News in Shop 8/20

%-Discounts!

Actually, the discounts were supposed to help with the reduction of the VAT in Germany, but then this became a more hard piece of work. Now, discounts on item basis (or on product group basis in PCG) are taken into account as well as individual discounts for customers who enter the shop via discount groups. Previously, the discounts were only calculated and displayed correctly after a “passage” through the merchandise management system, now this works directly in the shop.

This sometimes results in an implicit increase of the minimum order value, e.g. in the case of high employee discounts. This can be corrected customer-specific – or by address.

Discounts already added in the PCG are of course still taken into account. In general, the highest discount will be applied to each item. Discount items can now also always be changed – if not explicitly blocked in the merchandise management.

Changes in the search feature

Search terms that suggest that the customer is looking for regional products, now show these directly, or even just a button “Regional products”. You may even find discounts and other shop features using the search field.

Supporting Tour Models

Already with the depot feature, the reconstruction of the shop to support any number of addresses and tours per customer was started (up to now max. 5). Now this work is completed as well. This means that customers with many departments, kindergartens or schools, but also with many delivery options (i.e. depots or branches) can be better supported. Depending on your settings, you can now offer more or less flexibility, e.g. you can only display the possible addresses and not make them selectable.

The selection of one of several tours (delivery options) on the same day has been simplified – this can now be done directly in the shopping cart.

Build-In Content Management

The built-in small content management finally got a file upload. In addition, external pages can now be stored more easily, so that they can be found in the search function.

News in the shop

In the last few weeks, many activities were under the Corona sign. Hanno’s article in the documentation system has summarized the tips on this topic (in German, registration via PCG!).

In this context, functions for a more efficient control of tours have been added, which seem useful even beyond the current crisis. For example, new potential customers might end up on a built-in waiting list (based on the newsletter registration, which has also been revised for this purpose).

Also, it is possible to declare specific tours as “full” – if a newsletter subscription is set up, the visitor will then be added to the waiting list. But also when planning the expansion into a new area, such a tour – initially blocked from the beginning – can help!

The order deadlines can be set separately per tour.

Inactive customers can be blocked in the shop, this was a request to limit the customer traffic.

In order to minimize payment defaults in these times of pandemic, Paypal can be mandatory for new customers.

Delivery points

A major conversion was necessary to allow the selection of delivery points in the shop. This logic, which was already present in the PCG, is now also available in the shop, e.g. in the display of (delivery) addresses.

Initially, the selection of an actual delivery point is only intended for new customers, but more flexibility for existing customers is in progress. The selection is made conveniently by clicking on a map.

The delivery conditions (e.g. prices or minimum order value) of the delivery points can also differ from the tour.

Miscellaneous…

We’ll mention here some minor changes and corrections:

  • The article attributes sometimes require longer training and updating times. Therefore this feature (for the shops>2016) can be hidden centrally from visitors’ eyes.
  • When a customer is doing a second order for the same day, there is a text asking if he really needs a new order or just modify the first one.
  • The concept of “hidden tour” and “blocked order” have been reviewed.
  • When alcohol is sold, a note regarding the protection of minors will be added to the order.
  • Tours’ settings have their own place in the Admin area of the shop.

Minor changes are constantly implemented and all those who use the Shop 2016 as standard or in an individually designed form can check the Trello board at any time to see the status of the DInge (info offered in German). Do you still need an invitation?

Meet the team: Katja

Now it’ s Katja’ s turn:

“I was a paleontologist originally but I mutated through my passion for cooking, photography, design, writing and ecological gardening. First the Boßhammersch Hof was my new home, where I was able to participate in the implementation of the then new online shop and later in the design of the current website. In addition, I developed cooking boxes, took fruit and vegetables in front of the lens and took a look at the area of social media.

Since November 2018, I have been working for 360ff UG, where I share my accumulated know-how in the areas of social media content, online shop design, marketing and recipe boxes.

The genuine values of the organic business and above all really valuable organic products are a matter close to my heart. Therefore, I am looking forward to work with our team to develop the “Best” of the organic industry with our respective interests and focuses”.

Viruses in the engine room

On 15 March when we became aware of the problem, we were supposed to be able to handle 3 or 4 times the peak load, so we took a reasonably relaxed view of Sunday.

But this was a mistake. Requests to your stores exploded up to 20 times!

Transaktion während Corona
Traffic

That weekend we were able to successfully process many transactions.

Transactions

Fortunately, the “internet” has slowed down access to our servers a bit due to a general overload.

However, more traffic doesn’t necessarily mean more transactions (i.e. actions that you and we benefit from). On average, doubling the number of transactions increases system load by about 3.5 times.

As machinists in the engine room, we rebooted servers 24h/24, renewed and reinforced them, and we were surprised by the bottlenecks that were constantly appearing (line too small, exhausted RAM memory, full hard disks, too many connections to this or that service, mail server blockages due to heavy traffic, exhausted budget at this or that service provider…), interesting errors that only occur under heavy load.

In the following days, we wanted to make the whole system “flexible”, i.e. to be able to switch on sufficient safe resources (computing power, memory, network capacity) as required. Unfortunately, this cannot be achieved simply by “more computers”, incoming requests must be coordinated, sessions must be managed and shared caches (intermediate storage) must be efficient and fast. Your management systems (PCG) must also have fast access to data.

