Magento Extensions Posts

Featured Products 3 and On Sale + Product Labels on Their Way to Excellent Functionality

Our developers work hard on updating our extensions aiming at meeting the requirements our customers claim. If you already own the On Sale + Product Labels and Featured Products extensions, or consider buying them revise the new features added to the modules.

The On Sale + Product Labels extension for Magento

On Sale + Product Labels

The On Sale + Product Labels module adds visually-appealing labels to product images and provides multiple options for their configuration. Attractive labels make product images exclusive and more informative.

 

Labels & variables! Perfect combination for my store. Great support as always. Thx.

Review by Mack

On Sale + Product Labels v.2.5 Features

Price on the label with tax support
If the product price has tax, the label price will also include it.

Add product quantity conditions to extension rules
One more condition was added to the rules – product quantity. Now you can create rules triggering labels if the quantity of the product is X or less.

Product Quantity Conditions

Product Quantity Conditions

Store view multiselect in rule edit page
Assign rules to different store views (English, French, etc.) and select multiple store views simultaneously.

Store View Multiselect

Store View Multiselect

More Security for Your Emails and Improved Positioning of Static Blocks. Welcome Advanced Newsletter and Z-Blocks Updates

Recent days were abundant in updates and we are glad to notify you about them. We start from our two really valuable extensions: Advanced Newsletter and Z-Blocks.

The Advanced Newsletter Extension for Magento

Advanced Newsletter

The Advanced Newsletter extension allows you to obtain great power and desirable flexibility over your email marketing activities and carry them out efficiently. This module allows you to enhance subscribers base, create exclusive mailing lists, segment subscribers by multiple attributes, create individual e-mail templates, give more security to your subscribers, send emails from any SMTP server, and much more. The new 2.4 version of the Advanced Newsletter extension comprises several great features.

New Features

“Email doesn’t look nice? View it in your browser” variable
When creating an email template, you can insert the above  variable into its content. It contains an external link, which allows your recipients to open the email in their browsers to be sure they did not miss any valuable information.

View the Email in Your Browser

View the Email in Your Browser

Add SSL to SMTP Configuration
We’ve added one more cryptographic protocol for advanced security of your emails. You can choose it in the Advanced Newsletter -> SMTP Configuration – > Add New -> Fields -> Use TLS or SSL drop-down list.

Add SSL Protocol

Add SSL Protocol

Possibility to sort subscribers by group
This feature allows you to filter subscribers by their group assignment from the backend in the Advanced Newsletter -> Subscribers section.

Sort Subscribers by Group

Sort Subscribers by Group

Prepare your Magento Store for Valentine’s Day and Make the Most of this Event

Valentine’s Day is one of the major events on the retail shopping calendar and one of the largest spending holidays following winter shopping season. According to Statistic Brain, the average annual Valentine’s Day spending is $13.19 billion.

To attract the attention of your customers and make the most of this holiday, you have to start preparing your Magento store right now.

Consider the following ideas for your To Do List, which, by the way, show great results for our own store too.

Big promotion on homepage

Make sure visitors know you have something they will be interested in right from the home page. Prominently displayed Image Sliders on your site is a sure-fire way to boost sales and attract holiday shoppers. Configure the animation, speed, and effects of banners rotation and let this Magento module do the whole job for you.

Image Slider

Image Slider

Grab your visitors’ attention with a limited time offer

You may also want to consider putting in a countdown promotion showing how much time longer the sale/promo is going to last. The visitor will see an eye-catching timer on Home page or any product pages with a small description and call to action text, e.g.: ‘Hurry up, this knock out offer only available for 24 hours’. Countdown has proved to be a great ready-made solution that will do this for you.

Countdown on aheadWorks home page

Countdown on aheadWorks home page

Advanced Targeting of Custom Emails with the Help of Market Segmentation Suite

Last time we described how to create static blocks and show them only to specific audience with the help of Market Segmentation Suite (hereafter MSS). Follow Up Email and MSS integration is in the spotlight today.

Follow Up Email

Magento Follow Up Email

The Follow Up Email extension is extremely powerful as its numerous features cover almost the entire possible and ever needed follow-up functionality, including abandoned cart recovery.

It can track and send notifications to Magento store visitors who abandoned their shopping carts and restores them with just one click from the link sent in the email notification. With this module you can greet customers on their birthdays, generate automatic coupons and more:

  • Specify the Google Analytics tracking code for emails and analyzes the effectiveness of your campaigns;
  • Create and deploy specially-targeted product promotions based on customer wishlists;
  • Ask your client’s opinion on the product bought suggesting him/her to leave a review;
  • Create mail log that can be accessed from the admin area with the ability to preview and manually send/delete emails;
  • Create unlimited number of tiers in mail chain;
  • Create unlimited number of rules;
  • etc.

