Tip of the Week December 19, 2011
Volume: 1 | Issue: 2

WebStore Advice

Have a BookManager WebStore? Hooray! Here are some easy things to consider for optimal impact with minimal effort:

  • Site logo – Does it include basic contact information for your store (at least a telephone number and address?) Since the logo is the first thing a customer sees, it should give an “at a glance” reference to how to contact you. Another great addition is adding your hours. We’d be happy to have a look at your logo and re-design it (if needed) to add this information.
  • Domain name - The “default” address for your WebStore (something like www.bookmanager.com/1234567) is a bit cumbersome for most customers to remember. They could use the browser’s Bookmark feature to add the site to their list of favourites but only those who use your site on a regular basis will make this effort. A better way for customers to find your site is to apply for a domain name (e.g. mosaicbooks.ca). We’ve worked with an excellent domain name provider called Netfirms to set up a few of you with your own domain name, and we’d be happy to do most of the work to get the rest of you set-up with a domain name. Decide on the name you’d prefer; we’ll work with you through the rest of the process to make it easy and painless. Domain names cost about $9.99 per year – a small expense for a huge benefit.
  • “Google” yourself – How easily can you find your store online? With our two second digital attention span, it’s crucial that your customers don’t have to spend a lot of time to find you. Getting a domain name (see above) will help enormously; setting up appropriate metatags on your site will also help browsers to find your site. We’d be happy to give you metatag suggestions and help you set them up on your site.
  • Add a picture of your store - Not sure what to put in the center “blurb” area of the site? If you’ve got a store photo or two, we’d be happy to help you add these for some visual excitement on your site. Humans are visual creatures – you might as well have some store photos there to draw their attention to any text you may want to add. A new customer who wants to drive down to your store will also appreciate the visual hint on how to find you amongst the other business in your neighborhood.
  • Frustrated by the pricing your WebStore is displaying? There are many factors that go into the pricing that’s displayed online. If we’ve enabled your WebStore but you haven’t had any time to review these settings (or don’t know what settings to review), then the online pricing might not reflect your store’s pricing “realities”. This can be frustrating for you and misleading for your customers. Please don’t stay silent – let us know! Usually it takes only a few minutes of conversation and a couple of changes to make the pricing accurate.

Don’t have a BookManager WebStore? Not sure if you’re ready to dive into the world of the Web? The reality is that the days of the phone book are done. If a customer can’t find you online, they are probably not going to go any further to look for you. We can enable a WebStore for you right away (provided you meet a few requirements) and would be happy to put aside some time to work together with you to get the WebStore going.

Our goal is to provide a WebStore that offers your customers maximum impact with minimal work needed from you. The points above should ensure that your customers have what they need from you without you needing to do anything more elaborate (of course, there are many more options for users who want to spend more time customizing their WebStores, but we know that not everyone is comfortable or knowledgeable with the “digital universe” – that’s why we’re here!) Please contact us if we can assist you with any aspect of your site – from graphic design to domain name or anything else, we’re here to help you!

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Tip: Time saving shortcuts in the POS
It's a busy time of year for all you folks and we want to remind you of a couple time-saving shortcuts for processing sales/returns in the point-of-sale.
  If you are discounting items on the fly [ie: a discount is not already applied in the "notes" field of the inventory card] - did you know you can apply the discount before scanning the item? Instead of taking those precious seconds away from your busy holiday season by fumbling around, arrowing up and editing - you can simply type in the ISBN field //XX - where xx would be the discount you are offering. Then you just scan the item in and there it is with the discount applied!

Another shortcut to save us time, is one we use when we see customers approaching with multiple copies of something - again, instead of scanning the item, arrowing up to Edit the Qty, we simply type in the ISBN field *# - where # is the number of copies they are purchasing.

You can also reduce the qty for a returned item, before you scan it in. After starting a new transaction, just enter -# [where # is the qty being returned] in the ISBN field and scan the item.

Making copies of transactions is also a good way to save time, especially for big transactions or even items that are being sold again and again. We find this function really helpful for author events or any situation where you are selling the same ISBN again and again. Simply hit C to copy and it starts a new sale with the same items found in the previous one. Keep in mind, if the last sale was a customer-linked one, it will put in that same customer into your new transaction.

In our store, we are fortunate enough to have one or two laptops floating around with networked copies of BookManager on them. We do have four POS stations at the front of our store and obviously a friendly and efficient customer service experience is our number 1 goal - but these laptops have never been more convenient than around this busy time of year.  We definitely take advantage of them when we do have queries from cute grandmothers with mile-long lists, or last-minute shoppers with no clue what to get.  Its a major advantage for us to be able to take these customers to another station, so we can give them the attention they deserve, all the while keeping our actual POS stations processing those sales of shoppers who are ready to head home to start wrapping!

Along the same lines, when we are looking up books for customers we always, always, always use the W Web function to see what the cover looks like, [unless its something like the Steve Jobs bio and in that case, we are pretty confident we know what it looks like.] In our experience, quickly launching a browser to confirm what the cover looks like, makes the process of locating it on the shelf a lot easier, especially this time of year when every second counts.

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Webstore Tips: Where the heck did the News & Events editor go?

Nope, you’re not crazy – in our recent “mini-renovation” of the BookManager WebStores, we eliminated the quick link (blue box with the pencil) to the News & Events editor (this used to be found in the News & Events header – which is also gone. We saw this area being used in many different ways by different stores, and as a result, in many cases the “News & Events” title just didn’t seem to fit for what the area was being used for. So we did away with it.)

You can now access this same area from within the News link in the top toolbar of your WebStore (choose “News & Events”). From here you can create new Events, or delete or edit existing ones, just as before. (The quick links to edit individual Events are still on the main page as well.)