Why is a Shopping cart Important?

When you hear the term shopping cart, you may think of the physical shopping cart that you push around the store when you go to a supermarket. That is not the type of cart being referred to here. Rather in e-commerce terms, a shopping cart is a virtual basket where you collect items that you would like to purchase online. It has the same use a physical cart. It simply operates in a virtual online environment.

How an e-Commerce Shopping cart Works

An e-commerce cart is usually linked up to your payment mechanism and merchant account. As items are added to the shopping cart, the software automatically draws up an inventory of the items listed for purchase. It will usually have the name of the cart, the price and the quantity wanted for purchase. At any stage while the customer is browsing the website, they can click on the cart and see what items they have chosen to purchase. When customers are ready to check out, they can simply open the cart, check the contents and then proceed to the checkout to make payment.

Benefits of Using a Shopping cart on Your website

Imagine if you wanted to shop for a number of different items but you weren’t able to collect them. After finding each item, you had to proceed to the checkout and pay for each item individually. Thereafter, you could head back into the store and get the next item. No one would shop like that in a real supermarket so expecting customers to do so on an e-commerce website is not good business practice. Even though there is no physical effort involved the process, it is still time consuming and could be frustrating to customers. A shopping cart allows customers to collect items and then conveniently pay for everything at once.

Another benefit of a shopping cart is that it can actually help you increase your sales. If customers find one product on your site, there is the distinct possibility that they will be interested in other similar or complementary products that you have on offer. By having a feature that makes suggestions to your customers, they may end up buying several products from you instead of just one. From a customer’s perspective, a cart makes shopping online far more convenient. If you see a product you like, you can earmark it by adding it to your cart. Doing so does not mean that you are obligated to purchase it. It simply means that you are interested in purchasing it and want to set the item aside. You are then free to continue browsing the website for other products that may be of interest to you.

How a Shopping cart Integrates into Your e-Commerce System

A shopping cart is just one of the components that makes shopping online possible. It usually comes as part of your payment mechanism or e-commerce merchant account solution. The cart links up to the product database and depending on what system you have, it could also be linked up to your inventory and delivery system. As products are added to the shopping cart, your database of products is updated. This can then show other customers if you have the item in stock or if it is sold out. The shopping cart is also the first step in the payment process. Since most online transactions are paid for using credit cards, the shopping cart is usually linked to your merchant account. In order to facilitate the payment process, it is important that the whole checkout process is smooth, fast and efficient. Using one system that starts with the shopping cart and ends with the payment confirmation is one of the best ways to ensure that this is the case.

The importance of Efficiency on an e-Commerce Site

In the online environment, customers are impatient and fussy. If a system takes too long, does not offer benefits, or is cumbersome to work through, customers will simply logout and shop elsewhere. Worst of all there is no way for you to gauge a customer’s reaction to your system in the online environment. In a real store, you may have the opportunity to talk the customers around if you see they are unhappy about something; however, in the online environment, customers either purchase from you or they don’t. You therefore need to make sure that your systems are efficient and user-friendly, and a shopping cart is an important part of that process.

Comparison Shopping Offers you Maximum Benefits

Web shopping has become the simplest and most convenient way to shop for the goods and services that you want and this is the main reason that most folks prefer to shop within the comfort of their homes. So whether you are planning to buy discount products, electrical goods or anything under the sun, online comparison shops are your most preferable options. You can access them through the fast forward internet as it gives people the convenience of saving time and effort and also avail the chance to buy goods at discount rates.

Online shopping is all about saving your precious time, money, gas so think about it and you can simply type in the search box the product that you are interested in buying through the internet sites which are ready to direct you to find the perfect discount deals.

Through the online mode you can even make lucrative bargains that will help you save money and even make your online shopping experience worth while. The easy accessibility of the online and globalised market through which products can be bought even when you are confined in your homes is really remarkable.

More and more people are comfortable with the online shopping experience as they have realized its efficient ways that can actually help them to search out the products of their choice based on their budget. Plus there are also many comparisons online sites through which you can even search out the best offers that the retailers are ready to share with you and make a perfect decision based on the specific information.

