First, let’s congratulate The Whole Almond on their future success. They are about to launch this new online store, and they have new products in the works that will change their business. It’s an exciting time!
Here’s a rundown of a project I recently completed with a client I’ve known for years, and I’m happy that we got to work together to get them off on the right foot.
The Goal: Build an automated order taking system focusing on multiple locations and bottle deposits with the transaction that is easy for the shopper and The Whole Almond.
Project: Setup Square Online Store as a pre-order multi-location pickup.
Client Challenge: With summer farmers’ markets about to begin, they wanted things setup fast and to have a system of working so they can hit the ground running with orders online.
They had been using Square for years on the Phone and for invoices. It was great to get this going in a way that did not change anything about their current business.
Getting setup the first time with any shopping cart system involves the same thing… payment setup, settings, product information and photos, and determining the site’s look. And when it’s done, you link to it on your website and BOOM!… launch.
Getting setup is also mostly ONE TIME WORK, so I am thrilled to help get all that done with 30 years of experience instead of a client doing it themselves struggling through documentation and details never sure how it will come out until it the end.
Here’s what the homepage, choosing a location, and product detail looked like…
As we reviewed the site, one location was only for pickup every 3rd Saturday. I didn’t have the answer about how to do that at first, but eventually found “Restricted Dates”, which is more like “the days we aren’t open”. I put in the Saturdays she was NOT fulfilling and now people easily see the next pickup date during ordering and on the receipt.
Here’s what that looked like…
Then the bottle deposits and returns …
Bottle Deposits involve clear display of this on shopping pages and on the receipt, returning that deposit if a bottle is returned, and making sure you can track it.
The products were already set up with a “mandatory modifier” forcing the shopper to see and use this $2 add-on. That’ translated well to the online system, and we did not change anything, which is always nice. The visual came out perfect and is exactly as I would have prescribed. And you can track it by adding up all milk product sales that is easily shown in Square sales reports and probably your accounting software.
Returning deposits were another story. After searching online deep into the night, it seems bottle returns are a problem for TONS of businesses and there is no definitive answer. Breweries are up in arms all around the country. This is clearly a problem for lots of people. Most will need to make some software work around to fit their system and track it.
Now, they already had a bottle return system using cash, and do not get many bottle returns at the moment. For now, they’ll keep using that same system. But I think we planted the seed that using gift certificates for bottle returns was good for marketing and operations. And they are selling gift certificates in the mean time, which is new for them.
Here’s what the bottle deposit looks like for the customer and for us on the back end.
And here’s what someone’s cart looks like showing the location and pickup time and the bottle deposit…
And the Gift Certificate system is a part of, yet separate, from typical “Square orders” in that you can only see purchases under Transactions and in sales reports. It turns on at the click of a button, and you can make your own custom gift card.
After getting the shopping system working to our satisfaction, we added a link to the current WordPress navigation so it’s ready to launch.
From here they call me as needed, and I do what we can to keep them moving forward through emails, education and connecting one-on-one.
As with many small operations, there’s more to do that money and time do not allow for. Clients are able to reach out anytime to get support for what we’ve done at no cost, and I hope to always be the go-to guy to help engineer the next thing.
Using the free version of Square, we were able to accomplish this “pre-order multi-location pickup”. That’s pretty amazing. However, I do recommend people upgrade minimally for a professional image and better tools and support.
I really love the gift certificate bottle return here. It brings customers right in to the fold and makes a great marketing tool. Really great stuff I look forward to hearing how this all goes in coming months.
If you made it all the way here, I sincerely thank you for reading. I wish you many online sales and a great rest of your day.
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