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The latest Ecommerce facts about shopper behaviour to inform retail strategies in 2024

Enjoy, please Tweet the facts you fancy and Merry Christmas!

Day 1 – Christmas commerce fact for 8th December:

Source: Wharton

UX Director Chris Jones explains, ‘Take a long, hard look at your shipping costs. Could you trial free shipping to see if there’s an uplift in sales that would more than cover the cost? Do you at least offer free shipping over a certain basket amount? It’s something that customers feel very strongly about, especially on high value orders’.

Day 2 – Christmas commerce fact for 9th December:

Source: Drapers

Managing Director, Rob Smith recommends, ‘Large selections of product make the purchase feel more individual and more of a personal choice. Beware the paradox of choice though,  too many red dresses and people begin to over-analyse the nuances of a large selection and don’t check out fast’.

Day 3 – Christmas commerce fact for the 10th December:

Source: Radware

Head of Strategy, Jonathon Palmer says, ‘Customer’s shopping behaviour has changed dramatically over the last few years. Many online-only retailers are investing in physical stores so people can actually touch their products and connect with their brand. Simple measures can make a difference, like equipping store staff with tablets and ensuring they’re trained to make each possible sale happen, either then and there or at some point later online’.

Day 4  - Christmas commerce fact for the 11th December:

Source: Internet Retailing

Managing Director, Rob Smith says,’Mobile shopping is increasing all the time. Each Christmas creates a surge as it’s such a busy time of year and also a time when a lot of devises get swapped. Phones now have better screens and therefore, create a better shopping experience’.

Day 5 – Christmas commerce fact for the 12th December:

Source: Radware

UX Director, Chris Jones says, ‘Understanding customer journeys and creating a site that caters for each stage is key. Knowing if your customers are more inclined to use certain devices at each stage us also essential when considering user experience. For example, do customers use a table when they’re looking for inspiration, a mobile whilst in-store and then purchase on a desktop device?’.

Day 6 – Christmas commerce fact for the 13th December:

Source: Trustpilot

Managing Director, Rob Smith says, ‘Reviews are an essential mechanic of modern retail shopping – expect their in-store to explode in the coming 12 months’.

Day 7 – Christmas commerce fact for 14th December:

Source: Fashion Retail 2014

Day 8 – Christmas commerce fact for 15th December:

Source: Drapers

Managing Director, Rob Smith says: Due to variations in making techniques and suppliers, it’s rare that sizing is ever a known quantity, even within one retailer. Retailers need to work harder at this and also watch out for tools coming up that will crowd source whether popular garments come up big or small.

Day 9 – Christmas commerce fact for 16th December:

Source: Radware

Day 10 – Christmas commerce fact for 17th December:

Source: Fashion Retail 2014

Day 11 – Christmas commerce fact for 18th December:

Source: econsultancy

Day 12 – Christmas commerce fact for 19th December:

Source: Radware

Managing Director, Rob Smith says: We’ll see this change rapidly over the next few years as people become more comfortable with mobile shopping and retailers get better at producing mobile-optimised experiences.

Image/Copyright

Learn more at DigiBix on the 22nd January 2024

DigiBix is a breakfast briefing for ecommerce pioneers. Love to learn, discuss and debate the very latest in ecommerce thinking over a tasty breakfast? DigiBix is a sales-free environment that gathers the right people together to make this happen. Our next DigiBix is on the 22nd January, 9-11am at the Soho Hotel.

Speakers include Tesco and Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights exploring evaluating content marketing ROI. You can find a full list of speakers on the website where you’ll also find a short video about DigiBix. Please contact Kate via email at kate dot welch AT blue-leaf.co.uk for more details or to register your place.

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12 Of The Best Windows Sound Schemes To Install On Your Pc

Windows 11 and 10 offer only two sound scheme options: “Windows Default” and “No Sounds.” If you’re bored of listening to them, consider this collection of alternate Windows sound schemes from different genres, including anime, classic games, voices, and aerial sounds. You can either install an entire sound scheme as a theme pack or mix things up to produce a specific event sound.

