Frequently Asked Questions
What is an online company store?
An Advanced-Online company store is a Program that is responsible for producing, displaying, selling, maintaining and distributing company branded products.
Programs have lots of different names like ordering portal, e-store, e-commerce site or corporate store, but they have the same goals and benefits.
A centralized online company store can control brand access, product cost, approval structures, shipping, and departmental/individual spending. These programs can virtually eliminate back-orders and obsolete inventory, optimize processes, and heighten accountability. They also minimize risks associated with obsolete inventory and inventory exposure when combined with on-demand production. With no monthly fees, long-term contracts or order minimums, our online company stores are easy to implement and efficient.
What are the benefits of an online store to my job role and my organization?
Save time. Ensure brand consistency. Generate a more competitive edge. Increase buying power. Heighten accountability. Roll out campaigns to your entire network in one action. Boost the bottom line with budget control. Enhance and promote your company’s brand. Maintain consistent and controlled branding and messaging. Royalty income. Use reporting tools to align your budgets with corporate goals and objectives. Create a premium brand image.
What are the benefits of an online store to its end users or shoppers?
Huge variety with virtually no inventory. Self-service access 24/7 with budget control features and an automated approval hierarchy. One quarter of one percent of items are backordered. No minimum orders. Next day shipment. Ability to buy branded items with a person credit card. Tracking and order history for each person.
What if I have several companies all over the world under one parent company with multiple brands, products and services?
The more complicated your business structure, the more value we can be to you in centralizing your ordering processes and providing you with consistent and controlled brand and product availability. Our program has built in ability to provide multiple brands/divisions in one web site, helping consolidate your communication to the field.
Are your programs based on a platform or is each customer site a custom development?
Programs are built on our platform so all customers have access to the most up-to-date controls, enhancements and features. Every tool ever created is available real time so clients can use features as needed. When new features are developed, the new features are available to every site.
Will I receive my own personalized and branded website?
Yes. Every online company store or award program has their own website address that is branded within your corporate standards.
Do you own the platform / site you are using or is it owned by a 3rd party?
Advanced-Online created and maintains the online company store and award program web platform.
Do you own your own inventory, decorate your own items, warehouse own items?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Advanced-Online carries thousands of inventory items. Items are decorated and produced in-house and fulfilled from our production floor and warehouse area. We have the widest array of production capabilities in the country inside one facility.
How do you make money if we don’t pay for the website or reporting, etc?
Our income is generated by sales. Costs are leveraged through the large number of clients using our platform. We stock inventory and decorate it in our production facility as you order it from your online company store.
Is there an additional cost to use more of the online features offered by Advanced-Online?
Do we need to assign a program administrator?
It is preferred. The program runs on auto-pilot but it is beneficial to appoint a single point of contact who will make decisions and approve new product additions and changes.
What products can I place on my online store?
You’ll choose from hundreds of products that we store in our production facility in blank form. Browse our virtual catalogue or visit us to touch and feel all your products from our in-house store. A large percentage of our products are created on-demand so you have a huge variety of choices to offer your end users with no inventory risk for most products.
If you would like to view our virtual catalogue, please email us for special access, firstname.lastname@example.org, you can also call customer service at 972-471-5400.
Need something that is not currently offered in our line of products? We can add it! Let us know what you need, we’ll research it and either add it to our line or order it exclusively for your website.
What does “on-demand production” mean to me?
On-demand production eliminates the risk of obsolete inventory. Since the majority of our products are produced on-demand, you have the flexibility to offer hundreds of choices and less risk of getting stuck with items on a shelf. On-demand production is valuable because products are not made until they are ordered online so there is no inventory risk. Orders flow from the web directly to the production for with each product ordered going to the department that will decorate the product. Each product is pull and decorated one at a time and sent to shipping within 24 hours.
Do I have to carry inventory in my online store?
Programs carry a minimal amount of inventory. Although the large majority of our products are produced on-demand, some items cannot be produced economically in a quantity of one. Those items have small range levels that allow us to create a minimal number of products to be kept in inventory. You are not responsible for those products until you order them, unless they sit on our shelves for more than one year.
Can I customize my products as I order them?
Yes. You can customize anything with our definable templates online. Choose from a pen with your logo, name and phone number to a brochure that drops in your name throughout the test so it looks like it was tailor-made for you. During setup you’ll select the items you want to allow your end users to customize and tell us what the parameters are allowed for customization. We’ll setup a definable template that allows end users to input personal information or select pre-approved information from a drop down menu.
Does your system allow for online proofing of items?
Yes. We call our definable templates mtools (marketing tools). These templates allow end users to personalize their promo, print or apparel item within the parameters set by corporate. Anything can be customized with a logo, name, contact information, special message or picture. Enter in the information you need or choose from drop down menus, then view a proof online and order.
