Online Business Tools

WordPress is the top choice of a large number of media managers who desire to set up a website, due to the many advantages that can come from using the platform.

Due to the many advantages that can come from using WordPress ‘free blog hosting, many media managers are turning to the popular platform to create entire websites. However, the free blogging platform is now being used as something more; a content management software. However, what are the advantages? In this article, we will outline all of the positive features and negative points to building a website using WordPress.

After reading, you will be able to decide if using WordPress to build your site is feasible, or if it would be recommended to use another method.

Here are some of the great benefits of using WordPress to create your websites:

SimpleWordPress is easy to learn. Even if you’ve never used it before, as a Webmaster, you will spend very little time figuring out the dashboard, enabling you to get to work quickly. The system is easy to install and you can begin editing site content right away. With this platform, you don’t need to be a seasoned programmer to get a decent setup.

Open SourceWordPress is an open source program, meaning that other programmers willingly share their code with other programmers, saving time and costs. When this code is already available, it can also reduce the number of errors when writing and editing code.

QuickOne of the biggest benefits to WordPress is the ease of installation for a hosting server. This way, you can begin working quickly.

SEO FriendlyWhile WordPress is not inherently built for SEO, it can be used with plugins that are capable of making up the difference. It’s easy to find recommended plugins online for optimizing your SEO and results.

User FriendlyBecause WordPress was created for use by the public, the interface is created so that it’s usable by anyone. You don’t need to be a technology professional to understand how to use WordPress; you just need to install it.

ExtrasOne of the unique things about WordPress is the ability to change it as your project changes. You can begin with your basic needs and change it as your business or site profile changes. You can also add and remove plugins and additional features as needed.

PriceWhat makes WordPress so valuable is it’s incredibly low cost. With all of the benefits listed above, it’s easy to see why WordPress maintains its current standing as the most popular blog and website platform.

However, what are some situations in which you would not want to use WordPress? Before you decide to install and begin on your WordPress journey, consider these tips:

WordPress can be wrong. Very wrong

It’s easy to build a WordPress website, but it’s not simple to build a good WordPress site. In addition, it can be difficult to find WordPress professionals that are also programmers. This is important because if you need to make a change to a plugin that is already written, you won’t have anyone who knows how to do it.

Copyright – While using WordPress can be great for first time webmasters or the less tech-savvy, being able to create your own, site from scratch with custom elements may be able to afford you better copyright protection. It’s true, the law does protect internet content to some extent, but it is a very difficult issue to navigate.

Speed – WordPress revolves around a community of developers, webmasters and programmers who all come together to build site templates and plugins for you to use. The trouble is that the more of these you use, the more your site tends to slow down. In addition, lots of generic code that is not necessary on each page already slows down many WordPress sites. The trouble with speed is that if your loading time is slow, your SEO ranking can suffer greatly.

Uniqueness – One issue with WordPress sites that can begin to peeve you over time is that many of the WordPress site templates look very similar. Regardless of the amount of times you tweak the individual settings, they all begin to feel a bit like they all are the same. The choice you have to make is whether you want to appear the same as other companies in your industry or not. Many larger companies are able to afford customized professional websites with in depth branding profiles created specifically for them and their products. If you don’t want to be confused with another brand, WordPress may not be the best choice for your site.

Control – The WordPress platform does occasionally need updates. The trouble is that the updates generally do nothing to benefit the user and benefit WordPress. Now, if your end-goal is the same as WordPress’ then you’re in luck, however, if you’re like many users, you may end up with updates that can harm your site rather than improve its functionality.

Updates – While we’re on the topic already, let’s talk about updates. While they can be detrimental to the site, at the same time, they’re required to close any security holes that might be present in the current system. With all of the different plugins you can get for your WordPress site, you may or may not know when you’re doing damage to your site. Long story short, the site is generally at the mercy of the programmer, and until it is repaired; your site will run sub-optimally.

