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Integrating Your Webstore with Sage X3

 What is integrated e-commerce?

Integrated e-commerce is the process of managing your online store by using data from your accounting software, inventory, ERP, or other key process software.

By creating a connection between these platforms you can begin using data you’re already managing to run your online store.

How can I integrate my website with Sage X3?

There are two popular methods of creating an integrated ecommerce platform. The first is by installing a plugin on a pre-existing website or platform. Plugins typically have a limited set of integration points and rarely interact with other features and plugins on your site.

The second, and most often recommended, is to build your site on a fully integrated ecommerce platform, such as zeckoShop. A fully integrated platform allows you to sync more data fields, utilize more features from Sage, and ensure you’re taking advantage of Sage 

Getting Started

Ready!

Preparation is always the most important part of any large project. Start by setting goals — Whether it’s to improve your design, automate otherwise time-consuming processes, or begin selling to new markets, it’s important to define your priorities before you start.

Find the right platform

Once you know your goals, reach out to e-commerce services providers to receive quotes and find a platform that works for you.

Choose your design and feature needs

Set aside some time to decide what type of information your clients will need to make an informed purchasing decision, what type of actions they’ll want to take when finding products and adding it to cart, and how you can make their shopping experience more efficient. The more you can utilize data that’s already in Sage, the faster your set-up will be for products

Set!

Choose what to integrate

So you’re ready to move to the web? It’s time to decide what you want to bring with you from Sage, and what you’d like to manage manually. Order history, pricing, customer data, item names, and custom fields can all sync up to the web. Make sure the data you’re syncing to the web is determined with your customers in mind.

Install and set up

It’s time to find a platform that respects your time. Many platforms force you to pay exorbitant fees for support and training or force you to watch dozens of hours of videos, read through manuals or hire staff experienced in the platform. Thankfully, many platforms will either take care of the hard work for you, provide extensive one-on-one training, or both! Consider what type of user you are and ensure the install and set-up process is tailored to you.

Launch!

Begin automating your order to cash process and enjoying your new store!

No really, it’s that easy.

Click here to start the process!

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How To Get Started With Multi-Channel Selling

What is multi-channel selling?

Multi-channel selling is the act of selling a single product on multiple websites and marketplaces. Many large retailers are partnering with third-party sellers to sell their products on their sites. This includes all of the largest online stores such as Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Staples, and New Egg.

Why you need to start multi-channel selling

Larger Audience

Google is a great place for consumers to find products but search page ranking can be competitive and advertising can be competitive. On a marketplace, you’re guaranteed to have some of the largest audiences. Many of the largest online web stores now allow for marketplace sellers.  Amazon’s annual revenue was over $250bn in 2018, 30% higher than the previous year, making it one of North America’s largest retailers

Increased Trust

Amazon, along with many large retailers have earned the trust of their customers through exceptional support. This trust can be leveraged while on their marketplace, making sales easier. Recent surveys show that a large portion of the population trust Amazon as much or more than their bank, and in some cases more than their government. Amazon has a universally positive perception, which makes users more comfortable when purchasing from their marketplace, and prospective customers.

What are some difficulties of multi-channel selling?

Data Management

You have thousands of products, descriptions, images, and prices and several marketplaces you’d like to sell them on. One of the most difficult parts of getting started with multi-channel selling is getting your products from your accounting software, your current eCommerce site, or anywhere else to the web.

To do so effectively there are several options.

Spreadsheet upload

Amazon, Walmart, and several other marketplaces allow you to upload products via spreadsheets. You can assign a column to each attribute, and tie it all back to a unifying number such as Amazon’s ASIN.

Benefits:

  • Anyone can do it. The skills required to produce and maintain this data over time are common in nearly every office. The data required to sell the product is enough to list it in your stores.
  • Exports from your accounting software or suppliers can often be converted and fulfill most of the data requirements from the marketplace.

Drawbacks:

  • There is still a fair amount of manual work involved. Whether you receive the information from a supplier or other data source there will often still need to be manual transformation and data uploads.
  • Stock and pricing updates will not be automatic, and there could be data inconsistencies between marketplaces, your accounting software, and your retail or online stores.

