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ELECTRONIC COMMERCE (I): BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY

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ELECTRONIC COMMERCE (I): BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY

Connectiondeal.com or E-Commerce has become in recent years one of the most used means to make our purchases.

Despite the current economic situation, each year, sales volumes through this channel increase significantly.

The number of Internet users has doubled between 2005 and 2010, reaching 2,000 million.

And, currently, in Spain, there are already 27 online shoppers per 100 inhabitants.

These figures mean that online sales, every time, open up more business opportunities.

For all this (and more questions that we will discuss), we will dedicate to this topic a block of three posts.

Currently, it is an undeniable fact that new technologies (and, in particular, the increasing ease of Internet access) have meant a great change in the way in which they interact in the professional and business world.

This is demonstrated by the data in this regard. Let’s see some.

In the second quarter, this volume reached a total turnover of 2,640.8 million euros, 13.7% more than in the same period of 2011, which constitutes a new historical maximum.

In total, during that second quarter, 36.7 million transactions were recorded, the same figure as in the previous quarter, which represents a 17% year-on-year growth.

This generated economic amount was distributed mainly among the following ten branches of activity:

If we analyze its quarterly evolution, the data is revealing:

– By turnover

.– By number of transactions

ORIGIN AND DESTINATION OF OPERATIONS

Obviously, the data is very good. However, one fact should not be ignored: this growth of electronic commerce in Spain does not necessarily mean that money stays here or, at least, not everything.

The purchase and sale of goods and services via the Internet from Spain abroad invoiced 1,137.9 million euros, representing 43.1% of the total, with 19.2 million operations.

The number of transactions made from abroad and directed to Spanish websites was 394.5 million euros, which represented 14.9% of the total turnover, with 3.1 million operations.

These figures placed the net balance of business volume abroad in a negative balance of 743.4 million euros.

If your interest is to focus on the exclusively Spanish market, you should know that the turnover of electronic commerce generated in Spain and directed to virtual points of sale within our country was 1,108.4 million euros, 42% of the total amount, with 14.4 million operations.

If your objective is focused on internationalization, you should know that, by geographical areas, the ones that make the most online purchases in Spain are the European Union with 77.1% of the total and Latin America 6.5% and the United States with a 4.5%, the tourism sector being the most demanded activity.

METHODOLOGY

Finally, to assess this data, the methodology used by the CMT to prepare its report must be taken into account.

In this sense, only online purchases made through bank payment cards attached to the Spanish payment institutions collaborating have been counted: Sermepa-Serviced, Sistema 4B, Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks (CECA-Euro6000).

Therefore, a payment made by bank transfer, or by means such as PayPal, without a credit card, is not reflected in said report.

ELECTRONIC COMMERCE AS A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY

In view of the above, it can be affirmed, almost without any doubt, that electronic commerce is a future bet.

The greater ease of access to new technologies, the change in consumption habits, ease, comfort, accessibility, the elimination of borders, etc., mean that there is a great boom in electronic commerce and that, every time, they are more SMEs that benefit from it.

The initial reluctance generated by electronic commerce in its origins has now given way to a set of undoubted advantages, both for companies and for consumers themselves.

Advantages and opportunities for companies

  • – Reduces the costs of starting up a business, compared to traditional commerce
  • – Creation of new sales channels

– Market expansion: it allows new customers to be reached, making geographic boundaries for business disappear

  • – Globalization and access to potential markets of millions of customers
  • – Availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year
  • – Increased competitive capacity and efficiency of companies
  • – Considerable reduction of stocks and time of transactions, transfers, inventories, data collection, etc.
  • – Shortening of distribution chains
  • – Quick update of information about the company’s products and services
  • – Increased customer loyalty and proximity: through systems that offer personalized attention and offers (eg discounts to the best customers, etc.)
  • – Reduce the terms of commercialization
  • – Customer service time is optimized
  • – Cost reduction at almost all levels of the organization, as well as ROI and promotion costs

In addition, it presents a fundamental aspect to take into account: the implementation of Electronic Commerce in the company will be important value creation.