Not Optimal for SEO – While WordPress does provide plugins so that you can include SEO functionality on your site, the level of depth that can be shown with these plugins is not likely to be enough for the search engines to classify your site correctly, or with enough relevance for your ranking to improve. Because of this, you will not be able to reach the same level of SEO performance that you can achieve with a customized and SEO optimized website.

Flexibility Issues – WordPress design was initially adopted for small amounts of content and websites that were not multimedia heavy. If you’re looking for a site that is more sophisticated or has more options for your visitors, like commerce site, you may want to look into hiring a specific web programmer. While possible, the inability to be flexible means these are costs you really don’t need to incur.

Open Source Structure – While it’s beneficial for programmers to be able to find and use code that’s already been written for public use, it’s also just as simple for hackers and cyber criminals to find the security holes in these same codes. For example, you might have a plugin that lets you send out a daily alert to your followers, but what you may really be doing is sending your entire email list of followers to the person who ‘hacked’ the plugin code.

In all, there are many advantages and disadvantages to using WordPress for you site management. In some cases, it can be hard to tell which road to take. Here are a few scenarios. If you:

Own a Small Business – If you have a limited budget and you’re not sure you can commit to any type of consistent online marketing, you might be a great fit for WordPress.

Quick Market Placement – One of the best advantages of using the platform is that its installation is fast and learning how to use it is simple. This means you can get started and get your website on the radar as soon as possible. It doesn’t require much pre-planning and many elements are simply drag and drop. However, after you’ve been on the market for a while, you may want to spend some money and upgrade your site to something more customized where you have more brand control.

If you are a new site: If you are considering building a new site for a company site you already own, building a custom, online representation of your company will give you better control over branding, and will help create optimal website content for search engines.

Customer Service

Before we proceed, let me ask you, what do you think is a major factor in a business’ success? If you say that it is the quality of the products or services, I will agree with you to some degree. But I think there’s a factor even more important than that. And that is customer service.

Your customers are what makes your business a success. Without customers supporting and patronizing your business, you won’t have any income, and certainly won’t have any recurring income.

What this means to you is that your customers should be of utmost priority. It’s not just about giving their money’s worth, but it is how you take care of them before and after they purchase from you. Customers want to feel that you value them, so by providing high quality customer service, they remain loyal to your brand.

Improving Customer Service

I’m sure you’ve had your share of bad experiences with customer service representatives as well. And it sure did leave a bad taste in your mouth. It’s very frustrating not to be treated properly after buying a company’s product or service. This is what your customers feel as well. Whether you own a small or large business, taking care of the needs of your customers should be a number one priority.

Thanks to the technology today, improving customer service is a simpler task than it was 10 years ago. There are numerous online tools that you can utilize and integrate into your business.

ZenDesk

ZenDesk is an online customer support system. It has a ticket support software and a helpdesk functionality that can help ensure that all your customers’ requests are handled in a timely and organized manner.

Trouble Ticket Express

Trouble Ticket Express is similar to ZenDesk. You can monitor and track customer ticket statuses. Also, you can track customer correspondence with this tool.

Kayako

Kayako is an online tool that helps companies improve on the delivery of their customer support through different channels. Use Kayako to provide support to your customers through Facebook, Twitter, the website, phone and email.

osTicket

osTicket is a support ticket system that is easily integrated with email, phone and web-based forms. You can organize and manage all ticket support requests in just one tool.

Live Help Now

8 Online Tools For Providing Better Customer ServiceLive Help Now is a help desk solution that gives you a Live Chat System, Callback Management System, Trouble Ticket System and Support System management.

Desk.com

Desk.com is an all-in-one customer service application that helps you with every area of customer service. The application focused on four major parts:

  • The Universal Inbox – all your inboxes (email, social media, phone) are organized and queued,
  • Case Management – keeps track of customer cases (past and present),
  • Productivity Tools – no more time-consuming tasks to deal with,
  • Customer Profiles – conveniently check all past and present interactions with customers, as well as who the customer is.

