Features

KonaKart has a rich feature set to provide your customers with all of the information and functionality required in order to shop at your on line store.

features

KonaKart Features

Shopping Experience

KonaKart has a rich feature set to provide your customers with all of the information and functionality that they require in order to shop at your on line store.

“First of all, a shopper must be given tools to find the products he is looking for so that he doesn’t go shopping elsewhere.”

KonaKart provides a number of features to help a customer find the right product:

  • Fast indexed search caters for misspellings, synonyms, plurals, phonetic matches and alternate spellings.
  • Intelligent suggested search immediately displays a list of items, categories or manufacturers matching the letters that you’ve typed.
  • Products can be filtered by:
    • Category
    • Manufacturer
    • Price
    • Product Tags such as screen size for TVs or megapixels for digital cameras.
  • Products can be sorted by
    • Name
    • Price
    • Popularity
  • Product features can be compared against the features of other similar products. This is especially useful for technical products with many variations such as mobile phones and digital cameras.
  • Gift registries such as wedding lists can be searched for using a variety of search parameters.
  • There are Best Seller lists for each category to help customers make a decision.
  • There are Latest Product lists for each category so that customers can see which products are new.
  • A panel keeps track of recently viewed products so that a customer can quickly find a product he recently looked at.
  • Reviews and product ratings allow customers to see what others think about a product.
  • For each product a user can see what other products were bought by customers who bought that product.
  • Products may be saved within a wish list even for unregistered customers or registered customers that haven’t logged in yet.
  • Just in case a customer is still undecided, he can be shown a list of similar products (cross-selling) or a list of top of the range similar products (up-selling).
  • Once a customer has decided which product to buy, he can be shown a list of suitable accessories and dependent products such as service plans or extended warranties.

“Now that the customer has selected a product and added it to the shopping cart, it is of paramount importance that he completes the purchase.”

Studies have shown that to reduce cart abandonment, even unregistered customers must be shown the final price that they will be charged.

The KonaKart shopping cart details screen shows the order total for all items in the cart, and also shows the shipping charges, applicable taxes and any promotional discounts that may be applicable to the cart contents. This complete picture is more likely to convince a customer to proceed to the checkout process since he is now confident that there are no extra hidden charges.

If the customer were to abandon now, the cart items are not lost. Information is stored in a cookie so that next time a visit is made, the cart will still contain the items added during the previous visit.

“Finally there is the checkout process.”

Now that, the customer has decided to purchase the items in his cart, the checkout process should be as simple and efficient as possible. KonaKart can be configured to require registration for checkout, or to allow a customer to checkout without registration.

KonaKart has a single checkout screen which appears when the checkout button is clicked. It uses innovative AJAX technology that allows the customer to change details of the order such as the coupon code or shipping option, and immediately see updated order totals without a screen refresh. If for example a customer modifies the shipping address and this changes the applicable tax and shipping charges, these are updated automatically as soon as the new address is saved.

KonaKart allows you to reserve products during the checkout process to avoid selling products that aren’t in stock. 

Registered Customers

A customer that has registered on the KonaKart online store, has a number of features available that make his shopping experience more efficient:

  • Customers can view their order history and order statuses and download these in PDF format.
  • Customers can resubmit orders with a single click.
  • Customers can maintain their accounts. They have an address book for multiple shipping and billing addresses.
  • There is a permanent shopping cart for customers so that items added to the cart remain there even after a customer logs out.
  • If a customer finds an item that he would like to buy, he can add it to a wish list to avoid searching for it again next time he logs in. The KonaKart API supports multiple named wish lists for each customer.
  • Gift registries such as wedding lists can be created and maintained by registered customers. Any customer can search for public gift registries and purchase items from a registry, which may be shipped to the address defined by the registry owner.
  • Customers can write product reviews to share their experiences with others.
  • Customers can save page setup preferences such as the number of products, orders and reviews displayed on a page.
  • Customers can subscribe to products to receive related emails/newsletters. For example an email could be automatically sent to all customers that have registered for a product, to inform them that the product is now in stock.
    • All emails are template driven and so fully customizable using the Apache Velocity template language.

