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Ecommerce solution. Section 1 - The SAYU Storefront

Section 1 - The SAYU Storefront
Section 2 - Interactive Customer Experience
Section 3 - Administration Interface
Section 4 - Optional Extras
Appendix A - Full Features List


The SAYU E-Commerce solution can turn your dreams of owning a technically efficient, user friendly, easy to manage storefront, into reality. SAYU's dedicated design and development team will work closely alongside your company to produce a website which suits all of your business needs.

The SAYU platform is comprised of numerous functions and features including:

  • Privilege groups, allowing discounts for loyal customers
  • Support of downloadable products (such as images, music and software)
  • Full Product Specifications and Compare functionality
  • Ability for customers to rate and review products
  • Basket upsizing and cross selling by means of related products (Customer who also bought this purchased…) and product accessories.
  • Three step checkout process
  • Real time shipping and custom shipping settings
  • Special Offers, Gift Certificates and Multiple types of Discount
  • Article pages including News, Links, FAQ, Knowledge Base etc
  • RSS Functionality
  • Classified Ads
  • Customer Forum
  • Integrated Helpdesk Support System
  • Ability to set up Administration accounts with restricted access
  • Product CSV import
  • Froogle Feed
The SAYU e-commerce solution is hosted on our fast servers optimised to get the best performance from the SAYU system. Full site management is included in the solution and our development team will implement upgrades as required.

Sections 1-3 of this document take a look into the main functionality and features of the standard SAYU platform and how these may benefit your business. Section 4 looks into additional functionality and services which SAYU may also provide, priced individually, details of which can be found in the charging schedule.

1.1 Initial design considerations
The SAYU E-Commerce platform can easily be adapted whether you have an existing design you wish to implement, or require full new custom design to be made by one of our experienced designers. This extensively developed platform contains numerous features and functionality required to best promote and sell your products to your target audience on the Internet.

SAYU's aim is to create a storefront, using industry best practice, specific to your company, which is designed to, amongst other things:

  • Reduce abandoned shopping carts
  • Improve sales conversions
  • Increase average basket size
  • Create customer trust
  • Encourage return shoppers
  • Build brand loyalty
Figure 1.1.1: Example of Live Websites

Figure 1.1.1: Example of Live Websites

1.2 User friendly interface
The main purpose of any storefront is to create an enjoyable shopping experience in order to entice a sale; to allow customers to find exactly what they are looking for, to make new discoveries, to build trust, and finally, to purchase any item(s) in a secure and efficient manner. SAYU's easily manageable storefront enables you to create such an experience; with several pre-built navigation styles, the ability to build up content in a suitable readable manner, a two/three click-to-buy system and furthermore, a three-stage checkout process.

Navigation is one of the fundamental keys to a user friendly interface. In addition to the main menu SAYU enables your customers to navigate between sections and sub sections by means of 'bread crumbs' which define the current path that the customer has travelled, i.e. Category>Sub Category> Sub Sub category. This removes the need for a user to press the "back" button in the web browser and ensures that they may never fully navigate away from your site accidentally.

Figure 1.2.1:An example of the breadcrumb trail navigation.

Figure 1.2.1:An example of the breadcrumb trail navigation.

Another important navigation feature is that of the shopping basket; this, shown in the form of a snapshot within every page, enables the customer to view or amend the contents at any point.

Figure 1.2.2: Three examples of the snapshot basket.

Figure 1.2.2: Three examples of the snapshot basket.

Accessibility is a matter which is often overlooked during the process of designing and developing websites. This negligence results in the creation of virtual barriers which may prevent users with certain disabilities from taking advantage of the technology currently available. In order to prevent this, the 1999 Disability Discrimination Act (UK) and the 1998 amendment of the American Rehabilitation Act (USA), state that companies must construct their websites so that they are accessible to everyone. In order to comply with the WC3 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), SAYU meets the requirements for Priority 1 (A Web content developer must satisfy this checkpoint) and Priority 2 (A Web content developer should satisfy this checkpoint). We will ensure that your platform conforms to standard browser accessibility, and Screen readers and magnifiers. (Detailed in our Accessibility Report).

