“Companies who form strong user habits enjoy several benefits to their bottom line.” - Nir Eyal, Author of Hooked
I recently had a fascination to learn about growth hacking and it's best techniques that make or break startups every day. So I picked up a book quite casually just to have a light read. It was Hooked by Nir Eyal. I guess, all aspiring startups to budding entrepreneurs might have gone through the book at least once or may have heard of it. But it was completely like “quantum mechanics” to me when my CEO asked me to read it at least once.
He was after me to borrow the book from him just with one note - ‘it will change the way you work.” Guess what, with no intention to read something I feel like Hebrew, suddenly made me feel good. Nir is damn smart in explaining tit-n-bits on growth hacking, and he is the best writer ever, who kept me ‘hooked’ to the last page of the book. And I really got some crazy growth hacking ideas to keep going further and generate a big share of interest in GH.
The startups I met in the last few years were always eager to know the possible ways to growth hack. They had their startup goals on the table, and all they want to know was the right steps, to steer clear their misconceptions.
I have learned some growth hacking tactics in a few workshops, but a valuable note which Nir’s book made me acquainted with is - “connect a solution to the user’s problem.” That’s what the startups need to know before they launch a product in the market.They need to know the right trigger that will help them to grow a brand.
Some Indian Startups-turned-Superbrands have rightly triggered their solutions to the customers just as Nir said. What are those growth hacking techniques that worked for these companies? I have three of the great techniques clubbed in my article, which I learned from Flipkart, Ola Cabs and Paytm. Wanna take the ride?
Ola Cabs did some splendid job so far, since their launch in 2010. They have not just skyrocketed their growth, but they have set some of the best growth hacking examples. With the use of power and technology, they leveraged outstanding results and changed the cab services in India.
This UberX services running in India is a tough compete to Uber itself. They facilitate customers with easy online bookings and quick confirmations. (They knew that Indian cab hiree loves instant things just like instant coffee, wink!) They used advanced technologies to have full information on the car booked. The brand has won over customer’s trust with cheap rates, booking offers, discounts during high traffic jams.
They worked staying close to the locals and moved with the market demands. For example, during the Chennai flood, they floated boats instead of cabs to engage and retain more user base. And even gave a try to odd-even trials in Delhi with Ola Share. These are some of the best growth hacks from Ola.
One will love the way Paytm has fulfilled the basic necessity of their customers with the payment integration modes. Ideally, it was launched to do mobile recharges which is a daily basic need for all of us. Most people have prepaid mobiles, so getting a recharge done with few clicks, without going to a store, worked astoundingly. For every recharge, the mobile shop guy used to seek 2% to 4 % of commission, it's the same with Paytm. The difference is, Paytm has a large number of transactions so they get a higher commission, unlike the mobile recharge guy.
Next what they enabled was online bill payment. They knew that no customers like to stand in the queue, so they made paying bills easier. Whether it was DTH or Loan EMI, Insurance Premiums or Municipality Bills all could be done via Paytm.
Another hack that worked for them to attract more customers was to provide cashback offers on every bill payment. With the launch of the Paytm app, the company grabbed the millennials as well.
A recent integration of online movie ticket purchase gave a good blow to Paytm’s competitor BookMyShow. As movie ticket came with cashback of Rs.100-200 every time at Paytm, which BMS hardly ever offered. And major growth hacking idea that Paytm launched after demonetization in November 2016 was “ATM Nahi #Paytmkaro.”. They are allowing customers to make all kinds of payments, do shopping and transfer money with or without the internet.
My listicle won’t be completed if I don’t include Flipkart, the Indian Startup that has given some of the best growth hacks till date. There are many growth hacking ideas that Flipkart has been using since their launch in 2007 - an online bookseller turned ecommerce giant of India.
What are their best growth hacking techniques? Well, I will say that in this span of 11 years Flipkart’s best growth hacking technique was their Return Policies, which they advertised comprehensively. The firm allows the user to return any products if they are unsatisfied within a period of 30 days. (Ask for the same in a normal brick and mortar shop, they just give you a max of 7 days to return, huh!)
And the major growth hack that puts all online marketing activities at stake is the hugely advertised #BigBillionDays offer. They launch it every year before the festive season. It brings traffic to them that justifies the total cost spent on the ad. Reaching out to more customers, win their hearts, and trust, especially during the festive season, might not have worked better. Recently, Amazon and Snapdeal used a similar concept #GreatIndianShopping and #UnboxZindagi to trigger traffic to their site as well.
In the recent days, Flipkart Assured, that allows the customers to stay confident about the product they receive is also a great growth hack. In this the product is double checked, 100% quality assured and then given to the customers. This surely bowled all other growth hacking tactics.
I think these three musketeers on Indian startup arena has laid down some great growth hacking path for the future startups. If you are launching a startup, I think you might be reading a lot of stuff to remove all the misconception and deliver the best. You might be idolizing some great startups to make things work for you.
If you have not yet stepped in, then it’s high time to get into the growth hacking mode and cast a spell on your business.
Do you know more such Indian startups who served some great growth hacking goals in the recent days? Is there someone whom you idolize? Do share their stories with me in the comment box.