Internationalization

In today’s global economy, we realize how important it is for you to reach out to customers residing anywhere in the world. KonaKart is completely multilingual, (supporting both Western and Asian character sets) as well as being multi-currency.

Multi-Language

The wording on the store front and the product descriptions can be written in multiple languages in order to allow your customers to dynamically switch to the language of their choice, or for you to automatically present them with the correct language based on their region.

The language of the administration application may be changed dynamically by selecting the appropriate language from a drop list.

Multi-Currency

The KonaKart database supports different currencies and all of the locale information required to display the currencies correctly on the screen. A default currency may be configured by the administrator.

A customer using the store front application, may dynamically switch between different currencies.

Multi-Store

For those of you that need to set up more than one on line store, KonaKart provides advanced multi-store functionality to enable you to run your stores from a single KonaKart deployment and a single database.

If your stores are part of a shopping mall, KonaKart can be configured to allow all stores to share customer data and to allow product searches between stores.

Alternatively, you may be a multinational company setting up stores in different countries selling the same products. KonaKart allows you to share products between stores so that they don’t have to be maintained in multiple locations. In this mode, the products may be given different prices depending on which store they are displayed in.

The administration application allows a super user to create a store and then create a store administrator role so that when the store administrator logs into the administration application, he can only administer the store that has been assigned to him. New stores may even be created by cloning existing stores in order to save time configuring common set-up data.

For special cases where store data has to be kept within separate DB schemas, KonaKart can be configured to achieve this, although some of the functionality such as the sharing of customers and products described above, is not available in this mode.

Multi-Vendor

KonaKart allows vendors to manage their own products and orders through the Admin App. The storefront application displays products from all vendors and allows the customer to checkout with any selection of products in a single order.

During the checkout process the products are grouped by vendor and the customer may select the appropriate shipping method for each vendor store from a list of those made available. Once the order has been confirmed by the customer, it is automatically split up so that each vendor receives an order for his own products. As the products are shipped by the vendor, the status of the vendor order (and maybe tracking number) is propagated to the parent order so that the customer only ever sees a single order with a history trail of events that occur during the lifecycle of the order.

Products

KonaKart has been designed to cater for a wide range of products types in order to satisfy your business requirements. It supports the packaging of products into bundles and also the sale of digital download products which can be downloaded from the store front after payment has been received. Gift Certificate products may be defined and associated with any type of promotion to provide the discount.

Product Features

  • Many products types such as clothing, may have options such as color and size. KonaKart allows you to configure each variation with:
    • A unique price
    • A unique SKU
    • A unique quantity
    • A unique availability date
  • KonaKart supports four different option types:
    • The Standard type is where each option value defines a product attribute which may or may not modify the price of the product (e.g. Small, Medium and Large for an option called Size or Black, Brown and Red for an option called Color).
    • The Customer Text type option allows a customer to enter text which for example could be used to personalize the product with a name, initials or a greeting.
    • The Variable Quantity type is an option, the value of which may take a customer defined quantity. It can be used for example to specify the required amount of disk storage required when configuring a cloud based computer.
    • The Customer Price type allows the customer to enter a price for the option. This could for example be used for making donations.
  • In order to entice a shopper to buy a particular product, it helps to display multiple images taken from different angles. KonaKart allows you to store multiple images for a product. Product options may also have images associated with them, so that the images change as a customer selects an option such as color.
  • Each product may be associated with multiple prices. The actual price displayed can be controlled by the customer group, so that you can display different prices for say, wholesale and retail customers. It may also be controlled by the store id if a product is shared between multiple stores. An unlimited number of prices may be achieved by storing the prices in a separate database table and selecting them based on the identifier of the catalog containing the product. When in this mode, each catalog may also contain the product quantity and its available date if it is currently out of stock. KonaKart also supports a special or sale price and tier pricing based on the quantity ordered.
  • An unlimited number of custom attributes may be created for a product, enabling you to define a wide range of products with completely different characteristics. The custom attributes may be grouped into templates to make it easier when inserting products since the product only needs to be associated to the template rather than to every custom field individually. Each custom field has associated metadata, defining things such as the widget and validation for editing in the admin app and data type and template so that it may be displayed correctly in the store-front application.
  • An unlimited number of miscellaneous items may be associated to a product. These maybe for example, documents or videos. Each miscellaneous item is categorized into a type.
  • Each product may contain structured data as well as a description. The structured data can be used for comparing product features. This is particularly useful for comparing products that may contain many options, such as digital cameras and mobile phones.
  • KonaKart includes an import/export tool to efficiently load products into the database from a file, and to create a file from the products in the database.

