How online stores can make their services better

Online shopping is undoubtedly one of the greatest comforts customers can have. Admittedly, many online stores do fall short of shoppers’ expectation at times. But considering the competition that constantly looms over the industry, owners would not be hurt if potential buyers help them improve their craft.

Shopping online saves me a lot of time. It spares me from traffic congestion and the agony of waiting in line at the store counters. Generally, I’m satisfied with the services these different online shops provide, particularly that of Lazada.

But just like any other service providers, Lazada is not perfect. There are instances that could have been done better. And I think I am not alone in having observed some common lapses in online services. Among the bad experiences I’ve had include

  • Frustration over a product that is not what the picture depicted
  • Receiving a defective product
  • Delayed delivery

Suggestions for online stores

Because I’m an advocate of online stores, I want my voice to be heard. I want my online shopping experience to be more convenient and customer-friendly. And I think my suggestions would not benefit only me, but will also satisfy many, if not all, online buyers.

Strengthen Content Marketing strategy. In internet marketing, it matters to receive the greater number of visitors. The more traffic to your site, the better your visibility and the greater is your chances of getting customers.

  • Create highly shareable content. Evoke reactions from your readers and potential customers. Let them interact with your product. And allow them to share their own experiences along the way. People love to share content that they can relate to. So, take this as an opportunity to widen your reach – through their respective network.
  • Make your content stand out. You can do this by providing value to your potential customers. Internet users want to learn new things. They are interested when you give them tips that would help them make better use of the product you offer. It would be truly rewarding when you create a content that is practical. This way, you can expect your customers to keep coming back to your site for more updates.
  • Apply a designated hashtag in your content. The purpose of which is to raise awareness about your products. Write a detailed description of each item. By doing so, you would eliminate frustrations among your customers of not getting what they expected.
  • Create or ask your sellers to provide a live video of their product. Ask for details about the video so you may incorporate it in your description text.
  • Make your focus be customer-centric. When you write your content, always put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
  • Optimize the power of social media influencers. For example, you want to promote a particular work-out equipment. You may integrate the “how-tos” elements of dieting that complement the exercise regimen.

Website. Make Lazada more user-friendly and easy to navigate. As much as possible avoid clutter.

  • Product presentation. Buyers don’t get to touch or see the actual product. Instead, they rely heavily on the photographs you display online. It is important, then, that you give full information about the listed products, including the sizes, dimensions, and all other aspects. It’s frustrating to receive an order that is short of your expectations.
  • Good listing. Present several high-quality photographs of the product. Take the photos from the different angles.

online stores

Efficient and quick customer service. Does anyone else experiences being put on hold before a Customer Service agent answers your call? I experience that more than a couple times. And, I’m not talking about a few seconds only – but long minutes!

It’s frustrating and a drain to your patience, indeed!

Again, because I am an advocate of electronic commerce, I’d like to shout out. Could online stores out there level up your customer service? I think it does not cost much to provide a chatbot. Something that does not only involve typing your queries. It rather matters if a customer can actually engage in a vocal conversation with a competent and helpful customer service representative. This way, the customer can express his complaints well and in details.

Competition is stiff. Online stores should apply a SPEED customer service strategy. I’m sure your patrons would love it, and they would be willing to pay more for it! You see, customers want fast. But if you can make it instant, that would be so much better!

Improved delivery service. I understand delivery service can take a crawling pace especially during peak seasons, like Christmas. Bad weather condition and road congestion are other factors that can also delay delivery schedule.  

Peak seasons, bad weather, and road congestion in highly urbanized centers are given factors. They are out of the online retailer’s control. But, at least, the electronic commerce industry can do something about these problematic situations.

Customers are generally impatient. They want fast service – and fast means instant! And so, from my personal perspective, I offer a few suggestions that might help to improve your delivery service

  • Communicate. Honesty matters. It eases the customer’s anxiety over a delayed order. Do not wait for the customer to make a follow-up on his order. As soon as you discover that the delivery would be delayed, notify your buyer immediately. Be honest. Don’t give false promises. A good communication skill is a key here. You may send an SMS, e-mail update, or give him a call.
  • Accurate tracking. Provide a clear and accurate tracking of the products sent. This would help the customer follow the status of his order. It also saves you time answering unnecessary queries.
  • Provide assurance and greater support. When things get delayed, do not wash your hands off the responsibility and put the blame on the courier. After all, the buyer would not hold the courier responsible. Rather, they would chase after you. So, be proactive.
  • Set up your own delivery service. Having your own delivery service allows you full control of the delivery schedule and the staff manning it.
  • Delivery drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), commonly known as drones, are no longer limited to surveillance, farming, and agriculture. Drones can now be used in logistics and commerce, too. You may utilize these vehicles for express shipments especially to cities where vehicular traffic is heavy. They can also be an efficient delivery service to rural areas where infrastructure is not well established.

