Your solution's requirements determine the following steps. This topic outlines typical next steps performed when building an Episerver Commerce website. You should have a working empty website with a start page and Episerver Commerce and CMS installed.
Before you create a catalog, consider how it will it be managed and updated. Which marketing, promotion, and merchandising requirements must the catalog support?
Various methods for importing catalog data from other Episerver Commerce sites or external systems are described in the Commerce Developer and User Guides.
Create a simple cart with functionality for adding and viewing items, and make it display on the website. This will be connected to the steps of the checkout procedure, but typically you need features like Add to cart, View cart and Continue shopping with related functionality.
The checkout typically involves these activities: collecting address information, selecting and adding a shipment method, associating the order's line items with one or more shipments, placing the order, and updating the cart total. There are many ways to set up a checkout procedure. You can either have a multiple-step procedure based on several pages, or a one-page checkout with address, payment options, and order preview all in one.
A typical checkout can be divided into these steps:
The checkout page will be connected to the corresponding workflows, and payment and shipping providers (see below).
Shipping and payments are similar in that they are built-up of methods, providers, and gateways. Episerver Commerce includes two shipping options/providers which are used by two shipping methods. You can also create your own shipping providers matching specific requirements. You can, for instance, create your own jurisdiction rules and groups for national/international deliveries, or create weight jurisdictions for price calculations during checkout.
You can also add web services for obtaining shipping rates. Shipping methods are created in Commerce Manager. Manage your shipping provider in a separate project, which you then add to the front-end site solution.
Payment methods use a payment provider to process payments. A set of built-in providers is available for Episerver Commerce. You can also download payment providers from Episerver World. In many cases, you want to create and customize payment providers for your solution. Creating a credit card payment provider can be quite complex, and these are often integrated with external systems, such as PayPal, credit card brands, or banking systems.
The setup usually involves communication with external systems for checking and verifying orders and payments. In many cases, an external ERP system is involved. Payment methods are created in Commerce Manager. Manage your payment providers in a separate project, which you then add to the front-end site solution.
Pricing is a central area in most e-commerce solutions. Tasks here may involve definition of a pricing structure for sellable catalog entries, and targeting of pricing towards specific markets or customer groups, as well as integration with external systems. You can use the built-in pricing provider and pricing logic, or modify these for your own purposes.
Search is another key feature for e-commerce sites. Tasks in this area involve the creation of product-specific search, customization of the built-in Lucene-based search, as well as configuration of search indexing, facets and filtering.
For instance, create catalog-specific filtering by defining the type of entries to include in the search. You can also extend the search by replacing the search provider with Solr (included), or Episerver Find (requires additional license), to add more powerful search features.
Warehouses and inventories are examples of components for which information is typically retrieved from external systems and displayed for related items in Commerce. Tasks in this area may involve creating a list of warehouses, getting inventories per warehouse, and picking up catalog entries from a warehouse and adding them to a shopping cart. Episerver Commerce has an IOC provider model for warehouses, a warehouse inventory listing, and the warehouse retrieval service.
Orders are related to many parts of the e-commerce process, and the order fulfillment process can be set up in different ways. Orders in Commerce are based on built-in workflows and related activities, which can be used as they are or customized to suit specific business procedures. Orders can be extended, and you can model orders and line items on orders and add customized properties to orders.
Marketing in Episerver Commerce includes campaigns and promotions. Commerce include a number of built-in promotions, but you can also create your own promotions accessing the Commerce promotion engine.
Customer data is stored in the Episerver Commerce database, and managed from the Customers subsystem in Commerce Manager. Customers can be associated with addresses, organizations and customer groups. A contact represents any type of user in the system - a shopping website visitor, a marketer, merchandiser or editor in CMS, as well as a system administrator in Commerce or CMS.
Tasks in this area involve, for instance, retrieving customer addresses for the checkout and creating customer group-specific pricing, as well as defining user groups and access rights for users in CMS and Commerce.
The Episerver Service API is a service layer available for system integrators to update and retrieve information from Episerver, ensuring a seamless integration between Episerver and external systems such as PIM, DAM and ERP systems.
See also: Blog post: Real-world integration for Episerver Commerce implementation by Tuan Le of Niteco Australia
Deployment involves the publishing of a new or updated website and its content to a testing or live production environment. Deployment may include, for instance, exporting and importing data and content, staging and mirroring. See the references below for more information.
Last updated: Oct 11, 2013