Introduction To Ecommerce And Online Shopping Cart Information Technology Essay
The ECommerce is a branch that combines the features of business community and electronics. In the older times, it was not mandatory to exist electronically as the business was based on local geographical area covering a very small segment of it. But as the business existence must be boundless, everyone wants to exist globally. To promote the business opportunity nationwide and abroad and to explore new market areas, governments also supported the business community by shedding a number of barriers in the way hence increasing the scope of getting more revenue for the nation. The US government lays more emphasis on it and in the year 1996, issued a white book “The Selective Taxation Policy on Global E-Comerce” [i]
This thesis is concerned with simulation of an e-commerce portal using ASP.Net, C# and Sql Server. Many solutions provided are either non-customizable standard packages or are too much costly. The solution provided is more general, it is evolutionary and will grow as the demand increases. The technology used (C#) is standardized by European Computers Manufacturers Association [ECMA] and platform independent (ASP.Net).
The solution has both Standard Shopping cart features [See Appendix-1] with an Advertiser CMS to register and publish advertisements on the portal. In this way it will enhance the revenue for the store owner as well as the advertisers covering a vast majority of online shoppers and markets for the products dealt with at the same time giving more general information through advertisements about the businesses and products not known to the users.
1.1 Introduction to E-Commerce and Online Shopping Cart Solutions
The existence of business online electronically was a dream for many in the earlier years but now it is very easy to establish due to vast majority of internet users and cheap domains where we can set up our virtual office for executing all type of transactions. The E-Commerce is a term coined by experts that combines the features of the Electronics i.e. communication and doing business with physical establishments and huge investments. We can now reach the normal consumer with less expenditure and earn huge revenues. The days have gone when it was said that we will go online, exist globally and reap the benefit of remote markets, but now it has become a necessity to exist online otherwise you will be lost soon. The E-Commerce has developed to various forms specially m-Commerce called business through mobile devices. Other less concerned options that can be included in the domain of e-commerce are EFT (Electronic Funds transfer), Enterprise Content Management System (E-CMS), teleconferencing, Mobile Recharging, shopping cart solutions etc.
1.2 Rationale for this thesis
To preserve your identity you must have to set up a business model online so that the firm may exist in the long run. Besides expanding the wings physically, we must have to exist virtually. The supply chain is the outcome of the same where there is a centrally controlling authority distributing its own or demanded products manufactured by others as per the market demand and earn huge amounts of revenues. In this scenario, we have to establish physical stores at different locations so that the local markets may be served.
The online shopping cart is a blend of the supply chain and e-commerce that help us to reserve, purchase and get delivery of the product transacted online from any of the methods like local delivery, parcels etc.
After studying a number of shopping cart solutions online like Yahoo Stores, Zen Cart, osCommerce etc., I thought of introducing a new concept in the existing line of Shopping Cart solutions and it is the advertisement module. The existing products cover particular set of features and most of them share the standard features of online shopping. These products are off the shelf and take time to customize or difficult to alter. These have most common features like
The admin is the vendor itself. An Admin is a person who owns/opens a store and uploads the catalog of the products he deals in. These products can be software / hardware or products. Virtually any kind of product can be listed in the catalog.
The other section relates to the customers and online visitors who make purchases of the available products.
There are a number of installable modules (components) that relate to the payment gateway and can be activated / deactivated on one click.
There is no vendor / customer interaction like messaging.
The vendor can’t earn revenue by putting advertisements.
1.4 Revenue Model
The revenue model is very simple; most of the solutions are freely available and come in self owned stores like osCommerce. These products can be installed on individual domain and many firms develop installable modules for these or customize as per user requirement. The provider does not take any revenue for sharing the software.
Some of the product providers charge commission as per the terms and conditions like pay per sale etc.
On the other hand, the vendor/admin, earns revenue from the catalog for the products he deals in for freely available portal.
Advertising is any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor.
Normally it shows growing trend of consumers being more resistent to advertising messages and less open to marketers communicating with them without their expressed permission.so advertising models are continuously evolving due to an explosion in media outlets
Important factors in advertising.
