BOXING DAY SALES: Thousands of UK shoppers queue up from midnight

Newcastle – VIJAY SHAH via ED RILEY and Mail Online/Daily Mail

Today sees the launch of special Boxing Day sales promotions on high streets and shopping centres across the United Kingdom, with thousands of keen bargain hunters said to be queuing up outside shops from midnight in some places, reports the newspaper Daily Mail.

Ahead of an expected bumper day of GBP 4.75 billion flowing through the tills of Britain’s retailers, reports came in from Newcastle and Birmingham of massive queues in the dead of night, when most people would be sleeping off their Christmas roast dinners. In the northern city of Newcastle, shoppers were seen sitting on the pavement, huddled in blankets and decked in warm clothing.

In Newcastle, around 2,500 shoppers formed a queue at the Silverlink Retail Park, eagerly awaiting the opening of the Next superstore, which sells clothes, at 6 A.M. Next issued 1,300 tickets per shopper, as many as the store could legally contain, yet a 1,000 more will still waiting outside in the bitter north English cold. The store is reducing some of its lines by a hefty fifty per cent especially for the 26th of December.

 

One shopper told the Mail: “We ordered pizza at 3am to warm ourselves up.

‘Some people might think it’s extreme to wait for five hours for a shop to open, but we don’t want all the best deals to be gone by the time we get inside.

‘I am sure it will be worth it!’

Large early morning queues were also reported in Manchester’s Trafford centre. Across the country, many shoppers took their queue positions from as early as 12 or 1 AM, it was reported. Queues stretched around the block, with hundreds of participants.

Out of the projected £4.75 billion spend today, 3.71 billion is expected to come from purchases at physical stores, with the remaining £1.04 billion coming from online sales, according to research published by the Centre for Retail Research in tandem with Vouchercodes, a UK shopping discount website. Research from credit card company Barclaycard supported the Centre’s own findings, stating that that four in ten UK adults plan to shop in the sales over the Boxing Day period, anticipating an average spend of £188 each. Boxing Day is the most popular day to shop during the Christmas sales period, according to Barclaycard, with three in ten Britons planning to hit the sales on December 26 specifically.

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research, said: “Boxing Day was the biggest spending day ever last year, and will be bigger again this year.

‘Spending of £3.7billion in stores and a billion online will be so high because shops and customers keep saying that almost all shoppers will focus on day one of the sales, to get the best deals.

‘Research also shows many shoppers will spend all their money in one go, unlike a few years ago when people would go to the sales several times over a week or two.

‘Now it’s a Black Friday-style rush on the first day.”

The operations director for major shopping centre owner intu, Gordon McKinnon, added: “The Boxing Day bonanza will see many shoppers brave early morning winter weather to have first pick of the bargains.”

Konrad Kelling, managing director of customer solutions at Barclaycard, said: “Whilst most plan to spend Boxing Day with friends and family, Brits also don’t want to miss out on the best deals to be had.

‘Surprisingly, men plan to spend more than women in the sales this year – whether that be staying up late to buy that must-have item or even browsing online during the family festivities.”

Kelling also acknowledged that not all shoppers were prepared to go to the extreme length of waiting in the hours of the early morning in freezing conditions, adding: “Boxing Day remains the most popular day to shop for bargains over the Christmas period. However, this year the majority of consumers plan to shop online from the comfort and convenience of their own home rather than braving the winter weather and crowds on the high street.”

The British high street industry has suffered numerous setbacks over the past year, with significant store closures and collapses of some famous high street names, as more people opt to shop online. Though the record-breaking Boxing Day sales of 2018 could temporarily halt this decline, many store managers and CEOs are still feeling uneasy about the future of the big chain store in the face of online competitors.

SOURCES:

Sherrie Bachell/Facebook.

