What is one of the biggest challenges to running a successful eCommerce store?
Taxes. More specifically sales and use tax.
Fluid would certainly be one way to describe the world of tax. It’s a world where change is inevitable and not being knowledgeable and compliant is both risky and quite possibly costly. If you are like most eCommerce retailers, you want to sell your product(s) everywhere you can. The more geographic areas your eCommerce store reaches the greater the sales potential. The downside? Navigating the troubled waters of tax rules and regulations.
Did you know that there are more than 12,000 state and local tax jurisdictions in the U.S.?
And their rules and regulations are constantly changing!
Given the unprecedented changes to both selling and buying behaviors resulting from COVID-19, businesses large and small across the country are responding to a new economic reality; a reality in which e-commerce is playing a greater role. And many predict that the role of eCommerce will continue to expand with its changes being here to stay.
So one can surmise that with fundamental changes in how people shop and purchase in favor of eCommerce businesses, more tax regulations and increased potential for audits will not be far behind.
What’s an eCommerce business owner to do? The smart bet would be to manage your entire sales and use tax process with tax technology automation from a provider like Vertex, a Kadro technology partner.
Over 40 years experience in tax technology
More than 4000 customers
Their solutions are used by over 55% of the Fortune 500
Vertex Indirect Tax is designed to manage the end-to-end tax lifecycle -- automating calculation, returns, and exemption certificate management in a single solution. The system integrates with your Magento eCommerce platform (You are on or considering Magento for your eCommerce needs aren’t you?) to deliver accurate tax calculation on every sales transaction.
With Vertex Indirect Tax:
Charge Your Customers the Correct Tax on Every Sale
Pay the Right Tax on Your Purchases
Get Accurate Tax Reporting and generate signature-ready returns
VERTEX offers other tax solutions as well for things like payroll taxes, lease taxes and more.
Read more about Vertex solutions by visiting the Solutions page of their website.
Upgraded and Enhanced Magento 2 B2C eCommerce Website Showcases Uno Alla Volta's marketplace of artisan-crafted products and collectibles
Uno Alla Volta means "one at a time." It’s a meaningful way to describe the products and collectibles designed and handcrafted by artisans throughout the world that are available for purchase on the Uno Alla Volta eCommerce marketplace. The artisans making the products sold by Uno Alla Volta use techniques and technologies that are both old and new – some passed down through the generations, others more modern and newly developed.
The Uno Alla Volta vision is “to bring the human connection into every interaction with every customer, artisan, co-worker, and supplier – thereby enriching their lives. By so doing, we enrich each of our own lives as well.” This vision manifests itself in the Uno Alla Volta storefront, a place that provides handcrafted fashion and designer accessories, home decor, kitchen, decorative glass, and pottery sold to consumers across the globe.
Back in early 2019, Uno Alla Volta was facing a number of business and technical challenges. The initial implementation of their Magento Commerce website by a previous partner did not meet the company’s expectations. The website had ongoing performance and reliability issues which negatively impacted their eCommerce business.
Uno Alla Volta hired Kadro to assess and improve their eCommerce solution on Magento Commerce. The project direction and goals became clear quite quickly. Reorient the site's implementation to a Magento-standard approach, stabilize the website’s implementation and in so doing return the company’s eCommerce business to a path of growth that supports their customer base.
So the team at Kadro got to work and within a few short months was ready to implement a revised and stabilized Uno Alla Volta website. Looking back from today, one can say that the project goals were achieved. The site is now more stable, updates for minor and major Magento upgrades are less costly, the site's content is easier to manage, and the site search experience is greatly improved.
Here is what Martina Honovich, Digital Marketing Manager at Uno Alla Volta, had to say about the experience.
“Our partnership with Kadro started as a site rescue. After a failed migration and launch to Magento with a different vendor, the Kadro team worked endlessly to get our website stable, upgraded and back on track. We needed a partner to step up and support us through it all and Kadro has delivered. I look forward to the continued partnership as we enhance our website and drive growth to reach our eCommerce goals.”
