How ‘Chaos’ In The Shipping Industry Is Choking The Economy

Whidbey Island is a lovely place about 30 miles north of Seattle on the Puget Sound. Most days the tranquil sounds of rolling waves and chirping birds provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. But these days, all is not so serene. Residents are complaining about the ruckus created by humongous container ships anchored off their shore.

“We’ve never seen them this close before,” a Whidbey Islander told a local news station. “We’re hearing the throbbing noise at night. … It’s a nuisance.” The noise has been so loud that residents have been complaining to the county sheriff’s office about it.

Whidbey Islanders are getting a front row seat to the growing U.S. trade deficit, which is hitting record highs. It’s fueled by a surge in demand for imports, mostly from East Asia. There’s so much cargo being shipped to the U.S. from Asia right now that the ports of Seattle and Tacoma are chock-full of container ships.

“We are seeing a historic surge of cargo volume coming into our ports,” says Tom Bellerud, the chief operations officer of The Northwest Seaport Alliance, which manages all cargo processing at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma. “The terminals are having a difficult time keeping up with processing all the cargo off these vessels fast enough.”

On both land and at sea, the entire supply chain is struggling to keep up. In the Pacific Northwest, it’s become such a clusterfest that the U.S. Coast Guard has been redirecting boats to anchor off the coast of Whidbey Island and other places they typically don’t park. Ship crews are having to wait days, even weeks, for the chance to dock at the ports and offload their precious goods.

It’s the same story up and down the West Coast. In San Francisco Bay, the traffic jam of container ships has gotten so bad that the U.S. Coast Guard has been asking ships not to enter the bay at all. Robert Blomerth, director of the USCG’s San Francisco Vessel Traffic Service, said last week that there were 16 container ships waiting in the open ocean outside the Golden Gate to get in and unload their cargo. He says it’s “completely abnormal.”

When we spoke to Gene Seroka, the head of the Port of Los Angeles, he said his port had 19 ships waiting to dock and they’re now waiting, on average, about five days to get in. In normal times, they don’t have to wait at all.

Lars Jensen, CEO of Vespucci Maritime, has spent 20 years studying the industry and he says what’s going on is unprecedented. “The container shipping industry is in a state of chaos that I don’t think it has ever been since it was invented,” he says.

The maiden voyage of the first container ship set sail from Newark, N.J., back in 1956. It may be hard to fathom just how big a deal this innovation was. It was just a big ship that carried containers, literally metal boxes. But these metal boxes enabled ships to carry dramatically more cargo, and, by standardizing shipping practices and using new machines to handle the boxes, shippers were able to slash costs and the time it takes to load, unload and transport that cargo.

Economists credit these metal boxes with increasing the efficiency of shipping so much that it stitched the modern global economy together more than anything else — more than all free-trade agreements put together.

Now economists are concerned that the plumbing provided by these miracle boxes and the vessels that transport them is clogged. It’s making it more difficult for stores to restock their shelves, manufacturers, carmakers and builders to get the parts they need, and farmers to export their products. It’s an important reason, analysts say, that we’re seeing consumer prices surge.

How did shipping get topsy-turvy?

In the early days of the pandemic, global trade hit an iceberg and sank into the abyss. The decline of maritime shipping was so dramatic that American scientists saw a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study what happened to whales in the absence of a constant deluge of vessels. The noise from the ships apparently stresses them out — kind of like they’re currently stressing out the residents of Whidbey Island.

Greater tranquility for whales in the first half of 2020 was the result of shipping companies canceling their trips and docking their ships. Then the economy rebounded, and American consumers unleashed a tidal wave of demand that swept through the shipping industry when they started shifting their spending patterns. Unable to spend money on going out, many started spending their money (and their stimulus checks) on manufactured goods — stuff that largely comes from China on container ships.

At first, it wasn’t the ships that were the problem; it was the containers. When the buying spree began, Chinese exporters struggled to get their hands on enough empty boxes, many of which were still stranded in the U.S. because of all the canceled trips at the beginning of the pandemic. More importantly, processing containers here has been taking longer because of all the disruptions and inefficiencies brought about by the pandemic. Containers have been piling up at dockyards, and trains and trucks have struggled to get them out fast enough.

“The pandemic has exacerbated longstanding problems with the nation’s supply chain, not just at the ports but in the warehouses, distribution centers, railroads, and other places that need to run smoothly in order for Longshore workers to move cargo off of the ships,” says Cameron Williams.

He’s an official at the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents dock workers, primarily on the West Coast. Dock workers have been working through the pandemic to handle the increased cargo volume, he says, and at least 17 ILWU workers lost their lives to COVID-19. “We continue to work hard and break records month after month to clear the cargo as quickly as the supply chain allows,” Williams says.

It’s been all hands on deck to supply ravenous consumers and businesses with the stuff they want. The resulting traffic jams at West Coast ports means it takes longer to unload stuff, which then extends the time it takes for ships to get back across the Pacific to reload.

That congestion was already creating massive delays on both ends of the shipping supply chain, tying up large numbers of containers and ships and leading to growing backlogs and shortages. Then, in March 2021, the Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in the world, got stuck in the Suez Canal in Egypt. While the blockage didn’t directly affect the Asia-West Coast shipping corridor, it added to the global shortage of ships and containers by stranding even more of them out at sea.

As if all this weren’t enough, last month there was a COVID-19 outbreak at the Yantian International Container Terminal in China, which is normally one of the busiest ports in the world. The Chinese government implemented stringent measures to control the outbreak, and as a result, more than 40 container ships had to anchor and wait. “In terms of the amount of cargo, what’s going on in South China right now is an even larger disturbance than the Suez canal incident,” Jensen says.

