Sample Essay on E-commerce website features

TASK 3
E-commerce website features
User registration
To be able to access the services, a visitor needs to register and log in. Purchases and delivery becomes effective upon personal identity. The log in form appears immediately a client opens the page. He or she will enter the users name and password. Then the user log in for more shopping experience. At this point, one can is allowed to shop for products online. Registration is a means of identifying clients (Azam, 2015).
Product catalogue
Our retail product catalogue incorporates full description of goods and services in terms of features. Each product carries with it a price tag that is accompanied by the quantity features. The catalogue is arranged in different categories according to the nature of products. Some of the categories involved includes: songs, softwares and browsers. Therefore, an individual will not have to struggles to locate a particular item due to this categorisation of different products (Grossman, 2012).
Shopping cart
This is the most important features on the site because it allows customers to select product they would like to purchase. Moreover, one is in a position to add or delete items selected hence giving an opportunity to users to make purchasing decisions. Description information and associated quantities are well displayed. Payment activities initiate extensional pages upon clicking of pay button. This Page contains features such as mode of payment, and amount to pay in dollars.
Order and payment interface
Clients obtain their goods upon payment. An individual enters into an agreement with the seller through payment. Delivery of products paid for happens within the stipulated period. Thus, the interface is a very important component of this website. If a client wants to make changes to the items bought, he/she will be requested to delete some of the items before making payment. After entering into a binding contract, no changes will be accepted hence buyers should be very keen during payment.
Contact interface
Being a retail organisation, guiding consumers to make an order or locate items is essential. The administrator monitors client’s activities on the site and offers help where needed. Common questions customers post includes how and where to effect payment. Moreover, expert advice is offered during this session. This mode of marketing supplements the sales activities. Furthermore, buyers may discuss with the organisation about terms and conditions of sale before the engagements endeavour. Firm’s Email address and phone numbers are contained in this section (Huang et al., 2014).
ADDITIONAL FEATURES ON THE WEBSITE
Links to social media
Social media platforms included on this site ranges from face book, YouTube, Instagram, Google plus and twitter. By doing this, the organisation is in a position to cover a wide area. People follow up the enterprise activities while at the same time recommending their friends to visit the site for buying goods. Traffic from social platforms is harnessed through wide coverage. Advertisement cost is reduced because people and clients are connected to producers/dealers directly. On the other hand, twitter and YouTube popularises the organisation by connecting people together. Accessibility is enhanced by these inscribed features (Lee, 2009).
Contact form
The form is located at the far left corner of the page. However, clients must connect to an external source to get instant feedback. Commentary and other enquiries that clients wish to air out will be written on the form. Comments/questions, country/residential area, name and email address information requires to be filled in the form. The feature reinforces organisation efforts in gathering and receiving feedback from consumers. Data collected from these sources is applied in improving the system to meet the demands and customer expectations. The complaint is followed up and necessary adjustments made, which include rectifying the problem encountered. By doing this, DOWNLODEZ makes its clients happy (MacDonald, 2011).
Log-in form
The form is one of the most critical features in this site. Logging in or signing up to the site requires an active email address that can be used by the entity to send messages and notifications. This exercise is crucial due to the security matters for both parties entering into a contract. The absence of this feature attracts criminals and other unauthorised personnel’s in advancing their ill will. In most cases, people forget their password hence the system utilises the email address to send login details to the clients upon request. It clearly shows how important an email address is to this process.
ESSENTIAL FEATURES NOT IMPLEMENTED
Logo
Logos are unique images or pictures that distinguish or symbolises an organisation. I had a logo for my business but it was not supported by Joomla. However, Joomla does not support the structuring of these features hence I had to skip some of the properties. Logos make create identity that clients associate themselves with. A logo is recognisable from a distance by clients who know and follows the activities of a company. Thus, products containing business logo are more likely to sell than goods without logos. Loyalty on the other hand is built along an identity characterised by logos (Gonçalves Curty and Zhang, 2013).
