E-commerce is the foundation of trade in the 21st century

E-commerce is one of those web applications, one of which needs no introduction. It can be safely assumed that most people in the productive age (and younger) fulfill their shopping needs through e-commerce applications.

The basic solution of the e-commerce application is to provide the customer the possibility of purchasing products or services, regardless of the time of day or night, with the emphasis on the convenience of the end customer. Often colloquially, this type of application is called online stores, webshops or trading platforms.

For whom?

E-commerce applications are intended for commercial companies offering services or companies offering paid for broadly understood physical or virtual resources in the form of a subscription. The year 2020 brought us the coronavirus pandemic, along with the pandemic and with the prevailing restrictions, our approach to meeting our needs has changed. Restrictions imposed by individual governments meant that our previous habits had to change, we began to look for alternative ways to carry out all our daily duties.

The increase in interest in online sales was simply staggering, it was especially visible at the time of limited mobility of people, but the trend has remained. While earlier online sales were often only a supplement to stationary sales, in the current situation online sales are often the foundation of commercial enterprises. That is why it is worth it for your business to gain appropriate support in the field of online sales channels.

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How is the application built?

In order to present the topic better, we will try to discuss its individual modules. This way you will get to know the application principle better, you will be able to get to know the advantages of dedicated e-commerce solutions that LSB Data has in its offer.

In the case of most e-commerce systems, we can separate basic modules that are present in practically each of these systems. Some of these modules can operate completely independently.

The product catalog

The product catalog is the basic element of any e-commerce application. The catalog can run as an independent web application or be directly integrated with the online store. The task of the catalog is to present the full product offer of the online store in a way that allows easy viewing of its content, each product should have a description that will help the customer make the right purchase choice. A photo gallery, 360-degree visualization system or product comparison are elements of the product catalog, without which it is difficult to interest the customer and motivate him to stay on the site. Remember that in the case of a product catalog, the key is the correctness of the data, the right photos or microdata provided for search engines. It is from them that a large part of visitors and potential customers will reach us, so it is worth taking care of scrupulous preparation of the catalog content and making this data available to search systems.

LSB Data in its e-commerce applications guarantees the appropriate preparation of product data for search engines, incl. Json LD. Check us out! 

Properly presented data will also allow you to save time, both for the customer and the store service, by protecting us from "ineffective sales".

The catalog is usually divided, based on categories (flattened or nested), the simpler the structure of the categories, the greater the chances that the customer will reach the level where the products are visible. It should be remembered that the majority of visitors to our store are users of mobile devices, you must bear this in mind when building the category structure.

There is also no good catalog without a suitable product finder. A good search system will allow the customer to reach the right product or propose in its results a product that is closest to the customer's expectations. The system should be based on dictionaries, synonyms, inflection of individual words and correct minor errors. A proper balance in this matter is recommended. Too high sensitivity to errors will significantly limit the search results because it will display only the best-matched results, while too small will result in receiving a large number of results that are even unmatched from the customer's point of view.

LSB Data in its e-commerce projects uses the latest technological solutions in the field of search systems, including Elasticsearch. Check us out!

The catalog can also present the company's offer in terms of services. Yes, such a solution is possible. Often, the service may be related directly to the product, in a situation where we offer a product or connection service, it may be an additional warranty or an annual Spotify access package :) Yes, we also like to listen to music without advertising and so do your customers. All this can be offered to customers as additional services to products, but the service can also be completely separated from the product.

So is it possible to sell plumbing services over the Internet? Of course! We can offer a service with a specific price, e.g. a dishwasher connection service, for which we have a flat-rate quote or an hourly service, where the customer is able to order a specific pool of hours to be used over a certain period of time. There are many possibilities, which large online stores eagerly use. Often the services offered are available in the form of a subscription with recurring payment.

The catalog of products and services can act as an independent application, so it can not only act as a product and service base for the needs of an online store, but also be a common point for many other applications, such as CRM. I am talking about the so-called PIM (Product Information Management). The assumption of PIM comes down to the fact that the catalog of products and services is common to all sales channels we support. If we sell our products through our online store or a trading platform such as Amazon, the product description is always collected in one place and is used to support multiple sales channels. This saves time and maintains better control over descriptions, especially when dealing with product descriptions in multiple languages. PIM allows us to mass import data from suppliers, ERP systems or local files.

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Unique design, unique stores

Offer system

The catalog of products can be supplemented with an offer system. Offers are by nature dedicated, are prepared at the customer's address, often with the use of a negotiated discount? Can this type of offer also be handled through the e-commerce system? Of course!

