Free Webinar by Aheadworks: Five Tools and One Performance Management Method

On March 15, 5-00 PM (GMT), Aheadworks holds a new webinar. This time, we will talk about ecommerce performance analytics that should be properly carried out by every web store owner.

Free Webinar by Aheadworks: Five Tools and One Performance Management Method

Five analytical tools and one performance management method

able to enhance your sales funnel 

How to sell and track results efficiently

During the webinar, our speakers will highlight the ways facilitating the actual business efficiency and the analytical tools required to increase current sales.

The upcoming event will be particularly useful for both ecommerce startups and mature businesses looking for efficient analytics and performance solutions.

REGISTER NOW 

Speakers

Dmitry Shatkov, Aheadworks Chief Content Officer Dmitry Shatkov, Aheadworks Chief Content Officer
Artem Kuznetsov, Aheadworks Product Owner Artem Kuznetsov, Aheadworks Product Owner

The Most Important Email Marketing Trends in 2018

Email marketing remains one of the driving forces of e-commerce sales, and in 2018, its influence is predicted to grow even more.

Email Marketing Trends in 2018

Today, we will discuss the most promising email marketing trends of the current year.

Why Email Marketing?

By implementing email marketing strategies in their web stores, online merchants primarily get the following benefits:

  • Loyalty Establishment. By sending customers emails with relevant and informative content, merchants establish credibility and, as a result, strong relationships with their target audience.
  • Time & Money Saving. By scheduling email chains instead of individual messaging, merchants save their time. Besides this, email marketing is more cost-effective compared to other forms of advertising.
  • Better Visibility. Since people tend to regularly check their mailboxes, there is a high chance that they will be timely informed about brand’s new offers and engaged with the promotional content.

Undoubtedly, every store owner expects that all the above benefits will be followed by traffic and sales increases, which is quite right.

Email Marketing Future Perspectives

Email marketing trends often change, so merchants should stay abreast of the latest tendencies to make the most of their email campaigns.

In one of our previous articles, we already talked about such a promising email marketing trend as personalization. Now, we will explore some other equally important tendencies that will significantly influence the development of advertising emails in 2018.

Email Automation by Audience Segments

Automated email campaigns segmented by multiple customer audiences can bring great benefits to merchants.

The stats recently presented by the Direct Marketing Association show that targeted emails can increase total email returns on investments up to 77%. Such an impressive figure proves that customers willingly opt for the brands that offer them relevant content in their promotional emails.

A Quick Guide to Popups in E-commerce

Popups are the windows that appear on site pages informing users about the latest brand’s offers.

A Quick Guide to Popups in Ecommerce

Popups are among the strongest marketing tools in the e-commerce area. Today, we will describe their peculiarities and bring some examples of their implementation on retail websites. So, let’s start.

Why Popups?

The primary goal of a popup is to motivate certain customer actions. Those actions might vary depending on the message of a particular popup.

For example, popups work great for increasing the number of email subscribers. Several years ago, the Nikki, In Stitches handmade accessories store managed to drive 1,375% more email subscriptions through popups than through its sidebar subscription form.

Popup Types

According to particular visitors’ actions on a site, store owners can show them the following popup types:

  • Exit-intent popups. These popups are shown when a user tries to leave a site. More specifically, the system tracks the movement of the visitor’s cursor on a particular site page and displays the related popup when the cursor leaves the area of the current browser window. This way, the brand presents its offers to leaving visitors to keep them longer on its site.
  • Scroll-based popups. Scroll-based popups appear when the user views a certain percent of a site page determined by a store admin. E-commerce stores frequently use this popup type on their blog pages. This way, they introduce their offers to users who engaged with a certain amount of the content on particular site pages.
  • Time-based popups. Popups of this type are displayed a while after the user opened a site page. Again, this value is set by the store admin. Time-based popups make their best when they appear 60 seconds or later after visitors load the page. At this point, they are already engaged with the content of the page, and, thus, more inclined to accept the displayed offers.
  • Content-based popups. This traditional type of popups is shown to users when they open particular site pages, such as, say, home, catalog, product, category, and other ones.

