In less than 15 years from now, retail as we know it, might no longer exist. The traditional brick and mortar stores where customers walk down the aisles picking out their goods will be the exception rather than the norm. With advances in technology and especially with the advent of online retailing, sites like Amazon have risen to fifth place in sales ranking, gradually displacing the conventional retail shops.

A recent article from Forbes magazine demonstrated that last year’s sales from physical retail outlets in the UK accounted for 91% of total revenue and there has been a growth of over 50% in the number of physical retail outlets. However, the undeniable evidence before us shows that online retailing is rapidly gaining the ground to eclipse the number of sales that are seen from physical retailers.

As of today, retail remains the single largest private sector employer in the UK, accounting for more than 1 in 10 people in the workforce. However with the advent of E-commerce, a major downsizing is going on in the traditional retail outlet and stores and retail giants such as Toys ‘R Us, have fallen under this onslaught. Surprisingly as these old giants fall, newer retail outlets are springing up to take their place.

Some would argue that the reason retail stores as we know them now may still be in existence years to come, is the customer experience and physical interaction they offer which cannot be found online. In actual fact, most of these newer outlets are combining physical shopping experiences with online shopping in a bid to keep up with current trends.

The phrase the customer is king has never been more apt as now, as newer technological trends such as AI are being used to monitor customer experience in both online and physical stores. For example, it can be used to find out which sections and products in a store customers naturally gravitate towards, with the intent to prioritize the stocking of these areas more popular goods and services.

Experts predict that the retail stores of the future will not be outlets for the displaying of physical goods for purchase, but media for advertisement and social interaction. Here, customers can go to immerse themselves in brand experiences and brands can gain useful insights from customer engagement. We’ve already seen Apple take big strides with implementing this concept.

The implementation of technology would lead to less physical purchasing of goods and instead offer customers the experience of immersion in virtual reality shopping. This might take the form of enabling them a variety of experiences from the comfort of their homes as good as or better than what they would have if they were shopping in a physical store.

In this era of digital revolution and technological advancement, the key to remaining relevant in the retail business is Innovation. Even with the proliferation of shop and retail insurance packages and other cushions targeted at ensuring that conventional retail businesses don‘t have to worry about failure, innovation is still vital. The intergration of technology and innovation into your existing business model is vital for survival.

These small groups of Islands are definitely in the bucket list of every nature enthusiast, and it is not a surprise as the archipelago offers something that many destinations don’t, which is close encounters with the endemic species that inhabit the Galapagos Islands.

Due to the islands’ remote location and unique environmental conditions, the species that inhabited them got to evolve without human intervention. So, when Charles Darwin arrived in 1835, he was immediately caught into the archipelago’s unique features that will later inspire his famous theory of evolution, changing natural history forever and the Islands became instantly known worldwide.

But what was special about the Galapagos islands? –Darwin wrote the Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of every country he visited during his expedition on board the H.M.S Beagle, and in its first edition, he stated that the species that he found in the Galapagos were very similar to the other species in South America. Of course, in future editions, he changed this statement. During his voyage in the Galapagos, he realized that there were species that varied from Island to Island in order to adapt and survive. The most famous example is the different types of finches that could be found on each Island. This was what inspired his theory of natural selection.

Galapagos tourism evolution

More than 150 years has passed, and the Galapagos wildlife is still not intimidated by the presence of human activity around them. Even though tourism has become the main economic activity in the Galapagos, you will still encounter with playful sea lions resting in the middle of the towns, land iguanas roaming around and waiting for you to visit them.

Is there a way to explore the archipelago just like Darwin did? -A way that can evoke the nostalgia of the times when Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos or when the first researchers explored them, the old fashioned way of cruising making this trip of a lifetime filled with unforgettable experiences.

An indulgent way to follow Darwin’s footsteps is to get on a barefoot luxury cruise in the Galapagos.

Most of us are not really related to that concept. But it is definitely something you will be looking for during your vacations in the Galapagos Islands. Getting away from the 24/7 world and its technology, admire the jaw-dropping landscapes and fearless wildlife of the Galapagos without worrying about anything. Enjoy the simplicity of the world and feel adventurous without sacrificing comfort.

