Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Online Shopping: What is the Connection?

November comes with much hype about Black Friday and crazy discounts from major retailers. You can hardly use the internet without ads popping up about it.

The ads come to your phone, email, and social media timelines. Retailers go a step further and advertise Black Friday sales on billboards and through media houses.

Where did these holidays begin and what is their connection with shopping?

The History Black Friday

The term “Black Friday” was first used to refer to a financial crisis. On September 24, 1869, the US gold market crashed.

Two financiers in Wall Street, Jim Fisk and Jay Gould caused the crash after purchasing gold in large amounts. The day of the crash was a Friday, which was referred to as Black Friday after that.

The term has also been associated with profit and loss accounts. In the US, retailers recorded their profits in black while losses were marked in red.

The story goes that throughout the year, the accounting books for most businesses were in red. However, the situation changed on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Retailers would record a boost in sales on the Friday after such that their books changed from red to black.

People travel to be with their families on Thanksgiving. Family gatherings are partly associated with increased shopping.

Black Friday in Philadelphia

Philadelphia has a different story about Black Friday. In the 1950s, police officers throughout Philadelphia called the Friday after Thanksgiving “Black Friday.”

The city would host the Army-Navy football game, which attracted tourists from all over. It was hard to control the crowds and the chaos that came with it.

The officers had to deal with increased traffic jams. In addition, some people took advantage of the chaos and started shoplifting.

It was simply a chaotic Friday and police officers would hardly get time off. The term helped described their day after an exciting Thanksgiving evening.

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is the Monday after thanksgiving. The term was first introduced in 2005 and has slowly gained popularity.

Ellen Davis, a leader at the National Retail Federation (NRF) coined the term, which retailers and shoppers adopted quickly. The Federation had noted a trend in online sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Online retailers experienced a significant increase in traffic and revenues. Davis first thought of calling it Black Monday but the term sounded too sad.

The Federation settled on Cyber Monday and issued a press release statement on the same. True to their expectations, the world took on the term fast.

Association with Online Shopping

The travel and social habits around Thanksgiving lead to increased to shopping before and after the holiday. Every holiday is associated with shopping as people gather to celebrate.

However, Black Friday and Cyber Monday come with the best deals and discounts from retailers. Entrepreneurs have used the holidays over the years to encourage shoppers to buy even more from their stores.

Today, the world has better access to the internet than when the holidays were first introduced. Hence, online stores record almost the same amount of traffic as physical stores.

In fact, Cyber Monday was coined after increased online sales. One myth about the increase is that most shoppers were home for the holidays.

Buyers have access to fast and secure internet at home where they can easily shop online. In addition, shopping online helps family members to surprise their loved ones with random gifts.

E-commerce today comes with the option of delivering gifts to the recipients’ location. Shopping together in a physical store limits the fun on exchanging gifts.

In the US, retailers record billions of dollars in sales from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. The sales increase every year.

Tips for Kenyan Entrepreneurs

Kenyan businesses have been adopting the culture of offering crazy deals and discounts on Black Friday. Although the holidays are considered as “western” or white, retailers have made them popular locally with discounts.

The spread of e-commerce in Kenya has enabled entrepreneurs to increase online sales during these holidays. However, some stores are yet to catch up or maximise their sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

If your store falls into this category, try these strategies in the coming year and taste the difference:

1. Prepare your online store

If you are reading this and operating without an online store, you are in the right place. Muva Technologies can design an amazing e-commerce website for your business. Your first step will be to create the website and promote it.

Gone are the days of relying on websites alone. Your business needs a mobile app as well. Many buyers are considering purchases via an app if the quality and pricing are consistent with the e-commerce website.

Again, we can help you develop an app that suits your business.

Ensure that your website is mobile-responsive and fast. Audit all pages to identify and clear any errors. Ensure that all listed items are in stock.

2. Start early

A new term has been coined after Black Friday, that is, Black November. Retailers are no longer waiting until the week of Thanksgiving to market their products and discounts.

The sales start at the beginning of November. Do the same. Prepare the deals and including the ads before November. Run the ads throughout the month on as many marketing platforms as you can.

