Study and Development of E-commerce website for “HC AGRO & ENTERPRISE”.
1. To study on e-commerce technologies and find out how it can help, which type of technologies is suitable for my proposed system to further improve the proposed system. To produce a report for the study.
2. To conduct interview with the owner of HC AGRO & ENTERPRISE to get the information of their business activity and study the company's background. To produce a report for the interview.
3. To investigate on existing system and find out the best feature to include in this proposed system. To produce a report of the existing system.
4. To investigate on the different web development tools and select the best tools for the proposed system. To produce a review for the different web development tools.
The objective of this project is to help “HC AGRO & ENTERPRISE” to develop an e-commerce website to expands their business. Internet is the best platform to expand their business.
This system will allow the user to access the proposed system to select the livestock they like through the internet. The website administrator will call the customers through phone or SMS and request a certain amount of deposit through bank in after the customer made an order. If the deposit has been pay, the livestock will be sending to the destination through lorry or waiting for the customer to come to the ranch. Besides that, customers go through the e-catalogue to know the weight, species, height and price of the livestock without coming to the ranch. It is good for those customers having problem to come over and see the livestock themselves. The information of the livestock can be fake in order to get a higher price, so, the company must be honest.
By implementing this proposed system, “HC AGRO & ENTERPRISE” will be able to expand their business and overcome their customer shortage problem. Besides that, they can increase their profit and increase the reputation of the company. This proposed system will be develop using “Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2008” in programming language VB and Microsoft SQL server 2008 will be use to manage the customer database.
Chapter 1 : E-commerce Study
In this chapter, the author will conduct studies on the E-commerce technologies that will be use in the process of development and the benefit of E-commerce. The study will give idea to the author on how to develop a good E-commerce websites.
1.1 What is E-commerce?
E-commerce or Electronic commerce is the process of buying, selling of products and services are done through the Internet or other computer network. E-commerce is a new and better way to do business, it has a low starting cost, and anyone can start an E-commerce business not matter a big business company or a students. E-commerce has increase the quality of the customer service because the speed of the good/service delivery is very fast. That is also the reason of E-commerce getting famous because everything can be done in a faster way and shorter time. It is also a platform for people to work together and communicate.
1.2 Benefits of E-commerce
E-commerce allows the user to buy and sells from any places, anytime.
· System Availability
User can always do business as long as the network connection/Internet is still exist.
· Global Reach
The business trade can be made throughout the whole world.
· Cost Saving
Customer/Vendor can make their order with supplier without going out.
It saves the money for transport and delivery.
· Market Flexibility
The users can find all kind of products they willing to purchase, from sweets to houses
· Less Paperwork
It reduce the paperwork for the transaction process of buying and selling.
· Time Saving
Reduce the time for making order and delivery of goods/services.
The author has finished studying on his 1st objectives and it gives the author more information on the detail of E-commerce business trading.
Chapter 2: Interview and Background Study
In this chapter, the author will conduct study on the background of “HC AGRO & ENTERPRISE” to get the information of their working process that need to understand to develop the proposed system. Interview will also conduct to know what kind of feature the company want to include in the system.
2.1 Company Background
HC AGRO & ENTERPRISE was established in June of Year 2009 to carry in the business of selling livestock (cow and goat only). The CEO of the company already doing this business 10 years ago but never establishes company. The CEO of the company decided to establish a company because the company needs to purchase some vehicles to deliver the livestock, and the vehicles need to have a register company in order to deliver things. Currently HC AGRO & ENTERPRISE is facing customer shortage because of the economic is not very good. Customers choose to go to the supermarket to buy a small piece of beef or mutton in a low price rather than spend over thousand ringgit to purchase a living cow or goat to execute.
Currently, there is no system own by HC AGRO & ENTERPRISE; every single transaction or trade is record using pen and paper. Customers need to come to the ranch by themselves, see and choose the cow or goat they want and schedule the time to trade and delivery. Whenever a customer comes to the ranch, the workers need to rush back to the ranch to explain and negotiate with them. It is waste of time because they have others work to do and the customers may not purchase in the real time. Therefore, the company decides to computerize the business and willing to have an E-commerce website to make the company work more efficiently and extend their business.
