User Centric Methods for Custom Platforms
With a custom platform it's easy to focus on your product and your sales as the central data point. After all, the sale drives the business and your product is normally the reason the customers chose you. But when it comes to data structure, is the sale really the centre?
We've worked on existing systems where the sales part of the platform database seems to be the centre of the platform's universe. It's important to remember the source of revenue is the customer, and the product they purchase is just the way a travel firm enabled that revenue. Customer accounts should be central to the system, and sales relative to the customer. Creating a sale with a unique customer and then attaching the account to the customer can cause issues with duplicate user records and hinder extracting meaningful data.
Most customers expect some online management of their purchases, and this is where a custom platform can add real value to your business. When the customer is central, a good custom platform will be able to gather sales, interactions and key data, and present them to the user in a meaningful way in a customer account area. Thinking about customer actions which may have an admin cost can help define the actions which should be enabled in your customer area. This could include:
Giving the user a reason to access your platform also gives your business an opportunity to reenforce its brand identity, helps customers see the benefit to choosing your product, and an opportunity for upselling and repeat business.
Customers expect a simple way to access their account area, but also there are responsibilities to keep the customer data safe. Using industry standards helps developers build secure account areas in a tried and tested way. Ricorocks is a Laravel Development Agency, and we've found Laravel makes building secure account areas simple. Laravel includes built-in authentication and session services. Its' authentication features include login, registration, password reset, email verification, and password confirmation. In addition, Laravel's own Passport and Sanctum package add OAuth2 capabilities to your platform. Providing a secure, industry standard logon in a cost efficient way will free up funds to develop other features.