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Category Archives: Tips

Top 8 Magento Shipping Configurations for Your eCommerce Website

Shipping can easily be overlooked by new merchants that come to the Magento eCommerce world. You become so focused on products configurations, website designs, content updates/changes, hosting, inventory migrations, and every other aspect of your new Magento store, that shipping gets put on the back burner for a rainy day. Then, just as you’re about to finish, you realize that you have to configure your shipping as well.

Whether it was the first or last item on your pre-launch list, the Magento shipping configuration is one of the most critical parts of your website as it affects:

  1. The overall logistics of your business
  2. How and when customers will receive their purchases
  3. How you handle items that are not in stock
  4. Any handling fees, such as the shipping cost and packaging, that you may institute
  5. Whether or not you will include free shipping when the customer’s cart reaches a certain price
  6. Any special requirements for large or heavy products
  7. Any specifications regarding destinations such as: shipping from different warehouses or locations
  8. Abandon Shopping Carts and Lost Profits

Shipping Costs Affecting Your Profits
According to a 2011 study conducted by the Baymard Institute, one of the most common causes of cart abandonment is the shipping cost (http://baymard.com/blog/cart-abandonment). Due to the increased popularity of major eCommerce hubs, like Amazon.com, customers have higher expectations for their shipping fees. Customers expect merchants to be upfront with shipping costs and expect their order to arrive quickly for a very low cost, which is not always realistic for smaller business, or businesses with larger sized products. Make sure you plan ahead and think about the options that work best for your business, your customers, and your overall profit. The more options that you can provide your customers, the most satisfied they will feel at the end of the checkout process.

There are eight common Magento shipping methods that you can choose from. Understanding which methods work for you can help you estimate the cost of shipping for each product you sell, and how to balance that with your profit margin. While you are choosing your shipping options, keep in mind that your developer will need a set amount of time to work on it. Shipping configurations can be relatively easy, or they can be fairly complex depending on the specifications that need to go into your project. Because of this, different methods take longer to configure and implement appropriately. Make sure that you have a thorough understanding as to what your business needs, and that you convey those needs to your Magento partner with enough time for them to finish the configurations on time. If at all possible, don’t let your shipping configurations be put off until the end of your project. Get it done sooner rather than later to allow for any complications that arise.

1. Live shipping Rates from Different Carriers like UPS, FedEx and USPS
You can easily connect to these carriers through the Magento admin under the System Configurations. UPS is probably the easiest to configure. FedEx and USPS are a little more complicated as they require an API connection to receive the correct rates from your shipping account.
Estimated Configuration Timeline: 1-2 days

2. Freight Shipping for Larger Products
Freight has always been very popular, and it is becoming more important as larger items are shipped with greater frequency. Freight shipping saves the customer money, and helps you ship more products at the same time as it is based on a pallet vs. weight scale. Most freight configuration can be configured to show up based on a weight limitation. If you have 150 lbs in the cart the customer would be presented with discounted freight shipping weights. This saves the customer money! http://www.webshopapps.com/us/shipping/freight-shipping.html
Estimated Configuration Timeline: 1-2 days

3. In Store Pick Up
It has become very important for brick and mortar stores to offer this feature. In Store Pick Up helps give the customer a discount and draws the customer into the store to potentially purchase more goods. Making the experience convenient for the customer is the most important part of customer service! http://www.webshopapps.com/us/store-pickup.html
Estimated Configuration Timeline: 1-2 days

4. Free Shipping for Promotions
This can easily be set up in Magento without an extension, but if you have specific rules you may want to utilize the Shipping Override stated below for more control over Free Shipping.
Estimated Configuration Timeline: 1-2 days

5. Override Live Rates
At Shero we do a lot of override configurations to regular rates using the WebShopApps Extension. (http://www.webshopapps.com/shipping/shipping-override-matrix.html) Using a CSV you can configure and mange all of your shipping based on different rules. Some good examples of how you can use this is if you want to limit shipping to certain areas and charge extra for other areas like Alaska and Hawaii. You can also include surcharges which can be useful to configure for heavier items or based on quantity. It can also limit certain shipping options based on location. For example, if you want to offer store pick and flat rate shipping to certain regions, but have live UPS rates for areas outside of that region, this would allow you maximum control and flexibility. There is a little bit of a learning curve to the CSV configuration but WebShopApps has a great wiki and once you get the hang of it you will be making shipping miracles in no time!
Estimated Configuration Timeline: 3-7 days – Could be more based on complexity