Automated integrations

Integrations are generally the preferred method of maintaining marketplace data. An integration will look for changes in your accounting software, SKU data management tools, or even supplier data feeds and automatically push updates to and from the marketplace. In most instances marketplace integrations offer the largest form of automation in your processes, allowing you to charge less and compete better.

Benefits:

  • Integration tools can automate many of the cumbersome aspects of maintaining product data, including updating pricing to multiple locations, updating stock on every store once the product has been purchased, and even ensuring descriptions are the same on each store.
  • A quality integration can dramatically lower overhead costs and logistical efforts, allowing you to lower prices and to gain the coveted buy box on Amazon.
  • Fees are typically on a per transaction basis, so you only pay more when you make more.

Margin

Managing margin is one of the most difficult and competitive areas of selling online. Margins are often considerably slimmer when selling on a marketplace due to the fee structures imposed by the marketplace providers.

Reducing operating costs involved in the order is paramount to maintain the profitability of your marketplace sales. There are two key ways in which this can be done:

Automated order processing 

Stores with high order volume can involve a substantial amount of manual data entry. From entering orders, updating prices, and monitoring and updating stock levels.

Warehouse Logistics Optimization

Shipping can make or break the margin on a sale. Remember to always check all available shipping providers before shipping out a product. 

For high volume sellers, make sure you’re consistently negotiating the best rates for the business. 

For low volume sellers, you can find yourself at a disadvantage for shipping providers. Find yourself a service like eShipper or ShipStation that combines many low volume sellers and offers a more competitive rate. Note that if your business volume increases substantially, you won’t be getting credit on your own business account for these sales when you go to negotiate rates later on.

So, now what?

You’re now ready to easily add product, ship products, and make money on Amazon, NewEgg, Walmart, and other popular marketplaces. 

Armed with more knowledge it’s time to start planning and turning those plans into action!

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Graphic Design Tips For Making a Website.

Designing a website is a daunting task. Even in today’s web landscape of pre-made themes and so-called “foul-proof” design tools, a basic understanding of graphic design can help push a site to greatness, while a lack of understanding can ruin a perfectly good theme. Here are some tips and terms to keep your site looking polished and modern.

Layout

The layout is the arrangement of elements on a page, usually referring to the specific placement of text, images, and style. Layouts can make or break your site. A good layout can help make the site user-friendly, highlight specific content, and push traffic in the right direction. Bad layouts will confuse your users, causing your message to be lost.

Layouts in web design need to be flexible and adaptable. Remember that users will be accessing your site from different devices or browsers. A layout that looks great on a large 1920×1440 screen may end up looking cramped and busy on someone’s iPhone. Even different browsers can have an effect on your layout, as they use different resolutions and process code differently. Web layouts cannot be one size fits all. 

Responsive Design

The number of mobile users across the globe is now estimated at over 3.7 billion and growing. The United States is the third-largest mobile market. According to Pew Research, virtually all Americans (over 95%) currently own a cell phone. Having a website that functions and looks good on mobile is essential. This is known as having a responsive design. This means that a responsive site layout will flex and/or grow depending on the user’s screen size. Good responsive sites will pay special attention to making sure images have specialized sizes for different devices and content resizes in a way that is pleasing without losing functionality. 

Website responsiveness can also affect your Google ranking. Google tests to see how responsive your site is. They may rank your site lower if it is not optimized for mobile users. Your site may even disappear completely if a user is searching for it on a mobile device.  

Hierarchy

Hierarchy is the design process of ordering web elements by importance. Where this differs from the layout, but there is an important difference. Say you have your layout done and you stand back and notice that nothing really jumps out at you. None of your content “pops”. It might not be a problem with the layout or content, but with your visual hierarchy.

Good visual hierarchy will help break up your content into more readable chunks. It helps the user identify what is most important by arranging the content clearly. There are many different ways to do this. The most obvious is to use scale. “Can you make it bigger?” is one of the most common phrases a designer hears. But there are other ways to improve your hierarchy; such as color, space/texture and finally, an understanding of typography.

Typography

Typography is a discipline that has evolved out of the printing press era but today is an important part of web design. Good graphic designers pay special attention to things like font pairing, kerning, line length, line space, and contrast. This all contributes to better readability on your site.

