Posts

ecommerce or brick and mortar - Complete Controller

There is no doubt that online retail shopping is catching an ever grown share of consumer spending currency. The advent and growth of e-commerce in the market industry have brought endless choices, price efficiency, and convenience. All these components are powerful for the consumer’s decision-making criteria. E-commerce has become more efficient in buying products and continue to find ways to deliver commodities more cheaply and quickly. 

Despite all the successes of the e-commerce industry, it falls short of delivering unique and qualitative experiences for retailers and consumers. People’s ability to interact socially with the outside physical world has steered their shopping behavior. They have become much more reluctant to give it up. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Taking chances in social experience into consideration, it is reshaping consumers’ expectations. Nowhere is this concept more evident than shopping malls that have covered significant ground surfaces of modern cities. Places such as hotels, entertainment venues, or academics have started backfilling vacant spaces previously occupied by traditional departmental stores to create a more offering. Restaurants are at the forefront of opting for a role in this transformation. As a result, total restaurant sales have exceeded the sales of grocery stores. 

In the same way, real estate investors are also adapting to this changing environment by rethinking the structure and flow of shopping centers. In these circumstances, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) makes the market economy more efficient at a full pace. Vast acres of parking stalls used for vehicles are soon replaced by smaller and efficient queues for autonomous vehicles into interactive space for sales.

According to a report released by Forbes, the total retail sales from the e-commerce industry are rising since 2010. According to reports, the sector had generated over 73.2 billion since then. Despite this success, brick and mortar are still doing much better in the retail world by witnessing 94% of all retail sales. Other reports stated that most global populace, or about 75%, is more conducive towards shopping in brick and mortar stores.

One of the surveys named ‘Retail Drive’ asked as much as 1500 consumers what makes them opt for the physical store for shopping? The most crucial reason they cited them was the ability to feel, see, and try out the purchasing item. Besides, another drive for physical shopping is prompt gratification. Having a retailer available for assistance is not an essential draw to shop in brick and mortar stores. More significant is the experience of in-store shopping, especially for consumers under 35. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Reason for Choosing Online Shopping

While prompt gratification may incline consumers to a physical store, convenience is what draws them online retailing.

Being able to shop at any point in time or anywhere is a significant encourager that generates more than $295 billion in a single year. With this percentage expected to rise to $420 billion by the year 2018, the ability to shop even at midnight hours is an essential consideration for several shoppers.

More consumers tired of the hassle shopping at stores, such as standing in a long queue or dealing with the overwhelming crowd at shopping centers, as a reason for them to turn to online retailing for purchasing items like clothes, electronic appliances, etc. Especially business persons who immediately need to have all essential business items such as bookkeeping details for financial records. Another area to decide on purchasing online is the shipping procedure. Consumers tend to buy from an e-retailer that offers free shipping and return.

Which industry Pays more Attention to the Demand? Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

The opportunities for brick and mortar markets do not negate the issues and challenges e-commerce channels intermittently face. Mismanaged inventory, coupled with predicting demands, lead to a decreasing sense of convenience and customer service.

Those brick and mortar stores that are yearning to compete with their online retail counterparts, forestalling the demands that retreat them from offering promised convenience is the key.

Who is the Winner?

Different consumers have different preferences for shopping or payment. Some of them solely enjoy the efficiency that online retail offers through its rapid delivery service. In contrast, many others continue to applaud the physical presence of a business along with their capability to get what they want in a person. No one can overtake another, which is why it is beneficial and convenient for the business industry to regard multiple ways of paying or shopping, referred to as ‘Omni commerce’.

 

 

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
brick and mortar stores - Complete Controller

Booming E-commerce is making the in-store business increasingly difficult. More customers order consumer electronics, clothing, accessories, and much more on the Internet and can conveniently have goods delivered or sometimes pick them up at the store. Shopping has become a popular pastime in our society, enabling online commerce around the clock. Despite the well-stocked department and retail stores, more and more goods are purchased online. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

These favorable conditions alone are not enough for the success of online trading. Those online businesses who rely on self-service and staff reduction risk dissatisfaction among their customers. The strongest customer loyalty driver this year is the quality of the request processing via telephone or e-mail. The Internet buyer expects a straightforward return process and a quick and easy refund or settlement of the sale amount. Approximately 58% of customers feel that the shipping costs are too high, and, in this regard, brick-and-mortar retail can again score more points. To keep up with the high standard of service offered by online retailers, storefront retailers should always be courteous with complaints and returns. A misstep could cause the customer to migrate to e-commerce. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

 

The sales force is often mentioned as an effective means of re-launching the success of brick-and-mortar retailing. This cannot be refuted since an online shop does not offer face-to-face contact and offer advice proactively. For the seller, the transaction is in the foreground, for the customer, often the advice. The buyer is thus, forced into a situation that makes it almost impossible to escape the sales situation without having made a purchase. With online shopping, there is no pressure, and this can attract customers who want a hassle-free buying experience.