In fact comparison shopping sites are here to make the whole deal of online shopping more easy as you don’t need to search around looking up hundreds of sites when you can connect directly with the comparison sites that offer you the best competitive deals that are within your budget and according to your specifications delivered at your doorstep.

Connecting to a comparison site of a Shopping Bot you will be able to know the prices that are available online based on your specifications. And so these sites work up in getting you the most cost effective deals and quality products that you can buy.

Though in the past the obvious choice was to scurry around running from one store to the other gathering information and making final decisions but now the online mode has ruled out all these difficulties and made things easier and convenient for people to shop and buy the best products in a cost effective way.

Comparison shopping is the best way of this fast forward age as it has taken a upper hand and is much easier and convenient form of shopping as compared to the online sites. This is all because the comparison shopping sites aim at bringing all the top choices on a single platform for your convenience.

The top Shopping Malls in Orlando

If shopping is your passion, then Orlando could be the ideal vacation for you. You’ll find big names and big discounts at Orlando’s shopping malls.

Here’s our guide to the Top Shopping malls in Orlando

The Mall at Millenia

The Mall at Millenia is an amazing shopping experience, and popular with locals and visitors from all over the world. The Mall at Millenia is distinctive shopping mall with dramatic architecture, and the facilities on offer make this shopping mall an experience like no other. As well as the big name shops you’ll find a Post office, valet parking, currency exchange and a concierge service. There are wheelchairs and strollers available for shoppers to enjoy all 150 stores. Shops include Abercrombie & Fitch, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Chanel and Gucci.

Orlando Premium Outlets

Another well loved shopping mall with stores including 7 For all Mankind, Banana Republic, DKNY, Ted Baker and Victoria’s Secret. Grab a bite to eat at Subway, Starbucks or Japan CafĂ© Grill. This shopping mall also offers its visitors foreign exchange facilities, wheelchairs and stroller rental.

Orlando Premium Outlets

Shopping malls are located at Vineland Avenue as well as International Drive.

Florida Mall

There’s something for everyone at central Florida’s largest mall with 1. 9 million square feet of shopping. But this is far more than shopping. Florida Mall is an experience you’ll never forget and an amazing day out with the family. This is a must do for anyone visiting Orlando. Shops include JCPenney, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Hollister and Pottery Barn. As well as this, Florida Mall offers a choice of 30 restaurants and cafes. There is also a soft play area, a gift wrapping section and valet parking

Festival Bay

Much more than shopping. Located at International Drive, Festival Bay Mall offers Vans Skatepark, Monkey Joe’s fun-filled inflatable play centre, Loose Ends Hair salon and glow in the dark mini golf at Putting Edge Fun Center. Hardcore shoppers need not worry! As well as all of this you can enjoy Nine West, Universal Orlando Store, Perfume Studio and Ron Jon Surf Shop. There are some fantastic restaurant options to, such as options at Cricketers Arms English Pub, Bergamo’s Italian Restaurant and Fuddruckers. To complete the experience, there is also a movie theatre with all the latest films to enjoy.

So, you’ll see, if shopping is your thing then Orlando is the place to go. And even if it’s not, there’s a lot more than just shops to keep you entertained.

Features of an Effective Online Shopping cart

Gone are those days when people would actually go to a market for shopping. Shopping goods online is the current trend now. Online shopping is the process where consumers directly buy goods or services from a seller through internet. Online shopping cart is a technology that is been in the market for the past few years. It is a software by which anybody can shop or sell any product from anywhere, rather than going into a market. Products like e-commerce, software, games, etc can be sold online and e-commerce payment processing is provided by this tool.

Products can be added as well as removed from the online shopping system. Shopping tools are mainly meant for those people who don’t have time to go for shopping in the markets; likewise they can save time and money. These new trends lead to the increasing number of shopping software or carts. In today’s competing world, online shopping software is the requirement of each company, to spread their market worldwide. This is quiet useful for both companies and buyers. Profit of this online tool can be increased by increasing revenue and reducing cost. Even though there are a number of online shopping carts, providing communication, data management and security to the clients, each one among of are not good enough, you can rely only on a few.