Based on the above popup types, store owners can determine the most appropriate ‘moment of interaction’ with their site powered by popups.

Now, let’s walk through several examples that will help us understand for what purposes online merchants can utilize popups in their stores.

Popup Usage Examples

Welcoming Popup

We begin our quick tour from the so-called ‘welcoming popup’ used by the Naja underwear web store. The popup is shown to users once they visit the store for the first time and offers a special discount on the first purchase for each new email subscriber.

In this way, the brand welcomes new visitors to its site. Moreover, it presents particular offers in a short and easy-to-understand form prompting visitors to become email subscribers with the words ‘be our special guest’ that creates the feeling of a unique offer available for each website visitor.

MAGENTO SECURITY PATCH SUPEE-10570 RELEASED

SUPEE-10570, Magento Commerce 1.14.3.8 and Open Source 1.9.3.8 contain multiple security enhancements that help close remote code execution (RCE), cross-site scripting (XSS, and other issues. These releases also include small functional fixes listed in the release notes.

NOTE: Magento was recently informed about an issue with both patch SUPEE-10570 and Magento versions 1.9.3.8/1.14.3.8 that could result in the inability of customers to complete checkout when trying to register during checkout. Magento is now providing an updated patch (SUPEE-10570v2) that no longer causes this issue.

Patches and upgrades are available for the following Magento versions:

  • Magento Commerce 1.9.0.0-1.14.3.7: SUPEE-10570 or upgrade to Magento Commerce 1.14.3.8
  • Magento Open Source 1.5.0.0-1.9.3.7: SUPEE-10570 or upgrade to Magento Open Source 1.9.3.8

There were several CVSSv3 Severity issues found which affected the Magento products. Below are the few bugs:

Issue Type: Remote Code Execution (RCE)

 

CVSSv3 Severity Security Bug Description
9.8 (High) Remote Code Execution Using XML Injection An administrator with limited privileges can insert injectable XML into the layout table, which can create an opportunity for remote code execution.
9.8 (Critical) Remote Code Execution – additional fix not included in SUPEE-9652 A user can insert information in a return path, thereby storing information on the file system that could lead to Remote Code Execution (RCE).
8.9 (High) Remote Code Execution by (semi-)arbitrary file deletion for admin users with access to Import. An administrator with Import permissions can import an XML file that could potentially provide an opportunity for Remote Code Execution (RCE).
7.2 (High) Remote Code Execution in Staging Environment An administrator with limited privileges can inject a malformed configuration bypass, which could potentially lead to a file redirection that could be leveraged for arbitrary remote code execution.

 

Issue Type: Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

 

6.4 (Medium) Cross-Site Request Forgery in Store Backups An administrator can be tricked into performing a system backup by an attacker who has crafted a targeted Cross-Site Request forgery (CSRF) attack.

 

Issue Type: Cross-site Scripting (XSS) – stored

 

5.0(Medium) Cross-site Scripting in CMS hierarchy An administrator with limited privileges can insert script into the CMS hierarchy, which could potentially result in a stored cross-site scripting that affects other administrators.
5.0(Medium) Cross-site Scripting in Custom Variables An administrator with limited privileges can insert script in the custom variables name field, which could potentially result in stored cross-site scripting that affects other administrators.

Source: Magento

It is highly recommended by Magento to deploy these new releases right away, to ensure optimal security and performance. Remember to implement and test the patch in a development environment first to confirm that it works as expected or consult a professional.

What else can be done to protect a Magento site?

Apart from installing the security patches, you can always ask Magento certified professionals to conduct a security audit every quarter to ensure that your store is secured especially if you have installed new extensions and made some changes to the site.
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Consult our certified Magento developers, if you want to implement this security patch or have any questions regarding the Magento security SUPEE-10570 patch, please contact our support team.

