We are excited to announce our latest update, a complete rework of how customer payments work! Prior to this change, payments were sort of treated like a second-class metric, with the order record simply tracking the amount that a customer has paid. Whenever a customer would add a new payment, you would have to manually increment this number and save the record. With the new changes, we have introduced a payment history, where you can now record individual payments that a customer makes. Furthermore, these payments are now itemized on the customer’s receipt, which greatly reduces confusion for the very common scenario of giving partial payments over time. Finally, a new report has been added so that you can query these payments by date and export them into Excel.

Managing Payments

On the top of a customer’s record, you will now see a new Payments button:

Clicking this button will display all of the current customer’s payments. By default, the view may look something like this when they haven’t made any payments yet:

This displays a high-level view across all of the customer’s orders. Here you can create new payments, view the customer’s existing payments, and view the sums across all the payments. You can also hone into a specific order, which will filter all the payments for that order. To add a payment, simply click the New Payment button, which will display a form where you can add some payment details:

In this form, you can select what to apply the payment to, and you also have some convenient helpers, like being able to see how much is remaining on the item, and also being able to pay an item in full without typing anything. The Payment Method field is also fully configurable, and you can add or remove your own payment methods in Settings > Orders & Financials > Payment Methods:

Once you add a few payments, your page will begin to look like this:

In that example, we have filtered by a specific order. By observing the checkmarks and green text, we can see that the customer has paid for their dress as well as the alterations on the dress, but they still have not paid for the additional work. The customer will also see their payments in the receipt:

Finally, you can generate a new Payments Created report in Reports > Payments Created. By selecting a date range, you will be able to see all payments created within that range:

Today marks the release of another major feature of CloudBridal: Work Orders. This feature is available for everyone in the Ultimate plan. You can try it today for free by signing up for a free trial.

Put simply, work orders allow you to assign work to seamstresses. They are associated to an existing customer’s order, and store information like who the assigned seamstress is, when the work order is due, the instructions, and other similar fields.

Work orders are configured in Settings > Work Orders. There you will be able to set the Default Work Order Mode, as well as the Work Order Additional Work Options.

As you can see, work orders support several different modes. Track Time is used when you want the system to automatically track how many hours a seamstress spends on a particular order. You can use that data to make an informed choice on things like wages or alteration fees. Flat Fee lets you be less precise with tracking, but is useful for situations like if you pay your seamstresses a flat fee regardless of how much time they spent on a work order. Finally, No Cost Tracking lets you assign and keep tabs on the work without worrying about tracking the cost or hours in any way.

You can also set custom work options. Do you have a lot of customers that request rush orders? Make it an option that you can just check off! We understand that your workflow can be unique, so we want to give you the power to make it efficient as well.

The last step to creating and assigning work orders is to create a role that can handle work orders. We recommend creating something like a Seamstress role that has the permission to handle work orders. You can do this in Settings > Staff Members & Roles > New Role.

Once you configure work orders, you can create them in 2 ways:

  1. From the Work Orders tab
  2. Directly from a customer’s order

After creating a work order and assigning it to a seamstress, they will see it when they sign into CloudBridal.

Your assigned staff member has a high level view of the order and their instructions, and can start working as soon as they’re ready. The above example is in the Track Time mode, so they have the option to Start Work. Once they do so, they have the options to Pause Work so that the timer stops, and can also Resume Work and Complete Work.

In the meantime, you will be able to keep track of their work both through the work orders tab, as well as the customer’s order directly, so you will never be in doubt about how a work order is progressing.

Over the coming updates, we plan to refine work orders even more, by adding features such as work order reports and others based on your feedback. We hope that you enjoy the feature, and that it helps you keep your business even more organized as it continues to grow.

This update brings some exciting new improvements to order receipts, including the ability to customize certain aspects of them. Additionally, non-dress inventory items such as accessories and veils now have inventory item support, so you can begin tracking them, associating them to orders, and running all existing inventory reports from them.

