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How Barbershops and Retailers are Welcoming Customers during BC’s Phase Two Re-opening

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Giant Retailers, Hudson Bay and Sephora have opened their doors to customers in Surrey. While both companies spoke about their excitement to welcome back customers, they have also released information on the new store hours and how they plan to enforce safety guidelines and social distancing rules. Sephora released a post which detailed the changes they planned to make to their stores while ensuring the safety of their customers. The company plans to maintain the two metre distancing rule and limit the amount of customers in the store.

The company is also making sure hand sanitizers are made available “at the front entrance and key areas throughout the store” They also plan to “sanitize baskets before giving them to [customers], disinfect products and tools, and clean surfaces every two hours or after every use.”

As the beauty company is known for having testers made available, this will no longer be the case and the company also plans to take the temperature of their staff at the beginning of their shift and in the middle of their shift.

Hudson Bay, another retailer that has opened its doors to residents of Surrey has introduced a way for customers to receive their items in a safe way. The company has introduced curbside pickup. The company mentioned the pickups being ready in “as little as 3 hours”

This is made available everyday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and when customers arrive, they are asked to remain in their car while an associate helps them load the item. The customer can also “advise” the associate on where to place the item if they do not want it loaded in their car, according to the company. Some other new changes from the store is, allocating Tuesdays for senior shoppers and Thursdays for frontline workers.

Along with other retailers and businesses, Hudson Bay has introduced sanitizers around the stores, increased cleaning, physical distancing, and touchless pay. BC’s second phase of reopening doesn’t include only retail stores. Barbershops and salons are now open to the public with guidelines in place.

Lookin’ Sharp Barbershop is based in Richmond BC, and it recently opened doors to customers. Co owner and founder of the shop, Bebo, spoke about the safety guidelines in place as he and his staff welcome back customers.

“Right now we are not allowing [anyone] without a mask and [we also] have … guidelines and protocols before the client [enters the shop],” says Bebo.

Some of the new guidelines Bebo spoke of was having clients make appointments before their haircuts, as before the pandemic, the shop took walk-ins only.
“We removed all the chairs [in] the waiting area, so there’s no waiting inside the shop,” says Bebo.

“When [a] client comes, they need to wait outside until their scheduled appointment, and [we also] put … a hand sanitizer station [for clients],” says Bebo.

Bebo also mentioned his shop giving out masks to customers who come without one. He spoke about the safety guidelines for his staff, saying they had to wear masks and gloves, and disinfect their whole workstation before and after each client. Bebo also mentioned his shop terminating 80 per cent of their services.

“… Hair [wax], threading, face masks, and facials … are no longer available,” says Bebo. “Basically right now we are only providing the haircuts and hair wash,” he added.

Esther Amankop Udoh is a Journalism and Creative Writing student. She enjoys reading and creating dramatic scenarios that usually end up in one of her many short stories. Along with her love for words, Esther loves seeking new adventures and spending time with family and friends.

Business

How Automation Has Changed the Job Market in Canada

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According to research by the RBC in 2018, half of all Canadian jobs will be affected by automation by 2018. The researchers concluded that Canada is moving from a job-based toward a skills-based economy.  In this article, we’ll look at what this means for the Canadian workforce and those about to enter it.

The Term Automation Has Taken on New Meaning

Ten years ago, automation meant humans being replaced by robots. We’ve already dealt with the impact of these machines in manufacturing plants. We can expect 20 million jobs to be lost to robots by 2030.

The next incarnation of automation involves artificial intelligence, rather than rows of machines. We’re now facing smart algorithms that can speed through swathes of data in seconds.

We’ve developed smart risk engines to replace the drudgery of many back-office functions. Not only will machines take away repetitive manufacturing jobs, but they’ll also take away some office work.

How Will We Cope?

With millions of fresh-faced graduates facing the prospect of losing entry-level jobs to artificial intelligence, the situation seems grim.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Machines aren’t quite able to replace humans entirely yet. According to Statista , 80% of people surveyed in 2017 preferred to speak to a human over a chatbot.

Human skills like analytical thinking, perceptiveness, complex problem solving, and listening are all still in high demand. Then there are also practical considerations to think about. Say, for example, that you order a pizza. The robotic team at the pizza place makes it and places it into the car. The car drives to your door.

Here’s where the dilemma comes in. Does the consumer come and fetch their pizza? How can the car be sure that it’s the right person? Who’s to say that the person won’t try to steal other pizzas while the hatch is open? We’ve stuck with this ridiculous example to highlight that there are many facets to consider. Now, taking things a little further using the same pizza reference.

The robotic pizza maker, oven, or car breaks down. We’ll need a team of humans to maintain and fix them. A human will have to oversee food quality and make critical decisions about using food before it goes off. The machine might not be able to say, “I’ve got too many mushrooms, I better use them quickly.” A human manager would, however, work out discounts on mushroom pizzas to get them moving.

Another consideration is that the new fleet of robotics and software requires people to develop, understand, and maintain it. The new world brings greater connectivity with many AI engines operating from cloud-based servers. These SaaS products are useful to consumers and allow them to save much money.