Following are the features of this tool.

Secure transaction – One of the most important features of this shopping tool is secure transaction, from where you can develop a customer’s faith and this is how a Shopping cart Company grows.

Easy back navigation – The tool should have the option of back navigation i. e., it should let the user navigate from one page to the other easily.

Customer support – You should provide unlimited support to your shopping cart, so in case if you are stuck with any problem, you can troubleshoot.

Automatic calculation of tax, shipping costs and total costs based on information from buyer’s address – Real time shipping rates should be offered by the shopping cart i. e., it does not make any sense in first buying the cost effective product and then add on the saved amount on delivery charges.

Payment processor – Most importantly you should check the number of payment processors to which the online shopping cart is integrated with, so you can determine how good the cart is. If the online cart is integrated with just one or two payment processors it is difficult shop.

Secure saving of customer information – Towards the end you should hunt for the safety and security of the online shopping cart script. If you neglect this parameter, there are chances of your personal details getting hacked while the transaction is taking place.

Enable editing option – Owner should be able to easily add, delete and modify the contents of shopping cart.

International currency payment support – The shopping cart software should support international currency payment.

Shop Online For Clothes, Tips To help you get What You want

There is nothing most women love more than shopping. Now you can do your clothes shopping online. Avoid the hassles of the crowded mall and the high prices of department stores. Clothes shopping online can be exciting and it goes without saying that is a lot more convenient.

You can do all of the shopping you like from the privacy of your home or on the go.

Trying to juggle work and family is enough to drive you to the brink and getting the shopping done without taking time away from the already hectic schedule you keep can add hours to the day. No longer do you have to rush out to try to get to the shops before closing time. There is nothing worse than having to leave work, pick up the kids who are most often in separate areas of the city and then try to race to the department store only to get there just as they are locking the doors.

Clothes shopping online open the world up to you. You can buy items that are sold in other countries for a fraction of what they would cost here. You can buy clothes directly from the manufacturers and that will cut the cost almost in half, in most cases. You never have to worry about closing time since the Internet stores are available 24/7/365.

There are those who balk at clothes shopping online but that is because they fear being able to get the right fit. It is important that before you begin shopping online you take accurate measurements. One woman actually goes to the stores to try on similar garments to make certain the one she is ordering will look right on her. This may sound a bit redundant but by clothes shopping online she finds the same item for 30-50-80% less than the one she tried on. That is something to think about in these tough economic times.

Here are four other tips that will make your clothes shopping online experience more enjoyable.

1. A lot of items are labeled “small”, “medium” or “large”. This may sound fine but all small items are not cut on the same scale. Knowing the exact measurements of the person you are shopping for will ensure your purchase will fit properly.

2. If you are in doubt about how to measure your body, go to a clothing store and let one of the people there measure you. Get your bust, inseam, arm length, neck and waist measurements.

3. Feel free to ask questions-most online shops provide you with an avenue to contact them directly.

4. Be aware of shipping charges and learn how to find the deals before committing to any purchase.

By practicing these simple steps you will find that clothes shopping online can be as pleasurable an experience as going to the mall. If you find that sort of thing a pleasure.

Shopping Centres in Lagos

This particular and specific city of Lagos is being flooded and covered with the shopping plazas, markets and shopping malls. This is quite and rather exciting. So, for all the men and women who like to shop for themselves, this is the right time to make your dream come true. The shopping malls and the shopping centers in the city of Lagos are enormous and great in number. As you read more about the Lagos you will be able to take to know through this piece of writing each and every detail regarding this sector. In this way, your all inquiries and questions will be resolved in a detailed way. Silverbird Galleria shopping centre, The Palms shopping mall, The e-center and Nigerian army shopping centre can be considered for the shopping.

This is only a tip of the ice berg. You will feel true pleasure can only be taken whenever you yourself are going to make a visit to these beautiful plazas and centers.