With the proposed system, the problem of HC AGRO & ENTERPRISE can be overcome. The customers can know the information of the livestock without coming to the ranch by referring to the product list. To make order, customers need to register as member of the website. Customers will use the shopping cart provided in the website to order livestock. After the order has been submitted, customer will need to pay certain amount of deposit with bank in method and the administrator will call or SMS the customer with phone to schedule delivery time. The order and payment record will be store in the database of the system. The delivery and payment process will need to modify by the administrator of the website to let the customers know their current status of transaction.
The system will be develop more focus on the processing speed so the customer can make their order fast and receive the livestock in short time. This system will also have certain level of security to protect the information of the customers. With this system, the processing speed of the company is able to enhance, save time and cost.
Interview is a well plan conversation that involves two or more people. The objective of interview is to get more information that is useful by asking question. The interviewer, which is the author, will in charge of asking question to the interviewee. The interviewee will be the person that uses this system. After discussing with the CEO of the company, the author decided to conduct interview with the manager of the company because the CEO will only allow the manager to control and use the system. The author will has a clearer image after the interview and able to find out the problem of the proposed system.
2.2.1 Interview Questions
1. How far the livestock can be delivery by the company? Is it any area within Malaysia or just certain states or places? (To gather the information of the company)
2. What do you think the function and features need to include in the website?
(To get the information of what functions the interviewee think need to have)
3. What you hope the system can help you to do?
(To get the information of how the system can help the interviewee)
4. What are the problems you face now during your job? Not enough time?
(To identify the problems face by the employee when they are working)
5. How you manage the livestock when customers made an order?
(To understand the ordering process of the company)
6. Which kind of website do you prefer? User friendly or function ability?
(To understand the ability of interviewee when using website)
7. What is your opinion of current proposed system? Anything need to Modify?
(Gather information to improve the proposed system based on the opinion of the interviewee)
2.2.2 Answers for Interview Questions
1. The company is located in Johor, Malaysia. It is possible to deliver to any places inside the states. For other places out of Johor state, still possible but transport fee maybe difference and need to further discuss with the customers.
2. The interviewee the functions and features need to be included are the function to check the record of the business and able to check the information of the customers. The rest will let the author to consider.
3. The system must able to record all the information of the business that will be easier for the worker to produce report and some paperwork.
4. Yes, the main problem is having limited time. Sometimes, the worker needs to go out delivery livestock or feeding the livestock and really do not have enough time to meet with the customers, explain and negotiate with them. Another problem is the daily routine paperwork, time consuming, some time it is very tired for them to do all this after works.
5. The livestock will marked using rope or paint, there will be a receipt given to the customers to confirm the ordering.
6. The functionality need to be considered but need to put more effort in user friendly to allow the user to browse the proposed system happily and won't "get lost" in the website.
7. The interviewee thinks the current system is good enough but he request the author to furthermore improve it based on the author's opinion.
In this chapter, the author has determined the problem of the proposed system and trying to figure a solution to solve the problems. Once the problems have been solve, the author will be able to design the website appropriately and suitable for the company to use.
Chapter 3: Evaluate Existing E-commerce Website
In this chapter, the author going to find some similar E-commerce websites that is currently online and evaluates them. It will give the author more idea in development of proposed system.
3.1 Sample Websites
3.1.1 South East Asia Gamer Mall
South East Asia Gamer Mall was established in August of year 2007, it is company that offer online game top-up cards and in-game item for the gamer. It is getting famous because of the customer service and the speed of delivery is considering real time.
In order to make an order, customers need to have a membership first; the picture above is the registration page and membership page. There are several links for the member to check their account history, current order, change password and so on.
The picture above shows the ordering page, some information need to fill in in order to make an order.
The picture above shows the information of the order after the customer had made an order. The staff of the company will call the customer after the customer made an order and schedule the time to trade.
220.127.116.11 Overview of the website
The strength of this website is giving the customer a very clear image of the order status and the product list also arrange nicely, the customer will able to find their interest item very fast. The only weakness is the process of ordering is a bit complicated, first time user may not know how to make an order properly.
(ModernoPC Sdn Bhd, 2005-2010)
ModernoPC was established in Year 2005 and offer a wide range of computer hardware and accessories. The product list of the website provide very detail information for the products, it allow the customers to think twice before purchase anything.
