Optimize Your E-Commerce Store For Cyber Monday and Black Friday 2017!

Its that time of year again!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a great opportunity for online retailers and e-commerce businesses to drastically increase their sales with discounts and sales. 

Have you prepared your Magento store  the millions of shoppers, amped up to spend money for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? We have some tips that may help you and your store prepare!

Promote Promote Promote!

People can’t find you if you don’t tell them.  Send out dedicated newsletters to your subscribers by creating coupon codes and send them to customers in newsletters. Try conversion rate optimization software to track your customers conversions and promote specials via pop up ads or banners on your site! We love Picreel as they use the ReelOverlay feature where you can capture a new lead, gain a sale, or simply keep a visitor on your website longer with a pop-up that is customized according to your needs.

Add social media buttons to your product pages to encourage visitors to share your offers or post on blogs, community forums etc. Don’t be shy!

Give Your Store a Makeover

If you want your products to jump off the shelves during the campaign, you need to change the look of your website. Turn headers into banners to promote discounts. You can use several tools to do so. Check out our User Experience Extensions to help with things like search engines, product sorting, frequently viewed items and more!

Optimize Your Site

A holiday campaign performs best with seasonal landing pages. You can SEO-optimize  pages by using Black Friday- and Cyber Monday-related keywords. Use captivating images, write great content to allure shoppers. Try Image Optimization for faster load speed on images or Minify Js/Css/HTML to reduce page size, bandwidth and server load. 

You can also add temporarily SEO keywords to existing product pages to enhance your chances of getting new customers who utilize search engines to find discounts on the Internet.

Having an SSL certificate is also essential: shoppers may abandon the shopping cart if they see that the connection is not secure and they may be at risk of losing credit card data.

Make Sure Your Shopping Cart is Prepared

One of the most frustrating things for customers can be the checkout process. How many times have you seen your potential buyers just leave everything in the cart and bail? Its not a fun feeling. Abandoned Cart Modules have been extremely popular, allowing the system to inform your runaway customers that they have some good stuff waiting to be purchased! Check out Abandoned Cart Reminder or Follow Up Email for more info!

Give Your Customers a Reward or Discount

Everyone loves a good deal, and thats the main idea behind Cyber Monday and Black Friday. The great thing is, being an E-Commerce store, your customers can avoid the hassle of getting dressed and perhaps trampled by the deal seekers! Try Shopping Cart Price Rules to enable custom discounts for the Holidays or Free Gift to spread some love to those good customers you want to thank or introduce to your products. 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best time of the year for ecommerce businesses to take sales to the next level. Some businesses miss the opportunity by failing to prepare their Magento store for the holidays. Stand out from the competition and see how Extendware Extensions can help you get on track. We offer 7 day free trials and 30 day money back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose!

Have fun and Happy Holidays from Extendware!
Use Code: CYBER20 at checkout for 20% off any Extendware Extension! (Excludes services and license updates; valid through 11/18/17)
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Extendware Aligns with Blue Swallow as Official Development Partner

Extendware is excited to announce our recent partnership with the E-Commerce Agency, Blue Swallow. At Extendware pride ourselves on our top of the line Magento Extensions. Our priority lies with the quality and service that comes with our extensions, and therefore want to focus our time on improving and adding more add-ons to our store.

We know that may times Magento Stores can be different and require more attention after installation. To make sure our customers are getting the best in timely and efficient service, we have outsourced Blue Swallow, a quality E-Commerce Agency.

At Extendware, we believe that you are in excellent hands as the developers at Blue Swallow Group are well versed in Magento and work 7 days a week to ensure our customers are taken care of as urgently as possible. 

Blue Swallow is an experienced e-commerce agency, curating a highly skilled team of Magento specialists, serving clients on a local, regional and global scale. Our qualified team of hand-picked and individually trained developers is certified and highly skilled in Magento, Drupal and WooCommece platforms. We have a combined 7 years’ experience in web development, native mobile/app development, performance optimization, third-party extensions customization and bespoke software development. 

