We are delighted to announce that customers on the beta channel of NitroSell eCommerce can now accept Bitcoin payments.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a rapidly growing digital currency, with a number of features supporting security and privacy.
Bitcoin relies on a peer-to-peer network, meaning that there is no central authority, and no single point of failure. Bitcoins can be sent and received by users directly, without the need for an intermediary, and payments are tracked and verified by the entire network.
Over the last year Bitcoin has grown enormously — with a market capitalization of well over $1B at the time of writing, the currency has attracted significant interest from the worlds of business and media. Bitcoin has the potential to be a highly convenient and robust method for making online payments.
How to accept Bitcoin
Bitcoin transactions on NitroSell eCommerce use a payment gateway provided by Bitpay. Bitpay is one of the largest Bitcoin payment providers in operation, specialising in e-commerce and B2B payment tools.
The first step in enabling payments by Bitcoin on your webstore is to create a Bitpay merchant account. After creating your account and logging in, you will be able to access and create new API keys.
Once you have obtained your Bitpay API key, you can enable Bitpay payments in your WebStore Manager. If you are on the beta channel, you will see Bitpay among the list of payment methods available to you.
Paying with Bitcoin
In order to undertake a Bitcoin transaction, a Bitcoin wallet is required, providing addresses for sending and receiving Bitcoin. If you have enabled Bitcoin payments on your WebStore, your customers may choose Bitpay from the list of available payment methods.
When your customer proceeds, they will be brought to an invoice page hosted by Bitpay :
At this point, the customer is asked to pay the specified BTC value to the provided Bitcoin receive address. To make the payment, the customer must make a payment using their Bitcoin wallet. If your customer successfully completes their task, they are shown a confirmation.
Every Bitcoin transaction is confirmed by the network a number of times. For the best security, we consider a payment to be complete after six confirmations by default, a process that normally takes up to an hour. In the WebStore Manager, you may choose to accept a Bitcoin payment as complete after only one confirmation. If you require the extra speed that this allows, and can accept the increased risk, it may suit you to enable this option.
NitroSell eCommerce and Bitcoin
Bitcoin is accepted as payment by a growing number of online retailers — particularly in the areas of software, gaming, web hosting, and other digital goods and services.
Online stores using NitroSell’s platform number in the hundreds, collectively offering an enormous range of physical products, numbering over 2.3 million. NitroSell’s adoption of this emerging virtual currency gives your customers yet more choice in their online shopping, and represents another step forward for Bitcoin as a sustainable payment method.
For further information and discussion of Bitcoin, try the following links :
As NitroSell eCommerce grows we have added more and more functionality to the platform. Much of this functionality is made available to you, the retailer, through the WebStore Manager. As features have accumulated they were assigned to groups made long before the functionality was a twinkling in our developers’ eyes. We came to the realisation that some of the organisation is less than …optimal.
So today we are pleased to announce that we have re-organised the features into a more modern, more intuitive interface. We present WebStore Manager Mark 2!
Among the first things you will notice is that we have categorized everything into a menu system along the top, matching how the Portal is organized. From here you can access almost any option from high-level menus. The options remain the same, they are simply re-organized into more intuitive groupings. Where an option belongs in two separate groupings, we have included the option in both groupings. So you will find Search in Products, Design and Settings.
Handy pro-tip: the top level item in each menu can be accessed by left clicking on the menu itself.
Like before, the options are grouped with similar options. Taking Product Settings as an example you will find all the options grouped in their own dedicated panel under Products. The options are presented in an accordion manner in order to reduce visual clutter. Mousing over an option will present a synopsis of what the option does. Clicking on it will open up the option presenting the various input fields.
Taking the ‘Unit of Measure‘ option as an example (see right) we can review the various parts of the panel:
- To the left of the panel are two buttons. The top one will open a relevant screencast in a popup window;
- The second button will open the most relevant knowledge base article;
- On the right is a short description of the option;
- A check box allowing you to switch the option on and off;
- Various input boxes for the information that needs to be input;
- A save button.
The last two items will be greyed out until the check box is ticked. When any change is made to the panel, it’s title will change colour indicating if the WSM has successfully saved any change you have entered.
The old ways
Being creatures of habit we sometimes find change difficult. Those that could find their way round the old settings page like the back of their hand will be pleased to know that it is still present, simply click on Settings – it is the first item in the menu.
We are always looking to improve the service we provide. Feedback and constructive criticism are welcome and listened to. Suggestions might not be always implemented but they are heard. Like all new functionality, these changes can be found on the beta channel only. To avail of the change and to be moved to beta please open a ticket.
We hope you enjoy the new experience and look forwards to hearing your feedback!