Zopim

Zopim is all about having live conversations with your customers and visitors. Zopim offers a widget that you can place on your website where you can chat with customers in real-time. Thus, helping you address the concerns and needs of your customers promptly.

UserVoice

UserVoice is a feedback and online help desk software. It helps you with taking care of feature requests, as well as monitoring online tickets. Their engagement tool has feedback forums where customers can discuss their ideas. Also, the software allows you to answer inquiries quickly through their support systems.

Some of the tools are free to download while some offer a 14-day to 30-day free trial period. Try each one out and see what tool will suit your needs best.

online business

Many small businesses today rely on the Internet to help them operate from day to day. Whether it’s for backup, marketing, web development, or support, there are plenty of online tools that can do the job. Many of these tools have both free and paid versions; depending on what they will be used for.

Storage and Backup

Google Drive

Google Drive is great for storing and editing files such as Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. Users can create folders, share them, and comment and collaborate on one another’s work. There is even a chat feature that is very helpful to increase communication between users. The most enticing feature of Google Drive is that 15GB of storage space is offered for each account. No longer will you have to worry about storage limits for your files.

Dropbox

Dropbox also allows the storage and sharing of files but that is its main purpose. The account storage limit starts with 2GB but can be increased up to 18GB as long as enough people join under that account. One very neat feature that small businesses can benefit from is that Dropbox allows hosting of html websites. This is very ideal for testing a website without using hosting space.

Marketing

Google Adwords

For years, Google Adwords has been the top ad-serving platform for both large and small businesses. There are many coupons that can be used to help a business get started for a very little cost. Inside Adwords, you have the ability to choose keywords based on niches such as “Cheap Handbags”. Then a price is set and, depending on how high you bid per click, Google will feature your ad for that keyword. For local small businesses, a specific area can be targeted which can have a big impact on the clicks to sales ratio.

Top Free And Paid Tools For Your Small BusinessMailChimp

Newsletters have been the top way for getting word out to customers about the newest products, sales, or news. So instead of having customers come from just ads traffic, they can be enticed back with email marketing. MailChimp offers many creative newsletter templates and lots of customization options for the user. The great thing about MailChimp is that it is free for up to 2,000 subscribers or 12,000 emails per month, which should be plenty for a small business.

Web Development

Blogger

For years, Blogger has been one of the top blogging platforms today and for good reason. There are thousands of free templates around which can be customized to the users’ wishes. Many small businesses use Blogger to host their blogs simply because:

  1. It’s free
  2. Has an easy to use interface
  3. It has lots of customizing potential

Weebly

Weebly offers the best click and drag experience making it easy for any novice to create beautiful websites. With a good variety of templates and plenty of web elements to add, Weebly ranks as one of the best click and drag web-designing platforms around. Weebly offers 2 plans, free and pro which is great, because any small business can create a website and go pro once they feel that it works for them.

Support

GetSatisfaction

GetSatisfaction is a great business to customer platform that allows small businesses to quickly help solve customer issues while also getting valuable feedback. The price is steep, however, starting at $425 for the Small Business Edition. It can be integrated with helpdesk and other programs, which makes it very streamlined and easy to use.

Google Forms

If a small business is on a tight budget, then Google Forms should do the job. It allows businesses and users to create surveys that can reveal detailed graphs depending on the amount of people that took the survey. The best part is that it’s free and very easy to use, especially when combined with Google Drive.

As you can see, there are many online tools that can help managers to make their small business succeed. While some are free and some paid, these tools are considered priceless to many businesses. With the Internet growing day by day, it is essential for small businesses to make use of all of these tools to maximize their profits and reach more customers.

See Also : Some Important Apps For Your Small Business

Money

If you are a small business owner it is a good idea to start thinking about the option of outsourcing your payroll services to an outside company. Managing your own business payroll can be quite a time-consuming task and it is often much more cost effective to go with an outside company.

Here are some tips to ensure you choose the right company.

Think What You Need

There are so many different payroll companies out there and thus it is important to think about what your business needs from the company and the service.

