Online Sales in 2009

January 12th, 2009 admin Posted in Commentary No Comments »

As it turns out online shopping sites (or e-commerce sites) did better than the typical bricks & mortar storefront shops and department stores. This doesn’t mean the online retailers didn’t take a hit since the 2008 stock market crash – because they certainly did – it just means that the online business model is healthier than the typical retail sales model.

This all arguable of course but I think it’s safe to say that Internet shopping is here to stay and is actually changing the world as we know it.

I know this sounds like redundancy and obvious stuff because we know the computers have changed the world forever, but the jury was still out on whether or not e-commerce is here to stay.

This also means that companies like UPS and Fedex ( and all courier companies) are reaping a harvest from the success of the online venders.

There’s still a question mark on the US economy going in to 2009 and how e-commerce business models will do, but so far it appears the online businesses may “hold up” the crashing economy.

We’re in for some big changes folks. What we drive is slowly changing and how power the western world is changing as well. It’s possible that we will be shopping online more than we shop in department stores. It’s possible that our vehicle and our homes will be powered in a completely different way.

In all likely-hood we will continue to churn out even more products – new products that will be digitally founded and conceptualized to make things even easier for us. That is the end game – is it not? – we all want to work 2 day work weeks and then go home to a perfectly manicured yard and a perfectly functioning home with 5 flat screen televisions on different walls of the house.

We looked at an artificial grass product last fall that looks and feels like the “real deal” except that you never have to water it and you never have to cut it. If the dog take a tinkle on it then the rain or a hose will flush it away soon enough. Make for an even easier and more sedentary life. Perfect! That’s all I need. Another reason to sit on my ass, watch T.V. , and tap at away this computer.

And at the same time more and more fitness machines are entering the marketplace sure to make us thin and healthy again, when all we need to do is get out the house move everyday. It’s a bizarre scene these days and it still hasn’t got weird enough for me.

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Will the Weak US Economy Affect Online Shopping?

February 1st, 2008 admin Posted in Commentary No Comments »

usa_economy_shoppingUpdate: We’ve had a stupid amount of traffic on this post due to the graph to the left. This graph is VERY interesting as it shows the United State economy during different administrations in the White House. Notice Bill Clinton‘s administration and then George W. Bushes Presidency. Be careful who you vote for friends.

Now it’s time to go back to the post……….

Good question. The other good question is, “Will the weak economy slow down online shopping traffic“. Our predictions are as follows…

  • Question: Will the weak economy slow down online shopping sales. Answer: Yes
  • Question: Will the weak economy slow down online shopping traffic. Answer: No

Zazbot.com Predicts Online Shopping Sales Decrease

As paychecks stop coming in the mail for unfortunate employees who get their pink, yellow, or blue layoff slips from their employers, the availability of spendable money (disposable income) will become scarce. Furthermore, as consumers and shoppers begun “sucking it up” in an effort to brace for harder times, they’ll stop spending and start saving. This slows down online sales and general sales alike.

So Zazbot.com’s editors believe there will be a slow-down in online sales. Some vectors, products, and shopping categories may jump in sales, and some products will increase in movement. Online shoppers will be surfing the Internet for the lowest possible prices, and the highest standard of quality. This brings us to the next question and Zazbot prediction.

Zazbot.com Predicts Online Shopping Traffic Will Increase

We predict online shopping traffic will increase dramatically as shoppers will be looking high and low on the Internet to find the best deals possible. This will increase the online advertising traffic and the go-between web sites may see and increase traffic and advertising ROI.

As well, webmasters and web based companies who claim to provide financing will see more profits. We’re seeing this traffic grow dramatically on some of our partner sites, as United States and Canadian citizens try to procure cash for their shopping expenses.

Is The United States Economy Rebound

At Zazbot.com we don’t believe that the United States economy is really in as much peril as some would suggest. Yes, there are job loses, and Wall-street is a little unstable, but we would call it “jitters”. We’re seeing tech acquisitions such as MSN trying to buy Yahoo! for 44 billion dollars.

We believe that there will be a slight slow-down in the economy for 12-16 months, and then it will rebound dramatically. Why? Because most of the economy predictors show strong growth in many market sectors, and the 2008 election is finally here.

usa_economy_shoppingThe Democrats are likely to win by quite a margin, and there is feeling of great hope sweeping the world. Getting quite bias here, but George Bush is the worst President in the history of the USA. His legacy will be very sad. Almost feel sorry for the guy, if he hadn’t caused so much suffering at home and abroad. Click this economy graph that shows the US economy ups and downs during Presidencies in the last 40 years.

In some ways the online shopping markets may be impervious to the ups and downs in the US economy. These are very different times we’re in as far as media and technology goes. Very much different compared to the last time we has a long term droop in the economy.

In the mean time friends, your humble narrator suggests looking after the pennies and the dollars will look after themselves.

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Discount Shopping – Why Bother?

January 21st, 2008 admin Posted in Commentary No Comments »

discount_shopping_adviceZazbot.com was originally founded in the hope we could help visitors find the deals they are looking for. What kind of shopping was not specific. The same process is used when looking for Bobcat skid steer attachments, air hockey tables, or computer printers. The same basic principal is applied when shopping for anything – online or off line.

