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Online Shopping

Studies show that we are buying more goods online than ever before, and the delivery industry has had to ramp up quickly to handle this retail increase. Figures recently released in the UK reveal that deliveries are up, but road haulage has actually become more efficient. What does this mean for consumers and for retail businesses – and what is the future of online shopping in Britain and across the world?

The growth of online shopping

65% of people living in the EU made at least one online purchase in the past year, according to Eurostat. It seems that online shopping has finally reached its tipping point, outperforming the high street by around 1%. A recent Wall Street Journal study revealed that 51% of purchases were made online – up from 48% in 2015. Almost half of those purchases (45%) came from mobile devices. Today’s consumer shops quickly, orders while they are on the go, and wants fingertip access to the products they purchase. This is not just a UK or European trend either – from the US to Australia and from Eastern Asia to central Africa, online shopping is growing throughout the world. The ability to shop anywhere in the world is changing trade for every nation.

What is pushing this increase in online shopping? Consumers interviewed in New York revealed their top choices for internet purchases:

  • Electronics
  • DVDs
  • Music
  • Clothing
  • Books

Convenience and direct deliveries are a big part of the appeal when buying online, along with flexible shopping hours. “I work long hours, and don’t always get chance to visit the store,” says NYC resident Marti Jackson. “When I get home I can find my favourite stores on my iPad, and browse items at my own pace without spending hours at the mall. They get delivered directly to me and I don’t have any hassle at all”

Cutting costs is another key reason for shopping online. Deals and discounts are extremely widespread, with hundreds of retail outlets shipping designer and high street goods to buyers around the world. Shoppers love a bargain and are always looking for great offers to save them some cash. This has led experts to predict that 1.6bn parcels ordered online will be shipped to UK consumers in 2016. “Around two thirds of all code requests at our site relate to physical products – consumer goods – and this is surely contributing to a rise in overall deliveries,” said Swapnil K., marketing analyst of VoucherBin.co.uk

The impact of increased online deliveries

Recent figures released by the Department for Transportation show that road deliveries increased by a huge 12% between 2014 and 2015. In the same period, online retail sales grew by 16.2%. International courier firm UPS recently reported a 10% profit growth as a direct result of online consumer purchases. As we buy more goods online, it has the knock on effect of sending more haulage vehicles on to the roads – and increasing pressure on an already growing industry. More road haulage means an increased environmental impact, rising costs for companies – and potentially, an increase in delivery costs. One might reasonably assume that our roads have got busier to compensate for all these increased deliveries.

In part, that is certainly true. Logistics companies report a 9% increase in HGV use over the past eighteen months. However, this leaves a 3% gap that did not previously exist. It seems that as the online retail industry grows, haulage companies are becoming more efficient and can handle deliveries more effectively. This is great news for the environment, for haulage companies – and for consumers as well. Delivery companies who can keep their own costs down can pass these savings on to online shoppers.

The future of online shopping

The benefits of online retail are varied and numerous. While some still prefer physical stores where they can test out products, shopping online keeps picking up fans. Many shoppers turn to the internet to get products they cannot find locally, while others choose this route for convenience and flexibility. Access to a wider range of brands, the chance to pick up deals and voucher codes and easy delivery of heavy or bulky items are all alternative reasons to choose the online route.

It doesn’t seem likely to slow down any time soon. Millennials are the main demographic influencing today’s retail market, and they have shown an overwhelming preference for mobile web services. This is pushing many online retailers into the mobile sales market, selling their products through dedicated mobile apps and shopping hubs. In this age group, price is the biggest influencer for any purchase decision. As online is the best way to compare prices and switch between retailers, it is also the best way to get you a great low price. Brands that want to stay ahead of the market need to keep offering cut price deals and ensure they have a great mobile app for their customers to use.

Of course, online shops need to step up their game if they want to keep competing for a decent share of the market. Studies show that 59% of consumers purchase less from a retailer that has a slow loading or hard to navigate website, and 57% will reject e-commerce sites that are not mobile compatible. Keeping up with changing technology is a key to harnessing the online sales market and achieving long term success as an internet brand.

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Showing Your Love For Healthcare Workers

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When you know and love a healthcare worker during this difficult time, you may be searching for ways that you can show you appreciation for the hard work that they do. Coming up with some great ideas can seem a little difficult, as many items are inaccessible and restrictions are closing shops and limiting travel. Luckily there are still many ways that you can show your love for the health care workers in your life, as there are several brilliant concepts which you can make the most of to put a smile on their face today. So, if you want to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best suggestions that you can utilise to show appreciation during this difficult period. 

Make Their Life A Little Easier 

One of the best things that you can do for a healthcare specialist that you know and love during this tough period is to attempt to make their life a little easier. Extra long shifts battling against this new virus can have a terrible effect on a person’s mental health, as well as sapping away all of their energy at the same time. This can mean that things like doing their grocery shopping and making meals are often the very last thing on their mind, opening up the perfect opportunity for you to get involved and lend a helping hand. Doing a big food shop that you can take to their home after work will be such an amazing gesture they will no doubt appreciate, whilst going an extra step further to actually cook up a delicious meal that they can enjoy after a long day can put such a huge smile on their face. Be sure to make the most of healthy ingredients including lots of fresh fruit and veg, as they must look after their immune system to stay strong throughout. 

