When It Comes to Keeping New Year’s Resolutions, the Internet is Your BFF

Keeping New Year's Resolutions just got easier. thank you, Internet.

Keeping New Year’s Resolutions just got easier. Thank you, Internet.

We’re all too familiar with how it goes: resolution is made, resolution is broken all too soon (day after, anyone?). Resolutions are just so much…work. But they needn’t be. How great would it be to start off the year knowing you’ll keep all your resolutions for good? Read on for our list of the top apps out there for keeping resolutions alive well after January and start 2015 off right!

If your resolution is to…

Budget your spending better

  • Use Slice. Your favorite companion is the top budgeting tool for the New Year. By using Slice, you can keep track of price drops, which will save you money in the long run. We will also keep you on the DL about product recalls, so you can spend only on items you will actually be able to safely use.
  • Use Mint. The app (you can sign up for free) allows you to pay all your bills with ‘Mint Bills,’ meaning all your spending is localized to one place. No more scattered spending!

Lose weight…

  • Use Lose It! This free app boasts of 36 million users and will customize a weight loss plan for you. Simple and hassle free, the app works by tracking calories and establishing a peer support network.
  • Speaking of peer support…Ace Fitness explains the different ways that social support is great motivation for exercise. After you read, download the app Pump Up, which provides users with an inspiring community focused on fitness and wellness.
  • If you’re looking to eat healthier, consider subscribing to Calorie Manager, which allows users to track not only the caloric content of food but also other nutritional properties.

Stress less…

  • For all the good it does, the Internet can be a stressful tool. Email clutter can actually turn disruptive IRL; virtual organization is important too. Use Unroll.me. With this app, you can clearly see all of your email subscriptions, delete the ones you no longer want, combine the subscriptions you love into a single digest, and have said digest show up only once per day.
  • Meditation can be helpful and calming after a stressful day. The Huffington Post has compiled a list of the best meditation apps out there that you can use even when you only have a few minutes to spare.

The Ultimate Online Holiday Party Planning Guide

The holidays are a great excuse to get your friends together.

The holidays are a great excuse to get your friends together.

Holiday season is here! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we welcome it hand-in-hand with a mind blowing party hosted by…you! Even if it’s not your first time, planning a holiday party can be quite stressful and time-consuming. But here at Slice we want your holiday party to be the talk of the town, so whether you’re going for a small, intimate scale, or maxing out your guest list, we’ve got your back. Read on for our tips on how to host the ideal party…and how to save money while planning it!

Start now. You’ll want to gather all you need – your ideas, decorations, food – sooner rather than later to avoid any last-minute stresses, especially given that December equals incredibly crowded stores and the items you want running out quickly online. Make a list of everything you’ll need and get shopping! Check out Real Simple for a holiday party checklist.

Pick a theme. Red, green, and sparkle is traditional, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, you can also choose to funk up your theme with unexpected yet festive twists – make it a costume party, fundraise for a benefic cause, have a decorating event, plan the party collaboratively… the options are endless! Punchbowl has even more budget-friendly themes you can draw inspiration from. Just make sure you decide with plenty of time, gather all the materials you need, and let your guests know at least a week in advance.

Cater to your guests’ needs. Have guests that absolutely have to be there? Plan your party dates accordingly. Which means: send out your invitations early! And send them beautifully and efficiently – online invitations are the way to go. Evite has free Holiday Party-themed cards, and Paperless Post has adorable free options featuring winter-specific designs. If you choose to go printed, Shutterfly has stylish options you can customize for a relatively low price.

The food. Food – appetizers or full course – can make or break a holiday party. Keeping food simple will make your planning that much easier: stick to salad, a main dish, and holiday-specific dessert for budget-friendliness. Now, what to make? Food52 is the perfect resource for all your culinary needs. You can also download the company’s app for easier access to the crème de la crème of holiday recipes. For appetizer tips, have a look at Style at Home’s site. And keep in mind whether any of your guests has any specific dietary needs: asking about food allergies and the like is considerate to do; avoid purchasing any food that not all of your guests can eat, or buy items specifically for persons with particular requests if possible.

Use apps to stay organized.The Washington Post has a listing of apps you might find useful in planning your party. As always, you can rely on Slice to keep track of packages, notify you of price drops, and much more!

Happy Holidays!

Our Gift to You: Slice Package Predictor!

Nothing ruins the holidays like a gift not arriving on time! Fear not– our Package Predictor will help you be a hero this holiday season. How? We are watching all the shipments made by Slice Nation and calculating the average amount of time it takes from the day the order was made to the day the package arrived at its destination, so you can see, for example, that it might take a little longer for Aunt Martha to get her package in Montana than your sister Sally in San Francisco.

How it works: you can search by state or metro area using the drop-down menu on the right of the map, or key in the ZIP code to see the average shipping time to that destination. The tools on the upper left-hand corner will help you zoom into any area of the map to get a closer view of the shipping times in a given area.

Have fun playing with the data, and happy holiday shopping!

About the Data
With a panel of more than 2 million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence offers the most detailed and precise digital commerce data available, reported daily.

Slice Intelligence is the only service to measure digital commerce directly from the consumer, across all retailers, at the item level, over time. This retailer-independent methodology accurately measures commerce as it happens. By extracting detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts, Slice can map the entire Purchase Graph, connecting each and every consumer to all their purchases.