Is your pricing competitive?
Yes, if we were not market competitive, we would not have accounts of so many large organizations like Lockheed Martin, ERA Helicopters, Ambit Energy, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, MedAssets, Fujitsu, Universities and many others.
Do you have order minimums?
No. Products online can be ordered in a quantity of one.
How do most large companies manage billing?
There are several billing options for company spending. Monthly statements detailing each transaction, electronic invoicing via email, and electronic statement billing are all options. Invoice detail can include appropriate cost center information. Personal employee orders are paid by personal credit card. Advanced-Online has already been successful in integrating with many of the large and complex accounting systems. Accounting departments love working with Advanced-Online because of the efficiently created through billing or statement automation.
Can your system provide reports from user profile information?
Yes. Numerous report options are available by company, division, department or other preset user profile.
How do I prevent an employee from overspending?
All programs come complete with a budget control feature and approval hierarchy that can be adjusted to fit any requirements.
With budget control you can place controls on individuals or departments based on company spending or divisional spending. You have are able to apply approval options based on your scenario.
The budget control feature is automated so it will hold an order that has exceeded spending or quantity limitations. One of three actions will happen: An order over budget can be sent to the appropriate authority for approval or the program will ask for a personal credit card to purchase the remaining balance or the program will not allow the order to be processed.
Describe what types of approvals are in place.
There are several types of approval processes available that can be used along or simultaneously. There are dollar spending limit approvals, product quantity limits, specific product approvals, freight option approvals, and other options.
We also have multi-level approvals for orders up to 4 levels of approvals. Each approval can be tied to a specific dollar amount including the multi-level approvals. Once an order is placed online, an email is sent to their approver(s).
Does your system keep the order history at the individual user level?
Can I use my own carrier shipping number?
Most of our customers prefer to use their own carrier number to receive their special rates.
Can shipping be applied to the respective cost centers for each order?
Shipping can be applied to specific company cost centers associate with each order.
Can my products be produced same day?
Yes! Choose the option online to rush or call our customer service desk. A $5.00 rush charge will apply.
What is the last order time for the same day release of an item?
2:00 PM CST. Any order after 2:00 PM CST will have to be called into Customer Service for same day service.
Is there a cost break if I order in bulk?
Price breaks are available on the site. For larger volume price breaks, please contact Advanced-Online Customer Service at 972-471-5400. Business Hours: M – F, 7:30AM – 5:30 PM CST
How do I place a custom order for product not found on the company site or for a special event?
Call 972.471.5400 to speak with a Customer Care Representative who will be able to complete your order over the phone. This person will also ensure that the special order receives corporate approval and is within your branding guidelines.
How do you source a new item or an item on a short lead-time such as 48 hours?
We have a team on staff who sourcing inventory and special products. Your single-point-of-contact – your Program Manager – will coordinate your needs with them.
Does everyone get a Program Manager?
Yes. A Program Manager will work with you during the life of your program. Special consideration is taken in matching program managers with each client. Your program manager will act as your point-of-contact and will lead day-to-day management, optimize promotions, special projects and product additions.
How do you control corporate brand standards?
Advanced-Online takes great care to create logo sheets and program rules. These items are loaded into our web platform to ensure consistency.
Can I provide products exclusively to particular groups in my organization?
Yes you can. Each group in your organization can enter through a portal that displays only the products and materials specific to their job role, department or brand identity.
Will I receive an Order Confirmation?
Yes. Upon completing your order, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address you specified with your username and password.
Once I order online, what is your turnaround time?
Most products are ready to ship within 24 hours, but a few items can take up to 72 hours to complete. Same day ship is available for rush fee of $5.
Standard promotional, apparel and print products ship in 24 hours and customized items ship in 72 hours. Special orders for items that are not available on the website take an average of 5 – 7 business days.
Products are made at lightning speed because of our unique order process allows an order placed on an online store to flow directly to our 80,000 square foot production floor in Dallas, Texas.
What if I have old inventory from another vendor that I need to distribute?
If you own inventory that is left over from a prior program you have the option to sell it through our online store. We’ll photograph it, place it online, inventory it and distribute it. You’ll receive eighty percent of the online purchase price in a check mailed once a month as it sells. No other costs or fees apply.
What is the timeline for an online or award program setup?
The length and speed really depend on you! The average online store or award program is actively receiving orders within six weeks. Generally after our first meeting, you will have already established the backend website rules that give us direction in building your website frame. (Programs are created on our web platform so the backend and frame of your site is actually completed in a couple of hours.) During that first meeting you will also have the opportunity to pick your product line. However, we can do very little until we receive the eps files of yours logos and any artwork for special products. After your artwork is sent, you’ll be asked to approve logo sheets, sewouts, and an inventory agreement; each day that you delay in responding increases setup time.
