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Why a ladies Rolex is the perfect gift this Christmas

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They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But ladies Rolex watches come pretty close.

And if you’re looking for a luxury gift to wow the woman in your life this Christmas, they’re certainly worth the investment.

Here’s a few reasons why you should consider one:

Timeless appeal

Famed for their elegance and timeless appeal, women’s Rolex watches are crafted with scrupulous attention to detail, with every component designed, developed and produced to rigorous standards.

Aesthetics aside, Rolex watches are incredibly durable, reliable and hold their value very well.

Most ladies Rolex watches are created from 904L steel giving them a perfectly solid construction so whether you buy new or used, your recipient won’t be disappointed with their gift.

Why not invest in one of Rolex’ most recognised models of all time?  Complete with a myriad of dial, bracelet and metal combinations the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust is a great choice of watch. Plus, the gold and stainless steel colouring makes it flexible to wear with just about any other jewellery or outfit in her wardrobe!

The 26mm size, with 18ct yellow gold case and champagne dial with 10 diamond-dot hour markers and a date indicator, not to mention an 18ct yellow gold Oyster bracelet has an unmistakably feminine appearance but is discounted in the high street, so visit Luxe Watches who specialise in new and used timepieces.

Range of personalities

Pricing and availability are important factors of a Rolex purchase, but choosing the right model can make the difference between a watch that will last a lifetime and one that will go back to the dealer for an exchange.

From a quick glance, many of the Rolex watches look similar but they each hold their own legacy, functionality and personality.

For a watch to impress, the Rolex Submariner is a must-have. Elegant and classic yet substantial and slick, this is an enviable model which oozes cool.

Easy to care for

The good news is that despite their cost, to maintain them is simple even if they are going to be worn every day. Simply ensure that the crown is screwed down tightly to ensure waterproofness after you wind it up manually, reset the time or change the date.

All Rolex watches are waterproof to depths of at least 100 metres, but some can withstand depths of an incredible 3900 metres.

You can preserve the watch by cleaning it with a soft cloth. The case and metal bracelets can be washed with soapy water.

Can Rolex be engraved?

The short answer is yes, they can. To engrave or not to engrave is a personal decision. While it’s nice to add a personal touch to your watch, you should be aware of the resell value if you think this might be a consideration in the future.

If a message has been engraved by machine, it is possible to polish it out. However, if it’s hand-engraved it’s going to be much deeper. And if you purchase a gold case, it is possible to laser fill with gold to remove the engraving.

If you need help to find the perfect watch for that special someone in your life this festive season, head to Luxe Watches who can help you find a new or used luxury Rolex that they’ll love for a lifetime.

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3 Ecommerce Trends to be Aware of in 2018

Do you run an ecommerce business? Whether you’re already selling products online or hope to make 2018 the year you get started, staying on top of industry trends can give you a significant advantage over your competitors.

So far, 2018 has been a big year for ecommerce. Spending is on the rise, with a recent report from Forrester projecting that ecommerce could account for as much as 17% of all retail sales by 2022.

It’s also been a year of technological development. With an increasing number of consumers now using smartphones to browse and shop online, merchants have a range of options to get their products out in front of their customers.

Interested in making the most of these trends? Below, we’ve listed three ecommerce trends for you to keep track of in 2018:

The Rise of Mobile

An increasing number of ecommerce customers are shopping from their mobile devices. While most people still shop online using a computer, a growing number of sales are being made via mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

For merchants, this creates an opportunity to stand out from the crowd by building a responsive, mobile-friendly version of your website. Whether you sell clothes, digital products or a range of consumer goods, being accessible on mobile can only do good things for your bottom line.

Customer Loyalty Schemes Are Going Online

How often do you pull out your points card when you go shopping offline? Just like many of the world’s top supermarkets and retail chains, an increasing number of online retailers are starting to implement points-based loyalty schemes for their customers.

This is another old-school retail tactic that’s just as viable online as it is in brick-and-mortar retail stores. Customers love loyalty offers, while businesses can benefit hugely by developing better, stronger relationships with their returning customers.

