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Ignify eCommerce Version 6.50

  • 1. INTRODUCTION

    Improving Web Store Front performance and device/browser compatibility have been key focus areas of the current release- both were requested by a large number of our existing customers. An out-of-the-box mobile checkout has been added to provide a production-ready mobile storefront for merchants to deploy.

    There are other enhancements including a revamped Reporting Module that no longer requires SSRS, making it easy to develop on the Ignify eCommerce platform and deploy the application.

    • 1.1 Release Summary

      A summary of all released features is provided below to give you a one page overview on the current release.

      Module

      Features

      Platform Improvements

      - Windows 8/IE 10 Supported by Web Store Front and Manager Panel - Improved Device Compatibility

      Web Store Front

      - Out-of-the-box phone compatible store front with ability to place orders. - Redesigned Search Engine to improve scalability and response time. - Price Engine Performance Improvements - URL Rewrite Pattern improved for performance - “From Email” override in Store Front Setup to make “From Email” compatible with the Store Front Domain Name.

      Sales Module

      - Ability to add complex products (such as configurable products) from Manager Panel Order Entry. This feature requires Web Store Front. - A flexible copy feature to copy quotes and orders within or across different customer accounts. - Facility to accept Advance Payment against Orders and integrate them to ERP. - Inventory Depletion during Order Placement. - New and Improved Sales Reports

      Catalog Module

      - Merchant Recommendations made easier to manage via Landing Page Configuration and Import. - Customer and Editorial Reviews/Ratings can now be imported from CSV. - Improved Catalog Reports, including “Notify Me Signup” to understand the gap between customer demand and your offering.

      Customer Module

      - Loyalty Program for customers via Reward Points. - Customers and Addresses can now be imported from CSV. - Sales Reports to understand customer behaviour. - “From Email” control to use logged in CSR’s email on customer communications.

      Marketing Module

      - Gift Certificates launched on the new Checkout Platform and Order Entry. - Bundled Discount HTML Template Improvement. - Publish your Web Store Front on Facebook for a unified experience on the Facebook platform. - Reports on Search Keywords and Discounts.

      ERP and CRM Integration

      - Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Integration Performance Improvement. - Microsoft Dynamics GP Pricing Improvement.

      Discontinued Features

      - Checkout by Amazon (Temporarily Discontinued due to Checkout Framework Change). - Sitemaps (Temporarily Discontinued due to URL Rewrite Change). - Sales Order Fulfilment Integration (Permanently Discontinued).
    • 1.2 Symbols and Conventions

      Throughout the manual, the following conventions are consistently followed:

      • Significant points are bulleted. • Names of Features/Fields/Buttons are italicized.
  • 2. PLATFORM IMPROVEMENTS

    The last two platform shifts that we made were about improving the Web Store Front and Manager Panel experiences significantly. This was done to improve the usability and productivity of the user experience on these two applications.

    The current changes in the platform are aligned to the same theme of usability and productivity improvements. There is an added dimension to it which is “Browser and Device Compatibility”. This is important to ensure that the user experience remains consistent across different browsers and devices – which is crucial given the growth of devices in the market.

    Mobile storefront templates provided out-of-the-box are compatible with various phone platforms. The layout has been done in a manner that the form factor is compatible with different phone resolutions. Similarly, with the recent release of Windows 8 / IE 10.0, the storefront has b3een optimized for Windows 8 touch experience.

    • 2.1 Platform Readiness for Windows 8 / IE10

      The Web Store Front and Manger Panel work seamlessly with the latest version of Microsoft’s Web Browser IE10 with Windows 8. While the Store Front has been optimized for a touch experience, the Manager Panel has been made compatible.

      All features available on the Web Store Front as well as the Manager Panel would work on Windows 8/IE 10, giving users the choice to use the enhanced Windows 8 experience with the platform.

      Gadgets Online Theme on IE10 Browser with Windows 8

      Gadgets Online Theme on IE10 Browser with Windows 8

    • 2.2 Reporting Engine Changes

      Release 6.5 releases a new reporting engine based on Client Report Definition (.rdlc) Files as against using SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).

      Using Client Report Definition Files gave us the freedom to define the user interface of the Report Form to make it business friendly.

      There are two types of Report Forms that are made available in Release 6.5.

      Grid Based Report Forms

      Grid Based Report Forms are integrated with the Manager Panel application throughout screens. These forms often display a Report Menu or Report Tool Bar (these are shown below). This is an integrated reporting approach that makes the report available for the business user wherever he is doing his work as against a separate menu for reports, which was the previous approach for SSRS Reporting.

      Integrated reporting also makes features like “search” and “filter” available for the report, making the task of business analysis more efficient. Applied search of filters also reflect in the printed report. Reports can be directly printed from the “Print Preview” window using Internet Explorer, otherwise reports can be exported to PDF, Word or Excel for offline viewing.

      Integrated Report Form with Reporting Buttons in the Tool Bar

      Integrated Report Form with Reporting Buttons in the Tool Bar

      Simple Report Forms

      Simple Report Forms are traditional report forms with report inputs, and they generate a report. These reports are also interactive, offering drill down facilities. Unlike Grid Based Reports, these reports require a separate navigation path.

