Archive for the ‘shop’ tag
If you’re the type of person who never takes the time to chop up vegetables but know you need to start cooking at home consider going to a salad bar and only filling your salad container with mushrooms, diced ham, cheeses, and other ingredients that would work well in omelets, quesadillas, and other foods. More »
The Checkout Canada focuses on understanding Canadian shoppers’ behaviours and their engagement throughout the purchase process. This issue uncovers the Canadian shopper’s tendency to balance lifestyle and family shopping habits with searching for the best deal. Do Canadians shop the same as Americans? Download this issue of The Checkout to findout.
Click here to download the Canadian Shopper issue of The Checkout.
Not all Wifi connections are created equal. Some are free; others are relatively expensive. Some are fast, and some are painfully slow. But what if you could combine all of your connections into one super-fast, super-reliable connection?
That’s what the Connectify folks — the same ones who are using software to turn your PC into a hotspot — are doing with Dispatch, their new Kickstarter project. The idea is simple (despite the fact that the technology surely is not).
WiFi is everywhere. It’s in the coffee shop, in the airport, and likely in your pocket (in the form of either a 3G/4G hotspot or a tether-friendly smartphone). Yet anywhere outside of your home or work connection, things tend to be a bit slower and less reliable. Connectify Dispatch is a software solution that lets you combine a public WiFi connection (at the airport, for example) with another network (like your 4G hotspot).
This allows you to do things that wouldn’t normally be possible on a slow, crowded, yet free network, while not running up a crazy bill on your expensive hotspot. Dispatch lets you set different priorities for certain networks, so you can set the airport WiFi or an Ethernet connection to “primary,” and your hotspot to “secondary.”
Connectify has already had some incredible success, including funding from IQT and a staggering amount of usage on its WiFi Hotspot app. The company tells us that 233,000 active users have started a Connectify Hotspot connection in the last 24 hours. That’s nearly 10,000 users every hour.
The same type of success is only sure to follow with Dispatch (Kickstarter link).
Animal lovers have already benefitted from pet-friendly businesses – such as the Hotel Monaco in Oregon, for example – which mean their four-legged friends do not have to be left at home. Now the IKEA Köln-Am Butzweilerhof has introduced dog parking bays at the outlet, which enable dogs to be safely left outside while their owners shop.
Situated in the Cologne region of Germany, the branch of the Sweden-based furniture brand has built special bays where owners can tie up their dogs. The spaces include platforms covered in Astroturf and a water bowl for the canines. Since the store has a no-pets policy – excepting guide dogs for the blind – the idea saves dog owners from worrying about leaving their pet indoors. What’s more, the dogs can remain comfortable for the duration of their owners’ shop and the bays provide an alternative to keeping them in hot cars — a known risk.
Benefitting both owners and their pets, the parking bays are a simple idea that is convenient for shoppers and has the potential to save animals’ lives. An idea worth replicating in your part of the world?
Kippt is a cool web service that helps you save the web for later, but offers a few advantages over similar tools. You can follow others and see what they’re up to, categorize different items, and share anything you save—if you want to. More »
Late on Friday, Jade from Google announced in the Google Places Help forums that you can now merge your Google+ Business page with your Google+ Local page to have the Google+ Local information with all the social features of Google+ on the same page.
You can combine the best of Google+ Local with Google+ Business Pages on the same page. Jade shares one local shop that did this already named the The Meatball Shop where you can see the Google+ posts and local data all on the same profile.
How do you do this? Google explains:
Click on Verify now on the right side of the page. You’ll need to verify that you’re representing your business by having a postcard sent, even if you’re a verified business owner on Google Places for Business. Also note that verification will only work for pages created in the “Local Business or Place” category in Google+.
Google posted instructions on how to do this:
After you’ve created your page, you can verify it:
- Hover over Unverified at the top of your Google+ page. Click the Verify now button when it appears. Or, click Verify now in the Is this your business? section below the map.
- Confirm your address and click Request postcard again. Your postcard should arrive within a week or so.
- Once itâs arrived, go to the website listed on the postcard, www.google.com/local/verify.
- If you’ve requested a postcard for multiple Google+ pages, make sure to click on the name of the business that the postcard is for.
- Enter the PIN listed on the postcard and click Submit.
Michael Blumenthal has a detailed step by step walk through with screen shots on how this works on a specific example.
Here is a FAQ on this from Jade from Google:
Can a local Google+ page that I make in Google+ have multiple administrators? (ie, Can multiple Google+ profiles manage my page?)
Yes! There are two types of administrators — owners, and managers. Read more about each roleâs capabilities here.
