Christmas time is all about generosity, kindness, family, and friends. It's also about the best food, which is why people all over the land put the extra special ingredients into their Christmas dinner. Animal welfare is important and everything farmed in this country is assured to some degree of welfare standard however with factory farming as the norm, many want to go even further with their meat.
Organic, grass fed, welfare assured animals are those which are lucky enough to still be managed by traditional methods, and allowed to live a healthy, natural life. By buying meat from organic and grass fed live-stock and poultry, the benefits extend much further than the stomach. Yes, it is the highest quality meat, full of rich natural flavour, and also the animal has been saved from a stressful and traumatic life. It's a much happier animal overall.
Coombe Farm Organic serve the British public through a meat delivery program which uses recycled and sustainably sourced packaging. Their animals are reared with an organic lifestyle, eat natural food, and are kept to the highest degree of welfare. A real alternative to the mass produced supermarket stuff we usually buy, Coombe Farm serve up an extra special dish that's well worth the sale.
To make things even more appetising, Coombe Farm Organic are offering two excellent for value voucher codes that are valid until the 27th November.
What's the score? You get free UK delivery (yes that's right!) when you enter FDCW at checkout. And, if that's not enough, and you plan on stocking the freezer (or going halves with a neighbour?) You can save 15% when you spend £100 by entering the code CW100.
Remember this is a UK only service, so please only share with your friends and family that live in the area. Get those savings in now!
Ebooks are a modern invention, and as the internet and computers are reaching more people than ever around the world, with continual growth, it's a sure market for longevity. The business costs in digital media are not as high, with no materials to pay for, the products can be replicated again and again. The costs go towards paying for the rights to distribute the ebooks and the online presence. Security and usability alongside a product range that customers can identify as a brand mark for the company makes an ebook distributor stand able to remain useful in the shifting markets. Making sure that the distributor remains within a known market foothold ensures that customers know to go to them when looking for what they want. Here's a few examples.
This is the giant in the ebook world, and probably the most famous supplier. With hundreds of millions of books sold per day, revenues mount up to astronomical levels. Anyone can upload a book to Kindle, via their KDP program, or through more diverse self-publishing channels such as Blurb. making it a hugely diverse and limitless bookshelf, everything is ordered of course, but still the lists extend for pages and pages. Knowing exactly what you want is a great help, and browsing for books is fun but sometimes we're left staring at piles of things that really don't speak to us. It can be a pot-luck dip when looking, but thankfully the clever website knows what you normally buy and tries to offer things based on that. It also knows what is popular and will help by showing you that too.
Unlike Kindle, these guys won't just put anything on their site. They'll distribute official publishing house ebooks and academic titles but they'll leave out self-published stuff. This dramatically reduces the amount of books in their catalogue, but still continues to provide a massive bookshop's worth of material. The quality control is strict, and there are plenty of great self-published books out there that just wont make it for the fact they're not officially published, but it does guarantee that everything on their shelves is of the highest possible quality. Ebooks.com aim to identify with students with a strong emphasis on by subject non-fiction, and they offer regular discounts on these sections too.
O'Reilly take it one step further than ebooks.com and specialise to an even stricter focus. Specialising in computing books, and educational material only, the sort of titles here are those that may not even be on Kindle, for the fact they're ultra specialised. When subjects get deep, and most subjects in computing are, customers like to trust their sources to be capable of getting the right information in the most useful way. Having an ultra specialism for a distributor like O'Reilly, really helps put customers at ease when they come to buying what they want, and it helps in advert targeting too, where the solution to the customer's problem is simple.
Apple really want to compete with Amazon with their ebook market, and they've got the muscle power to do it. It's for people with iphones instead of Kindles and for a computer, it works with itunes software. The prices match Kindle generally, and it's also easy to upload work into ibooks, via Smashwords. For people who are used to Apple products, ibooks feels intuitive and homely, otherwise it's a long way around for reading.
As mentioned before, books uploaded to Smashwords go onto other databases including ibooks. The deal with Smashwords is that everything on there is self published. Anyone can write a document and put it up there as an ebook. To get the distribution, there are certain quality control rules that must be followed, however the entire catalogue is hugely diverse, raw, and unfiltered. This makes it an excellent place to go when looking for something unusual, unique, or otherwise not what you'd expect.
