How to Improve Customer Experience in eCommerce Stores

As more and more shoppers seek convenience, a vast purview of options, and fair pricing, eCommerce shopping has slowly come to alter the retail industry. Consumer activity in eCommerce has been so furtive that the industry’s revenue is expected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021, indicating that the dramatic move away from conventional retail will not be reversed anytime soon.

As such, delivering a stellar eCommerce customer experience today is not only advantageous to companies but also a necessity. As an increasing number of people shop online, their standards for a positive customer experience grow. According to research by PwC, 73% of all people consider customer experience to be a crucial component in their buying decisions, but only 49% of U.S. customers agree that they provide a good customer experience. In order to help eCommerce organizations close that gap, we have assimilated a list of five tips in this article that will help you understand how to improve customer experience for eCommerce.

1. Build a user-friendly website

The most crucial element in running an eCommerce store successfully is its website. This is because your website is usually the first touchpoint in your prospective customer’s journey, and thus you have to ensure that the first impression people have is a good one.

You can do this by building easy-to-navigate web pages that allow your customers to gain an intuitive grasp of how to proceed on your website to browse products or seek the services they need. As such, the UI of the website should be categorically organized, much the same way a physical store is. Also, ensure that the search button is easily discoverable and links to all your resources.

Building an easy-to-use website with a well-designed search bar can not only allow customers to find what they need but also makes for a great customer experience. Take the example of Zara’s website. It places the search bar in a way that it is big and clearly visible. In addition to that, it also lists its product categories as a carousel so that the user can skim through them easily to land upon the category that they want to shop.

2. Use upselling & cross-selling strategies

Providing items related to your customers’ purchases is also a very effective way to improve the customer experience for your eCommerce store. However, while doing so, ensure that you don’t bombard shoppers with every relevant product there is, but rather push items to your customer that will complement their shopping cart.

You can also craft compelling CTA(s) and provide offers to customers to persuade them to buy more or higher-priced items. Again, make sure that the frequency of your messages is just right since incessant upsells could alienate clients.

By providing high-value discounts and complimentary items, you can tie people to your eCommerce store so that they buy regularly and become repeat customers. Dollar Shave Club is the perfect example of this. Their confirmation email above shows you how it not only allows customers to know about an incoming shipment but also upsells other complementary products.

3. Employ chatbots to reduce cart abandonment rates

Were you aware that as many as 88% of shopping carts of eCommerce stores are abandoned by customers, irrespective of the industry they belong to?

Many a time, customers add products to their cart without fully understanding what they want or how and which product could fit their needs the best. This makes customers hesitate to buy a product that they might not be satisfied with later. What’s more, buyers could also be confused about different aspects of your website, such as what’s the return policy, how many payment options there are, among others, which often arises as a result of lack of customer support.

In order to help buyers understand these things, you can employ a chatbot to provide customer support to buyers at every hour of the day. Retail chatbots are not only available round-the-clock, but they also remind buyers about products in their shopping carts by tracking them from the time they add products to their cart and activating cart reminders to encourage them to make a purchase.

When it comes to choosing a chatbot for ecommerce stores, there are plenty of players in the market. But Acquire’s Chatbot and Intercom’s conversational platform are industry leaders.

4. Build a great community on social media

According to a study from IAB, around 90% of consumers claim that they would recommend a brand and its products to others after engaging with them on social media.

This is great news for eCommerce store owners. Social media not only allows them to interact with customers through their unique brand voice but also gives them a chance to retarget customers. By being active on your social media page and engaging customers on a daily basis, you can build a dedicated community of followers.

Take Black Milk Clothing, for example. The brand has a host of Facebook groups across the world, along with a huge group called “Sell, Swap, Buy”, with more than 15,000 members.

The brand uses its Facebook page very wisely, sometimes even featuring Instagram photos of their customers wearing or flaunting their products. This maneuver serves a double purpose: it makes existing customers happy and also gives prospective buyers a chance to see what their products look like on real people, giving them more incentive to buy their products.

5. Provide excellent customer support

As said above, the power of excellent customer support can never be understated. And while chatbots come in handy to service customer queries at odd hours of the day or even handle an inordinate number of basic inquiries simultaneously, it doesn’t quite provide the interpersonal connection that a human does.

