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Magento Use Case Posts

Imagination Media: “Aheadworks Advanced Reports Extension Empowers Magento Users Even More”

Sometimes we can’t even imagine the ways and particular use cases our extensions are used in real-life e-commerce practice.

Magento-based e-commerce is not an exception as its projects are surprisingly different and embrace various products and sales models. Below we’d like to present you a use case featuring our Advanced Reports extension used for its intended purpose and in a somewhat unusual way. The story is presented by Imagination Media.

Imagination Media: "Aheadworks Advanced Reports Extension Empowers Magento Users Even More"

IMAGINATION MEDIA
EVER-EXPANDING E-COMMERCE SOLUTIONS PROVIDER
Imagination Media focuses on delivering brilliant, intuitive, and effective integrated solutions built on the Magento platform to small business – empowering retailers from all industries to seamlessly integrate their online and in-store operations. 

Look no further than the excellent offerings available from the good folks over at Aheadworks

“Look no Further Than…”

“Looking for deeper analytics and advanced reporting for the Magento e-commerce platform? Well, then look no further than the excellent offerings available from the good folks over at Aheadworks – the Advanced Reports units.
Just what does that mean? Well, allow us to explain a bit. And offer an example of these excellent extensions in action.

A Closer Look…Ahead

Simply put, the Aheadworks Advanced Reports extensions for Magento empower you to get more data on your Magento store sales and orders – all by using Magento analytics. You can also enhance your reports with Magento customer analytics via these proven custom reporting solutions for extracting and organizing data within your online store.

Also enhance your reports with Magento customer analytics

Here at Imagination Media, we recently had a client who had several Web Stores running – all on one Magento installation. Our client sold a very specific type of product; one which featured rather complicated product options. The way it traditionally worked for them was:

Pop-ups Use Best Practices

Using pop-ups is a controversial marketing and sales tactic requiring accurate evaluation of all pros and cons, necessary conditions and correct timing.

On the one hand, pop-ups are the most annoying type of advertising and simultaneously one of the most noticeable elements of a web site. If you decide to use pop-ups in your store, you should be ready to find out that narrow, leaving no room for error way to more sales, subscriptions, and customers.

Best Practices of Pop-ups

Below, we are describing the most perspective use cases, when pop-ups will certainly make their best for your store without pushing away customers and prospects.

The Ways to Use Pop-ups in Online Stores

Case 1.  Most Popular or Discounted Product Offers

  • Target. We need to notify customers and encourage them to buy our bestsellers or products on sale.
  • Target Grounding. Let us assume that we know that most of our visitors buy certain high-demand products, or the discounts we offer are too beneficial to neglect them without any hesitations. This way, the products we offer will certainly be interesting for the overwhelming majority of customers.
  • Task. The task requires us to define those only super star products or “shining” discounts valuable for all customers we have.
  • Implementation. As soon as the products and discounts are added to the store, we just need to insert one or two product widgets to the pop-up window and make sure that they displays product images, descriptions, add to cart buttons, or new discounted prices.
  • Result. All customers or the majority of them receive useful notifications on the store top sellers or time-limited month deals and find them worthy of their attention.

Product Promo Pop-up

Products Promo Pop-up

Pinpoint Designs: “Why We Use Aheadworks Extensions And What Our Customers Think!”

Lifetime partnership is the most solid foundation for both life and business. We always try to follow this statement and create only long-term business relationships.

Pinpoint Designs: "Why We Use Aheadworks Extensions And What Our Customers Think!"

Below we present you a story of cooperation between Aheadworks and Pinpoint resulted in multiple successfully implemented Magento projects.

PINPOINT DESIGNS
AWARD-WINNING DIGITAL AGENCY
Pinpoint is an award-winning digital agency located in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Focused on Magento, our projects combine beautiful design with uncompromising build quality, supported by solutions and strategies that deliver measurable results.

“We’ve Put Together a Shortlist of Some of Our Favorite Extensions from Aheadworks…”

“Pinpoint partnered with Aheadworks around two years ago due to their extensive extension library and fantastic support. Having previously used a number of their extensions on a variety of clients websites, we felt it made sense to make the partnership official and take a deeper dive into some of the extensions Aheadworks have to offer.

As an agency, we naturally like to build new extensions internally. That isn’t always within budget for clients and providers such as Aheadworks have solutions which are already built, tested and improved time and time again.

We’ve put together a shortlist of some of our favorite extensions from Aheadworks, along with some information on some of the clients which have used them with great success!

Helpdesk Ultimate

The HDU extension from Aheadworks has been a great addition for a number of our clients. In the past, we’ve had requests from our customers such as IconicWatches.co.uk where they’d like to give their customer service staff the ability to create tickets and handle enquirers direct from the Magento admin panel.

The HDU extension is quick to setup, easy to use and very configurable for all cases.

