G&G is helping retail and other brick-and-mortar businesses in designing eCommerce websites using various technologies, from Dot Net, Java, PHP/Linux to Oracle, SQL Server and IBM DB2, WebSphere
As web applications and internet technology become more pervasive, more and more customers are demanding the option to purchase online. E-commerce, also known as electronic commerce (or eCommerce), refers to selling of products and services over the web. G&G Technologies is helping retail and other brick-and-mortar companies in designing eCommerce websites using various technologies.
With its broad reach and flexibility, e-commerce is becoming an increasingly important selling channel for today’s businesses. Many firms which have traditionally relied on face to face customer interaction are either working to or have already implemented an e-commerce system to provide a seamless extension to their existing sales and fulfillment systems. E-commerce transactions fall into three categories: business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), or consumer-to-consumer (C2C). An e-commerce transaction may begin when a buyer views an online catalog and retrieves product or service information, places an order, and provides credit shipping information. The seller verifies the credit information, processes the order and payment and scheduled fulfillment and shipping.
Typical requirements include one or more of the following:
- Secure integrated payment processing
- Intelligent product categories and subcategories
- Price-breaks, customer specific pricing
- Immersive, intuitive presentation and navigation
- Integrated taxes, shipping, and order status system
- Automated account creation, and e-mail notification systems
- Securely integrating and updating internal inventory level and price data
E-commerce software development includes integration of third party shopping cart solution and online store packages ranging from simple product catalogs and shopping carts to advanced features like online payment, inventory management and order tracking features. These solutions can create virtual malls where a number of stores can sell their wares online and integrate services offered by merchant account providers, digital service and shipping service providers.
Although the appearance of an online web store is definitely important, there is lot more to launching an e-commerce website than graphic design. Some of the additional conditions are:
- Effective organizing and managing of the product catalogue to allow for flexibility and growth
- Customer specific, data base driven product recommendations to accommodate both up-selling and cross-selling
- Dynamic pricing across a wide range of variables to accommodate different customer and order types, in addition to split testing
- Order management procedures, including integration with a new or existing ERP accounting software system
- Developing an information architecture that is friendly for both end-user and search engine optimization purposes
E-commerce requirements are unique to every company. Depending on the IT environment and business needs, the e-commerce software allows business processes to be integrated in such a way that the resulting system can deliver accurate, reliable information in real time. This flexibility enables the organization to react quickly to new opportunities, reduce time to market, reduce cost and risk and better serve its customers. The net result is a significant competitive advantage.
A typical e-commerce implementation would require expertise in the following categories:
- Languages: ASP.NET, C#, VB.NET, JSP, Struts, C/C++, HTML, Java, Java Script, VB Script
- Database: MS Access, MS SQL Server, Oracle Server, Sybase SQL Server
- Operating Systems: Linux, MS-DOS, Windows, Windows NT, OS/2, UNIX
- Software: ActiveX, ADO OLE DB, COM/DCOM, Queue/Message Server
- Methodologies: Client/Server, Internet/Intranet, DNA, Object oriented, RAD/JAD
- API’s: ISQL/W, JDBC, ODBC, Source Safe, SQL
Here we list some of the steps required to implement an e-commerce solution.
Project Initiation: Before project technical and design and design works can begin, the project need to be organized to comprehend the process and functional requirement to provide a transparent and successful implementation. It can again be divided into the following steps.
- Team introduction and role explanation
- Outlining of required e-commerce elements
- Review change management process
- Review client communication portal
- Generate and review project plan and milestones
Design: The site design should be unique the brand. Many e-commerce site developers provide high-end, high-quality designs as templates to meet individual business needs of different customers.
Customization: Functional customizations are required to properly maintain and upgrade the e-commerce software and it can include integration with third party systems and integration into existing logistic and accounting applications.
Store Setup: The store needs to be properly configured and set up to run effectively and securely on the internet. The store setup can include
- Providing a temporary domain to be used while the site is being prepared
- Assistance in setting up the payment gateways and domain names
- Assistance with the back office account management set up
Training: Training provides hands-on experience for administrators in all aspects of the system.
Products roll out: Setting up, configuring and gaining an understanding of the powerful product and merchandising features of the systems are critical for on-line success. Depending on the requirements this stage may include:
- Implementation and migration of product data
- Creating stores and configuring product presentations and category structures
- Review and navigation logic and ergonomics
- Creating and configuring promotional and feature capabilities
- Implementing checkout options, modules, and search facilities
Testing: At this stage the store is put through simulated customer experience and transactions, so that before deploying the site live on the internet the following can be verified:
- The store is configured to accommodate any special requirements that may have been introduced during the implementation process
- Back office users are properly trained
- The storefront processes are properly tested and test sales and transactions are performed
Deployment: When an online store is ready to produce revenues and profits the e-commerce software will initialize the live domains and ensure that the site is officially propagated on the Internet.
Support and maintenance: maintenance plans ensure that the software is frequently updated with better features, usability, and stable technology.
For an enterprise working on a strategy for selling products or providing service over the internet, a phased approach to e-commerce offers numerous benefits. One can test the market with new products and services modify the site quickly to meet changing customer needs, and integrate the online activities into traditional operations.
Here we list some of the advantages of implementing e-commerce solutions.
- E-commerce provides additional sales channel and the opportunity to diversify revenue streams to include new web based products and services. This may include advertising fees from ads on online community pages and partnership revenues from new alliances. E-commerce also helps to generate sales leads for channel partners, thus boosting revenues.
- E-commerce can enable a firm to sell products and services and extend the name and brand awareness beyond its current market at a lower cost than other traditional alternatives, such as building new stores or launching ad campaigns.
- It provides important information about the customer’s buying behavior. Some e-commerce applications provide tools to create detailed user profiles, which can be used to deliver offer targeted for internal corporate analysis or customer service use.
- Business volume can be easily increased and even a small and localized business can be easily transformed into an international, 24×7 enterprise.
- A business with strong internet presence can reduce staffing and office space overhead cost and this can result in more competitive pricing of services and products.
- Integrated payments with Banking and Accounting are possible and provides support for accounting systems
- Interaction with the system takes place in real time and so allows customers or bidders to respond more quickly and reduces the lag time between discussion and purchase
E-commerce is an essential requirement for success in today’s fast paced, global economy. Unparalleled opportunities exist to expand markets, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and offer customers and partners seamless access to information. To capitalize on these opportunities, organizations and suppliers worldwide are turning to e-business as a competitive necessity.