E-commerce -a threat to on premise retailers

by ExpertBlogger 13. April 2019 11:43

Internet is the greatest boon of this century and one of the most rewarding inventions of our times. It has not only created an e-revolution in the world but has also touched all the segments of the businesses be it FMCG or apparel, services anything and everything. The e-retail market has catered to the needs of the consumers in every possible way from having the most user friendly interfaces to the super-fast delivery solutions that provides a lot of flexibility to the end user and saves time, money and effort by making everything available at the doorstep in no time. E-commerce has turned the retail market upside down with just one attribute of it’s that is convenience which has been every consumer’s desire while buying anything goods or service. E-commerce is not only convenient to the consumer but also for the seller as it saves all the resources that goes into making a retail showroom and the overhead of maintaining the property and if its rented then the huge rent that the seller has to bear. Shredding all these expenses the e-commerce just caters to everything that a buyer and seller can ask for. With tastes and changing trends e-retailers just have to focus on product availability and the delivery to the customer and the various payment gateways. Advertisements and other marketing strategies can be implemented with greater precision based on the consumer’s pattern of buying and looking for products over the various websites. For the seller as well e-commerce of his products can widely expand the scope to reach larger audience and various geographies as well. The only ones that a seller has is to reach out maximum consumers without worrying about the space and other infrastructure costs.

The retail conversion of physical shops and showrooms into e-commerce facilitator is gaining momentum. Biggest of Indian retail supermarket, electronic, apparel chains have adopted the online model and are focusing on having an e-commerce existence in the market. With technology making a presence even in the remote areas, larger population seem to embrace e-retailing. Nearly 68 million internet users are from remote areas, who sum up for half of total sales that happen at online shopping portals in India.

Recent trends show that there has been a paradigm shift in the buying patterns of the consumers worldwide, who are gradually keen to buy goods and services online and are rapidly treading towards a more appropriate, user friendly and innovative platform.

 

From grocery to a car, from medicines to a full-fledged furnished house, from cosmetics to the electronics the online marketplace has advanced to become as the one-stop shop for everything. Also, the hopes of the consumers are changing to entirely new dimensions, with outstanding benchmarks set by the e-retailers. Shoppers are aware of the value that these online portals offer, the plethora of products that these portals put on display and the one click comfort of making hassle free purchases right from the comfort zone of the consumer have made e-commerce a buzz word.

Such changing market trends have given a blow to the shopkeepers and showroom owners who are under the blow of the herculean rise of e-commerce websites. Amazon, Flipkart, eBay etc. are the fore runners that pose as a threat to all the retailers who now have to re think their strategy to survive in the market. The price for the showroom / shop setup and its maintenance and also the on-floor staff cost is incurred through the consumer and all this is added in the selling price. The e-commerce sites since don’t have to bear these costs offer the lowest price possible that will include their profit margins as well. The consumer are not concern about the quality issues as the e-commerce websites provide easy return and replacement as compare to the merchants. The bad product or service has a surety of full refund which attracts more consumers to these portals than to get into the endless return cycle of the real merchants.

The e-commerce is the future of consumer market not because of it’s convenient methods but because it improves its strategy each day which the on premise merchants fail to implement and improve and stick to the traditional way of selling the products.

Healthcare & Business , What we are choosing?

by ExpertBlogger 11. March 2019 10:44

We have seen many most developed country of the world, and if it has been assumed that it has world’s highest life expectancy then this would be an incorrect supposition. U.S. stands way too below in the ranking of healthcare systems, studies prove that accessibility of care process, administration, drug costs and overall outcomes of these have made America a nation where the healthcare is meant to be for rich. It was estimated that an average American spends around $900 per person on an average and this figure is about five times more than the expenditure by an individual from any other developed country. The lavish medical bills and drug costs has not helped America to have a better life expectancy, but it has resulted in a broken medical system that only led to a higher spending on the healthcare but good health. The end users are falling prey to a system that is non-transparent and highly unpredictable because of the insurance companies not giving any access to the payer at all in the billing system of the treatments that they take or medicines that they buy. The non-interference of the Government to moderate these cost discrepancy has led to further breaking of the system which results in dissatisfied consumers and hence low life expectancy rate. The consumer will hardly be able to decipher the billing details of any treatment he/she had undergone through because this remains the most guarded secret of the insurance companies that work with the hospitals and the providers hand in hand to create a black box around the costing. Different procedures conducted in a facility have different costs and the consumers are billed differently by the hospitals and the amount billed would be always more than the amount covered for that procedure by the insurance company. The deducible factor of a comprehensive health plan is the determinant for cost borne by a consumer. Plans with lower premium and higher deducible will result in more cost to be incurred on the consumer whereas plans with higher premium and low deducible makes the healthcare more affordable to the consumer.

 

An average American has to pay fifty to eighty percent more price for a drug than any other individual of other developed countries like Australia or Canada. American Government do not intervene in moderating the price of the drugs and have set free the pharmacies to levy any amount which they feel is suitable. It is the insurance companies instead of a government regulatory body that decide the price of a particular drug along with the pharma companies. This has a direct consequence on the bearer because for a particular drug the prices will vary across the country which does not depends upon its formulation or demand but it depends on the rate negotiated by the insurance company of the bearer and type of plan he/she has the cover of. This has resulted in the increased price of even the universal drugs that should have been available to the consumer at the lowest best price.

