This Week In Digital
Black Friday 2015: How To Be Smart and Savvy This Year
Consumer capitalism gone mad? The perfect opportunity to grab a techy bargain? Or a pointless ploy dreamt up by some marketer?
Regardless of subjectivism, there's no doubting the impact that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have had on Western retail and ecommerce over the last decade. UK companies have jumped on the Thanksgiving bandwagon in an effort to rocket profits due to the driving force and increasing revenue opportunities of online shopping. This year, Experian-IMRG reported that internet spending in the UK could reach £1.07 billion, a 32% increase on last year's £810 million. Visa Europe predicts that shoppers will spend £721 million online on their cards on Friday, up from £616 million last year.
It sure is a great time to be a retailer, but also to be a consumer. Here's a brief guide on how to be smart and savvy this weekend if you are to embrace Black Friday and Cyber Monday fever!
Because of the bargain-hungry culture we live in, physical retail shopping has become quite ugly at this time of year, as hoards of people cram into supermarkets and high street shops to purchase their latest consumables.
The National Police Chiefs' Council have issued an official statement urging retail companies and their store managers to ensure that they have sufficient security arrangements this weekend.
See below: BBC archived footage of shops that haven't had sufficient security and the consequences.
If you're wise enough to keep away from the town centre this weekend and hunt your bargains online, it is most important to be aware of fraud.
Anyone can offer a brilliant deal, but do they have the stock to honour it? Make sure you check delivery details and availability before purchase.
Look out online for:
- Fake listings on genuine sites.
- Purchase with credit cards over debit cards.
- Check the URL is legitimately from the known retailer's site.
- Use payment verification systems.
- Choose secure passwords and change them regularly.
- Make sure your computer's firewall is up-to-date.
- Be aware of unsecured shared Wi-Fi zones.
- Ensure the payment page starts with https:// as opposed to http://
- If you have been scammed, report immediately to Action Fraud.
On a more lighthearted note, here are a few tips to ensure you get ahead on bargain hunting:
- Use email strategically
Sign up for exclusive deal alerts from your favourite online retailers so you're first in line. Email is still the preferred method of communication for most companies.
- Shop unsociable hours
Online shopping is a 24/7 business - International retailers often release their Black Friday deals at unsocial hours as a timezone marketing strategy. Don't be surprised to see your dream fridge drop in price on Amazon at 4am!
- Apply the "40% off rule"
Research suggests that anything under 30% off full retail is not considered a bargain. The steepest markdowns still tend to be in the seasonal sales. Don't be too trigger happy on the 'buy it now' button!
- Keep Tabs on Social Media
Many deals will be specifically targeted towards social media followers, so make sure you're following those retailers you're most fond of on Twitter and Facebook!
- Consolidate your purchases before shipping
Avoid paying individual shipping costs per purchase and steer clear of international shipping costs!
Here comes Li-Fi!
Li-Fi has just been tested in the real world, and it's 100 times fast than Wi-Fi!
This week, Li-Fi, or light fidelity, has seen its first real tests in Tallin, Estonia. The new data transmission method achieved speeds in excess of 1GB per second, 100 times faster than traditional Wi-Fi.
It's because of Wi-Fi's limitative radio wave data transmission that alternative methods are being researched. By 2019, it's estimated the world will be exchanging roughly 35 quintillion bytes of information each month and because radio frequencies are already in use and heavily regulated, data is going to struggle to find a spot in line. Wi-Fi is running out of space!
Like radio waves, light is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The difference is that visible light has a spectrum 10,000 times larger than radio waves meaning there is scope for enormous capacity. Instead of one data stream, Li-Fi uses thousands of data streams simultaneously by flashing LED lights on and off and incredibly fast speeds not seen by the naked eye.
Li-Fi is definitely one for the future. With the ever growing need for greater data capacity, the natural next step in data transmission technology seems to be a light one!
Farewell BBC Three
Proposals have been approved by the BBC Trust to make BBC Three exclusively an online channel as of February 2016. The decision follows a detailed and rigorous assessment that began in January 2015, which has included two public consultations, audience research, and a wide range of independent evidence. Trustees concluded that there is clear public value in moving BBC Three online, as independent evidence shows younger audiences are watching more online and watching less linear TV.
BBC director general Tony Hall announced in March 2014 that the youth-orientated channel would eventually move to iPlayer, slashing its budget considerably from £85 million to £25 million. Snubbing the 270,000 strong online petition to #SaveBBC3 - what seems like a long drawn out decision by the BBC has finally reached its ultimate verdict.
BBC Three, the original home to Gavin & Stacy, Little Britain and Jonah From Tonga as well as cartoons Family Guy and American Dad received much praise for its creative platform for fresh talent proving particularly popular with viewers under 25.
Unfortunately, it's yet another example of young people being hit the hardest by cuts. Lord Hall has said the £30 million saved by the closure of BBC Three will be invested in BBC One drama.
And Finally... Viral News
Students walk out on Katie Hopkins debate
On Thursday this week, students of Brunel University who were angry that public offender Katie Hopkins had been given a platform to debate on, walked out in protest. Hopkins joined a panel at the university for the debate asking if the welfare state has a place in 2015 as part of the university’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Members of the audience stood up and turned their back before exiting swiftly. The protest has been said to have been staged by one of the university's professors in an effort to show what people think of her vile bigoted views.
"A long time ago in a galaxy far far away"
As Sci-Fi console gamers united this week for the release of the eagerly anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront, Google also showed their excitement leading up to the big release next month by some clever search trickery! See what happens yourself by typing in the above...