IndieCommunication: IndieCommerce Institute, Gift Cards, and a Tip of the Week

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Here’s the IndieCommunication e-newsletter for Thursday, December 13:

The Trend Is Up: Online Sales at Indie Bookstores Continue to Grow

Winter Institute 14 logo

As in other retail sectors, revenue from online sales at independent bookstores continues to grow. If your website isn’t generating greater sales, perhaps you aren’t taking full advantage of the productive features and tools that IndieCommerce and IndieLite sites offer.

There’s one way to be certain: Attend the IndieCommerce Institute (ICI), an interactive, classroom-style workshop for users of ABA’s ecommerce platforms. The next ICI will be held in Albuquerque, at the 2019 Winter Institute (Wi14), on Tuesday, January 22.

ICI is held the day before the bulk of Wi14 programming begins, so you won’t be missing out on any great learning. But also, you don’t have to be registered for Winter Institute to attend ICI.

Booksellers can register for either the morning or the afternoon ICI seminar for $59 each, or for both morning and afternoon seminars for $118. Each seminar will include step-by-step instructions for the topics covered. Lunch is included for ABA members who sign up for both seminars.

If you’re interested, please sign up today. If you have suggestions for topics or questions about what will be covered, e-mail staff@bookweb.org. Hope to see you in New Mexico!

Upcoming Dates for ACH Transfers

Here are the upcoming scheduled dates for ACH transfer of funds for your online orders.

  • Thursday, December 20
  • Wednesday, January 2

The regular ACH funds transfer schedule will resume after January 2, 2019.

Creating Gift Cards & Gift Codes

If your store offers store gift cards or gift certificates, you can sell those on your IndieCommerce website as custom products. You can also create and sell online gift codes (no physical cards) using the gift code feature available on IndieCommerce.

Accepting Gift Cards or Gift Certificates Toward Payment

During online checkout, customers with an in-store gift card to the store can enter the number to be processed at the store when the book is picked up in person; the customer will not get credit until the store clears the gift card. Stores can customize the Custom Checkout Panes for this purpose. Questions? E-mail staff@bookweb.org. Givex cards can be used online at any time at stores that accept this type of card.

Cartoon man holding TIPS sign

Tip of the Week: Check Your Orders

During high-volume online shopping days, check for online orders several times a day. Don’t wait for order notification e-mails.


Booksellers are encouraged to send their thoughts, questions, or suggestions via e-mail to IndieCommerce staff at any time.

Past editions of IndieCommunication are available on the IndieCommerce Updates page on BookWeb.org.