To sum these all up, online stores have still plenty of room to improve their craft. It’s a dog eats dog world in cyber marketing. If you are not keen on keeping up with the trend, you might as well lose them to your competitors. Listen to what your customers have to say. And gain more prospective buyers.

[This post is an entry for the iPrice E-Commerce Blogging Competition]

Online shopping defines convenience

Thanks to the technology of online shopping. It makes life so much easier. It’s the radical way to save time, especially for busy working men and women.

For people who are perpetually preoccupied with tons of work, like me, it’s always a hassle to allocate a bit of time to go to the shops to buy the things we need.

The benefits of online shopping

online shopping

Well, that was before I discovered the better way to shop. Thanks to the people who initiated online shopping. They make our lives so much easier. Since I learned about this ‘radical’ way to shopping, I’ve seldom gone to the malls for my needs.

I started using international-based online shops many years ago. Until I tried the services of Lazada Philippines in 2013. I can still remember my first order from Lazada. Those were many pairs of Darlington crew socks, which I sent to a cousin abroad. I made a bulk order for him because he liked the first pair I gave him earlier. He wanted more pairs to give among his friends and colleagues.

Since then, I became a regular user of Lazada Philippines. 

What makes me a regular (read: loyal) user of Lazada is not much of the price. Rather, its prompt and excellent service make me a satisfied customer.

This year, I’m looking at buying some stuff that I’m going to use in my documentary projects. Particularly, I intend to purchase two new cameras. I need both a digital compact camera and a Point and Shoot type. I also require an efficient camcorder and a new laptop that can accommodate larger files. I’m also eyeing for a smartphone. Although, this last item can wait a bit longer until I secure a budget for one.

Online shopping is, indeed, one of the greatest innovations that career-oriented individuals can have. It allows me to shop at the convenience of my home, at my own time and pace. Here, I need not worry about the saleslady waiting for me to decide about what to purchase.

Perhaps, the only negative effect online shopping does for a home-based worker like me, is I don’t get to see much of the outside world anymore. But I have no regrets in choosing this profession, though.

[This post is an entry for the ShopCoupons X Lazada PH Blogger contest. Being hosted by ShopCoupons. lazada voucher sponsored by Lazada Philippines.]

Magnetically-driven sponge: a solution to oil spill disaster?

Despite preventive measures, accidents do still happen involving oil spills in the oceans.  That’s why scientists continue to find ways to better contain such spillage. And they found that an ordinary polyurethane foam can potentially remove oil contaminants from the water.

Magnetically-driven sponge
Magnetically-driven sponge

In a recent study, researchers have found a potential in an ordinary, unmodified polyurethane (PU) foam.  They observed that since this kind of foam is inherently hydrophobic and oleophobic, it can repel both water and oil from the surface of the foam.

Researchers at the American Chemical Society revealed that the typical sponge used in many household cleaning purposes can efficiently suck up unwanted oil from the water, but at the same time eliminate the other liquid.

By infusing a combination of electrostatic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) particle and colloidal iron oxide nanoparticles (NP) into it, the now magnetic sponge can separate oil from water at significantly quick speed, reaching saturation in less than a minute.  Both the PTFE and NP can transform the properties of the sponge into a highly hydrophobic and oleophilic material. Additionally, the nanoparticles can also make the sponge magnetic because of the magnetic properties of the iron oxides.

This new development will, indeed, be a welcome relief to our contaminated oceans that have been suffocating from oil spill disasters, among many other contaminants.

However, one of the project’s researchers, Dr.  Athanassia Athanassiou, admitted that they still need further studies regarding the foam’s viability on a large-scale level to clean up oil spills.

Sources revealed that even if the sponges are cheap,  the cost of chemical treatment process is quite prohibitive.  But on the brighter side, Dr. Athanassiou assures that, “the modification of the commercial PU foams is achieved with simple steps; this makes the scale-up feasible, simple, and economically viable”.

Even as we await the availability of the magnetic-driven sponge or similar development, let us remain vigilant about protecting our oceans, in particular, and the environment, in general.

Hybrid vehicles: a transport to sustainable development

Fossil fuels have brought us into this modern economy. But they also put us in danger because of the increasing carbon dioxide levels they produce. It is now time that we seriously look into the use of hybrid vehicles to reduce emission of carbon dioxide. Hybrid vehicles that are charged by electricity produce clean energy. They are sustainable and cost much less as they utilize nature’s own energy sources, such as solar and wind power.

