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tradeit next generation ecommerce platform

Platform Architecture

Highly capable and well proven in the field, tradeit has been strategically developed by Red to be a holistically entwined ecommerce and CMS platform providing implementation flexibility and competitive advantage to its users. tradeit is a .NET ecommerce platform and has been built using trusted Microsoft technologies including a Microsoft SQL Server database. Due to tradeit's intelligent design the platform is readily integrated with any systems which exist within your business as well as third party systems/services that extend the platform's capabilities.

Storefront

tradeit’s storefront application has been designed to work closely with the platform’s administration system giving merchants the highest levels of control. The storefront application is a toolkit of templates and components and represents what the customer can see. In order to deliver exact storefront requirements the correct templates and components are selected, designed and customised as part of the implementation process.

The relevant management tools within the platform's administration system are then used to manage the storefront content, promotions, stock, pricing and the many other elements that make up a sophisticated ecommerce operation.

Webpage Structure

All webpages in tradeit are built using templates which are designed from the ground up to meet exact client requirements. Templates are used to realise the true power and potential of your content by separating it from how and where it’s being presented. Templates help to ensure the structure and layout of your web pages, maintaining conformity to corporate image and usability guidelines, and making sure content is correctly positioned.

Within tradeit an individual webpage can be broken down into four key parts:

  • Templates
  • Components
  • Zones
  • Elements

It is this approach that makes the platform perfectly suited to content rich websites, making the processes around managing content as easy as possible.

Components

These are pre-defined self-contained and reusable functional components that can be inserted into page zones to control the layout and type of content within that zone. Depending on the component it can contain either text, with or without an image, videos, flash components, image carousels, menus, a table and links to downloadable content or other webpages. Below are examples of different types of components which are in use across the platform.

Content components
Content components make up a webpage template and are reusable, customisable and represent a piece of functionality and or design. A template component defines properties with a general data type that lets the component user specify an object of a concrete data type when using the component. By using a general data type to define component properties, you create highly reusable components that can work with many different types of objects.

Structural components
One page will contain a number of structural components that may or may not be common amongst all other templates, some templates or unique to one. There are also header and footer components, of which there can only be one of each on any page.

Templates

tradeit uses templates to generate the XHTML that is sent to a user’s browser each time a user requests a page from your site. The XHTML is styled using a style sheet (CSS). It is the combination of XHTML / CSS that is displayed to the user in their browser.

A template may generate just one page or many pages. Examples of templates that generate just one page include: homepage, search results, basket etc. Examples of templates that generate many pages include: sub category listing, product category listing, product listing etc. Each template can contain reusable items known as structural components. Examples of components include: header component, primary navigation component, footer component, etc.

Navigation, Search & Facets

A flexible approach to navigation gives merchants full control over everything that’s included in navigation systems within their websites. The system can support various styles of navigation and provides a simple interface within the administration system to manage them.

Use tradeit and deliver efficient on-site search for your customers with configurable search sweeps. tradeit’s search engine ensures a full and detailed search to ensure highly relevant results are returned to customers fast. Deliver a fast and successful search experience to your users. Setup and control multi-faceted and layered navigation for advanced filtering and sorting based on user defined criteria for search results and for product category pages. Faceted classification gives the users the ability to find items based on more than one dimension. Through tradeit’s administration system merchants can define and control facets against each product, enable facets within search results and category / product listing pages.

In-site Editing Zones

Each in-site editing enabled content page template consists of a number of zones. Each zone is an area which can be administered using in-site editing.

Content Assets

This term describes all of your content that you display within a page, these content assets could be videos, flash, text, images, downloads or links. A typical page will contain a number of content assets.

Administration System

Roles based permissions system

The access control system handles access rights for different users. It ensures that you can only access those parts of the administration system for which you are authorised. You identify yourself to the administration system with your personal user name and password. These are your personal key to the site, and should never be shared, and immediately changed if you suspect that someone else may be aware of what they are.

In-site editing permissions

Administrators can also set storefront permissions for users of the in-site editing content management feature. As with the administration system, permissions for in-site editing roles can be customised and created to suit the business.

Customer groups

tradeit has a wealth of features and tools to help merchants with all things marketing and key to any marketing activity is targeting. With this in mind the tradeit platform has, at the core of its marketing feature set, the concept of customer groups. System administrators can create as many customer groups as they want and then assign registered customers to specific groups. A registered customer can belong to multiple groups at the same time. Customer groups can be used to target specific customers with email marketing and promotions, and to personalise the on-site experience for those customers.

