When managing a database of thousands of products -- how do your customer's know?
First it's your duty to keep in touch with your customers without becoming a nag (Yes, I sad nag).
If you nag your customers -- they will stop listening. If you ignore your customers -- they will stop buying.
So take advantage of our "New Product Notification" in Website Forge.
Here is a quick video overview:
Contact LIVE SUPPORT or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions!
e-commerce website design
Google Checkout now available.... For those of you who have asked and asked and asked.... It's now here.
Some people have read or been told that using Google Checkout on their site shall increase search engine results.
Our research so far has not given us any real indication of that. Also keep in mind that Google Checkout has "terms" that might exclude your site from using it. So make sure you follow all the rules stated.
Also remember, as far as I know, Google isn't a bank. I will include a snippet that will clarify my point:
"Despite all the media attention surrounding alternative payment systems like Google Checkout™, traditional credit card transactions remain the most popular choice among customers for online purchases. According to a recent survey, only 44% of PayPal™ customers and 19% of Google Checkout customers rate their purchase experience as good or very good.*
Alternative payment systems create a middleman between you and your customers, which may hurt your business and confuse your customers. Accepting traditional credit card payments is critical to building a successful business, and all you need is a merchant account and a payment gateway account."
Please provide any feedback you can on Google Checkout -- so that we can share with all our Website Forge community.
NEED CUSTOM PROGRAMMING ADDED TO YOUR SITE?
I recently received some feedback that sparked this headline. Website Forge is designed to handle the vast majority of web site and e-commerce needs.
In fact, we find that Website Forge is a fit for about 80% of the business models out there.
HOWEVER, if you need some customization to your existing Website Forge site -- or -- require special programming for a brand new site. We can do that as well. Remember Website Forge is developed and maintained by WORLD CLASS web application developers. There is no application to big or too small.
So please contact us if you feel you need something special added to your web site.
Web Design and E-Commerce
Hello WebsiteForge Customers and Associates,
Our Layout Builder frame has been updated to include some additional options for displaying Suggested Items. Aside from the suggested item's "Product Title" - you can now show images and prices of the suggested items. We have also added some formatting options which allow you to control their appearance. The image below shows what options are now available (when you choose to show "Images with Additional Info").
If you already have suggested items assigned to your products (and the suggested items field added to a Layout Builder frame) then you only need to change the new "Mode" field to access the new features.
Make sure you contact email@example.com if you have ANY questions regarding these upgrades!
Web Design and E-commerce
Website Forge News Topics:
- Unprecedented FULL 12 Month Guarantee on Website Forge web sites!
- Customer Service at it's Best!
- Google struggles with SAAS solutions
- Take full advantage of your SEO technology
- A look at Dabble DB -- A great new web idea
Unprecedented FULL 12 Month Guarantee on Website Forge web sites!
Website Forge has long been the ONLY company to provide a real 30 day money back guarantee.
The only company to survey their customers every 7 days during their project development.
The only company to provide unlimited pages, products, and bandwith in a CUSTOM DESIGNED web site. The only company that includes hundreds of thousands of dollars of improvements to it's clients every single year....
Once again we have gone over the top.
We are so sure you will love your Website Forge web site we will back it up with a 12 month guarantee. That's right. If after ONE FULL YEAR you don't love your web site -- we will refund your entire purchase price!
No other web site company has the confidence in their company to offer such an amazing guarantee on their custom web site solutions... NOBODY!
Customer Service at it's Best!
I received a call Friday night from Dale Spenrath (CEO of www.posprocessing.com) around 7:00 PM asking me if Website Forge was having any techincal issues.
I told him I was unaware of any problems. Dale was already on the phone with the technical guys at Linkpoint to see why our mutual customer had called him with a card processing problem.
I hung up and a few minutes later Dale called me back on my cell phone and informed me that Linkpoint did, in fact, have some temporary problems and it would be resolved in a couple hours. I was able to notify our clients so they could be aware of this issue.
When was the last time Henry Ford and Good Year's CEO called each other to work out a technical detail for their car owners? I just call that "Customer Service at it's Best!".
