Sellvana Feature Review - Alpha

Product NewsAnnouncements

Hello to all and welcome to the first of many Sellvana feature reviews! As a team, Sellvana is dedicated to building the best eCommerce platform in the market. We have been operating in a lean and mean mode, focusing on doing private demos and having 1:1 conversations with merchants, developers, and partners. The next step in our evolution is to lift the covers on our whole operation, giving you all direct visibility into what we're thinking, what we're planning, and what's been done so far. To that end we have created this series of blog posts/articles on the different functional areas of the system in order to get your feedback. As this is our first post, we are going to start with a very high level overview of the key functional areas that make up the Sellvana core features/functions and will be diving into specific areas in future posts.

The grouping of these features/functions is fluid and will continue to change and evolve as we work with you all to better understand how you like to see them arranged. For the purpose of this overview the areas are as follows:

1) Product Management

2) Catalog Management

3) Content Management

4) Order Management

5) Customer Management

6) System Management

 

Product Management

Right out of the gate we wanted the system to be extremely flexible when it came to managing products and related data. From managing the individual product fields (size, color, weight, etc.) to including complex media and file downloads, Sellvana has been built to allow for high functionality and flexibility in this area. A high-level feature list for this section includes:

  • Fields (Product Attributes) - Ability to create custom fields for things like size, color, weight, images, etc.
  • Field Sets - reusable groupings of fields so that "digital camera" type products can have the same 10 fields that are relevant to them, while "televisions" have a different set of 20 fields instead. These sets are customize-able, reusable, and combine-able (meaning you can use multiple field sets for a single product)
  • Product Attachments - Ability to attach files to products
  • Product Image Gallery Easy management of product images and how/where they appear
  • Upsells
  • Cross-sells
  • Related Products
  • Customize-able Admin Product List/Grid - Ability to organize visible product data in the admin section from any of the available fields
  • Quick export from List/Grid
  • Product Comparison
  • Product Reviews
  • Custom layouts Ability to determine the layout of a product detail page at the individual product level through the admin interface
  • Vendor Tracking
  • Variants Ability for products to be rolled up into a single product page with various colors, sizes, etc. with the same SKU or different 
  • Inventory/Shipping Management
    • Quantity/Stock Tracking
    • Backorders
    • Quantity notifications on frontend
    • Quantity notifications to admin
    • Shipping
  • Pricing Management - Highly configurable, product can have multiple levels of pricing in any of the below categories
    • Customer Group Pricing
    • Multi-currency
    • MAP Pricing
    • Sale Pricing - Includes automatic enable/disable based on dates
    • Cost Tracking 
    • Dynamic Pricing Ability to have the system calculate prices based on % or fixed amounts from the normal price, cost, etc.

Catalog Management

Because we broke products out as its own section above, this section will focus on the remaining pieces related to the catalog, namely how users find the products, and how the catalog as a whole can be manipulated in terms of pricing. A high-level feature list for this section includes:

  • Navigation/Category Management
    • Category Data
    • Meta Data
    • Layout editor
  • Search Terms - Quick tool for creating direct linked search terms to certain pages, categories, products, etc.
  • Promotions We have built out an extremely easy to use, rules based promotion engine
    • Cart specific promotions
    • Catalog wide promotions
    • Coupon codes
    • Various condition types - Conditions are what activate a promotion, so we included the most requested types of conditions
      • Products
      • Product Fields/Attributes
      • Categories
      • Cart Totals
      • Destination information
    • Various promotion types - if a user meets the condition(s), some action gets performed on their order or catalog
      • Discounts (fixed amount and %)
      • Free Shipping
      • Auto add items to cart

Content Management 

Ecommerce platforms are notorious for their poor content management tools. The reason for this is that CMS and eCommerce platforms have historically been treated as two different things. Need both? Time to integrate! The reality is that for merchants, being able to generate and manage content is sometimes the only way to differentiate their store from competitors (not to mention Amazon). For our alpha release we wanted to recognize the basic content needs of an average eCommerce site and give merchants the power to manage that content on an ongoing basis. With this in mind we focused on giving merchants the ability to manage the layouts of the main page types they interact with (categories, products, static pages), as well as a WYSIWYG tool to fill those layouts with appropriate content. A high-level feature list for this section includes:

  • Layout Editor - Admin side tool for dragging and dropping different content types into a 3/2/1 column page layout
  • Meta Data
  • URL management - Ability to create custom URLs for your pages
  • WYSIWYG editor - Stands for "What you see is what you get", meaning you don't need to know HTML to change fonts, insert tables, add links, etc. think Microsoft Word
  • Full pages & Reusable Blocks - Any piece of content can live as its own page or can just be a small piece of content that you may want to use on multiple pages
  • Comes with a default theme built on eCommerce best practices
    • Responsive default theme
    • Optimized checkout flow
    • Multi-select filtering
    • Product Quick-view

Order Management

For our alpha release we set the groundwork for more robust order management functionality down the road, while still providing the day-to-day functionality merchants need. A high-level feature list for this section includes:

  • Ability to edit orders - ability to update addresses and other information as long as certain conditions are met (payment, shipment rules)
  • Custom order statuses
  • Payments - record and track payments on orders
  • Shipments - record and track individual packages and tracking numbers (multiple packages to one order)
  • Cancellations - record cancelled items on orders that have not yet shipped
  • Returns - record returned items against orders
  • Refunds - record refunds given to customers
  • Individual order histories - a history of changes/updates made against a single order

Customer Management

Without customers you don't have a business. But more than just recording a name and an address, how you use customer information can make or break your business. Marketing campaigns, promotions, customer service-these are the tools of a successful online store and they all start with capturing and managing customer data. A high-level feature list for this section includes:

  • Customer Data Overview
    • Order history
    • Address
    • Customer data
    • Reviews
    • Wishlist
    • Shopping cart
  • Customer Groups
  • LOGIN AS CUSTOMER - Very happy to bring you this feature in Alpha. This is a customer service MUST. When a customer has a problem, ask them for permission to take over their cart and solve it on the spot!
  • Subscriptions (Email)

System Management

Rounding out our list are the system specific tools that help developers and power users run their sites. A high-level feature list for this section includes:

  • URL Redirects
  • Module Management - a real-time list of all installed modules, version numbers, current states, etc.
  • User Management (admin users)
  • Admin roles & permissions
  • Multi-site management
  • Backups
  • Import/Export
  • General system settings
  • Media Library
  • Translations
  • Admin to admin chat - A cool feature for folks with multiple people working out of their eCommerce back-end who need to communicate quickly and easily without ever leaving their window

The above lists only scratch the surface, covering the highlights and must-haves we set out to achieve with our Alpha release. As mentioned in the beginning of this post we will be diving into specifics for each of the sections, possibly breaking them down even further than organized above. Our goal is to build the world's BEST ecommerce platform, and the only way to do that is to listen to our users. Have feedback? Have questions? Give us a shout at @sellvana on twitter or email us at feedback@sellvana.com.

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