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According to the latest research, online shopping has grown astronomically since 2015, with estimates suggesting that by 2018, the four biggest markets (the UK, US, China, and Germany) will have a combined worth of £645 billion. 

online shopping

This means that they will have nearly doubled in size in just three years, primarily due to increasing consumer reliance on buying through the internet.   

The Numbers

When research was first conducted in 2015, it was found that British shoppers spent £1 in every £5 of their shopping on internet purchases, as part of the ever burgeoning ‘online revolution’.

Retailers quickly picked up on this trend, realising that it opened up a vast overseas market for them to expand into, with ventures like ASOS launching websites in countries across the world, and couriering companies like Parcel2Go offering an ever-expanding array of international delivery options.

This, combined with the increasing move to smartphone shopping, led to a huge surge in investment in digital operations, keeping online sales in the UK, US, Germany, and China on track to grow by £320 billion in just three years – to a whopping £645 billion.

An International Trend

When the study in question was conducted in 2015, 59 percent of online sales in the UK were processed through smartphones or tablets. Figures in the US and Germany were also high, at 45 percent and 24 percent respectively.

Since this time, these numbers have only increased, with purchasers not only buying domestically, but also from abroad. In fact, Chinese shoppers purchase products from British retailers as frequently as Brits, whilst our home-grown brands are incredibly popular in Germany, the US, and China too. 

When these overseas shopping aficionadas spend, they spend more than our bargain-obsessed domestic buyers: 2.7 times more and 1.7 times more respectively for Chinese and German purchasers.  

According to expert Anita Balchandani: “The study has shown that UK retailers are some of the world’s most popular, and are in a strong position to seize more opportunities abroad.”

Google sales director Martijm Bertisen added: “The number of people with internet access is growing fast, with many new consumers skipping the desktop phase entirely and only experiencing the web through a smartphone.  

“Our study shows that this is increasingly translating into mobile transactions and that a mobile-first or even mobile-only strategy is now imperative to international success in retail.”

The takeaway from this is a simple one: in order for Britain’s businesses to survive and thrive, they need to not only be utilising the internet, but harvesting an international audience to help push up their profit margins and increase their global popularity.

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

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What Is Cryptocurrency And Why Is It So Volatile?

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Cryptocurrency has recently made headlines, exploding into the spotlight with the same relentless intensity that characterises its value and demand.

However, as they become more mainstream, they may become confusing. It’s money, but there’s no bank looking after it or controlling it; it’s an asset, but it’s not backed up by anything tangible.

Here is a brief overview of cryptocurrency and a quick look at why it is so volatile.

What is it?

In a nutshell, it is the digital equivalent of money. It is designed to function in almost the same way: users have wallets in which they can keep money, which is used to symbolize value in the economy and can be exchanged for goods or services with others.

Cryptocurrency, like much money in today’s traditional banking system, does not exist tangibly; instead, it is recorded as figures in a database that signify how much of a particular cryptocurrency a certain person has.

However, in contrast to today’s banking system, is decentralised. Rather, it is recorded in the blockchain, which is distributed throughout the network and records transactions in a transparent and verifiable manner that belongs to no one individual or organization in particular.

The first of them was bitcoin, which was developed in 2009 by an unknown individual known only as Satoshi Nakamoto. Since then, a slew of new cryptocurrencies has sprouted up. These include ethereum and dogecoin. It is interesting to look into the background of these, and ask yourself who created Dogecoin?

Why are there so many?

A cryptocurrency can hypothetically be created by anyone; at their foundation, they are just software, therefore anyone can create one. There is no authoritative body that decides what is and isn’t a cryptocurrency.

As a result, dozens of new cryptocurrencies, known as altcoins, have emerged. Some of them have grown into consistent performers, leading to predictions that they could turn bitcoin on its head and become the most valuable cryptocurrency.

Some of these altcoins aim to provide innovative answers to problems that exist with large players like bitcoin, such as making transactions easier or more efficient. Others, such as Dogecoin, which originated as a joke, are developed solely as alternatives.

They sometimes move in sync, with the entire cryptocurrency market fluctuating in response to certain pieces of news. However, traders occasionally switch between currencies, as when the price of dogecoin soared thanks to the support of figures such as Elon Musk.

