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I spent decades in (bricks) retail before migrating to the web. I developed a great distaste for off-the-shelf packages that try to do everything. They usually are not flexible enough somewhere or other, and you're often at the mercy of the creators (and whether they stay in business!)
What you need for online processing may be a lot different from cash register POS. For instance, credit card authorization is different (and often at a different rate) depending on whether or not you have a card swipe and/or signature.
I'd look for a modular solution, perhaps one for each place -- something you can configure to export data to both your Inventory Control database and CRM software.
I was wondering about that. My manager is hitting the proverbial brick wall on what he is finding, and simply asked me to be out there looking also. Do you use a particular online credit card processing software that you like in a modular sense? We have finally realized, simplicity is a beautiful word if we can figure it out correctly.
Look to your Sticky Mail (top of the screen) for more specific information.
If you are running multiple brick and mortar locations and want to avoid terminal leases, you can find a provider that uses a virtual terminal, this would allow anyone, from any location the ability to process a transaction from a web browser. You can also use this option to process orders that are coming from a cart and the orders are written to a file on the server.
If you need to transact in real time (web), there are "out of the box" options that integrate well with many shopping carts. I don't want to mention names here. You need to make sure that your current processor is on a platform that supports one of the online processors.
It can be a mind numbing experience dealing with most merchant account providers, I consider most of them to be on par with used car salesman in regards to brevity (rates and fees are highly negotiable). They just want the "merchant ID" and will sometimes mislead you about their online processing capabilities to seal the deal.
Sticky mail me, if you need more info.
Which solution is best for you will depend on volume of sales, the shopping carts you use and so on. Which ones have you looked at so far and why don't they 'click'?
I would seperate the online and offline operations, don't try and force them to work the same way, they are very different animals.
The one thing I would strongly advise is not to process CC transactions in "real time" through a provider, it will cost you a large % of sales. We process all online orders manually through a traditional CC terminal [a person has to type the details in], the % of people who give an incorrect CC number/exp date/name on card is surprising, if you go the "real time" route my best guess is that you will lose 20% of sales at least.
We currently do all the processing manually, after printing out the orders, and do OK with it, but are wondering if we can streamline things with the on-line.
I want to thank All again for your input, as it was very helpful.
PS --- back to increasing the "hits" outside of the overture machine.