    • 2.3 Browser/Device Compatibility Matrix

      With Release 6.5 there is a conscious effort to broaden the reach of the product platform in Device Market. In the last few releases, the Manager Panel application has been made compatible with all major browsers as well as Tablet Devices – going forward there is a plan to make the Manager Panel touch-friendly.

      Similarly, the Phone Store Front is already compatible with all major phone platforms- the effort is to increase the coverage over the next few releases to provide a seamless experience across all popular phone devices.

      If you are interested in a particular device, please contact us at support@ignify.com and we would be happy to add the device of your choice to our list of target platform. Our future direction is to have Web Storefront and Manager Panel applications become more friendly to touch and to devices.

      Given below is compatibility matrix for Release 6.5 -

       

       

      Applications

       

      Applications

      Browser

      Mobile Platform

      Phone Store Front

      Web Store Front

      Manager Panel

      Desktop Platform

      Web Store Front

      Manager Panel

      Safari on iOS

      iPhone

      Mac

      Except Catalog

       

      iPad

       

       

       

      Android Browser

      Phones

      N/A

       

       

      Internet Explorer

      Windows Phone 7.5

      Not Tested

      Windows

      7.0+

      7.0+

       

      Windows Phone 8

      Mac

      Not Tested

      Not Tested

      Google Chrome

      Android Phone

      4.0+

      Windows

       

      Android Tablets

      4.0+

      4.0+

      4.0+

      Mac

      Except Catalog

      Firefox

      Android, MeeGo

      Not Tested

      Not Tested

      Not Tested

      Windows

       

       

       

       

       

      Mac

      Except Catalog

      Opera

      Android & Symbian

      Not Tested

      Not Tested

      Not Tested

      Windows

      Except Catalog

       

       

       

       

       

      Mac

      Except Catalog

      Blackberry Browser

      Phones & Tablet

      Not Tested

      Not Tested

      Not Tested

      N/A

       

       

      Nokia Browser

      Symbian

      Not Tested

      Not Tested

      Not Tested

      N/A

       

       

  • 3. WEB STORE FRONT

    Release 6.5 has several significant releases to improve the scalability and performance of the Web Store Front application. This includes a completely revamped internal search engine used by the Catalog, and significant changes to the pricing engine.

    Load tests of these improvements have demonstrated a much better response time without straining the hardware resources.

    • 3.1 Web Store Front for Phones

      Mobile Phone Ready Web Store Checkout

      Release 6.5 provides a web store front with a phone-friendly layout, giving shoppers a better phone browsing experience. TheSerenity Theme that was first offered on phones in Release 6.3 has now been enhanced, providing better user experience, performance and a fully phone compatible catalog and checkout.

      The phone-friendly layout has a simple and touch-friendly layout to ensure ease of use. Special attention has been paid to performance, ensuring that bandwidth and performance constraints on a mobile device do not come in the way of a great shopping experience.

      There is a future plan to add account management capability as well in the phone layout. Release 6.5 offers catalog management and checkout in a phone layout.

      Search on Phone -> Search Results -> Product Detail Page

      Phone Search -> Search Results -> Product Detail Page

      Shopper adds item to his cart and decides to continue with shopping or checkout

      Shopper adds item to his cart and decides to continue with shopping or checkout

      Checkout Process on Phone

      Checkout Process on Phone

      Checkout Process on Phone – Contd

      Checkout Process on Phone – Contd

      Checkout Process on Phone – Order Completion

    • 3.2 Store Front Catalog Scalability & Performance

      The current release offers an optimized catalog for web and phone store front applications. Search engine and price engines have been revamped significantly to ensure that the system can scale significantly without creating any bottlenecks. The system was tested with 250,000 Products, 500,000 SKUs with price calculations not coming from the cache – which is a reasonably sized merchant database.

      Scalability of Catalog Search Engine

      Prior to Release 6.5, the catalog search engine used SQL Server Full Text Search capability to serve search results. This used to cause a hit to the database every time a search request was submitted on the website. As traffic increased, the database load kept growing, which made the database a bottleneck as browsing traffic on the web store front grew.

      earch Engine (Prior to Release 6.5)

      Search Engine (Prior to Release 6.5)

      In Release 6.5, catalog search engine uses .NET Language Integrated Query to run search engine. Given that this query language is now integrated within the .NET platform, the query can now run on an “in memory copy of the catalog database”. This is done using .NET framework caching to create a copy of the catalog database. The search queries then execute on this in the memory database, which provides for improved scalability by adding more application/web servers based on the expected store front traffic.

      Search Engine (In Release 6.5)

      As explained above, “in memory copy of the catalog” is a copy of the catalog database. Record Type – Category, MetaField, Product, SKU and Store are a part of the In Memory Catalog Database. The in memory copy is refreshed periodically using Cache Setup, as shown below.

      Relevant Catalog Caching Setup for Revamped Search Engine

      This has resulted in significant scalability of the application server. Our lab tests were able to support 32 search requests per second on:

      Application Server: Quad Core with 16 GB RAM, Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, Intel® Xeon® CPU X7550 @ 2.00GHz 64-bit Processor.

      Database Server: Quad Core with 16 GB RAM, Windows Server® Enterprise SP1, Intel® Xeon® CPU E5506 @ 2.13GHz 64-bit Processor.

