VIDEO TIMEEEE

Okay at first when I learned that we had to shoot a video, edit it and post it online i was like 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱 and was dreading it. But then, I decided to create a video for one of my advertising assignments. I had to come up with the idea, take into consideration the lighting, the angle and the items that were used and how exactly I wanted my video to look like!

After recording the video, I had to edit it, find an appropriate song I wanted to use, add in words for my product and post it onto Facebook for my assignment!

That was my experience with creating the video and it was a pretty fulfilling one (: I learned how to use iMovie although just a little bit!

E-Learning

Here in UB I’ve already taken 2 online modules, and that’s just using the basic level of technology. In these 2 modules, I either do not see my lecturer at all, or see them through videos they send to the Singapore students. Other than that, we just access the soft copy material they upload to UBLearns and do self-studying from there. If we have any questions we can either participate on the discussion board with our other classmates on UBLearns or email the lecturer in UB directly.

This however, is just a very basic level of how technology and digital devices can aid in our learning in the classroom. A good example is this company called General Assembly, which holds courses that teaches you about technology, esign and business skills. You learn it from industry professionals in their global community. They have full time courses which is an 8-12 week, all day program or part-time courses which is also an 8-12 week program but is only held in the evening and on weekends.

Some of the courses offered in Singapore are on Product Management, User Experience Design and Web development. They have a larger range of part-time courses ranging from Technology, Business and Design courses. You can either attend the courses physically or online. What makes them special is that they focus on skills that schools do not teach. They allow for the upgrading of skills which will help in the progress of your career.

Here is a video of General Assembly’s CEO Jake Schwartz where he discusses more about their company. https://sg.news.yahoo.com/video/look-future-digital-classroom-182724573.html

Another look into the future of the digital classroom that I had was using the app Socrative. This app allowed each of us to answer questions individually to earn points or participation marks. It was a way where every person in the lecture of 100 students could participate and be tracked. It used either a smart phone, tablet for laptop.

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In the future, each student will have a digital device, either a tablet, PC, laptop or smartphone. They would actively participate via some form of application like Socrative or Padlet where they can comment, share their thoughts and ideas or answer questions that will then appear on the class’s screen.
Homework and projects will be submitted online (although most of our work already is) via Dropbox or a specific school program like UB Learns.
Grades will be posted online immediately, and classes will also be available online.

My friends studying at LSE have most of their classes online so most of them don’t even go to school but just study from home! YouTube or Google Hangout can be use for both real-time and archived lessons. If a student misses a class, they can always catch up online.
Students will have a digital portfolio where they store all their projects, assignments and notes.
Instead of worksheets, they will use a digital screen to do questions. (Yay to saving the trees!)
Parent-teacher meetings will be virtual real-time meetings when parents cannot make it down to the school physically.

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In fact, the most interesting thing yet, will be having avatars in the classroom. Instead of showing up physically, you come to class as digital versions of yourself. This includes teachers as well, who can use their avatar to teach their class while physically being at home. This might prove to be an excellent way for everyone to stay up to date on class work and to never “miss” a class. Instead of calling in sick and cancelling the class, teachers can now teach from home. Instead of skipping school due to a fever, students can just attend class from home. This will definitely change the game of “ponning” classes here in Singapore because they’ll never have an excuse to!

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For design classes, instead of drawing our or making 3D models, students could then just use holographic technology to create their 3D prototype.

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Online games and technology can also be used to keep their students interested in learning and participating in the classroom. and 43% of teachers have used online games in the classroom.

how-different-will-classrooms-of-the-future-be_502919b21b9d4My parents often compare how different school now is to what it was like in the past. Similarly, I’m so excited to see how technology shapes the classroom for my children in the future!

E-business

  1. 10 key factors why some e-commerce succeeded (list top 10 success);

With the Internet today we can do almost everything and anything just at our finger tips. Sometimes I can go for months without entering a physical store but still have plenty of new clothes being delivered to my house. πŸ˜…πŸ˜ My point being, with e-commerce technology now, we can buy practically everything we need online!

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Businesses use the Internet to expand their market, making it possible for people to buy their products without going to their physical store. I can shop brands from the UK, the Us, Australia or even Thailand without needing to be physically in that country.
ecommerceThe best thing about some of these e-commerce websites is that we can even shop from our smart mobile devices either on the browser or the brand’s own App!
In fact, we can even shop for groceries online and they’ll deliver the food to our doorstep! wpdevshed-ecommerceScreen Shot 2015-04-06 at 12.58.10 pm

So there are some tips for e-businesses who want to ensure that they are successful! Firstly, for those just starting out, they should focus on creating their brand image and awareness.

1. Set your vision, goals, and strategy. Know where you are going and how you are going to get there. Invest the time to identify your business goals, strategies, and tactics.

2. Establish a business model. Understand how you are going to make money, how the various parts of your business work together, your resource requirements, and what your risks are. Identify the areas that need more investment.

3. Understand your customer. Know your customers and what your value proposition is. Why do they come to your store and ultimately buy from you and not your competitors? Are they loyal or simply bargain hunting?

4. Sell products consumers want to buy. Once you understand your customers, be sure to sell products that meet their needs. Watch for upcoming trends. But remember that once a product is a best seller, you’ve probably already missed that trend.

5. Buy low, sell high. This old adage is truer than ever for online retailers. Competition is fierce. You have little control over what price the market will bear. But you do have some control over how much you pay for your inventory. Negotiate, find several sources, buy as close to the manufacturer as possible, and consider private-label generic products.

6. Get found. Invest in search engine optimization, advertising, blogging, social media, and other marketing activities to drive qualified traffic to your online store. Never assume you have all the traffic you need. Be sure to diversify your traffic sources as much as possible.

7. Offer a superior customer experience. Ensure that your website, content, merchandising, landing pages, promotions, shopping cart, checkout, and customer service support your sales goals.

8. Personalize your interactions. Try to personalize every customer interaction. This can be as simple as a first name in every email promotion. Strive to deliver a unique shopping experience within the capabilities of your ecommerce platform.

9. Deliver the goods. Ship your products in a timely fashion. Meet the expectations of your customers. Follow-up with confirmations. Ask for feedback. A sure way to lose a customer and get a bad review is to oversell and under deliver.

10. Build relationships and community. Try to convert a one-time buyer into a repeat customer. Encourage community through social media, events, or other online activities. Participate in conversations wherever your target customers are.

11. Stay fresh. Refresh your content, post seasonal messaging and offers, provide timely insights, and provide incentives for return visitors to your stores. Consider seasonal themes around your store to give it a fresh look.

12. Experiment. Always look for ways to improve. Try new initiatives. Don’t be afraid to fail.

13. Think mobile. Mobile websites and apps are where consumers will shop in the future. Go mobile now. Most smartphone owners already use those devices to shop online. That number will only increase.

For businesses that have already kind of gained speed on the whole e-commerce front, they should make sure they do the following:

1. Make sure their prices are competitive as their customers will always compare their prices to that of their competitors. Companies can use tools to extract the price from their competitors’ websites. 2 of such tools are https://import.io/ and http://aruhat.com/datacrops/

2. Ensure that their products are of high quality. Most people have this preconceived idea that products purchased online will pale in comparison to those purchased in physical stores in terms of quality. This could perhaps be because customers are unable to physically touch the items before purchasing them online. Therefore, businesses should ensure the quality of their products so that customers’ fears will not come to fruition.

3. Customers all look for high security when it comes to the monetary transaction of shopping online. By using secure networks and tools to aid in the purchase of the goods, customers will feel more secure shopping with the brand. SSL certification is mandatory for these websites.

4. Transparent shipping and promo terms and conditions. One of the most annoying things I come across when shopping online is when i cant find the shipping information and terms and conditions. If I want to buy from you, i would need to know whether you ship to my country, how much it would cost and how long it will take. Therefore, having a transparent and easy to navigate information sections regarding shipping and promotions is very mportant for businesses online.