What makes cryptocurrency so volatile?

Unlike traditional financial assets like stocks and commodities, cryptocurrencies are not valued in terms of what they can be used for; in theory, they are a bet on a company’s future profits or the usefulness of a given material, but cryptocurrencies are primarily a bet on how interested people are in them.

Cryptocurrencies, unlike traditional fiat currencies, do not have a central bank entrusted with employing monetary policy to keep their value from fluctuating too much.

As a result, the value of cryptocurrencies varies dramatically, frequently and without warning, and without always being linked to evident world events.

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Marketing Practices That Could Remain After The Pandemic

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The global pandemic has changed businesses in many ways, and marketing, in particular, has seen a lot of developments over the last year. Businesses have had to adapt to digital practices quickly, which has changed the way they promote their activities. It has also changed consumer behavior, meaning tactics need to change to reach them in new and innovative ways.

While businesses are beginning to revert to some sort of normality, there are some practices that will continue even after the pandemic is over. Discover some of the marketing practices that could be here to stay.

A greater focus on retaining existing customers

The global pandemic has had a huge impact on people’s shopping behaviors. It’s no secret that brand loyalty has been in decline over the years, largely due to consumers’ preference for convenience – especially in the digital age. But the pandemic has made this even more apparent, with many consumers switching brands as a result of supply chain issues and more. For businesses, putting your energy into retaining your existing customers could yield better results than trying to win over existing customers. 

The resurgence of the QR code

Just over a year ago, people might have turned their nose up at the idea of using a QR code in a marketing campaign. Did people know what they were? What did they achieve? Well, thanks to the pandemic, QR codes have had something of a resurgence. Exploring QR code APIs can help you work out how they can be used in your marketing campaigns effectively to bring the best results for your business. QR codes are capable of generating some great data, helping you measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

Localized marketing

The pandemic has shifted a lot of people away from busy cities and urban areas, and into more rural neighborhoods. This has meant that businesses are having to change their marketing tactics to provide a more personalized, local feel that better aligns with changing behaviors. People are choosing to shop locally and choose local-based businesses, and you’ll need to think carefully about how you can form better engagement with those audiences to help spread the word about your business.

Bigger budgets for social media advertising

With people spending more time at home, they are more active online watching box sets, shopping, gaming and more. This means they might be less likely to see more traditional advertising such as billboards and subway signs. Social media advertising can help you reach those audiences, providing a great ROI compared to other forms of advertising. Ensuring social media is a firm part of your marketing strategy can help you reach your audiences where they are, and even save money compared to your spend on more traditional advertising. 
Change is nothing new for the marketing world. The pandemic has seen some major developments, and as we enter the ‘new normal,’ it will be interesting to see what comes next. Staying up to date on current marketing trends can keep your business relevant, and help secure the best results for your business – no matter what’s happening in the rest of the world.

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Subsale Market an Attractive Prospect for Investors in Malaysia

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Investors were responsible for 81.1 per cent of residential property purchases in the Klang Valley area last year.

Many of these investors were putting their money into subsale properties, and according to Joe Jock Thor from MyProperty MD, the market for subsale residential properties has experienced steady growth in the past few years, but it has seen a real upswing in recent months due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has put the focus squarely on the secondary real estate market as real estate owners move to maintain their financial liquidity by lowering prices. This means investors are free to swoop in and pick up assets at a fraction of the cost, increasing their potential value once they go back on the market.

Another key factor in the spike is the Real Property Gains Tax exemption, which has prompted some investors to turn their assets into cash and, by doing so, make a healthy profit.

In fact, subsale properties were so popular that listings increased by more than twenty percent between 2019 and 2021, although this will only go a small way to making up for 2020’s economic downturn and the resulting fall of 47.2 percent in the number of residential property sales in the Klang Valley.

If you would like to know more about the subsale market in Malaysia, you can find a lot of good information about subsale real estate, and how to buy it, by checking out this infographic on the Malaysian real estate market:


Infographic designed by: PropertyGuru Largest Property Portal in Malaysia
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