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Currently, technology has become a part of our life. Especially online shopping has increasingly become an indispensable way in our daily life. Most people shop online to save time and money. Liang et al. (2017) identified some interesting facts about online shopping trends stating “china online shopping market in 2015 has reached 3.8 trillion Yuan, and the average number of bills generated per day is 60 million”. In 2015, the number of online deliveries passed 20.5 billion market indicating the extent to which online trends and shopping has integrated in social lives. Therefore, the aim of this project is to build an online flowers shop, which will expand the client business based in Saudi Arabia and being beneficial to customers by saving their time and money. The project will be available on website and application accessible in app store such as Google Play store, and finally developed to incorporate both English and Arabic dialects to ensure most people can use it.
Selling perishable products specifically flowers has proven to be a difficult e-commerce business to succeed at. Developing an online platform where people would order and purchases flowers in itself is a challenge, where making sure that flowers get to the client looking fresh and smelling aromatically as they appeared on the website can also be a great challenge according to Cheema et al (2013). But then, flower business is Saudi Arabia is thriving each year with at least 230 million flowers produced each year, for various occasions such as weddings, parties or house or office decoration. Similarly, the online shopping platforms are reshaping the e-commerce, which has added a button immediately below ‘Add to Cart’ on all their products.
E-commerce companies such as Amazon.com; which is the biggest online retailer in the world as of 2017 statistics, it is estimated that at least 1.66 billion individuals worldwide purchase products from its website according to Turban et al (2017). In addition, e-retail sales this year have accounted for 2.3 trillion US dollars and still projected to grow by the end of this year to 4.48 trillion US dollars. Cho (2011) claimed that perishable goods such as flowers and groceries have accounted to 675 billion US dollars, where there are over 90% of households shopping for these products once a week or even more. Online platforms have been facilitated by the exponential growth of the Internet across the world, making it possible to reinvent people’s shopping cultures. Sait, Al-Tawil and Hussain (2004) argued that the technological advancements in developing such devices as computers, smartphones, and tablets have made it possible for many people to access just anything, anywhere, at any time. The development of a flower online shopping website and application to meet the growing demand for flowers in Jeddah; Saudi Arabia will be the next big thing that will happen to the residents of that city. It has been identified that floral business in Saudi Arabia and to that extension, the Middle East, has proven to be a thriving business opportunity. However, the business has not been doing so well in the online shopping platform bearing in mind that the product is highly perishable. The proposed platform that I intend to develop will be aiming at offering attention to customers innate needs by addressing their perishable goods concerns once it will be ready to launch. To achieve this, the agile software will be used to address the cultural as well as individual customer’s preferences and needs as well as search elements. For instance, the platform will be developed to include more than one language, which is, Arabic and English.
Presently, Saudi Arabia has little online shops dealing with perishable products such as groceries, unprocessed food (agricultural products), and flowers. Therefore, developing a platform that allows entrepreneurs to sell their perishable products (in this case flowers) and buyers access reliably, timely, and efficiently these products while take cost into consideration will solve cost and demands of these products by bridging consumers’ needs. Recently, growing demand for flowers as the population in Jeddah increase each year but lack the capacity to access these products due to geographical constraints, physical incapability as well as the experience of Internet shopping has open up new opportunities aligned to e-commerce. Therefore, introducing this project using my father's shop will create a huge profit from the business by targeting more clients across the city. Pance flowers intends to provide an easy access for people in Saudi Arabia especially those who live in Jeddah city where the physical shop is located of perishable flowers reliably and easily without the needs of storage facilities while giving the customers the option either collect the flowers or have it delivered at their convenience.
This research project aims to ensure operations of the business by using online platform will be more effective and easier to use that includes enhancing consumer experiences, satisfaction, engagement, and efficacy of entire process across Saudi Arabia. It focuses to address the growing demands of flowers in the city at the same time grow the flower business through online e-commerce.
To research how to reduce the pressure experienced when preparing for urgent orders, by ensuring that clients can order online and collect them late. How to make the business sustainable by making flowers available only when they are needed. This will greatly reduce wastage that occurs from un-purchased flowers. Research how to increase the products provided by creating more use for flowers apart from the traditional uses, which include weddings and anniversaries. How to make sure that the shop moves with time, and this will prevent it from becoming obsolete in the future. How to make the project accessible for people with disability.
How to make the payment safe for the users. • The intention to enlarge it to become a full gift shop where we will be offering many gift ideas for couples and for general customers. This report will contain two sections the first section of this report will discuss the literature review to explore the viability of the online shop, also to show the problem area of the project also a description of previous published work and the approach adopted, the second section is the methodology which will show a description of the methodology, tools, standards, languages, algorithms, and techniques that are being used in the project.
Online shopping is an easy way to expand any business using the right technology and tool, for example, Amazon and eBay provide both the customer and client with the opportunity to buy and sell their products. This chapter analysis existing studies related to online shopping identifying challenges of development, launching, managing, and viability requirements as capture by previous research. Moreover, it will identify gaps in research tracing back to online shopping platform in Saudi Aribia and the Middle East but not limited to challenges and success factors of such platforms as Amazon, Souq, and Alibaba despite not dealing fully with perishable products.
