If this is the first time you’ve heard of ADA website compliance, your business, large or small, could be facing big trouble. Even for e-commerce brands that are solely online.
Since 2017, more than 10,000 lawsuits regarding ADA compliance were filed against website owners. A majority of the lawsuits relate to websites that aren’t accessible to the legally blind or visually impaired.
Due to 19 percent of Americans (56.7 million people) having disabilities, the threat for a lawsuit is real for any business whose website is not compliant. Not to mention the loss of business opportunity to nearly 20 percent of the population.
Though big companies like Target, Etrade, NetFlix.com, Hulu.com, Amazon.com, the MLB & NBA, Bank of America, Home Depot, Reebok, Bed Bath & Beyond, JCPenney, Panera Bread, AMC Theaters and Carnival Cruises have been sued, fined heavily and required to become compliant as a result, small, local businesses and non-profit organizations are the growing target and being held liable as well.
“But I’m Just A Small Business. Does It Really Matter?”
Yes. In a HUGE way! Ben Tundis, owner of Island Comfort Footwear in Clearwater, Florida said, “The attorneys are telling us, ‘you can’t fight this. There’s nothing you can do, just write them a check,”.
Photo by Colleen Seitz
Tundis, like the growing thousands of private business owners, is the target of a visually-impaired activist. Countless activist groups are actively searching for and holding businesses accountable if their websites are not ADA compliant and lack the proper coding. These lawsuits are being filed by the stackful against small, privately owned businesses and costing owners $20,000 or even more if the case goes to court.
Businesses who agree to settlements to avoid expensive litigation or lose their cases, must not only pay the plaintiff’s attorney fees, but agree to become ADA compliant within a set amount of time anyway.
One thing is clear, the courts have ruled that most websites must be accessible under the ADA guidelines, and if not, will be held accountable.
Good News – ADA Compliance is Tax Deductible!
In the U.S. you can take advantage of IRS deductions for making your website ADA compliant. We encourage you to check with your tax professional on specifics, but in general, you can claim a one-time tax credit up to 50% of the costs between $250 and $10,250.
That’s great news as it will be an investment in your business to not only become more inclusive of serving more customers, but peace of mind knowing you’re ADA compliant.
As a digital marketing and strategy firm here at TechCrewMedia, we feel it’s our obligation to help business owners and entrepreneurs like yourself be properly informed. You’re able to make better decisions about your business that way, and in our opinion, that’s just good business.
If you would like to speak with us now about getting your website ADA compliant, contact us today at Hello@Techcrewmedia.com
Okay, What Is ADA Compliance Exactly?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), requires businesses to ensure that all their customers have access to the same services, regardless of their physical limitations, even digitally. You may have installed a ramp, increased the width of your door frames, or made other accommodations to ensure that your physical location are accessible to all, but in 2019, it doesn’t stop there. Section 508 was passed in 1998, an amendment to the Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to included electronic information and technology be accessible to those with disabilities.
The Big Question You’re Asking – “Does My Website Need to be ADA Compliant?”
Let’s find out real quick:
Are you a business that benefits the public?
Are you a local, state, or government agency?
Are you a private employer with 15 or more employees?
If you answered “yes” to any one of the following questions, YES – your website is required to be ADA Compliant!
But if you want to maximize your online opportunities generated by your website, PPC, SEO, and social media marketing efforts, your website should provide a struggle-free online experience for all users anyway.
ADA Website Compliance 101
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has specifically stated in rulings that websites should be designed so they are accessible to individuals who have vision, hearing, and physical disabilities.
It makes sense that everyone should have equal access to websites and online properties. The Internet has become an integral part of our lives, where we go to shop, learn, do our banking, and socialize.
As the DOJ hasn’t determined what the final set of regulations for ADA compliant websites will be yet, there are established ADA guidelines and standards of accessibility that can be viewed here in their entirety WCAG 2.1 Guidelines , but here are the basics:
Content must be coded for audio translation by screen-reader software
There must be on-screen captions in videos for screen-reader software to read to the blind and descriptions for the deaf.
Sites must include accessible drop-down menus for those who use a keyboard to navigate instead of a mouse.
“My Business Is Online Only. Do I Have to Comply?”