 

For brick-and-mortar retail, it is becoming increasingly difficult to counter e-commerce – despite the potential for improvement that exists here as well. Stationary trade should, therefore, no longer consider itself separately from online trading but accept the challenge. This is not to perceive online trading as a separate sales channel, but to understand it as an opportunity for a further sales channel to tap into the maximum customer potential. Retailers should, therefore, not rely exclusively on their local customer service representatives but jump on the train of “Omni-channeling” and offer their goods on different distribution channels or at least be present there. This is of great importance in the wake of customers’ increasing cross-channel behavior, as many consumers first seek information on the Internet before they visit the office. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

 

The trend towards “multi-channeling’ makes clear that customers want their dealers to have close interaction between both distribution channels. The future of brick-and-mortar retailing is not to hide the opportunities of e-commerce but to include them. E-commerce and stationary trade is a relationship with the future that handles delivering a consistent and coherent brand experience across distribution channels. It also delivers consistent customer experience. All activities across the channels should also be networked to end competitive advantage. Stationary retailing should continue to create sales experiences with the atmosphere in the stores. In the online trade, the clarity of the shop, as well as the availability of employees across all industries, are among the strongest customer loyalty drivers. From the customer’s point of view, and in addition, high-quality content should always be used when processing customer concerns, especially when exchanging.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

The presence and positioning of the Internet, as well as the emergence and expansion of digital businesses, has generated a transformation in the thinking schemes and paradigms that are around how these communication networks can be used to make money.

Every day it is easier to execute different financial operations on the Internet, which has led to an increase in the number of people who not only bet on using it as a research tool or another hobby in periods available for recreation.

 

Internet use has diversified

The payment of telephone rents, the Internet or satellite television, as well as the expenses of electricity consumption, among other subscriptions and debts acquired in the monthly budget, can be easily paid, using online banking platforms or other digital media.

The web is a kind of infinite window that allows to expand the creativity of human beings, making them feel protagonists of various entrepreneurial acts, in which they can use these virtual spaces for fully lucrative purposes.

With the emergence of the Internet, the spectrum of people’s financial possibilities has widened, increasing the opportunities to implement some practices to acquire income taking advantage of the wonderful advantages of the web.

In addition, as time has elapsed, the number of people who, from home, meet each of their assignments at a certain scheduled work schedule increases and are monitored over the Internet.

 

Entrepreneurship: a way to earn income online

Using virtual platforms, entrepreneurs can perform independently, implementing various projects or work proposals in areas such as web design, content writing, and style correction, among others.

When working through these platforms, or in some companies as independent personnel, these individuals manage their work schedules autonomously, because the freelance worker’s work approach is not based on work schedules, but on the fulfillment of the assigned tasks.

 

How to generate income using the Internet?

The notion that you have to have capital to be able to conceive your own business or generate income, has been transfigured over time. The use of the Internet, allows to implement some economic alternatives that do not demand the need to make monetary investments to receive profits.

 

Traditional financial fundamentals are a basis for new business models

Various are the existing alternatives to break with the traditional financial models and point towards economic projections in which new business perspectives are displayed, such as those that will be presented below.

The conception of more sustainable and sustainable environments in which the mark of an ecological footprint prevails in the world must be one of the main approaches under which the new economic models are designed.

 

 

  1. Online sales

The fact of using the Internet as a means to generate income, does not have to separate from traditional financial models, it is important to strengthen these foundations with electronic commerce, also known as e-commerce.

Electronic commerce is a new way to undertake the marketing of products and services that are mainly based on the use of websites or social networks that can be accompanied by applications that expedite the management of marketing and sales activities.

However, it is not necessary to be an expert in the financial area to generate income by selling products or offering services over the Internet, being important that people define the strengths they possess and clearly establish what services or products they will offer.

