New Australia Post Flat Rate Satchels & Boxes

In case you missed it, Australia Post is now offering flat rate shipping to anywhere in Australia! They now have a new range of satchels and boxes, and you can also use your own packaging. You can now pack up to 5kg in any of their Flat Rate Satchels and boxes.

Before, when you sent something weighing 5kg or under in a Flat Rate Satchel, your postage was based on the weight range for the satchel you chose. If it weighed more than the maximum allowable weight for your satchel size, you were charged at the next weight level.

Now, instead of pricing being based on weight range, it’s based on four satchel sizes – Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large. Each size has its own flat rate. And you can now pack up to 5kg in, no matter which size you choose.

As these new rates are new services, and you can choose to use them or not, they are not instantly available to every store that is using Australia Post. The rates need to be enabled in the Preferences » Shipping & handling » Carrier shipping section of your store.

These rates may not help some. It’s up to you if you would like to use them. If you want to enable them, you just tick the new options and click the Update button.

If you’re not using carrier shipping, my may want to rethink your shipping pricing strategy to take advantage of these rates.

Many store owners are already using other shipping providers, but Australia Post hopes that this new offering will bring some of you back. One thing we’ve noticed is that if you use your own packaging (yay! less discarded plastic!), it’s still a weight based flat rate, which appears to be a more competitive offering than their previous rates.

More information about how their new size-based system for Flat Rate Satchels and Packages compares to the previous weight-based system can be found on the Australia Post website.

Planned Outage Notification

Expected Impact: 3-7 hours outage duration
Date: Wednesday 16th October 2019 
Time: 11:00pm – 7:00am (Sydney time)

Dear Store Owners,

This is just a heads up that we’ll be re-locating our servers to an awesome new data centre this week.  Our current data centre is in need of major upgrades, and rather than put everyone through that, we’ll be relocating all of our services.

The new site has more redundancy, connectivity and security than the current facility and has been built to Tier 3 standards providing more connectivity options with carriers, IT Service Providers, Cloud Providers and many more.

This move has been several months in the planning, and will result in massive improvements to our speeds and connectivity.

The move will result in all Spiffy Stores services being offline for the duration of the outage.  Should there be any issues, we will provide any updates on Facebook.


FAQ’s

Will my billing change? 
Absolutely not, there will be no change to any of our pricing. We will simply be providing you with better facilities for no extra charge. 

Will I need to update anything in my store?
No, you won’t. We have been busy working out and planning this to ensure that there will be minimal ongoing impact to stores. 

Do I need to do anything? 
No, you don’t.  The relocation team will manage the entire process during the night, and we should all hopefully wake up on Thursday with everything back to normal.

Will there be any “Temporarily offline” nice message page when someone visits my store? 
No there won’t sorry. All Spiffy Stores services will be offline for the duration of the outage. All servers are being physically relocated by our service provider. This means we cannot manage redirects or show friendly messages. It is an outage that is required to ensure there aren’t future unplanned outages, and we can provide you with better facilities for no extra charge.

If you are concerned that your customers will be affected, you may want to alert them ahead of time as we have done.

If you have any questions about the move, please email us at support@spiffystores.com.au or call us on 1300 727 334.

Adelaide Ecommerce Theme

We’re delighted to announce the release of our latest theme for Spiffy Stores. We love it, and we’re sure you will too!

The Adelaide theme is 100% free! It’s a fully responsive theme, that will automatically adapt to the screen size it’s viewed on, whether that’s a smart phone, a tablet or a laptop. In fact, it will always look its best on any screen width from 320 pixels to over 2500.

And we’ve included loads of customisable features such as…

  • 4 levels of drop-down menus so you can make really specific product categories
  • Mega menus so you can create beautiful drop-down menus that include images
  • Full screen home page slideshow, with different transitions, captions and links, so you can tailor each slide to a different message
  • Customisable product pages with custom product fields, dynamic image zoom and related product up-sells
  • Integration with Yotpo to provide product reviews
  • Featured collections on your home page with full support for collection images
  • Featured collection pages with support for collection images, so you can show off your different product categories on one page.
  • Featured products on your home page allowing you to link deep into featured products
  • Social media integration to grow your audience on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube and LinkedIn pages
  • Customisable Instagram Feed to show off a gallery of your product images
  • Image galleries to show off your products and great photography
  • Customisable Parallax banners on all pages
  • Newsletter integration with MailChimp, Campaign Monitor or Mad Mimi so you can sign up visitors to your email list through a simple form
  • Built-in icons for payment methods like PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, and Bank Deposit
  • Matching checkout styles with your logo and colours

Have a look around the Adelaide theme demo store. While you’re there, try resizing your window. You’ll see the seamless and dynamic resize in action!

