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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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How To Take Your Website To The Next Level

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website seo

As a business owner, you are going to be more than familiar with all of the things that you need to keep on top of that help your business see constant growth. However, while you may have a huge list of things that you have to manage, your website probably falls at the bottom of your priorities.

Today, we are going to be taking a look at why your website is so important, how to keep an eye on things and then we are going to see what you can do to really improve things and make your website stand out.

Why Your Website Is Important

While when you first started your business, your website may have been nothing more than simply advertising your company, you should now realise that your website does far more than that.

Today, your website is your storefront and represents everything you do and stand for as a company. Your website should be designed in such a way that it shows any visitor to your website what you do and what you can offer, more than this, it will be able to convey this message quickly.

When it comes to managing your website, you should be looking at the activity of your visitors and taking notice of as many of your metrics as you can. By doing this, you will then be able to really push your website and create something amazing.

Make It User-Friendly

If there is one mistake a lot of people make when it comes to designing a website, it’s usually that it becomes far too complicated and eventually this will put visitors off. While a complex website may look amazing when somebody goes to a website, they want something that is clean and easy to use. 

There are many things you can incorporate into your website to make it more user-friendly. One of the most important things you should be looking at is your online catalogue. Keeping this life and up to date can be challenging, but there is software out there that can do it. If you would like to see how software like this works, this post on magento out of stock products may give you a little more insight.

You should also be looking at website speed and how easy it is to navigate. The truth is, when it comes to making your website user-friendly, there are so many things you can do, so start small and work your way through, before you know it, you will have an amazing website.

Make It Personal

The final thing we are going to look at is personalised experiences for returning visitors. While personalised online shopping isn’t a new concept, it seems that there are still many companies who are yet to embrace it.

If you are looking for something that can really give your website the edge, this could be it. By bringing in a shopping experience that is personal to the visitor, you are appealing to the need for quicker shopping experiences, and you may find that by using this as a part of your website, you start to see your sales figures soar.

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What Every Construction Business Owner Should Be Doing

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building construction

As a construction business owner, you have a lot of moving parts to manage on any given day. There are clients to keep happy and workers who need your guidance staying productive and getting the job done right.

You should be focusing your efforts on a few essential areas if you want to run a successful construction business. If you’re not following through with these recommendations, then you risk letting critical details fall off your radar. Take time to evaluate your current practices and what you can be doing differently and in the future to help grow your business and find success.

Researching Equipment Options

Every construction business owner should be researching equipment prices and options. You’re going to need these items for your projects and can’t be worrying about trying to secure them at the last minute. There might also be logistics requirements you’ll want to figure out ahead of time, depending on the scope of the project. Therefore, look into what products and services the Freo Group has to offer so you can place your order and prepare yourself for your future assignments.

Documenting Project Details

It’s a wise idea to put all you discuss with clients in writing. There will be fewer questions and less confusion when you record the project details for all to see and review. Contracts are an excellent way to ensure that you don’t miss any vital aspects you agreed to and that your clients feel comfortable proceeding with the work. Have a timeline you can follow to help you stay on track with deadlines and inform your customer of any setbacks or delays in your work along the way.

Marketing Your Business Aggressively

Furthermore, every construction business owner should be marketing their business aggressively. If you’re going to be around for years to come, then you need clients who are willing to hire you. You’ll be able to stand apart from your competitors when you use creative marketing tactics and make a name for yourself in your community. Get out and meet people and answer questions that potential customers have for you.

Maintaining A Portfolio

You can also attract clients and drum up more interest in your construction business by having a portfolio of your work. Launch a website that includes these examples and carry an iPad around with you to your appointments so you can show potential clients your past jobs. You want people to see the type of results they should expect when hiring you for a project. It’ll also help them brainstorm ideas of what they might want their final output to look like in the end.

Focusing on Safety

The safety of your workers should be a top priority for you when you work in the construction business. Every owner should be training new employees and ensuring each person wears the right safety hat and equipment when working on the job. Be available and on-site so that your employees can ask you questions when they have them, and you can offer suggestions for improving safety measures, depending on the type of project.

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Dal-Tile and Mohawke Industries involved in legal conflicts in Mexico

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legal dispute

Mohawk Industries Inc., together with Dal-Tile International Inc. (Dal-Tile), have had legal conflicts with the Mexican company Internacional de Cerámica SAB de CV (Interceramic) for several years due to Dal-Tile’s attempt to liquidate the company. Recubrimientos Interceramic SA from C.V. (Coatings), as well as to close the plant that operates in Mexico of said company.

Dal- Tile, and Interceramic are partners in the company Recubrimientos, so the Mexican company did not agree with the liquidation or the closure of the plant. Against this background, the Mohawke Industries subsidiary initiated an international arbitration in the city of Houston, Texas, without respecting the statutes of the association it maintained with Interceramic or the Mexican legislation applicable to this case.

Through legal remedies and lawsuits promoted in Mexican courts, Interceramic managed to suspend the arbitration requested by the U.S. firm.

However, the Mexican company alleges that through illegal resolutions issued by judicial and federal officials, which were allegedly corrupted by Dal-Tile, the process resumed.

Derived from the above, on November 20, 2019, Interceramic filed a criminal complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, against the 10th Judge of the Matilde District of Carmen González Barbosa and of the Judges Ignacio Cuenca Zamora and José de Jesús González Ruiz, officials based in the city of Chihuahua, located in northern Mexico, for possible corruption, influence, and bribery offenses.

The accused officials issued illicit resolutions. They arbitrarily and illegally granted inadmissible and illegal protection in favor of Dal-Tile. They are violating the elementary principles of the amparo, jurisprudence and the Constitution itself. It is only explainable that occurred under the commission of the crimes of corruption and trafficking influences. This will be the subject of a criminal investigation by the Treasury so that the necessary evidence is collected to bring the case before a Criminal Judge Federal.

Similarly, the Attorney General’s Office was requested to investigate the existence of a family network within the Federal Courts and Tribunals based in the city of Chihuahua. In which through the imputed magistrates Ignacio Cuenca Zamora and José by Jesús González Ruiz, the District Judges, and other Magistrates can be lobbied, managed or pressured so that through some payment favorable rulings are obtained. 

Proof of this is that the defendants have placed direct family members in positions of other Magistrates through the traffic of influences and/or pressures exerted by their high positions. They have children within courts of the same circuit whose names are Alezith and Arístedes, both with the last name González Ruiz, as well as Ignacio Cuenca Roldán.

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