6. Custom Rates
This can be very important for unique products or if you work with a specific shipping that gives you major discounts based on certain parameters. The Product Matrix (http://www.webshopapps.com/us/productmatrix-shipping-extension.html) from WebShopApps is a must have for this scenario. We use this on multiple websites with great success. Product weights may not be necessary for this if you have a set of rules.
Estimated Configuration Timeline: 3-7 days + Could be more based on complexity

7. Drop Shipping
You may not have everything in stock or you may be shipping from multiple warehouses. Drop shipping will help you send the customer the product sooner, or it can allow them to pick their closest shipping location based on zip code. http://www.webshopapps.com/us/dropship.html or https://secure.unirgy.com//products/udropship/
Estimated Configuration Timeline: 7 days + Could be more based on complexity

8.Dimensional Shipping
The dimensions of the product or combinations of products can have a major effect on shipping price. For example, you may be able to combine five t-shirts in one USPS Priority shipping box. Why charge the customer for five priority boxes when you can combine it? Note, the configurations for this set up can be very complicated depending on the box dimensions you are working with! http://www.webshopapps.com/dimensional-shipping.html
Estimated Configuration Timeline: 3-7 days + Could be more based on complexity

Note: Most of these tend to work together and can be combined in multiple ways.

Great You Have a Plan! How Do You Implement These Complex Shipping Rules?

The more planning involved the better. We have learned that while most merchants have been shipping for years, they do not understand how it works, or what information is needed to configure this sort of functionality. The best thing to keep in mind is to discuss shipping configurations early in the project, ensuring that both you and your Magento partner understand exactly what you want, and how you want it. The more time you have set into your project to have your configurations completed, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

Work with People You Trust and Understand Your Goals to Achieve Results
In this blog post we mention WebShoppApps Magento shipping extensions because we have worked with their team time and again and they undoubtedly are the best in the industry when it comes to Magento shipping.

Concluding,  is important to plan, understand your goals and work towards the most cost effective shipping from the merchant and customer side of the business. In the end, if the shipping is too high you will lose customers because of those shipping costs. Give the customer multiple shipping options, as it helps to reduce the amount of abandoned shopping carts your store receives. If you do not have an in house Magento developer to work with, make sure that whomever you hire for this job understands your shipping goals and can partner with you to see those goals met.

If you have any specific questions or want to discuss your shipping needs in more detail, feel free to contact us.

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Responsive Magento Template vs. Mobile App Extension

Most companies who own a Magento eCommerce store want their customers to be able to access the website through their mobile devices. There are two ways to go about this: First, for Magento stores that are not responsive,  an extension  can be purchased that makes the website mobile friendly by adding the mobile app extension to the website. The second option is using a responsive template that already has that feature built in from the beginning.

However, if you already have a website that isn’t already responsive, choosing to redesign your site onto a responsive template can be a difficult decision. While choosing a mobile extension from the Magento Connect Marketplace may seem like the most convenient and less expensive route, it can often lead to challenges and complications that you hadn’t foreseen. A responsive template is the most cost effective decision in the long run, and it is the easiest to maintain.

To be clear, using an extension to make your Magento store mobile friendly is effective. The mobile app extension will do what it is designed to do. However, the true drawback of going this route is the amount of work that needs to be put in to keeping the mobile app website up to date and running. Every time you want to update your website, a second step would have to be made in order to update the mobile version of your website too. Your app essentially acts as its own website, requiring its own maintenance and upkeep. Overtime, this can heavily increase the amount of money your company spends on your website, exceeding the overall cost of redesigning or transferring to a responsive template from the get-go.

In addition to the fact that your website needs to be updated in two places, if a website has too complex shipping, subscription options, or discount codes it is often quite difficult to make this functionality work on the mobile version of the website exactly the same as on the actual website. As a result, visitors that are accessing the website via a mobile device are not offered the same user experience and see the options that show on a regular browser leading like this into a lost sale.

With a responsive template everything will update at the same time through one admin panel. One adjustment to your site will affect your mobile site, and vice-versa. There’s no separation. All changes whether it be content, organization, design, or others take place in one location.

