The Importance of Your eCommerce Site for Your Business

It is plain to see why a poorly designed website can be a major problem to online businesses, most especially during the holiday season, which covers 20% to 40% of the yearly sales.

In this regard, those who need data validation can refer to the stats that explain the importance of your brand’s presence on the Internet:

  • Before people shop at a physical store, they often check websites of online stores.
  • Customers search online for the prices and availability of goods so they would know whether to shop online or at physical stores.
  • During an economic crisis, consumers exercise caution when shopping online to stretch their budget, resulting to an increase of website traffic.
  • Shoppers that tend to purchase downloadable gifts like eBooks, music and FB credits, among others, will likely buy more.

Optimize Your Online Site Immediately

Now that you are aware of your site’s importance, what should you do before the holiday season approaches? It is never too late to try some of these strategies:

Prepare for unexpected traffic.Plan ahead of time to make sure that your site can manage all the orders. Anticipate peak loads, observe the responsiveness of your site and assess application performance way before Cyber Monday.

Increase the speed of your site. Use a CDN (content delivery network) for a speedy delivery of relevant content with videos and images to your consumers.

During the holidays, most shoppers use their mobile devices to search online before heading for the stores. Therefore, it would be wise to incorporate an in-store experience with info regarding your well-timed and relevant personalized website and mobile apps.

Find ways to let the customers easily find your products on the web. To improve exposure, submit a feed to the top online shopping comparison engine, Google Product Search. Try the Amazon Marketplace or add pay-per-click ads to Amazon Product Ads’ product and category pages. This way, shoppers will be able to view your ads when they find products that are similar to yours.

Though social media is not the main channel for searching, it has targeted the mainstream and has therefore gained importance, specifically to GenY shoppers. Transform visitors into sales channels by including social sharing in product pages. Display good customer service in public by resolving issues with customers on networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.

People who are low on budget usually search online before buying, so it is a good idea to follow the example of various sites in making it fun, simple and efficient to shop on the web. Provide product filters, rich product details, comparison tools, well-designed navigation and recommendations. Enhance the images of your best-selling products, emphasize your value propositions and make sure that shipping and return policies are clear.

Fix your leaky conversion funnel immediately by adding simple and cost-efficient website usability and feedback tools.

Whenever possible, ask for the visitor’s email address and try to squeeze a lot of value out of each sign-up.

Try to employ remarketing campaigns so you can target consumers who take time to buy.

Revolutionizing the Learning Experience With Electronic Interactive Education

What was required?

With an understanding of the value of Kinesthetic Learning, solutions were thought that would assist teaching methods, increase student interaction and improve outcomes across the curriculum.

The productsought needed to be environmentally friendly (ie reduce the use of photocopied materials), user friendly, comprehensive, and not require constant software upgrades.

After a thorough evaluation Di Prust selected Promethean interactive Whiteboards and the Elmo Document Camera from a Melbourne-based ICT company DatacomIT.

The Solution
Promethean Interactive Whiteboard

Promethean's Activboard + 2 is an interactive whiteboard that makes learning fun. Designed by teachers, the Activboard reflects the growing trend in visual learning; The idea that children respond to visual stimulation. After comparisons with other products on the market, Albert Park Primary School trialled the whiteboard over a period of two months and found that teachers were able to develop engaging lessons through Promethean's award winning suite of hardware and software.

The Interactive whiteboard comes with many tools that bring lessons to life. The Activboard, where all content is displayed is available in 95, 78 "and 64" sizes with an adjustable height function. Albert Park Primary School purchased 17 78 "whiteboards in total, positioned at the front and center of the classrooms. Di found students were drawn to the whiteboard and managed to focus on lessons with ease.

The battery free pen known as the Activpen, wrists like a pen but functions as a mouse. It is a supplied tool that initiates all the action; Its use also helps the development of children's handwriting and motor skills, a key factor in Albert Park Primary School's selection of the Promethean product over its competitors.