This creation of value is revealed in different ways:

– As a result of an increase in margins, that is, a reduction in production costs or an increase in profits. Electronic commerce allows this objective to be achieved through:

  • Positioning in new markets
  • Increasing the quality of products or services
  • The search for new customers
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • The increase in internal efficiency

– As a result of customer satisfaction, through:

  • A price drop
  • Better customer service
  • Products and services best suited to customer needs

Advantages and opportunities for consumers

– Possibility to quickly access the products that interest you, without having to search store by store physically

  • Possibility to choose between a much wider range of suppliers
  • Greater interactivity and personalization of demand
  • Possibility of finding, easily and quickly, the cheapest price
  • Shortening of the distribution and automation chains of the trade, which allows obtaining supplies “just in time”
  • Possibility of access to products and / or services that, in many cases, cannot be acquired by other means at the place of residence (eg something common in small population centers or far from large cities)
  • Optimization of customer service time, which can be attended without waiting for long lines

However, like everything else, it is also true that this type of trade has a number of drawbacks. These are fundamentally related to the security of operations over the Internet.

However, this problem has a lower and lower level due to the following aspects:

  • Internet users are increasingly familiar with electronic purchasing processes, registration in forums, portals, stores, etc., so it can be said that the fear of the Internet is being lost.
  • Today there are different protocols such as SET (Secure Electronic Transaction) or SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) that make sure that these types of transactions through computer networks are as secure as possible.
  • There are also numerous reliable payment systems such as virtual POS terminals of the different banks or the PayPal System.
  • In addition, as a mechanism to grant greater security and confidence to the Web pages, what are known as the online trust seals have emerged. These are companies that try to unify criteria and give confidence to the user who visits a website, establishing minimum requirements for topics such as the processing of personal data or accessibility to the website, etc.

It also helps to generate greater security and confidence in the user the fact that an online store shows tax information, information about the purchase process, shipping costs, return conditions, etc.

AND WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FOR 2020?

Before venturing any forecast in this area, we must bear in mind that we are facing a market of great dynamism, which is not only affected by the real economic issues but also how the technology itself evolves.

However, analyzing the evolution of recent years, it does seem possible to describe a scenario:

1) First, taking into account how Electronic Commerce has evolved in Spain, it is estimated that by 2015, 50% of the Spanish population will buy through the Internet.

2) In view of the previous data, annual growth has been close to 20%. The increase in consumer confidence, the increasing access to the Internet and, with some luck, an improvement in the economy, could be data that favor this growth.

3) The MBE transport company shows in a report that the number of shipments of packages with SME products dedicated to electronic commerce has grown by 65% ​​in recent years.

4) As of 2020, the entry of new sectors is expected, which will provide an important boost for Electronic Commerce.

Thus, to the already announced entry of DIA, it is necessary to add the strategy that Coca-Cola has planned to enter direct actions of Electronic Commerce; as well as Mercadona, which is strengthening its digital structure, which makes it anticipated that it will place a bet on this market.

These situations usually produce a drag effect on the sector, as happened in the aforementioned case of Zara.

5) In countries like the United States, 10% of sales through Electronic Commerce are via mobile or tablet.

These types of devices are progressively gaining more and more market share in Spain.

6) Electronic Commerce is also increasingly favored by mobile payments as support.

In 2011, the number of users was 160 million, reaching 212 million in 2012. BBVA estimates the forecasts for 2016 at 448 million users.

This is an interesting fact for Spain since the smartphone penetration rate is one of the highest in Europe.

CONCLUSION

Based on the foregoing, and after several experts consulted, the general conclusion is that, although it seems that there is already an offer for everything, Electronic Commerce in Spain is still taking its first steps.

It is not surprising, therefore, that more and more companies look for the right combination between Electronic Commerce and internationalization.

In our country, in view of what has been done, what is being done and what seems to be coming; Seeing the gaps in certain markets, the improvement options that others offer, seeing the needs of users, Electronic Commerce presents itself as a very interesting business opportunity.

AND WHERE ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES?

To answer this question, we can take as reference data from last year.

In 2012, one of the sectors that represented a major boom was the textile sector. In the last quarter of the year, it rose two positions to be in the fifth position, obtaining 5.1% of the total turnover of Electronic Commerce, which means reaching revenues of more than 123 million euros.

This boom was favored, on the one hand, by the change in consumer habits in this economic sector and, on the other, by the launch and expansion throughout the world of the Zara website, as well as the updating of others in the sector , such as Cars, Commercial Vehicles , Domains , Websites , Electronics , Textiles ,Home Appliances , Machinery & Commodities, which offer great discounts.

Therefore, a good first option would be to go to under-exploited markets.