Typography isn’t just choosing the right font. Typography is, in essence, the art and technique of arranging type. It’s central to the skills of a designer and is about much more than choosing a font.  Many great sites have been let down by a poor understanding of typography. A few simple rules to follow when starting out are:

  • Do not use more than two font families on a site
  • Make sure the same font is used across the entire site
  • When emphasizing something in a paragraph, just bold it. Don’t underline,  Make it bigger or  MAKE IT ALL CAPS.  It throws off the hierarchy. 
  • Keep it simple. A clean san-serif font like Arial is always a safe bet. 

Want to learn more about typography? Check out our Typography on the Web guide.

Color Palette

Color. Simple to understand, hard to master. When it comes to web design color must be used carefully. An understanding of color theory can help you choose what colors will work best on your site. Tons of research has been done on the feeling certain colors evoke in people. There is a reason restaurants use red and financial institutes’ logos are blue. Red makes people feel hungry, while blue evokes a sense of trust and stability.

That being said, choosing a beautiful palette is not all there is to color. You must keep in mind things like contrast, complementary colors and the cultural context around each color. The last one is particularly important when it comes to web design. For example, making the cancel button green and the confirmation button red will just confuse your users and lead to frustration.

UI

UI can be one of those terms that people use but don’t understand. UI stands for User Interface. UI is the design of the interface of your product with the focus on maximizing usability and user experience. It basically encompasses all the topics discussed above and all these disciplines are used to serve the UI. But unlike say, good typography and color; good UI will go unnoticed. The goal of user interface design is to make the user’s interaction as simple and efficient as possible. To have the user achieve their goal easily without mistakes. 

So if good UI is unnoticeable, how do you check if you achieved it? When critiquing your UI –or anyone’s for that matter — ask the following questions

  • Can the user complete their tasks with little difficulty?
  • Does the interface allow the user to complete tasks in a timely manner?
  • After leaving a website, how likely will the user be able to remember how to use it the next time they visit?
  • What steps does the interface take to lessen the chance of user error, and how do they let the users correct an error?
  • Does the user enjoy interacting with the design?

User testing is also a very useful tool in UI design.  The more people interact with your interface, the better. Proper usage analytics can reveal differences in how users navigate your website. By monitoring these analytics you’ll see if there is a step in the process users get stuck on or if they are spending a lot of time looking for specific information or pages.  Once you have this data, you can go back and find a better solution. 

UX 

User experience refers to the singular and accumulated experiences that occur for users as a consequence of them interacting with an object in a given context. User experience is a design philosophy where all design decisions are made to enhance the user’s satisfaction and create a certain feeling when using your product. 

Due to their similarities, UX and UI are commonly confused with one another. It helps to think of UI as the discipline that reacts to an established product and as trying to create a visual language for said product. UX, on the other hand, is a discipline that creates the context in which the product will be formed. UX designers are looking at factors, such as how users expect established design language, what their competitors are doing and how the website will navigate from page to page.

UI is visual, while UX is data driven. UX is less concerned with the look and feel of a site and more concerned with how it functions; especially in regards to how users will interact with it. UX design starts at the very beginning of the design process and asks the question of how should this website work, unlike UI which is more concerned with how it looks

For example, say that a travel site needs a page for users to book a ticket online. UX designers are responsible for deciding what information needs to be on the page, how users are going to find it, and if it needs links to other pages or if other pages need to link to it. They will also research how other ticket bookers work on other sites and possible structural approaches.  With the UX design done, it then passes to the UI phase. Using the data from UX, UI designers will create something visually using all the disciplines discussed before. Now that has been established, how can you create good UX?        

To create a good UX, you must know your users and what kind of experience you want them to have. Ask the following questions when designing: 

  • Who are my users? 
  • Why would they be coming to this site? 
  • What are they trying to do on the site?
  • What information are they trying to find?
  • How am I making sure that they can find it? 
  • How do I want them to feel when visiting the page?
  • In what context are they interacting with my site? 
  • What is the problem or need we are aiming to solve or improve? 
  • What does the site need to do? 

The answers to these questions should inform any design decision you make. Great UX is the foundation of any great design. When applying any of the design lessons from above, make sure to keep these answers in the back of your mind. All the other terms and disciplines discussed are just tools that you can use to improve your UX. 