2. Hold Interest,
3. Arouse Desire,
4. Obtain Action.
There are various ways of advertising but we talk about only website advertising.
In Today’s modern era website is good way to advertise your product, event, idea or brand. You can run your advertisements on websites with highly target traffic and likely buyers (as the ad above), but you may also create entire websites dedicated to advertising your product. We can use multi-media presentations, seminars and virtual demonstrations to advertise our product
1.5 Aim and Objectives
I have made an attempt to introduce a new concept of revenue earning and that is by placing advertisements on the portal on some of the specific areas of the portal pages. The advertising agency will be choosing the plan and pay as per the terms and conditions. On the other hand we can also charge Pay Per Click (PPC). The individual can place its business advertisement from the plans available.
Also I have introduced a section that will help persons to interact with each other by messaging and clearing the doubts.
The major aims of this project are:
1. Developing a within reach shopping cart solution. The huge companies have been spending a large chunk of their revenues in creating online solutions but I would like to develop on with small to medium scale organisations in mind so that it may be cheap in cost but rich in features.
2. Many of the e-commerce sites have failed to exist in the markets, how can I modify the features so that my site may exist for long and what e-commerce has to offer me in the present day environment.
3. Many organisations expect revenue quickly but most of them take years to reach the expected revenue level. How can I earn money within a short span of time.
4. How to design the web that it attracts an increasing number of customers day to day and make them spend more on my site.
5. I want to reduce the cost of order processing because low cost means more profit otherwise.
The above mentioned product is the outcome of online shopping experience for a number of times and comparing the features of a number of online shopping solutions.
For the features, I have chosen are very basic with an additional module of advertisement that will be a source of revenue for us.
The shopping pattern has also changed with the growth of technology. According to research found in the Journal of Electronic Commerce, if we focus on the location based local shopping channels as in the case of Supply Chain Marketing, we can place an order anywhere and take delivery at anywhere else that is affected by the level of education, age, sex, time, income, friends and occupation etc.( (Bigne, Enrique.(2005) The Impact of Internet User Shopping Patterns and Demographics on Consumer Mobile Buying Behaviour. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, VOL. 6, NO. 3.) )
For Comparing the features I have studied a number of websites that offer hosting of shopping cart solutions the first of which was eBay by Amazon launched in 19962(,(Palmer, Kimberly.(2007) News & World Report) followed by a number of other hosts. After the popularity of this site, a number of ISPs offered open source solutions for implementation of cart solution like osCommerce by Harald Ponce de Leon3,( www.oscommerce.com) and its community is growing every day. Recently Dot Net Nuke CMS for creating dynamic websites.
Features of Shopping Cart:
Product and categories can be easily manageable.
Provide thumbnail and full image of each product.
Any numbers of product photos can be uploaded.
Provide Flexible Tax Models based on Shipped-to Address and Store Address.
Account for shoppers to manage their personal details, billing Address, shipping address.
Multiple Currencies, Multiple Languages
Confirmation Mail and Invoicing for order
Give Powerful Web-Administration Interface
Quick and Advanced Search, Product Ratings
Give Product Attributes can be added to Product (like Size or Color)
Provide Product Types for Classification (like “Car”, “Motorbike” or Music Album”)
Give Order Edit Functionality
Basic Reporting Feature: sold Items, monthly/yearly Revenue
Order Status Management
manage different Currencies, Countries & States
Online credit card payment
Pre-defined Payment Gateways like authorize.net, PayPal, 2Checkout, eWay, Worldpay, PayMate
Provide flexible Shipping Carriers and Rates Configuration
Stock Level Control for Products and Item
Why to choose our shopping cart
Our Shopping cart provide a complete e-shopping system with large range of product cataloge and technical data of products.
cost effective online shopping solutions
Minimum turnaround time
Complete site control with Admin interface
Complete integration with any Payment Gateways
Secure Payment Protocols
Multiple language support
Optimized Search Engine
Fast and powerful engine based on sqlserver
Client Server architecture
A payment gateway is an e-commerce application service provider that authorizes payments for e-business, online retailers etc.. Payment gateways protect credit card details by encrypting sensitive information, such as credit card numbers.