A customer with a defective product is obviously going to be comparatively more emotional. Having them engage with chatbots could potentially leave them sulking because of the lack of empathy, prompting them to leave you a bad review. That is why you should ensure that your customer support personnel is always equipped to quite literally save the day for your customer, and in the process, save yours too.

At the same time, be extremely pedantic about who you place your faith in since these support personnel are the face of your brand for your consumers. Educate your support team personnel in the art of customer support through real-life examples and exemplars. Take Zappos, for example. Known for having an obsessive focus around its customers’ experience, Zappos is often the benchmark for providing customer support, along with, of course, Amazon.

Shown above is just one example of Amazon‘s many successful customer support stories, where a customer support personnel services the customer while roleplaying with them, adding an extra dimension to their experience in the process.


When everything’s said and done, delivering a satisfactory customer experience is certainly no cakewalk. It is a continuous process that involves tailing the customer on their buyer journey and helping them at every stage in the process. It also involves understanding your audience well and creating the right support systems for them to enjoy a good experience shopping with you.

8 Most Innovative Companies in the World in 2021

Being an inventor while living in a capitalistic society like ours can be a daunting task. Sometimes it seems like every single idea you have has already been thought out before. Still, this couldn’t be farther from the truth! You may only need some extra inspiration to get it started!

So, in this article, we decided to list our top 8 innovative companies to help you gain some courage to start inventing yourself!

So without further ado, let’s explore the list!


Tesla’s innovations have changed the automobile industry in a major way. Elon Musk, the CEO, is one of the most innovative people in the world right now, but he’s not the sole reason for the company’s reputation. There are many innovative individuals in the company as it attracts them with its developed innovation culture.

As an innovator, it’s incredibly important that you have the necessary freedom and tools to be creative, and Tesla is a place that provides it. So, always look to work for people who will support your innovative mind and make you feel comfortable to share your ideas.


We all know the famous story of Apple beginning in a garage. They’re one of the most innovative companies in the technology industry. Without their ideas, our smartphones would probably look much different today. They’re always upgrading and improving their designs with the newest ideas.

Apple is a classic story of how creativity can bring you incredibly far. So have some courage and don’t give up on your ideas! It doesn’t matter how impossible it may seem right now, if you believe in yourself, you’re guaranteed to succeed in achieving your goals!


Amazon is famous for changing retail business like nobody else before. Their unique way of approaching things, and their persistence in creating fresh new solutions to improve their customer’s experience is what makes them one of the top companies on this list. They’re always expanding their business to new markets so you’ll never have any reason to look for an alternative.

Also, their numerous inventions like Amazon Echo and Amazon Alexa are what make them stand out from many other companies in the same business. So, become a game-changer! Start small, and build up your idea to a point where it’s impacting the whole market.


Microsoft is one of the biggest companies in the tech world and it’s been on the top for many years. What’s allowed them to stay on top is more than just pure luck though! Their incredible inventions are what’s made them stay on top. They’re always first in creating the most clever solutions to further develop their business. Whatever is the trend in the tech world, chances are that it comes from Microsoft.

Just having an idea is not enough. A good invention should be updated frequently to stay fresh! So, always work on ways to improve your idea and keep it exciting!


The Korean tech company is one of the biggest innovators around. They’re always improving and adding fresh new products to their supply chain. We’re all benefiting from their inventions! The whole debate between Apple and Samsung is completely unnecessary,  especially because these companies are actively collaborating to bring amazing new products to their customers. Samsung is well-known to produce parts for Apple products, so every iPhone user actually has a little bit of Samsung inside of their devices.

So, yes, sometimes you’ll need a little help to bring your idea to life, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Luckily, there are companies like that specialize in this kind of work. So, always make sure to ask for help if you need it!


Another Asian conglomerate corporation, SONY is also one of the most innovative companies out there. They do some incredible work, and while they’re famous for their TVs and gaming consoles, they’re also the inventors of some of the most advanced tech products in the globe. Just two years ago, they’ve introduced a brand new version of AIBO, the world’s most advanced robotic dog. Isn’t that amazing? It’s a company that’s not afraid of challenges, and that’s what makes them so successful in innovating.

So, what can you, an aspiring inventor, from SONY? It’s simple: Be courageous and become an out of the box thinker! It’s what will make you successful in the long run!