How to Download and Install Custom Sound Schemes in Windows 10/11

Windows 11/10 startup sounds are preinstalled on your PC or laptop. To change from the default, you only have to download one of the custom Windows sound themes below and save it as a new sound scheme.

This will extract the audio files and store them on your Google Drive account. They can now be easily downloaded to your Windows PC.

1. Windows 95 Sounds

Windows 95 is a nostalgic moment for many PC users. The thing that makes it special is its iconic startup jingle created by musician Brian Eno. That used to be known as “The Microsoft sound” and helped usher in the modern PC revolution.

You can recreate the same magic on your latest Windows 11 and 10 systems and listen to those classic sound effects all over again. Apart from them, you can also change Windows 95 to be your startup sound.

All these Windows 95 original media files were until now consigned to the Internet archive (archive.org). We’ve brought them back for your listening pleasure. They contain 66 sound effects, including the famous Chimes, Ding, Tada, and Chord.

Download here

2. Ubuntu Sounds for Windows

There are many users who enjoy merging the functionality of a Windows 11 system with the themes and sound schemes of other operating systems. If you crave Linux sounds for standard program events, we have a handy collection of Ubuntu sounds. These include popup notifications, shutdown, startup, disconnections, new emails, and so forth.

These Ubuntu sounds have to be individually applied to each program event setting you want to have a different sound notification. Whether you’re installing a new program in Windows or opening a music/video file, it is easy to be all set with the new Linux-like sound schemes.

Download here

3. Mac Sound Scheme for Windows 10

Mac sound effects are on an altogether different volume level. The same loudness can be transferred to your most recent Windows device with one of these alert sounds resembling the classic macOS actions.

You will get different sound themes, such as the mouse scrolling slowly, key presses, and a complete navigation through trackpad movement. There are further customizations of Windows logon and exit that tend to resemble the Mac logon/exit sounds.

Note: the sound effects resemble the best approximation of how Mac would appear on a Windows device. You won’t get Monterey or Big Sur sounds. Still, the higher volume is the biggest plus factor for Windows users.

Download here

4. Super Mario Windows Sounds

Fans of Super Mario are in for a treat with this fabulous Mario sound pack. All our sounds have a definite upbeat quality about them. This retro compilation by Mario Mayhem has preserved Mario’s characteristic peppiness and positivism and will add thrilling moments to your PC gameplay. 

The different sounds in the Mario theme include the front door level, kicks and jumps, when Mario gets a coin, and when he dies. Each downloadable sound has faithfully reproduced in the best way what the Mario franchise has to offer. Mario sounds happen to blend excellently with modern arcade games, which makes these a must have for your personal collection.

Download here

5. Gears of War 3 Sounds for Windows

Gears of War 3 sounds are available as a standard Windows 11 and 10 theme online. This compilation has reproduced the game franchise’s SFX sound effects and adapted them as Windows sounds.

If you like to relax to the sound of metal objects clanging against anvils, wheels squeaking, and gears meshing with each other, Gears of War 3 is just what you need for your Windows laptop. Personally, this sound scheme is my number one favorite on this list.

Download here

6. Age of Empires Sounds for Windows

Age of Empires boasts a large community of online players. However, there are others who feel this franchise has seen better days. Regardless of the game’s popularity, there’s one reason we have put this collection in our list – the amazing sound effects that can endlessly entertain you.

In this sound scheme, you get some breathtaking audio effects which will take your PC experience to pure theatre levels. You get the beating of drums, blowing horns and trumpets, riders dismounting from horses, and the shattering of glass. It’s real delightful music.

Download here

7. Female Voice Sounds for Windows

Would you like a virtual secretary speaking in a crisp, flawless accent? In this sound compilation of real female voices, you get several essential commands to make your computing tasks a breeze.