The title of this post is a little strange when you consider the Zazbot.com is a shopping web site. Shopping is something we all have to do, and we want to find a good deal, but it shouldn’t be your main past time.

Discount Shopping Cons

When you’re looking for “a deal” it can be a slippery slope, as your quest for saving money may take you to the ugly bargain bin of poor quality. As a matter of fact, we always suggest that our visitors/shoppers simply leave their money in their pocket if they can’t afford to buy something of quality.

The problem with looking for the lowest prices possible, is you will inevitably end up buying pure junk. The product usually falls apart within a few months, and no-one is satisfied with the purchase. So when you are considering a “bargain basement” product, be very objective about whatever you’re looking at buying. Often the product is crap right out of the gate, and that’s precisely why it’s languishing in the dusty bargain bin, in the dark and musty bargain basement at your local pawn shop. Yes, I know…..many would disagree with my theory on this, and they would be quick to point out that you CAN find good deals in these bargain bins, and there are cases where extremely valuable antiques are found and sold for tens of thousands of dollars. I agree, but this is a RARE scenario!

How do you Begin to Afford High Quality

There is one fool proof way you can afford to buy high quality goods (and services). Some would say this is off-topic, but it really isn’t. You need to learn to earn more money and shop less.

If you wake up and discover that you are one of those people who values high quality products, you have to make a plan in order to sustain this lofty attitude. There is only one way to make sure you own high-end merchandise – you need to earn more money, and stop wasting the money you have on garbage items that hold zero value.

Below is a list of action items for shoppers who want big quality, and don’t have a big budget:

  • the first step is to stop spending money on anything unless it’s a product you really need
  • if shopping for merchandise is a hobby, find other things to do. Find a new hobby.Don’t spend hours of your week simply wandering around shopping malls drooling over the stuff you want to buy. Take up reading and exercising so you can improve your brain and improve your health.
  • take a good close look at your monthly bills, and get rid of the services you don’t really need. Be brutally honest with yourself on this. Don’t use your cell phone if you only use it for yapping with friends. Use it when you really NEED to. If you don’t really use your computer for anything except email, get rid of your monthly Internet costs. Get the unnecessary monthly costs out of your life. (this includes cigarettes and alcohol too)
  • get rid of any department store credit cards you have and get a handle on your personal finances period!

Once you have stopped the financial bleeding (so to speak) , you can now move on to earning more money.Take a good close look at the skill set you have from all your life experiences, and start looking for a way to make more money with your talents. If you really look at your skills closely, you will discover that you deserve to make more money in your job, or in your business.

Buy Less and Buy Better

Once you have learned to stop wasting money and how to earn more money, you will have dramatically changed your life for the better. You will now be able to afford high quality stuff. Your purchasing power will increase to such a high level, that you will be able to afford products that last a decade, and not just one month. You can afford to get the extended full warranty, and the irony is…..you don’t usually need too exercise your warranty when you own upper-end products.

You need to stop being a shopper, and start being a liver (as in living well). Stop focusing on tangible goods, and start focusing on what’s in on your mind, and in your body. Let’s face it. It’s in your nature as a modern human being to buy products and services on a frequent basis. You don’t need to make shopping your past time. This is how people ruin their credit ratings. Try and clean up your life to the point where you wake up each morning and be grateful for the all of the things you have. Avoid thinking of all the things you think are lacking from your life. Focus your day on helping others, and doing a good job at whatever you do for a living. Don’t even think about shopping unless you discover that there is some product you actually need to make your life more productive and enjoyable. Don’t even think about buying a product that you would only use every six months. Buy products when you know you will use it every day!!

You’ll end up buying less and buying better. I guarantee it.

New is Not Always Best

When you decide there is something you must buy to better your life and/or your work, consider this. Shiny and new does not always mean high quality. As a matter of fact, new products are often made cheaply as to increase the manufacturer profits. The new world of merchandisers have become very proficient in manufacturing expensive looking products that are made cheaply. You can really see this trend in the automotive business. Shiny new interiors and slick body designs, with fancy options galore, but after driving the vehicle for two years everything starts to fall apart.

Consider all used products, as the product will have been tested by time, and the lemon factor will have already been dealt with. Older items may have been manufactured with more robust materials, and stand up to years of abuse. The plastics, metals, woods, adhesives, etc. may have been far superior on the a model that was manufactured two years earlier.

Consumer Reports and User Reviews

The idea of using consumer reports and user reviews has been around since the dawn of the human trade. Nothing new about it. Word-of-mouth is the original form of consumer reporting, and is still the most powerful form of communication within the marketplace.

Unbiased reports, reviews, and opinions are invaluable when you’re shopping for any product or service. We all know that. However, you would be very surprised at how little most shoppers use these reporting services before spending their hard-earned dollars.

Consumer Report Publications

The tangible consumer reporting products were the first to exist. These were the magazines and books that really revolutionized the way people shop for products. Now, consumers had a way to research their purchases before making their financial plunge. The first leader in consumer reporting was of course Consumer Reports. Long before the Internet started being used for product research, Consumer Reports was doing it in print. (click here to read about the history of the original Consumer Reports publication).

