Where To Start with Options and More

July 2, 2018

Miscellaneous

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Natural Pain Relievers that are the Best.

For strong pains many people prefer to use strongest pharmaceutical painkillers. Very high is what the effectiveness of these drugs is. When they are used continuously the drugs can become very addictive. They also come along with high risks of many side effects. With the rise of many diseases currently people are going for more natural options. The pain killers that are gentle and safe is what they are looking for.

Its not an easy task however to find such drugs. Many people have thus embraced the treatment of diseases using herbs. They not only alleviate pain but they also address the underlying cause. To your health the herbs will tend to be beneficial. They also help in the healing of the nervous system.

One natural way to relieve pain off your body is through meditation. Faster healing is realized by the patients that are used to meditation. What takes place in meditation is changes in waves of the brain. Blood pressure, pulse as well as the body temperature also changes the moment you start to meditate. CBD oil is a component of cannabis that contains powerful medicinal properties. It does not contain the THC that is contained in the cannabis when it has been isolated as an oil and in its natural state. You will therefore not experience the high state which is present in cannabis.

A special instrument is used when suffering from chronic pain. It applies pressure and aggravate injury. This technique is known as the graston technique. It deals with the sources of pain when applied through the manual physical therapy with pains like the carpal tunnel syndrome. The stimulation of the immune system in repairing of the scar tissue present is what the tool does. What it does is like the reminding of the immune system that there is a tissue that needs to be repaired.

Another natural way of relieving pain off your body is to get more vitamin D. You experience less pain when you have the right amount of vitamin D in your body. Lower back pain patients are usually victims of deficient vitamin D. The best effective way of absorbing vitamin D in your body is just through standing in the sun. A manner that will be easily used in the body is how the vitamin is absorbed.

What the herbal pain relievers are is usually a mixer of many herbs. The different herbs are mixed by the biochemist depending on the contents each of them has. Posses great healing qualities is what they do. They are highly preferred mainly due to their effective way of aiding allergies and chemical sensitivity. Apart from just relieving pain, some of these herbs help to ease cold as well as symptoms of flu.

To achieve the best results some of the herbs used include window bark. Easing of joint paint is where it is mainly used. It also reduces fever as well as reducing pain in the body. Aspirin function s are similar to those that is performs.

The Beginners Guide To Marketing (Chapter 1)

July 2, 2018

Software

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Cloud Integration Platform As A Service

As a matter of fact, cloud integration platform as a service is actually a category of cloud computing service that is providing a platform which allows customers to develop, manage and run apps without the complexity of maintaining and building infrastructure that is usually associated with app development and launch.

This service could be delivered in a couple of ways either as private service like appliance or software inside the firewall or as software deployed on public infrastructure as a service or it may be a public cloud service from a certain provider in which the consumer has control of the software development with minimal configuration options and the provider offers networks, storage, servers, middleware, Operating System, database and several other services to host the application of the consumer.

The plus points of having cloud integration platform as a service is that, it enables higher level programming while it is significantly reducing complexity making the overall development of the app easier and more effective as it has built-in infrastructure. It may be useful too in situations which there are several developers who are working on single project involving parties who aren’t situated nearby.

But like in any other services, cloud integration platform as a service has its fair share of drawbacks like the fact that, developers might not use the full range of conventional tools. Being locked to using a certain platform is yet another possible demerit of such service.

As a matter of fact, there are various kinds of cloud platform as a service which include private, public and hybrid. These platforms was intended mainly for apps on public cloud service before getting expansion to include hybrid as well as private options.

In regards to cloud platform integration, it’s derived basically from SaaS or Software as a Service and it’s situated in cloud computing between infrastructure as a service and Saas. In reality, SaaS is a software program that’s hosted in cloud so it doesn’t take up much space from the computer’s hard drive or company’s server.

Moving over to private cloud integration platform as a service, this is downloadable and can be installed in public cloud or company’s onsite data center. As soon as the software is successful installed, the private cloud platform arranges the database components and apps into one hosting platform.

As for hybrid cloud integration platform as a service on the other hand, this is more on deployment that compose of both private and public deployments.

Try to know how each is different from the rest to know which one to get.

Online Shopping – Best Way to Shop and Save

June 28, 2018

Shopping

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We live in an era of style even in the busy and hectic life. At times, it becomes very difficult for most of people to go to market to shop. Keeping in view the growing demand of online shopping, entrepreneurs have created many shopping portals online that are very inspiring and profitable for the customers.

Online shopping is rapidly becoming the first choice of people in the world for modernized or traditional shopping. Gradually, online shopping is being accepted as the new and fashionable way of shopping. It is becoming popular because people have many other things to do in their busy life and shopping online saves time in numerous ways.

The process of shopping online has become very simple and easy. We have plenty of examples of sites that facilitate online shopping in the United Kingdom, where you can easily make purchases online with great offers and discounts. You can also find a directory of online shopping; which will help you to ensure safe access and security of your details. So you can shop online with great conviction. You can also easily get all the details about the range of products, services delivery, price, special offers and gifts, etc.

Online purchases are not only safer, but it is now easier than ever. Shopping online can be as easy as consumers wish it to be. Internet shopping can be full of fun, very easy and convenient. One advantage of shopping online is that one will be able to use the power of the internet to find the best deals available for items or services in the markets of the world. Search engines will help you to find high quality products in a simple and easy manner.