From telling you to pay attention to confirming an action to informing you when “a new device has been connected,” the virtual secretary does an amazing job at handling your computing chores. These are indeed some of the best sound settings to have for busy professionals.

The best part of this sound scheme is a female microphone countdown which truly hooks you with its anticipation and sheer excitement. By the time the voice reaches “3, 2, 1,” you really feel good finishing the task.

Download here

8. Robotic Sounds Windows

As an alternative to a virtual secretary, you can also have a robot sending you system alerts. This collection by MixKit has several essential robotic voices to keep you on your toes. From the essential sounds of a robot saying “yes” and “no” to sci-fi robotic voices, the audio clips are quite pleasant to listen to.

All the sounds have a Transformers-like quality in terms of distortion and loud pitch. Apart from a generic robot voice, the edition also has computer voices generated by science fiction movies, and there is one brief audio of how artificial intelligence is supposed to sound.

Download here

9. Ghostly Voices Compilation for Windows

Horror movie fans are surely going to love this sound scheme. MixKit comes with a large collection of royalty-free ghost voices that have the correct amount of spookiness to keep you entertained for hours. It’s scary – but not too scary!

Do you want an angry zombie grunting at you or a sad creature crying (it’s more likely to elicit laughter, though)? There’s also the crazy demon monster ritual voice and what seems like a dark, moaning pain from the very depths of Purgatory.

Do spare the time to listen to an angry shaman that gives you very similar vibes to that baddie priest from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Clearly, if you want to prank others, a haunted laptop is the best way to do it!

Download here

10. Anime Sounds for Windows

The present anime compilation was created by DeviantArt user Shiroo39 and uses Madobe Yuu sounds, as her voice sounds similar to Madobe Touko. The sounds have been defined for various Windows activities, such as a device connecting and disconnecting, system notifications, user account controls, new mail, and restore up and down.

Download here

11. Typewriter Sounds for Windows

There’s something very soothing about typewriter sounds. In this sound scheme collection, we bring several classic typewriter sound effects that are loud enough to provide the best user experience.

Among the various sounds produced, you get the typewriter backspace and forward keys, which are extra loud, a line break key, a paper change key, the space bar key, and a return (enter) key.

Even if you’ve never used a typewriter before, the realistic sounds will get you instantly hooked and craving for more on your Windows device. Give the typewriter sounds a try and have fun with one of the finest retro technologies.

Download here

12. Microsoft Flight Simulator Sounds

We round off our collection of Windows sound themes with aerial sounds produced by Microsoft Flight Simulator. These are stunningly realistic and involve the sound effects of aircraft, cockpits, engines, and thrust noises. The sound scheme is available with the official Windows themes collection.

Whether you’re a budding pilot learning GPS on a flight simulator or someone who plays aerial games, the flight simulator sounds will perfectly complement your aerial simulation. They have spared much attention to detail to the revving of engines, beep noises, and the aircraft throttle lever springing to life.

Download here

Frequently Asked Questions 1. Where are Windows sound schemes stored on my PC?

Both in Windows 11 and Windows 10, all Windows sound schemes can be centrally accessed from “C:WindowsMedia.” These include the built-in default Windows sound schemes as well as the newly added ones.

2. How do I delete a sound scheme in Windows 11/10?

Now that you’ve learned to change Windows sound schemes, have a look at some of the best sites to download custom Windows 4K backgrounds. You can also download some of the best screensavers for your Windows PC.

Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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Ecommerce Sites Worth Checking Out In 2023

In truth, using an online store is way more convenient than a physical store for any company. For one thing, it saves on space, because there is no need to have all the products in one place where the customers can view them. What’s more, it is cost-effective as the workforce is significantly reduced. 

Maybe this is why the number of online stores has been showing an upward trend in the past decade? 