Take full advantage of your SEO technology
I make it a point to run our clients through a few questions to make sure they are doing all they can to promote their online business.
1. Have you enabled your "Google Sitemaps" feature in your web site yet?
2. Have you exported your products (if any) to Google Base? (formerly called Froogle)?
3. Have you spent time every day/week/month to improve your site copy with keyword rich content?
4. Have you considered rewriting your product descriptions to help prospective customers make the decision to purchase your product?
If you have answered NO to any of these questions.. Please reply here and we will have our team give you some specific actions so that you can get the most out of your web site...
Google struggles with SAAS solutions
I am a freshbooks.com customer and I ran across a couple good articles. Recenly they posted a message about Google and some problems they have had supporting their SAAS (Software As A Service) products. You will find the article interesting.
A look at Dabble DB -- A great new web idea
If you are "show me the data" kind of person -- take a look at Dabble DB. You can cut and paste any excel file data into a web page and create awesome drill down charts and graphs in minutes.
I created dozens of charts from a bunch of my boring excel reports and it's a great concept.
Check it out at www.dabbledb.com
Thanks, Shane Merem
Love it or get your money back!
Hello Website Forge partners....
I wanted to drop you a line with a few important updates:
1) The Website Forge iPhone application is almost here!
We have developed an iPhone application that is called the WF Order Management program. This application will allow you to view and manage your web site orders easily with your iphone. You can view orders, change order status, view customer info and more.... Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be a beta tester for this application. We need volunteers to help us test and improve the application.
2) Website Forge is PCI compliant! Don't just take our word for it... Talk to our clients. Ten or more (more every day) Website Forge clients have already passed PCI compliance audits from First Data.
An independent PCI compliance consultant has scanned and tested the Website Forge system and Website Forge passed every test.
Since PCI compliance is somewhat subjective hesitated to boldly advertise compliance until a recognized auditor tested the Website Forge system.
You are safe and secure at Website Forge! Every time we upgrade our system we have your security in mind!
3) We never stop upgrading your web site! With roughly 50 key upgrades in the queue -- we will help your site run smoother and continue to make sure your site is secure. Keep an eye on this BLOG for upgrade reports.
4) News releases. We are looking to do some news releases in the near future. We have heard the great success of many of our Website Forge clients and want to share your success.
If you would like to share the growth of your web business. Let us know via email@example.com and we can include you in our News release.
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT:
In today's business world. When companies like Circuit City, GM, Ford, Chrysler, and numerous large companies struggle -- you have to appreciate how hard it is to grow a small business. It is not easy.
I once read that the biggest difference between people that "succeed" and "fail" is not education or intelligence. THe most common factor was refusal to quit trying -- Persistence. Don't quit. Because you can't succeed if you are not trying.
Web Site Design and E-commerce
Can't seem to ever clear out your email inbox???
I get well over a hundred emails a day (not including spam). Probably closer to 200. Like me .. I know many of you struggle to get everything done -- but your inbox always seems to have unhandled email...
Do you ever feel like you can never get the CURRENT things in your INBOX done because you are always getting NEW email?
If so, I have the answer.....
***** Work on your email from both ends! *****
FIRST: Clear out the easiest NEW emails for a half hour..
THEN: Sort your email showing oldest first! (usually by clicking the date column) and then work from the bottom for a 1/2 hour.
Rinse.. Repeat.. (Just kidding)
It works really well for me. This method will assure you don't neglect items in your inbox that require more "time" or "thought" because you are always flooded with brand new email messages.
I hope you find this tip useful!
Have a great weekend!
Web Design and E-commerce Development
After 13 months of hard work and a crash course in internet fraud ... Kevin O'Brien at www.diveprodivegear.com sent me great this message yesterday.
This message is encouragement for the entire Website Forge community. Your hard work combined with the power of Website Forge will equal business success.
Thought you'd also like to hear about our progress.
In the 13 months (June 2007) since we launched our website, www.diveprodivegear.com, we have gone from $0 sales to hitting $20K+ sales in July.
