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If you’re like most retailers, you worry about making a mistake when choosing a Point of Sale (POS) solution. It’s understandable –POS software is a huge investment and the decision has a huge impact on the ultimate efficiency and success of your business.

What’s worse, there are now thousands of POS options to choose from, and they’re all different. It’s overwhelming and confusing, and many retailers end up with the wrong system if they don’t take the time to understand what’s truly most important for their business. In fact, it’s common for retailers to go through two or three different POS systems before they find one they’re happy with and finally improves their bottom line.

So how do you know which POS solution is best suited for your business? The following are some of the most common mistakes retailers make when updating POS technology, and will help make sure that you choose the right system, the first time around.

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In today’s highly connected world, privacy is becoming a more precious and rare commodity. Between social media and mobile connectivity, the lines between the personal and public spheres are blurring, and now people are reachable and information is accessible virtually anywhere at any time. As a result, there is mounting concern about data exposure and accessibility, particularly in the realm of retail. Consumers are worried about merchants’ efforts to extract and store data about their customers, and the increase in retail data breaches has not positively impacted their sense of security.

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Here are some tips for success this holiday season from Shmuli Goldberg, director of marketing for Feedvisor.

1.     Feedback makes all the difference

Seller rating on Amazon is calculated by points. If an order is fulfilled without any problems, it receives points, and if a problem arises, points are taken off. The amount of points either granted or deducted depends on the size of the problem.

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How Online Retailers Can Shine this Holiday Season

It’s no secret that the holiday season is the busiest and most profitable time of year for the retail industry. As the holidays approach, the press is awash in stories about the strategies retailers are practicing to drive traffic into their brick-and-mortar stores. But what does the season hold for online retailers?

Online holiday sales have steadily increased in recent years and are expected to continue to do so. In fact, the National Retail Federation’s digital division, Shop.org, has predicted an 8 to 11 percent increase in e-commerce sales this November and December over last year. Just as brick-and-mortar retailers are preparing for the holidays with door-buster promotions and hiring temps to cover extra floor shifts, online retailers can also shine this holiday season by following a three-step strategy for providing offers that are sure to resonate with consumers.

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When you’re not Amazon, the holidays are terrifying.

For consumers, the act of gift-buying flings you into a state of panicked, obsessive-compulsion where the 24-hour, several-day madness of searching for the lowest prices pits you against the furious elbows of other adrenaline-filled, piranha-like shoppers.

And if you’re a retailer, prepare to get eaten alive.  From “pre-pre-pre-holiday” sales, to door-buster deals, to matching prices so low they make no sense—you’ll throw all hands on deck to get trampled by the holiday stampede, solely in the effort to attract more foot traffic.  And after the dust settles, there’s still no guarantee you’ll come out ahead.

Unless you’re Amazon.

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The holiday shopping season is upon us. Black Friday is creeping into Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday seems to last through New Years Day. And during this time, consumer behavior becomes less predictable. How does their gift buying change during this frantic time of year? Retailers need to pay attention to these shifts in behavior to ensure they are engaging with customers in a meaningful way.

Read the full story on the Retail Merchandiser blog.

According to the Rakuten Shopping Secrets survey, conducted with consumers over seven markets, Americans will spend almost 14 hours shopping for friends and loved ones this year. This breaks down to 3.94 trips per person, spending an average of 3.5 hours per trip. Children, partners and moms were found to take the most dedication when shopping at 90 minutes, 77 minutes and 70 minutes respectively.

The survey revealed the most difficult person to buy gifts for is a spouse or partner (20%), followed by mom (12%), dad (10%) and finally children (9%). However, some Americans find the shopping ordeal pretty easy with 20% saying they find "no one" difficult to buy for. These may have been the same respondents that admitted they spend around half an hour treating themselves to a little retail therapy.

Read more: Rakuten Shopping Secrets survey results

For local business success you need word-of-mouth marketing and of course a great product, but you cannot ignore the importance of an online presence. You have to establish a strong web identity, which means well-constructed SEO to be sure your business appears among relevant search results on Google and other search engines.

The need for SEO for a local business is so great, that most will not survive without a plan to capture local online searches. Here’s four facts about SEO that are undeniably important and should drive SMBs to devote resources to SEO strategies:

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