How payment gateways work
It facilitates the transfer of information between a payment portal ( like website, mobile phone or IVR service) and the Front End Processor
When a customer places a item from a payment gateway-enabled user, the payment gateway performs a variety of tasks to process the transaction:
A customer places order on website by pressing the ‘Submit ‘ button , or perhaps enters their card details using an automatic phone answering service.
when order is place through website, the customer’s web browser encrypts the information to be sent between the browser and the dealer’s webserver. It can be done through Secure Socket Layer encryption.
dealers then forwards the transaction details to their payment gateway. It can be through another Secure Socket Layer .
payment gateway forwards the transaction information to the payment processor used by the dealers’s acquiring bank.
The payment processor forwards the transaction information to the card
If an american expressor discover card was used, then the processor acts as the issuing bank and directly provides a response of approved or declined to the payment gateway Otherwise, the card association routes the transaction to the correct card issuing bank..
The credit card issuing bank receives the authorization request and sends a response back to the processor with a response code
processor than forward the respone to the payment gateway.
payment gateway receives the response & forward it to the website where it is interpreted as a relevant response then relayed back to the cardholder and the dealer. This process take couple of seconds.
The dealer submits all their authorizations in a “batch” to their acquiring bank for settlement.
The acquiring bank deposits the total funds in to the dealer’s nominated account. This could be an account with the acquiring bank if the dealer does their banking with the same bank, or an account with another bank.
This process from authorization to settlement of fund take 3 days
coustomer requried to fill their personal details to submit their order the entire commnication is carried out through http protocals
To check the request of the payment page result signed request is often used – which is the result of the hash function in which the parameters of an application confirmed by a (secret word) known only to the dealer and payment gateway.
IP of the requesting server is need to verify to validate the request of payment page result
PayPal Integration Overview
To accept payments on a website you can find information on integrating PayPal.
Complete your integration in following manner
choose the product
Test your integration
Update your integration configuration
then go live
Release to customers
Simple integration: Use html to integrate website payment standard with your website.
API integration: Use APIs to integrate express checkout and website payments with your website.
Gateway Integration: Integrate a PayPal payment gateway with your website
Use HTML to integrate payflow link
Use APIs to integrate payflow pro
Shopping cart integration: Integrate PayPal with your third-party shopping cart
Use HTML to integrate website payment standard with your shopping cart.
Use APIs to integrate express check out and website payment pro with your shopping cart.
Pre-integrated shopping carts: Use a third party shopping cart that comes pre-integrated with your preferred PayPal product.
Test your integration & Go Live
Testing your integration: Use PayPal Sandbox to make sure your integration works properly before releasing it to customers test your code
Running your business: After integrating, take advantage of these PayPal features to run your business better
Testing your ASP.NET application
Microsoft’s Application Center Test (ACT) is a tool that allows you to test your Web applications. Find out how to establish a test environment and create a test with the ACT product. User experience is important factor in a Web site’s success so ensuring the proper functionality of each feature is important. Once you remove all bugs, you must test the application in a production quality environment. many tools are available for such testing, like Microsoft’s (ACT). It’s available as a stand-alone product, and Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Edition includes a version of ACT. This technique tests Web servers, it allow you to analyze the performance and scalability problems with Web applications. A large group of users and opening multiple connections to the Web server. The connected clients send HTTP requests to the server. ACT allows you to specify the number of users’ connections to simulate. Apart from HTTP protocol, ACT supports various authentication schemes that you may utilize within a Web application; this includes the popular Secure Sockets Layer protocol.