How to Use Coupon Codes in an E-commerce Store: Best Ideas

Customers love discounts, and one of the ways to provide these discounts in a web store is to use coupon codes.

How to Use Coupon Codes in an Ecommerce Store: Best Ideas

In fact, coupon codes with special offers contribute to building long-term customer loyalty. Today, we will talk about the most efficient ways of using digital coupons.

Coupon Code Key Stats

Last year, the Deal Nerd resource conducted a survey of coupon code usage in e-commerce stores. According to its results, 68% of respondents said that they would leave a store that doesn’t offer coupon codes.

Moreover, 54% of shoppers expect to receive discounts as coupon codes sent by email. As a result, 83% of the stores surveyed use email as the top channel for coupon code distribution.

The above figures just prove that coupon codes can greatly increase revenues of any e-commerce store. Now, let’s walk through several important tips telling how to properly utilize digital coupon codes.

Coupon Code Best Practices

Take Advantage of Customer Segmentation

The first thing that should be kept in mind when using coupon codes is that they should be segmented by a customer group. This way, your offers will always be presented to the right audience.

Notice that you can adjust your coupon codes not only for on-site visitors but also for particular email subscribers by sending them coupon codes by email. As a result, you will be guaranteed that your loyal shoppers will not miss any of your special offers.

How it Works: Improved Import and Export for Magento 2 by FireBear Studio

This guest post is provided by our partner FireBear Studio.

How It Works: Improved Import and Export for Magento 2 by FireBear Studio

In this very post, we will introduce the Magento 2 Improved Import and Export extension developed by FireBear Studio. The extension is a complete solution for automating Magento 2 import and export procedures, saving store owner’s time, and helping him/her deal with arriving supplies.

Let’s talk about why import procedure enhancements and automation are so essential.

Why Importing Products is Important

This year continues the line of globalization. Stores are becoming more catalog-heavy, customers are becoming more demanding to product collections, and new suppliers appear of the blue offering better prices.

Suppliers are our primary concern here. Whether you just resell goods from larger markets or stock up for your store, stock management is what takes most of the time. And, the Improved Import and Export extension for Magento 2 helps you automate the stock updating routine making quick and efficient store management possible.

Leveraging the Store Location Functionality in a Web Store

Online merchants use store locators to primarily help shoppers find the nearest physical outlets or pave the way to brick-and-mortar stores.

Leveraging Store Location Functionality in a Web Store

Today, we will give you some recommendations on how to help customers find the locations of the required physical stores online. First, let’s take a look at the key benefits of the above functionality.

Why Store Locators?

Apart from showing buyers the locations of particular brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce businesses can benefit from the following advantages of store locators:

  • Customer retention. Customers will be grateful to the brand that helps them to find the nearest outlet when they don’t have much time for searching.
  • Rationalized workflow. The address-related info provided on store locator pages helps contact persons avoid general questions about their address and focus on more specific customer requests.
  • More buying options. With the store locator functionality utilized in a web store, shoppers can find the required products online and then negotiate to pick up them at the nearest outlet.

The above benefits just prove that store locators became an indispensable tool for both merchants and buyers. Now, we will find out how this functionality should be arranged on a website.

Store Finders Best Practices

Take Advantage of Locating

The first feature that should be included in the store locator functionality of any e-commerce store by default is the possibility to find the nearest store based on the current user’s location.

So, shoppers specify their location to find the nearest store, but what does the term ‘nearest’ exactly mean? Are these the stores that located within 100 kilometers or 200 kilometers, or only the stores within the walking distance? In other words, how a shopper can know what the search radius is?

The best solution here is to allow customers to manually indicate the radius of their search in terms of radius measurement units and their values. Consider implementing the solution in your website, and the process of finding a particular store is going to become transparent to your customers.