Discussion forum
Creating a discussion forum was not possible due to the number of functions and extension features required. However, I looked for an alternative because of the time factor. This prompted the invention of contact forum that enhances communication between the management/administrator and potential customers. It serves the same purpose that a discussion forum would have served. Contrary, discussion platforms are efficient due to one on one communication involved. Moreover, the public offer new insight and ideas to a firm through critics of actions/strategies implemented by the entity.
Deals and offers
Creating platforms for offers and other services such as deals proved to be the most difficult task to execute within limited time. Therefore, I could not make it within the specified period; I decided to integrate some of these features into the product catalogue. Offers on the other hand are business tactics to woo customers into visiting the site for services. Price tag and item description helps makes an informed decision on the side of buyers. Therefore, they will not blame the organisation for goods delivered to their designated areas. The cart is part of the sales offers businesses apply (Yang, Li and Yang, 2013).
FEATURES TO BE IMPLEMENTED USING JOOMLA CMS
In the next phase of website implementation by Joomla, the following features will be adopted. They includes the shopping cart, product catalogue, users registration, payment interface and contact interface. It therefore provides an opportunity to site users of evaluating and making informed choices. In instances where one chooses the wrong item, he/she can delete or remove it from the cart. Thus, good decisions lead to improved business transactions. Another product for this site is user registration.
Joomla encourage and facilitates security through provision of an identification system. There are several advantages attribute to this security measure. First, an organisation will maintain an updated record of clients. Increased registration infers that people are aware of services rendered by DOWNLODEZ. Customer’s base increment has an inverse relationship to sales. Normally, multinational institutions experiences huge following from twitter as well as registration. The number of viewers determines the registration process. DOWNLODEZ venture in the undeveloped industry is influenced by a number of factors. The company image is part and parcel of the marketing initiatives. This means that retailers should focus on building the image as a way of overcoming competition.
However, multinational corporations operating in this section of economy remain the biggest competitors for retailers. The four P’s of marketing also plays a big part in this industry. They are price, promotion and place and product. Many retailers put more weight on the unit cost hence end up setting high prices for goods. Expensive goods are associated with quality hence produced for the well up in the community. Promotion as a marketing tool is central to the establishment of retail business. The firms may apply tactics such as celerity selling and mass marketing to attract a multitude of people. At the end of these activities, clients will develop interest and passion for digital goods leading to increased demand. Contact interface will also form part of my website to be processed by Joomla. In case of an emergency or an error occurring during transaction, the person in charge of the administration will communicate appropriately. Customer services geared at clarifying issues and solving problems will run concurrently with the selling ordeal.
Lastly, we have the payment platforms. All activities in this site are expected to result to lasting deals. Commitment and dedication to buy is determined by the ability to pay for the items contained in the shopping cart. With no payments, deals will be considered invalid (Slomovic, 2014).
SITE MAP OF E-COMMERCE WEBSITE

CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED IN USING JOOMLA
In preparing the website in Joomla, the following challenges were manifested during the exercise. First, incompatible components created some challenges. I was forced to pursue alternatives courses of action to complete the project. Thus, I deviated from the original design. Re-doing the work from time to time was cumbersome. Moreover, time lost during the processes was created pressure on my side. Repeated restructuring of the original plan decreased the probability of registering success. This was detrimental to the structure.
Changing one structure implied that you keep adjusting other structures so that the whole design can work uniformly. Second, Joomla website comprises numerous and unnecessary extensions. Coming up with modules and languages, one had to visit an extended site. Templates and plug in also had to be sourced outside the original site. Plug in details were not easily accessible, so I had to toil to locate them. The long process needed to be followed step by step in creating and locating external sources increases the challenges.