Facebook is the number one social media platform, and they’re absolutely deserving of the title! They changed the ways we use the internet, inspired millions of young inventors to start their own projects, and they’re still number one after more than a decade of existence. Facebook is famous for always adding new features to its platform, so its users never get bored of it.  It has revolutionized the internet lingo and it continues to do so every day.

Facebook’s story is an inspiration to many. It was created by a Harward dropout, and it started as a small start-up. Of course, it took a lot of time and effort before the idea took off and became so influential. So, it doesn’t matter how good your ideas are, if you’re not able to put your time, effort, and dedication into developing it, it will never be good enough.


Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is famous for its inventions. They started off their business by providing sorting algorithms to help people navigate the internet more easily. They’ve released many beta versions and used the feedback they were getting to keep on improving their algorithms. In fact, they’re still working on updating and advancing their service every day. Other than that, they’ve released many successful products and software like Google Maps, Google Cloud, and Youtube.

All in all, the invention process is filled with a lot of trial and error. If you try to invent something, you’re probably going to fail a lot of the time. Still, what counts is what you do after you’ve failed. Always take failure as an opportunity to further improve yourself! Don’t ever beat yourself down, but try to learn from your experiences, and you’ll definitely succeed!

How Did the Biggest Retailers Use Automation in 2021?

The news has not been great for retailers dependent on mall walkers for sales. Many people blame internet-based giants like Amazon for the rapid decline in profits experienced by these seemingly archaic brands. However, a deeper inspection seems to point toward the lack of innovation as the culprit for the impending demise of once-popular chains like Macy’s and JC Penney.

Big box stores like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and cult favorite Costco are seeing steady or improving numbers despite the onslaught of convenience from Amazon. How are these brands managing to keep up?

Target is relying on improved revenue from clothing sales while Walmart has found its boon in grocery receipts. Costco seems to be doing well by luring customers with their free, liberal samples policy. Meanwhile, Amazon continues to barrel along with the perfect mix of every product on the planet and leading the field in automation and efficiency.

Automation and the Customer Experience

The beauty of automation is that its reach goes beyond one facet. Automation has long been in existence in the retail and customer service worlds. There was once a time when doors needed to be opened by pulling on a handle. How did we make entering a store more convenient? By automating them!

Large retailers like Target, Best Buy, Walmart, and Costco have tapped into the variety of segments of automation to help them retain and gain a strong consumer base. Amazon continues to drive the online sector and has led to creative innovations for all the “brick and mortar” brands. Some of those innovations have managed to cross from the fulfillment world into customer service.

Shoppers are frequently benefited by automation without even knowing it. The automatic door opener is an example of tangible automation but there are many things that are less physical going on to improve consumer experiences.

Have you noticed that your local Target seems to have more employees? How can Target be growing revenue while paying for more workers? They aren’t. Automation has freed employees from mundane tasks like counting cash in a back room and put them in customer-facing positions. Customers enjoy rapid replies from chatbots (a form of digital automation) that can provide technical support and give the appearance of no wait time in the dreaded queue.

The bottom line is that automation improves experiences for shoppers and workers. Things are at a tipping point now for retailers. The decision between investing in automation and keeping the status quo will make or break once-reliable brands. Brick and mortar is not dead as evidenced by positive forecasts for Target and the like but the choice remains – evolve or shutter.

Data is King

The drive for obtaining as much data about shoppers, their habits, and what is popular is an important part of why the biggest retailers are pushing forward with automation. Of course, insights into what customers want is a benefit but automation helps use data to improve the bottom line in other ways.

Digital automation combined with the application of robotics in stores has improved inventory management to the point of keeping almost exactly the right amount of stock on the shelf. There is no quicker way to lose a customer than for them to find an empty space where their favorite product should be.

Using data for the purposes of precise inventorying helps in two ways. First, it allows retailers to stock what they need to while avoiding over or understocking. This helps keep money in the companies’ pockets. Secondly, it keeps workers who could be helping customers and improving the overall shopping experience from being bogged down with unnecessary stocking duties. This helps with consumer retention and acquisition by providing exemplary customer service.

Taking data collection and processing a step further, robotic automation has proven immensely beneficial. Walmart has employed robots created by Bossa Nova to roam the aisles scanning the shelves for stock levels. This automation has freed labor to do other tasks like assist customers, keep stores neater, and provide a generally better experience.

