Drive Magento Marketing Strategy by Adding in Cost Data to Each Item

Magento includes a large library of attributes you can enable within your store. One field that many stores fail to unlock is Cost of Goods Sold. In Magento, Cost of Goods Sold is called “Cost” and it lives in the Prices section of each of your products.

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) is the amount of money spent on raw materials to create product, or the amount of money used to purchase a product from a wholesaler. COGS is important because it helps stores calculate Gross Margin by product.

Revenue – Cost of Goods Sold = Gross Margin

Gross Margin (also called Gross Profit) is an important driver of store strategy and should be well understood for each product. Gross-MarginBecause Gross Margin represents cash available after paying a supplier, it’s good to use as a primary consideration when managing marketing expenses. Products that have high Gross Margins, such as electronics, are better suited for pricier marketing campaigns, while low Gross Margin items may be a better fit for scalable marketing such as email campaigns.

In some cases, increasing marketing spend on low-margin items may actually make sense. By combining sales volume with Gross Margin data, you may learn that a low-Gross Margin item is generating a healthy amount of cash thanks to a large number of orders. For instance, selling one bracelet may generate six dollars of Gross Margin, but selling 500 bracelets may generate $3,000 of Gross Margin. While it may seem intuitive that you would spend more cash to market high sales-volume products, knowing the exact Gross Margin for an item will help you understand how much of a product’s Gross Margin can comfortably be allocated to marketing. It will also help you track the return on your advertising spend by product. Keep in mind, marketing is just one of many operating expenses. You’ll want to consider other expenses as well when you budget for advertising spend.

Tips for Using Gross Margin to Dictate Strategy

  • Place items that have a healthy Gross Margin and that convert well in the prime real-estate positions of your store.
  • Bundle low-margin items with high-margin items to justify the time and effort spent on merchandising and shipping costs. Or where appropriate, only sell your low-margin products in packs of three or five.
  • Raise advertising spend for items that generate high amounts of Gross Profit, but be sure to analyze the effects of increased spend on sales volume to understand the return on this spend.
  • Negotiate with your vendors to reduce Cost of Goods Sold. Consider switching out expensive materials for options that don’t compromise quality.

Ready to get started? Here are the steps for enabling Cost attributes to appear on each product:

Step 1: Log in to your account and go to Catalog > Attributes > Manage Attributes.

01-Step-(edited)

Step 2: Under Attribute Label search for ‘Cost’ and click on the row.

02-Step-(edited)

Step 3: Scroll down to Apply To and change the setting to be ‘All Product Types.’

03-Step-(edited)

Step 4: Save your work and go to Catalog > Manage Products.

04-Step-(edited)

Step 5: Click on a product and go into the Prices tab. Enter the Cost for each product and save your work.

05-Step-(edited)

All done! I hope that helps with your Cost Attributes and Gross Margin calculations. Anything that can give you a better idea of exactly how you’re making money is a step in the right direction. Until next time!

Sheryl Davis is a digital marketer at Glew, an E-Commerce 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 E-Commerce.


Abandoned-Cart-Email

Abandoned Cart Extension Overview

Extendware’s Magento Abandoned Cart Email extension allows you to capture additional sales by emailing customers who have abandoned their shopping cart without making a purchase. You can send an unlimited number of follow-up emails to the potential customer and even attach an automatically generated coupon to the follow-up email in order to incentivize a new purchase. This extension pays for itself within just a few orders. 


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Offer Your Customers the Best Promotions and Products with Bulk Product Updating

Its a Sunny Day and you are stuck inside. Why? You are too busy  updating your prices, assigning categories and managing your catalog to enjoy the beautiful weather. Its tasks like these that allow us to lose valuable time that we could be spending doing fun things! Extendware’s Bulk Product Updating can update a series of prices, upsells, and manage products all with  a quick press of a few buttons. There are over 45 actions you can use, so you can have more time to enjoy the exciting things in life!