Our working philosophy is based around providing a high degree of efficiency and efficacy, without compromising on quality and having a tailored approach to each individual project. This ensures that all our valued clients get a premium service and the highest degree of quality

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The Benefits of Cross Selling

The Benefits of Cross Selling

by Sheryl Davis, Glew

What is Cross Selling?

Cross Selling is a sales tactic that encourages a shopper to buy complementary products.

Think about shopping for tomatoes at a grocery store. It’s common for stores to display items, such as cheese, among an aisle devoted to vegetables. Despite the store having a section specifically for cheese, growthstore managers strategically position cheese among the tomatoes knowing that the combination may tempt hungry customers. The product placement makes it easy for customers to find related items and impulsively pick up goods while shopping. In doing so, stores drive increases to the order value while reminding shoppers that certain products go well together.

Just like cross-selling products in brick and mortar stores, online tactics should bring convenience and ideas to the shopper while also proving to be lucrative for the retailer.

According to research by software provider Monetate, product suggestions can:

Increase revenue up to 300%

Boost conversions by up to 150%

Increase Average Order Value by as much as 50%

Benefits of Cross Selling

Cross selling benefits both stores and customers. For stores, it increases Average Order Value (AOV) and Benefitstherefore benefits revenue. Larger orders also often allow stores to cut down on packaging and shipping costs by consolidating items in a box that may have otherwise been partially full. And keep in mind that driving your AOV higher will increase the Lifetime Value of customers, often providing incremental capital that can be used to market to those customers.

But the good news is that cross selling doesn’t just benefit your store, it also benefits your customers! Shoppers can find items faster when they are recommended on individual product pages. Plus, a well-paired product recommendation can bring a customer’s attention to a complimentary product that they might not have known existed. Adding value to your customer’s experience while making more money? It’s a no brainer.

How to Get Started

1) Use a tool that analyzes purchasing behavior. With a breakdown of products that are most commonly purchased together you can set your cross sale recommendations without any guesswork.

Frequantly-Bought-Together-(for-web)2) Install a Magento extension that will display product recommendations. Extendware’s “Frequently Bought Together” and “Who Viewed This Also Viewed” extensions are built for Magento stores to cross sell on every product page.

3) Monitor items that are selling effectively and consider adding those items to your store as a bundle. You could offer a small discount when purchasing the items Who-Viewed-This-Also-Viewed-(for-web)together, or pull together kits for items to quickly be purchased at once.

Sheryl Davis is a digital marketer at Glew, an ecommerce analytics software provider, where she focuses on helping online stores understand and act on their data. Each week she publishes practical strategies for ways to rock ecommerce success.
Blog | Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook

 

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The Magento Tools You Need to Succeed at Any Level

Stop Reinventing the Wheel

Only an idiot keeps trying to reinvent the wheel – so why would you venture out on your own to make your own mistakes trying to find the right tools for your Magento store?

Phrase

Many others – including us – have already made all those mistakes for you. All you have to do is just listen to the hard-won “wisdom” we all have learned the hard way.

TestAt Extendware, we are out here – every single day – learning what works and what doesn’t work with Magento and the Magento eco-system. We’re testing various CRM Systems, Customer Service Tools, Magento extensions and plugins, Magento hosting solutions, you name it, we’ve likely tried it.

We know it feels better to always try out something on your own, hoping you’ll stumble on some great new tool that others haven’t found yet. Maybe you’ll find the next ConvertKit before anyone else does, but more likely you’ll end up wasting time and money on something that doesn’t fit your company or goals…(we’re looking at you, ZenDesk)

Trust us, we’ve been there…and now, after years of testing different tools, we’ve settled on a few products and services that we believe are best for our customers and we use them on a daily basis for everything we do.

Best of Breed Magneto Resources

One of the first things that we wish we had when we started working on Magento was a list of “Best of Breed” tools and utilities to help us optimize our Magento installation and make our store “just work better.” Now that we’ve been through years of figuring these things out, we wanted to share what we’ve learned in multiple blog posts and collect all of that information into one resource for our community.