 

  1. Write books and sell them on digital platforms

The great acceptance that books have had in digital formats has taken a position with the passage of time, so that those people who have scriptural skills and solid knowledge around specific topics have the option of writing books.

The commitment to self-publishing and sale of copies on digital platforms such as Amazon, which have pioneered the democratization of books and reading, is on the agenda.

This can be considered one of the most exciting and challenging options for those who want to generate passive income using the Internet.

Those who enter the path of writing, will have the opportunity to enjoy a life to the fullest, inquiring around areas of knowledge that are of interest through their intellectual creations.

 

  1. Give virtual classes

Another option to generate income through the use of the Internet is to teach through specialized websites, which allow you to share content, or create your own training website using platforms such as Foxize Cloud.

Uploading videos or digital projections that will serve as tutorials for students who wish to learn more about the topics being offered, you can earn income online.

In this way, those people who are professors in a professional way or have vocational inclinations towards the exercise of teaching and have knowledge that they can share in a thorough way, can take advantage of those skills.

However, it is important that these design innovative courses around topics that may arouse the interest of a large group of participants.

Likewise, in order for the courses to have greater demands and increase the number of people who decide to do them, pedagogical resources that are dynamic and capture the attention of those who request them must be used.


Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file, critical financial documents and back office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooks™️ ProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay services. With flat rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

The concept of credit card theft. Hackers with credit cards on laptops use these data for unauthorized shopping. Unauthorized payments from credit card owners. In the hacker's secret office
Threats to e-commerce in cyberspace are on the rise. Every day, there are several cases of websites being hacked, resulting in data theft or even a complete loss of data. Businesses have problems keeping their e-commerce sites safe from hackers and other forms of risks such as ransomware.

Cyber security for e-commerce sites is not an easy task. Managers and business owners often do not have technical training and the lack of information can discourage even the most cautious and security-conscious business owners. This guide will be useful for managers to secure their e-commerce websites in order to overcome security obstacles.

Identify the Most Vulnerable Areas

To protect a business from any threats related to cyber security, the initial precaution to consider is to identify the vulnerabilities of a website and the business it represents. If it is challenging to identify weaknesses, think about how these issues can be fixed. Is there a lack of knowledge about the type of data that the company stores? Without proper information about the data type, it’s challenging to know about its vulnerabilities to increase cyber security for E-Commerce sites.

Businesses have crucial data related to the intellectual property of the business, customer relationship management, crucial financial information and inventory management.

Thorough Mapping of the Entire Business

Carry out a comprehensive mapping of all of the processes performed by staff members. Gather, secure, and properly dispose of this data to avoid threats to e-commerce in cyberspace.  Information can be stolen from various transit locations. It is essential to consider the negative effects of a cyber security breach for the business, employees, and the relationships with customers and partners. The next phase is to start putting precautions in places such as providing adequate protection to the computers and website servers.

Protection for Computers and Web Servers

Virtually all of the work that allows a business to operate goes through computers and other devices. However, these devices are always connected to the internet and a local area network, which makes them susceptible to a cyber attack. Hire an IT service to provide adequate protection protocols for the computer equipment and servers to enhance the cyber security for your E-Commerce site.

Software Updates

Computer systems used by an e-commerce site are quite vulnerable to an attack. Ensure their safety by keeping all software updated. Hackers are looking for loopholes in the software, exploiting the flaws to break into the system. Hackers have different motives to hack into computer networks or websites. The most common reasons behind a cyber attack are that the hackers want to make their political stance clear, they want to make some money or they are simply hacking because they have the capabilities to do so.

Hacking and ransomware are intrusions that can cause considerable harm to any business. Hence, they are threats to e-commerce in cyberspace. Hackers can steal crucial information like credit card numbers, social security numbers and identities of the customers, clients and employees. The best approach to evade becoming the next victim of hackers is to regularly update the software to improve cyber security for E-Commerce sites.

Anti-Virus Programs

Viruses are able to do many things; they are malicious in nature and a virus has the ability to infect a computer system or an entire network. In general, they access important data and delete or modify it. The computer virus spreads by making several copies of itself in email messages hidden in attachments.

If a computer on a network receives a virus, it can spread quickly and infect all computers and websites of a business. The virus outbreak results in significant data loss. The two most hazardous forms of viruses currently in circulation are “malware” and “ransomware”, which are significant threats to e-commerce in cyberspace. 