Hybrid vehicle 1

Hybrid vehicles are similar to the conventional petrol-powered vehicle, except that they veer away from total dependence on fossil fuels.  They are powered by two or more sources of energy. Hybrids utilize any of these natural sources of energy:

  • solar power
  • wind power
  • pressurized or compressed air
  • electric batteries
  • fuel cell
  • liquid petroleum gas (LPG)
  • liquefied nitrogen
  • hydrogen
  • alternative fuels and biofuels
  • manpower

These sources of energy work alternately in such a manner that the more efficient one functions when and where it is needed most.  For example, when petrol engine assumes the gear in negotiating a steep hill, the other energy source shuts off.

Hybrid vehicles significantly reduce the impact of tailpipe emissions by ninety percent. And since their  emission is almost zero, they are gentler to the environment as well as to human health. Hybrids are  economically-efficient, too, as they allow users to be less dependent on petrol fuel.

Car manufacturers continually study and test varied combinations of energy sources to come up with the most cost-efficient and most environmentally-friendly hybrid. So far, the most common among the hybrids use gas-and-electric power combination, called the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV).

Hybrid vehicle 2

HEVs use fossil fuel to power the internal combustion engines and electric batteries to energize the electric motors. Their salient advantages over fossil-fueled vehicles include:

  • They use regenerative braking to recoup some of the energy lost during stopping, saving  energy in a storage battery to be used later to power the motor whenever the car is in electric mode.
  • HEVs outperform gasoline-powered cars in terms of mileage by approximately 20 to 30 percent.
  • When HEVs are switched onto electric mode, they don’t produce excessive roaring.  In other words they operate quietly; thus, reducing another form of pollution – that is, noise.

If you are planning to buy a hybrid vehicle, check first on each car model’s economy information.  Also watch this video on how hybrid vehicles work.

When are we going to commute on an e-trike?


In a forum with the Department of Energy on June 30 this year, Puerto Princesa city mayor Edward Hagedorn announced that the local government has purchased one hundred units of the energy-efficient electric tricycles, or e-trikes, to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality in the city.  Hagedorn said that sixty of those units are set to be deployed to the Puerto Princesa City International Airport to serve as taxis; while the rest of the units were appropriated to tricycle operators and drivers association (TODA) for public transport.


This move is part of the local government’s plan to replace the more than 4,000 conventional petrol-powered public transport tricycles with the eco-friendly e-trikes to promote the city’s clean air program, even as it ultimately aims to make Puerto Princesa the first carbon-neutral city in the Philippines.

Using locally-manufactured fiberglass body, the e-trikes are put together by local assembler, Green Tech EcoCenter (GTE) in partnership with a motor vehicle parts manufacturers’ association.  Because of this, there is a potential for an increased in employment of local people.  Mayor Hagedorn explained that,

“Aside from helping protect our environment, this project will also transfer electric tricycle technology to our locals and enhance the skills of our local tinsmiths, welders, auto painters, auto mechanics, auto electricians, upholsterers, trimmers, assemblers, and fiberglass makers.”

e-trike3The e-trikes are charged by an electric motor powered by a lithium ion battery technology that can accommodate huge loads of luggage and six passengers comfortably seated without straining its motor. The vehicles come in three kWh and six kWh packs.  Those models with 3 kWh battery pack can run as far as 50 kilometers on a single charge, and can be recharged to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes at fast charging stations.  While those models that use 6 kWh battery pack runs up to a hundred kilometers on a single overnight charge.  The e-trikes will also be fitted with an internal cooling fan.

It has been months now since the announcement was made.  We hope that the e-trikes project finally becomes operational in full blast and start plying, not only in Puerto Princesa, but also throughout the entire Philippines.

Snap with eco-friendly digital cameras

Thanks to those who invented the digital cameras, we don’t have to worry anymore about running out of films in the midst of capturing important scenes or events.  We can also forego the agony of waiting for our photographs to be processed and printed.  And by using digital cameras, we help reduce our carbon footprints.

A camera is one of the most important things we cannot leave without when going for excursions or vacations.  We all love to capture every other moment of our life [read: selfie or groupie].

film camera

But gone are the days when you have to go through a long process – from buying a film, loading it onto the camera, then a trip back to the studio for developing – before you finally get to flaunt what you got during your sojourn.

And, if you were a photographer who owns a studio, you have the additional tasks of going to the dark room, prepare the chemicals, trays, enlargers, special lights, and all those stuff to work on the negatives.