We’ve put together our own Extendware Resources Page where we list out exactly what tools we use, why we use them, and someweb other tips and tricks to help with your Magento store configuration and implementations.  We have tested and relied upon every recommendation on our Resources page for at least 6 months or more. Many of the resources listed there are crucial to running our business (or were crucial to developing Extendware to where it is today).

We hope this resource helps you cut down on searching for the right tools and brings you success faster than you would have otherwise. As always, send us any suggestions or ideas to support@extendware.com, we love to hear from you.

That’s it for today, Extendware Community! Thanks for tuning in. Have an profitable and resourceful week!

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Benefits of the Magento Delete Orders Extension

Delete Unwanted, Spam, and Old Orders with Magento Delete Orders Extension

Uh oh…Your mailbox is full.

Your Magento Storage has reached it full capacity. Your mailbox is full. “This person can not receive any more messages.”

All of these phrases are familiar and are just about the last thing you want to start your workday with (well, not worse than the dreaded “Magento White Screen“). They mean you need to clean and organize and DELETE!

Fraudulent, test or fake orders can take up major space and the Delete Orders extension can help make the clean up quick and easy.

Delete? I Don’t Want To Delete Anything!Character-order

Delete can be a scary word for people, especially with multiple admins. Extendware’s Delete Orders extension will allow you to give access only to those permitted to delete orders as well as toggle the deletion capabilities on and off so you wont have to worry about losing valuable transaction information on accident.

Easily and completely delete orders from your Magento store. Great for deleting your old test orders and other orders you do not want cluttering your reports and taking up space in the database.
Easily and completely delete orders from your Magento store. Great for deleting your old test orders and other orders you do not want cluttering your reports and taking up space in the database.

single-order

 

Another great benefit to the Delete Orders extension is that you can delete single orders or in bulk and all of the credit memo and shipment info will also be deleted and not left to clutter database. This simple extension will save you a ton of time weeding through old orders and give you more time for the new ones!

Important Features of Delete Orders Extension

  • Easily Delete Any Order
    Simply click the “Delete” button on the order page and any order can be deleted.
  • Bulk Delete Orders
    Select any number of orders in your order grid and then select “Delete Permanently” from the grid actions to delete orders in bulk.
  • Disable Deleting for Certain Administrative Users
    Deleting orders is a powerful feature that not every admin should have access too. You have the ability to ensure only specific admin users can delete an order.
  • Delete Your Test Orders and Fraudulent Orders
    Test orders, fake orders, fraudulent orders, etc, should not take up room in your database. Now you can easily delete these orders.
  • Easily Enable / Disable to Ensure no Accidental Deletes
    Turn the deletion capabilities on and off, so it is only enabled when you want to delete. This will prevent any accidental order deletions.
  • Corresponding Invoice / Credit Memo / Shipment / etc Values Deleted
    When the order is deleted the corresponding invoice, credit memo, shipment, etc, data is also deleted so these items will not be orphaned in the database.

If you can believe it, the above list is not a complete list of features. Please try the online demo or install as a free trial  and take 30-DAYSadvantage of our risk-free 30 day refund guarantee to fully see the power and elegance of the Delete Orders extension.


Delete-Orders-(for-web)Quick Delete Orders Extension Overview

Easily and completely delete orders from your Magento store. Great for deleting your old test orders and other orders you do not want cluttering your reports and taking up space in the database. You can delete one order or delete multiple orders at the same time.


 

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Why is Extendware Full Page Cache Better than Varnish Caching Services?

Full-Page-Cache-(Web)We get the question quite often in our Extendware Support channel, “Why can’t I just use Varnish* caching services instead of the Extendware FPC solution?”

The simple answer is, the Extendware Full Page Cache does not need or use Varnish because Varnish is not well implemented for the Magento platform. In fact, there are two specific reasons that FPC is a much better solution for a Magento store than using the Varnish caching solution.

