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OXID Commons on May 16th and 17th in Freiburg

OXID Commons 2013As with every year in May, what has become in the meanwhile the legendary event, “OXID Commons” will take place. To this conference and accompanying trade fair we invite online merchants, partner agencies, strategic partners and interested parties enthused in e-commerce within its broadest sense.

The call for papers is already closed – we’d like to thank you for the numerous submissions of top-notch talks. Presently, the schedule is prepared and will be published soon. During the program experts will highlight the e-commerce business of tomorrow in two parallel tracks. An interesting mix of talks, case studies, best practices and discussion panels will be offered. The highlights this year will be: multichannel, TV commercials, internationalization and B2B as well as quality assurance and mobile shopping. Of course, all sessions can be streamed live on the event’s page.

Already for the 8th time we will award the “GOLDEN CART” in five categories to outstanding shopping cart solutions, judging especially the holistic solution of the whole presence, the innovation, as well as the complexity of the challenges during the implementation.

Our special thanks of course goes to the many exhibitors and sponsors of this event.

As usual we would like to celebrate with you the work done during the last year, networking in a cozy atmosphere in the evening.

On the next day, May 17th, we’d like to invite all developers and technically oriented people to OXID Unconference to the SIC (Solar Info Center) in Freiburg. As usual for an unconference, the schedule will be done only on the day of the event, but of course advance proposals are always welcome. This event is entirely free, but requires a pre-registration so we can do some planning. Please submit your proposal during the registration.

For tweets, please use the hash tag #oxcom13.

To the success of the event! Looking forward to it!

Only 2 Days Left Until the First eCommerceCamp

logo ecommerce campAlready nearly upon us, the first German eCommerceCamp will take place in Jena on the forthcoming weekend, from March 15th to 17th, bringing together developers and integration providers of open source shopping cart systems. The intention of the organizers is to provide a platform for the informal exchange of know-how and experience. The event will be held in a barcamp style: the topics will be decided by attendees themselves at the very beginning.

There are still some tickets available that you can purchase from the organizer’s website. But you have to hurry up: the ticket sales will close really soon, in fact already tomorrow, Thursday, March 14th.

By the way: OXID eSales proudly sponsors this first German platform overlapping event as a “coffein sponsor”. Enjoy your hot beverage 🙂

OXID User Group Berlin About to be Established

We are pleased to announce that on Tuesday, February 5th, starting at 6 PM, the OXID user group Berlin will see the light of day. SysEleven invites you to their premises in Umspannwerk – Entry C, Ohlauer Straße 43 and will sponsor your refreshment.

All of you interested peeps in or around Berlin are invited no matter if you are an ambitious user, client, a freelancer or integration partner. The aim is to empower the exchange of ideas, solutions and co-operation on different levels.

The entry is free, but registration is required so the organizers can plan.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

[Registration disabled as the event is over :-)]

OXID User Group North Rhine-Westphalia is Alive and Kicking Bits Around like Balls.

OXID UG LogoIn the first half of 2012, hot on the heels of OXID Commons, I announced the establishment of the OXID user group North Rhine-Westphalia in Essen, Germany. In the meantime, six meetings have been held, and the upcoming one has recently been scheduled for January 22nd. I had the chance to attend two of them and was really astonished about the agility, the sincerity with which people were working from the very first hour and the success of this event format.

On the specially installed website the initiators say:

“The meetings are really outstanding. The people are interesting and their opinions are at least as manifold as the issues and resolutions.”

In the last half year partners, freelancers and ambitious online merchants had hearty exchanges on topics like B2B, SOLR integration, TOXID, performance hacks and responsive web design. If you are interested, you may download all available meeting minutes as a PDF in German from here:
http://oxid-ug.de/termine.php

It is not only about healthy debate, we also got some really fully elaborated concepts as a solid basis for a discussion about new development tasks. We’d like to say thank you to you all for this fantastic job!

If you’re interested in founding an OXID user group in your own region, please use the contact form. Christian Lehmann will be happy to assist you with installation of your own site on oxid-ug.de. You may also want to join the oxid-ug mailing list if you’re intrigued to know more.