The HDU extension is quick to setup, easy to use and very configurable for all cases. Since we installed the first version of the module, Aheadworks have extended it to include new features such as customer service ratings for staff which our clients love to see. Their support has always been fantastic in resolving any questions or issues we’ve had in configuring some of the exclusion rules.

Advanced Reports

Another popular extension that our clients request frequently is the Advanced Reports module. Unfortunately, Magento 1.x has very limited reports and you can’t really delve into the information in a lot of detail. This particular module allows our clients to view detailed reports of individual products sold, taking into account refunds, discounts etc. and exporting all of the data into a CSV for further manipulation.

DiscountCoffee.com: “…We Partnered Directly with Aheadworks for Their Highly Rated Extensions”

Nothing makes a provider pleased more than happy and successful customers, and below we present the next success story in our blog.

Discountcoffee.com: “…We Partnered Directly with Aheadworks for Their Highly Rated Extensions”

The story started years ago, but continues till our time with the deserved success of DiscountCoffee.com – the U.S. online office coffee service provider. Today the company celebrates its 20-th anniversary and makes optimistic plans for the future.

DiscountCoffee.com Success Story

“DiscountCoffee.com began on the back of a napkin.  Perhaps not the most glamorous of beginnings.  It’s 1996 and the Internet was proving itself to not be a fad. Our goal was to provide value, speed, convenience and customer control to the Office Coffee customer.

DiscountCoffee.com began on the back of a napkin.

The old fashioned OCS (office coffee service) was now eclipsed by the NEW ICS industry; the Internet Coffee Service industry, for which we are given the credit of developing by our industry peers.  DiscountCoffee.com provides offices unique new items not available through OCS.  Items Such as: Starbucks, Tazo Tea, Folgers Black Silk, Java One Pods, Keurig, True Lemon, Organic, Kosher, Sugar Free and breakroom supplies.

DiscountCoffee.com joined up with Aheadworks Ajax Pro many, many years ago.  We needed to roll out a modern website and provide a custom shopping experience for our B2B customers. Ajax Pro back then, came as an addition through our development company and we really did not know who this wonderful company was.

Aheadworks commitment to customer service is Best of Breed!

When we again expanded our website capabilities with Magento, we partnered directly with Aheadworks for their highly rated extensions.  Their commitment to customer service is Best of Breed!  They offer hands on, customer service oriented support for all of their Magento Extensions.  With this partnership between DiscountCoffee.com, Aheadworks and Magento, we have been able to quickly change with customer demand and keep a fresh interactive website.

aheadWorks Joins Forces with Blue Acorn

Reliable partners provide every successful business an indispensable additional force and confidence.

Today we are thrilled to announce the start of mutual cooperation with an outstanding representative of the Magento ecosystem – Blue Acorn.

Being a Gold Magento Solution Partner and regular participant of Imagine and other e-commerce events, it is well-known within the Magento community.

Blue Acorn & aheadWorks

Located in the U.S., Blue Acorn is a full service e-commerce agency, which provides expertise to such great companies like Reed & Barton, Olympus, Char-Broil, and many others. Customers can completely rely on its talented team and expect truly tangible results.

Veggie Tales Use Case*

Recently Blue Acorn presented a suchlike example of the efficient work in their Veggie Tales Case Study. Terrific positive shifts in conversions and revenues were the result of multiple improvements, including the aheadWorks iPhone Theme application.

Veggie Tales
Veggie Tales is a popular video series for preschool children offering them a whole animated world of games, books, toys apparel, and home videos dedicated to Bob and Larry – the main characters of the fabulous tale.

Veggie Tales

Challenge
Since 1993, Veggie Tales has sold millions of videos, books, and CDs, but now they suspect that their current site design constraints conversions and revenues.

Precisely Define the Audience for Your Rewards

Customers’ loyalty is the greatest prize in the “online sales” game. 

Points & Rewards and Market Segmentation Suite integration provide extremely flexible and powerful functionality for promotional incentives and creation of sustainable relations with your customers. Continue reading to learn how to create rules and assign reward points to any customer segment.

The Points & Rewards Magento extension

Reward points can turn customers into your adherents and encourage them to purchase from you. The powerful referral program of Points & Rewards allows attracting new shoppers and keep them happy providing with multiple bonuses. Great user facilities, such as advanced notifications and balance tracking in the “My Account” area, make this extension absolutely transparent and handy for customers.

However, sometimes we need to promote our products among certain audiences and the Points and Rewards extension is also helpful in this case. Additional bonuses and reward points are available via flexible point and reward rules. These rules allow you to reward customers who e.g. purchased a certain amount of products or items from the defined category. These rule conditions include product and shopping cart attribute combinations, but this functionality can be even further extended.

