A couple of months back, we shared our experience developing a custom Shopify loyalty program app for one of our clients which attracted a lot of eyeballs. The article thoroughly explained the importance of loyalty programs in eCommerce websites and how loyalty programs have now evolved into full-fledged businesses for loyalty program providers.
Read key insights from our own experience with custom Shopify app development for a Shopify based loyalty program.
The E-commerce merchant community utilizing platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, etc, have long been a profitable audience for 3rd party service providers such as loyalty programs.
Taking inspiration from this trend, The Brihaspati Infotech was recently approached by yet another loyalty program service provider who planned to introduce it’s loyalty program services to the rapidly evolving merchant community on BigCommerce.
So here we are again, sharing our experiences with our audience about how our dedicated BigCommerce team developed yet another custom BigCommerce app development project that involved integration with the services of their 3rd party loyalty program through the BigCommerce cart page.
BigCommerce Loyalty App: Key Features
The workflow of our BigCommerce loyalty points app provides a seamless user experience to the customers as well as the merchants through which:
- Loyalty program members are able to use their account on any BigCommerce website that utilizes the Loyalty program app.
- Members are able to earn points every time they order from the partner website and use their loyalty information.
- Members can use their loyalty points as a balance to pay for their orders.
- Merchants can set up this whole functionality by simply installing the loyalty app in their BigCommerce website.
Let’s review these features in greater detail:
Once the app was installed in BigCommerce it was made available in the BigCommerce admin area. To activate the app for the first time, a merchant needs to enter his Username and API details which were used to authenticate him as a verified partner.
Once the app setup is complete following some rudimentary steps, a reward point page is created in the BigCommerce website which prompts the buyers to signup for the loyalty program if they are not yet a member.
As soon as a user signs up for the loyalty program on our website, we update his data on the 3rd party server of loyalty program provider. By doing this, we programmatically notify the loyalty program provider about customer’s request to sign up and we update his details in the loyalty program dashboard of the vendor.
This keeps the customer’s activity and rewards points data synchronized with the BigCommerce website database and every time the customer makes a purchase we are able to show real-time data to the customer.
Once the user has created an account for the loyalty program, he will start seeing his loyalty account balance on the cart page as well as an option to redeem the points as discounts. By Redeeming the points, the cart value is updated and we push the updated BigCommerce cart value to the checkout page.
Additionally, as soon as the user clicks on Redeem points, we also update the points data in the user’s loyalty account by making the required deductions or additions.
Custom BigCommerce App Development: Approach and Challenges
In a BigCommerce app development project which involves the integration of BigCommerce with a 3rd party service such as a loyalty program, we expect a standardized API documentation of a system that helps in data exchange between BigCommerce and the 3rd party server.
The same approach was utilized in this use case where the client provided us a well-documented API of their system and we built a custom PHP app on an external server which utilized BigCommerce hooks to keep the eCommerce store transactions synchronized with the loyalty app program.
The external server that hosted the app acted as an intermediary between BigCommerce and the client’s Loyalty application server and our custom application was used to power the functionality of loyalty program on BigCommerce through BigCommerce API’s.
The challenge we faced: Synchronizing points data
While the approach in BigCommerce app development for loyalty program was quite similar to that of the Shopify loyalty program development, the only key difference among the two was an extra layer of restriction imposed by BigCommerce for keeping the data synchronized between BigCommerce and 3rd party system.
The BigCommerce API didn’t allow us to send any information generated in the store outside without a secure way. Hence, we couldn’t just pass the customer data along with its loyalty points data in and out of BigCommerce.
Our Approach: In order to work our way around this, we generated a unique code everytime a user tried to utilize their loyalty account balance. We passed this unique code from BigCommerce to our server in order to determine the transaction that took place in the merchant store.
By keeping a copy of the BigCommerce store data on our server and updating it in real time using CRON jobs, we were able to implicitly match the transaction for which the coupon code was generated in BigCommerce. Post that, we simply updated the loyalty points transaction in the Loyalty program database to keep the data synchronized between BigCommerce and 3rd party loyalty program application.
3rd party integrations with for custom BigCommerce app development are always tricky as compared to its prime competitor – Shopify. However, it is never impossible and when it is being handled by expert BigCommerce developers like the ones you can find at The Brihaspati Infotech, then you can rest assured that you will get quality results through a planned approach.
Are you looking to integrate a 3rd party service as a custom BigCommerce app? Get in touch with us now to discuss for a free of cost consultation and discover the potential opportunities that lie ahead.