Category Archives: marketing

images (1)

Amazon’s Latest Idea: Shipping your goods, before you know you want them!

Amazon knows what you want. So well in fact, that they intend todownload start shipping before you even place your order. In December 2013, the Seattle-based retailer took out a patent on the idea of shipping out goods before an order has even been placed. Items will be shipped based on previous orders, viewing history and other factors.

The idea is to remove the fear of important deliveries arriving late due to being shipped from a distance, encouraging online shopping; specifically from Amazon whilst also discouraging them from visiting physical stores.

This new formula for predicting orders to be placed could significantly reduce delivery time and greatly increase customer satisfaction. In the patent document for this formula, Amazon speaks of the delay between buying and receiving an item online and how it “may dissuade customers from buying items from online merchants”. The patent implies that items could wait to be shipped from the shipper’s trucks or storage hubs.

The patent shows different ways of deciding which items to be shipped to where, using factors from your wish list and search history to your returns and even how long you hover your cursor over products you view. All this is in a direct effort to cut down on delivery needs and to become the leader in a growing trend among businesses; to identify and meet consumer needs before even the consumer themselves do.

Amazon have added next day delivery recently by expanding on their warehouse network and also, in 2013, announced that they would be using unmanned drones to ship out packages in order to decrease delivery time by taking small packages directly from warehouses to the consumer’s door. In the patent, Amazon create the idea of filling out partial addresses or ZIP Codes, and using this to keep the item closer to the potential purchaser, with the rest of the label being filled out in transit.

It is unclear whether or not this new delivery tactic has or will been deployed, as no further comment  has been made, but what it does is it shows just one way which Amazon is willing to manipulate their vast knowledge of their customers in order to leap ahead of competition.

However, the algorithms is not without flaws and in times of error the patent states that customers may be given discounts, or even receive the package as a gift in order to build strong customer-client relationships.

What are your thoughts of Amazon’s latest efforts to stay ahead of the competition? Let us know @4pm

images

Windows XP Draws to a Close – Less than 3 months to go!

After being usable for 12 years, the Windows XP operating

winxpprosystem is finally nearing its end. In roughly 84 days, support for Windows XP will be cancelled. To sum this up, there will be no further updates for functionality or security.

The world is changing and since Windows XP was launched in 2001 there has been more than drastic changes in people’s technological needs. People require software and OS’s that match their needs and keep them ahead of the market. as well as a capability for security and compliance. Windows XP no longer provides these features.

Last year, IDC last year that the longer migration is put off the more expensive it is to support old versions such as Windows XP.  IT labour costs go up 25% in the fourth year of continuing to run Windows XP past deadline,

Security experts have also issued a warning regarding hackers. It is their belief that hackers are storing up “zero-day” threats, targetting vulnerabilities within Windows XP that are created by the lack of support, or existing problems which have remained untouched or unfound.

As well as the security threats and lack of support caused by their “dropping” of the XP operating system, Microsoft also issued a warning that by continuing to use Windows XP, people (business and home users alike) lose out on the speed, functionality and mobility of using a modern computer and operating system.

“It’s a great time to lose the added weight of hefty old workhorse PC and software.  Lighten up and increase your business and personal opportunity through increased productivity and cost savings by shedding XP and Office 2003 for a more agile and mobile operating system, like Windows 8.1 and Office 365. The only gains to be made is your ability to compete more efficiently and effectively in today’s competitive global market,” – Patrick Ward, Microsoft

Do you still use Windows XP? And if so, is this enough to make you abandon it? Let us know @4pm!

images

The Galaxy S5, due for launch in April; with the possibility of Iris Scan Technology

Samsung’s flagship product for its next generation of Android

images (1)phone is set to be far more discernible than its predecessors. The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 is set to be visibly distinct from its S3 and S4 counter-parts, with its newer more stylish design to be the next generation forerunner for the Android Phone, with the possibility of it also including an iris scanner. It is set to ship in March or April, as said by the Korean company’s mobile-product leaders.

