Magento Blog


From First Click to Final Ship: New Shipping & Delivery Extensions Available

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Magento knows that creating a seamless, end-to-end online shopping experience for your customers is critical to the success of your online store. It is important to think beyond set-up and marketing and consider what happens after your customer completes an online transaction.

Shipping, delivery and tracking are part of the operational logistics behind eCommerce that can help your business stand out from the competition. Magento has partnered with Canada Post, the only company to deliver to each of the 15 million Canadian business and residential addresses, to provide more choice and flexibility when it comes to shipping, delivery, tracking or returns for Canadian online shoppers. New extensions that connect with Canada Post are now available on Magento Connect.

By empowering online shoppers with greater transparency and control over decisions related to these key areas, you can help enhance long term customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Canada Post’s strategic integration with the Magento platform will better enhance the Canadian consumer’s online shopping experience. This means your customer never has to leave your online store, from first click to the last leg of item delivery.

So what can you expect from the new Magento Canada Post extensions?

  • Set accurate customer expectations from the onset: discourage shopping cart abandonment with transparent total rates and expected delivery dates in the checkout process.
  • Choose from various convenient, local delivery options: Canada Post delivers to over 15 million addresses across Canada, so customers can get their package right to their doorstep. Because your customers lead different lifestyles, they can also choose to have their item delivered to the closest Post Office of their choice. Integrated with Google Maps, Canadians can choose from one of the 6,500 postal outlets across the country.
  • Keep customers up to date with tracking details throughout the process: We know there’s a lot of anticipation attached to receiving an item after purchase. Do you want to spend less time and money answering the question – where’s my item? Now, you can empower customers to get real-time tracking information about their parcel’s whereabouts. Customers don’t have to leave your online store to get the tracking information they want about their shipment.
  • Simplify tasks through automation: Now you can print shipping labels directly within your Magento admin panel, helping to further simplify shipping logistics for your business.
  • Keep customers satisfied: Provide your shoppers with simplicity and convenience with self-serve return labels within the online store. Making the return process easy will give shoppers a reason to come back to your online store another time.

You can choose from two Canada Post extensions from Magento Solution Partners. To learn more about the new features and functionalities, visit www.magentocommerce.com/magento-canadapost.

Register for the Canada Post webinar on March 20th at 9AM PST

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Shave Hours Off Your Fulfillment Time With ShipStation!

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ShipStation, based in Austin, recently joined the Industry Partner Program as a Silver partner to help bring value to our Magento community. As a web-based shipping application, ShipStation helps thousands of merchants, most of who ship through multiple sales channels, process and ship their orders with greater efficiency. Now online retailers can manage their entire shipping and fulfillment processes through this complimentary and collaborative relationship.

Magento merchants can get the free extension for ShipStation within Magento Connect and begin processing their orders more quickly, efficiently, and with ease! Automate a majority of the normal time-intensive administrative tasks (such as insuring high-value orders, or automatically assigning orders to certain users) and significantly reduce the time typically required to process orders.

ShipStation supports Magento Community, Professional, GO, or Enterprise Editions. They are offering a free 30-day trial and a free DYMO Endicia account (a $16/month value) with each subscription. Try them out today!

And the Winners of the 2013 Imagine Challenge Are…

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The Imagine Challenge opened on January 17, 2013 and was met with a wave of outstanding submissions from Magento merchants and developers. 172 entries later we concluded the submission period and allowed our community to vote for the winners.

The entries truly showcase the art of commerce and the passion our community has for the Magento brand. Each unique innovation posted to the three categories (Site Design, Site Promotions and Customizations) was a real testament that the possibilities of the Magento platform are endless. These sites prove once again that our community is second to none!

The competition was so tight that voting came down to the final day and there was even a tie for best site promotion!

We are proud to announce the winners for the 2013 Imagine eCommerce Challenge.

The Imagine Challenge 2013 Grand Prize Winner: Jonas from SmartOSC

Taking home a free ticket to Imagine, two nights at the M Resort and Hotel, and a $500 Visa gift card was Jonas, an employee at SmartOSC, with his customization of Canadian wine store Alambika.

Alambika

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When Alambika, a brick-and-mortar, Canadian wine-store, wanted to put their products online, they picked Magento for it's rich feature-set and reliable inventory capabilities. They selected our extension X-POS for transforming Magento into a point-of-sale solution.

The POS solution is created on top of Magento to avoid having to sync products to an external system, ensuring that stock and products are always 100% up-to-date.

The solution gives Alambika the ability to complete sales on a single page interface, which also supports searching by barcodes, credit card swiping, and even off-line sale fulfillment.

This setup saves www.alambika.ca time in areas of their every-day work, such as maintaining an inventory and sales reporting. It also improved their brick-and-mortar POS activities without forcing them to invest in new hardware.

View Full Entry


Runners Up: Site Design & Site Promotion

The runners up, and winners of Imagine 2013 tickets, were:

Best Site Design

Giuseppe Filice

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LEONE® 1947 Store

In March 1947 Orlando Leone established LEONE® and his passion for boxing led the company to become a market leader. LEONE® decided to use Magento for his first international e-commerce channel, relying on a team of specialists skilled with Magento.