The effects on the American economy

With so much shipping capacity bogged down, importers and exporters have been competing for scarce containers and vessels and bidding up the price of shipping. The cost of shipping a container from China/East Asia to the West Coast has tripled since 2019, according to the Freightos Baltic Index. Many big importers pay for shipping through annual contracts, which means they’ve been somewhat insulated from surging prices, but they are starting to feel the pain as they renegotiate contracts.

Rising shipping costs and delays are starving the economy of the stuff it needs and contributing to shortages and inflation. It’s not just consumers and retailers that are affected: American exporters are complaining that shipping companies are so desperate to get containers back to China quickly that they’re making the return trip across the Pacific without waiting to fill up containers with American-made products. That’s bad news for those exporters — and for America’s ballooning trade deficit.

As for when it’s going to get better, none of the people we spoke to believes it’ll be anytime soon. And it’s not even considered peak season for the shipping industry yet. That typically begins in August, when American stores start building their inventories for the back-to-school and holiday seasons. The residents of Whidbey Island may have to continue dealing with the nuisance of gigantic, noisy ships cluttering up the horizon for the foreseeable future.

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Source: How ‘Chaos’ In The Shipping Industry Is Choking The Economy : Planet Money : NPR

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References:

Shipbuilding NewsCruise Ship News, Ports News ,Salvage News ,Training News ,Government News, Environment News,Corporate News, Maritime Executive , Volga Targets Market, Nuclear-Powered Cargo Ship, China’s Exports, American Vulkan’s Service Team, JFE Steel, OMSA, OceanManager Inc.

Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

Delta fears are growing, central banks face challenges and the shape of the U.K. and Europe post-Brexit continues to form. Here’s what’s moving markets.

Delta Fears

Concern about the more contagious Delta coronavirus variant is growing and those fears helped fuel a rise in Moderna shares to a record high after the drugmaker said its vaccine produces protective antibodies against the strain. The medicine was approved for restricted emergency use in India, where little more than 4% of the population is so far fully vaccinated. The variant is rippling through emerging markets, with more curbs in Indonesia and warnings of a potentially “catastrophic” wave in Kenya. A widening gap in vaccination rates in the U.S. also shows the risks faces to certain regions.

Policy Challenges

The major challenge for central banks is going to be how to wean the global economy off the unprecedented support they have deployed to deal with the disruption Covid-19 has caused. U.S. and European confidence data is soaring, underlining the rebound the economy is experiencing, while China’s central bank has also struck a more positive tone. Some more data points will arrive for policymakers to mull over on Wednesday, led by U.K. GDP and European inflation numbers.

Brexit Shifts

Paris is JPMorgan’s new trading center in the European Union post-Brexit as the U.S. banking giant inaugurated a new headquarters in the French capital. It is a victory for France in the ongoing race with other European countries to lure business from London after the referendum to leave the EU. It comes as the U.K. government unveiled a system of overseeing subsidies to companies, promising “more agile” decisions. And the U.K. is expecting to reach a truce in the so-called “sausage wars’’ with the EU over post-Brexit trading rules in Northern Ireland.

OPEC+ Delay

OPEC and its allies have delayed preliminary talks for a day to create more time to find a compromise on oil-output increases. It comes with crude oil prices on track for the best half of a year since 2009. Surging commodity prices are creating all sorts of headaches for policy makers, from rising inflation expectations that could move the hand of central bankers to a higher cost in shifting to more sustainable energy sources. This has initially led to a surge in profit for commodity trading houses but will end up hitting consumers down the road through higher prices.

Asian stocks mostly rose following a record close in the U.S. on signs that vaccines can protect against the delta variant of the coronavirus. European and U.S. stock futures are steady. The earnings calendar is relatively thin but watch for the reaction to two long-running takeover sagas moving toward a conclusion.

EssilorLuxottica, the eyewear giant, decided to go ahead with the acquisition of smaller peer GrandVision and the board of France’s Suez has backed its takeover by rival Veolia. And the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development meets in Paris to finalize plans to overhaul the global minimum corporate tax.

What We’ve Been Reading

This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours. 

And finally, here’s what Cormac Mullen is interested in this morning

With just one more day of trading in the first half of 2021 to go, global stocks are on track for their second-best performance since 1998. If the MSCI AC World Index’s gain of about 12% through June 29 holds, it would be beaten only by a 15% rise in 2019. The global stock benchmark closed at a record on June 28, and has risen almost 90% since its pandemic low in March 2020.

As we begin the second half, investor focus will soon switch to the upcoming earnings season. The second quarter could well mark peak earnings growth so comments on the outlook will be key for stock performance as will the impact of rising costs on margins. Outside of that, the same themes that dominated the first half will monopolize the second, and whether we get an equally strong next six months will likely depend on the path of other asset classes most notably bonds.

By: and

Source: Stock Markets Today: Delta Variant, Central Banks, Brexit Changes, OPEC+ – Bloomberg

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Critics:

A financial crisis is any of a broad variety of situations in which some financial assets suddenly lose a large part of their nominal value. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many financial crises were associated with banking panics, and many recessions coincided with these panics. Other situations that are often called financial crises include stock market crashes and the bursting of other financial bubbles, currency crises, and sovereign defaults. Financial crises directly result in a loss of paper wealth but do not necessarily result in significant changes in the real economy (e.g. the crisis resulting from the famous tulip mania bubble in the 17th century).

Many economists have offered theories about how financial crises develop and how they could be prevented. There is no consensus, however, and financial crises continue to occur from time to time. Negative GDP growth lasting two or more quarters is called a recession. An especially prolonged or severe recession may be called a depression, while a long period of slow but not necessarily negative growth is sometimes called economic stagnation.

