The traditional store front is just that – a building or window that ‘fronts’ a street. The Internet has changed the meaning of the terminology radically. Today’s storefronts are electronic e-commerce pages. Web store fronts are websites that handle the business of selling, marketing, and shipping. Managing the large amount of data and smoothly integrating a business into the world of the web largely takes place behind the scenes. From shopping carts to payment processes, the ‘business’ of managing an online store is made easier through the use of databases. Ecommerce is the methodology by which many online business owners handle this business.
Electronic databases can be thought of as warehousing all of the information required by a business in a form that is customizable and searchable. Database designers use a variety of programming languages to neatly organize any information a particular business may need. These databases vary from business to business, but the theory behind them remains the same. Businesses need an efficient manner in which to store information on their products and their customers. For example, an online store that sells graphic t-shirts will need an easy way to track t-shirts by size, color and graphic. That same business will need to track customer information as well, making a customer database a necessity.
These databases also affect the shopping experience of customers. Programmers can easily set up queries that will reference the various databases in order to provide an answer to a customer. This function allows customers to effectively search the stock of a particular business and quickly locate the item they are interested in purchasing.
In addition to databases, web storefronts need a variety of functional tools in order to create a smooth shopping experience. In many cases, tools such as payment options, shipping options and even shopping carts reference one or more databases to ensure that the order is processed properly, that the stock in question is available and that the customer payment information is current and valid.
It is precisely because of the interplay between the various online business tools that it is often imperative to work with a consultant or firm to design databases. While it is possible to ‘do it yourself’ when it comes to database design, it isn’t suggested. This is especially true if the product list is extensive or if multiple databases are necessary in order for proper maintenance of a website.
Database design in web store front & Ecommerce allows online business owners to manage their sites without being ‘hands on.’ The databases and other tools work independently to smoothly process orders and payment information. Ensuring that databases are properly written, that queries are programmed to retrieve accurate information and that payment information is properly recorded and accessed is critical. Qualified programmers and designers can work with you to design a database that meets the needs of your particular business and can help ensure that you remain one step ahead of your competition.
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