Translate OXID eShop Into the Language of Your Choosing

For some time now we have been working with OXID eShop translation center, that helps to interpret language keys used in OXID eShop and stored in language files. The software behind this is oTranCe, and it especially supports translators that have no clue about coding: there will be no longer any hassle with breaking pages because of a comma set wrong or character encoding.

Please feel free to download the language packages from the translation center with the credentials guest | guest. All translations made there will be published under the open source license GPLv3 and can be used freely by any OXID eShop edition.

Probably, if you need a special language, you have to support this in your daily business and for this have somebody to know the language. It would be communially beneficial if you please give something back: let your team members register and interpret some language keys by themselves. Here is a video tutorial about it:

 

If you want to know more about language file handling and get some language installation tips in OXID eShop please visit this page:
http://wiki.oxidforge.org/Tutorials/Language_handling

Here you will also find the well earned backlinks to the translators helping with this project. Just in case you need somebody to support foreign requests in your daily business or building up your product range in a foreign language 😉

Additionally, we started publishing the ready-to-use language packs on OXID eXchange and will extend these downloads step by step as soon as translations reach 100% for front end files or the entire package: front end, admin plus setup. We also provide the needed map.php, transliteration lists and language flags in the right shape and size for the theme Azure.

Chip in if you feel like you fancy a go!

OXID projects moved to GitHub

OXID projects, previously hosted on http://projects.oxidforge.org, using FusionForge as a platform software, moved to GitHub.

GitHub is a much more powerful platform than the previous OXID projects ever could be. Also, it provides some nice social and viral features to collaborate even beyond the OXID orbit. The pull request and forking features allow easy collaboration, while keeping your own development infrastructure. GitHub is easy to use and even knows SVN commands 🙂

All projects have been moved, incl. their README files (and/or descriptions), plus a remark regarding when and by whom the project originally was registered. If you recognize that something doesn’t fit, just leave a comment on this blog post – or pull request a change on GitHub.

All previous project URLs have been permanently redirected to their new GitHub location. Additionally, on http://projects.oxidforge.org we created a landing page with some information about why we moved and what are your benefits and advantages. Also, we highlight some interesting projects, exchanging them from time to time on this landing page. If you have some ideas for other interesting projects or plan to start a new project, please let us know.

Hope you like GitHub as much as we do.

R.I.P. OXID eShop Version 4.5

Yesterday we published the last patch release 4.5.12 (working title: “R.I.P. patch”) of the discontinued OXID eShop series 4.5.

OXID eShop series 4.5 was published in April 2011 and introduced the stunning new theme “Azure”, as well as support for unlimited multi-lingual shops and module/theme specific configurations.

As was announced earlier this year, we will supply patches for previous versions of OXID eShop, and with the release of Enterprise Edition 5.0 and Professional/Community Edition 4.7, 4.6 now becomes the “previous” version. Please note that this is not only valid for bug fixes published in patch releases for 4.5 series: it also applies to support services, so we kindly request our clients, users and partner agencies to consider an update to your shopping cart installation. All update packages can be downloaded from OXID forge for the Community Edition. Users of an Enterprise or Professional edition have been informed via email.

OXID eShop Versions 5.0 and 4.7 Available

OXID eShop Versions 4.7 and 5.0 AvailableLast week we proudly published the new versions OXID eShop Enterprise Edition 5.0 and OXID eShop Professional and Community Edition 4.7.

Intrigued why the versioning was split? Basically, we decided to focus feature-wise on Enterprise Edition especially to serve clients with high load scenarios, as well as with the need for enhanced scalability. Of course both, Professional and Community Editions benefit from the essential software changes, for example in the framework and core, as well.

