IndieCommerce Institute Session Details Revealed

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Detailed session information is now available for the two upcoming IndieCommerce Institutes to be presented by the American Booksellers Association during the fall regional trade shows.

Booksellers must sign up by September 12 in order to attend the first institute, to be held on September 19 at the Sheraton New Orleans in conjunction with the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance fall trade show. Registration for the second institute, to be held on October 2 at the Best Western Plus Grosvenor Hotel in San Francisco in conjunction with the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association trade show, ends September 24.

Each Institute will feature two breakout tracks: a Main Session that will address the needs of most users and an Advanced Seminar appropriate for very experienced users. Programming will also include moderated panel discussions, a Kobo update, and lunch.

The nonrefundable registration fee is $120 for the Main Session and $150 for the Advanced Seminar. Attendance at each institute is capped at 75 participants, and registration is limited to three booksellers per company.

The Main Session

This year, rather than a standard how-to of the basics, ABA’s IndieCommerce team has curated some of the best tricks and tips for optimizing the usability of IndieCommerce. While all beginners are welcome to attend the main session, materials are geared toward members with at least a working knowledge of the interface. Scheduling a one-on-one session is recommended if a review of standard procedures is needed.

The main session will be structured as four classes, which will each last approximately one hour:

  • New Feature Overview: IndieCommerce has released a number of new enhancements over the past year, so the team will be giving the grand tour; topics include updates to the book list, improvements to the checkout process, and added bonuses on product pages.
  • eCommerce 201 – Order Processing: Rather than a step-by-step on how to complete orders, this session will highlight some of the lesser-known customizations to the order interface. IndieCommerce staff will demonstrate how to both tailor the checkout experience to customers and increase the efficiency of admin tools.
  • eCommerce 202 – Custom Products: Customers buy from local bookstores for their hand-picked selection, but there’s a good chance that some local specialties are not available in the main database. This section will break down some of the best practices for adding new products and will provide tips to speed up the process for offering local favorites online.
  • How to Improve Your Site – Design Tips: The IndieCommerce team visits ABA members’ sites every day and has picked out some of the best and worst design practices they’ve encountered. The team will offer simple suggestions that are sure to benefit everyone in attendance. They’ll show how to redesign sites behind the scenes and discuss new and upcoming trends in web design.

The Advanced Session

The Advanced Seminar is intended to facilitate a group discussion among advanced users about their work supporting their respective sites. Attendees will be asked to bring notes in preparation for the discussion, which will be a roundtable peer critique of each participant’s website. Participants will get important insights into the strengths, weaknesses, and potential improvements of their site and the conversation will be monitored by IndieCommerce’s two lead technical developers, Matt Supko and Geetha Nathan. 

In order to qualify for participation, registrants must briefly describe on the registration form their qualifications to attend the seminar.

One-On-One Appointments

IndieCommerce staff will be accepting appointments for one-on-one sessions to be held on Wednesday, September 18, and Friday, September 20, in New Orleans, and on Tuesday, October 1, and Thursday, October 3, in San Francisco. To make an appointment, booksellers should contact the IndieCommerce staff with time preferences as well as some of the topics they wish to discuss in order to be assigned the service representative best qualified to answer their questions.

Booksellers with questions regarding ICI programming should contact ABA Member Technology Director Neil Strandberg.