It is a good idea to write down the key things that you want from the payroll company and then use this as the guideline when you are looking for the right company.

Knowing what you need is important not just for ensuring you get the right amount of service but also to guarantee you don’t end up paying for services that you don’t even need.

The Price Of The Service

Of course it is also important to think about the price. You have to both think how much are you able to pay for the service and also see what you are able to get for that amount of money with specific companies.

Don’t think that it isn’t worth investing into a good company when it comes to payroll. Payroll management is an important part of a successful business and if it isn’t handled the right way you can quickly notice problems in many areas of the business. Thus always opt for quality service that you can afford.

Make sure you also make the company provide you a clear list of the expenses that they charge for. You don’t want to end up signing a contract and then get hidden fees to pay for. Get it all in writing before you sign the contract.

Tips For Choosing A Payroll CompanyPay Attention To Customer Service

When you are looking for a payroll company you need to pay special attention to the customer service you are getting. You don’t want to go with a company that isn’t able and committed to providing you a quality service and answering your specific questions.

Killer Start Ups recommends you must ask the company questions before signing the contract in order to really test their customer service skills and ensure you are able to receive a quality service.

Look For Companies Online

It is a good idea to go on the internet when you are looking for a payroll company to help your business. Searching for business payroll services is really easy and you can usually get a lot of hits when you also include your location to the search. Companies such as Friendly Accountants also offer online services and it is worth contacting these companies as well.

You can usually find recommendations online as well and it is a good idea to read customer reviews about various companies before you commit yourself into one.

When you do pick out a payroll company it is essential to make sure you get the contract in writing before you sign it and spend enough time to read it through.

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Apps

Managing employees and running a business can be stressful and take up a lot of your time. Fortunately, this can be done easily with the help of mobile apps that are specially designed to make running a business easier. If you have a smartphone, you can achieve this by utilizing these apps and constantly keeping an eye out for other apps designed to help operate a business. Such apps are beneficial to your business if you have employees who constantly travel and if your business involved plenty of paperwork and documenting.

The Concur For Travel And Expense App

As a business owner, you need to manage travel plans and track business activities at all times. You need to conveniently book flights and make accommodations and reservations at a touch of a button without any difficulty. In fact, you will also need to monitor travel expenses for accounting purposes. While you might have a secretary or personal assistant to handle all these tasks, you can save manpower pay and effort, by simply using this app on your smartphone or on your laptop.

The Vortex Connect App

If you have your employees visiting the office to get their work assignments and paperwork, you and your employees are wasting a lot of money each day. By using this app, you can organize schedules automatically, make real time changes to work schedules and assignments and even send out notifications to your employees’ mobiles whenever schedules for appointments or meetings change. In fact, you no longer have to waste time trying to track your employees down anymore as this app can track them. This is highly convenient when you need someone to attend an appointment in the place of another due to other obligations, traffic or personal issues.

Apps For Easier Business Operation And Consistent Employee ProductivityThe Teambox App

This app offers document sharing solutions and social media features that you and your employees will find useful. Your employees can easily share work documents and chat among themselves as they work together to complete a project. This is extremely beneficial to you when you have employees who have to travel for the business.

The Dropbox App

The need to retrieve and share documents between employees is common in many businesses, but it can waste time, space and effort when done inefficiently. This app prevents this by making all digitalized documents accessible by anyone in the business and you can ensure that all data is up to date. While you ensure the accessibility of all documents through the app, you can also place all hardcopies of your documents in a storage unit to avoid clutter and rows of filing cabinets in your office. Click here to learn more about the suitable storage solution for your business.

The Runzheimer Mobile App

Many businesses have to deal with unnecessary travels and lost time. Employees often end up being late for meetings due to poor direction details too. Fortunately, this mobile software eliminates such problems as it effectively plans out each day’s work and provides accurate travel directions whenever the need to travel arises. You and your employees can manage all appointments in a certain area before moving to another without breaking a sweat, while following an automated daily schedule for your appointments that is meant to accomplish daily assignments.