Slice gets its data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world.

How to Make the Most of Cyber Monday

 

cyber monday

Don’t want to brave the Black Friday crowds? We totally get it – we wouldn’t either! That’s why Cyber Monday is the perfect opportunity to browse any imaginable retailer and to shop ‘til you drop at low, guilt-free prices from the comfort of your own home. What could be better? So get ready – Cyber Monday is the pinnacle of online shopping, and it’s coming up in less than a week! Read on for our tips on how to save the most during this event, and know that Cyber Monday is the perfect day to make use of our free app Slice – we’ll take care of all the nitty-gritty package tracking, price drop, and product recall details so all you have to do is enjoy spending that hard-earned money!

Get an early start. Keep an eye out for Cyber Monday…on Friday. Many retailers, like Wal-Mart and Kmart, offer some of their best online prices the day after Thanksgiving. Amazon is already doing flash sales (a new sale every 10 minutes)! So if there’s a specific item you’re looking for, your best bet is to buy it as early as possible before it sells out.

 

Act quickly! And if you can, wake up early. It’s easy to forget that quantities are limited in the convenience of shopping from home. But online retailers will run out of the items you want almost as quickly as will physical stores, which can end in disappointment. Early to rise makes the shopper wise! You might also set aside a couple of hours on Monday devoted solely to online shopping so your entire day doesn’t go to waste. This way you will also curb browsing-to-buying temptation and save!

Stick to a budget. We all know how hard it can be to keep track of how much you’re spending when items are heavily discounted. And with the holidays coming up, you’ll want to use Cyber Monday’s savings to buy gifts for friends and family (and indulge in yourself a little, too!). To shop the smartest, make a list of who you plan to buy things for and how much you’re willing to spend (or, better yet, over the weekend decide what items you want to purchase so you can just head straight to those on Monday). A little browsing is fine, but capping the amount you spend on these impulse buys will lead to a happier wallet (and a happier you).

Know in advance some of the deals being offered. While many of the coupons and discounts will only be revealed closer to the date, some merchants have already released information about the price drops they will implement. CNET has put together a list of the best tech deals, and the Wall Street Journal has made a list of smartphone deals. Looking for a getaway? There are Cyber Monday deals for travelers too – Budget Travel’s list features the best discounts. For a broader range of items, head on over to the New York Post or to The Huffington Post’s list of the 10 best stores to visit this Monday.

Stay safe. The best way to shop is with a calm conscience. Read the Los Angeles Times’ tips for safe shopping during the holidays and keep your financial information secure so you can shop confidently.

Slice Acquires Unroll.Me

Slice expands beyond shopping to offer consumers more utility from email inboxes

PALO ALTO, Calif.—November 24, 2014—Slice, the company known for its popular shopping and package tracking app, today announced that it has acquired Unroll.Me, the service that lets consumers mass unsubscribe to emails and consolidate promotions and newsletters into one daily digest.

header-logoWith the acquisition, Slice embarks into new territory.  The company’s flagship app, Slice, makes online shopping smarter by organizing valuable shopping data from inboxes, while Unroll.Me offers an elegant solution to eliminating inbox clutter caused by promotions, newsletters and spam.

“Slice and Unroll.Me are attacking the same problem—our inboxes are so cluttered that it’s nearly impossible to find the information that’s important,” says Scott Brady, chief executive officer at Slice.  “We started with shopping, but we are not finished making email useful again.”

Based in New York City, Unroll.Me was founded in 2011 by Josh Rosenwald and Jojo Hedaya, who met while studying abroad in high school. Introduced by a teacher who recognized they were the only two in the program with BlackBerrys, Rosenwald and Hedaya were young entrepreneurs working on separate projects. A frustration with e-mail brought them together to build Unroll.Me.

Unroll.Me co-founders Jojo Hedaya (l) and josh Rosenwald (r).

Unroll.Me co-founders Jojo Hedaya (l) and Josh Rosenwald (r).

“Like many people, we would often complain about how frustrating it is to communicate and connect via email,” recalls Rosenwald.  “Our inboxes were overloaded with junk and we realized if we wanted the problem fixed, we had to do it ourselves.”

The first version of Unroll.me was a simple way to see all your subscriptions and get rid of the ones you didn’t want, in one click. After a small beta to friends and family, Unroll.Me became a viral hit; quickly amassing over a million users, which the company refers to affectionately as “Rollers.”

“We instantly admired the Unroll.Me product—specifically its simplicity, immediate utility and the way sharing was built into the experience,” says Brady. “The team was even more impressive. Josh and Jojo are gifted entrepreneurs who have built a team and product that perfectly complement our mission at Slice, and together, we will significantly grow our business through new products that increase the utility of all the information in the inbox.”

About Slice

Slice is online shopping, smarter. Slice’s technology automatically identifies e-receipts within inboxes and extracts every data point about every purchase to create digital commerce products that delight consumers and create business value for partners. Slice is transforming online shopping and retail by unveiling never-before-seen digital commerce data via its APIs, information products and consumer applications.

Based in Palo Alto, CA, Slice is an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of Rakuten. To learn more about Slice, visit www.slice.com.