Z-Blocks Posts

Z-Blocks Update: Yet More Functionality and Usability + AJAX

Precisely targeted promotional banners, unique design and appearance of the store, valuable notes for customers, scheduled advertising campaigns, awesome security seals, useful recommendations, individual reward banners, and whatever you just can imagine – all this you can embody using the Z-Blocks extension.

The whole list of available features and settings of this extension is fairly long, but striving to make Z-Blocks just great we added yet some improvements to its functionality. Hope, you will like and appreciate the new features of the recent update.

New Features

Rotate the Z-Blocks Content Using AJAX
The AJAX functionality usage allows you to display z-blocks without page reloads. In particular, the new feature enables you to display content items in sliders.

If you choose “Display All” in the “Display Items” dropdown selector, then the “Representation” field appears just below. This field has two options – “Slider” and “Display all items of the block”. If the “Slider” option is enabled, you are able to appoint the rotation interval of the slider in the newly appeared text field.

Content Items Display Settings

Content Items Display Settings

Target Blocks to Certain Referral Visitors
Since the last update there is an opportunity to specify a new z-blocks condition for referral traffic targeting. This option appears in the Audience tab and enables z-blocks for only referral visitors coming from specifiс URLs or domains. For example, you can display certain information for visitors from social networks or those who come from competitor’s sites.

Z-Blocks. Directions of the Efficient Use

Z-Blocks is an extremely useful and multipurpose extension, which suites to every Magento store.

The universal nature of the module originates from the diversity of configuration opportunities applicable to any situation or audience.

The Z-Blocks extension for Magento

The features of the extension allow you to create promotions perfectly developed in all destinations (what, where, when, how, etc.):

  • Use Z-Blocks both for text and image publications;
  • Employ Z-Blocks for multiple purposes, including promotions and notifications;
  • Target Z-Blocks to different customer groups;
  • Schedule your promotional campaigns;
  • Use different blocks on different product pages and My Account page;
  • Rotate independent items within each block;
  • Display an unlimited number of blocks within one position;
  • And much more…

Thus, you obtain almost unlimited opportunities to tune and target you messages and make them 100%-effective. Using the provided configuration options and some necessary knowledge you can turn z-blocks into real sales assistants on your site.

Z-Blocks Usage Tips and Tricks

What: Effective Images

90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, 3M Corporation and Zabisco

Z-Blocks allow you to create both image and text blocks for your promotions and notifications, but images are usually more attractive and provide greater impact. So, if you have an alternative, we would better recommend using of images and photos for any particular purpose.

In order to make images effective you should know some basic facts about web graphics on your site:

  • All images and photos should fit the ultimate goal and directly correspond to the style and content of your store. As promotional blocks perform only a supporting role, they should not distract or annoy visitors. So, don’t get carried away with prodigious visual effects, which can spoil the overall impression.
  • Try to use only small and mid-sized images, which do not overload the store without need.
  • Web graphics should highlight the main content of the page.
  • If you use some bright graphic pieces, do it only once and don’t multiply them throughout the site.
  • Do not use images for delivering textual information as it confuses users, loads server vainly, and excludes this piece of information from the internal search and search engines index.
  • Provide textual alternatives to graphic notifications. You can do it in the ALT and Title image attributes, at least, or on separate dedicated pages.

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

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.

Take advantage of new opportunities with our updated extensions!

The updated Z-Blocks and Delivery Date and Notice extensions open new opportunities for you and your customers. Improve your web store with these Magento modules and achieve success in target marketing and enhancing customer satisfaction level.

Divide and conquer with the newest versions of our Magento extensions

Target marketing can be the key to business success. But what’s the secret? Divide and conquer.

This simple idea underlies the target marketing. Break the market into segments and concentrate your marketing efforts on the key group of potential customers.

Today we release the aheadWorks Magento extensions that were modified for you to get the best results in your target marketing. With their help, your promotions and sales become easier and more cost-effective.

Welcome new versions of top aheadWorks extensions

On Sale v.2.2.1

With the On Sale module for Magento stores, making visually-exciting label images and call-to-action texts is practically effortless.