The palms shopping plaza is one of the wildest super marts in the city of Lagos. From low price items to the most expensive particulars are available here in this spectacular city which is quite and rather great! Hopes have been high which have been place on a very advanced level. You can go and take this golden opportunity right away. As it is the most populous city, it is the thickly populated country, there is the only reason that it is being crowded and covered up with the Lagos. This shopping mart contain and consist of many stores which is remarkable and particular in its own way.

Lagos city mall have many shop with African artwork, crafts, cloths, jewellery, makeup, batteries, Lamps, rugs, dolls, toys, books and other articles made from African materials including bags, napkins, men’s and women’s clothing, frames for Pictures etc.

The ultra modern and multiple shopping plazas are here which instantly and directly grab the attention of the buyers and purchasers without wasting their time. Galleria shopping centre has also been ranked as the best shopping mall and plazas in this particular and specific city. This sector is being gaining and making a large amount of impulse in the best possible way and manner. Various and larger number of productions and items are being provided and offered to you to treat yourself expeditiously and effectively.

Information about the shopping centre and plazas are being furnished and provided to avoid any sort of inconvenience. This is quite and rather good. In this regards some more projects and proposals are being started by the government in order to continue large number of tourists and visitors. Wide numbers of products are there in one shopping centre so not a single buyer has to go through each and every mall to search for the particular item or for the things.

Thus, it is quite and rather marked that the this special city of Lagos is being winning up and weaving up with full excitation as it covered with a lot of shopping plazas and malls. Hopefully, in the future, progressive and improved side of this sector will be seen in a close span of time.

What Do People Prefer: Internet Shopping or in store Shopping?

I am of the opinion that even with the advent of the Internet facilities, the number of people who go to brick-and-mortar shops for shopping activities has not decreased. As rightly said by Rita Rudner, “Buying something in-store is a very special feeling. In fact, the less I pay for something, the more it is worth to me. ”

First, shopping in-store has several functions. One of these is the economic function, such as buying a product. Shopping may also fulfill some social functions (meeting people and conversation) and recreational functions (physical exercise, entertainment). Psychological needs may also be met by this activity, such as the need for exposure to information, or to fresh stimuli. Even though, the Internet makes it possible to conduct activities such as working and shopping without travelling to activity places, the concept of e-shopping has been restricted to a certain category of goods and people. This has influenced people at a given time to think whether to buy online, or to buy in-store.

Second, product characteristics affect e-shopping. The kinds of products that are popularly purchased via e-shopping are computers, computer hardware and software, CDs, books, travel tickets, cinema and concert tickets, and fast food such as pizza. However, people prefer to buy such items as clothes, furniture, and cosmetics in-store. Of the online grocery shoppers, most would not buy meat, dairy produce, or other perishables online.

Third, e-shopping rates relatively low in comparison with in-store shopping on such shopping mode characteristics as product information, product sales, security of transactions, and ease of returning merchandise. People who opt for e-shopping do it only for saving time and having flexibility in shopping hours. Moreover, shopping online deprives us of the opportunity to test the products in order to see if their quality meets our standards. Shopping in stores gives us the opportunity to test the products at our own pace, as well as ask for clarifications and details that only face-to-face interaction provides.

Fourth, people still see some value in going to the store. The good thing about going to a store to shop is that we get the chance to go out and be with people. Another thing, when we go to the store, we can buy what we want and we can know what the store has. In contrast, we will never know when stores might have something on-line, and they do not get it for us immediately. It is rather a waste to wait for a product we want than to go to the store and pick it up right away. Further, e-shopping is mainly done by people in professional occupations and with high incomes.

Fifth, it is about trust. Some people simply do not trust the idea of adding their credit card information online. Shopping online means we will need to pay for our purchases via a credit card, a PayPal account or an E-Check. Not everyone is comfortable paying this way and because of that they will continue to shop in stores when they can shop online.

Online Shopping Security – Is My Online Shopping Information Safe?

Just as shopping on the internet has grown the past few years, so have the opportunities for the bad guys to do MAJOR damage to an online shopper. Just as there are muggers, thieves and pickpockets in the malls, so there are online thieves and muggers on the internet, just waiting to “pick your pocket” and grab your identity. However, technology has come to the rescue to “save the day. ”

If you are concerned (and well you should be) about the safety of your identity or credit information when you shop online, you are smart to shop only at those sites that you know and trust, those that are committed to safeguarding your information when you shop online.

