BigCommerce and Guns & Ammo shops


While there are eCommerce platforms with policies that follow social justice and their own agendas, the likes of BigCommerce stand by anyone following what's legal on what is available to do commerce with. This includes the items that are considered "high risk" such as Guns (Firearms) and Ammunition where the likes of Shopify prohibits many aspects in that space since 2018. Especially in the United States where the 2nd Amendment is a core component of the constitution, eCommerce websites are being restricted due to discriminatory policies, which include some payment processors as well. So if you sell Firearms, and your brick and mortar store wants its very own online Gun Store and takes credit cards - BigCommerce is the solution provider to consider.


What are High-Risk products?


The type of High Risk is detected in Keywords and imagery. Keywords that are used in product pages such as a firearm or accessories are getting flagged. The same goes for THC vs. CBD when it comes to legalized marijuana, yet, some more liberal eCommerce platforms will not restrict THC. If you are in the area of High-Risk products, figure out the keywords that are going to be highlighting the product set, and check to see how you comply.


https://www.shopify.com/legal/aup-definitions#RestrictedItems


Why does BigCommerce take a different stance?

As an Open SAAS platform (which is a cloud version of an open-source eCommerce platform), BigCommerce takes the stance that the liability of the legality is entirely with the merchant. Additionally, this is proven by not partaking in the sales revenue of the merchant (thus not complicit) via online payment. BigCommerce approaches eCommerce Business as a partner and holds a line with their expertise to being eCommerce tech, and giving eCommerce stores to operate within the State, country, and international legal boundaries without bias.


Tech Industry Bias


With Keywords dominating Social Media platform censorship, Google Ads doing the same, operating in what is supposed to be a free market in a democratic western country is being met with difficulty. At its core, debate on human rights, and local legal mandates force interpretations by both the public and the enforcement of the legal system to drive platforms to "play it safe". While this does nothing to solve the "illegal" activity in this space which is the root and cause of society's crime, Tech firms find solace in virtue signaling their stance by going beyond the laws and legal policies - which has put merchants in a difficult position to operate in this space.


Marketing tools and SEO


With online shopping being influenced by Big-Tech's bias and censorship, the marketing approach has to be even more creative. If you solve your eCommerce solution with a friendly payment gateway, solving the search engine, Google Ads, and Email marketing within the rules requires "Keyword strategy" to resonate with your audience. BigCommerce has the full suite of tools to operate your digital marketing strategy, it is the other systems that can be restrictive. While you may have your point of sale in the store, you can accept credit cards online and at the shop, high-risk keywords are being monitored on Social Media/Google Ads on "intent" with anything that's "for sale" between companies, individuals even down to PayPal payments.


Creative naming of firearm accessories


Take https://sportscameratechnology.com/ for example, which offers a GoPro-like camera that attaches itself to a firearm, the association to the sport involving Shotguns is deemed High Risk, so the word "Shotgun" being replaced with "Barrel" is less risky. This is a training camera, which promotes safety and training to sharpen your skills, and in no way it is advocating anything nefarious. Yet, Google Ads, YouTube Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads will flag it and use their algorithms to suppress it.


Conclusion


Guns and Ammo shops have to operate with a higher standard than any store in the industry, with greater responsibility in security, client screening (background checks) yet the bias is still being imposed due to the mere fact that a lot of the population interprets an evil act is facilitated by the tool rather than the person wielding it. The belief is that if the tool was unavailable, then the act wouldn't occur which is why crime takes other forms which are in the space of illicit/illegal activities outside of any monitoring. BigCommerce is one of the few systems that has no bias, no judgment, and gives the full freedom of speech and their policy is based on law. As long as your product is legal, then BigCommerce will host it, accepting payments to your bank account without issue. Shopify participates in taking 2% of sales via the processor, which is then applying its policy restrictions, making BigCommerce a better choice financially and more viable. If you are a High-Risk brick-and-mortar store and would like advice on setting up your online store - get with us at wish@thegenielab.com, we are happy to assist.


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