How the Next Billion Users Use Products and Services; And What It Means For Your Products

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A thread on observations about the behavior of Next Billion Users (NBU) and how they use products and services we build: 1/n
I have spent the last few months in Bikaner, A tier 2 city in Rajasthan. Here I got to observe our users from a distance while still being part of context. Some of what I noticed was contrary to the ideas we have in the industry about our users.2/n
I am writing this thread to (1) Validate: is it just me and my sampling bias or others also observe the same patterns? (2) As we build products for the next billion users ( NBU) these observations might help us build a more representative persona for our users. 3/n
I intend to use this thread as Filed notes .I will keep updating this thread over time. Feel free to contribute your observations to it. So grab a coffee and read on. 4/n
Identification of Feature by placement on screen not by icon: I interacted with approx two dozen users of TikTok, Youtube, Whatsapp. I wanted to know what triggers them to share a piece of content but I noticed that they couldn’t identify the “share” icon. 5/n
When I asked how you share so many videos without knowing the icon. They said: ” We know where to tap and a screen pops up with WhatsApp icon. Thereafter we are in familiar territory.” 6/n
On more probing, I discovered that a lot of youngsters had their first experience of video via Chinese porn apps where Mandarian Interface was incomprehensible for them but they learned to navigate with the help of relative position of icon on-screen .7/n
Lesson Learned: If you are thinking of changing the placement/ orientation of buttons in your app Think again.8/n
Young people are OK paying for Movie or at Tea stall but they will opt for COD on commerce because that way those purchases won’t come out of their pocket money ,it gets masked under Miscellaneous household budget and doesn’t get reported to the father. Indian Moms are great. 9/n
Lesson: if you are running a promotion where TG is young people in Tier 2 cities. Make sure it works with COD.10/n
Young people( couples) prefer using voice messages on WhatsApp because parents randomly spy on their chats and when they see voice files think those are songs whereas text they can read.11/n
Promo Discovery outside the main app: People don’t look for promo in-between transactions usually, they learn about promo via their friends or promo specific Whatsapp groups. 12/n
This is surprisingly reverse when it comes to payment like electricity /recharge etc there they look for promos before making payment. That means they know where the promo section is but their navigation doesn’t always start from that point.13/n
OTP is often delayed (2 Min or more ). People have figured out that if you reboot the device OTP gets delivered fast. It works too. However, this hack is fine if you are making payment on desktop but if you reboot the device in the middle of the session transaction is lost.14/n
Solution? IDK. Send OTP as Class 0 pop up message / USSD message / Increase interval for the request to resend of OTP, Don’t disable previous OTP while sending new, Email/ WhatsApp.15/n
Solution? IDK. Increase interval for the request to resend of OTP, Don’t disable previous OTP while sending new, Send OTP as Class 0 pop up message / USSD message / Email/ WhatsApp.16/n
I compared page load speed of popular apps like Paytm, Google, Facebook on my phone vs a dozen other people’s phones. For a device with similar processing power under the same network conditions, page load was twice faster on my phone.17/n
People hate typing: They are happy with the voice to type on chats and Facebook etc. But when it comes to search in e-commerce suddenly the results are not good. Someone should analyze the CTR of the search result on Voice Vs Type input. 18/n
“Imported”,”Export Quality” are very effective words to use in the banner ad of a unbranded ,non-consumable product in mid-low price point. But for consumable products “Made in India” is what works. 19/n
👆the wisdom shared by the biggest retailer in Bikaner who packs and sells his white label stuff at a slight premium. 20/n
If you are running a horizontal marketplace and you are not happy with pageviews to Add to cart conversion stats. Please remove page views contributed by the lingerie and sleepwear category. Consider that category as a source of DAU, not ARPU. 21/n
QRCodes are under hyped. People are not comfortable typing URL but they are fine scanning QR code given on pamphlet. Shops/tuitions/ Beauticians/ /pharmacy Print QR code on the pamphlet, distribute them with Newspaper. People scan these QR Codes to save their numbers.22/n
@Paytm = All-Purpose QR Code Reader: Almost everyone knows that you can use Paytm to scan All QR Codes including Non-UPI / Non-Payment QR Codes. They also know that Phonepe and Google Pay don’t do it.24/n
Right now @Paytm QR scan is just a conduit for QR code destination URL but with some smart tweeks, this can be the biggest tool to divert traffic to paytm services. Surprisingly unlike other use cases, Whatsapp left this blank for paytm.25/n
Alan Zhang of WeChat was right when he said: “The entry point for PC internet is the search box. The entry point for mobile internet is the QR code.” 26/n
Surprisingly On big-ticket items ( anything above 2k) merchants prefer e-payment over POS.there is a brewing preference for Google Pay.On asking they said its because of high success rate and Bank to bank integration. Somehow Phonepay is missing all the action here 27/n
Whatsapp is a sleeping #dukaantech #kiranatech giant. The amount of order processing being done on WhatsApp is mind-blowing. What’s more surprising than that is how broken the whole experience is.28/n
Not a single one of the approx two dozen shop keepers I asked uses any of the Kirana apps. when I showed them the apps they said they still don’t want to.29/n
Their workflow is different. It consists of Galla -Bahi-Tally .30/n
“Galla”(Cash maintenance and handover when there is a shift change between father-son) -“Bahi” ( record of debt given to customer and payment made to the supplier ) -Tally( reported income. which is a fraction of real income.) They want to keep these 3 things separate.31/n

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