## Monday, July 26, 2010

### Come see our new web store

Wow. It seems like forever since I did a blog posting. In reality it was only a week while I went on a short vacation.

In the meantime we have also opened a web store for Excel Math, so people can order our curriculum online. It's been in development for about a year. We really started moving on it when ENSTORE (which links to our accounting system) started their beta testing.

I can tell you that it takes a lot of time and energy to create web pages, and even more to create a store where you can see the products, their interaction with other products (Student Lesson Sheet answers are in the Teacher Edition, Projectable includes a PDF version of the TE, etc.), calculate shipping, learn the sales taxes for your ZIP (postal) code, pay with various means, etc.

We have all this tied into our main accounting system so the inventory stays synchronized with orders from the web as well as the telephone, fax, mail, trade shows, etc. Part of the process involved going through and revising product codes, descriptions, pricing, etc for all our products.

Then I had to take pictures of every individual product so they could be accurately depicted in the web store. We'd never done that before. In some ways it's an easy task, but these three-box sets weigh about 80 lbs. When you have to move a bunch of the boxes, it's a chore.

Q1. How big a chore was it to photograph all the books?

Let's see:

We have 62 boxed set products, with an average box set weight of 25 lbs, so 62 x 25 = 1550 lbs.
We have 7 Student and 7 Teacher Editions at an average weight of 2.5 lbs, so 14 x 2.5 = 35 lbs.
We have 6 Projectable products at an average weight of 2.5 ounces, so that's about a pound.
Let's guess another 25 lbs for the Summer School products.
The grand total is 1550 + 35 + 1 + 25 = 1611
I moved close to a ton of products that day in taking the photos!

It might seem like every company is able to take orders over the web, but that's not always the case. In our world, most customers are school districts and they buy using purchase orders and pay later with a check. That takes some special handling because state laws and regulations govern how these transactions occur. We haven't turned on the purchase order features.

One neat thing we discovered in our store is the ability to tell where our sales taxes are going. Look at this example:

You can see at the bottom right that California takes some tax, San Diego County gets some more, and Poway (poor city) gets nothing on the sale of textbooks. If you are outside California, don't worry, there's no sales tax.

It seems like this sample order is a pretty high total - almost \$1100, but on the other hand, it includes a year's worth of math curriculum for lots of people.

Q2. How many people and how much per person?

A2. Let's see:
35 + 15 + 15 + 22 = 87 students + 2 teachers
\$1092.67 ÷ 89 = \$12.28 per person, including tax and shipping.

What a deal - and everyone gets the same low price!

We wish we could offer more excitement in the sales process like our Southern California neighbor Cal Worthington but we're not that kind of business... and Brad doesn't like snakes.