A good amount of communication between Merchant and Buyer on an e-Commerce site happens over email, in all phases of the sale (pre, post and during sale).
However this communication is currently done mostly offline, in private mailboxes. The merchant has to switch context between shop (where order/sale and user details are stored) and his own mailbox.
In addition, the mail threads are scattered. So same customer, same order, could result in multiple threads, hence having a disorganized effect on the customer-relationship.
So fine, we can implement a module which allows for all customer communication to be driven from the /admin/ itself. Mail-system sync can be accomplished via simple pop3 or imap protocols. Tracking codes in message-subject can help to maintain threads.
The real challenge seems to me though of storage. If we maintain the emails in the shop-database, wouldn’t we be slowing the DB-Server down? How should the mail-storage best be managed?
- Would you use the shop-database?
- Not handle mail correspondence in the mail at all? (easy way out, chicken;))
- Use a different database (if so, which type?)
Your insights appreciated.