Published in TEN Eyewitness News on July 20, 2017
Forget the old bricks-and-mortar store front. If a business isn’t online, then it may as well not exist.
That’s the future according to architect and photographer Demas Rusli, one of tens of thousands of tech-savvy entrepreneurs making a name for themselves on social media.
“Everyone is on their phones these days. You see on the bus and public transport, on the train, everyone is on their phone and everyone is scrolling on Instagram,” he said.
“It’s a pretty big thing, you can’t really say no to it.”
Rusli is a social media ‘influencer’: he’s racked up a following of over 70,000 people on Instagram, and uses the platform to get lucrative sponsorships from all sorts of brands – from footwear giants Nike and New Balance, to car manufacturers like Lexus.
“It’s like a new way to market, a new way to advertise,” he said.
“If I’m shooting a sneaker campaign for Nike or something, I don’t try to put the sneaker in front of me. I try to put it in a scene and have a story behind it, and make it more genuine to my content and what I usually do anyway.
“Over time, I’ve realised the importance of it, because a lot of people look up to me.”
Hayden Cox, entrepreneur and founder of Haydenshapes Surfboards, still has love for the traditional shop window.
He has stores in LA as well as New South Wales, but used the web to take his business up a notch. He now has nearly 80,000 followers on Instagram.
“I started making and designing surfboards when I was 15-years-old, and I built and coded my first website when I was 16, so I’ve always engaged through the Internet with building my brand and my business over the last 20 years,” he said.
“There’s some people who may not have seen one of my boards down at the local beach, and they saw an Instagram post, and they want to walk into your local retailer or one of our stores and touch and feel and pick up the product.”
Now, it seems that technology is catching up to the new breed of business men and women – always on the move, with a need to constantly be online.
Companies are ditching bulky laptops in favour of ‘two in one’ portable tech – that is, small, lightweight, often keyboardless computers that have all the functioning capability of your desktop.
Samsung have just launched the ‘Galaxy Book’ and ‘Galaxy Tab S3’ in line with this concept.
The back of the tablet sports a new sleek, sophisticated look made from reinforced glass.
Running on Android with 4G capability, Microsoft products, like Word and Excel, are pre-installed on the device, so you can pretty much knock-up any document that you would at home.
And while some might miss the iPad’s Apple store, the Samsung has it beat with an SD card slot – very useful for camera-wielding influencers.
As for the Galaxy Book, it’s pretty similar to the tablet in design, but it comes in two different sizes, 10.6 inch and 12 inch.
Users have the option of using a keyboard with both devices, but if you were to use the Galaxy Book screen alone, tablet-style, you’d have a fully-functioning advanced computer that’s extremely lightweight and portable.
The Windows 10 software is what makes that possible – creative-types can download full version software, like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, without having to settle for mobile versions that skimp on the full capabilities.
Both the Galaxy Book and Galaxy Tab S3 also support High Dynamic Range video content, which means top-notch colour and image quality.
“I actually had a really good experience with it, everything ran smoothly. Lightroom and Photoshop are the two programs I use the most, and they work completely fine, like they would when I’m on my laptop at home,” said Mr Rusli.
“The mobility of it is what’s important.”
There’s also a big hurrah about the S Pen that comes with both devices. It writes like a real pen, makes second-grade handwriting look close to calligraphic, and classic pencil company Stedler have even chipped in with a nostalgic rendition that’s compatible with the Samsung screens.
But, is it good enough to throw out your laptop?
“Yeah, probably, I think definitely. I’ve had a really positive experience with it,” said Mr Rusli.
As more big tech companies like Samsung follow suit in this new trend, it seems that online business will be just on its heels.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census, businesses’ social media engagement had increased by 4.2 per cent between 2015 and 2016.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Book are available in store from July 28. Prices start at $949 for the tablet and $1,099 for the Galaxy Book.