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Imagine A Mall Without Any Stores: Will Online Shopping Make Retail Units Obsolete?

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The number of people who shop online is increasing year on year. In 2016, shoppers made 51 percent of purchases online, and this is a trend that has been developing and gathering speed over the course of the last five years. With Internet shopping on the rise, is it unquestionable to think of a mall without any stores? In years to come, will the idea of going shopping with friends or indulging in retail therapy involve gathering around a screen or discussing purchases and swapping photos on an instant messaging group?

The rise of Internet shopping

Research suggests that the popularity of online shopping is growing all the time. There are more sites out there, there’s more choice, and people are increasingly reliant on convenient ways of shopping. While there’s still a strong case for physical stores, especially during peak periods, like the holidays, there’s no getting away from the fact that more people are choosing to use the Internet rather than visiting a store. Trends show that it’s also not just a case of shopping on your favourite store’s website. Online-only shops are also beginning to dominate the market. According to data from the Office for National Statistics in the UK, businesses like Amazon and Asos are building their client base on a daily basis. In 2015, these online-only stores took almost 50 pence out of every pound spent online. This is a significant increase from 41 pence in 2014.

Online shopping is more accessible than ever before, and it’s available 24-hours a day, almost anywhere imaginable. In 2017, 96 percent of Americans shopped online. Although most purchases are still made offline, the gap between the web and physical stores is closing all the time.

What’s so good about online shopping?

Online shopping offers a range of benefits for consumers, especially those who don’t have the time or energy to hit the shops. With an Internet connection, you can browse, choose an item and pay in a matter of seconds. Time is of the essence for many shoppers. Although some enjoy moseying around the stores and trying things on, shopping is not everyone’s idea of fun, and online shopping can make the experience much less stressful and time-consuming. You can order what you want or need at the tap of a button from anywhere you like. You can shop in bed, on the train or while you’re sipping a cool drink on vacation. There are virtually no limits when it comes to online shopping due to advances in connectivity and the widespread availability of wifi networks and 4G. The Internet also makes shopping accessible to everyone. If you struggle to get out and about, you have health issues, or you don’t drive, getting the items you want doesn’t have to be a military operation. You no longer have to worry about getting public transport or asking for lifts. You can shop from the comfort of your own sofa.

Internet shopping is not just advantageous because it saves time and effort. You can also access a much wider range of goods online, and the web can also open you up to new shopping experiences. If you’ve ever used auction sites, for example, you may understand the thrill of winning the contest and securing a product at a bargain price. Online shopping gives you the chance to switch up the way you shop and find out more about different techniques and experiences offered by retailers. The rise in popularity of online shopping has also prompted retailers to work on their USP. There’s a huge amount of competition out there, and this benefits the customer. Companies are building on existing ideas and models to make them better. If you’re looking for an example, check out this article entitled Here’s How DealDash Is Revolutionizing The Online Auction Industry, and take note of the differences between these auctions and traditional pay to enter auctions. As a consumer, competition brings new opportunities and enhanced experiences, which you can’t enjoy when you trawl stores at a mall. There’s also the small matter of money. When you go shopping, it’s not always possible to see how much the items you want cost at different stores. With online shopping, you can compare prices in seconds. This means that it’s easier than ever to get more for your money.

Another advantage of online shopping is the ability to learn about products before you buy. In a store, you’re probably not going to have a load of reviews posted on the shelf below a TV, a laptop or a garden furniture set. If you’re online, you can read independent reviews and customer comments before you make a decision.

Are there any downsides?

Nothing is perfect, and if you surveyed a group of people about their online shopping experiences, there are bounds to be gripes and complaints in there somewhere. Perhaps the most significant difference between Internet shopping and traditional shopping is the inability to enjoy the experience of going into a shop, interacting with assistants, trying the products for size and taking advantage of that personal touch. The online experience is very different. It’s faster, it’s more clinical, and there’s always an element of risk involved. Some stores offer free returns to eliminate anxiety about what happens if a product isn’t suitable, but this isn’t a universal perk. There’s also a chance that you’ll end up receiving something that looks completely different to the product you thought you’d ordered. We’ve all seen hilarious examples of online shopping gone wrong in the papers, but this is the risk you run when you haven’t got a product in front of your very eyes.

flickr/usmarshalls

Although we laud online shopping for its convenience and speed, it can still be a more time-consuming process than going into a shop. If you want something straight away, buying in-store is almost always the best option. Even if same-day delivery is available, this is likely to come at a cost, and you’ll still have to wait hours rather than seconds or minutes.