Yes. The requirement for equal access used to only apply to physical locations and storefronts, BUT now the government is actively ensuring that the requirements for ADA accessibility include websites and mobile apps.
Any business that is considered a “place of public accommodation” is required to provide equal access to services under the nondiscrimination requirements of Title III of ADA. When you look at the guidelines closely, this includes hotels, entertainment venues, legal and accounting firms, retail stores, and virtually every business that is not a private club, including businesses that exist solely on the web.
“Does This Include Apps Also?”
Yes. ADA compliance isn’t limited to websites. A recent ruling against an online grocery delivery company established the need for mobile apps to meet similar accessibility standards. Businesses need to consider every aspect of their web presence to ensure they are providing an exceptional user experience with access for all. While there are legal considerations that make having an ADA compliant website a solid business decision, it’s also just a matter of good customer relations.
How Does the Need for ADA Website Compliance Affect My Business?
Aside from the negative legal, financial & PR impact not meeting ADA compliance, your website makes a statement about your business.
Having a website indicates you are wanting to share your information, products and services to others without bias. We encourage you that no matter if you own a gym, restaurant, school, non-profit, law firm, barbershop, automotive dealer, boutique, mechanic, bike shop, bar, hotel, online e-commerce store etc., your business doesn’t exclude anyone being able to convert to a loyal customer due to technological bias that could be avoided.
Overall, your website’s purpose is to build trust and help your visitors make an educated buying decision thus increasing your conversion opportunities. If your site is welcoming & accommodating to all, the opportunity for greater sales will be the result.
Our goal is to help business owners, entrepreneurs and side hustlers like you make a positive impact with their ideas, harnessing the power of the web and social media. Let’s work together and get your website ADA compliant today before you end up on the receiving end of a lawsuit that could have been avoided with our help.
You’ve put in so much blood, sweat and sleepless nights building your business. We want to make sure none of that is threatened with a lawsuit. Don’t you?
Contact us today at Hello@TechCrewMedia.com and let’s get started getting your website ADA compliant!
What It Takes To Rank On Page 1 of Google! Read more here
TechCrewMedia is a digital and social media marketing agency in Houston, Texas focused on helping businesses dominate with practical strategies.
As we are nearing the end of 2019, we wanted to share critical insights into the 2019 / 2020 Google Local Ranking factors and explain them in a way that anyone can understand and know exactly what to do to get a leg up over your competition.
3.5 Billion Searches A Day – Proves that all of us depend on Google more than ever to help find whatever it is we need. That’s why it’s SO important that your business is one of the top 5 organic results that is offered on page page one.
Because we recall few details, we depend on Google to help us complete our thought and connect the dots to what we are looking for. When we ask Google to help, it will respond with its best recommendations.
If You Are NOT In The Top 5 – your competitors are taking your customers!
When you take a step back and chew on that for a second – THAT JUST SUCKS! And I know you didn’t get into business to send customers to your competitor!
Below we are going to explain what Google is looking for NOW, and guide you how, with a little effort, to start ranking at the top where you deserve to be! Local, brick & mortar businesses are especially going to benefit from this breakdown without a doubt!
Ready to get this Google Ranking party started? Let’s go!
Okay, So Why Is Google our Digital “Crack”?
When it comes to searching for something, anything … we “Google It!” Especially for something “near me”, which is the most searched term on Google.
80%of all searches are through Google
84%of all Google searches are using a mobile device
72%of local searches are for a store within 5 miles of the consumer
Now how ’bout these apples:
Paid Search Ads (PPC / AdWords) ONLY amount to 26% of the clicks.
BUT . . . Organic Results 1-5 own 74% of the click-throughs! Yeah, that’s 3 out of 4 clicks!
That’s because in our minds, organic ranking has a subconscious credibility. Whereas an “Ad”, due to PPC / AdWords efforts, means they paid their way to jump to the front of the line! We kind of feel like they are cheating their way to our attention.
Google’s New Changes Means What Exactly?
Google wants to always be our Go-To for searching. To do that, it has to offer good directions that always deliver.
Imagine if someone kept giving you wrong directions. You’ll eventually stop trusting them and not consider them as good source.
So, the 2018 Google algorithm changes focused on rewarding websites that not only met the fundamental basics, but that also delivered positive user behavior.
So grab a pen and paper and let’s get ready to help you get ahead of the curve of your competitors!
Ranking Factor #1: (25%) Google My Business Listing / GMB
One of the biggest changes in local ranking factors is the emphasis on your Google business “signal”. In 2017, your GMB listing was only 19% of the factor, but due to new features added, its importance is now 25%!
Recent updates to the GMB listing:
Services / Menu
Google Video Posts
BUT because your GMB settings are critical to how you are ranked, make sure you have the correct categories selected, updated address, hours of operation, photos of your business as well as Google Posts that help keep fresh content available for the algorithm to index and that encourage clicks from users.
It’s just as important that you continue to engage customers with the new Q&A feature.
This not only helps improve your ranking, but more importantly can greatly help prevent and or correct any misinformation about your business being spread around.
Ranking Factor #2: (15%) Reviews Reviews Reviews
Did You Know:
92% of Consumersread online reviews first before making a purchase!
8 out of 10 Consumersconsider an online review equal to that of a friend!
72% of Consumers ay positive reviews make them trust a business more!
Why are reviews so important? One word … TRUST! Positive reviews about your business via Google and Facebook prove that other people find you trustworthy and a great experience.
Remember, people do business with those they trust.
And if someone is is in need, they need a way to close the “confidence gap” from stranger to trusted so they feel their hard-earned money isn’t wasted!
Positive reviews do just that.
YOUR REVIEW REPLIES CAN Drive Sales Up! Up! UP!
Here is the second aspect to why reviews are CRITICAL to the growth of your local business!
Now, have you ever given someone a compliment and they just stood there with no response? You immediately feel this sense of wanting some form of gratitude for speaking nicely of them.
I mean, hell, we’ve have been raised to at LEAST say “Thank you.” when someone gives us a compliment!
Well, Review Replies are essentially Manners 2.0!
So … don’t make it awkward! Show massive gratitude in ways that prove how much you appreciate your customer’s business!
Because if you do not reply to those reviews immediately, the algorithms of both Google & Facebook think that you don’t care about their users.
In return for your “rudeness”, they will not care about you and not reward you with higher ranking or greater content reach!
So, Google & Facebook reviews are critical for the functionalaspect of ranking, BUT … there is also the sales benefit of how to convert those who left a review into a long-term brand advocate!
Once a customer has made their initial purchase, it’s now YOUR chance to show them just how much you appreciate them choosing to do business with you!
So here’s how you capitalize reviews:
#1 – Reply Immediately
#2 – Be personal (none of this robotic, copy / paste auto-response)! That gives off no touchy-feely warm and fuzzies. State their first name and be authentic with your response. They made the time and so should you.
#3 – Incentivize them to return as part of your gratitude strategy. Don’t just say “Thanks. Hope to see you again soon!”
Since they’ve done business with you, it is your obligation to compel them to do business with you AGAIN – but you have to give them a reason.
58% of consumers are more likely to do business a 2nd time IF they had an amazing first experience AND you give them an incentive / discount to return.
But also … give it a window of 30 days or so. That creates a sense of urgency and people will prioritize if given a reason like an expiration date / time-frame.
They in turn leave positive reviews, and your ranking continues to climb as well as your new business opportunities from strangers!
Now – How To Turn Them Into Brand Lovers
53% of 2nd Visit Customers have a great experience, they will make a 3rd purchase … if incentivized!
64% will make a 4th … if their 3rd visit was exceptional AND they were incentivized again! You now have a loyal customer with a growing Lifetime Value!
So yeah … Reviews matter a LOT!
Ranking Factor #3: (50%) Website Performance
Okay, the Website Performance Factor is made up of 4 partsand each carry serious weight to Google AND Facebook algorithms that determine who gets rewarded or penalized!
Website Load Speed
User Experience / UX
When was the last time you clicked on some link or image that got your attention and it took you to a site that didn’t load immediately?
Your reaction was to click back because it didn’t deliver.
1. Website Load Speed
Well, if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load … you’re causing the same reaction to your prospective customers!
Because we are used to websites loading fast, if yours doesn’t, it’s immediately negated in our minds and we will look for another option.
