Data Storage and Retrieval System for Online Makeup Business

Online Makeup Business: “BH Cosmetics”

In the recent years, there have been an enormous increase in the field of online makeup business. The major reason for this success is the convenience associated with offering the products online anywhere and anytime. This paper first describes the selected make up business “BH Cosmetics”, the need for an online data storage and retrieval system, and the challenges that the business has been facing without the data storage and retrieval system. Then, the technical aspects, such as the plan of data quality implementation, storage technologies that will be used, selected electronic preservation system, searching facility, need for the web crawling and selected mining technique, will be explained.

Brief Introduction to “BH Cosmetics”: Aims & Objectives of the Business

“BH Cosmetics” strives at providing the customers with the online access for purchasing the cosmetic items of different brands (BH Cosmetics, 2016-a). The website of the company has to be efficiently designed, where the make-up items can easily be categorized. At present, the company offers a wide range of products to the customers which are categorized mainly based on eye, face, lips, brows, brushes and accessories. Each of these categories are then further sub-divided according to the nature of the makeup item. For instance, in the face category, the products are subcategorized as: contour, blush, concealers, bronzers and illuminators, powder, foundation primers and foundations as well as other face products (BH Cosmetics, 2016-b). The newly available products are separately displayed in order to gain more of the customer’s attraction.

Moreover, the media and magazines from which these products are being taken are also displayed on the major interface, including Lucky, Style Watch, InStyle, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen (BH Cosmetics, 2016-c). The customers will be able to select either a single makeup item or multiple items to be stored in the cart, and then the total bill can be paid at the end of shopping.

The major objectives of the business are as follows:

  • To offer the customers the possibility to access the online shopping of makeup items from the convenience of their homes. All the major available brands can be accessed on the company’s website.
  • To provide a full specification and features of the products, along with the highest possible resolution of pictures.
  • To provide the detailed overview of the products, along with the video reviews and tutorials designed to help in using them.
  • To offer the customers a chance to find the makeup products and the price comparisons for the companies, including Nude, Bombshell, Pride & Prejudice, BH floral and Special occasion, to name a few.
  • To offer discounted deals to the customers. The discount deals are highlighted and are meant to appear on the website as soon as the customer appears.
  • To provide the customers with a chance of having customized packages of different makeup items. This helps them to get a chance to shop for brands of different companies.
  • In addition to the discount deals, the “buy one-get one free” deals are also frequently made available (BH Cosmetics, 2016-c).
  • Free shipping is offered on the purchases of above $50 for the customers from the US (BH Cosmetics, 2016-c).
  • The option of a gift card is available to be used in case the customers want to send the products as a gift to someone.

Need of Data Storage and Retrieval System for “BH Cosmetics”

The data storage and retrieval system stores all the company’s data and provides the user interface for the customers to interact with the data (Braha, 2013). They can have various forms of queries for searching among the stored data and then can make a selection from that. “BH Cosmetics” needs the storage and retrieval system for creating and modifying the data about the available products, packages and deals.

Need of Online Data Access for “BH Cosmetics”

Since “BH Cosmetics” is the online business, the only way, in which the customers will be able to interact with the company, is the website embedded with the efficient data storage and quick data retrieval system. Without this system, the business of the company cannot run.

Present Challenges Faced by “BH Cosmetics”

The company has been facing a number of challenges without the efficient data storage and retrieval system, some of which are presented below:

  • Due to the masses of the available information about the makeup products, the company is not able to categorize and arrange the product data as it intends.
  • Sometimes, the discount offers do not come up, causing the loss of customers’ attraction. It happens because the present system is not able to timely retrieve the data.
  • The video tutorials, which are provided to assist the customers (BH Cosmetics, 2016-d), are not organized appropriately; due to the storage issues, most of the time, the required video by the customer is not retrieved, causing the waste of resources which have been used for the storage of these videos.
  • The customers are not able to see all the products which match their search queries as the data retrieval system is not efficient to handle all the queries.
  • The price comparison and package selection is often not possible on the website.
  • Customers often post complaints about errors in calculating their total bill as the system is not able to handle and manage the shopping cart efficiently.
  • The personal customer data is not efficiently stored and is often not retrieved, when the customers return. This results in the customers’ need to fill in all the fields again, leading them to frustration as they do not face these issues, while shopping at other popular makeup business websites.
  • The customers often complaint about the late deliveries, or even no deliveries at all due to the errors in storing all the items purchased, along with their appropriate delivery locations and any special requests made by the customers for the delivery timing, etc.
  • The above mentioned challenges do not only risk the loss of customers by the company, but also the relationships with the stakeholder companies suffer. This is because many times, the data from the other websites, such as the price and product specifications, are not updated accordingly, resulting in the complaints from these stakeholders.

Quality Implementation Plan for “BH Cosmetics” Data Storage and Retrieval System

Firstly, the nature of data has to be tested, while the entities of data will be defined and categorized based on the nature of the makeup products (Kwon, Lee & Shin, 2014). In case of the discounted deals and offers, the system will keep track of the date till when any offer is available. As the date is crossed, the system shall automatically transfer the offer to the category “expired deals”. The data repository will be created, and then the blank will be filled in with the appropriate and relevant values.

The quality implementation plan for the data storage and retrieval shall be implemented based on surveying of the customers’ needs and expectations from the online makeup business. This survey can be conducted through an online questionnaire, or simply by identifying the traits of the competing make up businesses’ websites. It will result in that only results that are relevant to the customers’ search queries appear. Furthermore, the content should be high quality in terms of providing all the relevant details of the products to the customer. Moreover, the information will be written in easy to read and interpret language. Both the semantic and structural consistency will be implemented.

