In today’s world, online shopping has not only become more popular, but has become a staple for most businesses. The key to tapping the growth in online sales is for retailers to offer their customers virtual terminals that allow them to complete sales without physically being at your store. Stores of all types and sizes are looking for the best virtual terminal for their operations as a way to keep their existing customers happy and to attract new clients who they wouldn’t be able to reach through conventional retail channels.
Determining which features to look for when searching for the best virtual terminal for your business’s needs requires a close look at your current online operation and how it can be improved through the use of a virtual terminal.
What is a virtual terminal and how do you add one?
A virtual terminal is software that lets a retailer accept payments through a computer, mobile device, or POS system via credit card or other types of accounts without the card having to be physically present. Retailers simply download the virtual terminal software that, in most cases, is linked to the store’s POS solution.
The software must allow the credit card number and other payment information to be entered manually or to link to a third-party payment processor. Among the benefits of linking the virtual terminal to your POS system are easy tracking of sales and inventory, automatic collection of customer information, and integration of online and in-store sales data.
What are the benefits of the best virtual terminals?
The best reason for retailers to adopt virtual terminals is because it’s what their customers want, both for the convenience of shopping at any time from any location and for the ability to pay for their purchases with the payment option of their choice. ReportLinker projects that the global market for digital payments will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 13.7% between 2021 and 2026. Very shortly, it will be of the utmost importance that businesses adapt to these market trends.
Reasons for the growth in virtual terminals and other digital payments include convenience for customers, support from the government as a way to combat fraud and counterfeiting, and consumers’s growing preference for digital wallets such as ApplePay, GooglePay, PayPal, and Venmo. Here are some of the ways that retailers benefit from the increased use of virtual terminals.
No need for credit card readers
Virtual terminals allow sales to be completed without requiring a “middle man” to collect and process the payment information read by swiping or tapping a physical credit card. Retailers are able to accept the customer’s preferred form of payment while avoiding some payment processing fees.
Build customer loyalty
Virtual terminals automatically collect and store information about the transaction and the customer, which makes it easier for stores to personalize their communications with the customer and offer discounts and promotions based on the customer’s unique preferences.
Create more accurate sales reports
By aggregating all online and in-person sales, the modern POS systems to which virtual terminals attach can generate detailed analyses of the business’s sales. The information can be used to adjust marketing and advertising efforts and to reprice items based on changes in supply and demand.
Connect with customers via digital receipts
Virtual terminals deliver customer receipts by text or email, which helps customers manage their purchases. This creates a tremendous opportunity for retailers to reach out to customers to let them know about sales and other events. It also opens up an avenue for customers to contact the store.
Enhance inventory tracking
Modern cloud-based POS systems can integrate the store’s online and in-person operations so that managers get a real-time view of inventory numbers. This helps them ensure that popular items don’t run out of stock and indicates which products need more promotion.
How do different types of businesses use virtual terminals?
Since no two retail operations are identical, it stands to reason that no single virtual terminal solution will be the best option for every business. For example, a store that completes dozens of low-value sales per hour (under $10) will look for a solution with low per-transaction fees, while a retailer that makes a handful of high-end sales per week will require more customer relationship management features.
- Professional services and many mobile businesses, such as dog groomers and lawn care services, will appreciate the ability of a virtual terminal to process sales from any location within the range of a network.
- Restaurants can take advantage of a virtual terminal’s ability to take orders online, via the phone, or by using a QR code scanner. The systems also help customers track their orders and receive status updates.
- Small retailers may be able to use virtual terminals to replace expensive and bulky credit card terminals while meeting their customers’ demand for a variety of payment options.
- Big retail stores will be able to bring the cash register to the customer by running virtual terminal software on mobile devices that their employees can use. They will be able to complete transactions and offer on-the-spot discounts and promotions based on the customer’s purchase history.
Armed with only a virtual terminal and a merchant account, retailers can deliver a world-class shopping experience to their customers without the high hardware and software costs of traditional POS solutions.
Because less data has to transfer between the store and its credit card service, transactions are completed faster and more accurately. The best virtual terminal improves the shopping experience for customers and the bottom line for retailers.
Knowing what makes the best virtual terminal and what your specific business needs are is an important step when fully embracing the modern trends of today’s consumers. By partnering with talech, we will help you understand what will work best for you while staying within budget and on brand. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.
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