They do bring unique cybersecurity challenges, however. According to the New York Times , we’ll have an additional 3.5 million jobs in the cybersecurity field to fill. The upshot is that automation may create more jobs than it takes away. The problem for us is that we may be ill-equipped for the change

Skills to Develop

Fortunately, it’s never too late to start. Learn as much as you can today in the following areas:

● Critical problem solving
● Good judgment
● Communication
● Creativity
● Coding and technology
● Computer literacy

It’s essential to understand that we’re always developing new technology. Artificial intelligence is growing more capable by the day. But much like with the Industrial Revolution, machines won’t leave humans obsolete.

Until a machine can replicate a human being exactly, we’re still useful. The human brain is complex and challenging to replicate. Will we see a device able to think and reason as we do? Probably not in our lifetimes. Will we see the job landscape change significantly? Most certainly. We’ll see a drop in entry-level jobs like data capturing because machines can easily do these.

The upside is that with increasing automation, consumers will miss the human touch. A self-checkout cashpoint is convenient, but there’s no interaction with a cashier to build brand loyalty. So, while we’ll undoubtedly see more automated functions coming to the fore, we’ll also see companies trying to maintain the human touch. Those of us who can adapt and learn new skills will be ready for the changeover when it happens.

Final Notes

There’s no question that the job market is changing at a fast pace. It’s not the first time in history that it has done so, and it won’t be the last. To survive the change and come out on top, people will need to audit their skillset objectively.

If they need to learn new skills, now’s the time to start. Those that adapt early on will feel less of the impact of change. They may even benefit from it because they’re the only ones ready for it. So, Canada, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start brushing up on the skills that no computer can ever replace.

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Business

Helping Businesses Get Online Exposure in a Less Stressful Yet Highly Profitable Way.

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How customers shop and interact with businesses has shifted to the virtual world. Local businesses are at risk of not continuing to provide products or services in their communities. Without local businesses, our economy will not survive, our communities will not be the same, and our culture will be different. Local businesses increase the level of taxation, fund local charities, fund Fire Department causes, among others. These are places customers used to visit freely and connect with each other.

However, due to COVID19, customer shopping behavior has shifted to the virtual world. Based on several surveys, it appears most customers prefer the new way of shopping. In the comfort of their homes, or anywhere they wish, since they are always glued to their mobile devices. Due to the high online shopping demand, local businesses are forced to figure out ways to move their products or services online to survive, meet their customer needs, and grow their businesses.

For most local businesses, to stay competitive in the new virtual world and navigating the online world takes a lot of work and can be confusing at times. Additionally, to create online awareness of their products or services is also proving to be difficult. The competition is stiff because so many businesses are moving to the online marketplace. Having an online presence that connects the right customer to the right business is crucial at this time.

It may make or break the business Our service was born out of the needs we heard from many business owners. We use our connections, special deals, and strategies with major media sites to help businesses get seen and get new clients in a less stressful yet potentially highly profitable way.

We help you to reach your best clients by crafting meaningful hyper-local ads and media coverage. If there’s a service you offer in a specific location  neighborhood, or region, we will help you get seen. In support of our local businesses, in addition to the media coverage service, businesses will receive a FREE Snapshot report .

This report identifies services or products you should be visible for, provides your current visibility and level of competition, compares your visibility across your location or region you serve, identifies quick wins for new customers, among other items. This offer is good through September 30th, 2020. Additionally, businesses will also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For more information on our services, visit our website.

You can also book a call and speak to us personally, we would love to hear from you – Book A Call

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Business

Sher Vancouver launches its one of a kind Pink Directory!

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Surrey, British Columbia – Sher Vancouver has released the inaugural edition of Sher’s Pink Directory. This directory lists organizations that directly fund and support the 2SLGBTQ+ community of Metro Vancouver.

The directory was compiled by UBC law student Janice Lu who was hired by Sher Vancouver as an intern to complete this valuable community project. This directory is being made available free of charge to the general public and local 2SLGBTQ+ organizations. You can download a copy from the official Sher Vancouver website at:
www.shervancouver.com/resources

The directory has approximately 60 listings and is divided into the following sections:

  • Corporations
  • Government
  • Charities and Foundations
  • Scholarships and Awards
  • Unions
  • Other Funders
  • Non-Financial Support

Sher’s Pink Directory will enhance the ability of local 2SLGBTQ + organizations to access the support and financial assistance they need to better support the 2SLGBTQ + community.

The 2SLGBTQ + community continuously experiences hardship and adversity. Sher Vancouver Founder, Alex Sangha, points out that a major issue 2SLGBTQ + organizations face is difficulty obtaining financial support to sustain programs and services. This leads to limited support and resources for fellow members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community – many of whom are very vulnerable, marginalized, and alienated and in critical need.