Some economists argue that many recessions have been caused in large part by financial crises. One important example is the Great Depression, which was preceded in many countries by bank runs and stock market crashes. The subprime mortgage crisis and the bursting of other real estate bubbles around the world also led to recession in the U.S. and a number of other countries in late 2008 and 2009.

Some economists argue that financial crises are caused by recessions instead of the other way around, and that even where a financial crisis is the initial shock that sets off a recession, other factors may be more important in prolonging the recession. In particular, Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz argued that the initial economic decline associated with the crash of 1929 and the bank panics of the 1930s would not have turned into a prolonged depression if it had not been reinforced by monetary policy mistakes on the part of the Federal Reserve,a position supported by Ben Bernanke.

See also

Specific:

 

 

2 Specialty Retail Stocks To Add To Your Shopping List

2 Specialty Retail Stocks to Add to Your Shopping List

Let’s face it – retail is one of the most competitive industries out there. Consumer preferences are constantly changing and it takes a lot for these types of businesses to earn shoppers’ hard-earned cash. That’s one of the reasons why investing in specialty retail stocks can be a great long-term strategy if you choose wisely. Since specialty retailers focus on specific product categories, like office supplies, furniture, or men’s or women’s clothing, they are oftentimes able to carve out a unique niche and stand out among their competitors.

Thanks to all of the stimulus that has been added to the economy over the last year and the fact that a newly vaccinated population is getting back to shopping in person, we could see some strong sales coming out of the specialty retail space in the coming months. There are 2 specialty retail stocks that stand out as potential buys at this time given their unique brands and impressive earnings reports. Let’s take a further look at these intriguing stocks below.

RH (NYSE:RH)

RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, is a great specialty retail stock because it is doing something that is completely unique. While there are plenty of home furnishings stores out there, RH is distinctive in that it specializes in ultra-high-end luxury home goods and creating a unique shopping experience at every single store. Homeowners can find upscale products including furniture, lighting, bathware, outdoor & garden, tableware textiles, and décor at RH, and each one of the company’s showrooms offers an original and aesthetically pleasing experience.

The company counts Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway among its investors and is undoubtedly benefitting from a hot residential real estate market. With that said, RH has upside potential regardless of what’s going on in the economy, as the company doesn’t have exposure to seasonal inventory and caters to wealthy consumers that spend big year-round. The stock has been pulling back in recent months after a rally from $70 to $700 a share, but after the company’s latest earnings report it could be gearing up for more gains.

RH saw its Q1 revenues up 78% year-over-year to $860.8 million and delivered Q1 adjusted diluted earnings per share increase by 285% year-over-year to $4.89 per share. Other positives from the stellar report included an increased fiscal 2021 outlook and the fact that the company expects to be net debt-free by the end of the fiscal year. The bottom line here is that RH is a specialty retail company that is executing at a very high level, which is evident in both the earnings results and stock price.

Lovesac (NASDAQ:LOVE)

There’s a lot to love about this specialty retailer, which designs and manufactures modular couches and beanbags. What really stands out about Lovesac is how it has created a brand and product lines that have quickly become the favorite furniture of an entire generation. Millennials are among Lovesac’s most frequent customers, as they love the idea of the company’s flagship product, a unique modular furniture piece known as a “sactional”.

These are couches that are easily assembled and disassembled in order to meet the needs of the consumer. There are literally dozens of different ways that sactionals can be rearranged to fit in someone’s home, and the fact that customers can continue adding on pieces and accessories over time is perfect for creating repeat buyers.

While the company has 91 retail showrooms across the United States, investors should be impressed with the progress that it has made over the last year developing its digital sales channels. E-commerce sales were up over 250% in 2020 and although the company might not be able to keep up that torrid pace, Lovesac has proved it is more than capable of finding buyers online. Also, keep in mind that those showrooms are going to see foot traffic pick up as the pandemic winds down.

Lovesac just reported very strong Q1 2022 earnings results including net sales growth of 52.5% and diluted EPS of $0.13, up 122.1% year-over-year. Analysts also love the stock, as Lovesac recently got a price target increase from Craig Hallum on Thursday. Pandemic tailwinds are continuing to help this specialty retailer grow, and that narrative should remain in place for the foreseeable future. These are all great reasons why Lovesac is a great stock to consider adding to your shopping list.

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Source: 2 Specialty Retail Stocks to Add to Your Shopping List

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Critics:

A stock derivative is any financial instrument for which the underlying asset is the price of an equity. Futures and options are the main types of derivatives on stocks. The underlying security may be a stock index or an individual firm’s stock, e.g. single-stock futures.

Stock futures are contracts where the buyer is long, i.e., takes on the obligation to buy on the contract maturity date, and the seller is short, i.e., takes on the obligation to sell. Stock index futures are generally delivered by cash settlement.

A stock option is a class of option. Specifically, a call option is the right (not obligation) to buy stock in the future at a fixed price and a put option is the right (not obligation) to sell stock in the future at a fixed price. Thus, the value of a stock option changes in reaction to the underlying stock of which it is a derivative. The most popular method of valuing stock options is the Black–Scholes model. Apart from call options granted to employees, most stock options are transferable.

Stock price fluctuations

The price of a stock fluctuates fundamentally due to the theory of supply and demand. Like all commodities in the market, the price of a stock is sensitive to demand. However, there are many factors that influence the demand for a particular stock. The fields of fundamental analysis and technical analysis attempt to understand market conditions that lead to price changes, or even predict future price levels.

A recent study shows that customer satisfaction, as measured by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), is significantly correlated to the market value of a stock.Stock price may be influenced by analysts’ business forecast for the company and outlooks for the company’s general market segment. Stocks can also fluctuate greatly due to pump and dump scams.