Back in the year 2000, tulips flower business was first introduced in the region not only in Saudi Arabia. Overcoming all barriers, the flower business managed to gather a firm sustainable base of regular buyers of flowers as well as delivery of fresh flowers at the doorstep by just a phone call. Offering the biggest variety of flowers in most the retail outlets across Saudi Arabia and particularly in Jeddah city and neighboring towns and homes. In her study, Aisha (2017) claimed that while the flower business and delivery market is transforming out of the meager retail enterprise, to an innovative form where, all florists are leaving behind the ancient form of doing flower business, and diversifying not an innovative framework of preserving the flowers through refrigeration as well as delivering to their customers in a more exotic manner of adding perfumes, greeting cards, and chocolate. Flowers are an aesthetic product used for decoration of homes, for events or ceremonies such as weddings, for gifting and many others. Particularly, according to Al-Fawaz (2014) discovers that the tulip flower is pioneering the flower market where they are extensively used for decorations in homes, restaurants, offices and several other areas people live in. On a daily basis, the number of flower customers keeps on increasing in Saudi Arabia, offering several other businesses such as delivery and booking businesses to meet the increasing number of flower customers. An article known as TheFlowerExpert published in (2017) identifies that the modern form of living in Saudi Arabia, consider flowers as a prime object for greetings while the population in major towns particularly, in Jeddah, has heightened the demand for flowers for various occasions. It depicts that the demand for flowers will never cease to increase, and the frequent application of garlands and bouquets promote the business to be run all around a year. The competition of the flower business has been promoted by improved import and export of products in and out of Saudi Arabia. Currently, besides large-scale farming of flowers in Saudi Arabia, the increasing demand has resulted in the country to import extra flowers from Africa. The increased supply of flowers in Saudi has led to contemporary companies to offer delivery services across major cities in the country. However, one key service provision that has not been ventures is the online shopping of the flower business. It is a platform where few companies have set and for running but failed to meet its unending demands and those of flower customers. An article; FloralDaily (2016) identifies that shopping websites are where people can purchase flowers and get delivered on the doorsteps. The website is supposed to function such as that of Alibaba or eBay, where there are express checkout privileges, booking platforms, members only special, exclusive discounts on specific periods, gift reminder services, a recall policy to assist the clients to recall the dates of crucial occasions. Online shopping podiums are introduced and run by e-commerce companies or individual enterprises. They are developed based on the scale of customers the business intends to meet, thus may focus on delivering services only In Jeddah or across Saudi Arabia. A tailored study; CBI Market Intelligence (2016) depict that those online shopping websites that deal with perishable goods, in this case, flowers, will at first focus on a small-scale customer based market to reduce cases of perished goods due to geographical distances. A company dealing with such perishable goods is constrained by its location and may also avoid intermediary retailers, distributors or other online network platforms. Rather they directly deal with the producers and customers with the best lot of prices and ensure that there is full control over the quality of the product. In every location, there exists a particular manner of culture unto which the online business will be dictated upon by the demands of the clients.
unwanted action on a trusted site. To prevent this the website will include a token in the web forms, which will prevent these attacks. Authentication of user and their session management is one the most typical thing in the process of web application, and it can be destabilized by inconsistent credential management functions. However, Nigam and Gupta (n.d), it is often not implemented correctly, allowing attackers to compromise passwords, keys, or session tokens, or to exploit other implementation flaws to assume other users’ identities. Cockburn (2002), researches and discovers that sensitive Data Exposure data, such as credit cards, tax IDs, and authentication credentials need to have extra protecting since attackers are more likely to target it, for example, encryption at rest or in transit, as well as special precautions when exchanged with the browser. Missing Function Level Access Control, attackers will be able to forge requests in order to access functionality without proper authorization depicts Cockburn (2002). One way to prevent this is by making the enforcement mechanism(s) deny all access by default, requiring explicit grants to specific roles for access to every function.
Allowing people with disabilities to use the website is important, according to Abdulmohsen Abanumy, Ali Al-Badi, and Pam Mayhew (2011), machined that “it was found there are more than 750 million people worldwide with disabilities (Computer Weekly, 2001). In Saudi Arabia, the total numbers of disabled citizens is 720,000, which represents 4% of Saudi's population. In addition, the rate is expected to increase by 5% annually (Riyadh city reporter, 2004).” Therefore having a website which is accessible by people with disabilities is really importing, and this could be achieved by using Angular6 accessibility tools for example using ARIA (Assistive Rich Internet Applications) which make it more accessible by describing what the component are doing.
An online payment processor has to allow an online store to accept credit card payments, calculator for the cost of shipping; thereafter the customer places an item in a shopping cart. Lastly, the tax calculation site, supposed to update the tax base on a timely basis. Particularly, the Pance flower online shopping store will apply the PayPal API payment method. The REST API is usually easy and secure with the capacity to accept online and phone payments. The payments name space entails resource collections for payments, for sales, for authorization, for refunds, orders and captures. Further, through the PayPal payment method, it will foster clients to may payments through credit cards through simple clicks, depending on the location and bank one uses in Jeddah. A customer will be able to accept an immediate payment or authorize payment and capture it later. Finally, one will be able to show details for completed payments, make refunds if the flowers were rejected.
From the study, the rapid development of the Internet and its influence on everyday life has led to the introduction of a contemporary customer’s profile, also depicted as ‘online customer’. According to Wu (2013), such clients undergo various factors thus influencing their varying methods and habits of shopping with respect to ancient customers. Purchasing intention, in this case, is a psychological process of making a decision. It is when relevant information is looked for by a client that is steered towards meeting demands in relation to personal experiences as well as influence from the external surrounding assert Pookulangara and Koesler (2011). After acquiring enough content of information, customers assess, consider and finally compare then judge, consequently deciding on a particular product(s).
Factors such as the personality of a consumer, characteristics of a product(s), situational factors, the trust of online shopping and previous online shopping experiences Pereay et al (2004) identifies that they play a vital role in comprehending consumer’s intentions to purchase via the Internet. Situational factors that play a crucial role in setting up an online shopping podium in most of those that exist such as eBay and Alibaba. For instance, tie pressure, geographical distance, lack of mobility, need for specific special items or the attractiveness of alternatives have attracted online shoppers to consider using the platform to attain products(s) they deem essential in their daily lives.
The main aim of the project is to assess which method would best be applied to develop a more improved and customer-centered online-shopping website and application in Jeddah; Saudi Arabia. It will also resonate with whether the application and website will meet the growing demands of flowers in the city at the same time grow the flower business.
The aim of the project is to develop an online-shopping platform for selling flowers using Agile Methodology.