Another advantage of shopping online is one can also quickly find the offers of items or services with many different suppliers just by sitting at one place. Perhaps the best potential locations for shopping centers are available online. Online shopping is an online marketplace where numbers of stores of different brands provide their services under the same website for 24*7 that is made available everyday and every time of the year.

Shopping community generally refers to a group of buyers who are connected with each other online. They put forward their experience and information in the lengths of writings with the good and bad qualities of the goods that they have purchased. These comments and evaluations often help other buyers, especially those planning to purchase products via the Internet to make the right choice.

One of the main reasons that the consumers are not fine with shopping online is lack of awareness and knowledge about the quality of the products and retailers. While online retailers have a solid brand exposure to comfort the customers, which smaller retailers do not have. However, a major reason for the continuous growth in online shopping is due to the increasing confidence of customers in shopping the sites online. Other major factors are the wide selection of products that is available to customers online, the recent growth and efficiency of shipping companies dealing with Internet traffic, and growth of high-speed Internet.

While shopping online you can also send special gifts to your loved ones on special occasions, as there are online stores that provide the services to send gifts as well. Websites that are designed to send gifts online contain almost all types of gift items ranging from flowers to jewelry items, from chocolates to perfumes and games etc. that are designed for almost every type of special event in the life of the person.

Thus one can easily say that the online stores have brought a revolutionary and sensational change in today’s racing world with their great services and offerings. So do not waste your precious time in thinking about how to buy any product? Just go online and enjoy the facilities of the online store which will fulfill your desire with comfort and very conveniently. You will surely receive benefits in various online stores compared to shopping from the local markets.

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Benefits of Online Shopping You Need to Know

June 28, 2018

Shopping

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Online shopping is growing more popular every year with so many different people. There are many benefits to shopping online that you need to be aware of. Knowing these benefits will help you see why you need to start shop online if you are not already.

Here are the most important benefits that you need to know about so you can see why shopping on the internet makes a lot of sense for anyone, no matter where you live.

One: Saves time – When you shop online, you can do this from the comfort of your own home. You can also shop at any time of the day or night when you have the most time to do it.

By shopping on the internet, you will save time because there will be no driving to a store, dealing with noisy crowds or not being able to find what you are shopping for. Most people don’t have a lot of time for shopping and the internet allows you to do it whenever it is most convenient for you. Plus, there are easy to use search tools that prevent you from wasting time searching for a specific product.

Two: Saving money – When shopping on the internet, you will be able to find online discounts that will allow you to save money for whatever products you need. Many stores online offer discounts or rebates because they understand that saving money is important.

All you need to save money on the internet is to spend a little time shopping around and looking for the best deals possible.

Three: Shop around the world – There is no store offline that allows you to compare and purchase any product from around the world. You would have to visit the place where you wanted to shop by not shopping online and this can waste a lot of time and money. Shopping on the internet lets you get whatever product you want to find without any difficulty. It doesn’t matter if you want to purchase something from India, with the help of the internet you can easily do that. Shopping on the world wide web definitely gives you a ton more shopping options than you would be able to find in a local store near you.

Now that you know a few of the many benefits to online shopping, you can easily see why so many people all over the world are taking advantage of it. If you are not shopping online, then you are wasting a lot of time and money that you don’t need to. Start shopping on the internet and you will soon wonder why you ever shopped any other way.

Online Fashion Design For Beginners

Cycling Shop Online

June 28, 2018

Shopping

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Cycling is one of the many pastimes that are shared by the young and old alike. For those that do not what cycling is, cycling is simply a shorter and more appealing way to say bicycling.There are some people who like to just go for a nice ride every so often, but then there are the diehard cycling enthusiasts, who eat, sleep and breathe the sport. Whether you are a die-hard cyclist or simply like cycling every once in a while; you will still need cycling gear and equipment to make sure that your ride goes as smoothly as possible.

The best places to get this cycling gear and equipment is at but not only just physical evolved back when the Internet first became a marketplace for any vendor. An online cycling shop is a bit more convenient then a physical because you can shop for gear and equipment from the convenience and comfort of your very own home rather than having to travel to an actual shop that could end up being a good distance away. The only disadvantage is that you could not take your bike into an online cycling shop to have it fixed.

Online cycling shops will be loaded with all sorts of cycling gear, equipment, products and more; being online and such, the shop will most likely have a much wider variety of products that a physical online shop. Most online shops however, have a physical location with a website only so that they can reach a more diverse and larger population of consumers. built so that a purchase can be made safely and also conveniently; you find the product that you want and then all you got to do is pay for it. Most online cycling shops have payment methods implemented on the website that allow for checks, money orders, credit/debit cards and even PayPal; it all just depends on the particular online shop.

Obviously can be found in no other place, but on the Internet. There are probably thousands of cycling shops that have set up shop on the Internet because of the variety of people that can be reached online. To find any popular online cycling shops, simply open up your favorite search engine and type, “Online Cycling Shops,” into the search box and click “Search.” A list of different websites that involve those keywords will be brought up, giving a pretty beneficial list of shops. Browse around all the different shops that the search engine listed and find shop that caters to the exact needs that need to be addressed.