 

There are private authorities that serve as middlemen and earn a lot of money in the supply chain of healthcare system. These bodies help managing the drug costs but not unify it. They make money by maximizing the cost so that they get the differential amount of the copay paid by the consumer above the actual cost of the drug from the pharmacy. This has turned into a profitable business where the providers are concerned with making just money by prescribing drugs, asking for more tests than what actually are required and making sure that there will be more visits to the facility than required so that each visit can help them earn more money, as doctors are paid per service and not per positive outcome of the visit. The entire hierarchy is disruptive and indulge in such malpractices that victimize the consumers. In spite of world class technology and some extremely advanced healthcare techniques being implemented America is unable to bring back a relief to the common man to have these facilities at affordable prices because of the lack of transparency and the third party involvement which primarily look for perverse profits.

Is there end to soaring rise in the prices of the real estate

by ExpertBlogger 5. February 2019 11:53

Buying a house or a property for a dwelling is always an emotional investment for a buyer. Every time he/she buys a property he/she would make an investment that will reap fruits later in the years to come. For a property dealer also it is very important that the real estate market should keep its buyers hooked up for them to make any type of investment. Real estate business is not an easy market because the prices of the properties rise and fall sporadically, leading to a lot of uncertainty. The property rates however vary from market to market. It can be said that the prices are determined by local factors and people dwelling in that locality because conditions differ from place to place. There is a trend of accession followed by this market in which prices of the land rise at a quickening rate because factors like extra central bank liquidity/free credit/broiling foreign money drive a good bidding cycle well above sustainably inexpensive stages. As a result of which progressively the nervous owners of the properties will make all possible attempts to sell out before this surge ends. So, the supply would head fast but the prices would stagnate. An inventory will start building, as a result of which the sellers will start lowering the prices. Now begins a vicious cycle in which the buyers would lose the mojo and not want to invest in property where he/she once was, causing sellers to drop prices further. This tendency of demand – supply and pricing is known as Bubble in the market. However, the market has come out of the recession and the prices of the properties have hit the all-time high. The leading countries in which the property rates rose as high as 148% are Hong Kong, Iceland and New Zealand followed by China, Sweden and Canada. Studies claim that the prices of good affordable homes will rise in the coming years because of their shortage. Also, adding to this is the average growth in the earnings of the buyer which remains much lower than the rise in the prices of these houses.

Another significant factor for lower purchase rate of the real estate are the growing mortgage rates which is a big fear of prospective homebuyers, encouraging them to lock in the current options ,even though they’re less than the best. Growing rates also thrust unreliable buyers into the market, these are the ones who may choose to be on the boundary about buying the property.

Another reason for the increase of house prices is the local currency perspective of the buyer. The modern world is built majorly on debt, which is in-effect borrowing from the future generations.  Since the present generation is characteristically more restricted in its grossing capacity than the future generation, central banks of the nations all around the world are incentivized to lessen the local currency to refund those debts that are created by the current generation.  It's surely easier to say there's suddenly more money around instead of depicting the dearth of the money to actually increase efficiency that would be adequate enough to produce an extra amount needed to pay the debt. Ultimately, development in business series, credit obtainability, and demographic drifts are also the factors that drive demand of real estate that will lead to actual price increase in housing. A land closer to a population and economically active center, an owner can just sit on the economic development to crop the increase in the worth of the use value of the piece of his/her land. Housing prices go up due to the combined effect of inflation on the price of it and the increase of worth or the utility of the property. Increasing population in a given area rises the demand of the property. Heaps of opportunity to find occupation in a given area will lead people to move or immigrate to a certain region in order to find work. Land values determine the housing prices largely. 

Rising property prices over the previous 25 years have made owing a home a far-fetched dream for millions of people. But this development has created a response loop that inspires investors to venture in property market. This distracts capital from fruitful parts of the economy, and kicks the prices even extra ahead from what the typical family can afford.

Mortgages, Short Term Loan, Payday Loans, A boon or bane for the economy?

by ExpertBlogger 2. January 2019 15:00

The attractive option of getting the loan on same day and repaying it back the next payday without suffering a huge debt or credit check is the major advantage of payday loans. A small provisional loan taken to conduit the borrower's cash flow gap between paydays, is referred to as a payday loan. They are loose, but have high-interest and for a short-term and can be aptly referred as micro loans. These loans are usually settled in cash, and the lender processes the cheque or takes out from the borrower's active account on the date of maturity of the loan. 

As evident from the name, the loans are usually taken and repaid within a period as long as of 30 days. Also, the payday loans are usually repaid on next payday, therefore one can see that they are always in control of their payday loans irrespective of what others would say. Giving each one of us a viewpoint that we are our own masters of our payday loans is the most fruitful strategy charted by the providers of these loans. This is because the payday loans have highest rate of interest as they are repaid in less than a span of 30 days. 