Digital cameras have replaced the good old film cameras.  And perhaps, it’s one of the best things that happen in the field of photography.  Unlike the old film cameras, the digital versions are more handy and hassle-free.  No films required, no waiting time for films to develop, and they are much lighter. And since they don’t require films and chemicals for developing the negatives, they are easy on the environment and friendly to the photographer’s health.

Canon - EOS-1200D

I’m biased for the Canon brand of digital compact cameras, specifically the EOS 1200D model.  I’m not saying it’s the best because, in the first place, I haven’t tried any other brand yet.  In other words, I have nothing to compare it with. But so far, I’m so happy with the EOS performance. I’ve been using it for quite a time now and it hasn’t failed me.  It’s easy to use even for beginners or those having difficulty in focusing because of its “Scene Intelligent Auto” feature.

Is prolonged use of mobile phone harmful to health?

There’s a continuing debate regarding the effects of prolonged use of mobile phone. Whether it’s proven to be dangerous or not, it’s still pays to be cautious than sorry later on.

A team of scientists who studied about the effects of mobile phones to users found enough evidence to classify this gadget as potentially carcinogenic to humans.  This means that the evidence shows a rise in the glioma and acoustic neuroma brain cancer among mobile phone users; although, the same evidence did not draw any conclusion yet for other types of cancer.

Likewise, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared earlier that radiation from cell phones can potentially cause cancer – the reason the agency classifies use of mobile phone under the  “carcinogenic hazard” category along with lead, engine exhaust, and chloroform.

But then a report from the Health Protection Agency, which has been formed to study on the safety of mobile phones, transmitter masts, and wi-fi, stated that there is no strong evidence to support such claim. Although, members of the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) did not categorically confirm that prolonged use of mobile phone is safe to human health since they find only minimal supporting evidence beyond fifteen years of exposure.

CP - lady using mobile phone

Nevertheless, whether or not prolonged use of mobile phone were proven safe, and even if the radio frequency energy from such gadgets poses no confirmed health threats, there is one thing for sure:

use of mobile phone poses potential threats to human lives, through any or all of these factors:

  • Irresponsible use of mobile phones and/or other wireless gadgets poses risk of serious injury, especially when you use it while driving, walking, cycling, or performing any other  task that requires concentration.
  • Mobile phones may impede the proper operation of medical equipment like defibrillators, cardiac pacemakers, and hearing aids.
  • It may even interfere with sensitive electronic devices, like navigation and aircraft communication systems.

Experts even suggest that in order for us to reduce our exposure to radio frequency energy, we need to take certain preventive measures.  After all, it is better to be alert now than to be sorry later on when we have to deal with its negative consequences.  

Some of their suggestions tell us to minimize the use of mobile phone in areas where signal is weak, such as inside elevators, homes, or cars; encourage us to use the landline telephone wherever possible, and; advise us to make use of hands-free device or speaker phone to keep it farther from our ears and brain.

Personally, I don’t go for prolonged use of mobile phone because I hate it when the device heats up on my ears. If you have ambivalent feelings about the issue, I think it is safe to be prudent.

Watch out for the revolutionary Rolltop laptop

The revolutionary Rolltop laptop is set to make a new trend in portable computer. It’s not just a futuristic gadget. It’s ergonomic.

Rolltop laptop - carrying mode

Get ready to welcome the newest invention in portable computer. Developed by the Munich-based design firm, Rolltop, the revolutionary laptop carries the concept to serve the purpose of designers, architects, and everyone seeking an ergonomic instrument. Rolltop laptop incorporates latest high-tech devices with new design techniques to produce optimum quality and productivity of the user.

Particularly, the revolutionary laptop is said to feature Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) functionality. OLED refers to those ultra-thin panels coated with an organic compound that emit light based on the amount of electricity they receive. Since the panels are very small, they can be mounted on flexible surfaces. With the OLED technology, you can enjoy wider viewing angles and superior color reproduction.

Rolltop - laptop

In addition, the new device features a multi-touch display, so you can use it as a 13-inch laptop screen, or a full 17-inch monitor with a stand attached to it.

And unlike the typical laptop, Rolltop laptop does not require a bag, anymore. It’s like a ‘magic scroll’. You can roll up the screen into an 11-inch tube, as it folds around a base tower containing the loudspeaker, web camera, and the detachable power supply and cable. The cable itself serves as a shoulder strap. All other computer utilities, such as interactive pen, and the rest are all integrated into the laptop, making it very convenient to carry everywhere.

To give you an idea of how the Rolltop laptop works, watch the video.

At this point, production of the revolutionary laptop is on its finalization stage. It will be released anytime soon, the designer firm promised. So, watch out for it! And when it comes out in the market, be the first to try the ‘magic scroll’ device.

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