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Ship to FFL for BigCommerce: Selling Guns and Regulated Products

Ship to FFL for BigCommerce: Selling Guns and Regulated ProductsPhoto from Unsplash

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Ship to FFL Solution: Selling Guns and Regulated Products on BigCommerce

If you sell products requiring a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer, you know the difficulty of sending the products to your customer. You have to ensure that you’re transferring the weapon to a legitimate FFL holder, but your customers must be able to choose a dealer who is convenient to them. Many store owners give in and decide to use a third-party service like GunBroker for ship to FFL capabilities. We decided it was time for gun merchants to have powerful FFL dealer software for BigCommerce, a GunBroker alternative.

In this post, we’ll discuss the basics of FFL Dealer Search and Shipping, common FFL integration challenges, and present a solution to resolve these issues.

Common Challenges: Ship to FFL Functionality Merging Compliance with a Positive User Experience

Merchants looking to sell guns online without relying on intermediaries like GunBroker have some challenges ahead of them, and we’re ready to help.  Your site needs to adhere to federal regulations while still presenting a customer-friendly purchase process that includes:

  • Enabling customers to select an FFL dealer location convenient to them
  • Highlighting your preferred FFL vendors in search results
  • Providing a user-friendly way to manage and ship mixed carts containing both FFL and non-FFL products
  • Removes the need to contact every customer to arrange shipping to their local FFL

Client Success Story: A Custom Integration to Sell and Ship FFL Products on BigCommerce

Renowned gun merchant, Staccato 2011, sought IntuitSolutions’ expertise to enhance and simplify their sales and shipping process for FFL products. Their custom solution streamlined the buying experience, improved customer satisfaction, and reduced the team’s manual interaction in transaction fulfillment. 

Staccato’s FFL Search and Ship Solution included:

  • Location-Based Dealer Selection: Enabling customers to choose a convenient FFL dealer using zip code lookup functionality.
  • Preferred Dealer Highlights: Prioritizing visibility of the merchant’s preferred FFL dealers in search results.
  • User-Friendly Map Design: Utilizing map styling similar to Google Maps to boost usability and familiarity.
  • Clear FFL Item Identification: Implementing distinctive labeling of FFL items in shopping carts to facilitate easy recognition.
  • Mixed Cart Shipping Accommodation: Allowing shipment of combined carts, with both FFL and non-FFL products, to FFL pickup locations.

The Process Flow:

  • Once FFL item(s) are added to the cart, default shipping functionality is disabled.
  • Users are prompted to log in or create an account.
  • Order history is pulled based on login information, identifying previous FFL purchases.
  • If users have a previous FFL purchase, the website populates customer’s local FFL dealers.
  • Users without previous FFL purchases are prompted to find a dealer by zip code search. 
  • Merchant’s API recommends local and preferred FFL dealers within the user’s search radius.
  • Selected FFL dealer’s shipping information populates in the checkout section.
Select Your Dealer (FFL) in Checkout
FFL Items Flagged in Checkout

Unique Considerations for Selling Firearms and Other Regulated Products Online

Selling guns and other regulated products—such as alcohol, tobacco, or hazardous materials—  means understanding and implementing compliant online practices. First, make sure your ecommerce platform allows you to sell restricted products. Unlike other major ecommerce platforms, BigCommerce does not restrict merchants from selling regulated products; if it’s legal, you can sell it on BigCommerce.

Our team specializes in creating virtually any custom enhancement for selling regulated products online, including:

Get the Best FFL Software Solution for BigCommerce

Succeeding in online firearm sales demands solutions that seamlessly merge compliance and convenience. For gun merchants, a robust “ship to FFL” functionality isn’t merely an added benefit—it’s an imperative.

If you’re among the numerous online gun sellers relying on third-party services for FFL items, it’s time for a bespoke solution that yields better business returns. Beat your competitors to the punch, reduce your margins, and get an FFL Dealer Lookup on your BigCommerce store today!

Contact our BigCommerce experts to learn more and get a free quote on your project.

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