Magento Extensions Posts

iPhone Theme 3.0: On the Cutting Edge of Customers’ Expectations

The extraordinary development of mobile devices changes people’s habits and influence all aspects of their lives, including ecommerce.

iPthone Theme 3.O

It’s not a surprise that smartphones and tablets gradually replace desktops and become main conductors to the virtual world. As a result, if merchants lag customers’ expectations of excellent shopping experience on portable devices, they will likely fail.

So, a great chance to succeed is to always stay on the cutting edge (of either technologies or sales practices) and we can offer you the way.

iPhone Theme 3.0

General Improvements

This version of the solution includes refactored scripts and new CSS styles, which make the process of further customizations much simpler and more productive. iPhone Theme can also offer even better performance for both customers and Magento admins.

Starting from this version iPhone Theme is tailored for tablets.

tipsWarning. As far as the code is reworked greatly, you customizations for iPhone Theme 2.x will not likely be compatible with the current version of the product.

Product Page Enhancements

Quantity Field on Product Pages
The quantity of items is specified on product pages and can be later amended in carts, if necessary. Customers are able to change the number of added items either via the increase/decrease buttons or entering it directly in the quantity box.

The Quantity Field

The Quantity Field

Review Posting Option
Customers are also able to add their reviews in the dedicated tab on product pages. This new directly related to your products content is greatly appreciated by other visitors and prospects. Furthermore, it is counted by search engines and positively influences your ranking positions.

New Product Questions for Magento 2: Feasible Completeness of Product Descriptions

During this transitional period Magento especially needs a lot of great features able to prove once again its power and value worthy of the most popular ecommerce platform worldwide. In this regard, we also strive to make necessary efforts and increase the number of ready to go Magento 2 extensions.

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The Product Questions Magento 2 extension by aheadWorks is responsible for the operations closely knitted to products and eventually sales. It provides additional product value without any extra expenses or exceptional efforts.

The Product Questions Magento 2 ExtensionCustomers appreciate great products most of all, but today this concept is much wider than just a set of straightforward functionalities providing operational effectiveness. Amid this, products should fully satisfy customers’ needs and in this case the angle moves to the individual perception and personal communications. And, this is what the Product Questions extension makes best of all:

  • Information about Your Products. Your desire to reveal all the best features of your products is incomplete without dispelled customers’ concerns and removed pitfalls. So the Product Questions extension makes your product sheet complete.
  • Loyalty through Communication. Live communications convey the spirit of a trusted destination and make customers feel safe and loyal to the store and products.
  • Extra Content. Questions and answers make your web store live and full of constantly updated content in the eyes of search engines and this way improve your SERP rankings.
  • Genuine Feedback. Using the extension customers get a chance to display their thrilling questions priceless for merchants as the basics for further service improvements. All the improvements based on customers’ suggestions show them their significance and make them fill involved.

Product questions allow you to meet the above goals alone, however, when supplied with reach and capable backend functionality, they make the module a real communication and educational tool in your hands.

M2 Product Questions Functionality

Customer Interaction

Ask a Question
Asking questions about products is the main functionality of the extension shaping its main ecommerce value.

Customers' Product Questions

Customers’ Product Questions

Customers are able to ask public and private (sent directly to Magento admin without public sharing) questions. They just need to type them to the Question section and press the Send Question button. If a customer wants to make his question private, he just checks the Private Question check box.

Shop By Brand 1.4 Creates and Fills Brands Automatically

Selling by brands is a time-tested approach in ecommerce contained by default in most platforms, including Magento, and used by numerous grand companies, including Amazon.

Shop By Brands

Multiple functionality extensions push this functionality forward and make website Shop By sections real art pieces of usability and design. Still, with the development of e-trade more and more cases appear aimed at reduced costs and time savings. Namely this kind of inquiry gave life to the new version of our Shop By Brand Magento extension.

Automatic Brands Creation by Products’ Attributes

Shop By Brand 1.4 is refined with the ability to automatically create brands by certain product attributes and assign products to them.

It’s one-click functionality located in the Shop By Brand configuration section available for Magento admins both under System -> Configuration -> Shop By Brand -> Auto Generate or Catalog -> Shop By Brand -> Settings -> Auto Generate.

Auto Generate Functionality

Auto Generate Functionality

The functionality is especially useful in two generic cases.

SARP 2.2 Gets a Powerful Notification System

The benefits of recurring sales are closely considered in our previous posts and we highly recommend you to try on this revenue model.

Without exaggeration, we think that it is suitable for most product lines and can be advantageous for both, sellers and customers.

