How to Streamline your Online and Brick and Mortar Stores

eCommerce is booming and it shows in consumer buying habits. According to a survey, 79% of consumers shop online to find the best prices. Consumers want more choices when it comes to pricing and they expect an easy checkout especially when online. With eCommerce merchant services, you can combine your brick-and-mortar and online store into an integrated payment platform.

Offer Free Shipping and In-Store Pickup

You may have heard of window shopping, but showrooming is unique to the digital age. “Showrooming” is shopping in-store before purchasing the same items online for a lower price. This puts eCommerce merchant services at an advantage because they can incentivize customers to shop with them using free shipping. Offering customers the option to ship a bigger item can keep your customers in your store instead of going to a competitor.

Opposite to showrooming is “webrooming.” Consumers research a product online before purchasing it in-store for a lower price. Consumers are looking for the best deal, so expensive shipping costs can be a dealbreaker. But there’s an easy eCommerce solution. You can offer free in-store pickup to keep them from abandoning their cart in favor of a competitor.

Integrate Your Inventory Management

Integrating your inventory management completely streamlines operations between your brick-and-mortar and online stores. Integrated eCommerce merchant services and payment solutions have unique capabilities for reporting on inventory. They can also automate your reordering so you don’t run out of a popular product.

Integrated inventory management provides peace of mind and efficiency between your two stores. You can easily and consistently anticipate costs and cash flow for both of your stores. And by using an integrated platform with eCommerce capabilities, you can also view your sales trends from a single dashboard for your convenience.

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Analyze Foot Traffic and Website Traffic for Better Sales

You can combine Google Analytics and your merchant platform to execute effective eCommerce sales and online promotions. Some merchant services platforms will offer hourly sales data. This allows you to study the foot traffic based on sales volume to determine what day is ideal for promotions.

For example, Saturday might be the best day at your brick-and-mortar store for a sidewalk sale. But an online flash sale could be most effective if it starts on a Friday night. With both promotions running, you can attract customers to both of your stores and capitalize on the weekend. And with an integrated eCommerce payment solution, you can still monitor sales from both of your stores from one place.

Add a “Shop Now” Button to Your Store’s Social Media Page

You can extend your online store’s presence on social media, especially on Facebook. If you have a Facebook Page for your brick-and-mortar store, you can add a “Shop Now” button to direct visitors to your website. You can also promote your sales on your pages and to all your followers. You can debut new products on your eCommerce page, stream events, or add product videos to your page and direct people to your online or brick-and-mortar store.

Unify your revenue streams using an integrated payment platform and the right strategies. eCommerce merchant services extends your brick-and-mortar store’s presence, so it’s natural to collaborate the two to stay on top of sales. An integrated payment platform can provide the visibility you need as a business owner to make quick decisions on inventory. It’s a great solution for managing more than one brick-and-mortar store. This includes the ability to see your multi-location data from one platform.

Partner With an Award-Winning eCommerce Merchant Services Provider

Named Best Credit Card Processor by U.S. News and World Report, we never add hidden charges or fees just for the sake of profit. Interested in seeing how the Stax Platform can help your business reduce costs and increase savings immediately? Reach out to Stax today to find out how your business can quickly save on credit card processing fees.

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Mobile Payment Processing Guide for Businesses On the Move

As a mobile company, most of your business is done on the go. This makes having a secure way to accept and process payments very important. Making sure you have a secure mobile option for customers should be a top priority so you can quickly get payments processed and be able to see your sales and costs in one integrated space.

This guide will walk you through mobile payment processing, the core benefits of using mobile payment solutions, what you need to accept and manage mobile payments, and data security.

The Benefits of Mobile Payment Solutions: Flexibility and Security

Investing in mobile payment services and expanding from a cash-only business will broaden your horizons. Instead of carrying a lockbox from venue to venue and balancing your cash drawer at the end of the day, you can check your sales from your tablet or phone. And since more consumers prefer to pay with a card over cash, you’re also providing a better experience for your customers.

Besides being a more flexible option, it’s also more secure. A cash box can be stolen or lost, but integrated mobile payment processing solutions securely store your payment data in the cloud so you can access it anytime, anywhere. And your information is protected with layers of security in compliance with the definitive payment security standards.