1.3 Language and Currency support
Advertising your business to several countries or languages may seem like a difficult task, but SAYU makes it very easy to specifically target a diverse geographical audience through the use of regional language (by means of text list-box or flag images) and currency tabs which can be found on every page (if required). When your customer selects a new language from the language block, all navigation menus, section headers and content are automatically changed; customers only see information in the selected chosen language. Current supported languages include English, Arabic, Czech, Greek, Spanish, Latvian, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. If you wish to only allow to ship products to specific countries, this may be set up within the SAYU platform.

SAYU also makes it easy to set up Tax rates for specific countries and states; this value is then automatically calculated and added to the basket total at the checkout stage. These rates are set up by default but may be changed at any time.

In order to advertise your products to other countries, SAYU also includes Multicurrency support. When a user selects a new currency, from the available currencies block (available on main, product and checkout pages) the price for the products is automatically converted into the chosen currency. The exchange rates are set up within the administration interface, and may be modified at any time.

1.4 Products and Category features
The SAYU platform allows for unlimited number of Categories and sub categories (Multi level), and also supports an unlimited amount of products. Along with a required name, each category may optionally contain short description, long description and an image or icon.

Figure 1.4.1:One style of categories and sub-categories menu structure.

Figure 1.4.1:One style of categories and sub-categories menu structure.
Figure 1.4.2:Another style of Category and sub-category menu

Figure 1.4.2:Another style of Category and sub-category menu

Each product within a category can furthermore be assigned to several other categories and/or sub categories; For example, a ring might be in the category 'wedding rings' and 'gold rings'.

Product Listing: Each product must, at minimum, contain a product title and price. Optionally, SAYU allows for a main product image; this may also link to a 'Super-size' image (opened within a pop up window), unlimited additional images within the product details page, short and long product descriptions and finally, key features (shown as a bullet point list).

Figure 1.4.3:  Product within the Products list page.

Figure 1.4.3: Product within the Products list page.

Figure 1.4.4: Same product within Product Detail page.

Figure 1.4.4: Same product within Product Detail page.

The system allows you to display the price as either one figure, or if required RRP can be shown as strike through text (price with a line through it), 'Our Price' (highlighted in red), with 'You Save XXX'.

Figure 1.4.5: The Price layout

Figure 1.4.5: The Price layout

Stock Control:
You can choose what message to display if a product is out of stock e.g. "Due in 28 days" etc. These can be default messages and/or set individually on a product-by-product basis. SAYU also gives you the option of displaying or not displaying out of stock items. If you choose not to display out-of-stock products, the products simply do not appear on your online shop until the stock level is replenished. If you decide you wish to display out of stock products, it is possible to disable the 'Add to cart' button; this 'greys' out the button and removes it from being 'clickable'. Alternatively it is possible to show out-of stock items and allow the customers to 'Add to cart' in order to allow customers to back-order or even pre-order any new products. In this event, orders are taken and queued, but the transaction is not completed until the item is stocked and orders can be fulfilled

Rating Products:
In order to guide fellow customers in their purchase decisions, the SAYU platform allows customers to rate (Bad, Poor, Average, Good or Excellent) and/or write reviews on each product. This can help reduce the amount of potential customers navigating away from your site to find product reviews elsewhere in order to make a buying decision. Such customers, who do navigate away, may then purchase the specific product elsewhere.

More importantly, user reviews also provide discussion points which persuade other sites to link to you, increasing traffic, trust and Google pagerank. They also encourage users to generate content which potentially makes your product pages more keyword rich.

It is possible to set the review feature so that an administrator can approve any review before it is posted on the website. This helps you to keep in control over any abusive or offensive content that some users may post.

SAYU also includes a banned content feature, which enables you to define a list of words and/or phrases which you do not find appropriate reading material for your website/audience.

Product Bundles
The SAYU platform enables you to define two or more products as a 'bundle', this enables you to sell several items together, such as a PDA, SD Card and software, at a slightly lower price than if bought separately.