In addition to fashion, we find other sectors that are not very exploited, with opportunities and that offer a great tour, including health or food.

Another option (and that applies to any market) is to improve the existing offer. At this point, the options are almost endless.

The key is to analyze the competition and its deficiencies. These abound in Spanish online businesses (shopping experience, delivery and return conditions, information, etc.).

For example, an option in this regard is to improve the usability of the Web page. An example of this is Doctortrade, which improves the eBay buying and selling experience thanks to software that identifies the products and allows you to make offers without having to describe them.

Therefore, creativity and innovation will be the benchmarks.

And considering the latter, many options arise:

  • Opt for new business models
  • Expand the depth of our products through services
  • Expand the experience, giving continuity to the relationship with the client, increasing the value of what we offer

It is about analyzing what our customers buy and evaluating, taking advantage of their suggestions, how we can extend our products or services.

For all these reasons, if you are thinking of launching yourself into the business world or if you do not already have your e-commerce website, it would not hurt to include this dissemination and distribution channel.

Apart from the fact that the capital needed to start it is not high, with a good marketing strategy and a good Web positioning, visits to your online store will increase considerably.

BUSINESS

Appy Pie Chatbot Offers Codeless Development to Help Businesses Create Chatbots in Minutes

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Appy Pie Chatbot Offers Codeless Development to Help Businesses Create Chatbots in Minutes

Most businesses are creating chatbots to connect better with their users. However, even in this digital age, most of them don’t know how to code. With the increasing popularity of chatbots various business owners, marketers, content specialists, and digital strategists who don’t have any technical knowledge want to learn how to make a chatbot.

In this article, we will help you learn how to make a chatbot with zero programming skills and absolutely no technical knowledge.

How to Make a Chatbot in a Few Simple Steps

In this article, we will help you learn how you can build your own chatbot in 5 simple steps without coding a single line.

  1. Get a Chatbot Builder: To create an excellent chatbot for your business you need a chatbot building platform. Here are the five major features that you must look for.

  2. Ease of use – The chatbot builder that you use to make your own chatbot should be easy to use, quick to learn, intuitive, and not need any coding.

  3. Powerful – The chatbot builder should have a wide range of effective features and advanced capabilities.

  4. Support – The chatbot builder should provide you with the support team to help if you get stuck.

  5. Affordable – The chatbot builder should allow you to use and test the basic version for free, and then upgrade the plan and pay to get more features.

  6. User base – Find the chatbot builder that is popular and used by most businesses already

You can go for Appy Pie’s Chatbot Builder as it is one of the most popular chatbot building platforms. It offers an easy to use interface and allows you to build your own chatbot without using any coding. You don’t need to be technically trained to be able to use this excellent chatbot builder. Just a few clicks and your chatbot becomes ready to use.

We will talk about this chatbot builder later in detail. Let us first continue with the steps for creating a chatbot.

  • Identify the Opportunities: Before you start creating your chatbot, you must understand the opportunities for chatbots. You must first figure out what type of tasks you want to automate. You can consider artificial intelligence solutions based on two criteria – Data Complexity and Work Complexity. This analysis results in four activity models.

  • Effectiveness
  • Expertise
  • Innovation
  • Efficiency

If you know what you want from your chatbot and why you are creating it, you will be able to design the best conversation flow and place your chatbot better.

  • Understand the Goals: Make sure you know what the customer wants from your chatbot and what they can do based on your product. Finding an answer to these questions can help you create meaningful chatbot conversation flow and meet the targeted goals. This also helps the chatbot designer program the chatbot well.

  • Design a Chatbot Conversation: There are two types of chatbot interactions – structured and unstructured. As per the name, structured interactions offer the logical flow of information and include menus and choices for the users. The unstructured type, on the other hand, offers freestyle conversations with plain text. Interactions with family, friends, colleagues, etc. can be categorized under the unstructured segment. When designing chatbot conversation flow, make sure that your script and conversation topics are close to the service provided by your chatbot.

  • Build a Chatbot: Once done with the conversation flow, you can start creating your own chatbot. Let us now talk about the recommended chatbot building platform – Appy Pie Chatbot. The software offers various amazing features to help you create an excellent chatbot in just a few clicks and serve your customers better. It helps your brand stand out and delivers an excellent user experience.

Why Use Appy Pie’s Chatbot Builder to Build Your Own Chatbot?

