Perch Shop version 1 - the feature list
As we prepare to ship version 1.0 of Perch Shop we are at a point in development where we can share a list of the features that we are confident will ship in version 1.
The Perch Approach
As with everything in Perch, your shop product pages will be yours to design exactly as required. You can add as many “custom fields” as you need, and use Blocks and Repeaters in those templates – for example if you wanted to add an image gallery or video to a product.
You won’t be tied to making your site look like an e-commerce site. If you only sell one or two products – a t-shirt, an e-book you can add that product to a page of your site and sell it via the Shop functionality.
If you are building out a complete store then Shop will support you, with comprehensive tools for structuring your product catalogue.
This is a list of the main features we expect to ship in version 1.0. Many of these are already in use by Shop beta testers.
Full control over product pages and listings: this is Perch, you get to use the same approach as in the rest of Perch.
Product Variants: different sizes and colours of t-shirts, a book with a physical and e-book version. That is all achieved with variants.
Stock control: Manage the number of items you have available.
Digital or Physical Products: sell downloads, services, or shippable things, or a combination of these.
Scalable: Sell one product or 1000s. We’ve built Shop to scale.
Memberships: Shop works alongside the Perch Members App for accounts – but you could also use this functionality to sell access to material. Perch will be a great solution for online courses, or other paywall access material. Version 1 will likely ship without recurring subscriptions, but it is a feature we will be adding.
Trade pricing (Perch Runway): in addition to regular and sale prices, set different prices to offer to qualifying trade customers.
Location based tax: We know a thing or two about the complex EU VATMOSS situation here at Perch, and Shop will allow you to charge taxes on a product basis to comply with legislation like this. So you can add tax rates, decide whether an item needs to be taxed at your rate or the customer rate, and store multiple rates per locality.
VAT MOSS Evidence Collection: A key part of the VATMOSS issue is being able to collect evidence as to why you have charged a customer a certain rate of tax, so we’ll be supporting that too.
Multiple Gateway Support: Payments are taking using the OmniPay library so ultimately we should be able to support all gateways they support. We’ll be listing any specific configuration for each in the docs as we test them.
Manual Checkout: We will include a manual checkout in order that you can take payment by phone or in person but still put the transaction through the Shop.
Donations: Use Shop to take donations, either as a standalone donation or an addition to a purchase.
Multiple currency support (Perch Runway): if you have a gateway that supports multiple currencies, then Perch Runway users will be able to operate Shop in a multi-currency mode.
Promotions: basic discount codes (discount one product, discount cart total). We expect to add to the type of promotions you can offer post version 1.0.
Multiple Addresses: Allow customers to add more than one address for billing and shipping.
Shipping Calculations: Set up different shipping options, including options for items in the cart. Examples might be items that need to be sent by different methods according to size or weight, or the customer opting to pay for a faster delivery service.
Checkout and Order Process
Flexible checkout process: we want to leave as much of the checkout process as possible down to you, so you can design your own flow through checkout, and test and measure what works best for you.
Templated emails: Shop will send emails to customers after they order and you can template these and add additional information as required.
Reporting and Stock Management
Sales reports: find out who your best customers are, which are your top selling items, and sales figures by time period. Shop provides some good overview reports, and enables you to download sales data to process in different ways externally.
Manage stock: Shop tracks inventory levels to help you predict when items need to be restocked, and to prevent over-selling of items, be that physical goods or something like event tickets.
Things that will not be in version 1.0 but we reasonably expect in the coming months are:
- recurring subscription payments. These may require the use of certain gateways that can support this.
- affiliate schemes
- scheduled sale periods
Perch or Perch Runway?
Perch Shop has been designed to work with both Perch and Perch Runway, with some more advanced features such as multiple-currency being Runway only. We would suggest that anyone building a full e-commerce system base it on Runway. However we are keen for Shop to support the person who wants to sell a few items from a regular site, or publish and sell their own e-book or online course. For these uses regular Perch plus Shop will be perfect – saving you paying a monthly fee for a hosted solution.
To make this possible we have kept complex features such as location-based tax support in the Perch version of Shop. You need to comply with tax rules whether you sell 1000 products or just one!
Remember that your cost of using Perch Shop is the Perch or Perch Runway license fee. We are not charging for the app. Whether you are building an e-commerce site from the outset, or starting to sell things from your existing site we think you are going to love Perch Shop.