Enter the Robot Army

Photo by Andrew Wulf on Unsplash

Walmart has always been a harbinger of things to come in the large scale retail industry. While many decry the pushing out of local retailers, Walmart stores have offered unprecedented access to products that some communities might never have had before.

It is no surprise then, that one of the world’s largest brick and mortar retail chains is one of the leaders in automation. Robotics and digital automation are abundant at Walmart and similar brands – from automated self-checkout kiosks to the floor mopping robot called the Auto C.

These retailers insist that the onslaught of robots is a positive thing for workers. The machines will do the mundane, tedious tasks while human workers can go about more fulfilling roles like engaging customers more frequently.

Automation like the Auto C or the Auto S (the robot that scans the shelves for inventory) has already proven itself useful and beneficial to consumer experience and the bottom line. Unfortunately, their human counterparts offer mixed reviews.

Some workers see robotics as an impending doom for jobs. If robots take all the work, what will the humans do for a paycheck? This continues to be refuted by Amazon and other retail brands. First, the technology is still a decade or more away from being able to fulfill an Amazon order on its own, according to Amazon’s Scott Anderson (director of Amazon Robotics Fulfillment). This means human workers are still needed in the sector.

There is also some standard pushback from those who are simply resistant to robotics entering public and professional life.  This is likely related to the previously stated concerns and an awkward mesh point of robots that are not quite perfect being deployed amongst humans who tend to expect perfection from technology. Others say that the standards being set by robots in the workplace from an efficiency perspective are leading to the feeling that they cannot keep up with the subsequent demands.

There is some indication that robots and cobots (the human-friendly cousins of robots) might soon be performing the intricate tasks that human arms and hands currently do. A robot called “Blue” is part of the Berkeley Open Robotics program. Blue is outperforming the previous expectations we held for robotics and has been capable of doing intricate tasks like folding towels or using a Keurig-like coffee machine appropriately.

Robots hold some distinct advantages over human workers – no time off, no boredom or being off task, and for now no eyes to roll when given direction by a superior. Retailers who have done well to implement robotics as part of their automation plan are reaping the reward of continued viability while those who insist on staying behind are facing closures and a true reduction in available human jobs.

Large Retailers and Their Use of Automation

The use of automation in the retail sector is undeniably beneficial from multiple angles. Those who have led the way like Amazon and Walmart are seeing growth in revenue, improved customer satisfaction, and have positive forecasts for the future.

Automation continues to grow throughout the retail industry as Wi-Fi connectivity is improved and the technology becomes less expensive. Even small to mid-sized manufacturing shops are able to partner with robotics vendors like Rozum Robotics and gain access to affordable, effective tools to create robots and cobots that will improve their business models.

Large retailers like Amazon, Target, Best Buy, and Walmart all have the resources to spend on automation and they are certainly ahead of the curve in the implementation of automated tools.

Amazon is leading the way with its own robotics development program and the results are astonishing. The recent announcement by Jeff Bezos that Amazon Prime customers would have access to one-day shipping for many products would have seemed impossible just a couple of years ago. It would have taken some Santa and his elves level magic to making that happen in 2015. Yet, here we are.

Amazon has virtually perfected automation and human interaction by streamlining work for its human workers with use of Drive robots. Over 100,000 robots with shelves mounted on top make their way around Amazon fulfillment centers providing the humans (who do the packing tasks) with the products they need.

The improvement in automated technology is palpable with the Amazon Drive models, as they have increased their payload capabilities by 100% (in 2014, the Drive could lift only 750 pounds but is now up to a 1,500-pound capacity). This has led to making one-day shipping a reality for Prime customers.

Amazon also utilizes less flexible automated tools for repetitive tasks like lifting bins and raising pallets to high places.

Walmart is enhancing customer experiences by deploying automation in all the right places. As we have made plain, you cannot simply throw a bunch of robots into a store and call it a day. The smart deployment of resources is the key to the fiscal improvements automation can drive.

By having robots scan shelves or mop floors, employees can be shifted to customer-facing or client-assisting responsibilities. Walmart is also introducing automated conveyor belts to help streamline unloading trucks at its retail stores. This enables employees to get out of the backrooms and perform tasks like filling online orders for in-store pick-up.