Appy Pie’s chatbot builder helps businesses create excellent chatbots that help their users check basic information instantly. The software allows you to create your chatbot conversation flow in different languages. This helps your users from different locations can interact with your chatbot in their preferred language. For example, if you are creating a chatbot for a real-estate business, your users can check the details of the properties nearby in the language they are most comfortable with.

Here are the few major features that Appy Pie’s Chatbot Builder offers. Let’s take a look:

  • Easy to use Interface: Appy Pie’s chatbot builder provides you with an easy to navigate chatbot interface that you can use to build your own chatbot. With the simple interface of the software, you can make your chatbots both, mobile and desktop-friendly in just a few clicks.

  • Customized Chats: With Appy Pie’s chatbot builder, you can customize the chats as per your business requirements. It helps you make the chat content more appropriate.

  • Audience Targeting: Appy Pie’s chatbots help businesses target their audience as per the location. Users interacting from different locations can chat with the chatbot in different chat content that is better suited and more relevant.

  • Transfer to Live Agent: Appy Pie’s chatbot initiate chat with the users, gather their details, assist them with what they need, and transfer the chat to live agents for further assistance if required.

  • Booking Appointments: Appy Pie’s chatbot builder comes with an inbuilt feature of booking appointments. This saves your users from waiting in a queue and book a slot as per their convenience. and your availability.

  • Customized Designs: Appy Pie’s chatbots offer you the flexibility of design customization. You can change the design and layout of the chatbot as per your business preferences. Also, you can add these chatbots to your website’s landing page or use them in the form of widgets.

Appy Pie’s chatbot builder helps you create your own chatbot without coding a single line. The software is quick and offers multiple advanced features as mentioned above. It allows businesses to work round the clock and remain available for the users all the time.

Appy Pie’s chatbot builder is an affordable chatbot building tool available online and it doesn’t even need any specialized hiring or training. It helps you save up on two major commodities, time and money!

Appy Pie’s chatbot builder allows you to create chatbots for various kinds of businesses like travel, banking, HR, insurance, real estate, education, agency, media, hospitality, and many more.

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BUSINESS

How Lily Adrianne found her passion for property investment in New Zealand

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How Lily Adrianne found her passion for property investment in New Zealand

At just 27 years Lily Adrianne, a model from New Zealand, owns 11 properties.  After buying her first house in Auckland at 24 years she was motivated to buy even more property.  Life wasn’t always so easy. Before she found success, she was broke with a destructive boyfriend. It wasn’t until she had the courage to try modeling that she was able to break free from her boyfriend and earn her freedom.

However, Lily explains she plans to embark on a new venture in the property investment called house flipping. The practice has over a decade’s long history, with many investors assuming it’s an easy way to make a quick buck. Is it true? Here we demystify the myths.

What is House Flipping?

It’s a real estate investment strategy that allows the investor to purchase property, not in use, to sell it for a profit. The profit results from price appreciation from a booming real estate market or capital improvements made on the property. For example, an investor may purchase a property in a high-end neighborhood, make renovations, and offer it at a price that reflects the new upgrades. Investors who use this strategy generate a steady flow of income by performing frequent flips.

Myths about House Flipping

It’s easy to Flip Houses

The truth is that if you don’t know what you’re doing flipping houses can be a big challenge. According to new research, only 3% of homes sold during the recent New Zealand property market boom were flipped with 14,588 properties being resold within six months out of the 647,133 homes sold between 2013-2018.

In addition to fluctuating housing prices, the investor has to find trustworthy contractors to do the work on time and sometimes even insurance claims experts. If the work isn’t done correctly or on-time it can derail the entire project.

House Flipping is a Get Rich Quick Scheme

While the practice can help build wealth, you may not realize profits immediately. Many investors overlook costs such as interest costs, legal fees, renovation costs, and real estate fees, which have to be factored in the final selling price.

Income Earned is Not Taxed

This is another myth that lures first-time investors into the practice. On the contrary, any investor trading properties on a large scale is liable to pay income tax. The government has also imposed another tax called bright-line tax on properties sold within five year of purchase. What’s more, if you have a history of buying and selling properties, you may be liable for other types of tax.

House Flips can be Done Quickly

Many investors assume that home improvement projects can be done in a month or less. On the contrary, house flipping is a complicated process that can be extremely time-consuming. You have to deal with permits, homeowners insurance, title insurance, taxes, closing costs, special assessments, and more sometimes. Experts who can flip a house in a month have plenty of experience and knowledge.

