#AskAnExpert – May 2018

Episode 9 – Payment Gateways

#AAE – Episode 9 – Payment Gateways

How do payment gateways work and how secure is your shoppers credit card information? Find out in this week's latest episode of #AskAnExpert.

Posted by BrightStores on Friday, May 4, 2018

Episode Recap

Does your client want to allow shoppers to use credit cards in their brand new Company Store? Perfect, we’ve got an add-on for that! Payment Gateways allow you and your client to capture credit card information input by shoppers and are one of the most secure ways to process credit cards online. We integrate with several of the large providers, including:

  • – Authorize.net
  • – Stripe
  • – PayPal Website Payments Pro
  • – Square

How does it work?

There are multiple ways that payment gateways can work but at BrightStores we utilize a third party, PCI compliant company called Spreedly. Through their iFrame method, our stores are able to send information securely to the payment gateway. Which means that we can never see your shoppers credit card information, even while they are entering it onto the site.

While there is an unlimited number of reasons why someone might want to use a Payment Gateway in their store, one of the most common reasons you might want to consider using a Payment Gateway is if you have a public facing store. Most often times these stores are set up for events like marathons or 4ks but they might also just be for cool branded merch that your client wishes to sell to the public. Uniform stores will often use Account Balances with Payment Gateways. That way if an employee is allotted 1 new uniform each year but would like to purchase an extra one, they can.

Payment Gateways & MOAS

Unfortunately, Payment Gateways cannot be used with the Manager Order Approval System. This is because while credit cards have a specified time limit in which they need to be processed, MOAS doesn’t. Normally managers approve order’s as they come through but what if your manager, Jon Smith, just left for his 3 week honeymoon in Bora Bora where he won’t have access to WiFi? Most people wouldn’t be able to wait 3 weeks for Jon to get back and approve the order, plus it’d be impossible to get the credit card company to put the payment on hold for that long. For these reasons, credit cards and MOAS can not be used together in any of our stores.

Ready to start? Perfect, all you need to do is set up an account with any of the four providers that we integrate with. Then just simply flip the Payment Gateway Add-On switch to “on”, add in your account information, and you are ready to start processing credit cards right away!

Episode 10 – Company Store Programs

Episode Recap

When it comes to running a program on your Company Store, the possiblities are endless. Some of the most common types of Company Store Programs include:

  • – Uniform Programs
  • – Awards Programs
  • – Reward & Recognition
  • – Points Store
  • – Giveaway Programs
  • – Loyalty Programs

 

One of the biggest benefits to running a program through your new Company Store is that it’s incredibly efficient for both you and your client. For example, instead of having someone from your client’s marketing team go around and collect every employees size and color preference for the cool, new corporate branded tshirts,  Company Stores provide one central ordering location so each employee can simply enter the online store and place their own order. No more emailing back and forth or faxes.

Does each program need it’s own store?

Absolutely not! Ninety-nine percent of the time you don’t need a separate store in order to run another program on your Company Store. The one exception to this is if you are wanting to start a points program. Points and dollars cannot be used in the same store, it needs to be one or the other. So if you would like to start a points program but would also like to use dollars, you will need to start two separate stores. For the most part though you can optimize your store to run as many programs as you or your client’s heart desires.

Episode 11 – Company Store Design: Past, Present, & Future

Episode Recap

From the dawn of the internet to the birth of retail eCommerce sites like eBay and Amazon to the humble beginnings of Company Stores, there is one thing for sure, things have evolved. In the episode above BrightStores Store Art Director takes a walk down memory lane reviewing stores from our past and present. Below are a few of the fundamental ways our Company Store designs have evolved over the years.

Evolution 1: In their humble beginning, Company Stores were fixed width, meaning that the stores didn’t auto-resize based on the size of your monitor. The stores looked small and were positioned in the upper left-hand corner of your screen. Today all of our stores are mobile responsive, meaning that they are no longer fixed width and will resize based on whatever device you are using.

What Sparked These Changes: At that time most computers were desktops and only came in a handful of sizes. Over the last decade computers, and technology in general, have been getting smaller and more portable. Because of that the way people use computers, or more importantly how and where, has shifted from the office to almost anywhere, which is why it’s important that our stores be mobile responsive.

Evolution 2: Before the digital boom of design most websites had basic color schemes, lackluster visuals, and were text heavy. Today our stores feature large slider images, bold graphics and visual elements, and are much less text heavy. You can even make your store so custom that the header will change color as shoppers scroll down.

What Sparked These Changes: As marketing and advertising moved from print to online so did Graphic Designers and their go-to tools. Coding has evolved, and the digitization of design has brought society to expect good design, no matter what. Gone are the days where text was preferred. Big, bold images and engaging visuals are all the rage, and our stores always reflect the latest trends that your clients expect to see.

These are just two of the numerous evolution’s our stores have made throughout the years. As for the future, easy to navigate stores and sequential ordering are beginning to trend, and our stores will continue to evolve in the years to come. Not only from the changes in the world and technology around us but also through feedback from clients like yourself.

Trends Defined

Sequential Ordering – Users are guided step-by-step in selecting products in a store. A user will be taken to a category and in that category, they must choose 1 item only. They are then taken to the next category, and this process repeats until they’ve selected 1 item from all categories.

Episode 12 – Custom Domain Names

#AskAnExpert Episode 12 – Custom Domain Names

What are custom domain names and what are the benefits of using one in your #CompanyStore? Tune in as Megan and Akhil talk #CustomDomainNames. #AAE

Posted by BrightStores on Friday, May 25, 2018

Recap

We’ve all heard of custom domain names, but if a co-worker stopped by and asked you to identify the domain name in a URL, some of us may have a bit of trouble pinpointing its exact location. So what is a Domain Name, how is it identified, and why might you want to use one in your client’s next store?

URL & Domain Names

URLs are like GPS coordinates. It tells us the location of a specific resource. When looking at a URL, the domain name is always the part that ends in .com, .net, .org, and so on. In the example below, the orange text is the domain name.

Benefits

Custom Domain names have a couple of key advantages. The main reason to use a custom domain name is that it provides a consistent brand experience. For example, if you are starting a Company Store for Spotify, a custom domain name allows you to have everything in that store, including the URL point to Spotify and not the distributorship or BrightStores. When shoppers go to access the store, they will see

Secondly, if your customer already has a website they have been using but are now transferring to BrightStores, it allows for a seamless transition for shoppers avoiding potential user issues and preventing loss of activity in the store.

If you are interested in starting a new store with a custom domain name, reach out to our team at marketing@brightstores.com and we’ll help you get started!

 

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This post was written by Megan Reberry