JCK Show: Jewelers eye the eBay success story

As it continues to evolve eBay is providing more opportunities for jewelry retailers. And judging from the overflow crowd for Thursday’s “Internet Auctions: Using eBay to Turn Old Inventory Into Cash ” many jewelers are eager to profit from one of the great Internet success stories.

The e-commerce platform is expected to execute $400 million in sales for buyers and sellers of jewelry and watches replica watches explained Tia Miller eBay’s category director for jewelry bell & ross br03 replica watch gems and watches during the seminar. On any given day 360 000 jewelry items are on sale. “We know people are coming to eBay to buy jewelry ” Miller said.

The company which was once a pure auction site fake cheap christian dior watch has expanded its services to include fixed-priced selling (eBay stores) and ways to better sell pre-season year-end and liquidation product. The company has also added to its auction service by providing a way to set a reserve price.

Placing a reserve price on an item allows the seller to hedge against selling the item for too low a price. But there is a drawback Miller says. “A reserve price has a negative impact on conversion. But that’s okay because if you have a reserve price you have a good reason.”

The eBay store is the best way for jewelers to gain a presence on the Web site. It allows store owners and manufacturers to sell as much of their product as they want under the store’s name. “It’s a seller’s showcase ” Miller explained. “It allows sellers to place all of their items in a single destination and brand it with their company name and logo.”

Retailers can also profit by placing their old merchandise in either the year-end or liquidation categories Miller said. In most cases retailers get far more money for the products on eBay than they would in the store.

And with nearly 50 million subscribers all kinds of products sell. “People sell everything on eBay ” Miller said. “There are 46 million registered users. That’s the best reason to get involved with eBay.”

\An Art Installation Sculpted by a Team of Swarming Autonomous Flying Robots Popular Science

FRAC’s Quadcopter Robosculptors

Raffaello D’Andrea

Regular readers of PopSci are no strangers to robotic quadcopters, or even to quadcopters that work together to build things. But now, the quadcopters are out of the lab. A new art installation opening this weekend at the FRAC Centre in Orléans, France, will be built entirely by quadcopter robots, marking the first time such an exhibition has been constructed by flying robots.

“Flight Assembled Architecture” aims to inspire new ways of thinking about architecture and the process of building things. It also aims to be very, very cool. The robots will swarm together to collaboratively assemble a nearly 20-foot-high tower made of polystyrene foam blocks. It will be built in a roughly 33-by-33-by-33 foot airspace loaded with motion capture sensors that can track up to 50 robots simultaneously (though it’s unclear exactly how many will be working at the same time for this exhibition).

Each quadcopter is programmed to interact with the others via commands issued from a control module, and the motion capture sensors will ensure that everything goes according to plan. A precision fleet management program will take control of the ‘copters should they come too close to one another, helping to avoid collisions and keep the work from bottlenecking.

Of course, the adage says that art imitates life and to some extent that’s what’s happening here. While autonomous robo-construction is a nascent form of engineering, its certainly not one that’s unexplored. The DoD has previously looked into (and presumably is still exploring) swarm technologies and automated robotic fabrication, ostensibly with the idea that future forward operating bases or disaster relief shelters and the like could be assembled–at least to some degree–by unmanned systems before humans ever arrive at a destination.

Robosculptors, Sculpting:  FRAC Centre

So while “Flight Assembled Architecture” is something of a whimsical look at that current state of the art of automated aerial robotic systems, it is also a window to the future. Catch a preview to the preview below.

[Gizmag]

\Components of Business Environment

PriceGrabber published the results of a holiday shopping survey today. The company surveyed 3,574 online shoppers in late October about their holiday shopping plans.

Of those who responded, 35% did not own a smartphone, while 26% owned smartphones but did not have shopping apps on them. The remaining 39% have smartphones with shopping apps already installed. Of all those who have smartphones, 84% responded that they would use them to help with their holiday shopping.

