Should Your Company’s Website Accept Online Payments?

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If you have a product to sell, and in many cases even a service, it makes great sense to ensure your company’s website has an e-commerce component.

A recent report on TechCrunch cites 38 percent of people shop online at least once per month. That is greater than one in three people, and a strong indication of how consumers are trusting e-commerce solutions more and more.

Here are several great reasons your company’s website should accept online payments for your product or service:

It will keep you modern: Consumers are coming to expect the option to buy products online, even if you also have a brick-and-mortar store. People are busy and, as consumers trust the online shopping experience more and more, it can be far more convenient to simply pop over to a website and buy the products they need rather than traveling to the store to obtain the product. Customers can easily be turned off by a brand that doesn’t appear to be keeping up with business trends and leveraging modern technology where possible.

It will allow you to track sales in real time: Most e-commerce solutions now offer fantastic reporting and tracking mechanisms, many of which can also be linked with offline sales reporting should you so desire. When an online sale is made, it is immediately reported in your e-commerce interface and the process of fulfillment can be managed entirely online.

Know your audience better: Many e-commerce solutions can pull together demographic information and reporting on your customers. It could be as simple as asking questions like birthday, gender and zip code when a person is registering to buy your products online, but allowing for online transactions gives you the opportunity to learn a great deal more about who your target audience is.

Never be closed: Having an online store means never being closed. Make money while you are sleeping simply by ensuring your site accepts credit cards. Many people don’t have time to shop during normal business hours, so allowing the option for them to shop at night enables the possibility for more sales.

Expose your offering to new markets: If you only sell your product offline, you are limiting yourself to a much smaller audience. Broaden your products’ or service’s reach by allowing people to purchase them online.

Save money: If you have a new business, you can test the viability of your product or service by starting with an online store, as opposed to making the massive investment involved in selling in a brick-and-mortar setting. You may ultimately decide that it will always be more effective to sell your products online because you can reach so many more people, and forego having physical location altogether.

In short, enabling your site to accept credit cards for online transactions is one of the smarter things you can do for your business. It will broaden your reach to your customer base, and will allow your business to be open 24/7. What do you have to lose?

Cara Aley is a freelance writer who covers a wide variety of topics from digital marketing strategies to health and wellness.

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Should Your Company’s Website Accept Online Payments?

RIM Would Consider Selling Smartphone Business

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Google News, Latest News, test

Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins would consider selling RIM’s Smartphone operations, he revealed in a recent interview with German newspaper Die Welt.

Although Heins has publicly stated he is open to licensing the company’s software, this is the first time he has talked of leaving the manufacturing business completely.

Both options, however, are dependent on the success of BlackBerry 10, which RIM will launch Jan. 30. If the new device helps RIM to reclaim a slice of the Smartphone market currently dominated by Android-powered Samsung devices and Apple’s iPhone, it would make BlackBerry a more desirable acquisition.

“Before you licensed the software, you must show that the platform has a large potential,” Heins was quoted by Die Welt (as translated by Google). “First we have to fulfill our promises. With such proof, a licensing is conceivable.”

If the Canadian company does sell the manufacturing side of the business, it would focus its energies on licensing software. On the other side of the coin, RIM could also opt to continue manufacturing its Smartphones and license to other companies such as Samsung.

A strategic review will be carried out after the debut of BlackBerry 10 so the company can weigh its options, Heins said.

The newest BlackBerry devices will be unveiled at multiple events worldwide. RIM will reveal its first two BlackBerry 10 Smartphones along with details on the devices and their availability.

“In building BlackBerry 10, we set out to create a truly unique mobile computing experience that constantly adapts to your needs,” Heins said in a statement.

“Our team has been working tirelessly to bring our customers innovative features combined with a best in class browser, a rich application ecosystem, and cutting-edge multimedia capabilities.  All of this will be integrated into a user experience — the BlackBerry Flow — that is unlike any Smartphone on the market today.”

BlackBerry 10 has been constructed to fuel productivity, increase efficiency and allow users to make informed decisions, Heins revealed during RIM’s BlackBerry Jam Americas 2012 event in September.

The BlackBerry 10’s processing is “closer to a laptop,” while offering a mobile user experience with just the touch of a finger, Heins said. He also described the device as sleeker and lighter than its predecessors.

The BlackBerry 10 truly will be the beleaguered Waterloo, Ont. company’s last chance at redemption.

With a net loss of $235 million in the last quarter, RIM desperately needs its new Smartphones to be a success.

RIM has one advantage over the competition, however: top-notch security. RIM announced last fall it had secured a key U.S. government security clearance, paving the way the BlackBerry 10 to be the device of choice for the feds.

RIM said its BlackBerry 10 received it U.S. Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) certification. Translation: the devices can be used to send classified data between government employees.

The rigorous testing the BlackBerry 10 has withstood may also give RIM an advantage in the business market. Fifty phone carriers from across the globe have tested the devices. The carriers, which RIM declined to name, were checking to ensure the new devices are compatible with their systems.


