Over the years we have met many small business owners who have a brick and mortar store or sell at farmer markets, flea markets, craft fairs, etc…When they came to Bluehive Interactive looking to expand into a new sales channel for an online store, we were more than eager to learn about their business goals, research their unique needs, put together a proposal and in the end deliver an amazing e-commerce website.
The Great Divide
In the past, having an e-commerce store and a physical brick and mortar posed some unique challenges.
- How does my POS talk to the website?
- How do I handle accounting for e-commerce purchases vs in-store purchases?
- When I sell something at the craft fair it is still showing in my inventory on the website. What if someone visits my e-commerce website and purchases my one of a kind jewelry item, but I am at a craft fair and I just sold that item an hour ago in person?
Certainly each of these are legitimate concerns! Using one integrated system for online and offline sales will help you to keep your sanity. Keeping your books straight will keep you Uncle Sam happy. Maintaining your inventory will keep both your customers and you happy. You’ll never need to worry about overselling and you’ll always know what you have on hand.
In the past, keeping your inventory synced was a HUGE headache for most online and offline store owners. We’ve experienced our clients pain. For most industries you have have a finite amount of inventory on hand. Most businesses cannot easily just go back to the “shop” and create another QTY of a product to replenish stock. If you have multiple suppliers or handcrafted items which take several days or weeks to create, this can be a huge inconvenience for both you and your customer. No one likes having to go back to a customer who just placed an order and tell them that you oversold your current inventory.
What is the Fix?
In the past we had to look for ways to string together multiple third-party systems to allow the e-commerce store to talk to the brick and mortar offline store. While some of these systems worked very well, we found that many times there were parts which were just stuck together. It did not make for a smooth transition between the 2 worlds.
The folks at WooCommerce teamed up with the folks at Square (makers of the popular Square Up POS) and created a seamless link between the 2 platforms.
Square Up is a card processing system that you connect to your iPhone, iPad or Android phone. Essentially, when you register for a Square Up account, at SquareUp.com (which is free to do), the company sends you a small square card processor that plugs into your smartphone or iPad (additional hardware is available – receipt printers, cash drawers, tablet stands, chip readers and Apple Pay).
Once you have your Square Up card reader, you can begin taking orders in person. The final piece of the puzzle is to purchase the Square for WooCommerce add-on(Bluehive Interactive maybe able to get you a discount on this). The current price for this is $79.00 and includes 1 year of support and updates by WooCommerce.
Let the Magic Happen
Once configured, your Square for WooCommerce add-on will allow you to easily sync your inventory from WooCommerce to Square and vice-versa. The add-on also provides you with the ability to utilize Square as a payment processor for your online store.
When someone visits your WooCommerce enabled e-commerce website and places an order, the order data will be maintained in both Square and WooCommerce. If someone walks into your shop and purchases a one of a kind piece of jewelry, Square will communicate this purchase back to WooCommerce and take it out of the website inventory, thus preventing it from being purchased online. Goodbye disappointed customers…
Are you looking to integrate your offline and online systems? We’d love to learn more about your unique business challenges and allow the talented and experienced team at Bluehive Interactive provide you with a WooCommerce and Square Up integration today! Drop us a line to how we can help you process up to $1,000 in credit card sales for free during your first 180 days.