Chatbots Aren’t Going Away

While sometimes irritating, chatbots don’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Perfect as a way of providing quick, specific answers for customers, chatbots have been embraced by many online retailers in a big way.

Luckily for ecommerce retailers, many of today’s top chatbots integrate seamlessly with popular ecommerce platforms. Search the Shopify app directory and you’ll find a range of options to pick from, most of which are designed to help boost sales and increase customer satisfaction.

Stay on Top of Ecommerce Trends

Interested in learning more about the latest ecommerce trends? The infographic below covers four of the most important ecommerce industry trends to track in 2018, from the latest payment options for consumers to the rise of chatbots.

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The Best Sunday Roasts in Manchester

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  1. Grill on the Alley and Grill on New York Street

Grill on the Alley and Grill on New York St, purveyors of some of the finest meat in Manchester, have stepped the Sunday roast game up exponentially. As well as the usual chicken / pork / roast beef selection, the good people of Blackhouse have thrown something a little more premium into the mix – a massive English Longbone steak (also known as a Tomahawk), made to share between 2 and 4 people.

All roasts come with all the trimmings, including massive Yorkshire puddings, and prices start from £13.95pp (£25pp for the Tomahawk, based on 2 or 4 sharing).

Book here

  1. The Refuge by Volta

Credit: Refuge

The Refuge’s roast platter at the Principal Hotel Oxford Street for two comes with a choice of beef, suckling pig, and half a chicken, included are roast potatoes, carrot and swede, Vimto red cabbage, buttered green beans and leaves, Yorkshire puddings, and cauliflower cheese on the side and plenty of gravy.

There is a vegetarian option available, a sharer platter which is also due to launch soon, or can already be bought as an individual roast. Individual versions of the roast dinners do not include cauliflower cheese, which is available on the menu for an additional £4.50 The cost is £39 for two people, or £17 for an individual roast with your choice of beef, pork, or chicken or £15 for the vegetarian version.

Book here


  1. The Victorian Chop Houses

Credit: The Victorian Chop Houses

The Victorian Chop Houses specialise in classic British cooking with a modern twist, with three Manchester Venues to choose from, Albert Square Chop House, Sam’s Chop House and Mr Thomas’s Chop House.

You will find a traditionally tempting Sunday Roast menu of 28-day aged roast rump of beef or Shropshire chicken with seasonal vegetables, roast potatoes and homemade gravy.

At Mr Thomas’s you can also try the roast Suffolk pork with sage and onion stuffing and crispy crackling. Hearty alternatives include beer-battered fish with chips and mushy From £13.95 for a roast at Tom’s, or two courses for £19.95 at Sam’s and Albert Square.

Book here


  1. Mr Cooper’s House & Garden


Credit: Mr Cooper’s House & Garden

Mr Cooper’s House is located within the Midland Hotel, their highly recommended amazing Sunday Roast is a special treat.

A beautifully carved piece of roast beef, freshly sourced vegetables and a crispy Yorkshire pudding, topped off with garlic and rosemary jus for £14.95.

Available from 1:00pm onwards and they have different options each week, with a choice of two courses for £17 or 3 for £21.

Book here


  1. Hawksmoor

Credit: Hawksmoor

Popular Deansgate steak house Hawksmoor has successfully served scrumptious meals since arriving in the City Centre in March 2015.

It’s Sunday lunch is a beautiful meal, you can choose from a slab of slow roast pink rump with all the trimmings or a prime rib, shared between three to four, with a Yorkshire pudding, perfectly roasted potatoes, half a head of caramelised garlic, all the trimmings and gravy.

The prices are £20 for the Rump, or £75 for the Rib.

Book here


  1. Gorilla

Credit: Gorilla

Gorilla make meltingly tender slow-roasted pink slivers of well-hung Lancashire-sourced beef and add a touch of Horseradish.

The Gorilla roast comes with an abundance of gravy, mashed carrot and swede, al dente kale and broccoli and roast potatoes. Their pork roast, with crunchy crackling, is equally impressive and there’s also a sweet potato, apricot and chestnut roast for those on the other side

The cost for the Sunday roast topside of beef is £13.50.