Here Are Some Other Great Features of The Bulk Product Updating Extension

Bulk-Product-Updating
Bulk Product Updating

Edit Prices / Special Prices / MSRP Prices / Cost Price
Set prices / special prices to a specific value or apply increases / decreases in the form of +10.5, -10.5, +20%, -20%. Flexible rounding rules (none, floor, ceiling, rounding) and the ability to add a value after the price modification (0.99, 0.50, etc) allow you to guarantee pricing such as $45.99 or $54.50. For example, you can increase all prices by 5%, round down (floor), and add 0.99 so prices are of the form $XX.99. This greatly reduces management time.

Edit Prices Relative to Other Prices or Cost
You can set the price relative to the cost and you can set the special price relative to cost or price. For example, set the price to be +20% of the cost and then set the special price to be -10% of the price. The possibilitie are endless!

Edit Prices Relative to Other Prices or Cost
Edit Prices Relative to Other Prices or Cost

Support for Custom Price Attributes 
If you have custom attributes with the decimal type you can enable it to be used for the bulk editing by simply selecting it in the graphical configuration.
Copy / Delete Tier / Group Prices 
Tier /group prices are very time consuming to create for every single product. Many times products have the same tier / group prices. Now you just need to define the tier prices you want for one product and then you can copy that tier / group price to any other products. This can save you hours and it is even fully compatible with Magento Tier Price Percentages.
Assign / Unassign / Copy Categories 
Simply select the products you wish to apply the action to and either select the category or input the list of category IDs you wish you assign / unassign / copy. Nothing could be easier.

Manage Related / Cross-Sell / Upsell Product Links
Create related, cross-sell, and upsell product links with ease. You may select between 3 different algorithms to create the links:
One-way – selected products are (un)linked to inputted product
Two-way – selected products are (un)linked to inputted product and vice-versa
Multi-way – all products are (un)linked to each other
Copy Custom Options
Creating the same custom options for every product is a very time consuming task. With Bulk Product Actions you can copy the custom options from one product to another. You can even choose whether you will replace any existing custom options or simply add to whatever custom options already exist.
Duplicate Products 
Easily duplicate multiple products so you can go in and edit their details later as you want.

Over 45 actions!
Over 45 actions!

Delete Products Directly From the Database
If you need to delete a lot of products and you know what you are doing, you can delete them directly from the database. This will not run the before / after delete code, which will save a LOT of time.
Change the Attribute Aet of Products
Change the attribute set of a product with ease. This means you no longer have to delete / re-create a product to change the attribute set
Have More Free Time to Spend on Income Generating Activities
This extension, especially when combined with Tier / Group Price Percentages, will save you countless hours of performing mundane and repetitive tasks. This extra time can be spent on income generating activities such as marketing.

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Reduce bandwidth, CPU, and crawling time with Cache Crawler/Warmer

The web contains trillions and trillions of pages, which can make it hard for your customers to find your store at times. We rely heavily on Google to find things for us and Google is able to do this with something called a Web Crawler.

Stores with a high number of unique pages compared to their traffic will tend to have a low hit rate and as a result caching solutions are not effective. The Magento Cache Crawler solves this by crawling and pre-caching the pages on your site, which will increase the cache hit rate

Here are some more great features of the Cache Warmer/Crawler Extension

Efficiently Crawl Your Magento Store to Warm Your Caches
The crawler will only access each page one time during a crawl session to ensure there is no duplicate effort. In addition, pages your users cannot access (disabled products, children of configurable products) will not be crawled.

Crawl All Your Important Pages
Crawl CMS pages, catalog pages, and product pages. When used with the Full Page Cache, all your layered navigation filter options, deep catalog pages, searches, and 3rd party extensions will be crawled without any further configuration.

Ensure That Server Load on the Server Does Not Become High
A crawler increases server load in exchange for faster page speed. If there are lots of things happening on the server, then it can create high server load. The crawler can detect this and automatically pause itself and automatically restart when the server load reduces. This ensures that the crawler does not compete with user traffic for server resources!