“We extend our sincere appreciation to the management and marketing team at Uno Alla Volta for placing their trust in Kadro during a particularly precarious period for their online business,” stated Ariel Mordetsky, Vice President of Revenue at Kadro.
To learn more about this project, visit the Uno Alla Volta Portfolio page in the Portfolio area of the Kadro website.
Technology Partner of the Month
Gorgias provides helpdesk solutions for eCommerce helping merchants transform their customer service from a cost center into a profit generator. With Gorgias, online merchants can provide enhanced, personalized, customer experiences based on data from their Magento eCommerce platform. The system provides the ability to create rules-based automated responses to repetitive customer questions which saves valuable support agent time. And the system uses advanced machine learning to detect the intents and sentiments of customer messages which helps merchants set priorities and categorize tickets based on what they're about. Learn more by visiting the Gorgias website.
Quality assurance, perhaps not the most glamorous sounding occupation, yet none is more essential to the success of software development and implementation projects. After all, it is quality assurance professionals that ensure a company meets their clients' expectations by making certain software builds, in this case Commerce websites, are thoroughly tested from top to bottom and are in-line with the company’s quality standards, customer’s requirements and overall project deliverables.
Enter Karen Abrams, Kadro’s Software Quality Assurance Engineer
Karen is both a company and industry veteran having worked at Kadro for over 12 years and before that for many years at other well-known technology companies. As such, Karen has worked on just about every project that has come through the door at Kadro - testing almost all of them. Aristotle reportedly once said, “Quality is not an act. It is a habit.” Karen is in the habit of ensuring quality in the websites Kadro engineers for its clients. That’s why she is in charge of QA for the entire company. Of her role she states “I never thought about a QA job, but it's perfect for me.”
What does it take to be a successful quality assurance engineer?
A mixture of technical and interpersonal knowledge, skills and experience.
Absolute attention to detail.
Strict adherence to processes, especially ones centered around software testing.
A firm grasp of computer science and software engineering principles.
The innate ability to communicate to individuals within a diverse project team that they are doing something wrong. This is something Karen points out as being “getting paid to do what comes naturally.”
How does Karen match up against these success criteria?
Pretty well we’d say! After all, academically she was her high school’s valedictorian and she followed that up rather nicely with what we’ll call triple success at the collegiate level by earning a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Vanderbilt University. Why triple success? She did it with a triple major in electrical engineering, computer science and math. Now that’s impressive! Always one to keep the acquisition of knowledge at the forefront, Karen is also a Adobe Certified Expert - Magento Commerce Business Practitioner which obviously comes in handy given her involvement in all those Magento website projects for Kadro customers. May need a bigger business card though to fit that one in.
Change will do you good
Karen has seen her share of change over the years as Kadro matured from a company located in a small office off Old Wake Forest Drive in Raleigh, with barely 10 people, a handful of projects, and a ping pong table (a useful outlet for finding inspiration and channeling frustration) to what she describes as the present first-class office space on Corporate Center Drive where the company is headquartered now. It’s a company that has grown to a staff of over 60 people (all U.S. based) and more projects than she’d care to count.
When asked about what she likes about Kadro, Karen mentioned a few things. First on the list, the respectful environment. “Anytime I say something, it's taken seriously and acted on quickly (unlike with children or the ex)”. Ah, she has a sense of humor as well. Other things she particularly likes, “My smart, dedicated, hard-working coworkers and being able to work from home occasionally (pre-Covid era) and full-time now.”
Outside of the office, Karen pursues her long-time interest in Genealogy, a subject that continues to gain widespread attention, and she keeps up-to-date on the world of finance by listening to financial podcasts on a daily basis, plus she’s an avid reader - historical fiction about women is a favorite.
New Blog Post
Your eCommerce Store Customers Want This!
More informative blog posts and an eBook! Stay tuned for future announcements.
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