IndieCommerce Introduces Innovative Feature for Online Handselling

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ABA IndieCommerce this week launched a new feature that allows stores to create new orders on their customers' behalf and charge their credit cards automatically using a secure, encrypted feature called a Customer Information Manager (CIM) Profile.

A CIM Profile is an encrypted data snapshot of a customer's credit card info.

How might you use this feature?

  • As a convenience for repeat customers. All that a customer needs to do is let you know that he or she would like to purchase a book, and you can do the rest for them.
  • As an opportunity for handselling. If you've shipped a book to a customer, and they liked it, offer them something else.

Is this secure?

Credit card security and fraud protection are high priorities for the IndieCommerce program. Since migrating to the Drupal platform, IndieCommerce has taken several steps to become PCI compliant . This helps reduce liability relating to fraudulent orders for both IndieCommerce and participating bookstores.

The CIM profile feature fits within the strict requirements of PCI compliance. The customer's sensitive payment information is stored on the credit card processor's secure server, not locally. All that your store will ever have access to is the customer reference ID. This means that even if a hacker was able to penetrate your website, she or he would not be able to retrieve a customer's credit card number or obtain funds from it.

Of course, not every customer will be comfortable with this, and it's down to your judgment whether and how to promote the CIM feature. But, from the customer's perspective, the ease of ordering in this way is something unmatched on any other e-commerce site. It's also an opportunity to build a personal relationship -- and customer trust.

The CIM profile feature is automatically available to all existing IndieCommerce users, and no configuration is necessary. Saved CIM profile data will be available for all customers who make purchases on or after Wednesday, December 16, 2009.

A training video demonstrating how to use the CIM Profile is available here . --Matt Supko