Book here


  1. Piccolinos

Credit: Piccolinos

Gorilla make meltingly tender slow-roasted pink slivers of well-hung Lancashire-sourced beef and add a touch of Horseradish.

The Gorilla roast comes with an abundance of gravy, mashed carrot and swede, al dente kale and broccoli and roast potatoes. Their pork roast, with crunchy crackling, is equally impressive and there’s also a sweet potato, apricot and chestnut roast for those on the other side

The cost for the Sunday roast topside of beef is £13.50.

Book here


  1. Bakerie

Credit: Bakerie

Bakerie’s brilliant Roast Dinners still take pride and place on a Sunday. They offer traditional ‘boards’ but with a unique twist.

For a very reasonable £11.95 you get to choose 3 of your favourite accompaniments to go onto your board, which are accompanied with a huge Yorkshire Pudding, lots of roast potatoes and a very generous portion of gravy.

Book here


  1. Brasserie Abode

Credit: Brasserie Abode

Brasserie Abode, offers a very reasonable Sunday Lunch for just £9.95. You will get a choice of Roasted Shoulder of Lamb, Roast Beef and Horseradish or Roast Pork with Pink Lady Apple Sauce. There are Vegetarians options too.

With this meal you will also get this you also get some red cabbage, truffle cauliflower cheese, green beans, carrot, swede purée, roasted potatoes and a belting Yorkshire puddin. Not bad considering the price, and you can also enjoy a fair few cocktails (or John Smith’s) without the worry of burning everything or scarring your kids for life.

Book here


  1. Harvey Nichols

Credit: Harvey Nichols

For Sunday lunch at Harvey Nichols the offering is tasty topside. For £13, it is very good value.  A huge Yorkshire filled treat with roast potatoes, a side of carrots along with a bunch of fresh crispy greens with kale bathed in a creamy splash of its own tasty white gravy.

Book here


  1. Lowry River Restaurant

Credit: Lowry River Restaurant

If you’re looking for a Sunday afternoon of class, sophistication and excellent food then you’d find no better place than The River Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel. Every Sunday the very talented performer Kimm serenades diners with her singing, all while you enjoy one of the best roasts in the city. For only £36 you can have 2 roast dinners and a glass of Prosecco each.

Book here


  1. The Blue Pig

Credit: The Blue Pig

The Blue Pig pride themselves on serving up the best roasts in the Northen Quarter.The Blue Pig is a quirky glass fronted bar who maximise on flavour with their dishes, only offering cuts which require long, slow cooking.

You can choose between ‘eight hour Guinness braised brisket’, ‘slow roast lamb shoulder’ or ‘slow roast pork belly with cracking’ and a vegetarian option. The portions are generous for £11.95 and they are all served with a good sized Yorkshire pudding,  roast potatoes, thick shards of roast carrot and parsnip and perfectly cooked broccoli.

Book here


  1. The Woodstock Arms

Credit: The Woodstock Arms

The Woodstock Arms, offers plenty of choice when it comes to their Sunday Roasts, there’s options for suit everybody.

Sumptuous 28-day aged rib of beef, beef dripping roast potatoes & red wine jus for only £14.25

Half Shropshire roast chicken with pigs in blankets, beef dripping roast potatoes, gingerbread stuffing & chicken gravy for £11.75

Nut roast, baby potatoes & vegetarian gravy £11.25

Orange & whisky glazed gammon joint with beef dripping roast potatoes & red wine jus £11.75

Book here


  1. Albert Schloss

Credit: Albert Schloss

Venture down to Albert Schloss on a Sunday and you’ll experience their absloutely fantastic Sunday Service, featuring their classic roast dinners, as well as some cracking tunes right into the early hours.
Not only can you enjoy some succulent roast meats, potatoes, plently of vegetables, amazing Yorkshire Puddings and also you can experience listening to the beautifl sound of a gospel choir singing between 2pm and 4pm, before DJ Paulette and Will Tramp take to the decks.
Sunday Dinner in style with some amazing music! Roasts cost £15 and sides like cauliflower cheese are £5