The Market Segmentation Suite Magento extensionAlong with product and shopping cart attributes Magento admins can use customers’ attributes for rule conditions. It becomes possible with the Market Segmentation Suite module integration.

The MSS extension segments customers by a wide range of attributes and condition combinations. Using these modules together, you will be able to assign reward points to any customer segments defined by the required attributes and purchasing history.

Segmentation opportunities in this case are almost unlimited and will help you to carry out pin-point promotions. Bellow you will find some illustrative examples of such rules.

Market Segmentation Suite Rules

Rule conditions primarily based on order attributes

Example 1. Rule conditions primarily based on order attributes

Case Study: How to Draw Visitor’s Attention to Ads

 

Today we’d like to share with you a case study from our good old partner Speroteck. The company joined our partner program over two years ago and specializes in providing custom Magento development and support. It also offers SEO and AdWords management services.

Read on to learn what challenges the developers have faced implementing the Pop-Up+ extension to capture visitors’ attention.

We will continue to publish more cases to this section giving insight into Magento deployment and extensions customization highlighting our partners and demonstrating how they solve merchants’ needs.

Want to highlight your project? Please get in touch with me at korol@aheadworks.com

Nature’s fabrics Overview

Nature’s fabrics is a family operated business. It offers a complete line of earth friendly fabrics to help diaper your little one and clothe yourself in the greatest comfort while decreasing your exposure to many of the toxic chemicals used in the textile industry. The company’s goal is to provide the very best fabric, quickly and affordably.

Challenge

The client faced the problem: how to capture the attention of visitors on specific information shown in simple banners or other informational ads on which customers usually do not pay attention.

In most cases this information is important and contains sales promotions or changes in Terms and Conditions of the site. The Client asked for our recommendations on how to place such worthwhile information in the way to attract visitors and keep their interest.

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 .

Magento Offers Huge Opportunities for Family Owned Companies to Spread their Wings.

‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ sang Marilyn Monroe and nothing changed since that time. Why I tell you about these rocks? Because in this blog post we spotlight a jewelry website run on a Magento platform with over 30,000 products in their catalog. Impressing, isn’t it? What impressed me more is the company’s 40-year history and… beautiful gems of course.

Recently I spoke to Kara Mangiere, Director of E-Commerce at J.R. Dunn Jewelers, to learn more about a key to a long-lasting business behind the company.

Kara Mangiere

Director of E-Commerce at J.R. Dunn Jewelers
I have used aheadWorks with two different organizations and I think one of the things that developers will consistently find is a very responsive support team offering a suite of stable and reliable extensions for Magento. Sadly that is not the case with every extension development team creating Magento add-ons.

Who: jrdunn.com

What: J.R. Dunn Jewelers has been synonymous with excellence as an authorized dealer for luxury lines such as Breitling, John Hardy, Roberto Coin and Mikimoto. For over 40 years, three generations of the family name have served customers through its 8,000 square foot retail store and website jrdunn.com.

Where: Lighthouse Point, FL USA

The physical store appeared over 40 years ago. What made you go online?

In 2005 many independent jewelers felt people who were buying jewelry on the internet were not their customers. Fortunately for J.R. Dunn Jewelers, they decided not to take that approach and embraced the web and launched their e-commerce site in 2005 long before many jewelry designers had considered a web presence. The company soon discovered that the web offered an amazing opportunity to cultivate new clients both domestic and international.

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!

Serious about Starting an Online Business? Then Use a Serious Platform like Magento.

Last time we found out the position of Magento in Hungary, and today we move to the Netherlands.

CactusPlaza came into existance around 12 years ago where student Allard wrote articles on cactus cultivation and shared his propagation experience during and after his study biology. After he started to get a lot of e-mails with a question like “Can you sell me some of those plants…” a small shop was born.

I spoke with CactusPlaza’s owner and managing director Allard Bax to learn more about making an eCommerce store from scratch.

Who: cactusplaza.com

What: CactusPlaza.com is an online shop in Cacti & Succulents and other Exotic plants. We ship plants, seeds, and accessories. We started our website around 12 years ago. There have been many changes over the years.

We are using Magento for 3 years and last year we started using aheadWorks extensions with much satisfaction.

Where: Roden, The Netherlands

Q: You have been running your store for 12 years. How many people work in your company?

Allard: 2 people and occasionally 1 or 2 more.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your business, and how you became involved with Magento.

Allard: We started with Oscommerce. We were hitting a wall in terms of SEO and website functionality. Besides this we needed restyling. Magento is one of the leading open source shopping systems and we heard good things about it.

Search Autocomplete and Suggest in use. ‘We were not completely happy with the default Magento search tool. The Search Autocomplete and Suggest extension is a must have.’

Q: What was the hardest thing in launching a Magento store?

Allard: There is a learning curve if you want to do everything yourself. Tuning your extensions and your hosting so everything is running as best as possible – that was the hardest to accomplish.

