A 'Not-Com' Era Is Coming

Most experts will advise you to choose “.com” domain name for your company’s website. This is the oldest domain extension and the largest and the most popular TLD. Its original purpose was to mark commercial web addresses, and single them out from networking (‘.net’), educational (‘.edu’), and organizational (‘.org’) ones. Due to ‘.com’ domain extension’s popularity entrepreneurs often have problems with finding an available domain name, that’s suitable for their company’s business. In this article we will determine major difficulties when choosing ‘.com’ domains and try to find the best available alternatives entrepreneurs can use instead.

Why domain name is important

On the web, domain name represents both address and company’s name, and therefore it is one of the most useful and practical branding tools. Companies with unattractive domain names which are hard to type or remember, can’t use various digital marketing benefits. They also need to put much more time, effort and money into search engine optimization in order to become visible in search engine results.

Consequences of ‘.com’s popularity

This is still the most popular domain abbreviation, but since all companies, organizations and individuals tend to buy it, it is very hard to find an available domain name. This also means that new businesses first needs to check domain availability and then to choose the appropriate company name. Both company and domain name are very powerful branding tools and figuring out the right combination that will represent your business venture in the right way can be quite tricky. Many entrepreneurs tend to add more words to their domain name, so they make it more unique. In most cases this is not advisable because then their name becomes much harder to type and remember, which means they can lose many potential customers.

Are ‘.net’ and ‘.org’ good alternatives?

These are not exactly the best alternatives, especially if registered ‘.com’ domain with the same name already exists. Since most people assume that adding ‘.com’ to a company name is the right way to find company’s website, they will usually end up on ‘.com’ domain website. In most cases rival companies tend to have the similar names, this means that if your rival already has a website with ‘.com’ domain, choosing ‘.net’ or ‘.org’ extension might send potential customers directly at their door. This can hurt your business and your website’s Google ranking.

What about country-code TLPs?

These domains should be used for country-specific businesses. They come with country extension at the end and are usually provided by national domain registry. Some of these domains are: ‘.us’, ‘co.uk’, ‘.ru’, ‘com.de’. These domain extensions are good for both conversion and SEO, but only in specific country, the domain extension refers to. Knowing that business is run by local company gives buyers more confidence. On the other hand these extensions are hard to customize, and certain variations like ‘.com.au’, tend to be too long for most company names.

New top level domains and benefits they bring

For more than two years ICANN have been launching new TLD extensions. These can be used for customizing company’s domain name, and many entrepreneurs switch to these generic domain extensions in the lack of appropriate ‘.com’s. ICANN launches few dozen new domain extensions per month, and the full list of those can be found on their website. This ICANN move will diversify domain name choosing and enable small business owners to avoid paying thousands of dollars to domain name resellers. These generic domain can often be used for creating interesting and fun syntaxes that explain company’s niche or motto. Some of the most useful extensions from this group are: .me domain, .today domains and .store domains which came out few days ago. Great customization opportunities made generic domains very popular. One of the biggest move which supported their popularization was the choice Google-founded alphabet took, with registering Abc.xyz domain name.

With assigning your company with the right name you will cut future promotion costs and make your branding strategies much more effective. Since this is such an important thing for determining company’s future success, entrepreneurs need to approach this task with utmost dedication. They should choose the domain name that is creative and easy to brand and that can be easily used on social networks.


How Freedom of Speech in the Digital Age is Changing

The internet has proven to be a powerful tool for aiding in free speech and the digital age has made it possible for political activists to discuss different ideologies and concepts with a wider audience than ever before. Recent events, like the Arab Spring and the NSA wiretapping scandal, have highlighted the ways that digital resources are impacting free speech. Learning more about these trends can provide a valuable glimpse into new developments that may be just around the corner.

Collaboration Through Social Media
Social media sites and services serve as a mouth piece for those who would otherwise lack a global presence entirely. Flash-mobs, organized protests, and political dissent in regions where freedom of speech is far from assured have made quite an impact in recent years. Several noteworthy events that gained worldwide attention would have gone unnoticed if not for the social media outlets that were essential for generating the right audience.


Using Apps to Start a Discussion

More businesses than ever before are turning to apps to increase marketability, sales, and customer interactions. The way custom apps are built now use a platform where customers can talk to, interact with, and review businesses or companies they like to see more of. Apps made for reviews especially have come in handy. It’s a place where people speak their mind, discuss a business or products and recommend it to others. Creating a whole new world of business.