Continually, mobile apps cannot be indexed through search engines. This will effect your overall Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranking as your traffic patterns won’t register appropriately. With the responsive template, all traffic will be directed to one location, and so your ranking should not be affected negatively.

 

Mobile App User: Kombucha Brooklyn

 


Responsive Magento Template User: Junie Moon

 

Conclusion

Responsive templates can easily fit into any platform and there are no extra steps you need to follow. They are already built and ready to go, so you don’t have to worry about whether your e-commerce site is fitting correctly on a customer’s device.  Many online shoppers use smart phones or tablets to purchase their goods. They scroll through hundreds of product listings a day, and if they see that your site is not working correctly or easy to navigate, there is a strong chance they’ll leave your site. Having a responsive Magento template can benefit your company and your customers by circumventing this issue.

It would make things easier and faster.  While there may be more cost in setting a responsive template up from the beginning, it will save money in the long run as it is easier to update and manage. While using an extension to create a mobile version of your Magento store, also known as a  mobile app, can work well too, the excess time and money spent keeping both the mobile app and the main site running simultaneously and effectively may not be worth it. 

If you are creating your Magento website from scratch, choosing to build  it with a responsive template is the ideal way to go. It is more expensive as an  upfront investment, but it saves time, money, and energy in the long run by allowing you to have both a computer and mobile friendly site up and running in one fell swoop.

 

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Magento Features Spotlight : Wishlist & Compare

During initial consultations, many of our clients express confusion about two of Magento’s built in features, Wishlist and Compare. While they often appear together, Wishlist and Compare do different things and are utilized by different kinds of shoppers. In order to help clear up any confusion, I’m going to explain how these features can enhance your shoppers experience, so that you can utilize them to their fullest potential on your Magento website.

The Wishlist is designed to allow your shoppers to save and keep a list of things they want but won’t necessarily purchase right at the moment. Your users can share their Wishilst with anyone by email and can also add products to their cart, individually or as a group, directly from the Wishlist.

Who uses the Wishlist?

The Wishlist really comes in handy when shoppers are making a list of items they’d like to receive as a gift. It also allows shoppers to store items so they can revisit across multiple sessions. This creates another advantage by encouraging return visits to your online store. While a lot of shoppers will use the cart to store desired items, the Wishlist offers the additional perks because it can be shared or revisited.

How can you make your Wishlist Unique?

You can ask your designer to create an appealing style to add personality to your Wishlist. Your theme probably comes with a heart icon, but I would recommend using your own unique style of heart that is designed just for your brand.

Who does it best?

One of my favorite Wishlists online comes from Sephora. Sephora has re-branded their Wishlist, and calls it “LOVES”, even though it works the same way as a traditional Wishlist. Once you Select an item to add to your Wishlist, it becomes “LOVED”. Sephora is the ideal website to utilize the Wishlist functionality for a couple of reasons.

- It it a browser’s paradise. Sephora sells high end makeup products mostly to female shoppers. Because they have such a wide array of products, shoppers can become overwhelmed. It is very helpful to have a place to store the products you’re interested in before you commit to buying them. It’s also a great to store products for the future.

- The products make great gifts and the Wishlist on Sephora allows makeup enthusiasts tell all of their friends exactly what they’d like for a holiday or birthday.

Here’s an example of how the Sephora compare looks on a product page:

 

 

Who uses the Compare?

Shoppers will use compare to look at multiple similar products at the same time do decide which product’s features match their needs. Shoppers who use compare are usually shopping for a specific item, and are willing to do their homework to get the best deal. If your shoppers are educated about the product, and if you offer multiple products for a similar purpose, the Compare feature is for you.

Does every website need a Compare feature?

I wouldn’t recommend every online store to use the Compare feature. If all of your products are different and unique from one another, or if you only sell a few specialty products, it’s not really necessary. It might confuse your shoppers to have a Compare feature when it probably won’t come in handy. You can simply ask your designer to disable the Compare feature in the Magento Admin and to make sure all references to it are hidden.

Who does it best?

The Home Depot website does an excellent job utilizing the compare feature. This is the ideal type of online store for the Compare feature. If a shopper is looking for a refrigerator, they have dozens of options. By using the Compare feature, they can view a side-by-side comparison of products that may appear to be similar, but have different features and prices.