Shop by Brand 1.1 Manages Products on Brand Pages

The advantages of branding are undeniable as soon as brand names allow you to improve product recognition, build loyalty, consolidate product position on the market, and make new product launches successful.

Shop by Brand 1.1 Manages Products on Brand Pages

In order to present brands properly in their stores, Magento store owners can successfully use the Shop by Brand extension for Magento 2, especially that it was updated and improved just recently.

As soon as brand pages presenting products are the central elements of any brand strategy, the latest Shop by Brand 1.1 improves the possibilities to manage and sort products on that pages significantly.

Shop by Brand 1.1 New Features

Manage Products on Brand Pages

From now on, Magento admins are able to add products to brand pages easily from the Edit Brand section in the backend.

In order to enter the grid please follow Catalog -> Shop by Brand by Aheadworks -> Brand Pages -> Particular brand -> Brand products grid. The grid enumerates all available products and allows adding any of them to a particular brand page in just one click.

Organizing Mobile Checkout in an E-commerce Store: What to Consider?

Mobile checkout is undoubtedly one of the most promising e-commerce trends of this year since the mobile payment market grows dramatically.

Organizing Mobile Checkout in an Ecommerce Store: What to Consider?

In this article, we will consider the key elements of the mobile checkout process, each of which is equally important for any e-commerce business. Furthermore, we will explore how these elements are arranged in the Smart One Step Checkout (Smart OSC) extension for Magento 2 by Aheadworks. So, let’s begin.

Mobile Payment Challenges

In the light of the constantly growing number of mobile payments, there are certain challenges to overcome:

  • Too much to tap. According to the recent statistics, 31% of mobile shoppers abandon checkouts because they are asked to fill out numerous fields.
  • Tedious process. 21% of mobile users leave checkouts because the whole process seems too long to them.
  • Payment safety. More to it, nearly 70% of shoppers are highly concerned about the security of mobile payments and along with the above reasons, drop checkout because of poor safety.

So, how can we overcome all the above and other obstacles and make mobile checkouts really comfortable and successful? How to effectively adjust e-commerce stores for mobile usage? Let’s take a look at the major aspects of the convenient mobile checkout.

Mobile Checkout Key Elements

Easy-to-find Checkout Page

Suppose, you want to make a purchase in a clothing web store via smartphone. You found the desired jacket in the catalog, added it to your cart, and now, need to proceed to checkout. But, finding the corresponding button on the shopping cart page almost drove you crazy, as it was hidden below the fold of your device’s screen. Needless to say, you will hardly make another purchase in this store.

The point is that customers are most likely to abandon their mobile checkouts if they can’t easily find a checkout page on a site. Magento 2 based stores handle this issue by placing the shopping cart box at the top of site pages so that they are immediately visible on mobile screens.

Personalization as a Key to Success in E-commerce Business

E-commerce personalization relates to presenting individual offers, product recommendations, and the like for particular customers and customer groups to make offers more attractive for them.

Personalization as a Key to Success in Ecommerce Business

Today, we will discuss the major types of e-commerce personalization and consider how they are implemented into the Magento 2 extensions by Aheadworks. But first, let’s take a look at some figures.

E-commerce Personalization Trends

The main reason to personalize content in e-commerce stores is that such content is perceived by shoppers to be much more relevant than the non-personalized one. The stats just prove this:

  • 74% of buyers say that they are less motivated to make purchases in the store with no personalized content;
  • Rather, 75% of customers are more inclined to buy from the brand that gives them personal recommendations;
  • As a result, 63% of companies view e-commerce personalization as an essential part of their marketing strategy.

Arranging Customer Support Services in an E-commerce Store

Every day, help desk specialists of any web store deal with a constantly growing number of customer tickets, which might seriously affect the overall productivity of a support department.

Arranging Customer Support Services in an Ecommerce Store

In this article, we will give you the ideas how to make the whole customer support process in a web store more efficient.

