POS in Retail

POS-in-RetailWithout retail, would the POS system be where it is today? One could argue that it was, in fact, McDonalds that elevated the POS industry and increased demand. McDonalds invested heavily in technology during the 70s and 80s to try and help consumers  and servers get orders more accurate.

It’s true, however, that retail has traditionally dominated the POS over time. Most retail POS systems include the cash register, a printer to print the customer’s receipt, a monitor for the cashier to work with, a cash drawer, and a barcode scanner of some form or another. Older systems include a keyboard, with others including a mouse. Even some newer systems that use desktop computers as the base utilize these peripherals. Some newer systems utilize touchscreen technology, which can make it easier for clerks to find proper codes for items the customer wants.

Newer POS systems are also equipped to handle loyalty programs, which have increased significantly in popularity over time. Loyal customers now expect some form of discount. POS systems have also given retailers the opportunity to plan special sales, using functions to pre-sell items at a discounted price.

Older POS systems relied on a mainframe computer to manage operations, with strict limits on how many terminals could be used in the system at once. In fact, early IBM systems had a limit of 128. Today’s POS can handle a lot more than just the sale itself. Computers in the back office now manage inventory and help to control purchasing.

Without a properly integrated POS system, modern retail operations could not function at scale.

Bio: As Executive Vice President of the Payza platform, Firoz Patel has made his career out of finding innovative solutions to challenges. Formally the CEO of AlertPay Inc., Firoz Patel currently resides in Montreal, Quebec.


How to Get a Post Removed from Ripoff Report

Article by Pierre Zarokian from Reputation Stars.

Ripoff Report uses a federal law known as the Communications Decency Act to protect themselves, while anonymous users slander thousands of people and businesses around the Web. The site was set up to act like a consumer watchdog. Instead, it has become a breeding ground of gossip and unfounded rumors complete with long-winded and scathing reviews. If you’re unlucky enough to be listed on Ripoff Report, here is what you need to know. Continue reading


Impact of Twitter’s Promoted Video Feature

A major question marketers might be asking themselves is who can be reached with Twitter’s new promoted video feature. Twitter Ads allow marketers to target audiences by gender, geography, keyword, interest or language.

Moreover, Twitter also provides a website tag for remarketing. This allows marketers to tag their site visitors and make an audience out of them. This type of tailored audience can also be created by using mailing lists, phone numbers, Twitter IDs, phone numbers, mobile advertising IDs and mobile app users (this is collected through conversion tracking). Continue reading


Major Positive Impacts in Digital Advertising

Ads are an integrated part of a website, and the two work hard to serve content as fast as possible. Both work on different connections, and both are trying to show the user something quickly. As a result, new technology has been developed to speed up content delivery. Coding can deliver colors and shapes now, reducing the need for assets that bog down loading times. That puts pressure on Internet service providers to create faster connection speeds. The demand for the Web, on desktop or mobile, is surging.

Better Quality

When people click the ads on their favorite blogs, they enable editing teams to spend more time critiquing work. They enable webmasters to accept guest posts for money, which attracts writers willing to put time and effort into researching posts with scholarly resources.

Advertising dollars also fuel development in other ways. If you use an application on a mobile device to access a website, for instance, that application was made possible because that site is able to generate revenue through advertising. Subscription based models can work, but they are very rare. Even Hulu must show commercials to subscribers who have paid for their service, and the New York Times has developed a similar model. Subscriptions help fund publications, but they can’t keep the lights on forever.

Even when a publisher attempts a subscription-based model, they find themselves using ads to supplement the income brought in by subscriptions. The print industry used free editions to try to entice users, the same way blogs of today use free content.

As CEO of engage:BDR, Ted Dhanik is a technology evangelist and digital advertising expert. Ted Dhanik offers his insight on media and business growth to prominent blogs like AdAge and Venture Beat. Ted Dhanik drives innovation in digital advertising with the team at engage:BDR.


Tips on Designing Video Ads for Mobile

As smartphone adoption rates rise, and video upload rates increase right alongside, the video ad is going to be an important aspect of the media landscape. We already see companies investing more money into mobile advertising and location-based targeting. Video ads are just the next logical step. They provide an outlet for a sales pitch, they can be intimate and they are effective at telling the story of a brand or its product.

For your video ads to be effective, you’ll need to master a few basic concepts and execute them well.

Have a Plan

Will your video explain the product, or will you show the product in action? Are you going to demo the product, or simply show a use case? Deciding how you want to display your product is the first step in creating a video. Try to think of videos as fitting two distinct categories for now: explainers and demos. Explainers do exactly what they sound like, they tell users what a product does and how a service works.

Demos let the user see the product solve a problem, and they can be powerful associative tools.

Get to the Point

A pre-roll ad only offers you about 10-15 seconds of time to get the user’s attention. Even if you purchase a viewable impression worth 15 seconds of time, you’re not going to stay in the user’s mind if your ad doesn’t have a hook and get to its point quickly. Try to keep that in mind as you craft ads. Keep it simple and execute one idea masterfully.
Ted Dhanik writes on behalf of engage:BDR, where he is CEO and co-founder. Ted Dhanik is passionate about the practice of digital advertising, and blogs frequently about the changing industry. Ted Dhanik, and his pets, are based out of Los Angeles where he actively mentors start ups.