What Can you Do?:

Be sure the site is secure by checking the address line in your browser. Look for the “https”- the “S” indicates that you are at a secure, encrypted check-out site.
Use a credit card instead of a debit card or online check, if possible. That way you have better recourse.
If you receive an email or telephone call that there is a question about your payment, contact the retailer at the telephone number or email address provided on their website under “Contact us” in order to find out if there really was an issue.
An online store will not normally ask you to “Verify” your payment source or bank account once you leave the site. If there is a question about your payment, they will simply cancel or suspend the order, inform you of what they did and why, then give you specific information as to what you should do next. It almost always involves going back to the website.
Other Safeguards

There are several more ways you can protect yourself and your payment information when you shop online. Here are a few that we use.

Many online retailers have the option of paying through PayPal. At PayPal you can choose your funding options — credit card, debit card or online check. Or you can send money to your account to set up a credit balance. You can open your account at PayPal.com.
Shop only at major stores and/or online shopping malls. If you are unsure of the store, see if it is part of a “shopping portal” — another name for an online shopping mall. Most reputable shopping portals check out the merchants and verify that their online stores use a secure payment system, or “shopping cart, ” before allowing them to become part of their portal.
NEVER allow the store to “remember” your payment information. Yes, it’s a hassle pulling out your card every time, but it’s worth your peace of mind.
Be sure to print out the web page and all confirmations and documentation associated with your order.
Just as you would do when shopping in a brick and mortar store, be sure that you understand the store’s return policy to avoid any “legitimate” loss of money. If you find you must return an item, first find out if you can just go to the retailer’s local brick and mortar store. If not, be sure that you fill out and pay for a “proof of delivery” from the Post Office. It’s less that a dollar, and is well worth it.
If you are shopping for services or booking travel online, we still give you the same caveats. Payment information is not to be stored on the internet anywhere.
In conclusion:

When you come right down to it, online shopping is probably a lot safer than in a physical store or by mall. Being safe when you shop online is mostly just a matter of common sense.

Tips and Traps of Starting Your online Yarn Shop

I was recently asked if i could offer some tips about starting an online yarn shop. I was keen to help, as I have recently made the leap into my own online venture. So here are some of the tips and traps that this not so young player experienced in the wonderful journey that became my very own yarn shop!

These tips apply to all types of online business and are not intended to be a complete guide. I urge all potential business owners to use the many resources available both online and in the greater community. It is a hugely challenging and exciting step to take but being a one person business doesn’t mean you have to do it alone! So here are my top tips for anyone thinking about starting their own online business and living their dream.

1 – Learn about business. It’s not just buying and selling. While you may have strengths in some areas, there are specific things that you must learn. No-one can be an expert on every aspect of running a business. Get training (local college courses, government funded programs etc) and make sure you have at least a basic understanding of all areas of business. I started my business with the assistance of an Australian Government funded program called NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme). It is a program for people who are registered as unemployed and who want to start their own business. The program offers training (Cert 4 in Small business Management, which is a Nationally Accredited course), a fortnightly payment which is paid for 12 months, and regular mentoring sessions. I found the learning process extremely valuable and eye-opening, as i was introduced to many business concepts that i was not aware of. Without this training, my business dream would have remained just that.

2 – Know what is involved. There are many facets of running a business and if you go into this blind you will almost certainly fail. Make a close friend of your local Small business organisation. It is one of the smartest things you will ever do.

Startup funding. Do you have savings that you can put towards setting up a new business? Or will you need to apply for finance, in the form of loans or grants?
Regulations – Does your local Government have rules about running your type of business, eg, home business regulations, insurance?
Taxation – This one is probably the most challenging of all. Get some basic advice from your taxation regulator. Their websites are usually packed with good information about starting and building a business and complying with taxation laws. If this is not one of your strengths, budget for an accountant to help you with this. Even if it is, you should have an accountant on hand for annual returns.
3 – Website and supporting systems – Be prepared to spend time and money on your website design and implementation. Online businesses are booming, but that doesn’t mean they are easier to set up than traditional stores. You can’t just slap up a website and expect visits and sales from day one. You need to optimise your site so all of the major search engines can find you and customers can reach your site based on their chosen search terms. If you use a website designer ask them about SEO (Search engine optimisation). It can add a significant cost to the build, so learn as much as you can and do as much as possible yourself if you can.

