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3 Ways to give your online customers that superstar experience

3 Ways to give your online customers that superstar experience

It’s easy to recognise an amazing customer experience when you have one. Maybe you’re a book-lover: it starts as you walk into the bookstore, when the shop assistant greets you with a smile and says all the books on the centre table are half price. You know exactly the book you’re looking for, because they emailed you about its release yesterday, and you know it’s in stock, because you checked on their website just an hour ago. Thanks to clear in-store signage, you know exactly where to find it, so in no time you’re carrying it over to the counter to pay, secure in the knowledge they’ll accept your preferred payment method. You’re surprised when the assistant quickly checks your account and suggests a few new books you might also like—one of them is on the sale table! So you grab that, too, and head out with a smile on your face, carrying a store-branded tote with more books than you’d hoped for.

Yes, it’s easy to picture in a bricks-and-mortar store, but how does the superstar experience translate to ecommerce? It’s never been more important to answer this question correctly, with customer experience set to be the leading brand differentiator by 2020 and around 86% of customers already willing to pay more for a better experience. So, how can you shape your customers’ experience to get them spreading the word about your superior service? Here are three growing customer experience trends to get you started:

1. Take an omni-channel approach

The modern shopper expects to be able to transact across all your different sales channels with a consistent experience. This goes well beyond using the same branding on different platforms: your customers want to feel like they’re talking to the same person, whether they’re visiting your Facebook page, chatting with a support consultant in your online shop, or reading your product details on eBay. They want you to recognise them as the same customer across all your channels, so they can pick up where they left off last time without having to repeat themselves or rebuild their profiles on different platforms—a source of frustration to 87% of customers.

Choosing an omni-channel ecommerce platform is one of the easiest ways to reap the biggest benefits of a strong omni-channel strategy, like bringing customer retention rates up to 89%—well over the 33% experienced by companies with weaker strategies—and boosting your profits.

2. Use your customer data wisely

Whenever someone visits your website, likes your Facebook post, or adds something to their shopping cart, you’re collecting data about them. And this data is the key to unlocking a personalised customer experience that delivers the information, products and services your customers want, when they want.

As you might expect, this customer-focused micro data lies at the other end of the spectrum from big data. Instead of looking at trends across your entire customer base, micro data analysis delves into the intricacies of individuals, including their:

  • buying habits and preferences
  • responsiveness to marketing campaigns via email, social media or pop-ups
  • browsing and product-viewing preferences
  • communication and support preferences.

This enables you to shape each customer’s experience, addressing their needs as an individual rather than making assumptions about what they might want.

You probably won’t be able to get all the information you need through automated tracking, and if you want to find out more about what you customers think of you, the best way is to just ask them. You can conduct customer satisfaction surveys through voting buttons in your online store (“Was this helpful?” or “Did you find what you were looking for?”) or in a follow-up email, using the Net Promoter Score (or similar). It’s worth knowing what you’re doing right, because 72% of customers will spread the word about a positive experience.

You can make it easier for customers to hear that positive feedback by encouraging them to add reviews to your product listings. This helps build a community around your brand, with customers sharing information on how they use your products and what they love about them. More importantly, 55% of online shoppers say reviews influence their buying decisions—and you’re putting those reviews right where they can see them.

3. Make it mobile

Over 30% of ecommerce sessions are now taking place on mobile devices and that number is set to grow in the future. Even when they’re shopping in a bricks-and-mortar store, consumers are checking prices online, looking for a better deal—or a better customer experience. Be sure your online store is catering to their needs with a fully responsive design so they can complete their transactions on a mobile device, from browsing right through to payment. Make it easy for customers to search items, view similar products, and go back to pages they’ve viewed recently. If they’re out and about, there’s a chance they’ll get interrupted, so help them pick up where they left off with saved carts. And give them ways to pay that make full use of their mobile capability, like PayPal or digital wallets.

Don’t wait!

Keeping on top of the latest changes in ecommerce strategies and technology will help you give your customers the best possible experience. Start by integrating your sales channels to give your customers some consistency, then use customer data to personalise your approach and deliver targeted campaigns where most interactions happen—on mobile devices.

If you’re looking for a leading ecommerce platform designed specifically to help you reach your customers across multiple channels, check out Neto. And if you’re looking for a few extra ideas on how to make your customers feel like superstars, we’ve got that covered, too.

Neto Advanced Inventory Webinar

Neto Advanced Inventory Webinar

Thanks for your interest in our recent Neto Inventory webinar. You can re-watch the recorded version of the webinar below. We’ve also answered your questions from Q&A below.

 

If you have an idea for a new feature or improvement that you would like us to consider, please let us know by completing the following form: Product Ideas Form.

Pro Tip: To make the most of Neto Inventory don’t forget to check out our Help Centre.

Webinar Questions

Q: Would be great to have a “Mobile Phone” field in customer card…

The default Neto Customer card comes with a Phone Number field. Neto allows you to add additional fields to customer card via the Control Panel.

Read more

Q: What if you produce your stock and you don’t actually buy your stock from a 3rd party. Can you track this?

Neto Advanced Inventory is not designed to handle the manufacturing process, however it can manage the stock on hand process post manufacture.

Q: What if some cost prices are in other currencies? Ie we buy in USD

Neto Advanced Inventory supports purchasing from suppliers in any currency with live currency conversion back to the merchants base currency.

Read more

Q: Can you add the cost price later through an export/import? The reason i ask is we will do a cut over live at the start of the financial year so we need to do it on the 30/06 to get an accurate cut over.

Turning on Neto Advanced Inventory will lock the cost field and not allow a manual update through Import/Export, and the cost fields will be automatically calculated as COGS.

Q: What if we already have Inventory in Unleashed?

Neto Advanced Inventory is not compatible with the Unleashed or any other inventory product, and they cannot be run simultaneously. Additional documentation will be added to our Support Docs website within the coming weeks to assist with migrating from other inventory platforms.

Read more

Q: Multiple due dates? Large orders = multiple containers.

For Multiple Delivery Dates, we recommend using the receive and split functionality to send a single purchase order, with multiple receipts. This will allow you to have new due date for the split purchase order.

Read more

Q: We don’t know the exchange rate until we’ve paid for the order…Can we update it later?

Neto Advanced Inventory supports purchasing from suppliers in any currency with live currency conversion back to the merchants base currency. The currency field can be updated throughout the Purchase Order process, right up until the purchase order has been marked as received.

Read more

Q: Can we use Purchase Orders to send parts directly from our supplier to our customer

eg dropshipping

Neto provides Drop Shipping functionality through the Drop shipping add-on. We will be delivering cross docking functionality in the next few weeks, and will be developing a more comprehensive integration to existing dropshipping functionality in Q2/Q3 2017.

Read more

Q: Adding items we haven’t had before? New items? Do they need to be created as products before we add them? How does this work when we often need to take photos of products so can’t fully create a product until it’s here.

For now, you will need to create your products and add them to your Neto system before creating the purchase order. You can hide these products from your sales channels, including the website, until they are received, photographed and ready to launch.

We have the functionality to create products from the purchase order screen in our roadmap. We will be looking to prioritise this after we have completed the Advanced COGS functionality and MYOB AccountRight Live Integration.

Read more

Q: Will Purchase Orders get exported to Xero?

While we do not create Purchase Orders in Xero, they are exported as a an Accounts Payable Bill. The Bill is created as unpaid.

Read more

Q: Do we need to set up Purchase Order templates?

There is a standard purchase order template, these are not customisable as yet but may be in the future.

Q: Do the Purchase Orders get entered into Xero? Or is it only tracked in Neto? Do we need to enter the invoice into Xero after Purchase Order is received from supplier to make payment? Or does it get entered as AP automatically?

While we do not create Purchase Orders in Xero, they are exported as a an Accounts Payable Bill. The Bill is created as unpaid.

Read more

Q: Can we import CSV Purchase Orders like we do with Sale Orders?

At the moment we do not provide the ability to import Purchase Orders, however we do offer data migration services to support our customers in migrating existing purchase orders.

Q: What about receiving goods off the delivery docket (ie we don’t have the supplier invoice yet but need to receive the goods into stock and then match prices on invoice later)

Neto Inventory is designed to support the merchants business process and does not require a specific artifact. If you wish to receive based on delivery docket, it is possible to do that, and then add supplier invoice costs at a later point - initially this can only be done via your accounting system, but our Advanced COGS feature will improve ability to update landed costs at a later point.

Q: Change due date when splitting Purchase Orders?

When receiving a part of a Purchase Order, Neto allows you to split the Purchase Order, receive part of the purchase and create a new purchase order to receive the remaining items. Once the purchase order has been split, you can simply edit the Purchase Order to update with the new Due Date.

Q: Can I add incoming freight costs to a Purchase Order?

Our priority for Q2 is the delivery of Advanced COGs which will include the ability to capture landed costs, including incoming freight costs.

Q: Can you set a minimum stock levels so that the system would advise you if stock needed to be ordered and could prompt you to do Purchase Order.

Neto allows you to receive email alerts when stock is running low and run re-stock reports to streamline your purchase ordering.

Read more

Q: How does the real-time currency exchange match the actual exchange rate we paid?

When creating a Purchase Order, Neto will automatically convert your base currency into your supplier currency. This conversion is calculated at the time of the Purchase Order being created and is indicative only.

Neto allows you to update the exchange rate through the Purchase order process right up until your have marked it as received. This allows you to edit the exchange rate after you have paid the Purchase order invoice with your supplier.

Q: Adding in incoming freight costs: Does it allow you to add this? Does it amortise it over the items purchased? How? Is it by number of units, by percentage of order value or others?

Our priority for Q2 is the delivery of Advanced COGs which will include the ability to capture landed costs, including incoming freight costs. More information about how Advanced COGS works will be released closer to the release date of this enhancement.

Q: Does your system allow us build a product? We produce our stock, we don’t buy from 3rd party.

Neto Advanced Inventory is not designed to handle the manufacturing process, however it can manage the stock on hand process post manufacture.

Q: So just to get it right. If we are migrating to this inventory we can’t turn it on until we are cutting over live so we import the correct average cost (ie we only have one shot to get the average cost in).

In order to get the most out of Neto Advanced Inventory, you need to ensure that each of your products have:

Adding this additional data to your products can be done before enabling Advanced Inventory via the Setup Wizard. This additional data will facilitate in the calculation of your products average cost, as well as the creation of Purchase Orders automatically using purchase prices and primary suppliers.

Once added, you can start the Neto Inventory Setup Wizard to turn on advanced inventory.

After install, if you need to revalue your average cost you can perform stock adjustment to remove all your stock at the current price and then write it back at the new price.

Q: We’d been building based upon forecasting formulas shown here: https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E26228_01/doc.93/e20706/ap_forcst_calc_ex.htm. What formula(s) are being used / will be added later?

The Neto Inventory is built based on Weighted Moving Average.

Q: I am using Quickbooks for accounting and Neto to manage sales orders. To effectively use the Neto inventory module, should I also look at integrating sales to Quickbooks?

We are planning a full integration between Neto Advanced Inventory and Quickbooks Online for the second half of 2017. In the interim, we would suggest that you continue to manually import sales into QuickBooks.

Neto Advanced Inventory can be used effectively even without the integration, your accountant can use Neto reports to perform accounting adjustments at required intervals. Using a combination of the stock valuation report and profit by order report

Q: Where can we add the supplier’s SKU?

A Supplier SKU can be added on each individual product page or via the product csv import system.

Q: Is there a setting where we can stop stock going into negative (eg it will not allow you to invoice a product if it is at zero qty)

The ability to sell into negative is a configurable setting in Neto.

Read more

Q: Can we set seasonal periods per SKU for forecasting?

At this point, Neto Advanced Inventory does not support this functionality, we suggest that you put it forward as a potential improvement for future consideration.

Submit idea

Q: Can we input minimum order qtys per item?

Yes. There are 2 fields on the Product Card that relate to this:

Restock Qty: For reporting purposes. When qty in stock gets below this qty you will be alerted in purchasing reports.

Reorder Qty: For reporting purposes. The qty you typically order with your supplier, used when generating purchasing reports.

Populating these fields with data will streamline your Purchase Order Process.

Q: What is secondary lead time?

  • Primary leads times are your regular lead times for the supplier.
  • Secondary leads times are your emergency lead times for the supplier. Usually a supplier will offer a quicker turnaround time for a fee.