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A Look at Mobile Payment Processing

Mobile payment processing is commonly offered by most payment services providers. Mobile payment solutions give your customers choices and give you flexibility. Mobile payment processing is a good fit for new businesses or businesses without a home office or storefront.
When you choose a payment processing services provider for mobile payment processing, their price structure can be the deciding factor. Some payment services providers offer mobile payment processing with an added markup, or with flat-rate pricing. With a markup, each card you swipe, dip, or tap will cost you a different amount because of interchange rates.

Interchange is the price set by credit card companies for businesses that want to accept credit cards. Interchange can be tricky because it varies between card brands and card types. With flat-rate pricing, you pay a static percentage every time you swipe a card. Flat-rate pricing looks like the best deal – at first. But the more your business grows and the more you process, the more your costs add up.

The right payment services provider needs to be able to grow with your business without sky-high costs. A subscription-based payment services provider will give you a stable, predictable monthly cost – without any hidden fees tucked away on your statement.

What You Need When You’re On-the-Go

Here’s what you’ll need to increase your business mobility:

Mobile Swipers

Most payment processing services providers offer some kind of mobile credit card reader you can use with a phone or tablet to process your payments. The best feature of mobile swipers is their portability. They can plug into the headphone jack of your phone, or connect through Bluetooth and still work with your mobile payments application. You can grab and go wherever your business takes you and still have the same functionality as a countertop terminal.

Mobile Applications

Mobile applications for iOS and Android offer a new kind of visibility and functionality without sacrificing flexibility. For inventory management, you can manage your catalog items and apply discounts without leaving the application. You can go beyond a desktop computer to do business, knowing what your sales are from one hour to the next with sophisticated analytics tools like a heatmap based on sales volume.

Total Integration

In the past, business owners needed to use a different tool for each part of their payment experience. But total integration streamlines payments for your benefit. This kind of technology offers a new kind of flexibility for your business, especially when you’re on the road or with a client.

With an integrated payment platform built for growing businesses, you can process payments from your phone just as you would if you had a countertop terminal. And because all of your solutions are connected, you can check your analytics and payment information from a desktop computer or tablet.

Why Data Security Matters for Mobile Payment Processing Services

Data security is the backbone of integrated technology and mobile payment processing. Without proper fraud prevention measures, your customers’ data is at risk. With the average cost of a data breach at $3.92 million, protecting sensitive cardholder data matters more than ever. And PCI compliance, tokenization, and encryption will safeguard that data.

Integrated mobile payment solutions will streamline the way you do business. Cloud-based payment platforms will protect your data while also enabling you to access it from any computer, tablet, or mobile device. And since PCI compliance ensures your data stays secure and protected, you can manage your payments much easier than manually counting cash every day. Its flexibility is convenient, freeing you to take your business anywhere.

Interested in adding mobile payment processing for your business? At Stax, we provide easy-to-use yet highly effective mobile payment solutions to businesses of all sizes. Whether your moving business is aspiring to scale its operations or if it already enjoys a significant presence in your service area, Stax works with your enterprise business to address all of your growing needs.

To learn more about our services and how they can help grow your moving business, talk to a Revenue Consultant to request an ROI quote. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and help you obtain the right mobile payment solution for your needs.

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The Benefits of Connecting Your Business Applications With Zapier

How many business applications does your company use? Most businesses use dozens of web applications and software to manage daily operations. Solutions to manage finances such as QuickBooks, communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Office, project management tools like Trello or Asana, and many other apps are used daily to keep your business in business. 

But what happens when your business processes require your software solutions to talk to each other? Are your critical applications segmented and siloed? For many organizations, this is the case—but there is a better way! This article introduces you to an application called Zapier, a workflow automation tool that can enable streamlined communication between your applications. 

TL;DR

  • Zapier is an automation application that connects thousands of apps into workflows for your business.
  • Within Zapier, the user creates a “Zap”, and automation from a trigger that waits for a defined set of new data to transfer between the applications.
  • There are multiple methods to build a Zap automation workflow, including the AI-powered Zap builder, pre-built templates, and starting from scratch with a blank Zap.

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What is Zapier?

Zapier is an automation application that connects thousands of apps into workflows for your business. It works with over 1,300 business tools, and “Zaps” connect the two applications you’d like to integrate. The Zapier Automation Platform allows for zero-coding automation across more than 5,000 apps. It’s versatile, flexible, and easy to use—making it an ideal way to boost efficiency and automate repetitive tasks in your business.