Everyone loves to get their hands on the latest gizmos and gadgets, most are fun ways of doing everyday jobs, some are really handy and we can't imagine life without them, and some are just plain novelty items. There's all kinds of them around and knowing how to sell them is about knowing who you're selling to and what they want them for. Communicating the range and purpose in a clear way is the most important thing for gadget retailers, here's a few examples of what work best in various areas.
Home automation superstore, Smarthome, deliver a clean cut and simple site that is brimming with catagories and banners. Flashing price busting deals as the main centrepiece adjacent to rows of product ranges give the homepage an instant menu and catalogue all in the one place. They're keen to show off their items, and perhaps for the majority of us, we don't know exactly what smart home items are available. It's a constantly changing market and we need to keep up Luckily, they are the experts and understand that things need to be explained. Everything gets a run down with it, making sure that any one who knows what they want will find it quite easily and confidently.
Solar panels that are portable and manageable but can deliver a decent charge for most out and about activities means high end technology and it's a specialist market being carried out by Sunjack. They only sell one type of product, and offer several types of the same thing, depending on how much power customers need and how long they'll need it for. As well as their range of solar panels, they sell a head light and a light bulb, all solar powered. It's for people who go camping in places where the sun shines a lot, but an investment in power supply that is well worth it for those times. Having a specific market means they get to keep their site really simple.
Having already mentioned IK Multimedia in the software section, it's known they offer a magazine style website that goes into great detail about their products. Their selection is for musicians who make recordings at home, and perform on a stage. Getting everything right means that they offer something for everyone, including gadgets that integrate with mobile phones and computers to allow more control and diversity in what musicians are able to produce and do with their work. Everything is talked about in a chatty yet knowledgable way so musicians know exactly what they're getting and what it can do for them.
With a huge chunk of the home computing market under their wing, Microsoft are a global player in the world of gadgetry and gizmology. They sell a range of computing devices and things that go with them, including phones. As it's a really famous brand, everything is previously heard of, or self explanatory, so their site can afford to cut the extra text in favour of great pictures and deals that continually serve to show you around.
Sometimes, a gadget store is a treat enough and that's all it takes for customers to start browsing. By offering a dynamic and varied range, it can be guaranteed to gather interest as the various people discover the joy of gadget window shopping. Free worldwide shipping means it opens the market upto the entire planet, and although the prices are shown in $, it's pretty easy to see that they're doing good deals. Short, snappy, and to the point, Fastech have it all. Almost.
Perhaps one of the toughest things to sell online is jewellery. We like to know what we're getting, and with the very small, or the very expensive, getting to know our purchase before it's made is really important to most people. However, this hasn't stopped the success of online jewelers, and their sites really have to meet the match if they're going to compete in this silvery water. Presentation is paramount online with anything, and when we have beautiful things to display, going all out on this one factor is how it has to be done. Here's a few examples of how jewelers are presenting their items:
As soon as we land on their homepage, Gordon's Jewelers are wooing us with their prize possessions. And they want them to be ours, the price reductions are shown in clear print and everything looks incredibly worthwhile. Massive images captivate us with sparkling jems, and precious metal to glamourise our computer screen. It's really obvious that the works they have to offer are excellent quality. This does mean that prices are what would be expected for a taste like this, it's not a supermarket for diamonds, it's a dedicated statement making store. A few seconds in, and a pop-up asks us for our email, offering a further reduction on prices. It's all geared to making the choice to buy from them, for the fact it's too good to miss.
Celtic designs are a popular choice for many customers all over the world, and by adopting this niche market as their own, UK Celtic Jewellery are able to stand in a prime position to be an authority on their wares. As the UK is known for its Celtic designs, the knot and Claddagh styles which adorn the most famous pieces come from Ireland, which owes its roots to the ancient traditions passed down from the distant past. A team of cultural influences has created what is now known as Celtic art, and it stretches from the Emerald Isle right the way into Norse country where the Vikings and Saxons would create their masterpieces in very similar styles. The name, designs, and blown up imagey of each piece, showcasing the beautiful patterns, make this site one for fans of the Celtic culture.