50% of your website visitors will leave if it takes 3-5 sec to load
90% of your website visitors will leave if it takes 5-10 sec to load
Since it is now the norm, anything slower than 3 seconds is detrimental not only to your ranking, but the growth potential of your business!
Meaning, if you don’t load, you’re old, slow and driving business to your competitor who is fast and ready!
2. Website Security – SSL
If your website does not have an active SSL Certificate activated to your URL, Google considers your site unsafe for its users and will not reward you with higher ranking.
Same goes for Facebook / Instagram.
Not sure if your website has a SSL certificate? Simply go to your website and it will either show:
if it is NOT secure (above), and if it is secure with an active SSL Certificate … will show as ours is (below)
3. Mobile-First Website
So, you may have heard the term “mobile responsive”. Meaning, a code was built to let the website know to respond to the device a website was being visited and adapt to the screen size automatically.
Historically, in order to index web pages, Google used to evaluate their desktops’ versions first and foremost.
To put it simply, indexing is the process by which a search engine scans and saves the information from a website.
Based on this information, the algorithm can then decide what will be the ranking of the website for a specific keyword search.
But since 81% of all website visits are accessed from these tiny things called smartphones, the emphasis put on desktops for the indexing process didn’t really make sense anymore.
This is why Google announced in November 2016 a project to reverse the way pages were indexed:mobile-first indexing.
It means that the mobile version will be considered the primary version of your website when it comes to indexing.
Bottom line – if your website is not Mobile-First – You’re Last in line to be indexed against your competitors who are!
4. User Experience / UX
The websites that offer a visitor an easy, intuitive and friction-free experience will win every time.
If people are forced to swipe in and out to zoom in order to read and/or click buttons, they will leave.
If that’s your website, like below-left, it is outdated and driving customer-confidence down, creating a pain-point AND sending business to your competition.
Don’t force people to think they need reading glasses just to navigate your website. Think like an app.
Mobile-First is now designing a website for the mobile device, though a separate, desktop version needs to be developed as well.
Not sure of the difference? Think of Facebook and how the app is a streamlined version compared to the desktop UX (User Experience) below.
The goal of your website for a visitor is to keep them engaged, provide them with what is important to them in a FAST and EASY way and continually provide top quality content they like.
Now, here’s the kicker!
If you have attempted to do any social media marketing through Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, and your website isn’t meeting ALL of the above demands, not only is Google penalizing you, but so is Facebook / Instagram with poor content reach and ad delivery.
So now that you’re head is spinning from all of this information, you could be in a mild panic … as you should IF … you now see why your ranking and social media results are diminishing.
Start a checklist and work it until each element is up to par so that your efforts of being the best option to your prospects are not in vain.
In closing, IF you want to be rewarded by Google with higher ranking AND by Facebook / Instagram with better content reach & ad performance for 2019, make the following 6 Updates ASAP:
Update Your Google My Business Listing
Up Your Review Game ASAP
Mobile Site Load Speed – 3 seconds or less
Secure Server – Activate your SSL Certificate to your domain
Update your website to Mobile-First
Make the User Experience Fast, Intuitive and Friction-Free
Facebook’s plan to take on Musical.ly may involve more than just its own take on a lip syncing feature.
They’re also working on “Talent Show,” which would allow users to compete by singing songs then submitting their audition.
The feature isn’t live, but was rather an uncover in the Facebook’s code by Jane Wong.
Wong has a history of uncovering yet-to-launch features or those still in testing through the use of reverse engineering tactics.
She’s spots things like Instagram’s first time-well-spent feature, Lyft’s bike program, and Instagram’s new ways of displaying IGTV videos.
In the case of “Talent Show,” Wong discovers an interface that allows users to pick songs, and then start recording themselves singing the track.
The app’s code also makes references to the feature as “Talent Show” and includes mentions of elements like “audition” and “stage.” The auditions load as videos, Wong notes.
How Is Facebook Benefiting From The Talent Show Feature?!
The development would offer Facebook another way to take advantage of its more recently acquired music licensing rights.
The company, starting last year, began forging deals with all the record labels – including the majors like Universal, Sony, and Warner, and several others, as well as the indies.
The deals mean Facebook won’t have to take down users’ videos with copyrighted music playing in the background, for starters. But the company also said it planned to leverage its rights to develop new “music-based” products going forward.
