Table of Contents
Advancement in the modern technology has caused most business to venture in the online investments through E-commerce platforms. Organizations have embraced E-commerce technology basically due to its accrued advantages such as reduced costs, increased customer base since it’s limitless in terms of physical borders, flexibility, convenience, and security of the transactions among other benefits. The companies that have successfully integrated E-commerce platforms in their business environments are already reaping the benefits the modern technology. Similarly, their customers are enjoying the shopping convenience associated with the cashless modes of payment as they do not have to move to physical location to purchase goods and services. This paper aims at creating a hypothetical business venture and developing a secure, convenient, and multi-functional E-commerce platform to boost its sales volume. The platform will be designed in a way that it allows for seamless coordination of ordering activities and processes such as management of user accounts, secure payment processing and verification of user authenticity, inventory management, delivery scheduling, and other system functionalities. Various applications for the E-commerce platform will be either developed in-house or through external outsourcing to third-party developers.
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The hypothetical Scenario
The proposed business for this particular case will be named Aura Designers. The E-commerce site for this company will be described on the basis of the system hardware and software components, network systems, and the database management applications that will be explained further in the form of a diagram. Each of the system functionalities will be able to effectively validate the user credentials, inventory management, processing customer orders and transactions, recording user activity for the marketing and billing activities. Additionally, the platform outline will classify the applications that will be developed in-house as well as those that will be outsourced from third-party developers.
Aura Designers: Hypothetical E-commerce Platform
Aura Designers is a medium enterprise that will specialize exclusively in the sale of menswear mainly office wear for working males. Having done sufficient research on the market for this line of products, an E-commerce platform was determined to be the current trend in the application of modern technology that the company must embrace to attract and retain customers from all parts of the world. Additionally, research revealed that the economy within which Aura Designers is set operate is fairly unstable as it is facing various difficulties in the international market. The company plans to design and launch an E-commerce platform that will include the social media marketing functionalities. The design will begin with the development of two dynamic websites one of which will act as the customer interface and the other as the company interface. However, the websites do not have any functionalities for taking customer orders and process payments. Therefore, the internal applications for performing various functions will be developed and attached to the sites depending on the desired usability functions.
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Aura Designers will use the E-commerce platform to give the customers a web-based shopping experience that will significantly increase its customer base and boost the revenues. Additionally, this platform will help the company to cut down the operating costs incurred in staffing, marketing, warehousing, and setting up physical retail outlets. The company has done research one the costs associated with such a move but also has proper insight on the potential return on investment of venturing into the E-commerce business.
The diagram below represents the layout for the proposed E-commerce platform for Aura Designers Inc.
The diagram shows a seamless integration of the system hardware and software components whose applications are systematically designed to complement each other to facilitate the order processing activities in a top-down arrangement.
The Platform Hardware, Software, and Database Functionalities
The Aura Designers E-commerce platform will include the hardware components for the database systems, application servers, data encryption and management systems, and web applications. The hardware components included in the platform will be the Catalog Management Components (CMC), the Customer Management Components, the business-to-business components, the Inventory Management Components, the Promotion Management Components (PMC), as well as other application components that will be applied in the management of the E-commerce site (Turban et al., 15). The inventory management component will be centrally used in the management of all the products in the company store. Also, the customer management components function with the relevant software components in the management of customer user accounts. The security of the data transmitted through the system will be enabled by the use of data encryption component while all the data relating to the payment information, customer credentials and data exchange will be stored by the database management components. The software components used for this E-commerce platform will be used to guide the process of data storage, retrieval, and effective payments processing. The software components will be integrated with other system applications such as the business intelligence systems to implement the functionalities such as process scheduling and custom logging (Laudon & Laudon, 2015). Additionally, the software applications provide the interface for connecting the system database and the data processing mechanisms.
An E-commerce environment for an online venture is made up of a wide range of functions some of which can be best developed in-house while others can be outsourced from third party developers. The critical applications such as the ordering system, payment processing, secure order processing, system servers, and the customer support functionalities should be developed in-house due to the need for control of such functionalities. Moreover, the company is able to address the specific needs of its customers in these applications to achieve the best outcomes (Wang et al., 2016). All services involving credit card information, customer account management, catalogue updating, and shipping should be developed in-house owing to the nature of their sensitivity. Some of the services that will be effectively outsourced from third party developers including web design, site traffic, and management of inventory reports since the functionalities are less sensitive.
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This paper has presented a hypothetical design for an E-commerce platform that Aura Designers will use to launch its online operations in the production and sale of menswear. The E-commerce platform is made of various functionalities that will facilitate ordering activities such as processing orders, managing inventory, managing user accounts, Secure processing of financial transactions and storage of user credentials such credit card information, and keeping the customers informed about various products. Additionally, this paper has outlined various system applications that will be developed by the company software engineers and the less sensitive applications that will be outsourced to third-party developers. In conclusion, the design has highlighted the security of various applications that process sensitive customer data and company information to ensure that the system is safe from hacking.
- Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2015). Management information systems (Vol. 8). Prentice Hall.
- Turban, E., Volonino, L., & Wood, G. R. (2015). Information technology for management: digital strategies for insight, action, and sustainable performance: Hoboken.
- Wang, S., Cavusoglu, H., & Deng, Z. (2016). Early mover advantage in e-commerce platforms with low entry barriers: The role of customer relationship management capabilities. Information & Management, 53(2), 197-206.