Delightful patterns with unique twists line the digital shelves at Anjay's Designs, an Etsy and eBay veteran, the homepage is where they want you to go because it cuts out the middleman. Finding a truly stunning piece is easy, as they don't do anything but the best. Hand-crafted and artistically fashioned stunners make everything look desirable and unique. Simple menus make it easy to find the right section, and a humble handful of offerings on each page that change with sliding picture shows make it fascinating to allow the site to show us what it has on offer. Extra security and peace of mind is on offer for each customer, as they offer Paypal for every purchase, allowing their service to match-up to what we expect from any retailer.
Another niche market is hiphop style jewellery. Spear-headed by the music scene, bling culture means anything shiny, sparkly, and eye-catching. It has to look good close-up too, and any true hiphop fan will turn their nose up at fakes, replicas, and wanna be pieces that don't quite fit the match. Hiphop Bling are the specialists in this area, with a USA base, they're right in the heart of the industry. Their prices are great, and they offer something for every fan. Massive discounts on some pretty nice loking stuff makes their homepage stand out as something to look into, and the further in we go, the better everything gets. It's dripping with style, literally.
Computerised products are right at home on the web, and this means that there's a huge variety of services and products around that slot into this field. It's another universe at times, and every brand has its work to do when considering that everything requires its own branding and area of expertise if it's ever going to meet the demands of the consumer market. Perhaps some inspiration can be taken from what is already out there?
Some people only use the latest gadgets, finding the time and money to invest in everything as it meets the shelf. Everyone else however, make do with something adequate until it really isn't adequate anymore. The thing with the tech-junkies who are continualy upgrading, is that their old products are pretty decent when they've been finished with. Most savvy people pass their old goods on to second-hand retailers in order to meet the costs of the new one, and this is where Arrow come in. A specialist for the US second-hand hardware market, they'll sell laptops, desktops, monitors, and tablets. It's a really simple site with no maze or flashing extras, just a quick way to find the gadget customers actually need.
Social media has taken over a lot of the ways in which we communicate, and this is because it potentially reaches a global audience from the selection of accounts everyone has. Some businesses utilise social media as a flagship platform in order to engage with their customers on a daily basis, and this can be an ever increasingly difficult task. Finding the right way to manage the array of accounts is something for a site called eClincher. Their service will allow users to hook into every account they have (pretty much), including Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Linkdin, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, to make the experience a seemless and easily managable action. With analytics, customers of eClincher can easily tell what works and what doesn't, plus the free trial allows anyone to test it first, to make sure they really understand what they're getting.
With a site that looks a lot like a music magazine, IK Multimedia are experts in sound technology both on and off the circuitboard. Pioneering many aspects of digital interface which allow musicians to sample, alter, and edit their sounds in a huge number of synthesised effects and virtual instruments, plus providing top notch gear to do it all with, anyone with a smartphone, or computer can begin their musical adventure. The site goes into great detail and the article element of presentation allows customers to really get to know the company and their passion for sound.
MAGIX are the new owners and distributors for the creative software previously owned by Sony: Professional editting and mastering suites that mean home users can edit, craft, and fully master their home recordings in film or sound. With a huge following from the legacy left by the previous owners, the fanbase is wide enough to almost guarantee second returns, however in the competetive market of software, and with the rising tide of open source, the professional edge that means we pay is forced to get sharper with each swing of the generation. The site is simple, and the menus are to the point. With no fancy other stuff to keep us occupied and distracted, the sale is the only thing we can result in.
Now that even mobile phones can handle bandwidths capable of delivering fairly good quality video, the realm of internet TV has begun to grow into a wide array of sites all designed to captivate your attention rather than switching on the box. Here's two very different suppliers who offer pretty good standard packages.
Doing away with the cable bill sounds attractive to most households, and Select TV are offering a suitable and legal alternative for far less money than the major satellite and cable suppliers. The tube is now global with nearly all major channels using watch on demand internet services to maximise airtime for their shows. Select grab all these, popular ones first, and list them all in a package. They also have on board the listings for all the live streaming TV channels that use the web to broadcast alongside their airwave and cable services. Pay per view shows finish their list offering a premium layer to the otherwise very reasonably priced service.