Little Extras 

There are several different little extras that you may want to invest in to show your health care loved ones a bit of appreciation, and you can get these items delivered straight to their home so that you needn’t bother trying to work around social distancing measures to drop off their present yourself. For example, something like a heart badge reel that they can add to their uniform can be a great pick-me-up that they can look down at for a little motivation during their long shifts at work! It’s also a great idea to find some self care activities that they can indulge in, such as a luxurious face mask or bubble bath that they can utilise to get some down time at the end of the day.

Showing your love for the healthcare workers in your life needn’t be as difficult as you might think when you can make the most of the top tips and tricks detailed above! Whether you decide to help them get their grocery shopping, cook a nutritious meal or simple invest in a few little gifts to put a smile on their face – every little helps!

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3 Steps to Becoming a Better Person

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We only get one life so it’s important to live it well, make the most of things and seize opportunities that come your way. If you’re hoping to make the most of your time on earth, here are just three ways you can go about it. 

Be more understanding

We all want to be the best person we can be, and a big part of that is relating to and getting on with other people. But it’s not always in the way we think, we don’t need to make grand gestures, we don’t need to be able to give therapist level advice or be a perfect friend in every sense. The main thing we need to do is be empathetic and understanding- be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It can be easy to be irritated, annoyed or upset if a friend lets you down, cancels plans or does something else undesirable but when you’re understanding you’re able to empathise about why this might be. Maybe they’re busy, have other priorities (as we all do) or double booked themselves. We’re able to cut ourselves slack as we know that we’re only human, do others the same justice. Being understanding doesn’t mean being a doormat and being walked over, you do still need to know when someone is taking advantage. But for the most part, the people in your life won’t be purposely trying to upset you, be more understanding and it’s easy to realise this. 

Find your own spiritual path

Having beliefs in something that matters to you can be a great way to live your life, it seems counterproductive but realising how small you are on this planet and as part of the greater universe can feel reassuring. It means that your problems are also small and often irrelevant, and as a result can help you to just get out there and live your best life. Being spiritual and having beliefs doesn’t have to mean being religious, there are many reasons you might be put off from traditional religion. While it helps many, there’s no denying that it’s also a cause of many wars, there are numerous church abuse lawsuits that have been filed across the globe and to some, it simply doesn’t fit their beliefs. But don’t write off finding greater meaning altogether, find your own spiritual path. This could be anything from numerology to deep meditation to trusting in the universe and it’s signals. Do some research and find a path that suits you. 

Find a good work/ life balance

Work is important, not only does it give your life purpose but it allows you to earn the money you need to have the lifestyle you want outside of work. Most of us have no choice but to work, but it’s easy to go overboard with it. Maybe you’re passionate about your job or are just a bit of a workaholic, take a step back. Find the balance between work and life such as travel, family, pets and hobbies. You’ll be much happier for it.

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Preventing Mould: Use These Simple Tips

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Maintaining a healthy and happy working environment is perhaps the most important thing we can do as homeowners. When buying a house, it becomes our responsibility to ensure that the space is kept clean and hygienic to keep us healthy throughout our lives.

One of the biggest health risks in the home is mould, and this can spread throughout the home quicker than wildfire without you even realising. Breathing in mould spores is bad for your respiratory system and it can cause a whole load of health issues if not fixed. That’s why today we are taking a look at how to prevent mould in the house once and for all. Use these easy tips to keep mould away from your home this year.

1. Know your weak spots

Every house will have its own weak spots and areas that are more susceptible to mould than others. Take a look around your house and see what weak spots you can uncover. Do you have a basement? If so, is it prone to flooding? The installation of a sump pump with liquid level sensors to keep water controlled might be helpful. Do the windows often accumulate a lot of condensation? If so, think about wiping them with a cloth and a squeegee regularly. Consider where the worst spots for mould are in the house and you should be able to find ways to fix them.

2. Getting drying

If you are looking to create the ideal environment for mould to grow, keep everything moist and wet. Mould spores thrive in humid conditions so if your house is often wet in places and hot, you need to remedy this right away. Get yourself a dehumidifier to clear the air and wipe all wet areas to make sure they are as dry as possible. If you do this every day you will prevent mould being able to make a home in your home.

3. Ventilate the house

It’s a delicate balance when looking at insulation versus ventilation, to know which one is more important. They are both equally important for different reasons, and if you have gone a bit over the top with insulation, this could be a solid reason why you have mould in the house. Air needs to be able to flow through the house to keep it dry, and if you don’t have airflow, your home will become humid and attract mould.

4. Seal cracks

Even the smallest cracks in your walls or ceilings can be a breeding ground for mould, and if you don’t seal up cracks you’ll run the risk of letting water into the home and therefore mould too. Seal up any small cracks and chips in your walls and this will make a big difference.

5. Clean the gutters

One way for mould to creep into the home is from above, and when water seeps into the foundation of your home the mould will follow. Cleaning your gutters will ensure that water doesn’t build up and end up seeping into the home without you realising. 

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