How much does an online company store cost?
Programs are provided at no cost to qualified customers and there are no monthly fees or maintenance charges to organizations that meet our overall sales volume minimum. Our revenue is generated solely from producing and selling products. The only costs associated with your website are the artwork setup costs. Like traditional print and apparel vendors, we charge for the initial setup of your artwork files for each product at an hourly rate. This cost is applied to digitize your artwork, produce proofs, match trend colors, match PMS colors and create definable templates for the products you’ll allow your end users to customize.
Are there any costs other than the initial artwork setup for products on my program?
No. There are no hidden costs. No monthly fees. No storage fees. No processing fees. No programming costs. No inventory management fees. No supply chain costs. No fulfillment fees.
What payment methods are accepted within online stores?
- American Express
- Corporate Purchasing Card
- Statement billing
- Electronic Statement billing
- EDI/xml file billing by invoice
How will my credit card statement reflect my purchase?
Your credit card statement will reflect payment to Advanced-Online.
Are all the transactions on online secure and safe?
All transactions are processed securely using 128-bit encryption. Credit cards are processed via a non-http secure socket also using 128-bit encryption. All credit card numbers are encrypted and deleted after 6 months.
What is your standard delivery method?
All items are shipped using your freight account number or our ‘Standard’ freight method UPS Ground or Fedex Ground (which ever is least expensive) and billed accordingly.
Does your system link to the main carriers such as FedEx and UPS to obtain and provide tracking numbers?
Our system does link to the major carriers. After an order is placed, an email is automatically sent with the tracking number and customer service information.
Does your system automatically notify a customer when an order has been shipped and indicate the tracking number?
Yes. By email.
Will you ship to Canada or internationally?
What is the exchange and return policy?
Your satisfaction is our priority. If the merchandise you ordered does not meet your expectations, we will gladly exchange it or accept the return for a refund or credit. All goods must be returned within 30 days from the date of shipment. Any promotional product that is not personalized may be returned without a restocking fee.
Please contact Advanced-Online Customer Service at 972-471-5400 to receive a return authorization number. If there is a problem with the product, Advanced-Online will replace the product at no cost to you. If you need to return a product for another reason, Advanced-Online will accept promotional products (if returned in the same condition sent to you) with no restocking fee, but you may still be liable for shipping charges. Non-promotional products will have a 15% or $15.00 restocking charge, whichever is greater.
Will I ever have to deal with customer service issues?
Our world-class customer care center handles everything from help placing an order to returns and exchanges to pricing, passwords and points.
Is sales tax included in my orders?
Applicable sales tax will be billed for orders shipping to Texas only.
Are there any contracts?
Our goal is to build a relationship with your for the long-term. Every website is handled with care to earn your business and continuously meet and exceed your expectations. It is because of our company mission that you will not be asked to sign a typical contract with us. Therefore you can choose to shutdown your store at any time and your only responsibility is the remaining inventory.
An inventory agreement is the only agreement between us. It states that you’ll be responsible for any inventory that you ask us to create on your behalf. In almost all cases we do not charge for inventory upfront so if you ask us to create a product for inventory on your behalf and your items become obsolete, sit on our shelves for more than one year or you decide to close down your store, you will be responsible for the retail cost of the remaining items.
What kind of award programs do you offer?
Incentive Programs: Motivate employees through recognition. Employees can nominate one another to receive a special recognition award.
Reward Programs: Let your representative earn points for rewards. Give them hundreds of prizes to choose from with virtually no inventory.
Years of Service Programs: Reward your staff by commemorating their work anniversary with a gift that will leave a lasting impression.
What distinguishes Advanced-Online from other organizations?
- We own and control every aspect of our business model including the technology and the production floor.
- We produce large and small orders economically, there are no minimum orders.
- Our sole focus is our clients who have online company stores and awards programs. This allows us to place our complete attention on our customer programs and not on the time consuming custom order business of other clients.
- Less than one quarter of one percent of our items are back-ordered each day, so you won’t have to wait weeks for products. Standard promotional, apparel and print products ship in 24 hours and customized items ship in 72 hours.
- You can customize your products and view a proof online in one simple action.
- Our business is financially stable. Advanced-Online has low debt levels. All capital purchases are paid off in 36 months. We have been in business for more than 26 years and won’t disappear tomorrow like many vendors in this business.
- Orders are produced on-demand to limit inventory exposure.
How do I get started?
- There are several options:
- Call 972-471-5400
- Email email@example.com for more information
- Schedule a meeting to tour our facilities, click here.
- Or tell us about your needs by filling out an online form now, click here.