To make sure nothing unfriendly finds its way onto the screen, Dove are serving up a platter of all the family shows, and things suitable for younger audiences. their ethic is positive viewing so they won't be holding the horror section or the murder crime series but that makes it a guaranteed safeplace to give to children who want to learn a bit of TV responsibility. Handing over the keys to the remote can mean they find the wrong network, but with Dove, this simply wont happen.
One fo the oldest past-times we have as human beings is the production of art. The resources required for making it have always been a highly tradable commodity, with prices shifting as various types, colours, and styles become the fashion. Going local is a good way to support nearby art shops; small businesses and outlets are all over the place. The onset of online has made the local shop something of a history lesson for some of us, and many businesses have adapted by getting themselves on eBay. Those who decided to make a presence for themselves needed to offer something that means customers choose their service over all others. Here's a few examples and what seems to be their selling points.
In the UK, a main player is Great Art UK, their postage will take any of their massive stock to anywhere in the UK. It's all done very promptly and securely, plus their products are only the best. Art is a huge topic, and their stock covers it all. With a section for all sections possible, artists of all walks from the UK can find what they want and be safe assured that they'll be getting the right stuff, not something that's meant to be what it says, but doesn't quite do it. I think we've all been stung by the felt tip pens that don't colour in. You wont find those on Great Art. What's more? Well, their site also has a great art blog which covers many things and is always an inspiring read. Their links contain UK clubs and events too, so it's really easy to find something to do, as well as the right gear for your projects.
Simple, elegant, and very niche. The Bead Room sell glass beads for jewellery making, and that's about it. But what a bead shop! It's got all those lovely pretty things that we all love, even us guys, who although would never admit it, have our eyes caught by all manner of the glittery and glitzy things people wear. Eye catching designs are all over the place, and their range stretches from animals shapes to colours and multi-tones to Swarovski. It's a paradise for anyone who wants to make bead jewellery. The site is designed to be plain white with standard text menus, then pictures of the items themselves larged up to show their potential. It seems to do the job in the best way possible.
For jewellery makers all over the world, PandaHall stock a wide selection of making supplies, and pre-made pieces such as pendants. With a fast turn around their stock can alter from time to time, however the deals are always giving people a reason to snap up what they have. Free sample cards are available too, so if customers are aiming to buy in bulk, no mistakes can be made once the products have been seen in these handy trial packages. For people who maybe make jewellery a lot, and even run a business in it, PandaHall are catering for you. the company seem to be pulling out all the big cards with their menu, it goes on from the things it says it has in the ads to then offer more. Needlecraft, house-hold accessories, purses, watches, on and on it goes with all the things a handy maker would need.
For USA artists, and art enthusiasts all over the world, Blick Art Materials offer a site with plenty of how-to videos and examples of various techniques to show anyone exactly what to do with their brushes, or hands. Their product range is massive, quality artist materials are there for anyone living in the States, and their tutorials are there for everyone. Art Room Aid allows artists to help out and support local art projects in their area, plus it lets people know what they may want to be involved in themselves. Regular offers and a very colourful but logical site allows customers to have the experience of a warehouse filled with all their arty goodies.
With the colossus that is Amazon dominating the book market online, the rest of us can only sit back and watch. Or do we? No, there's plenty out there to choose from, we just need to know where they are. It's so easy to go to the place everyone knows about and follow the standard routine, but sometimes it can be like looking for a diamond in a glass recycling plant. In other words, when we know what we want, it's easy to get it, and sometimes an alternative vendor is going to serve us more precisely. After-all, it's not difficult to get work onto Amazon,and that means quality control is down to the author. Other bookshops are a bit more discerning. Here's some of them, and why.
Alibris are fairly big, and they cater in books, music, film, and gifts. They're an American company and everything is aimed at this market. It's a massive site with hundreds of millions of items for sale, listed in really great ways that make things pretty simple. The photography works well, and the extra bit of effort to present the site well makes it look like a bookshop you can enjoy browsing in, even if it is only online. The discerning element means that the stuff by the small timers (like me) doesn't necessarily make it onto the shelf. I would expect there is a team somewhere doing the job of choosing from the thousands per day that get uploaded. A textbook buyback service adds another wing to their site, and this handy tool for students mean their investments can be returned in kind at the end of the course.