Book here


  1. Bock Biere Cafe

Credit: Bock Biere Cafe

At Bock Biere Café there is an extensive menu featuring some of the best sharing platters in the city. A beautiful 8 hour slow cooked beef brisket or roast chicken to choose from. Sauted roast potatoes. Waffle style Yorkshire puds with seasonal vegetables. To dip in hot red wine gravy lava.Chicken available subject to availability. There is also (Veggie / Vegan / GF options available)

Not only this but they also have a Sunday Roast Fondue available for £25 for two people where you get a huge pot of Beer Bourguignon gravy and all the trimmings to dip into it. It’s such a genius idea and is a fantastic way to spend a Sunday afternoon on whilst enjoying the Belgian lagers available too.

Book here


  1. Zouk

Credit: Zouk

An Indian restaurant that does a roast dinner? Yes! Zouk serve up unique roast dinners every Sunday with a little Indian twist, this really is a dining experience that you will not forget.

Slowly cooked leg of lamb over hot flames and served with roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables & spicy gravy (Must be pre-ordered 2 hours in advance) £55 for an extra special treat.

Standard roast dinner will cost £15.95 please allow 1 hours waiting time.

Book here


If you would like to have your menu reviewed and featured on our list of best Sunday roasts in Manchester list, then please get in touch with us.

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Where are the UK’s most remote locations?

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Living off-grid is a lifestyle dreamed of by many — but where could you possibly do it in the UK? There are plenty of remote locations in the country which may appeal to those looking for this lifestyle, and gas cylinder provider, Flogas, has found the best to help you get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life and a enjoy a new, independent existence!

The Knoydart Peninsula, Scotland

How many live there? 98*

This 55,000-acre site can only be reached by sailing or by walking — a testament to its remoteness!

Found in the highlands beside Loch Hourn and Loch, the Knoydart Peninsula many believe that this is Scotland’s most secluded and untapped areas. Fortunately, the saying ‘leaving the best until last’ holds true here, with heart-pumping mountain passes to hike along, sandy inlets to explore and so much breath-taking coastal and mountain scenery waiting to be discovered.

If you’re considering this destination as your new, off-grid home, Inverie is the main settlement area. Here, you have a primary school, post office, community shops, the Knoydart Pottery & Tearoom and The Old Forge Inn — which is reportedly the most remote pub in mainland Britain!

Fair Isle, Scotland

How many live there? 55*

You’d be very surprised to learn how large (or small) this off-grid destination is — just three miles long and one and half miles wide! Fair Isle is a part of Scotland that is renowned for its community spirit, cultural heritage and wildlife — the latter of which ranges from black guillemots, fulmars, puffins and razorbills to both grey and common seals as well as whales and dolphins!

Found between Orkney and Shetland, Fair Isle is a rugged and captivating place that has been owned by the National Trust for Scotland since 1954.

Despite its size, you actually have a fair bit to do and experience here. The Fair Isle Bird Observatory is world famous for its scientific research around bird migration and seabird breeding colonies, while the George Waterston Memorial Centre and Museum is the place to find a huge collection of artefacts which offer a glimpse into the location’s rich past. There’s even a golf course — arguably the most remote one across all of Britain.


Foula, Scotland

How many live there? 38*

In English, this place translates to ‘bird island’ and is based around 20 miles west of the Shetland Islands. If you’re an avid wildlife watcher, Foula might be for you — it has one of the largest colonies of Great Skuas, or bonxies, across Britain!

Love long walks and spotting majestic natural landmarks? Here, you can also find the huge 1,200-foot-high Da Kame, which are cliffs that rise from the sea. In fact, on a clear day, views can be enjoyed from their tip all the way across to neighbouring locations like Unst and Fair Isle.


The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Northumberland

How many live there? 180*

This destination is one of the more well-known. The Holy Island of Lindisfarne near the Northumberland coast makes an excellent spot to get away — especially since, twice a day, its paved causeway becomes submerged during high tide, cutting it off completely!