Figure 1.4.6: Product Bundle containing four components

Figure 1.4.6: Product Bundle containing four components

Product Specification:
It is also possible to develop product specification lists; each list may be further defined into several groups; for example, 'General', 'Processor', 'Telecom' and 'Expansion/Connectivity'.

Figure 1.4.7: Product specification list

Figure 1.4.7: Product specification list

1.5 Product Options
You may find that you wish to sell several similar products that differ by one or two characteristics; for example; you may wish to sell T-Shirts, all the T-Shirts may be exactly the same style, but are available in several colours and sizes. Opposed to listing each of these separately, SAYU enables you to create one product (for example 'T-Shirts') and assign what are called 'options' for each characteristic (i.e. size and colour) to the product.

Many 'options' may be added to each product, and each may contain unlimited number of possible values. It is possible to display these 'options' values in several ways; in the form of a drop-down list, a text entry box, a tick box or even as a file upload (File upload is useful if you wish to sell personalised items whereby the customer uploads the picture they want to display on the product).

Figure 1.5.1 & 1.5.2: Product options used for 'Colour and Size'.

Figure 1.5.1 & 1.5.2: Product options used for 'Colour and Size'.

Figure 1.5.1 & 1.5.2: Product options used for 'Colour and Size'.

Furthermore SAYU also enables you to set any such field to 'required'; this means the customer is unable to add the product to the basket unless an 'option' is selected.

1.6 Product Comparison
In order to aid customers in their decision making process, SAYU includes a 'Product Comparison' feature. This feature works together with the aforementioned 'Product Specification' to enable customers to select two or more products and compare the specifications and price of each, in a side-by-side view.

Figure 1.6.1: Product Comparison page of two products, with image and specification.

Figure 1.6.1: Product Comparison page of two products, with image and specification.

Related Items.
Once a product has been set up, it is possible to then define what other products are related to it, such products will then be shown within a 'related items' tab wihtin the products details page. For example, If you wish to sell a Nokia N70, a related product may be that of the Nokia N90 or N93; similar models within the same range.

Figure 1.6.2: Related products

Figure 1.6.2: Related products

This cross selling of products helps users who may not know exactly what they are looking for, those who have selected the wrong product, or even to encourage buying if the original sought after item is out of stock.

You may wish to use this feature as a 'Customers who purchased this also looked at…' feature, in order to display specific products which the user may be interested in when viewing a particular item. For example, if you sell computers, you may also wish to show 'Customers who purchased…' links for software or additional pieces of hardware.

1.7 Product Accessories
Another way in which SAYU enables you to promote cross selling and up selling is that of product accessories. This feature allows you to define which products are accessories of other products, and shows them via an 'Accessory' block within the product details page.

1.8 Special Offers
If your business often promotes particular products you may want to highlight such offers within the main page, separate from the normal products listing. SAYU enables such deals to be clearly displayed within a 'Special offer' block; it is possible to add as little or as many items to this as you see fit. It is also possible to add appropriate text for such block for each product; for example 'Special offer for one week only!'.

Figure 1.8.1: Special Offers Block

Figure 1.8.1: Special Offers Block

Although currently labelled 'Special offer' by default, this can be easily changed to suit your business needs, for example 'Product of the week' or 'Summer Deals'.

1.9 Product search
In order to help customers find exactly what they are looking for in the quickest, most efficient way, the SAYU platform includes a highly developed search function. This search function is available in two forms; simple and advanced. The simple search is comprised of a text box to which the user enters their search term and then selects 'GO'. The option is also available to perform an 'advanced search'.

Figure 1.9.1: Simple search block, available on every page if required

Figure 1.9.1: Simple search block, available on every page if required

The advanced search allows a customer to perform a much more detailed search by specifying detailed criteria either by product code, description, category, manufacturer, price range of weight limit.

Figure 1.9.2: Advanced search, loaded from link on simple search block

Figure 1.9.2: Advanced search, loaded from link on simple search block

In either event, the results list is shown; this list can be further arranged by price (ascending or descending) or manufacturer.

1.10 Downloadable Products
If you sell products which can be downloaded from the internet, such as music, software, documents or images, SAYU's functionality for downloadable products should suit all of your business needs.