      This test was conducted on a database containing 250,000 Products, 500,000 SKUs and 800 categories. All prices were calculated without using any caching; they were real-time calculations based on the pricing data in the database. The Application Server was at 41% CPU utilization and the Database Server was at 2% CPU utilization.

      Catalog Search Engine Performance Improvement

      The average load time observed is as shown below.

      Scenarios

      Avg. Response Time.

      Home Page

      681ms

      Keyword Search

      921ms

      Keyword Search Filters

      1310ms

      Product Listing

      681ms

      Product Listing Filters

      263ms

      Product Details

      327ms

      This test has been run with 200 virtual users load for 40 minutes duration.

      Price Engine Performance Improvement

      Release 6.5 brings a number of improvements in the price engine. The Web Store Front has a very rich price engine that supports the pricing schemes offered by various Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions. All ERP solutions provide Price Setup while the actual price is calculated.

      These improvements are:

      1. Implementation of Dynamics NAV and Dynamics GP Price Engines as a .NET application assembly. This price engine uses “Price Setup Caching” parameters to reduce database lookups. All calculations are done within the .NET application assembly, making the price engine responsive and scalable.

      2. Refactoring of the Calculate Price Stored Procedure for Dynamics AX to reduce the amount of table lookups done. Calculated Columns were added in Price Setup Tables to reduce the amount of computation done at run time. The use of temporary tables has been increased to minimize table lookups at run time.

      3. Leveraging Application Cache usage to remember customer and item-related information to reduce associated lookups during price calculation.

    • 3.3 Improved SEO Ranking and Forgot Password

      URL Rewrite and Redirect (Vanity URLs)

      Release 6.5 has improved the way URL rewrites were done in the Web Store Framework. The logic for generating request URLs has been changed to improve catalog page response time. The new request URL patterns continue to be user-friendly and optimized for search engines, and at the same time they are friendly for the catalog framework to process the request. The below table provides a quick look at the difference between earlier request URLs and new request URLs. The yellow highlighted section depicts the changed pattern.

      Landing page

      Earlier request URL pattern

      New request URL pattern

      Product

      http://ecom1.ignify.net/productname

      http://ecom1.ignify.net/product/productid/categoryid/productname

      Category

      http://ecom1.ignify.net/categoryname

      http://ecom1.ignify.net/category/categoryid/categoryname

      Article

      http://ecom1.ignify.net/articlename

      http://ecom1.ignify.net/article/articleid/categoryid/articlename

      Content
      (Virtual Page)

      http://ecom1.ignify.net/pages/contactus

      http://ecom1.ignify.net/pages/contactus

      The store manager can also custom rewrite Store Front URLs to increase the SEO ranking or redirect it to maintain the same ranking as the existing URL.

      URL Rewrite and Redirect Module in the Manager Panel

      URL Rewrite and Redirect Module in the Manager Panel

      Note that any customers who upgrade would have their earlier URLs permanently redirected to the new URL pattern using HTTP 301 redirect directive. This would ensure that the search engine rankings are maintained through an upgrade.

      Improved Shopper Experience for Forgot Password Form

      The user interface for the Forgot Password Form has been improved in Release 6.5. Shoppers can simply provide their email address and the new password is emailed to the specified email address. Web designers can re-skin these forms easily, giving them a fresh look and feel that provides a superior shopper experience.

      Improved Forgot Password Screen

      Improved Forgot Password Screen

    • 3.4 Setup & Configuration Changes

      “From Email” Address For Emails Sent From the Store Front

      In Release 6.5, there is better branding control provided through the “From Email” address for multi-store merchants. As different stores have their own domain names, it is natural to expect separate email domains for email communication – this keeps branding consistent in the eyes of the customer.

      “From Email” hierarchy has been defined to populate the “From email address” in various emails sent from the Store Front. The “From email” can be configured for a specific store, or for each template at the customer class level, or within the email template master setup. The below hierarchy defines how the “From Email” gets populated for various scenarios.

      “From Email” specified in Store Front Setup

      “From Email” specified in Customer Class Preferences

      “From Email” Used From

      Yes

      Yes

      Store Front Setup

      Yes

      No

      Store Front Setup

      No

      Yes

      Customer Class Email Preference

      No

      No

      Email Template Master

      Store Setup has the Option to Configure Email Address at a Store Level

      Store Setup has the Option to Configure Email Address at a Store Level

  • 4. SALES MODULE

    Ever since its first launch in 2011 with Release 6.0.1, the Sales Module has undergone several enhancements, enabling CSRs to work with orders and quotes in the Manager Panel. This has helped them service and sell better to the existing as well as new customer base.

    Release 6.5 comes with even more enhancements in the Sales Module. It provides the ability to add complex products like grouped/configurable products and gift certificates from Manager Panel Order Entry. CSRs can login to the Store Front as a shopper and make such complex purchases.  A flexible copy feature has also been added to copy quotes or orders within or across different customer accounts.

    The release also provides the facility to add advance payments against orders and integrate them seamlessly to various Microsoft Dynamics ERPs. Inventory depletion during order placement has also been implemented. The item stock keeps getting updated every time the item is added/deleted/updated in shopping carts or sales orders.

    • 4.1 Order Edit & Copy Enhancements

      “In Store Edit” for Quote/Order Entry

      “In Store Edit” has been added as a new feature in the current release that allows the store manager or CSRs to purchase complex products like gift certificates, products having bundled promotions, or grouped/configurable products via Manager Panel Order Entry.