After installing ACT the main component is the ACT project. Create a new project using the ACT Project option. The ACT project file is an XML file with the .act file extension. With the project in place, you may add test to it. The ACT installation includes two test scripts (one in JScript and another in VBScript), and one option for recording a browser session. This last option is the most straightforward method to be testing your application as soon as possible. Once you select the Browser Recorded Test, a window opens with the Start and Cancel buttons. The Start button begins the recording process by opening a new instance of Internet Explorer. All activity within that instance of Internet Explorer is recorded. When it finishes, you may return to the Browser Record window and select Stop. This allows you to select OK to save the test in your project or Cancel the process. Selecting Save generates a VBScript file containing the script for the recorded test. Once the session stops recording, you may use it to test your application. you may use the session as the basis for testing application performance. Test properties allow you to control the number of connections.
Analysis of E-Commerce Shopping Cart Solution
3.1 Software Engineering Approach Applied
I have used the traditional waterfall model for this package as a first development methodology. Because it is accepted by all that “First plan your work and then work on your plan”, further, all the software developers use this very concept for presenting the software for the first run. It is considered as the best because it incorporates all the requirements which are mandatory for the first run of the software after installation. The last phase of this model permits us to merge the evolutionary model or spiral model in which the software is revised over time and the limitations are to be removed as they are encountered.
The waterfall model assumes a phased development of the software in which each and every task is broken into various phases and are carried out in the sequence except coding, because coding of various modules can take place simultaneously which can then be combined together to make a complete software for testing purpose in the lab.
The Sequence of Operations in this model as applied is as follows:
This phase has further steps as
Problem definition -> Requirement Gathering -> Feasibility consideration -> Presenting the SRS document.
Detailed Design: In this phase we begin with data collection from a number of sources like clients, data entry operators etc. The functionality of the organization is presented on the paper theoretically. For this we use a number of tools as follows:
Data Flow Diagram
Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD)
Gantt chart / Network Diagram
This is an iterative phase and we have to perform a number of iterations for finalizing the requirements.
Code Development: This phase begins only after the specifications are met and the theoretical design is finalized.
Testing: This phase will be carried out simultaneously as the code development begins. We call it as unit testing. When all the modules will be developed, we shall carry out a detailed integrated testing. The testing will specify the input and end results, however for the sake of brevity, we shall foretell all the computations involved.
Implementation: The developed code will be compiled and then can be implemented on any domain that will satisfy the requirements.
Application of the Waterfall model to the specified project:
3.2 Major Processes
We want to develop an online products catalog portal with four major sections viz.
Public Section will consist of the catalog, its detailed description, voting/ ranking of the products and user comments for already used product.
Customer Section will consist of the registered users who will be performing the transactions. This community of users will be able to reserve the quantity required for 24 hours and make any modifications. Every customers can have only one basket for 24 hours and it will be renewed every cycle ends. The reserved products can be shifted to order placement and invoice creation only after the payment process.
Payment Process will be carried out with the sandbox paypal facility, it is a demonstration of integration of the real life payment portal without any ambiguity.
Advertiser Process will be another addition to the model that is a Content Management System (CMS) and not available in other portals and is the unique idea developed by us for earning revenue. It will help a business that does not have its own web portal to exist on the network. The advertiser will have to choose from the given plans and pay accordingly. Alternatively, we can implement Pay Per click model of revenue generation.
Administration Section will be overall controller of the portal and has the highest hierarchy. He will be managing the products, plans and orders.
3.3 Feasibility Study
This study is of utmost importance because it helps us to analyze the problem from various angles. It tells us whether the project under consideration is feasible. It will help us to continue or drop the project. The various types of feasibilities that have been considered are summed up in the following section.
BENEFIT/ COST3.3.1 Economic Feasibility / Cost Benefit Analysis
The system being developed is totally economically feasible. The reason for it being feasible is because it has been chosen as ‘to kill two birds with one arrow’ i.e. The project is taken as an assignment from the ——————— and is meant to be donated free of cost along with the one year maintenance of the same. It fulfills the partial requirements for the degree course ————————hence there is no external cost in development of the software. On the other hand the modern market and also the
3.3.2 Operational Feasibility
This project is feasible from the point of view of its day to day operations. It is so because the targeted users are all computer trained by virtue of their chosen course. Hence there is no burden on the center or any organization involved to keep an additional operator who will help the users to operate the same.
