It is no secret that the mobile market is growing.  The shift away from desktop to mobile is steadily increasing.  Therefore it follows and makes sense that when it comes to social media sharing of content more and more are doing it via mobile devices.  There have been numerous studies that document this.  In fact, mobile users exchange content almost twice as often as those using desktops.  With this in mind and as the social advertising market grows, it would be wise for smart marketers to target mobile social media users as an important part of their promotional strategy.

According to ShareThis, when it comes to sharing on mobile, Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest are dominant. Facebook accounts for 60 percent of sharing on mobile, and Pinterest is nearly three times more represented on mobile than on desktop. Facebook is the number one social channel on iPhones, but Pinterest is the number one social channel on iPads. Consumers share to Facebook 66.4 percent of the time on iPhones compared to other channels, while Pinterest is the dominating social channel on iPads with almost 50 percent of social activity.

It is important that businesses and marketers realize how to optimize their content for mobile devices. Make the share options prominent on your site. Include links, rich media and strong calls to action. Be direct: reminders like “Like This?” or “Please Retweet” should be used. Be sure to make your content share-worthy.  Pictures and links are great ways to do this. Keep it short – remember the character limits of sites.

Savvy marketers have already begun to take advantage of mobile’s reach.  Mobile advertising already makes up 41 percent of Facebook’s revenue. One shouldn’t forget about desktops, but it would be wise given the uptrend in mobile to take advantage of it.

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As mobile and e-commerce on mobile continues to grow, the availability and importance of accepting mobile payments is increasing as well for all businesses. Whether it is accepting credit cards in the field, paying with smartphones or the transfer of cash – all businesses need to consider this option to keep up with the times. The market for mobile payments continues to grow and today there are a myriad of  options to consider.  Below are a look at some the options available.

PayPass from Mastercard lets your business accept fast payments through an

NFC-enabled point-of-sale (POS) terminal. Customers can tap their NFC-enabled credit card or smartphone over the terminal to make a payment. Having a PayPass terminal in place at your register will allow your business to accept many forms of contactless payments, not just those made with MasterCard. Google Wallet and ISIS Mobile Wallet both can be used with PayPass readers. MasterCard does not charge vendors additional usage or transaction fees for the PayPass system.

Square: From Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, Square is a good solution for those who only occasionally need mobile payment processing.  Square links directly with your bank account and accepts payments from all major credit card companies. Its transaction fee is 2.75%, but with no additional monthly fees, you could end up saving money with Square if you don’t use it regularly.

PayPal Here allows business owners much more flexibility. With this app and accompanying hardware, your customers can pay using their debit cards or even their mobile PayPal account. Card-free transactions are simple. Customers check in with your business on their mobile PayPal app and then transfer funds to your account to settle their bill. The cost per transaction is 2.7% of the final sale, and there are no additional setup costs or monthly fees. PayPal Here accepts all major credit cards and is a good choice for businesses that want to offer their customers different ways to pay.

Google Wallet allows businesses to accept payments both online and in-store. If your business already uses a payment-processing service online, Google Wallet can be integrated with the service for no extra cost. Or, you can use Google as your new payment processor, with transaction fees starting at 1.9%. This payment option is good  for businesses looking to cut back on in store wait time or those wanting to grow their online customer base.

Visa’s PayWave allows customers to make contactless payments at a business’ POS terminal. To start accepting contactless payments, businesses can either purchase a new, NFC-enabled POS terminal from Visa, or buy a peripheral NFC reader to add to their existing terminal. Business do not need to purchase multiple NFC readers from different credit card companies. Visa, MasterCard and American Express all issue NFC-enabled cards and devices that use the same radio-frequency technology.Visa also offers a digital wallet —V.me —that allows customers to store all of their credit card information online for safe and simple checkouts.

Other options include: LevelUp, ROAMpay, ISIS, mPowa, PayToo, globalVcard,  Go Payment and MCX.

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Online sales in the U.S. were over 50 billion dollars in the first quarter of this year and as technology advances and as businesses continue to sell more products online it follows online sales will continue to grow.  Today e-commerce businesses are only required to collect taxes from online sales if they have a physical presence within the state they are doing business with – -whether it be a store, call center or warehouse.  Technically, if a customer does not pay sales tax for an online purchase, they are responsible for paying Use Tax on these items which is commonly ignored during tax filing season.

Which is why with pressure from brick and mortar businesses – the government is    considering the Marketplace Fairness Act. As the Marketplace Fairness Act reads now, it would require online merchants “remote sellers” with over $1 million in annual sales to collect and pay sales taxes to the customer’s state, even in states where the business does not have a physical presence. The bill also requires states to simplify tax collection and offer free tax collection software. The bill is designed to create a fair marketplace for offline retailers and consequently create extra revenues for state and local governments. Although the bill is not mandatory for all states, each state can pass legislation conforming to the “Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement” and it is likely that states will as it will result in more tax money to balance their budget sheets.

So say for example, you run a New York-based company that sells into other states, and only collect sales tax in New York today, all of your sales into other states would be counted as “remote sales” under MFA. In addition, if your company has ownership interest in another company, you might also be required to add their remote sales numbers to yours.

Even if this bill becomes law tomorrow, some states will have to implement significant tax code simplifications in order to enforce it. Even then, states would not be allowed to implement the law earlier than 180 days following enactment.

Roughly half of the states with sales tax have already simplified their sales tax codes to the level required by MFA. The remaining states would need to pass laws to affect similar changes, including elements like a centralized sales tax administration and uniform rates, rules and boundaries.

Even if MFA passes and you are under the small seller exemption, none of your existing collection obligations go away. Assuming your company already calculates, collects and remits sales tax correctly in every state, and many don’t, passage of this legislation will add new compliance requirements to many companies.

Many states have already enacted laws that require certain out-of-state businesses to collect sales tax. These laws, typically called “Amazon laws,” require more out-of-state businesses to collect sales tax, even if they lack a significant physical presence in that state. If MFA passes, and your business would be eligible for the small seller exemption under MFA, your company may have to comply with Amazon laws in states like Texas and California.

The bill has been passed by the Senate and is being considered by the Congress.  It could go into effect as early as this October. To date, 24 states have passed the conforming legislation.  It might be good for your business to start preparing now as well. Strategize at an early stage. Analyze how taxes will affect your competitiveness in the market and what you can do to ensure you’re on top. You may want to consider implementing ‘Free Shipping’ and other promotions to balance out the impact of sales tax.  It is always better to think ahead.

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