The lucrative nature of this industry has caused a rise in the number of eCommerce websites. While this is a good thing, it may cause you, the seller, to have difficulty deciding which site you should use for your own online store. Not to worry, we have compiled a list of the best eCommerce websites in 2023 to help you make the final decision.

At the top of our list is Shopify, one of the biggest eCommerce platforms on the market today. The website is the brainchild of four tech-savvy entrepreneurs who, in 2004, wanted to open an online snowboarding equipment store. 

Clearly, the website grew to surpass the intended purpose. Today, it has over 5,000 employees serving customers from 175 countries. It has generated over $496 billion in sales and powers over 3.7 million online stores. 

This is another excellent eCommerce platform with stellar reviews. The website was founded in 2006 by three entrepreneurs frustrated with the expense and complications of building an eCommerce website. Today, Wix has become one of the biggest eCommerce solutions in the market. 

Wix has over 200 million users in more than 190 countries and has 3,000 employees from different regions. The platform offers hundreds of professional templates with a fluid and intuitive UI, making it easy to create and operate an eCommerce website. 

BigCommerce is similar to Shopify in several ways. The platform was founded in 2009 and has since grown to service customers in more than 150 countries with a workforce of over 1000 employees.

Volusion was started way back in 1999 by a 16-year-old who worked as a freelancer building websites for clients. It has since become one of the most affordable modern eCommerce solutions.

The platform features a drag-and-drop page editor and several themes and templates. One of the most significant downsides of Volusion is that it does not support selling products on social media and other marketplaces.

Weebly is the only platform on our list that offers a free plan. This means you can create a website from start to finish without forking out a single cent. The site was started in 2007 and has had immense growth since then. Today, it powers more than 50 million stores around the world. 

Another significant benefit of this platform is its ease of use. You can keep your inventory and manage your store easily with Weebly’s tools. You also get access to apps you can use for marketing and sales. 

Venturing into the world of eCommerce can be a good decision, provided you use the right platform. Above are some companies with a proven track record of meeting customer demands. 

However, there is one tool you might still need to further streamline your experience with eCommerce – residential proxies. Proxy servers can keep your internet activity private and provide an extra layer of protection to your sensitive financial data.

They can also help you research new, unexplored markets and expand your reach since they can bypass location-based restrictions. Order residential proxies online and kickstart your eCommerce business today!

180 Days Into The Us Ban, Is Huawei Too Big To Fail?

HUAWEI is still raking in billions

In the first nine months of 2023 HUAWEI generated revenues of 610.8 billion yuan (~$87.3 billion), up 24.4% compared to the same time last year. That’s impressive growth for a company that’s fighting for its life, even though it’s slower than the 39% yearly growth rate HUAWEI boasted in Q1 2023.

HUAWEI looks set to comfortably clear $100 billion in revenue by the end of the year. That’s a significant milestone because it exceeds what HUAWEI founder Ren Zhengfei publicly predicted the company would make in 2023. In other words, the company is beating its own expectations.

How is this possible?

A lot of it has to do with HUAWEI’s strong performance in its telecom infrastructure business – its 4G and 5G base stations are still selling briskly, despite calls from the US for allies to shut out HUAWEI out of their networks.

HUAWEI makes about half of its revenue from its consumer division, mainly smartphones. The company shipped 185 million units this year. HUAWEI won’t say how many of those phones were sold in the last few months, but research firms Canalys and Counterpoint both estimate Q3 shipments of 66.8 million units. With a year-on-year growth of 29%, HUAWEI not only held ground, it actually closed in on Samsung. It’s clear that, had it not been blacklisted, HUAWEI would’ve easily beaten Samsung to become the world’s biggest smartphone maker.

HUAWEI not only held ground, it actually closed in on Samsung

China calling

In order to sell all these products, HUAWEI first needs to make them. Its investment in its own silicon has proven invaluable in this regard, as HUAWEI doesn’t depend on US-based Qualcomm for essential SoCs and modems. Furthermore, HUAWEI continues to work with Arm and will be able to use the next-gen Arm v9 architecture, which will provide the foundation of mobile chips coming out in 2023 and beyond.

