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The Future of Ecommerce

The Future of EcommerceHow small and medium-sized businesses can survive and win in a world that always wants more

There was a time not long ago when you could walk to your neighborhood store to buy toilet paper. A bell would ring as you walked through the door, and you could expected a greeting from the store owner. You knew exactly what you needed and where it was located—it was all familiar. The owner, also the cashier, always remembered you. You would hand over your cash and, in return, there would be a receipt from a mechanical register printed and handed over. The entire experience was personal, simple, and convenient.

Selling Without Boundaries
Today, commerce looks much different. Walking to a store is no longer the most obvious choice. Consumers want the toilet paper on their doorstep without leaving the comfort of their couch and without paying a single penny more for it. From now on, there is no #omnichannel, #multichannel, or #ecommerce. It's all just COMMERCE. Here's how SMBs can adjust. #Unify @ParagMamnani Click To TweetThe neighborhood store from the 1970s and 80s—which was transformed into a mall in the 90s—has since been consolidated into a global marketplace accessible on a 5×3-inch screen. Now commerce consists of

  • online marketplaces—Amazon, Jet, eBay, Rakuten, Alibaba, Etsy
  • tablet POS systems – Square, Lightspeed
  • social shopping—Instagram, Facebook
  • virtual reality—Alibaba and many others in development
  • digital wallets—Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, PayPal
  • voice-controlled devices—Alexa, Siri, Google
  • same-day delivery—Amazon, Google Shopping

In an instant, customers can see reviews, compare prices, check availability, customize orders, personalize products, and buy it all from stores located anywhere in the world with just a tap on their device. Continue reading

6 Must-Have Technologies for Magento Ecommerce Success

6 Must-Have Technologies for Magento Ecommerce SuccessSix game-changing technologies that help sellers improve efficiency and scale.  

There are at least 10 million ecommerce companies worldwide trying to bring their businesses to the next-level: larger profits within a sustainable growth rate and a loyal customer base.

The target might be the same and it might be very clear but it’s hard to say the same thing for the path toward it. It requires successful execution and teamwork around multiple areas of ecommerce operations. So we looked at six major ecommerce operation areas and six must-have Magento extensions/tools/partners that are working on technologies that help their customers to reach that target as they work on these strategically vital areas.The mission is not impossible. 6 Must-Have Technologies for @Magento #Ecommerce Success @Webgility @ShipStation @Prisync @Klarna @Dotmailer @Trustpilot Click To Tweet

Integrations and Back-office Operations: Webgility

Ecommerce operations, as they scale, can be very data-intensive. Managing all the data inflow and outflow to and from multiple data-points can be a challenging task and right at that points, a smart automation can add an immense value to the business.That’s where another Magento partner, Webgility comes into play to support Magento merchants in their complex business environment by automating operations, improving workflows, and reducing the effort and inefficiencies of manual data entry across multiple sales channels.

Webgility CEO Parag Mamnani: “Webgility was started with a simple mission—to make ecommerce easier for sellers by automating sales data into accounting. Over time, there has been an explosion in the number of sales channels and apps available to online sellers. As complexity has increased throughout the industry, we’ve expanded our capabilities by connecting more systems and automating more data workflows into accounting. Now Webgility Unify users can build their business however they like, and spend more time growing their business instead of running around entering data on different applications.”

This powerful value proposition certainly attracts some demand and thanks to that, Webgility currently supports more than 10,000 merchants.

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Payments: Klarna

Delivering a “smoooth” payment experience is also key to ecommerce success. An ideal payment solution should be secure, intuitive and easy to maintain. Swedish company Klarna–est. 2005–offers that ideal online payment experience to more than 65.000 ecommerce merchants worldwide, serving a total of 45 million consumers. Simply put, Klarna aims to become “world’s favorite way to buy.”

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How to Track Your Ecommerce Sales Tax

Sales tax compliance is trickier than it sounds, but it doesn’t have to be. 

It’s just a fact—every business has to pay taxes. Retailers are responsible for collecting, tracking, and remitting sales tax to their local tax authority. If you’re an online retailer, you generally must charge sales tax on purchases by customers who live in any state where you have a physical presence. But how do you know the appropriate sales tax rates for your business?

Below we outline some ways to figure it out. Much of it depends on whether you have a single tax rate or a variable tax rate.

How to Track Your Ecommerce Sales Tax
If you only have one tax rate
If you’re using QuickBooks as your accounting software, keep in mind that QuickBooks is designed for businesses that have a standard tax rate. If you’re charging all your customers the same tax rate—for example, if your business is located in a state which has a single tax rate, like New Jersey, and you only conduct business in that state—you’re in luck, because you can find the information you need within QuickBooks. If not, don’t worry, we’ll cover that in the next section.How to track your #ecommerce sales tax. From your friends at @Avalara + @Webgility #Unify Click To Tweet

In each transaction, you’ll see the tax field at the bottom. If you’re using ecommerce integration software like Webgility Unify, you can configure it to record taxes in the tax field.

If you have variable tax rates
Many ecommerce businesses use variable tax rates, meaning they calculate sales tax based on the customer’s location. Some states require this—and big states like California can have over 100 sales tax jurisdictions. Continue reading

The Supreme Court and Sales Tax: What You Need to Know

The Supreme Court and Sales Tax: What You Need to KnowFor online retailers, few issues are as confusing and cumbersome as understanding sales tax obligations in various states. Most companies either try to find an automated solution or stick their heads in the sand and hope for the best. In the face of this complexity, the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., which challenges the high court’s 1992 decision in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota. If the court sides with South Dakota and overturns Quill, the impact will likely be significant and, at least in the short run, expose many more sellers to today’s sales tax compliance complexity.What you need to know about #SCOTUS and #salestax. #ecommerce @avalara #Unify Click To Tweet

What is Quill and Why Does it Exist?

Much like today, the late 1980s was a time when states were actively seeking ways to get retailers to collect sales tax everywhere. Many states adopted new use tax nexus laws, and a plan developed to find a way to get the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider a 1967 decision declaring that physical presence was the constitutional test for sales tax collection. In the early 1990s, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota’s tax commissioner, filed suit against Quill Corporation, an office supply retailer, to get Quill to collect North Dakota’s use tax on sales made to North Dakota residents. Continue reading

Ask the Expert: Ecommerce Sales Tax

Ask the Expert: Ecommerce Sales TaxAnswers to 4 Common Sales Tax Questions

We hear ecommerce sales tax horror stories all the time. In this increasingly complex and changing industry, both new and experienced sellers are often confused about how much sales tax they should charge—or even if they should charge it at all. Let me be clear: collecting sales tax is not optional for ecommerce sellers. If your business has a significant presence, or nexus, in a state that collects sales tax, but you’re not collecting it at the time of sale, you are still liable for tax in that state, which means it comes out of your pocket. Up-to-speed on #ecommerce sales #tax law? Read this before you sell. #taxcompliance #unify Click To Tweet

That’s a clear start, but unfortunately, figuring out your local rate just scratches the surface of what you should know about sales tax. There are many variables. Sellers—who are usually not tax experts—are often left wondering if, when, and how much to collect and remit in sales tax. In the most general of terms, if you’re in the business of selling tangible products you may need to register, collect, and remit sales tax. To keep it simple, answers to these questions can help get you started in your sales tax self-assessment.
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