In short, the quality management principles followed by “BH Cosmetics” will include ensuring the relevance, readability, accuracy, comprehensiveness, accessibility, timelines and association of the content. The data will be well structured and arranged in such a way that maintains in the customers the interest to browse through all the products. The accuracy of the operations performed, while the customer is shopping, shall be monitored and maintained. These activities will include maintaining the log of all the products purchased by the customers, accurately and quickly performing the bill calculations, keeping track of the customer information, when he/she comes next time and most importantly the accurate storage of the contact details and delivery address of the customers.

Storage Technologies to be used by “BH Cosmetics”

Selecting an efficient storage technology for the “BH Cosmetics” is of paramount significance. Firstly, the business has to manage the data about thousands of makeup products which need to be modified on a daily basis; secondly, the image and video content of the makeup products would constitute a major portion of the stored data. Since the company aims at providing the best quality of images and videos to the customers to facilitate their decision making process, it is expected that the disk space occupied by the company’s data is going to be large to a considerable degree.

In order to meet all the above mentioned needs of the business, the virtual storage technology has been selected. This is mainly because the disk is managed in a better way provided by this storage method, because instead of occupying the entire disk space, the data is stored only on the space which is required by it. The data stored using this technology can be retrieved at a better rate as compared to other technologies; this is because of the fact that in the virtual storage system, the computer considers the data stored on multiples disks as if it was saved on a single device used as a fast drive (Bates, 2011).

In addition to the efficient storage and retrieval of data, the virtual storage technology will also offer “BH Cosmetics” the advantages of easy data migration (Kusnetzky, 2011), without disturbing the input/output access, centralized data management, reduced resource utilization in terms of the disk space and energy, cost effectiveness, improved backup process requirement of little assistance by the IT managers.
Therefore, a virtual storage technology will offer “BH Cosmetics” the opportunities of storing the data efficiently, and the customer service quality will enhance due to the improvement in relevance and delay of the data retrieval processes.

Electronic Information Preservation Method for “BH Cosmetics”

The electronic information generated by “BH Cosmetics” will mainly contain the content and images of the make-up products which have to be preserved for the future use. In terms of the preservation of the data, multiple methods will be used. The backup system will always be employed for preserving the data. In this regard, the data shall be stored at multiple physical locations. This will ensure that the electronic system can be backed up in the case of natural hazards, or if some security breach attempt occurs at one place. Since it is not easy to back up the electronic records in case some parts of the digital information set are compromised, the snapshots will also be taken for the major elements of the system. The snapshots can later be used for analyzing the system state at different points in time, which shall facilitate restoring the information. The metadata describing the context of the data shall also be efficiently stored.

Searching Capabilities for “BH Cosmetics”

The efficient searching capability of “BH Cosmetics” will be the customer experience and the sales of the company. Therefore, the company will provide all the available options for the information search that is commonly available for the makeup product searching. The most ordinary type of search will be the keyword search. Efficient ranking techniques will be used to rank the products according to various keywords; this will ensure that the customers see the most relevant product according to their keyword first, and then the least relevant products will be also displayed. The customers shall be able to search for the products based on their shade, color, brand, price and age preferences.

There will be an option to select the product ranges from the available drop down menus as well as typing in the content in which the customers are interested in. In order to highlight the top discount deals or seasonal product offers, the banners shall be placed at the points, where they can gain the maximum customers’ attention. Moreover, the efficient recommendation system shall also be integrated with the storage and retrieval system, which will allow offering the customers an opportunity to also consider the products relevant to what they are currently looking at.

Use of Web Crawling for the “BH Cosmetics”

Web crawling is the process of crawling the Internet and collecting the relevant information for updating the content on the website itself (Vural, Cambazoglu & Karagoz, 2014). This process has been used by the popular search engines, encyclopedias and other websites in order to keep the content on these websites updated and relevant. As described in the objectives of “BH Cosmetics”, the actual task of the business is to provide the customers with a complete picture of the available makeup products of all the major companies in the country at a single place. The company draws products mainly through advertisements posted by other products/services on the company’s websites, but also charges a small commission on each product. Thus, the price for each product displayed on the website of “BH Cosmetics” is the sum of the original company’s price of the product and the small commission charged by the company. It would not be practically possible for the company to keep all the price variations updated on a daily basis. Therefore, the company will be using the web crawlers for connecting all the companies’ websites and collecting the price information from those sources. This information will then automatically be updated on the website of “BH Cosmetics” without the need of any human intervention.

Use of Mining Technique for “BH Cosmetics”

The usage mining shall be used by “BH Cosmetics” in order to optimize the website design based on the users’ browsing data history. The major reasons for selecting this mining technique include the low cost involved in this mining process and the present state of the business. The “BH Cosmetics” has been suffering issues due to having a non-efficient data storage and retrieval system recently. Therefore, the system first needs to build the website in a way, which facilitates the customers’ experience to a considerable degree, without having invested too much. This can initially be done by using the freely available software packages instead of the need of developing or acquiring one for some price.

Therefore, the company shall make use of the usage mining technique, which will provide the web administrators with a chance of finding out the common searching methods followed by the customers, and the transitions they make from one product to another. The usage mining shall also provide details on what products the customers select most and which were returned as a result of their keyword search: this will assist the web designers in efficiently ranking of the products. Thus, the usage mining will help the customers in their search, and will benefit the company at the same time by boosting up the sales.

Conclusion

This paper provided the description of the needs, design and quality implementation plan for the data storage and retrieval system for the online make up business “BH Cosmetics”. The selected method of the electronic information and content preservation has also been described. The proposed systems will help the business in overcoming the challenges present due to the inefficient data storage and retrieval system. In conclusion, the designed system will provide the company with a chance of having a loyal and returning customer base, which, in turn, will result in the competitive advantage of the company.