Of those who own smartphones, 42% responded that they were planning Fake Swiss Omega to download new shopping apps specifically for holiday shopping. Of that group, 70% selected comparison shopping apps as the kind they were most likely to download. Meanwhile, 65% said they would download coupon apps, 62% said they would download barcode-scanning price check apps, and 46% responded that they planned to download apps specifically geared toward Black Friday sales.

When those who planned to acquire new apps were asked why, 56% responded that they believed the apps help find the best prices on items, while 50% cited the convenience of receiving discounts and price information on their phones, 44% cited a lack of time to go shopping in the traditional sense, 38% felt the apps enhance the experience of shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, and 28% appreciated the location-based features of the apps.

Of those who intend to get new apps for shopping, 79% said they intended to use the apps for shopping on the go, while 74% said they would use them from home, and just 32% planned to use their phones to shop from work. This shopping is not limited to any specific kind of gift, either. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they would buy either big-ticket or small-ticket items from their apps, while 20% said they meant to do all their holiday shopping via smartphone app, 8% said they would only buy items that cost less than $100, and 5% said they would only buy items over $100.

Components of business environment
On the basis of extent of intimacy with the firm, the environmental factors may be classified into different levels or types. There are broadly two types of environment, the internal environment, i.e. factors internal to the firm and the external environment i.e. factors external to the firm which have relevance to it.
The internal factors are generally regarded as controllable factors because the company has control over these factors; it can alter or modify such factors as its personnel, physical facilities, organisation and functional means such as marketing mix to suit the environment.
The external factors on the other hand are, by and large, beyond the control of a company. The external or environmental factors such as the economic factors, socio-cultural factors, government and legal factors, demographic factors etc., are therefore generally regarded as uncontrollable factors.
Some of the external factors have a direct and intimate impact on the firm (like the

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suppliers and distributors of the firm). These factors are classified as micro environment, also known as task environment and operating environment. There are other external factors which affect an industry very generally (such as industrial policy, demographic factors etc.). they Fake Swiss Piaget Watches constitute what is called macro environment, general environment or remote environment.
We may therefore consider the business environment at three levels:
?Internal environment
?Micro environment/ task environment/ operating environment
?Macro environment/ general environment/ remote environment
Although business environment consists of both internal and external environments, many people often confine the term to the external environment of business.

Internal Environment:
The important internal factors which have a bearing on the strategy and other decision are outlined below.
?Value system: The value system of the founders and those at the helm of the affairs has…

\Ex-boyfriend leaks video of anonymous celebrity

Studies have shown that mobile devices are influencing points of purchase for consumers more and more, while shopping online or in-store. During the 2011 holiday shopping season, 41% of consumers made purchases directly on their smartphones, 46% noted that they picked out their item on their smartphone, and completed the purchase in-store, and 37% said they researched their item on their phone, and bought it online. In light of this evolving form of business, a new survey commissioned by MasterCard has shown that consumers generally demand a more simple shopping experience, mainly when it comes to checkout.

The survey of over 2,000 U.S. consumers was conducted by Harris Interactive, and reports that the main concerns of shoppers are as follows:

U.S. consumers identified “entering payment, billing and shipping information” as one of the main pain points of the online shopping experience, topped only by not knowing how an item fits or looks in-person.

Almost three-in-five (58%) of online shoppers indicated they would prefer one place where their account information can be safely stored and easily accessed to simplify the online check-out experience, no matter where they are shopping online.

Among Americans who shop online, whether from a computer or mobile device, nearly one out of every four acknowledged having abandoned a shopping cart at least once a month before completing their purchase.

It would appear that the main concern shoppers have lies in slow and complicated checkouts, which at times prompts them to change their minds while in the middle of a purchase, whether it be not clicking through at Amazon while online, or leaving their cart near the shampoo aisle at Wal-Mart. It would appear that a good solution to some of these consumer concerns would be the adoption of MasterCard’s PayPass system, which the company says will likely work with Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5, which is rumored to incorporate near field communication technology. As more and more merchants install NFC capabilities, systems like MasterCard’s Tap & Go will come to solve some of these consumer issues.

