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.

Folding Shopping Cart Buyer’s Guide

June 28, 2018

Shopping

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How To Find The Right Cart For You With so many features and different types of folding shopping carts, it can sometimes be difficult to find just the right one for you and your unique needs. Personal folding carts are the latest trend among seniors, parents and even young adults. They have caught on big with members of all age groups because of the simplicity and convenience they bring to all your daily home and shopping tasks. This guide will provide an overview of the most important features to consider before purchasing your folding cart.

Folding Shopping Cart Features

New styles of folding carts come out every day with many features and conveniences to make life on the go a little easier. If you take away all the snap-on cup holders, purse pouches, and doggy seats (Yes, I am quite serious!), you are left with the most important features to compare when you are shopping: the wheels, the grip handles and the shopping baskets.

Wheels

Modern folding shopping carts typically have two wheel design styles. For the purposes of this guide, let us call the first one “Wheelie Design”. The Wheelie Design will often have a set of four, plastic or rubber wheels. The rear wheels will be larger than the front ones because they will be doing most of the work. A shopping cart with this type of wheels is designed to be “wheelied” or tilted back on its rear wheels for transit. The front wheels are mainly for support and do not turn or swivel like a typical metal grocery cart.

The second style of wheel design we shall dub “The Swiveler”. The swiveler design is quite similar to the ones you find at a local grocery store. However, the wheels on personal shopping carts are much lighter and easier to maneuver. Carts with this wheel design will have four rubber wheels: two static rear wheels and two front swiveling wheels. This wheel design enables a cart to be much more versatile and maneuverable. I strongly recommend this style of shopping cart to anyone with back problems or other ailments. Swiveling front wheels take the stress off your back and arms, giving you great comfort and mobility when using your folding cart. One of the best folding carts on the market with swiveling wheels is the Bag Buddy Collapsible Cart.

Grip Handles

Choosing a cart with the right style of handle to suit your needs is very important when purchasing your shopping carrier. The handle needs to be a comfortable, ergonomic design, preferably with a foam or rubber grip. Often times, those metal carts you find at your local grocery store have metal handles with a plastic strip bolted on top. This type of grip is not only uncomfortable, but cheaply made. When deciding which folding cart you should buy, you should definitely consider one made with a soft, slip-resistant material that holds up well for the life of your cart.

Another element to consider when choosing the right handle style is whether it is adjustable or not. Many folding shopping carts on the market today feature handles with an adjustable-height function. This useful feature allows you to customize the height of the handle to suit your preference. The ideal cart is one that can adapt to your specific needs. Finding one with an adjustable handle feature will do just that. A great example of a cart with both a comfortable grip, and a fully-adjustable handle is the Folding Canvas Cart.

Shopping Baskets

Last but certainly not least on the list of features to consider is the shopping basket. With many different capacities, materials and accessories to choose from, it is important to think about what you will be using your folding cart for. If you are going to be using it for grocery shopping, how much do you typically buy on a trip to the store? Does it rain a lot where you live? Will you be using your cart around the house for laundry or utility purposes?

The answers to these questions will help you better decide which style of shopping basket suits your needs best. Most folding carts have a load capacity ranging from 50 pounds all the way up to 250 pounds so it is important to consider what your average load size will be and find a cart that easily supports it.

Many carts come with either a built-in or optional waterproof, hooded carrier liner. If the weather where you live is anything like it is here (Florida), you will definitely want to make sure your cart has one of these. Not only does it protect your possessions from inclement weather, it can also be used as a machine-washable laundry or utility bag. For a cart with this handy feature, I recommend checking out the Jumbo Folding Cart.

There are many carts that even offer a built-in hooded liner. While this type of shopping basket may not be as versatile as a detachable shopping bag, it still provides great protection from wetness and it keeps any small or loose items secure inside your carrier. For a cart with this style of shopping basket, definitely check out the Versa Cart Transit Cart.