Cycling shops do have a distinct advantage over a traditional. For one, the online cycling shop will most likely carry a huge selection of different products for cycling enthusiasts and also offers the convenience of customers not having to leave the house to buy those products. The only disadvantage is the fact that there is usually no one there to offer help like at a physical cycling shop. All that’s left to do now is find a viable cycling shop online and get the products needed.

Transmission Repair Shop – Sneaky Tactics

June 28, 2018

Shopping

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I hate to say this but transmission repair shops employ some of the most dishonest practices in the automotive industry. They are able to get away with this for two reasons.

The first reason is for every 50 general automotive mechanic shops there are may be five transmission shops. So supply and demand naturally hires the prices these companies can charge. This is nothing new but some of these transmission companies get outrageous.

Second, unless you are a a specialist in this field you most likely know nothing about transmissions. Any technician can tell you anything and you have no verifiable way of double checking.

Here are some common scams in the transmission repair industry and some common mistakes that customers make:

We need a new transmission a shop will give usually give you two options. They can either install a brand-new transmission, which will cost a lot, or they can install a rebuilt transmission, which will still cost a lot but possibly be half the cost.

You have to understand the dangers in getting a rebuilt transmission. There is a good possibility that these will not be as good as a brand-new transmission or may not last as long. If you’re dealing with a reputable shop who has capable employees they can rebuild a long-lasting transmission.

They should also factor work up with some type of warranty. Do not get a rebuilt transmission without a decent warranty of some type. Make sure you get it in writing. There have been many shops who have sold customers rebuild transmissions and they failed within a matter of days or weeks.

Those same customers, of course being irate, came back to the shop only to find that that particular shop would not honor its “verbal” or “implied” guarantee. If you do however agree to a rebuilt transmission please do not come crying to the transmission repair shop when after the warranty you have problems again. He did go the cheapest route and you must understand that it comes with inherent risks.

Beware of transmission shops that have all sorts of low cost transmission maintenance services and specials to get in. Many of the automotive companies or what I like to call “commission fee based shops.” The shops pay their employees a small hourly wage but make it so they receive a percentage of their total gross sales.

Avoid these companies at all costs! These transmission repair shops have a system where they trick volumes of people every single day into their place of business with the lower at cheap rates and then convince them into buying services and parts they do not need.

This practice has become standard among many of the big box national chains and quite recently has been adopted by many of the small local ones. If you feel like you’re being pressured into buying something you feel you may not need, please, get a second opinion.

I have already touched a little upon the subject but I need to bring up the matter of warranties again. Every warranty and every guarantee needs to be in writing. Do not any transmission repair facility just tell you they back up all their work.

Do not just let them tell you you can bring your car back, and they will fix it for free, if within a couple weeks or months you experience the same problems they were supposed to fix. Every agreement should be in writing including all the terms and conditions.

And speaking of terms and conditions this brings us to the most common scam that most transmission repair facilities do. It is sad that many of these companies resort to what I’m about to say but all you have to do is look online and you will hear hundreds of horror stories.

You’re having transmission problems. You go to a local transmission repair shop and get an estimate. The parts and labor cost $1200. It seems fair see make arrangements to leave your vehicle with them for several days.

Within one day you get a call from the transmission shop. They proceed to tell you that the price is going to be more than what was on the estimate. The excuses are more numerous than the sands found on the beach. It could be any excuse from the parts costing more than expected to them not being aware of the certain problem when they first gave you the estimate.

So the result is that the price that was “$1200” is now “$3500.”

Now your typical person in this position has two options at this point. He can bite the bullet and pay the $3500, in effect paying $1800 more than what was agreed upon, or he can pick his car up.

Keep in mind that the cars is most likely already torn apart at this point. Here is where shops get even worse. In order for you to pick your car up the transmission shop is still going to charge you a fee for putting your car back together, storage, towing, and trust me they will find other miscellaneous charges to add upon that.

So you end up getting the work done, but in the process getting ripped off, or you’re left with the same broken car but you paid 500 bucks just to be able to pick it back up from a shop then attempted to screw you (and they did). It’s a no-win.

This is why you should only do business with reputable transmission repair shops. How do you know if the shop is reputable? In this day and age where honesty and honor are as common as black-and-white televisions you must do your homework.

Ask family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances for recommendations. The good transmission repair shops are out there. You just have to find them among the many bad ones.

Once you get a recommendation from someone you know look the shop up on the Better Business Bureau, local websites where people post reviews, and forums. Ask a transmission shop for customer references.

If they are in fact reputable they should be able to produce one or two happy customers you can talk to. A little due diligence goes a long way because once they have your car you are at their mercy.

Hopefully this article will have giving you insight about the tricks transmission repair shops employ to make a quick buck and hopefully you will be able to take this information and benefit from it.

Finding a decent transmission repair Tacoma WA [http://www.deanosautomotive.net/] company that will not ripe you off is hard. It has become more difficult in the last fifteen years, not just with people in Tacoma WA, but in all places of the US. The newer vehicles are so specialized and only a few transmission shops can work on them. These shops, due to in part the lack of competition in their field, have been able to do and charge whatever they want.