The company also has a stockpile of components it doesn’t manufacture itself – according to Canalys, HUAWEI had been stockpiling components for around a year by the time US placed it on the blacklist.

Huawei’s investment into is own silicon has proven invaluable

Dark clouds Light at the end of the tunnel

Finally, and this could be the light at the end of the tunnel, the Trump administration suggested it may give HUAWEI a respite, by granting export licenses to companies who want to sell non-sensitive products to HUAWEI. On November 4, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that licenses “will be forthcoming very shortly,” saying that the government received 260 license applications. Google presumably applied for a license, but it’s up to the US government to decide whether Android and Google’s apps are security-sensitive or not.

In addition, US and China are said to be closing in on a “phase one” deal that would roll back some tariffs and potentially ease the trade tensions between the two countries. While no one will publicly admit it, HUAWEI’s fate appears to be tied to the success – or failure – of these negotiations.

HUAWEI may not be too big to fail, but it’s definitely big enough to survive a prolonged blacklisting by the world’s greatest economic and political power. The question is, for how long?

Nights Are Warming Faster Than Days. Here’s What That Means For The Planet.

Climate change can have profound impacts across ecosystems, but rising average temperatures are just one factor among many driving those repercussions. A new study published in late September in Global Change Biology found that nighttime temperatures are increasing at a faster rate compared to daytime temps in most land areas across the Earth. That shift can influence everything from predator-prey dynamics to plant growth.

“Climate change is already messing things up,” says Daniel Cox, an ecologist at the University of Exeter and lead author of the study. “But the 24-hour asymmetry is adding an extra dimension of complexity [for species].”

Previous analyses have found that the rising greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are not having an even effect on temperatures from day to night. But Cox says this is the first study of temperature asymmetries to cover all global lands.

Without understanding these effects, ecologists can’t hope to fully grasp how the natural world will respond. Experiments with grasshoppers and spiders, for example, have shown that the time of the day at which heating occurs can tip the ecological balance. In a 2023 study, researchers found increased daytime warming led spiders to seek cover earlier in the day, enabling grasshoppers to munch away at plants without fear, affecting plant growth. Conversely, the spiders hunted the grasshoppers more fiercely when nightime temperatures warmed, possibly reducing the insect’s numbers. These kinds of effects can ripple across a larger ecosystem, with potential impacts for plant communities, wildlife, and agriculture.

Nighttime ecology is particularly understudied, with most research focused on the daytime activities of organisms. That’s why Cox was interested in understanding temperature asymmetries across the globe. Revealing these differences can be a stepping stone toward seeing how nocturnal activities are faring under climate change.

To find out, Cox and his team mapped 35 years of data on temperature, cloud cover, humidity, and precipitation. For each of the pixels of land area on the global maps, they looked at how the maximum daytime and minimum nighttime temperatures changed over time.

On a global level, nights are heating up more than days. Almost twice as much area has seen a greater temperature increase at night compared to during the day. This change appears to be closely tied to shifts in cloud cover; where cloud cover increased, so did nighttime temperatures. “We think that cloud cover is probably the main driver [of increased nighttime temperatures],” says Cox.

In wetter regions, warming temperatures are causing more water to evaporate, leading to more clouds. Clouds cool during the day by blocking the sun, but at night they trap heat close to the ground. In general, wetter regions over time got cloudier and thus warmer at night. Meanwhile, a smaller portion of already-arid land grew drier as temperatures increased the most during the day.

Cox also included leaf area index in the study, which is a measure plant canopy coverage used to estimate the productivity of flora. Overall, temperature jumps in either extreme—extra hot days or nights—harmed leaf area. With greater nighttime warming, plant respiration (using energy from photosynthesis to grow) at night increases, but the cloudier days make it harder to obtain this energy as photosynthesis requires sunlight. “The paper is good, timely, and important,” says Brandon Barton, an ecologist at Mississippi State University who wasn’t involved in the research. “Very few studies have done a good job at having multiple factors [associated with climate change].” Climate change isn’t simply evenly warming things up; temperatures are changing at different rates between seasons or times of day. Wind, rainfall, and snow patterns are also changing.