The Benefits of Using an Automated Workflow

Reduce time spent on repetitive tasks

An automated workflow will cut your manual work in half or cut it out altogether. Zapier integrates with thousands of other applications, so you can easily connect favorite tools to your Stax Enterprise account. Automation, in general, makes it easier to manage daily operations.

For instance, you can use Zapier to connect your Stax account to your CRM to automatically add new customers every time you process a payment or send an invoice. Inputting their basic information into Stax will trigger the Zap and transfer the data over to your CRM platform. Since Zapier is so versatile, it works with most big CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot. You can even create email marketing campaigns for customer feedback or start a referral program – the possibilities are endless.

Automate your to-do list

Workflow automations can work wonders for your team’s to-do list by progressing projects to the next task. Instead of manually tracking what needs to happen next in any process, an automation can send the alert to the right person when the time is right. 

Optimize lead management and deliver better customer service

Startups, small businesses and large enterprises actually have many similar challenges. One of which is making sure the data you collect gets to the right person or team. But data comes from many sources—think social media ads, sales-initiated leads, customer inquiries, and more. How this data is received, classified and then exported to the appropriate channel can be a bottleneck and common point of failure for many businesses. With workflow automations in Zapier, lead data is sent to the right app (or apps), ensuring the right people take action.

Automate and customize order communications

Ensuring quality email communications are delivered to your customer post-sale is a critical part of the customer journey. With the right automations, you can easily communicate the order fulfillment and shipping status, flag orders in need of specialized attention, and create customized order follow up communications to drive repeat business.

How Zapier Integrations Work

The Zap is an automation created for your convenience. It’s built from a trigger that waits for a defined set of new data to transfer. When you add new data while working in your software, the Zap then takes the next “action step” to find the data and transfer it to the integrated software. A Zap is extremely versatile because it can be built to your exact specifications in order to create the best workflow.

For example, if you process a transaction in Stax and you want to add information from that transaction into a Google Spreadsheet, like customer name, email, and total amount paid, you would need to build a Zap to connect Stax and the Google Spreadsheet you want populated with the information. The Zap will then connect the two applications through an API and transfer the new transaction information every time it’s triggered in the future. Once you’ve built the Zap, you won’t need to build it again.

Creating a Zap in Stax

Anytime you want a specific action to take place between the Stax Platform and another application, you will use a Zap. You can build a Zapier integration right from the Stax platform to connect to another application. From the Settings tab in Stax, you can create a webhook tied to a particular event:

  • Navigate to “Webhooks” and select an event
  • Enter the target URL from Zapier and then save
  • Go to Zapier, “Start a Zap” and select “Webhooks by Zapier”
  • Choose your trigger
  • Once you’ve tested the step, choose the action you want to associate with the trigger
  • Choose your account and edit the template
  • Test the step, name the Zap, and turn it on

Once your Zap is up and running, it will continue to run without needing any further action.

Whatever application you use, you can automate your process with a Zap to save time and boost your efficiency. Automated workflows can work as long as you need them to – you only have to set them up once. And if you change software platforms, you can create a new Zap and still track your information.

Have more questions about using Zapier with Stax? Request a demo and learn more about how it can help you streamline your business.

With modern features, including data analysis and mobile payments, our payment systems can meet all your requirements for a better business.

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FAQs about Zapier

Q: What is Zapier and how does it relate to business applications?

Zapier is an automation application that allows businesses to connect thousands of different apps into workflows. By doing this, it helps to streamline communication between applications, effectively making business processes more efficient.

Q: Can I build my own workflow automation with Zapier?

Yes, you can create workflows to your liking, called “Zaps”, through the AI-powered Zap builder, pre-built templates, or starting from scratch with a blank template. Once created, a Zap waits for a defined set of new data to transfer between applications and takes necessary actions accordingly.

Q: How can automation via Zapier benefit my business operations?

The benefits of using automated workflows via Zapier include reducing time spent on repetitive tasks, automating to-do lists, optimizing lead management, improving customer service, and customizing order communications. Essentially, it boosts efficiency and reduces the manual work involved in various business operations.

Q: What is the role of Zapier in CRM integration?

Zapier can be used to connect your CRM to other business applications such as Stax, Salesforce, or HubSpot, enabling automatic addition of new customers every time a payment is processed or an invoice is sent. With Zapier, the data transfer process can be automated, ensuring that essential customer information is instantly available on your CRM platform for various uses such as email marketing or referral programs.

Q: How does a Zap work in Zapier?