“The biggest Boxing Day sales ever! Thousands of bargain hunters queue from MIDNIGHT at shopping centres across Britain as they try to beat the rush ahead of £4.75BILLION festive spending spree” – Ed Riley, Mail Online News/Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group/Associated Newspapers Ltd (26 December 2018) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6529703/Thousands-bargain-hunters-queue-MIDNIGHT-ahead-Boxing-Day-sales.html?ito=social-facebook

IMAGE CREDIT:

“London December 24 2016 (17) Sale Starts Boxing Day” – DAVID HOLT, Flickr (24 December 2016) https://www.flickr.com/photos/zongo/31846107145

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CAMPAIGN MONITOR AND THE EMAIL MARKETER: 10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

VIJAY SHAH

Today’s special feature is brought to you in collaboration with Campaign Monitor, a global niche agency offering email marketing services to over 250,000 businesses including big names like HuffPost, UNICEF and Zumba. They specialise in building memorable and fun email campaigns to promote company products and engage and retain customer bases. This year alone, Campaign Monitor’s customers have sent over four million emails with the help of the company’s customisable services.

As email marketing becomes more nuanced and creative, marketers looking to build their organisation’s revenue know that they have to master the science behind successful campaigns. It takes just seconds for a potential customer to read an email in an inbox heaving with missives, and milliseconds to press delete. So an email that makes that customer stop and click the link has to make an impact. While you can now generate emails with all kinds of eye-catching headlines, banners and cool graphics, including embedded videos and GIFs, for a superlative visual and technological experience, behind the ‘bells and whistles’ you have got to take care of the basics. Today’s customer wants to be valued and understood by the companies they interface with, with dedicated and personalised experiences, and email marketing is the perfect opportunity to show them they matter.

As any marketer worth their salt can tell you, email market campaigns have long been a proven method of driving forward results and increasing company revenues. Sending out emails themselves is easy-peasy, but the groundwork to set up the foundations of a successful campaign is where the real hustle begins.

Alongside Campaign Monitor, we bring you a handy infographic covering the top 10 dos and don’ts of putting together a great email campaign, with that all-important need for customer engagement and retention. Print it out, frame it and mount it on your office wall, because it has all the secrets you need to know to make your campaign deliver after you hit the Send key.

10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts - Infographic by Campaign Monitor

Source: 10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts by Campaign Monitor

DISCLAIMER: This was a paid piece written as a commission on behalf of Campaign Monitor.

campaignmonitor.com

SOURCES/IMAGE CREDIT:

Helen Chuchak/Anagram Interactive.

“Infographics – 10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts” – Campaign Monitor https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/infographics/10-email-marketing-dos-and-donts/

“Three products. One family.” – Campaign Monitor https://www.campaignmonitor.com/company/

WTM LONDON: Tourism event to hit Excel Centre early November

London – VIJAY SHAH

London-based events company Reed Exhibitions is bringing its keynote tourism business event, the World Travel Market, to the famous Excel exhibition centre in east London on the 5th November, 2018, HEM News Agency exclusively reports.

The influential and highly popular exhibition, which can attract up to 51,000 visitors from the world of tourism, aims to bolster London’s position as a world-class centre of international tourism expertise and industry, particularly as there are concerns over this and London’s and the UK’s own statuses as tourism destinations of note, post Brexit in 2019.

 

The event is regarded globally for its selection of travel industry experts and exhibitors, of which 5,000 are expected to pitch for stands at WTM 2018. Thought leaders will host eighty different seminars over three days. WTM will also feature a host of different attractions to show innovation and forward-thinking in the travel and tourism industry. These include Inspiration Zones, which will ‘encourage inspiring regional-focused content on a range of subjects and sectors, as well as networking events’, according to the official website. There will also be a special feature, the Travel Forward event, which will launch its first edition at WTM. Travel Forward will showcase the latest technological innovations for tourism firms and travel agencies. There will also be opportunities for business networking and environmental awareness, with the World Responsible Tourism Day detailing responsible tourism events and sessions running throughout the show.

World Travel Market will run from 5-7 November at the Excel Centre in Silvertown, Newham borough. The event is one of the longest-running specialised in the tourism sector, beginning as ‘World Travel Market London’ in 1980. The very first show took place at Olympia London and was opened by the Duke of Kent and Miss World, Kimberly Santos of Guam. The show was attended by 350 exhibitors and 7,753 trade visitors. Since then, Reed Exhibitions, the event’s current organiser, has spun off sub-events dedicated to Arabia and Latin America, as wel as launching a themed magazine for the WTM community.