Q: Does the roadmap include the ability to add shipping costs, customs duty and bank charges to calculate the landed cost of products

Our priority for Q2 is the delivery of Advanced COGs which will include the ability to capture landed costs, including incoming freight costs.

Q: If a price changes and you have existing stock, does it show the new cost as being the cost, or does it work out a weighted value? If weighted value, what method? (Bucket method, raw average at time of receipt, etc)

Neto will track the average cost over time. The exact formula used for calculating the ACOG value is detailed in our article on purchase order creation.

Read more

Q: Is there any intention on working on the platform to make it user friendly to manufacturers? Will Neto ever be able to build a product within the module?

Neto is not designed to handle the manufacturing process, however it can manage the stock on hand process post manufacture.

Q: What will be the level of integration with MYOB ?

The standard integration pattern we are using for MYOB AccountRight Live is at the journal level, much in the same way the Xero integration works now. We will not be exporting purchase orders to MYOB AccountRight Live.

Q: Can it pull live data via stream from wholesalers if they offer live feeds to their stock qtys and is this relatable for drop shipping?

We are planning a more comprehensive integration to dropshipping functionality in the second half of 2017. We will be taking feedback from customers in designing that feature.

Submit idea

Q: Where can we access the product roadmap?

We are looking to improve the overall visibility of our 3, 6 and 12 month roadmap… The updated Neto Roadmap will be available via the website here: www.neto.com.au/roadmap

Q: No scan to stocktake or scan to receive orders yet?

We have plans to support receipting using barcode scanners, however this functionality is not yet available.

Q: The other issue if we bring products in from overseas as well as the FX rates we need to account for import duties and this can change within 5-7% dependent on product as well as previously mentioned freight? How do you take this into account?

Our priority for Q2 is the delivery of Advanced COGs which will include the ability to capture landed costs, including incoming freight costs, import duties and more.

Q: We’re currently testing the MYOB Live integration. Should we wait until this integration is completed before going ahead?

Ideally you will have your financial integration set up and running prior to integrating Neto Advanced Inventory. It will be necessary to manually process adjusting journals, however there are a number of reports that can assist by providing the information you need for the adjustments

Q: With kitted products, does the system calculate the cost price from the kitted component products or do you have to manually enter that?

If you are purchasing pre built kits or splitting for warehouse picking then the system will apply a cost to those kits. We are looking at a fix whereby the kit cost is calculated from the sum of the components to cover other uses cases in the purchasing and selling of kits

Q: Is the cost price of our products just the cost of the item NOT including Shipping? Does any shipping charges get added to the PO when the order arrives and you receipt it in?

In order to get the most out of Neto Advanced Inventory, you need to ensure that each of your products have:

Adding this additional data to your products can be done before enabling Neto Advanced Inventory via the Setup Wizard.

This additional data will facilitate in the calculation of your products average cost, as well as the creation of Purchase Orders automatically using purchase prices and primary suppliers.

Once added, you can start the Neto Advanced Inventory Setup Wizard to turn on advanced inventory.

Q: Stock transfer in the future, will it take into account transit time? Many platforms do not and it will be instant which in real life, is not.

Stock transfers are currently planned for Q3. We will be seeking customer input when designing this feature to ensure it support industry best practice and meets our customer’s needs

Q: Can you edit the exchange rate AFTER you receive the goods?

When creating a Purchase Order, Neto will automatically convert your base currency into your supplier currency. This conversion is calculated at the time of the Purchase Order being created and is indicative only.

Neto allows you to update the exchange rate through the Purchase order process right up until your have marked it as received. This allows you to edit the exchange rate after you have paid the Purchase order invoice with your supplier. We are currently working on Advanced Cost of Goods, which will support the scenarios of invoice after receipt.

Q: Can you turn off the function to show quantity in stock on the website and just have “in Stock” showing. Eg. Can you sell items that are out of stock?

Neto does support the ability to sell into negative inventory.

Read more

Q: Is there an API framework for the new Inventory functions in NETO?

The development of API endpoints for our inventory functions is on our roadmap, but are not available at this point. We will update our API documentation once the endpoints are available.

Read more

Q: If the product sold is made up of several individual items, can the Neto inventory system use the individual items purchased to build the kit that is sold?

The scenario you have provided is exactly how kitting works with Neto Advanced Inventory.

Q: Does the ‘Forecast Demand’ include an option to show the CBM of the estimated order? This is to know whether the order is large enough to fill a container (for overseas orders)?

At this time, no, however should you require this feature, we recommend submitting your idea’s to the product team for review.

Submit idea

Q: Can you just scan items in for stocktake instead of manually adding them?

We have plans to support receipting using barcode scanners, however this functionality is not yet available.

Q: If you add a supplier via Neto, will it update Xero?

When a Bill is exported to Accounts Payable, the supplier is created in Xero - unless they already exist in which case they are linked.

Read more

Q: Is loading the Neto site with all this inventory information going to slow the site down? After a while this system will be holding many purchase orders etc.

We have tested the Neto Advanced Inventory on sites with up to 40,000 products and there is no perceivable performance impact. We will of course continue to monitor performance and request that if you experience any issues relating to purchase orders to contact your support team.

Q: Any roadmap for tracking product expiry dates?

At this point we do not have tracking of product expiry dates on our roadmap, we suggest you add it to the our ideas portal for prioritisation.

Submit idea

Q: What if some of our overseas suppliers are on 60 day accounts so we can’t give exchange rate at time we receive PO?

An exchange rate will still need to be added so that an estimated average cost is calculated when receiving the goods. Advances COGS will help in adjusting this later.

Q: I think for importers of overseas products having the ability to set percentage of the product cost based on import duty we need to apply..

Agree, and the advanced Cost of Goods functionality planned for Q2 will cover most of the scenarios discussed.

Q: Abit concerned that POs don’t push through to Xero…

While we do not create Purchase Orders in Xero, they are exported as an Accounts Payable Bill. The Bill is created as unpaid.

Read more

Q: Will the purchase exchange rates only work for AUD? We are a NZ company and we purchase in Euro.

Neto Advanced Inventory supports purchasing from suppliers in any currency with live currency conversion back to the merchants base currency.

Read more

Q: How are the payments for the Purchase Orders handled?

All payments will then be handled in your Financial System. While we do not create Purchase Orders in Xero, they are exported as a an Accounts Payable Bill. The Bill is created as unpaid.

Read more

Q: What is the cost of the inventory package?

Neto Advanced Inventory is included on the Large Plan and above.

Read more

Q: You mention average cost a lot. Can I base selling prices on actual cost?

The average cost relates to the purchasing of items and the calculation of average cost of goods sold. It does not directly impact your selling prices, but does provide you with a good understanding of what you need to be selling at in order to maintain margins and profitability.

Q: You guys say it doesn’t export the Purchase Order to Xero. Does it do it once you have received the Purchase order in Neto so you can then pay it in Xero?

While we do not create Purchase Orders in Xero, they are exported as a an Accounts Payable Bill. The Bill is created as unpaid.

Read more

Q: Can the % profit margin be displayed against a product? This will highlight situation where the cost price has risen and the retail price needs to be raised.

At the moment we do not display % profit margin against a product. It is an excellent idea and we suggest you submit it to our ideas register. In the interim, you can use the cost analysis report to track increasing costs over time.

Submit idea

Q: How do the orders download to Xero. Do they go to Xero in a daily batch or individually. At the moment we use Cin7 and they are sent there individually when orders are despatched. Just wondering how Neto will do it and how easy it will be to reconcile?

You are able to configure how your sales orders are downloaded to Xero. They can be processed as individual or batched based on your Xero configuration. The COGS will follow the same setting.

Q: Can I filter stock takes by supplier?

You can currently filter stock takes by:

  • Date stocktake performed
  • Products
  • Location

You can create a stocktake for all products belonging to a particular supplier though by going to Products > View products, then filtering by Primary Supplier.

Once you have your products filtered, select the required products and click Create stocktake with selected.

Q: If the integration to MYOB will be by journal, how will the accounts payable be managed ?

The integration to MYOB Live will follow the exact same pattern as the integration with Xero.

Read more

Q: Can you create a PO from a new sales order?

We are currently working on the development of a new ‘cross-docking’ feature which will allow you to generate a purchase order from one or more selected sales orders. A purchase order will generate for each unique supplier that has products on the selected purchase orders.

For example, if you select 10 sales orders that have a total of 100 product from 20 suppliers, it will generate 20 purchase orders.

In addition to this, we will be developing a more comprehensive integration to existing dropshipping functionality in Q2/Q3 2017.

Q: If your new sales order has items from multiple supplier will Neto automatically create multiple POs?

Yes, the new cross docking feature will allow you to select one or more sales from the back order or sales order listing page and generate one purchase order per related supplier

Q: When you do a purchase order does that auto populate with a cost from inventory master file?

When you create a purchase order the cost price is automatically populated from the product record. This is the key reason we have the creation of cost price for all products part of the setup process.

Q: Stock transfers are an important part of it for us. the problem we had with stock transfers is it shows as in stock in the new warehouse even though it may still be in transit causing the sales team issues when letting customers know if products are in stock, Will Neto have a solution for this when you do the stock transfers?transfers?

Stock transfers are currently planned for Q3. We will be seeking customer input when designing this feature and will include your feedback as provided

Q: For us to upgrade to the inventory module we are being asked to step up from A(138 per month to $299 per month. We have been with Neto for almost a year.Seems a big jump. Your comments welcomed.

We recognise that this may appear to be a large increase, but for our Medium Plan customers, the basic price of a starter inventory offering on a platform such as Cin7, Unleashed or Tradegecko is between $179 and $359 per month (depending upon number of locations and users. This excludes the costs of setting up and maintaining the integration.

We are considering other licensing options for Neto Advanced Inventory at a future date, and your feedback is appreciated.

Q: Do I change all landed cost to be buy price from Supplier. If so then I am not too clear about how I amortize the shipping cost to cost to get a landed cost

Our priority for Q2 is the delivery of Advanced COGs which will include the ability to capture landed costs, including incoming freight costs. More information about how Advanced COGS works will be released closer to the release date of this enhancement.

7 Steps to start a brand new business

7 Steps to start a brand new business

Have you been dreaming of owning your own business? Maybe you’re nurturing a great idea for a startup, but you’re not quite sure how to make it happen. We hear you—setting up your business can be a daunting prospect, with all those forms to fill in and decisions to make. But every year, thousands of people across Australia and New Zealand make this dream their reality, and we know you can, too.

Our seven-step plan will help you avoid the rookie errors that can drain your time and resources, and get you started with charting your own course to business success.

1. Find your niche and fill it

If you want your business to be more than just a hobby, you’ll need to know it’s got room to grow. If there are other businesses offering the same products or services, you’ll need to know what will distinguish your business. Will you market it to a different age group? Or perhaps set up online or in a different geographical location? Test out your ideas as part of a SWOT analysis, looking at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Visit the website of your country’s official government statistics agency (Australian Bureau of Statistics, New Zealand Statistics) to identify growth areas and gaps in the market that will help you position your product. Establishing that a market exists will also make it easier for you to find funding for your business, and it’s an essential part of your business plan.

2. Choose your business structure

Each different business structure has its advantages and disadvantages, with different levels of personal liability in case of legal action, and different costs and complexity involved with setting up and reporting on your business. Do your research and consult with a tax, legal or business adviser if you’re not sure which structure is right for you or need help setting it up.

3. Pick a name

Choosing a name that suits your brand is exciting, and getting it right is an important step in making your business memorable. Ideally, you’ll find one that’s not only available for registration as a business name, but also has a matching web domain name that hasn’t been claimed. Try variations on a name you like until you find one that sticks. (If you’re a sole trader, you can choose to trade under your own name instead of registering a business name.) This is also a great time to start generating ideas for your branding, so you can use your logo and colour on your business plan.

4. Find funding

Australian startups tend to be privately funded, with 86% using their owners’ personal savings to provide a buffer and cover setup costs like marketing expenses, office equipment, salaries, and initial inventory. But that’s not the only way to do it. You can also apply for

  • a business loan from your bank
  • a business incubator grant
  • funding from venture capital firms
  • crowdsourced funding.

