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Ware2Go: UPS Launches Flexible Warehouse Fulfillment Solutions

The industry of e-commerce is on the rise. While already crucial to a business’s financial success, efficient e-commerce practices are predicted to become more and more essential in a society that expects goods to be purchased conveniently and delivered quickly. According to leading market research provider Statista, 360.3 billion US dollars worth of physical goods were sold in 2016, and that number is only expected to increase to 603.4 billion US dollars by 2021. Another study by Statista states that currently, 9% of retail sales in the United States are goods purchased via the internet, but if trends in countries like China, in which online sales of physical goods amount to 23.1%, and the UK, in which online sales of physical goods amount to 19.1%, are to be evaluated, the United States is soon to follow in their tracks. This emerging trend of e-commerce has been putting small businesses, who are already facing heightened competition as a consequence of global growth, at a significant disadvantage to larger businesses. While large businesses have the funds and resources to open warehouses all over the country, or to purchase the services of career warehouses (which require long-term volume and time commitments, as well as individual contracts for each warehouse) so as to get items to customers as efficiently as possible, small businesses cannot afford to do so. As a result, small businesses often must ship items from far-away locations and take days or weeks longer than their larger competitors to reach customers. According to Dotcom’s Distribution’s 2016 study, 87% of online shoppers say delivery time affects their decision to buy a product and 44% of online shoppers say quick delivery increases their trust in a brand. Bloomberg News claims that 60% of buyers expect 1-2 day delivery. Research by KPMG’s network of independent consulting firms, published in 2017, states that 43% of consumers cited “delivery options” as the most important factor in deciding where to purchase an item from online, following only “lowest price” at 57%. While large corporations are making moves to meet this demand for quick service, smaller companies have been…

Shopping on Instagram (and Beyond) – What to Expect

Instagram as it stands is crucial to the development of businesses everywhere. Whether it’s paying Instagram influencers to promote brands, managing user-generated content campaigns, or purchasing Instagram ads, Instagram has developed as one of the premiere apps for businesses looking to increase their brand awareness. Since the 2016 launch of the “Instagram Business Profile,” in which Instagram began to offer analytics data and a user-friendly advertisement creation system, the number of businesses marketing on Instagram has risen from 1.6 million in 2016 to 15 million in 2017 to a whopping 25 million today. According to Instagram’s internal data 80% of Instagram users follow business accounts, and according to eMarketer, 71% of businesses in the United States have Instagram accounts. Instagram Business users have been employing tools such as branded hashtags (hashtags increase engagement by at least 12.6%), user-generated content campaigns (users are 4.5% more likely to engage with your brand if you employ influencers), and Instagram analytics and public data that reveals information such as top-performing post-types (tip: photos with faces get 38% more likes) and the 80/20 rule (20% of content should be promotional and 80% should focus on engagement) to gain followers and increase brand awareness ( Now, Instagram has developed a method to translate that brand awareness directly into sales. According to The Verge, Instagram is in the process of developing a tie-in shopping app that allows Instagram users to browse the goods of businesses they follow and directly purchase them. This app intends to make it easier for users to reach and purchase content they already enjoy, and in turn makes it easier for businesses to remind individuals who enjoy their content that they are more than just a page with great content, but a brand with products users can take home. This app will be particularly helpful in promoting small businesses in the world of online shopping, which attracts 79% of shoppers in America. Online shopping for small businesses has been historically dominated by websites such as Amazon that bring products of all different types together on an accessible platform, but that does not promote individualized content…

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