SARP Email Notification System

To streamline the process of selling subscription products we consistently improve and complement the functionality provided by our Subscriptions and Recurring Payments Magento extension.

SARP 2.2 New Features

The newest version of SARP got an advanced and powerful notification system able to inform customers and responsible employees on recent most important event updates.

The current version of the SARP extension is also more stable, when working with PayPal providing the fully automated recurring profiles synchronization.

Email Notifications

Located under Subscriptions –> Email Notifications the functionality allows Magento admins to create an infinite number of notification patterns.

The Notification Details section includes next compulsory fields:

  • Name – specifies the unique name of the notification;
  • Status – disables or enables the notification;
  • Event Type – determines the events, which trigger notification emails. It currently includes five options: New profile created, Profile Status Changed, New order created, Profile expired, Next payment;
  • Recipient – appoints email recipients, including Customer, General Contact, Sales Representative, Support, etc.;
  • Store – determines stores/store views for email notifications.

aheadWorks Magento 2 Extensions Embrace an Advanced Approach

With the advent of Magento 2 aheadWorks proclaims a new advanced approach to the development, support, and enhancement of our products. We are achieving this by means of three basic tenets.

Magento 2 Extensions

Magento 2 Extensions Advanced Approach

Ahead-of-the-curve Functionality

The first batch of Magento 2 extensions is largely inspired by our customers and we plan to make this approach traditional. With this in mind, we added some questions to our demo store tutorials and this way want to encourage you to contribute to the functionality and design of our products.

Our cooperation is the most effective way to build right Magento extensions

We believe that our cooperation is the most effective and beneficial way to build right Magento extensions covering real ecommerce needs and welcome everyone to exchange views and ideas.

Products to Run a Business, not Just a Store

Daily use of our products by numerous store owners and customers made us to carefully consider the Magento administration processes and make them time saving and intuitive.

We consciously put backend usability at the forefront and implement the most straightforward workflows in the operational logic of our modules. This way, our extensions avoid excessive actions, repeated steps, and vague interface.

We consciously put usability at the forefront

We press for seamless learnability and memorability of our products due to intuitive layout and handy navigation allowing Magento admins to easily accomplish their daily tasks.

Easily Customizable Solutions

And finally, as soon as you need to customize some of our products, we do our best to make this process largely unobstructed.

We develop our modules compliant with Magento 2 extension development guidelines in terms of coding standards, architecture, packaging, and integration abilities. Our extensions are based on the scalable architecture and thoroughly commented clean code.

We do our best to make customizations unobstructed

Magento 2 Extension product packages also include the dedicated development documentation designed to streamline the process of customization.

Pioneering Magento 2 Extensions by aheadWorks

Our pioneer extensions, Follow Up Email and Advanced Reports, embrace the mentioned above principles and open the aheadWorks Magento 2 portfolio.

Follow the tutorials in demo stores to evaluate the functionality, design and business logic of the extensions and leave your feedback. We really appreciate it.

The Follow Up Email Magento 2 extensionFollow Up Email

Follow Up Email is one of those time-tested tools, which brings your relations with customers to the new level. Triggered emails are closely related to the customers’ activity and deliver only accurate and timely information.

Follow Up Email events are repeatedly approved by live online stores and modern business logic. All the provided events are grouped under Marketing -> Follow Up Email by aheadWorks -> Events.

Each event reflects potentially beneficial occasions for email marketing able to create new conversions. Event sections feature email templates to be used in certain cases. By default, Follow Up Email offers you a collection of ready-to-use predefined templates and useful hints added to each section.

International Holiday Sales Preparedness Primer

Ready or not, the holiday season is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to finalize your eCommerce strategy for making the most of this crucial time of year.

Holiday Sales

While domestic demand in the U.S. is expected to increase yet again throughout the holidays, one often over-looked opportunity by e-tailers during this critical time is the global market.

Ensuring you’re successful with overseas buyers this holiday season means having the right tactics and messaging in place ahead of time. We’ve put together a few things to consider now so your store can tap the potential from abroad this holiday season and beyond.

Know the key shopping dates across the globe

While we all know how important Black Friday and Cyber Monday are to ensuring a successful holiday sales campaign, don’t neglect the key dates from around the world that are just as important to international buyers. Click Frenzy in mid-November is one of the largest online shopping events in Australia, while Green Monday (the 2nd Monday in December) is actually the natural peak day for online sales around the world. Don’t forget Boxing Day in the UK, Canada, and sections of Australia, Hatsu-Uri or New Year’s Sale in Japan, and Diwali in early November in India. Last but not least, don’t forget China’s Singles Day (November 11, or 11.11), which is bigger than Cyber Monday and Black Friday combined in terms of sales volume.

