- How do I get started?
- Can my existing data be imported?
- What does it cost to get set up?
- How about training and support?
- What does Captina cost?
- How am I billed?
- What happens with my website?
- Am I locked in? What about my data?
- What do I need to run Captina?
- Will you work with [my favorite shipper]?
- Do you integrate with QuickBooks®?
- What about credit card processing?
- Will I need a point-of-sale terminal?
- How secure is Captina?
- Who can see what?
Captina runs on virtually any computer or device that can browse the web.
Basically, all you need is an internet connection and a browser. Captina has been tested on Windows, Macintosh, and iOS (iPhone, iPad) devices, and with all four of the major browsers: Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. All four are available for free.
The Captina webstore works with any version of these browsers that has been released in the last three years. This includes Firefox versions 3 and 4, Safari version 4, all versions of Chrome, and Internet Explorer versions 7, 8, and 9; for security reasons, we do not support Internet Explorer 6.
The Captina back end works with Firefox 3 and 4, Safari 4, and Chrome, all of which do a great job of supporting web standards and are extremely fast. It does not work with any version of Internet Explorer, which is not standards-compliant, has many security issues, and is relatively slow.
As far as an internet connection, almost any will do. We’ve deliberately designed Captina not to require much bandwidth, so even a relatively slow mobile connection will work; speeds above basic DSL/cable service won’t make it faster.
We have full integration with UPS, which is our recommended carrier for one simple reason: it is the only one that owns its entire system end-to-end, which means that you can be confident not just in the transportation of your package, but also in the professionalism of its delivery.
(If you are building a direct-to-consumer business, both your packages themselves and the vehicle and driver who deliver them are a very important part of your marketing!)
We are also integrated with FedEx and a number of third-party shippers, so check with us. If your favorite isn’t on the list, the odds are high that we can at least set up some type of lightweight, one-way integration — sending them an email notifying them of the contents and destination of an order, for example — at no charge.
If you find you need a full integration with a shipper we don’t currently support, though, we’re open to discussion.
It’s important to bear in mind that since Captina handles all customer interactions, including taking payments, there’s less for QuickBooks to do.
We offer integration with QuickBooks Online, which we strongly recommend to every small business.
The integration with QuickBooks Online is simple and seamless. Captina injects summary invoices for retail transactions, along with discrete invoices for wholesale transactions, directly into QuickBooks Online. It also injects payment information, making it easy to reconcile.
As with all Captina features, there is no additional charge for this integration.
(Note: We do not either recommend or integrate with the desktop versions of QuickBooks, for two reasons: (1) the data on the desktop is neither reliable nor robust; and (2) we’ve seen far too many instances over the years of small businesses losing all their data when their hard drive crashes. If you’re using desktop QuickBooks, you should upgrade to the online version today.)
Captina can process debit and credit payments made with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover cards.
We do it properly, too: we pre-authorize the charge at the time the purchase is made to make sure there are sufficient funds available, but don’t complete the charge until the purchase is delivered or shipped. And it’s completely secure, and PCI-compliant.
(If you’re not sure what that means, see this site for details; bottom line: if you accept credit cards, you’re required to comply — which we make it easy for you to do.)
We handle credit/debit card processing through an integration with Authorize.net, which works with every merchant account provider we’ve encountered — which therefore probably includes yours. A simple phone call to your merchant account provider will yield the answer.
Even Captina’s point-of-sale (POS) interface runs in a browser. So all you’ll need is a regular computer — or even an iPad! And an internet connection, of course.
We have found that an Apple iMac is the most elegant device, in terms of appearance, but the POS interface works just fine on Windows computers too.
The one piece of equipment you’ll probably want to add is a magnetic stripe reader. Captina can interpret magnetic stripe information from both credit cards and drivers’ licenses, which speeds up data entry in the retail environment and reduces errors.
One piece of equipment you won’t need is a printer, because Captina emails receipts to your customers. It’s less expensive, better for the environment, and helps you capture important contact information from your customers.
(If you do have a printer, you can easily print a receipt. But we’ve found that people are delighted to have one less little slip of paper floating around in their wallets.)
