new features Archives - Lightcommerce

New website, new vision

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Hi there!

It’s been far too long since we posted on this blog, hopefully that will change and posts will be more regular now! We’re now in our third year of business and during the last three years we’ve redefined both what our core target market is and what our main strengths are.

More than just a site build

When we started our focus was on premium site builds, mainly e-commerce but also bespoke websites and apps. But over the last year we began to see a larger need for something more than just a site build. The majority of clients that came to us had problems with ongoing support, maintenance and development, possibly from the same agency that had given them a good intial site build. Often after the initial site build, clients were lumped with expensive support contracts, pricey monthly retainers and doge support service level agreements.

Although we had always put priority on our level of customer service and support, we had never marketed it as it’s own independent service because for something so obviously vital in the life of a website, we didn’t realise so many development companies were lacking in that area. That’s when we decided that a change was in order and we started to re-think our core services.

Your own professional in house development team

Around the same time we had started to offer our development experience and technical proficiency as a whitelabel service. It started organically; a client asked us if we wouldn’t mind using an email address they provided to us from their company domain. Using this email address we were introduced to their clients as their in house developer. From here we communicated directly with their clients, gather project requirements, talking through technical difficulties and getting to the point of being able to come up with a project quote. All under their company banner. Their clients had no idea that they were liaising with someone outside of their company. All our client had to do was add their markup onto the quote and send it onto their client to close the deal. The benefits of this service to our client were substantial;

  • They didn’t need to worry about any of the technical jargon, we took care of that
  • They didn’t need to act like a middle-man. They were able to leave us to it (we copied them in on any communication).
  • They could rest easy as we took care of the technical project management, directly with their clients.

Since then we’ve to offer this server to more clients and so far they love it!

It’s due to these changes that we’ve completely revamped our website. The two new primary core services are “Premier support for any web platform” and “Whitelabel development services“. To us it seems like a natural evolution of our company and vision and finally getting the new site live was like a breath of fresh air! We strongly believe that you’ll feel the same when you see the benefits of these new core services.

If you have any questions about how any of our services work and the process used, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Plans are under way to shake things up

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Hello,

It’s been a while since I posted a feature update, or even a general lightcommerce update.

That’s simply because we’ve been very, very hard at work on some big plans for the lightcommerce e-commerce software that will take the e-commerce world by storm.

I can’t give away too much, but the plans include a complete administration area overhaul with a completely new design, a new bespoke content management system, integrated image editing and a little something for all you visitor analytics lovers out there ;)

If all goes well more details will be released soon, but until then know that this is going to take lightcommerce to a new level within the competitive e-commerce software world.

Stephen.

Volume discount pricing

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Yet another feature update.

Volume discount pricing

We’ve added the ability to add volume discount pricing to any of your products. It’s as simple as editing a product and entering a discounted price for a particular quantity. Love it!

Till next time!

 

Your content on the cloud

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Hello again,

Here for another feature update. And this is a big one!

lightcommerce Content Delivery Network (CDN)

We have added a CDN to all sites running on our platform lumini. This means that all your site’s images, CSS files and Javascript files are hosted on the cloud and loaded form the server geographically closest to each of your users.

We are using Amazon Cloud Front to run our CDN. It’s reliable, cost effective and most importantly; bleedingly fast! We’re very excited about this update as it means all of our site’s static content is delivered to your users at amazing speeds. This also takes away from the bandwidth our servers have to deal with, meaning they have more resources to deal with other important tasks.

And the best bit? For now we are including this service free of charge! That’s right; even if you have 10 sites with us, each of those sites can have their static content delivered to your users anywhere in the world at amazing speeds using cutting edge technology for free!

Don’t you just love us?

Stay tuned for more news!

Our new site and what’s going on

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Hello again,

Sorry for the lack of updates, life has a habit of getting busy ;) Not that we’re complaining!

Just to keep you updated, there are a few things in the works.

The new lightcommerce web site

That there is a screen shot of our new home page! It’s been a long time coming and I’ve been working on the site content with whatever spare time I get. We think it looks awesome and we can’t wait to unleash it on you. It will have full details on our service, our history and our platform. We’re hoping it will help answer any questions anyone has on what our goals are and how you can benefit from working with us.

I’m looking to get this site live this coming week.

Tumbling over to WordPress

Another item on my list is to migrate this blog to WordPress. This was actually a request from Paul (lightcommerce’s social media guy) who is itching to start contributing on the blog and other social profiles. We’re migrating to WordPress over Tumblr for better support for multiple authors, better theming and a few other things. In theory it shouldn’t be a complicated process as we currently have less than 20 tumblr posts but the URL of the blog WILL change from blog.lightcommerce.co.uk to lightcommerce.co.uk/blog.

