Magento Blog

Innovative Fashion Brand Gets a Big Performance Boost


Challenging the ideas that high fashion needs to have a brick-and-mortar presence and big price tags, Sole Society’s innovative founder and CEO, Brett Markinson, launched the online shoe, handbag and accessories company “to engage in something disruptive.” The result is a quickly growing fashion brand that’s marketed with an impeccable high-end online user experience to match.


Markinson notes in his candid video testimonial (below) that they were looking for a highly customizable platform, with strong engineering support, that had “a lot of credibility in the marketplace.” Chief Product Officer, William Bartley added that they also wanted a platform that could grow with them, “from a million dollar business up to a $200 million dollar business,” and that’s why they chose Magento.

To help elevate their experience online, the Sole Society team turned to Magento Solution Partner Guidance for improvements to their site that would give them speed and functionality without sacrificing style.

What else did they get? A complete upgrade of their features, site performance, integrations and login functionality. Markinson says, “For us, the magic of the technology is that we can make it invisible. It’s the fluid nature of how easy it is for us using Magento platform to evolve and develop quickly.”

From the front end, the technology has definitely created a seamless user experience where customers can easily navigate from style guides and collections to very detailed-but-uncluttered product detail pages (all easily managed from the Admin interface). With the upgraded caching system, Sole Society has also seen big improvements in site performance, including a 75% improvement in the “quick view” functionality for all product images (from a four second load time to 1.5 seconds).

Bartley says, “We’ve had significant growth. It’s been fantastic, and Magento is a tool that’s helped us get there.”

View More on the Sole Society Success Story

Quick View




Shop the Look


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Magento Secure Payment Bridge for Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13 Now Available

A new version of Magento Secure Payment Bridge, intended for merchants using Magento Enterprise Edition, is now available for download from the Support Portal*.

Like previous versions, Magento Secure Payment Bridge has successfully completed PA-DSS certification by our Qualified Security Assessor, Trustwave, and it is listed as a Validated Payment Application on the PCI Standards Council Website. This certification helps you save time and money when it comes to complying with PCI standards.

Magento Secure Payment Bridge also addresses several issues and offers new features that enable more efficient payment processing. With this update you can:

  • Process partial refunds and invoices for orders that were placed using PayPal Payflow Pro.
  • Approve and deny transactions marked as potentially fraudulent by PayPal Payment Pro directly from the Magento admin.
  • Access basic fraud management features for Authorize.Net from the Magento admin, such as fetching a transaction status.
  • Take advantage of additional features from supported payment gateways, including Worldpay,, Ogone DirectLink, SagePay, and eWay.

We recommend upgrading to this new version of Magento Secure Payment Bridge if you are currently using Magento Enterprise Edition If you are planning to upgrade to Magento Enterprise Edition, you should upgrade your version of Magento Secure Payment Bridge at the same time.

More information about Magento Secure Payment Bridge and PCI compliance is available on the Magento web site and release notes are part of the Magento Secure Payment Bridge software package.

*Login required to download.


New Magento Connect Staff Picks


Congratulations to our new Magento Connect Staff Picks! Our Staff Picks highlight some of the best extensions in Magento Connect, extensions that are truly helping merchants improve their businesses. Staff Picks are selected from both Magento Enterprise Edition and Magento Community Edition extensions, and developed by both Magento Industry Partners and our ever-growing community of independent developers. Check them out!



Merchants reach out to their customers and prospective buyers in dozens of ways. Whether they use email, social messaging or retargeting, it's important to understand which of these marketing actions bring results. Enter SpringBot. Their MarketingRobotics engine integrates directly with Magento stores with this extension, and measures which marketing actions lead to sales, so merchants don't have to guess with their marketing strategy and budget. SpringBot integration is a great step in marketing ROI.

Advanced Reports by AheadWorks

AheadWorks continues to bring high quality, impactful extensions to the Magento Connect marketplace. Advanced Reports will help merchants discover the hidden details of their store’s performance by providing insights into customer, product and sales trends. A must-have for anyone looking to sell more by unlocking the power of actionable data.

Sage Payments by eBizMarts

News Flash! eBizMarts had upgraded their Sage Payments integration! Merchants can now take advantage of the new version of Sage Exchange, allowing them to seamlessly integrate into it into their Magento store. Now merchants can consolidate all their payment activity on one platform. Another winner from our friends at eBizmarts!

AvaTax by One Pica

What happens when you bring a Gold Industry Partner and a Gold Solution Partner together? Magento extension magic, baby! AvaTax is a wildly popular tax tool that covers hundreds of thousands of rules over hundreds of thousands of jurisdictions. Basically, if you need to figure out a tax rate purchases in Magento, AvaTax and One Pica have you covered with this extension. .