There are several security features for downloadable products, in aim to prevent the misuse of products. The first being that of the 'Non tangible' product; SAYU can automatically produce a URL to your customer, which is not actually, the absolute URL for the product.

The second, aimed to stop customers distributing links between friends, is one which enables you to define how many downloads are allowed from the same IP (Internet Protocol: address assigned by your internet provider) address.

Thirdly, you may also set a 'downloadable period', which is the time in which a customer has, from the purchase date, to download the product. When this date expires the URL will no longer be a valid link to the product.

If you sell such downloadable products, you may find yourself in a situation whereby you wish to release a new upgrade, update or full new version, which you want to offer, at no additional cost, to all current customers. SAYU's e-commerce platform contains a facility which allows you to upload as many 'releases' of the product as required; these new 'releases' are obtained via a customer 'Order History' which is available to all logged-in customers.

SAYU contains a serial number generation feature, which can be used alone or integrated into a downloadable product. When serial generation is chosen for a product, upon purchase, an email is sent to the customers specified email address containing both a serial number and link to access the product.

1.11 Discount features and gift certificates
There are several ways in which SAYU enables your business to offer customer discount; whether for specific customers (i.e. valued customers), trade accounts, seasonal, clearance, or in general, just to promote your company.

The first way in which this can be achieved, is by defining the discount for a specific product when it is created. This enables the customer to see a 'before' and 'after' price, this works in the same way in which was previously detailed for RRP prices.

It is also possible to set up bulk discount for individual products; with this feature you may define many pricing groups for each minimum and maximum amount of the specific product. For example 1-3 copies 20% discount, 4-6 copies 50% discount.

You may have loyal customers who you reward with special discount or you may have trade/reseller clients. For these clients, SAYU enables you to set up user groups and for each group of customers you may specify a discount type and amount if required. Discounts can be set up, per order, as follows:

  • Percentage
  • Amount
  • Discount of margin made (selling - buying)
If you wish to distribute 'one off' discounts to individual or groups of customers, you can do this through the use of 'coupons'.
SAYU's coupons work in the same manner as many others which you may have used online; a coupon is created by an administrator and is assigned a product/order type of discount. The choice of discount includes all those mentioned above, but also the additional discount options of Tax Free and free shipping.
The coupon is produced in the form of a code, constructed of both numbers and letters, automatically generated by the SAYU system.

It is possible to define many types of criteria; how many times each coupon can be used, a date to which the coupon should expire, to select if the coupon can be used in conjunction with any other offer and finally, a minimum spend that the user must make before coupon can be used (For example if you wanted to offer your customers "10% discount when you spend over ?10.00").
To apply the discount, the user simply enters their coupon number at the checkout in the 'Coupon' text field, and appropriate discount is applied to the basket.

Figure 1.11.1: Shopping cart, ability to enter coupon code on bottom left

Figure 1.11.1: Shopping cart, ability to enter coupon code on bottom left

Gift Certificates:
It is not always possible for your customers to decide on the perfect gift; for such occasions SAYU platform includes a Gift Certificate module which allows customers to purchase an online gift certificate for amounts which you have created. (For example; ?5.00, ?10.00, ?20.00, ?50.00) These gift certificates can be personalized by the customer, by means of a message, before they are emailed to the recipient. Each such email contains the personalized message, a link to your website and finally instructions on how to redeem the Gift Certificate. Gift Certificates are deposited in the recipient's account and can be redeemed from the shopping basket at anytime, with any purchase made through the account.

The recipient is not required to use the full amount of the gift certificate at once; SAYU will automatically reduce the certificate appropriately so that it may be used on unlimited occasions until the amount reaches 0. Gift certificates can be purchased for both existing customers and those who are not already registered with the site.

1.12 Three stage checkout process
During the checkout process it is important to include friendly messages to remind users that they are within a secure environment. Although, in today's world, shopping online is becoming more popular by the day, many people worry about fraud and how to determine if a site is genuine.
SAYU's default checkout messages aim to ease/overcome any fears that your customer may have regarding adding sensitive information (such as name, address and credit card details) onto the internet.

