This report is on a web-based online store. Due to the increase in the demand of online shopping, a web-based store is very convenient.
Different payment methods exist at the moment, one can pay upon cash on delivery, or using VISA and Mastercards. The products available currently include ladies and men’s sprays, beauty products, hanedbags, men clothes and shoes.
The website is very user friendly and easy on the eye. The design is appealing and customers can easily purchase for the products. For one to purchase any product, they must be registered and must have logged into the website. This is to help the admin get access to the customer’s details for shipment and delivery purposes.
A web-based application is any program that is accessed over a network connection using HTTP, rather than existing within a device’s memory. Web-based applications often run inside a web browser. However, web-based applications also may be client-based, where a small part of the program is downloaded to a user’s desktop, but processing is done over the internet on an external server.
The world is becoming digitalized, be it banking, advertizing or shopping. This has helped in making the world easier in terms of saving time, instead of one having to go all the way to the shop, they can conveniently shop from anywhere and their products will be delivered at their doorsteps.
For the purpose of the project, two modules have been introduced, admin module and customer module. For the customer module, the customer can view all the products existing in the website but cannot purchase any product until they are registered. This is to enable the admin to acquire details about the clients such as their names, addresses and phone number. This helps in delivery of the products ordered by the customers.
The admin module enables the admin to be able to tell how many clients are logged in and whether or not any purchases have been done. The admin also has control over everything on the website. The admin is able to add users to the website and also track on the purchases made, and the products out of stock are added to the website as well.
The Home page contains the registration or login link. It also displays some featured products, special offers and also displays the latest products. There is also an about us link and contact link, where one can get all the information about the site and how to contact us.
For the moment, the mode of payment is cash on delivery, though in the future other modes of payment like use of VISA cards and M-pesa will be incorporated.
Online shopping is the act of purchasing and ordering of products from or retailers who showcase their stocks online via a website, a forum or a weblog. There are so many ways through which a person can buy things online and some of them could be by visiting the retailer’s or company’s online store, through adverts from sellers online, etc.
With the advent of the technological advancements especially in the website development era,various retailers have resorted to creating online platforms from which they can view products and purchase them.Most of the common online platform stores all over the world include;Amazon,OLX,Jumia and many others.
In this paper I will try to focus and highlight the development of some of these systems and look at some of the shortcomings these online stores face.
Amazon.com, Inc., is an American electronic commerce and a computing company based in Seattle, Washington.It was founded by Jeff Bezos on July 5, 1994. Amazon offers international shipping of some of its products to certain other countries.It is one of the most common used electronic commerce currently available in the world.It has increased usage which has been on the rise for the past five years.
Amazon has surpassed top retailers all over the world such as retail giants like Walmart due to the ease of shopping which Amazon has continued to provide over the years.Its website attracts almost 600million users anuallly.
It allows users to submit reviews for each product they have purchased or viewed.This helps in that it gives ratings for each product.Customers can comment or vote on the reviews provided.
This helps in that before purchasing a product a customer is able to see the reviews and the ratings the particular product has.
Amazon allows a customer to search for a keyword from a diverse catalog.Currently Amazon hosts around 33 million products and commodities.This is very large records compared to other e-commerce websites.
This is one of the major disadvantages of Amazon especially if you are buying from outside your country or region. The products you purchased will take time for it to be transported and delivered to you and this might cause so many problems and inconveniences especially if you urgently need the product.Amazon serves a huge number of continents.
From the time of purchase to the time of delivery it will have a lag period.Despite the inclusivity of shipping charges the product delivery is very slow.
OLX is an online based marketplace founded in 2006.It currently operates in more than 45 countries all over the world.It facilitates selling and buying of goods such as electronic appliances,household items and furniture.Compared to amazon it doesn’t have that huge customer base.As of 2017 it has 150 million active users.
This is probably the most important advantage of OLX. They have made people purchase at leisure, even while working, at home, anywhere . Also, comparing the prices of products you purchase online to that you can purchase in other online stores they have a huge price difference.
If you are a seller trying to sell a product, the simplicity with which a person can post an ad and reach out to prospective buyers within a short time span is the major advantage in using OLX.This is the reason many sellers mostly prefer OLX.