Since the 2.2.1 version released today, the On Sale extension allows mass attributes update. Thus now you can add labels to several products a time through native Magento action.

The following bugs have been fixed:

  • incorrect export
  • incorrect image path
  • product label visibility for product images with no zoom in Magento EE

Find more on the On Sale page.

Z-Blocks v.2.2.5

The Z-Blocks Magento extension allows you to create an unlimited number of static blocks and content items. Best of all, you don’t need to manually change your template and layout files every time you want to add an advertising banner or other applicable information.

In the 2.2.5 version of Z-Blocks, the staging websites compatibility has been implemented for Magento Enterprise Edition.

Also, the following bug has been fixed:

  • schedule issue

Please learn more on the Z-Blocks page.

Create an unlimited number of static blocks with Z-Blocks v.2.2.4

The Z-Blocks extension is a perfect tool for those who want to make an advertising banner or other applicable information displayed at any place of any page. With widgets support, every non-technical administrator of your website can add new, recently compared, recently viewed product lists to the z-block content and insert links to categories or CMS pages.

With the Z-Blocks Magento module you can make:

  • support service phone number shown in working hours only
  • curious facts displayed randomly
  • info about upcoming events appear at custom categories or on product pages only
  • national holidays congratulations displayed at different stores/languages
  • etc.

The Z-Blocks extension allows selecting the predefined block position or create a custom one. Moreover, you can specify the categories for the block to be displayed at. In the 2.2.4 version of Z-Blocks, the logic of these two parameters interrelation has been changed. Now if the Custom Position is specified for the block, the categories selection is not applied.

The following minor bugs have been fixed in the Z-Blocks Magento extension v.2.2.4:

  • Incorrect work when category has apostrophe in ID
  • Blocks displayed incorrectly on multistep checkout page in Enterprise Edition

To learn more about the extension’s features, try the demo, or read use cases, please visit the Z-Blocks page.

Z-Blocks 2.2.3 – now with widgets and variables support

An ability to add widgets and variables provides Magento 1.4* store owners with ample opportunity of adding any dynamic content on store pages. Since 2.2.3 version, the Z-Blocks extension supports this native Magento feature as well.

Now you can use a large list of variables and get certain data inserted automatically within your z-blocks – general contact name and address, sales representative contact name and address, store contact telephone, etc. Thus the information can be easily edited once for all blocks instead of having to update each z-block.

Widgets support makes work with the Z-Blocks extension and your store easier. Now every non-technical administrator of your website can add new, recently compared, recently viewed product lists to the block content and insert links to categories or CMS pages.

In the 2.2.3 version, the following bug has been fixed as well:

  • Wrong image inserting

Please, visit the Z-Blocks page to get more information about this extension.

Z-Blocks 2.2.2 released

The new minor version of the Z-Blocks extension we have released today is now compatible with Magento Enterprise Edition 1.9. Besides, the WYSIWYG editor is added to backend for Magento Community Edition 1.4* what allows you to create rich HTML content without extra efforts and extensive knowledge.

One more new feature implemented will save your time and greatly ease your work. Since version 2.2.2 you can define classes for Z-Blocks’ HTML element in the aw_zblocks.css file and specify there the name of a class for an element or its attributes.

You can find more information about this aheadWorks extension on the Z-Blocks page.

Z-Blocks – now with Market Segmentation Suite integration!

Today we are glad to announce the release of Z-Blocks v.2.2. The primary feature added in the new version and making the extension more flexible is the Market Segmentation Suite extension integration.

This new feature makes blocks 100% customizable – you can specify not only where and when z-blocks will appear, but whom they will be shown to.

A great variety of MSS conditions allows you to execute your marketing and merchandising strategies with pinpoint accuracy. Make the blocks displayed to target audience basing on any criterea you set up: number of products added to cart, total sum of the products bought, customers’ information, etc.

Create the proper MSS rule and the block will be displayed:

  • on the Shopping Cart page when customer adds several products to cart
  •  

    Chechout Page

     

  • in the content top of the page on customer’s birthday
  •  

    My Account Page

     

  • on the Category page when customer has already bought a certain product
  •  

    Category Page

     

You can even specify a combination of conditions what makes blocks displaying even more targeted and personalized.