The research aims at investigating and piloting on the application of the best methodology, which could be used to build this project each methodology, has some pros and cons and here are some of them according to Jamsheer (2018). 1- “Waterfall model happens to clarify the process into a linear flow with a specified sequence to let the users understand that further level is made progressive on completion of the previous one.” Moreover, according to Beck et al (2001), this methodology also talks about the fact that going back to deal with the changes is not possible. The advantages are it is easy to understand and functional simple enough to handle as model is rigid, saves significant amount of time, and allows for easy testing and analysis, the disadvantages are only matched precise needs, not applicable for maintenance projects, no option to know the possible outcome of a project, and not excellent for long and ongoing projects as confirmed by Beck et al (2001). The second methodology is prototyping which according to Cockburn (2002), allows to only make the sample of the resolution to validate its functional essence to the customers and make essential changes before creating the authentic final solution.
The advantages are gives a clear idea about the functional process of the software, reduces the risk of failure in a software functionality, and assists well in requirement gathering and the overall analysis affirms Cockburn (2002). However the disadvantages are the chances of extension in management cost, an excessive involvement of client can affect processing, and too many changes affect the workflow of the software, therefore since the project deal with a client who might change his mind a lot, this is not the best methodology for it. Furthermore, Beck et al (2001) affirms that there are many other examples of different methodology, however, the one, which was found suitable for the project, is agile.
The research focuses on investigating previous other Agile methodology based website programs that are being applied in the development of online shopping platforms. In addition, the method seeks to acquire opinions and experiences of online shopping websites as well as customers that have to use previous platforms to shop for goods in Saudi Arabia through a qualitative research method. The method suits this context in a manner it facilitates the insights into conditions or issues while focusing on relevant ideas in the development of this agile software development project (Cockburn and Highsmith, 2001). The qualitative research entails development of concepts that will aid in comprehending the social phenomena that revolve around online shopping and aid in the development of a platform that fits the culture of Saudi Arabia and how it is linked to the flower business. The qualitative data also foster comprehension of the best development of an online shopping website and application developed using the agile methodology, by collecting and analyzing data. More important, Cockburn and Highsmith (2001) claim that the interactions that will be developed due to the simplicity of the platform in addressing the social and well-being of the customers as they purchase flowers.
In this project, the agile methodology will be incorporated to collect and analyze the data. Through this method, it will be possible to focus on the interaction between the clients and the shop owner and developing strategies that will be beneficial to that. The agile methodology also provides a working software that is none complicated and with less documentation. Additionally, it ensures that there is more collaboration between the participants and creates an analysis that aims to respond to changes that will be experienced during the research. The agile methodology also ensures customers satisfaction as it delivers software perpetually hence ensuring that the software can be updated periodically. Nigam and Gupta (n.d) proposes that on the development of Agile software is recommended in this project because of its capacity to first define the users as well as documenting a vision statement of the scope of answering the issues that the online shopping platform will be solving. The statement will also offer opportunities and values that also would need to be addressed in regard to customer preferences.
The processes of Agile will begin by bearing in mind the customer unto which it will be generated to focus and meet their unending needs. In other words, Corkburn and Highsmith (2001) depict that they will be user personas developed to illustrate various functions in a workflow it will be championing of the various kind of clients behavior and needs.
The development of the agile methodology and software will start with the person who will be the voice of the clients and Dingsøyr et al (2012) claim that it also could be the business owner of the stakeholders. With the methodology, this party or the person will have the capacity to distill all ideas, insights as well as feedbacks so as to develop a product vision. Basically, the product visions are supposed to be short and simple, more importantly, they should paint a portrait of who the customer, values being addressed, as well as the strategy that will be employed to address them. In addition to the software development team, the software can include quality assurance (QA) engineers, or engineers to maintain back-end systems or databases, analysts to ensure the system are continuously functional.
These tech-enabled physical stores, where clients place orders, make payments and reviews. It is made possible by the online platform that is developed on a web server host meant to host and offer the function necessary to develop, operate and manage an online store. Has a domain name necessary for an online presence. Hagiu (2009) adds that there is a dedicated IP Address, supposedly to allow the user to connect to the server. Shopping cart software powers an online site. It supposed to have a merchant interface with a financial institution meant to process credit card payments over the Internet in real-time. A product catalog is another virtual gateway offering customers a listing of available products and their description, classification, and retrieval function. An online payment processor is also vital to allow an online store to accept credit card payments, Calculator for the cost of shipping; thereafter the customer places an item in a shopping cart. Finally, the tax calculation site, supposed to update the tax base on a timely basis.
The agile methodology is important as it focuses on the objectives of the project and hence making it easier to stick by it in the long run. This methodology has been known to develop many opportunities through which the stakeholders can get involved in by ensuring that they are active from the commencement of the project to the end. Moreover, according to Cockburn and Highsmith (2001), it ensures that the client's vision is clearly understood and this ensures the delivery of high-quality software. Additionally, the methodology will be transparent to the client, and this will ensure that every information used to develop the software is obtained legally and it will be beneficial for the project. The project requires predictability to ensure that everything is done within the allocated time as identified by Nigam and Gupta (n.d). This will make sure that the software adds sufficient value to the business a short while after installation. Predicting the costs and the schedule used to create the project is important, as it will ensure that everything done in the project is affordable and that the project will proceed up to completion. Agile methodology is supposedly according to Nigam and Gupta (n.d), ensures that the project is flexible and if there was anything that was missed in the objectives, it will be addressed as it creates a flexible implementation process. It will give the researcher more control of the work and given that it can be completed partly, it will be possible to introduce the project to the business even if it is not completed fully. As a result, changes in the business will be experienced sooner, something that will increase the profitability of the business. Additionally, the researcher will be able to have a more clear understanding of the important aspects of the business, hence making it possible to create only features that create an advantage for the company. The research aims to improve the users' experience when shopping in the flower shop. Notably, agile methodology ensures that it provides attention to the consumers' needs and this way it will be possible to address the users' concerns after the project is ready as identified and asserted by Cockburn and Highsmith (2001). The flexibility of the project will ensure that all needs raised are addressed as expected. As a result, the end product will be of high quality and this will make it possible to achieve all the planned objectives.
