world, belonging to any nationality/religion/culture which might help you to learn so many new things, whereas detractors have called it nothing but an amazing waste of time. Omegle also has its one big problem as it is with many online communities and chat rooms: Trolls.

For the uninitiated, Trolls are people who post unrelated, inflammatory, controversial messages on online communities with the intent to disrupt normal discussions. The founder acknowledges this problem on his official Omegle blog and says that he is working on ways to control this problem.
I myself signed into a chat once to see how it all works. My first chat went pretty nicely although it was a bit weird talking to a completely unknown person. I had a short clean conversation with some person in another state. We did not exchange any personal information but as the home page for Omegle says, there is nothing to stop you from revealing personal details if you would like. My second chat unfortunately was with a troll. I haven’t done much chatting after that though.

In case you are lucky enough to find a stranger with common interests and are having a great conversation, but the conversation implodes, there are already some blogs sprouting up which can help you to find that person.

On the technical side, Omegle has been written in Python, using the Twisted networking library and is hosted on a medium-end Linode virtual private server. Brooks makes some money by selling advertising on Omegle’s home page. His plan is to add more features over time, building on the core that has already been established.

(About the author: Anup P. Joshi is the latest to join . Anup is currently pursuing a Masters Degree at The University Of Texas at Austin in the field of VLSI and Digital IC Design. He finished his BE in Electrical Engineering at VJTI, Mumbai in 2007. His interests lie in a wide variety of topics. He will be posting articles on Politics, sports, business, technology, movies etc.  Contact him on twitter at anup_joshi

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