Unified Ecommerce Platform

Choosing the right Unified Ecommerce Platform for your membership organization is a strategic decision that can profoundly impact user experience and streamline engagement with your campaigns, features, and events.

The Power of a Unified Ecommerce System

Picture a versatile shopping cart, like the widely acclaimed WooCommerce, as the central nervous system of your digital presence, adept at managing an array of tasks, from handling recurring membership sales to seamlessly managing digital products, event tickets, donations, and physical merchandise.

In many organizations, particularly associations or nonprofits, the prevalent practice involves employing various third-party tools for different functions. One tool might be designated for managing membership dues and directories, another for events, a separate one for merchandise, and yet another for handling donations. However, this fragmented approach poses challenges for users, who must navigate through different systems, resulting in repetitive registrations and data entries, ultimately impacting the overall user experience.

Streamlining User Experience for Members and Supporters

The allure of a unified ecommerce system lies in its ability to streamline the user journey. With a cohesive platform, users only need to register once, gaining access to a centralized hub where they can effortlessly manage their profiles, renew memberships, register for events, and make donations—all from a single, user-friendly dashboard. This centralized approach empowers members and supporters to conveniently track all transactions, providing a comprehensive overview of their engagement with your organization.

Simplifying Internal Operations and Cost Efficiency

Beyond the user-centric benefits, a unified ecommerce platform significantly enhances internal operations. Your staff benefits from a centralized management hub, simplifying training and reducing costs by consolidating monthly payments and minimizing transaction fees. Accounting processes become more straightforward, as all transactions stem from a central source. The administrative site provides a consolidated view of members, their activities, and event attendance, facilitating more efficient management.

Unparalleled Control and Customization with WooCommerce

Shopping carts like WooCommerce offer unparalleled control compared to many third-party systems. Customization options abound, allowing the creation of tailored sections, such as private board pages or secure member downloads. For organizations with more complex needs, like a comprehensive membership application and approval process, integration is possible through API connections for custom plug-ins.

In a digital landscape where connectivity and simplicity are paramount, adopting a unified ecommerce platform becomes a strategic investment in your organization’s success. Consolidating operations not only enhances user experience but also creates a streamlined, efficient environment for staff, saving time and resources.

Investing in Your Organization’s Digital Success

A Strategic Step Toward Sustained Growth

When considering the right ecommerce infrastructure, envision it as a pivotal step towards ensuring your organization’s sustained growth and success in the dynamic digital realm.

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Enhancing Association Online Presence Optimization

In the dynamic landscape of associations, clubs, and chambers, a robust online presence is crucial for seamlessly serving your members. This article explores the importance of optimizing your association’s online presence with custom member directories and tools for ‘Association Online Presence Optimization.’ While ready-made Association Management Systems (AMS) may suit some, there are instances where off-the-shelf options might not align with your unique organizational needs and mission.

Optimizing Association Online Presence: Catering to Specialized Needs:

There are times when a standard online member directory falls short. You might require a directory with advanced media features or a more engaging interface. Offering both a public directory for general access and a private directory exclusively for members, containing more in-depth or personal information, is often pivotal.

Empowering Members on the Go:

Providing members with a mobile-friendly, user-friendly interface to update their directory information—website, phone, social links, images, or videos—ensures your directory remains current. This not only enhances user experience but also saves valuable staff time on manual updates.

Efficient Behind-the-Scenes Member Management:

Associations can benefit from a suite of tools for behind-the-scenes member management. Whether integrating with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or developing custom tools, the aim is to address unique needs that standard solutions may overlook. Custom solutions come to the rescue when predefined fields don’t quite fit the bill.

Tailored Online Tools for Members:

Beyond a robust member directory, your association’s website can provide specialized tools. Private website sections can offer exclusive content, links, videos, and other resources. Simplify processes by creating online forms prefilled with member profile information, a boon for tasks like form completion.

Building Community through Online Forums:

Community portals and forums are instrumental in fostering connections within the organization. Providing members with a platform to connect, socialize, and collaborate strengthens the sense of community. Forums, especially, serve as spaces for users to seek assistance, share ideas, and collaborate on committees.

Innovative Solutions for Compliance:

Consider innovative tools like an online compliance book builder. One organization streamlined the tedious compliance book creation process, making it significantly more user-friendly for members. Furthermore, annual updates seamlessly integrate into their customized compliance book, transforming what was once a time-consuming task.

Prioritizing Effective Member Service:

Ensuring your members receive top-notch service is paramount, especially when time and budget constraints come into play. While Software as a Service (SaaS), AMS, and other off-the-shelf tools can be excellent fits, constructing a custom suite of tools for ecommerce, member directory, forums, forms, and other member needs acts as the catalyst for aligning technology precisely with your unique organizational requirements.

