Magento Blog


Expanding Opportunities for Magento Merchants, Partners and Developers

Today marks a new chapter in the evolution of Magento. What started out as a simple vision to enable retailers to drive online sales has evolved into the world’s leading ecommerce platform. We are proud of what we have accomplished as an ecosystem and we are excited about our future as we continue to transform the retail landscape.

Today, we’re announcing that Magento has become part of eBay Enterprise. By combining the extensive capabilities of our leading organizations, we are bringing the ecommerce technology, multichannel operations and marketing services capabilities of eBay Inc. together under one umbrella. Moving forward, retail and brand partners of all sizes will find an unmatched portfolio of offerings that seamlessly deliver integrated commerce solutions to drive their revenue and growth. For Magento, it’s business as usual.

The organization will report into Mark Lavelle, who was most recently Senior Vice President for Strategy and Business Development at eBay Inc. Mark has particular talent in imagining the future of online commerce, developing thoughtful strategy and finding untapped business value in new areas, something we know all of us will benefit greatly from. Mark will report directly into Chris Saridakis, President of eBay Enterprise.

We’re excited about the future of our combined organizations. In the coming months, you will be hearing more about how we plan to deliver more ways for our clients to compete and win in the ever-changing retail landscape.

image Roy
COO and Co-founder
Magento
image Chris
President
eBay Enterprise

Announcing Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13.1.0

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Building on the performance and scalability improvements released earlier this year, Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13.1.0 advances overall product quality and eases operations by providing significant tax calculation updates, a wide range of functional improvements, and several security enhancements.

Highlights include:

image Tax Calculation Improvements
We made many tax improvements for shopper-facing pages in Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13.0.0/2. In this latest release, we’ve resolved similar Value Added Tax (VAT) and Fixed Product Tax (FPT) issues for the Magento admin, invoices, and credit memos so that you have access to more accurate and consistent tax calculations and displays. We’ve also addressed:
  • VAT tax calculation issues for cross-border trade
  • Tax rounding issues when multiple taxes are applied
  • VAT and FPT calculation issues for bundled products
  • Support for the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (W.E.E.E.) recycling tax in the EU
 
image Functional Improvements
Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13.1.0 also includes functional improvements across important feature areas, including the shopping cart, checkout, content management system, and product import and export. Many of these updates come from Magento community developers. We truly appreciate their active support in advancing our solution. You can see which developers contributed fixes in the product release notes. These improvements will also be available in the upcoming Magento Community Edition 1.8.1.0 release, which is expected in December.
 
image Security Enhancements
Magento is committed to following a rigorous process to identify and resolve potential security issues so that you can feel more confident that your store is protected. Our team does comprehensive internal testing, has expert consultants conduct quarterly penetration testing, and actively works with the Magento community to help us identify weaknesses. Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13.1.0 addresses several important issues identified through this process and helps to further harden the platform against potential threats. More information on these security updates and the community members who helped us find them is available in the release notes.
 
image Updated Magento Secure Payment Bridge
You may have missed the recent news that an updated version of Magento Secure Payment Bridge is now available for Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13.x releases. It has successfully completed PA-DSS certification and includes several feature improvements. We encourage everyone using Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13.x to upgrade to this latest version.
 
image Get Started
With its combination of performance, scalability, product quality, and security, Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13.1.0 is the perfect solution if you are using an earlier version of Magento or if you are new-to-Magento and looking for a flexible, enterprise-class ecommerce solution for fast-growing and large businesses.
 

You can get all the details about Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13.1.0 here.

Ready to learn more about Magento? Contact us and we’ll help you get started.

If you are already a Magento Enterprise customer, you can immediately access the new Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13.1.0 release in the My Account section of the Magento website.

Magento Live Germany Highlights

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Our first Magento Live Germany event was a great success! Many thanks to the 300+ merchants, partners and developers that traveled to Munich to share insights, best practices and fun. We had a packed program of keynotes and multiple breakout tracks spanning merchant stories, partner best practices and technical and business sessions.

