Renowned Firearm Merchant Gets a Custom FFL Solution Improving UX and Conversions

woman at gun range doing target shooting practice

Founded in 2011, Staccato is a veteran-led company driven by a shared vision to provide their customers with firearms and equipment crafted with American ingenuity and precision. Evolving from the distinguished STI brand, which has garnered numerous accolades in competitive shooting, Staccato has redefined the industry’s standards of excellence.

With a clientele spanning law enforcement, military, and private citizens, Staccato recognized the need to serve their diverse customer base with a more convenient shopping experience that simplifies the purchase process for FFL items. They turned to IntuitSolutions to develop a custom experience that would lift customer satisfaction, improve conversions, and enhance business operations.

Unique Considerations for Selling Firearms Online

Selling guns online means navigating a highly-regulated industry, and there are several legalities and restrictions online merchants must integrate from day one. First things first – make sure your ecommerce platform allows you to sell guns and related products.

Unlike other big-name platforms, BigCommerce has no legal gray area for selling regulated products and does not restrict users from selling firearms; if it’s legal, you can sell it. This is a relief for many merchants migrating from other ecommerce platforms who’ve had their stores shuttered because the products they sell don’t align with the platform’s terms and conditions

FFL Dealer Search and Shipping

Because online gun stores cannot ship restricted items directly to customers, merchants must integrate a Federal Firearm Licence (FFL) component within their site’s purchase process.  

FFL dealers are brick-and-mortar businesses that serve as the go-between for merchants and buyers to confirm the customer’s ability to purchase a firearm through legal paperwork and background checks. Customers can select their products online but must go to FFL dealers to locations that will check their ID and necessary documentation required by their state.

The Challenge: Providing Customers a Hassle-Free Experience Buying Guns & FFL Items Online

Staccato recognized the need to simplify what can often be a fragmented buying process. They faced challenges common to other merchants selling products requiring a FFL dealer, including:

  • Enabling customers to select a FFL dealer convenient to them
  • Highlighting their business’s preferred FFL vendors in search results
  • Providing a user-friendly way to manage and ship mixed carts containing both FFL and non-FFL products
  • Completing a transaction without requiring the merchant to contact the customer for more information

Customers on Staccato’s website could not choose their preferred FFL dealer or complete the purchase process in one transaction. Instead, the Staccato team needed to manually reach out to customers after each order submission to verify billing details and obtain their preferred FFL pickup location.

Staccato’s team turned to IntuitSolutions for a comprehensive solution that would streamline the purchasing process, improve customer satisfaction, and minimize manual involvement in fulfilling transactions.

The Solution: A Custom-Designed User Experience for FFL Products on BigCommerce

After collaborating with Staccato’s team and gaining a comprehensive understanding of their objectives, our team of expert BigCommerce designers and developers created a tailored solution for their online store.

Their custom FFL solution included the following features:

  • Zip code lookup functionality enabling customers to conveniently select a nearby FFL dealer 
  • Merchant’s preferred FFL dealers highlighted as the primary option(s) customers see in  lookup results
  • Map styling designed to resemble Google Maps, enhancing familiarity and usability
  • Ability to ship mixed carts (FFL and non-FFL products) to FFL pickup location
  • Distinct labeling of FFL items in the shopping cart for easy identification

How it works:

  • Shipping functionality is disabled once FFL item(s) are added to the cart
  • Customer is prompted to login or create an account in the checkout
  • Customer order history is pulled based on login information, identifying if they’ve previously purchased an FFL item
  • If customer has previous FFL purchase, website populates customer’s local FFL dealers 
  • Customers without previous FFL purchase are prompted to find a dealer by zip code search 
  • Merchant’s API suggests local and preferred FFL dealers for their search area
  • Once FFL dealer is selected, dealer’s shipping address populates in the checkout page
FFL items flagged in checkout
FFL items flagged in checkout
Select Your Dealer (FFL) in Checkout
Select Your Dealer (FFL) in Checkout
Locate your FFL dealer by zip code
Locate your FFL dealer by zip code
Preferred FFL Dealer Flag
Preferred FFL Dealer Flag
Shipping address auto-updated by FFL Dealer
Shipping address auto-updated by FFL Dealer

The Results: Enhanced User Experience, Increased Conversions, and Streamlined Business Operations

Since implementing the custom-designed FFL shopping experience, Staccato has achieved remarkable results, transforming their purchase process and significantly improving customer satisfaction. The streamlined system has resulted in a 9% increase in conversions while eliminating the need for manual calls to complete transactions, saving their business and customers valuable time and frustration.

If you’re like many online merchants who’ve opted for third-party services to deal with FFL items, it’s time to gain the competitive edge and integrate a custom solution that pays off for your business. Contact our BigCommerce experts to learn more and get a free quote on your project.

    Sarah joined IntuitSolutions in 2022 as a Marketing Manager where she focuses on content creation, social media, and digital marketing. In her free time, she loves to travel, study a new language, and explore nature around her.

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