Small businesses are widely recognized for being integrally involved in their communities. If you ask many small business owners they’ll tell you that their customers are much more than business contacts, they are friends; and that their offices and storefronts are not just where they work but where they live. So it’s no surprise that when neighbors are in need, their small business community is there to help.
Giving back to the community is a year-long commitment for many small businesses, but as the holiday season approaches and the year draws to a close we are all more focused on taking stock, giving thanks for what we have, and giving to others who may not be as lucky.
And, research shows that such generosity is just good business.
The payment landscape is shifting in every direction. From mobile payments and online transactions to updated point of sale and retail technologies, the way consumers are paying for their goods is changing. For businesses, this means changing the way they do business and moving with change of winds. One of the most popular forms of payments are via credit cards, and for the meantime (at least), that isn’t going to change. However, the method in which credit card processing occurs has already begun to shift. Here are trends in credit card processing happening right now.
The Internet has effectively put the world at your fingertips, and search engines have provided the tools you need to filter that information to find the nuggets you need. However, the sheer volume of information available makes it increasingly important that you be able to zero in on what’s important and what’s reliable without getting distracted by alluring tangents or malfeasant subterfuges.
The ability to quickly and accurately find answers is a key skill for small business owners. A big part of that is learning to ask the right questions and following the appropriate threads to the right answers. Google has created a daily game that helps you hone those skills.
It’s no secret that the world is going mobile. From tablets to smartphones, more and more people are carrying the internet with them everywhere they go. With this comes the responsibility of businesses to meet the needs of this new mobile consumer, and prepare themselves for the shift in how their customers shop and pay for their products and/or services. Here’s a look at some of the astronomical mobile payment numbers of recent years, and those projected in time to come.
There has been a lot of chatter about online and mobile payments this year (and most recently with the huge success of Cyber Monday), and there are plenty of reasoning for it. More than ever your customers are flocking to their computers and mobile devices to pay their bills, buy your products and pay for your services. All from the comfort of their own homes. The often times forgotten, but extremely beneficial form of electronic payment is the electronic check. Here’s why it needs to be added to your electronic payment tool set.
This holiday season promises to be huge for e-commerce. Online Shopping is expected to grow 12.1% in the US alone this holiday season, to as much as $96 billion—with a good portion of it being conducted via social media and mobile devices. According to a McAfee study, 70% of Americans plan to shop online this holiday season, and 54% of those people plan to use a mobile device. Although consumers know to verify that sites they visit and purchase from are trustworthy, 20% of online shoppers say they don’t know how to determine if a site is secure. This knowledge gap provides another way for cybercriminals to victimize unsuspecting, and unprotected, shoppers.
To help people protect themselves, McAfee has released the Top 12 Scams Of Christmas To Watch Out For. Read about the current threats in social media, mobile, travel, spam/phishing, gift scams, Skype, gift cards, SMiShing (text message scams), fake e-commerce sites, fake charity sites, e-cards, and phony classified ads, and learn how to protect yourself from them.
With so much sophisticated fraud out there, it is no wonder that customers are wary about shopping online. So what does this mean to your small business e-commerce site?