Your funding choice can affect the profitability of your business by creating a liability to repay loans or provide goods, so it’s important to consider your options carefully.

5. Meet your tax and legal obligations

The requirements for setting up your business vary from country to country. To start with, you’ll need to check local, state and federal government requirements for

That’s a lot to get through, so it’s a good idea to allow plenty of time and consult with a business adviser to make sure you get it right first go.

Some banks also offer a startup service that handles your business banking setup, business registration, and domain name registration. They charge a fee, but you might find it worthwhile if you don’t want to read through all the information and fill in the forms.

6. Set up your business systems

A wide range of business administration processes can now be automated if you’re using the right software systems. You might not need all of these, but you should consider systems for:

  • ecommerce and point of sale
  • invoicing and accounting
  • inventory management
  • marketing and customer relationship management (CRM)
  • customer support
  • employee and contractor management
  • order fulfilment, freight or shipping
  • business analytics.

An omni-channel POS system, like Neto, can make your life easier by automating tasks such as updating your inventory levels and pushing each transaction to your accounting package, freeing up your time to focus on your customers.

7. Build your web presence to market and sell

First, you’ll need to register your domain name and set up web and email hosting. Then it’s time to design your website and take your business online.

You’ll want your online store to be the centre of your website, with landing pages and blog posts to generate interest in your products or services. The process you follow will depend upon the ecommerce platform you’ve selected and your technical expertise. You might hire a designer to help you set it up; other systems may offer ready-to-use templates and themes.

Ideally, your POS system will integrate with your email marketing platform and social media channels, making it easy for you to run campaigns and monitor their conversion rates. Sign up for accounts on any social media platforms you want to use immediately, and any you think you’ll use in the future. Follow influencers in your market segment and vertical, and share news, tips and tricks that will help audience—get those conversations started.

And now your brand new business is up and running with everything you need to keep growing your business through 2017!

Start now

There’s no time like the present for turning your business dreams into a reality. Taking the time to plan your business and set it up properly will make it easier for you to hit the ground running, so you can spend less time on your business administration, and more time with your customers.

Neto is a leading ecommerce platform designed for small and medium-sized retailers and wholesalers. We help you design, set up and run your stores across multiple channels, and our powerful back-office capabilities take care of the details so you can concentrate on your core business. If you’re ready to start a new business in 2017, you’re ready to start a Neto free trial.

 

 

Inventory Management 101: a guide for retailers

Inventory Management 101: a guide for retailers

If you’re a business owner, keeping the right amount of inventory on hand is one of the top ten things you can do to boost your profit margins and customer satisfaction. By reducing your costs and improving your ability to meet demand, effective inventory management can increase your cash flow and free up your working capital, so you can invest in other parts of your business. And the effect is significant: improving your inventory management by 15% can add over 30% to your bottom line.

In this post, we’ll talk you through why inventory management is so important, and how you can do it better.

How inventory management will reduce your costs

Small businesses are often tempted to place large orders with their suppliers in order to qualify for bulk discounts. Big orders can also give you the power to negotiate better shipping rates or payment terms. On the surface, it looks like an easy way to save on your expenditure.

But the cost of purchasing your stock isn’t the only cost of inventory. The more inventory you hold, the more space you’ll need to store it, whether that’s in a warehouse or in your retail store. You’ll also have to insure the inventory against theft or damage. If you’ve got multiple stores, there’s a cost associated with reallocating your stock from store to store. And if your inventory isn’t selling well, you’ll have to discount it, or maybe even write it off entirely, e.g. for perishable items that spoil, or out-of-season fashion.

If you’re holding more inventory than you need, these costs can be high enough to negate the effect of those discounts that attracted you to the bulk purchase in the first place. So it’s important to make sure you’re only buying the inventory you need.

How inventory management improves customer satisfaction

On the flip side, it’s equally important to make sure you’re buying enough inventory to meet customer demand. If a customer comes into the store wanting a particular item that’s out of stock, you not only risk losing that sale, but losing the customer altogether.

More than 80% of shoppers want to check nearby product availability online before they visit a store, and nothing’s more disappointing than getting there and discovering the item isn’t actually in stock. The same applies to online stores: customers place online orders with the expectation that the items are in stock and ready to be delivered, unless you tell them otherwise. Effective inventory management helps avoid this situation, making it easy for you to know when you need more stock.

It’s increasingly common for retailers with a multi-channel sales strategy to fulfil online sales from their in-store stock, effectively combining all stores’ inventory into a single virtual warehouse. This is an effective way to make better use of your floor stock, but it can only work if you’ve got a clear picture of how much you’re holding, and where.

How inventory management frees up cash

Inventory that you’re holding is an asset (in the accounting sense), much the same as your computer or car. It has a dollar value, but you can’t use it to pay your bills or buy that new POS system you’ve been thinking about. You have to convert it into cash—by selling it—if you want to do that.

If you buy smaller quantities of inventory more often, you’re keeping more cash on hand instead of tying it up in stock. This is important for small businesses and startups, which are more vulnerable to fluctuating cash flow. And if you’ve been tracking your inventory well, and have a good idea of what’s not selling, you’ll be able to discount it early, recovering that cash sooner and (hopefully!) avoiding a write-off.

How to manage your inventory

With 40% of small business failures in Australia attributed to cash flow problems and a further 33% caused by trading losses, it’s impossible to ignore the importance of an inventory management strategy. But where do you start?

First, you need information—knowing where your stock is, when, and who is buying it. Understanding your sales trends will help you avoid the unnecessary costs of holding too much inventory or missing out on a sale you should’ve been able to complete. Some products are popular at certain times of the year or month, so it’s important to have a system that lets you track your inventory movement and forecast demand.

Then you’ll want to speed up how quickly you can act on that information. If you’re manually counting stock and placing orders, and that process takes you two weeks, and then it takes another six weeks for your supplier to deliver, you’ll need to buy enough inventory to last you eight weeks at a time. But if you’ve got an all-in-one retail system that combines your inventory management with your sales and ordering systems, you’ll be able to monitor stock levels in real time and place orders as soon as you get low. Cutting your eight week inventory cycle down to six weeks means you’ll have 25% less cash locked up.

Finally, you’ll want your inventory data to be accessible everywhere, backed up and secure, so you’ll always know the value of your stock on hand, no matter where you are or what’s going on.

Neto is the first all-in-one ecommerce platform with built in inventory and the only one that seamlessly syncs stock & orders between your retail, online and eBay stores. Cloud-based and designed for growing retailers, we enable anyone to sell anything, anywhere—from web, mobile, eBay and social media, through to bricks-and-mortar stores.  Unlock the potential of your supply chain—start a free trial.

Pricing your way to retail profit

Pricing your way to retail profit

The success of any retail business ultimately comes down your ability to start making a profit and keep doing it. When you want to increase your profit, there are three main approaches you can take: you can raise your prices, reduce your costs, or make more sales. Sounds simple, right?

The tricky part is that these three things rarely move independently, so pricing your products can be a bit of a balancing act. For example, if you raise your prices, some customers may choose to shop elsewhere, reducing your number of sales. So, when it comes to setting your product prices, you’ll need to weigh up your options and find the sweet spot to maximise your sales and profit margin.

Here are three questions that will help you do exactly that.

How much can I charge for my products?

Most retailers want to charge the highest amount their customers are willing to pay. It makes sense—if you can raise the price without raising your operating and selling costs, you’ll increase your profit per item. And if you can keep selling at a similar rate, your total profit will climb.

But consumers have expectations about what they can get for their money. So if you want to boost your profits by increasing your prices, you’ll need to convince them that you’re worth paying more for. One way to do this is by positioning yourself as a prestige brand that carries only the highest quality products and provides remarkable in-store experiences.

Another approach is to position yourself as a best-value brand by giving customers a little more bang for their buck, such as a small gift with each qualifying purchase. This could be a low-cost promotional item, like a product sample or special edition tote bag, but savvy sellers will spot another opportunity here. If you’ve been tracking your inventory, you’ll know which items aren’t selling as well as forecasted, and this is your chance to move those items as an add-on incentive. You’d be surprised how many customers are willing to spend an extra $20 in store to qualify for a “free” product that they’d never have bought outright.

How low can I go with my prices?

With 34% of Australian shoppers using their mobile devices in-store to compare prices, retailers can’t afford to ignore their competitors’ prices. But that doesn’t mean you should necessarily match them. If lowering your prices pushes your margins dangerously low, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to increase your sales enough to compensate. For example, if you’ve been operating at a 30% margin and you want to discount prices by 5%, you’ll need to sell 50% more stock to maintain your profit. That’s a lot!

But there’s another way to improve your margin, and it’s one that also lets you keep your prices down: lowering your costs. If you can make it cheaper to buy, store and sell your stock, you can make the same amount of profit at a lower price point. So how can you do this?

Your first thought might be to buy more stock so you qualify for bulk discounts, but remember this will also increase the costs associated with holding and managing your stock, like retail and warehouse leases, wages, utilities and insurance. It can be more effective to reduce your costs through better inventory management instead. Tracking your inventory will help ensure you always have enough stock on hand to meet demand without incurring extra storage expenses for your surplus.

How should I offer discounts?

Discounts are a great incentive to attract new customers and bring existing ones back to your store, leading to an increase in sales. But that will only improve your bottom line if you’re selling enough extra stock to make up for the reduced margin on each discounted item. So it’s wise to plan discounts in a way that encourages each customer to buy more of the stock that’s not selling at full price.

This is where it pays to use good inventory management software, so you can keep a close eye on which products are performing well and which are underperforming. If customers are happy to buy something at full price, discounting that item is unlikely to increase your sales, but it will decrease your profit. No one wants that! So, while a standard percentage discount across all items in your store is an easy promotion to run, it’s rarely the most effective option.

It’s in your best interest to get rid of items that aren’t selling, particularly if they have a limited lifespan like fashion, technology or perishables. You’re only making a margin on the things you actually sell, and if they didn’t sell this year, they’re unlikely to sell next year—you’ll just be spending more money storing them and further reducing that margin. By discounting only your less popular products, you’re more likely to make the sale—and the profit.

Being creative about how you offer discounts on slow-selling lines can also help boost your sales. For example, let’s say you want to discount some $20 t-shirts that haven’t been selling well. If your discount is presented as a “buy one, get the second for half price” deal, customers will buy two t-shirts for $30. That’s the same as offering a 25% discount on each t-shirt, but you’ve just encouraged customers to buy two, instead of one.

Inventory management also helps you perfect the timing of your promotions, because you’ll be able to see when demand for a particular product line dwindles and take action to discount the items, recover your costs, and clear space for newer, more appealing items.  That’s why it’s common to see heavy discounts on themed products just after special occasions like Christmas or Valentine’s day, and why it’s standard practice for fashion retailers to hold end-of-season clearance sales.

Finally, a word of caution: if you’re trying to establish yourself as a discount brand with “everyday lowest prices”, it pays to keep in mind that your customers may only be loyal until they find a lower price elsewhere, unless you offer them something more than just low prices.

Weighing up your options

The best price for you as a retailer is the highest price that a customer will pay and still feel like they got value for money. That way, they’re more likely to come back and bring their friends. And the best price for a customer is the lowest one that you can offer while still making enough profit to grow your business. If you keep on top of your operating costs and inventory management, you’ll be able to offer year-round competitive pricing and well-timed discounts to stay relevant in your market vertical and deliver on your customer promise.

You’ll only be able to set your pricing for profit if you’ve got the right systems in place to manage your inventory and sale pricing. Neto is the first all-in-one ecommerce platform with built in inventory and the only one that seamlessly syncs stock & orders between your retail, online and eBay stores. Cloud-based and designed for growing retailers, we enable anyone to sell anything, anywhere—from web, mobile, eBay and social media, through to bricks-and-mortar stores. 

 

 

6 Smart steps to sustainably grow your business

6 Smart steps to sustainably grow your business

The new year is always an exciting time for business owners, full of new opportunities to grow your business and take it to the next level. And there are plenty of reasons to do so. Whether you want to capitalise on recent successes, seize an opportunity in the market, or use economies of scale to boost your profit margin, you’ll need solid plan to get from where you are now to where you want to be.

Here are our essential steps for growing your business the smart way.

