Miesięczne archiwum: Lipiec 2016

Advantages and disadvantages of open source

eCommerce market is a rapidly growing area. For companies which understand the potential of online sales it has become an important source of income. Fitting the needs of modern, more and more mobile customer, who wants to buy online efficiently and comfortably, is a basic feature of an efficiently functioning online store.

Choosing the right software for your business, either dedicated or open source, is a foundation while creating an online store. While following the internet portals, it is hard to resist the feeling that there is a bit of disinformation concerning advantages and disadvantages of an open source software.

Undoubtedly, it has a huge contribution to the popularization and development of eCommerce. However, being aware of the benefits and drawbacks of this kind of software, one can adjust the online sales system to the specifics of business, and most of all – demands of current and future customers.

Open source software in Poland and over the world

Among 10,000 biggest online stores worldwide, the most popular open source engine is Magento. According to Built With, Magento engine drives over 14% of all online stores, and next 8% are driven by Magento Enterprise engine.

Created by i-systems on the basis of: Global eCommerce Technology Distribution http://trends.builtwith.com/shop. The shopping cart technologies used by online stores globally. Last updated Jan 20th 2016.

Created by i-systems on the basis of: Global eCommerce Technology Distribution http://trends.builtwith.com/shop. The shopping cart technologies used by online stores globally. Last updated Jan 20th 2016.

Taking Poland into the consideration, Magento considerably losses in the market in favor of other solutions. This software supports only 4% of the Polish online stores. The leader at this level is PrestaShop, which is selected by 25% of the market. A common software is also WooCommerce, which occupies 19% of the market.

Created by i-systems, on the basis of: Top in Ecommerce usage in Poland · Week beginning Jan 25th 2016

Created by i-systems, on the basis of: Top in Ecommerce usage in Poland. Week beginning Jan 25th 2016.

Open source – the cost of implementation and development

The word ”open” doesn’t mean that the software is free of charge – it determines the open source code. Therefore, persons with appropriate development skills and the time can freely modify the store’s engine for their own needs. It is possible to create online store on this basis, however one should not expect that it would be totally for free. If you don’t have programming skills or time, or if you rather focus on actions to increase sales – you have to pay for such services.

Due to high demand, prices of the Magento specialists are one of the highest among the eCommerce programmers. The open source license such as basic Magento Community is free. However, if you want to have technical support and marketing modules, you have to buy Magento Enterprise with an annual license fee in the amount of more than 22,000 $.

Safety when choosing open source software

The open code is a solution that has its strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand it can mean better detection of errors and fixing them faster, and on the other hand increased risk of attack. Checking code by a large community is also fuzzy responsibility for errors. The example can be OpenSSL and gap “hearbleed”. For more than two years the gap was in browsers and web servers. No one noticed it, thinking that this was already checked.

Problems with updates and compatibility with following versions of open source

Open source is rarely compatible with the following versions. The problems associated with updates are often the subject on the forums. When there is a new version of Magento and online stores try to migrate, it is very often that integrations and dedicated extensions of the store stop working properly. Sometimes even official modules refuse to work. Then the store has to be built practically from scratch. Update complications caused that significant percentage of online stores is still working on the Magento version 1.7 engines.

Open source and the change of the company implementing online store

Open source allows to change the agency which creates eCommerce system. However, you should remember that the agency, being aware of the temporary agreement with the customer, not always fully engage in the tasks. It happens that stores generated on open source are written in a hurry, without consistent rules, attention to comments, specification and code culture. It means that the new agency in the initial phase has a huge problem, because they need to understand what the programmer had in mind. As a result, though trial and error, changes are being introduced, or some parts of the store are written from scratch. Then arises the so called “effect of technical debt”, which means biggest costs of modifications and software development in the future.

Commercialization of open source

Every software is finally replaced by the new solutions. The example can be OsCommerce software, which for a long time has been the most popular system for online stores. However currently, it is gradually displaced from the market in favor of other systems.

Popularity of open source software, created by i-systems on the basis of: http://www.slideshare.net/AuroraCreation/szkolenia-magento-dekalog-bezpieczestwa-magento

Popularity of open source software, created by i-systems on the basis of:
http://www.slideshare.net/AuroraCreation/szkolenia-magento-dekalog-bezpieczestwa-magento

Currently, the driving force behind Magento 2, the premiere of which was announced more than three years ago, is ebay. During the works on the project, CEO and software creator – Varien – has left the company. He admitted off the record that he had different definition of “open source” than ebay. Development direction of this software can be seen by comparing Community and Enterprise version. The commercialization of open source software is standard practice. List of free modules, the number of users and products is gradually reduced, so as to companies wishing to develop their online activities, chosen paid model.

The cost of maintaining the open source software

The highest fixed costs of maintaining online store are hosting and the time of programmers. Open source is often an overextended system. For this reason it requires several times bigger resources than dedicated system of the same size. Optimization is troublesome, and the increase in traffic means the necessity to add computing power.