3. Retarget

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great opportunities to drive traffic to your online store. The holidays are already associated with a shopping craze as described above.

However, you will have hundreds of visitors to your online store that will not purchase anything. Many will browse your deals and not place any order while some will abandon their carts halfway.

You may have the same experience in the physical store. Some buyers may contact you about the deals without any purchases.

Follow up on all new contacts that you get during this season. Have retargeting marketing strategies to sell to them even after the deals are over. The buyers already know about your business and are likely to buy from you in the future.

Final remarks

Your success in driving sales on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday depends on the state of your online store. Allow expert developers at Muva to optimize your e-commerce website or create an e-commerce app for your brand. It is not too early to plan for the next holiday!

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Samsung Galaxy Fold is finally in Kenya: Why Is Everyone Talking about it?

Do you remember the days of foldable phones? Well, they are back! Samsung broke the limits in manufacturing smartphones earlier this year with the folding design.

Samsung Galaxy Fold was released into the market in February 2019. It has taken several months for the device to reach the Kenyan market. However, the phone has been in use in other parts of the world since its launch with positive reviews.

The head of Samsung’s mobile division in East Africa, Charles Kimari was excited about the launch. At the event, Charles indicated that the device’s capabilities have never been seen in the history of smartphones.

The capabilities and price got everyone talking on social platforms. Here is what you need to know about the device.

Features and capabilities

The Infinity Flex Display of the smartphone is the first in the world. Of course, phone manufacturers will quickly replicate it but Samsung has set the pace.

You can expect cheaper brands with the same design in the coming years. It happens with every new trend in mobile technology. However, it will take the brands some time to catch up with the full capabilities and functions of the new phone.

Perhaps the ability to multi-task while using the folding smartphone will interest you. The Samsung Galaxy Fold is built with the capacity to support heavy tasks including video games.

Watching and sharing videos is fast because of its advanced performance. You know the frustration of waiting for a video to load and play? The new smartphone solves that for you!

In addition, you can run three apps at the same time with 12 GB RAM. It functions more like your PC. Samsung included a high powered AP chipset to help consumers do more.

Try opening 3 apps on your device and evaluate its performance. Most devices in the market stop functioning and prompt you to close all the apps.

The intelligence functionalities set the device apart from other Samsung innovations. Many phones are yet to come close to this level of production.

The Company added Bixby Routines, which enable the smartphone to anticipate your needs. In short, Samsung is enabling you to do more with your mobile device than call, text, and keep up with social media.

You can program your life with the smart device and use your time more efficiently.

The Routines streamlines your phone time to ensure that you do not forget important activities or spend too much time on one activity. Most phone users are guilty of spending too much time on social media chats.

A device with Bixby Routines reminds of specific actions based on the time, event or location. The smartphone adapts to your life and preferences.

The large 7.3-inch display is synonymous with the latest Samsung smartphones. It collapses when folded to a 4.6” display.

Folding the device reduces the resolution of the display as well. However, the resolution is still above many devices’ resolution in the market.

Get this, the Galaxy Fold has 6 cameras! Talk about pushing mobile phone technology to the next level! If you like keeping memories with photos, this phone is definitely worth your consideration.

Phone manufacturers have realised the importance of clear images and videos. In our world of selfies and social media, you need clear photos from all angles.

You are assured of clear shots with 6 cameras at your disposable.

Data Security

Data security has become such a big issue to the extent that Kenya introduced a new law for the same. The concern is not specific to the Kenyan market.

People around the world have become suspicious given the rise of malware that spy on smartphone users. You never know the information that an app accesses and shares from your smartphone.

Samsung thought of this concern among consumers. The Galaxy Fold is equipped with Samsung Knox to improve data performance and keep your information safe.

You can hardly avoid using your phone to shop with the popularity of mobile money transactions. Banking apps have us accessing our accounts from our smartphones.

Hackers target social apps as well through links that enable them to access data on your device.

Samsung Knox enables you to use your mobile device without worrying much about data security. Most of the latest Samsung smartphones come with the security platform.