      CSRs can add these products via the Store Front using “In Store Edit” and land back to the Manager Panel to continue with quote or order processing. This gives the CSR the best of both worlds – a quick and easy quote/order entry for standard SKUs, and a rich HTML template-based purchase experience for complex SKUs such as configurable laptops, etc.

      “In Store Edit” Option in Manager Panel

      Step 1 - “In Store Edit” Option in Manager Panel

      “In Store Edit” requires login to the Store Front (one time only)

      Step 2 - “In Store Edit” requires login to the Store Front (one time only)

      “In Store Edit” Screen after CSR provides his Credentials

      Step 3- “In Store Edit” Screen after CSR provides his Credentials

      CSR adds configurable laptop and selects “Shipping Method”

      Step 4 - CSR adds configurable laptop and selects “Shipping Method”

      CSR lands back to Manager Panel with Configurable Laptop added to the Order

      Step 5- CSR lands back to Manager Panel with Configurable Laptop added to the Order

      Copy Order/Quote

      The copy feature has been added in the Sales Module to allow copying orders or quotes within or across different customer accounts. This functionality by default duplicates all values from the original order to the copied order, thus saving time and effort.

      The store manager can override these values as per need. For example, he can quickly edit billing and shipping information and shipping methods, and opt to recalculate item price and shipping cost. The feature also gives flexibility for excluding or including the discounts and out of stock items in the copied order/quote.

      Upon 'Copy', the module creates new order/quote that can be further processed like any other order in the Manager Panel.

      ‘Copy’ button on the toolbar in the Manager Panel

      ‘Copy’ button on the toolbar in the Manager Panel

      Copy Quote/Order Screen in the Manager Panel

      Copy Quote/Order Screen in the Manager Panel

      After Copy, “Related Transactions” tab shows the Original and Copied Order Relationship

      After Copy, “Related Transactions” tab shows the Original and Copied Order Relationship

    • 4.2 Advance Payment During Order Entry

      Many times businesses accept an order with payments in advance. Support for advance payments/prepayments had been added in the standard platform with Release 6.5.

      To accept advance payments simply click on the Advance Payment button on the tool bar and you can deposit advance payment against a Sales Order. These payments would be integrated as prepayments when the sales order is integrated with the ERP.

      The store manager doing advance payment for an order

      The store manager doing advance payment for an order

    • 4.3 Inventory Management during Order Entry

      Inventory Depletion and Adjustments

      Holiday or festive seasons see high traffic on various merchandise on any ecommerce website. Release 6.5 comes equipped with an inventory depletion mechanism that reduces the inventory in SKU master (in real time) as orders are placed via Store Front Checkout or Manager Panel Order Entry.

      Since the stock is depleted in real time during checkout and order entry, backorders can be avoided. Shoppers can be alerted upfront before placing an order in case he adds more quantity than available.

      Changed quantity has been added as a field in the SKU table that tracks inventory depletion since the last SKU master quantity update. This changed quantity field gets reset to zero whenever the store manager updates the stock quantity via the Manager Panel, Excel import or Inventory Quantity Integration.

      Shown below is what happens if you don’t want “Back Orders” on your Store Front:

      Allow Back Orders should be unchecked for the relevant Store Front

      Allow Back Orders should be unchecked for the relevant Store Front

      s inventory depletes, if there isn’t enough stock, a message is shown on the Store Front that prevents back orders

      As inventory depletes, if there isn’t enough stock, a message is shown on the Store Front that prevents back orders

      Stock Quantity depletes (in real time) as SKUs are added to the Sales Order or Shopping Cart

      Stock Quantity depletes (in real time) as SKUs are added to the Sales Order or Shopping Cart

      Depleted quantity display in SKU Master

      Depleted quantity display in SKU Master

      Note that as lines are deleted, the stock is adjusted (increased in this case) accordingly. The purpose of Real Time Inventory Change tracking is to provide a mechanism to avoid backorders for low stock SKUs – this is designed to work on top of ERP Inventory Integration for the short duration of time between two cycles of Inventory Integration.

    • 4.4 Reports in the Sales Module

      All Sales Module Reports are based on new rdlc based framework. Few Grid Based Reports have been available since Release 6.2,; additional reports are made available in the current release. These reports are mentioned below.

      Gross Sales Report

      The store manager can view his gross sales or get an update on shipped and unshipped orders. He can also run filters for all orders that have been invoiced or yet to be invoiced.

      Gross Sales Report with views available along with the option to download in various formats

      Gross Sales Report with views available along with the option to download in various formats

      Print Preview Option for Gross Sales Report with Print Button

      Print Preview Option for Gross Sales Report with Print Button

      Sales by Item Report

      The store manager can view Sales by Items and see how various items are performing on the Web Store Front. This can help them decide on future merchandizing. Managers can drill down to reports based on item, date range and order status. He can also set the store and currency criteria to filter the report. Summary and detail view have been provided to view the report along with the option to export and print.

      Filter Criteria for the Sales by Item Report

      Filter Criteria for the Sales by Item Report

      Sales by Item Report Preview - Summary View

      Sales by Item Report Preview - Summary View

      ales by Item Preview - Detailed View

      Sales by Item Preview - Detailed View

      Sales by Category Report

      The store manager can view sales by category and see how various categories are doing on the website. Managers can drill down to reports based on category, date range and order status.