1. Figure out what growth means for you

Every business is different, so every business owner will have a different definition of “growth”. You’ll need to come up with one that makes sense to you. That might be:

  • Opening another store in a new geographical location

  • Expanding into ecommerce and opening an online store

  • Boosting your sales to existing customers

  • Servicing more customers

  • Entering a new market or vertical

  • Wholesaling in addition to your retail sales

  • Exporting your products to a foreign country

  • Introducing new product lines.

If you’ve got a growth target in mind, it can help you narrow down how you’d like to grow. For example, if you’re aiming for a 15% increase in sales over the next year, you might be able to achieve that with your existing customer base, but doubling your sales would probably require finding new customers.

2. Understand your business

Before you can start on your plan of attack to reach your growth targets, you’ll need to thoroughly understand how your business is performing both in the market and internally.

A big increase in profit is a good sign that you’re ready to take your business to the next level, but if your main competitors have shown even larger increases, you’ll want to know why. Are your operating costs higher? Are your prices lower? Are your systems and processes less efficient? A good way to understand your business is to analyse its strengths and weaknesses in the context of market opportunities and threats. You’ll find plenty of SWOT analysis templates online.

You’ll also want to keep in mind the less tangible elements of your business, such as your brand values, corporate culture, and value proposition, so you can preserve or improve them as your business grows.

3. Plan your growth strategy

Once you’ve got a good understanding of where your business is, and where you want it to be, it’s time to map out a route from beginning to end. Here are just a few of the things you’ll need to consider:

  • Do your staff have the skills they’ll require as the business grows? Do you need to hire more employees or contractors, or provide additional training?

  • Do you have the physical space you need to grow your business? This might include retail floor space, showrooms, warehouses or office space.

  • Can your existing supply chain support your growth, or will you need additional suppliers? Would it make sense to import your inventory?

  • How will you fund your growth? You could apply for a government grant or bank loan, seek investors, rely on your increasing sales, or secure longer term income through tenders and contracts.

  • How are your customers likely to respond to the changes? Will you need to implement education or loyalty programs?

4. Streamline your operations

Your business can only be profitable if you’re making sales, so a good portion of your day should be devoted to selling, directly communicating with customers, and improving your sales process. For established businesses, this should be at least 30% of your time, which means everything else needs to be running smoothly and efficiently.

Write down your business processes and check they don’t have any unnecessary steps. If there’s something you’re doing that’s not industry standard, ask why. Automate processes such as bookkeeping, invoicing, business reporting, and procurement. Choose an omni-channel ecommerce platform that integrates with your other systems with to avoid double handling, so your inventory levels are always up-to-date in your point-of-sale system, and every transaction automatically appears in your accounting package.

And don’t forget your customers! Make it easy for them to get the information they need by ensuring your website or online store contains detailed product descriptions, a customer support chat feature, and integrated social networking.

5. Let the world know

Whichever route you choose, you’re going to want to tell the world before you even open that new store or start selling that new product. In addition to traditional marketing channels, take advantage of social media to connect with customers and related businesses. You’ll get the best reach if you’re posting content that viewers want to share further.

Of all the channels available, email marketing continues to generate the highest return on investment, with every dollar spent bringing in average sales of $38. Why is it so high? Largely because your email subscribers have opted in to receive news and special offers from your business. Your database—which you own and control—is full of genuinely interested customers, so you get a higher click-through rate. Most email marketing platforms also offer powerful tools for segmenting your subscriber lists and tracking user click-throughs and conversions, to help you target users with information and special deals that will appeal to them. And if your platform is fully integrated with your ecommerce or POS system, you’ll find it easy to sign up new customers and follow up on incomplete transactions.

Depending on the nature of your business, you might also have the opportunity to speak at a conference, publish an ebook, write a guest column or blog post, or volunteer as an expert source for journalists and PR agencies. These are all excellent ways to build brand awareness and trust by establishing yourself as a thought-leader in your field.

6. Test and adjust as you grow

Whenever you make changes to your business, you’ll want to know whether they’re having the desired effect. Monitor your progress and review your targets regularly, at least quarterly. Pay close attention to your cash flow. It’s one of the most common problems for growing businesses, as there’s often a lag between the increased operating expense and the flow-on increase in sales. If you implemented the right systems in step 3, and you have a good business analysis tool, you should have all of the data you need—including customer feedback—to know whether you’re on track.

By following this six-step plan for growing your business, you can be confident you’re setting yourself up for sustained and scalable success through 2017 and into the future. Neto POS is an omni-channel POS system that can help you at every stage of growing your business. It offers full business analytics to help you monitor your performance and growth, plus a wide range of add-on integrations to the other platforms you use for accounting, inventory management, shipping, helpdesk, and more. Try Neto today.

Neto POS 1.10 Webinar

Neto POS 1.10 Webinar

Thanks for your interest in our recent Neto POS 1.10 webinar. You can re-watch the recorded version of the webinar below. We’ve also answered most of your questions from Q&A.

 

If you have an idea for a new feature or improvement that you would like us to consider, please let us know by completing the following form: Product Ideas form.

Pro Tip: To make the most of Neto POS don’t forget to check out our Help Centre.

Webinar Questions

Q: When printing a receipt, can you skip the print preview pop and just print the receipt straight away?

A: When using Neto POS on the iPad, receipts will print directly from the complete sale screen without a preview being shown.

If you are using Neto POS through your web browser, we recommend disabling print preview.

Read more

Q: When adding a customer can you assign a Pricing Group?

A: Search for and add customers to your sales or returns by tapping on the Add customer to sale or the Add customer to return button in the corner of your register screen.

Newly added customers will automatically be assigned to Price Group A. You can change the Price Group the customer is associated with directly within the Neto POS app.

Read more

Q: Can you fulfil an online order via Neto POS in store?

A: Neto currently provides basis click and collect functionality that will allow you to fulfil an online order in a Store via the Neto Order Management back end (CPanel). We are looking to deliver a fully integrated Click and Collect experience in the second half of 2017.

Q: Can the price of the item be shown on the product tile?

A: This option is currently in our backlog for future development, as well as the ability to configure the display of a product’s cost price.

Q: Is there a plan to be able to handle payments to lay-bys within the POS in the future?

A: The ability to handle subsequent lay-by payments from the Neto POS app directly is currently in our roadmap.

Q: Can you add a transaction fee to cards via Neto POS and does this show on the receipt and closure report?

A: Adding transaction fee’s for card payments is currently in our backlog for future development.

Q: Can the SKU be shown on the POS sales screen, either on the product tile or on the detailed information product screen?

A: This option is currently in our backlog for future development, as well as the ability to configure the display of a product’s cost price.

Q: Does Neto POS support the ability to register your cash draw/float?

A: Neto POS does not currently support the ability to register a cash draw/float at this time. We have added this request to our backlog and will investigate the best way to implement this in the future.

​Q. Can you only refund orders which were initially raised via the Neto POS? If the order was raised on the control panel does the refund have to go through the control panel?

A: Refunds are not currently linked to a sales order via POS. If you wish to link the refund to the sale, you will need to process this via the Control Panel. If you just want to create a refund independent of the sale, then you can do this directly via POS. The ability to link a refund to an order is in our roadmap for the second half of 2017.

Q: When you park a sale, does this allocate items to the customer and commit the stock in Neto?

A: Parking a sale does not assign the items to the customer or move them to committed from a stock perspective. Parked Sales are currently only able to be retrieved on the register that parked them.

The ability to retrieve parked sales from a different register on our roadmap though.

Q: Does Neto POS support the ability to pay later? (eg. Customer takes the goods from store and has 7 days to pay)

A: A $0 payment lay-by option is on the roadmap with a view to start development of this feature towards the end of Q1.

Q: Are the Neto POS iPad app and Browser feature comparable?

A: Both version are feature comparable and new releases are pushed out simultaneously.

Q: Does Neto POS allow you to split payments using multiple card payments?

A: Neto POS supports the ability to receipt multiple payments against a single order. This allows your customers to split the order total across a variety of payment methods. This is especially handy if a customer would like to pay for part of he order in cash and the remainder via Credit Card or EFTPOS.

Every time you split a payment on the order, you are given the choice of how that split will be paid.

Read more

Q: Does Neto POS support a kiosk mode for Events and Trade Shows?

A: Currently Neto POS only supports kiosk mode via the web app version using Google Chrome, not the iOS App. To enable kiosk mode check out the instructionshere, or download this kiosk chrome exstension for a more customisable experience.

Q: Does Neto POS support android?

A: Neto POS will work via the Chrome Web browser on most android devices, however this is not supported. See a list of our recommend Neto POS hardware here.

Q: Does Neto POS support Gift Vouchers?

A: You are currently able to sell Gift Vouchers via Neto POS. We are looking to implement a fully integrated POS experience for Gift Vouchers in Q2/Q3 2017.

Q: Does Neto POS support Discounts?

A: Neto POS currently support the ability to apply percentage based discounts at the order or line item level, or to use pricing groups for discounts. Our next release will include the ability to apply dollar based discounts at the line or item level.

Q: What’s the difference between Outlets & Warehouses?

A: There is no real difference between an Outlet & a Warehouse. An outlet is another name for a store or shop front. You can keep track of stock and sales at multiple outlets from a single Neto control panel. You can also assign staff users to outlets.

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Q: Does Neto POS Print shop tickets for placement on shelves?

A: Printing of Product Labels is currently on the roadmap. We will have more information about this feature closer to release.

Q: Can you take payments over the phone with Neto?

A: We recommend that if you are taking sales over the phone, you use the Neto Control itself, as it has the ability to be used as a traditional order management system, asking for a customer’s credit card over the phone.

Read more

Q: Can you change the location of a Neto POS register?

A: So that sales can be properly tracked to an individual register, each register is locked to its related device when set up. This prevents the register from being used by any other device.

Unlinking a register is also a good idea in the event that your device is lost or stolen, it will revoke permission for that device to create transactions.

Unlinking a register can be accomplished from the device itself, or from your control panel if required. If you have access to the device, unlinking from the device is the preferred method.

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Q: Does Neto POS support Payment Terms & Credit Limits?

A:With Neto POS you have the ability to create lay-by orders for customers. The system allows you to set a deposit amount and set a due date for the remaining balance.

Read more about lay-bys and more about credit limits

Q: Does Neto POS support logo customisation on the receipt?

A: Neto POS currently supports basic receipt customisation, there is a complete overview of how to do this in our support documentation.

Read More

Q: Does Neto POS support no negative selling?

A: This is currently in our backlog while we decide on the best way to implement this feature.

Q: What is the pricing for Neto POS?

A: For up to date pricing, I recommend checking out the pricing page here: https://www.neto.com.au/pricing

Q: Does Neto POS support adding the customer’s company name to the receipt?

A: Neto POS currently supports basic receipt customisation, there is a complete overview of how to do this in our support documentation.

Read More

Q: What hardware is available for attending Trade Shows & Expos? i.e printers or scanners.

A: Neto POS is designed to be used at trade shows, we would suggest using an iPad. For a list of compatible and available hardware for Neto POS, go here: https://www.neto.com.au/hardware/

Q: Do all transactions sync to Xero from Neto POS?

A: Transaction synchronisations happen whilst online immediately after completing the transaction and returning to the main sale screen. They will happen frequently to get your transactions into your Neto Control Panel as quickly as possible.

Sales made through the Neto POS app sync with your Neto Control Panel and can be processed using the same workflow as your Webstore or eBay sales. If you have Neto set up to sync transactions to your accounting platform, all Neto POS sales will also sync as per your current setup.

Read more

Q: Will Neto POS support PC-EFTPOS?

A: Integration with PC-EFTPOS is not currently on our 2017 roadmap, however we do review the priority of our roadmap every 3 months. We are always happy to consider new ideas and as such we will be formally launching an Ideas portal for our customers and partners later in 2017. In the interim, if you have an idea for a new feature or improvement that you would like us to consider, please let us know by completing the following form: Product Ideas form.

Q: Can you update the product’s barcode in Neto POS?

A: Neto POS supports adding or updating barcodes via the edit product screen on POS, or via the control panel.

Read more

Q: Does Neto POS support entering a start of day till float?

A: Neto POS does not currently support the ability to register a cash draw/float at this time. We have added this request to our backlog and will investigate the best way to implement this in the future.

Q: How do lay-by’s function in Neto POS?

A: With Neto POS you have the ability to create lay-by orders for customers. The system allows you to set a deposit amount and set a due date for the remaining balance.