Unirgy DropShip

Here’s a pick from the Magento Sales team—the Unirgy DropShip extension. What if you could sell products from multiple vendors, manage inventory and order fulfillment all within an interface that seamlessly integrates with Magento? This versatile extension gives merchants that functionality, and what’s more, this extension is on fire on Magento Connect! Here’s a quick excerpt from a review: “For the price, you receive a business asset that automates all dropshipping hassle. This is a well worth investment. These guys put a lot of work into this extension and it shows.”
Click here for more information on how staff picks are chosen and how to improve your extension and your chances of being considered.

Five Fab Finds from FDNY

In the world of fashion, everyone’s looking for a good find. Here are our top five from FDNY this week, ranging from seamless experiences to dinosaurs.


1. The future is digital.

Everyone agrees: Be digital, be mobile, be responsive. Nearly 60% of consumers use their phone as part of their shopping experiences every day, and as much as 90% of all eCommerce transactions touch more than one device. We’re seeing people shop on multiple devices during the day and then complete their purchases at night on tablets. Maintain a seamless experience across all devices so customers don’t lose everything in their cart when they transfer from one device to another.

2. No one likes bad seams.

Have you ever seen a beautiful shirt destroyed by a bad seam? We have. Websites are the same way. Without a seamless experience on and offline, you limit the customer experience and your conversion rate. Rebecca Minkoff’s beautiful site saw 200% growth in sales and more than 100% increase in traffic following its redesign.

To improve online conversion rates, Magento’s Danny Essner, also recommends these best practices:

  • Bring the benefits of in-store to online
  • Empower customers to be your brand advocates
  • Blend commerce and content


3. Kate Spade has great threads.

While bad seams can hurt conversion rates, Craig Leavitt of Kate Spade New York recommends running a strong thread and uniformed style throughout your entire business to effectively reach more customers. While an astounding 20% of their revenue comes from their mobile and tablet optimized website, that doesn’t stop them from extending their brand DNA onto social media (check out their Instagram channel for some social inspiration), shoppable windows, and locally managed brick-and-mortar stores. Nowadays, brands must be brave and willing to take risks, he noted.

4. Keep calm and content on.

In the opening panel, Marty Keane of Theory emphasized the importance of launching rich content about your brand to encourage customers to share their stories over social media (a theme that was repeated numerous times by other speakers over the course of the two days). Content is still very much king.


5. Dinosaurs like to snuggle.

Much to the surprise of many attendees, the team over at Bronto showed us that dinosaurs are actually very snuggly and informative. For example, more than half of frequent shoppers (55%) always use the shopping cart summary as a way to make a final purchase decisions.

Find out how to maximize your email marketing to combat shopping cart abandonment and drive conversions this holiday season in this newly released Bronto-Magento study.

What did you take away from FDNY? Let us know on Twitter! Share your learnings with @Magento using the hashtag #FashionDigitalNY.

-The Magento Marketing Team

Dates Announced for Second Magento Developer Certification Study Group


Study Group Format and Schedule:
Eleven, one-hour sessions
October 16, 21, 24, 28, 31
November 14, 18, 22, 16
December 9, 13
6:00 am (PDT) / 2:00 pm (BST)
Instructor-led, online (delivered via GoToTraining)


Click here for a sample of the Participant Guide

Last month, Magento U launched a Magento Moderated Study Group to help developers and development teams study for the Magento Developer Certification Exam. The first sessions were a huge success so Magento U is adding a second series.

Over five weeks, the Magento Moderated Study Group will prepare developers for the challenge of taking this certification with preparatory exercises and a review all the need-to-know topics. Group members will also have access to a forum to post questions and receive answers from the instructor and other group members, and they will receive a voucher to complete their certification exam. Who better to help you study than the folks that wrote the test?

If you’re interested in joining the group, be sure to register early to secure your spot since space is limited.With yearly holiday-season code freezes, this is a great time to join the study group and take the exam!

Stay tuned! Magento U is planning a Russian version of the study group, coming soon.

What Will be Covered In the Study Group

  • Request Flow
  • Rendering
  • Working with Databases
  • Sales and Customers
  • Advanced Features
  • Admin html
  • Catalog
  • Checkout
  • EAV Model

If you can’t make one of the scheduled dates, but you still want Magento U’s guidance, check out our Social Learning: Magento Certified Developer Preparation Study Group – Moderator’s Kit!