Our Partner Portal is really the linchpin of our solution providing our retailers with a “One Stop” area to access key data in addition to support facilities. Some of the facilities within the Portal may not be used very often and we suspect this may apply to the Performance section. Showing performance data is just one of the many benefits of the portal as it gives our retailers the ability to keep track of key data such as revenue growth, orders and visitor statistics. The information is updated on a monthly basis and comparative data is tracked using a graph view.
To access the performance graphs, login to the Partner Portal so that you are within the Dashboard page. Select “My Webstores” from the top menu bar and click your webstore URL. This will take you to the “Webstore Details” page and from here the “Performance” tab can be selected. You will see a selection of graphs as follows:
Revenue Growth Rate
We are pleased to announce the following updates to the PayPal Payment Standard Gateway:
- Added support for delayed capture, void, and refund transactions. All these operations can be performed from GetWebOrders as discussed in this previous post.
For these features to work properly, you will need to enable the ‘API Access’ from your merchant account in Paypal. This can be done by going to My Profile -> My Selling Tools -> API Access and you choose Option 2 (Request API Credentials). Having requested your API Signature, a page will be displayed showing your API Username, API Password, and Signature. Copy and paste each in your WebStore Manager.
Screenshot 2: Getting your API Access Credentials
- The buyer is now returned to your WebStore once the payment process has been completed. This is to support the inclusion of the Google Analytics Tracking code.
- When the buyer decides to cancel the transaction and returns to your WebStore, he/she is now redirected to the checkout page.
Delayed capture and automated delayed settlement is supported like any other on-site payment gateway. All you have to do is to enable it from your WebStore Manager.
Having done that, you will be able to settle the transaction from your merchant interface on PayPal. Please note the following in respect to capture and void:
- When you authorized a transaction, you are given a 3-day honor period to settle it. You are also given a hard deadline of 29 days to settle it. Past the 3-day honor period, the transaction will have to be reauthorized. This process will be done automatically for you through the POS.
- The reauthorization period creates a new 3-day honor period for you to settle the transaction. This is by means a way to extend the 29-day deadline to settle a transaction once it has been authorized. For instance, if you reauthorize a transaction on the 28 day, the honor period will be just 2 days.
- You should capture funds within 24 hours after you ship your buyer’s order.
- You cannot capture for more than 115% of the originally authorized amount (not to exceed an increase of $75 USD) and up to $10,000 USD.
In order to have your customer automatically return to your WebStore, you should enable the AUTO-RETURN feature from your merchant interface in PayPal. This can be done with logging in to your merchant account Profile, under Website Payment Preferences, you should enable the Auto Return and specify the Return URL which is in the following form:
(where WEBSTORE_URL is the live URL of your web store)
Screenshot 3 : Enabling the Auto Return feature from your merchant account.
All these features are currently available only in beta and will be released on early adopters’ version in late Q2.
The WebStore Manager has been updated, providing a range of new options for users wishing to send their goods from the United States.
International shipping services provided by USPS are now available as part of your integrated shipping configuration. By choosing USPS (International) as a shipping carrier in the Shipping and Taxes section of your WebStore Manager, you can offer your customers new delivery choices, including USPS’s Global Express and Priority Mail International services.
USPS has also recently rolled out a number of changes to its shipping services. Two of the shipping services provided by USPS have been renamed:
- For domestic shipping, Parcel Post has been renamed Standard Post.
- First-Class Mail International Parcel has been renamed First-Class Package International Service.
Aside from the names, these services have not changed — users can continue to work with their existing shipping configurations. For users who are adding or configuring shipping integration with USPS, note that the names of the shipping services have been revised.
For details of previous updates to NitroSell’s USPS integration : USPS Rate Calculator API Upgrade
Attracting new business and retaining current business has long been the mantra for all retailers, large or small. As most consumers now live in a world where every penny counts it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing every sale must be driven by price and smaller players will be at a disadvantage to larger companies with greater buying power. Although it’s certainly true that all retailers must, to an extent be price competitive, many customers also have a high expectation of good customer service and this presents independent retailers an opportunity to compete with the “Big Players”, particularly with on-line sales.
Over the years NitroSell has added many features which help to offer those little extra services that help keep customers loyal. Newsletters are always high on the list of recommended ways but there are other subtle little ways of reaching out to your customers and standing out from the crowd.
