News in shop 6/22

As usual, small adjustments and error corrections have been made to the system. Here we will briefly mention some of them:

  • Search in the shopping cart: This is helpful for large shopping carts and completes the sorting possibilities in the shopping cart. Both elements must be integrated and, if necessary, adapted by the web designer.
  • Irregularities in the data cannot always be detected – there are now alerts (email or SMS or PCG) that signal them before the customer is aware of them.
  • Mass mails can now be sent out slower automatically. This reduces the workload of sites or customer service for certain actions.
  • Optimisation of the automatic detection of “spam-clicked” returns. This ensures a high delivery rate of e-mails.
  • The new e-shops respect all the requirements of the new legislation (Omnibus), including the modification of the reference quantities or crossed-out prices.
  • New options for shop elements allow the web designer, for example, to build simpler pick-and-buy logics into the web pages.
  • Seasonal articles are no longer paused if they correspond to a cancellation.
  • The CSS test is back! This wasn’t a priority for the new shop templates, but it’s easier to build and test an alternative CSS during the process – and saves a staging system when it’s “just” the design.
  • There are new options for the minimum order settings: the value of a packing station can now override the total value, or a high total order value can sometimes override a packing station specific value.
  • After the PCC user meeting, the cancellation option has also been reviewed.

Nostalgia:

We have definitely unplugged the good old Schönegge model. This first – and super-fast – Javascript version of the shop was still operational until the end of 2021 – so for more than 18 years! Well, not everyone thought it was pretty 😉 – and it hadn’t been in conformity with the law for a while.

Legal requirements for basic price units from 28.05.2022

Since February 2022, the unit “100g” is no longer available as a basic price unit in new software versions. In the PCG update, it has been or will be replaced by the unit “1 kg” on items whose basic price was affected, and converted accordingly, in order to be in line with the changes to the Price Indication Ordinance (PAngV) from 28.05.2022. If the basic price unit for certain articles remains “100g”, we recommend that you update PCG instead of changing them manually.

The basic price specified by law is intended for easy price comparison for consumers, must be clearly attributed to the product, but must not be displayed larger than the selling price. It must be indicated as a price per quantity, including VAT and other price elements. The usual units of quantity are kg, litre, metre, square metre or piece. The base price does not need to be indicated if it is the same as the final price or for quantities of less than 10 g or 10 ml.

This post does not constitute legal advice. For more detailed and accurate information, please look for more information yourself.

Logistics

Most users of our system have their own logistics, which has proven particularly useful in these pandemic times: not only is the quality under their own control, but the lack of capacity is also easier to manage. In addition, in-house optimisations typically result in very efficient (and low CO2) delivery.

Bikes, drones

But service providers can of course help, especially when it comes to peak times, or specialists, e.g. bike messengers in city centres, (limited) electric vehicles or drone deliveries. Sometimes this becomes a permanent collaboration, beyond helping during rush hours.

Ok, we actually can’t report a cooperation with a drone delivery service yet, but we already have some experience with bicycle delivery services. It is possible to transfer the relevant data (addresses, weights, number of boxes, sizes) to the IT of the respective partners, usually once the packing process has been completed. Depending on how these partners have organised their drivers, the order of the boxes at the transfer point is also important, and this can deviate from the internal optimisation.

It could even go so far that the partners receive a preview of the upcoming deliveries before the actual order deadline or the end of packing – and then report their desired packing order back to the system.

In addition to the previous manual export of the tours from the goods management system, there are now several IT interfaces to logistics systems that are common in the logistics sector. Not only is data sent automatically, but also the feedback “delivered” or “in delivery” comes back to us in the system and can trigger the familiar customer feedback (email, SMS, push). Even the not-so-trivial refund management is getting better and better and is sometimes already fully automated.

Depots

Another commonly used optimisation idea are depots: besides the de-facto depots of the customers (customer A also receives the boxes from B and C), these can also be the market places or friendly farm shops.

A depot can be public in the system – i.e. selectable for every (new) customer – or private. A private depot is typically assigned in the ERP system, but can also be protected by a secret code, so it can be used by someone to have their order delivered there.

The secret code is sometimes also the key to a delivery system (e.g. Sesame Boxes), whose depots should of course only be opened by authorised customers. Such systems also require space management, as subscriptions and orders reserve this space in the future.

Of course, this capacity information can also be useful for any other depot. A depot that is “full” is then no longer available for further orders.

