Kentico 1 on 1 - Talking E commerce with Kristian Bortnik
In this Kentico 1 on 1, I interviewed newly crowned MVP Kristian Bortnik from Web Design Magic. Kristian is the Head of Development there and has a lot of experience around customizing the Kentico Ecommerce engine. I thought it would be interesting for the community to hear Kristian’s approach to creating customized ecommerce solutions.
Hi Kristian. Thanks for talking with me. First, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was pretty much a PHP developer for a few years, and that was before I started uni. I went to university and things kind of switched to C#. I thought it was pretty pointless to learn C#, because I didn’t think there was a potential in learning that. And then I moved to Australia and found a job where I had to know C# so that kind of turned things around. I started hating the things I liked about PHP before. It was also then when I started working with Kentico and that helped me appreciate C# a lot more.
What is your favorite aspect of the Kentico Ecommerce engine?
I think it’s really easy to create and manage an inventory of products. There’s a lot of out of the box features, but what I like the most is that it’s really expandable and there’s so many customization points that it’s limitless. I still haven’t had any clients approach me with something that’s not possible. From customizing calculations to customizing the shopping cart, I’ve pretty much met all of the requirements when a client throws us a curve ball. Everything just works out in the end.
What do you tend to customize the most?
What I do customize the most is the shopping cart elements. For example, adding custom elements to the shopping cart that change the behavior, like how things are calculated or additional products being added. Apart from that, I work a lot with digital products that aren’t actually physical, as well as custom coupons and discounts.
How should a developer go about working with ecommerce in Kentico? What are the key areas they should focus on and understand?
I think developers should start with getting a deep understanding of the shopping cart structure. How the checkout webparts connect to each other and how the whole checkout process works. How it’s finalized. How site users end up on the payment page. To me, that’s your first thing.
Then they should understand the shopping cart and order provider classes; understand how those can be modified for specific use cases. And then finally, it’s important to read the release notes of the latest version of EMS. That’s where you’ll find out if things have changed or don’t work the same way. Or if things have been opened up for customization where you can have things that you can modify that you couldn’t do so before.
What is the strangest / craziest ecommerce customization you have done?
I think the craziest deal in my books is making the whole shopping cart process be on a single page. Usually it’s on at least two pages where you have a shopping cart with the items and a payment method selection and the second page is the payment method. I think the craziest thing I’ve ever done is making it all sit on one page so people don’t have to go anywhere. They just select the options and type in their credit card and that’s it.
As you can tell, Kristian has a lot of projects he’s developed where he’s extended the ecommerce engine to meet specific project needs. Because of its flexibility, developers like Kristian can easily customize the shopping cart and check out experience for their projects to achieve their business goals. Thank you, Kristian, and welcome to the MVP team!
If you want to learn more about Kristian, check out his blog here.