What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

How to Make Internet Marketing an Effective Tool For Lead Generation

Internet marketing, also known as online or inbound marketing, is how many businesses reach new prospects and stay connected with their current customers. By using the Internet (and its ancillary branches, such as email and social media) to market their business, they are able to get their message out to people across the globe in a fraction of the time it would take using more “traditional” methods. Because people are increasingly spending a lot of their time online, it’s important to know how to use Internet marketing methods in the most effective way possible. Here are some tips and techniques you can use to take full advantage of this type of marketing.TIPS AND TECHNIQUES FOR INTERNET MARKETING SUCCESSSocial Media MarketingOne thing people have always had in common is the desire to stay connected. Today, tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn allow people to connect immediately with friends and family as well as the world at large. Social media marketing is very important for businesses because it helps them nurture their current customer base while also giving them the opportunity to make contact with new customers.Whether you want to leverage your online presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any of the many social media platforms out there, the aim is the same: giving your customers the chance to connect with your business on a more personalized level via a two-way interaction. You may utilize your social media accounts to promote your business,; however, your primary goal should be to establish a conversation with customers and prospects to find out how you can better solve their problems and deliver what they are looking for. Professional internet marketers agree that selling on these platforms should be minimized; the focus is on engagement, creating interest and curiosity. Continual and overused sales pitches will likely have the reverse effect, and posts will be ignored.Mobile MarketingSimilar to social media marketing is mobile marketing. More often than not, your customers and prospects will be connecting with your business through their smartphones or tablets instead of their computers. It is much easier to check websites or social media on the go rather than to sit down at a computer, so it is essential your marketing approach is mobile-friendly. This means having your website transferrable from desktop to mobile without glitches, as well as utilizing apps or creating your own. Internet advertising also includes banner ads on relevant websites and SMS (short message service),or text message marketing. In the case of text messaging, the protocol requirement is for customers to opt in to an automated system by texting a reply or shortcode. Once the customer has opted in, text message specials or important product and service updates are welcomed.SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Marketing – Visibility MarketingWhen a person is looking online for something similar to fit their needs, they enter search terms in a search engine, such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. If your website or page isn’t optimized for search engines, your page ranking may be so low that no one will find you – or you may not even show up at all! In order to be “found”, your website needs to be visible to all of the major search engines. The way you make this happen is by SEO marketing, which utilizes specific tools (such as keywords, link building, and relevant content, to name just a few) to increase visibility and elevate page ranking. At 1st Straw, we refer to SEO as “visibility marketing”, because every technique used is designed to make your website more visible to search engines. Improving your SEO marketing strategies will help get your business at the top of the search list instead of lost in all the other website links. Do this by thinking about what customers will search for instead of using typical words and phrases. The key to great SEO marketing is to think like a customer, and to create your keywords, build your links, and craft your content accordingly.E-Mail MarketingFor many of us, our first thought at the words “email marketing” brings to mind the annoying “junk” or “spam” messages that land in our inbox each day. This is a prime example of email marketing done wrong. The purpose of email marketing is to maintain contact with your customers and prospects. Effectively done, it can be a powerful tool to generate more leads for your business.You’ll want to design your email content to be compelling and relevant to your recipients. You can craft an online newsletter that’s distributed on a regular basis (e.g., monthly or semi-monthly). A successful email campaign has a clear objective, includes an “opt in” technique, and gets through the junk/spam filters so that it can actually be read. Be sure to use an email marketing provider that allows you to track your results so that you know who is opening your email and clicking through to your website or other links.Internet marketing is a significant marketing channel that can reap measurable results. Use these strategies to step up your inbound marketing game and improve your online presence. The end result is more leads to convert into sales!

Boost Sales With Social Commerce Tools

The most common buzz words among the marketers these days are social marketing, online social interaction and social networking. But what this prefix ‘social’ actually stands for any business is a big question mark. All these actually come under the broad category of social commerce which is a strategy to connect customers to each other through internet, online and then such connections are leveraged commercially. This strategy is based on some Social Commercial Tools to actually derive the results.Therefore, in a way social commerce strategically facilitates customer interaction and their participation to achieve quantitative business results where a smart marketing program works on the process of pursuing customers to make purchases through its optimized operations. The social commerce marketer need to craft messages & provide social platforms such as blogs, social networking pages or forums to spread the brand name, its online services and products among the people. Then public participation should be encouraged through reviews & ratings, contests, promotions, user-created contents like video & photo uploads and all other things that contribute to social interaction.Then these conversations should be analyzed to gather public opinion about spot trends and the public’s actual demand. These needs are then met by delivering services, promotions and products as per demand. Regular analysis and measuring markets are two major tools that identify the ROI of these programs. But more than purchases there are other factors like loyalty; satisfaction; traffic; conversion; competitive differentiation and order value that contribute to real metrics to drive a business and achieve long term sales growth.The marketers are already running some or the other social programs like Social Media Commerce or Social Facebook Commerce Platforms as they consider Facebook to be a good source of traffic. They also put contents on the website through company blogs and reviews & ratings. The Social Commerce Tools integrate activities of social marketing along with bigger marketing programs like in-store, online, direct marketing and mobile to combine all these and arrive at the common goal of sales growth.In a nutshell, these Social Commerce Tools that are critical should be followed by the marketers to achieve results. Initially the user content should be gathered by encouraging people to share their views about the services & products. The traffic views carry importance as they are the key factors for boosting sales. Then these feedbacks are implemented through Social Facebook Commerce Platforms or Facebook Social Commerce Applications.Then this customer feedback is leveraged in various marketing strategies.  All the positive feedbacks from customers about the brand, its products or its services are used and positive commentary is integrated in the display advertisements or paid search sites or on store signage or in catalogues or in emails and any other medium through which customer interaction is possible. These are some of the strategies covered under Social Commerce Tools through which core competence of a marketing program can be achieved for any business by applying the best practices, real case studies and a positive & progressive business approach.
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