However, manufacturers cannot give a 100% guarantee on data security. Even with such platforms as Samsung Knox, you still have to be careful of the data you share or upload on your device.

Price

We know you are looking for this part! Well, for most consumers, buying a smartphone boils down to its retail price.

The introductory price of the Samsung Galaxy Fold in Kenya was set above Ksh. 200,000! Too high?

While you are thinking about the price and your bank account balance, the phones sold out immediately after the launch!

The retail price overtook the folding design in most discussions after the launch. It seems some consumers have been waiting for the phone to hit the market since February.

Clearly, owning the folding Samsung is a luxury, just as it was with the first foldable phones back in the day.

The quick sales did not come easy. Samsung ran a campaign for about 2 weeks prior to the launch and it worked.

Samsung Galaxy Fold falls into the category of smartphones that require some consumers to take a loan to purchase. Charles did mention of a plan to provide financing in the future to enable consumers to purchase the device.

Such plans involve partnerships with local banks. Hence, you still have a chance to own the device if you cannot pay out of pocket. You just need to wait until Samsung keeps its promise of such partnerships.

Final thoughts

Samsung has set a new standard in the market that other brands will soon follow. The retail price may be high for many consumers but the quick sales show there is a demand for high-end smartphones in the Kenyan market. It also seems like the old saying is true. History repeats itself. The competition in the global market for smartphones is pushing manufacturers to break limits in design and capabilities.

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Everything You Need to Know about Google’s Latest Products (Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Buds)

We know Google as a search engine and a global marketing platform. Did you know Google sells hardware too?

In the latest hardware event, Google unveiled new smartphones, that is, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. We will discuss the specs of the two phones shortly but the company is big on competing with the world’s tech giants.

In addition to the smartphones, the Company announced new laptops and smart home devices.

Why announce new products at the close of the year, you ask? Well, we are headed to the Christmas season. The world goes into a shopping craze during the holiday.

Let us now look at the new products that Google released into the market

Smartphones: Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL

How would you like to take a clear picture of the stars at night? Have you ever tried that with your smartphone? We bet you did not like the output!

Google’s Pixel 4 enables you to get a clear picture of the Milkyway.  It has a powerful night camera not to mention the normal day-camera.

The company’s initial target market is the US. Buyers will thank Google for having this phone on during a car crash. The phone has a unique feature that detects a car crash.

It will automatically dial 911 when this feature is activated. That means the owner gets immediate medical attention.

Here is another feature that smartphone users will love. Google included a detection feature for gestures. Pixel 4 has the fastest face unlock, which competes with other phones in the market with such features.

With the radar detection, you can make a gesture in the air and the device will immediately unlock. You can also swipe in the air to move from one app to another.

The main difference between Pixel 4 and XL is the size. Pixel 4 XL has a 6.3 inch screen display while the normal Pixel 4 has 5.7 inch display.

The manufacturer has gone a step further to include 90hz display. Such a display prolongs the device’s battery life.

Another advantage of this new display is that it makes scrolling smoother and easier compared to the traditional display. You can turn the display on and off as you desire.

Google has made the new phones more accessible to buyers than previous Pixel models. For previous models, buyers had to unlock them from vendors including Google or from Verizon.

The new smartphones will be accessible through all the major carriers in the US. Are you curious about the price?

We know you are! The new Pixel 4 will start from $799.

Pixelbook Go

Google has explored the market for laptops alongside other hardware. In the event, the company introduced a new version of its Pixelbook laptop.

You can expect improved features every time a manufacturer has a new version of the same device. The new Pixelbook Go is lighter than the original version.

In addition, the bottom design gives you a better grip on the laptop. It has a longer battery life (12 hours). Yes, you read right, it is 12 hours.

Pause for a moment and consider the battery life of your current laptop. Can you work with it all day without charging?

Other improvements on the laptop include a magnesium casing and a larger 13.3-inch diplay.

The price of Pixelbook Go starts at $649.