Ask Yourself the Right Questions

Folding shopping carts have so many uses and will prove to be an invaluable tool in your home and around town. Like any product you buy, make sure to ask yourself the right questions. This will ensure that the cart you choose fits your unique needs and can accomplish the tasks you desire with ease and comfort. Remember to think about how you will use your cart and how much you will need it to carry. It is these conclusions that will help you find your ideal shopping cart to make your days at home and out shopping easier and more pleasurable.

Design As a Strategic Advantage

Building A New Body Shop

June 28, 2018

Shopping

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The purpose of this article, and the subsequent follow ups I will be writing, is to share with our customers what we hope will be valuable information in not only starting but running a successful collision repair facility.

When someone decides they are going to start a business, it usually comes from the thought that “Hey…not only can I do that…but I can do it better than the other guy….AND I can make some money doing it.” As such, the entrepreneurial spirit in us kicks in. We put together a business plan, we weigh the options of cost/loss versus profit and we decide to roll the dice, as it were, because we know we can build a better mouse trap. It is this spirit that drives us all in business.

In starting a collision repair facility, there are essentially two schools of thought. The first being the “corporate” path where one looks to build large scale, borrowing heavily either from banks or investors to finance the designing, building, staffing and managing of a larger facility. The second, and far more common is the “mom and pop” approach. Now arguments can be made as to which one is better for the ROI of the investment, but I tend to believe that the smaller shop is a better investment, long term for the ownership. I recently spoke with a long-time customer of mine about his thoughts on a start up body shop. He had successfully expanded and maintained a very large facility over the past 20 years. His annual gross numbers are well above 2 million. When I asked him his opinion on a best case scenario for starting a body shop, I was surprised to hear that his views are very much like mine considering he chose the “corporate” method and it has done extremely well for him.

When my friend Robert went to the bank 8 years ago, he was asking to borrow about one million dollars to build his new shop. He was looking at increasing the size of his operation by over four times its current state. Expanding his operation from a 4200 square feet facility to a building well over 22,000 square feet was a mammoth undertaking. He rolled the dice, borrowed heavily and has since made a very good living for himself as well as his employees. Yet when asked if he would recommend doing the “corporate” start up, he said he would not and that the “mom & pop” approach was a much better decision for a new shop owner. As we discussed the issue over a few phone calls, these were some of the key points we agreed upon.

1. You should not start any business without a business plan and you will not borrow money from a bank for a new business without a business plan, period. My advice is to seek professional help on this. Look to the Small Business Administration to help you with establishing your plan. They have a large library of “how do I’s” for the small business starter. They can recommend advisors, give ideas about money management and in some case help you secure some funding sources to help in the startup process. Additionally, with the current economy having banks scared of lending money to anyone regardless of your credit score, borrowing history or cash flow, they can help you solidify your smaller business plan. Also getting a bank to lend you a smaller amount of money maybe a little easier if you have a well thought out and structured business plan as long as they feel comfortable with the amounts and the diligence you have put into the research of the plan. Be sure to include studies of the surrounding marketplace. How many other shops are in an immediate proximity to your proposed location? Is there sufficient egress to the property via main intersections or other businesses in the area that can generate potential “drive by” advertising for you? Do you plan to build or perhaps lease an existing building?

Have you made any contacts with potential clients such as rental companies, delivery companies, cab companies, or perhaps municipalities for bid work? Getting secured, contracted work will add bottom line receivables to your business that banks like to see. Be sure to approach suppliers and work out some soft numbers for discounts on parts and materials so you know your margins based on percentages. As you are looking for a location or perhaps looking to build, remember that you can always expand if the business calls for it. Avoid going into “building” debt and not being able to afford to install the necessary tools you need for opening day. Try not to over extend your business on Day 1 by over borrowing. Establish the track record with the lender by borrowing what you need to get your shop up and running and perhaps a small operating cushion. Sell them on the fact that you will be profitable quickly.