Getting Positive Results from Your First Campaign

Display advertising accounts for a significant portion of big brand spending, meaning that companies like MasterCard are still investing heavily in placements on websites. For those just getting into the business, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to get your ad in front of your audience, but launching is no simple task. Before you begin trying multiple offers, follow these steps to be sure your campaign will get off to a good start.

Determine the Quality of Your Offer

A good offer presents the user with a value proposition up front, and sells a product or service that solves a problem the user is experiencing. In order to sell, the landing page has to look convincing. A solid offer should be made, multiple benefits stated and a firm call to action with specific language should be used. Instead of “Click Here,” try “Buy Now” or some other phrase that accurately describes what the user will be doing. Reduce the number of fields until you are requesting bare minimum from the customer if your landing page utilizes a form. Start with a path you can refine, don’t try to do too much your first try.

Continue to the next phase once you have a strong landing page that directs a customer toward an action.

Identify Targeting Opportunities

The next phase deals with your target audience, so you need to perform some market research to form a clear picture of your ideal customer. Google Trends is a good place to start. You can use this tool to search keywords related to your topic and get an idea of the buzz and interest surrounding your subject. This informs a lot about your target market. You’ll get an idea of what blogs they are interested in, what other topics they read about and begin to form a clearer picture of their browsing habits.

Use this data to inform your targeting decisions. Some specifics to look out for include:

  • Geographic location
  • Income level
  • Interests
  • Web browser
  • Device (tablet or desktop)

Once you have some idea of how you want to target your audience, move on to the final phase before launch.

Purchase Quality Traffic

Advertisers depend on targeted traffic in order to get their messaging out into the wild. Quality traffic can be judged with a few key metrics, like conversions and clicks. You must also consider size of potential inventory, and which offers are popular at the moment. You can have the most interested buyers in the world, but if you’re not selling something they want, you’re wasting money.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is a digital marketer with experience in display and video advertising. Beginning with MySpace.com in the early 2000s, Ted Dhanik has built brands online. Ted Dhanik is the CEO of engage:BDR, a digital advertising company headquartered in Los Angeles.


How to Improve Your Yelp Reviews

By Pierre Zarokian from RepEngage

The secret is out: Yelp is not the bastion of honesty that it once was. Countless businesses are finding themselves at the mercy of Yelp reviews that may or may not have any authenticity to them. The system is open to gaming, and Yelp can control your ratings by rearranging reviews. If you’re one of the many businesses hanging up on Yelp sales calls while watching your ratings plummet, read on for some valuable insider tips to improve your image.
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4 SEO Strategies to Focus on in 2015

2015 presents new challenges for businesses, especially on the web. With the rising use of mobile devices compared to all other devices, the target audience has changed. SEO has specifically gotten much tougher, specially with the new Google algorithms in the past 3 years. Google is purposely making hard for sites to rank better with SEO, mainly to cut down spam, but many legit sites are having trouble getting rankings. The following strategies might help you boost your SEO initiatives in 2015. Continue reading


Checklist for hiring a good web designer

If you’re building a website or want to update your existing website and you decide to hire a designer to help you can quickly get overwhelmed. There are thousands of Web designers. How do you decide what makes one designer better than another designer?

Experience Isn’t Everything

Most people will tell you that the most important thing is experience. A designer who doesn’t have a lot of experience, they’ll tell you, can’t give you the quality that an experienced designer can. I don’t agree. While experience can be useful, it can also be a drawback. Just because a designer has less experience doesn’t mean that he or she can’t build a beautiful site for you.

Take Note: If a designer says they’ve been building websites since before 1995, they are almost definitely exaggerating. When I started working on the Web in 1995, very very few people had even heard of the Web, let alone had set up a business. I was working at an Internet company, which is the only reason I was involved with it at that time.Before you base your decision solely on how many sites they’ve built or how long they’ve been in business, think about this:

  • Many long-time designers are stuck in their habits and might not be willing or able to give you a cutting edge website (if that’s what you want).
  • Younger designers are more likely to have gone to school to get a Web design degree. While this isn’t vital either, it does tell you that this person has academic knowledge that an older designer might only have through practice.

Ask to See Their Portfolio

While experience might not be important, having a good portfolio is. You shouldn’t be as concerned with whether the portfolio is made up of live sites, so much that the examples show diversity and range for the designer. Ask to see the portfolio online so that you can see how the websites they’ve built actually work. This is especially important if you’re looking for a designer to build any type of interactivity for your website.

Some people will tell you that the way the potential Web designer’s personal site looks is a good measure of how good a designer they will be. But I disagree with this too. While I do think having a good Web design business site is important. I don’t think that it’s a good indicator of how well they would design your site. Most designers design their business site when they’re not working on paying jobs. And if they have tons of time to modify their business site, then they don’t have a lot of experience, do they? But they might have a good portfolio. So you have to judge for yourself.