Best Site Promotion

Steve Deckert of Sweet Tooth

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Theory11

Magento helps Theory11 and Sweet Tooth create a great community around their brand and they wanted to reward them their loyalty. They call their top customers “Elite Members” and allow them to earn points for repeat purchases, writing reviews, submitting videos, entering a weekly contest, or submitting content.

Best Site Promotion

Artyom Rabzonov of aheadWorks

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User Story

Artyom illustrated of how a merchant can use a customer retention program to increase conversion by taking us through one shopper's experience, which included incentives, cross-selling, customer satisfaction and customer care.

View All Winners

Thank you to the winners and everyone who participated in the Challenge. We look forward to seeing all of you at Imagine 2013!

Forrester Research Recognizes Magento Solution Partner Precision Dialogue in New Report

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Magento congratulates Gold Solution Partner Precision Dialogue for being recognized as a “strong performer” in a Forrester Wave Report.

Forrester Research, Inc., a leading global research and advisory firm, recently released a report titled “The Forrester Wave™, Customer Engagement Agencies” (Q4 2012). The report focuses on a new breed of company that has emerged in recent years, customer engagement agencies (CEA).

Forrester defines CEAs as agencies that focus on defining customer-oriented business strategies and mapping them to tactics and execution. They help clients maximize customer profitability and optimize customer experiences by applying data and analytics to every interaction.

Forrester invited more than 50 agencies that deliver cross-channel, data-driven customer engagement strategy and services to participate in the study. Precision Dialogue was one of only 13 companies to be featured in the final report. Using a combination of client surveys, detailed case studies and executive briefings, participants were evaluated based on current offering, strategy and market presence.

Precision Dialogue (known as Metrics Marketing before November 1st) finished as a "strong performer." The report provided the following assessment of Precision Dialogue's capabilities: "Clients praise the agency's strategic thinking across marketing, operations, and customer management, which it supports with rigorous ROI-backed business rationale."

Precision Dialogue received the highest scores among all participants for business strategy capabilities and among the highest scores for analytics capabilities and technology integration. Precision Dialogue is the only Magento Solution Partner to be recognized in Forrester’s Customer Engagement Wave Report.

To download a complimentary copy of the report, please visit http://www.precisiondialogue.com/forresters-cea-wave-report.

Congratulations Precision Dialogue!

BareBones WorkWear Gets Smart (& Targeted) with their Offers

image On their Magento site Barebonesworkwear.com, BareBones WorkWear recently deployed Fanplayr’s Smart & Targeted extension and almost immediately saw increases in conversion rates and average order values (AOVs). In this spotlight, Barebones’ CIO Steve Wylie talks to us about his experience with Fanplayr, a Magento Gold Industry Partner.

Tell us about BareBones WorkWear

We’re a retailer that has provided useful apparel, footwear, and accessories for work, life, and outdoor for over 15 years. We have five retail stores in Northern California and a successful online store at barebonesworkwear.com.

Why did you select Fanplayr’s Smart & Targeted Offers Platform?

BareBones pricing policy is a no-nonsense, every day discounted price. We don’t raise our prices, just to offer a discount. When we do offer purchase incentives, we want to make sure programs are well thought out, targeted at specific customers segments and that we maintain visibility and control over coupons collected and redeemed. Fanplayr gives us all this and more.

What has your Fanplayr deployment strategy been?

We first added Fanplayr’s tracking code to our site, and after three weeks we received a detailed report outlining detailed profiles of visitors’ behavior, for both those that converted and those that did not. We then set up campaigns targeted at profiles that would most likely be persuaded into purchasing through offers. We were also able to exclude segments that we felt did not need purchase incentives. We also added minimum purchase incentives at strategic points during the sales process.

Do you view Fanplayr’s Smart & Targeted as a strategic tool?

Absolutely. Unlike other discount campaigns, with Fanplayr we can pinpoint who and when to target, with complete visibility into the effectiveness. We can make real-time adjustments to live campaigns without disrupting traffic flow. Since launching Fanplayr’s Smart & Targeted platform, we’ve seen significant improvements to our conversion rates and average order values. We’re also pleased with Fanplayr’s performance-based pricing model where we pay only on successful purchase transactions. In a short period of time, Fanplayr has become an instrumental marketing tool for us.

Generate More Product Reviews for your Magento Shop, for Free!

image Product reviews help establish consumer trust. They are essential for creating user generated content and increasing sales. The problem is that most sites aren’t able to convert their shoppers into reviewers. Most sites are only able to turn about 1% of their shoppers into active reviewers.

Yotpo is a new Magento Silver Industry Partner, specializing in social reviews. They boast an impressive 10% conversion rate of shoppers-to-reviewers. And they do it for free.

How does Yotpo do this?

Their most effective feature is called Mail After Purchase. This feature automatically emails shoppers, at a set time after purchase, encouraging them to leave a review. Yotpo has developed proprietary technology that enables shoppers to leave reviews inside the emails, making the process easy and effective. This feature alone is responsible for over 90% of reviews. What’s more, it helps turn one-time shoppers into repeat customers, by referring them back to the shop.