I expect we'll have our first $30K month during the Christmas season. This is just from the website. We have no brick & mortar business.
Thanks to the entire WF team for helping us achieve !! -- KOB.
Toll free: 1-877-55-DIVER
Related Article: See http://www.websiteforge.com/blog.html?m17:post=important-credit-card-fraud-information-website-forge-shane-merem about Kevin's crash course in credit card fraud.
I'm writing this message because I feel it's very important that our community of online e-commerce retailers understand how fraud impacts your business.
Kevin from www.diveprodivegear.com has a horrific story that started with $28,000 of fraudulent orders. The end result was a frozen credit card account and over $7,000 of HIS LEGITIMATE money held by Visa and Mastercard.
Keep in mind that Kevin identified and refunded this money thinking he was doing the "right thing".
** IMPORTANT NOTE **
Kevin mentions Linkpoint many times in this story. Keep in mind that Linkpoint is merely a gateway and does not make these decisions. The decisions are made by the actual processing bank -- in this case "First Data Corp.". Which, in turn is regulated by Visa/Mastercard, etc. So "Linkpoint" is only the gateway that happens to be the company handling the complaint.
I'll post Kevin's messages verbatim since he does a good job of telling his story...
Credit card fraud
Shane -- thanks very much for your prompt return of my call on Friday. I really appreciate it. Here's what happened ...
Over the last couple of months, we had 4 fraudulent orders get through the automatic Linkpoint authorization process and show up as new orders. These were large ($5000 - $11,000) orders and were suspect to us, so we called the credit card company, confirmed the credit card was stolen, cancelled the orders and processed credits to the cardholders. So far, so good.
Then our Amex orders started getting declined and shortly thereafter all our orders. Without notification, Amex's computer had decided that we were high risk and had suspended our account. That triggered Linkpoint into doing the same (again without notification). All this after 1) Amex approved the fraudulent transactions before we ever saw the orders and 2) in spite of the fact that we notified Amex of the fraud and promptly processed credits to the cardholders. Since last Friday, we have had to process orders manually and hold transactions while I sort things out with Amex and Linkpoint.
Amex has reinstated our account, and Linkpoint says they will within the next few days, but they aren't terribly responsive.
In any event, have you had website clients experience this before and, of so, what were they able to do to prevent re-occurance ?? For example, do they automatically decline any orders where the Bill To and Ship To don't match, then process those manually ??
Any advice is welcome. Thanks for listening -- KOB.
Toll free: 1-877-55-DIVER
I asked Kevin to post the details so I could share......
Re: Credit card fraud - the details
Here are the details ...
If you look on our website details, you will see the following orders:
#70600482 5/10/08 $7K+ Visa
#70600434 4/23/08 $5K+ Amex
#70600380 3/27/08 $10K+ Amex
#70600303 2/13/08 $6K+ Mastercard
Each of these orders was processed via Linkpoint and authorized prior to them being forward to us. Because of the large $ value, odd nature of the purchases (e.g. 20 of the same dive computer) and foreign Ship To address, we suspected that they were fraudulent and contacted the credit card company. When we confirmed that the credit cards were stolen, we cancelled the orders. Because the transactions had been approved by either the issuing bank or Amex, the funds had been automatically transferred to our bank account, so we also had to issue credits to the cardholders.
All of the above seemed to be "doing the right thing" and the credit card companies seemed to appreciate our efforts. We have not had a single bad transaction process to completion since opening in June 2007. And each of the Amex investigations was settled in our favor. There were no investigations for the Visa or MC transactions.
Nonetheless, last Tuesday 6/10, our Amex transactions started getting declined. At first, we thought that the customers were entering some incorrect information. However, just by coincidence, I had called Linkpoint and Amex and requested that they reimburse us for approx. $500+ each in credit card processing fees that they had charged us for the fraudulent transactions. Seems fair, doesn't it ?? They approve a transaction and charge us BIG fees, then we discover it's bad, refund the full amount and are out the fees. In this case, these 4 orders were more than $1000 in credit card processing fees.