The interactive software means that teachers can create, save and share lessons. The teachers at Albert Park Primary School appear to be enjoying this aspect of the product, as Di highlights the freedom of the flipchart software: 'the flexibility in using the flipcharts makes lessons more accessible.'

The flipchart is like a blank artist's canvas, where the teacher can create a lesson plan that Picasso would be jealous of 'we are more in control of what we can actually do and are not limited by software.'

This is significant for teaching difficult concepts, as complicated lessons can be simplified and then shared among teachers, furthering the possibility of student understanding.

Di has also recognized a shift in the attitudes of her students who are showing a new enthusiasm to learn. Students at Albert Park Primary School relish in the opportunity to use the whiteboard and the tools it boasts.

With its basic suite consisting of the Activboard, the Activpen and the Activstudio lesson creation software, the Promethean interactive whiteboard creates a vibrant and energetic learning experience. Other tools are the Activote, the Activslate, the Activtablet, the Activpanel and the Activwand.

Albert Park Primary School was suitably impressed by the Whiteboard, along with DatacomIT's vast support and experience in this area.

Such an interactive and innovative product will prove its significance over and over again. It will capture and re-capture students and teachers for years to come.

The ELMO iTech Document Camera / Visual Presenter

The Elmo iTeach Document Camera has seen tremendous success in the classroom environment.

The ELMO was selected by Albert Park Primary School to display lessons on the Interactive Whiteboards. Since its implementation the ELMO has managed to project more than just an image or lesson, but a new method of understanding.

A portable alternative to an overhead projector, the ELMO acts to support lessons with its multimedia and interactive capabilities. It produces a large image that can capture moving pictures at 20 frames per second. The camera is positioned above an A3 sized capture area where you can undertake science experiments, present maps, diagrams and handwritten work to students.

'It's terrific, says Di who believes the ELMO compliments the Promethean Interactive Whiteboard,' I use it regularly. Usually I'll draw something on a sheet of paper and then use the ELMO to project it while I'm still drawing or writing on that same piece. '

Teachers can also connect the ELMO document camera to teaching tools other than interactive whiteboards, such as computers and microscopes. Its numerous interfaces (USB, XGA, Video out) and SD memory card availability, means that teachers can generate lessons for their students at home and can re-use and adapt these lessons for classes in years to come.

With the ELMO product new forms of media can be used to reach students, rather than just old videos, DVDs or CDs. Learning becomes a refreshing experience for both teacher and student.

The interactive nature of the ELMO also increases opportunity for more teacher / student interaction; Communication is becoming a two-way experience, rather than the old one-way model of information exchange from teacher to student.

'The general feedback on the Elmo camera from teachers at Albert Park Primary School is very positive' says Di. Their observations include:

1 Increase in pupil concentration
2 Instructions quickly learned
3 Ability to absorb and retain information
4 By enlarging objects, pupil's understanding is improved and academic curiosity is noticeably increased.

Conclusion
The Promethean Interactive Whiteboard and ELMO iTech Document Camera has positioned Albert Park Primary School at the forefront of leading edge teaching techniques.

More time is spent on the learning process itself, involving Kinesthetic Learning with leading educational technologies. Students are generally more interested in the classes where the Interactive Whiteboard and Document camera are used, and get a real buzz from this real time method of teaching.

Porter’s Five Forces Model And Internet Competition

According to Porter’s Five Forces Model, in my opinion, competition has increased overall as a result of the internet and e-Commerce. The internet and IT has made it possible to both focus on the top and bottom lines and market share is expanded and costs are cut. Many products and services exist just online, major companies have gone online to successfully augment the brick and mortar corporations, and the playing field is all the way to edges of cyberspace, wherever that is. We will further evaluate this stepping through all five forces.