2. You will need to further decide how your business plan will be incorporated into a complete business model for your shop. A common misconception is that “bigger makes more money”. This can be true as we see in the larger consolidators. It means, however, as we are starting up more cost, higher risk and an inability, far too often, to survive. Start with what you know. Perhaps you are a good painter/body man. You have a good body man ready to come on board. Perhaps another fellow is a frame man. All you need is a small space, perhaps three bays, a small Chief rack and a paint booth to make it all happen. It is as simple as that. Start small and grow. Do not over commit unless you have something you can fall back on. In Robert’s case, he was maintaining his original shop while he expanded and built his new shop. As you establish your business, your customer base and your reputation, you will see opportunities to expand as your bottom line grows.

3. Pay “cash” as much as possible until you have established your cash flow patterns. Many shops I have talked to over the years get strangled in a cash flow net. It is easy to do regardless of the industry but in our collision repair industry, it happens more than most due to the nature of the business. Fronting repair costs of parts and labor, awaiting payment for past repairs, fleet accounts that pay on 30 or 60 notes or getting stuck with abandoned vehicles are only few of the problems shops face. These and many more lead to faster cash out and slower cash in. So do what you can to minimize credit exposure. Pay cash for parts when possible. Try not to give away profits by “financing” deductibles whenever you can. As you establish your profit margins, you could consider this as an alternate revenue source but I caution against it in a start up shop.

4. Try not to bog your shop down with “stall sitters” such as severe hits or restoration projects. If you have the physical space to store them or move them easily from the work areas, it isn’t a big deal but remember, we are looking at a small shop scenario. The longer a car sits on the frame rack or in a tear down stall waiting on another car to come out means higher turn time and less flow through your shop. Try to establish a quick fix mentality. “Hang and Paint” repairs, while considerably less dollar amounts, tend to be as high or higher profit percentage than heavy hits. The turn time for fender benders is obviously less and can lead to attracting clients such as rental companies or service companies that need their vehicles on the road. A faster turn time for repairs on a rental car equates to more money for the rental company. This can obviously lead to more work in volume from the rental company to your shop. So consider keeping a streamlined process to handle smaller hits more efficiently to be more profitable. I am not suggesting you turn work away but rather be a little selective on the scheduling if you can.

5. Work to make sure your customers are the top priority in your business. They are the reason you are here. Go the extra mile. Make them realize they came to your business for a reason. A business man I know is fond of saying “the difference in ordinary and extraordinary is the extra.” When you think about it, it is the extra things one does for the customer that offsets them from the competition. Taking care of your customer is the easiest way to secure another customer. Generations of family member continue to take their vehicles the same shop because they have an attachment to the repair facility by some means. If you can establish that type of relationship by taking care of the extras, you can grow your client base laterally without much cost. Remember, every job we do in a body shop is like a rolling billboard for the next potential customer. Friends know that “Joe Consumer” wrecked his car. When they ask, you clearly want “Joe” to tell them that every aspect of the repair process was handled professionally, quickly and without incident. Since on the average, drivers only come to need repairs done once every 7 years. That is a long stretch if you are not ambitiously going after more customers. You do this by taking care of the details, the extras.

While these steps might seem simplistically drawn out, they are the cornerstone to a thriving business. What needs to be understood is that there are a lot of moving parts to getting a shop open. These are more fundamental practices. In my next article, we are going to get more involved with the actual shop set up, discuss DRP relationship and how we go about marketing to the public for our new body shop.

The Wonderful World of Online Shopping

June 28, 2018

Shopping

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Online shopping is a very easy way to purchase products or different types of services via the internet. There are online catalogs and online shopping malls that allow you to sit in the comfort of your own home and shop for any goods that you need.