You’ll be glad to know you have plenty to do here, too. A peaceful and unspoiled land awaits, as does Lindisfarne Priory. Once the home of St Oswald, it was here that the precious Lindisfarne Gospels were created.

If you’re into historic sites, then you have another reason to stay at the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. For example, its 16th-century castle — which now serves as a quirky holiday home following a makeover by architect Edward Lutyens — sits high atop one of Lindisfarne’s craggy hills.


Bardsey Island, North Wales

How many live there? 4*

Wales is a beautiful country filled with acres of open land and rolling hills — who wouldn’t want to go off-grid here? Found just across from Wales’ Lleyn Peninsula, Bardsey Island has been an important pilgrimage site since as far back as the Middle Ages.

Have you heard that many also think that Bardsey Island is the burial site of the legendary King Arthur? Also, nature-lovers can enjoy daily views of migratory birds, dolphins, porpoises, rare butterflies and what has been claimed to be the oldest apple tree in the world.

Calf of Man, Isle of Man

How many live there? 2*

If you dream of living remotely by the water, consider the Calf of Man, located at the southern-most tip of the Isle of Man. Since it’s barely one and a half miles long and one mile wide, it’s surprising just how much can be packed into this 600-acre rocky outcrop, which is currently owned by the Manx National Heritage.

The Calf of Man is a bird-watchers and nature-lover’s paradise! Here, you can visit a bird observatory and nature reserve, while the entire location offers opportunity to spot many species of birds — both seabird colonies and migrating birds — as well as a significant population of rabbits. Fans of nature will also be happy to hear that the island is primarily a destination filled with flat heathland and coastal grassland, while ancient burial grounds will appeal to those seeking history.


Lundy Island, Devon

How many live there? 28*

Southern England is another beautiful and peaceful part of the country that makes an ideal place to escape the sounds and stresses of the city. Lundy Island — sitting 12 miles from Devon — is a small wind-swept destination that grabbed attention in 2017 when it gained the moniker of being England’s first Marine Conservation Zone.

Seclusion is done perfectly here, with no cars and only one shop and pub to explore! Fortunately, there’s so much wildlife to seek out to make the most of the time — a variety of seabirds, grey seals, dolphins and even a basking shark or two can be viewed on or from the island on a given day.

*Population figures recorded as of 31/10/2017.


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Flavoured Organic Protein

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The Organic Protein Company has made available two new all-natural flavoured organic whey protein products: Raw Cacao & Maca and Raspberry & Baobab. Both of them can be found in 400g pouches or as the new 25g single serving sachets.

The new products perfectly fit into the company’s multiple award-winning pure unflavoured organic whey powder range launched in 2014. They are all available on Amazon UK, Ocado, Whole Foods, and in more than 200 independent health stores nationwide.

The company has also decided to rebrand its packaging which will communicate better the brand’s values of ethical sourcing and transparency. “It will also reflect the growing demand from people seeking extra protein for health and wellness reasons,” added Managing Director Daniel Whitehead.

The Raw Cacao & Maca Organic Whey Powder contains raw cacao, raw maca, a dash of unrefined coconut sugar and a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt, while the Raspberry & Baobab Organic Whey Powder contains freeze dried organic raspberries, baobab and a dash of unrefined coconut sugar. The two products have no artificial flavours added or anything else that is not stated on the label.

“The Organic Protein Company has always chosen to be transparent about what’s in its protein powder, stating on the pack where every ingredient its sourced, along with a link to independent lab test certificates on its website, to reassure customers that the nutritional information on the packs is correct. We have independent lab test certificates available for our nutritional profiles. By holding itself up to scrutiny The Organic Protein Company is committed to deepening the trust it has built with its customers since its launch in 2014,” explained Daniel.

For every pack sold, the company will donate 25p to Compassion in World Farming, collaboration that started at launch in 2014.

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How Advanced Technology Has Made Buying a Used Car Safer

There is always an element of risk when buying a used car, as you won’t know if everything is really in full working order until you’ve owned it for a while. As much as you can get from looking it over and taking for a test drive, if there’s something wrong with the engine, you’re unlikely to detect it until later. Many advancements in technology have made the process somewhat safer though, with greater transparency and tools at our fingertips.