Reason 1: Few Database Requests and a Higher Cache Hit Rate

One of the reasons that Extendware’s Full Page Cache (FPC) is a better solution than Varnish is that – like Varnish – FPC does not use the database for most requests, so it reduces load on the database.

However, unlike varnish, FPC has a high cache hit rate (percent of requests served by cache) that Varnish can not match, due to the design of FPC and its native use of Magento’s platform.

Not-integrated

 

Since Varnish is a general caching solution – and not built for specifically for Magento – it is not well integrated into the Magento platform. This allows Extendware’s FPC – a Magento customized solution – to outperform Varnish in almost every caching scenario.

Reason 2: Varnish Flushing Limitations

In addition, Varnish has severe limitations with flushing. For example, the whole varnish layer cache needs to be flushed when there are any changes on your store. On the contrary, our FPC can flush selectively and not affect the cache of your entire store for when only one category or page needs to be changed.

As a result of these Magento specific capabilities that come out-of-the-box with Full Page Cache that are unavailable in Varnish, customers using FPB on their Magento stores generally have better overall speed and experience.

These two simple limitations with the Varnish solution make a custom made Magento-specific Full Page Cache solution a no-brainer.

* Varnish is a cache server technology: https://www.varnish-cache.org/

Quick Overview

Full-Page-CacheExtendware’s Full Page Cache reduces your Magento store’s First Byte Time, Increases your web server request rate, reduces database load, and makes your store much more responsive. Extendware’s Caching solution is the best Magento Caching Performance Extension you can buy to speed up your store and easily pays for itself by saving you money rather than buying expensive hardware solutions to increase your Magento store optimization rates.


Continue reading “Why is Extendware Full Page Cache Better than Varnish Caching Services?” »

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Extendware Now Accepts Stripe (and BitCoin) Payments

Extendware Accepts Stripe PaymentsNot that everyone doesn’t just absolutely love Paypal, but we also wanted to give our customers another option for when Paypal just isn’t the right answer.

Therefore, we are now accepting Stripe as an authorized payment processor for all Extendware orders!

Stripe is one of our favorite payment processors and is much more modern and user-friendly than Paypal. As such, Stripe is now our preferred payment provider and we encourage you to try it next time you shop at Extendware.com.

What is Stripe?

Stripe is a suite of APIs that powers commerce for businesses of all sizes. The company received initial funding and seed monty from Y CombinatorPeter Thiel, Sequoia Capital, and Andreessen Horowitz – just to name a few influential people.

With Stripe, Extendware can accept payments from almost any credit card and debit card, no matter where you live, so long as your business is based in one of the countries Stripe supports:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Ireland
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Beta Version Countries : Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain
  • Private Beta Version Countries : Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, Singapore, and Switzerland

For an up to date list of Strip’s International support, you can always visit Stripe’s International Support Page.

Stripe also accepts BitCoin payments, for those who prefer digital currencies.

You can learn more about Stripe here at their home page.

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Master Your Store Product Grid with Editable Admin Product Grid Extension for Magento

Extendware’s Editable Product Grid Turns Your Magento Product Grid into a Very Powerful Editing Tool

Become a Master of your own Product Grid by enhancing Magento’s default product grid tools with the Extendware Admin Product Grid extension.

With this extension, you can easily filter and edit your products within your backend Magento product grid. You can add or remove columns, change the ordering of columns, filter by new attributes and categories to enable you to view, process, and correct items more quickly and easily.

Change Order of Magento Columns
Change Order of Magento Columns

The extension also allows you to more easily edit granular product data such as the price or name of a product. Even better, the changes take effect immediately. Filter by various product attributes to make mass changes using Bulk Product Updating.