See also

Future Careers Get A Much-Needed Shot In The Arm

Cognizant’s “Jobs of the Future Index” posts a 29% increase as tech-oriented job markets begin to return to normal, notes Robert Brown, a futurist within the company’s Center for the Future of Work. The US labor market is recovering faster than expected, as successful vaccination programs and stimulus dollars generate sweeping impacts throughout the nation.

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, together with the full inoculation of 51 million Americans by the close of the first quarter (and at least partial inoculation of more than 50% of the adult population by April’s end), are instilling confidence in both consumers and businesses. The accelerated use of and reliance on digital technology during the pandemic are now being accompanied by long-term investment in a digitally enabled workforce to meet the needs of tomorrow.

Cognizant’s “Jobs of the Future Index (CJoF Index)” tracks demand for 50 digitally enabled jobs of the future identified by Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work, capturing the quarterly fluctuations in postings for these jobs. In the first quarter of 2021, the growth of the CJoF Index outpaced that of the Burning Glass jobs index by nearly 10%.

The CJoF increased 28.8% from the previous quarter (from an index figure of 1.22 to 1.57). The Burning Glass index posted a quarter-on-quarter increase of 18.9%, rising from 1.45 to 1.72. These are the greatest gains for either index in the past two years, signaling not only a strengthening labor market but also a larger shift from business survival to digital growth and expansion.

Note, however, that growth notwithstanding, digitally enabled job postings remain far below pre-pandemic levels. The CJoF Index posted a severe year-on-year decline of 22.2%, dropping from 2.02 in Q1 2020 (its highest value ever) to 1.57 in Q1 2021. Growth in digitally enabled positions, which broadly represent higher-wage earners and larger investments for employers, signals longer-term economic confidence — which has yet to be fully achieved.

In contrast, the demand for all jobs is on the verge of bouncing back; the Burning Glass index posted a negligible year-on-year decline of 2.8%. That’s because brick-and-mortar jobs have been more susceptible to business restrictions and lockdowns; they’re now seeing a rush of activity as the economy reopens.

A rising tide: Quarterly growth for all CJoF job families

In addition to total job openings, the CJoF Index monitors trends in eight job families: Algorithms, Automation and AI; Customer Experience; Environment; Fitness and Wellness; Healthcare; Legal and Financial Services; Transport; and Work Culture.

In the first quarter, all eight families registered quarter-on-quarter increases, with the most modest growth in Work Culture (14.5%) and Healthcare (18.5%). Over the quarter, Fitness and Wellness (137.8%) and Transport (38.0%) emerged as top-performing jobs families after experiencing the largest declines in Q4 2020.

Measured over the year, seven of eight families posted declines: Work Culture (-27.8%), Algorithms, Automation and AI (-24.3%), Transport (-16.9%), Customer Experience (-15.7%), Legal and Financial Services (-13.1%), Environmental (-2.8%), and Fitness and Wellness (-2.3%) all dropped. Healthcare (12.4%) was the only family in the CJoF Index to register year-on-year growth.

The Fitness and Wellness family posted the sharpest quarterly increase in job postings (+137.8%) thanks to especially strong growth in digitally enabled Caregiver/Personal Care Aide (249.5%) and Home Health Aide (156.5%) postings. These two job categories have experienced much volatility during the pandemic, running countercyclical with expectations for the progression of the virus.

During declines in the number of new COVID-19 cases in Q1 2021, patients underwent long-postponed elective and routine medical procedures, thereby increasing the demand for in-home care.

Also noteworthy was the Transport family, which realized the second-largest increase (38.0%), led by gains in job postings for Aerospace Engineer (47.6%) and Urban/Transportation Planner (42.1%). The most recent federal stimulus package provided a much-needed lifeline to the travel industry, which was hit hard by the pandemic.

Algorithms, Automation and AI, the largest family in the CJoF Index, realized a 28.3% gain over the quarter. Within this family, 15 of the 16 individual job indexes registered quarter-on-quarter growth. However, only five categories showed year-over-year expansion. Unsurprisingly, each of these also saw growth for the quarter in Q1 2021: Robotics Engineer (73.0%), Robotics Technician (50.2%), Chief Information Officer/Director of Information Technology (47.1%), Mechatronics Engineer (45.7%), and Data Scientist (+42.2%).

The pandemic dampened tech hiring despite the increased reliance on digital technologies to facilitate collaboration and interaction among remote workers. But experts predict that tech occupations will recover to their pre-pandemic strength in 2021 as organizations accelerate their adoption of cloud strategies and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.

Quarterly ups and downs

In Q4 2020, the fastest-growing jobs in the CJoF Index were:

  • Caregiver/Personal Care Aide (+249.5%)
  • Home Health Aide (+156.5%)
  • Solar Engineer (+131.9%)
  • Sustainability Specialist (+126.1%)
  • Genetic Counselor (+123.3%)

Jobs that posted the largest declines for the quarter were:

  • Solar Installer (-22.4%)
  • Alternative Energy Manager (-20.8%)
  • Fashion Designer (-10.4%)
  • Surveillance Officer/Investigator (-4.6%)
  • Career Counselor (-2.1%)

Annual ups and downs

The fastest-growing jobs in the CJoF Index for the year ending with Q1 2021 were:

  • Solar Engineer (+263.3%)
  • Genetic Counselor (+123.3%)
  • Registered Nurse (+81.0%)
  • Solar Installer (+49.1%)
  • Sustainability Specialist (+39.0%)

Jobs that posted the largest declines during this period were:

  • Physician (-60.9%)
  • Career Counselor (-57.2%)
  • Fashion Designer (-42.3%)
  • Health Information Manager/Director (-35.4%)
  • Alternative Energy Manager (-34.5%)

We encourage you to review our overall index on a regular basis, as these COVID-19-driven shocks continue to alter the landscape of jobs of the future — and jobs of the now. Visit our Cognizant Jobs of the Future Index page to see the most up-to-date data and analysis.

