Monthly Archives: July 2014

Tip #196 – Replenishing an EGC


Tip #196
Replenishing an EGC

So now we know how to sell EGCs and also accept them as payment.
Next we are going to learn how to add money to (replenish) an existing EGC.
Basically, it is very similar to selling a new EGC.
Here is how…egcr08 egcr07

egcr06 egcr05 egcr04 egcr03 egcr02 egcr01

  1.  You first enter the order and sell an EGC$ for whatever amount the customer wants to add to the EGC and then print and  save the order.
  2. After the order is saved, flowerSoft will ask you a series of questions.  The first one of which is trying to find the EGC that needs to be replenished.
  3. Once the correct EGC is selected, it is just a simple matter of telling flowerSoft if the password for the card will remain the same or if it will be different.

If you have any questions, please ask.

 

Tip #195 – Accepting Electronic Gift Cards (EGC) as Payment


Tip #195
Accepting Electronic Gift Cards (EGC) as Payment

So now that you know how to sell an Electronic Gift Card, let me show you how to accept one as payment.  I am going to refer to electronic gift cards as either e-gift cards or EGCs for short.

First off, the same rules apply as with a paper gift certificate.  If the balance in the EGC is less that the total of the order you must use SPLIT as the method of payment and then select e-gift card as one of the methods of payment in the SPLIT.

So here is the process of accepting and EGC to pay for an order.
After entering the order, just before you get to the method of payment screen, you will select E-GIFT CARD as the method of payment, egcp01flowerSoft will display the following message on the screen…
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alerting you to make sure the e-gift card has sufficient available balance to pay the full amount of the order.  You could answer “Yes” if you are sure the EGC available balance will cover the total amount of the order, but what if you are not sure?   How do you determine what the EGC’s available balance is at this point?

Simple, look at the bottom of the screen.  What does it say?

To find out an EGC’s available balance you simply hit “C” at this point and flowerSoft will come back with…
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Yep, you need to know the EGC’s password.  flowerSoft told you so on the previous screen.
flowerSoft cannot assume that the person supplying the EGS is the same person who purchased it, so it cannot go be the customer’s account number.  flowerSoft has to assume that the person providing the EGC is not the same person who purchased it, hence the gift in electronic gift card.
So flowerSoft must find the card by the password used when it was purchased..  Without it, the transaction cannot be completed.

Once you enter the correct password, flowerSoft will display all e-gift cards containing that password.  It is possible that the same password was used for two or more different gift cards by different customers or even the same customer, although the latter should be discouraged.
The possibility of different EGCs with the same or similar password may present a problem, even if the passwords are not identical.
For example, if one e-gift card has a password of george and another one has a password of george2014 and you enter george as the password when prompted, flowerSoft will display both e-gift cards, as shown below…
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Why?  Because even though flowerSoft is looking for an exact match of what you entered as the EGC’s password (george), strage as it may seem to you, george2014 is also an exact match as far as flowerSoft is concerned, so it displays both cards.
This is not a big problem since flowerSoft is also showing you what the password is for each of the EGCs displayed.
Be careful though, since flowerSoft cannot assume the customer paying with the e-gift card is the same customer that purchased the e-gift card, it cannot limit the cards being displayed to a specific account and it has no way of knowing if you selected the correct card from the list.
It is also possible, though unlikely, for several e-gift cards to be displayed and only one belonging to the customer making the purchase.
Make sure you select the correct one by observing the details of the e-gift cards as displayed on the screen.  You can also press “V” to display more complete details on the EGC highlighted…
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If necessary, ask the customer for the name of the person who gave them the e-gift card so that you can make sure you are selecting the correct one.
Due diligence are two words that are thrown around a lot these days, so I am going to use them also.  Make sure you do your utmost to make sure you are selecting the correct EGC in the event that more than one is shown on the screen.

Even after you’ve highlighted the correct EGC, flowerSoft will still give you another opportunity to verify it…egcp06Notice that now you can also view the invoice on which the EGC was sold, as an additional aid in determining the correct EGC to be used.
Once you have determined which one is the correct e-gift card, select it by highlighting and hitting the <Enter> key, flowerSoft still wants to make sure you have not made a mistake by asking you to…
egcp07
to hit “A” to accept the ECG shown on the screen as payment.