Shopping Centre Surveys For Tenant Mix and Planning

June 28, 2018

Shopping

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In this economy and the shopping centre property market, it is important to understand your customer and continually monitor their needs and requirements. Rent and leases need to be protected from the impact of the economy. Great retail properties do not just happen, they are shaped and built on to a plan.

The way to strengthen the shopping centre performance and underpin the rental is to optimise customer visitation and spending. When the rental for the property is underpinned by good levels of trade you have happy tenants. This is the fundamental focus that all Landlords, Shopping Centre Managers, and Leasing Managers should aspire to. Get the balance of rent and sales under control.

Today’s Economy and Retail Property

Given that the economy is under some pressure, this has real impact on the levels of sales that some tenants can achieve and some properties can create. In this market the tenant mix and stability for your shopping centre becomes more important than ever before.

This optimisation always comes down to the customer in every respect. Landlords and shopping centre managers in today’s economy must be ever vigilant to strengthen the property performance. Careful tenancy placement and customer interpretation is part of that process.

Without customers in a retail property today, nothing will work, regardless of how new and modern the property is. It is the experience and service that a property creates that brings customers back. Your property experience needs to be equal to or better than any other in the area. To do this you need to know what your property is trying to do and who it is trying to serve.

Customer Comfort

Any negatives that the customer sees or identifies in the property must be minimised. The customers that visit your shopping centre should ‘feel good’ regards the experience. You want them to come back often. The ‘feeling good factors’ about a property can be many things including:

1. Car park usage

2. Safety and security

3. Lighting

4. Ease of access

5. Public transport

6. Tenant mix offering

7. Presentation of the tenancies

8. Common area services and facilities

9. Price points

10. Entrances and thoroughfares

11. Demographics of the customer base

12. Special social areas and food courts to extend the visit.

13. Entertainment facilities.

Undertaking customer interviews on a regular basis is a sound and sure strategy to maintain awareness of the needs and the demographics of the customer. Customer surveys on a quarterly basis undertaken by a professional survey company, on different days of the week, will capture the sentiment of the customer. The results of the surveys can be integrated to your property business plan and budget. Regularity in the survey process is important so that you identify any changes as they start to impact on the property.

Sensitivity

In this market, landlords and shopping centre managers should be sensitive to any negative feedback which has commonality across the customer surveys. Look for common complaints and observations that customers give you, and then adjust your property quickly to minimise impact on the rental and sales.

Competition Properties

The performance of retail properties will be easily affected by any comparable properties and competing properties nearby. This means that the new development activity in the precinct should be monitored. You can do this by keeping in touch with the local planning officers and municipal offices.

This also means that existing competing properties should be monitored for their success and service in the same market. Discretion is the name of the game when visiting and assessing competing properties given that property performance is a sensitive topic. Do however visit the competing properties on a regular basis and on different days of the week.

Vacancy Factors

The vacancy factors in competing properties can have impact on your property, especially if that other property is offering attractive incentives for new tenants. In this retail property market, incentives are very active and will sway the thinking of any prospective tenant. The reality of incentives however, is that they are not free. Some tenants do understand that fact.

Any provided incentive is (or should be) amortised back into the lease deal, so it will be paid for by the relative tenant over the term of lease. Sometimes tenants simply see the incentive offering rather than the payback.

If you are competing with another shopping centre that has seemingly more attractive incentives, part of your negotiation strategy to derail their lease deal and incentive offering could include the reminding of the tenant as to how and why incentive is recovered. To prove this to the tenant you can do an NPV (Net present value) analysis of your lease offering over the term of the lease and then compare it to the other property. It is the value of the lease over the term that is more important than the initial lease incentive. The NPV analysis will help you prove that; numbers speak volumes when it comes to negotiation.

Customer Sentiment

To keep on top of the customer sentiment, the interview process that you undertake regards your property should be carefully formulated. Some of the questions below are worthwhile incorporating into your questionnaire that is to be used by the marketing survey company.

Any property survey that you undertake should cover the following areas:

  • Visiting Who? Find out what stores your customers are visiting and for what reasons. Stores that have relatively low sales volumes may actually attract shoppers to the centres and thereby contribute to the property success overall. It is not so much the sales volume you are concerned with, but rather the profitability and the offering between tenancies. When sales are up, then your main target is achieved.
  • Sales Figures? Any service tenants that do not report sales figures to the centre management (for example banks, professional services and public facilities) frequently draw large numbers of customers anyway. That has some benefit to you. The location of service tenants in your property needs to be considered carefully. In themselves, service tenants will generate a path of foot traffic from which the specialty tenancy mix can be optimised and positioned. Service tenants unfortunately do not normally pay the same elevated levels of rental that you will achieve from a specialty retail tenant. For this reason, the location and number of service tenants in the property should be carefully considered and balanced. You would not normally give your best property locations to a service type tenancy. They detract from the retail atmosphere you are trying to create and can start to turn your great retail property into an ‘office block’. Eventually that will mean lower rent.
  • Regularity of Visits? How often does the customer visit your property and on what days? It has been shown that over half of the customers at some shopping centres visit at least once a week. In such cases this provides an opportunity to increase the range of convenience retail tenants and services across the property. That will be tenancies such as fruit and veg, bakery, news agency, chemist, supermarket, and specialty butcher. In placing these tenancies, due care needs to be given to the ‘ant track’ of people within the property, so that each tenancy can complement each other and feed sales from and to each other. It is interesting to note that the clustering of tenancies is a preferred option today when it comes to tenancy mix. The customer does not like to travel extreme distances across properties simply to complete their shopping. This means that like related tenancies should be near each other. That strategy creates the volume of sales the shopping centre requires. Should the customer be made to walk a lengthy distance between tenancies, they soon develop a reluctance to spend extra money.
  • Time and Money Spent? It is important to understand how much time the customer will spend in the property on average and in each visit. Be aware that there is a significant difference between the male and female shopper in this regard. The male shopper will typically go to the property for a small amount of goods, browse around, and then leave quickly. The female shopper will typically go to the premises to purchase a larger number of goods as well as catching up with friends. The average female shopping centre customer spends about two to two and a half hours per visit. If you find the average visit is much shorter, consider adding elements to strengthen the overall shopping experience. This can be through including physical amenities, entertainment facilities and restaurants or fast-food tenants. The demographics of the local residential area surrounding your property will tell you what people want. Also be sensitive to special case visitations to your property such as tourism, and that which comes from the passing highway or freeways. Both of these will dictate shifts in your tenancy mix to serve this special type of customer and the reason they have visited your property.
  • Popular Stores? Find out how many and what stores the customers visit each time. Note that this may change on certain days of the week given that the payday for pensioners and business workers generates a shift in shopping patterns on those days of the week.
  • Single Visit Spend? Many shoppers enter only two or three stores on any single visit to a shopping centre. In such cases, consider accommodating larger tenant units or premises, which may be more effective than a greater number of small tenants in generating the sales that you and the tenants need.
  • Spending Pattern? The spending pattern for each tenancy type needs to be categorised. You also need to know an average spend that people undertake and in what categories. In many property situations, the turnover figures from the tenancies are gathered each month to compile a confidential survey for the property manager and or the landlord. This allows property performance to be monitored and decisions taken where a segment of retail shopping is underperforming or overperforming.
  • Genders in spending? Females will continue to make up the majority of the customer base for shopping centres, but males between ages 25 and 44 often spend substantially more per visit. If this is not the case in your property, a remerchandising program could concentrate on increasing the space allocated to menswear, sporting goods, electronics and other male-oriented categories.
  • Special Customer Groups? Other key customer groups whose spending should be respected are seniors and children, both of whom have significant spending potential, but may not be adequately served by the current tenant selection. Always concentrate your identified shopping groups within the property to cross sell between adjacent tenancies. For example, concentrate your shopping segments for groups such as male shoppers, female shoppers, children, entertainment, tourism, leisure, and food. This will help you will generate more vibrancy in the property. That can only mean more sales.

Ask About Improvements!

The future of property is perhaps even more important than the matters of today. An effective customer survey in a retail property should therefore ask about what specific stores and store types customers would shop at if they were added to the property and what improvements could increase their shopping enjoyment. You can also do a detailed probing for this market intelligence in informal focus groups.

As shopping centres mature and the demographics and shopping patterns change, shopping centre managers and leasing professionals must respond with remerchandising and expansion programs that better serve their markets. By using historic sales, the current space distribution and customer survey information creatively, owners and managers can increase the effectiveness of their leasing strategies.

John Highman is a prominent investment real estate speaker and coach that helps real estate agents and real estate brokers globally to improve their commercial real estate market share and performance. He himself is a successful real estate agent that has specialised in commercial, industrial, and retail real estate of all types for over 30+ years.

Find Great Deals by Shopping Online

June 28, 2018

Shopping

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Comparison online shopping has really caught on with those who want convenience, great bargain deals and hassle free shopping. Not surprising, really, because shopping online is bother- free on many counts. With Christmas round the corner, shopping for your favorite things must be high on you cards. However, shopping in a mall can mean jostling around in crowded malls with no elbowroom, struggling to find the right merchandize. Surging crowds greet you wherever you go. Add to that the need to visit different shops to look for a rip-off price. At the end of it all, imagine your frustration when reach a shop that advertized that great discount sale just a day ago, only to find a board shouting, “Sold Out”.

Comparison online shopping relieves you of the physical strain of traveling all the way to shopping malls. Online shopping offers a bargain buyer a handy tool to locate exciting deals. You may well find a website that is a single resource with links to all the major stores in the US. You can conveniently surf around to links of all the major stores located anywhere in the US or abroad, easily search for a product, get to know the product details, compare prices and even get great discounts.

Here is a summary of major advantages that comparison online shopping offer.

Convenience

For a shopper, convenience means ease of finding a product, having to spend less time shopping and lesser overall shopping effort. These are splendid benefits if you can get them. Shopping online offers all these and many more. Sitting in the comfort of your own home you can surf the internet and find the product of your choice, save on travelling, and thereby spend more quality time on your favorite hobby or with your loved ones. This is not all. Online shopping is open 24×7. You can shop at any time and from any location in the world. This is the biggest advantage of World Wide Web.

