Sell on Account
The sell on account feature in Shopfront allows businesses to facilitate trade accounts on their site which allows orders to be directly placed into Sales Order Processing within their Sage account.
Instead of trade customers having to go through standard payment processes each time they make an order, Sell on Account allows them to place multiple orders on their account with a click of a button. The balance from these orders can then be paid off in full at another time.
Each account can have multiple purchasers who log in via their unique email address. All purchases by these purchasers will appear on the sales ledger account and the system can be configured to show who the purchaser was in the ‘taken by’ type fields.
Product Price List and Discount Structures
Trade customers registered with a site will have the ability to see their individual negotiated price plans as they shop. Product price plans and discount details are updated from Sage and will update details of products on the site provided the user is logged in.
Where you are using quantity discount breaks then these break points are shown together with the discounted prices. The product pages can also be configure to show ‘standard’ or non discounted prices together with a recommended retail price (RRP) if this is different again to assist your customers in their purchase decisions.
If your site is also set up for B2C, those customers businesses without a sales ledger account or actual consumers then the price will be the standard price and RRP can also be displayed.
Early Settlement Discount
Accounts will have agreed periods in which a balance on an account is due to be paid. Some systems can introduce a discount for balances that are paid on accounts if the payment is received early.
Shopfront will apply this early settlement discount if it is configured. If the order is placed on account then the decision on whether to honour this discount or not can be done in the usual manner. If this customer pays immediately by credit card then the discount will be applied. Shopfront’s handling of early settlement discounts complies with HMRC rules.
Tax Exclusive Pricing
It is common practise for Business to Business sites to show prices exclusive of VAT as most businesses will reclaim any VAT on their purchases.
Shopfront is by default configured to show all prices for logged in B2B users to be exclusive of VAT. This can be altered if required.
If your site is also set up for B2C then it will depend who your target customers are for B2C on how you set up pricing for these customers. If the B2C customers will mostly be businesses without a sales ledger account then Shopfront should be configured to show B2C prices as VAT exclusive. If the majority of customers are domestic then VAT inclusive pricing will make more sense.
If VAT inclusive pricing is used VAT will only be included if the delivery address for the order is within the EU. Most Shopfront installations have the default delivery address as the UK but that will change to the customers default delivery address once they login.
Web Purchasing Extra Discount
Some businesses want to be able to add incentives for placing orders online. Discounts can be applied on top of existing product discounts. This can be particularly useful when introducing B2B ecommerce where you might give an extra 1% discount to all customers ordering online for the first 6 months.
Trade accounts have the ability to view their current balance through the ‘My Account’ section of the website. This shows the invoiced balance and does not take account of pending orders.
Credit Limit Management
If you use credit limits in your business these can also be applied on the web site. There are a number of ways this can be used. The most common is to accept the over credit orders but have the credit control department notified by email so that they can discuss the order. Alternatively the order can be prevented from being placed and suitable messaging put in the cart to explain this to your customer.
Outstanding Invoices and Balance Payment by Credit Card
Your customers will be able to see their outstanding invoices and the amount owing on each. From this page they can pay off one or more of those invoices by credit card. They can also make a payment on account without paying a specific invoice.
When the payment is taken Shopfront will make all the ledger postings in the accounts system for you.
View Order History from Accounts System
The customer will be able to see his complete order history from the accounting system not just those placed online. He can view each order to see what is contained. He can also ‘repeat’ the order which will add all the items in that order to the current basket with the same quantities, or add individual line items.
The status information provided by the Sage accounting system is quite sparse. If you have extra information you wish to show your customers we can provide bespoke options to make this happen.
Delivery Address Management
When an account is imported from the accounts system any delivery addresses configured there are brought up to the ecommerce system so that the customer can select them in the cart.
If a customer logs in and he is set to be an ‘Account Manager’, the default setting for the first login on the account, they will have the ability to add, edit and delete delivery addresses. These delivery addresses are not written back to the accounts system.
B2B customers tend to repeat order items. We provide a ‘regular’ or ‘top’ items list in the ‘Your Account’ section for your customers convenience. This list only relates to items previously ordered via the web site.This can be placed more prominently on the site is required.
CSV Upload to Basket
Customers, who place regular bulk orders, can upload a simple CSV file containing stock codes and quantities to have them priced, stock checked and added to the basket in order to reduce order time and make the checkout process much easier.
The process is very simple and once a customer has done it for the first time it will become second nature. Step by step help on creating and uploading the file is provided.
There is no actual limit to the number of products in the CSV file but with more than 100 there is a possibility the load process may time-out. With very large files the cart page is also slow to load. We will be addressing very large uploads in a future release.
Update Account Details
When one of your customers logs in to the website his account is updated from the details on his sales ledger account in Sage. This means that any changes you have made to the account will be reflected online.
Purchaser Type B – Only Products with a Price
The default purchaser type, A, on the site can see all the products in the catalogue. Type B Purchasers only see products that have a price in the price list they are associated with. If this is a short list then when they log in they simply see a page of products that they can purchase. If it is a long list then navigation can be created dynamically using the Product Category and Sub Category which can be configured manually in Shopfront Designer or synchronised with your accounts system.
If the lists of products are short for every customer then it can be obtained from the accounts system every time the customer logs in. If the lists are larger then they will be loaded each night by a scheduled task.
Once your web is completed and loaded with product it may be that it provides a useful tool for your internal staff or sales representatives to enter orders on behalf of customers. You can set up ‘Agent’ logins for these staff and select the accounts you wish them to be able to input orders for. Your staff simply login and select the account they wish to place the order on behalf of. The website will then show that account’s prices and any other features it has been configured for.
Goods can be added to the basket and the order placed on account.
Payment cannot be taken by credit card for Agent orders because the SagePay connection is set for Internet orders and not MOTO. This means that during the payment process ‘Verified by Visa’ or ‘Mastercard SecureCode’ dialogues may appear and ask questions that the Agent will not know the answers to and should not ask the customer.
Purchaser Type C
The default purchaser type, A, on the site can see all the products in the catalogue with the standard navigation. If you need to show a subset of products different navigation then you can build a separate catalogue for that customer. Purchaser on that account can then be set to type C and attached to the top level department of that catalogue rather than the default one.
Purchaser Type C is also useful if you need to brand the catalogue for a particular customer as you can use different text and imagery on those departments or even have us build a custom department and product templates for that catalogue.
View Copy Invoice (Spindle)
Spindle is an ‘Intelligent Print Driver’ supplied by Draycir that can send your documents by email as PDF but also keep an archive copy on your server. We use it at Aspidistra and it saves us hours of work. If you have spindle we can allow customers to retrieve those archived PDF invoices from the ‘My Account’ section of the web site saving you answering another call.
If you have another system that saves invoices to a structured archive on your server we may be able to retrieve these in the same manner as Spindle produced ones.