Magento and eBay executives kicked off the day:

  • Roy Rubin, Magento’s COO and Co-Founder addressed the current industry trends as well as Magento’s strong momentum, with a special focus on opportunity, growth and innovation.
  • Jimmy Duvall, Head of Product, Magento reviewed Magento Enterprise 1.13 and Magento Community 1.8, and invited developers to provide feedback on Magento 2 updates available on GITHUB.
  • Matthias Setzer, Senior Director Merchant Services, PayPal Germany spoke about the challenges and opportunities of a dynamic eCommerce environment where the consumer holds all the keys.
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Surprise speaker and former top-level German football referee Dr. Markus Merk inspired attendees to tap their emotions, identity, courage and responsibility when making difficult decisions whether in soccer, commerce or in life.

Here are some highlights from the breakout sessions:

  • The basis for a great customer experience online is the underlying technology, especially if you’re coordinating that experience across multiple geographies. mytheresa.com is able to update their site daily, adjust country-specific pricing quickly, and customize caching to split channels by business needs. The site now has over 1.5M unique monthly visitors and 2,000 orders per day.
  • “Users focus on content rather than the technical features so write for your reader and not for the search engines!” Vinai Kopp, Manager of Developer Education at Magento reviewed on-page search engine optimization basics and Magento best practices.
  • In today’s increasingly competitive search marketing environment, just getting ranked in a top search position is no longer sufficient to drive traffic to a website. Danny Essner, Head of Merchant Marketing at Magento, spoke to the relationship between ranks in organic search and click through rates and how to increase these rates through engaging content.
  • Noam Inbar, VP of Business Development at Zooz Payments explained how to address consumer fears and barriers to transaction completion by improving the payment and checkout experience. The easiest way to maximize conversions: minimize the number of steps at checkout and don’t ask for the same information multiple times.
  • Several sessions focused on mobile best practices and speakers agreed that regardless of the design approach, it’s important to consider what content users will want on a mobile device and how they will consume it.
  • More broadly, Thomas Husson, Vice President and Principle Analyst, Forrester challenged attendees to prepare for the digital mindshift, noting that the only choice is to “disrupt yourself or become disrupted”.

Big thanks to those who were able to join us! Special thanks to all of our presenters and to our sponsors for making this exciting event possible!

To learn more about these sessions and the many other presentations at Magento Live Germany, and check out our Website for pictures and video from the event that we will be posting soon.

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4 Underutilized Magento Enterprise Edition Features to Meet and Beat Your KPIs

In commerce, change is the norm! That means that retailers are always looking for ways to improve and optimize their sites to keep up with new trends and developments. Most have a running wish list of site additions and improvements. Surprisingly, many are not tapping some of the powerful features, which come with Magento Enterprise Edition, right out of the box.

We’ve compiled a list of some of these underused Magento Enterprise Edition features that will provide you immediate benefits and increase your online sales.

Rule-Based Product Relations

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“Do you want fries with that?” “Would you like to supersize that?” How many times have we all heard those questions? They are most likely the world’s most used and most recognized cross-sell and up-sell messages of all time.

In eCommerce, cross–selling and upselling are two simple product recommendation methods that will increase your onsite conversions.

To create a more relevant shopping experience, Magento Enterprise Edition comes equipped with “Rule-Based Product Relations” that enable these marketing tactics and target customer segments with specific product recommendations.

What’s great about this feature is that Magento designed it with your busy schedule in mind. Once you write the rule for this feature, you can forget about it. Magento will automatically assign the associated cross-sell, upsell and related products to each item in your catalogue.

To utilize this feature, navigate to “Catalog > Rule-Based Product Relations”

Rules are simply defined as:

  • When these types of products are displayed (Products to match)
  • Display these products as related items (Products to display)

You could create advanced rules such as:

  • Display other products endorsed by the same celebrity, where celebrity endorser is a custom attribute of yours into which you populate relevant data (i.e. “Will Smith”)
  • Display products of the same gender but which cost more than the currently viewed product (See the “Product price” condition, and screenshots below)

Upsell products will be displayed on the product detail page along with related products; cross-sell items will appear in the shopping cart.

