Refunds - a friendly reminder

As you probably have noticed, there are two types of refunds in the system. So which should you use? Here's a quick explainer.

1. Do you want to return tickets to stock and refund money? 

Yes? - Use 'Refund by Quantity'. You're all done.

No? - Next question.

2. Do you want to refund money but not return to inventory?

Yes? - Use 'Refund by Amount'. You're all done.

The key point to remember is that the system cannot figure out your intentions so it is cautious. When you use refund by quantity, you are essentially forcing the system to return items to inventory. But, when you use refund by amount, the system doesn't know what you want to do so it plays dumb and only refund money. No items go back into inventory. 

What does this mean in the backend? Good question. It means that in instances where you refund by amount, you are likely to see tickets missing from your inventory that do not have a matching attendee in the event roster. 

 

How to create a blog

Basics for blogging

You have a blog now. Great! What do you do now? This article will walk you through the steps for creating a blog. We will show you some key features for styling your blog and discuss some things to keep in mind when creating a blog post. 

Accessing the blog editor

You can find your blog in your backend. Click 'Frontend Blog' from the navigation pain on the left. From there, you will see your existing posts and a button for creating a new post, conveniently labeled, 'Add New Post.' Click that and you should see this:

The basic blog editor screen. 

Getting to know the editor

The editor is composed of 4 basic functions:

  1. Blog title input
  2. Content input
  3. Featured post toggle
  4. Image upload button

Here's that same screen shot annotated. 

Not much to it!

Featured Toggle?

Lets jump first to the most non-self-explanatory feature. The Featured Toggle allows you to mark a post as one that should be on your home page no matter how many blog posts you have posted. 

You get to have 3 posts on your home page at any one time. By marking something as 'Starred' or featured, that post skips to the head of line no matter what. 

What happens if you mark more than 3 posts as featured? Good question. The system then uses the most recent 3 posts. 

How do I find all of my blog posts? 

Another good question. Your blog is available at your homepage link/blog. So for Wine & Design Durham, it would be wineanddesign.com/durham/blog

From this page, you can select any post and see what it looks like. Of course you can also see your posts in the backend, but you won't see how they look published there. 

Pro-Tip: Get the link and share it

You should publicize your blog. An easy way to do this is to link it in your social media posts. Simply go to your blog page, click on an article and copy the URL. You can then add it to any social media post to drive traffic to that blog post. 

Lets talk content

So now lets jump into the mechanics of creating a blog post. There are 3 main content types: 1) the title; 2) the body/content and 3) the image. 

Title

Your blog title is important. It signals to the customer what your post is about. It is also the big bold text that is displayed on your homepage. So, name it carefully. One thing to avoid is an overly long, descriptive title. Try to make the title catchy and attention grabbing. Think Buzz Feed. They are good at this. 

Body/Content

Your content is the meat of your article. Here you will communicate everything you want in your post. A key thing to note here, is that it works like any other text editor. You type in text and can style it using the tools in the editor. 

Major styling features are annotated. You can do almost anything with these alone.

Lets define some terms in the image above:

  • Font Styles - these are things like bold, italic, underlined
  • Heading styles - these are pre-defined formats for text, like Heading 1 (biggest), Heading 2 (big), Heading 3 (medium), Heading 4 (Smaller), etc. You use these to quickly differentiate the headings of a paragraph. This post uses them. Can you tell where? 
  • Size and font - this is the style for the selected text or the text you are about to type. 
  • Lists - list are bulletted or numbered lists. Like this one for instance.
  • Links - this is the button that informs the editor to make a link composed of the selected text, like this. Simply select the text to use as the link and copy the URL into the URL field.

What about images? 

We didn't discuss these. If you notice, there is an image button (its next to the flag icon) in the editor. This can be used for inline (i.e. in your content) images but requires the image to exist online somewhere and that you know the URL. This is an advanced feature. 

For general purpose use, we have added the image upload button. You can upload a single image that is featured in the post. It will appear prominently on both your homepage and at the top of the post. Its like the Hero image from your homepage. 

Save and Publish

Once you are happy with your post, simply click 'Save changes' at the bottom of the editor and your post will be published immediately. Easy.

I've just walked you through a simple post. Most blog posts should be simple and straight forward. They are used as a conversation with your audience. However, you can do a lot with blog posts. Check out our other article on advertising Art Buzz Kids Camps as one example. 

Art Buzz Kids Camp Setup

As the year ends and we turn our attention to 2016, we thought we'd detail how you can use a combination of the newly available blog and juicer to promote your Art Buzz Kids Camps! This article will assume that you have finalized your camp plans and are ready to announce those plans to the world. If you haven't, please do so before beginning this process. We don't want to confuse your customers! 

Step 1: Put your camps on the calendar

The online system can be used to book your camps. Simply create an event that begins on the first day of the camp. Make the start time the actual start time of the first day of camp. Have multiple camp options, i.e. half day and full day, make separate events for each. Set your price accordingly. 

How do we handle multiple day events? Good question. We can't. At least not without confusing your list view and signups. We are only going to put the event on the first day of the camp on your calendars. So, instead we are going to use the event title and the description field to communicate the schedule to your customers. We will return to the description in a second. 

KEY POINT: Copy the event URL for later use in your blog and social media posts. 

Step 2: The Blog

Your new blog allows you to quickly and easily create content for your site in many forms. In this case, you can use a blog post to announce your camp schedule and post sign up information. To begin, draft an announcement post that contains everything you want to tell your customers about your camps. We are going to use this post in social media and in the event descriptions SO MAKE IT A GOOD ONE!