See Also : Some Important Apps For Your Small Business

Using technology to market and run your business is a smart way towards success. The advent of apps has made it particularly easier for people to run their businesses with just a tap of the phone. In this article we present to you some of the apps for small businesses that can make your company dealing a whole lot easier.

Google Drive

Google Drive provides a safe platform for sharing files. It provides files’ access to multiple users so that they can create a new file, edit it and save comments on it while collaborating with other employees at the same time. The best part about this app is that you can access it from any device; therefore, you can have your documents anywhere you need. You can purchase a business plan on this app by paying $5 monthly and you will get to have 30-GB of data storage.

Evernote

Whether you want to clip out information from a website or an email, store an audio recording or save a picture you can do so on the digital notepad ‘Evernote.’  This app makes digital note sharing easy. Like Google drive you can log on to Evernote from any device and make it easier for your employees and business associates to share notes. You just need to have your log in ID and password. This app for small business will save you the trouble of passing notes from door to door!

Appointment Plus

This app for small business can make your appointment management easy. This app allows you to store your appointments and details of your clients. Moreover, you can use it to cancel or alter the appointments anytime you want. By adjusting the settings of the app you can send automated reminders of the meeting to your clients as well. Technology can sure make your life trouble-free!

Dropbox

Cloud based storage system can save you from the trouble of handling files, sorting them out and arranging them. Save yourself from the possible daily mishaps and store your data on the cloud! Dropbox is considered one of the best file hosting apps that allows the storage of data in almost every form. In November 2012, this app for small business’ users extended beyond 100 million users. It gives you the benefit of having files on the go!

Tripit

This app for small businesses is for those people who need to travel a lot. It can help them to keep track of their flights and other travel arrangements. Plus, you can acquire maps, weather forecasts and road directions from this app to make your trip easier.

InDinero

Managing business finances can be a very tough task and InDinero can help you with that. You can synchronize this app with your bank account and credit cards and keep track of the day to day dealings. It’s hard to trust people when it comes to money but you can trust the technology to make your finance management error free!

These apps have benefited several small businesses, is your organization ready to try them out?

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Data Safety

If you own a business you understand the huge responsibility of running a business and ensuring that all sensitive data are kept safe and secure. You need to know that all your hard work is safe, yet constantly accessible when the need arises. As such, choosing the right digital document storage can be a tough decision to make, but it is necessary to improve productivity, efficiency, convenience and accessibility that can lead to business growth and profit.

Still Uncertain Why You Need Digital Document Storage

You might be uncertain about storing your business documents digitally, but going paperless can actually be convenient and efficient in running a business these days. Here are reasons why you should consider document storage –

Increased Security

A great way to improve the security and safekeeping of your business documents that involve sensitive information is by storing them offsite in a storage facility or digitally. How many times have we read companies having their documents compromised or financial information being leaked out to the public? When you consider saving your documents out of your office filing cabinet, it can save your company from any embarrassment. In fact document storage providers even have a system where you can view who accessed a certain type of document and when. Such a system can be quite unreliable and even impossible if your documents are stored in a storage box or filing cabinet at the office.

Accessibility And Convenience

If your business involves plenty of traveling, then carrying stacks of folders can be very inconvenient and tiring. When you opt for digital storage then the need to travel with papers is eliminated, as all the documents you will need are conveniently available through your tablet and smart phone. Having access to your documents this way can prevent the possibility of forgetting or misplacing an essential piece of information needed for your business. As a matter of fact, this method of document storage accessibility highlights your professionalism and gives clients a winning first impression about you and your business.

Maximized Efficiency

You can maximize efficiency in your business by cutting down on time spent on other activities. Document storage can reduce activities as all information is stored in one location, preventing employees from having to move about from office to office, or desk to desk. As information is easily made accessible, the flow of productivity will generate more profit for your business.

