Holiday Shipping: How to make sure your customers get their orders on time

Santa Claus has it easy. With a workshop full of elves making and wrapping presents, and magic reindeer to fly him around the world, he doesn’t have to worry whether or not little children will wake up to presents under the tree. Online retailers, however, aren’t so lucky. Not only do you have to make and stock your products, you have to deal with the hassle of getting them to customers during the busiest shipping time of the year.

With 44% of Americans shopping online last year, and more than 40% of them waiting to start their holiday shopping until December1, eCommerce businesses have unique challenges during the holiday rush. If you don’t have your own elves and reindeer, here are three things that you can you do to prepare for the holiday season and make sure that your customers get their orders on time.

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Does my online business need to collect sales tax?

Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Siffrein Duplessis

Benjamin Franklin famously noted that the only things you can be sure of in life are “death and taxes.” What he didn’t count on when he said this was the implementation of the sales tax and the resulting questions you may find yourself asking as an online retailer. In the most general of terms, if you’re in the business of selling anything, you may have to pay this particular tax. Here are four questions to ask about your business to determine your sales tax liability:

Question 1: Is it a business or a hobby?

First off, are you actually operating a business, at least in in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service? If your store is very small or not making any money, the IRS might categorize it as a hobby. Hobbies don’t have to collect sales tax, but they also can’t claim any losses as deductions

The IRS considers an activity a business  if “it is carried on with the reasonable expectation of earning a profit.” Even if you aren’t currently making a profit, if you’re spending significant time, effort, and money on your eCommerce endeavor, the needle points towards the business category.
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Shipping tips to help your eCommerce business during the busy holiday rush

The holiday season is well under way!  Is your eCommerce business ready for the high volume, shipping deadlines, and demanding shipping requests and services?  We’ve compiled these 5 handy tips to help you through the holiday rush.

1.  Mark important shipping service dates

Make sure you know when FedEx, UPS and USPS are open for service.  Here are their shipping calendar for November and December 2013:

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The Challenges of Managing Product Attributes, Options & Variants

This post is long overdue. In the past 5 years, we’ve had hundreds of conversations with customers, partners and within our team on the subject of product attributes, options and variations. In fact, it’s so complex an issue that it’s the topic of a stand-alone training session for every new team member that joins Webgility!

I’ve been procrastinating writing this post for a while now but a curious email from a customer this morning about synching attributes finally got my fingers rolling on the keyboard.

Before you read further, I recommend grabbing a cup of your favorite beverage because this could take a little time. I wish it didn’t but then again, I wouldn’t be writing about it if it were simple.

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Webgility’s eCC supports 2-way sync between BigCommerce, QuickBooks and Shipping processors


Since we’ve integrated eCC with BigCommerce in June 2011, we’ve gotten great feedback from BigCommerce retailers looking for a seamless way to synchronize their online orders, customers and inventory with QuickBooks.
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