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The 10 E-commerce Statistics To Know In 2019

1. Amazon and eBay receive over 310M unique visitors monthly (Statistica)

It’s nearly impossible to not notice the popularity of Amazon eBay, it’s up to you whether this will help or hurt your business. By leveraging marketplace integrations to some of the biggest online stores a retailer can access a wider audience than ever before. There has never been a better time to consider selling on new marketplaces.

2. 84% of distributors plan to spend more on e-commerce this year (Statistica).

The vast majority of distributors are taking their B2B sales online to save time and money while making their products more accessible. Distributor pricing and shipping models can be incredibly complex, preventing many people to make the jump to online. Most distributors are now utilizing platforms directly integrated with the accounting software, reducing the initial set-up and maintenance of their site long term.

3. You can increase your checkout rate by 70% just by offering the right payment options (Nielson)

Most websites allow for credit card payments, but only 42% of people prefer to pay with credit card (Statistica). What about the other half? Ensuring you provide the right payment solution reduces the number of customers you lose at check out. When considering your next ecommerce solution, consider one that offers multiple payment providers, including PayPal, your favorite Credit Card process, and even debit.

4. Generation X Shop More Online Than Baby Boomers and Millennials (KPMG)

The greatest purchasing influences for Gen X are no longer online reviews, lengthy articles or recommendations from family and friends — Decisions are made while browsing social media, through influencers, and YouTube. Have you adapted your marketing strategy to take your product to the forefront of 2019’s biggest spenders?

5. 55% of people will abandon their cart due to unexpected additional fees, such as shipping and duties. [Baymard]

Flat rate and free shipping are going to ensure you keep the most customers through checkout. Free shipping doesn’t work in your industry? Integrate with several shipping providers to provide accurate, predictable rates while giving your customers the option that works best for them.

 6. 64% of consumers will click on a Google ad when they’re looking to make an online purchase [Wordstream]

Over half of those actively looking to purchase products have no issue with clicking an ad on Google, making investments in Google advertising and analytics a no-brainer when planning your next marketing movings.

7. 65% of customers will price check on their phone while in a physical store[KPMG]

You don’t have to be down the street to compete, you just need a great mobile theme. By making your prices easy to find and mobile-friendly you’ll be competing around the clock with brick and mortar and web competitors. 36% of people say their decisions are primarily based on price, make sure yours are easy to find.

8. E-mail marketing has an ROI over 4400% [Campaign Monitor]

We’ve all wondered how sending more emails might increase traffic, or whether the subscription to an email marketing site will see the returns we hope for. The numbers are in, and the answer is obvious: Start your campaign now. Not sure where to start? Try integrating your site with Constant Contact or MailChimp to easily build a list of clients.

9. Mobile users have a cart abandonment rate of 85%[Barilliance]

Every ecommerce store needs to address cart abandonment, what’s your strategy? Retargeting ads, abandoned cart notification, clear shipping, and product costs, and a simple, one-page checkout process are all easy ways to ensure your customers.

10. 54% of people will purchase a product they previously abandoned [VWO]

Nearly half of your abandoned carts can be recovered if your customers stay informed. Combine your e-mail marketing campaign and abandoned carts data to ensure your customers stay informed about sales, coupons on price reductions.

 

Terracor – 20 Years and Growing

We are very excited to announce that along with this year being our 20th anniversary that we have also moved!

Our new location is much larger and more modern in order to accommodate our constantly growing team and or need to collaborate more easily and effectively.

We originally started with just a handful of team members mostly supplying local IT services and have since grown into a provider of multiple consulting & software services & products with the team currently consisting of 25 members.

To give you an idea of our recent growth, in just the last 6 months alone we’ve expanded our team by approx 25%. Our old office building simply couldn’t hold everyone comfortably and with us wanting to continue to grow this year and beyond we needed somewhere that would scale with us long term.

This is very exciting news for us and also for or future and existing customers as it’s a sign of how much we are growing to satisfy increasing needs regarding the services we offer such as custom development, e-commerce deployments, EDI, business consulting and IT managed services.

Here are just a couple of photos showing our new digs.

