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Archive for September, 2009

UK consumers hesitant to embrace E-Grocery

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

In a Britain news article, “Many consumers yet to click with online grocery shopping”..

Nearly half the population (45%) do not see the point of shopping for food online, and more than two in three (69%) think that they might as well do all their shopping in-store, if a top-up visit is needed. Today, around one in three (35%) adults shop online for food, but just one in nine (11%) of all UK adults do so regularly or exclusively.

Today, nearly one in three adults (31%) see grocery shopping as a chore. In addition, it seems Brits also want to be masters of their own shopping basket as the research reveals two thirds (66%) of shoppers prefer not to buy fresh food online as they are concerned about use by dates. Meanwhile, the majority of consumers (83%) still like to see and touch fresh produce before buying.

“Our research reveals food is an emotional issue for today’s consumers. For many shoppers, touching, feeling and even smelling food before purchase to select shopping taliored to their own specific requirements is prefereable over the online shopping route. In addition, nearly three quarters of consumers often choose products because they look interesting in-store, so online grocery retailers could benefit from encouraging such impulse shopping online.”  Kiti Soininen, Senior Retail Analyst at Mintel said.

On a positive note, the report finds that major retailers’ online operations now cater for around 90% of the UK population. What is more, broadband penetration and connection speeds are steadily rising, making online shopping faster and thus an increasingly viable alternative to shopping in-store. A steadily rising share of adults are shopping online for non-food, lowering the barrier to doing so also for food.

What’s happening in UK is also happening here in our country. One of the primary roadblocks for the penetrations of E-Businesses is our Filipino culture. We value every little experience and find most of it as an integral part of building relationships with ourselves and among other fellow pinoys. With the case of online groceries, it is not surprising that in other countries, and in ours as well, the innovation has not yet gained its spotlight.

Perhaps, the culture entails this ‘chores’ as something that we want to experience for real. Food involves  sensory experience, and as shopping for groceries involves this, our preference tend to gravitate toward performing it the traditional way – inside the marketplace.

Anyhow, I firmly know that in the near future, the web will be the homeplace of all our commodities, and a majority of today’s users would likely embrace the convenience of online groceries.

Philippines on board for Mobile Money

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

In an article of inquirer.net, “RP gets grant to promote e-commerce”, the Philippines has been chosen as one of the first recipients of the Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) Fund by the GSM Association, an international organization of telecommunications operators. The grant aims to create an electronic and mobile money scheme in areas with a population that does not have bank accounts.

In a statement, the GSMA said the MMU Fund should help the organization reach its goal of having 20 million “unbanked” users worldwide to start using e-commerce for their payment schemes.

In the Philippines, telecommunications firm Smart Communications will be one of the four initial recipients of the MMU Fund. Smart will use the funds to expand its Island Activations Program, which provides microfinance institutions with systems that allow for mobile payment and mobile banking.

With the dawn of E-Commerce, users are now faced with a newer and quicker way of transacting business online. This would be one of the milestones for the year, as it seeks to empower more individuals to shift to e-commerce as the way to do business in the modern context. Credits to MMU, our country is now gradually changing its paradigm by penetrating the online markets for doing the “money matters”. Also, they also had made the right decision to partner with SMART, one of the telco and IT giants of our country. By forging this partnership, the programs will reach a wide population of unbanked users, thus ensuring that it gets promoted with the right avenues. I am looking forward for the success of this endeavor in reaching its vital target of empowering users to utilize the power of E-Commerce!

Microsoft vs. Malvertisers

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

According to Johnston’s article, “Microsoft Takes ‘Malvertisers’ to Court”, the software giant has sued five so-called “malvertisers” in Seattle civil court as part of an effort to stop the practice of hiding malicious code in seemingly safe online ads that instead seek to prey on users.

Tim Cranton, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) associate general counsel, said in a post on the company’s On the Issues Blog..

“[Malvertiser] ads may redirect users to a website that advertises rogue security software, also known as scareware, that falsely claims to detect or prevent threats on the computer.”

In Friday’s filing, Microsoft sued five companies: “Soft Solutions,” “Direct Ad,” “qiweroqw.com,” “ITmeter INC.” and “ote2008.info.” The suits name “John Does” as the heads of the companies under investigation.

“This work is vitally important because online advertising helps keep the Internet up and running … It pays for free online services like Windows Live, Facebook, Yahoo and MSN,” Cranton said in his post.

In the past year or so, Microsoft has taken an increasingly aggressive stance against spammers, click fraudsters, purveyors of Scareware and, now, malvertisers, in a concerted effort to make the Web a safer place to surf.

Personally, Microsoft has again proven itself to be considered as the “giant” of the software industry for not only raising the bar for its technologies, but also in ensuring that technology that users access are safe and secure. By  taking its role seriously in its Corporate Social Responsibility,  it has paved the way in guaranteeing that the community is not exposed to fraud and unethical web antics. With this, they are really in the right direction with the vision they uphold- “Empower people through great software anytime, anyplace, and on any device.”

In another note, we users can also take responsibility for this by observing proper security practices. By ensuring that we are equipped with updated and first-rate anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware software, and a built-in firewall configuration on our PC, we already have a very strong layer of security measures in our machines. Moreover, we should be aware of web threats and be cautious in handing out personal information to random sites. With this practical measures, we are on our way to building a safer and more secure online community.