These refer to the elements that create the link between the digital and physical world. They include different elements in the websites interface which enable its use and control of the website. These functions are classified into user features as well as Administrator features. They determine what the user can do with the website by presenting them with the access to be able to view different sections of the websites and being able to search for a desired product compare it to different products and buy any desirable product eventually, in this case different flower types. It also offers the administrator control over the contents of the website allowing them to add and remove products and generally manage the website. The User will be able to do a wide range of things in this website including:
Paying for a bought product is one of the essential parts of ensuring the completion of a business transaction. Given that the website intends to offer full services to the users one of the functional requirements is a payment feature. In the event of any purchases made, or the viewing of a desired product the user will be able to directly pay for it through a feature button that offers different paying options.
One of the most essential features for the efficient functioning of a website of any kind regardless of the kind of information it holds is being able to find what one is looking for and efficiently at that, considering the advancements of Industry 4.0. The user must have a way to find what he/she is looking for easily without having to scheme through the entire pool of information available. The SEARCH feature enables individuals to literally find whatever information regarding a product that they are looking for by simply typing in a keyword. Users can therefore find different types of flowers just by simply keying in the name and be able to browse through any variety of it that is in the inventory.
Given a flower choice of the same kind the thrill and mystery of flowers is lost. The website uses an algorithm to be able to identify a close alternative to a flower choice based on the kind of flowers frequently chosen by the buyer. Eventually a range of suggestions that could also enhance the buyers taste and preference to a different variety is suggested to the user whenever they view any products.
The website will enable the users to be able to view different products and services on sale as well as provide detailed information and description of the product. Deeply defining the scents of the flower and the type of mood they are suitable. With the VIEW feature, the user of the website can learn about different products and also improve their knowledge, tastes and preferences of different other products other than what they intend to buy.
A wide range of flowers exist for sale for sociable purposes however some are pretty rare and hard for buyers to distinguish, in addition these flowers may have extensive descriptions which are quite difficult to differentiate. As such the COMPARE feature was thought quite a functional feature in this website. It enables buyers to compare and contrast different products (flowers) giving a concise description of the similarity or differences
This feature will not only enable the website to highlight what clients want but can’t have and therefore develop strategies of improving its sales it will also provide an avenue for loyalty promotion for loyal customers. When a loyal customer adds to their wish list the website based on their loyalty could offer a discount on the item and enable them to buy it.
The administrator of the website will generally be responsible for ensuring the proper running of the website keying in instructions through different features that the website allows them to, enhancing the look of the interface through enhancing theme and display designs managing transactions such as payment and orders made online and ensuring timely delivery of the flowers.
Another functional feature of the website administrator would include managing the users of the website. This highlights keeping track of the different buyers and the products they search for, managing their transactions, and the functionality of their accounts within the website. Given the nature of the website being an online shopping platform users are bound to interact with it and thus managing users is an essential functional requirement.
Another function of the website administrator includes management of the product inventory within the website. This includes being able to add a products as and when they are available and updating the users on when they run out of stock and time of restocking. The Administrator should also be able to delete a product as and when the company stops selling it in order to not mislead the buyers.
The administrator will also be able to develop a description of every product on the website including qualities like size, color and shape. This includes the pricing as well as any other attached information. While no mistakes are foreseen, the website offers the administrator the ability to edit any information as and when required to ensure buyers view the most updated descriptions and prices and therefore make informed decisions.
The website will also involve information and review update section where recent stories and trends as pertains to the different products sold will be shown. In addition, these sections which resemble digital billboards will highlight any reviews from clientele feedback and display for all users and to enhance eWOM strategies that will help further enhance and develop the website. The administrator will be able to regulate the information that goes in this section and for whichever period of time prescribed for it.
The website development took up a top down approach with the use of scrum. A top-down approach essentially breaks down the project system from larger generalizations to smaller more focused subsystems that are responsible for specific functions. Wilkins (2011) describes it as the decomposition of a system into smaller parts in order to comprehend its compositional sub systems. A form of a hierarchy is developed indicating a general and not so detailed system component which is then broken down to a subsystem, every subsystem is further refined in greater detail for instance development of different levels of a subsystem. The eventual identification of the base elements of the website then enables their easy coding and building as computer modules. Once the different modules highlighting different functional elements of the website including user capabilities and the administrator capabilities as well as the different general features of the website including different classifications have been identified the hierarchy is then also helpful in effortlessly putting them together and building the entire system from these individual elements.
Scrum was further used given its effectiveness in development of agile websites. This includes a detailed description of all the sections of the project and the process with which it will be systematically developed by the different people in the development team. No specific instructions were given rather responsibility to different section coding which eventually led to the development of the website. Additionally the scrum team were not limited to who does what section rather all the problems faced in the development of the project were solved by the scrum team through decision making together. The top down approach was taken up for use given the clientele for the website is a new market and the designers are not much aware of their specific requirements. As opposed to the bottom up approach this design enables the designer to design a website based on what they wants the users to experience and how they intend the user to interact with the website. As such using a scrum team enables diversity in opinion and ideas which further enhance the suitability and efficiency in the functionality development.
To build the design a draft drawing for the web-site was presented in a meeting for the client, The drawing was based on popular flowers shops in the UK such as “Interflora, ProFlowers, eflorist, and FlyingFlowers.”
The Model View Controller MVC is an architectural pattern that separates an application into three main logical components. The Model, the View and the Controller. Each aspect is then effectively built to handle a different and specific aspect of an application (TechTarget, 2019).MVC enables the relation of the user interface features to the underlying data models. Three main components make up the application development pattern.