Can I have one social local Google+ page that links to my many locations?
No, at this time, we only support one social local Google+ page linking with one location.
What if I made my social Google+ page in a category other than âlocal business/place?â
Currently we only support verification of pages made in the local business/place category. You may make a new page in that category to access verification, but we cannot automatically move content or followers. There is currently not a way to change the category of a +page.
What about if Iâm a service area business with hidden address?
The new verification process does not currently support service area businesses with hidden addresses.
What if Iâve just got a local Google+ page with reviews (in Google+ Local) but donât have a social +page?
You may create a +page in the âlocal business/placeâ category to have access to verification, if you would like. We hope to offer the upgraded experience to all local businesses, soon, but currently, verification of the social +page is the only way to get the combined/upgraded pages.
Forum discussion at Google Places Help.
De geruchten over een nieuwe iPhone met een kleinere (dock)connector en een 7 inch iPad zijn al lang niet meer te tellen. Een oplettende blogger ontdekte dit weekend in Apple’s eigen online shop echter wat ‘tastbaar’ bewijs hiervoor.
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Murray Newlands, a reporter and host of Perform Insider TV on YouTube. A native of the UK, he runs Influence People, an international new media agency based in San Francisco.
Do you think that your brand is getting the most engagement out of your social media accounts? If you have to think about the answer then you’re not. It’s easy to post content on Facebook and tweet to customers on Twitter but not each piece of content deserves to be put out there. Taking steps to ensure that each post or tweet or blog will have the best engagement with customers is necessary. It can take lots of time but take into consideration what can save you time and boost your engagement levels.
For a small business starting out Facebook can be all the marketing they need. Placing an ad in a newspaper or television spot costs lots of money but with a Facebook page businesses have total control of the content they post. It’s easier to keep track of how people are reacting to your product as well as updating fans on news.
Use your voice
Social media can increase your market presence but it all depends on how much your audience grows to love your brand. The Facebook page is the most important social account that has potential for growth. So post content in your own voice, this isn’t a business meeting. This is what Diamond Candles, a small candle shop in North Carolina, does with their Facebook. Their posts are varied with some asking questions like “Name your favorite childhood game…and GO!” and others like “Burn, baby, burn that ring RIGHT outta there!” stand out. Fans know that there’s a person posting these that likes the candles as much as they do which is why the page has over 100,000 likes.
It’s cost effective marketing to be on Facebook. Posting content is free and you can see the feedback people give you without paying to get data. People will be honest in comments and it’s important to always interact with them. Take Naples Botanical Garden from Naples, Florida for example. They have daily conversations with their 3,000 fans. They’ll mention fans in comments like “I like the way Marti Willis thinks!” and “Thank you for all the ideas!” adding a more personal voice to their brand.
Each audience is unique so consider the way you interact with content. Build off of negative comments and improve, don’t just ignore them. Add on to the personal voice route by having a blog where the people behind the brand can share opinions. Setting one up is easy with sites like WordPress and you can offer more insight into the products they like. Don’t turn off readers by overly promoting but instead make your experience and opinion show. So make use of your voice and connect to appeal to new customers so they know your expertise and can distinguish you from the pack.
Engage with Facebook tabs and Incentives
Business can build their Facebook page up so customers can spend more time on it. You can add tabs that connect fans to an online shop, offers, photos and videos. It can help a niche audience grow in fan base that would be harder to market to. Remember Veggietales? Well, creator Phil Vischer has a new DVD series called “What’s in the Bible” that has accumulated a strong fan base through Facebook. His target audience is Bible readers so it can be hard to mass market it, but audiences can connect with it easier through Facebook. The tabs offer email signup for news, a shop and videos that can keep fans busy on the page and keep them without having to go to partner sites for information. The page currently has over 100,000 likes that have added to the success of the products.
Incentives are a way small businesses can introduce new customers to their products. Since a small businesses are new to the market offering lots of coupons and giveaways can help customers learn about the products. Diamond Candles has weekly giveaways for one of their candles where they ask for fans to tweet them with a specific quote. They have grown their loyal fan base so fans do this because they have an affinity with the brand. It takes time to build up to this loyalty but the more customers know your product, the more loyal they will be.
Cako Bakery from San Francisco has a following of over 1,000 on Facebook and uses its page to let fans know of promotions and incentives.
It has statuses that read “Like us on Facebook and get a free cupcake!” to attract new fans and keeps fans up to date on promos with posts like “Father’s day is tomorrow! If you just said ‘Oh, crap!’ don’t worry Cako is offering a special, buy 5 get the 6th free!” Notice that Cako writes in a friendly voice without making it sound impersonal.