So what does the future hold for the high street?

If you listen to broadcasts or read the news, it’s not uncommon for high street giants to report losses. The trouble is that it’s hard to ascertain the causes of slow sales. In the UK, some retail magnates are struggling, but is this purely the result of rising online retailers? It’s unlikely that the popularity of online shopping is the sole cause, especially as many of the companies that are hitting the headlines have a strong online presence. There are many factors at work, including political change and uncertainty, and some businesses are going through a period of adjustment to try and cater to new consumer trends.

The key to surviving in any business is being able to adapt to a changing environment. Time brings change, and in this case, retailers who are used to packed shop floors need to adjust to new ways of shopping. Many are stepping up their online game to attract new customers, but it also makes sense to try and make traditional forms of shopping more appealing. The aim is to enhance the experience so that customers enjoy the time they spend in-store. If they have fun, they’re impressed with the service and the shop looks the part, this is going to make them want to return and also encourage them to recommend that store to others. From installing DJs in a trendy clothing store on a Saturday afternoon to providing interactive displays featuring products on sale in a tech store, there’s a lot to be said for actually going into a shop still.

What factors affect your decisions?

When you think about shopping, what factors influence the decisions you make and ultimately, make the difference between shopping online or visiting a store? Do you prefer the personalised experience on offer in a shop or do you enjoy the speed and convenience of shopping from your living room? Sometimes, the type of products you buy makes a difference. You may feel much more comfortable ordering books, games or films online than you would a wedding dress, a state of the art TV or a new pair of shoes, for example. There’s also the question of time. If you’ve got spare time, perhaps you’d like to spend it perusing the shelves. If, on the other hand, you’re in a mad rush, you probably don’t want to contend with traffic, finding a parking space and waiting in line for the fitting room. There’s also the issue of accessibility. If you can walk to a store in five minutes, this is going to save you more time than it would to place an order and then wait for delivery. However, if you don’t drive, you work shifts, or you don’t live near a shopping centre, online shopping is a much more attractive proposition. Everyone is different, and there’s no right or wrong answer. Choose how to shop based on what you need, how much time you have and what kind of experience you’re looking for.

There’s no doubt that the Internet has changed the way we shop. With online shopping on the rise, it may seem likely that retail stores are doomed, but there’s every chance that many will adapt and adjust effectively. We may be fans of online shopping, but don’t write off your favourite high street stores just yet.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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When Things Spiral out of Control: When Do You Need to Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?

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No matter how careful you are on the road, accidents happen. In fact, the statistics say that over the course of a typical driver’s time spent on the road, they will have been in an average of 3 to 4 car crashes in their driving career.

Not all of these accidents will be major or result in injuries or more than minimal damage. And not every accident requires you to retain an attorney to help you handle the fallout after the dust settles.

So when do you know when to handle your accident on your own and when it is time to hire an attorney? Use these guidelines to help you make your decision.

When to Hire a Car Accident Attorney Immediately

There are times when you can put finding an attorney to help you on the back burner as a consideration, and times when you need to make it an as-soon-as-possible step on your to-do list.

  1. When liability is questioned – You will need to immediately seek an attorney if who is at fault is in question. If either party contests liability, it can be difficult to establish negligence on your own. Retaining an attorney who specializes in motor vehicle accidents can ensure that you avoid being claimed as the sole liable party when it was not your fault or the fault was in part the other party’s as well.
  2. When your insurance company doesn’t want to pay – Another situation in which you need to call an attorney quickly is when you have dealt with and been conned by your insurance company. It is in their best interest to pay you as little as possible for your claim, so it’s common for them to train their adjusters on how to minimize how much they have to pay out for claims.

