ABA Launches New Educational Program: One-Day IndieCommerce Institute

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    Building on the success of the annual Winter Institute, this week the American Booksellers Association announced its first one-day educational mini-institute. The IndieCommerce Institute (ICI) will focus on online commerce and related marketing, and it is set for Wednesday, August 10, in Rosemont, Illinois, adjacent to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. The program is tentatively scheduled to run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    The ICI will offer educational programming on three tracks of experience level — introductory, more experienced, and a “master class” — and enrollment for the ICI will be capped to help create an engaged and interactive learning environment. The mini-institute is open only to ABA bookstore members and the cost will be $149 for the intro and experienced tracks and $199 for the master class.

    Registration for the ICI will open on Wednesday, June 22.

    “We have had very strong feedback from our members — including the Booksellers Advisory Council and the recent Educational Task Force — that a shorter, immersive educational program that focused on a key aspect of bookselling would be very valuable,” said Dan Cullen, ABA content officer. “Given the critical roles that online commerce and the Internet are playing in bookselling, it was clear that this is the best subject matter to address first.”

    The ICI educational sessions presenters will include Matt Supko, ABA technology director; Geetha Nathan, IndieCommerce project manager; and Scott Nafz and Valerie Federici of  the IndieCommerce customer service team. Enrollment in the master class must be pre-approved, and the session will be capped at approximately 20 booksellers to ensure that there is ample opportunity for questions, discussion, and idea sharing.

    Here’s more information about the ICI programming:

    Track I: For new stores

    This track is aimed at stores that have recently joined IndieCommerce, or want a refresher course on the basics of their IndieCommerce site. The course will comfortably introduce basic concepts of content editing, order management, and will provide tips and suggestions for making your site visible and successful with both core customers and the larger online world.

    Admission: Any member with a signed IndieCommerce contract

    Track II - For experienced stores

    This track is aimed at stores that have been live on IndieCommerce for some time, and are comfortable and experienced working with their site. The focus of this track will be on improving sales on your website by making it a true online representation of the store visually and organizationally, as well as tracking the impact of those improvements and understanding customer behavior. Parts of this track may have to get technical, but deep technical expertise is not required.

    Admission: Any member with a live IndieCommerce site

    Track III - Master class

    If you regularly turn off the WYSIWYG to edit raw source directly and are always on the lookout for new methods of automating the display of dynamic content on your site (and if you know what this sentence is saying!), this track could be for you. This course will focus on teaching advanced techniques for making your website more efficient, attractive, and functional. There will also be time for idea exchanges in an intimate workshop setting.

    Admission: All applicants at this level must apply and may not qualify for a very limited number of spots.

    Watch for more information about the IndieCommerce Institute in next week’s BTW; questions about the institute should be sent via e-mail ABA Technology Director Matt  Supko.