Some differences exist between malware and ransomware. The malware works by prompting the victim to download certain software, thus, getting entrance to the computer of the latter. It can access the same things as you can on the computer, take confidential information, or spam an email address.

Ransomware is a malware type that, when launched successfully, has the ability to deny access to the targeted computer and prevents the user from accessing crucial data until the ransom is paid. Ransomware works by forceful encryption of your data; once the encryption is complete, it requires a special key that is held by the attacker. The attacker threatens to destroy or delete the data until the ransom is paid.  

The WannaCry cyber attack is an example of ransomware.  Paying the ransom is not necessarily the answer. There is no assurance that hackers can actually unlock the files. Anti-virus programs must be updated regularly to avoid attacks like WannaCry. It is essential for businesses to take precautions to increase cyber security for their E-Commerce sites.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 


 

 

Cropped front view image of a young handsome businessman using laptop computer in cafe and doing payment with a creditcard

What are Payment Gateways?

As businesses are shifting towards electronic mediums for distributing their products worldwide, the need for payment gateways have grown further. The need for proper transportation/courier services and payment gateways have become essential tools for businesses all over the world. A payment gateway is a merchant who acts as a secure service provider that processes payments of clients/customers through their credit cards to the accounts of sellers. Today, these payment gateways have a vital role in the E-commerce industry. A few of the most popular payment gateways are PayPal, Square and Stripe.   

How Payment Gateways are Beneficial for E-commerce

People have already been using the services of payment processors, however, both are different in nature. Payments through gateways are much more secure because payment gateways have multiple benefits over other payment systems.

Encrypted:
  1. Being encrypted makes the data more secure.
  2. The browser of the customer sends the data of the card in an encrypted form to the vendor’s web server.
  3. Later, the gateway sends the transaction information back to the payment processor of the seller’s bank.
Authorized Request:
  1. The payment processor sends the data of the transaction to the credit card company and then the request is approved or declined by the bank’s authorities.
Filling the Order:
  1. The order is accepted or declined by bank authorities depending on the availability of the balance and bank’s facilities.
  2. As soon as the gateway gets the response from the bank and vendor, it is transmitted to the website’s payment process interface.
  3. After this process, the merchant fills the order and the order is confirmed.
  4. Although this process seems to be long, it takes fractions of a second.

Factors to Consider Before Deciding on your Payment Gateway

1. The Cost and your Business Budget

The most important step is looking into the payment gateway fees and comparing them with the features offered by using it. It is important that you adopt a bookkeeping method to record and compare the fees. The merchant needs to look into 3 important factors:
  1. One-time fee: the initial investment price of the services of the payment gateway providers
  2. Transaction fees rate calculated on per transaction basis: percentage of the total transaction
  3. Maintenance charged: the online operational cost charged by the payment gateway providers

2. Is the Payment Method Secure?

It is important to ensure that the payment method is secure and the data of customers is not misused by any means. This can be done by incorporating:
  1. 128-bit Encryption
  2. PCI DSS Compliance
  3. PCI DSS Certification
  4. SSL Certification
  5. Two-factor Authentication

3. Is it Enriching your Customer Service Experience?

The key to a successful and friendly payment method is ensuring that your customers are having a good service experience. This can be achieved by:
  1. Using logos for familiar services such as visa card, master card, etc
  2. API integration
  3. Minimum efforts required by the customers for processing payments

4. Modern vs Classic

Modern payment gateway systems are more user-friendly and enrich the experience of customers. These modern payment gateways do not require merchant accounts for clearing payments. However, they are much more expensive and the transaction cost is even higher. The classic payment gateway is much cheaper but it is more of a hassle. It takes longer to set up and it often performs slower.

5. Hosted vs Integrated Gateway

Payment methods can be hosted on your own servers as an integrated medium or it can be hosted off-site. If you have opted for off-site hosting, you are free from the hassle of data security and PCI compliance. Integrated gateways are connected to your e-commerce website through API and the customer doesn’t need to leave your main store for the payment process. This makes the process more smooth and easy.   

6. Planning Recurring Payments

If you are running a business that is offering recurring subscriptions, you should consider a gateway which is offering your customers the similar features of recurring payments. Manually paying every month will be a huge deal for your customers.

7. Start Small

If you are starting up a new venture, you should not hesitate in starting with a small package. A small package can offer you the best insight as you can learn what you prefer and later switch to a more modern or integrated payment gateway system. 

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.