The picture above shows the product detail after clicking on the image or the name of the product.
Shopping cart is provided in the websites, customers can add the products they want into the shopping cart, as long as the customers want to continue shopping, all they want to do is click on the button “continue shopping”. If the customers already finish shopping, just click “checkout”, the website will proceed to the payment page.
18.104.22.168 Overview of the website
This website's interface is well organized. Everything is arranged properly, customer can know the new products and the latest promotion. Shopping cart allow the customers to order their product easier and faster.
Kids.net is a company offers a wide range of kid's toys for learning. The website provide search engine for the customer to find the toys by keying in the keyword or id number.
The product list for the website is all based on category. Other than using the search engine, the users need to choose a category before can view any product.
The website also has a shopping for user to pick up multiple products to have multiple orders but just a very simple one. By select the quantity of the product and click on “add” button and the product will add into the cart. After checkout, user will need to choose the payment and delivery method and also key in some information in order to deliver the product.
22.214.171.124 Overview of the Website
This is a very simple E-commerce website without special design and more focus on the functionality and that is its weakness. The arrangement of the content is too messy and hard for user to browse.
The author has gone through with several E-commerce website that currently exists on the Internet. The author has found out many functions use in different website and able to determine the strength and weakness of each website. That will give the author the idea to start develop the website.
Chapter 4 Web Development Tools
In this chapter, the author will conduct study on the different types of web development tools and pick up the best to use in the development process. The most important thing need to be concern is the author must be familiar with it and able to use it to produce the best job.
4.1 List of Web Development Tools
4.1.1 Adobe Dreamweaver
Adobe Dreamweaver or normally called as “Dreamweaver” was originally develop by company called “Macromedia” but had sold been sold to “Adobe”. This software is so popular because of its WYSIWUG (What Your See Is What You Got) mode. It allow user to develop a website without having any programming knowledge. The latest version of this application is CS4 and the speed of browsing on the Internet is improved almost twice compared with CS3 (version before CS4). It is available in both operating system, Microsoft Window and Mac OS.
(Adobe System Incorporated, 2010)
4.1.2 Microsoft FrontPage
Microsoft FrontPage also known as “FrontPage” was originally own by a company called “Vermeer Technologies Incorporated” but acquired by Microsoft in year 1996. It is another WYSIWUG based HTML editor web development tool. It was part of the Microsoft Office suite until year 2003 and discontinued to develop in year 2006, which is why its last version is 2003. It is an application having simple user interface and limited function which allow novice to create their own website.
(Microsoft Corporation, 2010)
Comparison between Adobe Dreamweaver and Microsoft FrontPage
4.1.3 Microsoft Web Developer 2008
4.1.4 Microsoft SQL Server 2008
Microsoft SQL Server is a relational model based database server application develops by Microsoft. It is a freeware and has no limitation of the number of database that can be create. It is an " XCOPY Deployment" database server, which mean the database created can be transfer into another machine to use without installing because all the data store inside the database is store in a single file. Another advantage for using this application is allowing the user to create report faster. The report can be generated in ".doc" format, which is a common "Microsoft Word" format and it features web services interface to allow the user to manage their database properly if there is problem occurred.
4.1.5 Adobe Photoshop CS4
Adobe Photoshop is considering the most popular image or graphic editing software no matter industry or education level and it is develops by Adobe. It is still the market leader of image editing software when it fist publish by Adobe. It is an powerful software, which meet industry requirement and allow those expert designer or artist to create realistic image or graphic. The reason include this software is the development process of the proposed system is for creating banner or graphic/image to use in the proposed system to enhance the look.
4.2 Selection of Tools
After making comparison of all of the web development tools. The author decided to choose "Microsoft Visual Web Developer" to develop the proposed system. The reason is the author believe by using this application, he can use it to produce the work more handy because he has some experience using this software compare to others and he think it is easier to find tutorials and guide by using this application. Another application will be use is "Microsoft SQL Server 2008" to create database to store and manage the data of the customer. Another tools will be "Adobe Photoshop CS4", it is mainly use to create image or some graphic elements in the proposed system.
In this chapter, the author has finish investigate some potential web development tools and determine their function and benefits. The author has finally determine some tools to use to develop the proposed system that he thinks is suitable and best suite the proposed system.