No Need Of Vendors

Comparison online shopping lessens the burden on human resources. Vendors are no longer required because consumers help themselves in choosing a product instead of asking for help from a staff. Moreover, there is no pressure to buy. One can spend as much time as one wants to figure out the best possible deals.

Wider Choice

Unlike in a retail shop, comparison online shopping offers a far greater choice of merchandize. Product websites even offers unbiased reviews from customers. Customer reviews are an important factor to weigh in before you buy because buyers are anxious about the quality of a product that has been newly introduced into the market.

All said and done online shopping has some cons too.

* You miss the fun of going out to buy your favorite things. When time hangs heavy you may yearn for an outdoor getaway; and shopping is simply fun to go out and meet people you know.
* You need access to computer and internet. Many who are not computer savvy prefer shopping the traditional way.
* Privacy is an issue with many. Some do not like to provide personal details on websites.
* Product quality is very often a grey area especially when you buy perfumes, apparels and electronic gadgets.

Yet, comparison online shopping has more pros than cons. Getting the best deal for air travel, hunting for discount tariffs on hotel rooms and purchasing branded goods are best done online. Future trends show that more consumers than ever before are likely to catch on with online shopping.

Shop Til You Drop in Los Angeles

June 28, 2018

Shopping

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Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the United States, and this sprawling, sweeping metropolis offers many different opportunities for vacationing visitors to have fun. Riding thrill rides in amusement parks, taking a boat to Catalina, surfing and people-watching on the beach, nightclubbing, mountain hiking and star-gazing in Hollywood are just a few. But people in the know realize that shopping in Los Angeles is also great fun. So much so, that in some ways shopping in this hub of entertainment almost seems like a sport.

Unlike the enclosed, traditional shopping malls of many American cities, most shopping venues in Los Angeles are actually outdoor affairs. In Los Angeles shopping is usually alfresco, making it ever so much more pleasant than the normal indoor variety. Many of this great city’s shopping areas even feature outdoor courtyards that permit food and drink, but they do double duty as rich hunting grounds for celebrity-watching.

Shopping in LA combines two activities that are popular with tourists on vacation: the thrill of the hunt for hard-to-find items coupled with the spectator sport of constantly keeping at least one eye peeled for celebrities. And just like the city, shopping is incredibly diverse. Whether you’re looking for expensive couture items or fine antiques, high-priced bling, kitschy souvenirs or other funky merchandise, there are at least a few places in LA that will have them up for sale.

But Los Angeles is such a huge city, where are tourists even to begin? In some ways the answer depends on what they want to buy. But no matter what they’re looking for, all shop-a-holics must at least stop in for a morning or afternoon at the ever-so-chic Rodeo Drive.

Even just hearing the name “Rodeo Drive” strikes a chord that resonates through any eager shopper’s heart and soul. Located in tony Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive fully deserves its reputation for expensive, sophisticated high fashion. Cartier, Gucci, Prada, Ferragamo, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana all entice celebrity fashionistas to spend huge amounts of money there every day. Whether you’re looking for a pair of high-end blue jeans, an exquisitely tailored suit, glamorous designer jewelry or stylish shoes, you’ll be sure to find it in one of the shops along Rodeo Drive. And who knows, maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of one of those celebrity fashionistas that haunt the place. Truth be told, Rodeo Drive is a unique shopping experience that’s almost unrivaled.

LA vacationers who are shoppers also visit West Hollywood in order to simultaneously shop and enjoy superlative pop culture experiences along Melrose Avenue and Melrose Place. Much like Rodeo Drive, the Melrose area showcases a large number of internationally-renowned designer boutiques. Carolina Herrera, Balenciaga or Oscar de la Renta, anyone? But unlike Rodeo Drive, Melrose also features an assortment of vintage shops for those more down-to-earth shoppers who like to focus on buying new-old items.

Robertson Boulevard may provide the best opportunity for combining possible celebrity-sighting with a fine bit of shopping. Tourists who would love to shop shoulder-to-shoulder with celebrities should consider making a trip to this shopping neighborhood.

The entertainment industry’s influences are scattered throughout LA, and the city’s shopping venues are no exception to this rule. Entertainment’s effects on the shopping scene can be seen in more ways than just the high-end shopping that is available in several of the city’s districts. LA offers a large assortment of recorded music stores as well as bookstores that specialize in works relating to film, television, theater and other performing arts. The Hollywood & Highland Mall complex is an energetic shopping and dining area that also tips its hat to the film industry. Conveniently located in Hollywood near the Walk of Fame, Hollywood & Highland connects to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre as well as the Kodak Theater, home of the Academy Awards.

If your shopping tastes run to the less expensive, shopping on Broadway in central LA offers the less-polished, less-posh, more reasonably-priced shopping that much of working-class LA enjoys. The merchandise there includes brand-name merchandise at bargain basement prices, but watch out for counterfeit or pirated goods.

As you can see, each shopping neighborhood has its own distinct reputation and personality. Some are chic and tony, others are hip and funky. And some are downright cheap. Los Angeles, surprisingly, even offers more conservative shopping areas, so whatever type of shopping “sport” you like, you’ll be able to shop til your drop during your Los Angeles vacation.