SOURCES:

World Travel Market, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/wtmlondon/

“Registration is now open” – wtm London/Reed Exhibitions http://london.wtm.com/landing-pages/registration/?campaign=Facebook-Ads-Remarketing-last180days-busypic&source=facebook&medium=social-media

“Show features” – wtm London/Reed Exhibitions http://london.wtm.com/about-the-show/show-features/

“The history of World Travel Market…” – wtm London/Reed Exhibitions http://www.wtm.com/about/history/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Stalls at World Travel Market, 2009” – flowcomm, Flickr (9 November 2009) https://www.flickr.com/photos/flowcomm/4124009167

TURKISH CARGO: Mexico City added as new freight hub

Ankara – VIJAY SHAH via Avrupa Gazete

Cargo airline Turkish Cargo has announced it will be operating new flights to Mexico City from October this year, according to Anglo-Turkish news site Avrupa Gazete today.

The firm, one of the fastest growing in Turkey, currently operates 84 destinations for the transit of cargo, and the capital of Mexico will become Turkish Cargo’s eighth Latin American hub. Currently the airline delivers to 300 destinations across five continents.

 

The new routes will be serviced with Boeing 777F craft, and will in fact consist of two separate legs due to the distance involved. The first part of the journey will operate from Turkey to Madrid in Spain, and then onwards to Mexico. Returning planes from Mexico will run along the Istanbul-Bogota-Curaçao-Maastricht route or via Houston in the US.

The new route will be a boost in Turco-Mexican economic relations with Turkey keen to import its products, such as fresh flowers, technological products and automobiles to Mexico and to tap into the Latin American’s nations key export markets of vehicles, chemicals, petrochemical products, textiles, fish, medicine, flowers and other perishable items. This forms part of Turkey’s new ambitions to be a global trading power, especially with markets in Africa and Asia, alongside South America.

Turkish Cargo is the freight arm of Turkish Airlines, the flag carrier of Turkey, which began operations in 1933. Its cargo division was sheared off into a separate company in 2000 and specialises in both domestic and international cargoes as well as postal carriage services.

SOURCES:

HEM Businesses, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-businesses

avrupaseriilan.com, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/seriilanlar

“Turkish Cargo, Mexico City’yi kargo uçuş ağına ekledi” – Avrupa/Avrupa Gazete (16 September 2018) https://www.avrupagazete.co.uk/sirket-haberleri/turkish-cargo-mexico-city-yi-kargo-ucus-agina-ekledi-h277842.html

“Corporate Information” – Turkish Cargo https://www.turkishcargo.com.tr/en/about-us/corporate-information

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Turkish Airlines Cargo Airbus A330-243F TC-JDS “Trakya” ” – M.Oertle, Flickr (22 December 2013) https://www.flickr.com/photos/kambui/22046763843/

HIGH STREET TV – New senior team appointed at media company

York – VIJAY SHAH via Entirely Yorkshire

A Yorkshire-based retail channel company, High Street TV, has announced the creation of a new team of senior executives which it is hoped will help boost the profile and success of the company, reports the website Entirely Yorkshire.

High Street TV operates five television channels dedicated to shopping in the UK, and is described as the country’s most successful and longest running multi-channel DRTV Home Shopping Channel, diffusing around 3,000 hours of viewing time across its platforms, along with advertising on another fifty channels including major outlets like Channel 4 and Five. The media firm specialises in selling home and fitness goods, such as food preparation devices, electronics and fitness machines. 

 

The company has already enjoyed considerable success in a highly competitive industry, making it to the The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 business rankings of fast-growing firms. High Street TV has also being named the third fastest growing in its native county with a 42nd place ranking in the national league.

The company’s most significant appointment is Andy Haywood. Previously involved with High Street TV as a creative consultant, Haywood will commence a new role as Head of Creative. He has worked in a  creative capacity for several high-profile media companies, agencies and other clients. In a comment attributed to him by Entirely Yorkshire, Haywood said: “The opportunity for me to leave my own footprint on High Street TVs brand identity and creative portfolio is really exciting. We’ve already begun assembling a fantastic team with the knowledge and experience to really push the company’s brand and creativity to another level so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve for High Street TV.”

