REC's Core Ecommerce Process
This is a step-by-step walk through of the REC ecommerce process. All site admins should ensure they are familiar with this process so they can effectively handle any user enquiries.
Customisable Content Displayed During Checkout
Customisable content is stored either in:
- Page Manager
- Site Definitions
- Template system
User Views Products And Standard Prices
PRICES INCLUDE/EXCLUDE VAT?
You can set up whether prices include or exclude VAT in the Admin Centre
GROUP PRICING IN USE?
If user logs in and is part of a group then the prices for the group members will show.
Groups can also control whether a user pays tax or not.
User Enters Quantity On Product Page
QUANTITY PRICE BREAKS IN USE?
If quantity price breaks are being used then the prices will dynamically adjust in line with the quantity price breaks that are set up.
Quantity price breaks are set up via group pricing.
Stock level checked for availability (if stock control turned on)
If stock not available, user given ability to receive an email alert when it is back in stock (optional setting)
User Selects Options On Product Page
Options can include price adjustments which add to or deduct from the product price.
Stock level checked for availability (if stock control turned on) and option greyed out of no stock available
User Selects Addon Products (optional)
Addon products are other complimentary products or services that can be prominently displayed on the product page.
The user can select which ones they want to add to their basket and the price is updated on the product page too.
User Adds Products To Cart
The product and options are added to the shopping cart.
A product could also be a bundle of products.
User can edit quantities/remove products from cart.
User can view delivery estimate if enabled in site settings
In Cart Deals (optional)
User sees any in-cart deals that are set up and associated products that they can buy to help push up the average order value.
User Either Continues Shopping Or Proceeds To Checkout
If the user continues shopping the items in the cart are stored and can be viewed via the View Cart button.
The user can also login at this stage, or register (if a new user, alternatively they can register at the next stage)
If the user chooses to proceed they move to the next stage of the checkout.
User Registers Their Billing & Delivery Addresses
Users who are already registered can login using their existing username (email address) and password.
Non-registered users need to enter their Billing details and Delivery address. Delivery addresses can be turned off if not required/allowed via Admin. This will simply use the billing address, which is a good anti-fraud measure for sites selling higher value items.
If GUEST / FAST REGISTRATION is set in Admin:
The user does not need to enter a password; they can do so if they want to sign up for updates and the ability to manage their orders via their own User Home Page.
Security Information is collected in lieu of requiring email activation if set this way in Admin. This prevents spam filters blocking activation emails.
A Splash Page Is Presented (optional)
The Splash page shows a sales or information message defined via a system page set in Admin. Having any content on this page will cause it to appear. If it is empty it will not appear. A site setting is also available to turn it off.
User Reviews & Places Their Order Via Single Page Checkout
The user is able to see their full order details and perform the following functions:
Edit their Billing address
Add/Edit their Delivery address (if in use)
View their Order Summary
Apply a Discount Coupon set up via Admin and assigned to users/products etc
Accept a charge (set up via Cart Charge Line Types) e.g. pay 20% extra to cover EU duties
Select their payment method from the active payment processors set in Admin
Select their Delivery method
Remove items from their cart
Recalculate their new totals
Tick to accept terms and conditions before proceeding (optional setting)
The system will check whether any products are subject to buying rules which prevent them being sold or needs to display a message to the user (optional setting)
The user can then proceed to the next stage by clicking on PLACE YOUR ORDER.
If they have deleted all items from their cart then the Place Your Order button will not appear.
User Completes Payment Via Selected Payment Method
The user is directed to their selected payment processor e.g. PayPal and completes the payment transaction on their site.
Alternatively, if the payment method does not require an off-site payment processor, e.g. bank transfer, cash on delivery, then the details for these methods will be displayed. These are set in Payment Processors in Admin.
No credit card details are stored on the site. An SSL Certificate will normally have been set up in Admin for Sagepay or Google Checkout.
Once payment is made the user either closes down the web page on the payment processor site or ideally is automatically redirected to the website using Instant Payment Notification.
User Returns To Thank You Page
The user is thanked for their order on the Thanks system page set in Admin.
A form can be set upon the Thanks page to collect feedback and CES (ease-of-use) ratings.
User Selects A Charity To Receive A Donation (optional)
On the thank you page, a charitable donation can be selected from a list of charities if this feature is set in Admin. The donation is paid by the site operator not the user.
User Navigates To Home Page Or Account Page
On the thank you page, the user can choose to return to the Home page or their User Home Page, where they can view/manage their orders/details including changing their password. The user might decide to close their browser at this stage.
Stock control is updated by the system.
The system will now update stock at the product and option level (if set at the product option level).
User & Admin Receive Order Confirmation Emails
Email notifications are sent to the user and site operator to notify an order has been placed.
Backend Accounting / Warehousing Systems Are Updated
The order details are sent to 3rd party systems such as Sage or Xero (via Tradebox) or Unleashed.
Stock updates can be received back from these systems to maintain stock levels on the website.
Admin Fulfils The Order
The site operator can check and progress the order via Order Manager in Admin. This can automatically send email updates to the user.
Orders can by part- or whole-despatched, marked as being processed, cancelled or held in dispute awaiting a return.
Orders can also be sent to suppliers / dropshippers and different internal warehouses for despatch.
Orders can be bulk printed and bulk despatched to save time.
The user receives the goods.
The user can dispute the order via their User Home page or mark it as Confirmed Complete.
The user can leave a product review about the product.
The user can leave a testimonial about the service they have received if a Testimonials page has been turned on.
User Disputes The Order (Returns Process)
You can enter text on your invoice / order to advise the customer of the returns process.
Email alerts triggered by a return request can be directed to the appropriate Admin person via the Email Notifications program. Read more on setting up your returns process.
The Admin also updates the stock figure manually once the return has been accepted and re-stocked.
Abandoned Cart Email Is Sent Automatically
An automatic Abandoned Cart message will email all people who signed in or registered but did not complete their order and allow them to click through and complete their order. (Automated emails are set up via Email Tasks).
This email will be sent to users who have products in cart or are at payment processing stage. Once they have been emailed their order will move into abandoned cart status to stop them being emailed again.
Admin Generates New Sales Via Email Marketing Or Email Tasks
Admin sends out a marketing email via the Email Marketing feature in Admin. Email campaigns can be created from new or saved as templates and re-used. Additionally, emails can be sent via Email Tasks after a set period of time, for example to prompt for a repeat purchase.
User Repeat Orders / Resumes Abandoned Carts
The user can easily place a repeat order based on previously fulfilled orders and alter the products / quantities. The user can also resume an abandoned cart.