The model is responsible for the design of the interface highlighting the eventual look of the website. Wattis (2017) points out that this component specifies the logical structure of data in a software application and the different level class it is associated with. It specifically highlights the domain with data that describes the working of an application. Rouse (2018) further points out that the model component corresponds to all the data related logic and logical sequences that the user works with. In most cases this highlights the data being transferred between the view and controller components. For instance a user function will be able to retrieve information from the data base relevant to the user’s needs, manipulate it and update it while rendering data for the required functionality that corresponds to the function
The view component is used to display all the functions keyed in the user interface. According to Rouse (2018) it is used for all the User Interface logic of the application which is simultaneously displayed. It enables the application a form that is easy to interact with from the users’ perspective. Coding on the User interface components such as boxes, links and dropdowns will all be included in this section of the design. Multiple views can also exist for a single model for different purposes
Controllers are basically the link between the model and the view components. They interlink functional command highlighted by the model to the specific data and requirements which are then described in the view. Based on the description by TechTarget (2019) this component is responsible for the processing of the business logic, incoming requests and manipulation of data using the model component and interacting with the views component in rendering the final action described by the function. For instance the controller manipulates information and data regarding a product’s detail information retrieves it and displays it through the view component.
Angular 6 which was used to develop the front-end is the command language that was adopted by the developers in the website mainly given that it is the latest angular version with new features including possibility of creating creative native web elements using Angular elements as well as making it easier to update. In addition it is also quite compatible with the MVC model of Application development and would thus be efficient in the entire process. Also it has multiple export aliases which enables a component to be easily exported using multiple aliases so as to ease the process of migration, it has introduced international pipes for numbers, Date and Currency for better standardization processes. It also has Lambda support expressions with proper names that are used instead of functions. It also has to build optimizers which optimizes and build size as well as improve the application speed and an improved compiler which supports incremental compilation subsequently resulting in faster compilation.
PHP informs another tool used in the development of the website specially the Back end of the application. PHP is an open source general purpose scripting language that is especially suited and used for web development and can be embedded in HTML. PHP is derived from Personal Home Pages also known as Hypertext Processor currently. Through the integration of PHP and the use of MVC model the development of the Back end website was enables and assists the efficient running of the Back end components of the application to function smoothly and efficiently. PHP pages contain HTML with embedded code that limits the use of a wide range of commands by the user and administrator. PHP.net (2019) highlights that the distinguishing factor between PHP and other programming languages is that the code developed is executed on the server enabling the generation of HTML which is afterwards sentto the client or user. Also PHP is relational database which was needed in online shop website, therefor it was the better choice since MongoDB is not relational database. Among the justification for its use is that it is extremely simple to use especially with coders that are not well conversant with coding yet and at the same time provides a wide range of advanced features that are used by and signify an advanced programmer. Other advantages of PHP as highlighted by guru99, (2019) is that it is an open source programming language and therefore free to use which minimized the cost of the website development process, in addition it is easier to learn and thus has quite a short learning curve, it is regularly updated to be able to keep up with technological trends and upgrades, it is compatible by most web hosting servers which often host it by default compared to other scripting languages, it also gas an inbuilt support for working hand in hand with MY SQL which highlights the use MySQL as another tool for programming the back end of the website and is highlighted below
MySQL is another free open source programming software that is in fact the most commonly used. According to Oracle corporation (2019) it is a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) that is based on Structured Query Languages (SQL) and hence the derivation of its name. MySQL was chosen as a tool in this website development given that it can effectively run in all platforms including Windows, UNIX as well as Linux operating systems. Its high compatibility with PHP also spearheaded its use in the development process. MySQL as the Relational Database Management system and PHP as the object oriented scripting language enabled a fluid and efficient development of the Back End components. Its functioning is based on a Client server model which is its core and handles all the data base instructions of commands coded. It operates along with respective server utilities programs which support it in the administration MySQL databases. Commands are sent to the MySQL server via MySQL client which is separately installed in a computer (Moore, 2019). Some of its main features including, its ability to enable storage and access of data across multiple storage engines including CSV, InnoDB and NDB. It also allows access of data using standard SQL commands and as such users do not have to learn new commands. Further the software is also capable of replicating data and partitioning tables for better performances and durability. The software is written in C and C++ and supports large data bases with millions of records as well as many data types including unsigned and signed integers (Rouse, 2018). The software was also preferred due to its security features which includes the use of access privilege and encrypted password systems that hosts can verify. This grants the users privacy in terms of accounts usage and the Administrator access to all user accounts and information.
Learning programming languages and components are among the major limitations that I encountered within the cause of the project development I order to be able to efficiently develop the website fluidity in the various processes that encompass coding is required and particularly, learning how to use Angular to build the Front End was a major challenge I experienced in the development phase.
Hashing refers to a type of Algorithm which takes any type of data and turns it into a fixed length data, this is often used in the process of data retrieval seeing as larger amounts of data are shortened for easier retrieval (Kauffman). Hashing passwords as such entails hiding of passwords and access information to ones data base as such making it difficult for anyone to log in to another’s accounts in case they come across their details. Hashing passwords was one of the problems I came about in the process of the website development and posed a real challenge.
Being able to develop the website in a way that access is different for the user and the Admin and as such certain components of the user are inaccessible by the Admin and vice versa also presented a real challenge in the end. While we want to restrict the Administrators reach, the aim is also for them to have control of all aspects of the website and thus enable its efficient functioning.
Online shopping alleviates risk from the Buyer and ensures delivery of quality products. However the late deliveries as well as lack of enough payment options strike the researcher as a popular limitation to the use of online shopping and thus warrant a strategy. All these can be in cooperated in the development of the project website by ensuring efficient logistics and supply chains that minimize as much as possible the delivery time of products in this way the company further develops a competitive advantage on top of having easier to use interface that is user friendly and as such enhance user experience. The website could also look to ensure a wide variety of products catalogued and updated on the website as well as updating the clients of any type of new product expected in the market soon. In this way not only does the website maximize in facilitating sales but also function as an elaborate marketing strategy for the organization.
