Monday, 18 July 2011

iPhone Apps To Help With Shopping

Like you need help with shopping?

Shopping, an occasional or a weekly ritual, can be the activity your family spends a lot of time and money on. Most people make the biggest mistake of rushing to supermarkets or shops without any idea of what to buy. As a result, they end up spending lots of money. Having an effective shopping list is a must to avoid financial and time-related problems.
iPhones are great to be with while shopping on a busy day. Here are two great FREE iPhone applications that’ll definitely make your trip to the local businesses and retailers a lot easier.


You can take a photo of a product’s barcode and this application will provide price comparisons and product reviews. It’s great to have in your iPhone for a more convenient way of shopping things with a tight budget.


Shopping malls are really big to contain all the necessary things that people might buy. It allows yourself do navigate the crowded place effectively as it downloads the shopping mall’s map. Locate the nearest shop for the things you want to buy with just a single shake or push of a button.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Has IKEA Changed Furniture Shopping?

IKEA has become one of the most notorious home furniture shops in the world, and this is obvious through the predominance of their furniture.
Targeting a common market, they offer home wares and furniture for nearly all applications. Because of this you will be hard pushed to find someone who has not purchased IKEA furniture some time in their life.

However IKEA furniture tends to lack any individualism to it, and this is commonly reported by the IKEA opposition. You will find that the majority of IKEA furniture has a distinct nordic style, and is built to a budget. Because of this you will find that the majority of the furniture is flat pack, and it has become synonymous that flat pack furniture is of low quality.

This has sparked a debate over flat pack furniture and hand made furniture, and which is the better bang for your buck?
It is typically argued that the extra spending is fully justified when comparing hand made furniture to flat pack furniture, however The Logical Directory have published an excellent article on flat pack vs hand made furniture.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Facebook In Decline?

It seems that the Facebook boom is now starting to see a decline in their growth-rate, with recent posted figures showing that the growth rate has dropped over the last 2 months.

Speculation has suggested that the user base would have hit 1 billion people by the end of the year (2011). However with current figures it is a lot more likely that the user base will only just hit the plus side of 800 million. With current standings the user following is just shy of 700 million, however the active user statistics has gone un-published.

Many would suggest this growth is only rivalled by alternative social media platform; Twitter. Since 2006 Twitter has seen many ups and downs in growth and has really seen an upsurge in 2011. Website Monitoring has actually produced an info-graphic to depict their growth over the last few years - Infographic

One of the contributing factors for the decline in growth of Facebook has been attributed to the rise of alternative social networking and blogging platforms. Many people are using these as a developed method of publishing their writing, keeping in contact with friends and distributing news. Recent trends and statistics release could indicate that the whole social networking and blogging may be in general decline. Some example stats are -
Rate It All - Traffic down 9% over last month
Tweako - Traffic up 9% over last month
Faves - Traffic down 28% over last month
Diigo - Traffic down 1% over last month
MyLinkVault - Traffic down 8% over last month
A1 Webmarks - Traffic down 2% over last month
Google Bookmarks - No stats available

Utilising a mixture of these sites many people are able to advance their online writing and networking to many other states and even nationwide. People are also exploiting these methods for business and other advertising matters. This has recently wained in popularity and is a lot more evident within Facebook advertising, and this obtrusive advertising has deterred many users from frequent or returning visits.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Tools To Make Your Blogging Easier

I have recently come across a great set of tools from leading blogger Chipp Thomas, and thought its worth everyone knowing about this.

Located on his site at, the page lists some of Chipps popular blogging tools which is promised to be regularly updated.
Including a range of productivity increasing tools as well as inspirational tools, you are sure to find something to make your blogging experience a little bit easier.

I for one know that maintaining all your online properties can be a bit hectic. I have a friend who has around 8 blogs so I can only sympathise for her, but these suggestions will make it a little more smooth.

I for one am now following Chipp, he has some amazing posts already and he offers some great advice for us bloggers, so get over there and let him know your feedback!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Top Social Sites ALL Businesses Should Be On

If your business is not taking full advantage of the internet then you are really missing the next big marketplace.
With more and more people shopping online, shops have seen a decrease in retail store sales. If you did not believe this is happening, then even Mary Portas has been challenged by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to review the future of the High Street and attempt to bring back interest into brick and mortar stores. This should be evidence enough that your marketplace is changing, and you need to be pragmatic in your approach to marketing and sales.

Over the years online retail has become more and more popular, and the majority of businesses will have a website online, or at least be looking to launch their online presence. Harnessing this sales tool is vital for businesses in the 21st century, and we are going to give you some tips on how to help your website reach its full potential - getting sales!

Social Media

Social Media sites are normally large community based sites which are used for submitting and ranking different stories, products, pictures or articles. These are a great way to attract relevant traffic, but you have to get a little bit clever -

1. Digg - Digg is a popular social media much like Reddit, which bases its content on a system of user reviews, if your submission is liked then it will be published on the front page and will attract lots of traffic. Always start by submitting something useful to a specific category, and see where it takes you. I would not advise submitting your website home page, as this just seems like self-promotion. You want to post something that will contribute to the community and be informative or useful.

2. - This is a simple platform where you can share your favourite content, and have it reviewed by other users of the site. Visitors can submit URLs and browse through articles and relevant information in all sorts of categories.

3. StumbleUpon - A very active platform that allows users to access useful, interesting and informative content that they would never normally see. Submit yours to a relevant category and as users come across it they can vote and promote your website for you!