A Zap is an automation workflow, built on a trigger that waits for a defined set of new data to transfer. When new data is added in your software, the Zap takes an action step to find the data and transfer it to the integrated software. The transfer happens through APIs and the Zap doesn’t need to be built again once it’s set up.

Q: Is it possible to automate tasks in Stax using Zapier?

Yes, Zapier integrations can be built right from the Stax platform to connect to other applications. A webhook tied to a particular event can be created from the Settings tab in Stax to trigger a specific action between the Stax Platform and another application. Once a Zap is set up, it continues to work without needing further interventions.

Q: How can Zapier help in order communications?

With the correct automation workflows in place, Zapier can help you communicate order fulfillment and shipping statuses, flag orders needing specialized attention, and create customized follow-ups to drive repeat business. It can ensure that high-quality email communications are delivered to your customers post-sale, enhancing the customer journey.

Q: Can Zapier help streamline data management?

Yes, Zapier helps ensure that the data your business collects from various sources get sent to the right person or team. By setting up automation workflows using Zapier, data is sent to the correct app or apps, which helps mitigate common points of failure and improves overall data management in businesses of all sizes.

Q: What if I change my software platforms, can I still use my Zaps?

If you change your software platforms, you can create a new Zap and continue tracking your processes and information as before. The automated workflows work as long as you need them to once set up.

Q: Where can I learn more about using Zapier with Stax?

For more information about using Zapier with Stax, you can request a demo and learn more about how Zapier can help streamline your business operations. It can help in extending the capabilities of your Stax platform by connecting it to various other applications that your business uses.


How The Stax Integrated Payment Platform Keeps Your Multiple Location Business Organized

One of the biggest challenges, if you have multiple business locations, is tracking your sales and analytics. Disparate solutions can create blind spots if you can’t access your data all from one place.

Stax integrated payment platform gathers all of your data and funnels it into one merchant dashboard. You can dig into all your locations’ sales data to see if there are any gaps you need to address.

How to Take Advantage of Stax’ Multi-Store Reporting

You can track sales from different locations on the Stax platform using merchant analytics. Stax Company Overview Report will show you data from across all your solutions, while the Stax Dashboard will compile all of your locations’ data in one place. You can see sales, outstanding receivables, and deposits. This aggregated view organizes all your information, eliminating the need for reconciliation.

To access reporting, you can select the Company Overview Report form within the “Reports” tab and choose which store locations you’d like to include in the report. The system will then gather your data and present it to you in an easy-to-read dashboard. From there, you can track and manage everything from sales trends to deposit reports.

The Key Benefits of an Integrated Payment Platform

An integrated payment platform like Stax will simplify how you track your sales and profits. When your sales data is in one place, you can make decisions faster so you get hours back that you can reinvest into your stores.

Multi-store reporting also streamlines how you invoice customers across your different business locations. If you’re using separate tools for invoicing and analytics, your data may not line up. This means spending extra time and effort in reconciliation. But an integrated payment platform can provide you with data from across all your locations and solutions.

This is especially great if you charge monthly memberships or offer package deals. Since you can see outstanding receivables, you can better anticipate your cash flow. You have a clear view of how all your business locations are doing.

Multi-store reporting and merchant analytics will streamline your processes or completely eliminate manual number-crunching. This integrated approach to payments provides not only data but the context behind it. You can pinpoint which of your stores you should focus on without needing countless solutions and accounts to do it.

The Stax platform doesn’t just help clarify your data—it helps you drive further growth for your business.

At Stax, we offer an array of payment processing solutions that help you take your expanding business to the next level.

Ready to see how our Stax integrated payment platform can help drive growth for your business? Reach out to Stax for a consultation today.

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7 Tips to Straighten Out Your Orthodontics Billing to Save Time and Money

Without proper systems and processes, managing billing at your orthodontics practice can take up as much time as you spend with your patients. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to streamline various payment-related activities in your dentistry practice.

Let’s look at the different ways to optimize your orthodontics billing to ensure that you get paid on time—while improving the patient experience in the process.

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1. Use ACH to Save on Fees

The costs for orthodontic treatments can run high, and since most payment processing fees are based on the transaction amount, you’re likely paying more when accepting credit cards.

That’s why it makes sense for orthodontists to look into alternative billing methods such as ACH payments.