Digital Downloads

A product may be defined as a digital download. When such as product has been paid for, a download link appears in the customer’s private account page so that it may be downloaded by the customer. The download link can be set to expire after a number of days or after a number of downloads.

Digital Download .txt and .pdf files may also be indexed in the search engine, and text fragments (snippets) surrounding the search keywords may be returned so that the context of the search result can be determined.

Bundles

Sometimes it is useful to package two or more products into a bundle which is sold as separate item. KonaKart allows you to package any number of products into a bundle. The quantity in stock is calculated automatically and tools are provided to calculate the cost (with optional discounts) and the weight. The quantity in stock of each component within the bundle is decremented automatically when an order is processed.

Gift Certificates

Gift certificate products may be created. You can choose to create a new product for each value or define different values as product attributes. In order to calculate the discount given by the certificate, it is associated to a promotion. This allows you to easily create specialized certificates that are valid for only certain types of products or customer groups etc. Once a customer buys a certificate, a code is generated which can be used to activate the certificate during the checkout process. This code may be downloaded as a digital download or it may be sent to the customer in an eMail or through regular mail.

Product Tags

Tags are attributes that can be associated to a product and can be used to refine product searches (faceted searching). For example, in the case of a digital camera we could define tags for Mega Pixels (6.0, 8.0, 10.0), Optical Zoom (3x, 4x, 5x) and Weight (less than 100g, greater than 100g). When searching for a product, a shopper can select any number of tags to find only those products matching all of his requirements.

Product Reviews

A product may be associated with multiple customer reviews. There is the option of requiring an approval process by the administrator before the reviews become visible to the store-front application

Bookable Products

A product such as a course or ticket may be defined as a bookable product. Each bookable product has a start and end date and may have a schedule defining time slots for certain days of the week. Whenever a bookable product is purchased, a booking is created which is associated with the bookable product so that at any point in time, the number of bookings may be monitored

Virtual Products

A virtual product is a product that doesn’t ship and isn’t downloaded. It may be used for services like extra warranty or 1 hour of tuition etc.

Indexed Search

KonaKart has been engineered to manage product catalogs containing hundreds of thousands of products. In order to search for these products in an efficient manner, KonaKart may be configured to use the Apache Solr enterprise search server based on the Lucene Java search library.

Apache Solr
This powerful technology not only provides for a lightning fast search experience, but also incorporates intelligence to correct common problems such as misspellings and plurals which often frustrate shoppers making them go elsewhere. For example, the words Television, Televisions, TV, TVs can all be configured to find televisions. Without any specific configuration, a list of spelling suggestions of words that exist in the catalog are displayed to the shopper. It may also be configured to provide phonetic searches in order to find words which sound like the search keyword.

KonaKart allows a configurable way to use the powerful faceted search functionality of Solr by allowing different facets to be defined for different product types. The facet information returned by SOLR contains quantity information with the most popular items at the top of the list.

Digital Download .txt and .pdf files may also be indexed in the search engine, and text fragments (snippets) surrounding the search keywords may be returned so that the context of the search result can be determined.

The KonaKart suggested search functionality uses Solr terms. For each product, a number of terms are stored. The suggested search list is ordered by popularity of the term, so the more times a term has been saved, the greater chance it has of appearing in the search list. The default terms stored for each product are:

  • The category name(s) of the product. i.e. Televisions
  • The name of the product manufacturer. i.e. Sony
  • The name of the product. i.e. Vaio
  • The name of the product model. i.e. VPC-EB42FX
  • The name of the category by manufacturer. i.e. Televisions by Sony, Televisions by Philips
  • The name of the manufacturer in a category. i.e. Sony in Televisons, Sony in Computers

Each term is indexed with metadata containing the category, product and manufacturer ids so when a customer clicks on a term such as “Sony in Televisions” he is directed to a category view, displaying Sony products within the Televisions category. At this point he can choose another manufacturer remaining within the category and / or can apply extra filters such as screen size, LED, LCD etc. if the category has been set up with product tags to allow faceted search.