Two perfect vessels that will give you a barefoot luxury experience in the Galapagos Islands are WildAid’s Passion and Alya:

Alya Catamaran:

This First-class catamaran is one of the newest in the Galapagos Islands. Specially designed to provide you a luxurious experience on board. Every detail has been taken care of, from food to service, accommodations, and equipment.

You will enjoy the endless views of the ocean during this cruise. Eight of its nine cabins have a private balcony where you can enjoy the breeze of the ocean during navigations. Offering an ultimate level of intimacy with the archipelago.

The cruise itinerary was designed to take you to iconic visitor sites, making the experience not only about comfort, but experience too. You will have the opportunity to visit San Cristobal Island, Española Island, Santa Cruz Island, North Seymour Island, Genovesa Island, Santiago Island and Batholomew.

WildAid’s Passion:

This former private yacht was never used before for tourism. After being refurbished, it started operating in the Galapagos Islands. This yacht features 2 suites and 4 staterooms that can fit no more than 12 passengers in its exclusive 159 feet. You can choose from two itineraries of 8 days each that go to the main visitor sites of the Western and Eastern part of the Islands.

On the Western itinerary, you will visit iconic Islands such as: Santa Cruz Island, Floreana, Isabela, Fernandina, Santiago, North Seymour, and Mosquera.

During the Eastern itinerary, you will visit: Santa Cruz Island, South Plazas, Santa Fe, Española Island, Rabida, Santiago Island, and Genovesa.

Or you can take a 15-day itinerary where you will do a full route!

This itinerary was designed by Andando Tours’ CEO, Fiddi Angermeyer, one of the first men who started the business of cruising the Islands.

Just like Charles Darwin did on the H.M.S Beagle, you will visit Floreana Island, Isabela Island, Genovesa and Santiago (Wolf and Darwin can only be reached by liveaboards, and there is no landing allowed on those Islands).

Are you ready to follow Darwin’s footsteps in a fancier way?

You’ve thought about the benefits, weighed the pros and cons, and you’ve decided that college prep is the right choice for your child. Now comes the part you’ve been worrying about – the application process. Seen by some as a precursor to the college admittance process, getting into a college preparatory school comes with its pitfalls and challenges. Luckily, there are a few ways to make the admission process a little less stressful and increase your odds of getting the answer you’re hoping for.

1. Do Your Research

This is a big decision, so take your time and do your homework. You want to make sure the school has the things you and your child are looking for. Does it focus on a well-rounded child? Are arts a priority? What is the community like? The more information you have, the better equipped you’ll be to make the right choice for your child.

2. Get the Letters

College prep is about more than just academics – it’s about creating well-rounded individuals. The school will look to recommendation letters to get an idea of what your child is like academically and socially. As such a significant part of the process, make these a priority early on. Find the teachers or coaches that know your child personally and will speak well of them both socially and academically. And get started soon: writing a good letter takes time, and you want to make sure you get them all in before the deadline.

3. Be Punctual

Speaking of deadlines, check them. Double-check them. Recheck them. These are not flexible dates. Get your application (and all the transcripts and recommendation letters) in as soon as they’re done, not when it’s down to the wire.

4. Be Honest

Of course, you want your child to get into college prep, but you also want it to be the right place for them. Don’t fudge the details to make your child seem like a better applicant; it’s easy to see through and ultimately will backfire. Instead, let your child’s unique skills and personality shine through in all the answers (and particularly their essay). The right school will appreciate your child for exactly who they are.

5. Focus on the Essay

The essay is a vital part of the application process: it lets your child have their voice and express their thoughts and opinions. College prep schools take these very seriously, and so should you. Read over the topic thoroughly, and have your child think about their answer. Review their rough drafts and help them with their grammar; after all, you want the essay to put your child’s best face forward.

6. Nail the Interview

Generally, college prep schools ask for an interview before making their decision. Most schools consider the in-person interview to be critical, so make it your priority to do this in-person if at all possible. The interview is the perfect time for your child to shine. If they’re nervous, you can do practice interviews with them to set them at ease. You want your child to feel confident, prepared, and ready to take on the world. The right attitude can make or break a college prep school interview, so make sure your child is prepared for anything.