Target has improved its automated systems to make workflows more efficient. As self-checkout becomes more popular, the lines waiting to use the kiosks grow. Target has stayed ahead of the game by using automation (cash-counting, for example) to get its employees in a position to help expedite the process. This also improves service at specialty counters like cosmetics and electronics.

Best Buy is experiencing a growth trend simply by introducing automation in its distribution processes. The household electronics giant has streamlined storage, retrieval, and packaging with automated systems. This has brought their bottom line into an ideal position and will get credit for the recent announcement of a project 8% earnings increase and 11.8% improvement of the bottom line.

Best Buy is also leading the way in employee engagement during this automation revolution. It has created a model that dictates the use of its stores as satellite distribution hubs. This has both made online fulfillment more efficient and gives employees a sense of security and necessity.

Automation is Here to Stay

There are certainly naysayers who aim to vilify automation, primarily those working off of misinformation and a dislike for change of any kind. The rapid decline of malls and increase of revenues amongst the largest retailers is a sign that automation is here for the long haul.

While the revolution of automation will change the landscape of retail as we know it, one thing will always ring true – exceptional service wins. As the technology continues to improve, retailers must find ways to incorporate automation effectively while engaging human workers in tasks that bring tangible value to consumers.

5 Ways to Make Money Online in Your Spare Time

Everybody needs money and everybody is willing to use their spare time to make a few extra bucks. But was it always like this? It seems as this pandemic has gotten people on their toes.

Since the start of April, nearly 6,000 businesses in the US have completely shut down and many more are in dire situations. This isn’t only bad for the business owners, but it’s also bad for the people who now have a hard time finding a job.

But there is a really good way of surviving through this pandemic without committing too much on learning something new. The online world is great for this, and we will tell you exactly why.

If you’re interested in making a few extra bucks in your spare time, then here are 5 ways to make money online.

1. Write

Writing is a natural thing that many people are afraid of doing. But writing can get you a lot of places. Becoming a freelance writer in your spare time is a viable way of making money online.

It can become so good that you can easily make it a full-time gig. But if you’re not willing to work as a full-time writer, then you can always work in your spare time.

It is one type of online work that is always in high demand and the chances of it going bust are close to zero. Furthermore, writing is a great way to increase your vocabulary, learn something new along the way, and explore your creativity.

2. Start A Blog

Additionally, writing gives you the option of starting your very own blog. Now, when we talk about this, we should mention that you don’t have to do it.

You could hire other people to write articles for you, but that would be counterproductive as you will be losing money. The thing with opening a blog is that you don’t really get any money at the beginning.

But if you manage to turn your blog into a successful one, then boy are you in for a jackpot. Blogs are everywhere and everyone reads them. What’s more important is that you can find advertisers to advertise on your blog and get pain in the process.

Monetizing your blog is quite possibly the most exciting thing ever. The only thing better than monetizing is actually getting paid. Before we end this one, it’s important to understand that you’ll sacrifice a lot of your spare time before the blog starts actually making money.

3. Survey Gigs

Doing surveys are some of the best ways to use your spare time. Why is that? Well, it’s solely because surveys require no skill, no dedication, and little to no effort.

With all that said, survey sites have had a huge influx of users over the past few money because of those specific reasons. With people losing their businesses and jobs, the need for a quick buck has taken people straight to survey sites.

Creating an account with one of these is free and all you have to do is pick the one that suits you the most. It will be hard at first since you will need to complete a lot of surveys before making some money. However, the best way to know that the service you’re signing up with is good for you is to find the right guide that will tell you everything from price per survey to payment methods and more.

Luckily, we have just the place for you to go and read about that. For all of your survey-related information needs, make sure to read this article from Survey Examiner.

4. Micro Jobs

Micro jobs are great, no matter how you look at it. The market for micro jobs is huge! But what is it? Well, if the name didn’t give it away, micro jobs are nothing but simple jobs that require no skill and very little time to complete.

They bare minimum you’ll be paid for any type of micro job is $5. But if you get good at a specific type of job, then you can make a lot of money.

The best place to find micro jobs is Fiverr. We won’t be getting into how Fiverr works, but the name of the site mostly represents a $5 job.

While people make thousands of dollars on this site, finding micro-jobs is what Fiverr is all about.

