Speaking of which, don't forget that we keep adding good instructional content to our Store Manual, which is now linked just below Admin Home on all your Admin pages.
Hey Everyone, some important updates regarding the upcoming RSD Drop dates, new features and preorders. Things are really picking up out there. This is a fairly long and detailed message. I'm going to post a reference to it and other past emails on the Store Manual.
Stay safe! Music Matters!
In this email:
So I know everyone is devising and implementing their own socially distanced strategies for RSD Drop days, and all of that is super important and store specific. We want to discuss the procedures and what to expect for the the 1pm EST allowable time for online sales.
For folks that are unaware, we create and setup all the "OFFICIAL" RSD titles both at RSD and on all the websites we support. We then BLOCK AND PROTECT the item so that they cannot be Preordered. We do this by creating an inventory record for all our stores and setting it to block and protect from dataloads.
Normally, at 8AM the following day, we "release" these blocks so that stores may submit their own inventory and have visibility to remaining product at AEC, and make them for sale. (Remember no more than 20% over list price via the pledge). This year the block will be lifted at 1pm EST. However, we will NOT be releasing the AEC inventory block at that time. Only the block for the stores.
This is due to the nature of earlier online sales and needing to have some confidence in fill. Even though we get hourly updates from AEC, the consensus is that the best thing to do is wait until our Sunday night dataload for Monday updates.
So, as a store, you get to decide how important it is to setup your inventory at 1pm EST. Or, more likely, you can list your remaining inventory at any point after that time such as Saturday, Sunday or whenever is convenient.
How do you list your RSD (or any) inventory on your Broadtime Tuneportals site, you ask? Well we have created some step by step instructions and a video for how to do it. I encourage you to test the process with a few items and get comfortable with the steps. You can upload items one at a time on the item's admin page, or from a list of titles via Import Inventory.
It's a few steps So, we have created a WALKTHROUGH VIDEO and Step-by-Step instructions for you.
We have added a link to the Store Manual at the top left corner on every page of your Admin, and we are always continuing to add more training and tutorials.
BLOCK RELEASE FOR STORES:
1:00 PM EST
BLOCK RELEASE OF AEC INVENTORY:
Midnight EST Sunday night, for overnight dataload and then hourly updates for Monday and going forward.
2. "ON SALE"💥 We have developed an "On Sale" function/tag that will display when there is a defined markdown on a product.
There are two ways that an item can be triggered to display the sale tag: one, manually/automated from store-supplied interaction, and two, via the AE Deals setup with Alliance.
A) A store can set a start date and end date for a sale and the sale price. It looks like this in the Admin:
(click for larger)
On submit, this will trigger the On Sale red tag everywhere that the item is featured, as well as on the product page. You may choose to create an "On Sale" genre, or just feature the product on your home page or in other genres.
B) The other more automatic, high-volume way that we are putting items on sale is by doing it for you based upon the AE Deals programs from Alliance.
This program is available for all Indie Stores and applies to your physical store buying. AEC has made these discounted sale items available to you at the reduced costs for products in your online store as well. We're ingesting new sales pricing for these items from this list every MONDAY.
We're using a formula to calulate the sale price, and the duration will match what everyone has in their AEC deals list.
The formula is:
margin = list - reg. cost
new price = margin + sale cost
new price = new price rounded to nearest .49 or .99
Example: Polyvinyl Sale:
C) If you wish to import a list of items to be on sale that's different, and if you have or are able to export a list, you may also do it in your Admin, under:
"Import Sale Pricing"
It is very similar to importing Inventory in the way you create and prepare the file, the fields are just slightly different. There are also further instructions on that page.
Finally, we are working on a feature that creates an ON SALE top level navigation and may include multiple branded sales in the drop down, much like our Better Noise livestream and the current Bad Religion sale, more on that later.
3. PREORDERS🛒 So Preorders. We are seeing a steady increase in volume as the year progresses, and things are starting to get set up for this Fall. Many things are continuing to change, and we're continually trying to optimize the process to be the most successful in growing the sales of all our store customers.
