Monday, 8 February 2016

Broken iPhone upgrades – can you have a second bite of the Apple?

Great news for iPhone users with damaged devices!  Apple are soon to launch two new update incentives.  The first will allow you to update an iPhone by trading in a devise with a damaged screens, broken cameras or buttons.  The other new scheme is that Apple Stores will offer to install screen protectors for their customers.

Apple’s current trade in programme invites users to trade in older phones for credit towards a new iPhone model, but this deal excluded handsets that were damaged, but this is set to change.  To my mind, you are more likely to want to trade in a broken item than one that is just dated, so I think this is a good move by Apple to retain their iPhone users.

The new upgrade scheme is open to users of iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices with damaged screens, cameras and buttons.

It is thought that by giving credit for these damaged devices will encourage users to upgrade rather than attempting to repair their iPhones.  So, it could be a wining option for both consumers to save money on a new product and for Apple for selling more units.

The second will see Apple Stores offering to install plastic screen protectors.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried applying a screen protector to my phone before now, with interesting bubbly results, so I would happily pass this task over.  It is thought that Apple will have dedicated machines that will install the screen protectors, which should make for a precise installation, however, should the installation go wrong Apple will offer a replacement screen protector and attempt the installation again. 

Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Power of Social Media – The Poppy and Remembrance Etiquette

There is no questioning the power of social media.  I myself, read a charming post about a young lady who was stopped by a military man who selling poppies.

The gentleman is said to have asked if he could reposition the poppy as he said a woman should wear a poppy on their right side, and the leaf of the poppy should point in the direction of 11 o’clock, representing the end of the Great War.

He is said to describe what the colours symbolise and was concerned that the younger generation wouldn’t understand this meaning.

It’s a truly thought provoking piece, and it is plausible as all aspects tie in beautifully with the essence of Remembrance Day, but is there any truth to the tale?  Being an inquisitive sole, I had to investigate.

A quick internet search revealed a statement from the Royal British Legion reading:

“There is no right or wrong way to wear a poppy.  It is a matter of personal choice whether an individual chooses to wear a poppy and also how they choose to wear it.  The best way wear a poppy, is to wear it with pride”

So, there is no indication that the etiquette is correct, but there is great merit to the story as it has brought extra attention to Remembrance Day and the importance it holds.

Lest we forget.

Photo by Mark Caven

Friday, 9 October 2015

Carrier Bag Carnage

Monday 5th October saw the launch of a 5p charge on plastic bags for shoppers in England, but it hasn’t met the warmest welcome by consumers.

Customers have taken to social media to voice their dismay of the new fee, and posting strategies to receive free bags, including completing a full shop, having it rung though the tills then refusing payment unless receive free bags.  Others call for plain bags featuring no logo at all or that if they have to pay for a bag, or as an act of defiance they would turn it inside out so as not to be seen to be advertising for the store.

It’s a shame that people feel this way, as the reasoning behind the charge is a just attempt to reduce the number of bags being given out to help the environment and to avoid extra litter.  Year on year the number of bags being used is increasing according to figures collected on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). 

But it must be said that the guidelines behind new charge could cause confusion as not all stores have to impose the charge.

In case you are not already familiar with the details we’ve put some questions and answers together for you.

Where does the charge apply?

The new charge has been introduced in England from 5th October 2015.  Only larger retailers are required to make the 5p charge.  The Government define a large retailer as employing more than 250 employees.

This means that major supermarkets and high street stores are affected, but smaller independent shops will be unaffected the change.

Can Paper Bags be used instead?

Paper bags have not been included in the Governments policy so organisations that use these will still be able to.  Perhaps some other retailers might lean towards designing paper shopping bags.

Do I need to pay for bags when buying loose items?

No, plastic bags for loose items such as fruit and vegetables are not subject to the new charges.

Other items exempt of the charge are:

·         Fresh meat and fish.

·         Take away foods.

·         Prescription medicine

·         Unwrapped blades

·         Live aquatic animals sold in water.

Who will benefit from the 5p charge?

As the charge is not a tax, the charge does not have to be passed over to the Government.  Instead, the proceeds are expected to be given to good causes.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Is offering free delivery or fast delivery the right choice for your customers?

Customers are being offered free delivery by more and more online retailers.  But is it the draw that you expect?  And are you meeting the expectations of our customers?

There are numerous ways that business offer free delivery, commonly it is given after a certain amount of money is spent.  But some free delivery options mean you are paying a premium for the product.  On eBay, for example, you can often find the same item for varying prices, some with free delivery and others with a delivery charge, if the two are compared their total is usually comparable or one might be pennies cheaper.  So, ultimately the cost is being passed on.
Other companies are going down a delivery membership route, where you pay an annual fixed fee and this covers all your delivery charges, like Amazon with their Amazon Plus service.  eBay have recently introduced a fast shippers scheme in Germany called eBay Plus that follows the same logic.

A broad view should be taken between what competitors offer and what customers actually want.

A number of surveys have been carried out by companies such as Pitney Bowes, Alix Partners and UPS which have lead to interesting results which shouldn’t be overlooked when making delivery decisions for your organisation.

Free Delivery against Fast Deliveries

Needless to say, the results show that free delivery is popular with online shoppers; in fact it is more important to the majority than a fast service.

Consumers have also indicated that they would purchase an extra item if it would mean that they would qualify for free delivery.
Importance of Free Delivery Varies Through Age Ranges

These surveys have shown that, while free deliveries are important its value varies between age groups.  78% of consumers between the ages of 35 and 44 indicated that free shipping is an important part of their decision making process, compared to around half of the responses given in total.

It would seem that free delivery is least important to 18 to 24 year olds.  However, 63% said that free shipping had an influence when making online purchases.
When UPS conducted their survey they found that 83% of those surveyed said they were willing to wait an additional two days in return for free deliveries.

54% of consumers 65 and over were willing to wait a week for their items if their goods were sent for free.  But only 22% of customers between 18 and 24 said they would be willing to do the same.
When it comes to delivery timeframes, indications show that younger shoppers are the most demanding.  In the two youngest age categories (18-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds) 15% said they would expect their delivery to arrive within two days even if they have been given free shipping.  This compares to just 5% of people between the ages of 55 and 64 and 4% of those aged 65 and over, with the same expectations.

It’s fair to say that free shipping is a hit with most shoppers, but knowing the demographic of your customers could be the key to the success of your delivery offerings.  If your target audience is younger, a combination between fast and free delivery seems to be the ticket.  Should your demographic be older, a free service seems to outweigh speed.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Safer Lorry Scheme

A new scheme is to launch on 1st September 2015 aimed at making London’s roads safer for all users.

The Safer Lorry Scheme has been devised to ensure that only lorries which have basic safety equipment will be allowed to use roads in London.

Under the scheme vehicles over 3.5 tonnes will need to be fitted with Class V and Class VI mirrors, which will give drivers a better view.  Lorries will also be required to have side guards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the vehicles wheels.

The introduction of the scheme is as a result of the Mayor of London and TfL’s priorities to reduce the number of serious injuries and deaths on London’s roads.  The aim is to reduce the current numbers by 40% by 2020 and the safety of the most vulnerable road users, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists has taken priority.

New signs are being installed around the boundaries of the scheme, they depict a lorry marked with 3.5T, written below is Safer HGV zone.  The Safer Lorry Scheme will cover the same area as the Low Emission Zone which is currently in place.