Email Marketing Made Easy

Email marketing in your e-commerce storeWe’ve just released a bunch of new features, and this is the first of a series of blog entries to let you know about the changes.

As you’re probably aware, email marketing is an important part of ¬†running an ecommerce site. At Spiffy Stores we’re always on the lookout to find new and better ways to help you run and promote your online store.

The first of these changes is a feature to help you create an email marketing mailing list. To recognize the importance of Email marketing, we’ve added a whole new section under “Marketing” in your store toolbox for the subject.

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Spammers Begone

We recently enabled a small security enhancement to the Spiffy Stores software to prevent a security attack called Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF).

Basically, now an encrypted token is generated and inserted into every form on the store web pages. This prevents a hacker from copying a form from the site and tricking you into executing the form from a fake site, thus giving the hacker access to your account.

Whilst it was extremely unlikely that this sort of attack would work because of the way in which the Spiffy Stores software is designed, it never hurts to improve security wherever possible.

However, it turns out to have an unintended bonus effect!

Spiffy Stores is one of the few ecommerce solutions that has a “Contact Us” form built into your store. This form is generated for you automatically and you don’t need to use a third-party online form service to get something as essential as a contact form.

Now that we have added the Cross Site Request Forgery code, we are seeing instances of spammers who have “copied” the contact forms from various sites and have built them into scripts to try to spam our store owners with fake contact form submissions. All of these attempts are now failing because they are all detected as forgeries, and this means that your inbox will contain less of the spam generated by these pests.

Make yourself Popular with Free Shipping

Everyone loves a bargin or free stuff!

Reward your customers for their loyalty by giving them free shipping. We’ve added a new type of shipping rate that makes this possible for every Spiffy Stores customer.

Until now, shipping rates have been weight-based. We’ve added the capability to define rates based upon the value of the shopping cart. You can define a range of values for the value of the shopping cart and if the cart falls within that range, you can provide a fixed value for the cost of shipping. This value can be $0.00, which is how you specify free shipping.

For example, you can create a rule that provides for free shipping if the customer spends $50 or more.

If no shopping cart value range applies, then the normal weight-based rules will apply.

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Making your Orders just a bit more Secure

Here’s a quick update on a small security update that was added to Spiffy Stores this morning.

When payments are made using PayPal, we are given some information about the status of the customer’s PayPal account. In particular, we are told whether the customer is using a PayPal verified account or not to make the purchase.

This account status is now available from the Order History payment link whenever a payment is made.

You will normally see an item in the Order History like,

10:38am The customer successfully paid....

Click on the line and it will take you to the payments detail page. On the Message line you will now see something like
Received payment from gateway - Payer Status verified

If you receive a payment from an unverified account, you may wish to exercise a little more caution in processing the order.

New Theme Customization Options

We’re pleased to announce that we have a new feature for our theme templates… Theme Settings.

Although the Spiffy Stores Themes have always been highly configurable, this configuration necessarily required some knowledge of HTML and CSS.

Not any more.

The new Theme Settings ability means that theme designers can now create a custom settings form that allows the end-user to simply choose from basic theme configuration options such as colour scheme, custom logo configuration and design layout.

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