With appearance of trading networks selling computer equipment and having branches across all Kazakhstan (“FORA”, “Technodom”, “Alser”, “Sulpak”, “Mechta” and others), it became much more difficult to run a business for stores focused on realization of the goods within one city because of the increased competition. Furthermore, all networks have online shops for viewing and ordering products online. The existence of a functional and convenient site can increase company’s reputation and income significantly. And while the lack of site for such company could be critical abroad, the development of e-commerce is still occuring very slowly in Petropavl.
“Chip” company, as it turned out, was already considering the order of site’s development but refused mainly because of uncertainty and doubts. Together with my chief we made a presentation, after which the contract about creating the site was signed.
The site was developed in UMI.CMS in combination with XSLT template engine. The work in this project was not limited by layout and programming only.
Communication and management
In this project from the very beginning all processes related to communication with customer were entrusted to me. I already had similar communication expirience in “Bars-Stroy”, hovewer, here I had to additionally take the role of project’s manager and organize interaction and work inside the working group.
Prototyping and design
My participation in this project also included prototyping and creating design models, shaping and suggesting ideas on design and layout. I also performed control over work of designer and HTML / CSS specialist throughout the development and support phase. The key idea of design is a separation of the 3 main directions of company’s activity:
- Computers and office equipment.
- Office supplies.
Integration with 1C
Integration of site’s catalogue with 1C was one of the priority tasks, since all commodity base with prices and information on availability was stored in 1C. The basic integration offered by CMS, as is usually the case, was insufficient. Therefore, together with specialists of company responsible for 1C support, integration was carried out fully, with customizations on the side of 1C as well as in the site.
For convenience of choice and informing users:
- The date of the last periodical update and amount of goods in stock are shown on the site.
- The feature to view a summary about novelties and new offers throughout catalogue.
In addition to integration of goods:
- Uploading of price lists in Excel format was configured and feature to download them depending on the access level was added.
- The feature to check the status of request for service according to current status in 1C was added.
I additionally was tasked with filling of the majority of products targeted on retail sales because of the lack of content manager on the part of a customer as well as in “INSY”. The structure of nested product groups was planned and reflected in site’s menu. The products were divided in accordance with these categories. At the same time, the structure and product names in 1C remained unchanged upon request from the customer.
These data were filled for products:
- Correct names in a common format.
- Common characteristics for product groups, which, besides the detailed page, were used for filtering.
- Images - main and optionally - additional (view from different angles and so on).
A total of approximately 2000 products were filled.
In the future the staff of “INSY” company was extended and other person was engaged in filling of products. I controlled the process of his work and provided a formed toolkit for increase of working speed.
For those products whose images were not available, a separate list was being formed and sent to the customer. It was decided to ogranize a photographing by the customer. I was engaged in selection and processing of images (scaling, small retouching, cutting out objects around the edges and adding white background, trimming). Other uploaded images were being subjected to editing too.
In addition to products, background information was prepared and added to the remaining sections of the site.
The site is still operational, but bugs that were not present at the time of initial release appeared. There are also inaccuracies in filling of content - links do not match the advertised products and so on.