For Cox, the research will enable him to continue studying how animals are coping with climate change at night. “We know the world is changing through human influences, but we don’t really have a grasp of how the nighttime is changing,” he says. “It’s a big hole in the literature that has just been missed.”

After 12,000 Days In Space, Voyager 1 Heads For The Solar System Boundary

Voyager 1 photographed Saturn and two of its moons, Tethys (shown here) and Dione in November 1980. Shadows from Saturn’s three bright rings and Tethys can be seen on the cloud tops on Saturn. NASA/JPL

Next time you’re marveling at the fact that Spirit and Opportunity have been roving Mars for over six years now, ponder this: the two Voyager spacecraft have been hurtling through our solar system for nearly 33 years. Today, Voyager 1 hits a mission milestone of operating continuously for 12,000 days. The spacecraft launched on September 5, 1977, while Jimmy Carter was president, and has now traveled 14 billion miles.

Voyager 1 made its closest approach to Jupiter in March 1979, coming to within about 217,000 miles of the planet’s center and making detailed observations of Jupiter’s moons. During its flyby of Saturn in November 1980, the spacecraft’s cameras and remote sensing instruments revealed stunning images and information about Saturn’s rings and atmosphere, as well as its giant moon Titan. In early 1990, Voyager 1 captured the now-famous image known as “Pale Blue Dot.” As the spacecraft was on its way out of the solar system, astronomer Carl Sagan commanded it to turn its camera and take a picture of planet Earth dangling in the vastness of space.

By early 2005, Voyager 1 was about 94 times farther from the Sun than Earth is. Within the next five years, the spacecraft will enter interstellar space, where it will study the boundaries of the solar system, including the Kuiper Belt. Long-life nuclear batteries are expected to power Voyager 1 until at least 2023, when it will be more than 13 billion miles from Earth.

Voyager 2, which completed observations of Uranus and Neptune in addition to Saturn and Jupiter, reached its 12,000-day milestone on June 28. The two space probes are the most distant human-made objects in the universe.

Io

This image of Jupiter’s moon Io was created from several frames taken by Voyager 1 in 1979. Io is about 500,000 miles away from the spacecraft here.

Tethys and Dione

Voyager 1 photographed Saturn and two of its moons, Tethys (shown here) and Dione in November 1980. Shadows from Saturn’s three bright rings and Tethys can be seen on the cloud tops on Saturn.

Io in 1979

Voyager 1 took this photo of Jupiter and its moons Io (shown here) and Europa in 1979. Io is about 220,000 miles above Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

Jupiter’s Red Spot

This Voyager 1 image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot was assembled from three black-and-white negatives and then processed to produce the color image.

Lava

This color picture of Jupiter’s moon Io was taken by Voyager 1 in 1979 at a range of 77,100 miles. The dark spot with the irregular radiating pattern near the bottom of the photo may be a volcanic crater with radiating lava flows.

Rhea

This image of Saturn’s moon Rhea was taken just before Voyager 1’s closest approach to the moon in 1980. The visible area is heavily cratered and indicates an ancient surface that dates back to the time immediately after the formation of the planets.

Titan

This enhanced Voyager 1 image taken in 1980 shows Saturn’s largest moon Titan enveloped in a thick layer of haze. At Voyager’s closest approach to Titan, spacecraft instruments found that the moon has an atmosphere far denser than that of Mars and possibly denser than Earth’s.

Crescents

This 1977 image of a crescent-shaped Earth and Moon was the first of its kind ever taken by a spacecraft. The Moon is at the top of the picture and beyond the Earth, as viewed by Voyager 1.

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