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RIM Would Consider Selling Smartphone Business

Daughter of Google Exec Dishes About North Korea Trip

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Latest News, Social Media News, test

The daughter of Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, who was part of a recent controversial private delegation to North Korea with her father, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson and Google executive Jared Cohen, is describing the trip as an eye-opener.

“It’s impossible to know how much we can extrapolate from what we saw in Pyongyang to what the DPRK is really like,” Sophie Schmidt wrote in her blog.

“Our trip was a mixture of highly staged encounters, tightly-orchestrated viewings and what seemed like genuine human moments.  We had zero interactions with non-state-approved North Koreans and were never far from our two minders (2, so one can mind the other). The longer I think about what we saw and heard, the less sure I am about what any of it actually meant.”

The private delegation led by Richardson was for two purposes: politically, to win the release of Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American tour guide from Washington who was detained by authorities last November and, technologically, to discuss the country’s ban on the Internet.

Neither purpose was successful. Bae, who has been accused of “hostile acts” by the North Korean government was not released, although Richardson was assured Bae was well and judicial proceedings were set to begin soon.

Schmidt was also unable to meet with the country’s reclusive leader, Kim Jong-un, during the three-day delegation.

“As the world becomes increasingly connected, their decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their physical world,” Schmidt told reporters Jan. 10 at the Beijing airport. “The government has to do something — they have to make it possible for people to use the Internet, which the government in North Korea has not yet done. It is time now for them to start or they will remain behind.”

Sophie described the life of an average North Korean as being in “a near-total information bubble, without any true frame of reference.”

“My understanding is that North Koreans are taught to believe they are lucky to be in North Korea, so why would they ever want to leave?” she wrote in her blog “They’re hostages in their own country, without any real consciousness of it.  And the opacity of the country’s inner workings — down to the basics of its economy — further serves to reinforce the state’s control.

“The best description we could come up with: it’s like The Truman Show, at country scale.”

The group was warned to expect little privacy during the trip. Bugs, they were told, could be in phones, cars, rooms, meetings and restaurants.

“My father’s reaction to staying in a bugged luxury socialist guesthouse was to simply leave his door open,” she wrote.

“Since we didn’t have cellphones or alarm clocks,  the question of how we’d wake up on time in the morning was legitimate.  One person suggested announcing  ‘I’m awake’ to the room, and then waiting until someone came to fetch you.”

The Kim Il Sung University e-Library was eerie, according to Sophie’s account of the visit. With 90 computer stations in the room, each one occupied, it should have been a flurry of online activity.  But as Sophie’s blog indicates, “no one was actually doing anything.”

“A few scrolled or clicked, but the rest just stared. More disturbing: when our group walked in–a noisy bunch, with media in tow — not one of them looked up from their desks.  Not a head turn, no eye contact, no reaction to stimuli. They might as well have been figurines.”

The visit, Sophie said, made them question if the people were real students or if they were props in a scene staged for the delegation’s benefit — perhaps in a bid to convince them the country was not as closed to its citizens surfing the Internet as it appeared.

The following excerpt from the blog describes Sophie’s take on the North Korean technological front:

Everything that is accessible is accessible only in special tiers.

Their mobile network, Koryolink, has between 1-2 million subscribers. No data service, but international calls were possible on the phones we rented. Realistically, even basic service is prohibitively expensive, much like every other consumption good (fuel, cars, etc.). The officials we interacted with, and a fair number of people we saw in Pyongyang, had mobiles (but not Smartphones).

North Korea has a national intranet, a walled garden of scrubbed content taken from the real Internet.  Our understanding is that some university students have access to this.  On tour at the Korea Computer Center (a deranged version of the Consumer Electronics Show), they demo’d their latest invention: a tablet, running on Android, that had access to the real Internet.  Whether anyone, beyond very select students, high-ranking officials or occasional American delegation tourists, actually gets to use it is unknowable.  We also saw virtual-reality software, video chat platform, musical composition software (?) and other random stuff. 

What’s so odd about the whole thing is that no one in North Korea can even hope to afford the things they showed us. And it’s not like they’re going to export this technology.  They’re building products for a market that doesn’t exist.  

Those in the know are savvier than you’d expect. Exhibit A: Eric fielded questions like, “When is the next version of Android coming out?” and “Can you help us with e-Settlement so that we can put North Korean apps on Android Market?”  Answers: soon, and No, silly North Koreans, you’re under international bank sanctions. 

They seemed to acknowledge that connectivity is coming, and that they can’t hope to keep it out.  Indeed, some seemed to understand that it’s only with connectivity that their country has a snowball’s chance in hell of keeping up with the 21st century. But we’ll have to wait and see what direction they choose to take.  




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Daughter of Google Exec Dishes About North Korea Trip

Sergey Brin Dons Google Glasses on NYC Subway

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Google News, Latest News, test

You never know who you might see riding New York City’s subway.

City resident Noah Zerkin spotted Google co-founder Sergey Brin Jan. 20 — he was wearing a pair of his company’s augmented-reality glasses.

Zerkin, a self-proclaimed augmented reality enthusiast, took to Twitter to share his excitement at meeting Brin.

“Yeeeah… I just had a brief conversation with the most powerful man in the world,” Zerkin tweeted.  “On the downtown 3 train. Nice guy.”