One way they do this is by getting you to admit fault, at which time they can deny payment for valid expenses. If your insurance company has tried to get a statement from you and you have not done this yet, speak to an attorney first before talking to them. When you retain an attorney, they will deal with the insurance company for you and ensure that you receive the benefits that you are entitled to without a hassle.

  1. If you are injured in your accident – If you are injured in a car accident, as soon as you are able to, speak to an attorney. The extent of your injury at the time does not matter. You will need someone to advocate for you to be sure that your insurance company pays your claims correctly and your medical bills do not pile up on you.

Your insurance policy may have categories that you are not aware of but that you are entitled to coverage through. For instance, many car insurance policies will cover at least a portion of your rental car coverage if you have car damage. Some policies have coverage of lost wages if you are out of work due to a car accident injury. Your attorney will know what to look for and how to get you the most out of your policy.

  1. If a loved one was a victim of a wrongful death because of the accident. Serious injuries and fatalities are all too common in car accidents. When someone passes away as a direct result of the crash, it is called a wrongful death, and the immediate family members are entitled to seek out compensation against the party responsible for their loss.

Wrongful death claims can be complex cases involving multiple variables that need to be addressed as soon as possible. Witnesses will need to be interviewed before they begin to forget little details, the accident scene will need to be investigated before nature begins to cover up evidence, and other information will need to be secured.

For these, and other, reasons, it is crucial to hire an attorney immediately if there is a serious injury that could lead to long-term suffering or even death, or if there has already been a death because of the accident.

When You Can Try to Tackle the Accident Alone

As soon as you have been involved in a car accident and are able to physically do so, you will need to contact your insurance company. In some states, there are time limits for when you must have reported your claim or your insurance company can deny you your benefits, so do this quickly.

Once you report your accident, you may have to file a claim with the other party’s insurance to get your medical bills and lost wages covered, depending on if you are in a no-fault state or not.

This is a pretty straightforward process and your insurance adjuster will likely make it pretty simple for you to handle filing for your benefits. But once you have filed the claim, the insurance company will determine the value of your damage.

If your injuries are pretty mild and you don’t plan on seeking medical treatment, you can handle the case yourself at the beginning. However, if the insurance company denies the claim or it begins to become complicated, or your injuries get worse and you decide to obtain treatment, you may want to reconsider hiring an attorney to help you deal with the insurance company and get the benefits you are entitled to have with your state’s law and your insurance policy’s coverage.

Your Accident Determines Your Actions

Not every accident will be severe enough to result in damages and injuries, and that’s a great thing. But if you are injured in a car crash and you need help paying your bills and getting the benefits you are supposed to have, you are not alone, and you don’t have to handle the stress and paperwork on your own.

Don’t fight the big giants yourself – let an expert car accident attorney fight the battle for you while you concentrate on healing and getting back to your normal life.

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Putting a Number on It: 2 Ways to Calculate Damages in a Personal Injury Case

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Personal injury lawyer

flickr/injurylawyersanluisobispo

When a person is involved in a personal injury case, such as one related to a car crash, there are two primary categories of damages for which the injured person can make a claim. These include economic or special damages and non-economic/ general damages. Special damages are typically easy to calculate because the exact monetary value is known, while general damages include pain and suffering, which may be a little tricky in calculating a dollar amount for loss. Two methods of calculating damages in a personal injury case are the multiplier and per diem or daily rate method.

Multiplier

The multiplier method can be used to value your claim and cover special damages. Special damages can be assigned a specific monetary value and includes compensation for the expenses you incurred that stemmed from the accident that caused the injury. These damages can include medical bills, lost wages, loss of profits and operating revenue, medication cost, hospital stay and any “out of pocket” expenses. The multiplier method is commonly used to add up all the special damages. An accident lawyer can guide you in understanding how the multiplier method works.

With the multiplier method damages are calculated by taking the known damages or special damages figure, like medical bills and lost income (losses), and multiplying that dollar amount by a designated number that corresponds to the severity of the injury sustained. For instance, if your actual damages are $10,000, and 2 is the established multiplier, the total damages would be $20,000 — the actual loss/damages is $10,000 and $10,000 is the recovery amount. The multiplier is a number between 1.5 on the low spectrum and 4 or 5 on the high spectrum. The multiplier can be determined by several factors associated with the case, such as the severity of your injuries, projected recovery time, how your injuries affect your daily life, or whether the defendant was unequivocally at fault for the underlying accident that caused your injuries. Ultimately, the strength of your case will determine the multiplier. The multiplier will be greater the more severe the damages.

