Ucommerce includes full API reference documentation and lots of helpful articles to help you build your e-commerce site as effortlessly as possible.
Ucommerce for Kentico is designed ground-up to replace Kentico Commerce with the aim of bringing more powerful e-commerce capabilities on Kentico than what is available out of the box.
Ucommerce is designed to work with Kentico and e-commerce enable all aspects of CMS. Wherever possible Ucommerce leverages Kentico native features in an e-commerce context, e.g. images are stored in Kentico and leveraged inside Ucommerce wherever there's a need for images.
Ucommerce delivers three key functional areas: CMS, EMS, and the Accelerator.
L1 integration enables all Ucommerce management tools in Kentico.
Catalog Manager - Multiple sales channels (stores) - Multiple catalogs per store - Price lists for multi currency and B2B scenarios like tiered pricing - Product information management - And more
Order Manager - Full order management workflows - Distributed order management across stores - Split shipments on orders - Split payments on order - And more
Promotion Manager - Unified promotions engine - BOGOF, promocodes, unit level discounts, free gifts, order value discounts, free shipping, and many many more scenarios. - And more
Ucommerce Settings - Flexible product taxonomy - Payment framework with full payment life cycle management support, i.e. auth, capture, refund, void - 25 payment service provider integrations - Set up faceted search - Notification emails - And more
Ucommerce for Kentico is fully integrated with all Kentico EMS capabilities to enable marketing automation, personalization, email engine and more.
Leverage the marketing tools of Kentico in an e-commerce context.
The enabled EMS capabilities for Ucommerce do not interfere with the default features of EMS. They will continue to work as they always have.
For more information on the integration with EMS, see here.
Ucommerce is a superset of the capabilities of Kentico Commerce designed as a replacement for Kentico Commerce. Ucommerce ships unique solutions designed for the various domains of e-commerce. Indeed, it is discouraged to install Kentico Commerce in an environment with Ucommerce installed.
Please note the two can co-exist if required.
As a replacement for Kentico Commerce, Ucommerce leverages its own data stores for data native to Ucommerce:
Native data to Kentico EMS continues to be stored in Kentico itself:
To set up a new store using Ucommerce for Kentico you will first set up a website within Kentico. Next you will set up a new store within Ucommerce and pair the two by selecting the hostname you want the store in Ucommerce to tie itself to. Each pair is considered a channel.
This model enables you to set up multiple pairs of website and store (channels) to enable multi channel e-commerce.
Ucommerce is designed ground-up to work like this and enables you to share or differentiate information across channels. For example:
The development model for Kentico remains unchanged with Ucommerce installed. You will still develop using Portal Engine or MVC, but with the added benefit of Ucommerce headless commerce APIs.
The main difference you will notice is that products in Ucommerce are not content and so by default they will not have individual pages assigned in Kentico. Instead one or more pages in Kentico will serve as templates for product presentation, essentially data driven pages, which draw in relevant data from the catalog using Ucommerce catalog context.
This is also true for catalog hierarchies. Catalog hierarchies live inside Ucommerce, which means that website structure is defined both inside Kentico and Ucommerce. Kentico remains in control over the overall websites and page structures and Ucommerce augments these with catalog structures.
The benefit of this model is that hierarchies can readily be switched out at runtime depending on rules. If a certain customer login they could potentially see a complete different catalog than anonymous customers.
Within the workflow of creating pages and enabeling the commerce capabilities sits the usage of the Ucommerce APIs for presenting data. Please refer to Catalog library for browsing relevant APIs
While we are on the topic of Catalog presentation, we should touch on the subject of Ucommerce URLs.
Ucommerce uses a certain payload to identify and populate the context for what catalog, categories and product the customer is viewing at any given time.
For example, a payload like c-24/c-70/p-105 means you are viewing the catalog with id 24, the category with id 70 and product with id of 105. Using the IIS Rewrite Module mentioned in the system requirements this payload will be rewritten to query string parameters which are then interpreted by Ucommerce for setting up the CatalogContext.
