Post by PinkApe404 » Sat May 31, 2014 10:16 pm

Guys Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

I am looking into some Order Processing / CMS / CRM systems to handle the flow of incoming orders, transaction emails, and shipping. Essentially from the time the customer walks through the door to a final follow up email and so on. There are a ton of paid services out there some of which I have looked into. Can anyone share what works for them and is cost effective?

Goals: Integrate Customer Orders, Communication (Emails), shipping, marketing into one platform without costing me an arm and a leg.

How do I do this without spending an arm and a leg?

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Post by uNeverNo » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:56 am

Opencart seemly handles those well. So what exactly do you want?

Post in the forum yet no one's willing to help? Contact me for free opencart coding or configuration assistance. Reach me at uneverno1986#gmail.com(replace # with @). But no free extension development request. Sorry about that :( It could take a few days to make a complicated mod.

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Post by VictorDrummond » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:47 pm

PinkApe404 wrote:... Essentially from the time the customer walks through the door to a final follow up email and so on. There are a ton of paid services out there some of which I have looked into. Can anyone share what works for them and is cost effective?

Goals: Integrate Customer Orders, Communication (Emails), shipping, marketing into one platform without costing me an arm and a leg.

How do I do this without spending an arm and a leg?
You can add substantial functionality with carefully selected extensions...

It helps to have some kind of a plan first, which I must admit I never did have that roadmap initially, hey it started as just a hobby for me, although the further I progress, the clearer I understand what needs to come next ...

Although by no means an exhaustive list, some of what I've implemented thus far that is relevant to your above question is :

* Custom HTML email (where you can create standard templates that can include all the variables such as customer name etc, order information),

* Package tracking link insert-ability into customer account history,

* Blog Manager to (amongst other things) create customer feedback page where customer can leave comments on your own website ( my example),

* Automated follow-up email sent 2 weeks after order status "shipped", to invite customers to either reply or chat with you and/or share their experience by way of a comment on above page. I think this is a very powerful marketing tool that has encouraged trust to potential international customers so they place the order.

* Most important to any business should be ACCURATE financial recording...
Not only of raw sales and tax totals but also on the input side - Cost Of Goods Sold, AND other business related expenses. If not get serious about that then it will always be a half-a*sed "business" that will not go very far, IMNSHO .

Before I was recording financials on spread-sheet but it takes far, far too much time like this.
Recently implemented on-line accounting package Xero and OC to Xero integration extension.

Xero also receives very easy to set-up data feed from both Paypal and business bank account for maximum simplicity and efficiency in reconciling transactions between account. The whole package saves me so much time now is almost 100% set-up. Now, site accepts payments in the customers' choice of different currencies. Before the accounting for this was a time-consuming nightmare but now with multi currencies enabled within Xero this is now all just such a breeze.

Also recently installed auto-generate OC invoice number based on order ID upon "order complete" extension to more closely control matching/linking of document numbers. This package now almost flawlessly sends the sales nett and tax amount breakdowns including separate for shipping across to Xero which records details of the sale (some of which have tax and some that do not)... Whilst simultaneously creating inventory line items within Xero that retain the OC item/model number and product title description.

This also means for the small percentage of customers who prefer to email me a parts enquiry which after chatting (not buy directly off the site), I can easily close the sale by sending an invoice from Xero that not only utilizes the standard product titles same as the OC website for each line item, the invoice is automatically created with Paypal "pay now" links to facilitate easy transaction conclusion.

With a few more minor tweaks this whole package is almost ready to write "approved" (not just draft) invoices into Xero with matched invoice numbers and amounts in any currency + records the customers address in Xero to, say perhaps justify sales with no tax based on destination.

Declaration: Yes, I did become a shareholder of Xero after becoming a customer.

Hosting for Oc 2.x: Well tested on 2.03.1 including emails work correctly, cPanel Shared or WHM VPS, managed security, fast & reliable SSD drives, Raid 10 /4 disk redundancy, server locale - Texas, contact me to discuss further.


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Post by PinkApe404 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:03 am

VictorDrummond wrote:
PinkApe404 wrote:... Essentially from the time the customer walks through the door to a final follow up email and so on. There are a ton of paid services out there some of which I have looked into. Can anyone share what works for them and is cost effective?

Goals: Integrate Customer Orders, Communication (Emails), shipping, marketing into one platform without costing me an arm and a leg.

How do I do this without spending an arm and a leg?
You can add substantial functionality with carefully selected extensions...

It helps to have some kind of a plan first, which I must admit I never did have that roadmap initially, hey it started as just a hobby for me, although the further I progress, the clearer I understand what needs to come next ...

Although by no means an exhaustive list, some of what I've implemented thus far that is relevant to your above question is :

* Custom HTML email (where you can create standard templates that can include all the variables such as customer name etc, order information),

* Package tracking link insert-ability into customer account history,

* Blog Manager to (amongst other things) create customer feedback page where customer can leave comments on your own website ( my example),

* Automated follow-up email sent 2 weeks after order status "shipped", to invite customers to either reply or chat with you and/or share their experience by way of a comment on above page. I think this is a very powerful marketing tool that has encouraged trust to potential international customers so they place the order.

* Most important to any business should be ACCURATE financial recording...
Not only of raw sales and tax totals but also on the input side - Cost Of Goods Sold, AND other business related expenses. If not get serious about that then it will always be a half-a*sed "business" that will not go very far, IMNSHO .

Before I was recording financials on spread-sheet but it takes far, far too much time like this.
Recently implemented on-line accounting package Xero and OC to Xero integration extension.

Xero also receives very easy to set-up data feed from both Paypal and business bank account for maximum simplicity and efficiency in reconciling transactions between account. The whole package saves me so much time now is almost 100% set-up. Now, site accepts payments in the customers' choice of different currencies. Before the accounting for this was a time-consuming nightmare but now with multi currencies enabled within Xero this is now all just such a breeze.

Also recently installed auto-generate OC invoice number based on order ID upon "order complete" extension to more closely control matching/linking of document numbers. This package now almost flawlessly sends the sales nett and tax amount breakdowns including separate for shipping across to Xero which records details of the sale (some of which have tax and some that do not)... Whilst simultaneously creating inventory line items within Xero that retain the OC item/model number and product title description.

This also means for the small percentage of customers who prefer to email me a parts enquiry which after chatting (not buy directly off the site), I can easily close the sale by sending an invoice from Xero that not only utilizes the standard product titles same as the OC website for each line item, the invoice is automatically created with Paypal "pay now" links to facilitate easy transaction conclusion.

With a few more minor tweaks this whole package is almost ready to write "approved" (not just draft) invoices into Xero with matched invoice numbers and amounts in any currency + records the customers address in Xero to, say perhaps justify sales with no tax based on destination.

Declaration: Yes, I did become a shareholder of Xero after becoming a customer.

Well Ok - Game On! :)

I 1000% agree with you on accounting from the get go. This is a CPA speaking :) - Quick or Xero is the first step.

Also Agree with you that the modules etc are added on as the need arises. One can simply spend a lifetime engineering the perfect site. But the best way to make the first sale is to actually launch it and see what works or what does not. Despite the pressure to be perfect and better than the rest, I think a little elbow grease and some failure never hurt success.

I learned to moderate the amount of time I spend between designing the site, implementing, marketing, and product research. I am sure you can easily relate a day can turn into a weekend rather quickly if you do not have a plan of action. Today I made sure to do one task and that is enable SEO URls for the site, that's it no more no less.

Nice site btw. I am right here http://www.productbeast.com

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