So, when I spoke with Amex about these fees, they told us our account had been terminated, due to high risk. That is the ONLY notification that I have received to date. And I subsequently found out that the decision to terminate was made by a computer !! OK, I was pissed off and removed Amex from our website, but felt that was not the end of the earth because most orders are not Amex and most people have another credit card in addition to Amex.
Now it gets fun ... when Amex terminated us, they automatically put you on a TMS (terminated merchants) list, which is published to ALL credit card companies. So, Linkpoint picks that up and also terminates us (again, no notification). We realize that somethings up with Linkpoint on Thursday evening 6/12, when ALL orders start getting declined.
So, Friday most of the day I am on the phone with Linkpoint and Amex. Linkpoint says it's their policy to automatically terminate a merchant if they show up on the TMS list. They also say they'll reinstate if Amex takes us off the TMS list.
Now ... you're gonna love this ... I call Amex and finally get a nice woman who says something like "the computer did it automatically, let me take a look". I give here some details and a few minutes later she comes back and says something like "you shouldn't have been terminated, I will take you off the TMS list and can reinstate you with Amex if you'd like." Well, DUH, of course I'd like. So, she says "give me an hour or so and you will be reinstated". She also says that Linkpoint can confirm with them that they're taking us off the infamous TMS list.
So, now I am back on the phone with Linkpoint. And I tell the guy that we're now back in Amex's good graces and would he please reinstate us on Linkpoint for our Visa, Mastercard & Discover. He calls back several hours later and says that they will reinstate us, BUT just need to verify some orders. So he gives me a list of orders that are higher in value and asks me to fax copies to him, which I do. It's now about 4:30p on Friday.
Obviously, this guy's going home for the weekend, so we're unable to process any creidt cards over the weekend, which is usually a busy time for us. But, on your advice, I had put the website on manual, so at least the orders came in and we'll process the credit cards when we get reinstated at Linkpoint. We were able to log into our Amex account on Sunday evening, but can't automatically process Amex cards on our website, because they authorize through Linkpoint.
So, yesterday (Monday 6/16) I spoke with the Linkpoint guy and he says they're checking out the orders and will reinstate as soon as that's completed and they verify we're off the TMS list. Linkpoint does NOT seem to be in any big hurry to help their merchants (at least from our perspective).
That's where we are right now. Still accumulating orders that will need to be manually processed once we're reinstated with Linkpoint. I am calling this guy pretty regularly so that he knows I won't go away. I am hoping that we'll get reinstated today, but he makes no promises.
1. Pay very close attention to the orders coming in and, if you suspect fraud, confirm with the credit card company and credit the cardholder immediately. We were told by both Amex and Linkpoint that we had done the right thing by acting immediately in reporting these transactions and quickly processing the credits.
2. You will NOT be notified in a timely manner by either Amex or Linkpoint if they decide to suspend or terminate you. Orders will just start being declined.
3. You cannot prevent the bad guys from attempting fraud with stolen credit cards on your website. And some of the transactions will be approved. If they are approved, it counts against you even though you didn't do anything wrong.
4. In the near term, we are going to continue to process credit cards manually via the Linkpoint merchant portal, even after we're reinstated and could do automatic authorization, so that we will not get a fraud transaction that is automatically authorized. This has been too painful a process.
I will keep you posted on the outcome -- KOB.
Toll free: 1-877-55-DIVER
Later the same day Kevin sent me this message....
Re: Credit card fraud -- update
Shane -- just got off the phone with Linkpoint. Reinstatement process has started (as of this morning). The party line is that it takes 24-48 hours, but the customer service person seemed to think it would take less time based on where we are in the process right now.
Hope the earlier details (sorry for the lengthy message) and this update were useful.
Thanks -- KOB.
Toll free: 1-877-55-DIVER
And the most recent update...
Shane -- it gets better. About an hour ago, Linkpoint called and said that they are NOT reactivating our account, in spite of the fact that this morning they said that they were and that Amex has reactivated us, because of the fraudulent attempts (no actual losses, just attempts).