Robert Hoyle Brown is a Vice President in Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work and drives strategy and market outreach for Cognizant’s Business Process Services business unit. He is also a regular contributor to the CFoW blog. Prior to joining Cognizant, he was Managing Vice President of the Business and Applications Services team at Gartner, and as a research analyst, he was a recognized subject matter expert in BPO, cloud services/BPaaS and HR services. Robert also held roles at Hewlett-Packard and G2 Research, a boutique outsourcing research firm in Silicon Valley. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and, prior to his graduation, attended the London School of Economics as a Hansard Scholar. He can be reached at Robert.H.Brown@cognizant.com

Source: Future Careers Get A Much-Needed Shot In The Arm

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Career Development Perspectives- Individual versus Organizational Needs

An individual’s personal initiatives that they pursue for their career development are primarily concerned with their personal values, goals, interests, and the path required to fulfill these desires. A degree of control and sense of urgency over a personal career development path can require an individual to pursue additional education or training initiatives to align with their goals.

In relation, John L. Holland’s 6 career anchors categorizes people to be investigative, realistic, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional, in which the career path will depend on the characteristic that an individual may embody. The more aware an individual is of their personality type, the better alignment of career development and opportunities they may obtain.

The factors that influence an individual to make proper career goal decisions also relies on the environmental factors that are directly affecting them. Decisions are based on varying aspects affecting work-life balance, desires to align career options with their personal values, and the degree of stimulation or growth.

A corporate organization can be sufficient in providing career development opportunities through the Human Resources functions of Training and Development.The primary purpose of Training and Development is to ensure that the strategic planning of the organizational goals will remain adaptable to the demands of a changing environment.

Upon recruiting and hiring employees, an organization’s Human Resource department is responsible for providing clear job descriptions regarding the job tasks at hand required for the role, along with the opportunities of job rotation, transfers, and promotions. Hiring managers are responsible for ensuring that the subordinates are aware of their job tasks, and ensure the flow of communication remains efficient.

In relation, managers are also responsible for nurturing and creating a favorable work environment to work in, to foster the long term learning, development, and talent acquisition of their subordinates. Consequently, the extent to which a manager embraces the delegation of training and developing their employees plays a key factor in the retention and turnover of employees

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References

  • Driver., and Cooper, Michael J., and Ivan T. (1988). International review of industrial and organizational psychology. Los Angeles, CA: University of South California. pp. 245–277. ISBN 0-471-91844-X.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 2-4. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 16-18. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 20. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • Driver., and Cooper, Michael J., and Ivan T. (1988). International review of industrial and organizational psychology. Los Angeles, CA: University of South California. pp. 245–277. ISBN 0-471-91844-X.
  • “Task management”, Wikipedia, 2020-10-20, retrieved 2020-11-26
  • Driver., and Cooper, Michael J., and Ivan T. (1988). International review of industrial and organizational psychology. Los Angeles, CA: University of South California. pp. 245–277. ISBN 0-471-91844-X.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 16-17. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • “Hollands Occupational Personality Types” (PDF). hopkinsmedicine.org. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 19-20. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 38-44. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 38-41. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp.46. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 40-46. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • Barbose de Oliveira, Lucia; Cavazotte, Flavia; Dunzer, Rodrigo Alan (2019). “The interactive effects of organizational and leadership career management support on job satisfaction and turnover intention”. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 30., no 10 (10): 1583–1603. doi:10.1080/09585192.2017.1298650 – via Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 20-21. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • Barnett, R. C. and Hyde, J. S. 2001. “Women, Men, Work, and Family.” American Psychologist 56:781-796.Pope, M. (2009). Jesse Buttrick Davis (1871-1955): Pioneer of vocational guidance in the schools. Career Development Quarterly, 57, 278-288.

 

The 17 Best Places Ecommerce Entrepreneurs Go To Find Product Ideas

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Coming up with a great idea for a product to sell online will occasionally strike when you least expect it. Many times though, it’s something you need to be proactively on the lookout for.

The internet contains a wealth of ideas and inspiration, but as a new entrepreneur, where do you begin? Aimlessly searching online will only get you so far, so we’ve compiled a list of the best resources to give you direction and get you started.

17 Places to Find Ecommerce Business Ideas:

  1. Start with what you have
  2. Your local community
  3. Online consumer trend publications
  4. Industry leaders
  5. Product and trend discovery sites
  6. Social curation sites
  7. B2B wholesale marketplaces
  8. Online consumer marketplaces
  9. Social forum communities
  10. Social media networks
  11. On-site and third-party customer reviews
  12. SEO analytics and insights
  13. Consumer lifestyle publications
  14. Your competitors
  15. Audience surveys
  16. Crowdsourcing
  17. Look to the past

As you go through all the resources listed in this post, it’s vital to keep two things in mind:

While searching for new product ideas, make sure to look beyond the products themselves. It may sound cliche but as we learned in the previous post, there is heavy competition in the most common and popular product categories. Choosing a different or unique angle can be instrumental to your success. Try not to just look at products, rather look for potential in the product category. Consider new markets, new features and new ways to use the products.

Don’t be afraid to look at smaller product categories and niches. Even though a niche is a smaller subset of a larger category with less potential customers, it makes up for that by way of less competitors and a more targeted audience. Less competition makes it easier to get to the top of Google, and is usually more cost effective and efficient to advertise to your customers.

