What's New & Important In 2021

In this newsletter we are going to cover a number of important subjects including legislative changes affecting VAT, Google's latest algorithm change, an upcoming upgrade to your website server infrastructure plus the newest ecommerce features in REC+.

VAT Legislative & Customs Changes 

1. EORI Numbers & Country of Origin

Brexit has meant that you are required to provide your EORI Number and Country of Origin information on product lines, which we have described in previous bulletins. You can now also store individual customers' EORI and VAT numbers on their user record should you need to refer to them. Go to freshdesk article

2. EU VAT Changes 1st July 2021

New rules come into effect for the calculation and collection of VAT when selling to the EU as outlined on the EU website and also described on the Sage website. We will be issuing a software update for this before the changes come into effect.

3. UK VAT on Product Bundles

A consultation is underway until end March 2021 to clarify the law on how VAT is calculated for product bundles where there are products with differing VAT rates. We will be pre-emptively issuing a software update to handle this in the coming weeks.

Note: Product Bundles was offered free of charge to use until 31st January 2021 and that offer has now expired. Please contact us for pricing.

Google Page Experience

Google is changing its algorithm to include a new signal for page experience. Here's what it means to you...

1. Mobile Friendly

Most sites are now mobile friendly. If yours isn't then this is a great time to get in touch to discuss moving to a refreshed site design that looks great on mobile devices too.


Your site should be running under HTTPS. If yours isn't then we can help you to migrate and provide you with a free SSL certificate.

3. ALT Text

We already automatically produce ALT text on your product images, however make sure you have ALT text set on any images you add to pages and blog content.

4. Pop-ups

Also known as interstitials, when these are intrusive then that's a no-no. Having to close 3 pop-ups when you load up a website is not what a good user experience is about.

5. Page Load

Pages should load quickly without content jumping around as it does so, like you might've seen on some large news websites where you click on the wrong thing as the content is still rendering. It's important to note that having a lot of plugins on pages can also slow down load times.

We can perform a technical analysis on the home, product and category pages to identify issues or improvements you may wish to proceed with. The cost is £595+VAT. 

6. Safe Browsing

Since 2007, Google has steered visitors away from search results where the website looks like it has been compromised. This has never concerned us as we deploy multiple layers of overlapping security and application scanning to keep your site protected.

Faster Page Load + Extra Security + Reduced Bandwidth

Cloudflare is a free service that serves page content faster and increases security further. In January alone, Cloudflare stopped over 280,000 potentially malicious events on the sites we have it deployed across. In addition it reduces bandwidth usage which enables us to keep your service charges lower, especially as sites grow in size which then increases your charges.

Contact us to schedule moving to Cloudflare.

Website Infrastructure Upgrade

As part of our continuous investment in the technology that powers your website, provides security and data backups, we are planning to upgrade our infrastructure in the coming months. We are currently planning this with our data centre specialists and will advise of more details in due course including secheduled downtime slots for data migrations. 

Newest Ecommerce Features

These are some of the latest / most useful recent ecommerce features.

1. Report Builder

Build custom ecommerce performance reports to analyse your success across a range of metrics including revenues, delivery, payment, returns, ease-of-use ratuings and more. 

Available in beta preview till 30th April 2021. Access via Reports > Report Builder.

2. Sage Integration

Integrate your web orders and stock levels with Sage via Tradebox, which also integrates with Amazon and ebay. Contact us to discuss your requirements.

3. Unleashed & Xero Integration

Integrate your website with Unleashed's best practice inventory management software and Xero for accounts. Used by manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.

Contact Unleashed directly to discuss your requirements first.

4. Google Customer Reviews

Collect reviews via Google and have your star-ratings appear in Google Ads. Combine this with REC+ Expert Answers to provide buying assistance at the point of interest.

5. SMS & Direct Mail Opt-in

Collect consent for SMS marketing and direct mail campaigns via the checkout process, in compliance with GDPR. use this data with your preferred 3rd party services to send SMS and direct mail.

6. Offer Paypal Credit On High Value Products

Make it easier to pay on high value products by offering Paypal Credit on select product pages. Another popular alternative is Klarna. 

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