If you want to apply the Adelaide theme to your store, just navigate to the Design & Assets > Theme gallery section of your store’s admin and update your templates with one click. Don’t forget to save your current theme by downloading it first so you can restore it later if you’d prefer to use it instead.

Instructions on how to make changes to the Adelaide theme to get it to suit you perfectly, can be found in the Adelaide theme guide in our Knowledge Base.

Oh… and we already have an early adopter… check out the AriaJayne site to see how flexible this theme can be.

Zip Pay Payments Now Available

Accept Zip Pay Australia in your E-Commerce Store

Buy Now, Pay Later systems are really shaking up the world of ecommerce, and this month we’ve launched our integration with Australian payment system Zip Pay to do just that.

In November 2016 we launched our integration with Australian buy now pay later platform Afterpay and for Spiffy Stores merchants that have started offering layby-type payments, they’ve seen really good uplifts in average order value. It’s early days for our integration with Zip, but we’re hoping to see similar results for our merchants and Zip reports that the average increase is a 30% increase in sales.

How does Zip Pay work for buyers?

With Zip, you enter your credit card details once at account creation, then you have a digital wallet with capacity for buying up to $1000 total accumulated from any of the stores you choose to use Zip Pay with.

You can then buy at a store that accepts Zip without having to enter your credit card details and without your card being charged. Your credit card won’t be charged until you start making your first repayment.

Repayments are a minimum of $40 per month but you can split that $40 across fortnightly or weekly payments until the balance reaches $0. If you miss a repayment, there’s no interest to pay, just a flat $6 payment for that month.

Why offer Zip Pay to your customers?

Zip have generated over $100 million in sales and have seen an average 80% increase in order value, 3 times the repeat transactions and a 30% increase in sales. With Zip you get paid straight away for the full order amount but your clients can pay the order off over time.

Zip wear all the risk, both fraud and credit and once a transaction is approved, you’re guaranteed payment. Zip settles daily, direct to your bank account.

Zip joins a suite of over 60 payments options already available on the Spiffy Stores commerce platform including PayPal, as well as instant credit card payment gateways such as BPoint, eWay, Fat Zebra, Merchant Warrior, Payment Express, Pin Payments, SecurePay, and Stripe to name a handful. These services are all ready and available for use in all Spiffy Stores, allowing merchants to set them up effortlessly.

What is the sign up process for buyers?

  1. Simply select Zip at checkout
  2. Sign-up on your mobile, tablet, or computer
  3. Complete your order – We pay on your behalf, so you have nothing to pay today. It’s that easy!
  4. Full payment flexibility – You pay us over time weekly, fortnightly or monthly, whichever suits you best.

What is the sign up process for online merchants?

  1. Complete Zip Pay’s online merchant application form
  2. Connect your Zip account with Spiffy Stores – view help guide.
  3. Start taking payments for the full order amount, while customers pay Zip over time.

Further reading about Zip

What is Zip Money?

Spiffy Stores has also just integrated with Zip Money, an affiliate company of Zip Pay. Like Zip Pay, Zip Money allows customers to buy now and pay later, all interest free. The key difference is that Zip Pay is designed for smaller purchases under $1000 whereas Zip Money is aimed at merchants who sell more expensive products. Zip Money purchases can be up to a value of $10,000.

To qualify as a Zip Money merchant you are required to have had a revenue of $500,000 or more for the last financial year and have been trading for 12 months or more.

Visit https://zipmoney.com.au/ to learn more about becoming a ZipMoney merchant.

Is your Online Store Tax Compliant?

Is your ecommerce store tax compliant?

It’s the start of a new tax year, so it’s seems appropriate to revisit one of the topics that we get heaps of questions about. How do I make sure my new Spiffy Store is correctly configured for GST?

Not many people realize that overseas-based ecommerce services, like Shopify, don’t support GST and other Australian tax regulations properly. Happily, Spiffy Stores has been developed in Australia, and that means you don’t have to worry about your store being fully tax compliant.

The first set is to go to your “Preferences -> Regions & taxes” page, and for Australia, make sure the country tax rate is set to 10%. If you’re not registered for GST, then set this value to 0%.

Underneath the shipping countries on this page, you’ll see a “Taxation Rate Policies” section. For Australia, just make sure you check the boxes to include taxes in your product prices, and to charge taxes on domestic shipping rates.