Pixel Buds

Google introduced new Pixel Buds in the event. They will be available in the market in 2020. Music lovers will enjoy these Buds because of their amazing features include the wireless design.

Google introduced a previous version of the same buds that were connected through a wire. The new buds are completely wireless, so you can forget about tangled wires.

Look out for its adaptive sound technology. What does that mean?

You do not need to adjust the volume every time you change your environment. The Pixel Buds will automatically increase or reduce the volume to suit your environment.

The buds have a spatial vent design, which protects you from clogged ears. If you have used headphone for a long time, you know the irritation in your ears.

Google has boosted the speakers to improve the output and updated the sensors as well. However, the buds are still light to carry around.

Another feature we need to mention here is the long-range for the Bluetooth connection. You can enjoy the music on your headphones even when you move further from your device.

Nest Home Devices

Google has a Nest package of smart home products. The products in this package that have improvements include the Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus.

The coverage for both programs has expanded. The updates will be available to Nest customers in the coming year.

Google has upgraded the Nest Wifi routers with 25% more coverage. The routers are faster than the previous routers. Starting November, customers can now choose between a 2 pack or 3 pack of the new routers.

The Nest Mini is also brand new with better speakers.

Stadia

Google did not leave gaming fans behind this year. Stadia is a service that enables users to stream their favourite video games.

The stream services started with a cloud feature earlier this year. Starting November 2019, you can use Stadia to stream video games to Google’s devices such as Chromebooks.

The streaming service comes with a special controller and retails at $9.99 per month.

A free take-home lesson

You define the limits for the growth and expansion of your business. Google started with answering search queries. It is the leading search engine in the world.

Millions of website and business owners rely on Google to reach their customers.

Today, Google is competing with top brands for mobile phones, laptops, and smart devices. Do not limit your business to one niche. Explore related niches.

We can also learn the need to keep updating products, including well-performing products.

The global competition is too steep for a company to maintain the same version of a product for years. Product development must be part of your business growth strategy.

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Sportpesa, Betin, and Little Shuttle Exit: Is Kenya Ready for Digital Disruption?

Kenyans have been following closely the battle between the government and betting companies since new taxation and licensing laws were introduced.

It is no secret that many young Kenyans are now addicted to gambling.

The announcement by Sportpesa and Betin was a blow to betting fans, not to mention their employees.

Both companies have had a rough journey since the government suspended their licences due to taxation issues.

Sportpesa termed the Kenyan market as a hostile environment to do business.

Kenyans have differing opinions on the exit. Some feel that the betting fever is out of control and so the exit is beneficial.

Another category is crying out for the thousands of jobs lost when the companies halt their operations in Kenya.

SWVL and Little Shuttle

Government regulation has hit the two hailing companies hard as well.

The National Transport and Safety Authority  (NTSA) says that the two companies have been operating without valid PSV licences.

Consequently, their operations were suspended starting October 1, 2019, until they acquire PSV licences.

SWVL and Little Shuttle have been offering relief to Nairobians from the chaotic matatu industry.

If you commute to and from work every day, you can attest to the madness on the roads.

If you are not stuck in traffic, you are struggling to get a ride home or to work.

Should we mention the occasional strikes that force Kenyans to walk miles to work?

Commonalities

One thing to note about the three companies that are exiting the Kenyan market is their investment in digital technology.

The giants embraced the advantages that mobile apps offer in different sectors.

Sportpesa and Betin have been among the largest players in the betting industry.

We recently featured the two as part of the betting companies with the best betting apps in the country and beyond.

Also Read: The List is here! Top betting apps in Kenya (2019)

Many players have joined the industry following their footsteps.

Kenyans have had multiple options for betting apps and websites because the two companies set a high standard in the industry.

Gambling is not a new trade. There are casinos all over the major cities in the country.

Betting websites have been there for decades. However, the introduction of betting apps has disrupted the betting industry.

Betting companies have developed apps with a simple interface and easy language.

In Kenya, integrating mobile payments such as Mpesa and Airtel Money into the apps made betting easier.

The bus sharing companies, Little Shuttle and SWVL enable commuters to book a comfortable shuttle via an app.