High-end Properties Generate More Profit

On average, an investor can only make $30,000 from a house flip. This means flipping a more expensive house doesn’t always mean more profits. Conversely, such properties incur higher holding costs because you have a limited target demographic.

Final Thoughts

Lily has shown that it’s possible to reinvent yourself and property investment is still a booming business. Avoid the myths above and you will be well on your way to earning a good living from flipping houses.

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BUSINESS

The Top Frequently Asked Questions About Melamine Tableware!

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Top Frequently Asked Questions About Melamine Tableware!

Melamine is a durable material that makes for beautiful products including dishwares and more. Before you purchase a new set of plates, bowls, or other products, it’s good to gain some knowledge about this versatile material.

We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about melamine dishwares along with some answers, so read on to learn more.

What is Melamine?

Melamine is a durable, organic-based material that’s used to make a variety of food-safe products. From plates and cups to bowls and cooking utensils, this material is durable, heat-resistant, and practically impossible to break which makes it a popular option for cooking and serving food.

There are many perks to using melamine, including that it’s extremely easy to clean and has anti-bacterial properties. It’s the best quality food-safe plastic material on the market today, which makes it a favorite among professional and home cooks alike.

You’ll find melamine that looks similar to ceramic or porcelain, but it’s much easier to handle and won’t shatter when dropped. Our melamine can handle heavy use and won’t show scratch marks or chips.

Is Melamine Safe to Use?

Melamine dishwares are usually food safe and BPA-free. This means that no harmful chemicals will seep into your food, since the products are food-grade and rigorously tested. Our melamine products are extremely safe when using them to serve food, however, they should not be used in a conventional oven or microwave.

If melamine comes into contact with direct heat, its integrity can be compromised. However, you can clean melamine in the dishwasher with no problems whatsoever.

Will Melamine Break?

One of the reasons many in the foodservice industry prefer melamine is because this material is exceptionally difficult to break.

While there may be instances of some melamine dishwares chipping if handled improperly, your plates, bowls, and other products will not shatter if they’re dropped accidentally.

Chine and porcelain can easily break or show chips if they’re dropped or abused. With melamine, your dishwares will last much longer since they won’t break, saving you money and time.

Porcelain dishwares need to be replaced much more frequently than melamine. Since melamine doesn’t show fork marks and scratches, it’s a prime option for restaurants, hotels, and other industries where food is served to the public.

How Does Melamine Handle Hot and Cold Temperatures?

Since melamine is an insulator and not a conductor, it requires very long-term exposure to heat before the material’s properties start to change. Most products stay cool to the touch, even when serving hot food. That’s because the food will not produce enough heat for an extended period to change the temperature of the melamine.

As a server, you can handle melamine easily without worrying about burning your hands like you would with some other types of dinnerware. You can also use melamine kitchen tools, such as serving spoons to handle hot soups and other hot food products.

Melamine is also excellent for buffets and cold foods since it’s a terrific insulator. You can use melamine food pans for cold products like deli foods, salad bars, and much more. Add some ice to your melamine product to keep plated items cold.

Where Would I Use Melamine Dishes?

Since melamine is exceptionally lightweight and durable, it’s a popular option for use in a range of commercial settings. You can use our melamine dishes in restaurants, hotels, aged care facilities, catering, and much more.

Choose a product that has a sophisticated look that’s similar to handcrafted ceramic to give your presentations an upscale look. Since this material won’t break, it’s a great choice for serving kids, the elderly, and in places with a lot of activities such as amusement parks. With its durability and lightweight feel, it’s a smart choice for a wide array of outdoor or high-volume applications.

How Should I Care for Melamine Dishwares?

To keep your melamine looking new, there are a few things you can do to extend its lifespan. If you want to soak your melamine before putting it in the dishwasher, use high-quality dish detergent and allow it to soak for as long as you need to.

Avoid using serrated knives on melamine, as this could damage the protective coating. Never use melamine products in a microwave or a conventional oven.

Do not use harsh abrasive cleaners on your melamine. You should also avoid using metal scouring pads or steel wool. Instead, use a dish towel or a light-duty scrubbing pad without any abrasives.

Don’t use chlorine bleach on melamine. If you treat your melamine products with care, they should last for many years before you need to replace them.

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