First we’ll gather some basic information about your church to set up your virtual store. Your Virtual Store is actually the Cokesbury.com online store, but our home-page banner will be masked with your church’s name. See the example below (Note: The size and style of the church name is automated and cannot be changed. Customization is limited. Church logos or other graphics cannot be placed in the masthead):
Below the advertising banner and buttons on your Virtual Store home page there will be a welcome message. Cokesbury will provide this standard message:
Welcome to the (Church Name Here) Online Store. Here you will find many resources to enhance your study of the Bible and aid in your personal spiritual journey. From time to time we may make recommendations for your consideration. If a Recommended Selections link is visible below, click on the link to view our recommendations.
Or, if you wish, create a one- to two-paragraph custom message. The message may be inspirational or it may explain how purchases through the Virtual Store benefit your church and mission work. Once composed, email your message to VirtualStore@Cokesbury.com and it will replace the standard message.
You may wish to recommend products to your Virtual Store visitors. All recommended products must be offered at Cokesbury.com. If you have entered recommended products on your Virtual Store, visitors will access the Recommended List via a link below the welcome message. Recommendations are in the control and discretion of the host church and can be added or deleted at any time. Instructions on creating and maintaining a Recommended List will be emailed to you after set up.
Once Cokesbury has completed the set-up for your Virtual Store, we’ll provide a link to be placed on your website. The link contains a number that is unique to your Virtual Store. It allows Cokesbury to identify purchases made through your Virtual Store and calculate rebates. We’ll also also give you the Virtual Store graphic you see at the top of this page which can be used with the link. Or your church can create its own linking graphic. Once the graphic and link are on your host church site and a visitor/member clicks on it, they are taken to your Virtual Store.
• Church Online Account – The Church Online Account provided with the Virtual Store can be used by anyone authorized to make purchases for the church and if they have been given the login and password. The login and password information also grants access to the person who is responsible for creating and maintaining the Recommended List. If you wish to limit persons who can make changes to the Recommended Selections List, it would be wise to create a separate Church Online Account with a different ID and password for church purchases.
• Individual Online Account (Church Personnel) – Likewise, individuals purchasing for their personal use should create their own Individual Online Accounts. By creating an Individual Online Account, personal information is kept more secure and only that person can access his or her order status or purchase history. In addition, members of your church and visitors to your website who browse the site can create their own Individual Online Accounts as well (or they can log in as guests). Once members and visitors make their purchases, Cokesbury takes care of the rest—shipping, billing, etc. The customer gets the normal online discounts and your church gets a rebate on qualifying items.
Qualifying purchases are any items purchased through the church’s unique Virtual Store website and they will earn your church a 5% rebate! (All products must be offered at Cokesbury.com.) Purchases via Cokesbury’s toll-free 800 number or through a Community Resource Consultant do not qualify for the rebate. Rebates are calculated only after the item has shipped; thus a back-ordered item is not added to the rebate until the item has shipped. Any item that is returned for refund or credit is no longer a qualifying item and is not counted in the rebate, or if a rebate has already been paid, it will be deducted from future rebates. Rebates are calculated semi-annually in February and August. If the rebate for your Virtual Store totals $10 or more at the end of any 6-month rebate period, a check is issued and mailed. If the amount is less than $10, your rebate is allowed to continue to accumulate through the subsequent rebate periods until the amount reaches or exceeds $10. Then a check will be issued and mailed to the attention of the treasurer at the host church’s or organization’s address. If it is preferred that the check be sent to a specific person or group within the church or organization, please email VirtualStore@Cokesbury.com (Note: Rebates cannot be applied to the church’s Cokesbury account).
Because we know identity theft is becoming a serious problem, the Virtual Store site contains the latest SSL (secure sockets layer) security to protect shoppers and payment information. We also offer the convenience of a safe, interest-free Cokesbury account.