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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 Reduce Your Shipping Costs As An Online Seller

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Reduce shipping costs

Shipping costs are something that you are stuck with as an online seller. This makes finding innovative ways to reduce your expenditure on shipping a necessity. This keeps your profit margins high and your stream of revenue flowing steadily. Thinking strategically to reduce shipping costs for yourself and your clients is a major requirement if you want to be successful as an online seller. This is because your customers and clients expect to spend less on shipping and want free shipping in most cases. Here are five smart ways to reduce shipping costs.

Choose lighter packing materials

Protecting items in transit is important, and this means you must get the best packing materials to secure them. However, not all packing materials are the same. To lower shipping expenses, consider lightweight, protective materials that offer the same level of protection as the heavier ones. In this regard, use air pillows and bubble wrap to secure the boxes’ empty spaces—the lighter the package, the lesser the cost.

Use flat-rate shipping

Make the most out of flat-rate shipping. Most major logistics businesses offer some sort of flat-rate shipping, and you can take advantage of this to save some money. If you happen to ship heavy items frequently, this could present a great opportunity to save a lot. Be sure to research your options and make the best choice that makes it economical for your business. You can get significant savings on UPS prices here.

Improve your negotiation skills

Great negotiation skills are key to saving money anywhere, and in the shipping business, your ability to negotiate will save you some expenses. You can negotiate the terms and rates of your parcel volume even if it is on the low side with your shipper to slash your shipping costs. With competition high amongst shipping vendors, being a good negotiator could secure you a good deal. However, note that not all shippers can provide certain services or guarantees. So, be sure you settle on one that can fulfill all your shipping obligations and satisfy your customers’ demands.

Buy in bulk

Buy packaging products, from cartons to air cushions, to bubble wraps, and even pallets in bulk. Buying in bulk usually comes with volume discounts that can save you some money. One more thing to consider is your product packaging. Your packaging is part of your brand, so find suitable branding methods that do not alter your products’ weight by much.

Recycle and reuse shipping supplies

It is more likely than not that you also have items shipped to you before you resell. It is best to recycle and reuse such shipping supplies, to save money on shipping costs and packaging materials. You can repurpose the cartons and packaging material for your own packages. Simply replace the shipping labels with your branded ones. This also ensures you run a green business as you reduce the effects of possible environmental pollution.

If you decide to offer free shipping to your clients, that is fine but remember that it will eat into your profits. In this regard, you must find smart ways to save money on shipping expenses as well as packaging. If not, then as much as possible, find ways to reduce the shipping costs for your customers so that they can continue purchasing your products.

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Ensuring The Best Quality For Your Customers

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Best Quality for Customers

For all businesses big and small, customer satisfaction should be the number one goal, as they’re the ones who make everything possible. Without customer satisfaction, you’re going to see sales decrease, and it’s going to be hard to operate with efficiency! There’s a lot you can do to ensure that your customers are satisfied, and it doesn’t hurt to put in that extra effort to make sure of it!

Data security

Data security is very important for many reasons, but most importantly you want to make sure customer information is not at risk! It’s a legal requirement to protect the sensitive information of customers and employees, and you’re likely going to lose sales if you have a data breach. Make sure that all of your data is secured and away from people with ill intent, else you’ll be risking your reputation and the trust of your audience!

In-house guarantees

If you work in retail, the only way you can ensure customer satisfaction is from product testing, and making sure everything is the quality you want it to be! Whether it’s by tasting products as a food retailer or making sure customers are getting what they pay for. If you sell by weight, consider investing in some scales to make sure you’re selling what you advertise – ones like these: https://www.arlynscales.com/scale-knowledge/industrial-weighing-scales/. You don’t want any mixups with customer satisfaction, and many brands have faced criticism for inaccurate advertising.

Promotions and loyalty cards

Loyalty cards and promotions are a great way to reward your customers for buying from you, they allow you to give back to the customer for their repeating patronage! Make sure to set it up so that you don’t lose out, while also giving back to your customers – you’re trying to please the customer, not sink the business!

A lot of businesses offer credit instead of a loyalty card, finance that can only be used in their stores, encouraging them to come back and buy from you again! These deals are great for building lasting relationships between you and your audience, and should be used by every retailer if they can afford it!

Customer feedback

Allowing customers to give feedback is very important if you’re trying to please them, as they can tell you exactly what you did wrong and how you can do better! A lot of businesses do this through their website with a review feature, allowing them to collect data on their customers and find a general consensus on what the audience wants. It’s never bad to hear what your customers have to say, and you might end up pushing yourself a little closer to success with each change based on customer complaints! You can read more at https://survicate.com/customer-satisfaction/tips/.

You can’t please every customer, but trying to please the majority of them is what’s going to help you climb closer to success. Trying to keep an honest relationship with your customers, and not driving your prices up too high is important if you want to keep loyalty between you; people can tell when they’ve been overcharged – and that’s not something you want!

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Where can I find Ray-Ban’s online spare parts?

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Rayban lenses parts

It has been many years since the aesthetics and fashion sector came to the world of eye wear. Especially in the case of sunglasses. Great brands and designers began then to work to launch to the market interesting models that have conquered the public of the whole world.

One of the most iconic examples is that of Ray-Ban. The American company has been launching sunglasses that are recognized by almost anyone for almost one hundred years. This makes them coveted examples with a high average price, so it is not pleasant that Ray-Ban glasses break and cannot be repaired.

Fortunately, nowadays it is easy to find Ray-Ban replacement parts online in a simple way and without this entailing a great economic expense. And what is so positive about this? In short, you can extend the life of a pair of glasses of this brand to infinity and thus amortize the investment.

Spare parts for all types of glasses

As easy as finding the right store on the Internet, knowing the model of glasses you have and looking for the part you need: replacement lenses for Ray-Bans, screws, Ray-Ban temples or even frames for the most serious accidents. You can find practically any type of part of this brand on the net at affordable prices!

In addition, these reference stores include the possibility of getting other types of lens-related accessories such as Ray-Ban sunglass cases. In this way, you can replace any element related to the optics that is broken, damaged or simply aged. Any of these problems has nowadays an immediate solution and very interesting thanks to reference webs in the sale of spare parts.

Unbeatable price

Options such as Replacementlenses are suitable for all types of Ray-Ban brand consumers for quite a few reasons: their unbeatable prices, the quality of the materials, and compliance with all U.S. brand guarantees.

This has made the web, which allows to receive the orders comfortably at home and in a very short time, become one of the favorites of the ‘Raybanmans’. There are people who are truly addicted to the aesthetic lines of the brand and who acquire different types of frames and brands for each look.

Thus, the Ray-Ban glasses have become a real fashion accessory to combine with the tie, suit, hat or socks every day. And this is partly possible thanks to the possibility of finding spare parts and accessories at very affordable prices in Replacement lenses.

There is no longer any doubt when buying a Ray-Ban: it will become one of the best investments made in terms of optics and eye care, while providing a touch of distinction and beauty on a daily basis. And, in case of any breakage, customers know they can get Ray-Ban spare parts quickly and at very reasonable prices.

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