 

These are the features and improvements in detail:

  • Improved caching system (Enterprise Edition only)
    – Completely revamped cache manager
    – Varnish reverse proxy
    – support 
Memcached
  • Master / Slave capability (Enterprise Edition only)
  • Checkout compliance (AKA German “Button solution”)
  • Implementation of the EU cookie guidelines

 

Maintenance work:

  • Removed Basic theme
  • Replaced Zend Platform by Zend Server support
  • Refactored the bootstrap process
  • Introduced a new file structure
  • Introduced an external file for own configuration options
  • New module events defined in meta data
  • etc…

If you want to gather more information about this version, please read on, on the page What’s New. You’ll find even more technical information and links to tutorials on how to install, update, and some new functionality on OXIDforge. The demoshop and most other relevant pages and sources have already been updated.

10 Essentials for Mobile Commerce – Part 3

Finally we publish the 3rd part of our series „10 essentials for mobile commerce“. The last part focuses on the importance of usability and user experience as well as speed and security.

7. Usability is even more important on smaller screens

The usability of your online shop has a huge impact on the success of your business strategy. The smaller screens of smartphones and tablets turn the importance of usability friendly design even higher. There are a few basic principals which should be considered: Use a consistent design throughout the app. Make buttons big enough for touchscreens and use icons or images to make it more clear. Facilitate the navigation through different categories with a “Back”-button. Use intuitive gestures for multitouch-devices such as swiping to let customers navigate through articles. Make use of the accelerometer to show bigger images of articles in the landscape view. There are surely many more ways to optimize the usability of smartphone apps – keep always in your mind, that usability is crucial!

8. Be as secure as you could be

There is a very recent study of Forrester, which says, amongst other things, that many people have problems with entering their sensitive data in the tiny smartphone text boxes. For retailers this has two implications. First of all, be as secure as you could be in your app. Offer the possibility to pay via PayPal or other payment services without entering all the sensitive data. Use SSL or other security methods and communicate this fact to your customer.  Show your credibility by implementing the Trusted Shops seal in your app. Second implication is, that you have to practice educational work that mobile commerce isn’t at all unsecure and that all data lays on secure servers and so on. Explain your customer why she or he hasn’t to be afraid of purchasing your products on the smartphone and on the tablet.

9. Create a seamless user experience

Seamless user experience – what an expression. Sounds very complicated, but is in fact very banal. Create corporate identity guidelines which are consistent over all touchpoints with your customer. Print, ads, mobile, online shop, brick and mortar store and all other touchpoints with your customer should reflect the brand. Especially the recognition value of the mobile and the online shop has to be very high. Point 3 (in part 1 of our series) also counts onto the account of a seamless user experience. If there are cuts between different touchpoints it’s not seamless. To account for the fact that many people inform mobile and purchase articles in the online shop, you have to implement a basket which is persistent on all devices. Or, if this is too expensive/complicated, you may implement a possibility to email the basket and/or to create a link to the basket with all the products in it. This way you’ll facilitate your customer the change of the touchpoint and thus increase the possibility that this customer is buying. And remember, it doesn’t matter which touchpoint does which part during the customer journey, important is only that she or he completes the order!

10. Speed is the key to conversion

When we visit an online shop we expect instant loading of the sites, if the different sites are not loading as expected, we leave the website and the turnover for the retailer is gone. That’s exactly the same with mobile apps. And there is also a tiny little point why native apps are better than mobile optimized templates. Native apps are faster and exploit the hardware of the smartphone in an optimal way. So keep in mind that speed is the key to conversion.

Die digitale Disruption [Infografik]

Das Beratungsunternehmen Deloitte hat eine Infografik veröffentlicht, die zeigt wie digitale Innovationen den Alltag verändern. Auch für den Handel bringt dieser Lebenswandel eine Reihe von Veränderungen mit sich. Die Bedeutung von Social Media Kanälen nimmt erheblich zu, Stichwort Shit Storm. Die Verbreitung von mobilen Endgeräten wie Smartphones und Tablets bringt eine ganz neue Dynamik in den Kaufprozess, der sich vom linearen Pfad zu einer verteilten und vernetzten Customer Journey mit enorm vielen Berührungspunkten (Touchpoints) zwischen Handel und Konsumenten entwickelt.

Digital Disruption