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Selling High Risk Online with BigCommerce and IntuitSolutions

June 18, 2020 | |

In case you missed it, on 4/20/20 we participated in a live webinar with BigCommerce about how to sell high risk products online and grow your business. Here’s what we talked about.

IntuitSolutions’ four solutions for selling high risk products online:

  • Veratad Connector – age verification and compliance app
  • Taxman – excise tax solution
  • Shipping Restrictions – product and customer group based shipping restrictions
  • Q&A about the best ecommerce solutions for selling high risk products online

Summary

As ecommerce increasingly takes more market share over traditional brick and mortar, new industries are seeking to jump into the market. Of these industries, high risk is one that has struggled to transition over to ecommerce due to the many regulations required to meet compliance standards. Intuitsolutions saw an opportunity to help sell high risk products online and started with the fast growing vape industry

We now have four primary solutions for selling high risk products on the BigCommerce platform. They are the Veratad Connector for age verification, Taxman for excise tax, Subscription Billing, and Shipping Restrictions. We have also started to see success with these solutions in the legal cannabis industry, CBD. Since the industry is still relatively new and unapproved by the FDA, they are likely going to be regulated similarly to the vape industry. Many CBD companies we work with have begun to get a head of this by incorporating these solutions into their BigCommerce store.

Veratad Connector – Age Verification

Our age verification and compliance app is a highly customizable checkout age verification system powered by Veratad. Selling CBD, Cannabis and other age restricted products online can be daunting from a compliance perspective, so we created a frictionless system that helps you meet regulatory requirements. 

This app is also an identification verifier. Through customer input data or document upload, such as a license or a state ID card, you can manually verify customers or have the system scan through databases to verify the customer. Additionally, the app allows for a two-factor authentication login to help prevent minors from using their parents information and ordering for themselves.

More about the Veratad Connector

Taxman – Excise Tax

High risk products such as CBD, Cannabis, and Vapes are required to pay an excise tax. You can set up different tax calculations based on locations, products, components in kits, percentage of price, and more. You have options to customize tax settings all the way down to a sub-sku level. 

In a quick setup, Taxman is your solution to excise taxes. Since these excise taxes can be different in every state, or even down to each municipality, it is important to have the correct data to avoid fines.

More about Taxman 

Shipping Restrictions 

Restrict what products can be sent to a specific customer. Restrictions can be set on a sku, product, location, or customer group level. Ensure you stay compliant by sending your products within legal locations and age ranges. Also, force certain shipping requirements such as calling for an adult signature upon delivery. 

More about Shipping Restrictions

Subscription billing 

COMING SOON

Not every subscription service allows high risk products to be included. We worked with Chargiify to create the only subscription billing manager and service for high risk products on the BigCommerce platform. 

To see these solutions in action, and to see what else we can do for high risk ecommerce stores, check out FouthCBD.com 

Q & A

Q1 – If I choose to use a third party CMS instead of an ecommerce solution, how do I connect the ecommerce cart and checkout to the CMS?

We recommend not connecting a third party CMS to an ecommerce solution because a platform, like BigCommerce, already offers those necessary features. Instead of dividing your time and interest between the two, you can focus your energy all in one place. BigCommerce allows the sale of high risk products, has an easy to use back office, offers various built in features like abandoned cart emails and more.

If you do choose to go with a third-party CMS, like WordPress, BigCommerce offers easy to use plugins to aid in your ecommerce business. 

Q2 – Why would somebody choose a SaaS platform when magento offers a free version?

We have a saying – “Magento Community Version is the most expensive free thing you could ever get.” You need to take into account that while it is a free software license, you will need to still take ownership of third-party hosting, have developers patch security updates, and even perform regular software updates. After 6-12 months, the cost associated with the software additions significantly bloats and reduces scale. A “free” edition still has many hidden costs. 

There is no right or wrong platform for each business, but think about your business needs while assessing your platform choices. There are really only 5% of businesses that require an open-source platform over SaaS platforms like BigCommerce.

Q3 – I am currently using BigCommerce as an all-in-one, is it easy to transfer into SaaS?

BigCommerce is a SaaS ecommerce platform, no need to change anything, you are already using it. If you want to talk about growth and scaling, we can help you walk through those options and help you choose a plan based on pricing models and your goals. 

Q4 – Can you talk about SaaS platforms that are not BigCommerce?

There are about 500 ecommerce platforms out there. Not all of them are SaaS and arguably, only a handful are marketing leading solutions –  meaning they offer many valuable solutions and can handle clients at scale. The leading SaaS platforms today are Shopify, BigCommerce, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud. 

Q5 – Can I build a custom site on BigCommerce or can I work off of a template?

Bigcommerce does allow custom themes, you can buy one and then adjust it through the theme editor in the back office. You can edit colors, images, etc. If you want something completely custom, Intuitsolutions will work with you to create and design something that is exactly what you want. We will then build that for you off of our optimized cornerstone theme we call our Base Theme. We put a lot of time and effort into our Base Theme to create a theme template that can be optimized into any direction you want it to go.

Q6 – An open-source solution requires you to maintain a hosting environment, but what about cloud offering?

We could say a lot about this, but do your research!

Open-source platforms may say they’re an all inclusive cloud offering that will take care of everything, but you are still hosting an instance of a codebase on a server somewhere. You will also still have to worry about security risks. Down the line, you may receive emails telling you that you need to update or even upgrade because they do not have the ability to scale and contact the way BigCommerce does or any other SaaS platform. 

High Risk Ecommerce Experts

Selling CBD, Cannabis, Vapes and other high risk products online can be tough, especially while trying to stay compliant and avoid fines. Interested in selling high risk products online but not sure where to start? IntuitSolutions has a plan tailored to fit your business and needs. Contact IntuitSolutions by calling 1-866-901-4650, chatting with us or filling out our contact form today to get started.

Kate joined IntuitSolutions in August 2019 as an SEO/PPC Specialist. She focuses on overall marketing and has a hand in many different projects. She started her career as a WordPress designer which directly brought her into the world of digital marketing. In her free time you can find her playing with her dog, exploring new restaurants in the area, and enjoying nature.

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