In addition to generating many more reviews for shops than other review systems, Yotpo has figured out how to use these reviews to help shops generate more sales.

Yotpo encourages reviewers to post their reviews directly to their social networks. This maximizes the visibility of the reviews, and promotes the shop being reviewed to new prospective buyers. Moreover, Yotpo allows shop owners to connect their business’ social pages to Yotpo, and automatically publish new reviews to their community. This encourages social conversation which drives both new and return customers to the site.

Yotpo provides Magento shop owners with deep analytics to help them better understand their customers. Furthermore, they provide useful moderation options: shop owners can choose which reviews to publish and which to hide. A nice bonus is that Yotpo is already translatable into many languages, and they provide an easy platform for shop owners to translate the widget into the language of their choice.

For more information, please refer to Yotpo’s extension page in Magento Connect: http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/yopto-reviews-5759.html

Participate in Payment Fraud Study and Win an iPad 3 or iPad Mini

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Your participation is requested. SignatureLink, a Magento Gold Industry Partner, is conducting a comprehensive payment fraud survey and analysis for the eCommerce industry. This brief, multiple-choice survey is your opportunity to contribute to an educational study of Magento users. You will also learn how your business stacks up against the Magento ecosystem in regards to fraud practices.

The survey results and analysis will be used to update and educate the entire Magento community on current payment fraud trends, technology, and best practices. All participants will receive an advance copy of the completed survey with analysis and a VIP invitation to attend a webinar in which the results of the survey will be discussed. Additionally, the survey results and study will be the topic of a breakout session at this year’s Imagine eCommerce Conference, April 8–10 in Las Vegas.

In appreciation for your participation, SignatureLink will randomly select two survey participants to receive a new iPad 3 or iPad Mini. The winning participants will receive notification within five days of the survey closing date. Your company name, website address, and personal contact information collected in the survey will not be shared, disclosed, or sold to any outside party. Your email address will be used only to verify your submission and send notification if you are selected as a winner.

To complete the survey, visit http://www.signaturelink.com/magento-2013-fraud-study.html.

Strengthening our Solution Partner Program

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Enterprise Edition: Driving Magento’s Growth

Throughout Magento’s history, we’ve pushed ourselves to evolve our product and service offerings in order to support the growth and success of our customers. In the past couple of years, much of our growth has been driven by the widespread adoption of our Enterprise Edition offering. This product’s unique combination of features, flexibility and low total cost of ownership has attracted businesses ranging from industry-disrupting startups to established brands transacting hundreds of millions of dollars online. And our being part of eBay Inc. is accelerating this growth by opening up new opportunities for our customers and partners to access industry-leading capabilities and resources.

Innovation to Support Customer Growth

To help support the continued growth and success of our Enterprise customers, we are introducing innovations across every area of our business in the first half of 2013. The first of these moves is focused on strengthening a key driver of customer growth and success: the Magento Solution Partner Program.

As our merchants’ needs become increasingly sophisticated, they need to feel confident that they can find the right Solution Partner to help them build, deploy and grow their online business. We’re strengthening our Solution Partner program to ensure that every Magento Solution Partner has demonstrated:

  • a strong knowledge of eCommerce and the Magento platform
  • a broad set of design, development, integration and marketing skills
  • and a record of successful Magento implementations

Raising the Bar for Solution Partners

We’re raising the bar for our partners by requiring them to meet more rigorous criteria, and by providing them with the resources they need to deliver the best possible Magento Enterprise implementations. The updated program includes:

  • rigorous training and certification requirements for every Solution Partner
  • ongoing monitoring of partner quality based on their customers’ satisfaction level
  • and improved tools for helping merchants identify the best partner to meet their needs

Introducing Magento Associates

We recognize that there are hundreds of system integrators worldwide that work with Magento but may not meet the requirements of the updated Solution Partner Program. We’ve created the Magento Associate program as a way for these companies to create or maintain a relationship with us while strengthening their Magento practice.

Our goal is to help Magento Associates develop the skills they need to become Magento Enterprise experts and engage in Enterprise implementations. These companies may or may not have the goal of joining the Solution Partner program, but we will provide them the resources and opportunity to do so if they choose.

By building both our Solution Partner and Associate programs, we’ll maximize the opportunities for the healthy growth of our ecosystem, while ensuring that only the most qualified companies are designated as Magento Solution Partners.

Looking Forward

Our commitment to customer growth success doesn't stop there. In the weeks leading up to the 2013 Imagine eCommerce Conference we’ll be rolling out other enhancements to our product and service offerings that will set the foundation for our next wave of growth and the growth of our customers. Stay tuned for details on these efforts in the weeks ahead.

These new additions to the Magento family will continue to further position Magento Enterprise Edition as the solution of choice for innovative, agile online merchants. Our thanks to the merchants, Solution Partners, Associates and community members whose passion and commitment continues to fuel the growth of Magento.

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