With the MSS extension Follow Up Email obtains advanced functionality – audience targeting.

Use Case: MSS + Follow Up Email Integration

Task description: recover abandoned carts and offer various discounts to different segments of customers depending on their purchase history, country and etc. In this use case, we encourage regular US customers to complete their purchases and offer them a 20% discount for the products contained in their abandoned carts.

Step 1. Follow-Up Email Creation

Newsletter Template Creation

Create a newsletter template by filling in the required fields and specify the template content.

Note: In the Template Content field you can use predefined variables. Here you will find the complete list of variables .

More than Five Years of Excellent Search. Search Autocomplete and Suggest is Updated to the 3.4 Version

The history of the Search Autocomplete and Suggest Magento extension starts in January 2009 when the first release of this extension was introduced.

Magento Search Autocomplete and Suggest

Search Autocomplete and Suggest is one of the first aheadWorks modules, but we constantly improve its functionality and add new useful features, and the current 3.4 version of the extension is refined by next two of them:

3.4 Version Features

Backend Features Configuration

Backend Features Configuration

Show suggested keywords
This option shows keywords suggestions in the dropdown list based on customers’ search terms. Customers can choose one of the suggested keywords and complete the search by the most relevant results.

Suggested Keywords Option

Suggested Keywords Option

All results button
This option adds ‘All results’ button to the bottom of the dropdown list. When visitors click this button they are taken to the standard Search Results page, which displays all search results.

'All Results' Button

‘All Results’ Button

Omni Channel Retailing is on the Top of Sales Practice

Constant evolution of retailing makes merchants embrace more new selling models and patterns than ever during the life circle of their business. Customers actively push these changes towards technologically advanced and comfortable shopping, which allows them to reach products through multiple channels and by means of various devices. These market requirements replaced multichannel retailing by the omni-channel approach on the top of sales practice.

The Omni-channel approach to retailing is the result of evolution of multichannel retailing and aims to follow customers across all shopping channels and devices and gives them the feeling of permanent brand presence in their lives. As a result, every stage of buying decision process (information search, products evaluation, purchase decision) can be seamlessly made in brick-and-mortar stores, or in online stores, or both.

The Black Friday 2013 stats confirmed that customers use their mobile devices not only for online shopping, but also as in-physical-stores shopping assistants. Some retailers go further and let their customers not only check the price and availability of products, but use their mobile devices for in-store location.

The Omni-Channel Online Customer. 360° interaction

Online retailers has more chances to implement the omni-channel approach in their retail practice as they have more experience in applying of the universal supply software and more chances for its quick integration with their, already existing, ecommerce platforms. However, omni-channel retailing imposes extremely high demands on sellers:

Market Segmentation Suite Provides Functionality for Advanced Targeting of Custom Static Blocks

We have already announced that the Market Segmentation Suite Magento extension (hereafter MSS) is now integrated with seven aheadWorks modules: Advanced Newsletter, Points & Rewards, Z-Blocks, Follow Up Email, Checkout Promo, Pop-up+, Order Tags.

Magento Market Segmentation Suite

Its functionality, added to the extensions above, allows these modules to be perfectly targeted to the required customer segments. The MSS module segments customers by numerous criteria and makes your e-mail notifications and service notes more personal, informative and efficient. Since the 2.0 version the MSS extension process over 100K of orders and is suitable for mid-sizeed and big online merchants.

We can hardly imagine all possible segmentation variants as the offered rule conditions are numerous:

  • Orders Conditions: number of orders, sales amount (total/average), purchased quantity (total/average). Each of the Orders Conditions has the following sub-conditions: order status, order date.
  • Customer: customer address (City, State, Country, ZIP, Telephone, Company), customer group, date of birth, billing address, shipping address, email, first name, last name, newsletter subscription, advanced newsletter subscription.

Note: the extension works with registered customers only.

  • Shopping cart: grand total, number of items.
  • Products: product list (name, SKU, price, other product attributes), product history (how many times the product was viewed/ordered).

Note: For “Product was ordered X times” rules the extension will only take into account “Complete” orders. The orders of other statuses are ignored.

Using these advanced segmentation opportunities merchants are able to deliver their featured e-mails, notifications or content to the target audience with pinpoint accuracy.

Market Segmentation Suite and Z-Blocks Integration

Magento Z-BlocksZ-Blocks Magento extension is one of the aheadWorks extensions integrated with Market Segmentation Suite. The module allows you to create and place configurable static blocks on any page and in any place of your Magento site. Flexible settings allow you to display promotional, advertising or any other static blocks including:

  • Numerous blocks inside each position;
  • Unlimited number of content items inside each block;
  • Powerful block view scheduler;
  • Rotation of independent items inside each block;
  • Easy and fast block content editing.