Tours

Capacity management is also helpful for tours in order to achieve the efficiency described above. Some values can be stored in the system for this purpose, e.g. number of orders or maximum customers who can be supplied.

How did I do?

The paths of customers are inscrutable …. or at least difficult to understand. Time and again there are weeks when users ask if something was wrong with the shop, e.g. because there were fewer orders than expected. From the point of view of our system monitoring, we see “global” events, such as the end of a beautiful summer day or the rush to the shop during a half-time break. But at the shop level, there are of course too many influencing variables, from local holiday periods to promotions, so the most we can do is provide comparative information.

A small line has been added to the billing area of the shop admin area:

The bottom line shows the average development of the transactions of all other users of the system (> 130). This user was much better than average in April and May.

It is still not easy to compare business figures with the previous year, but the jumps in the 1st corona wave in Germany from March 2020 continue to confuse simple reports.

By the way, April 2021 was the first month in many years in which we (as a user community? As an industry? ) fell short of the figures for the same month last year – no wonder given the increase last year:

2019 represents a rather “typical year”…

Soon there will also be new evaluation options in the PCG, here are a few first screenshots:

Incidences

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Orders in March 2020. Peaks are on Sundays

For all of us, March is the anniversary of a sudden increase in sales.

What next? Perhaps the “incidences” tell us something. First of all, we appreciate that the first wave brought us the highest number of visitors; unfortunately, the October wave did not have the same effect.

The annual cycle has little changed: March has always been the strongest month. In 2020, however, it has risen considerably while drops at Easter and the summer holiday period have remained similar. Only the peak before Christmas shows that there was less mobility after all.

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Transaction statistics for the last few years

The growth of the last few years also seems to continue despite the Covid.

The permanent arrival of new customers appears to be higher than in previous years. The proportion of non-subscribing customers has also increased somewhat, but this varies greatly from one company to another. Long-term companies generally have better results than the rest of the market.

Not surprisingly, tour planning has been needed and used much more often. More information in this image:

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Tour planning from March 2019 to February 2021.

The increase in the volume of emails is somewhat surprising. Obviously, the shop settings were also modified much more frequently to match the daily activity. Paypal also worked well with us:

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Top: Paypal transactions. Middle: Settings changes. Bottom: Mail volume.
From March 2019 to February 2021.

During this period we had to rebuild a large part of the infrastructure, so we can keep making progress.

You can find more statistics in the PCG or in the admin area of the shop.

PCG user meeting 2021

As in previous years, our PCG user meeting will take place at the beginning of the year. We expect even more registrations, because you can go online from your home or office to the topic of your choice. A certain number of users will be able to join us in the meeting centre (if all goes well).

As usual, you may register with Andrea! The topics and fees for the meeting, which will take place from 03-05 February 2021, will be published soon. According to tradition, on Wednesday evening there will be a preview of the software development in the future and we’ll introduce the planned activities.

Please make use of this future oriented way of exchange and training. This time there won’t be limits because hotel capacities. That’s one positive aspect of this special year 2020!

News in Shop 12/20

In the shop, a help feature is now available – first of all there are six categories that show the most important differences from our application to “ordinary” shops. The texts are customizable, can be displayed automatically only for new visitors or can be integrated into the design by the web designer.

Search

Searches now also show customers about their own discounts and give information about filter options, if for example “vegan” is entered in the search field.

Tour limits

After a while it has been possible to block some tours for new customers. From now on, however, you can also enter capacity limits directly, so that you no longer have to constantly check it.

Minimum order amounts can also be set separately for individual tours and set delivery costs according to the delivery address.

Labels

With the cooperation of the website designer, labels can be defined more easily, for example to tag special products (“Delivered in a cooler” or “in a returnable jar”). As the available space is usually limited, this has to be done individually according to the layout.

The seasonal indicator, which indicates that the product may no longer be available in the future, especially for subscriptions, is a new and standard feature. If desired, it can also indicate price changes of products in the shopping cart.

A note will automatically appear in the shopping cart if the item has an earlier order deadline that differs from that of the order.

https://oekobox-online.de/v3/shop/amperhof/eu.px?bs.i=PGI&bs.w=0&bs.h=0

Important changes have also been made to the display of EU origin indications. In the administration area you will find an overview of the articles concerned, and you can now search for terms directly in the EU database.

Geo

In the administration area, on the geographical section, there are new presentations of the tours, including a review of past tours. This makes it easier to plan, for example, adjustments. For this purpose, the data are now also kept longer.

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?

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.