Search Term Management

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You spend countless hours in discovery to learn what your customers desire, how they shop online and what terminology they use to describe your products. Your entire user experience and visual design are a result of these findings.

Once launched, how do you continue your discovery to make your site, your customer’s “go-to” shopping site? One simple way is through on-site search.

Magento Enterprise Edition comes equipped with “Search Term Management” to make your products easier to find. With this feature, you can:

  • add and edit search terms
  • review all the key words and phrases your customers are searching for on your site
  • review which terms are the most popular and least used to update your product detail page (PDP) key words accordingly
  • review and assign recommended terms to your PDP
  • expand your ability to capture a broader range of search terms by entering either synonyms (sofa, couch, loveseat) or common misspellings (rod iron, rot iron) for each product; by doing so, you will capture all your customer’s requests and redirect them to the correct search results

To utilize this feature, navigate to “Catalog > Search Terms”

Inventory Alerts

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Sales forecasting is an ongoing process in an effort to avoid out-of-stock or overstock inventory scenarios. Occasionally, no matter how accurate your reporting or planning, unexpectedly high or low sales may sometimes result.

Magento’s “Product Alerts” feature will help you manage these instances and help increase conversions.

With Product Alerts, your customers can request that they be alerted via email when a product comes back in stock or when a product goes on sale.

To enable this feature, go to the Product Alerts section and set to “yes” next to:

  • Allow Alert When Product Price Changes – this permission will allow customers to sign up for price change alerts
  • Allow Alert When Product Comes Back in Stock – this setting will enable customers to sign up for email alerts notifying them when the product is back in stock

When either is enabled, subscription links will appear on the specified PDP.

Customer-Assisted Shopping

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No matter how intuitive your site is, sometimes your customers will require assistance with product, shipping or payment details.

The Magento Enterprise Edition “Assisted Shopping” feature empowers you to provide a better shopping experience and easily respond to your customers’ requests.

With this feature, your customer service representatives can:

  • review a customer’s shopping cart
  • move items from a customer’s wish list and recently viewed products, into their shopping cart
  • apply a coupon code to a customer’s cart

To utilize this feature, your representatives simply:

  • request the customer to log into their account, if he hasn’t already
  • navigate to “Customers > Online Customers” within the administration screen
  • select the customer from the list to open the customer account view
  • click the “Manage Shopping Cart” button to begin assisting the customer

The Magento Enterprise Edition platform helps you drive more traffic to your site and convert browsers into buyers. By utilizing these out-of-the-box features, as well as the complete feature set provided, you will be able to grow your business, encourage customer loyalty, and manage your inventory more efficiently.

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WINNER, 2011 & 2012 MAGENTO PARTNER EXCELLENCE AWARD and founded in 1993, Guidance designs, builds and hosts highly customized eCommerce solutions for today’s leading retailers. For additional information, visit their page on the Magento Partner portal.

Luxury Fashion Shop Drives Global Content-to-Commerce Success

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Munich based mytheresa.com launched in 2006 to bring the runway looks its brick-and-mortar sister store (THERESA) offered to the web. The premise for the business is simple: go to the world’s top fashion shows and cherry pick the hottest pieces from the top designers (from Balenciaga to Valentino), and sell them directly to customers. Seven years later, mytheresa.com features over 180 brands and their business has grown by over 60% annually since 2008.

How did they do it? Like many web stores, mytheresa.com started out on a small platform managed by only two people. Within three years, they were at the very limit of their site functionality and traffic capacity, and with limited options to upgrade the site, add modules or beef up their security without crippling the entire site.

After extensive research, mytheresa.com partnered with Magento Solution Partner mzentrale to rebuild their site on Magento Enterprise Edition because of its robust feature set, flexibility and active community. “It was a very easy decision to go with Magento because the platform’s flexibility aligned with our unique business model,” said Head of IT, Ulf Dammertz.

