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A Speedier Checkout Process when Ordering Prints
By James M. Theopistos


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It’s about time! That was the statement a frequent user and artist said to us the other day when he placed an order on our new shopping cart and checkout page. A few weeks ago, we unveiled the new checkout process in a test mode for customers using our exclusive photos on canvas website service. Since then we have been slowly making it available to everyone at FinerWorks. Finally, last week it was fully implemented for all. Our goal was to setup the shopping cart and checkout experience so that it would be a much faster and a more hassle free process. This stemmed from what we felt was too long of a time it would take a person to complete the ordering process. So, based on valued feedback from a number of our regular users we came up with a formula we think made things easier for those using the FinerWorks website.

We hope that anyone places order now will find the ordering process faster than they might experience at most websites.  And if you do not need to place an order with us now, below is a couple brief videos that shows you the entire new checkout process from start to finish. And it is not just for those regular users of our ordering system. Below that is a summary and description of the new checkout process:

View Cart

The first change is the shopping cart page view. While the features only look slightly changed, it will not look that much different. Where the real changes occur is with the actual checkout process itself that is simplified in 4 easy segments.

Step 1 - Click Checkout and Enter Shipping (Recipient)

Once you click the checkout button you will be prompted to enter the shipping information. This is because so many of our customers are having us drop ship their orders which means their billing information will likely be different. This also enables us to know how to charge shipping in case an order is destined to go outside of the country.

After that you can enter your recipients shipping address. For U.S. destined orders, we have a small but incredibly powerful feature that even allows you to “paste” an address. Simply enter it in the following format:

John Doe
123 Some St, Suite 103
San Antonio, TX 78217

You can also include a company name, phone number and email address.

Click the “Validate” button and it will make any corrections base on what the U.S. Postal Service recommends. Then you can have it auto-populate the appropriate shipping fields. (Validating an address is a very tricky maneuver so there is always a potential that what we transmit to the U.S. Postal Service for validation may not account for those occasional addresses that do not always fit the normal standards.). Be aware that this only works with U.S. based addresses. International addresses come in all shapes and sizes so unfortunately we have not found an effective way to include other countries very.

I should mention that the biggest cause of orders getting lost in the mail or even getting mixed up is a result of an address we receive that is not recognized by the U.S. Postal Service. This means we have to either research the correct address or contact the person who placed the order in order to try to resolve the correct address. With the paste and validate feature this should have a positive impact since we won’t have to go back and attempt to manually key in an address or experience delays as we wait for any manual verification.

Again, it is currently designed for “US” orders however we will be trying to expand it to include International orders in the near future.

Step 2 - Choose Shipping Method (And Dropship Option)

After you have entered your shipping information and email address you can choose from the appropriate shipping options available to you. Also check the drop ship box if you want the order to appear as if you are the actual sender.

Step 3 - Choose Billing Method You Prefer

Choose Credit Card or PayPal. The quickest method is to have your credit card payment option already on file in your account. It does not save your actual credit card number but instead utilizes a secure and more modern approach by filing a payment key with the credit card processing bank that can only be used with orders at FinerWorks.

If you prefer to pay by PayPal the process does slow down just a small amount since it must load a PayPal login screen which you will need to use to confirm payment but since we are using the latest recommended method PayPal checkout may still be faster than before.

Step 4 - Enter the Appropriate Billing Information (Optional) and Confirm

If your shipping and billing address is the same, you can skip this step and click the “Confirm” button to generate your order number, otherwise you can enter your billing information. The good news is if you already have your billing information saved in your Quick Checkout options or even your business profile the fields will automatically be available and don’t have to be manually typed in.

Click the confirm button. This will confirm payment and generate an order number.  Once the order number is created a receipt page will be presented as order confirmation as well as emailed to you.

Final Tips

  1. To best take advantage of this please make sure you are using the latest web browser on your computer or mobile device. We currently utilize a monitoring service to tell us of potential problems people are experiencing in real-time and foremost if errors are generated because they are on systems that are too old. First, if you are using Internet Explorer on an Windows XP system you may have problems checking out. Okay, yes it will likely work if Internet Explorer is not too old of a version but generally Internet Explorer on any system does not work well and may prevent you checking out in some cases.
  2. Fill out your quick checkout information in your profile. If you drop ship orders a lot, then keep the quick checkout shipping fields blank.
  3. Fill out your business profile as complete as possible. This is used to automatically assume you want an order drop shipped.

While we are extremely excited about this new checkout system for our users, we will continue to monitor it very closely. For instance, based on what we have seen we had to already make some underlying adjustments and are working on new modifications. These are going to be small changes that will likely not even be noticed but for those that require these changes. If you have any questions or issues on the checkout process, please contact our customer service department so that we address those as quickly as possible.

Category: News
Created: Monday, October 31, 2016, Last Updated: Monday, October 31, 2016


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About James Theopistos Aside from being an enthusaistic promoter of the visual arts field as it relates to individual artists' success, he also serves as the acting Chief Development Officer for FinerWorks.com, an online color print lab for artists and photographers.
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