In this post we’ll go into detail about the best places to look for product inspiration and ideas. We’ll start with some broad ideas to get your head in the right space to start your search and then get into more specific resources closer to the end of the post.

As you go through this post and the list of resources, it’s best to capture all of your ideas on paper. Once you have all of your brainstormed ideas recorded, you will be able to return to them later and evaluate them for viability and potential.

More Sources:

https://britbit.org/how-to-grow-your-brand-on-instagram-the-right-way/

1. Start with what you have

Before you begin searching the depths of the internet for business ideas and the ends of the earth for product and niche ideas, it’s always best to start with the ideas you already have. Maybe it’s a product or idea you’ve had for years. Maybe it exists in a half-written business plan sitting in a folder somewhere on your computer. Even if you’ve discounted it at some point prior, it’s worth taking a fresh look at it. At one point you thought it was a great idea, right?

Here are a few questions to consider when making your list of internet business ideas:

  • What products, niches or industry you are particularly passionate about or interested in?
  • What products, niches or industries are your friends passionate about?
  • What pain points do you have in your own life?

Example: Sisters/entrepreneurs Lisa Kalberer and Allison Hottinger are passionate about family and tradition. They instill these values in their homes by assembling a manger during the holidays. When friends were interested in starting their own traditions, The Giving Manger was born. The product born of passion attracted the attention of influencers that made the brand a nationwide hit, online and in stores.

Identify pain points and challenges

If there’s a problem, solve it. Consider which pain points you have in your life, or even the pain points of those around you. Active Hound, for example, stepped in to solve the challenge of dog toys that were easily chewed and destroyed. Dog owners would become frustrated with unreliable products, and the expenses can quickly add up. The market for that product was based on this one specific pain point.

Learn More: How to Find a Product to Sell Online: The 8 Opportunity Types

2. Your local community

Sometimes, you don’t need a new idea at all. Traditional brick and mortar businesses have been around much longer than their ecommerce counterparts. Paying attention to trends in brick and mortar retail and adapting them to ecommerce can be just the ticket you need to create a profitable and unique internet business idea. Look around your community and take note of what new or interesting retail concepts people are talking about. Your local newspapers can also be a great resource for this type of news and information.

Example: Grocery-delivery service InstaCart is a perfect example of a company that saw a way to take a brick and mortar concept and put it online. Most grocery shopping happens in-store, according to PwC’s 2017 Total Retail Survey, but with the growing popularity of services like Amazon Pantry, there’s an opportunity to drive and capture online sales. Though many consumers may be apprehensive to online grocery shopping, InstaCart partners with brick and mortar retail stores so customers are still shopping from the same grocery store they know and love. This also supports the small business movement, allowing customers to buy from select local grocers.

3. Online consumer trend publications

A great place to start your search for product ideas is to look at some top consumer product trend publications. Following trend publications is great way to begin getting a sense of the direction consumer products are going and the ideas other entrepreneurs are introducing to the market. Following these publications can also expose you to new product categories and industries that you previously didn’t know about. Following what’s trending can help you to dream up new goods, services and experiences for your online business.

There are several popular trend publications online including, but not limited to:

TrendWatching: TrendWatching is an independent trend firm that scans the globe for the most promising consumer trends and insights. TrendWatching has a team of professionals in locations like London, New York, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney and Lagos who report on worldwide trends.

Trend Hunter: Trend Hunter is the world’s largest, most popular trend community. Fuelled by a global network of 137,000 members and 3,000,000 fans, Trend Hunter is a source of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and the insatiably curious.

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Jeremy, the founder of Trend Hunter says, “Like many of us, I was an entrepreneur at heart, but I didn’t know what idea I wanted to pursue. I chose careers that I thought would lead me to my business idea… but after years of searching, I was still hunting for inspiration. It was then that I started Trend Hunter — a place for insatiably curious people to share ideas and get inspired.”

PSFK: PSFK is a “business intelligence platform [that] inspires creative professionals as they develop new products, services and experiences across retail, advertising and design.” It analyzes research-based consumer trends and insights that you can use as a jumping-off point and validation for ecommerce business ideas.

Example: A great example of someone who noticed a trend from another country and brought it home is Dan and his product, Inkkas. Inkkas are beautiful, unique shoes made of authentic South American textiles. The idea came about when Dan noticed the trend for these style of shoes in Peru. Determining this was a great product that would also do well in the North American market, he brought the idea home and successfully funded his Kickstarter project, raising over $77,000 in pre-orders.

4. Industry leaders

If you know the industry or niche you would like to be in you can use various tools to discover the influencers in the industry. Following the right people on social media can help inspire new ideas through a constant stream of carefully curated content from the people in the know. It’s up to you to uncover the opportunities.

There are several online tools you can use to discover the influencers online for a particular industry or niche:

5. Product and trend discovery sites

Product review and discovery sites can also be a fantastic source for product and internet business ideas. Sites like Uncrate (men’s products) and AHALife (luxury products) are great ways to see new curated product trends daily. What better way to get inspired than to get a daily glimpse into the new and interesting products other entrepreneurs are bringing to the market.

Here are just a few examples of popular consumer product blogs to get you started:

Don’t just look at the big and popular sites but explore niche reviews sites as well. Consider what types of products and niches you’re particularly interested in and search for consumer product review blogs in those niches.

6. Social curation sites

Polyvore and other similar image curation sites can be a goldmine for product and niche ideas. Many of the images contain interesting, new and trending businesses and consumer products. Using the built in social signals you can sometimes get a sense almost immediately of their popularity. This could be your first clue if there is a market for the product or niche.