Periodic Table of aheadWorks Magento Extensions

These days we all recollect our school years sending our own children to schools or just passing by the well-dressed kids and teens smartly walking to their classes.

Influenced by this nostalgic mood we want you to feel the same inspiration. On this occasion, we assembled all our Magento extensions in the table, largely similar to the Periodic Table of elements.

Table 1. Periodic Table of aheadWorks Magento Extensions


Full View (choose the Presentation mode)
Static Picture

We made it not only to convey the spirit of this “Back to school” time, but also to provide you with the opportunity to have all our Magento products on hand and find them easily every time you need some additional functionality for your store. You will also have a chance to dive deep into the times, when learning was usual and not so awkward 🙂 , if you take part in our Back to School contest given below.

New Coupon Code Generator: Magento Coupons in a Few Clicks

What is the best price for a customer? It’s not the lowest one, which seems to be obvious, but the “best, greatest, coolest, and finally fantastic deal price”. Customers are happy, when they are sure that the deal they make is apparently the best one around.

Coupon Code Generator

So, they do not necessarily appreciate lowest costs, but prefer lowest costs as a result of insane chases for savings or as pleasant unexpected acquisitions. That’s what makes the price valuable – satisfaction.

Coupons are the tool, which makes customers satisfied both, if they find codes on coupon sites or suddenly get them from merchants effortlessly. Still, generating multiple coupons each day is a pretty difficult mission, so we offer you the way to streamline this routine.

Coupon Code Generator

The Coupon Code Generator Magento ExtensionThe Coupon Code Generator Magento extension allows you to create coupons in just several clicks and send them to customers easily. Magento admins are able to create an unlimited number of coupons based on once settled rules without leaving the Generated Coupons grid.

Functionality

General Settings

The module’s general configuration sets up notification properties specifying the email sender contact and template. The Configuration section is available in two paths: System > Configuration > aheadWorks extensions > Coupon Code Generator or Promotions > Coupon Code Generator > Settings.

Configuration
Configuration

attention_greenFor your convenience, the question button to the right of the Email Template field reminds you the variables available in email templates. They are the following:

  • var_name – customer name;
  • var quickCoupon – coupon code;
  • var quickCouponDiscount|format – discount amount (percent or amount);
  • var quickCouponExpirationDate – coupon expiration date.

New Rules

At its core, rules determine the conditions, under which coupons become active, and performed actions, including percent of fixed discounts and free items added to carts.

The dedicated Shopping Cart Price Rule section contains four pages: Rule Information, Conditions, Actions, and Labels.

New Magento International Shipping: Sell Worldwide Competently

Selling internationally is an ambitious aim and difficult task simultaneously. On the one hand you can enter the vast market and skyrocket your sales, but on the other hand you will have to enter terra incognita for your business full of new requirements and local regulations.

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Launching international sales requires a lot of time, specific knowledge, and necessary software. The whole process, since payments to shipping, is to be organized almost from scratch due to the specifics of global trading.

International shipping options and costs, international package insurance, customs fees, duties and taxes, international returns, transactions security, etc. – all these makes many merchants postpone their plans for the conquest of the international market.

You should consider many things at a time:

  • Not all products are suitable for international trading. Heavy and big items are most likely too expensive for shipping and not able to create proper competition to domestic traders;
  • Some products are simply prohibited for importing in certain countries;
  • Shipping costs of international carriers may differ from country to country drastically. So, you should estimate final costs of your products in different countries and avoid shipping to wittingly unprofitable destinations, and etc.

But, there is always a way to reduce that burden using innovative solutions able to take over some of your sophisticated duties. The Pitney Bowes shipping services are able to provide your customers with economical fully-landed shipping rates, including all duties, taxes, and brokerage to 60+ countries worldwide. This way, integrational customers get the rates and transparency comparable to local terms of shipment.

Sales Gamification: Beneficial Mix of Business and Fun

Selling online becomes more and more complicated, and it is not always about the sophisticated and ruthless competition. Often, it’s about the lack of unique shopping experience and fun.

Gamification

In most cases, offline shopping is entertainment and customers want to have fun online, as well. Digital games are the greatest gain of the virtual world and their power of engagement is not yet completely used in ecommerce and gamification is one of the ways to leverage their impact on sales.