Key capabilities on their wish list:

  • Flexibility to power their unique content to commerce approach
  • Ability to quickly and easily upload large volume of product updates multiple times per week
  • Customize caching to split channels by business needs rather than by traffic
  • Ability to dynamically support 19 parallel store views

“We needed a highly flexible and scalable ecommerce platform to support our unique business model combining fashion publishing and retail around the world,” said Dammertz. “Thanks to our close partnership with mzentrale, we’ve been able to achieve incredible results with Magento Enterprise Edition.”

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With massive growth since its launch, mytheresa.com is now one of the leading luxury-fashion web stores in Europe, carrying many brands that don’t have their own eCommerce sites (see the interview with Christoph and Susanne Botschen, co-founders of mytheresa.com at WWD Summer Session below). And, unlike other online fashion sites that dictate pricing to fit their own business model, mytheresa.com continues to put designers first. Those who partner with mytheresa.com know that their needs get first priority. If a designer wants to update pricing in a specific country—even if they’re featuring just a few items—mytheresa.com can make those updates very quickly. It’s a big part of why mytheresa.com enjoys some unique fashion relationships and its business has consistently experienced such high annual growth.

Since they started working with Magento Enterprise Edition in 2011, they now have over 1.5M unique monthly visitors and 2,000 orders a day, and over 900 new pieces go live every week. Their mobile app has been downloaded over 45,000 times, they have over 175,000 newsletter subscribers, and 60% of sales come from international markets accessed through their site.

View a Printable Version of the mytheresa.com Story

Highlights

Click images to enlarge.

Designer Focus image

mytheresa.com gives each designer their own store with a profile and current trend description in the header banner.

Shop the Shows image

Shop looks right off the runway from the hottest shows. Hover over the products to see the piece in the runway look.

Trend Shop image

mytheresa.com pulls the pieces together into their favorite trends of the season.

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Ludwig Beck: The Beauty of Going Responsive Online

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Founded in 1861, Germany’s Ludwig Beck began as a button and ribbon maker and grew into one of Europe’s most famous department stores known as a “shopping paradise that satisfies the heart’s desires of local residents, visitors from the region and from all over the world.” They launched their web store in 2012 to make their fine beauty products accessible to an even broader audience.

Ludwig Beck’s main priority for their web store was to expand their reach beyond their Munich brick-and-mortar store, while offering the same luxurious experience. They wanted an elegant product display that could handle high traffic and a catalog of 7,500 products, high-end service features, and responsive design so customers could shop on any device.

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“Many clients found it a pity, that they couldn´t buy our products from the comfort of their own home,” says Fabian Goehler, CEO of German luxury department store Ludwig Beck subsidiary ludwigbeck.de GmbH. So Ludwig Beck turned to Magento Solution Partner mzentrale and with their help built the online shop in only nine months with Magento Enterprise Edition. Not only did they get the merchandising and site performance features they were looking for, they also got a responsive design, so they didn’t need to pay for an expensive shopping app.

Since the launch, Ludwig Beck has seen the increase in business and brand awareness they were looking for, as well as an increase in male shoppers, a segment that doesn’t typically shop their beauty counter. They’re also very excited about the reception of their responsive design, and reported higher than average shopping from tablets and other mobile devices.

“We are large enough to play with the big ones but small enough to be different,” says Goehler about the online creation of Ludwig Beck. “We offer our clients a service level that is hard to beat, even by large providers.”

View a Printable Version of the Ludwig Beck Story

Shopping Cart Abandonment: Insights For Success

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As merchants make a greater investment in email marketing than ever before and place a greater focus on email optimization than any other initiative, according to Forrester Research*, identifying the best sales conversion opportunities is essential.