The class representation in addition were useful and accurate in being able to identify some of the short comings that came with online shopping including not being able to develop a one on one relationship with the buyer or seller and as such lacking in a critical factor of truth that is entirely crucial for the growth and development of a flower selling business. With this the project sought to enhance the relationship between the buyers and the sellers through a development of an extremely easy to use review section where consumers and the buyer can interact. Another key limitation of the use of online shopping is integration of payment process. The Payment class had to be associated with permission class and integrated with online payment platforms particularly in a community with reservation with indulging some online shopping and e-commerce sites due to the lack of adequate payment options that they could use. This however is not much of a concern in the development of the projects website given that the project is developed by a researcher who is a citizen of Saudi Arabia and as such among the payment options included are the local money transfer outlets within Saudi Arabia. This facilitated conversance among the population of the town as well as any incoming visitors who may need other payment options, further the website will also be internationally accessible and usable and thereby expanding its impact not only in Saudi Arabia effectively enhancing growth. In addition as highlighted in the design specifics the website will include Arabic and English language for ease of use by the locals as well as tourists thereby solving the limitation of language barrier. Another barrier to the project that was highlighted in the findings is the delay of deliveries and thus impacting product quality and usefulness. In the flower industry especially delivery of the products are key and to be able to successfully run an online flower sales website and company, then the chain of supply and delivery must be meticulous and without delays. This is also key given that it is a major shortcoming of most of the online retail companies in existence. The company can take up the competitive advantage
The draw diagram above shows a domain model outlining the core variables. The core classes adopted in development of the websites were ProductTypes, Role class, Product class, Shopping cart class, User class, Order class, Payment Class, Role class, and Permission class. As show by the diagram, the classes are interlinked with parent-child relationships given by the directional arrow. Variable in a class had a unique id acting as a blueprint of created objects as well as describing the types of objects. Each customer was assigned a unique id with relationship with only one account (User Class). The User Class holds all the details of the customer that include name, address, and role with sub-grouped into administrator ability to add, delete, edit, and search for the user. The customer was required to be a web user to register with all the details captured because payments are done through online and app services. This class was linked to role class with role id and description as well as permission class holding (permission id, role, and description). The product class comprised of the Product_id: int, Product_category_id: int, product_description: String, product_customer_id: int, and product_customer_id: int, which the administrator would edit and accessed by consumer for selection before buying the selected products. These classes allowed shoppers using the site identify and select in addition also provide a platform for the interaction of the buyers and sellers and being able to develop the a relationship which enhances the business, in these platforms moreover, customers can be able to review different products and discuss different brands and as such provide a consumer with invaluable information for decision making regarding which products or services to buy. The Order Class had description, type, number, and customer identify classed as order_description:string, order_type:string, order_number:string, and order_customer_id:int with ability to add, delete, edit, and search included with the class. The Order class, User class, and Product class associate independently to the Permission class. Customer with all the details captured by Customer Class had to check the availability of a product in Product Class before seeking permission to purchase. The Payment Class and Permission Class are interlinked with the former consisting of payment id, customer id, amount, description, and type that had to be checked and confirmed before proceeding (under permission) with product purchases and delivery. In addition to developing of a platform allowing user to interact with the products before purchasing, the development of the website boiled down to ensuring variety not only in the products and services offered but also in the payment options, language options and delivery locations. This includes a development of an efficient distribution channel that enables timely distributions and thus a competitive advantage. The development of the website should further indulge in developing the review segment to encourage the interaction with their consumers for feedback regarding the services and products provided. Through express feedback as well as reviews on the products provided by the company the customers can make more informed decisions on what they intend to buy and at the same time the company can improve on the products and services they offer thereby benefiting both them and their customers and impacting further growth of the business.
In testing the website, the primary focus was rooted on checking whether all the factors, variables, and functionality were captured as initial intended. Ideally, it aimed on identifying and addressing any issues that might arise during its actual usage, that before being revealed to the public use. Although the testing was intended to be systematic and objective with emphasis being the readiness, security of users, functionality of the site, accessibility to wider bunch users, compatibility with both the desktop and mobile devices. Building from the idea that the basis of the entire project was effectiveness and ease at which the consumers experience in sampling and buying products, testing process incorporated checking for bugs before making the website live, continuous, and thorough checking various elements ranging from weaknesses to acceptability to the potential users. It worth noting that the texting process was taken as a procedural process done while designing, coding, and implementation stage but exhaustive process was done after complete of coding and implementation stages.
Testing the navigability of the site, the focus was on the extent to which the user can easy understand and use all the pages, convenience of using buttons, shapes, and fields, accessibility of the main menu from other pages. Essentially, the application was designed and built with users being individuals with no or limited knowledge and working of web application. Therefore, simplicity enhancing navigability through different pages and contents displayed within the website was prioritised. As such, number of navigation tools was used that include text links clickable to take the visitor to another page, breadcrumbs, navigation bar (return to top of the page and going next or return to previous image), and dropdown menu.
The navigability text revealed consistent in moving around the site with pages darkening showing the user where s/he is or the page directed clicking. The outcome of the ability to move from one webpage to another with ease demonstrated a considerable findability rate measured number of found items against not found by the visitors. Similarly, time to find the items with the longer the time to find what someone is looking for means mismatch between where the users is looking form the products and where it is actually stored. The result of this time to find an item in the website had an average of 30-40 seconds although the load time and browsing factors had to be taken into consideration. Moreover, another element that needed testing is variability of finding captured within the consistency in the time spent by the users in looking of for items in the website. The coefficient of variation (CV) that involves dividing standard deviation by the mean time spent. It worth noting that longer CV means more variable experiences while shorter indicate less. The CV of the website was estimated to be 66% meaning the users had considerable experiences in findings the items they were looking for. In addition to testing for variability in finding time, initial click encompassing getting the first click right especially the first visitors. Scholars and professionals in the field indicate that getting the click right the first time indicate success of the ultimate task and demonstrate the perception held by the user towards the instinct that clicking a given page will lead to the items that s/he looking for.