Content Management Support

The Enterprise version of KonaKart supports basic Content Management features that may be sufficient for some store owners who don’t want to integrate with a sophisticated Content Management System for more advanced features. KonaKart allows you to define “Content” objects which can be anything you like including blocks of text, images and clickable banners. You can set up these content items in the Administration Application and access them via the KonaKart APIs to show in your storefront. Their use is demonstrated in the sample store that you get when you install KonaKart.

Each content object contains an extensive set of attributes that can be used to program the storefront. Different content types require different attributes to be specified but there are very few mandatory attributes giving considerable freedom to use content in creative and flexible ways in the storefront.

One of the powerful features of KonaKart content is the ability to select it programmatically by evaluating KonaKart expressions. You could use this feature to select appropriate banners or text for the particular customer browsing the storefront.

Shopping Widgets

Product widgets are widgets that can be easily embedded into social networks such as Facebook and blogs by inserting a few lines of JavaScript. They allow you to market your products on other web sites and so to reach a wider audience.

Compared to a simple banner, a product widget uses live store-front data and so always displays updated prices and product reviews. It allows the customer to manage his cart and only transfers control to the store-front when the customer is ready to checkout.

Product Widgets

An affiliate code may be added to the widget in order to reward affiliate partners. When a customer checks out from the widget, the affiliate code is saved on the order.

Promotions

KonaKart includes a very powerful promotions sub-system that allows new promotion modules to be developed to implement even the most complex discount strategies. Here are some of the features:

  • All promotions can be associated with one or more coupons. Each coupon can be configured for unlimited use or to be used only for a programmable number of times.
  • The following rules can be set for all promotions:
    • Include only some customers (e.g. those that haven’t placed an order in the last 60 days) or exclude some customers (e.g. those that have placed an order in the last 60 days). Configure how many times an included customer can use the promotion.
    • Include or exclude customers belonging to customer groups. This could allow you to make a promotion available only to retail customers or only to students etc.
    • Include customers whose customer tag values return true from an expression. (See the marketing section for an explanation of customer tags and expressions).
    • Include or exclude products based on their category.
    • Include or exclude products based on their manufacturer.
    • Include or exclude any products at a product option granularity. (e.g. Promotion only applies to shoe size 7 or applies to all sizes except size 7)
  • Promotions may be cumulative (e.g. A promotion of 10% discount for all hardware products and a promotion of 20% discount for all software products) or promotions may be exclusive, in which case the promotion giving the largest discount is chosen.
  • All promotions may be configured to have a start and end date and to be used only a specified number of times.
  • The promotions themselves are KonaKart Order Total Modules which can easily be developed and slotted into the KonaKart architecture. The source code of the available promotion modules is included in the download package.

The modules included with KonaKart are:

  • Order Total Discount
    • The promotion gives a discount on the total amount of the order.
    • You may set a minimum order value, the minimum number of products, the minimum quantity of a single product, the discount as an amount or a percentage and whether to apply the discount before or after tax.
  • Product Discount
    • The promotion gives a discount on a product.
    • You may set a minimum order value, the minimum quantity of a single product, the discount as an amount or a percentage and whether to apply the discount before or after tax.
  • Shipping Discount
    • The promotion gives a discount on the shipping costs for an order.
    • You may set a minimum order value, the minimum quantity of a single product, the discount as an amount or a percentage and whether to apply the discount before or after tax.
  • Reward Points
    • The promotion is used to determine how many points to reward based on the value of the order.
    • Since the promotion can be enabled / disabled based on a set of rules; multiple reward point promotions may be created that use different points multipliers based on the products being purchased.
  • Redeem Points
    • The promotion is used to determine how many points to redeem based on the value of the order.
    • Since the promotion can be enabled / disabled based on a set of rules; multiple redeem point promotions may be created that use different points multipliers based on the products being purchased.
  • Gift Certificate
    • This promotion is attached to a Gift Certificate product and generates the discount based on the value of the certificate and the certificate code.
    • Using the promotion rules you may decide to enable / disable the certificate based on which products are being purchased.
  • Buy X Get Y Free
    • This promotion can be configured to provide one or more free products if a certain number of products are paid for. i.e. 3 for 2 which means that if two products are bought, then the 3rd one is free.
  • Free Product
    • This promotion adds a free product to the order. The free product to be added is defined in a configuration parameter of the promotion.