Below you can see the way that Home Depot allows users to easily add multiple similar products to the Compare.

In conclusion

Magento comes with great built-in features. The Wishlist and Compare features serve different purposes and are designed for different types of shoppers. If your shoppers are used to browsing, and you sell unique gifts in your store, you could make great use out of a custom branded Wishlist. 

If your shoppers are knowledgeable and are looking for a great deal, and if they have many different similar products to choose from, you should be sure to utilize all that the Compare feature has to offer.

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How to Best Optimize Magento Products: Magento On-Page Product Optimization

One of the most overlooked parts of Magento SEO is on-page product optimization. Online retailers using Magento often neglect the aspect of optimizing each product, especially those that have 500 products or more. This problem arises when retailers use generic product descriptions and images provided by the manufacturer. Other times, online retailers are, lets accept it, lazy or don’t have the time or resources to invest into writing long product descriptions that are unique, relevant, and products that sell themselves.

Why is this a problem? In order to maximize sales on the web, visitors need to have an abundant amount of information which serves as a selling, advertising, and educational point.

Moreover, manufacturers (e.g. Nike, Garmin, Sony) offer their products en masse to whoever has an online store that can sell them. It doesn’t matter if an online retailer has the product in stock or is drop-shipping it. As a result, the web gets flooded with multiple websites who are using the same product titles, descriptions, and images. Other than the regular CMS pages that are unique, the copy of the website ends up being the same as a hundred other websites and are treated by search engines as not providing any particular value. In the meantime, the website owner wonders why isn’t their website ranking well or even showing up on SE results. Here are some tips on how to optimize each product on your Magento store to set your self apart from the crowd. Of course, this techniques can apply to other eCommerce platforms as well.

Magento Product Names - Your product name should be short yet descriptive. Most search engines will display up to 71 characters.  The URL Key of the product page should reflect the product name, it’s category or anything else that is important depending on what you’re selling.  When stuck, it’s not a bad idea to use your page titles as, essentially, your URLs.

Magento Product Description SEO

Magento Product Description Optimization

Product Meta Tags – Your product Meta description will appear in search results, so you’ll want to make it short and concise, and remember that it’s purpose is to encourage people who are querying search engines to click on your product link.

 

Magento Product Metatag Optimization

Magento Product Metatag Optimization

 

Magento Product Descriptions - When writing product descriptions you are making a sales pitch to the potential customer.  Don’t copy the product description directly from the manufacturer. There are possibly hundreds of other vendors who have access to this description, so using it won’t give you the unique original content that search engines are looking for. Try to humanize the language by including all the product specs, warrantees, features etc. The longer the description, the better informed the buyer will be. Where possible, it is a good practice to include PDF product manuals. Be careful to not over do it  and try to avoid “keyword stuffing” — the practice of using a particular keyword too often to trick a search engine. Provide value and stay within context.

Add Videos to Product Description – Using video for product overviews or reviews can greatly increase conversions and assist with SEO. Magento allows for video embedding directly on the product page. We highly recommend that you use YouTube to host your videos as  they are the 2nd biggest search engine after Google and you’ll save on hosting (bandwidth and quota). Quite often online shoppers will turn to Youtube for their research.  If a visitor lands on your website they can see the video directly on the product page and vise-versa. If you don’t have the time or resources to do product reviews look at the manufacturer’s website or Youtube Channel. Most manufactures  have overview videos of their products. Provided that you are an authorized reseller of Garmin, for example, you can search for a product video on Youtube and embed the video directly on the product page. To embed a video in the product description go to: Product Information –> General –> WISYWYG –> Show/Hide Editor  –> Insert/Edit Embedded Media (vertical film icon) –> Source –> Paste embed code –> Insert.

Magento Product Images – Great images vs bad images will certainly make a difference on your online store’s revenue. Search engines, however, can not read images and only crawl the alt tags.  Write strong alt tags and name the image files appropriately. Remember that some people search for product images, which can lead them to your website and products. Alt tags also allow those who cannot read your website to understand what an image is depicting.

Product Reviews – Product reviews are one of the top motivators for conversions and they add free, relevant content to your website.  Out of the box, Magento comes with product review functionality. Fist thing first, you need to enable reviews on your store and continuously monitor and approve the reviews that come in through the Magento Admin.  Sometimes the problem is that most of the reviews are spam and submitted by spam boots.  To prevent this from happening you’ll need to install an extension for your product reviews to be SEO friendly/bot crawlable. Reviews will add product-related content to your website which will be great for SEO.

