Avoid Gift Certificate Fraud in Your BigCommerce Store

Gift certificates are a great feature, especially for stores selling often-gifted products. However, online gift certificates can be a magnet for fraud. By changing the default gift certificate settings in your store, you can minimize the chances of getting hit with unwanted chargebacks.

Because gift certificates are sent immediately to the recipient upon purchase, scammers are known to buy gift certificates with stolen credit cards and then quickly turn around and use the gift certificate to purchase products from your store. Store owners, not realizing what has occurred, ship the orders out normally.

Then, a few weeks or months later, they receive a message from their payment processor that the original payment for the gift certificate itself has been reversed. This leaves the store owner without the products they shipped (when the gift certificate was redeemed), and without the money paid for the gift certificate itself. Meanwhile, the scammer has the products and can sell them online for 100% profit.
To minimize gift certificate fraud, you have two options. You can disable gift certificates entirely by going to Marketing in the left navigation and then clicking on Gift Certificates. Or you can make your gift certificates less appealing to scammers by changing the available gift certificate amounts.

By default, your store is set to accept gift certificate values of $1 to $1000 – the purchaser can enter any amount between those two amounts. However, you can change the setting to “Specify a list of allowed gift certificate amounts” and then type in a few set values like $25, $50, $75 and $100. Since fraudsters are looking to get the largest possible return for their efforts, they are less likely to pull this scam for only $100 in free merchandise. Additionally, you’ll have a much smaller loss should scammers target your store.

This post is an excerpt from my new book, 60 Killer BigCommerce Tips & Tricks for Managing Your Store Like a Pro, now available in paperback and Kindle format from Amazon.com.

Posted in News

Get Creative with BigCommerce Customer Groups

If your store is on the Plus Plan or above, you’ll have access to a feature called Customer Groups. Customer Groups allow you to segment customers so that you can treat them differently. The most common use for customer groups is separating wholesale from retail customers so that you can give wholesale customers access to case-pack products or allow them to purchase at wholesale prices.

But you can use customer groups for a variety of creative purposes. Here are some ideas to get you going:

Use customer groups to give your best customers exclusive discounts

Create a VIP group with a discount on all or select products in your store. You could market VIP status as something shoppers can earn after placing a certain number of orders, or simply reward customers who have purchased frequently by reaching out directly and letting them know they’ve earned VIP status.

Use customer groups to offer a Free Shipping subscription similar to Amazon Prime

Create a product called “Free Shipping” and sell it for whatever price you’d like. Create a Free Shipping customer group and then set up a cart-level discount that gives free shipping to only people in that group. When someone purchases the “Free Shipping” product, add them to that group.

Use customer groups to give certain customers a “first look” at new products

Create a category named “Preview” or “First Look” and then create a customer group with a similar name that has access to that category. Make sure to uncheck that category from your default customer group so that regular shoppers can’t access it. Then use whatever promotional method you want to reward shoppers with “First Look” access. It could be ordering a certain amount, placing a minimum number of orders, taking a survey, sharing content on social media, etc.

Customer groups can be a powerful promotional tool if you think outside the box!

This post is an excerpt from my new book, 60 Killer BigCommerce Tips & Tricks for Managing Your Store Like a Pro, now available in paperback and Kindle format from Amazon.com.

Posted in News

Create Custom Product Page Text with the BigCommerce Warranty Field

The following is an excerpt from my new book, 60 Killer BigCommerce Tips & Tricks for Managing Your Store Like a Pro, now available in paperback and Kindle format from Amazon.com.

One limitation of BigCommerce that some store owners find frustrating is the inability to create additional content fields for products. For example, you may want to have a 1-2 sentence overview of the product at the top of the page while keeping the full product description further down. Or you may want to display information like ingredients, a size chart or usage instructions separately from the main description.

There’s one field which can be used to display additional product content, and that’s the Warranty field. It’s unique per product and it accepts HTML code, making it quite flexible in terms of the type of information you can display.

You’ll find the Warranty field on the Other Details tab when editing a product. It doesn’t have a nice text editor like the product description field, but there’s a workaround if you need to add more than straight paragraph text and you’re not comfortable with HTML. Simply create your Warranty field text in the product description text editor and then switch to HTML view by clicking the HTML icon located at the far right of the bottom row of text editor icons. Copy the HTML and then paste it into the Warranty field.

Once you’ve added your content, you’ll probably want to hide or change the heading that says Warranty Information on the product page:
For Stencil themes, go to Storefront > Themes, click on Advanced and then select Edit Theme Files. You may need to make a copy of your theme if you haven’t already done so. To change the heading from Warranty Information to something else (like Size Charts or Ingredients), click on the lang folder and select en.json. Do a search for “warranty” and replace the text “Warranty Information” with your new text (within the quotes).

For Blueprint themes, go to Storefront and click on Template Files in the left navigation. Scroll down to Panels and click on the plus to expand the list. Scroll down to ProductWarranty.html and replace %%LNG_ProductWarranty%% with your desired heading text.

Posted in News

Make the Most of Your BigCommerce Site Search

BigCommerce is always adjusting how your store’s search box works, and while that may be outside your control, you do have the ability to make your search results more effective.

Every product has a field for Search Keywords which hooks into your website’s search box. Many store owners misunderstand this field and think it’s related to SEO (search engine optimization) and helping products appear in Google or Bing search results. In reality, this field allows you to control when to include products in your website’s search results.