Custom menus

tradeit allows both internal and external web teams to collaboratively contribute to a website or websites. To allow different users of tradeit’s administration system to work more efficiently and safely the menu options that a user has available to them can be customised depending on who they are and their role.

Image resizing

One of the major tasks when maintaining any ecommerce store is around ensuring that product imagery is kept up-to-date, of high quality and represents the products accurately. For these reasons tradeit has a built-in tool to help make changes en masse to product images, the image resizer is accessible through tradeit’s administration system and enables site admins to upload a single high resolution image to the system and auto generate multiple thumbnails and product views.

Links management

Manage all of your 301 redirects making transitions between websites and structural changes smoother by maintaining your links within Google & other search engines. Create custom 404 pages to ensure that the user experience is upheld. Report on broken links across your site(s) ensuring that the user journey is never broken.

Data Management

Category structure

The primary way that information is structured within tradeit is through the category structure, this applies to all products and content within the platform. System administrators can create an unlimited number of categories and sub-categories within the system. Administrators can also control the relationships between categories and the products / content within.

Translations

As tradeit is a highly flexible platform with capabilities in delivering multi-domain, multi-channel and international ecommerce solutions, the concept of translations are key to the system. Translations allow system admins to create, store and manage alternative content which can be displayed on the correct website(s).

Attributes

A number of attributes can be set up against individual products. Depending on a merchant’s individual requirements and their system setup, attributes often drive a number of features including automation within the platform. For example attributes can be used to drive facetted navigation / search as well as various selections against a product (e.g. small, medium & large etc).

PIM Administration System

Create and manage product content on an ad-hoc basis through the PIM interface within the administration system. Through tradeit’s PIM merchants can add / edit / remove product information including pricing, images, relationships, attributes, translations and product groupings.

Mass import / export

Data can also be uploaded into the platform en masse using the import and export tool available through the administration system. The import / export facility uses CSV format when exporting and importing data. This is another way of making changes to the website as the existing data file can be exported, updated and then re-uploaded into the system.

Product types

The tradeit platform allows merchants to setup and sell different product types such as events, subscriptions & gift vouchers. tradeit is also setup to sell digital / downloadable products. Merchants can setup new product types through the administration system.

Order workflows

tradeit’s flexible Order Management System (OMS) enables Red to configure ecommerce solutions to fit a number of business models as well as a businesses’ existing technical infrastructure and process. As an example tradeit’s OMS uses a configurable order workflow, through which merchants can customise each stage and the ordering of those stages. The configurable order workflow within tradeit enables order statuses to be automatically updated.

Shipping methods

tradeit supports multiple shipping methods using various calculation models based on basket items, basket weight & basket price. Options can also be configured against each shipping method to set the tax rate. There are no limits as to how many shipping methods can be setup within tradeit, examples of multiple shipping methods could be next day delivery and standard delivery.

Content review and publishing workflow

The in-site editing content management system has pre-built workflows that allow users of the administration system (permissions permitting) to review content for approval / editing prior to being published live. Merchants who have multiple websites and / or are selling internationally can assign rights to content editors which only allow them to edit specific sites.

Multiple payment methods

The tradeit platform is highly evolved and has a number of pre-integrated payment methods. Each website managed through the administration system can have multiple payment methods. It is this flexibility that enables merchants to offer a number of options to their customers and help to ensure sales. tradeit out-of-the-box is able to process payments on account, on credit or debit card (via a number of leading Payment Service Providers such as CyberSource, Secure Trading, WorldPay & Sage Pay) and PayPal. New payment methods can be added via the administration system and assigned to a domain.

Third Party Integration

DTS & Web Services

The DTS & Web Services Application Layer is an integral part of the tradeit platform and controls / regulates all incoming and outgoing data feeds. The platform interfaces with other third party systems and services using common data delivery methods including, XML, TAB, CSV & Web Services. Features of the DTS include: manages multi-domain data transfers, import and export of products and product data, importing packing slips and updating return statuses, exporting Google sitemaps, update product stock levels, importing product and product category translations and importing / exporting of attributes.

Find out more about tradeit's ecommerce platform architecture