Product PDF Owner’s Manuals – Having publicly available PDF Owner’s Manuals on your website not only offers additional information to the buyer but also serves as a point for reference for others and a way for past clients to come back to your website. The same way as with the videos, ask the manufacturer for a PDF manual so that you can display it on the website. If you can not find one, make the effort to even scan an owners manual and upload it on your website (as long as it is ok with the manufacturer).

The list can go on and on since no online store is virtually the same and business models and strategies vary greatly. I have seen solid businesses running on Yahoo stores where the user experience and website layout/architecture is the worst but they offer a ton of information under each product and rank very high on SE. With Magento you have the latest and best SEO technology. The basic idea here is to provide the visitor with as much information as possible on the product they are shopping for. If you follow the steps discussed above your store will stand out from the competition and consecutively increase sales.

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Best Magento POS (Point Of Sale) Integration Solutions

To no surprise, Google recently revealed that the term “Magento” was searched more than the word “eCommerce”. As Magento is being adopted to a great extent by established businesses, the need to integrate the store point of sale (POS) with the online store is of vital importance. Having such an integration helps streamline your transactions, avoids double data entry, and synchronizes the inventory between the POS and Magento as often as every minute. Therefore, finding and choosing the best software for Magento and your POS integration is more essential than ever. There are a few components that any online store needs to have, particularly if there’s a physical version of the store as well.

- The ability to keep track of inventory so that a product can be re-stocked prior to selling out.
- A seamless purchasing option that accepts and records payments appropriately.
- The ability to add, modify, or change product information into the system without fear of double entry.
- Saves time in all aspects of the business, whether that’s from adding information, making a transaction, or modifying a component during the selling process.
- Generates reports so that sales can be tracked and customer data can be monitored

There is a broad spectrum of different POS systems that integrate with Magento Community or Enterprise editions. All in all they fall in three types of Magento POS  integration solutions. The first one is purchasing a Magento POS integration extension in the Magento Connect Marketplace. Second, is by purchasing a one time software license that comes with a more expensive price tag than the first option and a set up fee. Third, using a POS integration application that has a monthly reoccurring fee.  In many cases, choosing a specific POS system will by default be choosing the POS integration system you will need to use.

Listed below are several Magento POS extensions, POS systems, and POS integration applications that can help you make the best choice for your business.

Paypal In-Aisle Selling
Microbiz
Modern Retail
Vend POS and VortexHQ
LightSpeed
X POS
IWD Magento POS
NCR Counterpoint + Center Stage’s CPMagento

Paypal In-Aisle Selling

Paypal In-Aisle Selling essentially gives the store clerk and associates the ability to walk the floor of their business and speak to the customers directly. There, they can use some form of mobile device (such as an iPad) to process payments that will be rerouted through the Magento site.  Different payment options are acceptable, including: PayPal, Credit Card, Cash, or Check. An Invoice can also be drawn up and given to the customer if needed.

Paypal In-Aisle Selling may be good for some businesses. From our research, however,  it seems to have bugs. There isn’t a lot of traffic on the Magento Connect website, and it hasn’t been well supported elsewhere. It is free, but it’s provided as is. It also relies on internet connection as you are directly rerouting all sales through the online store. Should that fail, your business would essentially shut down as you couldn’t process any transaction.

Microbiz is a POS

Microbiz is a POS system that has a plethora of information on their website. Their willingness to explain each step of their process answers a lot of questions up front, and they’re working hard to be as transparent as possible during the purchasing process of their system.

The key with Microbiz is that they’re focussed on making sure that their POS system looks and acts identically like the Magento admin. This way you’re not learning how to read and interact with two different interfaces, you’re only managing one and you don’t have to fight with reworking or re-entering information

Existing settings, product/customer records, copies attributes, departments, and categories from MicroBiz Cloud POS will transfer to Magento site, or vice versa. You can also set it up so that either your Magento site’s updates take precedence over your MicroBiz or the other way around.

Like Paypal In-Aisle, MicroBiz can connect to various devices including iPads and Androids, however it also works on stationary devices like PC’s and Macs. This allows for mobility while also establishing a counter operation as well.