Third, slideshows also came with challenges. Dragging the interface to the module administration was hectic. This exercise took the better part of the research programs due to failure experienced from time to time. Closely related modules were incompatible hence an attempt to bring them together brought about difficulties that delayed the entire project. The process of finding and having features that were similar to produce desired outcome was not an easy task. Moreover, comprehending the system and operations of various components took time. Slides catch the eyes of the bloggers. They create an impression of diversity in terms of products, services and communication. In order to continue with the project, I had to make decision that would enhance delivery.
In consideration to the underlying challenges, I did not have any other option left to undertake hence had to enact the only alternative action remaining. Joomla as a tool of creating websites leads to the multiplication of functions and tasks. Therefore, multitasking becomes an issue in the creation process. Incorporating images into the site leads to slow pace in project execution. These images resolution may be of poor quality while transferred from external sources to the site. Low quality pictures are not attractive enough to the audience (Sahi and Madan, 2015).
ADDRESS SECURITY AND PRIVACY ISSUES
Security in e-commerce has always been the biggest issues that retailers and business organisation has to grapple with in their daily activities. This is because criminal target companies using online services to defraud unsuspecting buyer their funds. To prevent unwarranted behaviours, the site has got a number of features that discourages theft. As the first precautionary measure, the site demands for active emails. Any transaction has to be conducted through the email, so that the owner can confirm his/her identity. This keep off unauthorised personnel’s from accessing sensitive data.
Malware test has been conducted to ascertain loopholes that hackers may take advantage of. Having passed through the test, I am assured that any attempt to access consumer data is futile.
Firewalls have been installed to ensure that attacks from outside are kept at bay. Their main function is to create a wall between the firm’s networks and the incoming networks. If the server is secure then consumer sensitive data and information are in good hands. Consumers are at peace with this kind of an assurance because no person is capable of using their data to access bank accounts and other liquid assets (E-Commerce Strategy Assessment, 2012).
The user interface that requires login details enhances supervision and monitoring. In case any misconduct is detected, the person in charge at that time will be accountable for the actions. He/she is detected through personal details and log in identification. Therefore; responsibility is pegged on individual characters and discipline. At the same time, they will take caution not to initiate unwarranted activities or make improper deals that could cost them their jobs. Leakages of critical data are kept at the lower level by personalised selling and activity handling. After logging in as an administrator, any transaction or activity hitherto carries the name tag of the admin. From the emails submitted and other electronic data available, clients establish the identity of the person serving them. Complains are directed and specific about certain individuals within the firm.
Lastly, security codes are involved during transaction. These codes may be sent to the mobile phone device registered. The code sent is applied to initiate other processes. If the client cannot access the code via email, the transaction is put on hold or cancelled (Mascull, 2010).
ADDRESSING BACKEND SYSTEM INTEGRATION AND LEGACY SYSTEM ISSUES
Integration of backed system is not an easy job to perform. Data management may face threats from legacy data redundancy and Incompatibility. However, conducting intensive and timely research will solve the underlying issues. Thus, there are many ways of solving these issues. Contrary, a person must select a system that suites the specific needs. This enhances compatibility though data may not necessarily come from the same source. Integrated systems such as e-commerce tend to reject old batches of data due to the number of extensions required to be created. It increases work load for designers who have to map the changes as they determine its effects on the features.
For this particular project, the designing of tasks and functions will be carried out in such a manner that their effect on back end is taken care of. Some errors that occur during designing make it extremely hard for designers to reverse the process. Thus, one of the goals to achieve in designing is to ensure that errors do not occur. If they must occur, they should be kept on the lower side. Thus, it helps avoid unnecessary system failure in the future. Duplication of tasks is another problem. It is a common mistake made at the initial stages of the designing phase. A point to point linkage between legacy system and e-commerce will bring a solution to this stalemate. The linkage ensures that no task is duplicated and only those tasks that are important appears on the final product.