Sher’s Pink Directory is one small step towards filling this funding gap. If you would like your organization to be included in the next edition of Sher’s Pink Directory please email  info@shervancouver.com

Sher’s Pink Directory is designed by local Vancouver graphic designer, Jaskamal Singh. Her website is: www.designsbyjaskamal.com

PROJECT SERIES

Sher’s Pink Directory is part of a three-part series designed to provide information to the 2SLGBTQ + community. This three-part series project consists of:

1. Legal Resources Kit

Legal Resource Kit consists of three documents:

  •  LGBTQ + Friendly Lawyer Referrals
  •  Information Regarding Human Rights
  • Safe Countries for LGBTQ + Travellers

2. Queersome Desi

Resources (South Asian Queer Resources from around the world)

3. Sher’s Pink

Directory (Organizations that fund and support the 2SLGBTQ + community in Metro Vancouver)

The resources are available for free download for everyone on the Sher Vancouver website under RESOURCES at the following link: www.designsbyjaskamal.com

Directory is also attached for your convenience , View pdf file.

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SellOffVacations Announces the Reopening of its Retail Stores Across Canada

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Surrey location and manager Yogita Raniga at 15355 24 Avenue (Peninsula Village), V4A 2H9

Following months of closures due to the effects of COVID-19, SellOffVacations has announced that its retail stores will be reopening their doors on Monday, September 14. With 30 locations from coast to coast, the travel experts at SellOffVacations are looking forward to welcoming back customers and helping them plan their highly-anticipated future getaways.

“We’re excited to be reopening our doors in communities all across Canada,” said Stuart Morris, General Manager, Retail, for SellOffVacations. “For over three decades, we have been providing expert travel advice in local communities from coast to coast. Over the last month, our agents have called and spoken to thousands of clients and we know that people are eager to talk about travel. With our stores reopening, our travel experts are looking forward to continuing these conversations, helping customers plan future getaways, and answering any questions they may have in these uncertain times.”

Numerous health and safety protocols have been put in place at each retail store to ensure the safety of both customers and employees. New measures include enhanced sanitation protocols, frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces, plastic barriers between desks, use of masks according to local bylaws and regulations, physical distancing reminders throughout the store, and a maximum store capacity of six customers to help promote physical distancing.

Contactless methods of communication are also available so that customers have the option to meet with their travel agent over the phone, email, or video conferencing.

To help Canadians plan their return to travel, SellOffVacations is offering customers incredible offers with a variety of vacation options – including hundreds of free upgrades. Whether travellers want to plan an adventure in Canada, a sunny escape to the Caribbean, or a European river cruise, SellOffVacations’ travel experts can help them plan a safe and unforgettable vacation.

About SellOffVacations

SellOffVacations has been providing affordable travel services to Canadians for over 30 years. Established in 1979, SellOffVacations helps tens of thousands of Canadians book their dream getaway every year. SellOffVacations has stores from St John’s to Victoria, with dedicated travel experts available to help customers book getaways in person, online, or over the phone. Preferred partnerships with major travel providers allow SellOffVacations to offer Canadians discount flights, vacation packages, cruises, coach tours, hotels, car rentals, and more in destinations all around the world.

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Business

Why Would Companies Use Identify Verification in Their Business

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Whether dealing with customers through a website, a web app, mobile app, or over the phone, knowing who they are can improve the business relationship. But there are other benefits to being able to check the identity of a new customer.

Here we lay out the reasons why ID checks are helpful, even for newer businesses that might see it as too much trouble to integrate.

Lower Fraud Rates

Companies of all sizes worry about the increase in fraud, especially with the online business done at a distance. The ability to remain anonymous while dealing with businesses poses a considerable risk, especially to smaller businesses that cannot survive a significant amount of fraud in the first few months.

By using a knowledge-based authentication system, it’s possible to clarify who the person is that’s placing an order through their business. This avoids the risk of accepting payments and dispatching goods, which initially looks good but is subsequently rejected by the bank.

Faster Completed Transactions

The approval process for getting started with a new business customer is time-consuming. There are several checks needed, sometimes across more than one system to verify enough details to authorize their account and let the transaction go ahead.

A company like Cognito HQ offers detailed verification services that match up a phone number and name to existing records to verify that the person exists. Cognito helps to prevent fraud and has industry-leading match rates.

Other information that is already known relating to their identity correlated with their phone number helps to round out their customer profile. Be using these types of verification services, the account can pass several early checks before the new customers get too far ahead in the sign-up and ordering processes. It also speeds up the final approval to go ahead with their order when breaking up the verification into different stages.

Separates Serious Users from Casual Ones

It is difficult for companies to know when a mobile user is seriously invested in the brand and app, or if they only occasionally use it.

While the business will likely have useful information to know how often the app is loaded, they aren’t inside the mind of the user themselves. Therefore, by requiring confirmation of basic identifying information from the user to access higher-level features, it separates the wheat from the chaff. As a result of that, the business now can readily work more closely with identified, verified users.

Unfussy Integration into Existing Apps

It’s not necessary to invest huge sums into the development of a verification system.

Look for companies that provide an SDK to developers. An SDK package lets third-party developers add code that allows for encrypted communication to verify the information entered already.

This is a cost-effective way of turning an app with unverified users into one divided between users who are verified already and those who are not (or who failed the checks).

User identification combined with verification brings mobile apps to the next level. Companies should readily embrace this technology to advance their relationship with their users and increase their fraud protection too.

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