Strong Customer Authentication

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is a new regulation taking effect on September 14, 2019 that requires merchants to use multiple methods of verifying customers’ identities. While this is a European compliance issue, it will impact US merchants as well. To help you comply with the new requirements — and make sure your sales don’t have declined payments, here is what you need to know.

Starting in September, merchants accepting online payments will need to use two independent authentication methods to verify that a customer is who they say they are.

What kinds of authentication are acceptable?

SCA allows for three different authentication methods — something the customer knows, something the customer has, and something the customer is. To succeed, a transaction has to use two of the three.

What does that mean in practice?

    • Asking for a piece of information only the customer knows, like their password or the answer to a security question.
    • Sending verifying information to something the customer controls, like a hardware token or a push notification sent to their phone.
    • Using a physical identifier unique to the customer, like a fingerprint or Face ID.

What do I need to do to prepare?

Most payment gateways will use 3D Secure 2 – an update to the 3D Secure system – as their main method of complying with SCA. During checkout, the payment gateway will prompt the customer to provide the additional authentication elements, and the order will only be completed once they do that successfully.

If you are using WooCommerce with Stripe and or PayPal as your Payment Gateway, these are already SCA ready, so you will not have to do anything.

Marketplaces Versus Your Own Ecommerce Website

Amazon is of course the largest eommerce site, and many businesses use this platform as their primary method of selling online. eBay is a distant second to Amazon. But as third-party sellers become more prominent on Amazon’s marketplace, many want to expand to other platforms, and eBay is the most popular secondary option, 56% per Feedvisor (April 2019). In fact, this far outshines personal sites (12%), Walmart, brick-and-mortar stores and smaller online marketplaces.

If you are already selling online via your own website and using WooCommerce as your shopping cart platform, there is good news – you can integrate your online store by listing your product catalog on both Amazon and eBay’s global network of 40+ online marketplaces and reach millions of potential customers in minutes. You can sync inventory, orders, pricing, and product details in real-time. Here’s how.

Amazon and eBay Integration

Grab the extension here: https://woocommerce.com/products/amazon-ebay-integration/

Download of the extension is free. There is a 30 day free trial of integration services. Paid subscription required for integration services after 30 days of free trial.

Once you’ve connected your first marketplace and set defaults, you can bulk-list your entire product catalog on Amazon or eBay in minutes, with the option to have separate pricing, inventory rules, shipping options, or listing details to your WooCommerce store or keep them the same – the choice is yours!

Using powerful search and filter options you can select individual products or groups of products using any WooCommerce field to list, edit, or set rules for separate marketplace listing values.

If you’re already selling on Amazon and eBay, you can connect your existing marketplace listings to their matching products in your WooCommerce catalog making WooCommerce the central hub for managing your online store and marketplaces, not only making multichannel easy but also providing a central reference for inventory and sales data that is crucial for maintaining accurate stock counts and publishing up-to-date pricing across all your connected sales channels.

Whether creating new listings or linking existing ones, inventory, orders, pricing and product details will be synced in real-time. Inventory counts will be updated across all your connected sales channels as soon as a sale occurs, marketplace orders will be immediately sent to WooCommerce, and changes to pricing, product details or inventory rules are instantly reflected on your Amazon and eBay listings.

Social Selling

Another popular option for many merchants looking to expand their ecommerce footprint is to list their products on a Facebook Shop, or create clickable images on Instagram or Pinterest.

Shoppable Images on Instagram

I have not personally created an Instagram shop, but these are the documented instruction.

1. First, you’ll need to set up your shop on the Facebook Page you want to use, so it can be connected to the Instagram business profile you want to use. Note: You can, right now, only connect one Facebook Business Page to one Instagram Business Profile.

2. You’ll need to convert your personal Instagram profile to a Business Profile.

3. Lastly, you’ll need to connect your Facebook Shop to your Instagram feed.

Your Facebook Shop can either be set up directly on your Facebook Page, or on your own website, first, through one of Facebook/Instagram’s partners in this integration: Woo Commerce, Shopify, Magento or Big Commerce. I wrote about how to do this in an earlier post (https://webstoresltd.com/2017/05/22/facebook-for-woocommerce/). See an example of a WooCommerce/Facebook shop at https://www.facebook.com/WebStoresLtd/shop/. Once you complete the above steps, there is nothing else you have *to do.* If your account is approved, you will be able to turn on product tagging through SETTINGS on Instagram. More information is available at: https://help.instagram.com/277800139422805?helpref=faq_content

Once this is properly set up, you will now have the option to “Tag Products”

This will allow your followers the ability to click on an image and shop right from your Instagram posts.

Pinterest Product Rich Pins for WooCommerce

When you use Woocommerce with the Yoast SEO plugin installed, setting up Product Rich Pins is just a few simple steps.

    1. Make sure open graph is enabled in your Yoast SEO settings (navigate to SEO > Social > Facebook )
    2. Copy the URL for one of your available products
    3. Paste the product URL into the Pinterest validator
    4. Click Apply now

Pins leading to product pages will now show up as Product Rich Pins. Here is an example:


Shoppable Images on Your Own Website

Check this out (click on the + sign). This is a photo of my friend Brian G. Johnson holding up my book:

[shoppable_image id=”9349″]

If you’ve read this far and want to learn how to do this, sign up for a free brainstorming session and I’ll show you how it’s done.

Product Recommendation

Clients often ask me how they can get great images for their websites and blogs. the answer is to use stock photography. I recommend Shutterstock, which you can see why when you visit this link: