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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. 

New in REC+: Global Search, Report Builder, Top level GTINs and more

Feature Spotlight

  • Global Search
    This fantastic new feature is available to the top right of the admin screen you'll now find a search icon that lets you quickly search key areas of your site admin. 

    Key areas this covers: Orders & Invoices (by ID), Customers (by ID, Name or Business Name), Products (by ID, Code or Name), Product Variations (by Code), Categories (by ID or Name), Manufacturers (by ID or Name), Pages (by ID, Name or Slug). 
    The autocomplete will start to show after 3 characters entered, but you can also press enter to force showing the autocomplete, e.g. if you're looking for product 42. 
  • Report Builder BETA PREVIEW
    This is a powerful new reporting tool to help you better understand your ecommerce business. Based on the order info reports, Report Builder allows you to build a print/pdf-able report with selected combinations of data including ecommerce, google analytics & adwords data and form scores.
    There is support for date ranges as well as comparison dates, and you can also build re-usable report templates to generate them more quickly next time. 
    Available in: Admin > Reports > Report Builder

  • Email Task Criteria
    Filter your email tasks to send when customers buy from specific categories, manufacturers & product tags.
    When add/editing an email task you'll now find a new criteria area where you can add these rules. 
  • Top level GTIN fields on products & variations
    We now have fields directly on products & their variations for GTINs to use instead of having to add these via product attributes. 
    Available in: Add Product > Barcode / GTIN, as well as on Edit Product > Main details > Barcode / GTIN and Edit Product > Options > Variations > GTIN against each variation.


  • CurrencyLayer enhanced / international currencies support.
    We offer a default currency integration with the ECB (European Central Bank) but CurrencyLayer is a paid service where you can gain additional currency rates such as TWD (Taiwanese Dollar)
    Available to set up in Admin > Connect > CurrencyLayer > Currency Adapter,
    once set up, you can enable in Admin > Settings > Prices & VAT > Currency Adapter
    Contact us about setting up a currency converter onto your site such as in your header for easy customer access. A small charge applies.
  • Make/Model/Year filtering in Admin of your auto parts site 
    In product manager & the auto parts export you can now filter based on your make, model & year options just like customers can on the front end of your site. 
    The MMY export has also been optimised and enhanced to make sure exporting multiple chunks of data keeps the variable option & attribute columns the same. 
  • Order Info Report Speed Improvements.
    We've improved speed so you can view reports and  analyse your performance.
  • Added postcode helper icons next to all postcode input fields around the site.
    These link over to to help international customers find out about their postcode or if they are in a country that doesn't have postcodes then they recommend entering 00000 where needed. 
  • Google product feed can now auto send category name as a custom label.
    Speeding up Google Ads campaign management.
    Enable in: Site Settings > Ecommerce > Show Categories as Custom Labels in the Google Product Feed
  • Google product feed now auto removes any enquiry-only products from the feed
    Products without the price showing and ability to buy online are not allowed in the Google Products as per Google's terms of use.
    To make complying with this easier we now auto remove those enquiry only products from the feed for you the same as draft or discontinued products. 
  • Edit Product "return to products manager" link has been replaced by a breadcrumb instead. 
    This helps you navigate back and forward in Product Manager faster from the edit product screen. 
  • Delivery Band Export
    Make changes to your delivery rates faster with this new export.
    Available in Export Manager > Delivery Bands, and import back in through Import System > Step 2 > Delivery Bands
  • Multiple coupon use improvements. 
    When a customer applies multiple lump sum coupons, e.g. a £10 off deal and a gift voucher, these now both take each other into consideration when applying the min spend limits and when reaching zero to avoid any calculation issues. 
  • Coupon invalid message improvements
    Applying an expired coupon or a coupon that is not available to a customer will now give the customer more details as to why the coupon cannot be applied to their order such as not meeting the criteria of items in cart etc. 
  • Gift Voucher emails are now fully templatable
    Previously editable as a page they now have full template functionality available, find them in /html/email/templates/voucher/
  • Manual orders > customer selector improvements
    You can now more easily search for users to attach to an order and this supports finding users by business name and membership code.
  • Tradebox support for our new Bundles system
    The new product bundles feature was released recently and now integrates with Tradebox / Sage integration sending each component product on its own order line.


  • Gallery albums tidy up
    We've simplified the process of entering album names on the built in gallery app.  
  • New "country_to_alpha_2" twig function that will convert a country name to the ISO Alpha 2 format for country names. 
    In addition the invoice template has a specific variable for using this as well {{ line.country_of_origin_alpha_2 }}
  • Deleting a template now auto clears your session preview. 


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