There are several definitions of gamification, but most of them converge in one interpretation. Gamification is the way to intensify users’ engagement and contribution through the application of game playing principles (personal or team scoring, competition, badging, etc.) in non-game areas.

This is a both-sides advantageous technique usually implemented in marketing, personnel management, education, competitive intelligence, market researches and online sales, of course. Usually gamification is used in conjunction with loyalty programs and other promotional tools.

Gamification Advantages

  • Engagement. Engagement is the main advantage of gamification and can be numerically measured in visitors, sessions, page views, etc., which is very important to determine its effectiveness.
  • Motivation. Providing clear goals and explaining the ways to achieve them gamification intensifies efforts and make customers to get involved. And, the competition with other participants makes this process even more exciting.
  • Influence. Defining game rules you can directly manage both the results and ways of their achievement. You can set up own milestones and final targets, e.g. ask for more sales, visits, or other leads, and make the game suitable just for you. This also makes gamification a universal tool, applicable to different online stores.

Ideas for Business: The Recurring Revenue Model

Which is better, to have 0 or $10.000 at the beginning of each month? Surely, no one will choose the first option when it comes to real money.

Starting each new business month you suppose  to reach a certain sales volume and can estimate the revenue you will apparently obtain, but it is still just your assumption. And, you will certainly be more confident and surefooted, if you firmly know that this revenue is assured to you by your customers. It is really possible within the recurring revenue business model.

Recurring Sales

Not only applied to new businesses this model can also be used for running online stores in combination with one-off sales.

The Benefits of Recurring Sales

The more recurring sales you make, the more benefits you have:

  • Recurring sales provide you a steady cash flow;
  • They allow you to better plan your investments and payments;
  • This stability allows you to take higher risks and get higher returns from risky projects;
  • You get a chance for potential up-sells and cross-sells during the customer lifetime;
  • The recurring character of your income allows you to get large loans easier;
  • The attractiveness and cost of your business rises considerably for investors and prospect customers.

Types of Recurring Sales

However, recurring cash streams are also not equal and we can distinguish several types starting from most valuable ones.

Advanced Reports 2.6.0: Four New Reports and One New Design

Which one is more difficult: to pilot an airplane or manage a web store? Many people would say that currently online business is much more complex.

Did you ever think that the number of navigational instruments in modern airplanes is overwhelmingly high still they all find their place in the airplane cockpit? So, how can we rely on just several reports while driving an ecommerce project? It’s certainly not enough for any successful online business.

Navigation Instruments

The smartest decision is to find a reporting solution suggesting a comprehensive set of highly accurate and versatile reports able to cover all aspects of your online business. The Advanced Reports extension is certainly able to take on this role in your Magento store.

The Advanced Reports Magento extensionNumerous reports, the user-friendly design and flexible customization options allow Advanced Reports to meet the requirements of any business from small shops to huge stores and warehouses. Furthermore, the latest update brings a really new look and feel to this Magento module.

What is the Advanced Reports 2.6.0 update?

  • 1 Exclusive Dashboard;
  • 2 New Reports;
  • 2 New Units;
  • 1 New Design;
  • 5 Features.

So, we can rightfully say that the latest update delivers drastically new product to our customers.

New Features

Dashboard

Starting from the ver. 2.6 Advanced Reports has its own dashboard. This additional dashboard reflects valuable and some exclusive data unavailable from any other reports, including Items per Order and Average Order Value.

iPhone Theme Update: Great Appearance by Default

For more than two weeks the Google mobile-friendly update walks thru the web and some site owners have already felt its influence, while the others are just expecting the final sentence from Google.

iPhone Theme Update

Good or bad, positive or penalizing, everyone agrees that the only way to trick the search engine is to obey its rules and Magento merchants have an opportunity to choose the easiest way for that – iPhone Theme.

Quick Mobile Start

The iPhone Theme Magento extensionUsing this extension you are able to create a stunning mobile version of your store promptly and effortlessly.

The website you get meets all requirements for mobile websites, including the requirements of the Google mobile-friendly algorithm.

Advantageous Features

All the features of iPhone Theme put together are more than just a set of separate functions, but a holistic and advanced functionality:

  • One-column layout;
  • Customizable home page for mobile store view;
  • Touchscreen gallery with gestures support;
  • No pagination and page reloads (AJAX used);
  • The cart available from every page;
  • Multistore support;
  • And more…

Here, we present only a limited list of valuable features, while the comprehensive functionality description is available on the product page of the extension or you can try its functionality in action in our demo store.