Security and Privacy
Recent revelations regarding issues of online and digital privacy are still making waves. Government sponsored wiretapping programs, massive digital surveillance, and even less organized efforts are fast becoming a major issue. Balancing privacy and security concerns against freedom of expression continues to be a turbulent issue, one that has attracted vocal proponents on both sides of the issue.

Free Speech and Education
A free and open exchange of ideas through a digital medium has had quite an impact on the world of education. From online courses covering a range of topics, to debates regarding the nature of free speech and law seminars like Talks on Law that can be viewed online, the digital age is changing both the way we communicate and educate each other. Free speech and new technology that make it easier to connect and share ideas have the potential to cause even more changes within the world of education.

Future Trends
The rapid pace of technological advancement can make predicting future trends a difficult undertaking. New innovation, greater access to conventional technologies and new communications resources have the potential to create significant changes in the days to come. Digital technology has made it possible for people to communicate with greater ease than ever before, and future trends that embrace the value of free and open expression may foster greater changes than can be imagined right now. Understanding how technology has changed and shaped the way we communicate could provide valuable insight into what changes and exciting new trends the future may bring.



Internet Marketing: The Best Things You Can Do To Get Your Business Noticed

Businesses of all sizes benefit greatly from online marketing, which includes everything from e-mail newsletters and blogging to social media. Here are a few ways that your business can harness Internet marketing for the most benefit.


Website Development

To start, it’s important that you have a visually-appealing website that has unique content, is search engine friendly, and easy to navigate. Without the right keywords and content, customers may not be able to find you online very easily. You should also be linking your social media pages to your website.



Blogging is one of the best ways to make a difference with Internet marketing for your business. By offering your customers and readers useful content, you’ll set yourself up as an expert in your field. Plus, regular posting to your blog will increase SEO, leading to a higher ranked website in search results.


Social Media Marketing

It’s important that your business is utilizing all social media options that suits their business. Typically, Facebook and Twitter are a good place to start. Depending on your business, you may want to consider other things like Pinterest or Instagram. You can use these to create engaging content, connect with your customers, and promote ads. It can be tricky to figure out which social media platforms are right for your business. Be sure to get the help of professionals like those at to find the best social media marketing strategy for your business.


E-mail Marketing

E-mail marketing is still one of the most effective Internet marketing tools today. However, you should cross-promote your campaigns on your other social media platforms, as well as your blog and website. Without cross-promotion, you’ll have a hard time growing your mailing list. In order for e-mail marketing to continue to be successful, you have to regularly add to the list of people you reach.


Google AdWords Campaign

Google has two excellent ways to help you market your business. You can choose to display search network ads so that when someone searches for your type of business online, your ad will appear in the results. You can also opt for display ads. With this type of advertising, you choose the types of websites that your ad is displayed on. For example, a restaurant supply company may want to display their ads on a food blog.


Going Mobile

It’s important to remember that all of your internet marketing should be able to translate onto phones too. Since many people search the internet on their mobile devices, everything about your website and social media channels should be mobile-friendly. By developing mobile apps, your business can reach a different set of customers and showcase your services or products. You can also improve customer engagement and stand out from local competition.


Thanks to new methods of advertising, there are seemingly endless ways to market your business and connect with your audience. These tips can help you get the online visibility you need for success.


Informational credit to Meredith Broadcast Digital Solutions.


Six Tech Must-Haves Every Business Should Consider For Success

You know what you want your business to be and you know what it can accomplish. The only thing left to do now is make sure your company has the tech needed to make those dreams a reality. Not keeping up with tech gadgets can set your company back. Here are few ideas to get started:


Desktops and Laptops

Computers are a must, however most companies don’t realize that both a stationary and portable machine are needed. Where one gives you the computing power to take on even the most technically challenging tasks, the other allows you to stay connected to the company’s most important information wherever you may be.


Voice-over-Internet Protocol

Often shortened to VoIP, programs like Skype businesses the power to tap into the virtually limitless potential of web-based communication. These methods are much more affordable than non-web systems and offer all the classic communication services, such as conferencing, faxing and voice mail.


In-House IT

From an electrical engineer to your web developer, it pays to invest in your company’s personal IT team. Even though they can be pricey, this cost is quickly offset with their day-to-day management of security, operations and efficiency. Look for people with a strong academic background, like someone who has an an online masters in engineering management. In essence, they’re there to make sure problems are solved before they impact the company negatively.