Top 4 Takeaways from


The more things change, the more they stay the same—especially when it comes to the world of retail. Though the industry is shifting to accommodate a world of increasingly digital and mobile customers, attendees at’s Annual Summit this week were quick to note that above all, serving the customer is key.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled the top 4 takeaways from the event to help you serve your customers better:

1. Connect with your audience. Followers are the new foot traffic, said Open Sky’s John Caplan. Use this to your advantage and connect with your audience. Rather than focusing solely on how the customer is shopping, determine what emotional connection the customer shares with your brand as apply those insights. As WebTrends pointed out, 41% of online shoppers buy more after receiving a personalized email offer. Give customers a 1:1 shopping experience as if they’re standing right in front of you.

2. Deliver seamless experiences. “Omni-channel” and “multi-channel” were big buzzwords at the conference, as HSN’s Bill Brand pointed out. While digital marketers touted the importance of creating unique content for all social media channels to reach engaged customers, direct marketing is still effective in getting customers to hit the “buy” button. Use an integrated approach to get the most reach.

3. Find your mobile fit. Unsurprisingly, mobile continues to be the fastest growing channel for many attendees and is still accelerating. Responsive design is still on everyone’s lips. Make sure the mobile strategy you pursue aligns to your business to better attract and retain customers. Are you really ready for a responsive site? Side note: A well thought out mobile strategy is an excellent way to connect with your audience, too (see point #1).

4. Chicago Public House makes a mean cocktail. Those drinks were seriously good – thanks to everyone who joined us for happy hour on Monday night (and double thanks to Guidance for providing the drinks all night long). We had a blast partying with you!

Congratulations to Laura Arand of Cornerstone Brands, our grand prize #MagentoMania winner! Thanks for joining the festivities with us. Be sure to send us some photos from Magento Imagine.

What did you take away from Tweet your learnings to @Magento and check out some of the best photo moments on Facebook.

-The Magento Marketing Team

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Join Magento at Fashion Digital New York


Magento is at the Intersection of Commerce and Couture in NYC!

On October 8-9, over 600 digital executives from prominent fashion brands will be in New York City for Fashion Digital New York (FDNY), and Magento is proud to be the lead sponsor.

Like Fashion Digital Los Angeles (FDLA), this is an exciting opportunity to network with eCommerce leaders in the fashion industry from major brands like Kate Spade, Rebecca Minkoff and Calvin Klein Inc.

On day one, Magento will be holding a workshop, “Increasing Conversion through User Experiences,” led by Danny Essner, Senior Manager of Merchant Marketing. He’ll show merchants how to leverage incredible user experiences that actually increase website conversion, and highlight examples of merchants who have grown their online businesses through user experience. Danny will also interview Doug Glickman, Director of eCommerce for, about creating incredible experiences by blending commerce and content.

On day two, during the general sessions, Magento's Ben Pressley, Head of Enterprise Strategy and Business Development, will cover “The Future of Mobile and Commerce” by discussing Mobile’s impact on commerce. His presentation will draw on the experiences of thousands of Magento and eBay customers as well as eBay’s thought leadership and research.

We’d like to extend a special invitation for you to join us at the conference, and, as a Magento guest, you can save 25% with Promo Code: SPK-MAGENTO

Register Now

For more information, visit

We hope to see you there!

Magento Takes on Shop.Org: Day One


Over 4,400 digital and omni-channel retail professionals and exhibitors, including our Magento team, descended on Chicago’s McCormick Place Monday evening to talk next generation retail at the annual Summit.

The opening night EXPO Hall reception, where attendees could mingle, network and prepare for the coming discussions and deal-making, kicked off the two-and-a-half day event. Opening events included keynotes from Tory Burch executives and marketing professor Jonah Berger. In the first address, Miki Beradelli, Tory Burch CMO, and Matt Marcotte, SVP of Global Stores at Tory Burch, emphasized that, while technology is taking over retail, the essentials—focusing on the customer and the persistence of email marketing—still matter. Berger, meanwhile, spoke to the importance of word-of-mouth marketing, which he broke into action steps like defining social currency and identifying social triggers. Afternoon breakout sessions touched on topics like omni-channel initiatives and the convergence of digital marketing and eCommerce.

Magento, in particular, started the summit with a festive bang, hosting an opening night party (with co-sponsor Guidance) at the gastro pub Public House. Invited guests could drink a Magento-themed beverage and chow down on sliders, pizza and other comfort foods. Some even modeled Magento gear in the provided photo booth.


One topic of discussion at the shindig included Magento Mania, a conference-wide contest to help demonstrate the breadth of the Magento ecosystem. All attendees have a chance to win a gift card to one of our partner sites, as well as to Magento’s annual Imagine Conference in 2014. Full details on how to play can be found here on the Magento Blog as well as at Magento booth #603 on the conference floor.

Check back here in the coming days for our key takeaways from the summit!


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