Online Shop – A Case Study: WordPress, WooCommerce and ICAN

music_boxIntroduction

ICAN is ideal for online shop keepers. The nature of the business means that it is already in the cloud.

Our  fictitious online shop, The Music Box is a music shop that sells various music related items in an online shop. These include

  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • Tee-shirts
  • and downloadable PDF transcriptions for musicians

The Requirements for the Online Shop

A large and content rich blog is required to support the product lines. And various static pages to cover terms and conditions and support for their customers is also required. Visitor driven content, such as commenting is needed to help to build a sense of community and promote customer loyalty.

Item fulfilment takes several forms:

  1. CDs and DVDs are physical objects that are shipped. As such, there is are various stages in the fulfilment process. I.e. cart->payment->despatched/completed
  2. Tee-shirts are also physical objects that are shipped. They have the same fulfilment process as CDs and DVDs, however, they also have the added complication of having options such as size, colour etc.
  3. PDF downloads are virtual items that are not shipped. These have a slightly different fulfilment process in that once payment has been taken, the order is marked as completed and the download becomes available.

Platform

Online Shop with WordPress and WooCommerceWordPress was chosen as the core content management as it natively supports pages, blogging and commenting and is simple to brand with it’s mature templating system. It also has extensive plugins that provide almost any conceivable additional functionality.

WooCommerceOnline shop with WooCommerce is an extensive shop plugin for WordPress and supports many great features such as guest purchases for “drive by” customers and registering for returning customers who want to save their details. It also supports, out of the box, the various order processes that are required.

ICAN and the Online Shop

Plugin options are available via the WooCommerce options page.

How Sales are Recorded

The ICAN plugin hooks into WooCommerce. When an order completes, the appropriate transactions are automatically created in ICAN. There are two options available:

  1. Cash Sale: Orders are processed as if they are cash sales. In this case, just a money in transaction is created.
  2. Invoice Sale: A sales invoice is created. It is then automatically cleared by creating a corresponding money in transaction. Order items  appear as distinct invoice items.

The Music Box elect to use the Cash Sales method.

Nominal Coding

The retailer can choose how orders are recorded in ICAN. Product categories are mapped to nominals in ICAN.

Running the Online Shop

Day to day the orders are processed per:

  • CDs and DVDs and Tee-shirts come in and are set to “pending” until despatched. They are then updated to “completed”. WooCommerce then uses calls into the ICAN API to create a cash sale.
  • For downloads the call to the ICAN API happens when payment has cleared.
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