Alternative bookshop, Wordery, are based in the UK but offer free delivery to over 100 countries worldwide. Books are their bag, and their selection is discerning and varied. They do sell some self-published titles, but not all. It's an easy site with very few controls and menu options, seeing as they are really all about one thing. The catagories are simple and offer really deep searches down to all kinds of book info, as you would expect. Their blog page talks about books with a sense of real affection, and all the imagery is homely in style. It does give the sense of wanting to make it our regular place with this effect.
It's a little known fact that Microsoft have their own bookshop. Makes sense really, and it would probably be assumed they did but it's not mentioned much. Microsoft Press are the source of all related literature products, which means they have hundreds of titles, maybe more. There's a lot of scope to it, more than an operating system, and the obvious other programs they have such as Office, XBox, and MovieMaker. The programming side and the software side cover the whole range of functions, apps, and software releases so anyone who needs to know, can know. Because there's no second retailer, getting the work from them means the prices are often more agreeable.
For rare books, or books that have a special meaning, or unique edge that makes them extra special, then Abe willbe the ones to ask.They are worldwide serving, and based in the UK. They love to show the kooky side of books and will tend to stock only those that raises an eyebrow. The specialist titles and obscurities make this a really fun place to browse, and research titles. The weird book room is the place where they list titles we'd never know were there so would never search for them. I love this page as it's always fun to see what they have.
When a section of the profits go to charity, it is always a good thing. Betterworld Books aim to fund literacy programs worldwide, perhaps so more people can buy their books, but most of all, they really seem to care about reading. And so they should, being a book shop, their online presence stretches to other marketplaces, but their main site is where most of the action can be found, including the charitable work. It is well worth taking a look, and with a large stock of all kinds of new and used offerings, any reader can find a way to do their bit.
The beauty and cosmetics industry is perhaps benefiting a great deal more than average from the online revolution that swept the world and is on its multitude of orbits as each new generation of technology allows greater scope. With the world on the screen, finding what we want has never been easier. This means that many companies are doing their own thing more than ever to really make their mark. Here's a few and what stands out as their special elements.
Inspired by maternal love, with natural ingredients of the highest quality, Carol's Daughter offer a humble selection of expertly honed and specialist hair and skincare products. dynamic website images slide the customer through the highlights before intuitively scrolling down to find a few click boxes that contain some of the mentioned items plus a few more. Lots of gorgeous photographs really glam the homepage up, celebrity names endorse their faith in the brand and then the item search is available, alongside some regular and expected suggestions. Reaching the page is easy, the service loads fast and for the level of customer experience to be smooth alongside some novel design features, the web-shop has an ultra modern and clean cut feel.
For something a bit out of the ordinary, fine fragrances and body care products made with real fruit scents can be quite alluring. The familiar and yummy aroma of many of our favourite foods can make excellent contributions to our perfume, even in small amounts. Their understanding of the customer requirement seems to be fairly sound, with things like hand soap taking centre stage alongside perfume with a rich and lush red colour. A poll in the corner asks which scent the customers miss the most, which feels like they are reaching out to connect with their buyers.
With over 5000 years in the making, traditional Chinese medicine is one of those things that has evolved time after time to meet the demands of modern people. Natural herbal ingredients that cater for the philosophy of balance in yin and yang, chi, and zen, go to create some luxurious healing beauty products. Their range is colour coded so customers know what effects they're researching and potentially paying for. A great simple site with large icons and neat little text boxes make it a pleasant experience to browse. The items are given a great show and everything feels very intuitive. It's easy to get to the right bit.
The heart is most definitely in the right place with Afterglow cosmetics. Their products are all vegan and completely animal friendly. This means they won't have tested them on animals. The extensive selection is breathtaking, and to consider the care that has gone into making it what it is, the afterglow perhaps truly is in the feeling of doing the right thing. It can make a difference. Mainly they're producing quality make-up and body care items, and everything is given a novel packaging that makes a statement in itself. I like this company.
Rather than making a mark for themselves by releasing a brand, cosme-de are simply allowing customers to browse dozens if not hundreds of brands all from famous and well known companies. Their prices resemble the online market and their regular deals make it worth stopping by for seconds and thirds. Kind of an Amazon for make-up their selection is for men and women, and it's hair, body, skin, make-up and more. The super-market style makes the experience different to the others mentioned, but the element of choice is rewarding to browse.