Future of Social Shopping – Key Trends and Opportunities

June 28, 2018

Shopping

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Chicago, 2010: Dan is looking to buy a decent home theater system to complement the new LED TV he purchased. Dan doesn’t know much about home theater systems so he logs on to Bestbuy.com where he has setup his online “Media Closet” which tracks all the gadgets and electronic devices he currently owns. Dan is able to find 18 “Audio Gurus” who also have an expertise on the products that are currently in his media closet. These gurus have been voted as the experts by the online community so Dan thinks that he can trust their recommendations. Dan invites one of the experts to view his “Online Media Closet” – which shows the information about the Blu Ray player, LED TV, a Netflix streaming device and a WII console that he would like to connect to the home theater system. The expert makes recommendation for two high end home theater systems that are currently on sale. Dan purchases one of the home theater systems and the Audio Guru receives affiliate points from Bestbuy for his help in the consultative selling.

New York, 2010: It is 11:30pm and Sally is looking to buy a new dress for the upcoming Christmas party. She logs on to Looklet.com, picks up a dress and matching shoes and saves the new look in her profile. She gets prompted by Looklet if she would like to get an opinion from her friends. Looklet displays all her online Facebook friends via Facebook connect . Sally sees that her best friends Nancy and Tina are still online and invites them to give an opinion on the new look. They are able to chat and view the products in real time. Both Nancy and Tina love the new dress but aren’t too crazy about the new shoes. Sally is able to find other “Fashion Experts” on Looklet who have favorited the same dress – and she is able to find better shoes based upon recommendations from those experts. Welcome to a new phenomenon in online retailing – “Social Shopping”. This term has been used more and more in the past few months to describe the future of online shopping. Although the above two examples are not yet real but several pieces of these concepts are already in action at several online retailers. Given all this hype around social shopping, I thought it would be good to talk about some of the practical examples where online retailers can start thinking about implementing some of these concepts on their platforms.

The Progression of Social Web

If we think about the progression of social web, it has significantly evolved over last few years. It started out “Relationship based” where people could just connect with others and stay in touch. Then it evolved into an open medium where the social platforms took the role of an operating system allowing third party applications to enable significantly richer social interactions among people . Now, it has evolved even further where all interactions are context based (think Facebook News Feed) where users only see information and conversations in the context they are interested in. The next logical step in this evolution is to allow sharing of products and services within the social context so that users can turn to their friends and trusted experts for advice on buying products. For those who think social shopping is just a fad, consider this-What makes a great product recommendation? Is it the number of strangers who recommend something or is it the person who recommends it that matters most? In other words, if you are asked to chose between a book on Amazon that is rated 5 stars by 10 strangers and another book highly recommended by a close friend who has very similar tastes and background as you – which book are you more likely to buy? If the answer is latter, then you believe in the power of social shopping. The only thing needed is a platform which helps you listen to your trusted friend’s and follower’s recommendations in a structured format. Facebook Connect is the first step that would make these interactions possible in a meaningful way. Still not convinced? Let’s hear what our friends from Nielson say –

“Recommendations by personal acquaintances and opinions posted by consumers online are the most trusted forms of advertising globally, according to the latest twice yearly Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey. The Nielsen survey, the largest of its kind, shows that nine in every ten Internet consumers worldwide (90 percent) trust recommendations from people they know, while seven in every ten (70 percent) trust consumer opinions posted online” OK – enough about general ideas and numbers. Let’s look at specific opportunities that are likely to shape up the social shopping landscape in the coming months and years:

Key Opportunities in Social Shopping

Opportunity 1: Product Discovery (Help me find a good product)

This is where most of the action is today. If you think about most of the social shopping sites today such as Kaboodle or Stylehive, they allow users to follow other experts and discover new products every day.

The key tools to make this concept are following:

  1. Product Experts – There needs to be a notion of unbiased product experts who have authority in various categories. These experts have ability to share products that others will discover. The key aspect is that these experts need to be recruited by the online community using some sort of unbiased reputation/ point system. This leads to my second point.
  2. Reputation Management – Experts earn reputation based upon the quality of their contributions to the online community. This needs to follow a democratic process where users vote for expert’s contribution and based upon pre-determined eligibility criteria, certain users are able to earn an “Expert” or “Guru” status in specific categories.
  3. Online Profile – Ability to know about the tastes, preferences and the products currently owned by an individual would allow platforms to better connect individuals with each other based upon their common interests. I think this is a critical step in a successful social shopping platform because it would make all shopping related interactions context sensitive. Imagine logging into Facebook and seeing News feeds from all Facebook users at the same time! Facebook has allowed users to customize the context around their own friends – similarly the social shopping sites should allow the users to customize the context around other “experts” and individuals who have common tastes.

Opportunity 2: Product Selection (Help me pick between the products that I like) This is the next step of the purchase process. Once the user has discovered a few products, they need to select which one would be the best match for them. Whether it is a dress or a pair of shoes or a gift for a co-worker, a lot of times people look at their trusted advisors or friends to select a product. Technology has now evolved such that social shopping platforms can now enable these interactions. Following are the key components that will act as the technology foundation of this aspect:

  1. Facebook Connect – In my mind, in the short history of social shopping, Facebook connect is the most powerful development that will help take the concept of social shopping to mainstream. For those who are not aware what Facebook connect is, it is a powerful set of APIs for developers that lets users bring their identity and connections everywhere

So what’s the big deal? Well, this would allow users to take their friends along with them for shopping. Shopping online, that is. With Facebook connect, the shopping platforms now have the capability to allow interactions across the 300 million users who are currently on Facebook. I have some examples later that illustrate the practical implementations of Facebook connect in a social shopping context.2. Google Wave

For those who don’t know what Google Wave is – it is a fairly recent technology development which is expected to change the way we communicate and collaborate with others.