“Many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology… We are studying the possibility,” stated Young-hee Lee, executive vice president of marketing for Samsung mobile phone division, during an interview with Bloomberg news during the CES exhibition in Las Vegas. The iris scanner works by scanning different patterns in a person’s eye and would give Samsung a competitive edge against iPhone and HTC’s fingerprint technology. However, for the iris scanner to be plausible, it would need to be more than a gimmick or an accessory to avoid the same criticism given to HTC’s One Max phone’s fingerprint authenticator system.

Lee said that the S5 should look significantly different to its predecessors too. “When we moves to S4 to S3 it’s partly true that consumers couldn’t really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market wasn’t as big” she had told Bloomberg. “For the S5 we will go back to basics. Mostly it’s about display and the feel of the cover.”

The S5 is set for release in March or April, roughly a year after the launch of the S4. Simultaneously, a new successor to the “Gear” smartwatch is set to arrive, which will be less bulky and have much more advanced features, while the new Galaxy note, a larger smartphone which targets higher-end customers, is due for launch in the second half of 2014.

Lee also said Samsung will be placing a lot more work into its Tab line of tablets in 2014. At the CES exhibition, it introduced the large 12.2 inch Galaxy TabPro and Galaxy NotePro tablets. The NotePro includes a stylus, and both models will ship in the first quarter.

How do you feel about the Galaxy S5’s idea to add iris-scan technology to their smartphones? Let us know @4pm!

twitter

Self-Twitterising

Twitter has opened its self-serve advertising platform for small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, Ireland and Canada.

Twitter advertising will allow businesses to amplify their presence on Twitter. The US has seen thousands businesses using the service as a way to connect with people in their local communities and beyond.

The service allows for businesses to use Promoted Accounts to build followers who can then act as advocates for the business.

Twitter product manager Ravi Narasimhan explained “You’re in control of your ads, the audience you want to reach, and of course your budget.”

“Best of all, you will only be charged when people follow your Promoted Account or retweet, reply, favourite or click on your Promoted Tweets. You are never charged for your organic Twitter activity,” he said.

Twitter has been used as an effective marketing tool when used correctly and been able to target your tweets could prove to be a useful tool in enhancing your businesses reach.

Let us at 4pm hear what you think!

SocialNetworks.1

4pm and Acquaint: Keeping you in the Loop!

Take Control of your inbox!

With the introduction of the government’s Help to Buy scheme and anticipation of all MagnifyOutlookthose extra registrations why not allow Acquaint to help you maintain your email Inbox? Process Outlook Emails is a function that scans through your Microsoft Outlook Inbox and Sent Items folders and automatically creates Applicant Contacts and imports emails that have been sent and received from Contacts. Online Referencing Guarantee faster turn arounds with Online Referencing. Run Online Reference checks through Acquaint using Van Mildert Tenant Referencing services. It’s free to use in Acquaint just sign-up to Van Mildert’s services by calling 0191 256 0920.

Social Networking Made Easy

Many more agents are engaging through Social Networking sites including Facebook, Linked In and Twitter. Our Portal Uploading service is the quickest and easiest way to get your Properties onto your Social Networks. What’s more you can even post your own news article straight to your website helping you to engage with your audience, keep content fresh whilst also moving traffic to your website and adding to Search-Engine Optimisation (SEO) at the same time.

Quick Tip – Deposit Refunds

So you’re checking out a Tenant and noticed they’ve spilt ketchup on the living room carpet. How do you handle the deposit refund? Go to the Tenant’s record and select the Tenancy. Click the Menu button and choose Check-Out.
Charge the Tenant by clicking Add in the Deductions to Pay to Landlord section. Choose a suitable product such as ‘Professional Cleaning’ and adjust the amount. Save, Add Utility Readings and Forward Address as required then Save.

Watermarks

Tired of seeing photos you’ve taken the time and effort to take and crop and edit appearing on your competitors website? Well we’ve come up with a neat way to stop culprits before they can start. We’ve added a new feature which means you can emblazon your photos with a watermark. You’ll see this plus some more nifty features in the latest release of Acquaint. If you have an Acquaint built website and want to watermark all your existing photos we recommend giving us a call first.

Most of our client base comes from referrals, we’re more than happy to repay the favour! Refer a friend to Acquaint and we will reward the referor!