5. Instant customer support! This is another important point, if i’m unclear about certain things regarding your products, I would want to be able to clarify them with you before making my purchase. More often thatn not however, many businesses lack good customer support and either fail to get back to you or take a too long a time to reply that I’ll lost interest.

6. User experience and reviews. No matter how good i think your brand or produts are, it would always be good if other customers have given their own reviews and feedback about your brand or your products so I would feel a stronger sense of security and might be persuaded more towards purchasing from you.

7. M-commerce. Now it is no longer just e-commerce but having your website mobile friendly or even create your own app, just like Zara, ASOS, NastyGal, Zalora and so many others have done! This makes shopping even more accessible and on-the-go!

Lastly, these are tips for more global success, perhaps for businesses that have already been developed and are more widely known.
1. Have flexible pricing. The wider you sell your products, theΒ  more market prices you have to be aware of and will have to make changes accordingly. Be aware of what prices are competitive in which countries. When 50 pounds is competitive in the UK, it would be $80 in the US and that may no longer be competitive in the market. So having flexible pricing would be very important to your business.

2. Currencies may often be confusing especially when customers have to constantly keep converting the prices. A good thing to do here would be to offer every relevant local currency for most of your customers. This will make them more willing to purchase due to the ease of knowing the price.

3. Price presentation is important too because more rounded prices and more friendly and has a higher persuasion to customers. $30 looks a lot nicer than $31.47.

4. Allow your customers to pay in ways that they are more comfortable an d use to. In countries where bank transfer is more common, allow bank transfers. In countries where people are more used to paying with credit cards or Paypal, allow that as well. This makes your customers feel more comfortable shopping with you!

5. Showing sales taxes in a way your online customers are familiar with will avoid suspicion and increase buying comfort. Different countries have different tax laws and tweaking the information to match each customer could go a long way.

Now, here are a few of the most successful e-commerce websites and why!

1. Fallen Hero; responsive design and smooth checkout process
2. AO.com; great product pages
3. ASOS.com; some of e-commerce best practices, social, customer service and more
4. B&Q; in-store wifi and loyalty apps as well as great user experience on desktop.
5. Hunter boots; nice clean product pages with smooth checkout and good use of colour contrast for call to action buttons.
6. Schuh; product pages are a good example of how to use images in e-commerce, with great presentation and a wide range of angles.
7. Mulberry; blend of luxury and user experience. Well-designed with some great imagery to showcase its products.
8. Freepeople.com; pure e-commerce, created a strong visual brand identity online and invests in striking product imagery.

Social Networking for Business

In class we learnt that businesses today cannot just count on traditional media and advertisements to market their products. Businesses now rely heavily on social media websites to promote their products and boost their sales. I think we’ve gotten so used to this that we fail to realise how much technology has changed the way we live. Most of us are constantly on our smart devices and on the internet at least 50% of the day and that is the best way these businesses can get to us. Perhaps this is ironic, but I constantly fall right into these marketing traps. Brands use social media sites to advertise their products and I actually rely on these networks to find out about their latest products that I might want to buy. I’m sure many of us follow our favourite brands on our social media networks, or even subscribe to their email newsletters. Everytime I see their posts of Instagram or emails with something I like, I would most probably pay their site a visit to see the product. Already, they’ve gotten me closer to purchasing from them. IMG_4576IMG_4577IMG_4578 There is a new fashion website that has boosted these brands and businesses use of social media marketing even more, liketoknowit.com This website allows for people to shop the looks of the people they follow on Instagram. As seen below, Aimee Song uses liketoknowit and posts the details of her outfit onto the website. Her followers can just “like” her photo and an email with her outfit details will be sent to them. IMG_4575IMG_4579

These are just a few new ways that businesses can use social networks to market and advertise their products. With how fast technology is progressing, I’m sure they will come up with even more advanced and sophisticated ways they can reach out to consumers.