MicroBiz is unique in that it specifies a multi-language and multi-currency option. This is an excellent feature for those who have international sales and need to switch back and forth between various currencies often.

FREE CONSULTATION!

Need help integrating your POS with Magento? Contact us today to talk about how we can help you. We have a variety of solutions to fit MOST budgets! Give us a call or fill out our contact form with as much information as possible by clicking here and you will receive a response, typically within hours!

New products can be easily entered into either MicroBiz or Magento directly and it will appear naturally on the other system. Parent SKUs and child SKUs are created relatively easily, and categories/attributes are set up to make finding and identifying products quicker and easier to manage.

MicroBiz tracks the real-time store POS inventory and ensures that items are reordered once stock becomes too low. It also allows for different stores to set unique pricing to the products on their shelves, allowing for diversity for their client base instead of locking storefronts into a pre-set amount.

MicroBiz generates reports that show 12 months of sales as well as all records of purchases and receiving. You can manage multiple vendors and can even reject delivery, back order, and track partial orders.

MicroBiz can be run without a Magento site, as it was initially used as a standalone system for both single and multi-store retailers. Data is synced automatically throughout the day from the online to physical store which ensures there are fewer problems with inventory at the end of the day.

MicroBiz does not work with Magento Go or Enterprise editions. Continually, if you do use MicroBiz for your eCommerce site, you can only operate a single Magento website at one time. Therefore this is not recommended for a store that manages multiple Magento sites simultaneously, or for a big business that uses one of the different Magento platforms.

http://microbiz.com/magento-pos/

It is priced at $900.00

Modern Retail

Modern Retail’s Magento QuickBooks POS integration is exactly as it sounds. It integrates the pre-existing QuickBooks POS system with Magento. This integration will only work for those that are already using this system.

Modern Retail’s integration system takes information from your QuickBooks POS and transfers it to your Magento store where it can be edited and merchandised into Simple or Configurable products. Completed orders and customer information gathered on Magento can be sent back to QuickBooks POS where inventory is then adjusted and new customer information (if applicable) is added.

Pricing updates, changes, and adjustments can be made automatically as well. Purchases and new products can be added directly to the Magento store which can then be transferred back into QuickBooks. The two systems will sync to one another generally every 30 minutes, but you can configure this to receive/send information at whatever intervals you prefer.

There is an element of customer support here, as Modern Retail will assist you in editing store information, adding attributes, and helping to create new items as necessary.

To run this integration system you would need to have Magento Community or Enterprise Edition 1.7.0.2 or higher
- Magento API Version 2.0 or higher
- PHP version 5.3 or higher.
- Server running the Magento API must have at least 1 GB of memory.

There is an initial setup cost of $2,000.00. This covers installation of the extension, initial product upload, training, and support. After that it will cost $75/month.

Modern Retail does not allow the store to install the system on their own, as they want to ensure that it’s properly configured and working appropriately. It is not clear whether Modern Retail will work with QuickBooks Multi-Store.

http://www.modernretail.com/magento/integrations/pos/quickbooks/

QuickBooks Point of Sale can be found here: http://quickbooks.intuit.com/point-of-sale/

Its starting cost is $1,199.95 for its basic package, $1,699.95 for Pro, and $1,899.95 for  Multi-Store.

Vend POS and VortexHQ

Vend POS is the POS System and VortexHQ is the integration that connects it to Magento. VortexHQ.com is a third party add-on to Vend Point Of Sale.

Vend POS works both online and offline, and can accept any form of payment necessary. This works out well for those who are concerned about their online store being the only way they can run purchase through their physical one. It’s compatible for PC or mac, and is designed for efficiencies.

There are several quick keys that can be used, and taxes are made to be easily customizable, receipts can be made to look unique, and customers can be tracked by their purchases. Vend POS also provides special options such as layaways/laybys and loyalty money/points. You can adjust loyalty spending however you deem best, whether it be a broad blanket plan or a per item point count. All customer account information is stored and monitored so you can check their transaction history at any time. You can input new customers at the point of sale, or transfer bulk information via CSV files as necessary.

Like other POS systems, it will automatically track, update, and record your stock levels and send you a notice so that you never have too much or too little stock on your shelves. It will prompt you into action whenever you need to reorder products. Similarly it will allow you to register new SKUs and barcodes whenever you need to in order to keep your inventory up to date.