After a heated discussion (and some threats of legal action), they have agreed to reactivate our account for about 2 weeks to give me time to find another credit card processor. They are also holding more than $7000 of my money, just in case.
So, I will be contacting Dale Spenrath to find out who he can hook me up with to process our credit cards.
This is SO painful and time-consuming, you cannot imagine. Orders are coming in and we still cannot process the credit cards, so we're now at a point where we're having to ship some small orders (< $100) without having received payment. The large orders we're not shipping yet (too much risk).
Hope this saga continues to help -- KOB.
Toll free: 1-877-55-DIVER
I talked to Dale Spenrath, our Linkpoint provider. He is working with Kevin trying to see what he can do to help Kevin. Dale is not Kevin's Linkpoint agent however he is happy to pull any strings he can for all of our sake.
I'm waiting to hear from Dale to see if he was able to help. The main feeling is that the "First Data" computer is not going to change it's mind :).
In the old days everyone had some type of "banker" on the other end. Now it's just computers -- so we are at the mercy of the bits and bytes of a machine.
One important point I would add to Kevin's advice is to NEVER refund a fraudulent chargeback. Kevin had paid his 3% to charge the card and when he refunded it (thinking he was doing the "right thing") he was charged the 3% again -- Losing around $500.00 in fees that will never be refunded.
Either VOID the transaction or let the cardholder do a chargeback -- it's cheaper for the retailer.
Please post comments and questions for Dale, Kevin and myself to try to answer.
Web design and e-commerce
I have never cared much for Mac's. I was not excited about the Iphone. I DO love the Mac/PC commercials.. They are pretty darn funny.
So here is the story. My Blackberry died. I am and aways have been a die-hard Blackberry fan. I have had blackberries back before anyone knew what they were (back when they were ONLY email devices).
My Blackberry died last Tuesday. I went to the AT&T store. My contract was not yet up -- I couldn't qualify for any good discounts on phones (don't get me started on that...).
Anyways, I walked out of the store with an IPhone for less than a replacement Blackberry -- PLUS the monthly service was about $30.00/month cheaper than my Blackberry plan.
I don't need TelNav because the IPhone has Google Maps integrated (no GPS but the cell towers work nearly as well). That saved me $10/month.
And the unlimited data plan was much cheaper starting at $20.00/month compared to $60.00. I added $10.00/month for 1500 text messages and I was still $30.00/month ahead.
I'm not sure how the pricing works across the country -- But I am very happy with the IPhone (unexpectedly). The mail and browser work very well and it's the closest thing you'll get to a real browser.
You could easily use the IPhone to do things like view/manage your WebsiteForge orders and even use your credit card gateway like Linkpoint and Authorize.net with the IPhone to process credit cards. Our Project Portal System works perfectly there too.
Just figured I'd share my experience!
Web site design and e-commerce
Are you one of those people that have a hard time remembering your password?
Think again... You would be surprised how easy it is to guess your password.
If you are serious about the security of your web site and e-mail.... Make sure your password is difficult to guess.
(I know many of you will resist a totally random password with upper case, lower case, and numerical digits because it's very hard to remember so here are some tips that are more reasonable)
Ideally you should use a random password generator like this http://www.pctools.com/guides/password/ to generate a properly mixed and random password.
Hope this friendly reminder helps keep your important data secure!
P.S. If you would like to provided LIMITED access to your Website Forge account, please contact support and ask for "Sub Accounts" so that you can provide limited access to your team members or service providers.
******* IMPORTANT WEBSITE FORGE UPDATES ********
- Looking for fresh testimonials for our new site so please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your testimonials and we may post them on our web site
- Our new Website Forge Community Forum is online. Make sure you join today! Share and Learn from other Website Forge users! CLICK HERE to visit the www.websiteforge.com/forum
- Weekly Teleclasses are available for your further education! Visit http://support.websiteforge.com/113.html to signup for your FREE teleclasses.
P.S.S. I have added every Website Forge user to this BLOG. We send important upgrade and system notifications via this BLOG. If you want to login to change your settings to be removed from the BLOG emails use the same username/password you use for your websiteforge.com login.