Social Media

Over the past few decades, so many different social media platforms have come and gone. Some have succeeded the test of time and lasted till now but many have faded into the background. Social media could be the best and worst thing that has happened to us. It is good firstly, because it has allowed for so much thought and idea generation and sharing across the globe, not just from the people who matter and have power and a voice, but from any person who holds a smart device. That being said, due to this new phenomenon where everybody can create content on the Internet, it has made way for new kinds of dangers. People are no longer safe as everyone can have access to your life if you put it up on the internet. Everything you say online could in turn be used against you. Every move on a social media platform has a rippling effect.

Secondly, social media platforms create a whole other world of obsession. Everyone wants to know the dos and donts of social media and how to get noticed online. Here are the 36 rules of Social Media, some apply to everyone and some mainly to businesses. tumblr_nc5zv59elM1sm47lro1_1280

Living in Singapore, it would be interesting to find out about social media use in Asia, how much social media has penetrated our lifestyles and what we use the different social media platforms for.

Here are some statistics regarding social media use in Asia.

social-media-asia-pacificThe interesting thing I found out about social media use in Asia is that the need and reliance on social media is even stronger for developing countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia who do not readily have a strong network. These countries lack 4G/LTE networks but are still so sucked into the usage of social media that they innovate new ways to allow their community to access these sites.
They still use 2G networks, so they implement plans such as “prepaid all-you-can-eat social media packages”, which gives them unlimited access to selected sites. Facebook users are doubling every year in Vietnam and Indonesia prides themselves as the “Twitter capitol of the World”.

Another quality of social media which is celebrated in Asia is the use of online payments. Popular social media platform WeChat was used in China to send hong baos (red packets) to each other to celebrate and uphold the Chinese New Year tradition. These virtual red envelopes had actual money in them and 1.01 billion red envelops were sent between users of the WeChat app. WeChat-cash-giveaway-on-Chinese-TV-photo-2

I think its pretty amazing the way social media is taking over the lives of everyone and enabling people to enjoy themselves and use it to perform the usual day-to-day habits virtually.

Then, now and later; The Internet

I guess I’m starting this one month too late, but better late than never right? Hopefully I’ll catch up to the rest of the class soon enough!

So for the first week we learnt about the history of the internet, where we are now in the progress of Internet technology and what our future holds. I came across this one day while I was on Tumblr and I found it really apt, hilarious but ironic at the same time. Internet Explorer was the first browser created and was what spearheaded the developments of the world wide web that we know today. Yet as its predecessors progress, it lags behind and they soon outrun it in speed, relevance and user interface. Today, most people stay away from using Internet Explorer but opt for faster and better options such as Google Chrome, Firefox or even Safari. I find it sad that what was initially the most developed and the pride of the Internet has faded into the background and cast off as being slow and unimportant.

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That being said, apparently the developers of Internet Explorer have declared that they are going to shut it down. 😱 Despite all that has been said about its flaws and drawbacks, at least Internet Explorer still exists now for the younger generations to know the history of the Internet, the first browser. With its shut down, how will the future generations know about the history of the Internet because they’ve never met it. I don’t think its necessary to shut it down, perhaps they can start by tweaking it so that all websites and applications can work equally well on the other browsers as well, and start to release their responsibilities. What would be achieved with the closure of Internet Explorer? And instead of admitting defeat, the developers could also find a way to improve the software and bring it back on par with the rest of the browsers.

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I think the main thing about the internet that has developed over time, is our dependence or maybe over-dependence on the Internet. When it was first created, it was novel, which sparked people’s interests and want to be included. Slowly it has transformed into something so part and parcel of our lives that we now cannot live without it, whether consciously or unconsciously. The way I see it going is that in the future the dependence on the Internet will only get worse and soon we will find ourselves and the whole world, even rural areas, unable to live their day to day lives without the internet. Already now we are unaware that our whatsapp texts are over the internet, our FaceTime calls use the Internet and our Emails use the Internet, and it is so easy to forget because we are so used to having it right at our finger tips without even thinking twice of what makes it possible.

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