Keeping track of your Brand
A small business team can be constantly busy but making time to update Facebook should be a priority. Just like a business answers every phone call, they should answer to every post. It’s important to know how your company is being perceived and identify new customers. Read what people are talking about and fix issues that are keeping customers away. Going through each post and managing your page can take away time from other tasks so looking to an SMM tool for help is an option. Programs like Alerti* and Infinigraph can provide social data analysis with graphs and reports as well as monitor the brand on the Internet. The prices for the programs vary but the information you get and efficiency of using social media can assist your business to stand out among competitors.
*Disclosure: Alerti is a client of Murray Newlands at Influence People.
Murray Newlands, originally from the UK in the USA on a O1 visa (alien of extraordinary ability), is a reporter for and host of Perform Insider TV. Newlands produces the popular YouTube video series future of engagement and future of publishing. He runs Influence People, an international media agency, based in San Francisco.
One Jackson, the latest e-commerce startup to target the popular kids’ clothing market, is preparing to make a big splash with its public debut next week. The company plays in the same space as other online clothing startups experimenting with Silicon Valley-inspired business models, including the subscription-based offerings from Wittlebee and FabKids, for example, as well as the web-based consignment shop ThredUp. But One Jackson has a completely different idea.
Instead of designing clothes in-house or aggregating collections from elsewhere, the site will serve as a platform for connecting consumers with indie designers through contests where shoppers vote on which clothes they would like to see get produced and sold.
You can think of One Jackson as something like a Kickstarter, except without the upfront monetary commitment, perhaps. Or a better analogy may be the art and print-focused Minted.com. It’s about testing ideas with a community of potential buyers, then either bringing those ideas to market, or letting them fall by the wayside. It’s not an entirely bad idea, except that without an initial investment or deposit, there’s always the chance that some shoppers voting on the designs won’t actually end up purchasing. But according to co-founder and CEO Anne Raimondi, she doesn’t think that will be the case because community members are making a personal connection with the designer they support.
“Parents really like to know who’s behind a product,” she says. “People want to support people who are creative and pursuing their dreams, and in particular in this audience of parents – and moms especially – I think that really resonates.”
One Jackson also has some notable backers who believe this model can work, too. The company closed a seed round of funding in mid-May led by Accel’s Theresia Ranzetta and Trinity’s Patricia Nakache, and which also included investment from Next View (David Beisel), Floodgate (Ann Miura-Ko), and Aileen Lee‘s new seed fund, which we now know is called Cowboy Ventures. Since then, the company has been quietly running in private beta with some 3,000 customers, and over 200 designers who have actually submitted content to the site. There have also been around 1,400 designers who signed up for the service to take a look.
The contests are handled by co-founders Michele Adams, Head of Design and Creative, and Gia Russo, Head of Merchandising, both former co-workers from Martha Stewart Living, who later co-founded their own company called MiGi. There, they produced a series of lifestyle books as well as branded products for home and baby which have been sold through Target, Babies R Us, Teleflora, Tiny Prints and Bed Bath and Beyond. In other words, these two know not just design, but also how to market and sell. One Jackson’s fourth co-founder is Yee Lee, formerly of PayPal and Slide.
Contests begin with an inspiration board, which is based on the design team’s research and study of emerging fashion trends. Designers then have a few weeks to respond and submit their entries, which can range from pencil sketches to software-produced designs or even photos of handmade clothes which may have otherwise been sold on Etsy or in a local boutique. After some initial curation, shoppers then vote for their favorites, and optionally share to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Based on demand and a little editorial intervention, the winning designs are sent off to manufacturing. The company works directly with manufacturers in L.A. (for denim), as well in Asia and Peru.
Designers take home a minimum of $300 for being selected and then receive a 3% cut of the sales for the first 180 days their products are sold on the site. The plan is to bring in new lines every 4 to 6 weeks. At launch, the site will have around 80 to 100 items for sale in its shop (sizes 2-6), including accessories, and – surprise! – they’re starting with boys’ clothes, a desperately underserved market. Girls’ clothing will arrive by the holidays, however.
For One Jackson, the long-term goal is to eventually speed up the whole process so they’re making just the right number of clothes to meet demand. “We envision a future where the batches get both faster and tighter in terms of units, so we’re really just producing what we know what people will want, and finding creative ways to shorten that cycle so we can get it into the hands of consumers faster, right after they’re excited about it,” says Raimondi.
But for parents, there’s another benefit. “There’s just not enough uniqueness out there in kids’ clothing. Kids show up at the school or the playground, and they look like everybody else,” she says. “The goal is to keep our lines fresh.”