Lastly, we have database storage that is applied in an integrated environment. It should accommodate outdated legacy systems. Having numerous and unnecessary duplicates may affects the integrity of data storage system. Several measures can be undertaken to eliminate the problem. First, make sure that extended features are not many. An extension of functions creates rooms for system redundancy and attacks by unwarranted personality. Having few extensions is necessary for the entire procedure. These extensions implant value to the overall system. An e-commerce site therefore will function efficiently in an environment that has low backlog features. Backup’s acts as system support in times of crisis. Thus, an e-commerce system should be coupled with a strong back up system that facilitates and reinforces the performance of other systems. Components that form part of the whole system needs to be aligned together (Du, 2013).
HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIRED
Operating system
Linux and window 7 operating systems were the major system used. Joomla application is supportive of windows7. The window can be considered to inculcate software collaboration. The codes associated to widow 7 are subject to modification and customisation in order to meet individual purposes. Debian, fedora, arch linux, openSUSE, gentoo and ubuntu are the main model of Linux distribution. Desktops can run on Window system. Windows 7 on the other hand is a Microsoft operating system that facilitates software compatibility.
Programming Language
E-commerce required Php language that would aid the creation of Framework. To install Joomla, php language plays a key role in the mapping and development of a plan. A map acts as a guide to the developer who follows the steps outlined in it to advance the structure.
Web browser
Google chrome has features that support Joomla in the execution of programs. The browser has high speed in processing request. In addition, one can run several programs in it hence able to multitask. To maintain and store data for consistency, moderation of searching endeavour is necessary. Storage is in form of database supported by Google chrome (Oshana and Kraeling, 2013).
Database
This is a storage place for all data used in performing and structuring the system. Framework and features portrayed on the screen are retrieved from the storage. The compartment is able and capable of multitasking. Programs and operating systems running on data base are fed through Joomla. Thus, the developer has a duty to perform at the inception stages in system development.
Material Cost
Software $150,000
Hardware $70,000
Administration cost $45,000
Maintenance $,50,000
Total $305,000

JUSTIFYING A PLAN FOR A LIVE IMPLEMENTATION
DOWNLODEZ site is developed through a series of steps. The plan is a well developed step by step initiative. These steps are outlined below. First, an analysis of the types of business and market to serve is carried out. Some of the issues evaluated at this point included market availability, type of service to offer, business viability and feasibility of the project. Second, the best alternative is executed and templates prepared for installation. Templates are layout of features such as images and slides to be used. They will stand for the logo where it is absent. The next step is utilisation of Joomla website to create e-commerce structure that will entail/accommodate business components. These components include categories of goods offered such as softwares and music.
The module that separates database and extensions includes regulating the activities of these sites. Some pages may not be visible when included in database. Thus, need to create external sources and extension. Module such as payment services that connects to PayPal and other external sites increases the privacy levels for consumers. A policy statement for users is the next thing that the developer tries to inscribe to complete the process. Before testing, the administrator will have to evaluate the new system for any change made in the process to determine the effects on the overall system.
This opens the way for the testing process that determines system viability and efficiency. Failure to do so will result to unwarranted outcomes that may cost the organisation its licence. Licensing has to be done after the system is fully developed and seen to be compatible to other complementary systems. A license allows a person/ organisation to participate in trade. Without a license, the operations are in vain and business dealings are illegal. The time line for the execution of the same is as shown below.

Activity Timeline
Business analysis 1-6 days
Template adoption 7-9 days
Joomla installation 10-14 days
Components installation 15-19 days
Module inclusion 20-23 days
Policy statement development 24-27 days
Testing and evaluation 28-30 days

EXPECTED BENEFITS
The availability of these services bridges the gap between consumers and producers. The middle men take advantage of this gap to inflate the prices of digital goods and services. Furthermore, some traders sell solicited goods that do not meet the international standards. The elimination of middlemen and unscrupulous traders ensures that clients access quality services and goods. These goods will serve the consumers for quite a long period of time as expected. Another benefit is accessibility to after sales services. An example includes clients encountering problems in installing operating systems to their personal computers. The company will direct through email address and other forums such as face book and ensures that the issues are dealt with as need arises. Cost involved in the acquisition and maintenance of digital appliances is lowered by a great deal with the introduction and entry of DOWNLODEZ.