Read more

Q: Does Neto POS support buy one get one free type discounts?

A: Neto POS specifically does not support buy one get one free discount types, however these types of discounts can be achieved through Neto’s Discounting system for web store sales. Discounts, Rewards, Loyalty & Vouchers are currently on the Neto POS roadmap.

Read more

Q: What linking & mapping options are available for Neto POS & supported accounting platforms?

A: Neto currently supports the ability to map payment methods to specific accounting integration accounts. We strongly advise assigning specific accounts to your payment methods. This will make reconciling payments much easier.

Linking and Mapping of accounting integrations are configured through the Neto control pane.

At this time, Neto POS does not support the ability to assign certain payment methods to certain registers or locations. This functionality has been added to our backlog.

Read more

Q: Does Neto POS support adding a customer to a sale via a barcoded member card?

This functionality is on our roadmap for Q3 2017 consideration.

A work around would be to have your customer usernames as a number value. The username can then be used to generate barcodes for member cards which can then be scanned once select the “Add Customer to Sale” button in Neto POS.

Q: Does Neto POS support one off sales for products that are in Neto?

A: Yes. We recommend setting up a MISC SKU that the price and name can be changed on for these types of sales.

Q: Does Neto POS support users permissions, and if so, what are they?

Neto POS currently supports 3 basic roles that can be assigned to users:

  • Cashier
  • Store Manager
  • Admin

Currently Admin users are able to limit the total discount percentage both Cashiers & Store Managers can provide.

We are looking to implement more granular permissions. We would love any feedback from our customers about the types of permissions required.

If you have specific requirements or thoughts on how this should work, please complete the following Product Ideas form.

Read more

Q: Does Neto POS support multiple barcodes per product, and if so, can you add new barcodes to products simply by scanning them in?

A: Neto supports up to 4 UPC’s (Barcodes) per product. If the product does not currently have a barcode, you can simply edit the product and scan in the new barcode into the Neto POS app directly.

If you would like to add additional barcodes, you will need to do this through the Neto Control Panel currently.

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Q: How often does Neto POS sync inventory?

A: So that your registers can run offline and as quickly and smoothly as possible, data is periodically synced between registers and your Neto control panel.

Transaction synchronisations happen whilst online immediately after completing the transaction and returning to the main sale screen. They will happen frequently to get your transactions into your Neto control panel as quickly as possible.

You can tell when a transaction sync is in progress by opening the side menu - the synchronisation icon will be spinning next to the number unsynchronised transactions.

Read more

Q: What is the Click & Collect workflow?

A: Click and collect is on our roadmap for development later this year. Once it is built, we will be running a webinar to demonstrate it. If you have specific requirements or thoughts on how this should work, please complete the following Product Ideas form.

Q: Does Neto POS associate returns with the original transaction?

A: Neto POS does not currently associate returns with the original transaction, however this feature is on the current roadmap to be implemented in the future.

Q: Can I control which channels my products are available to be sold through?

A: Neto supports the ability to display a certain products in Neto POS and no on the webstore. You can achieve this by unchecking “Approved to show on webstore” on the product card itself.

Q: Can I control which channels my pricing promotions appear on?

A: Neto POS and Neto Web stores will currently display the same pricing promotions. Our current eBay integration allows you to configure this on a listing basis.

There are multiple tasks in the current backlog around addressing what happens on each channel.

If you have specific requirements or thoughts on how this should work, please complete the following Product Ideas form.

Q: How does Neto notify customers that an order is ready to be collected from store?

A: Click and collect is on our roadmap for development later this year. Once it is built, we will be running a webinar to demonstrate it.

If you have specific requirements or thoughts on how this should work, please complete the following Product Ideas form.

Q: Does Neto POS support searching for products via SKU?

A: You can search for products to add to a sale by name, SKU, barcode or category. Enter your search term in the search input box and a list of results will be displayed. Search results are limited to 5 products, however increasing the amount of results returned is currently on our Roadmap.

Tap or click on a search result to add it to the sale.

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Q: Does Neto POS support Afterpay?

A: Neto POS does not currently support AfterPay as a payment method, however this is on our roadmap and prioritised for the second half of 2017. Once it is built, you will be able to split the payment and allow customers to pay the remaining balance by Afterpay.

Q: Does Neto POS support logging in via scanning of a barcode? Eg. Staff user card

A: Neto POS does not currently support the ability to log in to a register as a staff user by scanning a barcode.

Q: Does the Neto POS login page support full names, not just initials for staff users?

A: Neto POS currently supports the ability to assign a profile image to a staff user, allow you to easily distinguish which staff profile belongs to which staff member. The ability to show full names on the login screen has been added to our backlog of tasks for a future release.

Q: Does Neto support products that are weighed in grams or kg?

A: Neto POS supports the ability to edit the price of a product during sale. This means that you are able to weigh a product on scales to get a per gram or kg price and update the price in Neto POS before processing the sale.

Scales integration is currently in the roadmap for a future release. If you have specific requirements or thoughts on how this should work, please email the product team directly at products@neto.com.au.

Q: How do I import customer data into Neto?

A: You can upload customers & orders into Neto using Neto’s import functionality.

Q: Can Neto send monthly statements to account customers?

A: Using a combination of Payment Terms & Payment Reminders in Neto you are able to send customers a monthly statement of any outstanding balances on their account.

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Q: What are the main differences between Neto’s current inventory options and the new advanced inventory options and do I need to configure anything before using it?

A: Neto currently provides users on all plans with the ability to modify stock levels via a “stock adjustment” or “stock take”. This basic stock control functionality is not integrated into financial systems, nor does it contribute to the calculation of Cost of Goods Sold.

Neto’s new inventory functionality will be available to all of our customer on Large plan and above. It will provide you with the ability to process purchase orders, stock adjustments and stock takes with full integration to your finance platform (initially Xero). Future functionality include advanced cost of goods and Stock Transfers, as well as integration with other SaaS accounting platforms including Quickbooks and MYOB AccountRight.

When you enable inventory you will be taken through a wizard which will confirm that you have suppliers assigned to relevant products as well as cost and purchase prices.

Q: Will all Inventory data be able through the Neto API on launch?

A: There are plans to introduce API endpoints for purchase orders and stock adjustments, however these will NOT be part of the launch. That said you will be able to access product information such as quantity on hand and cost of goods via the API.

Our current API documentation will be updated with all new endpoints.

Q: Is stock synced between my retail store and my webstore?

A: Neto’s new Inventory function provides you with a single integrated multi-channel inventory, meaning that stock is automatically synched between POS, your online store and you eBay store. No more worries about overselling.

Q: Does Neto Inventory support minimum/maximum quantities? If so, are there auto reorder reports and auto re-ordering?

A: Neto already provides the ability to define restock alert quantities (ie stock minimums). There are also a range of stock control reports, including Inventory Restock Report ; Sales & Stock Management Report ; Out of Stock Notification Report and Inventory Analysis Report.

The new Inventory feature will provide advanced inventory reporting functions such as Cost Analysis Report and Stock Valuation Report.

Read more

Q: What is the pricing for Neto Inventory

A: Neto Inventory is included in our Large plans.

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Q: Does Neto Inventory support scanner receipting?

A: Use of scanners for receipting purchase orders is currently on our roadmap for development in the second half of 2017.

Q: Does Neto store customer credit card info for future purchases?

A: Neto POS does not store credit card information for further purchases. We are current planning the implementation of functionality to allow customers to use stored credit cards for purchases from the online store though.

Q: Does Neto reporting historic stand on hand? E.g Ability to see stock on hand at end of the financial year even if someone hasn’t done stock take?

A: The Neto Inventory Analysis Report and the Sales & Stock Management Reports all show stock on hand based on sales and shipments.

If we haven’t answered your question here please get in touch with our Customer Support team.

6 Steps to Success for Your Online Fashion Store

6 Steps to Success for Your Online Fashion Store

If you’re a fashion store owner looking to set your sales soaring in 2017, opening an online store might just be the best way to do it. Online sales of clothing, shoes and accessories are booming, with 43% of Australians aged sixteen and over now shopping online for these products, a 14% increase from the previous year.

Online shopping is connecting retailers with more customers than ever before. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to expand the reach of your fashion brand, opening up a new market without having to pay for additional retail leases or shop assistants. And with the right setup, you can go from local to global overnight.

Even if you want to keep your focus on your bricks-and-mortar store, ecommerce is a great way to do it. Why? Because visiting online stores has become an important part of the modern shopper’s buying process, with 33% of customers regularly checking prices on their phones before or during store visits. That means someone in your competitor’s shop could be looking up your prices right now—if you have an online store.

If you’re in the 50% that hasn’t yet set up your online store, now’s the time. Here’s our easy approach to opening your first online fashion shop.
 

1. Choose a platform for your online shop

Getting this step right will make the rest of your online shop set-up much easier. There really is no universal best platform—you’re aiming to find the one that best suits your needs. Think about which features are essential for your business, which are nice to have, and which are an unnecessary expense. Consider:

  • Do you have the expertise to host your site and manage bandwidth, storage, security and backups, or do you want your hosting managed for you?
  • How much control do you need over design elements and navigation? Do you want your team to style it from the ground up, or just choose from preset themes?
     
  • Do you need your online shop to integrate with any systems you’re currently using, like a certain payment gateway, accounting package, or inventory management system?
     
  • As your business grows, will your shop make it easy for you to sell more clothes online, or will it become difficult and expensive?
     
  • Is training included as part of the package? How about phone or email support?

Once you’ve selected a platform, it’s best to test it thoroughly. Neto offers managed solutions with training and support, add-on integrations, and ready-to-use themes to help every shop owner take their store online, no matter how tech-savvy you are. We also offer a no-obligation free trial, so you can be confident in your choice.
 

2. Design your customer experience

This is where the fun starts! Your online store will be the first impression of your brand for many visitors. They’re more likely to become customers if you give them a great experience, so your design needs to help them find what they’re looking for.

You’ll want a responsive design that looks good and loads quickly on all devices. Keep it clean and clutter-free with high-quality, professional photos, easy-to-read fonts and plenty of white space. Group your apparel into categories that will make sense to your customers, by type of garment (pants, skirts), dress code (corporate, sports), or even a special theme (summer nights, snow holiday). And don’t forget to test out your shop on a mobile phone, because 70% of online transactions occur on a mobile device.

With Neto, you can choose from free, editable, and fully-responsive web store themes or customise every aspect of your website and shopping cart with full access to your store’s HTML, CSS, and JS. Need more help? We even offer bespoke design services.
 

3. Build your product listings

Each product listing is an opportunity to entice your customers to make a purchase. Start with product headline that tells your customers what they’re looking at in a glance: it’s not just a “dress” but a “slinky ankle-length evening dress”. You’ll want to make the most of the search features in your platform, which might mean adding tags like “evening wear” and “strapless”, and allowing customers to filter by size, colour, or style on the category page.

Give customers a three-dimensional understanding of your clothing, shoes or accessories by using photos that show them in a variety of angles both on-display and in-use. Draw attention to the most important information (designers, features, materials) in a few bullet points or a short description, and then write a more detailed explanation that will answer all your customers’ questions before they need to ask. Does the garment fit true to size? Is it machine washable? Where was it made?

Include links to the relevant sizing guides, shipping rates, refund policies and FAQ pages to encourage customers to complete their purchases online. Customer reviews can draw more visitors to your site, establish loyalty and trust, and even answer customer questions for you. And if your platform includes inventory management, like Neto, showing how much stock you have available can become a powerful call to action for the hesitant customer.
 

4. Select your shipping options

Customers want their orders delivered as soon and as cheaply as possible, and with the Australian population spread over such a vast distance, it’s important for online store owners to consider the timing and cost of your shipping options. Research how easy it is for you to send an order and how your costs will vary with destination and package size or weight. If you’re looking at gobal operations, you may choose different carriers for different regions. And don’t forget click-and-collect, a cheap and speedy option for clients to pick up their orders from your physical shop front as soon as they’re ready.

Neto offers click-and-collect, and also integrates with a variety of popular Australian and New Zealand shipping carriers, including Australia Post eParcel, CourierPost (NZ), Startrack, Couriers Please, Toll Priority, Fastway Couriers and Sendle, taking the hassle out of your order fulfilment.
 