Vend POS also maintains a variety of reports that you can check into at anytime. These include: sales and stock, history, line-by-line, payment types; as well as weekly, monthly, and yearly totals.

VortexHQ works exclusively with the Vend POS system, and is focussed primarily on small and midsize companies.

FREE CONSULTATION!

Need help integrating your POS with Magento? Contact us today to talk about how we can help you. We have a variety of solutions to fit MOST budgets! Give us a call or fill out our contact form with as much information as possible by clicking here and you will receive a response, typically within hours!

This integration system pushes product titles, long descriptions, prices, images, tax, SKU & Quantity from Vend POS to your Magento Go/Community Edition online stores. Essentially, any information that you have on Vend POS in regards to your products and clients will be transferred into Magento Go and Community Edition. You can update sale information as needed, and you can alter or access customer information as well.

Any changes to your Magento site will sync to your Vend POS site. VortexHQ is stored on secure serves and is backed by a 256-bit encryption SSL.

There are several tutorial videos available online that prospective stores can look at before they purchase, and Vortex offers a 30 day free trial with no restrictions, obligations, or set up costs to help you see if its the best fit for you. They offer customer service via email and chat support 7 days a week.

There are several payment packages that are associated with VortexHQ. As it’s an Australian based company, there are two different pricing matrixes available.

For “Outside” Australia:

-Manual Sync (meaning you would have to manually sync your inventory, stock, and SKUs between the platforms) $15 USD/month

-Scheduled Sync (automatically syncs per hour) : $25 USD/month

-Automatic sync (automatically syncs ever 1.5 minutes): $50 USD/month

For all Australian companies, prices include GST:

Manual Sync: $16.50 AUD/month

Scheduled Sync (per hour) : $27.50 AUD/month

Automatic sync: $55 AUD/month

http://www.vendhq.com

http://www.vortexhq.com

 

LightSpeed

LightSpeed’s integration system is once again only for LightSpeed’s POS. LightSpeed’s interface can look messy at times. There’s so much happening on the screen that it can seem overcomplicated and a bit overwhelming. While using LightSpeed Pro may help streamline things for some companies, it might take a learning curve in order to truly stand behind it and use it efficiently.

Visually, LightSpeed uses different colors indicate different statuses on products and transactions. Once the colors are memorized it should help streamline things. LightSpeed does offer reports to show you what you primarily sell and can connect to Google analytics to assist you with managing your web traffic. Other features like Mail Chimp can also be integrated into LightSpeed so you can utilize a variety of different effects.

LightSpeed’s POS monitors inventory control, tracks stock, submits purchase orders, and even sets up automatic reorder points. It syncs into Magento, but there’s no clear description as to how it syncs or if there are automatic features involved. It can be put on a mobile device so that employees can walk about the store, and it will work with a card swipe plugin as well.

LightSpeed stores all information “in the cloud.” This can be beneficial to you as if anything should happen to your physical data, you will still be able to access your information and ensure that everything is running smoothly. However, LightSpeed is designed for Mac and iOs exclusively and so there is no PC or Android component.

LightSpeed also has a variety of themes that you can use to physically create your online store to your customers. This offers a unique design aspect that alters it somewhat from the standard POS systems available. Because of this it seems like an all in one inclusive: the ability to show what the website will look like to others, as well as utilizing a POS system that communicates with Magento.

LightSpeed doesn’t host the Magento database, though it does connect to it. There is no clear description of what, if any, advantages there are to using LightSpeed. Rather, it seems focussed primarily on its store POS system and not eCommerce. eCommerce for LightSpeed appears to be merely an afterthought. The themes are a nice addition, but it seems to distract from the overall purpose of what a POS integration system actually is about. While LightSpeed might be fantastic for small businesses’ physical in-person sales, it isn’t set up to be especially user friendly for eCommerce work.

http://www.lightspeedretail.com/webstore/

http://www.lightspeedretail.com/help/using-magento/

You must request a quote in order to gain pricing information for LightSpeed POS systems.

X POS

X POS’s integration system to Magento is specific for X POS. What’s most important about X POS though is that unlike many of the other POS systems out there – this one will connect to Magento Enterprise Edition. Larger businesses that use Enterprise will be able to connect to their POS system without having to change anything over, and this can open a lot of doors for those who were having difficulties before.