      He can also set the store and currency criteria to retrieve the report. Summary and detail views have been provided to view the report, along with the option to export and print.

      ales by Category Preview - Summary View

      Sales by Category Preview - Summary View

      Sales by Category Preview - Detailed View

      Sales by Category Preview - Detailed View

      Sales by Salesperson Report

      Store managers can run reports to view Sales by Salesperson and track sales person performance. He can date range the report criteria, apply filters on order status and salesperson, and also set the store and currency criteria to retrieve the report.

      Sales by Salesperson Preview

      Sales by Salesperson Preview

      Gift Certificate Details

      The Gift Certificate Details Report has been added wherein the store manager can see all gift certificates purchased via the Store Front and Manager Panel.

      Gift Certificate Details Report

      Gift Certificate Details Report

      Credit Card End of Day Summary Report

      Store managers can run credit card reports to track credit card transactions and keep a tab of all credit card activity over the Store Front and Manager Panel. He can date range the report criteria and set the store and currency criteria to retrieve the report.

      Credit Card End of Day Summary Report

      Credit Card End of Day Summary Report

  • 5. CATALOG MODULE

    Various enhancements have been made in the Catalog Management Module in the Manager Panel, offering improved self-service experience to the store manager. Merchant recommendations have been made easier to manage via landing page configuration and import functionality. Import functionality for customer and editorial reviews has also been added that can influence buying decisions of shoppers.

    The Catalog Module now also has in built standard out-of-box reports, helping the merchant analyze their catalog and plan merchandizing.

    • 5.1 Enhancements in Catalog Management Module

      Recommendation Enhancements

      Managing recommendations with Release 6.5 has been simplified via providing different landing pages for configuring various recommendations. The store manager can upsell products through recommendations in the form of Most Popular, Featured Products, Best Sellers, and the manual Customer Who Bought.

      The store manager now has the option to assign category-wise at individual landing pages, or to import from CSV various recommendations across categories. Bulk Import would reduce the tedious task of assigning them manually and hence save merchants effort. Any error encountered during the import process is logged for easy reference.

      Various navigations available for the store manager to manage recommendations

      Various navigations available for the store manager to manage recommendations

      Recommendations for a Single Category Landing Page

      Recommendations for a Single Category Landing Page

      An alternate navigation showing All Featured Products across categories along with Import

      An alternate navigation showing All Featured Products across categories along with Import

      An alternate navigation showing All Most Popular Products across categories along with Import

      An alternate navigation showing All Most Popular Products across categories along with Import

      An alternate navigation showing All Best Seller Products across categories along with Import

      An alternate navigation showing All Best Seller Products across categories along with Import

      An alternate navigation showing All Customer Who Bought across categories along with Import

      An alternate navigation showing All Customer Who Bought across categories along with Import

      Import Customer and Editorial Reviews

      Customer reviews on a website are very effective in increasing your sales and visibility. The existing Reviews Module enabled shoppers to enter product reviews which, on approval by the store manager, were published on the Store Front.

      The feature has been enhanced in Release 6.5 with the ability to import customer and editorial reviews. The store manager or CSRs can import customer reviews as well as product ratings. Proper validations have been added to ensure that reviews get imported correctly. Excel/CSV templates have been made available to guide the CSRs. Any error encountered during the import process is logged for easy reference.

      Importing of customer and editorial reviews is helpful for migration projects as well as other business scenarios where the store manager can import reviews to influence shoppers’ buying decisions.

      Screenshot Showing Navigation for Importing Customer Reviews

      Screenshot Showing Navigation for Importing Customer Reviews

      Screenshot Showing Navigation for Importing Editorial Reviews

      Screenshot Showing Navigation for Importing Editorial Reviews

    • 5.2 Reports in Catalog Management Module

      Top Selling Products Report

      The Top Selling Products Report has been added, providing top contributors based on quantitative and monetary values for items. The store manager can date range the report criteria, apply filters based on order status, and set the store and currency criteria to retrieve the report.

      Top Selling Products Report - by Line Count

      Top Selling Products Report - by Line Count

      Top Selling Products Report by Line Amount

      Top Selling Products Report by Line Amount

      Top Selling Categories Report

      The Top Selling Categories Report has been added, providing top contributors based on quantitative and monetary values for categories. The store manager can date range the report criteria, apply filters based on order status, and set the store and currency criteria to retrieve the report.

      Top Selling Category Report by Line Count

      Top Selling Category Report by Line Count

      Top Selling Category Report by Line Amount

      Top Selling Category Report by Line Amount

      Notify Me Signup Report

      The Notify Me Signup Report has been added wherein the store manager can see all ‘notify me’ signups and understand the gap between customer demand and his offering.

      Notify Me Signup Report

      Notify Me Signup Report

      Catalog Restriction Report

      The Catalog Restriction Report has been added wherein the store manager can cross-verify all categories that he has restricted for various customer classes.

      Catalog Restriction Report

      Catalog Restriction Report

  • 6. CUSTOMER MODULE

    The Customer Module also has significant enhancements in the current release. Some existing features have been strengthened to attract the shopper and help merchants increase cart conversion. Loyalty program has been enhanced by giving more rewards points to more loyal customers, thus making them feel more connected and enthusiastic to the merchant, and thus remain loyal. Merchants can offer reward points for purchases and let shoppers redeem them via a set of configurable rules. Reward points can help build stickiness by offering an incentive for shoppers to visit again and consume their reward points.