3.3.3 Technical Feasibility
The software and system is technically feasible. It is going to be implemented online. The tools and technology being used is easily available and also free of cost.
3.3.4 Social Feasibility
The system is going to be an open system. Hence its targeted audience is general visitors. Since the Administrator is there to keep track of all activities hence the system is socially viable. It has nothing kept which may be the cause of violation of social constraints. Only the authenticated members have access to the portal for performing major activities and under strict control of the admin. Hence the system is completely secure.
3.3.5 Legal Feasibility
The system is strictly following the legal constraints. The software(s) being used for the development of the system are freely available and originally purchased by the Web-Host. Also the hardware parts are all genuine. The software being developed is freely donated by the candidate. Hence there is no chance that the system under consideration violates the legal constraints.
3.3.6 Behavioral Feasibility
The behavior of the system as far as it is concerned is feasible from the point of view of its overall operations. There are limited applications of the software. Hence its behavior is not going to change in the couple of years to come. Further the software is easily upgradable. The system is developed with latest software(s) of the day i.e. ASP.NET 3.5 with C# (See Sharp) and MS Sql Server 2005 on the web. The runtime environment is to be provided by the hosts and the client needs just a browser which is free with every operating system and hence compatible to almost all the systems of the day.
3.3.7 Factors Limiting the Scope
The web portal is dedicated to the shoppers online and there might be many a things that have been ignored or not highlighted, but we have placed a feedback form to help us improve.
However the system is implemented on the global basis, but is easily upgradable to higher versions in the market without any modifications.
4.1 The Use Case Diagram
4.1.1 The Vendor/Admin/Owner
The vendor is one of the most important part to solution as he will be posting his products and managing other aspects also.
He is given following privileges
Priority Setting (Membership based)
Post Additional Images of the product
Evaluate Status (Stock)
Email Alert Regarding out of stock product ordered.
Direct Customer interaction through online Chat
Internal Email System
Post News Letter, Product Notification to Customers.
Daily Report of Placed orders
Set Order Status (Deny, Invoice, Delivered, Processing, Pending)
Watch Accounting Reports
(Payments Received, Invoices Generated, Expected Revenue)
Second in its aspect is the customer, who is a regular visitor and have faith in the vendor due to goodwill. If we are reputed vendors, there will be customers.
A customer is the person who will be a major source of revenue and center to every invokved person in solution.
The Activities are
Perform Online Transaction through PayPal integration for making payments.
View Order History
Perform Update in the shopping cart
Internal Email Messaging System
Online Chat Support
Rating/Voting and feeding Reviews
Post Feedback regarding customer experiences
Address book where a user can store upto3 address types.
Automatic Invoice Creation on a product out of stock and request for late payment
Product Reservation for 24 hours.
4.1.3 Advertiser Services
An Advertiser is an agency who creates advertisements and posts them on our portal.
For posting an advertiser, a user is allocated space.
The advertisement will be based on plan chosen by the advertiser.
It is based on various parameters and as set by the dealing authorities.
If an advertiser does not renew membership, the account is blocked by default and notices of renewal will be sent according to following Criteria.
Count Down as the account begins operations.
One month prior expiry.
15 Days prior expiry
1 week prior expiry
Last three days of prior expiry (daily)
In a similar manner post expiry.
If still does not show any interest, the account will be deleted and the correspondence will be mailed to his personal mail account.
Every Advertisement will have a link to details page or a URL to an external trusted site.
The linked website will have a corresponding link to bpi-oltp. The link exchange will have no additional charge. But the outside only link will have extra charges.
Reports that will be given are:
Promotional Links Clicked
Frequency of visited advertisements
Expired /Active Advertisements.
4.2 Software Requirement Specifications (SRS)
4.2.1 Hardware Requirements:
For Demonstration No Special hardware is required, but for real life, the better the server is the better will be the performance.
4.2.2 Software Requirement:
Dot Net Framework 3.5 or higher will be required to run the product.