Customer Support Major Aspects

Ticket Monitoring & Management

Imagine the situation in which you have hundreds of tickets in your store, each to be handled properly. First, you should think about storing them in one place where they can be conveniently monitored and managed.

Most likely, we are talking about a grid that contains general information about each ticket, including customer name, status, responsible department, priority, and the like so that you can view all the required data and even create new tickets from there.

Still, general information can often be insufficient, especially when you need to view customer-related details and purchases for particular tickets. In this case, you should think about the solution that will give you the possibility to ‘drill-down’ customer tickets in the database of your store to view their detailed info.

Also, think about the possibility to edit specific ticket parameters on the fly, including ticket priority, assigned departments, order IDs, and so on, as these variables might need to be changed while processing the ticket. For more convenience, this should be done on dedicated ticket pages.

Free Webinar by Aheadworks: Advanced Filter Management Opportunities

On February 15, 10-00 AM (PST), we invite everyone to join our discussion on the features of our latest Layered Navigation 1.7 extension for Magento 2.

Free Webinar by Aheadworks: Advanced Filter Management Opportunities

In the course of our ‘Advanced Filter Management with Layered Navigation 1.7’ free webinar, Magento 2 store owners will learn about the new options of our extension that allow shoppers to find products in catalogs flawlessly.

The webinar will also be useful for digital agencies looking for the ways to integrate time-proven navigation functionality and high-quality code.

Our speakers will gladly share their expertise on the subject.

REGISTER NOW

Speakers

Dmitry Shatkov, Aheadworks Chief Content Officer Dmitry Shatkov, Aheadworks Chief Content Officer
Artem Kuznetsov, Aheadworks Product Owner Artem Kuznetsov, Aheadworks Product Owner
Vitaly Verbitsky, VP Partnership and Sales, AheadworksVitaly Verbitsky, VP Partnership and Sales, Aheadworks

Advanced Reports 2.6 Introduces a Brand-New Reports Dashboard

Any online business, even a small or starting one, needs to deal with a huge amount of information, but staring and seeing, are two completely different things.

Advanced Reports 2.6 Introduces a Brand-New Reports Dashboard

The data a merchant has as a result of its daily sales and other activities are so abundant that they need not only to be collected properly, but also arranged in the way, which would allow merchants to correctly interpret they, discover valuable insights, and make efficient decisions.

Advanced Reports 2.6 Functionality

Today, we’d like to present you our new enhanced Advanced Reports extension for Magento 2 stores, which pays a great deal of attention to the reports usability, clarity, and meaning. Still, the latest Advanced Reports 2.6 has even more to offer, and the major feature of it is the new reports Dashboard.

Advanced Reports Dashboard

The dashboard has 10 widgets in total, including 8 numerical widgets and 2 charts. A Magento admin can easily change their content according to their business needs and display any of the provided by the extension reports there. The drop-down changing the content is located in the top right corner of each widget.

Powerful Loyalty Programs in E-commerce: Best Examples

E-commerce loyalty programs present additional sales opportunities that cannot be ignored since they intensify customer engagement and boost sales of any web store.

Powerful Loyalty Programs in Ecommerce: Best Examples

In this article, we will guide you through the beneficial loyalty programs and give you some ideas on their forms and rules. So, let’s start our quick tour.

Reward Program Examples

Point-based Programs

Last year, the Walgreen cosmetics store established a point-based reward program, where customers received points by making purchases in their store. The number of points earned per a single order depended on the value of a particular purchase.

This way, shoppers were motivated to earn more points by spending more money. For example, 1$ was equal to 1 000 points, $2 to 2 000 points, and so on. Such convenient and easy-to-understand system saved them from long-term calculations of the points to be earned from each purchase.

Once the points were earned, they could be used to get discounts on future purchases. With this reward program, Walgreen managed to increase its average order value per customer.