This may seem like a common sense tech addition, but there are still businesses that don’t think a website is a worthwhile investment. In today’s age of internet information, if you don’t have a site, you automatically lose an entire audience. Companies can no longer rely on brick and mortar locations to attract customers.



Apple or Android, you need at least one to help you run your business. Miniature computers that go where you go, the apps that can be downloaded make them highly customizable to fit your business needs. Your business can benefit from a wide variety of apps, no matter you industry.


Software Suite

While most businesses invest in the full Microsoft Office Suite, there are quite a few free options nowadays, including OpenOffice and Google Docs. No matter what you go with, having your team work through a unified suite means organization and connectivity on a whole new scale.


Modern businesses need to expect to invest in tech if they’re to succeed in the coming quarters. From hardware to software and employees versed in handling both, tech is essential. That being said, not all tech is needed. Invest in the right options that fit your industry and company. Having these essentials is a great place to start.



Smart Home, Smart Phone: 4 Mobile Apps to Control Your House

Technology has been integrated into nearly every aspect of modern life. From the phones we use to the cars we drive, the impact of technology is virtually impossible to ignore. Even our homes are filled with electronic devices which are intended to make life interesting, not only easier. With more and more Americans installing custom entertainment centers—opting for either a professional installation by a company like Custom Audio Video systems or a more DIY solution—apps that can control everything are in high demand. With the ability to bridge the gap between your smartphone and the electronic devices within your home, the prospect of remotely controlling how your home and the devices within it behave has finally reached your fingertips. With this in mind, here are four apps that will put remote device access into the palm of your hand.

Philips Hue

If you want to have amazing control over the lighting in your home, then using the Philips Hue app in conjunction with the $200 starter kit will provide you with a whole new dimension of luminosity control. Not only does this set up provide users with the ability to change the intensity of the lighting in their home, but it also allows for the user to play with the color of light to enhance mood or set a festive tone to a room.


When it comes to taking command of your custom audio video systemin your home entertainment room, the MyUremote app will make it a breeze to access and control settings from your Android or iPhone device. Whether accessed through your phone’s IR blaster or connecting directly to a component by IP, this highly configurable app makes quick work of giving you all the power and access you need.

The Nest App

While you may not be ready to jump head first into a total home automation app set up, the Nest app works in conjunction with the Nest smart thermostat or other Nest products. This app and installed hardware will provide users with complete temperature control over their home’s environment. If the weather takes a sharp turn up or down, there is no reason to be overly concerned. Simply access the Nest smart thermostat by remote from your smartphone and adjust the temperature to a comfortable setting before returning home. You can also easily monitor total energy use from the Nest app as well.

Vivint Sky App

You are at work, but your child got home early from school and forgot their key again. No problem, with the Vivint Sky App, you can provide your child with access into your home directly from your smartphone. With the ability to monitor your home through video surveillance, adjust lighting and control other small appliances, the Vivint Sky App makes it easy to obtain many useful remote features from a single app. If you own a smartphone, the ability to turn your home into your very own remotely controlled castle is a reality of the modern age. From lighting to general security issues, the apps that connect your smartphone with your home put the power of change and device manipulation squarely in your hands. With intuitive user interfaces and feature rich options, the apps that connect you with your home makes modern living an entirely new and refreshing experience.


6 Ways to Use Mobile Apps & Online Resources to Effectively Improve Your Education

There is a wealth of online resources available to students, but it can be quite overwhelming to know how to best make use of them. If you are getting your Master’s degree, using online resources will make you a more effective student and maximize your potential. Here are a few of the very best online resources that will make your educational life much easier.

For doing research: Google Scholar

When it comes to doing preliminary research, nothing beats the convenience or breadth of Google Scholar. It’s a free search engine that scours most major scholarly journals. If there is a freely accessible version on the web, it links to it for you. It’s not the most in-depth way to search for material, but it is a great starting point.

For organizing your notes: OneNote

This online organizers was designed to make students’ lives easier, by allowing them to build, organize, and share notes. It will also create reminders assignment reminders, track grades, and hold your schedule all in one place.

For textbook shopping: BookFinder

One of the worst aspects of being a student is the high cost of textbooks, and the frustration of trying to find the right version. This website searches across over a hundred different online bookstores so that you don’t have to spend hours on the Internet looking for used or cheap copies of textbooks.