Instead of queuing at bus stops and crowded bus stations, commuters can book a ride when they are to move from point A to B.

The fares are slightly higher than the fares charged by ordinary matatus. However, the companies target travellers that own personal cars but need public transport occasionally.

With the new regulation that NTSA imposed, the hailing services may fall into the category of normal matatus.

Image: Pulse

Is Kenya ready for digital disruption?

The need to control the betting craze makes some sense. In fact, some Kenyans have welcomed the Sportpesa, Betin exit despite the job losses.

However, the move by the government on the taxi app companies raises some questions. Were we prepared for the effect of digital technologies?

Taxi apps have already disrupted the transport industry. In the past, Kenyans would negotiate for taxi services with drivers.

Today, you can use Uber, Taxify, Little Cab, inDriver and any other taxi app to book a cheap taxi ride.

Mobile apps such as Glovo have also disrupted logistics and delivery companies. You just need an app to order a meal, shop for groceries, or buy any item you need online and get it at your doorstep.

You do not need to call a delivery company for that.

Think about banking, which was a headache for such a long time.

You can access your bank account and transact using your bank’s mobile app.

Do we need to revisit the popularity of mobile loan apps that have taken over the lending space in Kenya?

Apps have replaced the long documentation process that was associated with a loan application.

Also Read: Why are Instant Loans Popular in Kenya Despite Metropol CRB Listings?

The impact of social apps on business and communication is phenomenon. Businesses now rely on social media to stay in touch with clients.

Social apps and bots have replaced emails and calls in most industries.

The big question is, were we ready for this disruption?

Is the move by the government to tax digital companies an indication of our unpreparedness to deal with the effects of digital technologies?

The reality is that imposing heavy taxation on such companies that embraced new technologies is a blow to innovation.

New players are now hesitant to join the industries until the tax rows and licensing issues are resolved.

Players in the real estate, housing, education, and agricultural sector have had to keep up with the latest technologies to stay relevant.

Were the arms of government prepared for such disruptive technological changes?

Moving forward

It is impossible to control the digital disruption across industries. Technological innovation cannot be stopped because of its benefits.

The good thing is that it is possible to observe trends and anticipate their impact on the economy.

Kenyans are innovative. However, most of the disruptive trends start from developed countries.

Betting and bus sharing apps were established in developed countries long before the players entered the Kenyan market.

The government has an obligation to control the business environment and ensure that players pay the taxes due according to Taxation laws.

However, it is prudent for the government to bring up such issues when issuing licenses.

The exiting companies cry foul because the taxation and licensing issues arose when they began to make huge profits.

The government has enough technical experts who can follow the trends and advice on the required changes in laws and policies.

Otherwise, we will continue to witness massive job losses in an economy where thousands of graduates are unemployed.

The call to anticipate changes also goes to business owners who are comfortable with the traditional business environment.

Taxi owners were hostile when new taxi apps were introduced in the market. Despite the strikes, the taxi companies started their operations.

Business owners should explore the opportunities that digital technologies offer instead of resisting change.

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Huawei Mate 30 Phone Series Are Finally Out Without Google Apps

The Huawei ban in the US got many people talking around the world. The ban is perhaps the greatest challenge that the Chinese company has faced this year.

Huawei promised to bounce back and keep dominating the Android world.

The newly launched Mate 30 phone series is proof that the tech giant is determined to stay on top.

The ban meant that Huawei could no longer include Google services in new phone models.

Hence, both Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro models have no Google apps. This means you cannot access your favourite apps on the Google Play Store.

In addition, you cannot access Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Photos or Google Drive.

The missing features have everyone wondering if the company will manage to sell the phones beyond China.

Would you buy a phone without Google Services? Well, before we talk about the price range, let us look at the specs.

Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro Specs and Features

Phone manufacturers often introduce two models of the same series at different prices. The Pro version has premium or better features, which is the case with the Mate 30 series.

Similar features:

Both phones have the same processor (Huawei Kirin 990), Operating system (EMU1 10), and Memory (8GB RAM). Both phones have a similar third rear camera (f/2.4 aperture 8MP, Telephoto camera).