The following bugs have been fixed in the latest version of Z-Blocks as well:

  • Incorrect message in admin section after block deleting
  • Incorrect number of displayed records when several blocks have no content items

Please find more information on the extension page.

Z-Blocks 2.1 released

The latest version of the Z-Blocks extension makes the list of block position types more structured and better arranged as the types are divided into groups according to place of block displaying – Default, General, Catalog and product, Product only, Customer, Cart & Checkout.

Moreover, the ‘cart-content-top’ block position type has been divided into ‘cart-content-top’ and ‘checkout-content-top’ what gives you more flexibility while defining a position for block displaying.

With the new version of Z-Blocks you can make blocks with any position visible in certain categories as category restrictions are now applied to custom positioned blocks as well.

The following bugs have been fixed in the latest version:

  • Midnight interval
  • Time settings taken from server
  • Category info loss when editing block content without displaying ‘Categories’ tab in the admin section
  • Minor changes

Please find more information about this extension on the Z-Blocks page.

Magento World Newsletter (September 8, 2009)

aheadWorks never lets the grass grow under its feet. August was a productive month and we would like to bring to your attention a short summary of the results of our intensive work. Extensions releases, news, updates & promotions in aheadWorks Magento Group. One click to join!

New Extensions

Minimum Advertised Price

The minimum price set by the manufacturer isn’t the bottom line any more! With the Minimum Advertised Price extension by aheadWorks you can sell products at the price you want.

Suppliers and retailers quite often stipulate the lowest price an item is allowed to be advertised at. But sometimes in-store prices can be really lower than allowed by the suppliers, but may not be displayed in online advertising. The Minimum Advertised Price extension helps you to escape the conflicts with the manufacturers and sell products at the prices you wish.

Minimum Advertised Price adds a special Check Price button instead of the product price. Having clicked this button, you add an item to the shopping cart, and only then the required price becomes visible.

Some features are:

  • Fast loading AJAX layer
  • Completely configurable layer text, images and buttons
  • Configurable independent category/search/product page views
  • Supports direct HTML embedding
  • Fully customizable buttons and actions
  • Ability to include any content that Magento CMS can involve
  • 100% meets Minimum Advertised Price implementation standards
  • Comes with detailed setup and configuration documentation

To learn the whole list of Minimum Advertised Price features please visit the extension page.

Advanced Reviews

A highly customizable Magento review system – Advanced Reviews by aheadWorks Co. – significantly improves the functionality and importance of this one of the most powerful online marketing tools.

According to Avenue A/Razorfish “Digital Consumer Behavior Study”, a review is #1 resource for product research. 86% of the consumers read online reviews before making purchasing decisions. The Advanced Reviews extension enlarges the functionality of native Magento solution.

Features:

  • Possibility to restrict adding reviews to logged in customers only
  • Review helpfulness rating
  • Helpfulness voting can be restricted to logged in customers only
  • Configurable ability to allow adding reviews to customers who bought the reviewed product only
  • Social bookmarks bar for sharing reviews
  • Report abuse feature – let your visitors inform you about inappropriate reviews
  • Pros and Cons list configurable by admin, can be set up per store
  • Customer-defined Pros and Cons
  • “Would you recommend this product to a friend?” block

To observe the whole list of features please visit the Advanced Reviews page.

Updated Extensions

Please don’t forget to check complete changelog on the product pages.

Refer a Friend

The buzz marketing module Refer a Friend stimulates your customers to invite their friends to your shop. The customers, who referred a certain number of friends, get a % or flat rate discount. You can set any conditions and if they are met, the rule is triggered and the referrer is qualified for a discount. Both sides win – the customer gets a discount and the store owner gains more clients and more benefit.

Current version: 1.2.1
Upgrade: recommended from any previous versions
Upgrade cost: free for all versions
What’s new:
   + Discount usage limit
   + Limitation per rule execution
   * HTTPS links in secure customer areas
   * IE8 behavior
   * Invitation without being logged in
   * Storecode fix in some multistore configurations
   * Some strings weren’t available for translation
   * Under some circumstances, referrer could not add products to cart
   * Priority works more obviously

Find more information on the product page.