Finally, on the “Preferences -> General Settings” page, go to the “Business Number” section and enter your ABN. This will ensure that your ABN appears on all orders, and ensures that you comply with the taxation legislation. Your order templates will also include the “Tax Invoice” label as required by law.

Your products will all display with the GST included price, except for any products that you have marked as Tax Free.

When an order is placed, the customer receives an order confirmation which shows the amount of GST included in the order. In addition, for orders placed from overseas, the amount of GST included in the order is automatically deducted.

And that’s it. As they say, easy peasy.

Going the distance with Checkout Rules

There’s a sure way to tell if you’re going to be successful in business.

If you’re simply doing what every other business is doing, then you’re simply going to fail. This rule applies to every aspect of your business, including the choices you make when selecting your eCommerce platform. You need to choose a platform that helps your business, rather than just choosing the most popular or well-known service.

For example, if you’re an Australian business, then you understand that our small population and large distances impose certain costs and constraints on our businesses.

Most popular eCommerce services are built for a North American audience. Very little attention, if any, is given to the needs of smaller markets, like Australia and New Zealand.

Spiffy Stores stands out as an eCommerce service and platform very much dedicated to serving the needs of our Australian and New Zealand customers.

As a prime example of this suppport, we’d like to announce a fantastic new addition to our Checkout Rules feature, that helps you manage and control your costs of shipping and payment, to ensure that you’re not losing money on your orders.

We announced Checkout Rules a few years ago. The feature allows the store owner to add additional rules that are applied at checkout to limit quantites, payment methods and shipping options based on a number of criteria, such as customer tags, time of day, size of order and so on.

We are today announcing a major improvement to this feature. As well as the types of rules described above, we now allow additional rules to be created based on the shipping address chosen by the customer. For example, you can now limit quantities or choose payment methods and shipping options based on the customer’s chosen shipping country, state or region or even the distance from your shipping location. We’ve even added the ability to limit free-shipping options as well using these same criteria.

So what does this mean?

Here’s an example. You might sell licensed or perishable items that cannot be shipped to a specific country/state/region, so you can now easily create a checkout rule to check if an item is available for shipping to the customer.

Maybe you want to limit purchases of a popular item to 4 per customer. How about a happy hour special that only allows a discounted item to be sold at a certain time?

Our new distance-based rules also allow you to specify special shipping rates that only apply over a certain shipping distance. Or what about choosing different courier services based on the state or region that you are shipping to?

The list goes on and is pretty much limited only by your imagination.

In the end, it’s all determined by whether you’re choosing a popular eCommerce platform that doesn’t really address the needs of your business, or whether would you actually be better off with the option that helps your business be successful, and saves you money to boot?

eCommerce accounting made easy with our QuickBooks app.

Quickbooks ecommerce integration

Whether you’re new to eCommerce, or if it’s something you’ve done for years, it’s worth taking the time to streamline your systems and automating the drudgery wherever you can. This allows you to free up time to spend on building your business by working on your marketing so you can maximise the return on your eCommerce investment.

We’re constantly coming up with new ways to assist our merchants with this process, so we’re pleased to announce that our new QuickBooks integration is now available. QuickBooks completes our accounting integrations for now, as we’ve so far integrated with Xero, Saasu, and MYOB AccountRight to simplify the accounting side of things.

We’re also pleased to announce that our new QuickBooks integration is now available to all Spiffy Stores merchants at no extra cost. Other eCommerce providers can charge upwards of $30 USD per month to sync order data from your online store to your accounting app.

While QuickBooks may have been around for some time now, they are always working on improving their range of eCommerce bookkeeping and accounting software. QuickBooks Online provides a reliable and cost-effective eCommerce accounting system. It also has the benefit of being based on the robust framework of their globally successful tried and tested PC based bookkeeping system.

Features of our QuickBooks integration include:

  • Real-time instant sync! – Once an order has been paid, it is instantly added to QuickBooks.
  • Automatic daily sync – Quickly and easily import all your orders from your Spiffy Store into QuickBooks Online. You can choose to automatically sync order data and also export historical data from your store.
  • Full order details – Each order you export from your store into QuickBooks will automatically include all line items, shipping and taxes.
  • Flexibility – Select an existing account or create a new one to import your order information into. You can also put all of your Spiffy Stores sales into a single account if you choose.
  • Beautiful reporting – Sync your orders to QuickBooks and take advantage of their powerful and beautiful reports.
  • Inventory updates – Set up your products with inventory in QuickBooks using an SKU that matches the SKU in your store, and we’ll update the inventory in QuickBooks when an order is placed in your store.