One of those is Lip Sync Live, an almost direct copy of the popular tween-and-teen lip syncing app Musical.ly, which today has 200+ million registered users and 60 million actives.
Like Musical.ly, Lip Sync Live – which is still in testing – a way to broadcast your lip sync recordings to friends.
Talent Show (assuming the code analysis is on point) seems to take a different angle.
Instead of lip syncing for fun, people are actually singing and competing. It’s similar to the newly launched app FameGame.
However, Wong notes that the feature may be restricted to Facebook Pages, similar to Facebook’s new trivia game show feature.
So, it may offer those partners who’re using Facebook to build out games on their own pages.
Also, Talent Show sources the music via the new Rights Manager, used by record labels to track copyrighted tracks’ usage on Facebook.
Over the years, Facebook has taken aim at any other social app that gathers a following and then reproduces its own version of the app’s key draw – as it did with Stories, Snapchat’s biggest differentiator.
It’s no surprise, then, that it now has Musical.ly in its sights, with regard to lip syncing.
And with the Talent Show feature, it may challenge YouTube as the place where new talent can be discovered, too.
There are barely more people checking Facebook every day compared to previous quarter.
Facebook is still growing, however, it’s clear that GDPR combined with a saturated market isn’t helping the company by any means.
This is why Facebook is trying to change the narrative.
For example, for the first time ever, Facebook shared a new “family of apps audience” metric.
There are 2.5 billion people using at least one of the company’s app — Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.
So it’s clear that Facebook thinks Instagram and its stories represent the future of the company.
But this is going to be bring some questions to life in then next few months as it’s unclear if Instagram can generate as much money as Facebook’s main app.
Measuring Facebook’s Losses
$123,400,000,000 is a big number. It’s hard to wrap the mind around how much this kind of money represents given the scale of these massive companies. As TechCrunch’s Jon Russell pointed out, bitcoin’s entire market capitalization is currently $141 billion. So it’s like nearly all bitcoins disappeared overnight.
Who would have thought Facebook could be more of substance than bitcoin?
Even if you compare it to significant tech companies, this is a huge loss.
For instance, Netflix is worth $158 billion right now. Twitter’s market cap is only $33 billion.
It’s like Facebook did away with nearly 4 Twitters in market cap overnight. And I’m not even talking about Snap, which is only worth $17 billion.
Innovating Facebook’s Business Model
Most people have been focused on Facebook’s losses for now. But now it’s time to look at Facebook’s business model and understand what’s causing this these losses to happen.
Facebook is one of those once-in-a-lifetime, incredible success stories.
It did become a massive business in just a few years, but it also has a dangerous business model.
Thousands of employees are looking for ways to collect more data. Business teams can then sell expensive ads because they’re perfectly targeted.
And the best way to optimize efficient ads is by making addictive products that consumers feel like they need.
If you spend more time looking at stories, you’re going to be exposed to more ads. Period.
That’s why Facebook optimizes for engagement. It gets us (users) outraged, we become sad, and we like and we share the post. This is how Facebook makes money.
2018 is a turning point for Facebook.
People will look back at this moment as an inflection point in the company’s trajectory. But it’s still unclear if Facebook has the answer to its structural issues.
As Instagram continues to evolve, online retailers are REALLY beginning to evolve with it. Ever since Instagram started allowing users to link shopping tags to their posts, some brands have been able to dramatically increase their traffic and sales.
One brand in particular, Natori, has increased its traffic by 1,416% by using Instagram shopping. I’m sorry, WHAT?!
Also, Native Union has increased its traffic by 2,666% by using Instagram shopping. Again.. WHAT?!
So what exactly is Instagram Shopping and how do you use them to increase your brands traffic and sales?
What Instagram Shopping Tags Do For Brands!
With over 800 million monthly active users, Instagram is one of the fastest growing social apps, connecting hustling entrepreneurs, brands, and consumers.
The expansion Shopping Tags on Instagram, online retailers can tag their products in their posts.
Shoppable posts automatically provide links to corresponding product pages on your website so that customers can quickly add to cart and check out, or browse the remainder of your catalog.
With 9 shopping posts or more, businesses also get a persistent Shop tab on their Instagram business profile that allows customers to tap to view all products on a post.
