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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.

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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.