Value addition will be effected on the products sold through this site. For instance, if a person orders and pay for an operating system, the company offers free antivirus software so that data installed will remain save. Loyal customers will get discount for every extra unit bought upon consistence purchases activities. There is a niche for after sales services and warranty that exceed one year in the market. The venture offers business opportunities for retailers in offering individualised services to clients. In the international market, deficit for personalised digital sales and consultation services has gone high in the recent past. Thus, the first entrants will become the pioneers of retail business in the global market.
The market share to be controlled by the pioneers will improve the firm’s financial status as customer base increases annually. Other benefits expected from this initiative include monopolisation of prices and market leadership. Monopolising prices discourages investors from entering the industry for fear of losing their investment (Canavan and Chapa, 2011).
ONLINE RESOURCES USED IN RESEARCH
In developing the project, online data were gathered from different sources as outlined below
Joomla
Using Joomla, the features and modules that are in this website were developed. This goes hand in hand with the structuring of the entire framework and system that enables the administrator to operate the system. It was an incredible site that I maximised its use.
Hickashop
It is one of the many extensions that joomla has, that allows an individual to incorporate prices and other features of a product. The general use of this site was to inscribe prices and descriptions.
Cloudbase 3.0
The process is not complete without the application of cloud base. Images and languages inscribed in various sections in the entire sites were made possible through the utilisation of this feature.
Google Chrome
To search items in the World Wide Web, I applied Google chrome. The meaning and use of Joomla language was available online. This search engine is organised in such a manner that information is well arranged. To go straight to the language site, you needed to connect to the host server in order to access. It is also a very fast search engines that saves time.
Setting Version
Web server Google chrome
Joomla Joomla 2.8
PHP version 5.3.17
Database Utf7-general –ci
PHP version Linux
Database version 5.5.28 log

REFERENCES
Azam, A. (2015). The effect of website interface features on e-commerce: an empirical investigation using the use and gratification theory. IJBIS, 19(2), p.205.
Canavan, T. and Chapa, D. (2011). CMS security handbook. Indianapolis, Ind.: Wiley Pub.
Du, W. (2013). Informatics and management science VI. London: Springer.
E-Commerce Strategy Assessment. (2012). China-USA Business Review, 11(08).
Gonçalves Curty, R. and Zhang, P. (2013). Website features that gave rise to social commerce: a historical analysis. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 12(4), pp.260-279.
Grossman, J. (2012). The State of Website Security. IEEE Security & Privacy, 10(4), pp.91-93.
Huang, L., Zhang, J., Feng, K., Ju, P., Wei, Y., Song, D. and Xu, H. (2014). Building a Scientific Social Network with Joomla!. AMM, 687-691, pp.2316-2319.
Lee, I. (2009). Emergent strategies for e-business processes, services, and implications. Hershey: Information Science Reference.
MacDonald, M. (2011). Creating a website. Sebastopol, Calif.: O’Reilly.
Mascull, B. (2010). Business vocabulary in use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Oshana, R. and Kraeling, M. (2013). Software engineering for embedded systems. Amsterdam: Newnes.
Sahi, G. and Madan, S. (2015). STEP model approach for linking website usability dimensions and website success measures in B2C e-commerce setting. IJBIS, 20(2), p.219.
Slomovic, A. (2014). Privacy Issues in Identity Verification. IEEE Security & Privacy, 12(3), pp.71-73.
Yang, L., Li, D. and Yang, X. (2013). Exploration of Factors Influencing the Customer Satisfaction of E-Commerce: A Study Based on Website Features. AMM, 389, pp.979-984.