Specialist e-Commerce company Shopcreator worked against the clock to ensure the cut in VAT was accounted for and integrated into all of its ecommerce products. The VAT cut was administered in time for new trading prices on Monday, 1st December at what is considered to be the busiest retail period of the year with Christmas less than a month away.

The government has now confirmed a 2.5% reduction in VAT from 17.5% to 15% as of Monday, 1st December, 2008 in an attempt to inject some confidence into consumer spending and to boost the economy. However, whether this is a viable change for the masses in relation to the limited timescale and administration costs involved is under huge scrutiny and debate.

It is recorded that there are 47 million businesses in the UK, 99.3% of which are small businesses according to the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Form (BERR). It is these small to medium sized retailers that are feeling the strain of this administration change due to the lack of financial infrastructure and personnel in place to administer new pricing compared with the larger retailers such as supermarkets and department stores.

Many retailers have stocked up for the Christmas trading period as early as September and will have priced up a larger than normal inventory supply for the Christmas spending that appears to have come earlier than normal this year as consumers try hard to spread their costs in the lead up to Christmas.

The VAT implications will cause many problems for ecommerce retailers that run on a Content Management System (CMS) that aren’t managed by a development company as their VAT rates will be hard-coded into their CMS system making it virtually impossible to amend.

In addition, latest news from large online auction house and shopping website - eBay have announced that all seller’s must reflect the change in VAT on all listings and that all seller’s must manually amend the VAT themselves causing further frustration for many traders. In addition to administering the amend themselves, all eBay sellers need to close any running listings that are due to end past the 1st December and incur additional listings charges for uploading the same items again following the 1st December.

Shopcreator pride themselves on being customer focused and endeavour to reduce the complexities of running and maintaining an online store in the current turbulent market. As a result, Alex Coghlan, Product Director insisted all VAT rates be changed automatically saving Shopcreator’s customers time and stress in this busy and challenging period.
Alex explains:-
“The government’s decision to change the VAT rate in one week has put an additional pressure and cost on businesses during the busy period between now and Christmas. As a result we decided to automatically update the VAT rate for all of our customer’s stores at no cost so they can concentrate their time and effort on maintaining their excellent retail services for their customers.”

Whilst administering the amend in VAT, Shopcreator have revamped their free online shop – ‘Transact’ to include a brand new choice of web templates as well as re-designing the setup procedure to a simple 5 stage process allowing those with no web design knowledge to setup a store in less than half an hour. The new and improved Transact store will be launched on the 15th December, 2008 and can be downloaded directly from the Shopcreator website: www.shopcreator.com

For more information, please visit www.shopcreator.com or contact Shopcreator on 0845 12 11 400

About Shopcreator:
Selfserve acquired Shopcreator in November, 2007. Since 1998, Shopcreator have been delivering award winning e-commerce software to the retail and mail order sectors, spanning clients that range from those who are new to ecommerce, to the UK’s leading high street retailers. Selfserve is a limited company and is headquartered in Leeds, UK.

Alex Stephens
Marketing Executive


Selfserve (UK) Ltd
6 Mortec Park
York Road
West Yorkshire
LS15 4TA

Published on: 12:00AM on 1st December 2008