Here's what happens when an online customer buys something from your Bookstore (you can also take orders at the Point of Sale).
The customer places the order
An order is one or more items that the customer has purchased, together with some arrangement for getting those items out of your hands and into his. Depending on the payment methods you've set up, he can pay by credit card or, if he's a student, by charging it to his account.
Bookstore generates an order/receipt
Once the customer places the order, Bookstore generates a pending order. Each order is identified by a unique Order # and generates a unique URL. You can find pending orders in Admin on either the Dashboard, the Pending Orders report, or the Orders report. The customer also receives an email with a link to it.
Payment is collected
The customer's credit card is authorized for the amount of the purchase, which decreases its credit limit for a certain period of time depending on your payment gateway:
- Stripe retains the authorization for seven days.
- Authorize.net retains the authorization for 30 days.
You must fulfill the order within the authorization period! That lets Bookstore capture the order, permitting the funds to be transfered to your bank account. If you don't fulfill the order in that time, the authorization is released and the order is kaput, as they say. You can also void the order in that timeframe, which cancels the order and authorization.
- Find the order. Enter the Order # in the Admin search, locate it on the Dashboard, or find it in Pending Orders or the Orders report.
- Click This order is ready to ship(or ready for pickup) when you're ready to fulfill the order. Doing so captures the funds and completes the transaction. Only do this right before you give the items (or ship them) to the customer. Credit card companies frown on capturing orders that you can't fulfill.
- Or, click Void Order to cancel a pending order or to void a fulfilled/ready-for-pickup order.
Get familiar with your Stripe or Authorize.net account terminal. You may have other options for your orders beyond what you can do in Bookstore (especially when handling returns and refunds).
I would like to see this improved by being able to void or return individual items. If the whole transaction needs to be voided it is an additional expense from the credit card merchant and our customers will be inconvenienced.
It seems to me that Populi is missing a final and necessary step in the process. Steps one and two are in place now:
1. The customer places the order.
2. Bookstore admin marks the order as ready for pickup, the customer's card is charged, and the customer gets an e-mail saying it's ready for pickup.
But the missing step three is this: the customer appears at the bookstore, staff find the order in the system and mark the order as collected. Without step three there's no way for bookstore staff (1) to find orders that haven't been collected or (2) to prove that an order has been collected.
(BTW: The second and third screen captures above are incorrect, as they show the order as already fulfilled rather than the intermediate steps.)