I may even get that done over this weekend ;)

Two awesome new lumini features

I’m going to be implementing the following two new features for our e-commerce platform lumini;

  • Barclays ePDQ payment method
    Very similar to WorldPay with a hosted payment page on the Barclay’s servers.
  • Bulk discounts for product prices
    So you can define, for example, a base price of £1.00, £0.90 if buying 10 or more, £0.75 if buying 50 or more.

Both of these new features originate from client requests. Are you beginning to notice a pattern with our development? :)

Stay safe! Until next time…

Complex tax rules and multi-site changes

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Hello again,

The following changes have been released on our e-commerce platform;

Complex tax rules

As mentioned in the previous post, you can now create complex tax rules based on delivery address or product category. You can assign a tax rule to your sites within your multi site setup and when a user browsing the site switches between the different multi-sites, the tax is automatically recalculated at the basket and checkout stages so the user always knows the correct amount of tax they will be paying. This means you can be editing a tax rule and as soon as the user visits the basket page again or continues to the checkout their order’s tax values are recalculated instantly.

Multi-site changes

I’ve been improving the way in which you define what sites a product appears on. I’ve also added the ability to have some shipping methods appear on one site but not another etc so it’s easy to have for example, a US only shipping method or a Europe only shipping method which only appear when browsing the US or Europe sites.

Bug fixes and speed improvements

Found an obscure rare bug that caused an order to lose it’s shipping address after payment which stopped it being marked as completed properly. Added some speed improvements – mainly to the admin area. Fixed a cache bug which meant one of the main navigation areas wasn’t cached properly which has improved the speed at which the main navigation gets shown.

More to come! Until next time…

Feature sneak peak

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Whilst I work on yet another set of new features, I thought I’d whet your appetite with a small sneak peak…

Complex tax rules

Had a client who wanted to have one tax rate for one US state, another tax rate for the other US states and then the standard tax rate for the UK. I’m working on the ability to have any sort of tax rules you want, and what’s more each site within your multi-site setup can have a different tax rate!

I may post another teaser soon. Right; back at it!

Plethora of updates!

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Hey,

Apologies for the delay since the last update. We’ve been hard at work adding a number of new features, tweaks and UI enhancements.

Configurable search index

Product search on an e-commerce web site is important. You need to make sure users can find what they’re looking for easily. I wrote the search indexer to automatically index all product field values and product data, such as product description, name, meta data etc.

It was brought to my attention that people wanted more control than this. We have a client who only wanted users to be able to search through product names, authors and ISBNs (authors and ISBNs were setup as product fields).

You can now use a simple interface to define what fields are excluded by the indexer. Problem solved! There’s also a new button in the admin UI to rebuild the complete search index whenever needed.

Configurable order statuses

While developing lumini I’ll admit that the inner workings of order statuses were not the top priority. 

That’s all changed now! A client wanted to be able to create a new order status that would only be applicable to that one client. They also wanted this order status to trigger an email to the customer.

You can now create order statuses and tell lumini to email the customer, you (the client) or both. Of course, this links into the email templating system and uses email templates that you can design yourself using any of the order’s data. Simple!

Expand user admin

Up until recently the user administration are only show the basic user details, the user’s profile and the user’s groups (for the user access control). It now includes the user’s address book and previous orders.

Mark product field as default

Product additional fields can now be marked as “default”, which means that when a new product is created that field is automatically assigned to the new product, ready to assign a value.

By default all product additional fields are marked as default.

Promotions that can add products to a user’s order

A client wanted to be able to offer a promotion which when used, added a free gift to the user’s order. We gave the client this ability and went a step further.

When editing a promotion you can tell lumini to add a “virtual” or “real” product to the user’s order. This means you can add a product to the user’s order that doesn’t have to exist in your online catalogue. You simple provide a name, price, SKU code and image path. You can also add a product to the user’s order which already exists within your lumini site, either using it’s current price or a new discounted price that you define. Voila!

Admin UI improvements

I love jQuery. Always have and always will. The lumini admin interface uses a number of jQuery UI elements. Up until recently I’ve been using one of the stock jQuery UI themes. I thought it was past due that lumini started using it’s own custom theme. I think it looks awesome.

I’ve also improved the code for the floating admin menu which follows you as you scroll down the page. The lumini administration area is really come along nicely now.

Along with that list there are a number of speed improvements and general code optimisations which I won’t bore you with!

Until next time!