The MSS extension adds target audience segmentation to all this diversity of valuable features.

The rules created by the MSS module and assigned to Z-Blocks control static blocks appearance. Let’s investigate the below use case describing integration of these two modules.

AJAX Cart Pro in Action. Ideas for your Magento Store

Our AJAX Cart Pro extension doesn’t need an introduction. This tiny module has made online shopping easier for thousands of customers all over the world, as well as it has increased the sales volumes for thousands of store owners.

Modesty aside, the AJAX Cart Pro module is brilliant as it is, and it keeps gaining new features with each update. The recently-introduced rule system now allows turning this must-have customer experience improver into a flexible promotional tool.

Basing on our experience, we have compiled a short list of interesting use cases*. See below – we are sure you will be inspired by these ideas.

*NOTE: these use cases are generic examples; depending on the peculiarities of a store’s custom theme, and other specifics of the given environment, the applicability and implementation may vary.

Here’s how we can insert a Login form into the Confirmation Pop-up screen. Note, this form will only show up for Not Logged In visitors.
ACP: Login Form

Should a customer be aware of the updates in your catalog? Sure they should!

Notify Customers about the Stock Status of Your Products and Accelerate Their Purchasing Decisions

Recent researches discovered that many customers save products in their carts for further consideration and do not purchase immediately.* These customers are in a situation of choice and mostly need some incentives proceeding their purchases. But they will certainly hurry with the decision, either positive or negative, if get a notification about a low stock of the product they intent to purchase.

* According to SeeWhy.com study.

Of course, some of customers need other convincing reasons: price cut, special offers or casual sales, but we understand that we can’t leave them alone with their hesitations. So, aheadWorks provides you with several really useful extensions which help you automatically notify customers about products stock status, product updates, and other product related changes held in your store.

Magento Product Updates NotificationsProduct Updates Notifications

The Product Updates Notifications Magento extension automatically sends price and stock changes notifications to your customers. The subscription is absolutely simple: logged in visitors just need to click the “Notify me about updates” link to subscribe and guests need to enter their name and e-mail.

Features for store owners:

  • Ability to manage your subscribers with ease;
  • Ability to place the “Notify me about updates” link in any place of your store;

Category Page Notifications

  • Allows you to configure notification defaults;
  • Reinforces key marketing messages with the option to include message signatures;
  • Macro fields contain all product attributes;
  • Fast-loading AJAX layer with a subscription form for guests;
  • You can include any content that Magento CMS can involve;
  • Transactional email templates;
  • Subscribers statistics.

Advanced Search 1.4 Completes Search Queries and Corrects Misspellings

Magento Advanced Search extension

Online merchants care much about abandoned carts and make significant efforts to reduce their rate. However, we much less care about site abandonment and forget that the average bounce rate of ecommerce sites is also terrific – from 45% to 55%, depending on a business area; and unsuccessful search is one of the most often reasons causing site exits. This issue is especially important for big and complicated stores containing 100+ thousand inventory items, sophisticated blogs and brand-related forums.

The Magento Advanced Search extension by aheadWorks offers a truly effective solution of the issues mentioned above for Magento-based stores. It uses an external search engine Sphinx and easily operates 100 000 inventory items and 10 000 blog posts.

Advanced Search 1.4 Release

Still, we constantly improve our extensions and add new features to them and that’s what exactly recently happened to the Advanced Search module – the 1.4 version of the module was released.

The new features released in this version improve search quality and let your visitors quickly find the items they need.

Wildcard Search (Incomplete Query Search)

Incomplete query search

Search results for the incomplete “came” query

The Wild Card search option allows you to return search results based on incomplete queries and save customers’ time and efforts. When you enable this option, the extension treats all queries as “incomplete” and finishes it with “*” in a specified position. You can choose one of three options to set the position of “*”:

  • Wildcard search type = *start – for the “son” query, the search will bring “Smithson”, and will not bring “Sony”
  • Wildcard search type = *middle* – for the “son” query, the search will bring both “Smithson” and “Sony”
  • Wildcard search type = end* – for the “son” query, the search will bring “Sony”, and will not bring “Smithson”

Welcome AJAX Cart Pro 3.2 with Two New Long-Awaited Features

As you know, we constantly improve our products and strive to make them almost perfect and today we’ve got a pleasant occasion to draw your attention to them – the AJAX Cart Pro Magento extension is enriched by several remarkable features. The new features allow merchants to use “Add to Cart” confirmation pop-up more efficiently with additional valuable content, configure pop-ups displaying extra options and work with all Magento product types.

Magento AJAX Cart Pro extension

Display Pop-up for Products with Required Options Only

This feature is configured in the “General Settings” tab and allows you to manage the behavior of the extension when an item is added to cart from the “Category View” page.

