GIObikes is a worldwide online marketplace and community for recreational lifestyle equipment that gives customers the ability to purchase vehicles, parts, and accessories. Originally started in Canada with factories and warehouses in China GIObikes soon spread all over the world.
Initially, clients were selling their goods through the popular eBay platform, but with the sales growth, it became obvious that they needed more space and possibilities and it was decided to create their own marketplace. The idea was to create a specific E-commerce solution that would provide users the online-shopping experience. As the company was very successful while holding auctions for their products on eBay – they wanted to implement auctioning features on their platform too.
|Building it from scratch, CodeIT had to implement the following functionality:||While discussing the features that the marketplace required it was decided to include the following User roles:|
Customer functionality is rather simple, as in every E-commerce solution. They can browse the platform to search what they would like to purchase, add the item to cart or to place a bid in the auction. In order to start bidding right away, users need to register an account and purchase some bids which are available in the bid package. User’s IP address gets recorded with every login which is atypical for E-commerce solutions but we added this feature in order to prevent fraudulent bidders.
Customer journey has several steps:
Searching for items
Users can either search or browse the website for the items they want.
“Search” option is provided with the help of the search field at the top of the page. When Users start entering the keyword in the search field they get a drop-down list of possible options.
Another way is to browse through the main menu and categories that are initially located on the homepage.
There are several possible buying options available on the website.
Shopping cart – users find the fixed price item they want, add it to the shopping cart, calculate Shipping and Tax, read terms and conditions and checkout.
Auctioning – users place bids for the item beginning from the seller’s starting price and wait until the end of the listing. The item goes to the buyer who offered the highest price.
Buy It Now – sellers might add this function in auctions. This gives users the opportunity to immediately purchase the item for the price set by the Seller instead of placing bids.
The platform offers several payment options
Credit Card – users enter their card type and information to pay for the item(s).
Paypal – Users can check out securely without sharing their financial information if they have a PayPal account.
Money Order or Bank Wire – users can pay with money orders or electronic funds transfer if that is allowed by their banks.
Stress-free Payments – users can pay with the Card but divide the payment into several steps. The system automatically divides the amount into 10 parts and shows on what dates and how much will be withdrawn from user’s bank account.
Nevertheless, there are some key features that every respectable E-commerce solution should have and that we took into account while creating GIObikes. For instance:
These users control everything that happens on the platform, hence they have access to every page, every customer, every product. The system has a rather large and complicated structure that provide Admin users with the scalable functionality. To be more specific:
This is where the up-to-date statistics and information was shown about the sales to date, orders, user statistics, sold auctions, pending payments etc. The statistics can be shown for every category in the chosen period – Today, Last 3/7 days, Current month/year etc.
This is an extensive section that deals with everything connected to the sales process and contains several sub-menus. Here Admin manage orders and bid packs, processes and controls shipments, generates sales reports.
This section contains information about all the goods in the Store and Stock, and the Admin can manage the details. This menu gives the details about where in the Store the item is located, what items and in what quantity are available, send email alerts.
Admin can create various Blog Categories, manage comments, add, edit or delete posts.
This list of every product with the indication of its availability, price, status, what category it belongs to. Here we also implemented a drop-down menu to provide the filtering function. Also in this section responsible users could create Coupons, different Contests for users, add product Accessories to the list, manage and review questions from customers.
The functionality of this section is to manage, edit and delete users and dealers, create affiliate programs, and see logs report.
This part is to create newsletters, see subscribers and statistics.
As auctions take the great part of the platform they have their own section in the Admin panel. It is shown there what auctions are active, sold/unsold, pending and unpaid. Moreover, the Admin can add new item to the listing, manage auction fees and archive auctions.
Basically the whole website is concentrated in this section, meaning it contains all the pages, statistics, images, texts, hint windows, banners, email templates, news etc.
All configurations are placed in this part of the admin panel. The Admin manages the countries the company works with, shipping companies and their rates, various tools for backups, URL pages statistics.
The system is incredibly big and contains a lot of details, menus and functionalities. Additionally, every product had the Information panel that included every possible data about the item.
Inventory is one of the most interesting features. First of all this system is used for the warehouse inventory accounting to understand how much product are there in the Store. And second of all – for logistics and to avoid misunderstanding and not to sell one item twice. The system showed how many items there were in Store at the moment and how much in the Stock. Any moment the Admin could click “Out of Stock” button that would remove the product from sales. All the documents for the products, reports and bar-codes were created automatically by the system.
The Auctions is one of the most complex features. Admin users created the listing template – in other words an algorithm – to start a long-term auction. Initially the auctions were designed to continue for 24 hours, but after that time in order to stop the process there should be no bidding for 15 seconds. The form allowed to set up settings for every auction – what kind of auction it is, the price, start & stop listing date, listing time, how many to sell, minimum price etc. The system automatically chooses the time range when to show auctions depending on the amount of items to sell and during what period it has to be sold. We also implemented special “robots” that when needed could make bids to raise the price to the minimum desired one. They were also set up in the Product information menu by the Admin – he chose the number of robots and when they should start bidding.
The system was also integrated with the several shipping services through their APIs in order to calculate the product shipping price automatically right on the platform. When Customers opened their carts they could click on the delivery button, choose the shipping provider and see the price range.
CodeIT professionals have created a rather large and complex system to provide a smooth work of the E-commerce solution. GIObikes platform had 5000 daily active users, 400 simultaneous auctions, and yearly around US$ 7 million turnover. The system worked with more than 150 countries, had a lot of affiliate programs, integrated shipping and payment services.
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CodeIT has been working for us for one and a half years. We are ending the project now because it is complete. CodeIT built our platform from scratch and also provided further development and support for the rest of the contract. They are very strong in several areas: back-end development (specialising in Zend Framework); front-end development; server administration; project management. Their project managers speak excellent English and are courteous and professional. Their developers are fast and skilled, and up to date with the latest technologies. Their expertise helped us to build a highly reliable website which can serve a heavy load of traffic. Finally, they are all very nice people, and I cannot recommend them highly enough.
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