Fast Data Retrieval

Time is precious in any business and losing time just to locate files in a filing cabinet can lead to loss of productivity and profit. To ensure that your time is spent wisely, document storage can see to it that you have all the documents you need at a touch of a button wherever you may be in your company. In fact, your staff can also view the same document at the same time which is efficient in a busy office.

More Space For Productivity

Storing documents at the office can cause trouble in terms of capacity, as storage boxes, filing cabinets and shelves can take up plenty of valuable space. Instead of an unnecessary filing system, office spaces can be used for different purposes that can enhance office productivity.

See Also : What Is an Electronic Document

Responsive web design devices

Current statistics project that mobile web traffic will surpass desktop traffic by 2015 – a mere two years from now. With this kind of traffic heading to your site on a mobile basis, you need to be able to understand the impact this traffic has on a daily basis in order to keep up with customer demand and keep your business successful. Google has ascertained there are three key areas in which mobile metrics need to be addressed on a consistent basis:

  • Acquisition
  • Behavior
  • Conversion

Each of these components is key to making your e-commerce functioning a success. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Acquisition

Acquisition refers to consumer visits to your website. Specifically, acquisition looks at how many overall people visit your website; how many of those visitors are unique visitors, i.e., new and not repeating and lastly, page views, which translates to how many times specific pages on your website were viewed.

These types of information will examine how traffic is or isn’t growing over time, and if it is growing more over desktop use or mobile. As such, this is a metric that you’ll want to examine for several months. Once you start to see where your purchases and traffic are emanating from – i.e., desktop or mobile traffic – you’ll be able to improve and upgrade your site as needed in these areas and create marketing plans geared toward creating higher traffic on both.

Behavior

Behavioral metrics will show you whether or not visitors to your site are following through with purchases. Behavior looks at:

  • Page per visit: how many pages a visitor clicked on within your site
  • Time on site: how long are they accessing your site via mobile versus desktop
  • Bounce rate: how quickly are visitors leaving your site once they land on it

All of this information will help you to see where your site is working and resulting in sales, and where it isn’t. It will also tell you which pages are more appealing to your customers, and which aren’t, which are important when assessing what products are selling and those that are not. Again, this is another metric which will need looking at for several months at a time in order to correctly assess the buying patterns of your customers.

Conversion

Conversion is a fancy way of looking at those visitors who purchased and became customers. But conversion looks at more than just whether or not a purchase occurs; conversion analyzes the value of those conversions, which in turn will show how you are pulling in your monthly numbers via e-commerce. Conversion looks at two categories to determine value:

  • Conversion rate – how many people purchase, or sign up for more information
  • Average order size – this value averages how many dollars you are getting per order

The benefit of tracking conversion is obvious, but as with the other metric tools, this needs to be done on a consistent basis in order to use the information wisely and successfully.

Using Your Understanding of Mobile Metrics

Mobile e-commerce is moving at a rapid pace, increasing each month versus traditional marketing, which saw increases annually. So don’t get left behind – start utilizing your mobile metrics today.

IT

Anyone who is involved in the running of a business understands how important a decent I.T. system is. It is important not just in the day to day running of the business with specific tasks such as maintaining customer databases, creating or editing products, processing payments, sending letters and invoices, and email correspondence, but also to be able to run important reports for accounting and payroll and look at business trends. Companies rely heavily on their I.T. systems and an effective I.T. system is an imperative part of the running of a business.

Starting Your Business

When small businesses start, they are more often than not established by people with a trade or a skill, which is usually not in administration or building I.T. systems. It can be extremely daunting for anyone to get past the income vs. outgoings excel Why I.T. Support Plays An Important Role In Businesses Of All Sizesspreadsheet and another spreadsheet showing a list of clients. Then there’s the giant leap into filing accounts, paying tax and producing reports to strategize how to grow. Whilst some companies can bring about success through the use of ‘normal’ software packages and having a good head for figures; others need something a little more complex.