Overall, online shopping has not been adversely affected by the slow economy reports. But that good news isn’t extended to Web-only retailers, the majority of whom are experiencing flat or declining sales.

According to a survey by Forrester Research and Shop.org, online retail sales rose by an average of 11 percent in the first quarter of 2009 with the bulk of the increase benefiting consumer brand manufactures and multichannel retailers.

Change In Online Search Sales

The study, which examined 80 companies, found that 71 percent of consumer brand manufactures saw a sales increase in the first three months of the year, and 68 percent of multichannel retailers also saw increases. In contrast, 61 percent of Web-only merchants saw flat or declining sales.

Search-Driven Conversion Rate

Overall that’s seen as a boost in consumer confidence. Concurrent numbers from Compete show that consumer electronics search conversions are up slightly over this time in 2008 as well. So why are Web-only retailers trailing?  

There could be a number of reasons, but some seem to me more likely than others:

  1. Smaller retailers often swing the bulk of their marketing budget toward the holiday season and let up in the off-season. Plus, many companies cut marketing budgets first in tough times, but the right move, if one can afford it, is to increase marketing to find new customers and entice old ones.
  2. When money’s tight, consumers may be more likely to trust brands they know. Branding is traditionally a larger retailer’s domain while smaller shops concentrate solely on direct sales.
  3. A weak economy makes the consumer extra price-conscious and bigger retailers more aggressive for fewer available dollars. If you have more room to slash prices or better ability to incentivize, you have a better chance at capturing those dollars.
  4.  A weak economy extends the online purchase process. Another set of Compete data shows that across the board, consumers aren’t buying right away. They’re researching longer and buying later. Web-only retailers may not be adjusting the longer buying process effectively, and may less effectively retargeting customers.

Timeline of Search-Driven Conversions

There’s been much discussion in the advertising world lately on the topic of retargeting—regaining a potentially lost customer’s attention during the research or buying process. Aggressive marketers find ways to reach the consumer who clicks but doesn’t buy, who places items in a shopping cart but then bolts.

Retargeting is likely the next big focus in online media. Yahoo recently introduced tools for this purpose. Retargeting company FetchBack is bragging up to 112 percent higher ROI from its paid search retargeting technology. Another study showed that 76 percent of online shoppers want the chance to chat with a representative during the checkout process.

Seth van der Swaagh, with Google’s Retail Team, posted some advice for retailers struggling to succeed among more cautious, cost-conscious consumers. Here’s a brief summary of those tips:

  1. Choose the right keywords and expand keywords by including more generic and research-based words.
  2. Give incentive through good ad copy with charged up words like “affordable” or “great deals,” etc.
  3. Expand your conversion cookie, study your traffic data.
  4. Visiting a second time is a signal for looking to buy. Be there for them when they come back.
     

An online posting of a sex tape featuring a well-known female celebrity has prompted the female star to file a lawsuit against the distributor.
 
On Dec. 4, a Web blog containing the entertainer’s name made its debut online featuring a sex video that ran for 2 minutes, 52 seconds. In the video, the female celebrity can be seen engaging in sexual activities with a man identified as her former boyfriend. The site’s owner said that as the two parted ways, the ex-boyfriend was threatened, beaten and forced by thugs hired by his former girlfriend to sign agreements to not reveal information about the star. The reason for uploading the video, according to the site, was because the ex-boyfriend wanted to reveal the duplicity of the female entertainer.
 
In addition to the sex tape the blog posted scanned uploads of the star’s passport, nude photos and a medical certificate verifying an abortion, among other documents.
 
On Dec. 5, the star took legal actions by hiring a lawyer to sue the uploader for the damages to her reputation. A representative from Sungdong District Police told Ilgan Sports, “An anonymous female celebrity has filed a suit for a libel case. We will start the investigation once we receive a statement from the celebrity with the damages she’s suffered.” The items on the blog were removed on Dec