Several of the larger social curations sites that may inspire niche business ideas are:

  • Polyvore: Polyvore is a way to discover and shop for things you love. Polyvore’s global community has created over 80 million collage-like “sets” that are shared across the web.
  • Fancy: Fancy describes themselves as part store, magazine and wish list. Use Fancy to find a gift for any occasion and share your favorite discoveries with all your friends.
  • Wanelo: Wanelo (Want – Need – Love) describes itself as a community for all of the worlds shopping, bringing together products and stores in a Pinterest-like product posting format. You can start by checking out out trending people.
  • Wishlistr: Wishlistr is a way to collect, organize and track products you want, as well as share that list with others. More than 9 million “wishes” have been listed to date.

7. B2B wholesale marketplaces

What better way to get product ideas than right from the source? This has been a popular option amongst ecommerce entrepreneurs for a while, and this list wouldn’t be complete without it. Wholesale and manufacturer sourcing sites expose you to thousands of potential products ideas. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of products available, so take it slow.

Learn More:Alibaba 101: How to Safely Source Products from the World’s Biggest Supplier Directory

Alibaba: Alibaba is one of the biggest ecommerce companies in the world, up there with Amazon and eBay. The platform connects consumers all over the world with wholesalers and manufacturers from Asia. With hundreds of thousands of products, there’s not much you can’t find on Alibaba.

Although it’s generally accepted that Alibaba is the largest online wholesale and manufacturer database, there are many other sites similar to Alibaba you can use for inspiration and to find product ideas.

Oberlo: is a marketplace owned by Shopify where you can purchase products to sell on Shopify from suppliers. These suppliers provide automated order fulfillment services, so it’s a popular turnkey option for many entrepreneurs deciding what to sell on Shopify. Browse what’s available and review Oberlo’s trending products to help come up with your own ideas.

Some other B2B wholesale marketplaces include:

8. Online consumer marketplaces

Another rich source for product ideas are online consumer marketplaces. Millions of products is probably an understatement, so you may want to begin your search with some of the popular and trending items and branch out into other interesting categories that catch your eye from there:

eBay: eBay is the largest online consumer auction site. Use eBay Market Research to find some of the most popular product categories on eBay.

Amazon: Amazon is the largest internet retailer.Amazon Best Sellers shows Amazon’s most popular products based on sales. Amazon Movers & Shakers displays the biggest gainers in sales rank over the past 24 hours. Both are updated hourly.

Kickstarter: Kickstarter is the largest crowd-funding website. Browse all projects by popularity, funding, staff picks, as well as many other options with Kickstarter Discover.

Etsy: Etsy is a marketplace for handmade items. Look up what’s trending to find the most popular listings.

AliExpress:AliExpress is Alibaba’s consumer wholesale marketplace that allows you to order in smaller quantities. AliExpress Popular reveals the most-bought products.

Jet: Jet is another internet retailer that continues to grow in popularity. Each product category has its own list of best sellers, such as this one for wholesale and this one for books and media.

9. Social forum communities

Reddit

Reddit is the largest social media news aggregator. It describes itself as the front page of the internet and is enormously influential. Reddit has thousands of “subreddits” which are sub-sections or niches that cater to different topics and and areas of interest. It’s within these subreddits that you can find lots of inspiration for your next product or business idea.

If you have an idea for a particular industry, niche or product category, it’s worth doing a search and finding a suitable subreddit community to join and actively become a part of.

There are also many product focused subreddits that are packed with ideas.

Here are a few examples:

There are also several subreddits for curated Amazon products, make sure to check out the following:

If you’re active on Reddit and pay close attention, occasionally you have come across interesting posts like this one, which asks commenters to share their best purchases for under $50.

Searching for products on Reddit.

No matter which approach you take, Reddit has been and continues to be a valuable source of ecommerce business ideas and inspiration, coupled with a great and supportive community.

Quora

Quora is a community question-and-answer site, “a place to gain and share knowledge,” as the company says. Essentially, users come to Quora to ask and answer questions about pretty much anything and everything. Like Reddit’s subreddits, Quora has topics that you can choose to add to your own customized feed. Consider adding some product- or industry-related feeds, as well as anything else inspired by online business.

Quora also shows which topics and questions are trending, as well as a count of the total number of answers (each with a number of upvotes and downvotes from the community).

Once you populate your feed, you’ll start to discover questions and answers that may inspire ecommerce business ideas. Here are a few:

Industry and niche forums

Depending on the industry you’re targeting, there may be niche forum sites that you can tap into for product ideas to sell. Gaming is one industry that has an active online community, and you can check out forums like GameFAQs or NeoGAF. Here are a few other industry forum sites for niche product ideas:

10. Social media networks

There are a few ways you can use social media to search for product and niche ideas.

Hashtag: If you have a particular interest in a product category or industry, you can try searching for applicable hashtags. Another great option is to do a search on social media for hashtags that indicate buyer interest and intent like #want and #buy.

Product curation accounts: There are many accounts on Instagram that post curated product content. Like many other examples above, you’ll likely want to search for and find accounts within the niches you are particularly interested in.

Audience insights: If you already have a business page on one or more social media platform, you may be able to use your audience data to find ecommerce business ideas. Understand which pages, hobbies, interests and other characteristics they have in common and brainstorm products based on those insights.

Instagram

Instagram isn’t just pictures of food and dogs, it is also an interesting option for inspiring product and ecommerce business ideas. Because it’s photo-based, it’s easy to scan through many ideas and photos quickly.

Facebook

Facebook still has the most active users out of any social media platform. If there’s a market you’re trying to reach, there’s a chance they’re on Facebook. In addition to hashtags, trending topics and popular pages, check out which Facebook groups are popular in your niche. You may be able to participate and find inspiration through those communities.