5. Sell On Amazon

Amazon really represents the American dream. The American dream of buying cheap and selling for profit has worked ever since merchants roamed the roads of the great American cities.

And that’s exactly what you’ll be doing. Selling on Amazon in your spare time isn’t that viable. But you can give it a go if you’re serious about it.

You’ve probably heard about someone that has gotten rich through Amazon. Well, that person can also be you but there isn’t an easy way of doing it.

There are two ways of selling on Amazon. You can dropship or you can sell your stuff. The first one means selling stuff directly from the supplier of the goods. This means that you will never have to worry about stockpiling and instead hand the orders directly to the supplier.

The second method of selling is to make your own stuff and sell them to others. Now, unless you happened to have talent in making stuff, this won’t be a viable option.

But luckily for you, there is a third way that we’ve conveniently hidden from you. We hinted this third method at the beginning of the section, and it involves buying cheap stuff and selling them for profit.

This is a very convenient way of selling on Amazon, and one that definitely works.


There are many, many ways how to make money online in your spare time. These were our five ways of how to do it, but there are many more. If you get good at one of these, then you can turn it into a full-time job and make so much more money.

Winning the Pricing War on Amazon

Amazon is definitely the largest marketplace in the world comprising millions of sellers. According to Marketplace Pulse, Amazon has close to 8 million sellers worldwide and about 3 million of these sellers are active on the platform. To stay competitive in this platform, you need to focus on getting good reviews, FBA inclusion, SKU tactics and also you could consider using software like SellerSnap, which is an Amazon repricer.

Types of Repricers

There are basically three types of systems that can be used to adjust prices on Amazon. These include manual, rule-based, and automatic or algorithm repricing.

Manual repricing is exactly as its name implies. You have to modify or adjust the value yourself. Although this may be great for small sellers, it may be largely inefficient for large sellers. For such, you need an automatic Amazon repricing tool.

Some Amazon sellers also make use of rule-based repricing tools. This type of repricing, you set your price range and then allow the software the do the rest of the job. This allows the repricing software to adjust the value based on the competition.

How Automatic Amazon Repricer Works

If you are a large seller, the aforementioned repricing systems may not work well for you, you need an automatic or algorithm-based Amazon repricer.

Automatic amazon repricers makes use of artificial intelligence to figure out the value set by your competitors and adjust your price accordingly. This saves you time and also helps you to focus on other parts of your business. This type of repricing will help you to achieve better business goals but it has the disadvantage of higher upfront costs.

With automatic repricers, you will always have the best prices for your products and you can be sure to stay competitive any day and anytime. This helps your business to become more profitable.

Which Amazon Repricer Should You Use?

There are several Amazon repricing software tools out there and each of them offers some interesting features that might make you stay competitive. Furthermore, some softwares offer 14 to 15 days of free trial or even more. It is advisable you make use of the free trial to be sure that it is exactly what you want. Even if the seller does not offer free trial, you can ask for one. This way you will be sure that you will not waste your money on purchasing the tool.

Furthermore, mos this tool has various billing systems. The billing system you should go for depends on the type of business you run and your budget. It is usually advisable to go for the lowest price available, commonly known as the starter plan, and then gradually increase as your budget and needs increase.

Maximizing Profit

The entire goal of an amazon repricer is to maximize profit with respect to the competition. Amazon repricers make use of the mathematical principle of game theory. This algorithmic system coupled with the power of big data makes automatic repricers limitless in their abilities.

The SellerSnap can help you achieve an unmatched level of efficiency and maximize profit easily. You can even make use of relevant strategies to adjust prices when you don’t have competition. This helps you to sell higher when there is no competition and sell lower when there is competition.

Some premium Amazon-related apps even have an efficient inventory management system that helps you to manage your inventory.

Choosing the right software to use is an important decision to make since it determines how profitable your business will become. This is why you should consider your budget and your needs and also go for the software tool that will offer you the best reward.

5 Personal Finance Truths to Live By

The pursuit of money is universal, yet only a small percentage of people ever acquire and grow true wealth. Ultimately, it comes down to smart, informed decision-making, patience, and discipline. And if you study human behavior, you’ll discover that these aren’t innate traits. But in spite of this, there is optimism. Though they may not be inherent, the good news is that these traits can be learned. Are you willing to try?