For building a Bibliography: OttoBib

Tracking sources and building a correct bibliography is one of most painful parts of any writing assignment. Thankfully, this website will do the hard work for you. Simply enter the ISBNs of the books you used and the titles of any works cited in a paper, and OttoBib will spit out a correctly formatted bibliography.

For collaboration: GoogleDocs

When it comes to doing teamwork, passing documents back and forth by email is frustrating and can lead to a lot of confusion. Instead, put your shared work in GoogleDocs. It will track your changes and store your work in an accessible place, so you don’t have 20 versions floating around.

Online Courses

There are so many great online courses out there for you to take advantage of. For example there are even ways for you to earn a masters in library science online. An accomplishment like that can really help you get ahead in the workplace. You really want to make sure that you are always trying to gain as much of an education as possible.

Mobile Apps

There are also a lot of mobile apps that you can use to help you improve your education. Even tools such as the camera on your phone can be extremely useful. You can use your cell phone to take pictures of important notes and PowerPoint slides that your teacher presents. You can also use the voice recorder to record your teacher’s lectures and important study sessions. (With permission from your teacher.) Some other great apps you can try out are:

  1. Scientific Calculator-You can install this app for free, providing you with the benefits of having a scientific calculator. An app like this can help save you tons of money and ace your next math class.
  2. My Study Life-Apps like this can really help you stay organized in school. You can plan out your study sessions, keep your assignments organized and stay on top of all of your work.
  1. Quizlet Mobile-Apps like this can help make studying fun! You can create your own study guide and online flashcards. This is definitely a great tool to help you prepare for your next test.
  1. Vocabulary Builder-This type of app can help you improve your English vocabulary. You can learn unique and big words, sound smart in front of your friends and impress your teachers.

The Internet puts so many invaluable resources right at your fingertips. If you use them effectively, you’ll be a better organized student, and do better work. Use the resources listed above, and the web will be one of the greatest assets of your entire education.


Tactics to Double Your Social Media Followers

The incredible rise of social media has transformed this booming part of the digital realm into a potent marketing tool. An engaged following is a foundation upon which one can establish a strong online presence and boost the visibility. But, making an impact with your messages is not a walk in the digital park. You have to find out what works in terms of gaining a massive following. This is not just some vanity metric, as building a social media audience increases sales, spreads brand awareness and expands the exposure.

In new light

Consistency is the guiding light that will get you through the digital jungle. Abandoning or changing the strategy after a couple of weeks is not a way to go, even in conditions of limited time and resources.   To carry out successful social media campaigns, you first need to get to know your audience. It does not matter what you think they want. It takes a proper research to find out what their real needs are. Use analytic tools to monitor their online habits like types of posts and content that they consume the most.

A winning streak

The number of followers depends on how often your content gets published.  Users expect a streak of stunning photos, quotes, videos, and other content. That is why finding influencers in your niche is an essential step. Use tools like Buzzsumo to track and share their engaging content, or at least to like and comment on it. This is only the start because in due time you will have to offer your own, organic posts. People crave for solutions to their problems, expert opinions, humorous stories, deep insights and new takes on popular topics.

Million little pieces

Posting great content with the viral potential is one, albeit a crucial piece of the social media puzzle. Apart from that, you also need to be responsive to comments, complaints and questions. More and more businesses are using social platforms as customer service tools, and process an incredible amount of feedback. React to the customers’ input in a timely fashion, and this will signal others that you are to be relied upon and trusted. A good reputation spreads like wildfire and attracts many new followers.

“Eco-friendly “

To reap all the benefits of social media, try to harness the potential of the whole digital ecosystem surrounding it. Direct your email subscribers to social media accounts and encourage them to follow you. Put visible signs on your website to move internet traffic towards social media accounts. One of the ways to pull this off is linking to them on the Contact or About Us pages. Finally, integrate your blog with the social network accounts by including a social share button.

And the winner is…

Holding a contest or a giveaway is a great way to spark attention, and encourage followers to submit their own content. Everyone likes winning or getting stuff for free, and it does not have to be something that costs an arm and a leg. Offer gift cards, cool gadgets, clothing, and items that bear the corporate insignia. Sometimes a requirement may be fulfilled by liking your page or following a Twitter account, which also spurs good results in terms of widening your reach. In any case, keeping the contest brand-related ensures the best ROI.