While attending Fashion Digital New York (FDNY) earlier this month, Danny Essner, Magento’s Head of Merchant Marketing, and Ryan Thompson, Magento’s Director of Partnerships, had an opportunity to sit down with Alicia Fiorletta of Retail TouchPoints to discuss a recent report developed by Bronto in partnership with Magento titled “Why We Don’t Buy: Consumer Attitudes on Shopping Cart Abandonmen” The report takes a deeper look at consumers’ online shopping behaviors and what are the key factors that lead to more frequent shopping cart abandonment, just in time for holiday sales optimization:

  • Why consumers are abandoning more frequently and how this could be an opportunity for marketers
  • What the consumers want to happen when they abandon a cart and what will annoy them
  • Key components of the shopping cart and email strategies

During Magento’s talks with Alicia, Ryan Thompson shares some unique insights as to how retail marketers can decrease abandonment rates and also provide an innovative shopping experience. One of his recommendations Alicia highlights is “to improve shopping cart options and flexibility in order to give shoppers more confidence to cart and purchase their items...provide innovative and fun ways for consumers to browse, consider purchases and update their shopping carts and wish lists.”

This week, Alicia posted an article titled “Improve Shopping Cart Options And Flexibility To Reduce Cart Abandonment” which outlines many of the report’s key findings as discussed in her conversations with Magento at FDNY, including:

  • Shopping cart abandonment rates now average 75%
  • 56% of consumers who purchase online at least once a month use the shopping cart to store items for future purchase
  • Nearly half of all consumers surveyed found shopping cart abandonment reminder emails to be helpful
  • Another 61% said they likely would return to a site after receiving reminder emails

More information can be found in Alicia’s article here and the full report can be downloaded here.

*Source: The State Of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing And Merchandising Forrester Research, Inc., July 30, 2013

cloud.IQ Offers Conversion Tools to Turn Abandoned Carts Into Sales for Online Retailers

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Over 70% of shoppers recently admitted to sometimes abandoning carts while browsing online (OnePoll). This problem can be fatal for eCommerce businesses which have to offer their customers the best user experience possible, or risk losing sales to the competition. To solve these issues for online retailers, Magento Silver Industry partner cloud.IQ developed a cloud-based tool to remarket shoppers and ultimately, convert more sales, and cloud.IQ has already helped many businesses turn these abandoned carts into sales.

In August 2013 Alpine Elements started using cloud.IQ’s cartRecovery tool to track and recover abandoned carts by automatically remarketing, across multiple channels, to customers who drop out during the checkout phase. “Since implementing cartRecovery we have experienced at least a 25% increase in bookings, which is hugely significant,” says James Hardiman, founder and director of Alpine Elements. “We figured that people browsing online might abandon their basket on our site for a number of reasons. There are specific challenges for the travel sector. Many holidays are high value, can be complex and so people shop around more; people often want to talk to someone as there are the inevitable questions around quality of accommodation, insurance and more that need to be answered.”

For some customers, it’s even unleashed a new source of revenue. Outdoor clothing retailer SealSkinz implemented cartRecovery and consequently managed to avoid creating a website, full of so many features, that it would inevitably have become clunky and slow. The cartRecovery tool was an “absolute no brainer” in terms of return on investment, says Jez Wilson, Head of eCommerce at SealSKinz. Now 10-25% of SealSkinz’s total revenue comes from the sales made from originally abandoned carts.

Wilson also said, “Online retailers can reduce cart abandonment by improving their site layout, but there will always be those customers who drop out of a sale before it is completed. Not everyone will respond to re-engagement, but by placing a simple tag on our site and sending automated emails we have increased our sales.”

Across the board, the cloud.IQ reports that their tools have boosted their customer’s revenue by 5%.

To get merchants started, the free app audits a website’s abandoned shopping cart traffic and, using certified analytics, identifies the areas of a website which work best. If you want to upgrade to a complete remarketing campaign, there’s just a small, fixed fee but cloud.IQ will do all the set up and are on hand to support 24/7 after implementation.

Find out more about cloud.IQ here and download the free cartRecovery tool from Magento Connect here.

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