Social media is transforming retail and expanding the e-commerce world. It goes without saying that the presence of social media in any retail store is critical to its marketing and sales reach.
It has not only simplified the process of buying but also created a platform for brands to have a global outreach.
E-commerce is becoming easier and faster, making it increasingly popular. Recently, Instagram introduced a shopping feature that allows users to purchase products within the app. With the “Checkout” feature, users can tap on products they like and purchase it without leaving the app.
This creates a frictionless experience for consumers, simplifying the buying process and making it easier to find desired products.
Facebook’s algorithm allows it to target certain audiences for certain ads as they have access to large amounts of information on their users. Facebook also has a feature called “Chatbot”, an artificial intelligence program that can have “conversations” and answer questions.
This helps companies with customer service, providing information to customers almost instantly.
Glossier, a cosmetics company, gained its popularity almost solely through social media. The nine-year-old cosmetics company now has 2 million Instagram followers and a $1.2 billion valuation, securing its status of being a “unicorn” startup.
The company opened its first brick-and-mortar store in 2018; prior to that it only had pop-up stores.
The rise of social media and e-commerce
The rise of social media and e-commerce has impacted real estate in many ways, with many traditional mall retailers such as those in apparel and footwear coming under increasing pressure.
Due to this shift, experiential spaces such as fitness centers, coworking spaces, dining and pop-up stores are increasingly becoming a greater part of the tenant mix for many malls.
In this time of retail uncertainty where trends come and go faster than ever, pop-up stores allow brands to test the waters of opening a physical store, and helping build “buzz” for their brands. Pop-up stores and short-term leases are gaining traction, and platforms like specialitymallleasing.com are becoming more popular.
This platform allows businesses to rent space in Australian malls, with retailers even having the ability to secure space and make payment with their credit card..
While there is certainly growth within online shopping, having a physical retail presence has not lost its value. This can be seen in Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods.
Whole Foods gave Amazon a physical platform that helped minimize the costs of returns and delivery. Some Whole Foods stores now accept returns and have Amazon lockers for pickup, providing other forms of last mile delivery.
Alibaba has also shown interest in brick-and-mortar retail. . Alibaba has invested a significant amount of capital in physical stores in the last two years, and acquired the department store chain “Intime”.
The world we live in is volatile and retailers that learn to embrace change and take advantage of social media are more likely to succeed. They need to invest time into their online and offline presence to stay relevant and to extend their sales reach.
Gemma Lee is an Intern for JLL in Singapore. She is on her holiday break from her studies in the UK.
Will Covid-19 unleash a new generation of digital nomads?
– Despite travel restrictions, countries are seeking to attract digital nomads
– Dubai and Mexico have emerged as key destinations for foreign remote workers
– As travel resumes, many anticipate a new wave of roaming digital nomads
With Covid-19 facilitating the widespread adoption of remote working practices, some emerging markets are seeking to attract digital nomads through a series of incentives and special visas.
Despite border closures and travel restrictions resulting from the virus, various countries are stepping up efforts to incentivise the movement of so-called digital nomads – people who work remotely and relocate relatively freely.
For example, in October the Dubai government launched its virtual working programme, an initiative that gives foreign professionals the opportunity to move to the emirate and continue to work remotely in their current jobs.
The one-year programme, launched after Dubai reopened its borders to international tourists in July last year, is designed is attract professionals, entrepreneurs and those working in start-ups.
Given its strong ICT infrastructure and healthy start-up scene, Dubai has been seen as an increasingly attractive option for digital nomads in recent years, with officials marketing the emirate as a place where people can live and work by the beach.
As a further incentive, in January officials began offering free vaccines to those on the programme.
Covid-19 and medical tourism: is a recovery on the cards?
– Dubai was a world leader among emerging market destinations
– Covid-19 travel bans and lockdowns seriously dented growth
– Increased emphasis on safety has enabled a gradual re-opening
Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, medical tourism was a significant growth industry in many emerging economies. While the pandemic represented a major setback for the segment, there are signs that it may be recovering in several markets.
The last decade saw a boom in medical tourism. By 2018 the global market was generating $58.6bn annually and in 2019 it was forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.7% – reaching more than $142.2bn by 2026.
The segment’s growth was largely spurred by increased awareness – particularly among citizens of higher-income countries – of the quality and relatively affordable health care options on offer in many emerging economies. The appeal was further enhanced by the possibility of combining medical treatment with a holiday in an attractive location.
Asia has been a popular region for medical tourism for some time. In Thailand, for example, guided by the Ministry of Public Health’s 2016-25 strategic plan entitled ‘Thailand: A Hub of Wellness and Medical Services’, stakeholders have been working to cement the country’s position as a regional leader in medical tourism.
Elsewhere in Asia, in 2017 the Indian government began offering a medical visa aimed at bringing in more foreign patients.
Governments in other regions similarly moved to capitalise on this growing segment. In 2015, for example, Turkish Airlines announced a 50% discount on flights for people coming to Turkey for medical treatment.
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