Remember that event URL we copied, you should make links and/or buttons in the post for your customers to click on to book their camps. Use the URL we copied and they can go directly from your blog post to booking their camp. Have multiple events or camps? Put in multiple buttons, just change the URL to the appropriate event URL. 

Don't forget to make the blog a featured post so it stays on your site! Use the toggle. 

Step 3: Social Media

So now we have events we can link to AND we have a detailed blog post you can point people to to get more information. Next step, reach out to your customers via social media. You'll want to use the blog post link in social media. 

Don't forget to go into your Juicer account and feature your camp posts so they stay prominent on your website!

Step 4: Add a button to your Art Buzz Kids content

We have the blog post featured on your site and the Juicer posts featured, but why not feature your camps more? 

We are going to use the 'Reach Out' content area to put a camp announcement in your site. Specifically, we are going to put a button pointing to your blog post in there. Here's how to do that:

  1. In your back end, go to 'Front end management' > 'Art Buzz Kids Details' > 'Reach Out'
  2. Delete what's in there and paste the following in there: <button type="button" onclick="location.href='[blogpostURL]';">Summer Camp Information!</button>
  3. Copy your blog post URL into the link above in place of [blogpostURL].
  4. Save changes

You should see a button in the 'Reach Out' section of your art buzz content area. 

Congrats! You have now created a set of content announcing your camps, linked multiple posts to that announcement, and linked your events to those posts. 

 

Introducing the ability to set Meta tags

We have rolled out the capability to set your studio's meta tags in the Front End Management pages. Select the 'Meta Information' option to reveal this function.

You can set your franchise's studio page and calendar page tags. 

What are meta tags?

Meta tags are descriptive tags that do not appear on your website but are seen by search engines when the crawl your site. Setting these tags will help Google, Bing, Etc. understand what your site is about so that relevant search terms yield your site. 

What should I put in my tags? 

Good question. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a bit of a moving target since Google and other search companies are constantly changing their algorithms. However, some best practices do apply. Below you will see some sample tags and descriptions that you can use for your studios. Simply replace the studio names, location and contact information to fit your studio. 

Franchise Page Meta Title:

Wine & Design Cary NC | Paint and Sip Wine & Painting Parties

Franchise Page Meta Description:

Wine and Design Cary NC – Top Choice to Paint and Sip Wine – Get Your Art Buzz On, Call Us Today at (919) 535-8695 – Wine & Painting Parties near Raleigh.

Calendar Page Meta Title:

Painting Party Cary NC | Sipping and Painting Classes | Call (919) 535-8695

Calendar Page Meta Description:

Wine and Design Cary NC – Top Choice for Painting Party in Cary & Raleigh Triangle– Get Your Art Buzz On, Call Us Today at (919) 535-8695 – Offering Sipping and Painting Classes & Parties Near Raleigh.

Introducing order comments

We recently rolled out the capability for customers to add comments to an order. During checkout, they have the option to add a few words regarding their order. 

You will see these comments on the Event Roster in the comments field. You will also see them in the relevant order. There, you can edit comments just as before. 

AN IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW:  When you edit an order's comment, only the most recent comment will show on the roster. If you need to add to a customer comment, be sure to copy the entire comment and then add to it. This way the customer comment is preserved on the roster. 

 

Introducing User Management

Add, Edit and Delete User Accounts

You can now manage your system's user accounts right from the dashboard. This blog post will walk you through the steps. 

Accessing User Management

You access user management via the top of the back end screen.

Click to enlarge.

Clicking the person icon will reveal a drop down box. Select 'User Profile' to access the user management screen.

User Management 

The User management screen allows you to perform all user actions. 

Click to enlarge.

You can change your password, create new accounts, or edit existing accounts. Be sure to save changes!

User Roles

We have created two roles: 1) Studio Manager and 2) Artist. Each user you create must be assigned one of these roles. The role assigned will dictate what the user can see and do in the back end. Specifically: 

  • Studio managers can perform all actions in the backend except for viewing the dashboard and financial reports. 
  • Artists can only view the calendar. 

You set the role at the top of the new user screen. See below. The drop down field sets the role. 

Click to enlarge.


Creating Unique Coupon Codes/Voucher Codes

You may have encountered an error when creating a coupon code or voucher code. The system says something along the lines of, "This coupon code has already been entered." You swear you haven't used the code before. So what gives? 

You are encountering one of the downsides of a database. All locations are sharing a database, even if you can't directly tell. So, when one location uses a coupon code, the system restricts any other location from ever using that code again. This is designed to prevent accidental changing of coupon code deals and other problematic side effects. 

So what can we do about this? 

We recommend that you use a standard prefix at the start of your coupon codes and voucher codes to ensure that your codes are unique. Lets walk through an example:

  • You want to create a code = HALLOWEEN
  • To ensure it is unique, add your studio number to the front of the code, making it now: 51HALLOWEEN

You can do other things with prefixes and suffixes to add more information to your coupon codes. For example, you can append a letter denoting what type of coupon/voucher this is. Say you are doing a marketing campaign. Instead of 51HALLOWEEN, you could make it 51PROHALLOWEEN to denote the promotional (i.e. PRO) coupon. I'm sure you can think of many other uses of this approach. 

This is just one way that you can use the features enabled by your new e-commerce engine to help your daily studio operations. Have you thought of others, we'd love to hear about them!