Other similar features include the horizontal display and phone colors. You can pick any color from black, space silver, cosmic purple, or emerald green.

Differences in features

The table below displays the features of both 5G phones:

Feature Mate 30 Mate 30 Pro
Display 2340 x 1080 OLED screen (6.62 inches) 2400 x 11176 OLED screen (6.53 inches)
Storage 128 GB 256 GB
Front Camera 24MP 32MP
First Rear Camera f/1.8 aperture, Super sensing camera (40MP) f/1.6 aperture, Super sensing camera (40MP)
Second Rear Camera f/2.2 aperture, ultra wide angel camera (16MP) f/1.8 aperture, cine camera (40MP)
Fourth Rear Camera None 3D Depth sensing camera
Battery 4,200 mAh 4,500 mAh

You can tell from the list of features that Huawei went all out with the cameras and displays. Multiple rear cameras are the latest trend in smartphones.

In today’s world of selfies and preferences for visual content, phone brands are keen on the quality of both front and rear cameras.

Another notable feature is the large storage space, especially for the Mate 30 Pro.

You cannot offer 4 cameras and fail to provide enough space to store the photos and videos.

For the Mate 30 Pro customers, the Cine Camera stands out. Such a camera gives high-quality time-lapse videos.

Users can also take ultra slow motion and light videos.

The Porsche Design

The regular collection of both Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro has a matte finish in the four colors mentioned above.

The Porsche Design is a luxurious design of the same series of phone. You can go for the vegan leather forest green finish or the vegan leather orange.

You know how far you go to protect a new phone device with extra covers. This Porsche design protects the Android smartphone besides its expensive look and finish.

Pricing

Here is the part that everyone is curious to know- the price. We wish to tell you that the price fair but it is not.

China is the first market for the phone series. Both models will be on sale next month (October).

The Mate 30 price is set at €799, which is about $883. That is about Ksh. 80,000. How many phone brands sell at this price?

The Mate 30 Pro is priced at €1,099, which is around $1, 214. Converted to Kenya shillings, the phone is about Ksh.120, 000.

The Porsche Design (named Mate 30 RS) is more expensive than the other two, perhaps way too expensive.

The price tag is €2,095, which is converted to $2,318. We are talking about nearly the same specs with a leather finish at about Ksh. 230,000.

Thoughts on missing Google services

Back to the most intriguing part of this phone launch. In addition to the steep prices, the 5G phones lack Google services.

Huawei is spending about $1 billion to develop its own app store now that Google Play Store is still banned.

The move is the company’s effort to overcome the effects of the trade wars.

However, the question that most people have asked since the launch was first announced is on selling or marketing the devices.

The Chinese market is likely to keep supporting its brand. Huawei phones have been contributing to the company’s revenues for years.

The main challenge is marketing the phones at such high prices without Google services to the rest of the world.

We develop mobiles apps in Kenya so we understand how important Google Play Store is to phone buyers.

In fact, most people upgrade to expensive brands to access more features including their favourite apps and games.

For taxi-hailing apps like Uber and Taxify, a phone without Google Maps is simply out of question. Delivery and logistics apps fall into this category as well.

Video content has become increasingly popular among internet users and the majority trust the YouTube platform.

Consider the fact that the Android platform is the most popular in Kenya and around the world.

App owners prefer to list their apps on Google Play Store for easy access and to reach the large market.

Are customers willing to suddenly change from Google to Huawei’s new app store? Will app owners be willing to list their apps elsewhere for the sake of Huawei phone users?

The reality is that only a slice of the market for Android smartphones can afford the new Mate 30 phone models.

Huawei will have to keep rethinking its brand strategy before the world buys its new app store.

Conclusion

Despite the major missing feature, the Huawei Mate 30 and Mater 30 Pro have very competitive features. It is impossible for phone manufacturers to ignore the quality of Android smartphones that Huawei offers in the market. Huawei is still a competitive brand and with the right strategy, the company will stay afloat.

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