5 Ways Your Brand Can Increase Sales Using Instagram Shopping Tags!
Step 1: Make sure your Instagram is set up correctly. This means:
Switch to a Business Profile
Update Any Business Info
Add an Email, Phone Number and Address
Connect Your Facebook Page / SHOP
Share Your Post
Step 2: Engagement is EVERYTHING!
To use the feature, brands need only to push their inventory to Facebook (you can make this visible or not to your Facebook audience).
Once your account is approved and you can post Instagram Shopping content, you’ll see an option to tag your products.
Once this is all setup and ready, your focus should be on engagement!
One question you need to ask yourself [or staff], is if your content is actually increasing engagement?
If you’re not seeing an increase in comments and likes, then it’s going to be difficult converting consumers to your website landing page.
It’s important to view IG engagement as a real way to boost your ROI and clicks to your brand’s website.
The bottom line is your engagement is about making real connections with your customers; connections that make them feel important to you and your brand.
A study was done with 30% of millennials who engage with brands on social media at least once a month. At the end, 71% of the participants said they’re more likely to buy from a brand after a positive social media experience.
So, when you get comments on your business profile, it’s VERY important to respond as quickly as possible.
It’s even MORE important that when you do reply, the responses are real and authentic. No copy / paste.
Step 3: Deploy Better Content Than Your Competitors
You can increase your sales using Instagram Shopping by 10x by deploying content that none of your competitors are
The key is getting and staying ahead of the curve because you’re giving your followers something that your competitors aren’t.
Step 4: Provide A Smooth, Enjoyable Customer Experience
Any highly successful sales funnel needs a solid end-to-end customer journey. It takes more than great content to get users to convert to your online store, so always put emphasis on your customer’s journey.
With Instagram Shopping, you’re allowing consumers to fluidly go from a random organic post in their feed, to learn more about the product, to then one simple click directly to the featured product in your online shop.
The skateboard company, Emerica, does an exceptional job of this by displaying their products and directing the customer to exactly what they are considering buying.
Step 5: Track Instagram Shopping Progress
Like any social marketing strategy, one final step should be tracking your progress and looking at how things can be improved.
The same goes for anyone using Instagram Shopping.
Luckily with SimilarWeb.com or Google Analytics, you can track your Instagram metrics.
It’ll also give you reports on how your posts are or ARE NOT helping drive your online sales.
As we become more connected to the brands we love, whether that be via a favorite influencer featuring a product or, from the brand itself, the winning benefit of this tool here is speed!
We can see an engaging post of a product we love, and within two clicks, buy it without ever leaving Instagram.
For any brand to find a winning tactic in a sea of competition and great content, reducing the steps a consumer has to make to go from interested to buying will come out on top.
And best of all, this tool is absolutely FREE! Now … go dominate!
When Tinder first launched in September of 2012, it started out as just a “swipe left or right.” Swiping left means you don’t think someone is appealing and swiping right means you do.
This changed the game, especially for those that may be shy or not confident enough to approach someone in public.
Over time, there have been other dating sites that have tried to compete with Tinder. Some of which are Bumble, the app that only allows the woman to make the first move, Zoosk and eHarmony.
The simplicity using Tinder, however, has been the reason that it’s been the more dominant dating site.
I mean, come on… it’s so easy to just swipe left or right whether you think someone’s “hot or not.”
Tinder Is Amplifying Their Swipe Game!
You know that verse in Miley Cyrus’ song, “We Can’t Stop” that goes, “We can’t stop, and we won’t stop”? Well, that’s exactly what dating app giant, Tinder, is doing right now with their newest feature, Tinder Loops.
And now with Tinder, we’ve got a new experience that’s really going to amplify someone’s swipe game. Tinder’s new two-second Loops, where you can take any video and create a loop from it.
Tinder has already tested Loops in countries like Canada and Sweden, but now they have added a few new markets.
These markets include Japan, United Kingdom, United States, France, Korea, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Kuwait, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and United Arab Emirates.
Tinder also increased the number of images users can upload to nine, in order to make room for Loops without displacing original photos.
Given that Tinder has been testing Loops since April, they now have more data around how it’s been working for users.
For example, users who add a Loop to their profile saw that their average conversation length went up by 20%.
