I’m pleased to announce the live status of a Magento online store using the First Atlantic Commerce (FAC) payment gateway. The site sells a line of cricket gear under the brand DAZZA and the Brand Ambassador is the famous former national cricketer Daren Ganga. What’s particularly noteworthy (other than the brand ambassador is an international figure in the cricket world), are the additional default features of Magento that were used on this site.
Trinidad-based international E-Commerce on Magento platform
First, given the international positioning of this site and the personalities involved, the Magento platform was the logical choice and I wouldn’t have recommended anything less even for a basic online store. However, during my initial discussions to assess the scope and positioning of the site, the objectives needed the additional features that Magento handle better than any other platform.
Multi-store set-up on one Magento installation
A great feature of Magento is that multiple storefronts can be set-up on the same installation. One can have any number of distinct and separate online stores selling unrelated merchandise, all managed from the same back-end. As a matter of fact, the following can be achieved from one Magento install:
- Multiple websites selling different merchandise using individual (unique) domains
- Multiple stores selling different merchandise using a single domain
- Multiple storeviews selling the same merchandise (often used for different languages)
- Multiple stores with each store using own, unique template
- Multiple stores sharing same SSL Certificate
This site uses the second option running three (3) stores which I’ll describe below.
3 Stores on one Magento Installation
This Magento store comprises three (3) storefronts all operating under the main domain ‘meeraastt.com’ as part of the corporate business of Meeraa’s Holdings. Each store is configured to use their own URLs to direct to their own homepage:
- STORE 1: https://meeraastt.com/dazza/
- STORE 2: https://meeraastt.com/fashion/ (still in progress)
- STORE 3: https://meeraastt.com/carnival/
If one navigates to the main site: https://meeraastt.com/, it takes you to a Landing Page with links to all 3 sites. Please note however, at this time the Dazza and Carnival stores are live while the Fashion is still in progress. You will also observe that both stores use different templates but the same SSL Certificate.
2 Different Templates
I selected a nice fashion oriented template which I used for both the clothing and carnival store. Obviously, a women’s fashion template would not be suited for store selling cricket gear so a different template was used.
In the back-end, both templates can be configured just by selecting the store being edited from a drop-down, and any coding modification can by directly going to the specific template on the server.
Client supplied graphics
I’m sure you’re impressed with the quality of graphics on the homepage, especially the sliders but it wasn’t me. Professional looking graphic design are best done by a professional and not my forte. I can do a modest job if I have to, but I always advise clients to use their own graphic designer if they have one.
US Dollar Base Currency
The site’s base currency is in US Dollars and that’s because the Merchant ID (MID) issued by the bank is in USD. When a product is added in the back-end, the price entered must be in USD. For our Trini convenience, there is a TTD price switcher that calculates the equivalent for DISPLAY only, and you will observe that there will be decimals as a result, which may not always be pretty.
That’s how ‘base currency’ works. Regardless of the TTD price you see, upon checkout, the payment gateway will look to the original USD price and take that value for payment. The same goes if additional currencies are added to the dropdown.
It also means that the amounts settled and remitted by Visa/MC will be in USD. It makes sense to keep incoming US Dollars which will come from mostly international orders which are legitimately earned.
First FedEx integration with Magento for international shipping
FedEx doesn’t do local delivery but that’s being taken care of by own vehicles. Due to the nature of the Dazza’s merchandise, i.e. cricket gear, ‘a more better way’, as Trinis say, was needed to set international shipping other than less optimal pre-determined rates.
Magento includes both FedEx and UPS shipping methods by default and so requires only additional specific info to link the merchant’s shipping account. By ‘includes’ I mean that no additional coding is needed, the shipping method is already there in the back-end ready to configure and enable.
FedEx was very helpful in this regard and the setting up the Dazza FedEx account was surprisingly easy.
But my second Magento multi-store
Yes this wasn’t my first foray into the Magento multi-store set-up, I had forayed one time before. Because of that first experience, I was able to recommend this approach. Funny enough, I was able to ‘reverse-foray’ because only on this project I set up the different store template and then advised my initial client to do the same.
I know you’re wondering who it is; the client is TnT Bamboo Online. The second store is a New Parts store currently being set up for online payment as it was discovered that 2Checkout was incompatible with the theme.
On the heels of this Magento store I’ll be rolling out yet another (El Alligator of Long Circular Mall) in very early February. I have another one (Southern Supplies Ltd), perhaps early March, and a final one (Mecca Industries of La Romain), in April if I’m lucky as I haven’t started that one yet.
Oh, and how was it working with Daren Ganga? He has been a pleasure to work with as I had to interact with him a lot for his input on the site. He is very patient and understanding, and so too his staff.
This project isn’t 100% complete as the fashion store is still in progress, so lookout for that in the coming months. Meanwhile, you can check out Dazza.