Auctiva Commerce's latest software update should make the holidays happier for many sellers as it introduces a long-awaited feature, cuts users' workload and helps merchants build their brands.
"The primary focus of this release was inventory management," notes Chris Eckland, Auctiva Commerce's product lead. "We wanted to improve the capabilities of Auctiva Commerce in this area so that our users could more efficiently find, import and edit their products."
Eckland says he's most excited about the new Inventory Search and Bulk Edit features included in the software update.
"[These] should dramatically streamline the day-to-day product management tasks," he adds. "I was also pleased to be able to release Google Checkout, as I think it is crucial to offer multiple payment options to online buyers."
Merchants have been asking for Google Checkout for some time, Eckland says. The checkout allows merchants to tap into Google's vast network of online shoppers. However, there are some limitations to Google Checkout that sellers should consider before offering it in their stores.
For instance, Google Checkout does not allow merchants to ship products to multiple addresses in one order. And users should note that when buyers purchase items that are housed in multiple warehouses, Google Checkout will create multiple shipments for that order. Sellers can read more about these limitations in Auctiva Commerce's tutorial.
Despite these limitations, Eckland predicts that the addition of another payment option will make many users very happy.
"We have seen sales processed through Google Checkout already, which is the ultimate barometer of success," he says. "Unfortunately Google Checkout does have some baked-in restrictions, but we are working on improving the way we handle those restrictions to make Google Checkout a viable payment option for more of our users."
The e-mail import is a strong tool, which will help our store owners advertise their stores and hopefully generate sales
The enhanced Bulk Edit feature will likely be a favorite among merchants, allowing them to change more than 25 product attributes at once, and even apply one value to all products, so sellers can quickly edit their products and focus on filling holiday orders.
"With Bulk Edit, the product management tasks are streamlined, and the e-mail import is a strong tool, which will help our store owners advertise their stores and hopefully generate sales," he notes.
The ability to import past buyers' e-mail addresses from sellers' Auctiva accounts should also make merchants happy, Eckland says. This convenient feature will enable Auctiva Commerce merchants to more easily market their stores directly to buyers with whom they've already established a relationship on eBay.
Auctiva Commerce has also introduced new payment gateway setup screens, which will be a big help for users who are still in the process of getting their stores up and running. The updated pages make setup simple.
But those who have already set up their payment gateways should take this release as a time to double-check their work. During the creation of these pages, the Auctiva Commerce team noticed that many merchants had not properly set up their PayPal settings.
"Taking a few minutes now to verify these settings will help ensure that orders received are processed smoothly during this busy holiday season," Eckland says.
They can even add the new Payments by Mail option if so inclined, to accept checks, money orders and other mail-in payment options more efficiently.
In all, Auctiva Commerce introduced more than 20 updates in its latest release. And developers are already working on new features, which include enhancements "to better deal with the restrictions inherent in Google Checkout," Eckland notes, as well as updates to automated gift messages and gift options.
To see a complete list of Auctiva Commerce's latest enhancements, please read Eckland's Community Forum post.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.