A bit of an overkill but better safe than sorry.
Once you hit “A” to accept the EGC displayed as payment, flowerSoft will put the EGC number of the order and take you past the expiration date field and then ask how much money from the gift card should be used to pay for the order.egcp09 If you select to use less than the available balance on the card, flowerSoft will keep the remaining balance as available for future purchases.

If you select to use the full available amount of the EGC, the flowerSoft will assume that you gave customer whatever the balance was in cash.
In other words, the available balance of this EGC was #100.  If you enter 100.00 in the amount tendered field, the available balance of the card will be $0.00 and flowerSoft will assume that you gave the customer change, just like if they had handed you a $100 bill.
If you enter 94.40 in the amount tendered field, flowerSoft will keep a balance of $7.60 as available in that card unless you in the screen below that you are giving the remaining $7.60 as change to the customer.egcp10

After you answer the question (I answered :No” to keep the $7.60 as available balance in the card), flowerSoft will print a receipt and save the order.

In the next post, we’ll learn how to replenish an existing EGC.
In other words, how to add money to an existing e-gift card.

 

Tip #194 – Selling Electronic Gift Cards (Certificates)


Tip #194
Selling Electronic Gift Cards (Certificates)

So now we are going to learn how to sell, meaning entering into flowerSoft, an electronic gift card.

There are some Item Description Codes in flowerSoft that should never be removed.  Among them is EGC, which stands for Electronic Gift Card.

To sell an electronic gift card, you simply enter the EGC code in one of the order’s lines as shown below.  Electronic Gift Cards can be sold to the customer in person or over the phone.  An electronic gift card, just like any other gift card or certificate is exempt from sales tax, as that will be paid by the recipient of the gift card when making a purchase.egc10

 egc11Notice that there is no sales tax calculated when your customer is going to pay for the electronic gift card.

When you save the order and go through the print options, flowerSoft will then record the electronic gift card sale.egc01The best method is to have flowerSoft generate the electronic gift card number.  If you are going to swipe a physical card, you have to make sure that you do it using an old swiper that does not encode the information read from the mag stripe or you can enter the number by hand if it is visible to the naked eye..egc02As usual, flowerSoft will ask for confirmation of your actionsegc03and then for an expiration date.egc04Since we are talking mainly about “virtual” gift cards, a gift card that can be accepted over the phone as well as in person, you should answer “Y”es here.egc05The customer will need to tell you what the password for the gift card is going to be.  You can also pick the password but it is best to have the customer pick it, if possible.egc07The password will have to be entered twice to make sure there is no mistake.egc08flowerSoft will then inform you that the gift card has been recorded and ask you if you want to print and/or email a receipt to give to the customer.egc09egc12

You can choose to do both if the customer is in the store or if you want to keep a printed copy for yourself.  Below is a copy of what the e-mailed receipt looks like.

egc13

 

Above is the email version of the electronic gift card receipt.  The printed copy is identical.

Next post, we’ll learn how to accept an electronic gift certificate as a method of payment and how to replenish the value of an existing electronic gift card.

Reminder


Reminder

Have your employees exit all the way out of flowerSoft before they go home each day.

I am seeing a lot of workstations left in the New Orders menu, Time Clock and other applications.

Have them log all the way out to their desktops.

Failure to do this prevents your backup program from backing up all your files.

One day, sooner or later, you are going to need a good backup of your data and you may discover you do not have one.

So please, make sure you and your employees exit all the way out of flowerSoft before they go home each day.

 

Tip #193 – Gift Cards and Certificates


Tip #193
Gift Cards and Certificates

We are all familiar with gift certificates.  We’ve either given them to someone or received them from someone.  They are most time printed on paper and, if from a small business or shop, usually hand-written.  Most of you probably carry them in your store.
A few of you might ever carry your own personalized store gift cards, with your name and logo on the card.   Gift card sales are expected to hit $200 Billion in 2014

Your own gift card is a very profitable item to sell.  Why?  Because not only does it potentially bring new customers into your store but also, according to the latest research, 8 to 10% of them are never used.  That is a huge number.  And that number is for Visa, Amex and big store gift cards which are a lot easier to redeem than your shop’s gift card.
Think about it, that means that if you sell $1000 worth of gift cards $80 to $100 go straight to your bottom line.  In my opinion, your own gift cards would have a much higher rate of non-redemption since they have to be used in person at  your store, which makes it kind of inconvenient for the recipient of the gift card.