Testing for functionality focused on ensuring the intended function or in conformance with the pre-outlined objectives are met, in this case, consumer satisfaction and effectiveness of buying flowers. It aimed to show ‘what the system does’. Typically, the functionality test the whether the software meets the required requirements satisfactorily with concern not being the process but rather the outcome of the process. Behavioural testing also referred to as black box testing holds testing to the internal structure and design of the application (software) by a tester who is not familiar with it. To the tester, the contents or general design of the system is a mystery like a black box hence the incorrect/missing and errors (performance, interface, termination, and access) can be identified and determined without biasness. Using this logic, during both acceptance and system testing where the former was done to evaluate the compliance with the pre-outlined objectives, design, and other requirements and whether it meets the acceptable levels or not while the latter evaluate whether the applications complied with specified needs, fundamental elements checked were actual functions vs expectation of the system. For instance, it outlined whether the input component of the system that includes the log in module, shopping Cart, registration module, and user accounts holds and perform specified tasks as intended or not. Two approaches were taken in testing functionality of the application: requirements focused and business-process-focused. The former emphasised on testing and evaluating critical features and functions such as ordering, login process, payments functions, and searching of the products. On the other hand, the other testing depended on the end-user such as the responses and comments left by the user on performance of the application in the context of distinctive use. Selected individuals were allowed to experiment with the web application where it involved navigating through the application and outlining the challenges, difficulties, and encountered problems. Although prior to the test the testers were not given website initial objectives and goals, they were required to highlight at the end of thorough evaluation independent outcome that include respective observation and experiences as well as general performance of the system. This outsider’s perspective into functionality and workability of the application with no prior held views and expectations was seen as a key in brainstorming the errors and attainment of goals as well as the extent to which they were met. Presumably, the user with no prior experiences in online shopping can amused or struggle opening pages and identifying core aspects or finding the items s/he needed in the website means navigability is poor and vice versa. Among other things, the following checklist were used during the functionality test as verification attributes
Outbound links Internal links correctness Absence of links leading to the same page Presence of unreferenced pages Presence of broken links Checking whether any links sending e-mails to site admins
Other type of testing involved testing of forms for all pages. Given that the site relied heavily on interactive communication with customers for satisfaction and ultimately retention through emphasis on ease and effectiveness, it was important to ensure the forms are reliable and effective, although the database were finished but the link between the frontend and the back end is still working progress, however if it was finish this is how it is going to be tested. The following forms variables will be checked. First, input data validity. For instance, chick if both admin and customer could log in with ease into respective accounts. This was founded on the essence of ensuring the user of the website fill out forms correctly thus making sure the data provide work successfully with the application. The registration module incorporated a page for the user to register through provision of fundamental details such as name, email, and password while the login page consisted of email and password variables collective pointed as required field. The email had to take the format of ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ in addition to being valid in order for the user to order and purchase products but it is not a requirement in access and browsing through the site. Other form validation included ensuring password held specific characters, which consisted of uppercased and lower case letters, at least a number, and a symbol. During testing, randomised user details and passwords were keyed into log in module checking responsiveness and ease captured within the ability of the user to learning and memorising key elements with ease. At this stage, it was important keeping in mind that validation of forms takes various approaches rooted on three main reasons, namely, getting the right data at the right place and right format. The Pance flower web application would not work as intended and properly if the user’s data in incorrect format in the database or if they enter the information wrongly or omitting some or entire information altogether. Additionally, ensuring the passwords entered is secure in order to protect the accounts information by forcing them to register and use passwords that are difficult for unauthorised persons from manipulating. Similarly, in addition to protecting the user, it was critical for the application to be secure in order to avoid malicious users from misusing unprotected forms to damage the application.
During the testing, phrases like perform weak input validation, server input validation, stored XSS, and cross site scripting XSS kept appearing, however, the number of passed test measured by the detected bugs, valid accounts validated, and successful manipulated entry.
Additionally, the cookies testing will be done checking the users visiting the web page. Key areas will be tested included testing site with disabled and enabled cookies, verification of encryption of cookies before being captured and stored in the users’ computers, checking and testing for cookies duration of action as well as active section, and, furthermore, checking the security elements that might be involved or required when removing the cookies. Having a user identity and being able to track the areas and products the user viewed (area of interest during first and subsequent visits to the websites) enabled the application to modify and better the future experiences of the customer. In order to achieve this, cookies that will be interacted between the website and users tracking shopping cart, user sessions, tracking user’s interests, and personalised web experiences. In testing the workability and functionality of the cookies, the following checklist will be adhered to in attempt to ensure a comprehensiveness of entire process. Disabling all cookies while attempting to use the application major functions Manually corrupting the cookies by editing and changing parameters randomly by exerting random values Inspecting cookies encryption through identifying and outlining sensitive information such as user name, passwords, address, and details of payment mode (card number). This included ensuring encryption before sending to users computers Testing the cookies on different browsers (chrome, Firefox, Opera, edge, safari) as well as different devices such as phone and desktops by checking whether the web page work as expected in these platforms Testing how the system responds to deletion of cookies from web application page Selecting randomly some cookies especially rejected ones then deleting from websites to determine whether the user navigation through the site can be monitored before and deleting the cookies and if traces can be found after deleting. Determining the accessibility of the cookies, whether those written can be traced or accessed by other sites and individuals. Another aspect checked was extent to which the cookies appeared and monitored the user navigation within the application. Although the application tracked the user’s interests by storing viewed products, ideally, it was perceived not viable to
monitor each click made but rather the most viewed. Therefore, it checked that cookies were not overused Moreover, the application was tested to determine whether it works properly with different cookie settings
In testing of the database, key variables evaluated include the records to ensure the inserted data through the web and desktops are accurate such that the information displayed in the web application matched with intended and those stored. Before performing database testing, the tester needed to have an in depth understanding of the functional requirements, application design, database design, application flow, and business logic. That is, the objectives of application were enhancing user experiences, satisfaction, and ease in online ordering and purchase of products, flowers. As a testing process, databases logics such as triggers, store procedures, views, and cursor creation were evaluated as well as figuring out the tables whether they are corrupted or affected during inserting, updating, and deleting (DML) operations done through the application. The following procedures were followed during the database testing Verification of database ensuring the name and content matched with specifications. For instance, lilies displaced under the flowers categories contained lilies flowers in the application database while sunflowers held those grouped specifically as sunflowers. This was applicable to other categories and pages in the application will check the stored data matched the specified category. Essentially, this was evaluation/verification will be perceived important because it directly links to the user to the items s/he is searching hence wrong or mismatch in content in databases and information display will severely affect the navigability and ultimately the satisfaction levels. Testing and verification of primary and foreign keys in each tables, columns allows a null or not, storage procedure and name, whether stored procedure is installed, and behaviour of each flag A simple SQL code was written to test the parameters whether they are needed or not as well as stored procedure. This involved deleting and restoring the parameters to ensure each as needed and essential to the working of the application During the process, data was verified to ensure it was properly stored in the database after submission of each page in addition to verification of DML process, uniqueness of database, tables, and parameters by ensuring are named different Lastly, the size and encryption of the databases and its contents was evaluated and tested of the query execution time. Essentially, functionality testing acted as an essential step in evaluation of the attainment of fundamental requirements and performance of the application before being made public or use in real world: ordering and purchasing flowers in Saudi Arabia. Undertaking functionality testing was informed by need to release (make public) the application with no or near zero functionality shortcomings because of disastrous consequences for both end user and business entity in the event it fails to meet their core requirements. In general, following above extensive testing for functionality that include validation, navigability, and cookie evaluation, the application was found to hold intended variables and perform as designed and expected to a considerable extent.