5 Smart Money Truths

It’s hard to pin down a financial belief and call it a universal truth. Every situation is different and people have a wide range of theories and beliefs. But the following five principles are as close to objective truth as you’ll find. Follow them and you’ll almost certainly move closer to wealth:

  1.     Spend Less Than You Make

This seems like a pretty simple and obvious principle, but it’s one that most people don’t follow. In fact, a Pew Research study suggests that 54 percent of households spend more money than they make each month. In other words, the average household is watching its net worth decline each month – a truly scary thought!

The first step to building wealth is to spend less than you make. If your net monthly income is $5,000, this means you should be spending a maximum of $4,999 (though preferably much less). This will likely require you to keep a budget, track expenses, and practice disciplined spending in areas that eat up your money (like eating out or online shopping).
  1.     Don’t Be House Poor

The second universal money truth is to avoid being house poor. Only purchase what you can reasonably afford – which probably won’t be the same as what the bank tells you that you can afford.

According to Green Residential, “Your goal is to buy a house that leaves enough room in your monthly budget for you to live a comfortable lifestyle. If the monthly payment is high enough that it strains your resources to make ends meet, you have too much house for your lifestyle.”

In addition to straining your budget, buying too much house comes back to bite you by forcing you to keep up with the Joneses. Research shows that living in an affluent neighborhood makes you more likely to mirror the consumption habits of your neighbors. If you’re living in a million-dollar neighborhood when you should be in an upper middle class neighborhood, you’re going to feel the pressure to buy nicer cars, clothes, and jewelry than you can reasonably afford. You’ll want to send your children to nicer schools, pay more for lawn care, host nicer parties, etc. You can avoid all of these pressures by purchasing a house at the correct price point. 

  1.     Diversify Your Investments

There are hundreds of unique investment strategies. To say that one strategy is best for all would be foolish. However, the concept of diversification rings true across the board.

As you invest, be sure to stay diversified. From a macro perspective, this means investing in different investment classes – like stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. From a micro perspective, it means diversifying how you invest in each class. (For example, a good retirement portfolio doesn’t consist of one or two stocks. Instead, it contains a variety of mutual funds with varying levels of risk.)

  1.     Avoid Bad Debt

Anyone who tells you that all debt is bad doesn’t fully understand the utility of debt as a vehicle for generating leverage and acquiring wealth. There is, however, a huge difference between good debt and bad debt.

Good debt includes real estate, small business ownership, and loans for education (within reason). Bad debt looks like credit cards, vehicles, and consumable goods (such as jewelry, clothing, boats, and other products that lose value over time).

The goal is to avoid bad debt, while strategically using good debt to opportunistically build wealth. The better you become at differentiating between the two, the more success you’ll have.

  1.     Know the Difference Between a Want and Need

If you’re having trouble practicing smart financial behaviors, it’s probably because you have a skewed understanding of what constitutes a want and a need. Clarifying your position will help you get a hold of your finances.

The truth is that you have very few true needs. You need a roof over your head, food to eat, clothes to keep you warm, healthcare to keep you well, and perhaps a reliable vehicle to help you get around. Outside of this, almost everything is a want – including eating dinner out, shopping on Amazon, and buying a nicer car.

If you focus on buying what you need and only occasionally delving into wants (as they fit into your budget), you’ll find that wealth suddenly becomes much more attainable.

Practice Patience and Discipline

It’s a common misconception that in order to be financially successful, you have to run around like a crazy man and take significant risks. The reality is that risk will eventually bite you in the rear. The better strategy is to practice patience and discipline – occasionally interspersing calculated risk to amplify your returns. 


5 Businesses boosted by flexible working

When it comes to maintaining a model for the working day and week, many companies still stubbornly stick to nine to five, Monday to Friday.

But this working pattern is a relic of the industrial revolution – when we developed factory machines which could operate around the clock, managers calculated that the optimal shift duration for human supervisors was eight hours.

However, increasing numbers of organisations are embracing the opportunities tech offers to allow staff to work where and when they want, which can enhance job satisfaction and restore life/work balance without jeopardizing productivity.

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Here are five businesses boosted by flexible working.


With trailblazer Richard Branson at the helm, it seems natural that travel empire Virgin champions smart working.