Our goal is to maximize sales and store participation, as well as reducing the chances of getting allocated or having to refund customers. We're doing this by having as much communication as possible with all parties; label, distributor, one stop, and you.
Announce date - Many labels are trusting us to keep a secret and to setup the metadata and assets for releases that are programmed to go live when the record is announced, so that stores have it the same time as the artist's website and Amazon. This is one of the most active times for fans to purchase.
Timing - When this occurs, the timing is such that it's often before AEC has the record setup information, and sometimes even before the label/distributor has solicited the record. Such is the nature of being first to act and be available. Preorders can't be submitted to AEC for processing until it's setup in their system (else they cancel). It also means we may be featuring something that you don't know about yet. We activated Tom Petty - Wildflowers (Deluxe) today with support and advance notice from WEA.
Store that are set to "auto submit" orders to Alliance will have orders that don't "auto submit" for this reason, and will need to be checked on weekly to see when the order can be submitted.
Blocking - Since many of the successful preorders that we've managed involved limited quantity items, it became important to universally manage the preorder if we believe it's going to get oversold or allocated. When we arrive at that point, we will globally block a preorder from further purchase. The buy button for the item on your website will appear greyed out and display as "unavailable." We notably have done this with Colter Wall and especially with Mr. Bungle.
Management - In cooperation with Alliance, we have started to manage a list of titles that we need to block, in order to ensure successful fulfillment of the orders that we have. I'm going to share that list with you here.
It's important to understand that our blocking is intended to protect the orders that have been submitted to Alliance for direct drop ship to the consumer.
This means that if you as a store believe that you will get an allotment greater than what you have orders for currently, then you may OVERRIDE our preorder block. This can be a good idea, just remember that if it's submitted to AEC for direct fill at that point, it's in jeopardy of being allocated.
The method to over ride our prerorder block is to open up pricing and inventory on the admin product page, enter the quantity of items you think you'll be able to sell as preorder, and then check the preorder "limit by quantity" box (and protect from dataload if applicable).
The currently blocked list:
(click for PDF if you need to copy the UPC's)
See above instructions if you wish to override.
(click for larger)
A Wrap up Note of Thanks and recommendation
Think Indie Distribution (TID) has long been a great partner to Indie Record Stores and Broadtime. They really bailed us out on some releases that we weren't aware were direct only with them, and we appreciate it.
I had thought that most, if not all Indie stores had accounts with them and I've realized that many do not.
So, I'm encouraging all of our stores that don't have a relationship with them to reach out to Russell Cothran (email@example.com) They are focused on the benefit of Indie stores 100% and a great partner.
Of course, our partnership with Alliance (AEC) continues to grow and evolve. We have established a great team of folks, and communication that will continue to allow us to innovate together for the benefit of Indie Record Stores. Our ability to manage Preorders to the best of our ability, get improved pricing for our stores, enable stores to participate in AE deals, and the speed in which they have partnered with us to grow new stores are all evidence of an innovative and willing partner in the goal of ensuring stores are successful in a complex business.
We are grateful for their support, problem solving and desire to do what's best for Indie Stores.
Finally, thanks to RSD and Music biz for this years programming and problem solving sessions at Couch Camp, and for creatively navigating the craziness of this years RSD events. We can't wait to get back to in person meetings in New Orleans.
Stay safe everyone,
Jon and - The Broadtime Team
P.S. Please try to focus order support questions to firstname.lastname@example.org This will go to the team here at Broatime, even if it's often me that will respond. Thank you.
Broadtime Manual + New Features
Our customers often forget that we have a manual for how to do some common tasks with our products. We have added some BRAND NEW content for ORDER PROCESSING now with VIDEO WALKTHROUGH TUTORIALS.
Our newest sections are the Importing Inventory and Asset Specs.
You may explore solutions at your convenience using the manual. Remember we are here for you for support at any time!
Please email any suggestions you have to continue to improve the Manual.
Cart Updates AND NEW FEATURES we shared in our Previous EMAILS…