Now you might think that this looks slick for email communication but what does it have to do with shopping. Well – given that the API is open for developers, the opportunities are endless. For example – an Outdoor apparel retailer could allow customers to connect with each other via Google Wave and share their pictures of favorite Ski Vacations, showcasing all the products purchased at the online retailer. The opportunities are endless – the key thing is that Google Wave is a revolutionary product that opens up new way of communication and collaboration which could be easily applied to social shopping to connect individuals with common tastes and interests.

So what are some of the retailers doing in the collaboration and product selection space? Here are some real life examples where the concept of social shopping is already advancing to the next level:

1. My Zappos: Users are able to add items to their closet, and can then invite their friends from Facebook or Twitter to help select the best product. After registering, you can get introduced to groups with similar interests, such as Zappos Golf, Zappos Beauty, etc. Consumers can create shopping lists of items they want, have or like. Friends can tell them what they think and/or suggest new “stuff” for them. In the past when you shopped online, it was a lonely experience. With My.Zappos, consumers can shop together and have their “best friends” give them feedback.

2. Jansport has done something similar where prospective customers invite friends from Facebook (using Facebook Connect) to shop with them; then share comments and ratings conveniently-without a need to leave Jansport.com. Shoppers are able to converse freely with those whose opinions matter the most: their friends and family. Purchase validation can be achieved without interruption.

3. Apparel retailer Charlotte Russe has also implemented a “Shop Together” concept. Users can invite their friends to simultaneously shop the latest styles. Friends can view, compare, chat about and create a “favorites’ list of items together. This allows online customers to share synchronized shopping sessions with friends and family.

4. Vans.com has taken the concept of social shopping to customizable products. Shoppers can now invite friends to help design their customized sneakers. The collaborative-shopping technology allows consumers building custom shoes online to chat with friends in real time about the product design. Click on a link saying, “Invite friends to design with you,” and access friends through AIM, e-mail or any other service a link can be sent through.

Assuming the friend is also at a computer, she can join a chat on the Vans site to give a thumbs up or down on the design, as well as make her own suggestions.

Opportunity 3: From Affiliate marketing to Social Marketing

The concept of Affiliate marketing has been quite successful for online retailers to drive sales to their portals. I think affiliate marketing will continue to be one of the important marketing channels – but we shouldn’t underestimate the potential of Word of mouth marketing that is possible at social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Out of 300 million users on Facebook, approximately half of them log in to their account every day – according to Facebook more than 6 billion minutes are spent on Facebook everyday. If these users are able to recommend products to their friends, resulting in a sale at an online retailer, this opens up a new marketing opportunity – some people call this social affiliate marketing. If the retailers are able to figure out an incentive structure to reward individuals who share products with their friends that eventually lead to a sale, the opportunities are limitless. Keep in mind there is a fine ethical line between sharing “authentic recommendations” with friends, vs. paying individuals to become social advertisers. In addition, FTC has issued guidelines (albeit vague) that would require users to disclose the association with a retailer if they are getting paid for driving sales. As marketers continue to over-do influencer outreach – trying to capture the attention of influencers like mom bloggers and food bloggers such that they authentically talk about products – we can expect to see some simpler and more direct solutions to transparently engage those influencers as affiliate marketers.

The benefit back to them is a percentage of sales – all very transparent, of course. The same concept could be applied to users on Facebook and Twitter. However, the incentives don’t always have to be monetary – they could also mean earning a better status/ reputation on the retailer’s online platform.

Although the scope of social shopping is fairly small today, the opportunities are significant. The opportunities are even greater for multi-channel retailers such as Target, Walmart and Sears in engaging the customers at stores and helping them connect with their online friends who can “virtually” shop with them in the store. I think it is time to start thinking about retailing in the context of people vs. products. At the end of the day, it is the social interactions and conversations that help drive a purchase decision. Therefore, the online retailers need to start thinking about opening up their platforms to allow people to have these types of two way interactions vs. focusing on one-way merchandising aspects of retailing.

Darpan Munjal has over 15 years of leadership experience with Fortune 100 companies in the retail and eCommerce industry. Darpan is currently the President of an eCommerce Consulting firm [http://www.leapmatrix.com] – LeapMatrix which focuses on helping startups as well as established businesses maximize opportunities in the internet and eCommerce space.

Prior to starting LeapMatrix, Darpan was the Chief Technology Officer (eCommerce) at Indiatimes where he had the overall technology and product management responsibility for eCommerce. Prior to joining Indiatimes in 2007, Darpan worked as a Divisional Vice President (eCommerce) at Sears Holdings (a $55 Billion retailer which ranks #3 in US). At Sears, Darpan led several key initiatives that helped in taking the eCommerce business at Sears to a leadership level within the retail industry.