While the preparation of the offer itself may be devoted by the trader, processing of the offer may be carried out via the e-commerce system. After a dedicated offer, the customer can take advantage of dedicated price conditions, specially prepared for him, providing the convenience of using the online store. No more manual payment processing and no information about the status of the order. All this can be handled in the e-commerce application as a normal order.

LSB Data in its e-commerce projects supports dedicated offers. Check us out!

Product catalog, service catalog, and what about dedicated products made for an order? What if we want to offer a configurable product, can such products also be sold over the Internet?

There can be no other answer than… YES! This is the perfect job for an e-commerce system. The ability to configure the product, its personalization and, importantly, the ability to observe the impact of our changes on the price is very important for the end customer. Product configurators make it possible to relieve the store service from manually calculating the value of a personalized product, shifting the entire burden onto the application mechanism. The product configurator allows you to observe the impact on the price, but often it also allows you to generate a visualization of the configured product, which translates into an improvement in the degree of system conversion.

Pricing system

All the items mentioned before require a key ingredient, the price! After all, price is the key. Each product, service or dedicated offer is based on the list price, purchase price (with an added margin) or a fixed selling price. You need an efficient price list system that will allow you to take into account all dependencies, rebates, discounts and periodic promotions and calculate the customer's final price, preferably in real time.

This seemingly trivial task is often a huge problem in large online stores, where price differentiation reaches the point of absurdity. Therefore, when choosing an e-commerce system, it is worth paying special attention to it, especially in the context of selling products in different countries with different currencies. This is where the mechanism of automatically taking into account the rates based on average rates will certainly be useful, which relieves the store staff from the need to manually adjust prices for individual products.

LSB Data in its e-commerce projects uses a completely proprietary solution for calculating final prices in real time. Check us out!
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Individual price management mechanisms.

Shopping cart

Right after the product catalog, the most recognizable and characteristic element of an e-commerce application is the basket. If we visit an online store, we always see a characteristic basket icon, which, to a great extent, stores products selected from the product catalog. If I already have all the products in our basket, we can proceed to the checkout. Just like in an ordinary, normal, classic store. Once we have filled our basket with products, we go to the checkout.

Generalizing the cart is responsible for the direct implementation of the purchasing process, allows you to verify and correct the number of pieces of selected products, allows you to choose the payment method, delivery method and data, billing data (billing data). It also takes care of verifying the availability of products in stock and, depending on the settings of the application, it may allow you to purchase products that are out of stock or not. In the case of services, stock levels are usually absent and the availability of services is not limited, in the case of products the situation is different. The basket in the online store should collect from the store user all the data necessary to complete the order. Depending on the business needs, the basket, in addition to basic customer and delivery data, may also collect data about the recipient of the invoice, comments from the customer or include discount codes and vouchers previously received by customers as part of marketing campaigns.

Customers should be informed on an ongoing basis about the current value of the basket, the estimated time of order fulfillment, and in the case of limited availability of individual products, the customer should be able to decide whether the order is to be completed in full or in part (division into packages and shipment of products in several stages). These types of solutions are mainly provided by dedicated e-commerce solutions.

LSB Data in its e-commerce projects uses a proprietary solution to determine the availability of products, allowing to divide shipments into stages. Check us out!

The current trend is the possibility of placing orders without prior reservation, and the basket mechanism must be properly prepared for this. The customer's convenience must be put in the first place, when analyzing the orders placed, most people decide not to open an account if they do not plan to make further purchases in the near future. This is mainly due to the fact that the user, during registration, is forced to enter at least an e-mail and password with a specific difficulty level. Users who place orders in various online stores are reluctant to set up another account for only one purchase. Setting up a user account requires the secure storage of another password, which creates another annoying problem for the user of the online store. It is worth bearing in mind when preparing the implementation of e-commerce applications in your company. Handling the purchasing process without the need to log in or register in advance is now standard. Purchasing without registration also has certain consequences in terms of access to the order status and sensitive data.

Online payment

Online payments, known as online payments, complement the convenience offered by the online store. The User, having the option of SAFE payment for the order immediately after its submission, will usually benefit from this convenience. Both for the customer and the online store, automatic payment verification speeds up and simplifies the order handling process. The store service is exempt from manual verification of the payment status, and the information about the payment transaction is available directly in the administration panel of the e-commerce system. The user receives information about the course in real time, without the need to wait for the payment to be verified by the store staff. Online payment systems include not only accepting payments, but also full handling of refunds.