Open source created by self-educated community

Open source high popularity owes to the self-educated community. It is directly affected by growing number of new agencies implementing stores basing on the open source software. Open source software will always be more popular, because it clearly shortens the way of each interactive agency to the possibility of creating online stores. However, this type of stores has a low level of security – they are often a victim of attacks and data theft. It is also the most commonly used solution for creating fictitious shops.

Open source and new solutions

Today’s sales systems have moved beyond standard collection and handling of orders a long time ago. The current eCommerce market is changing very rapidly. Open source is always a few steps behind solutions that are developed by commercial companies in closed teams. That was in case of Responsive Web Design and OmniChannel. Waiting for a moment when a module will be ready may result in loss of customers of an online store, as they will be interested in shopping according to applicable standards at this time.

Open source software, such as Magento, WooCommerce and Presta is a very good complement of eCommerce market. It responds to the needs of small and medium-sized companies that have the experience and resources to independently develop a standard store. However, when a company wants to focus efforts on increasing sales, and it prefers to pay an external company to take care of the support, hosting and technical matters, dedicated software is worth considering. The costs of implementation and further development may be much lower than in the case of open source. Implementation of dedicated solutions is especially worth considering when the store’s functionalities are beyond standard ones, and they require constant monitoring and quick response to errors.

Herbamedicus expands the group of its customers through eCommerce

Herbamedicus Poland was established in 2010. With the Swiss preparations the owner met two years earlier. However, at this time he worked for a different international corporation, so he made a decision to carry out market analysis. After extensive research, it turned out that Polish consumers want to use natural healthy products.
Herbamedicus Poland offers Swiss preparations of natural medicine. All products contain extracts of herbs and medicinal plants, creating a fully natural products. The brand can be found in pharmacies, herbal shops, as well as in drug stores and retail chains, located throughout the country.

Reaching wider group of customers

The company carries out activities aimed at increasing the range of its customers. In April, they started cooperation with the Polish champion in bodybuilding – Michał Sawicki. Thanks of the campaign, Herbamedicus products are more and more often selected by active people.

– Not so long ago, our offer was addressed to the customer who was over 45 years old. However, we decided to expand our business and reach younger customer. Products for athletes, dermocosmetics, and coconut oils, addressed to all people who want to live a dynamic and healthy live were made. To reach younger customer, besides offline sales, we have created a mobile and technologically advanced eCommerce system – says Adam Jakobiuk, Chairman of the Board at Herbamedicus
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Awards for modern eCommerce system

The company has recently been recognized with many awards. They received “Skrzydła Biznesu” [Business Wings] – an award granted to the companies searching for the new solutions for development, silver medal in “Konsumencki Lider Jakości 2016” [Consumer Quality Leader 2016], and title “Dobra Marka 2016” [Good Brand 2016]. Due to an implementation of the modern eCommerce system, Herbamedicus received title of “e-gazela biznesu” [Business e-gazelle]. Herbamedicus online store has a lot of B2B solutions and functionalities to support the automation of payments and order fulfillment. The management board particularly appreciate the dedicated Call Center module. Thanks to the implementation of this solution, the company effectively increases phone sales.

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– Our eCommerce system is an innovative project. On the one hand it is easy-to-use and intuitive, on the other – it has several developed functionalities to increase the quality of customer service. We hired external companies to run phone sales. The decision to create proprietary Call Center module was a good choice – states Iwona Urbaniak, Office Manager at Herbamedicus.


Development of the new brands

The Swiss Herbamedicus company is not the only brand offered by a Polish company. In their offer they also have their own brands, such as Vitamedicus – herbal preparations, and Herba Pure – dietary supplements.
Despite many successes the company is not slowing down its development. They recently purchased land for the new office and warehouse. Currently they are waiting for an appropriate permissions and finalizing the construction project. The new warehouse is to be environment friendly and consistent with the overall idea of ​​the company. Completion of construction works is planned at the end of next year.

i-stats application dedicated to i-systems customers

A free i-stats app has been prepared for i-systems customers, who have eCommerce system from version 4.3. The application is used to display statistics of an online store. Each user with the appropriate permissions, or the person managing an online store can see which products are most popular and what are the sales results of the store in a given period of time. It can be also a helpful tool in case of choosing effective methods of further development of eCommerce actions.

Data from different time periods

i-stats can be used to obtain interesting data from different periods of time – for the day, week, month or even a year. An app is simple and intuitive – user who wants to download data simply has to select suitable interval.

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Information to determine the further development of eCommerce actions

Thanks to i-stats application one can trace the value of contracts, both in the form of chart and text data. User can also check the amount of executed orders. It can also get information on what days an online store reports the highest or lowest value of sales. Moreover, the application shows summary data, i.e. how many contracts were finalized with a prepayment or by cash on delivery. The system also allows to check the amount of products ordered. Thanks to this it can be found out if the customers prefer to buy less high-end products or more cheaper products. This app also allows to determine the average time of order execution.