Per Diem/Daily Rate

The per diem method is another approach applied in calculating damages. This involves demanding a specific dollar amount for every single day you had to live with the pain and suffering of the injuries caused by the accident. The biggest challenge with this method is justifying the per diem used in the claim. You can use your daily earnings to ensure that your daily rate is reasonable, and in so doing, offer a daily rate justifiably comparable to the amount you earn in daily wages. For example, if you are involved in a rear end collision and suffered a whiplash that caused you to wear a neck brace for 120 days, and your daily earning is $140, you would multiply your $120 daily rate by 140 days of pain and suffering, and you would get $16, 800. When it comes to permanent or long-term injuries, the per diem method gets more complicated.

Personal injury cases can be simple or complicated. However, with the right lawyer, the process can be easier to maneuver. Two common ways to calculate damages include the multiplier method and per diem. It is possible to put a number on damages and gain recovery for the   injuries you have suffered.

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Knowledge means power

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Ever since the early ages, having the right information at the right moment has meant power, and only those who could work their way to get it, were able to enjoy that privilege. Today, the Internet has made a drastic change of things, spreading information throughout the world in a way that everyone who has access to a connected computer, can be easily informed of whatever is going on around the globe in a split-second. This fact has dramatically increased the capacity of every individual to choose and get the most from the information technology aimed for a better living.

Printed news

Recent research points out that back in the year 59 BC, in the city of Rome, a pasquinade was used to keep the citizens informed about the daily actions of the Republic. But it was only until the invention of Guttemberg’s press, that the daily newspapers known today, finally appeared by the end of the 15th century in the form of single printed pages. As time passed by, printed press grew with huge strength, and in the year of 1690, the first newspaper named Public Occurrences, was printed in America on the day of September 25th, by Richard Pierce and edited by Benjamin Harris. It had only three pages.

During the 19th century the newspaper evolved and spread thanks to Otto Mergenthaler who invented the Linotype machine, the first device capable of printing a complete set of lines of type for use in the printing press. Since then, newspapers widely spread around the world until recent years when they are starting to migrate to an online format.

You can download everyday any newspaper in PDF

After the rise of the digital era, newspapers were forced to find out new ways to reach people, actual technology trends have driven big changes in the way daily tasks are done, a mere example is the availability of Internet to mass population. By the year 2007 the number of Internet users was already more than 1 billion, creating a new global landscape for all companies, including those dedicated to daily news of course. The level of information available nowadays represents a summit for journalism, but on the other hand, no one seems to be interested any more on reading from paper.

Opportunities for journalists to report spectacular news have grown exponentially but written media has experienced an awful decline. Since the Internet was launched back in the 90s, many newspapers have been forced to redefine themselves. That is exactly what the most experienced and powerful news companies have done: re-inventing themselves. They have played a crucial role in society for about hundred years until now, and these changes are not going to affect to them.

Studies show that even when fewer newspapers roll off the presses, that nightly network news are currently seen by less than half the people that used to watch them every night, and that news magazines are no longer what they used to be a generation ago, the news industry has found resources to feed from in digital media. You can now download every day newspaper in PDF and keep on enjoying the same outstanding information from the Starledger that used to be delivered to your family’s doorstep during your younger days, on a more convenient digital format now!

Gain back your access to the real stuff!

The Internet has replaced television and radio when it comes to breaking news immediacy. On the web, you can easily gain access to blogs of all kinds that provide endless analysis and opinions on whatever trends or news are on fire today, newsletters from sources of all kinds, videos of all sorts and countless other ways of getting information but, only by tracking down your own steps back to what you have known all your life as real and professional, is how you will seriously be informed with real free opinions and outstanding armchair analysis about your true interests.

This is why traditional newspapers have migrated to the net and you can now download every day newspaper in pdf, and read comfortably the New York Times just the way you have always liked, peacefully at home, at the time of your preference with the total confidence that what you are reading is trustworthy.

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