Receipt Changes

  • Receipts now include several additional fields that were missing before, such as information related to alterations and additional work
  • There are now 2 customizable sections of a receipt where you can customize them with your own text. One section is below the store info header at the top of the receipt, and the other section is below the order details at the bottom of the receipt. In addition to customizing the text, you can also format the text with the following options: bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, numbered list, bullet point list, font size, font color, font background color, indentation, and text alignment. You can configure these sections in Settings -> Orders & Tax.
  • Receipts now have signature fields for the sales associate, customer, and a date field, so that each party can give their sign-off at the end of the transaction.
  • You can now print receipts for specific orders on a customer, including the option to print all the orders for a customer.
  • Printing receipts for a bridal party will now print each order for each bridal party member on separate pages.

 

 

 

 

Non-Dress Inventory Items

  • When creating an inventory item, you can now select the item type: Dress, Accessory, Veil, and Other.
  • When a non-dress type is selected, new form fields are presented that are different from those that display for dresses.
  • When creating an order that is not a dress, you can now directly associate the order to these new inventory items.
  • You can now track reporting metrics like the performance of non-dress inventory items.

 

 

 

Today’s update brings a large change to how permissions are assigned in CloudBridal. Prior to this change, CloudBridal worked by giving the store owner full access to all sensitive data and settings, with all staff added to the store being given a default limited set of permissions. All added staff would be able to access and manage all orders, customers, inventory items, and appointments. However, since many staff members have differing responsibilities, we decided to undertake an initiative to give you total flexibility over assigning what your staff can see and do within CloudBridal.

Roles

Put simply, a role represents a set of things a user can do. For instance, the Admin role that comes standard by default is a role that can do everything. You can now create your own custom roles and assign permissions to them. For example, you can create a Sales Associate role that has the ability to manage your customers and orders. You can create as many roles as you want, but a single user can only have one role.

 

 

Permissions

A permission defines the ability for a user to perform a specific action. For example, the ability to view customers or to manage appointments. You can configure permissions for new roles that you create.

 

 

Putting Roles and Permissions Together

Once you create a role and add some permissions to it, you can then assign this role to a user. The next time the user logs into CloudBridal, they will only be able to do what their role lets them do. For example, if you only set the View Appointments permission, that user will only be able to view appointments in CloudBridal. They will not have the ability to create or manage appointments, and they will also be restricted from accessing any other parts of the site. In addition to restricting access, these changes have the added benefit of actually making it easier for your staff to efficiently use CloudBridal. By defining roles for your staff, you can help simplify the interface to reduce confusion and increase their productivity.

 

Future Feature Implications

Fundamentally, these changes will help us create path toward the types of features we wish to focus our development resources on. Until now, we never had a good approach for developing role-specific features, such as a word orders feature for seamstresses. Creating such a feature would needlessly bloat the interface, making it increasingly more difficult for other users like sales associates to use CloudBridal. Now with the concept of roles, we are able to create specific features like this and then encourage you to create roles that are dedicated to these features. We are definitely excited to see what the future brings in terms of next-gen bridal shop management.

 

In Other News

There are also a number of minor fixes and enhancements with this update:

  • Fixed bug where card headers had issues when adjusting screen width
  • Disabled Google Chrome form autocomplete for several fields where it is irrelevant
  • The “Order Is Late After This Many Days” setting now calculates from an order’s expected arrival date instead of its ordered date. Additionally, the alert text has been changed to specify how many days late the order is
  • Other minor wording changes and bug fixes

 

 

 

 

Today we are pleased to announce that we have modified our pricing plans to offer feature-based pricing. You can read more about the new pricing options on our pricing page. By default, our free trial starts on the Ultimate plan so that you can try all our features, but the plan type can be easily changed in the Settings page. Plan changes reflect instantly and don’t require any special configuration, so feel free to play around with each plan to figure out exactly what your business needs.