    Features like Customer and Address import allow CSRs to bulk import customers and their addresses from any other system. The shopper experience has been improved by the configurable ‘‘From email’ address in various emails sent from the Manager Panel, with these emails able to have a logged in CSRs email ID.

    The Customer Module also comes with various in built standard out-of-box reports, helping the merchant analyze their customer base easily and effectively conduct business.

    • 6.1 Customer Loyalty and Import

      Reward Program

      Loyal customers are key to any successful business, and it’s important to keep them coming back to your Store Front again and again. The existing Reward Program feature has been brought back in Release 6.5 with an extensible architecture and many functional enhancements.

      The store manager can create different reward tiers for his most valuable customer segments. Based on the tier that a customer belongs to, different ‘Reward Earning Exchange Rates’ would apply. ‘Reward Redemption Rate’ is also configurable. Reward Redemption Rate is defined per currency.

      Rewards are credited to the customer’s account on successful payment realization by the merchant. Reward balance is visible to the shopper throughout their account in their subsequent visits and can be used to pay for sales orders. Orders can be partially paid via rewards through the Store Front as well as the Manager Panel. The Manager Panel would enable call center employees to service reward redemption requests.

      Payments completed via rewards integrate with various Microsoft Dynamics ERPs (AX2012, AX2009, GP2010 and NAV2009). Orders paid by Reward Amount are integrated as partially or fully prepaid orders, and when invoiced only the remaining balance is due for payment.

      Reward points are also processed during the return process. In case of a return, any payments made via reward is refunded back to the customer’s Reward Account. If more than one payment method is used for paying the order, then a refund is made to respective payment methods.

      In case of order cancellations, the store manager has to adjust the reward points manually into the shopper’s account.

      Reward Tiers

      Reward Tiers

      Reward Earning Exchange Rate

      Reward Earning Exchange Rate

      Reward Redemption Rate

      Reward Redemption Rate

      Default Reward Tier assigned to Customer Class

      Default Reward Tier assigned to Customer Class

      Reward Tier assigned to a Customer

      Reward Tier assigned to a Customer

      Estimated Reward Earnings in Floating Cart

      Estimated Reward Earnings in Floating Cart

      Estimated Reward Earnings in Shopping Cart

      Estimated Reward Earnings in Shopping Cart

      Login Screen showing Estimated Reward Earnings and asking shopper to register

      Login Screen showing Estimated Reward Earnings and asking shopper to register

      Reward Earnings Displayed in Manager Panel

      Reward Earnings Displayed in Manager Panel

      The store manager can adjust the Reward Balance for any Customer

      The store manager can adjust the Reward Balance for any Customer

      he shopper has the option to pay via rewards

      The shopper has the option to pay via rewards

      The store manager has the option to pay via reward points

      The store manager has the option to pay via reward points

      Payment Transactions showing payment via rewards

      Payment Transactions showing payment via rewards

      Customer and Address Import

      Release 6.5 adds support for importing customers and their addresses via CSV files. All business validations apply on the imported CSV, and errors are shown in the import log.

      Proper validations and guidelines have been provided for the store manager to ensure that customers and addresses get uploaded correctly. Excel/CSV template files are made available to speed up the upload process by guiding the store manager on appropriate Excel creation. Any error encountered with a customer or address import is logged for easy reference to the store manager.

      The store manager can review the imported data before accepting it and can assign web store front(s) where imported customers can login to. The store manager can also delete any imported record in case of any discrepancy found. The import feature also gives flexibility to send a welcome email to imported customer(s) so that they can receive their username, password and store front URL.

      Customer and address import is helpful for migration projects as well as various other business scenarios where the store manager can push existing data from any third party system.

      Customer Import via the Manager Panel

      Customer Import via the Manager Panel

      Address Import in the Manager Panel

      Address Import in the Manager Panel

    • 6.2 Setup and Configuration Changes

      “From Email” Address For Emails Sent From the Manager Panel

      Customer relationship management plays an important role in today’s market. Release 6.5 allows the store manager to configure the “From Email” address in various emails sent to shoppers via the Manager Panel. The “From Email” address can be defaulted to a sales representative’s email address if it is present in the user security module. Customer class email preference (or email template as applicable) allows you to specify which email templates should use the logged in CSR’s email address vs. a centralized email address.

      CSR’s  Email Address in the User Security Module

      CSR’s Email Address in the User Security Module

      Customer Class Email Preference Having Option to Select “From Email” as CSR’s Email  Address

      Customer Class Email Preference Having Option to Select “From Email” as CSR’s Email Address

      Email  Template Having Option to Select “From Email” as CSR’s Email Address

      Email Template Having Option to Select “From Email” as CSR’s Email Address

    • 6.3 Reports in Customer Management Module

      Customers with Purchase More Than N Amount

      The Customers with Purchase More than N Amount Report has been added, providing top customers based on revenue. The store manager can date range the report criteria, apply filters based on order status, and set the store and currency criteria to retrieve the report

      Customers with Purchase More than N Amount Report

      Customers with Purchase More than N Amount Report

      Customers with More than N Orders

      Customers with Purchase More than N Orders Report has been added, providing top contributors based on quantitative values. The store manager can date range the report criteria, apply filters based on order status, and set the store and currency criteria to retrieve the report.