Terracor - Internal Acrylic Sign

New logo at front entrance

Terracor - Boardroom

Boardroom for meetings with clients, partners and internal teams

Quickbooks & Terracor

Here at Terracor we are constantly growing and evolving, and in particular with regards to the myriad of systems we integrate to, from shipping providers & payment processors to backend EDI & accounting systems.

Quickbooks Online is one such integration and with it being one of the most popular accounting software packages globally, we wanted to share with you the benefits of using our products & services to grow your business and give you an edge over your competitors.

Although we can integrate with Quickbooks Online in a lot of ways we’d like to concentrate on our flagship e-commerce product, zeckoShop. For us, bringing your business online to existing and future customers is vital in the current global marketplace and something we’ve been helping our clients do for over a decade.

There are several reasons why you should work with us in getting you fully setup with an integrated Quickbooks Online e-commerce website, but let’s highlight 2 of the main benefits.

1. Full Integration

Our software will do all the heavy lifting for you so you don’t have to.

Our integration is fully automated meaning that all your Quickbooks Online data such as products, customers, categories, pricing, sales history etc, are automatically pushed to your online store.

Now your customers can browse their sales history and see past invoices without having to call or email you to get them.

From here they can purchase past items, or they can use our powerful browse/search features to find the exact products they want and add them to their cart.

Once an order is placed it flows into Quickbooks Online in close to realtime, allowing you to prepare the order and invoice quickly.

All of this is with the powerful and flexible features & addons we have that allow you to create whatever experience you’d like for your customers.  

2. Full Range of Services

Simply having an e-commerce site is not enough, it requires setup & ongoing support from a knowledgeable and experienced team, and it also requires that product data is up to date and relevant.

Your Deployment team will work with you every step of the way to setup your online store. They take care of several aspects of setup/configuration, along with providing you ongoing training so you get exactly what you want when all is complete.

Your Design team will work very closely with you to understand your business and what you want to achieve and craft the perfect custom look & feel for your site to differentiate you from the rest of the pack and also provide you with a modern, responsive and intuitive online presence.

Your Support team will then give you ongoing instruction, assistance and advice to make sure that your site not only stays up and running, but grows and improves over time. Need more training? They are here to help. Want to try out some different configuration on the site or make changes to your theme? Just let them know and they will be happy to guide you through all this.

Your Development team will help you expand on your range of features by providing both ongoing enhancements to existing features while building new ones. On top of this, if you have a very complex or custom need, they can work with you to scope out a solution and implement so you get exactly what you want.

Your Account Manager will be with you every step of the way, ensuring you get premium attention and service. From the first call you have with us, through the deployment/design phase, and with ongoing support and development, your account manager will be your biggest ally and will strive to work closely with you to keep you successful.

 

If you would like any further information or to discuss in more detail please reach out and we’d be happy to chat with you.

 

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CDNs and how they improve the speed of page loads

If you look at any resource that discusses performance of websites, or you view the suggestions from a tool that assesses website performance, the use of a CDN or Content Delivery Network, is always on the list (and usually right at the top).

We’ve mentioned in previous blog posts related to our zeckoShop releases that we are always looking to improve performance from the backend to the frontend and we’d like to share with you one way we’ve done this, which is our usage of CDNs to serve up the assets from our websites (assets are files such as images, scripts etc).

So why is this such a great thing? Let’s outline the benefits of using CDNs and it’ll be obvious how this will improve page load speeds so dramatically.

Multiple Domains – More File Downloads

Browsers will only download a certain number of files at a time from a single domain, or web address.

CDNs also have their own domain, different from your website, meaning that the browser can download files from your website and files from the CDN at the same time, thus cutting down the overall download time when loading a page.

We’ve taken this one step further by utilising three CDNs, one each for:

  1. Images
  2. zeckoShop specific assets
  3. Third party assets

It’s fair to say this has had a dramatic effect on performance.  

Pre Caching of Files – Less File Downloads

When users browse sites on the Internet that utilise a CDN, those files are then cached in the browser. When they then visit your site, and it uses any of these third party files, the browser won’t need to download it again and will used the cached copy instead.

