Many retailers see their website as a fluid and dynamic thing that's constantly changing and evolving. Luckily, websites have gotten very sophisticated, and many of the changes that would have required a developer to do just a few years ago, can now easily be done by the retailer. No longer does it take a developer to change the slideshow on your homepage, add a landing page, write an article on your blog, etc. These are all changes that can be done by retailers with no intervention from Modern Retail. However, occasionally you may ask Modern Retail to enhance your website, and those improvements are all billable charges.
Billable charges are those requests where you ask Modern Retail to make an improvement to your website. This can include such things as modifying the design of your website, reorganizing your page layout or adding a feature to the site. Basically, if Modern Retail needs to place our hands on your website to make an improvement you requested, then it's a billable charge.
Modern Retail tries to mark all billable support requests as billable as soon as possible. You will see billable Support Requests as being marked with a "Yes" under Billable.
While the Support Group is pretty good about marking requests as Billable, occasionally a request here or there is missed. Please do not hold this against us, I assure you it isn't intentional.
Most of our clients never pay a penny for the support requests they submit. Questions about how to use HipCommerce, Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce are answered without the store being charged. Many issues that crop up on your website are also generally not billed for. Patches and security problems are patched, often with the store never knowing there was ever an issue. Helping our clients with marketing and making sure they have a plan that works for their store is also time that's typically not billed to our clients.
Note, some clients on the Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento platforms have opted for a flat monthly hosting fee. Other than required security patches and updates, all other support requests are a billable charge.
Modern Retail gets asked to estimate what it will cost to add new features and functionality to websites on a daily basis. As you can imagine, this is a pretty daunting task because you need a sound estimate to make your decision, and Modern Retail needs to reply to your request as quickly as possible. Therefore, Modern Retail has come up with the following approach to estimating:
- Estimates are typically given in 1/2 day (4 hours) increments.
- A full day estimate is equivalent to 8 hours.
- Estimates that exceed 1 week are usually given to a project manager or solution architect so they can be better defined.
Modern Retail will give 1 or 2 hour estimates. However, don't be surprised if something you thought would take only a couple of hours is estimated as 1/2 a day. Similarly, an improvement you thought could take 5 hours may be estimated as 1 day. The support staff does this because we believe it is always better to estimate higher than lower.
Many clients know and understand how Modern Retail estimates and bills for website improvements or enhancements, and they never ask for an estimate. In these cases, Modern Retail will immediately perform the work and invoice the store accordingly.
Modern Retail will only bill you for the actual hours worked. If Modern Retail estimates it will take 8 hours, but it only takes 6.5 hours, then you are only billed for 6.5 hours. Occasionally, Modern Retail does underestimate an improvement or enhancement. We, of course, try to avoid these circumstance, but they do occur. If this happens, we try to let you know when we think the cost is going to be 20% or more of what was originally estimated.
If you have any questions about Billable Charges and how we estimate and invoice you for these improvements, please let us know. Thank you.