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Case Study: nopCommerce Auction & Multi-store

Highlight of this case study

  • The code was based on an open source &excellent e-commerce project.
  • The project has powerful plug-in mechanism, excellent extensibility, sophisticated program framework and powerful functions.
  • It has sufficient user self-definition function, which can satisfy users' demand and SEO.
  • It has extended the multi-stores function of nopCommerce.
  • Smooth and interactive purchase process, providing the customer with terrific purchase experience.
  • A workflow for the auction process, the auction system includes timer system, email system, order system etc.


  • Public website customer can watch auction feature
  • Feed into standard nopCommerce checkout/payments when successful bid is awarded as highest bid by the close time and if reserve price is met. Basically use a new duplicate of the Wishlist system for watching auction bids. Add a new conditional field for successful bids which is the existing wishlist feature to "Add to Cart" which enables the successful bidders to pay for and complete their auction process on only those successful items. You can see this process in Gray's online. Only redirect to onepagecheckout and skip shopping cart for this. Clear cart on every add to cart behavior too. Basically auctions are a 1 to 1 relationship to avoid complexities.
  • Shopping cart to enable only one product to be added each time, unless from the same store/product owner. Optional quote to alter this customer order process to automatically split orders and payments into separated orders. This would allow customers to checkout multiple normal for sale products by enable the store owners to manage/restrict the orders, payments and status controls in their store/seller admin.
  • Stored procedure or similar if statement in admin when auction has been successful and has an order with paid status then deactivate or mark as unsuccessful all other bids on that auction. Perhaps triggered when successful auctions has been paid and order status to paid/pending.
  • Possible customization required so multi quantity is allowed. For example seller has 10 of the same product on auction. Using the system described above potentially a customer with the highest bid may only bid on quantity 2. Then another second customer bid on the other 8, or even a third customer break down. The system should allow cascading successful quantities as an optional quote. We'd like a base quote where it's all just single quantity bidding and one order checkout per store etc. But we'd like the optional price to handle this multiple quantity/buyers system too.
  • Upgrade required for store-admin so store owners can ONLY manage orders for own products/auctions.
  • Delivery time on products.
  • Special price start date/time and end date/time.
  • Ability to choose selling days and times.
  • Ability to choose showing days and times.
  • Remind if there is an unprinted order.

Multi-Store Features

  • Customers can have their own stores on the website, to sell their products and manage their orders.
  • Define owner grade, e.g. Gold store owner can add logo to their product and add unlimited products, while Silver store owners can only add products in limited area.
  • Auction available. Store own can set a product as auction product and set specifics like start price, auction time etc.
  • Order management. The store owner can manage the orders which contain the owner's products.

The Auction Process

  • Auction will start at the seller's starting price. Basically sellers are store owner Customers in the project.
  • The auction will be conducted as a normal auction until the reserve has been met. Once the reserve has been met a clock with a dynamic time period (default 1 hour) counts down and the highest bidder of the duration is successful. Use the rewards project for this type of countdown customization.
  • Once the auction has finished both the successful buyer (winner) and seller will be notified through their my account and/or private messages as well as normal automated email queue.
  • Add a new conditional field for successful bids. This enables successful bidders to pay for and complete their auction process on only those successful items.


Technology Required

System Architecture

nopCommerce auction structures

Why Nova and Benefit to Client

  • Complex Business. The website has some complex business logics. However, Our development only spent 25 workdays to complete the whole job.
  • High quality. In order to let our client got the product as soon as possible, we took the agile approach to develop this product. We sent daily work report to let the customer know our progress and what's going on here. We also sent weekly report to summarize the functions completed in that week and the detail plan of next week.
  • Reports. We delivered a new release every day, then the client would take a look at the new release and give some feedback to us, and we would do some necessary adjustment according to the feedback. All functionalities were gradually carried out step by step, week by week in a proven and solid way.
  • Experienced. Everyone in our group is experienced in this field.
  • Protection. We are a company.
  • Economical. Comparing with local related development, the client saved 50%.