Online Reviews

The internet has been the main driving force behind changing the way people buy cars. No longer do we scour listings in the local paper or head straight down to a dealership, instead most car buyers will go online for inspiration. There are many resources for reading reviews of both new and used cars to get a good idea of the best options.

Not only that, but when buying a second-hand car, it’s often possible to find out information about the seller as well. This can help put more confidence in who the car is being bought from or highlight any worries that may exist and warn you off, if other buyers have left feedback online.

HPI Checks

HPI checks have been around for 80 years, providing information about a car’s history. Now though it’s possible to apply for and undertake an HPI MOT history check online by just entering the registration number, to find out all the information you need about the MOT history of a second-hand vehicle, this also works with all cars sold with personalised registration plate.

Technology allows the process to gather information from a range of sources and compile this online. This can highlight an advisory or previous refusal notes, the current MOT status and more, which can be checked against what the seller claims to get a sense of whether they and the car are trustworthy.

Compare Car Information

With all the data you need to make an informed decision about buying a used car or not provided online, it’s more convenient than ever. The likes of comparison sites have made finding the best insurance deals easy, while checking vehicle tax bands and more can be done through all sorts of apps if you’d rather do research from your phone.

Greater transparency means you should know exactly what you’re getting from the second-hand car you choose. As technology continues to advance there could be many ways that buying and researching a used car becomes even safer in the coming years.

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Nanotechnology will help medicine improve our health

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Robotics, technology and medicine have never been more related than at present. Three branches of science that complement each other in an indivisible whole that is making many progresses. Chips to improve memory, nanoparticles to treat cancer, edible QR codes to identify medicines, development of electrospinning equipment to fight diseases… Many are the advances we have been counting on over the days, however, this time we are going to talk about a project so revolutionary that it sounds to science fiction. It is a revolutionary nanobot capable of locating and destroying tumors in just two days. Incredible true?

A group of researchers from the Arizona State University (ASU) and the National Center of Nanoscience and Technology of China, led by Shawn M. Douglas, have created one of the most spectacular inventions of this year, but the most . It is an impressive nanobot that is able to locate and destroy tumors in a total limit of 48 hours. A very hopeful study that has been published recently in the journal Nature Biotechnology and that has managed to revolutionize the entire scientific community.

It should be noted that nanotechnology is growing at gigantic levels. According to experts, the forecasts for this year mark the figures in a total of approximately 3.3 billion euros in turnover. Ranks that were recently unattainable and showing a positive trend thanks to the large number of inventions that have emerged in recent years. In this case we are talking about a prototype successfully tested in pigs and mice that are defined as completely autonomous nanobots that have been programmed to detect tumors and cut off their blood supply. The most important part of this procedure is based on the fact that these devices directly attack the harmful cells without harming the healthy ones.

The key lies in getting the nanobots able to get the programmed DNA to fold back on itself and return to normal whenever necessary. “The nanobot is synchronized with a DNA aptamer that binds to nucleolin, a protein expressed specifically in endothelial cells associated with tumors, and the thrombin of the blood coagulation protease inside its internal cavity,” the study authors comment.

Featured image by CSIRO [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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SMEs Should Encourage Activeness in the Workplace

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A recent study conducted by CV Library concluded that many professionals in Business are struggling to find a good balance between work and regular exercise. With many jobs at SME’s now involving sitting at a computer for much of the time, it is crucial to both the health of the company and its workforce that activeness in the workplace be encouraged.

What the Study Showed

The study, conducted in the United Kingdom, involved 1200 employees, the majority of which (81.5%), said that staying fit and active resulted in better performance at work. A significant 32%, however admitted that taking juggling regular exercise and a busy work life was a struggle. To put it this into perspective, sixteen million or so people in the United Kingdom, (that’s one quarter of the UK) do not exercise at all as reported in the HR Director.

Writing for the Huffington Post Stacia Pierce outlined the benefits employers enjoy from having a healthy workforce; fewer days off sick, better productivity and less stress are among the most significant.

