Blog: Articles

Success Story: Using Loyalty Marketing to Build your Brand

If you haven’t checked out our loyalty marketing email system yet, we’ve got even more reasons for you to get familiar with it. Loyalty marketing emails allow you to schedule followup emails based on a number of events, like a registration or a purchase.

We’ve detailed before how this can be used to automatically remind a customer when it’s time to re-order, or to send a new user a coupon after they’ve registered. But you can also use it to directly build your brand and reputation by soliciting followup reviews.

Avery Manko of the Manko Company did just that, to great success:

“The loyalty marketing feature is brilliant. I have several automations set up but my favorite is an automation for collecting Google reviews. It was super easy to set up: for the subject line I wrote ‘Can I ask a favor’ I then wrote a simple email that asks the customer if they’d be willing to write a review and I included the link to my Google Reviews that takes them to my reviews page. It was that simple.”

—Avery Manko

The result? Dozens of five-star reviews since he started requesting reviews. Now, soliciting reviews may not be right for every situation; you’d never use it for a private-access company store, for example. But for distributor stores and retail-oriented company stores, reviews can make a huge difference not just in exposure, but also in click-thoughs – users are much more likely to click on businesses and web sites that have good ratings.

Check out the Manko Company here, and if you’d like to learn more about our marketing automation tools, we’ve got an instructional video for you as well as an overview here on the blog.

Categories: Articles

Group-based shipping methods

Among a number of small improvements and fixes in our first storeBlox CS release of 2019, we also launched Group-based shipping methods. storeBlox has Group functionality baked deep into the system, and it’s a great feature for variety of situations:

  • Assigning product access to groups: For example, your store can be set up so managers can see everything, while other users see only specific categories or products. This can be helpful if managers have access to free products, literature or other items that other users shouldn’t be able to view. You can even set up groups with their own landing pages and banners, creating Micro Stores.
  • Payment by group: Often, a store may make certain payment methods (like departmental budgets) only available to certain users. Group payment methods let you assign available payment methods to specific groups, and Group Approvers enables you to have an approver review and approve all the orders for a specific group.

There’s a lot more to Groups, so drop us a line if you need help understanding how to set them up and manage them. This month, we added Group-based shipping methods, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – you can now control access to any shipping method by group:

storeBlox CS group-based shipping

This extends the capability to control available shipping methods to Groups. For example, if your managers have access to free shipping or local delivery, but other users need to use only FedEx or UPS, you can now assign any shipping method by group!

Other updates

The latest release also brings additions to your Order Export, and a we’ve added the ability to opt out of Loyalty Marketing emails during registration and account editing. This is separate from general opt out of marketing emails.

As always, if you have any questions about setting things up or just need a custom demo or help selling, just give us a shout!

Categories: Articles, Launches

Sales Tax is About to get Interesting

A few months ago, we talked about the big Supreme Court case that could upend the current sales tax regime. The decision came down last week, and as we expected, the court supported a state’s ability to force retailers from other states to collect tax for them. In the decision, the court ruled that an out-of-state retailer selling items may still be required to collect tax in that state, even if they have no physical presence there.

This was going to happen sooner or later; states have been losing out on far too much money for the “nexus” requirement to last forever. We once believed that the states might actually band together to create some kind of universal online sales tax (numerous attempts have been made before) but it’s never gotten very far. In an interesting way, this might force their hand.

Though the ruling is only for the South Dakota case, it implies that any state’s tax collection regime can be forced on any retailer that sells items into that state (South Dakota had a $100,000/200 transaction minimum, but we expect that many retailers will easily exceed this). That means that likely everyone selling anything online to other states must now comply with that state’s sales tax requirements. With 45 states collecting state sales tax and 38 of those adding local sales tax on top of that, you have a potential compliance and reporting nightmare for small online retailers.

So, will every small online retailer now have to file 45 different sales tax reports, pay 45 different bills and potentially get audited by 45 different agencies with 45 different sets of rules? It’s possible, and that’s where we hope sanity will prevail. There are already some reciprocal sales tax collection practices in place, but if the states are smart, they’ll come up with some truly uniform procedures for reporting and collection. Otherwise, the cost of compliance will likely drive many small retailers out of business, and that would be even worse for state tax bases.

At eBlox, we’re cautiously optimistic that this will bring some kind of harmonization to state-level sales tax collection. Luckily, we already offer “rooftop”-accurate sales tax collection on our storeBlox CS e-commerce platform, so if you’re selling in multiple states, the only thing you have to worry about is cutting (potentially 45) checks!

Categories: Articles