The growing Internet technology has proved to be a boon for shoppers as they can buy anything online at just a single click. While online shopping websites provide ease and convenience to shoppers, there are certain products and services that are restricted for sale to a certain age group, especially children.
Online businesses realizing their responsibilities to prevent children from accessing prohibited content or using age-restricted products have encouraged merchants to enforce age checks.
E-commerce merchants are investing in KYC for tracking customers information and verifying their identity. They are moderating access by using various age verification modules between website customers and the prohibited product/service for safe selling over the Internet. This facilitates merchant to safeguard their product range and brand name from any fraudulent activity.
However, choosing a better method to apply better age verification system often leaves retailers perplexed. While some prefer asking a set of questionnaire from the user, others leave it to the courier company to perform ID checks.
Well, to have this functionality in your e-commerce website, adding Age Verification page can help merchants achieve the desired results for their stores and boost their revenue
This article illustrates how the dedicated BigCommerce developers at The Brihaspati Infotech got an opportunity to build an Age verification app for a client’s BigCommerce store.
Before this, let’s put some light on:
Why e-commerce businesses require Age verification?
If you are selling age-restricted merchandise, the need to obtain a user’s age becomes an absolutely necessary step before a customer proceeds for checkout.
Items like alcohol, vapes, wine, ammunition, and cigarettes can’t be sold to customers who are below a certain years of age. These fall under the category of restricted goods that need a certain verification method before a customer can purchase them.
However, obtaining a customer’s age is a tricky process for merchants as any user can click ‘yes’ without submitting his age proof. If store merchants are unable to verify customer’s age for the age-prohibited goods online, there are high chances that they are subjected to lawsuits.
How we built an Age verification App in BigCommerce?
In our recent approach, one of our clients had a BigCommerce store which sold ammunition, for whom our development team created an Age Verification functionality to minimize the risk of liability. He needed a professional looking pop-up to appear on the user’s screen website.
Because his niche was a weapons industry, so he needed to deal with the stringent state, federal, and local laws to sell ammunition products through online stores.
To solve this purpose, our development team suggested the client to have an age verification page before the Checkout page for obvious legal reasons.
Though the easiest approach was to use the third-party apps available in BigCommerce’s app store, such apps can add to the intricacies of the code which is not worth.
Moreover, as the client wished to have an additional feature where the customer’s license key could be asked for, use of a single third party app would not serve the purpose. The existing apps did not serve the purpose.
So, after a brainstorming session, our expert BigCommerce developers devised an idea of making a Bigcommerce Age verification app where we provided a single form which asks for the date of birth and the license key from the customer before he lands on the checkout page in BigCommerce.
Custom BigCommerce App Development
Let’s next discuss the BigCommerce App development based on the custom coding approach. Bigcommerce doesn’t allow developers to customize checkout page easily. So, we created a custom app and integrated it with the BigCommerce store.
Technologies behind creating the app
- To create the app’s backend, we used yii2 PHP framework which implements the MVC (Model-View-Controller) architectural pattern.
- We used BigCommerce APIs as a method to interact with the software components. Using the open API architecture supporting unlimited calls, BigCommerce allowed our experts to build new functionality for the client’s store. We also make use of custom fields provided by the flexible BigCommerce.
Key Features of BigCommerce Age Verification App
Once the Age verification app was installed in client’s BigCommerce store, it was made available for merchant’s use in the admin section of BigCommerce. In order to activate the app, a merchant uses the same ‘Username’ and ‘API details’ which he uses in the BigCommerce store to authenticate him as a verified partner.
authenticate him as a verified partner.
- Displays Professional looking pop-ups/form
At the user end, when a customer adds products to the cart and proceeds for the checkout, the app presents a pop-up/form on the user screen, where he fills his date of birth and the RPAL number in case of non-restricted products:
In case the ordered product falls under the restricted product category, the customer is displayed with the form and is asked to verify DOB, RPAL number, RPAL expiry, first name, last name of the customer, city of birth, club name.
The huge customer base of client’s BigCommerce store ensures that the maximum number of customers are verified instantly.
Then, they proceed to checkout as a guest login if they are the first time buyers and fill the shipping details and make payment.
- Easy to Integrate
Merchants can set up this whole functionality by integrating the Age verification app on their BigCommerce website.
- Highly Responsive Design
The app is optimized for mobile devices. When integrated with the store, our age verification app works in a fully responsive environment supporting all-sized devices like tablets, mobiles, desktop.
- Fully Customizable
Display your logo and customize the text, font, colors and background image to match the look of your website and brand.
- Easy User Experience
The workflow of our BigCommerce Age verification app provides a seamless navigation experience both for the merchants and the customers alike. Here’s how a popup appears while the user places an order.
Challenges we faced
As the products displayed on the client’s store are related to firearms and ammunition, it featured two types of product categories, namely restricted and non-restricted. There are different popups for both products categories.
For non-restricted, it asks for the bare minimum but vital information like DOB and license key. It was difficult to fetch restricted and non-restricted products to display their relevant forms.
However, the team displayed different popups for products and stored license information, first name, last name, the city of birth for restricted products, all this was handled using a BigCommerce API.
Advantages of using BigCommerce Age Verification App
1. Responsible online selling of restricted products and reduce chargebacks and fraudulent orders
Moreover, with the increased crime rates related to illegal guns and ammunition, it becomes difficult to trace the weapon used in the crime for law enforcement which can lead to taking stringent measures. Our Bigcommerce Age verification app helps the merchant to sell firearms and accessories responsibly by taking rigorous safeguards.
With customers required to verify their age and the license key before making a purchase, the details are saved with the merchant which helps to prevent any fraudulent activity by the customers and the database is shared with the country’s legal authorities from time to time.
2. Target wider audience
The BigCommerce Age Verification App helps ecommerce merchants selling the firearms to target their customers in a better way and stay focussed towards the specific genre of audience. Using tools like Facebook pixel can further help you retarget your specific traffic.
3. Improved compliance and simplified purchasing process
One of the main things to be kept in mind for a firearm retailer is to abide by ATF compliance. Apart from that, by simplifying the buying process for the customers, retailers can easily increase their sales. By integrating our app with their BigCommerce stores, online retailers can accomplish that without compromising on the compliance.
4. Customer retention and increased sales
With our user-friendly and quick verification process, the chance of losing customers over age verification becomes minimal. Adding an elegant looking pop-up for extracting information lets you provide a positive first impression on your website visitors.
Final Thoughts On Age verification App in BigCommerce
With years of experience in BigCommerce development services, our skilled ecommerce developers were successful in building and integrating the app with the client’s store.
Using this app can save merchants from getting failed due to the compliance measures which can otherwise result in a huge penalty or a prisons term of 5 years or both.
So, our Age verification app is a savior for merchants who want to sell the restricted product range online.
For any assistance in BigCommerce Web and App development, reach us anytime.