Epicor Software Corporation provides business software solutions for retail, manufacturing and distribution as well as services organizations. Epicor recently introduced its new Retail Cross Commerce platform which is an advanced ecommerce platform for retailers to enable personalization in the shopping experience across various channels to increase revenue and customer loyalty.
Epicor aims to offer a new age ecommerce system that will enable customers to interact with their favorite brands in a seamless manner by bridging the gap between traditional ecommerce and other sales channels. We worked with Epicor as their Magento Ecommerce Consultant to help build Cross-Commerce. It was powered by Enterprise Magento E-Commerce platform and was integrated with Merchandising and Enterprise Selling, Cross-Commerce communicates with physical stores (Store POS), mobile devices, call center, kiosk and social media. This greatly helped improve customer engagement through personalized sales, targeted promotions, recommendation engines, contact centers and more.
The following challenges were faced by the team:
- Importing millions of customers from CRM to Magento was a challenge. It required a seamless integration between Epicor CRM and the Magento system.
- The CRM and Cross Commerce required to be in sync always
- Every order that was placed required the price to be fetched from the system and then updating the price in Cross Commerce was a big challenge.
- Magmi was used to import the products from Epicor system because this process required many configuration changes.
- The order placed in Cross Commerce required to be passed to the Epicor system and in the backend, needed to be assigned to a particular POS.
|Operating System||Linux Cent OS, Apache Web Server, Multi-Server Architecture with Staging & Production environment through Version controlling releases Load Balancer, Apache optimization, security and SSL implementation,scheduler for backups, alert monitoring system integration, server performance tuning at regular intervals, software firewall configuration and maintenance, email server configuration etc.|
|Development Environment||PHP, Magento EE 1.13, Zend Framework, Jquery, Prototype.js, TFS,Ngnix, Solar Search Engine, Third Payment Gateway Integration ,Integration with Microsoft based home grown ERP system for Taxing,Billing & Accounting, Integration With Pos System Or Customer Orders|
|Database||MySQL, DB Clustering, DB Optimization, High Availability, Master – Slave Replication, Query optimization, Slow Query Optimization,scheduler for backups, Alert Monitoring System integration, Percona Server Integration etc.|
|Quality Assurance Testers||1|
The complexity of the project was taken into account and a three tier development approach was adopted.
- Data Access Layer: Contains libraries that are required to access data from the database.
- Business Logic Layer: contains all the business logic procedures and modules like profiles, groups and registrations.
- User Interface Layer: This forms the front facing GUI of the application.
A three tier architecture was selected for this project which consisted of:
- Presentation layer (PL): This is a layer where input is taken from users and data is presented to the user. It contains .phtml files.
- Business Access layer (BAL): contains business logic and validations.
- Data Access layer (DAL): Enables the business layer to connect to the data and perform required actions.
Linux Cent OS 6.0 was used for deployment along with MVC architecture. Advantages of MVC architecture are:
- Full control over the rendered HTML
- RAD development
- RestFul URLS
- SEO enabled URLS
The final product that was delivered by this project – Cross-Commerce was feature packed with the ability to provide retailers with complete flexibility and control to be able to customize their retail channels. Some other striking features are SEO ability, catalog management, marketing tools and features for value added shopping experience for customers. The system was specially tailored to fulfill the retailer’s business requirements.
Cross Commerce was integrated with the Epicor system to enable retailers to drive more traffic and derive more benefits from multi-channel shoppers.
Some of the exclusive features include:
- A rich merchandising suite
- Private sales
- Gift registry, gifting options
- Rewards points
- Merchandise credits and many more.
Supporting localization via support for native languages, multiple currencies and tax rates.
The system also supports the ability to launch mobile optimized store fronts with the use of HTML5 and cross browser support for iPhone, Android and Opera Mobile browsers.