Merchandising

KonaKart includes several merchandising features to encourage shoppers to buy more products from your store:

  • For every product you may define a list of products for:
    • Up-selling, to attempt to sell top of the range alternatives.
    • Cross-selling, to suggest similar products.
    • Accessories, to maximize your sale by enticing a customer to buy for example, a laptop case while buying a laptop.
    • Dependent products such as Service Plans or Extended Warranties.
  • For each product a user can see what other products were bought by customers who bought that product. This encourages the shopper to keep on shopping with some useful suggestions on what to buy next!
  • Global best-seller lists and context sensitive best-seller lists showing only products from the current category, give a customer insight into what others are buying. If the customer’s choice happens to be a product on the list, he is more likely to go ahead and buy without doing further product analysis.
  • New product arrivals can be shown globally or for the current category, to encourage shoppers that they need to buy the latest model.

Customer Groups

Not all customers are created equal! Sometimes it is convenient to categorize customers into different groups. For example, your on line store may cater for both wholesale and retail customers or you may wish to offer more favorable terms for students or employees of your company.

Within KonaKart you may use the customer group information to:

  • Control what prices are displayed to customers within a particular group. Customers from different groups may be shown different prices.
  • Enable promotions. Promotions may be enabled only for certain types of customers. e.g. You may want a 3 for 2 promotion to only apply to your retail customers.
  • Send communications. You may send out bulk emails only to customers that belong to a particular customer group.

Marketing

The Enterprise version of KonaKart contains sophisticated marketing functionality that allows you to capture customer data as the customer uses your KonaKart eCommerce store; and to use that data within complex expressions in order to show dynamic content, activate promotions and send eMail communications.

The data is captured in customer tags such as CART_TOTAL, CATEGORIES_VIEWED, PRODUCTS_IN_CART, PRODUCTS_IN_WISHLIST, SEARCH_STRING etc. as the customer navigates through the store front application. New tags may be created to match business requirements.

Using an intuitive graphical interface, expressions are created that return true or false based on tag values for the customer. For example, you may want to display a banner to middle aged male customers that have viewed a particular product. In order to do this, you could create an expression similar to :

IS_CUSTOMER_MALE=TRUE AND CUSTOMER_AGE>40 AND RECENTLY_VIEWED_PRODUCT=1056

and only show the banner when the expression evaluates to true.

As well as displaying dynamic content, expressions may be used to filter a customer list when sending eMail communications and also to introduce extra rules for promotion usage.

Reward Points

The Enterprise version of KonaKart supports reward points which enable you to increase customer loyalty and increase sales by rewarding customers for purchases as well as other actions such as registering, writing a review, referrals etc. During the checkout process, points may be redeemed for discounts up to the total value of the order.

The allocation of reward points can be associated to a set of rules so that points are allocated only for the purchase of certain products or only to customers belonging to a particular customer group or satisfying expressions based on customer tags.

When a customer logs into the store front application he can view a statement of his reward point transactions and he always has available the total number of points that he can spend. The administrator (through the Admin App) can view the reward point transactions for any customer, and has the ability to add and delete points from the customer’s account.

In a similar fashion to the awarding of points, the redemption of points can also be associated to a set of rules. This enables you to only allow redemption under certain circumstances such as when an order reaches a predetermined value or for example make points worth more for certain products.

Payment Modules

There are hundreds of different payment gateways which you could choose for your on line store, so we designed KonaKart to be able to accommodate different payment modules in order to interface to the payment gateway that you select.

The standard KonaKart download package already includes modules (including source code) to interface to quite a number of payment gateways. Should you require a module that isn’t currently available, you may develop it in house, following our example tutorial or you may delegate the task to a KonaKart solution provider or directly to KonaKart professional services.