The feature gives you two options in the drop-down list:

  • if “Yes” is selected, the extension will only show the product configuration pop-up if an item has any “Required” options;
  • if “No” is selected, the extension will show the pop-up if a product has any options.

Magento Affiliate Program. One More Opportunity to Increase Sales

Editor’s note: Usually potential sales volume of a certain business is limited by purchasing facilities of the market and during its life each business strives to expand that limits and get more revenue. There are a lot of ways to achieve this and an affiliate program is one of the most promising among them.

Merchants usually overlook affiliate programs as a valuable source of extra sales, but actually all mature online businesses have their own affiliate programs and widely advertise and engage in them. Here are only the greatest online entities, which have their own sophisticated affiliate programs in one form or another: Google, Amazon, eBay, Apple, etc.

Most affiliate programs are based on cookies technology, provide versatile reports both for publishers and merchants and exploit multiple advertising tools:

  • advertising toolbars;
  • product links;
  • widgets;
  • banners;
  • ad stores;
  • API integration.

Possible technical implementation of an affiliate program can be done anyway you like using API integration.

Top 10 aheadWorks Bestselling Extensions of 2013

Editor’s note: 2014 is here, and at the beginning of each year we are used to sum up the results of the previous year and make plans for the future. Today we highlight the most successful aheadWorks extensions of 2013 and give you their following characteristics: MC star rating, number of reviews, and updates frequency.

Magento Follow Up Email extension

Follow Up Email

  • Magento Connect star rating: 4.6 (4.6/5)
  • Reviews: 95 (44 in 2013)
  • Version: 3.5.8 (ver. 3.5.2 – 3.5.8 released in 2013)

New features added in 2013:

+ SKU limit of 255 characters was eliminated;
+ Option to disable triggering of duplicate events;
+ Brazilian Portuguese (pt_BR) locale added;
+ Abandoned cart emails can contain cross sells block.

Online Store Navigation. A Route from Landing Pages to Transactions

Editor’s note: What is navigation? According to thefreedictionary.com it is “the skill or process of plotting a route and directing a ship, aircraft, etc., along it,” and the route is a “way for travel from one place to another”.

For online merchants it means that they need to provide customers with a clear way from landing to order completion pages. This definition gives a wide interpretation of navigation and, thereby, brings us the highest value. Online merchants should embrace navigation as a continuous process which needs constant improvement using proper configuration of the existing facilities or integration with effective third-party extensions.

Note: 25% of customers leave online stores because of complicated navigation.

Proper navigation possesses several characteristics:

  • It offers several paths to the destination;
  • It is simple;
  • It includes effective search tool;
  • It initially shows the most important pages;
  • It doesn’t cheat customers;
  • Shoppers can get to their carts from any page of an online store.

Magento offers numerous ways for fruitful search and easy navigation, including layered navigation, products search, related products display and etc., and it points out a store’s catalog as the most important area, where correct navigation is crucial for sales and loyalty. aheadWorks offers several valuable solutions in this field.

Magento Layered Navigation Improvement

Magento Layered Navigation extensionLayered Navigation

The Layered navigation extension by aheadWorks broadens native Magento layered navigation facilities. Store administrators get full control over the settings and look of filters using multiple filter options: check box, radio box, range slider and ‘From – To’ number field. AJAX technology allows customers to filter without reloads; they are able to settle their own custom ranges for price, weight, size, height and other numerical attributes.

Magento Shop by Brand extensionShop by Brand

The Shop by Brand extension allows merchants to create new brands and assign products to them. Brand products can be displayed on individual pages with uploaded logo and brand-related description or you can create a page with all existing brands. Customers are able to filter brands in layered navigation or in brands menu on the frontend.

SARP 2.0 Operates Recurring Payments in Your Magento Store without a Hitch

Editor’s note: Actually all the purchases we make during our lives may be considered as repeated ones. The SARP 2.0 Magento extension makes recurring purchases available for your customers and allows them to subscribe to products and get them on a regular basis.

New Subscriptions and Recurring Payments 2.0 has numerous features providing excellent functionality for subscriptions and recurring payments management. It’s a new generation of our Subscriptions and Recurring Payment extension, which uses native business logic of payments methods and allows you to bring your subscription program to a totally new level.

Note: SARP 2.0 is not compatible with the previous SARP versions. The module supports PayPal Website Payments Pro and Authorize.net ARB payment methods only.

Subscriptions and Recurring Payments extension for Magento

SARP 2.0 features in brief:

  • Main payment methods support

The SARP 2.0 extension supports PayPal Website Payments Pro and Authorize.Net ARB payment methods. All the payments are processed on the payment gateway side and customers can experience all the advantages of their business logic. Each website within one Magento installation has its own subscription engine which is configured in main settings.

Main Payment Methods