5. Set up several payment options

There wouldn’t be much point to opening up an online store if you couldn’t get paid. Most online shoppers prefer to pay by credit card, so you’ll need a payment gateway to process your customer’s credit or debit cards and securely transfer financial information to complete the transaction. These providers all have different setup, service and per-transaction charges, so read the fine-print before you choose one.

Third-party processors can be quicker and cheaper (or free) to set up but often charge retailers a higher fee per transaction. You might be willing to take on this cost for the benefit of offering your customers another payment option that they’re already familiar with.

Neto integrates with Australia’s most popular payment gateways and third-party providers, like eWay, SecurePay and PayPal.
 

6. Add on automation

This is an optional step, and one that varies from platform to platform, but it will really help you get the most out of your online store. Neto integrates with a wide variety of add-ons to help you with automation tasks, such as

  • Emailing individual customers to offer discounts on items in their wishlists or abandoned shopping carts—over half of all online shoppers take up these offers
     
  • Tracking visitor clicks and running analytics to understand your customers, what brings them to your site, and what they’re searching for
     
  • Social media monitoring to post to channels automatically and track interactions
     
  • Targeting specific customers and demographics through email list segmentation
     
  • A/B testing variations of your home page, product listings and custom landing pages to see how you can increase conversion.
     

Start here

If you follow the six steps we’ve listed above, your online fashion store should be up and selling in no time. Are you ready to kickstart your year? Start your Neto free trial today.

7 surefire ways a POS system will help grow your retail business

7 surefire ways a POS system will help grow your retail business

It’s a new year and business is booming as shoppers scurry to take advantage of sales. Shop managers are busy trying to calculate the right discounts, manage their inventory, and keep in touch with their customers. Who’s got the time to upgrade their cash register to a fully integrated point of sale (POS) system?

The real question is: who doesn’t?

Your current offline cash register might seem like the simplest choice for your POS. After all, what could be easier than tapping in a price and pressing total? But chances are, it’s creating a whole lot of extra administrative work. And that’s taking up time you could better spend helping your current customers or finding new opportunities.

Here’s a list of 7 ways a fully integrated POS system, such as Neto POS, can simplify your sales process and save you time:

1. Reducing errors in cash handling

With a computer- or tablet-based POS system like Neto POS, you don’t need to worry about typing the wrong price into your register. Depending on what hardware you’ve chosen, all you need to do is scan a stock item or select its thumbnail from your screen, and the correct price from your database will be charged. And you won’t have to figure out discounts on your trusty pocket calculator either, because all good POS systems will let you easily create storewide or single item promotional discounts.

2. Giving your customers flexible payment options

Some customers prefer to pay cash. Others never carry cash around, and always use an EFTPOS or debit card instead. Some prefer to pay by credit card, to take advantage of points offers or interest-free periods. Some like to split their payments across these different methods. A full-featured POS system like Neto POS will give your customers this flexibility to pay by card, cash, or a combination of both.

And don’t forget lay-bys. They’ve fallen out of fashion because of the manual bookkeeping required to set one up and track it. But your POS system will take the hassle out of lay-bys, so it’s easy for customers to sign up, pay their deposit, and make regular payments, while giving you full visibility of their progress.

3. Effectively managing your inventory

If you’re using a basic cash register, it’s not helping you manage your inventory. Each time you make a sale, there’s a record of how much the customer spent, but not what they spent it on. So you need to conduct regular stocktakes and manually keep on top of your orders. By upgrading to a POS system with an inventory database, each sale you make will update your current stock levels accordingly, so you know when you need to place your next order.

A full-featured POS system will take it one step further, giving you the analytical tools you need to order stock based on trends. Intuitive ordering and automatic stock updates on Neto POS make overstocking and understocking a thing of the past.

4. Streamlining your sales channels

If you’ve got multiple stores or you’re thinking of branching out, you’ve got a lot to gain from switching to a POS system. With an omni-channel POS system, you can run all your physical and online outlets (including web marketplaces, like eBay) from one central location and a single database.

If you’re still growing, a full-featured POS system will help you open an online store to accompany your bricks-and-mortar outlet. Or you can use it to take your online store to markets and roadshows.

5. Running your business from anywhere, securely

Planning to go on a holiday as soon as the new year’s rush is over? A cash register will make it difficult to monitor your business remotely. But with a secure, cloud-based POS system, you can manage your products, customers, staff, suppliers, sales and reporting from anywhere in the world. Well, anywhere with internet access.

Imagine it: you’re lying on the beach, chatting to a new friend about one of the great products you’ve just received in-store. “I’d love to see it,” she says, so you grab your iPad and show her your Neto POS store. And she orders the product immediately and gets it shipped home, because an iPad POS system means everywhere can be your point of sale.

6. Simplifying your accounting

A smart POS system is fully integrated with your accounting package and also handles your orders from suppliers. That means you won’t need to manually enter transactions in your accounting software (or hire a bookkeeper to do it), so you can get it done sooner without worrying about copy-and-paste errors. Who wouldn’t want to get their business activity statement (BAS) in sooner, with a minimum of fuss?

7. Understanding and appreciating your customers

How much do you know about your customers? Which products do they buy online? Which products are most popular in store? How do purchases vary from season to season? Your POS system should take the guesswork out of this, with advanced analytics and reporting to help you make smart business decisions.

You can also use your POS system to collect customer details (with their permission, of course), so you can email them receipts for their purchases or updates about specials offers or birthday promotions.

It’s not hard to see how a full-featured omni-channel POS system can help your retail business grow by taking care of the details and freeing up time to focus on your customers. With Neto POS, you can sell to anyone, anywhere, with everything you need to run your business on a single platform. It’s Australia’s first truly integrated omni-channel point of sale solution. Why not start your free trial today?

Redefining retail with POS software: not just bricks and mortar

Redefining retail with POS software: not just bricks and mortar

Here at Neto, we want all our clients to be as successful as possible, whether you’re just setting up shop or on the verge of expanding your empire. And when you reach the stage where it’s time to expand your operations and open a new store, we want you to do it in a way that’s right for you, making the most of your point of sale (POS) software. See, we think one of the biggest benefits of multi-channel POS software is that it makes it easy for you sell your products everywhere.

Not just anywhere—everywhere.

That means you don’t need to take on the expenses of opening a bricks-and-mortar store just to get that all-important face-to-face time with your customers. An omni-channel POS system (like Neto POS) turns every interaction with your customers into a sales opportunity, completely redefining what we mean when we think about “retail space”.

Retailers are starting to look beyond traditional retail stores, instead turning to exciting, new, lower-cost alternatives. Here are a few such places where you could consider connecting with your customers:

Pop-up shops and temporary retail stores

In recent times, pop-up shops have proven to be a great option for businesses that experience higher demand at certain times during the year. It gives you that same physical presence of a traditional retail shop, but instead of paying an extra lease or wages year-round, you only do it for those weeks you expect to make a good return on investment.

If you’re an online florist, you might open up a stand inside a gift shop for the few days before Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. A suburban fashion retailer might hold an end-of-season clearance sale in a prominent inner-city location. And if you’re using a full-featured POS system, like Neto POS, getting it ready for your new shop should be easy: just add a new outlet to your locations, and take your iPad with you.

Showrooms

One way to keep your retail lease down is to minimise your floor space by storing the inventory for sale offsite, and displaying just one of each item in your showroom. This works well for large items like furniture, whitegoods and gym equipment, which customers often want delivered anyway. But a private or shared showroom is also growing popular as a way for online retailers to raise brand awareness and give customers a chance to interact with staff. If you’re going to use this model, you’ll need to be able to check your inventory levels in real time at your point of sale—no one wants to sell an item they don’t have in stock. For this, you’ll need omni-channel POS software, like Neto POS.

Market stalls

If you want a regular physical presence but aren’t ready to lease a permanent retail space, a market stall can be a good intermediate step. Your space will be limited, so you might make the most of it by rotating different inventory through the stall each week, or using it as a mini-showroom. Whichever approach you take, a good POS system will ensure you can sell any of your items—not just what’s at the stall—and deliver it later (or bring it next week for collection). The variety of payment options you can offer your customers also gives you a winning advantage over your competitors. The only downside is that you’ll have to pack up shop at the end of each day and set it up again next time.

Selling on the road

Conferences and expos are a growing part of the retail and wholesale scene in Australia and New Zealand. The right POS system can help you capitalise on these opportunities by giving you the ability to sell anywhere. Suddenly, these conferences are much more than a chance to network in your industry—they’re a chance to connect with a customer and make a sale on the spot.

But you’re not limited to official events. Tablet-enabled POS software means you can sell to anyone at any time. Your iPad becomes a one-device roadshow, a portable showroom that’s just one piece of your omni-channel strategy.

Traditional retail store

A bricks-and-mortar retail store is usually the most expensive and involved option, but we understand its appeal: it’s your glamorous, permanent presence in the market. (And you get to host an opening party.) If you decide it’s worth taking the plunge, a good POS system, like Neto POS, will help minimise your startup costs, because you won’t be doubling up on administration. From day one, you’ll be able to see all your products, customers, staff, suppliers, sales and analytics in a single system, right at your fingertips.

With all these options available to Neto POS software users, what’s stopping you from taking your business to new retail places? Start a free trial today.

6 Steps to Start Selling Online

6 Steps to Start Selling Online

What better way to kickstart 2017 by making your first online sale? If you’re not already selling online you could be missing nearly two-thirds of your customer base.

This is because 71% of shoppers believe they will get a better deal if they shop online than if they shop in a store. Don’t let this year be the year you miss out on sales.

eCommerce is big business. Online sales reached over $1.95 trillion in 2016 and sales are predicted to reach over $4.058 trillion by 2020.

One of the many reasons why online sales are continuing to skyrocket is convenience. Customers can purchase products anytime and anywhere (including from the comfort of their own home in their PJs). Customers don’t want to worry about trading hours or logistics.

Despite this, currently over half of all Australian retailers don’t have an online store. And one of the main reasons many retailers don’t get their idea off the ground is because they’re overwhelmed or don’t know where to start.

Thankfully, getting started doesn’t have to be a hard task. Here are six simple steps to getting your first ecommerce business up and running.

Step 1: Choose a Website Platform

The first step in setting up an online shop is selecting an ecommerce platform to run your business from. There are a few things you need to consider:

  • Hosting solutions – Will you need to host your site separately or is hosting provided? For easier setup, opt for a platform that provides hosting.
  • Setup time – Does the ecommerce platform provide easy-to-use design solutions or ready-made themes? If you don’t want to expend a lot of energy on that yourself, it’s best to select a platform that offers in-house design services for consistency and to save you time.
  • Features – What do you want to be able to do with your online store? Consider integrations, add-ons, and features, and whether the ecommerce platform can support these.
  • Support – When getting started it’s important to have support along the way. Consider if the ecommerce platform offers email and phone support.
  • Cost - Platforms vary in price make sure your opt for one that offers a free trial to make sure it meets your needs. Consider what plans include so that you can scale up as your business grows.

Image Source: Neto Onboarding Guide

If you consider yourself to be non-technical but still want to run your own store, Neto is a great solution, as we offer managed solutions as well as tonnes of training and support. And if you are a designer or developer, you still have full access to the HTML, CSS, and JS of your store, making it easy to customise every aspect of your website and shopping cart. It’s the best of both worlds.

Step 2: Design your store

After choosing a platform and setting up the basic structure of your site, you need to focus on the design and branding of your store. The design of your site should help customers find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.

The best ecommerce shops should be simple and easy to navigate so that your customer has a great experience, which increases your chance of conversion. Some design best practices to keep in mind include:

  • Site speed – Your site must load quickly on both desktop and mobiles. Neto designs for responsiveness which means it loads quickly (and looks great) on both desktop and mobiles.
  • Navigation and search – It’s really important that your customers can easily find what they want so make categories and search bars prominent.
  • Include high-quality images – Images can make or break whether a customer will buy from you as they’re often the first thing they see.
  • Keep it clean – Remove clutter and unnecessary content. Too much text, unrelated images, flashy animations, fonts and colours can be distracting and may even turn away business.
  • Use white space - Creating white space helps separate paragraphs of text, graphics, and other sections of your site to enhance the user experience and create a clean look and feel. Plus it makes your site easier to read and interact with.