Many people therefore look for I.T. companies to build and develop their systems to give them better control and ultimately save time and money. These support providers offer many services from building intricate all-encompassing systems, I.T. consultancy, offering I.T. support, building web sites to anything related to computer services. They build a professional relationship of trust with the companies ensuring that the service that they provide is tailor made to suit them.

Outsourcing Your I.T

I.T. business support can be provided by various companies, offering a wide range of services. There are many businesses that outsource their entire “I.T department” to I.T companies, taking away the need to expensively employ I.T. specialists or train existing employees. These I.T. companies also provide software and hardware updating services and some offer a callout service- although modern technology means that this usually is not necessary! Some businesses also outsource specific parts of their I.T. needs such as the upkeep and design of their websites, or hire I.T. companies to develop their database I.T systems. Some companies already have these systems in place and use outsourced I.T. companies just as a support service.

The Right Company For You

The main requirement for a business I.T support company is the ability to be flexible in order to meet the specific needs for your Why I.T. Support Plays An Important Role In Businesses Of All Sizesindividual company. Obviously there are other factors involved such as price, safety, level of attention and, in some cases, location but none of these would mean anything if the actual service is not adequate.

Regardless of the type of I.T. business support that is required by your business, there is a wide array of companies ready to help.  It is worth researching and talking to I.T. support companies to find the best deal for you specifically.  Different I.T. support companies offer different levels of service and at different rates, so it is a case of shopping around to find which the best company to use is.

See Also : IT Training: Is Python The New Language Everyone Must 

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I hate queuing at the store, especially when there are little kids ahead of me, especially when it is my own kids. They keep making all kinds of fuss and picking stuff you had not planned to pay for. Anyway, that dreaded check-out counter is referred to as the Point of Sale (POS). A Point Of Sale Terminal (POST) is that device that the cashier uses to add up your costs and generate your receipt. The most widely available POSTs are electronic cash registers and they are most commonly used by high-volume transaction retailers.

Types of Point Of  Sale Terminals

There are many different brands of point of sale terminals but most of them fall under one of three types. POSTs can be either physical electronic POS terminals, virtual terminals, or unattended terminals.

Physical Electronic Point Of  Sale Terminals

Physical electronic POS terminals (also referred to as counter-top terminals) are favored more for their support of wide ranges of uses and applications and also for their cost effectiveness. They are the most widely used and are common features at most traditional shops’ checkout counters. There are three categories of physical electronic point of sale terminals. These are stationery POSTs, mobile POSTs, and Integrated POSTs. All three categories are made up of hardware and software systems. They are all used at the point where the customer pays for the purchases and they are used to authorize and electronically send transactions.

Point of Sale Terminals

These categories of physical electronic POSTs can be used to process cash, credit card, and debit card payments. They all include a PIN pad that enables customers to key in their card PIN numbers if required to do so. Most of the older POS terminals were made to read the magnetic stripes of cards. However, most of the current terminals are made for reading both magnetic stripes and electronic chips. The chip-readers are rapidly replacing the magnetic stripes readers.

Virtual Payment Terminals

Nowadays, a growing number of customers prefer to make their purchases online. This, combined with the rapid growth of online businesses and e-commerce, has led to the coming up of virtual payment terminals. These are secure electronic terminals that enable the merchant to process a buyer’s purchases without the buyer being physically present. Even though most of these virtual payments are conducted over the internet, virtual payment terminals are also used on transactions that are made by mail or telephone. Virtual payment terminals have no special hardware requirements since all transactions are completed over a web application that supports safe transaction authorization, the secure handling of card information, and verifiable completion of transactions.

Unattended Point Of  Sale Terminals

These are point of sale terminals that do not require a human attendant to process transactions. The most commonly used unattended POSTs are vending machines which allow customers to serve themselves. Some other widely used unattended Posts include public transport ticketing machines and parking meters.

All businesses require a reliable and secure system to process transactions and keep records. There are three main types of Point of Sale Terminals and one should choose the most appropriate depending on their business needs.