Although this challenge have been dealt with by OLX, hackers have used online shopping to hack into people’s bank accounts, steal valuable information from people and caused uncountable losses to firms; this they do through phishing.This has posed to be a great challenge especially in that most users are required to disclose some of their financial information such as credit cards.Hackers have managed to penetrate and access this information.
It is an online shop with different commodities. For the project, I made a websites,. The local website contains different commodities available in Kenya, it has features that enable one to either log in or register if the client is new. For one to be able to check out any product, one must be logged in to enable the system to get access to their details, for shipping and purchasing purposes. In case one wishes to cancel their order before shipment, that option exists as well.
On the admin’s side, one is able to tell how many clients are logged in and whether or not any purchases have been done. For the moment, the mode of payment is cash on delivery, though in the future other modes of payment like use of VISA cards and M-pesa will be incorporated.
The website is user friendly, making it very easy for people to use it. With good graphics, the website is easy on the eye making it very easy and convenient.
For design of the website project :
The website guides users along a logical path through the ordering process. The product catalogue (and limited site functions) are viewable by all users (not logged-in). Users must register (sign-up/log-in) to buy products and access membership features.
The website requires certain hardware for it to be successful, for example a Mac or Desktop Pc with fast processor speed and had drive.
Wi-Fi switch fit for offering web association with various gadgets, for example, portable PCs, tablets, cell phones, and office and in-store media gadgets.
The system requires anti-virus and firewall to avoid viruses and malware. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to help keep track of customer details and interactions. Email and communication clients, including social media management tools.
MySQL is an open source relational database management system (RDBMS) based on Structured Query Language (SQL).
WAMP refers to a set of free (open source) applications, combined with Microsoft Windows, which are commonly used in Web server environments
Under the Design process, informational, functional and network requirements are converted. The designs are constructed in different ways:
Top Down Approach is whereby designers identify and link major program components and interfaces, then expand design layouts as they identify and link smaller subsystems.
Bottom Up Approach, designers first identify and link minor program components and interfaces, then expand design layouts as they identify and link larger systems and connections.
For the purpose of this project we will try to use the bottom up approach in which we will link the minor programs and interfaces.
The project entails two major interfaces the admin interface and the customer interface.
For the customer interface the customer browses through products, searching for items or desired products, the customer then adds the desired items to cart, the customer has an option to view the products added to cart. The customer can decide to remove item or change quantity. Once the customer has confirmed the order, the customer can decide to checkout,pay for the order, confirm and send order.
Below is an illustration of the use case diagram of the customer interface;
Also still in the customer interface a new customer has to register in order to browse and search items.Below is the registration portal from the website;
After the user registration the customer can now browse and view different items which are on display and from there be able to add the item and checkout.
The admin can decide to either insert item, delete item, modify item and query information.The admin has the permission to add new products to the system,see the number of users online and be able to accesss the credentials of the users and facilitate payment.Below is the outlook of admin functions and illustration of the admin page on the website;
Below the admin can also be able to view the stats of the customers.He can be able to see the recently logged in customers,how many have checked out and be able to see the amount of sales for a specific duration of time.
In summary both the interfaces the admin and the customer have been incorporated as for the customer interface it is intertwined from registration upto the checkout step,while for the admin he exercises the sole authority and has permissions to be able to perfom functions such as payments,stats viewing and other permissions.
The flowchart below describes the required interactions of site visitors with the e-commerce website.
This is generally the phase where the entire system is tested. For the website we tested it by requesting a few of our friends to register and try making some purchases to determine whether or not the website is working properly.
Testing is done in association with verification and validation. Validation is the action of checking or proving the validity or accuracy of something.For example, has the software been built right?Is it what the customer wants?
Verification is the process of establishing the truth, accuracy, or validity of something.For example does it match the specifications?
For the evaluation phase generally we tested the add to cart module and also the payment feature.
In conclusion, making the website was not an easy task, time was a bit constrained but we made it work for our benefit. With incorporation of the lipa na M-pesa function, it will hopefully end up being a success even in future and payment methods will also be added for example the use of VISA and Master cards. We are also looking forward to adding more products to the website and ensuring that the orders never run out of stock.
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