Image Source: Maison Blanche

Your home page is your ‘shop front’ so keep it clutter-free and sleek. This will often be your customer’s first impression of your brand so make it a good one.

Step 3: Build your products

After your site is designed, you need to start building product pages and adding product information. The goal of each product page is to entice the buyer to make a purchase. You can do that by including the following things on each product page:

  • Compelling headlines – Headlines should include searchable keywords by brand, gender, product, colour, and size (e.g. Nike Women’s Running Shoes Blue/Gray)
  • Bullet points – List the most important product specs or benefits for the customer
  • Detailed product description - Anticipate your customer’s question and answer them
  • Testimonials or customer reviews - This shows that other people trust and recommend your products
  • 2-3 high-quality images – Add photos from multiple angles or show the product in use

To ease any customer concerns or doubts it’s a good idea to link to the following pages:

  • Buying/sizing guides
  • FAQ page
  • Shipping prices and information

If you need inspiration for your product pages, check out HubSpot’s list of high-converting product pages.

Step 4: Set up shipping options

The next step in the process is to set up your shipping options. Shipping is an extremely important component for online stores.

You need to plan how to handle the various costs and logistics involved in the shipping process including timing, cost and international shipping.

When deciding on a shipping carrier there are a few things to consider:

  • Where are most of your shoppers located?
  • What type of products will you be shipping?
  • How will weight and shape impact prices?
  • Will the carrier pick up products?

From here you can research which carrier will provide the best shipping options for your business.

A few popular Australian shipping carriers include Australia Post eParcel, Startrack, Couriers Please, Toll Priority, Fastway Couriers and Sendle.

Neto integrates with all of these carriers, making shipping your products hassle-free.

Step 5: Set up payment gateways

You can’t make sales without getting paid! It’s important to work out what the best payment gateway is for your business. A payment gateway is an ecommerce service that processes credit card payments for both online and traditional brick-and-mortar stores. They securely transfer financial data between your website and the customer’s bank.

A few of the most popular payment gateways in Australia include:

  • eWay
  • eWay Rapid 3.1
  • Braintree
  • Stripe
  • PayPal
  • Secure Pay

The more payment options you offer, the better as this caters for different types of customers. Neto integrates with many payment gateways and allows you to offer multiple payment gateway options.

Image source: Shutterstock

Each gateway comes with processing requirements and fees, so be sure to research different options to see what best fits your needs.

Step 6: Set up automation

Once you have the bulk of your store up and running, you can then integrate with other services to automate tasks and process. Automation can help with things like:

  • Cart abandonment campaigns – Send email reminders about products and purchases that weren’t completed.
  • Analytics and website tracking – See who’s clicking on your site, how long they’re staying, and where they’re going in real time.
  • SEO tracking – Find out what your customers are searching for and what they’re typing into search engines to find your store.
  • Social media monitoring – Automatically post to any social media channel and track interactions with your customers in real time.
  • Email list segmentation – Easily market to specific customers and demographics.
  • A/B testing – Test out variations of your website, homepage, product pages, and more to see what converts better.

By adding these solutions to your website you can optimise your sales funnel and automate tedious processes. Neto integrates with a wide variety of add-ons to help you get the best results.

Where to from here?

One of the biggest challenges for many new sellers is getting their store up and running. Following the above steps will help you get started and take the first step towards making a sale online.

If you’re ready to start the year with a bang and make 2017 the year you sell online, try Neto for free.

Neto Webinar Q & A

Neto Webinar Q & A

If you were able to tune in for our Neto Webinar the other week, we hope you found our updates on streamlined shipping carriers, payment and stock management as interesting as we do!

If you missed out, or haven't heard a thing about it, you can view the webinar here: https://neto.wistia.com/medias/ev1un69c2h

We had a few requests for our Q & A section to be shared, so please find a copy of all the questions with detailed answered below.

Enjoy!

New Payment Methods and Afterpay

What are the different between the payment companies - eWAY, Braintree and Stripe?

We recommend you visit the companies sites in order to review their features and determine which one is best for your company.

https://www.braintreepayments.com/en-au
https://stripe.com/au
https://www.eway.com.au/

How do I install one of the new payment methods such as Afterpay or eWAY?

To access Afterpay, or one of the other new Payment Methods such as Stripe, eWAY or Braintree, you need to enable Managed Checkout. If you are new to Neto since version 6.4 this will be automatically enabled. To install go to: Your Neto Control Panel > Setup and Tools > Payment Methods.

What happens to my existing payment methods if I move to Managed Checkout?

Managed Checkout does not impact your existing payment methods, they will continue to be available after the move.

If I enable a new payment method will it be automatically be available on my website?

Yes, as long you have Managed Checkout enabled, all new payment methods will appear in your checkout one enabled.

Do the new payment methods mean we no longer required our existing bank payment gateway or merchant account?

The new payment methods such as eWAY, Braintree and Stripe provide you with both Merchant Account and Payment Gateway, meaning that you may be able to review your existing arrangements.

Which payment gateway is Australian?

eWAY is an Australian gateway provider.

Does the new eWAY now support Beagle Enterprise?

Yes, the new eWAY Rapid integration now supports advanced services such as Beagle Lite and Beagle Enterprise. We suggest contacting eWAY directly to discuss the differences and find the right solution for your business.

I already have eWAY what are benefits of moving to eWAY Rapid?

One of the most important aspects of the new integration is support for Beagle Lite and Beagle Enterprise.

Braintree is owned by PayPal, what is the difference between them?

PayPal is a payment method in its own right - credit cards, debit cards, cash, paypal - where as Braintree is a payment gateway that accepts credit cards and PayPal.

In the event of a stolen credit card or other credit card fraud, who does liability fall upon?

For Afterpay payments, Afterpay take the fraud risk. There is zero fraud risk for merchants.

Does Afterpay work without Managed Checkout?

Yes there is an older version of our Afterpay integration that is available if you don't wish to move to Managed Checkout.

Do my customers require an Afterpay account to buy with Afterpay?

Yes you customer will require an Afterpay account. The first time they use Afterpay from the checkout they will complete the short application form (about 2 minutes), and get immediate approval. They will then be able to use the account for subsequent purchases. If they are rejected, they will be returned to the checkout to select a new payment method.

What are the minimum and maximum sales values that I can process using Afterpay?

We recommend contacting Afterpay directly for questions relating to their service.

How much does it cost to use Afterpay?

We recommend contacting Afterpay directly for questions relating to their service.

How does Afterpay handle cancellations, returns and refunds?

For further information on Afterpay Returns Policy, please see Terms and Conditions or Afterpays website: https://secure-afterpay.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/203275909-How-do-I-return-goods-and-get-a-refund-

Do you offer zipMoney as well?

Yes we offer both zipMoney and zipPay. In Q1 2017 we are looking to move zipMoney and zipPay across to the managed checkout in order to improve the buyers experience with these payment methods.

Do I have to convert to Managed Checkout now or can I do it later?

One of the drivers for the development of the Managed Checkout was so that we can make new functionality - such as click and collect, new payment methods, stored credit cards etc - available to all our merchants without them needing to make changes to their store. The current version of Managed Checkout is only compatible for merchants who are using the generic checkout without changes - such as custom fields - or design tweaks. Release 6.6 will see the launch of our updated Managed Checkout which will available to any merchants who want to be able to maintain customisations in their cart and still want to access and benefit from new functionality.

Does Neto plan to support the ability to process refunds with payment gateways?

Yes, our roadmap for 2017 includes implementing the ability to directly process refunds with our preferred payment partners.

Can customers now store credit card details for further purchases?

The implementation of stored credit is on our roadmap for the first half 2017 and once deployed will be available straight away to all merchants on Managed Checkout.

When setting up Stripe, do we require a Merchant Banking Account?

No, Stripe handles the processing of cards on your behalf. Therefore you do not need a merchant bank account to use Stripe.

Sendle

Do I need the Neto Ship Add-on to access Sendle?

You are able to access Sendle without enabling the Neto Ship add-on.

Can I use both Sendle and Neto Ship and all of my shipping options appear together?

Yes, you can use both Sendle and Neto Ship, in fact we encourage it, especially if you have products over 25kg or wish to provide your customers with services not currently supported by Sendle (see below for further information).

Does the Sendle matrix / rates auto populate when you turn it on?

Yes, turning on Sendle will automatically create the relevant shipping matrix and Sendle will immediately appear in you list of shipping options - no more work required. Sendle rates are calculated through via the Sendle API, so whilst they won't appear on the matrix, you can view them on the Sendle website: https://www.sendle.com/pricing

Can I modify the Sendle matrix?

Yes, you can modify the automatically generated Sendle matrix to remove a warehouse, change the name etc.

How much does it cost to ship with Sendle?

Sendle offers shipping from $5.98 depending upon destination and plan (Premium or Pro). Further information on Sendle's rate card are available on the Sendle website . Please not that the pricing is based on the larger of cubic or actual weight.

What carriers do Sendle use?

Sendle is unique in that it does not own its own fleet. Instead it leverages a range of carriers to deliver your freight. These currently include Fastway, Couriers Please and Toll Priority.

Is Sendle just for smaller retailers or does it work for people doing large volumes?

Sendle does offer significant benefit to smaller retails who are not eligible for courier accounts due to volumes. That said Sendle also offer a Pro account with further discounted rates for merchants shipping more than 200 parcel a month.

What are the pick up and delivery zones for Sendle?

Pick up and delivery zone information is available from the Sendle website. You will find it on this page: https://support.sendle.com/hc/en-us/articles/205204758-Locations-Coverage

Are their limitations to the size or weight of parcels I can ship using Sendle?

The maximum parcel weight is 25kg. Please not that Sendle does not support tail lift shipments.

Can you send items to a PO Box or Parcel Locker using Sendle?

No, Sendle cannot ship to PO Boxes or Parcel Lockers, if you wish to provide that service, we suggest using AusPost eParcel.

Does Sendle do Express, Overnight or Same Day Delivery?

Sendle do not offer express, overnight or same day delivery. Deliveries are picked up the next day after they are booked. For more information on estimated delivery timeframes see the Sendle website https://www.sendle.com/pricing#delivery-estimates; or Delivery time frames on their support site: https://support.sendle.com/hc/en-us/articles/206034587-Delivery-estimates

Can I use Sendle in shipping methods such as "free delivery over $xx"?

Yes, Sendle is another carrier in Neto, whilst we set up a default shipping method, you are able to use Sendle in the creation of more advanced shipping methods such as free shipping.

Does Sendle allow dangerous goods?

No Sendle is not able to ship dangerous goods or alcohol.

Do you have to use special packaging for Sendle?

You can use any standard satchels and packages for Sendle (such as the one available on eBay or from office supply stores).

What happens if the Customer is not home?

Sendle's couriers will leave a card for the customer to arrange for a delivery at a later date / time.

Do you need a special printer for POS?

No Sendle labels are able to be produced by Neto using the current method by which you generate labels.

Are Sendle packages trackable?

Yes Sendle packages are able to be tracked through the Sendle website.

Is it possible to just use Sendle in the back end rather than have it appear as a customer shipping method?

By default Sendle - once installed will automatically appear in your customers list of available shipping options. Yes it is possible to have Sendle as a back end shipping method only. To do this, you should edit the Sendle shipping method and mark the Visible to Customer field as No.

Does Sendle integrate with eBay?

No, Sendle is not integrated with eBay directly. You can however use Neto to connect to eBay and ship with Sendle.

When are Sendle going to be available in New Zealand?

Please contact Sendle for further information about their expansion plans.

When are Sendle going to be available for international shipping?

Please contact Sendle for further information about their expansion plans.

Do I need weights and dimension to use Sendle?

Yes, you will need weights and dimensions in order to book a Sendle consignment - irrespective of whether that is how you calculate shipping costs.

Can I send multiple cartons via Sendle?

Yes you can send a consignment with multiple cartons via Sendle. Each carton will need its own label.

POS

What Platforms do you support for the POS System?

Neto POS can be run on any device that can connect to the internet and can run the latest version of Google Chrome browser or the Apple iOS App.

Click on the link below for a list of recommended devices: https://www.neto.com.au/docs/pos/neto-pos-recommended-hardware/

Can a POS sale be started on a tablet, saved in draft and completed on a computer?

POS sales can be parked and retrieved later, but only at the device level. Parked sales are not saved to the Control Panel until they have been completed.