In conclusion, ‘Association Online Presence Optimization’ is essential for associations to thrive in the digital era. When standard solutions fall short, the key lies in developing a tailor-made technology suite that not only meets but exceeds the specific needs of your association. This approach ensures optimal performance and visibility in the digital sphere, contributing to the sustained success of your organization’s online presence.

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Nonprofit Website Support | Affordable Solutions by I-Tul

Greetings, passionate changemakers! Running a nonprofit involves a delicate balance – managing your mission, your exceptional team, volunteers, supporters, and, of course, your budget. At I-Tul, we’re on a mission to lighten your nonprofit journey by offering affordable support solutions for your website and software needs.

Furthermore, your website serves as the virtual gateway to your community, a space where they discover your mission, goals, and successes. We firmly believe that an effective website can amplify your impact, connecting you with more people and attracting the support, donations, and commitment your cause deserves. In addition, the potential of your website goes beyond storytelling. Imagine effortlessly signing up volunteers, collecting donations, promoting events, communicating with your board, and automating data collection – all within easy reach. Recognizing that your mission is unique, we’re here to explore customized software solutions tailored to your distinct needs.

Moreover, let’s engage in a conversation about the challenges your nonprofit faces. Together, we can determine if our custom software could be the transformative solution you seek. Furthermore, from crafting custom websites to navigating platforms like WordPress, Shopify, BigCommerce, and HubSpot, our expertise covers the spectrum. Additionally, we seamlessly integrate with member management systems such as MemberMax and Impexium. Additionally, we’ve engineered end-to-end custom solutions for organizations with unique events and membership structures.

At I-Tul, our goal is to alleviate the burden of technology from your shoulders. Whether you’re envisioning a powerful new site or looking to optimize your existing one, we stand as your dedicated partners, ready to elevate your organization to new heights. To illustrate, let’s collaborate to ensure your digital presence is as impactful as your mission! ✨

In essence, partnering with I-Tul means more than just website support – it’s about unleashing the full potential of your nonprofit through tailored solutions that resonate with your mission and objectives. We’re not just a service; instead, we’re your allies in making a lasting impact. Additionally, join us on this exciting journey, and together, let’s create a digital presence that truly amplifies the heart and soul of your nonprofit endeavors. ✨

Visit our Non-Profit Websites:

New: Pay by ACH

Now you can pay using ACH through the I-Tul portal!  This secure system uses the leading fintech software, Plaid, to connect your bank account to pay invoices or add a credit to your account.

If you have any questions or need help using this feature, contact the I-Tul tech support team.

Choosing Your Software Developer

How do you choose the best software developer?

All software development companies are different. And that’s great! It means you can find one with the approach, process and communication style that fits you best.

There are a million variables, but I tried to cover some common ones and future videos will go over even more.

If you have a question or an area you’d like to see me address, let me know! We’ve been doing this for a long time, since 1999, and helping people get the answers they need is a passion of mine.

Is Your Software Built The Way You Need?

Can i-Tul build the software I need?

Can my dream come to life?

My business needs are really unique, can software be adjustable enough?

I’m not technical, can I still get what I need?

These are some of the most common questions I get. And Yes! It IS possible.

Custom software is built to work exactly the way you need. Custom apps are great when your needs are specific, unique or you have lots of corner cases. Each step is built to your business requirements, the screens are designed for your team, the fields are created to support your business. Stop trying to fit into someone else’s solution and build the exact software you want and need.

Be sure to subscribe, we are launching new videos every other week.

Top 5 Signs You Need Better Software

What if a lot of the headaches you deal with in your business could be solved with better software?

If you have repetitive tasks, you must keep double checking things, you’re relying on spreadsheets to fill in the data gaps, or bottlenecks have creeped in, then now is a good time to review your software and see what improvements can be made.

By integrating systems, automating processes, and making sure your software infrastructure is serving your needs today your business can eliminate many daily headaches and help your team and empower your customers.

If any of these problems ring a bell, then schedule a call and we’ll talk through your specific situation and plan a path to make everything just work better.

I-Tul & Office 365: A Perfect Fit

Great news!

We are excited to announce that you can now combine the power and features of Microsoft Office – including all the apps and powerful email capabilities – with your I-Tul service plan!

Here are just some of the amazing Office 365 features you will get to use if you combine it with I-Tul:

Office Apps

With both plans, you get access to online office applications, including Microsoft Office, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. The online apps are always available and up to date.

With the standard plan, you also get desktop apps for up to 5 devices. This means you can work even without an internet connection, making this ideal for when you travel or encounter bad weather that can disrupt your internet access.

Feature-Rich Email

You also get a powerful Microsoft Exchange email account with up to 50 GB of storage. Access your email from your desktop, phone, or other mobile device with easy-to-use apps.