Weaving the silk threads of Web 2.0: FreeAgent

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

FreeAgent is an online money management and accounting tool intended for small, service businesses of 1-3 employees. This will include most kinds of freelancers, contractors and consultants. Whether you are just getting started, or are already in business as a sole trader or limited company, VAT registered or not, FreeAgent can save you time.

FreeAgent

Here are what FreeAgent has got to offer:

  • Manage your projects and contacts, track the time you spend and create flexible timesheet reports.
  • Keep tabs on your business and out-of-pocket expenses and quickly rebill to clients.
  • No complicated procedures, FreeAgent simply works out your accounts as you run your business.
  • Create great looking invoices with no fuss. Email them to the client and easily track through to payment.
  • Online banking that’s better than the banks. Compare accounts and track balances
  • FreeAgent makes sales tax reporting a snap, and you can easily customise it for your country.

Awesome huh? Well, I better discover more web-based apps like this, so as to fulfill my aspiration to be a future technopreneur.

Here are some of the insights and sentiments of users:

“Hats off to the FreeAgent Central team for doing a fantastic job creating all the tools I need to run my small business. The ability to see your business’ vitals laid out clearly and concisely is priceless. Financial decisions are much easier to make around here now.”  -Simon King (Organic Internet)

“It has saved me so much time and allows me to see an accurate picture of my business instantly.” – Richard Allum (ParaPlan Plus)

“I’m in the construction industry and have found it to be the perfect tool.” – Tom Creed ( T-Lec)

Two thumbs up for this. Never have I encountered at first glance a software that is versatile enough that it caters to a lot of facets of business: Accounting, Invoicing, Time Management, just to name a few. It’s indeed a virtual accountant on steroids as I might consider. Looking forward to using this app somwhere in the future. By the way, did I mention of its very sleek Web 2.0-ish user interface? 🙂

http://www.go2web20.net/app/?a=FreeAgent

http://www.freeagentcentral.com/

Categories: Uncategorized

Weaving the silk threads of Web 2.0: Simplifythis.com

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

My fondness for the current trend of the dotcom era, Web 2.0, is singing on a glad note when I discovered this kick-ass website:  http://www.go2web20.net/

Showcased here is a vast collection of Web 2.0 apps and tools, some are on the rise, some have already reached mainstream attention.

One day, while I was curious about the concept of E-tailing, I stumpled upon this interesting service which I found on the site..

Simplifythis

As the domain implies, its main service is simplifying online payments and appointment scheduling, using their Easy-Bill and Easy-Book features.

To further elaborate its benefits, here is an excerpt from a user interview…

“I like getting paid faster. Because I invoice as project work is completed I get paid faster. Also, it’s great that clients can pay through PayPal or Amazon Payments.”

-Andrew Bartelt (AB Computer Solutions, Computer & Network Assistance for the Houston, TX)

He used Easy-Bill online invoicing to keep track of his clients and their contact information, track items and hours and invoice immediately as projects get completed. Now, with the new iPhone app, it’s even easier for him to invoice people quickly which means he gets his money faster. His clients liked it too – they hire him more because they know the status of their projects and can plan for more things.

With the quick invoicing and Paypal integration, bills are automatically updated when they are paid. Coupled with security, support, and simplicity of UI, Simplifythis is a surefire way to track and manage online transactions with clients.  Grow the business, save time and money, and boost your professional image- try Simplifythis.com

http://www.simplifythis.com

Heroku Deployment Saga: Chapter 1

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

At the onset of our VERTSOL class, Sir Paul has tasked us to deploy a Rails app in Heroku. Inspired by last year’s feat of J3 in deploying Spree, I didn’t waste time in attempting to explore Heroku deployment for myself…

Then I stumbled on this site..

open source rails screenshot

With this, I was able to browse through some of the coolest Rails apps being developed by the community. Everything was open source, and each app provided direct links on how to download the API and source code. (Majority is stored on github).

I was opting initially to deploy an app with popular media as its content. And behold, I reached this particularly amusing site..

AloneTone

AloneTone. This is a budding site for musicians everywhere. They can upload their audio samples, join forums, download tracks, share resources with other users, and interact into the site’s community.

I tried to listen inside the Favorites section. And the quality of the artists joining this site is unexpectedly astonishing. I was awed with some of the acoustic and ambient music genres present there.

And so here I am, planning. My first directive is to learn the basics – Rails, deployment, Heroku IDE, MVC’s, forking, API tweaking, etc.. Also searching on web tutorials and downloading e-books on relevant topics..

All I have now are high hopes of integrating AloneTone into Heroku. With this, I could be able to gain for them mainstream popularity, thus allowing them to expand their awesome services. A very promising app, and I am deeply challenged to be a part of a perhaps, the next-big-thing after iTunes and imeem. And besides, a 4.0 grade incentive is rewarding as well. The blend of music and codes is what fuels me to continue this worthy effort.

Anyhow, I have just started and have no contingency plans yet. Good thing, no one is  on the verge of deploying it to Heroku – making me a breakthrough if I am able to accomplish this. I am also exploring other cool open source Rails apps that I could focus on in case risks emerge from hereon.

Till then, I’m still on the saga.

What’s IN. What’s NEW. What’s HOT.

September 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Cheers!

Brace yourselves for the tales of retail.

From hereon, I will be posting some of the coolest, newest, and hottest news and articles about retail technology on the globe!

Commentaries are deeply appreciated.  Let’s make this category interactive and interesting as much as possible. Thanks and spread the word!

Read my reflections on the Cluetrain Manifesto! Click here.