Q: Why did you choose aheadWorks as a Magento extensions provider?

Allard: Having many different extensions with different companies is, in my opinion, inefficient in terms of time management, communication with programmers and costs.

Besides of this, the risk of having technical conflicts between extensions tends to be much bigger if you work with many different extensions from different companies.

We choose aheadWorks because they have the best and largest range of Magento extensions. Their programming is clean which keeps our website as fast as possible and their service is also swift and friendly.

Magento Success Story – Remaining Afloat in B2C Ecommerce Market for 14 Years

In this Magento success story we showcase WebAruhaz, the first webshop in Hungary that is still in operation today.

Like many eCommerce stores, Szabolcs Banffy, CEO and Chief Development Officer of WebAruhaz, started off using the OSC solution. As the store continued to expand, however, changing to another platform came into question. Szabolcs was thinking of creating his own shop system until he discovered Magento.

Who: webaruhaz.hu

What: Online and offline shop for printers, printing supplies, toners and ink cartridges.

Where: Budapest, Hungary

Magento store use case

Q. How long have you been running your store?

Szabolcs: We’ve had the online shop open since 1999. Our physical shop opened in 2004.

Q. How many people work in your company?

Szabolcs: 5-8 people are working for us generally.

Q. Tell us a little about your business, and how you became involved with Magento.

Szabolcs: The first shops we created were rental shops: for other people to rent and use, not for our own use. We chose the domain name at a time when online shopping was mostly unheard of. It was only later that we realized we had a very good name (webáruház means webshop). This gave us a big advantage, even though it was not purposeful. 🙂

We are the first webshop in Hungary that is still in operation today. We opened our own shop in 2004. With free solutions to create your own store, leasing online shops became a thing of the past. This is when we started using the OSC solution. We were using that for 7 years.

With development being stopped on it, changing to another shop system became more and more of an issue. The code had been modified so heavily, it was easier to completely switch to a new system. For quite a while, we were thinking about creating our own shop system from scratch. We invested a lot of time into researching other shop systems, both free and commercial ones. Finally, Magento came into picture.

aheadWorks extensions in use
Z-Blocks above and below the header on the checkout page.

Customer Success Story: a Way to Increase Mobile Sales by 15%

There are million Magento stores with a wide range of extensions aimed at engaging customers and helping merchants boost sales.

Since I like to see what solutions the store owners have chosen for these purposes, I’d like to share with you a success story I’ve got from one of our customers. Read on to learn how iPhone Theme helped Zap Sweets increase mobile sales by 15%.

Who: zapsweets.co.uk

What: Not only does Zap Sweets specialize in bulk confectionery but they stock a vast range of wholesale retro sweets, chocolate, fudge, American candy, drinks and lots, lots more.

Where: London, UK

Q: Tell us a little about your business, and how you became involved with Magento.

A: The business was initially established in 2009 after planning to launch an online e-commerce store. Whilst many ideas were discussed, finally the idea of creating a confectionery store that was a fun, modern environment where customers could browse and reminisce about sweets from the past won the battle!

When the researching began, we researched many shopping carts to find the most suitable to the business. Magento was our favorite from the very start. It was packed full of features and could be easily customized to our needs.

Q: So, you had no experience with Magento. What was the hardest thing in launching an ecommerce store?

A: Launching our Magento store took around 3-4 months from start to finish. The majority of the time was spent adding products and uploading good quality images to attract customers to our store.

We also spent a lot of time optimizing and tuning our store to ensure that it runs at lightening speeds! We combined and tweaked the JS/CSS files to ensure that any unused code was removed. We also took full advantage of the .htaccess file and installed Varnish on our VPS server which cut loading times by almost 3s! It has paid off in the long run as our customers often compliment us on our fast site.

aheadWorks extensions in use

How to Increase Sales by 8% with only 4 Items in Catalog

This month we’ll spotlight Magento store that has only – attention – four items in the catalog, Kirkland Science Labs!

‘Life should be good’ the company’s slogan says, and the business IS good confirms Brad Dennis, the store owner I had the chance to talk to. Read on to learn the company’s follow up strategy and how the store managed to increase sales by 8%.

Who: kirklandsciencelabs.com

What: Kirkland Science Labs design and sell supplement stacks. A stack is a synergistic formulation of nutrients that work together to help you achieve your goals faster.

Where: Seattle, US

Q: How you became involved with Magento?

A: We have been running our store a little over a year. But we used this platform for an earlier business so we had experience with Magento.

Q: What was the hardest thing in launching a Magento-based store?

A: Design is definitely the hardest part. It’s a real intensive process getting the store & emails themed and developed the way you want. Especially with add-ons.

aheadWorks extensions in use

Image Slider, Featured Products, Z-Blocks & Knowledge Base in use.