Easily-filter-products-based-on-category

Features of Editable Admin Product Grid

  • Edit Product Data in Your Backend Product Grid
    Quickly and easily edit data such as name, price, stock quantity, attribute set, etc, directly in the product grid.
  • Filter Products Based on Product Attributes
    Simply add an attribute to the grid and then filter products by it very easily which allows you to more efficiently find products.
  • Filter Products Based on Product Category and Show Product Categories in your Grid
    Now you can filter products based only on the products in a specific category.
  • Change the Ordering of Columns in the Grid with Drag and Drop
    Have you ever wished that product status was displayed before the name or vice-versa? No problem! You can change the ordering of columns in the grid to support your work-flow.
Magento Product Grid - Change the Order of Products
Magento Product Grid – Change the Order of Products
  • Support for Single or Batch Edit Modes
    * Single Edit Mode – each product will be saved after each edit
    * Batch Edit Mode – edit multiple products at once and then save the changes at the same time
  • Set the Width of Each Column
    Some columns are more important than others, so they should be wider so they have focus. Easily set the width of any column of the grid.
  • Show the Product Image in the Grid
    Optionally show the image of the product in the grid so it is easier to identify. You can even easily change the image size.
  • Show Cross-Sells, Up-Sells, and Related Products in the Grid
    Optionally display related, cross-sell, and up-sell products in the grid to make it easier to identify what has been assigned to what product.
Magento Admin Product Grid - Show-cross-sells, up-sells, and related products
Magento Admin Product Grid – Show-cross-sells, up-sells, and related products
  • Find “Lost” Products that Do Not Have a Category Set
    Often times you will want to know what product has no category so you can assign it a category
Magento Admin Product Grid - Find Products With No Category
Magento Admin Product Grid – Find Products With No Category
  • Remember Your Last Sort Order
    If you sort the grid and login / logout normally Magento forgets your sort preference. Now your sort preference will be remembered!
  • Show Last Update Time in the Grid
    Optionally display the last update time of a product in the grid which is very useful for seeing which products have had recent changes.
  • Change the Default Number of Products in the Grid
    By default the admin product grid displays 20 products. In some stores it makes sense to raise or lower this default value so we give you the power to do this.
  • Fields Can Be Marked as Read-Only
    Ensure that some fields will always be read-only in the grid even if an admin wants to edit them. This ensures some admins will not accidentally make changes they should not.
  • Grid Configuration is Per-Admin User
  • Each admin in your store can select their own grid configuration that works best based on their individual work-flow.
Magento Admin Product Grid - Set Configuration Per User
Magento Admin Product Grid – Set Configuration Per User
  • Fields Can Be Hidden From the Grid
    Don’t want a field such as the category to be in the grid even if an admin wants it? Globally make it hidden so it will not be shown in any grids.
  • Remember Filtering Between Sessions
    If you filter the grid and login / logout normally Magento forgets your filter preference. Now your filter preference will be remembered!
  • 100% Compatible with Extendware’s Bulk Product Updating Extension
    Our Editable Product Grid works 100% with Bulk Product Updating. The power of Mass Product Actions combined with the filtering capability of Editable Product Grid is a very powerful combination.

Magento Product Grid finally brings your product management into the 21st century.

If you can believe it, the above list is not a complete list of features. Please try the online demo or install as a free trial and take advantage of our risk-free 30 day refund guarantee to fully see the power and elegance of the Magento Editable Product Grid extension.

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Why So Slow, Magento? Speed Up Magento With Extendware Full Page Cache Extension

What is “Full Page Cache” for Magento?

We all know that patience is a virtue; unfortunately we all know that many customers do not care about waiting around for your store to load, they want it NOW! Even the smallest bug or delay causes decreased conversions and lower sales.

It is funny to think that the average customer will wait 10 minutes in line at a store, but more than 12 seconds waiting on a search online? Forget it! Frustration is at its peak!

If increasing Magento page speed is a concern to you and your business, than optimizing your Magento store with Extendware Full Page Cache can help lower your customer wait time and speed up your store loading times significantly.

This video helps explain Full Page Cache and how the Extendware Full Page Cache extension is different, more capable, and more powerful than the other competitor Full Page Cache extensions available.

Just click below to play.