The Importance of Physical Activity

Cycling to work is one way that employees and employers alike can help maintain fitness. Bike retailer Brompton are one of a raft of companies who are only too aware of this and that is part of the reason they developed their fold away bicycles that can be easily stored in the workplace. Other ways to promote physical fitness include encouraging employees to use the stairs as opposed to taking the elevator and offering standing desks is also an option.

Taking a Holistic Approach

Physical activity is widely recognised to be the best way of remaining healthy both inside and outside of the workplace, but there are a number of other factors to take into account. Pierce’s article also stresses the need to wash hands regularly and so actively discourage the spread of germs. She also highlights the benefits of taking regular breaks and while doing so, going outside for fresh air and sunshine.

Perhaps the most significant factor, after taking regular exercise, however, is the need for a healthy diet. Pierce advices “Plan out your meals for the week, including what you will eat for lunch. Then take time the night before to pack a healthy lunch for the next day. Make sure to include some lean protein, salad or fresh veggies, and fresh fruit for lasting energy with no afternoon slump.”

Combating Stress

While the above-mentioned factors will help promote a healthy mind as well as a healthy body, when it comes to stress SME’s may be well advised to take a belt and braces approach. Recreational areas where employees can relax and have some fun are becoming more common in the workplace and have been proved to help stress levels among employees.

SME’s then need to encourage active bodies and minds if a fit and health workforce is the goal.

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Does Parcel Tracking Speed Up Deliveries?

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As the rise of ecommerce and online retailers continues to grow, consumers are now more demanding than ever with the state of their deliveries. Recent research has shown that when buying online, free delivery is the most important consideration for 49% of consumers, followed by same day (17%) and fast delivery (14%). This has resulted in delivery companies improving their offerings as well as including parcel tracking services. These are rarely free, but they can help speed up the process in the delivery world.

Benefits of Parcel Tracking

Parcel tracking is a simple process that allows both the sender and receiver to monitor the progress of all sorts of packages. Whether it’s a sensitive document or expensive gift, it can be tracked from the moment it leaves the sender’s location to the point of reaching its destination. There are many benefits this can provide for individuals and businesses:

  • Transparency and accountability: Customers can see where their deliveries are and for any lateness where the accountability lies.
  • Improved customer service: Any requests for information about a delivery’s status can be answered confidently when it is being tracked.
  • Troubleshooting: Problems within the process can be identified and hopefully amended, with a better overview.

Impact on Delivery Speed

Tracking a parcel shouldn’t have an impact in the delivery speed really, as untracked parcels should be travelling at the same rate. However, in the larger process tracking your deliveries can save a lot of time when something goes wrong.

With an untracked package, if it is undelivered or late it can take ages to find out where it is, get it resent or rerouted. Plus, the receiving party will be annoyed and their loyalty to your business could be at risk. Tracking parcels means that they shouldn’t go missing, avoiding any time wasting later on trying to find lost deliveries.

Same Day Delivery Services

To really speed up deliveries, many logistics companies are now offering track and trace on a same day delivery. This not only allows a fast turnaround on sending and receiving items, it also ensures peace of mind as both parties can monitor the progress in real time; essential for those time sensitive deliveries.

By cutting out a lot of the time wasting that can occur with untracked deliveries, there is a slight speed benefit by using parcel tracking services. As technology improves they are sure to get even quicker and a wider range of time-specific delivery services may develop.

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Consumer Shopping Trends 2018

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For today’s shopper, it’s not just the product on offer that counts, it’s the entire shopping experience. In 2018, consumers want brands to offer them meaningful interactions that take place on physical and emotional levels and which utilise technology to make the boundaries between online and bricks and mortar shopping disappear. In this article, we’ll look at how these trends will affect our shopping experience during the coming year.

The omnichannel experience

One thing we’re certain to see over the coming year is a rise in the number of retailers offering an omnichannel shopping experience. If you’ve not come across this term before, it refers to a multichannel approach in which retailers provide a seamless shopping experience regardless of whether the customer is buying online, from a physical store or calling on the phone.

