The IndieCommerce Newsletter            July 12, 2017

Where Did the Spambots Go?

Over the past year IndieCommerce websites were having a very bad time with spambots using our webforms or user registration forms to send spam emails. The result was that some Internet service providers were occasionally blacklisting emails from us. This would affect the delivery of order confirmation emails to customers as well as other “transactional emails” that are generated by our system for customers.

To stop the spambots, on June 6, we required all forms on IndieCommerce and IndieLite websites to have a reCaptcha to prove that the “person” submitting a form was indeed human and not a nasty bot abusing our system.

The results from the first month of using reCaptcha are in, and email generated by spambots using IndieCommerce forms is down 35%. Email bounces, which are emails that are sent to email addresses that don’t exist, are down 90%, and “deferrals,” which are emails that are sometimes rejected by the receiving server because they are coming in too fast, are down 90%.

“Bounces and deferrals are both excellent metrics of how happy the rest of the Internet is with us and with the overall spamminess of our messages. The sudden drop in volume is probably all spam. In short, this has made a huge difference, and that will be reflected in our server's reputation and means there is a better chance of all mail going through (to our members).” Josh Harding - ABA System Administrator.

We’re extremely happy with these results and will be updating you as we continue our defense against the spambot menace.

We Really Want to Give You Your Money!

If your IndieCommerce site uses ABA’s payment gateway, orders in a “Payment Received” state are orders that have been charged to the customer — but until they are marked as “Completed,” the money is held in ABA's escrow account.

If you want us to pay your store for those “Payment Received” orders, you need to mark those orders have been completed. To review the status of your outstanding orders, go to Store > Orders > View Orders. Update the status of shipped orders to “Completed,” and the funds will be transferred to your bank during the next Money Management period. We really do want to give you your money.

If you need any assistance, please contact

Much More Than Just Online Orders

Your website does much more than take online orders. It also drives traffic to your store(s). If you are interested in finding out what people are thinking about when they are doing a Google search and end up on your website, Google has a very cool tool called “Google Search Console.” This tool can give you some surprising insights that you may not be aware of. I regularly check to see what keywords and phrases people are using to find IndieCommerce and IndieLite websites. A surprisingly large number of searches are for generic terms like “bookstore” or “bookstore near me.”

Web searches from mobile devices have increased and, in many cases, surpassed searches from desktops and laptops. Customers use search terms like “bookstore” or “bookstore near me” to find nearby brick and mortar stores. Google recognizes the person’s location and displays results that are nearby. With this in mind, it’s important to think of your website as a gateway to your physical store. Use your homepage to talk about upcoming store events and in-store special offers and to list your hours, phone number, contact info, and anything that will drive customers into your store.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to email us with any thoughts, questions, or suggestions.
The IndieCommerce team

For past editions of IndieCommunication, visit this page.

Phillip Davies, IndieCommerce Director
American Booksellers Association | 333 Westchester Avenue | White Plains, NY 10604 |
914-406-7527 |
333 Westchester Ave
Suite S202
White Plains, NY 10604
United States