Development of an E-Commerce Website The development of the website was undertaken using MyCart, a premium ecommerce websites development software. The website is called Macmadart and its main area of service is selling stock pictures online. The homepage The homepage is the entry point of all website visitors. It provides several links that leads to other pages for specific information. The links (navigation links) gives the visitor a direct access to these pages without first going through various pages. The homepage basically acts as the online shop front of the online ecommerce shop. Service Description page The service description page offers information on different services being offered by the website.
In our case, the information contained in the service description page is about the service of selling stock photos. This page is important since it gives the website visitor a clear picture of what services he/she should expect from the website. About us page The ‘About Us’ page of the website provides information about who the website owners/operators are. This information is very important because of the following reasons. It builds confidence of the website visitor to shop with you if he knows whom he is dealing with. For contact purposes, the visitors are able to communicated with the website operators if contact information is placed on this page although other people like creating a ‘contact us; page separately. Here you can see few examples of the categories. This page of the website offers a broader view of the photos available in the site by putting them into different categories that will identify them.
The categories as seen from the screenshot above include animals, abstract and background photos. This page helps the user to determine a category to which he would like to buy from. Product listing page This page displays a listing of different products that are found in the selected category.
From the screenshot above, the user has selected the ‘animals’ category which has displayed photos of animals. With this page the user is able to select and buy a specific photo from a category of their choice. After selecting a given photo, the selected photo will be added to the shopping cart as displayed on the screenshot below. The development of this e-commerce website underwent several phases each of which had a unique characteristic of its own.
Below is the list of the various stages of development that were covered during the development of the website, 1. Analysis 2. Design 3. Development/implementation 4. Evaluation of the Website Analysis Analysis involved finding out what the website application will do. With the required functionality, the website is supposed to achieve the business objective, that is, to be able to offer online sales from the website. In this stage, requirements specification is identified and different website functionalities were identified.
The following functionalities were identified. Shopping cart functionality Product detailed view Products comparison functionality etc Website Design This stage involves putting down different structures of how different functionalities will be handled by the application. It also involves the designing of website user interface, data structures and processes. The design process for user interface involved drafting of different screen layouts until the right one was identified. This can also be done by the use of different screen template which could be adopted for the website application. The design work involved two parts. i. User interface design The user interface provides a point of interaction between the website application and the website visitor.
This part of design involved use of different design that suit the style in which information will be displayed on the screen. The designs were then tested of their ease of use, navigation and visibility of information so that the final user experience less difficulty while browsing through the website. ii. Data structure design Different data is stored in the database differently. This stage therefore ensured that the data structures have been designed correctly to give the desired information once processed or requested by the website visitor.
Examples here we data structures for date currency/numbers and names which had to take different forms when stored in the database. Development/Implementation After the design work was done, the selected design was then developed. The development process involved writing of code for different functions of the website. These functions are then assembled together to form the website application. (Hover Web Design, 2010) Evaluation/Testing The evaluation stage is the final stage of development since it involves testing different features of the designed website application. In this stage, several things are tested and in the case of our e-commerce website, the following were tested. Ease of navigation Visibility of information displayed on the website Functionality of the shopping cart The checking out process after purchase has been made by the website visitor. Features presented by the software used to develop the website proved to be of great importance especially when it comes to developing an ecommerce website for a small firm.
For a big firm, it become very important to use a software that provide more features like accepting payment using various methods like credit cards, paypal, Alertpay and other debit cards a feature which is not presented clearly when using MyCart software. Analysis of an Online Commerce Industry – Tours & Travel The tour and travel industry is one of the heavily digitised industries in terms of internet technology.
Accompanied by support services like travel, accommodation and hotels, most of these services con now be initiated online by booking and payment. This has lead to the creation of new opportunities which provide profit avenues to the organisations in those industries. Focusing on air travel industries, there are various opportunities offered by online commerce to this industry.
The following are some of the opportunities: Online commerce has enable companies in this field to offer their booking services without human intervention meaning they are now able to serve more customer within a short time without having to increase the number of their employees. Online commerce has also made it possible for such companies to offers support services bookings like hotels and accommodation all within their website thus luring more customer with these services Good examples of companies in this industry are British Airways which has implemented an online booking system and the trainline. com (trainline, 2010) which has implemented an online system of selling train tickets. British Airways The case of British airways is one of the cases where online commerce has had a successful entry with a good welcome from the customers involved.
The success of online commerce in this area was majorly attributed buy the streamlining on the problems experienced earlier like too much taken during booking and payment procedure before the introduction of online commerce. Another factor that leads to the success of online commerce in this company is the level of online security provided in their website.
This is very essential to the users especially since the website offers a means of paying by credit/debit cards online. Without sufficient security, no one will be willing to complete any transaction online. Trainline. com Trainline. com is a website that deals in selling of train ticked online in the UK. One of the amazing feature of the website that has made it a success, is the ability to select the type of ticket on need to buy, one way of return.
This has become the convenient way of train travellers to acquire their tickets online and at a cheaper rate compared to the ordinary tickets. In conclusion, online commerce has finally penetrated almost all industries and has not only become a necessity in doing business but a required ingredient of success that all business need in order for them to maintain their clients and stay in the competition. Reference 1. Hover Web Design (n. d.) How to Create an E-Commerce Web Site Empire, [online] Available at: http: //www. hooverwebdesign. com/articles/how-to-create-an-ecommerce-empire. html [Accessed: 11th November 2010]. 2. Groove Commerce (2010) eCommerce Website Analysis Report, [online] Available at: http: //www. groovecommerce. com/services/ecommerce-website-analysis/ [Accessed: 9th November 2010]. 3.
Trainline (n. d.) Trainline: buy cheap train tickets, [online] Available at: http: //www. thetrainline. com/buytickets/? [Accessed: 9th November 2010].