Examples of the omnichannel experience include buying items online and collecting or returning them to physical stores. Companies such as Argos and Tesco’s, for example, now enable you to click and collect: you shop online, hop in the car and the products are waiting for you when you arrive. Alternatively, if you buy a product online and don’t want it, rather than having to go through the hassle of posting back, you just take it back to the physical store. Companies that have kept their online and physical operations separate until now are going to have make changes in order to keep pace.

Mobile Millennials

A growing number of shoppers, especially the millennial generation, now rely heavily on the convenience of mobile devices for product research, communication, social media and, of course, purchasing goods and services.  This is having a profound effecting on their consumer behaviour. For example, they are more likely to visit a physical store, check out a product whilst there and then order it from another company on their phone whilst still in the building.

This behaviour has become very challenging for physical stores who can end up becoming little more than a showroom for their online competitors. In order to combat this, they have turned to a range of technologies to provide in-store shoppers with a highly personalised shopping experience.

Using NFC (Near Field Communication) chips and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacons, both of which can interact with smartphones, retailers are now developing creative ways to communicate with visitors whilst they are in the building. For example, stores can display discount posters with embedded NFC chips next to products. If a customer is interested in purchasing, all they have to do is touch the poster with their phone and they’ll receive a discount voucher instantaneously. This can prompt the shopper to purchase in-store rather than online.

NFC and BLE tags, such as those available from Universal Smart Cards, can be used for a wide range of things, including giving detailed product information, selling tickets, booking services and offering loyalty benefits. They don’t even have to be used inside the store – you can attach them to advertising posters outside in order to entice customers to come in. “Tap your phone here to get a free drink in our café.”

Throughout 2018 we expect to see the use of these technologies increase dramatically in stores, helping to give customers a highly interactive and personalised shopping experience whilst helping the store increase its sales.

The use of Big Data

The amount of data that consumers produce has grown exponentially and much of what they do online can be logged and analysed. Companies can see their shopping habits, demographics, locations and social media activity and, thanks to the rise of cloud computing, all this information can now be collected, stored and processed.

Because of this, Big Data analytics has become an essential element of today’s retail environment. Companies are able to find patterns in consumer behaviour and make predictions about what products to sell and how best to sell them to different groups of people. As a result, these shopper analytics are critical to the ongoing success of many brands and retailers. Those that take advantage of Big Data are finding it much easier to engage with and develop relationships with new and existing customers.

In particular, Big Data enables companies to offer truly personalised shopping experiences. For example, when you visit a store like Amazon, you’ll be shown products that they know you have an interest in – they’ll be related to products you’ve just bought or looked at, from your wish list or similar to products searched by those with similar profiles to your own.

This experience is now being moved into physical stores, too. Retail outlets are now equipping their sales teams with in-store technology that enables them to provide real-time stock details and deliver products directly to the customer’s door if out of stock. In doing this, they are creating an even more personalised experience for the bricks and mortar consumer.

Augmented Reality

Another trend we’ll definitely see more of in 2018 is augmented reality shopping. Stores such as Ikea already provide apps which enable you to see how your room will look with their furniture inside. You can even take a 360° view by walking around your room.

This form of technology is being used as a way to tackle one of the big issues with online shopping: that you normally only get to see a picture of a product before purchasing. Although it’s no substitute for seeing something in-store, being able to use augmented reality does give a consumer a much better impression of how something will look. Such technology can also be used for a wide range of other purposes, even for trying on virtual clothes.

However, augmented reality technology is not confined to online retailing and is already being trialled in clothing stores. In future, the humble changing room mirror is set to be replaced by a full-length computer screen that lets consumers try on any virtual item the store has in stock. Products they like can be then tried on for real, payment can take place in the changing room itself and the goods can either be collected in store or delivered.

Summing up

2018 will see the coming together of a range of technologies that will reshape the shopping experience for today’s consumers. NFC and BLE tags, big data analytics and augmented reality will change the way consumers and retailers interact and make shopping much more personalised and experiential, whether online or in-store.

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