Alongside Haywood, the shopping channel firm have also hired three other executives who will bring more original content and creativity to High Street TV. Jill Ford, formerly of baby products company Mamas & Papas joins as Senior Designer. Will Parkinson , previously a graphic designer at electronics firm Siemens, will start a new job as Middleweight Designer; and James MacDonald, a Dublin-based medical animation specialist and television director, will take on the mantle of Lead Animator.

High Street TV’s marketing director Francesca Woodward told Entirely Yorkshire: “We were continuously impressed by Andy’s innovative approach to his role as Creative Consultant, so when we were looking towards appointing a Head of Creative, Andy was a natural fit.’

Along with Andy, we’ve welcomed three new employees to the High Street TV team. Will, James and Jill have brought a wealth of experience to the company, and they will work together to strengthen our brand identity through fresh and innovative creative content”

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

Business Talk RTG, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/BTRTG

Entirely Yorkshire‏, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/EntYorkshire

“Newly appointed team at High Street TV” – Entirely Yorkshire https://www.entirelyyorkshire.co.uk/news/retail/york/newly-appointed-team-at-high-street-tv9888?x=3

High Street TV https://www.highstreettv.com/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Free illustration: Shopping, Final Sale, Shopping Cart – Free Image on Pixabay – 1163506” – Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay (28 January 2016) https://pixabay.com/en/shopping-final-sale-shopping-cart-1163506/

GOOGLE SEO: What are the SEO trends in 2017?

London, UNITED KINGDOM
MEHFUZ HUSSAIN (writer) with VIJAY SHAH (editor)

 

This article was written by Mehfuz Hussain, a digital marketing specialist based in London with expertise in online marketing concepts and Google Analytics.

Search Engine Optimisation has seen many changes in 2016 thanks to Google. From the launch of its ambitious AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Project in February 2016, Google has shaken up the way traditional SEO worked. Understandably, Google knows well that the best way to dominate the industry is to be aware of how search engines are changing, and strategising SEO and content techniques accordingly. The world of SEO continues to evolve at high speed. While some SEO techniques have been a staple for several years, there will be many new ones that you will have to pay attention to. Here are some of the game-changing trends to help you stay ahead this year.

 

Photo credit: BigOakInc.com

 

1. Mobile-first Approach by Businesses

With ongoing improvements in the mobile computing field, browsing on mobiles has become equivalent to desktop browsing if not more In many countries, mobile browsing is more popular and dominant than via traditional desktops and laptops. In the last few years, the plethora of new smartphones with internet capabilities has changed the way search engine look at them. Remember Mobilegeddon?

A few months ago, Google said, “To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.” This influenced their latest search algorithm which prioritised ‘responsive’ websites at the cost of older, mobile-unfriendly sites.

So, in 2017, your top priority is to separate your desktop and mobile measurement plans to account for the fundamental differences between mobile and desktop behaviour.

 

2. Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Google Rank Brain

There is no doubt, Google’s main focus in 2017 is on Artificial Intelligence. If you followed the Google I/O event 2016, most announcements were related to AI. Google also said that the speech recognition errors have reduced from 25 to 8 percent. It’s been officially named Google’s third-most important ranking factor. Voice search will grow even more in 2017, with better voice recognition and understanding.

 

3. Infographics

Infographics make complex information eye-catching, shareable and easily digestible. An image coupled with information tends to stay in the minds of readers. Such content generates more social shares and also generates leads. Of course, your content should also be suitable enough to add Infographics to it, and they can really make it pop.

 

4. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) takes centre stage

A great way to ensure better user experience is switching over to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). More brands are using this option as Google also has begun to favour the use of AMP. It contains three sections – AMP HTML, AMP JS, and Google AMP Cache. Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) allows websites to make pages equipped for loading right away onto mobile screens. Interestingly, sites that have switched over to AMP are given more visibility with a special icon in Google searches.

 

 

5. Branding gets personal

There is no denying the power of personal branding. If used strategically, it can be a powerful tool in ensuring the success of SEO campaigns. Even social media platforms like Facebook refine their algorithms to favour individual posts over branded posts. Also, once you have a personal brand in place, it gets much easier to boost user trust and engagement. This, in turn, will up the traffic to your site.