Testing of the application security aspects involved identifying and solving flaws and gaps that might hinder the performance and attainment of intended aims. Based on the prevalence of vulnerability and intrusion concerns in the current cyberspace coupled with the application handling of users personal and sensitive information (names, financial records, and addresses), it was critical to make sure such confidential data were not exposed to unauthorised persons or corrupted files. It was key to make sure the users were not denied access and doing intended tasks (ordering and purchasing flowers) through restricted or denied functionality of the application. The vulnerability of the application was tested by assessing the weaknesses resulting from application of bugs, presence of viruses, and an injection of (SQL/script code). Given that users had to register and log in into their respective accounts in order to undertake such tasks as ordering and purchasing of the products, the authentication process needed to be watertight and free from hacking and access by unauthorised persons into the accounts. One approach of testing the structures was through ‘cracking’ the passwords aimed at accessing the private areas of the application. One approach involved randomly picking username and passwords. Furthermore, the URL manipulation was evaluated checking whether communication between the client and server existed. One way changing the information in the URL with anticipation that such manipulation might result in unintended behaviour by the server. Furthermore, security checklist comprised of inserting SQL statements through the application from the user interface end into some query then ran at the servers’ end.
especially the arrangement, appearances, and user engagement in the site following the feedbacks from user and concerns raised. The fourth stage involved testing and troubleshooting the web application aimed at evaluating the workability, functionality, security elements, and compatibility of the web application across variation OS and browsers. Lastly if I had the chance to rebuild the website I would start with the database and the backend first, since everything on the website is based on it, which will save me a lot of time and effort. Checking for functionality that include usability was considered fundamental because the site needed to be attractive and user friendly for consumers and new user to want to look at it. Similarly, it was critical that key information is displayed catching the eye of both regularly and new customers through putting relevant and right information (pictures) at the right place while not overcrowding the site. Ideally, this was based on the idea of maximizing the information shared with the visitors hence attaining the larger objectives coming to the site and seller enhancing their engagement and satisfaction. It focused on ensuring the website users were able to figure out with ease and quickly the working and use the website.
Figure 20 Under usability, it consisted on such elements as the easiness a user is able to figure and use the object as well as interacting while encountering near to non-existent difficulties and problems. The focused was fixated on the ways in which an average person perceived or interacted with the site and being able to purchase the commodities (flowers) as specific goals with ease. One core area that acted as a driving force in ensuring the usability of the website was founded on the ability of user, not just computer proficient or website gurus but average individual could access and manoeuvre around by learning and memorizing with high levels of satisfaction, efficiency, and near zero errors. Descriptively, memorability of a website entailed ease in which a user, mostly first timers, to revisit the site and optimizing its use after having limited exposure before. Testing memorability elements for the website, Pance flowers, involved taking a randomised sample population among individuals with specific requirements but accessing the site for a limited time then visiting back after a few hours. Fundamentally, the entire procedure aimed to determine whether the sampled individuals encountered difficulties in the second visit or not while pointing out ease experiences. Essentially, ease of learning the key elements formed a combined attribute of usability test. Notably, the test was done constantly from design stages before picking the shapes, colour, contrast, alignment, proximity, texture, size, value, and spaces were key variables observed during the testing. Furthermore, testing for application usability involved outlining the user’s ability to prepare inputs for, interpret the output, and learning how to operate and navigate the application.
Presently, online shopping as has gained traction where near every geographical location and business industry, there exists an online shopping application structured to capitalise on the surging growing internet usage. Saudi Arabia, where this Pance flowers aims to operate as business entity such as Haraj.com.sa, Souq.com, Cobone.com. Aliespress.com. Jarir.com, Opensooq.com, and Extrastores.com. Nevertheless, majority have business models towards electronics, household, clothing, and automobile dealership with very few dealing with horticultural products such as flower shopping and deliveries. Although it models its business structure on selling products from clothing, household appliance to supermarket products, Souq is consider best online shopping platform in not only Saudi Arabia but also Middle East. This can be attested by the navigability and design of the website (Image below).
Saudi Arabia is a religious state where political, social, and economic structures and activities include businesses and engagement are rooted on Islamic beliefs and teachings. In addition to conformity to Islamic and cultural norms observed by societies including dedicating time and effort in building a relationship either a business or a person judging based on trust, the Saudi government has streamlined ease of doing business in the country over the past decade including diversification of economic, laws encourage foreign investment, and limited restriction on financial transaction and exchange locally or internationally. Pance Flowers as business model need to observe and conform to various social values and norms in order to successful develop business operation in the region.
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