You can find the URL rewrite rules either in the web.config file of your site, or in the IIS manager's "URL Rewrite" section, and you can modify them to fit your needs.
You can see an example of how this is set up in the open-source Accelerator project.
Similar to the presentation of products and categories you need to use relevant APIs during checkout. This can be completed within a single page, or as many steps as you prefer. You have full flexibility to do it however you'd like. For relevant APIs on checkout please see Transaction library
Ucommerce ships with a search engine designed to work for e-commerce scenarios. A common question in a model like this is, "how does a customer get a single search result?".
There are multiple ways search can be set, but by default you will work with two search engines: One to provide content search results and one to provide catalog search. From the customer's perspective the search result is often combined in a single page with focus on product hits and a secondary search search on content to provide the highest conversion.
It is possible to index all catalog items to the Kentico search engine by replacing indexers in Ucommerce and provide a unified search engine for both content and commerce. However, the e-commerce related search capabilities of Ucommerce will be lost in the process, e.g. automatically detecting witch price list to use for facteing on price intervals.
There are several integration points between Ucommerce and Kentico regarding membership, permissions and managing information about customers. First, a brief overview of each entity:
When the "Create customer as member" option is enabled:
Ucommerce provides a richer set of capabilities out of the box than Kentico Commerce, which makes the platform unique suited for more advanced e-commerce scenarios.
The following are a set of markers to look for when decided to go with Ucommerce over Kentico Commerce.
Ucommerce is designed for omni-channel commerce with focus on managing multiple stores in a single instance. Whenever you need to manage more than one store Ucommerce is the obvious choice.
If the merchant requires multiple catalogs, often tailored to a certain customer segment or for seasonal businesses when products change over the year, multiple catalogs might be exactly what you are after. Ucommerce supports multiple catalogs per store with multiple price lists associated.
You have a requirement of dealing with thousands of SKUs. Ucommerce was designed to do exactly that.
In addition you can support very large scenario involving hundreds of thousands of SKUs by adopting a search driven architecture, which leverages the built-in search engine of Ucommerce.
Ucommerce can automatically suggest to customers other products based on overall purchasing behavior in the store. If a merchant is looking to forego a potentially large investment in creating static product relations, typically with very large calalogs, Ucommerce can automatically suggest other relevant products
Ucommerce price lists are designed to handle multiple price points per product and variant, enabling multi currency scenarios and price products in more than one currency.
Price lists also work to for pricing a single SKU multiple times using the same currency, which is very common in B2B scenario involving multiple trading partners. Each trading partner might have its own pre-negotiated price list availabel. This is supported out of the box with Ucommerce.
Price lists support the notion of tiered pricing where the unit price of a product will change depending on the number of items bought, e.g. a customer orders between 1 - 10 will yield one price, a customers order between 11 - 20 will yield a different price usually lower but not necessarily.
Do discounts required by the merchant go beyond free shipping, buy one get one free, and promocodes? The unified discounting engine of Ucommerce is able to express very complicated discounting scenarios and can be extending to support new ones in cases when the out of the box functionality falls short.
Discounts might vary from market to market, e.g. US customers get different discounts than EU customers. As a multi channel e-commerce platform Ucommerce readily supports this scenario.
In most scenarios order processing happens in a back-end ERP or dedited OMS, however, in some scenarios order processing is required inside the e-commerce platform and Ucommerce is designed to work like that.
Different teams across geographies manage the over-all store. Ucommerce Security Foundation has the ability to lock users into certain roles and stores to support distributed management of the solution.
Most stores require payment processing and Ucommerce comes with more than 20 payment service provider integrations out of the box.
Ucommerce Payment Framework supports the full payment lifecycle. If a merchant wishes to manage payments without leaving the e-commerce platforms, Ucommerce can do it.
Payment service provider integrations support Authorize, Acquire, Refund, and Void out of the box, which make day to day operations simpler for the merchant.
See the Payment Providers for the latest list