      Customers with More than N Order Report

      Customers with More than N Order Report

  • 7. MARKETING MODULE

    In this release, the Marketing and Promotions Module has been strengthened by re-launching the gift certificate feature on new checkout framework and Order Entry. Shoppers can buy gift certificates for their friends and relatives in a pretty simple-to-use checkout process. Gift certificates bring additional people to the Store Front who might convert to permanent customers.

    The HTML template for displaying bundled promotions has been improved by removing the popup display to see deal details. The store manager can use bundled promotions creatively to promote launches and/or clear excess inventory.

    Features like publishing Store Front on Facebook can help increase sales by letting Facebook visitors open your Store Front without moving out of Facebook.

    • 7.1 Foster Brand Affinity via Gift Certificates

      Gift Certificates

      Release 6.5 lets shoppers buy gift certificates from the Web Store Front. Shoppers can purchase gift certificates for their friends and relatives and add a personalized message to it.

      The Gift Certificate Store Front HTML template has been modified to send recipient details and personalized messaging as personalized fields in the Order Lines. The earlier restriction of gift certificate expiry has been removed in the current release. Gift certificates no longer expire and can be used indefinitely.

      On gift certificate purchase, a personalized code is generated and sent to the gift recipient via email. This code is required to redeem a gift certificate during the checkout process. An alert email is sent to the gift recipient any time this code is used. This ensures security so that if someone steals the code, the recipient can take necessary action by calling Customer Care.

      While purchasing gift certificates, payments can be done only by credit card and PayPal. This is required since the gift certificate is delivered and paid in real time as soon as the order is placed.

      Recipients of gift certificates may or may not be a registered user of the Store Front and can use gift certificates to pay for any item. The gift certificate code can be used across multiple sales orders as long as they have sufficient balance amount. If the order amount exceeds the value of the gift certificate, the shopper can pay the balance amount by credit card or other available payment methods.

      CSRs can also purchase gift certificates on behalf of shoppers and can even help redeem them as requested.

      Gift certificates integrate seamlessly with various Microsoft Dynamics ERPs AX2012, AX2009, GP2010 and NAV2009. Orders paid by gift certificate are integrated as prepayments, and the corresponding invoice has only the remaining balance amount associated with it.

      Shoppers cannot return a gift certificate once purchased. The store manager has to ensure that he configures gift certificates as non-returnable items. If a shopper returns an order that was paid via gift certificate, an appropriate refund is made to the gift certificate and the rest is refunded to the payment method that the shopper had opted for while placing the order.

      In case of order cancellations, the store manager needs to refund any payments made via gift certificate back to the appropriate gift certificate in the system.

      Web Store Front HTML Template for Gift Certificate Purchase

      Web Store Front HTML Template for Gift Certificate Purchase

      Gift Certificate Display in Floating Cart with Option for Editing the Gift

      Gift Certificate Display in Floating Cart with Option for Editing the Gift

      Gift Certificate Display in Shopping Cart with Option for Editing the Gift

      Gift Certificate Display in Shopping Cart with Option for Editing the Gift

      Gift Certificate Purchase via Quick Order Entry - Adding Line

      Gift Certificate Purchase via Quick Order Entry - Adding Line

      Gift Certificate Purchase via Quick Order Entry - Lookup

      Gift Certificate Purchase via Quick Order Entry - Lookup

      Gift Certificate Purchase via Quick Order Entry - via Quick Order Lists

      Gift Certificate Purchase via Quick Order Entry - via Quick Order Lists

      Shopping Carts containing a Gift Certificate can only be paid by Credit Card or PayPal

      Shopping Carts containing a Gift Certificate can only be paid by Credit Card or PayPal

      Order Confirmation Showing Gift Certificate Delivery

      Order Confirmation Showing Gift Certificate Delivery

      Gift Certificate Email Sent to Recipient along with Gift CertificateCode

      Gift Certificate Email Sent to Recipient along with Gift CertificateCode

      Recipient Purchases via Gift Certificate and Enters the Code

      Recipient Purchases via Gift Certificate and Enters the Code

      Applied Gift Certificate Code Shows as Advance Payment

      Applied Gift Certificate Code Shows as Advance Payment

      Email Informing Gift Recipient about Gift Certificate Redemption

      Email Informing Gift Recipient about Gift Certificate Redemption

      Gift Certificate Redemption via the Manager Panel (both Purchased or Received Gift Certifcates can be Redeemed)

      Gift Certificate Redemption via the Manager Panel (both Purchased or Received Gift Certifcates can be Redeemed).