You can still use your own domain, and we are happy to help set it up for you!

Calendar

The calendar keeps you in-the-know about important meetings and events. You can share available meeting times and easily schedule meetings that work for everyone’s schedule. The calendar features also allow you to get reminders on your desktop, browser, and mobile devices.

Your team can also use shared calendars to see when everyone is available, so you never have to worry about double-booking your team members again!

Collaborate

Microsoft Office tools make it incredibly easy to collaborate as a team to complete projects! Here’s how:

  • Use Microsoft Office tools simultaneously with your team to make changes in real time.
  • Share your Calendar to schedule impromptu meetings.
  • Communicate in Teams to stay up to date on progress and to get questions answered quickly. There are more features in Teams that are available as an upgrade.

Storage

Your One Drive account will support up to 1 TB (terabyte) of storage. That’s a lot! Save your work and access it from your desktop or online Microsoft Office Applications. You can even share outside your team with secure guest links to give clients or vendors access as needed.

Secure

Office 365 is a secure environment and is built to meet standard industry requirements. There are over 1,000 privacy and security controls to give you peace of mind.

Teamwork

With the standard plan, you get team tools to manage schedules and tasks. Combined with the other collaboration tools, your team gets a powerful workspace to work, share, communicate, and get the most out of their day, even when working remotely.

Office 365 is a powerful suite for running your business. Combined with your I-Tul service plan, you get all of this, plus our top-notch support for your site and software.

Start Where You Are

Want better software but aren’t sure where to start? Afraid you don’t know enough to even have the conversation? Heard from others that you need all the details worked out? Do you need to be a techie to hire a good developer?

The answer is that by hiring a full-service full stack development company, like I-Tul, that you can start wherever you are.  We help clients take the bud of an idea and turn it into a full vision and then we bring that vision to life.

At I-Tul, we create the architecture – all the pieces and features and functions that come together into a cohesive piece of system.  Often, clients only start with a vaguest idea of what they want.  They know the problems, they know what needs to happen but they don’t know how to get from here to there.

We start with discovery. Through discovery process, we’ll talk about the business needs, what exists, problems & bottlenecks, compliance and security, and, most importantly, the vision.  The vision is what finished looks like, what success means to you.

Once we understand the full picture, we can design a system that will use the best of what exists and create new software to fix the problems. Sometimes, the entire system is built from scratch.  Other times, we are filling in niches within a production system.    The goal is to build the infrastructure needed to fulfill your vision.

Some developers and freelancers prefer working with a complete spec (project specification).  They want to have the blueprint before they even quote a project.  Or, they will charge you to create the project scope. They want you to do the leg work before they get involved.

I’ve had clients come from that kind of relationship and share their frustrations.  The client always felt that they had to tell the developers how to build what was needed.  That the client had to know databases, languages or technology to even ask a question.  This is exactly why we don’t work that way.

Not having to create a full project spec or micromanage the development process is the benefit of working with a full-service company.  I-Tul will create the project scope and internally assign resources (designers, front-end developers, back-end developers, dev-ops, etc…).  We will also build the IT infrastructure to support what is needed (servers, VPNs, security, email, VOIP and other tech tools).   It is our job to know what is needed.

So, wherever you are in the planning process, we are here to help.  Whether you want to brainstorm what is possible, are planning for next year and want to talk budgets, or you have wireframes or an outline, we can meet you where you are.  Let’s start the conversation and work together to bring the new vision to life.

5 Things to Consider When Hiring Your Web Developer

1. Approach

Does their approach fit your approach? Are they corporate or more free form? Are they as detail oriented as you? Can they describe their approach to projects?

2. References

I always say, its great when I say I am good, it is nice when other propel agree. Listen to what they say about themselves and talk to the client’s to see if they agree.  Make sure you find a company with integrity.

3. Design

Check out the portfolio, do you see the kind of web site you want? You may not see a twin of your vision (which is great! If you did, your site would not be unique). But, can you see the style, quality, and overall impression you want to make?

4. Communication

Can you communicate with your developer? With Leads, sometimes we hit it off right away and sometimes it is like sludging through mud to find the same page. Make sure you find someone that understands you and that you can understand.  It should not be hard to talk to your developer, if it is, you may not be in the right place.

5. Price

Like buying a car, websites have many price points. There are a lot of moving pieces from design approach, project management, coding quality, testing, architecture, images, movement, and team.  Know where you want to be and find a company that fits.  If your project is lot of money to you, but a little to your developer you may not get the attention and service you expect.  Likewise, if your project is a ton of money to your developer and a pittance to you, it can be hard to get on the same page for billing, meetings and attention.  The best relationships are when both parties see the project in the same light.

In general, you need to find a developer that you connect with and trust.  Ideally, this relationship will be long-term

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