How to download i-stats?

Mobile app is available for iOS and Android. It can be downloaded from Google Play, as well as App Store. Only online store’s address, as well as login and password is needed to log in. Once entered, the data is saved, and the application automatically updates the values downloaded from the store.

Download

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UrbanGames eCommerce system awarded by adidas

UrbanGames – an online store of Arco company, operating on the market of sports shoes for almost twenty years, received “adidas Poland Quality Mark”. The award was granted for compliance with the adidas Group eCommerce guidelines.

The Arco company has a network of stationary stores, located throughout Poland. Showrooms offer their customers clothing and sports footwear by manufacturers such as: adidas, Nike and Reebok. The next and at the same time natural step for the representatives of the company was the opening for the eCommerce market .

Recognition for dedicated solutions

Developed product sheets has been implemented in the new eCommerce system. Thanks to separate tabs in product sheets, customer has a possibility to familiarize with all the details, such as: payments, shipping, warranty, returns, without the necessity to look for these information in the store’s terms and conditions. Developed product sheets also consist of such details as blade size.

– The quality of the store, modules supporting customer service, as well as dedicated solutions related to product presentation are the reasons why we were awarded by “adidas Poland Quality Mark” – claims Łukasz Nagły, eCommerce Manager at UrbanGames


Next development directions

Developing a network of monobrand stores, with close collaboration with producers, allowed UrbanGames to achieve very high level of of both customer service and knowledge of modern trends. Experience in the selection of appropriate models of the products contributed to the development and strengthening the brand position in the market. However for company’s representatives there is no room for complacency. They completely understand the power of online activities, so the new UrbanGames online store will be soon promoted in social media. By these actions the company would like to start cooperation with Polish bloggers and engage in the promotion and sponsorship of talented young athletes.

– According to our assumptions, UrbanGames online store should form a coherent whole along with stationary shops and complement each other – says Łukasz Nagły, eCommerce Manager at UrbanGames


Representatives of the company intend to intensify efforts to combine offline and online sales. Implemented eCommerce system in fact is to be a support for continuously expanding network of stationary stores.

i-systems release – version 4.2

We have introduced another update of our software, along with meaningful changes and improvements in system’s structure. Changelog consists of 57 records, among which we can find: discount politics, Allegro multi variants, plugin to BZ WBK transfers’ import, as well as moving components from individual repositories to main repository.

Discount Politics

The idea of the key module – Discount Politics – is to provide one point where other modules can report discounts. This module allows to manage discounts in the store globally, by creating connections between discounts and discount hierarchy, as well as fixing the method of calculating discounts. Thanks to the module, each discount can be calculated in a different way on each item in the cart, and discount chain can be broken, so they do not overlap.

There are two basic kinds of discounts: percentage and price discount. Price discount requires fixed price and currency symbol. Percentage discount is basically a percentage. From the delegate level it is possible to give a discount on the cart in different ways:

• Global discount – it is given similarly as any other discount. This is the amount / value we want to subtract from the entire cart. Because of the accounting reasons it can not be subtracted from the total value of the cart. Therefore it is spread over all the possible products uniformly,
• Mass discount – it allows to give a discount for groups of cart’s elements, not the whole cart itself,
• Weight and Volume Discount – it lowers only the prices of shipment, depending on the cart’s weight

The main objective of the discount politics module is to manage logistics of the price choice.

Allegro multi variants

Improving Allegro multi variants option resulted in customer’s ability to choose the size of the product that is to be purchased. Earlier, a single auction was made for one size and a seller had to create a lot auctions for given product. Thanks to this solution, auction costs are much lower, as there is only one auction needed to sell multiple sizes of the same product.

Adding integration with Expert Sender

An integration with external Expert Sender system has been added, which allows to send personalized e-mails and mailing campaigns on the basis of data about abandoned carts, signing up to the newsletter, and placed orders. Thanks to this integration, mailing campaigns are automated, which saved customer’s time, he would normally dedicate to create mailings.  

Plugin to BZ WBK transfers’ import

There is a new possibility to import data about transfers from BZ WBK bank. This module allows to automatically indicate payments for an order placed in the store. Properly paid orders will be automatically marked as paid.

Adding information about the domain to the order

Now orders save an information about domain they have been placed on. Thanks to this, communication of the customer is carried out continuously on the same domain. It is important, especially in case of the stores with language versions on subdomains. This increases the credibility of the store and the safety of shopping online.

Components in the repository’s main branch

The most important novelty introduced to the software is transferring components to the main repository of the store. Previously, the components were external repositories, which made changes took more time. Along with the new release, component’s code was added to the main repository, thus the whole app is in one place, showing all changes. Another advantage is shorter time needed to built an app. Currently, while downloading an app we have a complete, working store, which is much faster and more efficient.