So with this the banks and the lenders will definitely opt for Payday loans because even if a bank has or bad loans and stuff. For the lender it is low hanging fruit and as it is an easy money. However, according to a research survey it has been recorded that after subtracting the fixed operational cost and the default losses, the payday loans company does not make considerable profit. There have been cases of fake cheques presented by borrowers as security, and as a result, such cheques bounce when being en-cashed by the bank.

In developing economies like India payday loans are not very popular because of the gravest reasons like a pile-up of bad loans, Indian Banks seem to be pursuing the wrong race. The non-performing assets (NPA) accumulated by Indian lenders are higher than those of Indian banks as contrast to many of the major economies of the world, including USA, UK, China and Japan. Indian banks' gross non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad loans, stand at INR 10.25 lakh crore reported on 31 March 2018. This pie of the cake now accounts for 11.8 percent of the total loans given by the banking industry. For financial year 2018, the total bad loans of these banks rose by a whopping amount of INR 3.13 lakh crores.  It will take years before these banks can get rid of NPAs, accumulated over the years on account of multiple factors.

 Also even the lenders are not easy-going on their customers. Quite often these payday lenders are criticized. They are called the merciless loan sharks attacking the poorer section, low income areas, which are unable to realize the time value of money. Many people find the interest rate on the payday loan puts the weaker section in difficulties, whereas the richer community can afford to pay even up to 25% interest or so on their credit cards.

Pay-day loan is a benefit for customers because they can save you in times of distress. Had it been possible to know or predict financial emergencies, then payday loans would not have happened! Many at times you may find yourself caught in unexpected situations and you may not be well equipped to deal with the situation. Like when you fall sick, or your car breaks down, you would have to bear on your planning budget for the month. So for these kinds of short-term money crunch situations, payday loans are of great help as one can get instant cash right when needed. Pay-day loans can be applied for online as well and the money gets deposited into lender’s account directly and instantly.

To conclude, in the long run if the bad loans increased due to pay day loans then it would be because of the lenders who do not do a thorough check of the credit history of the customers or burrowers. However the things go smoothly and if proper background checks are conducted on both sides then they are very beneficial for the middle income strata and also the banks or financial institutes that give these micro loans on short-term basis.

Is Social Media is a threat to privacy?

by ExpertBlogger 8. September 2018 14:51

Facebook is the largest social media website for bringing people on the same platform and help them share their lives with each other. Facebook is not just a platform but it has turned into a global phenomenon that has turned the world of networking by 360 degrees. The users of Facebook connect with each other socially, share their moments and events of life, their favorite things in life, their pictures etc. The users who subscribe for Facebook have been given privacy rights to secure their profiles and data from other users of Facebook not known to them and also if there is any information they want to share among the selected group of people and not with an entire list of friends. A user can safeguard his/her images to be downloaded or saved by others and also there is a block setting provided to each user in order to screen any other user that has been a trouble to an individual.

Despite all the privacy control that a user has been given by Facebook, the data that is stored at Facebook servers are the biggest threat to a user’s privacy. Facebook stores and harvest this data about people for various marketing searches. According to a legislation passed by US government on 23rd March 2018 all over the world the governments can use the “private online data” of the subscribers of Facebook for prosecution and investigation purposes, hence making data harvesting a legal act which can use by governments.

Using data from unconnected people and mapping the common factors from them for friend’s suggestion, a feature that has been added and it works based on the personal information that a user provides about himself through Facebook, makes the information provided by the user vulnerable for hackers. A person who has a Facebook account can be searched all over the applications like Google, Truecaller etc. Google search can be restricted now upon changing the privacy settings however the linkage of old data at Facebook servers still persists on Google. Facebook constantly asks you to provide your phone number for account retrieval process in case the user forgets his/her password. 

Then come the sales and marketing strategies that are now focused on those sets of people that have Facebook account and their activities through their online accounts may give myriads patterns of consumer behavioral statistics which are gathered from each user’s account without his/her information and used in market research by the businesses. Every click a user does is being captured by Facebook’s intuitive algorithms and are used by various organizations including the government agencies to keep a tap on everyone in the world who has the social network. The pictures, the statuses, and the various activities in the form of check-ins are prone to misuse by strangers and hackers. In the past before Facebook has given full access to the user to protect the account from everyone in the world the material posted by the users online was very much hackable and had led to crimes in the society. 

There are thousands of advertisements from all over the world that are posted on the Facebook and they keep flashing every now and then, if the user clicks on any one of the e-commerce websites and browse through few items listed there, however, don’t buy any, then those products would keep lingering onto your Facebook wall until you buy them. There is no transparency provided by Facebook to the use or misuse of an end user’s data. The ethical use of a person’s data is allowed but not selling of the information that he/she does not wants to share. A user’s personal data and the searches that are made by him/her are sold to various parties for growing their businesses and also to flourish Facebook’s business of creating virtual social networks and making the public believe that in the era of world wide web anything that is not online is something which not technologically savvy. So, people, in order to gain social acceptance in the society and to fall prey to this game of virtual networks, to create online accounts and then get addicted to the ways of it and gradually becoming the reason of the huge empire formed on the use of online data.