The post was accompanied by a photo of Brin dressed all in black seated on the subway, and looking rather relaxed as seen below.

 Noah Zerkin/Twitter

While many would argue about Brin being the most powerful man in the world, as Zerkin pointed out “…as I recall, Forbes did in fact name him the 5th most powerful person in the world, so it’s not a stretch.”

This is not the first time Brin has worn Google Glasses out in public. He was also photographed at a charity event last year sporting the spectacles.

Google Glass remains a work in progress, despite the wearable computing device project being announced more than six months ago.

The search engine company’s research team is continually working on new ideas for the device — a pair of titanium-framed glasses that is to display information much like a tablet does and possibly connect to the Internet with a voice command, project head Babak Parviz said in a recent interview with IEEE Spectrum.

Google officially unveiled the glasses during its I/O conference last summer. At that time, the headset, which was controlled by head movements, had video and audio capability and a built-in compass and accelerometer.

When the glasses go on the market in 2014, consumers can expect to see a lot of improvements and additions to the device.

Parviz said although Google is not revealing specific features, the headset will have the ability to take photos and share them. Google is still in development mode so that voice commands and head gestures offer more innate control of the glasses. Glass also has a touch pad for user control and the device should also be able to accept phone calls.

“We are experimenting with a lot of things,” he said. “The feature set for the device is not set yet. It is still in flux.”

Those who attended the Google I/O event last year will be first in line to own a pair of the glasses — as long as those who are interested write a check for $1,500, they should receive their spectacles later this year.


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Sergey Brin Dons Google Glasses on NYC Subway

Wall Street Anxiously Awaits Apple’s Q1 Report

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Apple’s first quarter earnings, which the company will report this week, may finally tell the story of the firm’s standing.

With Apple shares dipping in recent months — from $702 in September to $500 Jan. 18 — Wall Street and analysts alike have been prophesying doom for the iPhone  and iPad maker.

A good report by Apple Jan. 23, however, should have the company’s stock value on the rise.

In its October report, Apple forecast $52 billion in revenue and earnings of $11.75 per share.

Wall Street, however, is expecting the firm to come out with $54.69 billion and earnings per share of $13.41, according to analyst’s estimates.

Apple has had a number of issues to deal with in the past six months.

Competition was fierce during the holiday season as, in addition to its usual main competitors, Samsung and Motorola, Amazon, Microsoft, Barnes & Nobel, Nokia and Lenovo all came out with new tablets or Smartphones last fall in a bid to undermine Apple.

Legal issues continue to plague the company as well as it dukes it out over alleged patent violations with its chief rivals.

Samsung and Apple, for instance, are embroiled in a patent fracas in 10 countries as each accuses the other of copying one another’s mobile devices.

Apple and Google’s Motorola Mobility also continue to grapple with patent issues and licensing practices.

Apple was ordered Nov. 6 by a federal jury to pay $368.2 million to VirnetX Holding Corp. for violating its virtual-private-network technology patents. The company is also the focus of an investigation by the U.S. International Trade Commission. The ITC announced Oct. 16 it would launch a patent investigation on behalf of VirentX.

The turmoil also hit Apple’s head office. The man behind Apple’s Maps app debacle, Scott Forstall, was asked to resign. The head of Apple’s iPhone software development, led the unit that was responsible for the Maps app that has been widely criticized by consumers and analysts alike. He is to leave his post early this year.

Apple also announced the immediate departure of John Browett.

After less than six months with Apple, Browett, the company’s head of retail was shown the door for putting profits above customer service and staff morale.

And, while many analysts have been sounding alarm bells about lower than expected demand for the iPhone 5, others say the concerns are being blown out of proportion.

J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz said in an investor note Dec. 20 that although reports have pointed to a 20 percent drop in Apple’s March-quarter supply chain orders for the iPhone 5, he believes there is a reasonable explanation and other analysts are panicking for no reason.

“Downshifting from ‘white hot’ order activity does not mean the world is ending,” Moskowitz was quoted by CNet.

It is likely Apple pushed its suppliers in the beginning to increase manufacturing of the new phone, and the downshift in orders is simply an aftereffect, he said.

“We also think that the supply chain adjustments could imply that manufacturing yields on iPhone 5 have improved, which means Apple’s gross margin profile could rebound to 40 percent, which would be a positive,” Moskowitz said.

Some analysts have said Apple needs to come out with some popular products this year to keep the company from floundering. Moskowitz, however, believes Apple’s present slate of products, the iPhone 5 in particular, will do well for the company.

“We acknowledge the increasing level of competition in the market, including Samsung, Google, HTC, and Lenovo,” Moskowitz said. “Overall, we continue to believe that Apple can deliver a 12-18 month upgrade cycle with the iPhone 5. The new device is not a pocket hog or battery hog, relative to other competitive LTE-capable devices. Further, the iPhone 5′s LTE performance separates the device from the iPhone 4S, which means that a meaningful upgrade cycle in the installed base stands to manifest in the coming year.”

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Wall Street Anxiously Awaits Apple’s Q1 Report