Does POS support Pay on Account or Pay Later?

Yes, Neto POS support Account Payments, as well as Layby (coming soon).

Can you set up a customers credit limit through Neto POS?

You will need to use the CPanel to set up the customers credit limit. Once set up you are able to see the credit limit on the customer card as well as use the account credit mode in purchases and refunds.

Does POS support user price groups or wholesale pricing?

Support for user price groups is currently in development and we plan to make it available to all existing and new POS subscribers in January 2017. This will then enable loyalty as well as wholesale pricing.

Do products have to be active to show in POS?

Yes, only active products display in POS. In Q1 2017 we will be enhancing the product management area to allow people to indicate which channel a product should be displayed in as well as channel specific pricing.

Does POS support discount amounts instead of percentage discounts?

The POS team is current working on improvements to discounts, including the ability to set maximum discount percentages and apply discount amounts at the product and order level. It is anticipated that this functionality will be available to all existing and new POS subscribers in January 2017.

Can I use my Online Store payment methods in POS?

Currently you cannot use you online store payment methods in POS. This request has been noted for consideration for future development.

Can we use POS offline (like at markets) ? If so, does it register as just one sale or a number of cash purchases?

Yes, you can use POS offline. When you re-sync you device, each individual sale will be downloaded as a unique cash purchase.

Will Neto POS support exchange as a payment method for a like for like swap?

We do not currently support exchange. It is on our roadmap for 2017 and we should be able to provide further information about the timing in early 2017. 

Does Neto POS support redeeming gift vouchers?

You are currently able to sell gift vouchers via POS. The ability to use a gift voucher is planned for release in Q1 2017. Until that point, gift vouchers sold online or via POS are able to be redeemed via the control panel.

What is the Synchronise Data option for on POS?

Synchronise data allows you to synchronise your sales, products and customer data.

Neto Inventory

How much is Neto Inventory?

Neto Inventory is free with all medium plans and above and all "grandfathered" plans. You will need to enable Neto Inventory via the purchase orders area in the CPanel.

Are you able to do use a barcode scanner or phone app to do a stocktake or scan products to create or receive a purchase order?

Integration of scanners for Neto inventory is on our roadmap for 2017. We will confirm the timing in early 2017.

Are you able to download a CSV of the purchase order to email to the supplier?

Purchase orders are currently only emailed to the supplier in PDF format. At this point we don't support download or email a CSV of purchase orders, we do note the popularity of this feature with the webinar audience and will be investigating its inclusion in the roadmap for the first half 2017.

Will there be API access to create Purchase Orders?

This is in our roadmap, we will be able to confirm the timing for this feature in early 2017.

Can we import and create Purchase Orders and Inventory adjustments from excel, CSV or FTP?

As part of the initial inventory configuration you will be able to import inventory adjustments via CSV. The ability to import purchase orders is on our roadmap, we will be able to confirm the timing for this feature in early 2017.

Will Purchase Orders be synched down to our Accounting Package?

Yes, once you configure the relevant settings and accounts Neto Inventory will synchronise purchase orders into your integrated accounting package as bills for payment. It will also synchronise stock adjustment journals. See Question below for further information.

What Accounting platforms are you planning to integrate with and when?

We are planning to integrate with all accounting platforms available via our Neto Connect Add-on, specifically Xero, MYOB, Saasu and Quickbooks. Neto Inventory will launch with the Xero integration, and we are planning to have all integrations complete by the end of first half 2017. We will be prioritising these integrations based on customer feedback and number of merchants using the relevant integrations.

Does Inventory link to eBay and POS?

Yes, Neto Inventory offers a native omni-channel experience, meaning that your inventory is fully integrated with POS, eBay and your online store.

Are you able to add landed costs (ie Postage / Shipping, duties etc) to Purchase Orders?

The introduction of advanced landed cost calculations is planned for Q2 2017. Until that point in time you can add additional costs to a purchase order by adding non-inventoried (virtual) items to your orders. For example you can setup an item in Neto called "shipping" and add this to the purchase order, as you would any other item.

Will Neto Inventory update the Xero balance sheet, and where do the fields map to?

Financial integration will NOT be available at BETA, however at launch Neto Inventory will integrate with Xero. You will be to configure an asset account for your inventory (populated by the purchase order) and a COGS (direct cost/expense account) that will be increase when when sales are made.

For a Purchase Order, when do stock levels update?

When you create the purchase order the incoming stock value is updated. When you receive the purchase order the stock levels update from incoming to on hand stock.

Will Neto Inventory allow me to sell into negative stock levels?

Yes, Neto Inventory will allow stock to go into negative.

Can I edit a purchase order and adjust costs before I receive it?

Yes, you can edit and adjust the costs on the purchase order right up to the point that you receive, once it is received you wont be able to edit it. The reason you cannot adjust costs after receipt is that the Average cost of goods sold is generate at receipt. Once advanced cost tracking is built you will be able to adjust some of the costs - such as shipping and duties and have an manual adjustment automatically calculated.

Does Neto Inventory support 'kitting'?

Yes Neto Inventory support kitting at a component level.

Does Neto Inventory produce purchase orders for drop ship suppliers?

Yes, you can produce purchase orders for any supplier, including drop shippers. You cannot however produce a purchase order per sales order for a drop ship supplier that includes the customers shipping information. We are planning to further enhance inventory for drop shipping to include export to txt file, automated PO generation and mailing as well as inclusion of order and shipping information. We expect to be able to provide more information around the timing of these features in Q1 2017.

Can I generate a purchase order from a customer order?

We do not currently support generating a purchase order from a customer order. This functionality is on our roadmap for Q1 2017.

Can Neto Inventory be set up to automatically email a supplier or drop shipper purchase orders based on a set of business rules or triggers?

We currently do not provide the ability to have purchase orders automatically generate based on a predefined set of business rules, such as drop shipping or stock levels. This is on our roadmap for Q1 2017.

If I use Neto Inventory do I still need to use a separate inventory management package or Inventory management via my accounting platform?

Neto Inventory is native functionality, this means that it replaces existing inventory management functionality and integrates with your financial management system at the purchase order and stock journal level. You will be unable to install Neto Inventory if you have an existing inventory integration OR if you currently keep stock in you financial management system as it will cause conflict and potential impact data integrity.

If I create a Purchase Order in Xero will it adjust stock number in Neto?

Neto Inventory uses Neto as the source of truth for product and stock information with the data syncing from Neto to Xero. Continuing to use Xero for Inventory after turning on Neto Inventory may cause data conflicts and impact data quality.

Will Neto Inventory default to perpetual or periodic inventory?

Neto Inventory is based on a perpetual inventory system model using the weighted average cost method.

Does Neto Inventory support serial number tracking?

No, Neto Inventory does not support serial number tracking, however you are able to track serial numbers on the sale.

Is cost of goods global or location specific?

The average cost of goods and average retail price are currently calculated globally. Introduction of location specific calculation is planned as part of our advanced inventory functionality for multi-locations.

Does Neto Inventory support non AUD Suppliers and Purchase Orders and multi-currency?

Yes. Neto inventory does support non AUD suppliers and purchase order. You will now be able to indicate the native currency for a supplier. Any purchase order generated for that supplier will be in the relevant currency, with the value being converted into you business base currency. Whilst we will be giving users the option to export in foreign currency or converted base currency. As Xero requires you to be on their highest plan to get access to multi-currency and you need to install every currency. We would recommend converting to base currency as this will allow for direct reconciliation of payments for the user in Xero. For example if you store is in NZD and you buy from a supplier in USD, the prices etc for the PO will be in the US, and the PO will be converted to NZD, any subsequent journals will also be in NZD. Each only purchase order only support one currency.

Are you able to limit the ability to do stock adjustments and other stock related functions to certain users?

Neto has a very powerful role system, you are able to create roles and limit that role to a certain functionality. We will be releasing a set of out-of-the-box roles to make this task simpler in 2017.

Are you able to map stock adjustments to specific accounts depending on the reason for the adjustments?

Yes, Neto Inventory as a set of defined adjustments and you will be able to map accounts to reasons for stock adjustments.

Will Stock adjustments and stocktake be integrated with the Neto Pick n Pack app?

Yes, mobile receipting and adjustments is part of our inventory road map. It is not part of our launch version, but is likely to be developed in 2017.

Are there ways to product a Purchase Order without adding each product manually?

You are able to generate purchase orders from the product search; where you can search by multiple criteria such as supplier, colour etc and select add all. You are also able to generate purchase orders from sales and inventory reports such as the restock report and the stock management report.

Will Neto inventory provide me with the ability to managed multiple suppliers and costs for the same SKU?

At the moment we currently on support a primary supplier and supplier SKU against a product. At the moment you are not able to have multiple suppliers for a single SKU. It is on our roadmap for first half 2017 to provide this capability.

Is it possible to create a new product from the purchase order?

All products added to a purchase order must be in the system, however you can edit the supplier SKU that is sent on a purchase order. Adding new products and suppliers from the purchase order screen is on the roadmap.

How does purchase orders support variations such as size or colour?

Purchase orders contain the child product, not the parent product. So each different size or colour is able to be added as a unique line.

Does Neto Inventory support batch tracking?

No, Neto Inventory does not currently support batch tracking.

Can we use pick zones or location numbers in generating or receiving a purchase order?

You can use pick zones in generating a purchase order by search for products by pick zone in the product search and selecting all relevant products and generating the purchase orders. We also display pick zones on the receive tab in the system, so you can group receiving by pick zone. Please note we do not print pick zones on the purchase orders as this is a document that goes to your supplier.

Other

Do you need to have a live web store to be eligible for the Inventory BETA?

As long as you are generating revenue and processing orders via the CPanel, are on a Medium Plan and have no existing integrations, you will be eligible for the BETA program. But don't worry, Inventory will be live in December and open to everyone.

What is Managed Checkout?

Managed Checkout is Neto’s new default checkout which provides access to up-to-date payment methods such as: eWAY Rapid 3.1, Braintree and Stripe. Managed Checkout is designed with responsiveness in mind, helping you capture more sales, allowing you to focus on running your business and less time chasing abandoned carts. Once installed, managed checkout is maintained by Neto's team of developers (just like your Neto Control Panel), therefore any new features, payment methods or bug fixes will instantly be available to you at no extra cost. This is different to your current checkout, which is not updated with new functionality.

Any plans on integrating Quickbooks with Neto?

We are current building our Quickbooks integration and plan to release it in early Q1 2017.

Are there any timeframes for the Amazon integration?

The Amazon Integration is on our Roadmap for 2017 we should be able to provide more information about exact timings in January.

Are there plans to support ApplePay?

Integration with ApplePay is on our roadmap for Q1 2017.

Will Neto replace MYOB or Xero in term so of mainstream functionality?

Neto focus is as a omnichannel digital commerce platform which allows our merchants to sell anywhere and manage everything in their supply chain. We have no intention of moving into financial management or accounting capabilities and have a number of partners that provide excellent solutions in this space.

Are there going to be any updates to Neto Pick n Pack?

Yes, there is a plan to redevelop the Pick'n Pack Add-on as a native iOS application in 2017. This includes the ability to use the iPhone as a scanner.

Are there plans to connect to Albert terminals?

We are currently considering and integration to the Albert Terminals as payment devices. We will be able to provide further information about this in Q1 2017.

Does Neto have fraud management tools - apart from those provided by the likes of Stripe, eWay and Braintree?

Yes, Neto also provide the Maxmind Fraud Filters Add On which is a 3rd party fraud prevention service for credit card processing. See the "Fraud Filters" addon in your Neto Addons store OR visit the Maxmind site for further information on their offering: https://www.maxmind.com/en/home

Are there plans to integrate to Square Register?

No, at this stage we do not have plans to integrate with Square Register.

Is there a payment method available that forces customers to enter a pin number for checkout to complete?

No, at this point there is no payment method available that forces pin validation. We would be interested in better understanding our customers requirements in this space. If you are interested in this features, please contact us directly.

Is ParcelPoint on the roadmap?

In 2017 we will be rolling out improvements to our collections functionality, we do not currently have ParcelPoint on our roadmap, however this may change depending upon merchant demand.

Are there plan to extend Reporting into enhanced custom reports or more complex reports?

It is in our long term roadmap to provide more extensive reporting, however the exact timing of these enhancement is as yet unplanned.

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