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When I first wrote my e-commerce software I believed it was a good practice handling shopping carts in session (I remember I did some search around it ) and then invalidating it at session expiration.
Most of the sites you can find about, still suggest the session scope to handle memory structures that keeps items and quantities, but for reporting and performance purposes this is horrible.

First, handling shopping carts in session is cumbersome – either in PHP or in Java –  and second, it does not provide a good customer experience.https://i2.wp.com/www.thinkprofits.com/images/shopping-cart.jpg
In many online shops, a customer is requested to register to complete the buying process, because only after registration, the system is able to calculate the shipping costs on the destination address.
But if we consider for example, a customer that has added 2 products to the shopping cart and after  registration realizes that the shipping costs are too high and closes the site, its buying preferences are lost forever.
When the customer comes back on the site, the shopping cart is empty, so the entire previous buying experience is annihilated, to say the least.
Talking about security, if not carefully implemented, a malicious user can use the session shopping cart to shop for millions of items that will end to saturate the memory of the server.

https://i2.wp.com/cdn1.iconfinder.com/data/icons/database/PNG/512/Database_1.pngOn the other hand, if you used a database for storing the shopping cart, you will be giving your users a better user experience. Doesn’t matter if he simply lost the connection or he leaved for a coffee,  when he comes back, he’ll find his previous shopping cart, along with the personal customization where present.
If the customer will never come back, this shall gives you an hint that your purchasing process is flawed somewhere. Maybe your shipping costs are too high or your order processing is too complicated.
Last but not least, storing database shopping carts will give the sales department the possibility to identify the most/less requested items and design the product catalogue accordingly.

These are valuable insights for any e-commerce initiative and should be carefully considered when designing your software.

 

 

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As announced many years ago by Bill Gates, the tangible support for software distribution is dead. But that’s not a new concept.

Today the major part of the software I use  is downloaded, installed and upgraded “on-the-fly” using online platforms: that is the case for Joomla, WordPress, vTiger  and many other opensource applications.

I’m used  to customize them to fit my personal, social and economical needs.  No physical supports at all. Only byte streams flooding the network.

My idea is the following:  a main tendency in information systems application packages is to “customize”  and “tailor” legacy applications to special projects or business needs, such as installing and tuning a database,  designing a workflow software, describing a business process.
However, it is true that all these “tailoring” activities relates to a certain degree of “customization”, for instance the database must meet certain criteria,  the workflow application needs certain languages, the business process is almost unique by company.

Well, what if such “Customer needs'” would be collected by the use of smart social networks ? I mean, what if your “digital presence” can summarize those “custom needs” technically ?
To make a tangible example, imagine a business that produce shoes: such organization would like to streamline its production processes at some point in time possibly using some technologies such as BPMN or similar.
Exposingly publicly such business process description this could be translated, adopted, routed, analyzed, monitored and lastly indexed by a search engine giant like Google.
As a final result, this will be treat as just the final “configuration file” for such “on-the-fly” customization I was talking about in the opening of this article.

Is this a visionary approach ?

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