Figure 1.12.1: Examples of cart messages

Figure 1.12.1: Examples of cart messages

By placing such pages which require your customer to enter information, onto a secure server (SSL - discussed in detail later in this document), your customer will feel at ease with shopping online.

SAYU's platform allows you to set up your personal/offline payment method for processing cards and cheques/postal orders, and optionally, SAYU offers its very own payment processing which comes complete with its very own award winning fraud checking system. For more details of the SAYU payment processing system, please refer to section 4 of this document.

As a general rule, users do not like the task of completing forms. In order to ensure that the customer may purchase any item/s in a swift efficient manor, the SAYU platform utilizes a three step checkout process designed to reduce user friction and drop off.
The first process firstly requests the customer to select their preferred payment method from a list (i.e. Credit Card, Switch, Cheque, Postal order).

You may find that you only accept one type of payment method; in this event, the payment method will be set as default, and will not be possible to change.

It also requires personal information such as Full Name, Email, and also requires home address and delivery details. It is possible to copy the delivery details automatically from the 'home' details. Compulsory fields on the form are marked with an asterisk; all required fields must be filled in to process to the next stage. These compulsory fields are set by default, but may be defined through the administration interface at any time.

Whether you utilize your own or SAYU's payment processing, the second part of the checkout process follows the same path.
In this second part, the customer is required to enter their full card details (or details of offline payment ... i.e. cheque) including card holders name, full card number, end date and security code.
Once again, fields which are compulsory, are set as default, but may be edited within the administrator interface at a later date.

The final stage of the checkout process allows for the customer to confirm/commit the sale. Once confirmed, the user will be presented with a thank you page and the order will be ready for picking and packing.

1.13 Articles and RSS feeds
The SAYU platform, as standard, comes complete with several ready to use 'articles' pages. You may choose which of the articles (if any) you would like displayed on your website.

  • News: News articles relating to your company and/or business
  • Links: Links to partner or other appropriate/of interest websites
  • FAQ: Frequently asked questions, such as returns policy, delivery times etc. Some of which have been set up as default which may be edited or removed completely.
  • Events: Business/ Local/ National events which your users may be interested in knowing about/visiting.
  • Knowledgebase: A list of questions and answers, similar to a FAQ, but questions of a technical/product specific nature oppose to the business returns policy etc.

SAYU enables you to easily create/edit any item in any of the articles pages, with descriptive text, and images where appropriate.
Each article type can be refined into several categories and sub-categories; as many as you see fit.
And finally, SAYU allows you to define which articles may be reviewed by your customers by means of rating (Bad, Poor, Average, Good or Excellent) and/or user comments (in a review style).

Figure 1.13.1: Customer rate and comments on products detail page

Figure 1.13.1: Customer rate and comments on products detail page

Once again, user comments can be authorised by an administrator before being placed on the website.

RSS, commonly referred to as 'Really Simple Syndication', allows web users to obtain the latest news and other such articles from an unlimited number of sources, all in one place; known as a feed-reader.
These articles from selected websites (known as feeds) are available in the feed-reader as soon as they are published, and thus removes the inconvenience of having to remember to visit each site every day. You don't even have to pay for such feed-readers; many can be downloaded for free.
The way in which this works is that a user will either drag the RSS icon, from the chosen website, into a feed-reader, or alternatively, view properties of the RSS image and add the 'URL' to the feed-reader. This then becomes a 'feed'.
Not all websites have RSS functionality, but it is rapidly becoming popular.
SAYU enables you to add such RSS links to your article pages, in order for users to add your website as a 'feed'.

1.14 Banner Management
You may find that you wish to advertise other companies on your website, for affiliate or personal reasons. SAYU's banner management system allows you place a banner onto your website which may consist of title, image, image alternative attribute, HTML text and target URL. It is possible to set each banner up so that it either opens in the same or pop up window.

It is also possible to assign instructions to the banner including:

  • Maximum number of impressions of banner
  • Maximum number of clicks of banner
  • Expiration date