Know what you need from your business systems. Do you have web design experience (which is quite different to knowledge, as i found out! )#). Do you know what you need in a website/shopping cart? Again, talk to people, check out web design firms and contact their clients for feedback. Don’t assume that a website/shopping cart will have the features that you assume are standard, eg, stock control, email and newsletter facilities.

The same goes for accounting and office software. If you have bookkeeping experience you are ahead of many. If not, consider taking a short course or employing a bookkeeper. Yes, this will add to your operating costs, but so will being stung with a huge tax bill!

Make sure your computer skills are up to date, as you will be doing lots of word processing, budgeting and emails. You may also want to invest in a writing course, as you will be shocked at how much time you will spend banging away at the keyboard, replying to emails, social networking posts, preparing newsletters and blogs.

4 – Do your market research. If you don’t do this you won’t have a market to sell to. Obviously you are going into business because you have a passion for something, whether it be knitting, gardening, or any other reason. You may excel in one or more areas, but don’t assume you know what customers want based on your beliefs.

I spent weeks researching yarn websites, checking what they were selling and seeing what other services they offered (blogs, freebies, tutorials etc). I looked at their design and overall feel. I also visited local yarn shops to see how I could translate the physical shop front into a virtual one. The main message I drew from this was that i had to provide a friendly, easy to use and informative website with plenty of variety and ways for the customer to interact with the store.

You need to know who your competitors are. Direct competitors are those who sell the same type of product that you want to sell. Indirect competitors can be retailers who sell mass produced knitwear or cheap non-branded yarns. Your business plan should include a general description of your competition and outline how you will fit into the current industry and how you will stand out from the crowd.

You are looking to offer a USP (unique selling proposition). This can be selling a product that no-one else carries that is in demand, or providing a service that isn’t available, for instance, coffee shop facilities, delivery service, classes etc. It’s all about developing your business as a brand. Think of some big companies and note down what comes to mind when you hear their name. It is as much about how they do business as the products they sell.

5 – Develop a business plan. This can be done on your own or with the assistance of Business Support Centres. A business plan is essential for obtaining finance, as well as being your “bible” that you refer to frequently, both to see if your business is performing as per the plan, and also to remind you why you did this crazy thing in the first place!

A well prepared business plan gives you an edge when you are negotiating finance and getting started, as it shows that you are serious and professional in your approach. It should include results of market research, your biography as it relates to your intended business and a set of start up and projected financials.

6 – Develop an effective marketing strategy for your business. Letterbox drops may not be the most effective way to promote an online business, but well placed posters and flyers in shopping centres, libraries, community centres, retirement homes, hospitals may work well. Print advertising doesn’t have to be restricted to just yarn magazines. Consider parenting, craft and lifestyle magazines as well.

Use social networking sites. I have a Twitter account and a Facebook page. Out of the 2 Facebook has been the most valuable, as it offers the viewer a look inside my business and its core values. This relates to building your brand. I didn’t realise the relevance of this at first, but after attending a couple of business seminars and doing my market research, I realised that my “brand” is the core of what I do. My aim is to assist knitters of all skill levels but particularly new and inexperienced knitters, who may be afraid to approach a high-end store for advice. This is becoming my “brand”.

Identifying your brand is a key feature of your business plan, so try to get this established as early as you can. And do remember, your original business idea may well evolve and change as you respond to customer demands.

7 – Be prepared to generate no income for at least a year. Although I receive an allowance for the first 12 months, I still have to rely on my savings to survive. You may have to consider running your business alongside a “real” job for a time. I haven’t resorted to this yet but I do feel the time may come fairly soon. In the meantime I am doing everything I can to prevent this, but have to be realistic.