Employees enjoy benefits like unlimited leave, working from home and integrated technology, which boss Branson believes helps him to retain top talent and maintain first-class customer service.

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Amazon is nothing if not efficient – it’s the hallmark of its online offering.

And remote working is a key part of its renowned customer service provision, as evidenced by a recent recruitment drive to hire 3000 home workers across 18 US states. If this type of role sounds attractive, check out their virtual locations careers page.

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Perpetual Guardian

New Zealand finance firm Perpetual Guardian has been dispensing savvy advice since 1882, but that doesn’t mean it’s behind the times in terms of progressive working policies.

It recently adopted a four day working week after a successful trial revealed that cutting hours while maintaining salaries sent employee fulfilment through the roof and increased productivity – seems like this Kiwi company has it all sussed out.

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Advice Direct Scotland (ADS)

Scottish charity ADS is proving that a four day week can work for the third sector too.

Its 68 staff members working across two call centres have had their working hours cut by a day, with their wages maintained at the same level. It’s hoped the move will increase productivity and decrease absenteeism and presenteeism – where stressed-out workers are present in body but not in mind.

Ormiston Wire

The last entrant on our forward-looking list has a history that stretches back even further than Perpetual Guardian.

Ormiston Wire was established in 1793 and implemented a 4.5 day working week more than 30 years ago, when bosses noticed that workers paid their wages on Friday morning tended to celebrate with a lunchtime drink or two and returned slightly the worse for wear. The early Friday finish is still retained and these days it allows employees to get a flying start on their commute and cope with childcare duties.

It’s evident that a wide range of diverse organisations recognise that allowing employees to work from home, fit hours around their family commitments and take leave when they like makes them happier and more engaged.

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Perhaps these 5 firms boosted by flexible working can set an example for your company to follow?

That’s our list! Please share your thoughts on flexible working in the comments section.

Companies With The Best Customer Support


Nowadays, a valuable part of a company is its customer support. When you offer a product to the general public, you should expect feedback on your product. Sometimes, that feedback can be negative and people will complain or ask questions. It is specifically for this purpose why companies pride themselves on having excellent customer support.

But who are the companies that have the best? In this article, we are going to take a look at the companies with the best customer support.

1. Apple

Apple, being one of the leading brands in the world of smartphones, desktop PC’s, etc, has millions of customers worldwide. These customers visit retail stores on a daily bases, so normally you would expect questions to be asked. Well, the employees not only make sure that you get the best possible assistance, but they also strive on delivering an excellent experience, exceptional customer support, and selling their product at last. This is because most Apple employees are trained to engage with people and help in any way possible. They offer a helping hand whenever you need to ask why your iPhone won’t turn on, and they do it by offering innovative solutions. Apple employees are trained to listen, offer a solution, and resolve an issue.

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2.    Google

According to, Google is best known for providing its services to everyone, and they also provide support via phone in more than 40 languages! In the past, Google received a lot of criticism from its customers for having poor customer support. But nowadays, Google is leading the way in how a company should treat its customer. With a phone call, Skype calls, and even chat, Google offers the best possible customer support whenever you need it, wherever you need it.

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3.    Rackspace

Rackspace is a leader in Internet hosting providers, but it is a leader in customer relations. Rackspace offers its product to everyone who wishes to purchase a web hosting package, and they are widely renowned for having the best customer support possible. One Reddit user has even said that he managed to set up his website without even clicking anything. Their customer support is so dedicated that they used their private numbers to take customer calls during a complete system failure that took out the servers and the phone system as well. Rackspace is a leader in web hosting and an example of how a hosting provider’s customer support should act.

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4.    Amazon

You can’t be the leader in online retailing without having excellent customer support. What’s more interesting, Amazon searches for new and innovative ways on how to improve their customer support. With loyalty programs, voice-activated purchasing software, and even excellent return policies, Amazon always searches for new ways on how to improve the relations between the company and the customers.

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5.    Netflix

The leader in the streaming industry, Netflix uses some serious data and analytics to give you the most personalized and most accurate TV show recommendations to you.  Netflix prides on providing the best entertainment to its customers, and they do that by monitoring what you watch. They later throw the best TV shows that are similar to what you’re watching to keep you more entertained. What’s even more interesting is that Netflix has some of the best customer support that is easily reachable through phone, chat, and even video call.

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