Remember the early days of Dove and Mercury?  Some shrewd florists never used these electronic systems to send outgoing orders.  They would rather incur the expense of phoning them out (and some still do) in the hope that the filling florist would never report the transaction to the wire service.  Well, while that might no longer be as wide-spread as it was when most shops did not have POS systems,   I’ll bet that even shops with a fancy computer system still fail to report some of the phone-in orders

While the big profitability of phoning orders out might have mostly gone away, the profitability of selling gift cards that might never be claimed is definitely still here in a big way.  Remember that 8 to 10% goes directly to your bottom line, so you want to get in that action.
However, most florist have a difficult time selling gift cards and/or certificates to their own stores.  Why?  Precisely for the same reason you want to start selling those profitable gift cards.  Most consumers realize that a gift card that can only be used in person at your store is a lot harder to redeem than a Visa or Amex card that can be used anywhere, so normally they would opt to buy a Visa gift card over a gift card issued by and only redeemable in person at George’s Flowers and Gifts.

So how do you overcome this obvious obstacle of trying to sell a gift card that can only be used in person at your store?
flowerSoft has had the answer for several years now but only a few of you know about it and make use of it.
The answer is a “virtual” gift card.  A gift card that can be used by the recipient without the need to physically be in your store.  That should overcome one of the main objections consumers have about buying your own store’s gift card.

In the next post I will tell you how to sell and re-deem these electronic gift cards through flowerSoft’s point of sale program.

Tip #192 – Gift Certificates as a M.O.P.


Tip #192
Gift Certificates as a Method of Payment

As you all know, flowerSoft allows GIFT CERT. and E-GIFT CARD as methods of payment.

GIFT CERT. usually refers to a paper gift certificate that you fill by hand.
E-GIFT CARD refers to either a physical magnetic store gift card (LoCo or HiCo) or a virtual gift card, which flowerSoft allows you to sell and will do all the booking for you.

But this post is not about the different types of gift cards or gift certificates.  It is about how to use them when accepting them as a method of payment.

As you are probably aware by now, flowerSoft will only allow a balance to remain on an invoice if one of these 4 methods of payments is used:
1. ON ACCOUNT
2. C.O.D.
3.  Pay on P/UP   or
4. COURTESY

all other methods of payment require that the invoice be paid in full.

However, it is common for a clerk to enter GIFT CERT. as a method of payment when presented one by the customer.  What the clerk normally does not realize is that GIFT CERT. or E-GIFT CARD will not allow a balance to remain on the invoice and (until now) would ask the clerk if he/she wanted to switch the method of payment to C.O.D. or PAY on P/UP.  The clerk would normally answer “No” to the question and then a vicious cycle of events would ensue, ending with an frustrated clerk and an unhappy customer.

So, to avoid this happening in the future, what flowerSoft will now do when a clerk selects either GIFT CERT. or E-GIFT CARD as the method of payment is this:

gc01

flowerSoft will remind the clerk that the GIFT CERT. value must be equal to or greater than to total of the order and ask him or her if this is so.  If they answer “Yes” flowerSoft will let the method of payment remain but if they answer “No”, flowerSoft will tell them exactly what to do.

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erasing the method of payment and supplying the SPLIT method of payment automatically.

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The clerks should be instructed to use the gift certificate or e-gift card as the first method of payment in the split.

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and then pay the balance using one of the traditional methods of payment.

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Now the invoice is paid in full.  flowerSoft is happy, the customer is happy and the clerk is happiest of all.

What if the gift certificate value is larger than the total of the invoice, you ask…

Simple, just handle it as if the customer had given you a $100 bill to pay for a $90 order.
Or, you could write another gift certificate for the change due back to the customer if you feel is worth your while

This, of course also happens with virtual gift cards.  If there is a balance after the payment is applied, flowerSoft will tell you how much remains on the gift card and ask you if you are going to give customer the remaining balance or if it should keep it as an available balance in the card.

On the next post I’ll explain how to sell and accept virtual gift cards as payment.