 

 

 

In other news, we have also made some changes to the order details page:

  • Alterations Price and Additional Work Price no longer counts toward subtotal or tax. Instead, a new checkbox that marks each field as paid can now be clicked. We found that counting these toward the subtotal made it more confusing to manage order payments, so we hope that this update improves the usability here.
  • The UI has been refreshed a bit for an order’s quick details.

 

 

This update brings a useful update to the day view in the appointment calendar: appointments are now displayed in separate columns based on which resource they belong to.

 

 

This update makes the day’s schedule much easier to read than before, especially for busy days where many of your resources are heavily booked. The other nice feature is that only resources with appointments for that day will even show up on the calendar, so you won’t see any empty columns. Finally, clicking on an empty space within this new view will also automatically pre-fill the resource field for a new appointment, which makes it really quick to add new appointments to the calendar.

Today’s update brings several new quality of life improvements.

  • The size field on orders and inventory items now accepts inputs like 18W and 6 Petite instead of forcing a number input.
  • The Alterations Price and Additional Price fields on an order can now be edited regardless of the order status.
  • Added ability to override the calculated tax amount in the case of special situations. An overridden tax amount will be clearly marked in the price details.
  • Added a new configuration option in the order settings, Default Order Dates to Today’s Date. This option allows you to toggle the functionality that automatically sets an order’s date fields to the present date when an order is transitioned to a new status.
  • Fixed a bug where creating a new customer through the bridal party interface would not allow you to set whether the customer has no email address.

 

With this update, we have added a few basic localization configurations in the settings. Simply navigate to Settings -> General in order to change these. We now allow you to modify the Currency Symbol as well as the Phone Number Format. In the future, we plan on adding several more settings to really improve usability outside of the U.S., but for now these should make it easier for users outside of the U.S. to use CloudBridal.

 

 

Currency Symbol: Affects which currency symbol is shown throughout the application. Examples are places like order details and reports. The default value is ‘$’ but can be changed to something like ‘£’.

Phone Number Format: Used to enforce a specific phone number format for input fields that take in a phone number, such as a customer’s phone. This also affects how phone numbers are displayed. The default value is ‘(###) ### – ####’ but can be changed to something like ‘#### ### ####’.

 

This update brings some much-needed features in regard to managing your inventory and orders. Inventory items now allow you to configure multiple color options for an item.

 

 

This makes it incredibly easy for you to keep track of which options are available for an inventory item when placing an order. Instead of displaying all possible color options, the system will filter the options based on the colors that you configured on the inventory item.

 

 

We have also improved the way that inventory items are associated to an order. The typical workflow when creating an order is to have the system select an existing inventory item, but for certain situations like a completely custom dress that does not exist in your inventory, the system allows you to override the Style/Brand/Color options with anything you want. This normally works well, but from user feedback we have discovered that it’s not very clear when an order is being created with no inventory item association, so we added a warning for situations like these to improve clarity.

 

 

Today’s update doesn’t add any new features, but we have instead tightened up the consistency and usability of the UI. Our goal is to make CloudBridal intuitive and easy to use, and making the UI more consistent goes a long way to reduce overall confusion.

Customer Details Page

One paradigm that we have been shifting to throughout the UI is for action buttons to appear on the top left of a page. Previously, the customer details page had action buttons appearing in a few different places: top left for creating follow-up appointments, above the orders section to create an order, and within the bridal party section to print a customer receipt. This update unifies these all to the top-left of the customer details page like we have in other pages.

 

Customers, Orders, and Inventory List Pages

These list pages now also follow the paradigm of actions on the top left. We have also adjusted the headers to save on vertical page space and to reduce the number of UI elements on the page.

 

Appointment History

The customer’s appointment history now defaults to a condensed view (like the orders and bridal party) to make the customer details page less cluttered on the initial page load. Expanding the history will show the detailed view that was there before. Our goal here was to make the page less confusing and more accessible at first glance, while allowing users to drill down into detailed views if needed.

 

Bridal Party

The bridal party section has also been slightly adjusted to reduce the amount of UI elements in it.