This new feature has also seemed to be very beneficial in Japan, which was launched there in June – certain users say they receive an average of 10% more right swipes if they have a Loop in their profile.
In the era of Instagram and Tinder, users have used pictures to represent themselves online.
But, with all the editing tools available, it also means those pictures aren’t always the most accurate display of personality or appearance.
So with Tinder Loops, these videos help give a new way for people to get to know the real, authentic person they’re chatting with.
Welp.. looks like online shopping is about to get even more expensive.
The U.S Supreme Court has announced that states can start requiring internet retailers to collect sales tax.
So what does this mean for you if you’re an E-Shop-A-Holic like us? Well, you might want to think about getting a second job! HA! Jk… but seriously.
Brick-And-Mortars Are Suffering!
The court’s 5-4 decision is based on the case of Wayfair v. South Dakota, which was a victory for brick-and-mortar businesses; these companies have long complained they are put at a disadvantage by having to charge sales taxes while many online competitors do not.
It was also a victory for states that have said that they are missing out on tens of billions of dollars in annual revenue. Close to $40 billion in 2017 alone in lost tax revenue.
According to the New York Times, in the ruling, the court effectively overturned a system that it created back in 1992.
The court ruled in Quill Corporation v. North Dakota that the Constitution bars state’s from requiring businesses to collect sales tax unless they have a substantial connection to the state.
Also, just before the ruling, President Donald Trump tweeted (shown below) about Amazon saying they pay, “little or no taxes to state & local governments,” which was actually false information.
In 2017, Wayfair already collected sales tax on approximately 80% of its orders placed in the United States while Amazon collected sales tax in the 45 states that have already been placing orders through them online.
Not Every Ecomm Store Has To Charge Sales Tax!
In addition to the court’s ruling, it was stated that not all online retailers are required to collect sales tax.
For example, in 2015, South Dakota enacted a law requiring all e-commerce merchants to collect a 4.5% sales tax if they have generated more than $100,000 in annual online sales or more than 200 transactions originating within their state.
Large companies will most certainly be required to collect sales tax, but smaller online retailers will not.
Defining what is considered “small”, will be determined determined by each state. Initially, those online retailers that sell through Facebook Marketplace or eBay are the benchmark.
That being said, as online retailing has grown, the dynamics have shifted. Online retailers are no longer scrappy upstarts competing with more established businesses.
So after writing for the majority in the 5-to-4 ruling, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said the Quill decision caused states to lose annual tax revenues of up to $33 billion or more.
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes
This decision also helped pave the way for the growth of online retail by letting companies sell nationwide without navigating the complex patchwork of state and local tax codes.
As online shopping has evolved over the years both in technology and convenience for consumers, it has taken many years for traditional brick-and-mortars to learn how to capitalize with the IRS not far behind.
As each state implement their own sales tax laws, small online retailers will need help with the logistics of Sales Tax the myriad of different percentages, rates and fees required.
This creates a huge opportunity for software / tech companies to help them by creating platforms to help the smaller ecomm businesses navigate this efficiently, effectively and legally.
Who knows … the way things are going, maybe that will be the next division of AMAZON! Only time will tell.
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Cookies are small pieces of data, stored in text files, that are stored on your computer or other device when websites are loaded in a browser. They are widely used to “remember” you and your preferences, either for a single visit (through a “session cookie”) or for multiple repeat visits (using a “persistent cookie”). They ensure a consistent and efficient experience for visitors, and perform essential functions such as allowing users to register and remain logged in. Cookies may be set by the site that you are visiting (known as “first party cookies”), or by third parties, such as those who serve content or provide advertising or analytics services on the website (“third party cookies”).
Both websites and HTML emails may also contain other tracking technologies such as “web beacons” or “pixels.” These are typically small transparent images that provide us with statistics, for similar purposes as cookies. They are often used in conjunction with cookies, though they are not stored on your computer in the same way. As a result, if you disable cookies, web beacons may still load, but their functionality will be restricted.
Many of the cookies we use are only set if you are a registered WordPress.com user (so you don’t have to log in every time, for example), while others are set whenever you visit one of our websites, irrespective of whether you have an account.
For more information on the choices you have about the cookies we use, please see the Controlling Cookies section below.