Abandon Cart Email Query – If customers have gone to the trouble of finding your site, browsed for products, set up an account and suddenly “whoosh” they have left and abandoned your site without even waving goodbye, wouldn’t you be curious as to why? Ask them. Let them know you are interested by setting up the abandoned cart notification email which will be sent automatically to customers who have registered but for whatever reason have not proceeded with a purchase. Click here for more info. Abandoned Cart Email
Back in Stock Notification – Out of Stocks are a real bug bearer when shopping on-line both for customers and retailers but you can reduce the inevitable frustration by adding this neat little feature to let customers know when more stock is available – Click here for more info. Back In Stock Notification Email
Start a Blog – There is no better way to connect with your customers than starting a Blog. Shout about who you are, what you do and why you are the best. Customers are more likely to trust and support a business they feel they have a connection with and who are passionate about what they do. A Blog helps maintain contact and build a rapport with clients. We have recently released an update on how to create and manage a Blog directly from your web store. Click here for more info. New Blogging Features for your Web Store
Customer Review Request Email – Positive customer reviews are friendly little nudges which instil confidence and help the customer decide to go ahead with their purchase. However, many customers are reluctant to share their views and in reality it’s common to see web stores which have just a handful of products showing customer reviews. To encourage more feedback, NitroSell has a feature that emails customers asking for reviews of items they have bought. Click here for more info. Customer Review Request Email
Loyalty - I’ve saved the best until last. Going back to the original point, when every penny counts customers will always look for savings where possible. If you have proved you care about your business and gained the trust of your customers then the icing on the cake is to reward them for purchasing from you. NitroSell have recently launched an integration with bLoyal to enable the set-up of on-line loyalty programs – Click here for more info bLoyal Integration with Nitrosell
Cork, Ireland – February 28, 2013 – NitroSell’s Dr. Franclin Foping participated in The 7th International Conference for Internet and Technology and Secured Transactions (ICITST-2012), held in London on December 10-12, 2012, where he presented his paper on “NitroScript: A PHP Template Engine For Customizing of E-Commerce Applications”. The authors of the paper were Jerry Walsh, Donogh Roche and Franclin Foping.
The conference, organized by IEEE UK/RI Computer Chapter, was an opportunity for researcher and practitioners to exchange ideas about present and future developments in trends in Internet Technology and Secured Transactions.
Paper Abstract: customizing webpages in a shared or SaaS operating environment is a challenging task because users have different needs and expectations. One way to facilitate the customization process is to provide users with a template engine. By using a template engine, variability points can be specified in the target document that will be replaced with the appropriate piece of information at run-time.
The paper presents NitroScript, a new PHP template engine. NitroScript is designed to be used in an eCommerce context, differing from other general purposes template engines such as Smarty. It enables retailers to customize their store’s pages easily, and the code generated by the NitroScript compiler is PHP bytecode, resulting in a performance boost over traditional template engines that rely on runtime interpretation.
The full paper is available for download here: NitroScript A PHP Template Engine for Customizing of E-Commerce Applications
Cork, Ireland – February 18th, 2013 — As NitroSell’s services business has grown over the past year, we’ve noticed a huge interest among our customers for Search Engine Marketing, Web Design, E-mail Marketing and SEO. We’ve also come to realize that in order to successfully bring together all of those elements we need to very carefully manage and plan the delivery processes. Often, there are multiple internal teams involved and many different elements that need to be passed back and forth as the projects progress.
As a result we’ve recognized a strong demand for project managements roles within the company. In the coming year we will be expanding the number of people involved in this role and as a first step in the right direction we have today appointed Kevin as Director of Services. Kevin will be responsible for ensuring combined services delivery projects run smoothly and are delivered on budget and on time for you, the customer. He will act as your single point of contact and will be your ‘go to guy’ for services delivery.
Kevin has been with the company since 2008 and has extensive experience in customer support, eCommerce implementations, inside sales and web design delivery. We are delighted to welcome Kevin into his new role and we hope that he will greatly improve your ongoing experience with NitroSell.
We are pleased to announce the release of the NitroSell eCommerce WebStore API, version 1.
This API enables web developers to integrate with your WebStore to perform the following operations:
- GetCustomerDetails: retrieve the details of a customer, given an e-mail address;
- GetAllTenders: get the list of available tenders;
- GetTendersByKeywords: search the list of available tenders, given a keyword;
- GetItem: retrieve a set of items, by item lookup code, keyword, department/category ID/name, etc.;
- GetShippingOptions: queries the list of possible shipping options for a given basket and customer;
- GetTaxForAnOrder: get the applicable amount of tax for a given basket and customer;
- GetShippingAndTaxForAnOrder: aggregates the previous two endpoints;
- InsertWebOrder: allows you add a new weborder for fulfillment through the webstore.
For the full integration documentation and publicly available sample codes, please visit this GitHub project.
In order to interact with the API, the web developer will need a private key and a user ID for your WebStore (Screenshot 1).
Screenshot 1: Providing a user ID and an API Key for your WebStore
You can provision these credentials from the API menu in your WebStore Manager as displayed below (Screenshot 2). You can also revoke access by disabling existing keys.
Screenshot 2: The API menu of your WebStore can be seen at the bottom of the page.
This feature is currently only available on the beta channel.