ACH costs less than $1 per transaction to providers, unlike credit cards that vary in percentages, usually between 3-4% per transaction. Those savings add up, especially if you’re billing a patient for high-cost ortho and dental procedures. Once you send a patient an invoice, they can enter their bank account information and complete the payment. Patients can also set up autopay for recurring invoices so you don’t have to worry about late payments. You’ll get paid faster and at a much lower cost.

2. Offer Various Payment Options

One of the best ways to get paid faster is to eliminate any hoops that your patients have to jump through. Part of doing that lies in being flexible with the types of payments that you accept. In addition to the above-mentioned ACH and credit card payments, it may also help to support the following:

Giving patients various options allows them to choose a payment method that’s most convenient for them, ultimately helping them pay their bills in a timely manner.

3. Prioritize Patient Communication

Billing mishaps often take place when patients aren’t fully educated on their billing responsibilities. Perhaps they assumed that their bill will be handled by their dental insurance company. Or maybe the payment deadline wasn’t communicated properly.

Whatever the case may be, you can avoid these situations with the right communication practices. Before providing orthodontic care, ensure that the patient understands how much is due, when payments need to be made, and who the responsible party is.

If they’re on a payment plan, send reminders and follow-up messages to ensure that you get paid on time.

In some cases, it also helps to remind them about what specific dental and orthodontic benefits (e.g., Invisalign, retainers, x-rays, etc.) are covered by their insurance plan. And if anything isn’t clear to the patient, refer them to their insurance carrier.

4. Tighten up Your Internal Processes

Orthodontic billing involves several steps. You need to fill out claim forms, enter procedure codes, and onboard new patients, among other things. It’s all too easy for things to slip through the cracks in a busy dental office, which is why you must tighten up your internal processes.

Establish repeatable systems in your practice and document them thoroughly. This will help keep your procedures consistent and make it easy for your staff to learn and execute your processes.

While every dental practice is different, here are some of the common billing tasks that you need to handle.

  • Verifying the patient’s insurance
  • Verifying the patient’s benefits and eligibility
  • Implementing treatment pre-authorizations
  • Submitting dental and orthodontic claims
  • Designing payment plans for patients
  • Collecting patient bills

Have a standardized and documented process for each of the above items and make the information easily accessible to your staff so they can carry out your processes with ease.

5. Use a Practice-Friendly Payment Processor

While they may be relatively more expensive to process, it isn’t a wise business decision to shun credit card payments completely. Given that credit cards (and by extension, mobile wallets, and contactless payments) are extremely popular among consumers, your practice must accept them.

The good news is you can significantly lower your credit card processing costs by choosing a payment processor with the right pricing structure. Opt for a merchant services provider that doesn’t take a cut out of your sales.

Stax, for instance, charges a flat monthly fee and gives you access to direct cost of interchange. Unlike most processors, we don’t add a markup on your processing costs. Instead, we bill a predictable membership fee every month and give you access to wholesale credit card processing rates.

6. Use Practice Management Software to Track Your Payer Mix

Your payer mix is crucial to your practice’s cash flow. A payer mix is the total distribution of how your patients pay for their care. They can pay through private insurance, government-funded options, or completely out of their own pocket. Having a good balance between the three creates a steady cash flow for your practice. For instance, if your payer mix leans towards federal insurance programs like Medicaid, changes in regulations can upset your cash flow and revenue.

You can track your payer mix through practice management software like OrthoTrac. You can even check the status of insurance claims and reimbursements so you get paid faster. To stay competitive, you should assess your payer mix and make adjustments as necessary, like accepting more forms of insurance. And to work even more efficiently, choose a payment processor like Stax that integrates seamlessly with OrthoTrac and other practice management software.

7. End Time-Consuming Reconciliation by Integrating Systems

Integrating the different software applications you use in your practice enables your apps to “talk” to each other, so data flows smoothly from one platform to the next. And since dental billing involves plenty of data entry and paperwork, having a tightly-integrated system goes a long way in improving business efficiency.

With Stax integrations, you don’t have to stop using the tools you already love. Our software also connects with software like OrthoTrac, DentalXChange, and 200 other applications and platforms. You can manage the most vital aspects of your orthodontic practice’s billing from a single platform. Plus, with our 2-way sync with QuickBooks Online, your data is automatically transferred between the two platforms, making reconciling a thing of the past.

See how integrated healthcare payment technology can help your orthodontic practice. And if you’d like to discuss your dental billing needs in more detail, contact the Stax team today.

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