Currently, there are many online payment companies on the market, some of them operate in local markets, some of them are global companies. When deciding to launch your own online store, you should consider introducing online payments. This will benefit both the company and the buyers. The leading companies providing online payment systems on the global market are, among others PayPal, Google, Stripe or recently Revolut.

LSB Data in the offered e-commerce solutions always provides the necessary tools to integrate online payments. Check us out!
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Need an integration with a special payment platform?

Customer panel, after-sales service

An e-commerce solution is not only the product catalog itself and the handling of the purchasing process. The possibilities of the systems are much greater. E-commerce applications also allow you to provide customers with access to the full history of their orders, their progress, history of payments or the balance on a unique customer account. Monitoring the progress of order fulfillment is one thing, but a more important fact from the business point of view is the possibility of relieving the store service from after-sales service. What exactly do we mean?

In the case of store service, it is about automating the packaging and shipping process. Currently, it is no longer anything new to integrate e-commerce systems with warehouse systems, courier systems (including printing labels and reporting packages), or even with complete external logistics solutions that allow you to fully outsource issues related to storage, packaging and shipping.

An additional issue is the handling of returns, complaints or guarantees. Receiving notifications by e-mail or by phone is very tedious and labor-intensive, and the store staff often meets with indiscriminate comments from customers disappointed with equipment failure. This is where the full after-sales service system comes in handy, which will allow users to submit returns or complaints directly from the customer panel of the online store. The entire path and status of after-sales service can be as visible to the customer as order handling, and in the event of a need to return, the entire operation can be as simple as a few clicks in the administration panel.

A customer informed on an ongoing basis about the progress of his order is a less rowdy customer.

LSB Data has many years of experience in the implementation of after-sales and warranty service systems and integration with ERP systems. Check us out!

Administration panel

The command center, control center, or just the administration panel, is the part of the e-commerce application reserved only for the operation of the online store. Access to this part of the system should be well secured, including multi-factor authentication (2FA). It is also a good practice to offer this type of security also for the customer panel.

In the administration panel, we have access to all elements of the entire e-commerce system. Starting from the product catalog with the possibility of its edition, through the list of customers (contractors) and their places of delivery, the list of orders or the list of delivery notes and invoices. Depending on how complex the e-commerce application is, the complexity of the administration panel may vary. From here, the store staff should be able to fully control all system elements, or control the process of data exchange with related systems, such as ERP systems or BI systems.

LSB Data offers BI applications that will allow for effective analysis, reporting of data and improving the effectiveness of the sales process. Check us out!
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The best management of the store is paramount.

Dedicated e-commerce solution for you

Currently, there are a number of ready-made e-commerce solutions available on the market. A large part of them are open source solutions, and therefore free, you can also find paid solutions in SaaS models. However, the key to all this is whether such solutions will meet all our needs and will they allow us to implement our own solutions, dedicated to our business?

If you have a small shop with a small catalog of products, you do not assume greater development and you are satisfied with the functions offered by the ready-made system, then this solution is suitable for you and your business!

However, if you think more broadly, want to develop and think about expansion, it is worth considering investing in a dedicated solution that meets the needs of your business in 100%, specifically yours, and not others. Dedicated solutions allow you to introduce competitive advantages, solutions that your competition is not able to implement based on ready-made e-commerce solutions. This is what we create, we create e-commerce systems tailored to your unique needs. We allow your online business to develop without restrictions.

LSB Data has many years of experience in the implementation of dedicated online sales systems, its own server facilities and a guarantee of the highest availability of services. Check us out!

Our e-commerce offer

LSB Data offers comprehensive implementation of dedicated solutions in the B2C (Business to Customer), B2B (Business to Business), C2B (Customer to Business) sectors. The application described above is only one of the types of e-commerce application operation model, but the possibilities are much wider and depend on the needs of your business.

By implementing your dedicated e-commerce project together with LSB Data, you are guaranteed the possibility of influencing the course of the project, you can express yourself in its implementation and at every stage you have a real impact on the final result.

If you are looking for dedicated e-commerce solutions for your company, write to us! Our e-commerce team will be happy to offer you the latest technological and functional solutions, based on the current trends.

The costs of implementing a dedicated e-commerce application

To estimate the cost of implementing an e-commerce application in your company, we need precise knowledge about your product or service offer, the functional scope of the application, and the scope of integration with other applications and entities. We approach each project individually, so write to us, describe your needs and we will contact you! We will ask you additional questions that will allow us to prepare hourly estimates on the basis of which we will determine the estimated value of the project.

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E-commerce case studies

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