Pinterest

The average order of value of sales coming through Pinterest is higher than any other social channel. This indicates that Pinterest users are browsing, shopping and buying, making it an ideal spot to research popular products and trends. Another visual platform, it’s easy to scan and find inspiration for ecommerce business ideas. Don’t forget to check out the popular section for what’s trending.

Snapchat

Especially ideal for a younger demographic, Snapchat admittedly has more limited capabilities in terms of identifying trends. Use the Discover option to find out what the Snapchat community is talking about and follower influencers in your niche to gain more insight into their needs and motivations.

Twitter

Twitter trends will be helpful in finding new ecommerce business ideas. You’ll be able to see what’s popular in your network or a chosen location. You’ll find these trends on the left-hand side when you log in at twitter.com, or look for the Explore option when you’re on the mobile app.

Niche social media sites

If you’re searching for niche product ideas, social media sites dedicated to related topics and hobbies are another way to gain insights into new product ideas. Here are a few, as examples:

11. On-site and third-party customer reviews

If you already have a business (online or in real life), check out your own customer reviews. Savvy entrepreneurs consider customer recommendations, the motivation behind it, and respond accordingly.

If you don’t have any reviews of your own to consider, look at reviews of companies and products in your niche. Identify commonalities, paying careful attention to customer complaints, and determine how you can create a product that will address those concerns. Amazon is an especially great place to find honest customer reviews.

12. SEO analytics and insights

Search engine optimization (SEO), insights can show you what’s trending on search globally or targeted to specific geographic locations. Google has a number of free and paid tools you can use

Google Trends: Find out what’s trending, globally and regionally, and choose from specific topics like Business, Health and Sci/Tech. You can also browse Top Stories to see what’s most popular. If you have a specific market or idea, you can also research keywords to find common related searches, as well as anticipated peaks in search volume (which can help dictate timing for your product launch).

Google Keyword Planner: Keyword Planner will help you find average search volume and related keywords to your chosen phrases. You can also look at AdWord competition to gauge whether someone else is bidding on your targeted phrases for your ecommerce business idea.

Google Analytics: If you already have a website, use the data from Google Analytics to find out which terms users are searching to find your site. Volume isn’t always important: There may be a longtail, descriptive search phrase that makes you think of your next big idea! You can also use data from your onsite search to find the same insights.

Google search: Google.com is an often-forgotten tool to use in your SEO research. There are a few key areas to look when you’re look at a search on Google.com: predicted text (as you type your query in the search bar), paid ads at the top and on the side rail, suggested searches (at the bottom of the page), and Google Shopping results. Remember to check out images and news, too.

Learn More: 8 Free and Simple SEO Tools for Bootstrapped Business Owners

13. Consumer lifestyle publications

Consumer-facing publications in your industry can reveal a lot about a market segment and what’s trending. Consider what these publications are talking about and which articles resonate most with the audience. To find out which articles are most popular, look at how many comments, social media engagements, or social media shares the content has received. The more popular articles could inspire niche market ideas.

14. Your competitors

Learn from the successes of your competitors and popular businesses in your chosen industry. Which products have they launched with the most success? Why were they so successful? Sometimes, brands will share the why and how behind new products.

Beyond your competitors’ products, examine their community. Who is their audience and why do they love those products? Look at what the brand is saying to consumers, as well as how customers are interacting with them online. Identify gaps in your competitors’ product offerings and look for ways to fill those gaps with your new product.

15. Audience surveys

Surveys are one of the best ways to get qualitative and quantitative insights into an audience. Craft questions about the problems and challenges they face, which products they love most and why, and what they wish they had to enhance their everyday life. Keep a mix of multiple choice and open-ended questions that will let you inside respondents’ heads. Use this information when you brainstorm your ecommerce business ideas.

Here are some tools you can use to create and distribute your survey:

16. Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is along similar lines as surveying, except when it comes to crowdsourcing, you’re asking for ideas more overtly. LEGO Ideas is a prime example of a brand that uses crowdsourcing to find new product ideas to sell. Consumers can submit their ideas for LEGO sets, and the site also features popular and successful ideas. Create your own crowdsourced ideas or look to those hubs for inspiration.

If you want to organize your own crowdsourcing campaign for product ideas to sell, check out the following:

17. Look to the past

One way to learn is from the past. Through examining history and old trends, you can come up with a list of revived product ideas to sell. This is one tactic that Dogfish Head Craft Brewery came up with their product series of Ancient Ales, which uses old-school brewing techniques.

But history doesn’t necessarily mean historical events and techniques. It’s also about pop culture trends. In fashion especially, we often see the resurgence of trends, and consumers love nostalgia. Choker necklaces have made a comeback, and countless movie and TV show reboots have created renewed interest and passion for consumers. You can evoke this sense of nostalgia through a product that is no longer available or highlights a seemingly forgotten subject likely to inspire fond memories.

Read this next

Now you’re equipped with resources to help you come up with a great list of initial products ideas to start. Next up, we’ll look through all of the resources ourselves and share some interesting product ideas with you. Keep the journey going by reading the next article in the series: What To Sell Online: 10 Interesting Product Ideas Trending Right Now.

If you want to make money from the web, it’s not as simple as setting up a Shopify store and just generating sales. If it was that easy, no one would be going into an office and working in the normal workforce. Today I’m going to share why 99% of eCommerce will never sell without this. You’ll learn an easy eCommerce marketing strategy that can help you grow your ecommerce sales quickly and effectively. RESOURCES & LINKS: ____________________________________________ 7 Proven Ways to Grow eCommerce Sales By 50% or More (video): https://youtu.be/ECFguym4230 5 Ecommerce Optimization Tips to Improve Your Product Page Conversion Rates (video): https://youtu.be/_e_0iu54wUQ
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