Tuesday, September 3, 2013

e-Commerce and Web Development I

Scene 1:
“I can’t come to your place, I have to go to purchase hard disk tomorrow”, I was cancelling my meet up plan with a close friend. “Are you from stone-age or what??”, my friend cried, “Just order it from flipkart.”

Scene 2:
A two year girl from Portland US, bought a car through online auction at e-Bay using Dad’s Smartphone.

            Today we have bypassed the traditional shopping concept, on the mouse click, you can buy/sell anything you want. Few years ago, the e-commerce giants like e-Bay and Amazon have limited usage in India but flipkart bought the revolution in Indian e-Shopping industry. Many more competitors jumped into this business and made fortune out of it. Jabong, myntra, yepme, jungle, snapdeal, yebhi..the list is unending. This new approach not only encroached the cloths, accessory industry but also real-estate industry, the sites like, indiaproperty, magicbricks, 99acres, common-floor are famous for buying/selling/renting real estates. This does not stop at this. You can buy/sell/advertise literally anything on sites like quickr, olx etc. And these sites gives you very good user experience and you are mostly able to fullfill your requirements.
The main challenge in designing sites like these is the immense freedom the user gets for filtering through the inventory. Take the example of buying T-shirt through myntra. You first select ‘Men’ category, then you select ‘Casual Shirts’ from the list of available patterns. Once the inventory is opened, you can shortlist items based on color, size, brand, sleeves, occasion, fit, pattern, collar and what not. Designing such a dynamic and configurable web interface is quite a challenging task. If you go to glassdoor or linkedin, you will find so many vacancies for web developers. These companies pay you generously. Frankly speaking, flipkart recorded highest package in my college even crossing e-bay and amazon. So what is it that these companies pay so much for? We will see from programming point of view how the web frameworks for these companies are developed.

            Flipkart, makaan, jabong, common-floor, olx all these websites use PHP for server side scripting and  use Javascript, jquery, flash, ajax as per requirements. There are few sites which use ASP like Microsoft, GoDaddy, but if you look at the market, PHP is the king. Other scripting languages like perl, python can also be used for web development but have limitations for high performance, high traffic scenarios.