The third party files we use are for very popular frameworks and the CDN that serves them is one of the most popular available so there’s a really good chance as users visit the homepage of your site for the first time, or the first time in a long time, some of the larger files are already cached in the browser and don’t need to be downloaded again.

Distributed Servers – 100% Availability

When using a CDN to serve files there are two worries most people have:

  • What if it’s actually slower since files are being served from somewhere in the world that might be far from where the user is browsing a website, and
  • What if the CDN goes down and can’t serve files, thus rendering my website useless

The CDNs we use actually has multiple servers all around the world and when serving files will do so from the best and closest server to the user browsing your site. Also, since CDNs are optimised to deliver assets and because of the previous two points, it’s actually faster than serving the files locally.

And, because of the distributed servers, if one of them goes down for a period of time, the others are still up and available to serve your sites assets 24/7.

Think of it like automatic load balancing and redundancy for your assets, built right in without having to worry about high costs and complex setup.  

DDoS Protection – Uptime Guarantee

Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS attacks are on the rise and impacting website uptime every day.

Protection against these kinds of attacks is incredibly difficult and is an ongoing concern requiring constant monitoring and staying ahead of the attackers.

CDNs are built to withstand these kinds of attack and even when one is attempted will keep serving files to you without affecting your uptime.

Optimised Images – Decreased File Sizes

Another way we go one step further then most other platforms and services is that your images are heavily optimised when using our platform.

Whether a user is browsing on mobile, using Chrome vs Firefox, the images served are optimised for that device or browser.

We’ve found through our testing that the image optimisation can decrease file sizes by up to 80-90% which is an incredible savings in file size and in turn a huge boost to performance.

On by Default! – Cost Savings

This is one of our favourites.

If you are using another platform for your ecommerce site, or have your website hosted elsewhere, to utilise a CDN would require someone make changes to your backend to support the use of a CDN and on top of that you’d also need to pay an additional fee for the storage and bandwidth associated with the CDN.

We like to make things easy for our clients and prefer to handle all the heavy lifting and details of their website so not only have we built in full support for all of this into our latest version of zeckoShop, we’ve also built the price into the ongoing hosting costs of the website.

What can we say, it’s fun saving money and time for our clients while improving their online presence.

Announcing our New CEO

Terracor Business Solutions is thrilled to announce our new CEO, Keith Webster.

Keith began his career as a software developer after completing his Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering in his homeland of Ireland.

After working in Ireland’s largest Telecoms company as a Junior software developer, he subsequently moved to Canada to explore new opportunities.

His first position was actually at Terracor where he served many years building software and providing consulting services to our clients.

Offered some great opportunities to work with some industry leading consultants, Keith left Terracor to expand and refine his abilities, allowing him to work on many enterprise level projects, using multiple technologies and learning from the best.

His heart, always being at Terracor, he then returned as their Lead software developer, tasked with and dedicated to building out a great software development team and set of products.

In 2015 he became Terracor’s CTO, continuing to lead the software development team, he also took on the responsibility to define the corporate technology strategy, both internally and for our products & services.

Based on an expanding role, exciting company growth and the need to realise an exciting and demanding company vision, Keith has been promoted to CEO of the company allowing him to work with his talented management team to execute a strategy that will take Terracor to new heights and to provide our loyal client base with more options to help grow their businesses even further.

Version 7.5 Release

We just released version 7.5 of zeckoShop which includes some great enhancements.

Image Optimisations

As a lot of people know, a slow loading website can impact the visitors of your site and is known to decrease traffic if severe enough.

Knowing this we are always looking to optimise our platform in all possible ways, and in particular with regards to website assets such as images.

Images are always the largest assets on a website that need to be downloaded by the browser and thus, if they aren’t optimised in terms of size, then your page loads will consequently suffer.

Till now zeckoShop images have been optimised by our software and delivered directly from the same host that manages your web application.

Moving forward however, we are using an industry leading solution to both optimise and deliver images such that all generated images are as small as possible while keeping quality and delivery of those images is as fast as possible.

Benchmarking to date has shown that generated image sizes are between 30-40% of what they were previously and delivery of those images, both because of the decrease in size and the use of a high efficiency CDN has also improved by approx. 50%.

We’ll be continuing to make further improvements in this area in our next release to have this fully optimised.