8 – Network. Talk to people! If you want an insider view on the type of business you want to run, talk to someone who runs a similar one. Obviously you could scare some operators who perceive you as a potential threat. Why not talk to someone who runs a non- competing business, for instance, if your business is knitting yarn, talk to a scrap booking or other craft shop owner. They are usually happy to answer questions and take an interest. You can also contact the same business type in a completely different location, as they are unlikely to be a direct competitor.

Participate in forums and subscribe to newsletters and magazines to keep up with trends and gather feedback from people who use the products you want to sell. When I was first looking at starting a yarn business I wanted it to be a physical shop, containing a coffee shop and play area as well as an extensive yarn selection. I posed the question “What would your dream yarn shop look like/have? ” to a local forum group and they came up with exactly what I had envisioned. This was really encouraging, but after a lot of thought and soul searching, I realised that i wasn’t ready for the challenge of such an ambitious operation. Starting online is in no way a compromise, or practice run, but it may well lead to me opening a retail outlet in the future.

9 – Last but not least, stay positive and passionate about what you are doing! Most people who have dreamed about opening their own yarn shop (or any business for that matter) focus on one aspect of that business. For us yarnies it is the dream of being surrounded by beautiful fibres every day! While this is always going to be the case, there are so many other facets of owning a business that can overtake your dreams.

The day to day pressures of small business are always going to be there, so keep reminding yourself why this was so important to you. And if you sometimes forget what it was that made you want to do this, remind yourself by picking up your needles and yarn and escaping to your dream world even just for an hour – you’ll soon remember what madness lead to opening your very own yarn shop!

10 Reasons to shop Online – African Consumers

You can find many articles on the internet on the advantages of shopping online. Most of them carry very useful but also very general information. In some societies such as Nigeria, having access to Internet is still relatively new and having the ability to actually shop online is even newer.

Here are 10 reasons for people living in regions similar to Nigeria to shop online.

1. Lower prices and Guarantee on products purchase
Consider the savings. For example Elizabeth Arden, Sunflower perfume can be sold for anything between N8000 to N12000 in department stores in Nigeria. But if you buy through a reputable Internet company it could cost you just N5000 for 100ml, including delivery

2. 24/7 access
Fortunately the internet is not restricted to opening or closing times. It is available to you at a time that is convenient for you. Being able to access the best brands, latest technology, or bestselling book 24/7 is certainly a good reason to shop online.

3. Selection
Gone are the days when you are restricted to a few reputable department stores that may stock a limited selection. The fun of shopping is having access to a wide selection at your fingertips and shopping online provides an opportunity to choose from thousands of products.

4. Saves time
Nigeria is notorious for traffic congestion. It could take you a whole day to visit just one department store in search for a pair of Nike sneakers. Shopping online saves time and the stress of sitting in traffic for the whole day.

5. Saves on travel cost
Ok, so you have now sat in traffic for the whole day and still cannot find those Nike sneakers. What a waste of petrol money!! Shopping online eliminates the cost of a wasted journey. But also consider this, you can shop online in the best shops in London without having to buy an airline ticket.

6. Access to Sales and Promotions
Sales normally run twice a year in the uk. Winter and Summer sales. By shopping online you are free to take advantage of sales and promotions that run all year round.

7. Comparison shopping
Back to our scenario. It has taken you the whole day to get to Palms shopping mall in Lekki to look for Elizabeth Arden, Red Door. But now you want to know how much it cost in Big Treat in Ikeja. What do you do?

A major advantage of the internet is that there are specialist sites designed to help you compare the prices at a glance.

8. Latest styles and technology
In Africa, information sometimes lags behind. We all want to be the first to have the latest shoes, ipod, mobile phone, etc. Shopping on the internet could give you access to this even before they are available in department stores.

9. Delivery to your doorstep
There are some sites dedicated to facilitating shopping online for African countries such as Nigeria. They offer competitive rates to shop online, receive and forward parcels onto the customers from their UK shipping address. The beauty of this is they can deliver UK parcels direct to your doorstep.

10. Available product information
The wonder of the internet is Information. The shopping experience comes with a magnitude of information to help you make an informed decision on your intended buys