4.3 Programming Layers
4.3.1 User Interface Layer: For Development, we need a notepad only. Notepad ++ is better than others as it supports a number of file types. We shall be using ASP.Net for server side control rendering and presentation of the forms. For navigating the web any browser will be sufficient.
4.3.2 Business Logic Layer: We shall be using C# for code development.
4.3.3 Data Access Layer: ADO Net will be used for Data accessing and client side data management.
4.3.4 Data base Layer: We shall be using Sql Server 2005 or higher for implementation of database.
Internet access is required for demonstrating the paypal functionality.
4.4 Design of Data flow diagram (DFD)
4.4.1 Context Diagram (level 1)
The portal serves system in three faces. The first face is regarding the general visitors and the customers, second is for the Traders where the vendors or Administrators will be able to update their catalogs and the advertisers will be able to put their advertisements on the portal.
4.4.2 Detailed data flow diagram (level 2)
The above DFD shows the detail of operations that will be carried out in the portal.
As per the requirements, there are four type of players displayed in this diagram viz. Advertiser, Vendor and Customer. Everyone is operating in its independent scope.
The Admin process is kept at the highest level and is accessing almost every critical process i.e. controlling the operations that can be performed by others. As a vendor the admin is managing the catalog of product and orders that belong to him.
The messaging section is common to all and every communication per user basis will be stored therein.
The Customer is placing orders and thus is an important part in the transaction.
The advertiser is placing advertisements. The Advertiser must have to opt for a membership plans that may differ from role to role.
The Transaction table is there is hold record of all transactions that take place in portal.
4.4.3 Data reports that will be generated from these tables are outlined as follows:
All the reports will be first displayed on the screen and only those finalized can be got printed on request by the authenticated user(s).
Frequency of Login of Each type of members
Frequency of visitors to know the website traffic.
Tree Walking Categories
Products With Catagories(Counted)
Products Expired and not activated
Revenue from Plans
Ranking of Opted Plans
Plans Never Opted
Date wise Transactions
Most Sold out Products
Tbl Advertisements220.127.116.11 Advertisements
Time Consumption of Advertiser
Advertiser Focus Area
18.104.22.168 Boolean Searches
It is a multiple Sql type Search for Advanced users who can make search on various attributes like
They will be provided with AND/OR/NOT Logical Operators along with Relational Operator to search on.
Other details that will be authenticated to the admin and can be met only on request
4.5 The Entity Relationship Diagram
This ERD is generated as a database design.
The methods will be predicted as we design the classes for managing the portal.
4.6 Navigation Tree
My Account Cart
View Order History
Update Product Notification
Update News Letter
Feed Reviews on Purchased Product
Feed Reviews on Store/Vendor
Apply/Update/Withdraw Membership Plan
View Posted Ads
View Placed Ad Orders
Manage Accounts (Customer / Advertisers)
Apply/Update/Withdraw Membership Plan
View Posted Products
My Account Carts
Set Order Status
Watch Reviews for Products
Post News Letter
Post Catalog Notification to Customers
Post Notification to Advertiser
4.7 Gantt Chart
4.9 Page Layout and Design (Architecture)
4.10 Development Notes
Operations Manual is Under Development, but the Evaluator can have a fair idea from the analysis above how it is going to be organized.
Place of Development : Institution
Time of Development : 90 Days (8 Man hours a day)
Technology and Tools : Dot (.) Net Framework 3.5
Sql Server 2005
Chapter 5: Validation and Verification
Must be Unique
Must have proper format like having @ symbol and a valid domain name
Must be atlease 6 characters in length
Must be Greater than 17
Derived from Users
Automatically Updated as per Actions of the Users
Code for Placement of the Advertisement and Kind(Banner, Ad Rotator etc.)
Automatically generated and stored in Database
Optional, will lead to a destination website
Depends on Plan
Automatically stored as and when uploaded
Derived from respective tables
5 Star rank, one will be chosen
Orders : Automatically Generated Record as and when Credit Card Information is available
Dt Begin / Dt End
Dt begin < Dt End (Promotional Dates)