Equipment Registry

We’ve created a new addon that allows managing equipment through your zeckoShop along with a self serve portal for your users.

Essentially, you set up the equipment using the zeckoShop admin which allows tracking attributes such as:

  • Manufacturer
  • Type
  • Parts & Accessories (actual products in the system)
  • Customer Purchases:
    • Customer #
    • Serial #
    • Date Purchased
    • Warranty Expiration

Once pieces of equipment have been setup and assigned, your customers can then log in to your zeckoShop and browse their equipment, view warranty information and also add pieces of equipment, or separate components to their cart for purchase.

Addon Wizard

One of our more popular addons is ‘Product Addons’ which allows you to assign a list of options to a product such that when added to cart the user is presented with a series of options that they can choose from such as additional products to purchase, additional fees, extra commentary etc.

This works great as long as the list of options is relatively short and cohesive, but as soon as you have a lot of different options, where certain ones should be grouped separately, then it becomes difficult to setup and awkward for your users.

We’ve now enhanced this so that each option can be assigned a step and when a user is presented with the addon dialog, they will go through it wizard style and be presented one set of options at a time based on the step configured in the admin.

To enhance this one step further, you can also assign custom fields to the wizard so that the final screen in the wizard can request additional information from users related to the order and have these fields flow directly into your ERP.    

Other Notable Additions:

  • Quickbooks Online integration has been added
  • You can now make sales history available in a users favourites
  • A dedicated page to your manufacturers has been added to serve as a landing page for users
  • You can now set custom images to appear as ‘ribbons’ on your product images on the site based on status such as ‘Promo’, ‘On Sale’ etc

Upcoming Release

Our next major version is due for release end of March, version 7.6!

We’ll continue to optimise performance and enhance existing features such as My Account (UI overhaul), Coupons (ease of setup and more powerful use cases) & the Checkout (vault integration, more payment options etc).

Internationalisation & the Global Market

If you were to ask most experts what are the main advantages of selling online, you’d be sure that all would include the fact that it allows you to sell anywhere in the world with little to no limits.

However, most websites either don’t provide this as an option or don’t support it well enough. This isn’t surprising however as there’s a lot to understand and consider before doing so.

With 84% of all transactions happening outside of North America the need to reach new markets is greater than ever but how do you get there?

When entering the global market you need to take into account several new concerns you previously didn’t have to worry about such as:

  • Complex & ever changing tax rules
  • Localisation for numbers, dates, pricing & translated text
  • Shipping
  • Payment processing
  • Etc

zeckoShop has a rich set of core features and addons that takes the headache out of going global.

Localisation

zeckoShop can automatically display numbers, currencies & dates in the format for the current locale based on the visiting users location. This means that when someone visits from Canada for instance, your pricing will display as “$9.99 CAD” whereas if someone visits from Germany your pricing will display as “$9,99 EUR”

Also, zeckoShop has a very complex and flexible translation engine that supports the most common languages throughout the world. It allows you to manually set the translated text, providing you have the help of a translator, or it can even automatically translate your descriptions and meta data with the help of a translation service, thus removing the burden from you.

Taxes

This is one of the most complex and tricky areas you will encounter in general, never mind when going global.

Even if the taxes in your country are simple there are still gotchas lurking and tax laws are constantly changing which are difficult at best to keep on top of.

With this in mind, zeckoShop has a certified integration with the de-facto tax rate calculation service AvaTax.

This allows you to enter any market you wish as all tax calculations are handled accurately and automatically without the need to worry.

Shipping

With dozens of shipping integrations, including local and worldwide carriers, we have you covered.

No matter where you expand to, we will have the carrier you need to not only ship to the destinations you require, but will get you the best rates.

Payment Processing

When dealing with sensitive information, and without knowing the privacy laws in every country, not handling this correctly could put your business into a lot of trouble.

Luckily, zeckoShop is PCI compliant and does not handle any sensitive credit card information and thus takes any worry away in terms of handling this sensitive information as you expand your market over time.

If you’d like to discuss entering the global market and how zeckoShop can help you, please reach out and we’d be happy to discuss. Also, if you would like to read up on this further econsultancy wrote a great article that explains everything in depth, The Internationalisation of e-commerce: A Best Practice Guide