Buyer power is higher when buyers have more choices. Businesses are forced to add value to their products and services to get loyalty. Many loyalty programs include excellent services that customers demand on-line. Customers want to solve their problems and many times they are more successful on-line than on-phone. Also, we see internet savvy businesses springing up offering more valuable goods and services at lower costs. Now with the advent of eBay, many people are assuming roles as drop shippers. Individuals can have a thriving business selling goods of larger companies without having to carry inventory.

Supplier power is higher when buyers have fewer choices from whom to buy. As mentioned earlier, drop shipping has increased the amount of suppliers available. All an individual has to do is form and agreement to sell products for the company. The company takes care of all the logistics. The same is true of associates programs that Amazon.com and Google.com offer. Associates allow a webmaster to earn money by recommending products from others. This increases supplier offerings.

Threat of substitute products or services is high when there are many product alternatives. This is different than having many suppliers. Examples of alternatives are exchanging brand names, substituting credit card capabilities, and looking at better values from cheaper sources. The internet allows this with the “global economy”. I can substitute my product by purchasing from companies overseas where labor, services and products are cheaper, but of comparable quality.

Threat of new entrants is high when it is easy for new competition to enter the market. Well, what have we been talking about? Now, small operations can open shop with less than $10.00 per month and make a lot of money. As inventive as people are, there are always opportunities to do improve a product or service or just create and sell something new. Recently, many new entrants have made even more money authoring Ebooks that tell others how to do what they did. Rivalry among competitors is high when competition is more intense within industries.

On-line book stores and catalog companies are an excellent example. Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com are very competitive. However, there are many also smaller niche affiliate bookstores that when combined take a great deal of market share. They offer even more competition. However, both major bookstores have used IT to create value for their customers. These values include associates programs, ease of payment and shipping and many, many others.

The internet offers avenues of competition to existing companies and opportunities for start ups. Now businesses can enter the market on-line with few barriers to entry. Porter’s Five Forces Model can help demonstrate the attractiveness of starting your on-line business. A business person should use the model to identify competition, make a plan, and implement the process.

How to Pack for a Summer Vacation

It’s that time of the year again when the scorching heat becomes unbearable with each passing day. At such a time, all you want is an air-conditioned room and something cool to sip on. However, if you are going on a holiday, you will be spending a lot of time outside, exploring different places. If this is scaring you, considering the temperature is rising everyday, here are some tips that will help you stay protected from the heat.

Carry a Sunblock Lotion or Sunscreen

Going out in the sun without protecting your skin is a big no no, especially in summer. So, while you searching for the cheapest airline booking online and packing your clothes, also get a bottle or two of sunscreen or sunblock lotion. Sunscreen will not only prevent you from getting a sunburn but it will also protect your skin from the harmful UV rays. When you are buying the lotion, make sure you get one that has both UVA and UVB protection.

Pack Cotton and Lightweight Clothes

During the summer season, it’s advisable that you wear cotton clothes so that your skin can breathe. Wearing synthetic clothes may cause irritation and you might end up feeling hot and suffocated. So, when you are packing for your vacation, make sure you put in light clothes that will help your body stay calm. When it comes to shoes, carry open-toed ones or flip flops so that your feet can get as much air as possible.

Choose the Correct Accessories

Since you will be travelling during peak summer, carry a straw hat, a pair of sunglasses, and a scarf, just in case the heat becomes unbearable. These accessories will keep you protected from the heat when you are out, visiting different places. If you are going to be spending a lot of time on the beach, carry a beach bag and towels with you too. It’s also preferable that you carry a change of clothes so that you don’t have to stay in your sweat-soaked clothes for a long period of time.

Take Necessary Medication with You

Some places can have heat waves during the summer. In such a case, you should be prepared for it. Additionally, if you have diseases that can be triggered due to the heat, take the prescribed medicines with you. You might also want to take vaccinations that will protect you from falling sick from insect bites or mosquitoes.

These are some of the simples steps that you can keep in mind while packing for a summer vacation. And while you are vacationing, just remember to drink a lot of fluids and keep yourself hydrated.