Spicewood Vineyards

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Spicewood Vineyards is an award winning Wine Maker and Vineyard located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country.

Our 3rd redesign for the company was not exactly a redesign, as much as it was a re-tooling of the current layout. Vineyard owner Ron Yates had asked me to re-imagine the featured slider images, instead, making them a full width header background behind the navigation, allowing a different image (or different rotating images) on each page. This was the easy part!

Ron also asked me to update the Spicewood Vineyards Wine Club, making everything work together online instead of having to continue to manage its members using printed lists and old order forms. The caveat in this situation was that the Wine Club had met its maximum amount of members and that any new users needed to be put on a waiting list, their credit card info captured but not processed.

Our goals for this project were:

  1. Create an online membership where user accounts were given special privileges, like coupons and discounts on wine purchases.
  2. Memberships were not automatic, there was to be a “one to one” waiting list, when 1 person left, 1 person was notified there was a spot. If accepted, their captured credit card would be charged.
  3. PCI Compliance states all credit card information cannot to be stored on a web server. An SSL is not enough, one must use a 3rd party credit card vault and tokenization provider or keep information offline. So how do we manage capturing CC info but not storing it on the server or emailing it?
  4. There were 600 old and recent members, the only list Ron could offer was the Constant Contact list that went out to them. How do I import them and set them up?
  5. How will users access their new accounts having not create it themselves?
  6. When a user cancels their account or it expires, the Vineyards staff needs to know so they can stop sending seasonal wine boxes and charging the members account, so alerts needed to be set up.
  7. Sign up any new members to the Constant Contact email list.
  8. Set up an events calendar and a way to purchase tickets thru WooCommerce.

As an eCommerce based website already using WooCommerce, I chose to use a mix of plugins that I knew communicated well with the Woo framework.

To start, we purchased and configured WooCommerce Memberships, a plugin that ties directly into the WooCommerce accounts and product pages.  We used this extension to create a new “product” called “Wine Club Membership” whose order was not completed until the payment was successfully processed.

We then purchased a premium plugin for WooCommerce called “Offline Credit Card Processing” by Visser Labs. The plugin is good for what it does but I found that the support was terribly lacking. I had 2 issues and after several weeks of asking for assistance, the owner posted to my support ticket and only answered 1 of the 2 issues with a “This is how it was written anything else would need customization” then closed my ticket with no further assistance regarding the 2nd issue. While I have it working, I probably would not purchase this plugin again.

Additional code was created to tell the cart checkout scipt if the Wine Club category was in the cart, no other items would be allowed during this checkout (We want wines to be purchased and processed immediately, not using the offline checkout process). The custom scripts also changed the merchant account processor (how the customer pays) to be the offline credit card plugin only. At the very end of the check out, I created a script to show a check box to be enrolled in the Constant Contact email list for Wine Club members. It was pre-checked but the option was there to uncheck it if the customer so desired.

Once the order was made, half of the credit card information was sent to the Vineyards order processing via email, and the other half was temporarily stored on the website. A link to the information was added to the order form. The way we got around any PCI Compliance issues was to follow the link, print out the CC info (it gets deleted directly after) and keep that on file with the order form, which has the other half of the CC info. (did you follow all that?) Sending all CC info via email is a huge red flag for your merchant account processors who can (and will) fine you heavily for non compliance, so if you are doing it this way to process cards offline, you need to rethink what you are doing. Contact us, we can give you better (and safer) options. 

So now we have explained to the customer that the order is merely a registration to wait in line for the next spot and they were not charged. We have the order sitting on hold in the order archives, and we have a printed copy of the credit card info. Once a space became available, the credit card information was processed which sent them a successful payment and a Wine club Membership welcome email and their email was added to Constant Contact. Voila!

 

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