Online holiday shopping is ramping up. If your IndieCommerce or IndieLite website is still not live, here are a couple of videos that might help you get your website ready for launch in time for holiday shoppers.
- IndieLite: Chanthee Keokhaw has put together this great video on how to get your IndieLite website ready to go live.
- IndieCommerce: Scott Nafz held a recent webinar on how to get your IndieCommerce site ready to go live.
How Fast Does Your Homepage Load?
Online customers like fast websites. The average time for a page to load on an IndieCommerce or IndieLite website is a few seconds or less. The average homepage takes slightly longer to load. Whenever you update your homepage, check to see how fast it loads compared to before you made the change.
If your website uses carousels to display books, one major culprit slowing it down might be the number of books you are displaying in the carousel on your homepage. The above example shows four images, but you could scroll to see more if it was an actual carousel. The problem is that although you only see four at a time, your homepage is loading every single book that you have selected to appear in the carousel, and that takes time. By reducing the number of titles in each carousel you display to no more than 20 books, this will help to reduce your homepage load time and keep your online customers happy.
Watch for Credit Card Fraud Red Flags
ABA’s Alison Larkin has been keeping an eye on IndieCommerce and IndieLite fraud trends. Lately, fraud patterns seem to be changing almost weekly, so she’s compiled a list of red flags to keep an eye out for when processing your online credit card orders. Each of these are pieces of the puzzle in determining if an order should be considered fraudulent.
- Read ABA’s fraud report, which lists email addresses from which fraudulent orders have been received.
- For IndieCommerce/IndieLite sites, check each order to see if ABA has added an admin comment warning of fraud. In some (but not all) cases, we have been able to add these warnings before an order has been completed.
- Check the IP address used to place the order for risk assessment using Scamalytics and IPQualityScore. It is especially important to check if the IP address shows a different geographical location from the billing or shipping location, or shows no location.
- Pay attention to different ship to/bill to addresses, in particular those that are the same except for ZIP Code.
- Pay attention to email addresses that have no connection to any of the billing or shipping data in the order.
- Get a phone number for the customer on all orders. If this customer is not known to you, check to see how long they have been a customer as well as their order history. For IndieCommerce/IndieLite sites, do this by clicking on the customer number link in the customer info box.
- Call the customer and the recipient of suspicious orders; the recipient might not be aware of any fraud and may help confirm if the order is fraudulent.
- Check the order to see if the credit card authorization had address mismatches or declines before being approved.
- Report all suspicious activity to the IndieCommerce team so we can track fraudulent activity.
Another Batch of New Features for You
- Discount Coupons: IndieLite sites can now offer coupons to their customers. Coupons can be for a dollar amount or percentage, for the order subtotal, or for particular ISBNs. (IndieCommerce stores have additional options for coupons.) Learn more about offering discount coupons.
- IndieLite stores using Stamps.com, PirateShip, or ShippingEasy solutions can export order information into a CSV file and create shipping labels in bulk.
- IndieLite stores can request both of the above features from the Store Features page on their IL sites. Go to: Store -> Configuration -> Account Information and Preferences -> Store Features
- Bookazine Stock Information: Bookazine stock information is now visible on all IndieCommerce and IndieLite admin order pages
The deadline is October 22. If you have questions regarding the upcoming change to credit card processing on IndieCommerce websites, check out these frequently asked questions or the recording of a webinar presentation on this change to credit card processing. If your IndieCommerce site is still on the shared ABA credit card account and you have not already started the move to your own credit card merchant account, you are encouraged to get this transition completed in October, before the holiday shopping rush begins.
If your bookstore is currently on IndieCommerce (not IndieLite) and you use ABA’s shared account for processing online credit card orders, we would like to help you set up your own credit card merchant account for your website as soon as possible. ABA CFO PK Sindwani has negotiated discounted credit card processing rates for ABA members with Gravitypayments.com. Find more information here.
Upcoming Webinars Next Week
We’ve got two important webinars for you next week that can help your website manage increased holiday sales and list non-book products faster.
- Order Processing 201: Monday, October 12, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET: Learn about the latest advanced tools available for processing your online orders in bulk. In this webinar, we will cover bulk order processing, printing invoices in bulk, exporting to shipping solutions, exporting to POS systems, and generating custom sales reports. These new features will save your staff time and keep your customers satisfied. Register today.
- Sidelines and Non-Book: How to Create, Sell, and Manage Stock: Wednesday, October 14, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET: Get up to speed on the latest features and strategies for selling sidelines and other non-book inventory on your website. We'll cover an easy-to-use feature that adds tens of thousands of gift and game products from Ingram, how to bulk upload your own unique products, and how to integrate non-book products with LSI, so you can combine stock and pricing updates for books and sidelines in a single upload from your POS system. Register today.
The IndieCommerce teamFor past editions of IndieCommunication, visit this page.