Inside perspective: My Experience with Epicerie des allergique
Epicerie des allergique is an online store built on the ecommerce open source package, Magento. With this project, I got a nice exposure to Magento ecommerce, where I had to dig in, to make some modules and to create an external communication from the site. I have worked as a dedicated programmer for this project. The interaction I had with the client contact, Richard Good, was the most important part in the success of this project. We had regular meetings to discuss the progress of the work and to analyze the upcoming tasks. We always made sure we didn’t spend much time on discussions and therefore the work was moving according to our plan. The cooperation and understanding of Richard was really great.
The most important part of this simple shop is its communication with a desktop application, XLPos (The client used this in the shop to manage the products and its inventory). We are updating the stocks, product details and prices every 30 minutes using a cron job. In this process, we are adding new products, if any, to the online store and updating the existing products, if any new updates are there. The next process is to update the product stocks based on the sales. And the last process is to send the orders we got in the site to the XLPos. These processes update and maintain the products, stock and price in the site and shop, frequently. We are using magento modules as the base for importing the product and stock to the online store and for exporting the orders from here.
Handling database, administration etc was very easy since we built this online shop on one of the strongest ecommerce tools, Magento. We integrated the design on the ‘modern’ theme, which we added as an extension through the backend. This is a new alternative theme to the Magento default interface. This theme delivers a more corporate look; clean and simple design. The job our designer did to integrate the template was really great.
‘Visualise your attributes’, is another extension we added to the magento store. This enabled us to give a detailed view of the product image and for adding icons for the attributes. The detailed view of image will be helpful to overview warranty signs, show brands/manufacturer logos, money back icons, various product qualities and any other information that can be visualized in the product image, even from the product listing page. Attributes are really important in our store and we have a filter products by attributes option available in the site, and this extension provides better control of attributes visualization. People can select required attributes one by one to filter the products. The attribute icon listing with the products makes it very easy for the customers to select right products from the list. Because the magento default filtration had some disadvantages with the exact requirement we had, we generated this module ourselves and added options to remove the selected filter option as in the built in module. We have also installed ‘Aheadworks Blog’ as a forum for the customers to communicate.
We moved each step very carefully and avoid the term “Bug” almost completely. Obviously we had some small changes to make based on the client request, but we succeeded in moving forward without major changes. Even with this careful approach we had an issue towards the end of our project due to the change in data format provided by the desktop application XLPos. But the flexibility of our company to extend my contract for a few days, played down the issue and made the site ready, in time for the launch.