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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.

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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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Gutemberg Dos Santos and Robert Kiyosaki share their vision of leadership

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Gutemberg Dos Santos is a Brazilian-American entrepreneur and one of the main promoters of the use of Blockchain technology and crypto economy.

Gutemberg Dos Santos and Robert Kiyosaki

Gutemberg Dos Santos a couple of years ago sponsored an event in which the Guinness Record broke with the largest number of people playing Cash Flow, a game developed by Robert Kiyosaki. Today, Dos Santos shares some reflections that emerged on that occasion about what a good leader is. 

A good leader is an excellent guide to reach common goals. If I want my team to work successfully I must share my skills and offer the best tools for their performance. I am also committed to strengthening the capabilities of each of the members and never assume that we all work the same as diversity enriches and complements the unit. 

Sharing experiences. If I share my experiences with the rest of my team regarding the success and failures I have had in some projects, I will empathize with my team and together we will be able to reach the goals proposed for the company.

Listening. This part is essential for a business to prosper, if I do not listen to my people I will be walking towards darkness. I must always remain alert to the doubts and questions that my team may have, in this way I will know if we are all on the same frequency and we are walking towards the same course.

Motivating my team. I take my time to know my team, how old they are, what is their educational and socioeconomic level; what goals they pursue in the short and long term. This will help me find keywords that guide me to be empathetic with them and be able to have better communication. 

Being proactive. When facing a difficult situation, I try to get the best out of it, without falling into frustration and rather detect alternative solutions. Trusting and being flexible. I am attentive to the capacities and strengths within my work team, this way I trust people in order to delegate tasks, likewise I am open to listen to proposals and suggestions that lead us to strengthen our project. 

For more information, please visit : www.gutembergds.com 


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When navigating the Spanish legal system choose the right partner for your business

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xpanding your business internationally is challenging for any company and yet the rewards of entering a new market, like Spanish one, can bring unlimited rewards if you do it right.

Although with great risk comes great reward, one of the ways to mitigate those risks is to team up with a top international law firm like Avalaw. It can not only navigate local laws and regulations for both individuals and businesses, but can also provide services in relation to employment or tax.

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Invest with confidence in Spanish businesses and property 

Spain is showing signs of growth economically speaking, and although slow to recover in the face of the 2008 recession, it is now booming in a way other European countries are not. And with the euro performing well against the US dollar and other currencies it makes sense that eyes are turning to Spain for opportunities.

Of course this is also true not just for business purchase or investment, but also for property investment. In cities like Barcelona for example, the property boom continues with great profit to be made where property attracted premium rates and premium rents. 

However investment can be tricky, especially if you are facing a language barrier. How can you trust that due diligence is complete and fair, and that common pitfalls have been investigated or mitigated against.

This is when having the right business partner to do this for you becomes so important.

Experts in immigration law can save you money and effort

Of course it is not only investment opportunities which will require expert assistance.

If you decide to follow your business opportunity in Spain, or wish to employ an international specialist workforce that requires them to relocate to Spain, then you simply cannot do this without a specialist by your side

Even relocation within the European Union can be tricky with multiple bureaucratic steps needed. After the first 3 months to formally register your presence in Spain, you are allowed to carry out legal activities

For those coming from outside of the European Union the immigration laws can seem complicated, onerous and at times, arbitrary. 

From applying for your identity certificate and identity number (NIE or TIE depending on where you are from), getting registered at the local council offices and setting up social security for taxation or getting your health care card making sure you have the right paper and the right visa depending on your visiting purpose, it can be hard to understand and lead to a lot of frustration that could be avoided. 

Not following the rules can cause serious problems. Not undertaking tax obligations properly can cause problems and sometimes very high fines. And get the immigration laws wrong and you might find yourself having to leave the country very quickly and not by your own choice. With so much riding on these things it is worth every penny to hire an expert.

Even if you are concerned about immigration and visa there are different types of permission to remain in Spain. From the certificate awarded to Europeans who can show financial independence, to the blue card offered to non-European skilled workers there is usually a best fitting option. There are even visas for those just wishing to purchase property or not intending to work.

Living, working and investing in Spain does not have to be daunting

You shouldn’t let the spectre of bureaucracy scare you away from some wonderful opportunities for a new life and a chance to make your business global.

It is easy to find many horror stories about Spanish bureaucracy, even to make a simple appointment can seem impossible sometimes, but the rewards are worth it. Choosing the right legal partner to help you on this journey is a great first step on this road. It is one of the most fundamental relationships you need for a successful and happy time in Spain. Do not leave it to chance and start planning today.

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5 Mistakes to Avoid While Buying Study Tables Online

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Study tables are a necessity in almost every household, office space, public places, etc., where one might just like to relax and read or avidly work on a given project or assignment. Let’s face it, completing tasks within a given deadline is a lot more distracting without a study table present. Sitting for hours on the bed with your laptop on your thighs or reading books casually might lead to back injuries and eyesight complications in the future. Hence it is best to have a proper study table to complete all your tasks and have a comfortable experience. These days, almost all customers have shifted to purchasing study tables online instead of going to stores because it saves a lot of time and money. However, while purchasing furniture online, there are a few mistakes which all buyers must avoid in order to invest correctly and have a commendable consumer experience:-

  1. Ignoring the brand name and price value:– It is really easy to go for furniture which is cheap and the description on the products is very promising. However, do not be fooled by such elevated claims these unknown brands make, because in their mission to sell duplicates of popular brands, they will create a divine image about their product and will rob you off your money. To be on the safe side, it is important to visit sites which are popular and there is good feedback about the purchases made. Try purchasing from brands which have both online stores and shops in the city. Better be safe than sorry.
  2. Impulsive purchasing:- Decisions made on an impulse almost never favour a person’s luck. While purchasing study tables, it is important to consider all possible loopholes that might be associated with it. Take your time to think and make a choice which will complement the area surrounding the study table and also will be durable. Don’t make an investment blunder.
  3. Ignoring the compatibility:– If you want to buy coffee table online or a study table, the surroundings it is going to be placed in must be carefully estimated. For instance, taking proper measurements of the area in which the table will be placed as well as the measurement of the door through which the product will be brought in must be accurate. It is suggested that you find a delivery service which places the table in its right place to avoid future complications.
  4. Not settling the place prior to the arrival of the table:– It is imperative that the necessary documents, books, copies, electronic devices, decor, etc., must be assembled in order prior to the arrival of the study table. That way, a lot of time will be saved and the table will be ready to use sooner. Keep a tab on the return policy from the brand you are ordering your study table from.
  5. Not surfing varieties:- Another major mistake buyers commit is not viewing varieties prior to purchasing a study table. It is more feasible if you surf through the different styles and varieties that these study tables are available in before impulsively investing in one. There are several styles that might suit your preferences like a bed study table, height adjusting table, a study table that can be folded and a light and shade one.

So if you are planning on purchasing a study table or a coffee table online, make sure to avoid these common mistakes to make a sound investment on your purchase and have a pleasant consumer experience.

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