IndieCommerce Institute 2012 Registration is Now Open
IndieCommerce Institute 2012 Registration is Now Open
The American Booksellers Association announced this week that registration is now open for the second IndieCommerce Institute (ICI). The program will take place on Thursday, September 13, 2012, with a reception on the evening of Wednesday, September 12, and opportunities for hour-long one-on-one sessions with IndieCommerce staff on Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning.
The IndieCommerce Institute is geared toward ABA member bookstores that have a live IndieCommerce website, or will have a live website by September 1, 2012. Material will be presented that will be useful to new and experienced users alike, but attendees should have completed basic training and have a fundamental understanding of the tools for managing content and processing orders on their website.
In addition to the main sessions, the ICI will also offer a master class for highly experienced IndieCommerce users.
Enrollment for the ICI is capped at 100 booksellers total, and there is a maximum of two attendees per store to help create an engaged and interactive learning environment. Registration will close on August 22.
Registration fees are $99 for the main session, and $139 for the master class.
Full details are included below, and here is a link for registration.
Wednesday will begin with a plenary session from 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m., including detailed information about the future of e-books on IndieCommerce. Attendees will then break into two separate courses for the bulk of the day: a main session of interest to all levels, described below, and an advanced workshop for very experienced users. All attendees will then reconvene for closing remarks from 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The main session goes beyond basic training and seeks to provide actionable information useful to new and experienced stores alike, coupled with real-world examples on IndieCommerce sites. The day will focus on best practices that have emerged over the past 12 - 18 months, little-known and underutilized features, and common points of confusion experienced even by seasoned IndieCommerce stores.
The agenda for the main session will include:
Orders & Pricing
Managing fulfillment: Store-fulfilled vs. Ingram CDF
Payment processing best practices and using PayPal
Shipping methods - Did you set this up once for your site and forget it? We'll look at how to create new shipping methods and modify existing ones, as well as which shipping methods go to Ingram CDF and which don't.
Book pricing & availability - Tips on using tools to price books, managing price through your POS system, and controlling the sale of titles based on product availability through Ingram.
Specialized order reports - ABA staff will show off some exciting new reporting features to help you export customer email addresses, analyze product sales, and more.
Content Management: Pro Tips
Menus & blocks: the next level - Making the most of these features to organize your site.
Embedding code - Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Constant Contact, and YouTube offer useful code snippets that can be used to embed widgets in your site. Learn best practices for managing embedded code.
Book list features - Tips and tricks for building better lists of books and ebooks
Utilizing Underused Features
Next Lists - The Indie Next List, Kids' Next List, and Reading Group Next List are all available to help merchandise new titles hand-picked by indie booksellers. Learn some additional tricks for using these lists.
Browse feature - Make better use of the catalog browse feature; see example uses.
Coupon module - The coupon code module is a recent addition to IndieCommerce sites; here you can acquire some pointers on how to set it up, and some sample cases of its use.
Store preferences/features page - Review a full list of available settings and features.
Utilizing the affiliate program - Learn how to set up and use the affiliate program built into your website, and see some real-world examples and unconventional (but highly effective) uses.
Selling signed copies - There are lots of ways to promote signed copies through your IndieCommerce site. See examples of different implementations and learn the advantages and downsides of different approaches.
Customer loyalty program - Ways to include loyalty programs in the checkout on your site.
Non-book - As non-book sales continue to grow, learn tips and techniques for managing and promoting non-book product on your site.
Event tickets - Compare best practices for selling event tickets online.
Using Google Analytics & best practices for SEO
Security - Learn important practices for securing your site, including critical information about avoiding security warnings on your checkout page.
Home page essentials - Putting your best foot forward for your customers.
This year's IndieCommerce Institute is also offering an advanced workshop on Thursday, September 13, for highly experienced IndieCommerce users. Participants will spend most of the day in a small-group workshop setting, learning directly from each other as they provide critiques of each other's sites. This format, which was well-received at last year's ICI, is being expanded this year to allow for more time and richer discussion.
Master Class attendees will be required to spend a significant amount of time reviewing their peers' websites and writing critiques before the session begins. Thus, each attendee will also receive written feedback from all participants on their website.
All applicants for the master class must apply, and there are likely to be more applicants than available spaces.
Advanced Workshop Qualifications:
An ABA member bookstore live on IndieCommerce with a track record of proficient and creative use of the product. Applicants must devote a substantial amount of staff time each week to working on their store's site. Application to the Master Class is required; all applicants may not qualify for a very limited number of spots. Applicants who do not qualify are welcome to attend the Main Session instead.
In addition to the main program, stores who can squeeze a little more time into their schedule will have the option to sit down, in-person, with a member of the IndieCommerce staff for an hour-long session on Wednesday afternoon, September 12, or Friday morning, September 14. These sessions will be a great opportunity to ask questions and receive guided instruction on specific topics.
Reservations for one-on-one sessions will open later in August, after registration closes. We will ask stores interested in one-on-one sessions to submit questions in advance, if possible, so we can pair them with the most appropriate person.
One-on-one sessions are subject to limited availability and may fill up. Additionally, booksellers in the New York metro area, and those who travel here frequently, are always welcome to the ABA offices for in-person training.
Those attending the ICI can book accommodations at the:
Renaissance Westchester Hotel
80 West Red Oak Lane West
Harrison, New York 10604
Rates for single or double occupancy on Wednesday, September 12, and Thursday, September 13, are $149, plus state and local taxes. The rate is available until Wednesday, August 22, or until the room block is sold out, whichever comes first.
To reserve your room, call Marriott reservations at 1 (800) 468-3571or (914) 694-5400 and ask for the ABA rate, or register online.
Use code AMEAMEA to receive the special group rate for ABA members.
The hotel does not offer a shuttle service from or to area airports, but it offers free parking. Here's more information on local airports and ground transportation.
ABA will supply roundtrip transportation from the hotel to the IndieCommerce Institute (to be held offsite) on Thursday. Driving directions will also be provided.
One-on-one sessions and Wednesday evening's opening reception will be held on-site at the Renaissance Westchester.