      Gift Certificate Shows as Prepayment in Manager Panel

      Gift Certificate Shows as Prepayment in Manager Panel

      Store manager has Option to Resend Gift Certificate Code in case Recipient Loses It

      Store manager has Option to Resend Gift Certificate Code in case Recipient Loses It

      Gift Certificate Report in the Manager Panel

      Gift Certificate Report in the Manager Panel

      Amount Paid via Gift Certificate Shows as Prepayment

      Amount Paid via Gift Certificate Shows as Prepayment

      Prepayment Amount Shows in Sales Order Transaction

      Prepayment Amount Shows in Sales Order Transaction

      Gift Certificate Marked as Non-Returnable Item

      Gift Certificate Marked as Non-Returnable Item

      Return Order Shows Refund Details to Gift Certificate as well as Credit Card

      Return Order Shows Refund Details to Gift Certificate as well as Credit Card

    • 7.2 Improved Sales via Offering Discounts

      Bundled Promotions

      The Manager Panel provides the ability for the store manager to set up promotions that allow chosen SKUs to be offered free or at discounted rates with the purchase of one or more items. For example: An offer such as “Buy A, Get B Free”. There are configurable rules to define what has to be bought and what has to be offered free, as well as quantity rules.

      Release 6.3 had provided a Groupon-like look for displaying bundled promotions on the Store Front. However, the HTML template was displaying the deal details in a popup- which was not very intuitive. Release 6.5 has overcome this limitation, and HTML has been laid out nicely to display deal details more intuitively.

      The display is eye-catching and tells the shopper that the deal is available for a limited period only, encouraging him to purchase immediately. The shopper also has the flexibility to buy only one item which is part of the deal – but of course he then doesn’t get the benefit of the deal.

      Bundled Promotion HTML Template Showing on Gadgets Online Theme

    • 7.3 Social Media Integration in Promotions Module

      eCommerce Store Front on Facebook

      Release 6.5 allows publishing your Store Front on Facebook for a unified experience, using a concept called Canvas within Facebook.com. The canvas is essentially a part of the Facebook web page that allows running any application within an iFrame. It is pretty straightforward to configure your Store Front on the Facebook Canvas so that visitors or friends who visit the Facebook wall can also access your Store Front without going out of Facebook.

      A new page has been added in the Manager Panel that explains the steps for publishing your Store Front on Facebook.

      Steps Required to Publish Web Store Front on Facebook

      Navigation Path via the Marketing Module Explaining Running Store Front on Facebook

      Navigation Path via Basic Settings Explaining Running eCommerce on Store Front

      Another Navigation via Basic Settings Manage Stores

    • 7.4 Reports in Marketing and Promotions Module

      Search Keywords

      The Search Keywords Report has been added wherein the store manager can analyze all searched keywords along with their frequency.

      Search Keywords Frequency

      Discounts

      The Discounts Report has been added wherein the store manager can see all applied discounts and analyze how each discount is doing on the Store Front.

      Applied Discounts Coupons Report

  • 8. ERP AND CRM INTEGRATIONS

    Release 6.5 has made integration performance improvement for Microsoft Dynamics NAV2009 wherein the store manager can run various ERP to eCommerce Integrations in very frequent batches without any impact on store or Manager Panel performance. Dynamics GP pricing support has also been improved in the current release.

    • 8.1 Dynamics NAV2009 Integration Optimization

      ERP Integrations optimization that had been released in Release 6.3 for Microsoft Dynamics AX2009, Dynamics GP10 and Dynamics GP2010 has now been extended for Dynamics NAV2009 as well.

      Various Dynamics NAV2009 ERP to eCom Integrations (Customer 2, Address 2, Sales order 2, Inventory Price, Inventory Quantity and Invoice Integration) have been improved in terms of performance.

      A pagination option has been provided where the store manager can specify the batch size to be queried and, based on the size, the integrations run in batches. There is a default count specified in scheduled integrations and the store manager can override it manually as per his business need. This optimization makes the integration engine work on a smaller set of records (based on batch size) that are faster to select and process, leading to a performance gain in terms of total time taken by various ERP to eCommerce Integrations to complete.

      In addition to reading the ERP records as batches, the integration process also works in a disconnected fashion. This means that the entire batch of records is read in a single ERP database query and the rest of the processing is done without any read command on the ERP database. This reduces the amount of queries being made on large ERP database tables – leading to performance improvements.

      Pagination Option in ERP Integrations for Microsoft Dynamics NAV2009

    • 8.2 Dynamics GP2010 Pricing Improvement

      Release 6.5 enhances the way that price logic was being handled for Dynamics GP2010 ERP.

      A scenario may happen where there are two or more Price Levels present in Dynamics GP – Ex: ‘Retail’ and ‘Special’, with Retail being the default Price Level in GP Item Master. The store manager can configure the price list for ‘Retail’ in Dynamics GP, but forgets to configure it for the ‘Special’ customer class.

      Now customers with the ‘Special’ Price Level do not have any price. Since there is no price setup for ‘Special’, the system assigns the ‘Retail’ Price Level (Default Price Level for the item) to the sales order line. This functionality was present in Dynamics GP but was not available in the Manager Panel.

      With Release 6.5, the same behavior has been implemented in the Manager Panel and the Store Front. We now maintain the Default Price Level for each SKU and, in case the prices for the Customer Specific Price Level are not defined, apply the Default Item Master Price Level.

      Customer Belonging to ‘Special’ Price Level

      Customer Belonging to ‘Special’ Price Level

      Item Pricing Not Setup for ‘Special’ Price Level but Setup for ‘Retail’  (Default) Price Level

      Item Pricing Not Setup for ‘Special’ Price Level but Setup for ‘Retail’ (Default) Price Level

      ‘Retail’ Price Level is Applied while Purchasing such an Item

      ‘Retail’ Price Level is Applied while Purchasing such an Item

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