Recurring Billing

KonaKart provides support for recurring billing which may be implemented in one of two alternate ways. The actual payment transactions may be performed by a payment gateway that supports recurring billing, or they may be performed by a KonaKart batch program that interfaces with the payment gateway to make the regular payments.

Refunds

Real time credit card refunds through the payment gateway can be managed from the KonaKart Admin App. You can also insert, edit and delete refund information in the database.

The current KonaKart installation package contains payment modules for:

eWay

Shipping Modules

We understand that shipping is fundamental to the success of an on line store and so we designed KonaKart to easily accommodate whatever shipping algorithm works for your business.

KonaKart ships with a variety of shipping modules that implement algorithms such as:

  • Calculation of shipping charge based on weight, price and destination.
  • Free shipping based on order amount and destination.
  • Free shipping on a product by product basis.
  • The disabling of one or more shipping services based on a zone basis. i.e. You don’t allow the customer to select overnight shipping if the delivery destination is to the other side of the world.

The current KonaKart installation package also contains shipping modules for UPS, USPS and for FedEx.

KonaKart has been designed to easily accept new shipping modules which may be developed in house, by a KonaKart solution provider or directly by the KonaKart professional services group.

B2B Features

Customer Hierarchies

Customers may be placed within a hierarchical structure where a customer can be assigned a parent and children. This is useful functionality for a group of corporate buyers that may want to share information such as orders and that may have roles so that a parent in the hierarchy needs to approve the orders of a child.

Catalog / Contract Prices

KonaKart supports an unlimited number of catalogs that may define product prices, product availability and product stock. Each B2B customer may be allocated a catalog that includes a subset (or all) of the available products with personalized prices.

Customer Tags

Customer tags may be created and used to store any information about a customer. In a B2B scenario they can be used to store customer privilege information in order to modify the behaviour of the storefront application for the B2B buyers based on their roles. Typical tag information could be:

  • Can a buyer enter a new address for an order?
  • Does a buyer have a limit for the order amount?
  • Can a buyer view the orders of other buyers?

Search Engine Optimization

KonaKart contains Search Engine Optimization functionality to ensure that your on line store and products are indexed by search engines such as Google and so easily found by customers.

You have full control over which SEO features to activate. KonaKart allows you to define multi-lingual templates in order to write product information (name, model, manufacturer, category) into:

  • The URL
  • The window title
  • The meta description
  • The meta keywords

Rest assured that shoppers will find your KonaKart based store !

Sitemap

XML Sitemaps are an easy way for to inform search engines about pages that are available for crawling. KonaKart includes a Sitemap generator which may be scheduled to run at regular intervals in order to keep your Sitemap up to date.

Analytical Tools

In order to maximize the revenue from your on line store, you need to understand how your customers are using it. Analytical tools give you insight into where your customers are from and how they are using your web site.

KonaKart has Google Analytics built in, so that you can monitor your on line store without having to do any extra work. Google Analytics makes the features that experts demand, easy to use for everyone, allowing you to gain rich insights into your website traffic with Advanced Segmentation, Custom Reporting, Motion Charts, and more.

Due to the way analytical reporting is integrated within KonaKart, it is easy to include any analytical tool that requires inclusion of Java script code within all pages of the store.

Customer Events

Customer Events can be defined to save important event information that may be used for reporting purposes. For example, events may be inserted whenever a product is viewed or removed from the cart or when a customer starts and completes the checkout process or aborts it. Events may be written to another database rather than the production database in order to not impact production performance. All events are written to a local in memory queue which is emptied by a separate thread so that the insertion of events never becomes a performance bottleneck.

You may use your favourite Business Intelligence tool to inspect the data and provide information such as the number of carts abandoned in the last, hour, day, week, month and year.

Social Login

Social Login allows customers to sign into KonaKart using credentials from a social networking service such as Facebook or Google+.

btn_facebook_login btn_googleplus_login

 It is designed to simplify the registration and login process since customers are not asked for a KonaKart specific username and password.

ERP Integration

The Enterprise version of KonaKart provides features for integration with an ERP system by exchanging XML messages on a message queue (Apache MQ is bundled with KonaKart to support this feature). All of the key integration points are supported between KonaKart and the ERP system and vice versa.