New Features

Included Default Home Page
iPhone Theme is a flexible tool, which allows creating great mobile stores with individual design and appearance. Our demo store features the variant of the home page created basing on the iPhone Theme layout facilities.

According to numerous requests, many of our customers would like to have this home page included into the extension by default and the current update provides this very opportunity.

iPhone Theme Default Home Page

iPhone Theme Default Home Page

3-rd Party Checkout Extension Interference
Since the current version of the extension iPhone Theme is saved from possible interference of third-party checkout extensions and provides neat and accurate mobile checkout interface.

Conclusion

Aside from the sensational update from Google, we should clearly understand that the importance of Mobile devices increases in the omni-channel marketing strategy exponentially. According to Goldman Sachs, the number of people making purchases on smartphones is estimated to be 1.09 billion in 2018 and will constitute nearly half of all ecommerce. (Source: Marketingland.com)

This way, the importance of mobile-friendly sites is now in the highest point as they should become the starting point of your online success, and iPhone Theme is ideal for this beginning and further growth.

Have any comments? Leave them below, please.

New Admin Product Grid Defeats Daily Routines

Each business activity, and ecommerce is not an exception, has two different sides – creative searches of brilliant ideas and daily routines of managing inventory, customers, orders, etc. And usually, the last ones take much more time and efforts.

Just like the bulk of the iceberg is hidden under the water the main part of each store management routine is carried out on the backend. Managing products, prices, stocks, categories, brands, vendors, etc. is so time-consuming and irritating that sooner or later you start looking for a solution to increase your productivity.

The Admin Product Grid Magento extension

Luckily, we have a great tool for Magento store owners able to save much time each day you manage product attributes and other product information.

The Admin Product Grid extension allows you to edit product attributes inline and easily create a custom view of the Manage Products grid, which fully meets your commercial needs.

Admin Product Grid Benefits

Time Savings
On the product page of the extension you can find a vivid use case describing the benefits provided by Admin Product Grid. In a nutshell, the use case describes the situation, when you manage 5 product attributes daily in average. It clearly shows that the process flow involving Admin Product Grid takes just 6 steps to edit the attributes, while the native Magento flow requires 12 steps to be done.

This way, the advantages provided by the module are evident.

Compliance with Business Objectives
Since each business has its own and sometimes very specific commercial objectives it usually needs exclusive backend tools and grid views to perform own tasks. Using Admin Product Grid you are able to create “100% right” Manage Products grids, containing all necessary attributes and special columns organized exactly as you need.

Advanced Control
The module provides you with advanced control facilities, which embrace automatic data validations, the opportunities to make critical attributes not editable or undo recent changes. All these allow you to reduce the number of human errors and needless corrections.

Google Mobile-Friendly Algorithm: Should We Panic or Not?

This spring, webmasters and site owners with bated breath are waiting for the new algorithm update announced by Google recently.

It greatly differs from other Google’s updates for several reasons.

Google Mobile-Friendly Algorithm

First of all, we exactly know the starting date of the modification – April 21. Secondly, Google announced this date publicly, explained the consequences and even provided the ways to avoid penalties. That’s not common, at least. And everything unusual usually worries.

So, in order to dispel our own and your anxiety we tried to understand the threats and opportunities of the upcoming changes for online merchants.

Google Mobile-Friendly Algorithm

According to Google itself, this new algorithm is going to significantly expand the influence of “mobile friendliness as a ranking factor” and display more content from apps in search results.

This actually means that the mobile rankings will change greatly and current leaders will apparently be deposed. The situation when high rankings in desktop search provide similar positions in mobile search will not happen again any more. This way, Google splits two kinds of rankings completely.

The good news is that Google claims that this new algorithm won’t affect desktop search and those merchants, who mostly benefit from this type of traffic, may breathe freely for a while. But, all the rest site owners have a great piece of work to be done before the designated date.

Moreover, Google says that the update is going to last about a week or even more, so we all have some extra time even after April 21.

IMPORTANT At SMX West, Google’s Gary Illyes explained that site updates for this algorithm would be considered in real time. So, site owners may hope that their positive changes will be noticed fairly quickly.

Check Your Own Mobile Status

The specific feature of this update is that along with the delay Google provided an ad hoc tool for site owners, which helps to check mobile friendliness of your pages.

Note: This update operates on the page level. This means that your site will not be affected by few not mobile friendly pages.

The second way to find out the answer is to check out the Mobile Usability Report in your Webmaster Tools. In this report Google specifies the pages, which do not comply with its requirements.

Or you can just find the pages of you site in mobile search and discover the sign “Mobile-friendly” next to it.