Profit-Boosting E-commerce Portal

Seeking to establish online presence and drive business growth, a Germany-based publishing house approached Itransition requesting development and maintenance of a reliable B2C E-commerce solution.

  • Rich-functionality E-commerce solution with product registration capabilities
  • Separate full-functionality sub-sites for different product lines
  • Customizable system with maximum functionality, flexibility and reliability

Context

Franzis Verlag GmbH is a Germany-based publisher offering a wide range of books and software products. Seeking to drive business growth through establishing online presence, the company needed a B2C E-commerce portal developed to sell its tangible and digital products.

Business Growth Challenged

Given the ever escalating competition in a continuously evolving E-commerce marketplace, to attract new buyers and drive profits the company needed a high performance, rich-functionality solution. Franzis wanted a flexible and reliable system that would enable online business managers to focus on their administration and marketing tasks while leaving the hassle of the online store setting up and running to a reliable technology partner.

Itransition turned out to be the best fit for tackling the challenge.

Solution

From Sales Supporting Tool to Potent E-commerce Solution

Initiated as a product registration solution used to expand the pool of prospective buyers, the system evolved into the company’s primary selling tool.

As Franzis offers both tangible goods and digital downloadable products, there are two product delivery scenarios involved: the E-commerce solution handles orders for downloadable products, while the orders for physically delivered goods are handled by a third-party company. Despite the differences in payment modes and product delivery scenarios, the system ensures a unified and consistent user experience for both online business managers and company’s customers.

Separate full-featured sub-sites that are managed from a centralized content management system are used to address marketing needs when promoting sales of multiple product lines.

Functionality Overview

Front office

The functionality available on the front office enables millions of web-users to:

  • Register cover-mount products. The system is used to augment the mailing list with email addresses of the customers who use their accounts to register cover-mount products distributed for free.
  • Subscribe/unsubscribe to/from newsletters. Active subscribers’ database contains 600.000 records (with an average of 9.000 web users subscribing/unsubscribing per week).
  • Perform internal site search facilitating selection of products that are subsequently purchased using credit cards.
  • Browse through how-to sections/learning courses, etc.
Back office

The back office functionality available for online business managers includes:

  • A full-featured centralized content management system used to organize goods in online product catalogs on several sub-sites.
  • Administration features, i.e. user management, permission management, custom report generation enabling to drill into various aspects of online shops’ performance.
  • Asset management. Assets may be sold, given away for free, awarded, provided for subscribers exclusively, etc. The solution provides for configuring several download-nodes independently of the core store and registration capabilities.
  • Processing orders. There are 1200 orders for tangible and downloadable goods processed every week. Tangible products are stored and delivered by a third-party company.
  • Marketing module providing a number of marketing tools, such as newsletters, RSS feed, etc. To generate community involvement, forum capabilities are integrated. Moreover, new advanced marketing tools are being introduced and implemented on a regular basis.

Technology stack

Online shop builder Web66 capabilities were leveraged to build a rich-functionality E- commerce portal, the development effort encompassing E-commerce components development and ORM solution implementation from scratch.

The distributed solution was designed with the consistency of application components in mind. The underlying technology powering the web portal is Java. A .NET-based thick client was built to be installed at online business managers’ desktops.

Apache Lucene was leveraged to provide for internal site search, while XStandard WYSIWYG editor was implemented to ensure seamless user experience.

Results

In the course of system development, the Itransition dedicated team ensured ultimate project transparency and seamless communication with the Customer. The code base was unit tested to secure high quality of the crafted code.

Owing to the system flexibility, productivity and reliability, the solution delivered has proved capable of yielding a high ROI and driving competitive advantage for Franzis. The company has been hitting an exponential growth curve for years after the system implementation, its turnover increased by 50% every year.

Up to now, Itransition specialists carry on ensuring high system performance and availability. New marketing tools keep being introduced and implemented without delay, to the Customer’s immense satisfaction.

Screenshots

Highlights

  • Solutions

    eCommerce

  • Industries

    Retail

  • Technology

    .NET

    Java

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