Benefits of Using Extendware Full Page Cache for Magento Site Optimization

Very Limited Database Usage – Extendware’s FPC uses a super fast primary cache so that it does not have to touch the database for over 90% of all actions.

Why does that matter? Because every time your application or store makes a call to the database, it slows down your page processing because your system has to wait for the database to respond. One call won’t make much of a difference, but a few hundred database calls every transaction can really slow down your page response time.

Our Full Page Cache gets around this by handling 90% of your requests in memory, not by calling your database, so it is much faster than how Magento’s default caching settings work. This translates into a speed similar to a Varnish caching solution, yet with a better cache hit rate, form key support, and our Full Page Cache is much easier to configure.

High Page Cache Hit Rate – Your store will not be fast – even with a good page caching extension – if no one actually uses the cache. That is why a high cache hit rate (the percent of requests that load directly from page cache instead of the database) is important. Our cache has an excellent hit rate that far surpasses the current and previous Varnish caching solutions.
Ability to Flush Multiple Modified Pages – Our extension gives you the ability to flush the entire page cache, flush groups of pages (all product pages, all cms pages), or flush only specific pages of an affected product. Having multiple flushing choices ensures that you don’t flush what you don’t need to, which increases your cache hit rate.
Easy to Configure – Most stores only need to install it and enable it and it will auto-configure! It couldn’t be easier. Only more advanced use-cases or extreme customization require more involved configuration.
Supports Product Catalog Sorting – Extendware Full Page Cache has full support for catalog sorting. Other page caches do not support changing the sort order in the catalog the way Magento does by default. As a result, it is possible for the default category sort order to be cached incorrectly when you are using other full page cache solutions. Our solution won’t incorrectly cache the default category sort order.
• Highly Configurable – The out-of-the-box solution page cache is extremely easy to configure and is very simple to just plug and play. However, that does not mean it cannot be configured to operate in different ways for many different environments. The FPC extension includes lots of configuration options so it can fit every use case and grow as your store grows!

As you can see, Extendware’s Full Page Cache increases the page load speed for your Magento website, reduces the load on the server and database and improves the ranking in search engines.

Take action and save your customers (and your wallet) valuable time. You can make your Magento website the fastest on the market and drastically improve your conversion rate and overall sales!


Full-Page-CacheFull Page Cache reduces your Magento store’s First Byte Time, Increases your web server request rate, reduces database load, and makes your store much more responsive. Extendware’s Caching solution is the best Magento Caching Performance Extension you can buy to speed up your store and easily pays for itself by saving you money rather than buying expensive hardware solutions to increase your Magento store optimization rates.


 

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Edit Products in Bulk in Magento

Bulk-Product-Updating-(for-web).pngManaging your products can be a time intensive task. Imagine if you wanted to raise all your price by 5% or to make them 30% over their cost (cost plus pricing). If you had to edit each product manually this would be very inefficient. That is why we created Bulk Product Actions extension which will enable you to perform these actions across all products in your grid.

What Type of Actions can be done with Mass Product Actions?

You can update products in bulk in a variety of ways. In fact, there are over 45 different actions. Here are a just a few:

  • Update prices in bulk by raising them or setting them by a certain percent from their current price or cost
  • Copy tier prices from one product to many other products
  • Copy custom options from one product to many other options
  • Duplicate products in bulk
  • Add / remove categories from products in bulk
  • Add / remove up-sell / related / cross-sell products in bulk
  • And much more!

What does it look like to bulk edit?

All you need to do is select the products in your admin grid and select the mass action. Look at this screen shot:

Product grid mass actions

As you can see, bulk editing of products via mass product actions is a powerful tool. In addition, it works perfection with our admin grid extension that lets you edit products in the grid.


Quick Overview

Effectively manage your products by using Bulk Product Updating. Easily bulk assign categories, product links, change product prices, and more. The Extendware Magento Bulk Product Updating extension will simplify and speed up your product management admin duties so you can get back to what you do best, selling.


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