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.

Spiffy Stores Fulfilments and Australia Post eParcel – A new partnership

We all remember the time we received our first order from our new online store and how we eagerly packed the parcel, wrote out a label and proudly took it down to the post office to be sent on its way.

This was the start of a new adventure, and with time and effort, it’s now grown to the point where packing all those parcels and sending them off can consume a significant part of the day. It’s not that we’re complaining about the success, but it would be really nice if it wasn’t such a chore.

This is a common story, that many new store owners experience as their businesses grow. Once the volume of your sales increases, you can start to take advantage of discount shipping rates by signing up with services such as Australia Post’s eParcel.

eParcel is used widely by many businesses, and it allows you to submit your parcel information electronically and to generate pre-printed labels and tracking information automatically.

Although there are many advantages to using eParcel, it can become a bit of a chore without some sort of direct integration between your online store orders and the eParcel system.

This is where the new Spiffy Stores Fulfilment integration shines. Once you have activated your eParcel account within the Spiffy Stores Toolbox, you can directly submit it to Australia Post with the click of a button. Your customer is automatically notified with the tracking information, and you’ll be able to check on the status of each parcel until it is successfully delivered.

Our new Fulfilment integration is going to save you so much time that you’ll have oodles of time left to invest in marketing your store. Our first users are already delighted and excited by the way this improves the way they run their businesses.

 

 

 

Automate your accounting with our new Saasu app

We’ve been hard at work on developing new apps, and we’re pleased to announce that the first app available is our new Saasu app!

Saasu is an easy-to-use, comprehensive online accounting system that gives you real-time access to all of your business’ critical information. With Saasu you can enjoy the freedom of viewing your business data on-the-go, and working where and when it suits you.

With Saasu – an Australian-owned company, you get a complete solution for much better value than other major suppliers. Here are just some of the ways Saasu can help unlock your business’ potential:

• Invoicing, Purchasing, Inventory, Payroll
• Reports, Automated Billing & Expenses, Multi-currency, Bank Account Management
• Time Tracking, Light CRM, Point of Sale, eBay Connector
• Flexible, secure and convenient online access to your data
• Expert support and more.

Getting started is easy

Our Saasu app allows you to export your orders automatically to Saasu, and create new invoices without any intervention.  This takes the pain out of doing your accounts, as one of the major jobs you need to do is already done for you!

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to get started with the Saasu app – with a few clicks, you’ll be up and running in as just a few minutes.  Our Saasu knowledge base article walks you through the process.

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Bitcoin payments now available.

bitcoin-e1466596991401We’re pleased to announce that starting today, all of our merchants can start accepting Bitcoin payments in their online store.

Our new Bitcoin integration is available through BitPay and CoinBase, and can be used alongside other payment services, like Afterpay and PayPal

We’ve had a lot of demand from our merchants to incorporate support for Bitcoin and we’re happy that we can make this integration available during this year’s holiday shopping season. 
 

Why accept Bitcoin payments with Spiffy Stores?

The main features are:

  • Ease of accepting international payments. Small online retailers and independent consultants often don’t sell their wares and services internationally because of expensive cross-border transaction fees. Bitcoin relieves the steep cost of going global, making cross-border payments easier, faster and cheaper.
     
  • Lower transaction fees. Per transaction fees for accepting Bitcoin are generally significantly lower than those charged for credit and debit card purchases. This is the biggest reason smaller merchants are latching onto Bitcoin payments.
     
  • Fraud prevention. Because people can pay businesses in Bitcoin without divulging personally identifiable information (names, billing addresses, etc.), they enjoy a level of identity-theft protection that credit cards simply can’t offer.
     
  • The ability to get paid quickly. Having cash on hand is often critical to survival for small businesses. Accepting Bitcoin payments can put cash within your reach faster than it does when you accept credit card payments.
     
  • No chargebacks. Bitcoin purchases are final, so there are no chargebacks and no returns, like those rife in credit card dealings, yet another way transacting in the virtual currency saves merchants money.
     

Wait… So what is Bitcoin?

Many people can find the concept of Bitcoin somewhat confusing. Quite simply, Bitcoin is an online financial network that people use to send payments from one person to another and it’s also a digital currency (also called Bitcoin!).

The bitcoin network functions without a central authority. The managing of transactions and the issuing of Bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network.

Here is an excellent article about all things Bitcoin, and here’s a video that sums up what bitcoin is very nicely…

Still have questions? Learn more about Bitcoin.

Ready to get started? Accept Bitcoin with Spiffy Stores now.
 
 
 
 

Do you have these important pages on your ecommerce website?

In addition to the nuts and bolts of your online store, like your product collections, there is other crucial content you must include.

Your customers need to understand how you conduct business and how it may affect them. Information such as your terms and conditions, shipping and returns information, and your privacy policy should be clearly laid out in policy documents and made available on your website.

Shipping and returns

Lack of shipping and returns information is a major source of frustration for online shoppers and can be the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart. Make sure your store visitors can find your shipping and returns policies quickly and easily so they don’t have to go through the checkout process to discover you can’t deliver to their area.

Privacy statement

As you’ll be collecting personal information such as name, address and payment details on your online store, you must publish a statement on your website detailing how that information is used. More information on national Privacy Principles can be found here for Australia and here for New Zealand.

Terms and conditions

You are required to display the terms and conditions under which you operate on your website. Terms and conditions should include elements such as your payment terms, refund and exchange policies, disclaimers and copyright claims.

All the above information should be available to your customers at all stages of the purchase process. Create separate pages for your policies and make each one accessible from every page of your website – by linking to them in the footer, for example.

Crate your own policy pages using our sample templates here.

Protect your customers and your business. Ensure you have the correct and legally compliant information you need on your ecommerce store.

NB: This article is for information only, it is not legal advice. Talk to a lawyer about the legal requirements and responsibilities of doing business.

Afterpay Now Available

afterpay-promoWe’re delighted to announce that all Australian retailers using Spiffy Stores can now offer lay-by type payments in their store using Afterpay… the latest craze in buy now – pay later services.

Afterpay offers simple, flexible instalment plans for online shoppers. Customers can choose how and when they pay for an order. After bursting onto the payments scene in 2015, they were listed this year on the ASX… achieving much in a short time. According to our latest available information, Afterpay now serves over 1500 merchants and over 250,000 consumers.

For consumers, Afterpay offers simple, flexible instalment plans for a period of 6 to 8 weeks. The purchase cost is split to 4 equal instalments paid every 2 weeks (for new customers the first instalment is due at the time of purchase, for existing – after 2 weeks). Late fees are applied to the consumers who don’t pay on schedule.

For merchants, Afterpay assumes the consumer credit and fraud risk. Funds are transferred to a merchant’s bank account within 48 hours.

Now that Afterpay is available, retailers using Spiffy Stores can now provide shoppers the ability to pay for items in fortnightly payments just by enabling Afterpay in their store’s preferences.

Afterpay 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.

If you already have an Afterpay merchant account, it’s easy to set up your store to accept Afterpay payments. Just head over to our knowledge base for step-by-step instructions on setting up Afterpay in your store. For more information about Afterpay, visit their web site at https://www.afterpay.com.au

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