This purpose has now been achieved. Although we (and our colleagues in the data processing centre) were able to monitor the load just after the weekend, we made a few mistakes here and there due to the large number of connections, resulting in sporadic order cancellations, PCG bugs or missing images. Thank you for your patience! Currently, the system has been running very stably for a few weeks now, regardless of the total load. We have seen almost 2000 transactions per hour with very fast shops.

We are now in the process of organizing the new ideas that have emerged during this intensive period – not only ideas from the machine room, but especially requests from your users for better management of new customers and tours. The first functionalities, such as tour-specific waiting lists, are in progress and were put online after Easter.

Meet the team: Flo

I am pleased to introduce myself as a new member of the PC Garden team. My name is Florian, I am 28 years old and I work as a programmer in close collaboration with Erhard and Simon.

I had my first experiences with computers very early on and I am still fascinated by technology.
My first programming experience was at school, and I earned my first salary as a programmer at Krones AG in Freising as a VBA developer.

I’ve known PCG and the Schönegge family for many years, and the development of this project in Meilendorf is remarkable to me.
Cordial greetings from Bavaria!

Alternative shop now also with Neos

Already twenty companies use the Neos system with an integrated template of Shop2016 as their website. They appreciate above all the quick usability, the CMS components adapted to a delivery company, and the simple and easy autonomous maintenance of the contents.

Now it is possible to add and activate parallel website instances very quickly and easily, which are customized to the individual needs of a prospective customer/customer group. This could be used for:

  • Corporate clients, schools, kindergardens
  • Farm shop, farm areas
  • Offers of cooking seminars
  • Recipe boxes
  • Holiday flats

and in general, for everything that goes beyond the offer of a delivery company.

The Boßhammersch Hof, for example, has been offering an alternative website for office boxes since January. On www.bosshammersch-buero.de corporate customers will find an adapted menu, just the contents relevant for companies. Customers can thus concentrate on the articles and information they need and feel that their individual needs are taken care of, for example with a fixed, personal contact person in customer service.

The new instance can be implemented quickly, as it is created parallel to the existing website and maintained easily in the same Neos. The already existing media pool can be used. Contents can be copied and pasted within the websites. The possibility to change the logo, the menu and the page layout offers room for customization of the website.
At the same time, by adopting the main design concept and already known functions of the content elements, the customer is provided with a familiar reference to the main site.

Vouchers

A PCG article can be set up as a voucher. With this function, the article remains hidden in the shop and will not be searchable, but it will be displayed if it is, for example, in an order.

Or, in the case of the coupon: it becomes visible as soon as the customer enters its code (secret or not so secret). If coupons are available in the article data, the shop will display a corresponding field in the shopping cart.

A voucher will have a value, which is registered in the Merchandise Management module of the PCG, and also other useful properties of the articles, for example a description or a specific order deadline.

Examples of vouchers :

Welcome offer: 5€ discount on your first order!

For companies: a weekly voucher to reward your best team

Thank you voucher: 10€ for being our customer for one year!

Marketing offer: 5 € discount when you come to pick up your box from us!

Delayed voucher: Use this 5 € voucher if you order up to 12 hours! 
Or: This voucher will be cancelled if it is not used before Friday.

A voucher can only be used once per customer.

To advertise certain items, you can combine them with vouchers:

Encouraging subscriptions : Special summer pack: 5 € voucher for each Veg/Fruit box ordered in August!

Cross promotion : your code for a smoothie pack : fitness - < here the name of the fitness center>

Good to know: Import of bank transfers

One feature of the Customer Manager module should be highlighted: the possibility to import the CSV file from an accounting software into PCG.

To do so, a dialog is started in the Customer Manager module under “Import Transfers”, which defines the structure of the file in terms of headers, separators and masks. The CSV file can then be checked, linked semi-automatically and assigned to the corresponding customer and invoice numbers. Several filters such as “already paid” can also be applied, allowing a quick overview to be obtained.

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The steps can be found in the text “Import bank transfers” in the internal Wiki („Überweisungen importieren“ in German).

News about the online shop

These are the most relevant new features:

Search

Search results have been displayed sorting the product categories and results score. What is new is the possibility to present the results also according to article number or article sorting.

Also we are working on the functionality of the shop with helpful links, e.g. to the Delivery Pauses window.

The search algorithm has been modified to better find compound terms and product names with hyphens.

If a filter is set, e.g. according to the origin of the article, the search also considers this.

Locked orders, shop consultation

It was long-planned to improve the presentation of locked orders (e.g. for school fruit) and to allow consultation access in the online shop.

It is also possible to define other settings, such as restricting changes in the subscriptions. This can be set globally for the shop – but this function is rather intended for individual customers (in the PCG customer settings).

(These are new features for the Shop2016 model)

The Tasks Module in the PC Garden

Privacy – (Unexpected) staff changes – Optimize processes

Once again we would like to point out a feature that is often missed. For reasons that apply to all companies:

  • Since 2018, the GDPR has required us to document processes and tasks to make data protection aspects checkable.
  • This also has the advantage that these processes and tasks for the training of new employees do not have to be documented first, but are already stored in the system, making it easier to preserve fundamental know-how.
  • The employees are informed automatically and regularly on the PC that a task is pending.

Aufgabenliste

For example, the individual steps in sending serial mails.

The employee’s interaction with the “computer” also becomes easier if, for example, rare process steps that cannot be carried out automatically end up as appointments or todos in the list.

The tasks module can be found under Utilities in the PC Garden start menu.