Around this time last year a large online auction website went public to announce they had been breached and millions of customer records were compromised. They were not alone, 2014 was marked by high-profile cyberattacks to high street and online retailers. Immediately after the attack, most companies asked their customers to change their passwords, either as a security fix or as a precaution, but is it enough?
The election result was a big shock: no one predicted the Conservatives would win an outright majority and no one forecast the SNP tsunami. It has shown us that the old rules no long apply. What once was does not have to be. Despite the perceived political differences, if towns and cities across the UK grasp that, the future doesn't have to be blue.
Technological progress won't wait for planners to help capture this wind of change, it'll happen regardless. But it won't happen everywhere and wouldn't it be better if technological innovation was nurtured and supported to help revitalise high streets that have lost their way and become symbolic of a desperate Britain lacking in confidence?
New technologies are also blurring the line between the online and brick and mortar shopping experiences. Shoppable windows are giving online retailers a physical "brick and mortar like" user experience while using digital technology to streamline the purchasing process and to speed up product deliveries.
Companies placing responsibility in the hands of the public is both bold and precarious. Nowhere is this more evident than in the review sections that gild the product pages of Amazon. Of course, the majority serve as a valuable steer for would-be customers. Many, however, fail to reach even the most basic criteria required.
Only about 25 per cent of online consumers impulse buy - a lot less than when they are in store. It's clear that online stores are currently missing a significant revenue opportunity. Rather than trying to define future purchases based on previous consumer behaviour, ambient ecommerce focuses on the 'here and now'.
Remember the bad old days when looking for an online bargain meant trawling through every site you could think of in an attempt to find the cheapest version of a product? ... thanks to some newfangled tools, that could soon be a thing of the past... Here are a few handy apps that may well help you save some serious money.