Security was a key consideration in creating Captina, starting with the design stage. (Ridge used to run one of the top network security companies, so it’s top-of-mind around here.)
For starters, all interaction between the browser and our servers is encrypted using 128-bit SSL — the standard for the banking industry. In addition, all sensitive data on our servers is also encrypted.
Electronic access to the servers by our staff is possible only via multi-step authentication, and the number of people with the necessary credentials is heavily controlled.
Stability matters, too. The servers themselves are hosted in two separate secure facilities from different providers located in different parts of the country, and all data is continuously replicated across both so that there is full redundancy at all times; if one datacenter fails, the other will pick up the slack in moments.
Bottom line: no “I forgot to back up” horror stories.
All access to Captina is via password-protected login. You control who has that right, and can revoke access in seconds with a mouse click.
In addition, you can control what part(s) of Captina each of your users can access, and what they can do. For example, you might allow someone to ship orders but not to change them.
Captina is a subscription, priced at $595 per month — forever.
The price you pay will never be higher than the price in effect when you sign up. If the price goes up, yours stays the same; if it goes down, yours goes down too.
Your subscription entitles you to an unlimited number of users plus access to all features, including all upgrades, free support, and continuous backup of your data.
UPS customers receive a $100/month discount, as a result of our close relationship with them.
Captina is billed monthly, in advance. You may pay by check, or by credit card.
Billing starts when we begin work on your account; there is no pro-ration of partial months.
If you choose to pay quarterly you will save 10% on your bill; paying annually will save you 20%. You may switch between monthly, quarterly, and annual billing at any time.
If your account is delinquent, at our discretion you may be unable to use Captina until you bring it current. Your data will be preserved and completely safe, and your webstore will remain able to take orders — it is only your access to Captina that will be curtailed.
You are never locked in; you may cancel your subscription at any time, without penalty.
You may export your data at any time during your subscription period, as often as you like, with a single mouse click. If you cancel, your data will be saved for 90 days, during which time you may export it; after that, it will be erased permanently.
The price includes hosting for your webstore, which needs to be on our servers for integration and security purposes.
You’re welcome to leave the rest of your site (including your blog, if you have one) hosted wherever it is now, but we’ll host it all if you like. That way you have our fully-redundant infrastructure for your whole site.
We don’t host your email, but we are happy to help you set it up at Google (our preference, but you can also use Rackspace, or Zoho, or…). This is what we do for all of our domains, and recommend it very highly; there’s really no reason not to do it. Pricing is very competitive, and you’ll never have to worry about email again.
We will walk you through the details, but essentially there are five major steps:
- Organize your data — QuickBooks information, customer data, and so forth
- Design and build your webstore
- Import your data
- Go live!
Steps 1-4 can be done in parallel, and we work with you every step of the way.
If you are interested in the mechanics, please see our Integration page.
Actually, it depends. If your data is well-organized, then yes; if it is a mess, then no.
In our experience, both with Captina and elsewhere, most people’s data lies somewhere in between. You’ll need to make a judgement call as to how much data you want to bring in, and then either clean it up yourself or hire someone (including us) to do it for you.
We’ll help you figure out what the best approach is, given your specific situation.
There is no charge for importing your data; it’s included in your subscription.
The way we see it, you’re making an investment in us, so it’s only fair that we make an investment in you and your success!
We will, of course, charge you if you want us to help clean up your data; those fees are variable.
There is no charge for training and support.
Period. (Well, almost Period: you pick up the tab if we have to travel.) We believe that it’s our responsibility to make sure that you and your team understand how Captina works, not yours.
We’ll work with you and your team to determine the best way to deliver training. Generally we find that training can be handled over the phone and via webinars. More importantly, we also find that most people find Captina very intuitive to use after a brief orientation.
As for support, we’re reachable during normal business hours – and often well outside normal business hours. Every page in the system has a link to request a call, report a bug, or request a new feature.
As a customer, you’ll also have a 24-hour emergency contact number for us to use when you really need it, because we know that this is your business and you can’t afford to be stuck, even if it’s 2am.