An army stands ready

To amplify your online presence, your strategies must be consistent, practiced over the long haul, and properly targeted.  Do your homework, and identify the most popular posts in your niche. Be active and engaging, stay responsive, give stuff away, and streamline advertising. Do not forgo content quality for the sake of quantity and find a fine balance between them. There is no better way to attract a wide audience across your social media accounts and have a real army watching your every post.


CES 2016 – The Awestruck Moments

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s largest gathering of techy geeks or more simply put all those crazies out there who thrive on the consumer technology’s business. With the ever evolving evolution of technology, the show provides interested individuals, customers, businessmen with the latest trends and innovations in this ever-emerging market. This time CES provided a great deal of influx from the world of virtual reality, smart televisions, smart cars and much more.

But, just as always, there were a few items that were just extra-ordinarily, some might say, weird but definitely awe-inspiring for the rest. Let’s take a quick look at what these items were:


Smart cars, auto-cars, hybrid cars, you name it! The CES 2016 was more of an auto show. There were a few disappointments as well but nevertheless the collection of highly anticipated automobiles were also displayed at the show. Chevy’s all-electric bolt managed to get quite a lot of attention from customers. Not to forget the electric microbus concept introduced by Volkswagen which generated quite the hype as well. Screens dominated the interiors of multiple cars this time around with Audi’s new system making the top of the list. Apple’s CarPlay made quite the appearance with its wireless technology.


Another out of the ordinary innovation showcased at the CES this year the autonomous single-passenger taxi by EHang, a Chinese company. The vehicle is supposed to be pilotless and may hit the market sometime soon in the near future. Again, just as with other crazy technologies, this one is heavy on the cost side as well. The company claims to commercialize their production of this taxi in the next 3 months or so but all they need is the FAA control approval. Let’s see how that works for them then and till then let’s hang on to our dreams of flying around from one marketplace to another.

Television Screens

UHD Screens, Samsung bent screen concept, Backlight Master Drive tech by Sony and many other similar to the previous year’s concepts were introduced so far as television screens are concerned. The one highly improved on concept was the displays that were made to look much brighter and clearer this year around. Picture quality improved by multifold as well. Other than that, noticeable improvements had been made in designs by most brands, one example being LG whereby it brought about a super thin version of its OLED set.


However, one odd aspect of this television screens display was that some of them were showing off the back of their television screens rather than the displays or the front. Why would anyone, any consumer at home, be interested in the back of their television screen at all?

Virtual Reality

Oculus, HTC and Valve introduced their virtual reality headsets which are extremely pricey to begin with so forget affording one right now, you’re not going to be able to afford one for years to come. However, with the game of virtual reality finally going strong, businesses can begin to invest in this sector to capture great money from the market. On the end of gaming, we saw Sony Playstation’s Vegas tech bonanza, the bids for which will begin soon in 2016.



Huawei, as is being observed, since the past year has been capturing the market for smartphones and did it again at this show as well. The Huawei team managed to capture the attention at the press conference as well by delivering excellent speeches. Not just that but their introduction to the audience about Huawei Mate 8, gold matte Nexus 6P, Huawei GX8 and new luxurious versions of their watch. Samsung’s Gear S2 Classic smartwatch was introduced in two different colors.


DJ Turntables

Direct drive and high-torque platters are often demanded by DJs to create mixes that would create jaw-dropping mixes. This time at the CES, the most anticipated Technics 1200 was introduced by the Panasonic team who claimed to have revived the turntable. Some key improvements include better spinning at improved speed. This limited edition of the Grand Class SL-1200GAE will be available this summer that will run in 1200 units only. However, the only advantage of owning a “premium” version of the plate is that it adds a unique serial number plate and of course that it will be available early. But, that’s just it. It’s better to wait for the other versions


Hover boards

Another interesting highlight at the CES 2016 was all the drama that occurred at the hover board counter when a Chinese manufacturing hover board company’s marketing team was raided by two US federal marshals. They say it was all about some issue with “infringement” rights etc. but we’ll have to wait for any further news to come out regarding this matter as hover boards have been the latest trend in the market for quite a few months now.


These were all the interesting and not-so-interesting news from the dangerously techy CES event this year and with that everyone bid farewell to this year’s largest tech event. Let’s see what 2017’s CES will have to offer.


Mobile App Dev: Why Should I Bother Learning a Mobil Language?

