Company Stores: Sales Tax, Shipping, & Payments

When building a Company Store for your client, you’ll probably be most excited to work with your client on the “eye candy” of the store – picking out the products and creating a beautiful store design. While not probably not nearly as exciting but equally important is working through the details of determining if you’ll need to charge sales tax, what your shipping strategy will be, and how users will ultimately pay for the products.

Sales Tax Options

Sales tax is not everyone’s favorite topic when it comes to managing a Company Store program, but you’ll be thankful to have worked it out early in the process. The first step is to determine if you need to charge sales tax, we recommend turning to your accountant for help. If you do need to calculate and collect sales taxes on orders placed in the store, we have a few options to help you make that happen.

Sales Tax Integration – Our Company Stores can integrate with third-party solutions, such as Avalara, to provide real-time rate calculations, ensuring you comply with detailed tax code regulations. We highly recommend this option if your store requires the most accurate sales tax rates for orders.

Zip Code Sales Tax Option – Another option for calculating sales tax is to utilize our zip code sales tax feature. This option allows you to select the states you need to charge for sales tax. The store will then pre-load zip code based tax information from the system’s database for the states you specify. When a shopper enters their zip code at checkout, the tax rate for that zip code will be applied to their order. The database is updated periodically. If you need real-time rates, go with an integration.

Custom Sales Tax Rate – You also have the option to enter a custom sales tax rate to be applied at checkout. You can set it up to charge sales tax by country, state/province, or zip/postal code.

Keep in mind, these options calculate and collect the sales taxes charges from orders placed in the store. You will still work with your accountant to file and remit local and federal taxes.

Shipping Options

When it comes to shipping, the store will estimate and add shipping charges to the order, collect the shopper’s shipping address, and get their shipping preferences (ground, overnight, whatever you allow in the store). All of this information will be used to engage with the carrier of your choice.

Real Time Shipping Rates using FedEx, UPS, USPS
Utilize the most efficient shipping method for your products by pulling in real time rates from USPS, UPS, and FedEx. Shipping rates are calculated using the product weight and dimensions along with the origin and shipping addresses. These rate calculations are then added to the final order total.

ShipStation Integration
ShipStation offers more capabilities than just calculating shipping rates. You can print shipping labels, and generate pick tickets and packing slips. ShipStation will also let you manage all of your shipping accounts in one location, and will automatically send the tracking information back to your store.

Custom Shipping Rates
Set up one flat rate for shipping no matter the size or weight of the order.

You can also add in a handling fee and validate shipping addresses to help improve real-time shipping rates and delivery. There are a lot of options to work through, so talk to your client about the carrier they want to use and what options will be offered to shoppers. You’ll also want to organize these details with your filfilment team.

Payment Options

Company Stores often serve as a distribution center for your clients and their employees. When you talk to your client, you’ll probably hear something along the lines of, “Oh, we don’t want our employees to pay for anything out of pocket! The company will purchase all of the products.” Well, that’s great news for the employee, but your client might want to collect information from the shopper as some form of “payment” or set limitations on how much the employees can order to keep their budget from getting out of hand.

Credit Card Gateways
If your client decides they want the employee to be responsible for the entire order or a portion of the order, you can easily set up a payment gateway (we like Authorize.Net, Stripe, and Square) which would allow you to accept credit card payments through the store securely.

Custom Payment Methods
Custom Payment Methods are fun because you can create any form of payment your client needs! You can use a Custom Payment Method to accept purchase orders, cost codes, department codes, and even set up payroll deductions. Anything you want!

Balances, Gift Certificates, Coupons
You can also give users a credited amount to spend by loading a balance or a gift certificate directly into their account. Additionally, coupons can also be used to apply discounts to orders or to incentivize shopping in the store.

Spending Controls
You can also help your clients make sure their spending doesn’t get out of hand. With Manager Order Approvals (MOAS), managers can approve or deny a shopper’s order before the purchase can be completed. Budgets can also be put into place to give a group of users a cap or a limit to track spending. For example, you might give the marketing department a budget of $10,000. Every time a user in the Marketing Group makes a purchase, that purchase will count against that budget. Budgets and Account Balances are often mistaken for one another, just remember that an account balance gives a user an amount to spend while a budget keeps groups of users a cap or limit on spending.

Working through the Sales Tax, Shipping, and Payment details before actually staring the store build will make the process much easier. So dive right in!

So, what next?

Let’s get started! Our team is happy to help you work through these details so you can get all the right information you need from your client.  Contact Us to get started or join our Company Store Weekly Demo.


This post was written by Lucy Taylor