X POS maintains an offline feature that enables transactions to still be processed without the internet. Once connection is restored it will autoupdate with any transactions created while offline. It will accept any type of transaction, whether that be a swiper mode for credit card, Authorize.net or PayPal. Its online store can or can save credit card information so that repeat customers won’t need to continually enter their card information.

For convenience, it has an auto-find search feature, which allows stores to look for items by typing in part of a name, product id, or barcode. Orders can be edited or discounted on the fly, can be saved or cancelled at any time. A calculator is present on the screen to help with any computations that may need to be made.

Inventory is tracked and monitored to ensure proper stocking, and there are a variety of reports that X POS creates including a cash drawer report.

By logging into your Magento account, your X POS will automatically come up and any information you put into this page will transfer over to your Magento.

Recommended use is Firefox, though it can be used with chrome as well. However Safari or IE have limited functionality. This can be problematic for some businesses who don’t use either Firefox or Chrome.

http://saas.smartosc.com/resources/2012/05/pos-point-of-sale-offline-swiper/

One time cost: $599.00

IWD Magento POS

IWD POS Extension is another POS System that integrates with either Magento Community or Enterprise. There is no additional integration process or purchase that needs to be made once the initial system is set in place. 

IWD POS System can accept a variety of different payments including a card swipes and cash payments. Product scanners can be used in store to relate to any product that you may have, it is designed to be as user friendly as possible for the sales associates. One unique feature is that sales can be tracked by which associate is using the register, and so you can monitor employee work as well as customer purchases.

IWD works on a variety of operating systems including both Mac and PC. It also supports Magento multi-store functionality – so it’s an excellent tool for larger businesses that are trying to monitor a large amount of data and transactions.

It’s more simplistic visually and that can help cut down on some of the confusion that may arise while processing a transaction. Graphics of products can be put in the POS system to make it easier to find and record, overall turning the process away from being solely text based. Customer accounts can be created at any time and you can search for, and modify, these accounts whenever necessary. Customer wish-lists can also be created on their account pages. Discounts and order comments can be added to purchases as well.

IWD’s specific Magento information isn’t described in great detail aside from the fact that it is automatically a part of the system. You can track orders and sales via Magento, and assumedly you can run reports through it as well. Inventory stock levels should be visible and managed too, but again – there’s no clear information about this on their website or other instructional venues.

http://www.iwdpos.com

Pricing: $45/mo/user

NCR Counterpoint  + Center Stage’s CPMagento

The last and most complete POS and Magento integration is NCR’s Counterpoint SQL, a leading  POS management solution, and Center Stage’s CPMagento. We have personally worked with Center Stage and their team on multiple projects, and can testify that their integration is one of the best in the market.

Counterpoint SQL serves as a store inventory and POS management. Some of its features are Counterpoint eCommerce software, email marketing, credit-card processing, mobile device integration, client purchase history, automated purchasing, tier pricing, gift cards and loyalty programs. CPMagento, on the other hand, is the software that functions as a bridge between Counterpoint and the Magento Store.  CPMagento Integrates items, customers, orders, invoices and order tracking numbers between NCR CounterPoint and Magento eCommerce GO, Community or Enterprise!

When using Counterpoint and CPMagento, data is entered only in Counterpoint and CP Magento pushes it up to the website and vise versa.  CPMagento supports CounterPoint SQL version 8.46 and Magento Community up to 1.9, Magento Enterprise 1.13 and Magento GO.  Integrations with older versions of Magento are possible, but may lack integration functionality due to limitations in the Magento API. Additional time will be required for testing CPMagento integration with older versions of Magento. The Integration supports linking one or multiple Magento Stores to a single instance of CounterPoint SQL.  It is possible for unlimited Magento Stores to be linked to unlimited CounterPoint SQL instances and the inventory synchronization even every minute.

Counterpoint and CPMagento work well for big, well established businesses who make at least 500K in annual sales. The Counterpoint license will need to purchased directly from NCR or an NCR partner and the CPMagento license is purchased from Center Stage. If you already use Counterpoint and are interested in a demo of how CPMagento integrates between your POS and Magento, contact us directly and we will arrange a phone call with Center Stage for you.

If you think that there is another POS that integrates with Magento, or need to add your thoughts to the conversation, feel free to comment below.

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