Search keywords have two great uses. The first is for synonyms. For example, if you sell clothing, your products may come in multiple colors. If those colors have specific names like “teal”, “aquamarine” or “navy”, you can enter the generic color “blue” in the search keywords field to ensure those items come up when a shopper searches for “blue shirts”. This is also useful for products that can be referred to by multiple names – you never know which one a shopper is going to use in the search box.

The other cool use for Search Keywords is creating temporary or seasonal collections. Rather than creating a whole category, you can use a unique search term to group products that can be linked to from a banner or social media. For example, you may want to highlight products for summer travel. Add the words “summer travel” in the Search Keywords field for the appropriate products and then do a search on your website for the same phrase, making sure to put it in quotes. Copy the URL of the search results page and you can use it for a carousel banner on the homepage, on Facebook or in an email newsletter. If you don’t like the look of the long URL, use Bit.ly to create a short link that masks the full URL.

To add Search Keywords, edit a product and then click on the Other Details tab. You’ll find the field in the Other Details section. This field is also available in the product export and import file, so you can easily make bulk updates when you need to add search keywords to many products at once.

This post is an excerpt from my new book, 60 Killer BigCommerce Tips & Tricks for Managing Your Store Like a Pro, now available in paperback and Kindle format from Amazon.com.

Posted in News

Optimize Your BigCommerce Website Now to Maximize Q4 Sales

With the holiday shopping season just two months away, now is the time to get your store ready for increased traffic and sales. More people will be visiting your store between October and December, and by optimizing your BigCommerce website to increase conversion now, you can generate exponentially more revenue during this all-important time of year.

Think about it – if you normally get 1000 visitors a day and have a 2% conversion rate, that equates to 20 orders a day. In 4th quarter, your traffic may increase to 2000 visitors a day. If you invest time now in increasing your website’s conversion rate to 2.5%, that will bump up your holiday orders from 40 to 50 a day. Multiplied by your average order size, this increase from a 2% to 2.5% conversion rate means significantly more revenue!

Here are some ways you can prep your store during the slow summer season to maximize your Q4 sales.

Upgrade to a Responsive Design

If your BigCommerce website was designed more than two years ago, chances are it’s not responsive. Responsive is a fancy way of saying that the design automatically adjusts for any screen size, providing a better and more consistent shopping experience for people on tablets and mobile devices.

Stores that switch to a responsive design see increased conversion rates and a corresponding bump in revenue. You’ll find dozens of beautiful responsive themes in the BigCommerce theme store which can be used as-is if you’re on a budget. But if you want to really “wow” your shoppers, I recommend working with a BigCommerce partner to customize your theme so it better represents your brand and highlights your store’s value propositions. Book a responsive redesign with us before August 31 and you’ll save 10% on the project cost.

Refresh Your Existing Design

If your website is already responsive or you don’t have the budget for a full redesign, a design refresh is a great option. Design trends are always changing and shoppers notice when a website looks outdated. A stale looking website can lead to concerns about your company’s credibility and trustworthiness, which can hurt your conversion rate and sales.

A design refresh involves making small updates to improve the look and functionality of your BigCommerce website. Updating default fonts to modern Google fonts, changing dated gradient backgrounds to solid colors, swapping out old icons with new ones from FontAwesome – these are all simple changes that can go a long way in making your website more appealing with shoppers and increase conversion.

Don’t leave money on the table because your website looks old when the crush of holiday shoppers arrives. Contact us for a website review and we’ll help you identify quick and inexpensive ways to refresh your BigCommerce store’s design.

Amp Up Your Customer Service Capabilities

More shoppers during the holiday season mean more questions and customer contacts. And having accessible customer service options makes shoppers feel secure and is a known way to increase conversion. Make sure you’re ready to provide top-notch customer service by ensuring your website offers all the contact methods that shoppers demand.

If you don’t have a toll-free phone number, now is the time to add one. Though many shoppers have mobile phones with unlimited long distance, a toll-free number shows you care about hearing from your customers. I recommend FreedomVoice, which offers standard or vanity toll-free numbers with helpful features like call routing and forwarding.

Some shoppers don’t want to pick up the phone and call, maybe because they’re shopping at work or just don’t feel comfortable calling a live person. For these customers, live chat is a great solution. I recommend Olark, which is an affordable and full-featured live chat service you can easily add to your BigCommerce store. Plus, they have a great company culture.

To pre-emptively answer questions that your customers might have, make sure you have a well-written Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page on your website. If you already have one, now is the time to review it and see if new questions and answers can be added. I also recommend swapping out your default BigCommerce review system with Yotpo. Their advanced reviews and Question & Answer functionality will allow your shoppers to help each other, reducing their need to contact you.

Reduce Cart Abandonment

Once a shopper reaches the cart, you don’t want them to leave. By implementing an exit popup from JustUno, you can encourage shoppers to complete their purchase with a special offer. Exit popups can be run sitewide or targeted to your cart and checkout pages, and you can offer anything from free shipping to a percentage or dollar off discount. Done well, an exit popup can be just enough incentive for a shopper to finish placing their order.

But what if shoppers leave anyway? You can still draw them back to the purchase process with an abandoned cart email. Available on BigCommerce plans of Plus and higher, abandoned cart emails are sent when a customer leaves the checkout process before completing their order. You can configure the number of emails sent, when they’re sent out and the subject line and content. I recommend including a discount code to further encourage shoppers to come back and complete their order. If you haven’t been using this valuable feature, turn it on now to increase conversion rates during the holiday shopping season.

What other things are you doing to ready your website for holiday shopping? Let us know in the comments!

Posted in News