The Dark Side of Black Friday

The Dark Side of Black Friday

Black Friday, the day-after-Thanksgiving (or day-OF-Thanksgiving) shopping phenomenon is once again on the horizon this week. Scrambling for the BEST deals of the holiday shopping season, millions of Americans flock to shopping centers and retail stores, before the turkey has even started to digest. Why should we take a moment to rethink this cultural and marketing apparatus?

You are a consumer.

Take a moment to really absorb that label. A consumer, a person who consumes. That is what we all are in the eyes of marketing and sales. BILLIONS of dollars are spent, not only on research to pinpoint the best way to target consumers and most efficiently separate you from your money, but also how to lull you even further into the model of consumerism to make you a better consumer (thus target for future sales!) Think about a nest full of baby birds, mouths agape. Consumers. That is what marketers and retailers want you to be. Mouth agape, waiting and hungry for more. I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly find that model of consumerism to be an attractive one.. it goes hand in hand with:

The Cheapening.

America has always been a capitalist enterprise. There is nothing inherently wrong with a free market economy. The problem is rooted in the cheapening. Black Friday, and really, most modern selling in general, is in the constant grind to churn out MORE for LESS. To sell you MORE STUFF that costs LESS to make, requires MORE replacement and turnover to keep that wheel turning, and all of this is in order to be more competitive, both in the micro (product vs product) level and the macro (stock value vs stock value) level. I think we can all agree that most goods on the market today are not built to last. Take for instance my personal weakness, Apple Computers. When I go fork over $2999 for the latest MacBook Pro, even with Apple Care, I can only reasonably expect that investment to last the 3 years of warranty, plus a couple more years if I am lucky. In essence, I am only expecting a $3000 investment to last for 5 years, which is atrocious when you really think about it. How long can you reasonably expect that $299 Best Buy Black Friday deal that was cheaply constructed to be sold specifically on that day to last? Probably not very long. What are you willing to do for the privilege of dropping $300?

What is the cost?

Wait in line for hours? Climb over, shove through, press forward, shoulder to shoulder with hoards of your neighbors, to pledge your hard-earned money to the capitalistic ideal of a $300 laptop that market research and cheap labor has selected as the panacea to your technological woes? What about the hardworking Americans who are forced to leave (or skip-altogether) their own Thanksgiving gatherings in order to serve these hungry masses? What about your own Thanksgiving? Didn’t we all collectively give thanks, moments ago, for the bounty we already possess?

The modern ‘Black Friday’ is bad for business. and you.

The dark truth about Black Friday is that it is mostly bad. Small businesses can’t compete with the special deals offered by big-box stores, who purchase inventory at a cheap price specifically to sell to you on Black Friday. The economic engine of the United States relies on small and medium sized businesses. Small and medium sized businesses in the USA pay the highest taxes, and most of every dollar spent at a small business stays in your local economy. When you spend your money at the large, national retailers, your money mostly makes its way OUT of your local economy. When large retailers ‘cut costs’ to undercut the little guy, they do it by cutting quality, keeping wages low, cutting benefits, and so forth.

Think about this before you get caught up in the Black Friday frenzy this year. Those ‘good deals’ come at a cost. Are you willing to pay it?

Consider supporting your local small businesses this year on Small Business Saturday, and any other day of your choice 🙂

Jengas ♡

How To Use Adobe Illustrator On Your iPad Pro

How To Use Adobe Illustrator On Your iPad Pro

If you are anything like me, the advent of the iPad pro with Apple Pencil immediately started generating ideas of using Illustrator to draw BETTER, FASTER, SMARTER, and with GREATER EASE! Unfortunately for me, I found myself quickly back to square one once I realized that there was no full vector drawing app, and certainly no full featured Adobe Illustrator, available for the iPad. What. A. Bummer. I mean, there were some attempts made *cough*procreate..draw..etc*cough* but nothing that REALLY bridged the gap between what could have been and my initial ideas about the potential.

HOWEVER-> Thanks to the voodoo of sidecar in OSX Catalina, the previously impossible act of using actual Illustrator on the iPad Pro is now not only POSSIBLE, but EASY!

How to use Adobe Illustrator on the iPad Pro 2019
Custom WordPress Plugin Development and Customization

Custom WordPress Plugin Development and Customization

WordPress is a very useful platform when you want to build a website and add functionality, but do not have the time or background that it would take to build a custom website from scratch. There are also other benefits of using WordPress, including active, open source development community, frequent security updates, and plenty of 3rd party plugins, many of them free of cost, to add functionality to your website. You can even launch an e-commerce shop with minimal effort, no coding required, by installing WooCommerce on your WordPress site.

There are, however, times when the type of customization you want is just not possible with an out-of-the-box plugin. When WordPress otherwise suits your needs, and you need to add a functionality that doesn’t exist, or implement an existing plugin in a different way than it works, you need a custom WordPress plugin or WordPress plugin customization. So what is the difference?

Custom WordPress Plugin Design in Dayton OH

Jengas Digital Solutions specializes in building custom WordPress plugins to allow your WordPress website to perform in new and novel ways, depending on your needs. Some examples of custom WordPress plugins are:

  • Make your WooCommerce web store communicate with your web based point of sale system
  • Import content to your WordPress website from an external data feed and match to existing content
  • Create a form to capture leads and process the custom logic your business needs in the background
  • There are many more use cases in which a custom plugin will do the job you need better than stacking plugins that you only need a small piece of and slowing down your website.

Contact us today with any questions or ideas you have for a custom plugin and one of our experienced WordPress Experts will respond with a quote!

WordPress Plugin Customization in Dayton OH

Jengas digital solutions is Dayton’s WordPress plugin customization experts. Already have a plugin, but it stopped working? We can fix it for you, quickly and easily. One of the things that makes WordPress great, the frequent updates and ability to change themes at will, can also cause headaches if your previously working plugin suddenly stops working. Just this week, I repaired a custom WordPress plugin for a customer who had changed themes and who needed additional information to be processed by and passed through a custom form. Other times, you might find a plugin that does 80% of what you want, and we can customize that plugin to do the additional 20%.

Contact Jengas Digital Solutions for all your WordPress Plugin and Customization Projects!


How to Get Your Business Online (Simple and Fast)

How to Get Your Business Online (Simple and Fast)

As a small business owner in today’s web-reliant world, creating an “online presence” is essential to the overall success of your company… this holds true even if you’re operating a brick and mortar business. Surprised? A Forrester Report states that by 2020, 42 percent of in-store sales will be influenced by the internet, and from 2017-2020, web-influenced sales will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6 percent.

Whether your company offers products and services in the traditional manner or not, one point stands evidently clear – not having an online presence can prove disadvantageous to a small business’s overall brand, reputation and revenue, specially today- where 91 percent of consumers look online for local goods and services.

There are five major benefits of establishing an online presence:

1. Increase in Sales

Imagine having someone working for you, around the clock, to answer customer questions and provide information to interested potential customers… Your new website will do this for you!  Your website will be an online brochure, giving your customers and potential customers, important information about your products and services 24/7/365 when your customers are learning and making critical buying decisions! If your company has an e-commerce website, your business is essentially open 24 hours a day, allowing existing and prospective customers to shop and make purchases any time of day.

2. Strengthens Your Credibility

Recent surveys reveal that consumers and small business owners believe a website makes a company more credible. Additionally, online reviews on popular review sites and blogs lead to brand reinforcement, which promotes your firm as a trusted professional player. Having a website will ensure that when your customers search for your products and services, they will get the information from YOU (and not your competitors)! All of our websites are optimized to rank highly in Google at no extra charge!

3. More Marketing Opportunities

With the internet, you instantly widen your marketplace with an infinite number of consumers. And you’re able to do so in a more cost-effective manner than traditional means. When you choose online marketing, you get a TARGETED and TRACKABLE way to manage your advertising dollars!

4. Instant Communication

You don’t need to make phone calls, mail out a formal letter or print a glossy brochure to update the world about your company’s latest product release. You can tell your audience about new offers and relevant company news immediately when you’re online. We can also add special options, like live chat, to your new website!

5. Better Customer Service

Getting answers to questions and quick resolutions to issues are paramount to a client’s experience with a company. For example, consumers can easily access pertinent information about your business, retrieve answers from FAQ, or email/contact customer service at any time. Being online allows you to effectively keep in touch with existing customers, which leads to higher client retention.

Contact us today, and your business can be online within 1 week!