#Asia Horntell helps businesses do away with apps and send actionable cards to customers instead


Actionable Cards is a pop-up that allows businesses to embed richer content in their apps and allows users to complete the intended action right inside the notification itself

horntell-690Mohit Mamoria started programming at the age of 11 and built his first startup while at college. By the time he turned 24, he founded three startups.

The long exposure to software development allowed Mamoria to observe certain patterns in the industry. During his research, he found out that digital businesses are struggling to provide a great UX to consumers. So he decided to make a bet on push notification.

Thus, he started Horntell, a notification-as-a-platform for online businesses, along with friend Prasang Sharma. Horntell was launched in February 2016 and is a product of Gurgaon-based Owlgrin Pvt Ltd.

What is Horntell?

notifications-vs-cardsHorntell — a combination of ‘horn’ (notify) and ‘tell’ (update) — allows businesses to send push notifications to users in the form of Actionable Cards across all devices. Actionable Cards is a pop-up which allows app publishers/businesses to embed richer content in them and allows users to complete the intended action right inside the notification itself. (See the video)

“Imagine this: you are on Flipkart.com to buy a pair of shoes, but the model you are looking for is out of stock. You click the ‘notify me’ button on the site. After a few days, you receive an Actionable Card on the arrival of your favourite brand. You click on the Card and you are done. Your order is placed, without you having to visit the e-commerce site or do multiple clicks,” says Sharma.

Horntell sits inside a publisher’s app. Whenever the publisher sends an Actionable Card to the user, it pops up on the user’s screen and allows him/her to finish the intended actions right there.

“Currently, digital businesses provide their services through websites and apps. Actionable Cards is a new medium for them to distribute services more effectively. We see Cards as a new UI for apps.”

Actionable Cards have the following characteristics:

i) Rich content: Unlike notifications, Actionable Cards allow you to embed richer content than just a simple sentence. You can embed quotes, lists, photos and videos in the card itself.

ii) Actions: Cards will never have a link in them and will always have some intended action embedded in it.

iii) Cross platform: Cards provide exact same experience on Android and websites.

Payment Flow“The most important feature is Payment Card that allows you to make sales from the notification itself. Payment Card allows the business to put required information like price, photo whether you allow cash-on-delivery option etc in the card. Upon receiving the Card, the user can initiate the action, choose a payment method, provide shipping address and complete the transaction – all within the notification itself,” Sharma explains.

As for the consumer, each actionable notification is complete in itself and thus he/she can complete the action with just a couple of clicks. “For instance, at the end of your phone’s billing cycle, you’ll receive an actionable notification which will also contain an option to make the payment right there. You can make the payments right on the actionable card with just two taps,” he elaborates. “The same is applicable to feedbacks, comments, replies, ratings, RSVPs, etc.”

While Horntell is free to use, Payment Card is currently available only to select partners such as TrulyMadly, Nearbuy, InnerChef and MakeMyTrip.

For now, Horntell is targeting three verticals: e-commerce, SaaS and mobile apps. It has already integrated with 425-plus businesses worldwide, mostly in the US and Europe. Its foreign clients include ProductHunt, Shopify, Basecamp, Github, Trello, Mailchimp, Stripe and Zapier.

Actionable Cards to replace mobile apps

“A few years from now, the shape and form of mobile apps will change; you won’t have to download each and every app to use them. Instead, you will collect Actionable Cards from various sources in a single feed. Cards will be able to provide full product experience that you might find inside an app.

While there are is a number of push notification tools in the market, such as PushEngage and PushCrew, none of them can be compared with Horntell, claims Sharma. Horntell requires the least amount of actionable steps, he says.

“Services like PushEngage allow businesses to push notifications to their users containing links to webpages. Here the user has to click on the notification, land on a webpage and carry out the intended action on that webpage. However, with Horntell in place, businesses can embed the intended action in the notification itself. This means, our conversion rate is much higher than other services as it removes the intermediary step of going to the publisher’s website/app.”

Å few months ago, Horntell raised angel funding to expand its team and scale the technology. “We are now looking to raise our Series A funding to the tune of US$4 million. We will use it to set up an office in the US,” he says.

The post Horntell helps businesses do away with apps and send actionable cards to customers instead appeared first on e27.

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