Z-Blocks

Z-Blocks extension allows creating unlimited number of static blocks and content items.

Current version: 2.0.3
Upgrade: recommended from any previous versions
Upgrade cost: free for all versions
What’s new:
   + ‘Show in subcategories’ block option added
   * ACL fix
   * Product with empty category page crash fix
   * SQLSTATE[42S02]: Base table or view not found: 1146 MySQL error fix
   * Product More Views page crash fix

To observe Z-Blocks features please visit the extension page.

AJAX Cart Pro

AJAX Cart Pro extension removes annoying page reloads on add to cart and delete from cart user actions. Items are added instantly with animation effects.

Current version: 1.4.5
Upgrade: recommended from any previous versions
Upgrade cost: free for all versions
What’s new:
   + Cross operation of “www.domain” and “domain” support
   + Default, blank and modern themes support
   + Easy custom configuration (custom.js)
   * More stable work
   * Out of stock products fixed
   * IE6 is not supported any more

To observe AJAX Cart Pro features please visit the extension page.

RSS Reader

RSS Reader is the software for organizing and displaying RSS feeds. This data exchange solution was thoroughly adapted by aheadWorks Co. for Magento-based stores. Now you can install RSS Reader onto your online store and display the news interesting for your visitors.

Current version: 1.2.0
Upgrade: recommended from any previous versions
Upgrade cost: free for all versions
What’s new:
   * Magento caching enabled fix

Find more information on the RSS Reader page.

Promotion of the month!

The following crushing trio makes a revolution in online business doing:

Review Rotator
Follow Up Email
Advanced Reviews

This powerful combination enriches your store content, improves store functionality and helps you to stay in close contact with your customers without much efforts, time and money applying.

Buy these 3 extensions at a time and get a 25% discount.

Please use the following coupon with these products in cart:

AUG25REJRM

The offer expires 22 September 2009!

That was a brief review of our new and updated modules. We are always happy to get all kinds of feedback. If you need a new feature in our product – just let us know – it has good chances to be implemented.

Thank you for being with us and good luck to your business,
Sincerely yours,
aheadWorks Magento department

Special Offer

We have a special offer for you — Power Pack for Magento!

Buy 5 most demanded products and get 20% discount!

  1. Help Desk Ultimate

    Help Desk Ultimate is a perfect customer care and support solution for ecommerce sites based on Magento.

  2. AJAX Cart Pro

    AJAX Cart Pro extension removes annoying page reloads on add to cart and delete from cart user actions. Items added instantly with animation effects.

  3. Z-Blocks

    Z-Blocks a perfect tool for controlling static blocks in your store.

  4. Product Questions

    Stay in touch with your visitors and customers with the help of Product Questions module. It adds a questions page to each product.

  5. Follow Up Email

    Follow Up Email gives a comfortable and flexible way to automatically reach your customers on day X after an order had been placed.

Power Pack cost: $428 (Original price: $535, you save $107)

Find more information at SPECIAL OFFERS page

Z-Blocks 2.0 released!

Z-Blocks — is a unique solution to control static blocks in your store.

Now with graphic interface!

You don’t need to change template and layout files manually every time when you want to add an advertising banner or some specific information. All the administration of static blocks is available in admin panel.

Z-Blocks extension uses native Magento functionality — you can create different static blocks for different store views.

Features:

  • New GUI added
  • 10 predefined block positions on each page
  • Ability to place any block in any position by easily changing CMS page layout
  • Unlimited number of blocks inside each position
  • Unlimited number of content items inside each block
  • Block items can include any content that Magento CMS can involve
  • Powerful block view scheduler
  • Per-category and per-store view
  • Enabling/disabling of any block and its items
  • Customizable block and item sorting
  • Independent items rotation inside each block
  • Easy 2-minutes installation
  • Meets Magento programming practices for most versions and customizations compatibility

Use cases:

Magento custom blocks