Mobile app development is quickly becoming a central pillar of modern business. Mobile apps allow businesses to reach out to consumers and clients in ways formerly not experienced prior to the mobile revolution. This popular trend has created a demand for mobile app developers that will not be ending anytime soon.

In addition, this opportunity has opened the door to developers to make an extraordinary amount of money working for businesses in need of their unique programming skills. The more mobile functional languages a programmer has under their belt, the more flexible they will be in their ability to meet the needs of companies that seek their mobile development services. The following are some other reasons to consider learning a mobile app development language.

The Mobile Evolution

Since the world is only just experiencing the beginning of the mobile app phase of its digital evolution, the future will continue to build upon this already well-established trend. As the Internet itself evolves into a more pervasive landscape of the Internet of Things, the need for mobile apps to accommodate the increase in Internet-ready devices will soon explode with an exponential demand for mobile apps that function with new, innovative devices that hit the market.

Educational Opportunities

One of the best ways to learn a mobile app language is to get a master’s of computer science online from a reputable school. Along with developing a skill that will place students at the heart of the mobile frontier, mobile app-based development languages are also used to perform other types of web-based and non-web-based software development products. This means that a student’s programming skills will be in demand even outside of the growing mobile app industry.

Starting Your Own Business

Another great reason for learning a mobile app language is if you are starting your own business. Simply possessing the skills to develop your own business’s mobile app is a money saver and money generator all at the same time. Not needing to hire a developer also means that youcan completely control the process of development as well as the outcome.

Reaching Customers

Since modern consumers continue to become increasingly mobile in their daily interactions, those who learn mobile app development languages will be able to more directly interact with customers on multiple levels. According to Entrepreneur.com, mobile apps help customers gain access to a company’s product lines, and they also help put customers in touch with people who can help them better use a company’s products in real time.

The world is continuing to become a fully integrated mobile market. With every new digital advancement, the mobile app development arena continues to become an ever-evolving place for amazing opportunities. From technical challenges to vast money making potential, learning a language for mobile app development is certainly the ticket to an in-demand career.


3 Ways Apps Improve In-Store Shopping

For nearly a decade now, there’s been a growing opinion that online shopping would lead to the death of retail. That opinion has translated to actual numbers over time, with Forbes reporting last year that retail is in fact suffering because of many people’s preference for online shopping. But now something interesting is happening that could give in-store retail an unexpected boost: mobile apps enable some of the perks associated with online shopping to work in stores as well.

To get a feel for what exactly that means, consider these three potential uses for apps in brick-and-mortar locations.

1. Coupon Distribution & Sales Alerts

Even a few years ago, Mashable posted a very interesting article about the different ways apps could drive revenue for businesses. Several points were made, but the primary focus was on geo-targeted push notifications, advertisements, and alerts. The implication is that businesses can now engage with customers in close proximity to their actual stores by sending information to those customers through their own apps. That can mean alerting the customers to sales or new product inventories, sending out coupons or opportunities for rewards, or even simply letting them know they’re near a store location. Ultimately, the idea is to provide incentives for customers to visit stores through a channel that really wasn’t widely available (or at least widely utilized) even five years ago.

2. Payments & Rewards

We’ve begun to see a transition away from cash and credit cards and toward something called “contactless pay” in retail stores. Basically, it’s the use of cards that can be scanned or even mobile screens that can be scanned to transfer funds. Indeed, Worldpay points to several ways that accepting these types of payments can help businesses. Moving to digital pay allows stores to accept a full variety of cards, serve customers in seconds, and implement strong payment security. But what sometimes goes unsaid is that the use of contactless pay also invites customers to engage with businesses via their mobile devices. And when apps are in play, that can mean further incentive to buy. Specifically, a business offering an app with reward points or coupon accumulation built in can do very well by letting customers pay through technology. Payment can be processed and rewards earned in a matter of seco

3. Beacon Connections

Beacons are essentially small sensors that can be placed throughout stores to reach out and connect with customers’ mobile devices. The idea is to use this technology to optimize the shopping experience for those customers. According to a study posted at MediaPost, close to 46% of retailers will soon be using it. Beacon technology does not necessarily require that a customer have a retailer’s app downloaded in order to connect, but with an app in place there can be additional capabilities (such as accessing the customer’s purchasing history).

Consider all of these innovations and ideas together, and you can begin to see a shifting nature of in-store retail. Largely through apps, stores are finding ways to engage with customers and offer special deals and convenience that mimic some of the advantages people have previously enjoyed in online shopping.