 

6. HTTPS Everywhere

Google has inducted https as a ranking factor in its algorithm. Since then many companies hurriedly made the transition from HTTP to HTTPS in order to protect their own and their users’ privacy. It helps even more if there is money transactions happening on the website (e-commerce) and gives consumers extra confidence about their privacy. Let’s expect more websites switching to HTTPS than ever before in the history of the Web.

 

7. Focus on Content Curation

Though many people do not realise it, content marketing and SEO needs to work together for better results and visibility. Include all types of content in the mix: press releases and newsletters as well as articles and blog posts. A good content mix will help you increase backlinks on authority websites and establish you as an expert in your field. This strategy will help you boost your business to the top of Google’s SERPs.

 

2017 will see a massive hike in Internet usage. People are more concerned about the content they read. Now is the right time to prepare a well-developed strategy to survive in the market and beat the competition. As an SEO marketer, you have to be prepared for changes. Keep an close eye on SEO trends in 2017. All the best everyone!

 

IMAGE CREDITS:
“Google SEO Magnifying Glass” – BigOakFlickr, Flickr (1 July 2016) https://www.flickr.com/photos/31682982@N03/27940989741
“Free illustration: Seo, Web Page, Responsive – Free Image on Pixabay – 2016484” – Templune, pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/seo-web-page-responsive-web-design-2016484/

PEARLS OF EXCELLENCE: Newham Business Awards this October

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London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via the Newham Mag

While often labelled as one of the poorest areas of London, the east London borough of Newham is also a place where people aim to rise above the difficulties of deprivation, and one way where it is obvious is within the Newham business community. Newham is home to hundreds of small and medium-size businesses, ranging from decorators with white vans through independently owned boutiques and restaurants, through to major national businesses such as Tesco and the Wetherspoons gastropub chain. The borough is home to a long tradition of independent entrepreneurship stretching from the ‘rag-and-bone’ men of days gone past to modern web designers and consultants operating out of their bedrooms, providing services to thousands of people and companies inside and outside the London region.

Now Newham businesses have a chance to place themselves on the local stage and show that Newham is a great place to trade and reach out to customers with the help of the Newham Business Awards, happening this October. The Awards, which aim to recognise the achievements of local businesses, and are being sponsored by the borough’s council, will take place at the Old Town Hall in Stratford on the 13th October 2015. Stratford is one of east London’s modern business success stories. The district is home to two shopping centres, the Stratford Shopping Centre, and the newer Westfield Stratford City, which formed part of the Olympic legacy regeneration bequeathed to Newham after the London Games of 2012. Stratford is also home to hundreds of companies mainly involved in the retail and services sectors.

The Newham Business Awards are taking on nominations in ten categories, including business and business person of the year, innovation, e-commerce, new business, green business, sole trader and micro-business, training ad education, and community involvement.

The awards are being organised by the Newham Chamber of Commerce, which is located at the Stratford Town Hall, a Victorian historical building close to the district’s retail area, and are receiving heavy backing from businesses such as Asper’s, the operator of the wildly popular Asper’s Casino in Westfield, London City Airport, local newspaper the Newham Recorder, Tate and Lyle, a sugar and sweetener manufacturer who maintain a factory in the Silvertown area of southern Newham, alongside the local government representation.

Speaking with council publication the Newham Mag, the borough’s chamber secretary John James said “With 7,500 new businesses established here during the past five years, there are pearls of excellence worthy of the community’s attention.”

Councillor Joy Laguda, who met recently with members of the Chamber of Commerce, added: “We are pleased to be able to recognise businesses and especially the efforts of young entrepreneurs”

The Newham Chamber of Commerce was established in 1967, shortly after the borough was created from the merger of two earlier areas, West Ham and East Ham. As the official business voice of the new borough, the NCC sought to give a voice to local businesses and traders and strengthen their cause through support and representation. The NCC has close links with local government and regularly campaigns on local and city-wide issues affecting business, such as increased Thames crossings and a possible Crossrail 2 train link through Newham to neighbouring Barking. The chamber now has 200 members with 800 business people receiving its news via email.

SOURCES:
“Awards are just the business” – The Newham Mag, Newham Council [Issue 345] (15 July 2016)
“ABOUT NCC” – Newham Chamber of Commerce http://www.newhamchamber.com/about-ncc/
IMAGE CREDIT:
Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/photos/award/