an I get real for a sec?
As a founder, it’s a constant and conscious process to remain focused on what is AHEAD rather than always what’s in your rear view mirror.
But on the occasions where I do take a ride on the “hindsight” train, I remind myself (and our amazing team) that absolute perfection is not the standard. (You’d either drive yourself insane or be paralyzed by fear.)
Cut yourself some slack.
Learn from everything.
Always be smarter tomorrow.
The latest update to CloudSpot is something we’ve been looking forward to for a while. It’s paving the way for us to soon release features which, in hindsight, have been long overdue.
With that, there are some changes to things now that all of our users need to know about — some of which require action.
(Our Support Team is here to help if needed, too!)
We’ve moved away from our previous sub-merchant processor and have fully integrated Stripe into our platform to now handle the payment processing aspect of client gallery sales. 💵
Why Did We Switch?
The processor we used previously never expanded their sub-merchant support to businesses outside the United States.
As CloudSpot continues to grow, it is incredibly important to us that photographers around the world can leverage our platform to be as valuable to their business as possible! We want to provide the simplest solution for client photo galleries possible.
Stripe makes it really really easy for photographers in over 25 countries (see flags above) to now connect their account with CloudSpot and have their order profits deposited right into their bank. That’s right, directly from their online galleries! Photo gallery systems will never be the same. 😀
But most importantly, with multi-national sales support in place, our upcoming Store features will be immediately applicable for WAY more photographers who use CloudSpot. It just made sense for this to come first.
NOTE: Nothing is changing with our current lab integration for auto-fulfillment orders (through White House Custom Color).
What Do I Need to Do?
If you want to sell prints and/or products through your CloudSpot galleries, you will need to connect your Stripe account on the Banking section of your Store.
⚠️ This is required for all photographers, even if you had a sub-merchant account with us prior to this release. ⚠️
**Rest assured no sales have been affected up to this point, but we will be removing support for our old processor soon (we’ve extended the July 1 deadline)**
What Does This Change For My Store and Gallery Sales?
➕ You Will Receive Payments MUCH Faster: Funds go in your Stripe account immediately after a sale! They are no longer put in escrow for days while your order waits to ship. All related print costs are shown as an Application Fee and the remaining order profits go instantly to you.
With the exception of only your first payout (which can take 7 business days), subsequent payouts to your bank happen every two days. There aren’t any minimums required to receive it a payout.
➕ More Control and Financial Reporting: Through your Stripe dashboard you can issue refunds directly to your client (if needed) as well as have access to more detailed financial reports — which always helps come tax season!
➕ Credit Card Processing Fee ( 2.9% + .30 per transaction): This is something new now that Stripe is being used. You will see it listed in the breakdown of your Order Details and is included in the Application Fee you see assessed by CloudSpot on every order.
With our previous provider, this processing fee was not being withheld by CloudSpot on orders you received. However, it was still being charged to us by the processor. As we continued to grow, the costs of this faced us with a business choice.
We could either raise prices and charge photographers more every month (which nobody likes) or more simply pass this industry standard processing fee to the photographer only when a sale occurs.
Also, to be fair to everyone, this fee is now being charged on all orders, even if you are still using our old sub-merchant payment processor and haven’t switched over quite yet (but please, do!).
For small business owners especially, even the word “fee” makes the hairs on the neck stand up — ours included. Even when this has now just become a part of the costs of doing business online, this wasn’t a decision that was made lightly and we delayed having to do it for as long as possible.
➕ International Sub-Merchant Support: If you are one of the thousands of photographers using CloudSpot outside of the United States and are in one of Stripe’s supported countries, this means you can now sell through CloudSpot!
Orders are still auto-fulfilled right now through WHCC here in the states, but we are working on adding Custom Fulfillment as our next big release. Be on the lookout and connect a Stripe account now to be ready! 🎉
As I’m sure have felt lately, the momentum and frequency of our updates has increased here in 2017 and we don’t have any plans of slowing down!
Larger changes like this will be very very rare, as we regret anyone having to redo something they did with us in the past — so thank you in advance for your understanding!
Feel free to send us a message via the CloudSpot support chat bubble inside the app with any feedback.
We’re here for you and are constantly striving to make CloudSpot an even better experience for you and your clients!