Online Consumer Reports

When the Internet became a house-hold reality in the late 1990s, and into the turn of the century, shoppers started using online consumer reporting technologies. The first of these of course was Epinions. Consumers could now go “online” and share their experiences using specific products. Since web technologies provide for a search function, web sites like Epinions were a huge success. Unfortunately, you have to be wary of these Internet sites that claim to be unbiased. Many of the Epinion style web sites are making profit via commissions as consumers leave their site and buy at a merchant’s web site. Even Epinions itself should be taken with grain of salt sometimes, as the sellers post reviews of their own in an effort to the inflate their product value.

Old School Buyer Beware

When it comes right down to it, the old-school cliche still stands. Buyer Beware! (caveat emptor) No matter how much shopping you do. No matter how much product research you do. No matter who you ask about a specific product or service, you have to ask yourself three important questions:

  1. Do I really need this product
  2. Is this the best quality I can find for the budget I have (“bang for the buck“)
  3. Can I get my money back or make an exchange if this product fails

That’s it. If you look after these three considerations you have it covered.

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Shopability – The New Online Shopper

January 16th, 2008 admin Posted in Commentary No Comments »

The new consumers have high expectations for transactional relationships. They are looking for “shopability,” the sum total of ease of use, positive emotional responses, product information, transaction information, shipping information, privacy, and generous return policies, plus the usual price and availability criteria.

Part of shopability is intuitive web design from the client’s point of view. Intuitive web design means providing consistent buttons for the same actions, the ability to navigate a web site without unwanted stops along the way, and uncluttered and clear paths for purchasing that require the fewest clicks. To please today’s online shopper, “e-tailers” must provide comprehensive information about a consumer’s transaction, including a tracking number, verification that the order has been logged in the database, and continuing info about the status until the order is delivered.

Amazon.com’s Online Business Model

The most common question from customers of ecommerce web sites is, “Where’s my stuff?” The Amazon.com site has a box labeled “Where’s my stuff?” on every page, starting with the welcome page, because that was the most common question Amazon would get from customers during their first 5 years in online selling.

Amazon.com believes that customer comments are not to be considered complaints, quality control, or customer service. From the beginning of their pioneering online project, they considered customer comments and complaints as “research and development data.” This does two positive things.

One: the customer/user/shopper is treated as an asset to the company by providing critical data regarding customer experience and order processing. Therefore, even an angry customer is an asset, and customers are never viewed as a nuisance. This means the customer has a better experience in the end, and they’re never treated with contempt. (well…that’s the optimist goal to be sure)

Two: Amazon gains trust with their shoppers and users due to the approach outlined above, and their careful data collection allows them to improve their service on a continuous basis.

Customer service is Amazon‘s core business and what it promotes as it’s corporate differentiator. Consequently, every encounter with a customer, by way of phone, email, or web site interaction, is a source of important information that the company will analyze and use to chart it’s course.

The New Shopper

The new consumers want consistent and timely fulfillment across multiple distribution channels (land, air, sea, download) and support across multiple sales channels (telephone, physical stores, the Internet). After the early online fulfillment nightmares of the late 1990s, shoppers lost their tolerance for delivery problems. But finding the most efficient and rapid delivery method is not enough to satisfy the new client. Suppliers found that they could save time and money by slapping a shipping label on the product in their warehouse without wrapping them. It worked for a while, until after Christmas, when there was a flood of customer complaints and returns from people who had ordered gifts for their loved ones and were horrified when the item(s) were delivered in the original packaging, allowing Suzie or Bobby to see what Santa was going to bring them.

Shopability Conclusion

Online companies should be monitoring key indicators of how well they are serving their customers to ensure that a customer-centric focus permeates every level of the organization. Metrics that successful companies monitor include the average time customers wait to get through to the call center, the percentage of customers who are repeat shoppers, the exact number of shoppers who use the online chat service functions, and MOST importantly, how many customers get their package/product online.

paul-hoffert-author-of-the-new-client

Source: From The New ClientAuthor Paul Hoffert

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Today’s Evolving Online Consumers

January 6th, 2008 admin Posted in Commentary No Comments »

When I think of the new client, the first thing that comes to mind is a consumer. Consumers are the heart and soul of any economy. They are the engine that drives markets and business. They eat food such as commodity foods, like milk and manufactured foods like potato chips and TV dinners. Read the rest of this entry »

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2008 Zazbot Shoppers

January 5th, 2008 admin Posted in Commentary No Comments »

Well it was a fairly busy week at Zazbot.com. The first week of 2008 was record breaking for us. Our traffic levels for shoppers has increased by 400% since this time last year (2007). This makes sense as Zazbot.com is a brand new shopping site. Read the rest of this entry »

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Commentary Category on Zazbot.com Shopping

December 30th, 2007 admin Posted in Commentary No Comments »

I’m starting a commentary category on Zazbot.com shopping. I was just telling my wife how much I just missed writing for the sake of writing, so Zazbot.com will now have a commentary category in which we can discuss the consumer buying and products. Read the rest of this entry »

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