Case Study –

Technologies Used

  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • OpenCart
  • CSS3
  • Javascript
  • jQuery
  • AJAX
  • PayPal
  • SSL

Description is the brainchild of couple based in north Wexford who wanted to take their existing online presence to the next level. They specialise in ladies accessories and had been in business for a number of years with a well known online store platform. They felt the need to upgrade their existing store to look more visually appealing with a stronger brand – this is where they felt their existing solution was not strong enough.

If somebody is going to make an online purchase on your site – they need to have confidence. They need to trust your brand, your products and first impressions are so important. Off the shelf solutions E-Commerce are great for cost savings and speed to market. They are often very easy to set up, you don’t need a web developer, you don’t need seperate hosting and you don’t even need a domain name. However there are huge limitations with these systems – mainly around design and customer experience. One shop tends to look the same as all others and it’s hard to stand out from the crowd or put your own personal touch on the site to re-inforce your brand values.

Meeting Client / Requirements Discussion

We met with the clients on a number of occasions and gathered their requirements. At a high level, they wanted:-

  • Impressive front end design
  • Logo design
  • Attractive rolling banner on homepage
  • Clear layout of products and categories
  • Blog
  • Newsletter
  • PayPal integration
  • Social Media integration
  • Intuitive and easy order process
  • Comprehensive backend portal that would allow them to manage content and orders
  • Contact form
  • Ability for affiliate programme integration down the line (not on day 1)
  • Gift Certificates
  • Online vouchers
  • Cater for customer reviews and comments
  • Ability to showcase special offers
  • Returns capability
  • Stock management
  • Invoice management
  • customer communication integration
  • System dashboard
  • Ability for customers to view order history
  • Ability for customers to submit returns
  • Optimised for mobile

Having looked at the above requirements we felt that we could achive all of these with an OpenCart installation along with some specific customisations.

Design Layout

We developed an initial homepage design for the client and worked with them to finalise this. When the clients were happy with the design layout, we started to put some meat on the bones and implemented the functionality from their requirements. During development, we provided incremental prototypes on a weekly basis for them to play with and provide feedback. This worked well and led to a much smoother implementation.

User Training

A very important aspect of such a system is user training. The client requested a comprehensive training manual specific to their store. The manual covers how to add categories, products, upload images, process orders, manage customers along with all other management functions. This document has been designed to be a one stop shop for the client to reference for any updates they want to make into the future.

Final Solution

It was very rewarding to see the solution develop and emerge on a weekly basis and the client certainly appreciated this. The project was developed in a very agile fashion, meaning the client got to get their hands on the system early on and provided regular feedback.

By working closely with the client throughout all stages of development we were able to stick to the requirements and suggest improvements along the way.

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