4. Squidoo - More of a micro-blogging platform than a submit and see website, Squidoo allows you to create your own information based website which is then distributed around their network. This is an ideal way to share the secrets of your trade and let out some insider knowledge. A good example is the UK Shopping lens which is both informative and insightful.


Networking can be a great way to meet similar communities of people and get involved with upcoming events, recruitment, promotions and much more.

1. LinkedIn - This is the one website synonymous with professional networking on the web. Sign up and get your business listed along with your market, employees and relevant profiles. This will then allow other businesses to contact you in regards to reciprocal agreements or even business opportunities. You will also find LinkedIn is a great way to find qualified recruits for any job openings you may have.

2. Facebook - Yeah this might seem like a weird one for a lot of you, but Facebook is no longer just for kids. Many businesses are using this platform as a tool for advertising and marketing their products or services, and they are reporting great results. Because Facebook advertising is still fairly new, prices are still quite low so there is no reason why you should not test it out.

This should be enough to get you started at least. Remember try not to use these sites for shameless self-promotion, but try and contribute something useful to the community and you will get a lot more response and interest. The most common route taken to solve this is to write an in-depth article about your business or your market, and use that to submit. For example you may own a local clothing store, so you could write about changing fashion trends, new designer labels etc. This can then be tied in to your website and readers will gain interest and hopefully browse your site as a potential customer.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Good Website Photography is Essential to Good Website Design

With the increasing reach of the internet, you are never more than a few clicks away from your desired information.

However there seems to be a split when it comes to form and functionality. You will notice many top information websites have invested lots of time in the website design, layout and imagery, which increasing your chances of returning.

This technique of website design and aesthetics has become a very important factor for online retailers, and many are investing lots of time and money in the look of their site. As you can see in the newly launched Triumph Lingerie website, there has been no cutting corners on the look and presentation of the website.

This all stems from good quality product and website photography, without the best photos of your products you will have a hard time selling them to potential customers.
With this in mind some of the top website and product photographers have started charging lots for photo shoots, whether its products, models or the establishment.

Recently we had been tasked with sourcing website imagery for a client, and rather than resorting to generic stock photos they were willing to spend a little extra to get it done right.
In the end we found a wonderful little agency in Bristol who specialised in product and website content photography for small businesses. We actually arranged the guys to come up to meet us where they carried out the shoot (they bought all the equipment necessary) of the products and a few of the store.

Shortly after the pictures were shot, the editing was completed by them too. And upon approval we were given a set of RAW images we could use in future campaigns, but also beautifully edited product pictures which were ideal for the website.

All this for a fraction of the price others seem to charge. So if you are looking for some quality website photography then check out Atomic Smash in Bristol.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Online Shopping, is it a generational thing?

Many have said that online shopping is reserved for those aged under 40, however with recent online trends we have seen a notable increase in the older generation of online shoppers.

Now we are not saying that anyone over 40 never bought anything online, its just the numbers dropped significantly when polling the 40+ generations. We found this was due in part to technophobes but also due to a lack of confidence in their online security. This can be seen through many scenarios where an elderly user has been mislead into a fraudulent purchase or even an online scam.

Many people will encounter similar attempts on a daily basis, however younger generations were able to identify a scam much more easily in comparison. However trends have shown that online retail has risen across the board, with notable growth in the older generations.

This has so far been put down to a a few contributing factors, however the main one being the increase in online security. As this has had a positive effect in increasing trust, it has also had a knock-on effect of increasing online retail.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Shopping For Retro Furniture

Retro chairs are restoring their image as a contemporary style icon. Built for both style and functionality, these chairs provide comfort, design and looks all at the same time. With the 60s and 70s furniture being idealised, many are wanting to own some of this retro furniture for their own home. Particularly popular among younger adults, these style icons are becoming harder to find, and increasingly more expensive. These pieces are often in high demand all over the world, particularly places in London. If you do not have an expendable budget north of £500, you are going to have do a little looking to find your desired style icon.
This article explains some of the tips and advice we have collected on our search for Retro Furniture >>

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Gift Hampers - the perfect present?

With Birthdays and holidays being in such regularity there is always a need for good gifts. Every time it comes round you need to give some thought to the gift to ensure they will appreciate the effort, this can take a long time if you tend to be as specific as me.
Sometimes its easier to get a fairly broad gift, and tailor it to the recipient. This has worked wonders for card companies such as MoonPig. Now we are seeing this being taken across other areas of the market, for example you can now design and print your own tshirts on CafePress, customize your trainers with Adidas and many more.

We figured this revolution could be bought to the art of gift buying, which is why it was no surprise when we came across this range of gift hampers from a deli in somerset. Being a deli obviously allowed them to keep the freshest of products, and with such an extensive knowledge of the local area they also sourced some rare and unique items.
Next time you are having the dilemma of buying presents, consider buying a gift hamper for that special someone.

Small Business Promotion

Online promotion can be fraught with terror, and for small businesses that is sometimes enough to deter them completely. Speaking to some local businesses in Somerset, UK, I found a common phrase being repeated; 'once bitten, twice shy.
Obviously people have had bad encounters in this area before, however there is many things the small business can do for themselves. For example writing online articles to be published in an Article Directory is a smart way to promote any small business and educate consumers. The articles published in an article directory are usually fairly short, between 500 and 1000 words, and each one gives viewers more information about a product, company, or service you offer. This allows potential customers to gain access about your company or services without actually visiting your site. This increases your online presence and is usually the first step when promoting your business website.