Benefits Of Shopping Online

1. You can browse several categories and find different items without having to leave the house

2. You can compare prices at many different online shopping malls

3. You can order as many items as you want to and not worry about carrying them to the car because they are shipped to you

4. The internet is available and open twenty four hours a day so you can shop whenever and for however long you please

5. There is no worry of standing in long lines and being in large crowds

Most online shops that are based in your country will have low shipping fees, but these fees will always apply. There may also be options for the type of shipping that can get your items to you within a day, up to two weeks.

The majority of online shopping sites follow the same pattern and guidelines. They are simple and easy steps, and help create a pleasant online shopping experience.

1. Select the category that you want to browse

2. Either choose a specific item within that category or select to view all

3. Once you find the product you want, you can add the item to your shopping cart

4. At the end you will be able to check out and continue shopping

Once all of your chosen items are in the shopping cart, there will be a total at the bottom with the amount of the sales tax. You will be allowed to remove things from your shopping cart as well as add more. Payment is usually done by debit or credit card with your information secured.

It is always a great idea to check for coupons that may be available at the online shopping malls. Make sure you check for the different prices of shipping and compare them with other places.

Online shopping is most popular around the holidays. If you do not want to be one in a crowd of people waiting in long lines, this is the most brilliant form of shopping. You can almost guarantee that prices online will be cheaper than the prices in the actual stores.

A lot of time, products are more commonly available online and not in the store. If this is the case, the online shopping mall will let you know that your certain product is only available for purchase online. Also, this shopping option allows you to save gas and time as well as the whole physical aspect of shopping!

Online shopping is fun for all ages, especially families with infants or small children, or families with elderly that cannot move around. You can shop at your convenience from within the comfort of your own home.

Royalty Universe is your convenient online shopping site that offers all information and assistance needed in the shopping process. Customers are able to give a feedback and email questions to the customer service.

The Convenience of Online Shopping, It’s Just a Click Away

June 28, 2018

Shopping

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In recent years, online retailers have seen remarkable growth and expansion. With so many people all over the world now using online retailers as an important way of acquiring goods and services, there appears to be no signs of this industry slowing down. There are a host of reasons why online shopping is so popular, however one of the main reasons is its convenience.

Below are a number of reasons why online shopping is so convenient:

1. What makes online shopping so convenient is that you can shop from the comfort of your home. When you shop at traditional ‘brick and mortar’ stores, one has to shower, put on suitable clothing, get in the car, drive to the store, and find a parking spot. With online shopping you just have to sit at the computer wearing whatever you want, turn the computer on, connect to the internet, and begin to shop. You don’t have to worry about your hair, makeup, and pushing your way through crowds of people. With a click of the mouse and your credit card, you have access to millions of products and services.

2. Online shopping is a time saver. Our lives have become much busier. With work and family, we have hardly anytime for ourselves. Online stores are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. You can shop anytime of the day and night and not have to worry about traditional store set shopping hours.

3. Driving to a mall or retail store, can be a long and frustrating experience. You have to deal with traffic, fuel expenses, parking, and carry all of your bags of items back to the car. With online shopping you don’t have to worry about transportation issues and high gas costs. As well, the items you purchase will be shipped directly to your home.

4. Shopping malls and retail stores only carry a limited and particular line of products. With online shopping, you have access to millions of items, especially normally hard to find items. You are sure to find exactly what you want which you may not typically find at a “brick and mortar’ store.

5. Online shopping is a definite time saver. Shopping at a mall can often take a whole day. When you shop online, you can get what you want quickly. As well, if you normally shop on the weekends, shopping online allows you to free up your weekend for fun and relaxing activities.

6. Shopping online will allow you to save a lot of money. Their are a variety of ways to save when you are shopping online such as taking advantage of electronic coupons, discounts, free shipping, and comparison shopping tools. You can also read customer reviews about products so you will know if you are getting great value for your money.

When you shop online, anything you want is just a mouse click away. The convenience of shopping online makes shopping easy and fun. Once you have finished shopping, you will wonder why you did not start online shopping sooner.