Features of the QuickBooks system include:

  • Easy-to-use navigation
  • Common accounting tasks at the push of a button
  • A range of advanced tools
  • Full sales recording with credit and debit card friendly invoices and payment notifications
  • Downloadable bank transactions
  • Categorises and reviews deposits and expenses
  • Full mobile integration

The system has a comprehensive online support facility and pricing is based on three scalable ongoing subscription levels (starting at $10 a month) that will scale with your business.

Integration is simple and easy!

Well it is if you choose a solution like Spiffy Stores, as we now have a shiny new app for QuickBooks! It’s simple and intuitive to implement and use, and it brings with it a variety of benefits:

  • Improved efficiency – With access to detailed customer information and sales, you are better equipped to efficiently place orders and easily answer customer questions.
  • Seamless syncing – Real-time syncing with QuickBooks, updating reports and transactions as well as key customer and product inventory information.
  • Easy configuration – Our QuickBooks app configuration is simple, and fast to set up quickly and easily. We’ve provided step-by-step instructions in our knowledge base.





More accounting love with our new MYOB app

If you’ve been using MYOB for your accounts, we have a special treat in store for you.  Starting today, you can sync your orders directly into MYOB from your store automatically!  Yes!… no data input 🙂

We’re pleased to announce that our new MYOB AccountRight Live integration is now available to all stores at no extra cost.

Keep your data accurate and make tasks like bank reconciliation a breeze. This eases the pain of doing your accounts… our least favourite part of running a business.  As there’s no need for manual data entry, you save loads of time, as one of the major jobs you need to do is already done for you!

MYOB is an established leader in Australia for accounting software, and offer over 50 different business solutions to suit businesses of all shapes and sizes.

MYOB specializes in accounting software but offers a range of business management solutions.  MYOB can help simplify your business by doing the following:

  • Accounting
  • Payroll
  • Retail point of sale
  • CRM
  • Job management
  • Professional tax solutions
  • and more

Getting started is easy

Our MYOB AccountRight app allows you to export your orders automatically to MYOB, and create new invoices or sales without any intervention. You can opt to export your orders automatically each night, or as soon as you’ve received them.

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to get started with the MYOB AccountRight app – with a quick setup process, you’ll be up and running in minutes… and saving yourself hours in future.  Our MYOB knowledge base article walks you through the process.

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Give Customers Credit Where Credit is Due

We’ve rolled out a small update to our customisable email templates this week. This one allows you to customise the email that gets sent to your customers when you add a credit to their account. This allows you to personalise the messages that you send to your customers.

While revisiting customer credits, we realized that even though customer account credits have been available from the day that we added customer accounts to Spiffy Stores, it’s not really a feature that’s widely supported in many of today’s most popular ecommerce packages.

This is important for you, as a merchant, to consider when choosing which platform to use for your online business. It’s widely acknowledged that giving customers an account credit, perhaps as a signup bonus or as a way of dealing with returns, is one of the most effective ways keeping your customers happy and prepared to keep shopping with you.

We’ve found that often it’s suggested that you can use Coupon Codes or Gift Certificates as a substitute for the missing Account Credit functionality, but this really misses the point of a credit. A customer gets the account credit automatically added to their next order, without having to remember or search for that Coupon Code or Gift Certificate email that was sent 6 months ago. What’s more, a Coupon Code or Gift Certificate may not support partial payments if the next purchase by the customer is less than the value of the Coupon Code or Gift Certificate.

All in all, if you really want to give your customers the best experience and easiest way of shopping with you, then don’t just make do with Coupon Codes or Gift Certificates when you want to give your customers an account credit. Coupon Codes and Gift Certificates are valuable marketing tools in their own right, but they are definitely not the right tool to be getting from your toolbox in these circumstances.

 

Square accepts payments from anywhere, now including Spiffy Stores

We’re very happy to announce that Spiffy Stores are now accepting payments using the Square ecommerce payments gateway. You can now process your payments instantly in your online store, working alongside your existing mobile or point of sale systems using Square’s card reader.

Using Spiffy Stores and Square’s payment processing APIs, you can sell online and seamlessly integrate your online and offline sales. Track all your reporting and payments in one place using Square’s free app.

Connecting to Square couldn’t be any easier, especially if you don’t know anything about computers. You just select Square as your credit card processing method then decide what credit cards you’d like to support and whether you want to add a surcharge for each card. After a simple click of a button, you’re able to confirm your connection and you’re done. Your Spiffy Store can now process your payments with Square.

Remember too, that only Spiffy Stores allows you to manage your credit card payments exactly the way that you want to, with credit card surcharge payments that can be configured on a card by card basis.