Cache Warmer/Crawler
Cache Warmer/Crawler

Crawl as Quickly as Possible Using Multiple Crawler Threads
Multiple threads will be used which can reduce the total crawl time by 10 times or more.

Crawl as Logged in Users
Do you show different content to logged in users? If so, it might make sense to crawl as a logged in user so their cache can be warmed. You can now easily select which customer group you want to crawl.

Crawl Out-of-Schedule Jobs By Manually Adding It
Did you flush the cache and need to run a job real quick even though it is not scheduled yet? No problem, you can easily add a manual job that will run immediately.

Don’t Crawl Disabled / Hidden / Out-of-Stock Products
Ensure you don’t waste resources crawling products that would be infrequently viewed or not viewable at all!

Filter Out Generated URLs by URL Type
Easily filter out certain pages such as category pages or cms pages or product pages from being added to the queue. This is useful if you only want to crawl category pages or certain page types.

Always View the Status of Crawls and Manage Crawls Using an Easy Interface
Easily view past crawls, currently running crawls, and queued crawls. Pause or disable crawls. Change the number of threads used. View the number of crawled URLs, the source of the URLs, and view performance metrics such as the number of crawled URLs per minute.

View current and past crawler jobs
View current and past crawler jobs

Filter Out any URL by Regular Expression
Easily ensure that URLs that match a regular expression will not be crawled. This is useful if you do not want certain pages to be crawled.

Fully Support Crawling of HTTPS Secure URLs
Is your site running in secure mode on the frontend? The crawler will crawl your secure pages too.

Reduces Bandwidth and CPU Usage During Crawls
When combined with our Full Page Cache there will be reduced bandwidth and processing done when loading uncached pages loaded by the crawler process.

Flush Caches Prior to Crawling
Flushing Magento caches prior to crawling is important to ensure that the crawler crawled pages are the most up-to-date.

 

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Reduce The Size Of Your Images And Help Your Sites Load Faster With Image Optimization

“What’s the hold up?” You might ask yourself while waiting for your page to load. After trying every solution to fix this issue, you might be surprised to realize its something as simple as a photo! Images, although very important in communicating your products, can sometimes be too large and slow up your customer browser cache. With Image Optimization you can alleviate this issue and improve search engine ranking.

Speed Up Downloads With Hostnames
Speed Up Downloads With Hostnames

Here are some other great perks you will gain with this Extension 

Optimize Images Without Losing Image Quality
Image quality is very important in order to sell products online. As a result, all image optimization will ensure no image quality is lost.

No Need to Install Server Software 
The smushit online API is used (not yahoo which is shutdown, but resmushit which is available) so you do not need to install any server software. You can of course continue to optimize on your server if you want or need to.

Optimize Catalog Product Images
Optimize product images and add forever expiries to them to better use the browser cache.

Search Engine Optimize Catalog Product Images 
Make the name of the product image the same as the product name to improve search engine rank.

Optimize-Catalog-Product-Images
Optimize Catalog Product Images

Optimize Skin Images
Optimize skin images and add forever expiries to them to better use the browser cache.

Optimize Media Images
Optimize media images and add forever expiries to them to better use the browser cache.

Optimize Images in Any Directory 
Easily add any directory of images you want to optimize and all the images in the directory will be optimized.

Optimize Images In Any Directory
Optimize Images In Any Directory

Compatible With Almost All CDNs
Image optimization is compatible even if you use a content delivery network.

Improve the Browser Cache Management of Images Files
Your catalog and CSS images will be rewritten and cached in a similar way as the Javascript and CSS. This means that once a user downloads an image, they never have to request that image on your server again. This can save dozens of server requests per page load and save hundreds of kilobytes per page load. On a default Magento Commerce install, this saves 20 web requests per page load just for the CSS images alone.

Reduce Bandwidth
Image optimization will reduce bandwidth requirements for your store which can save money.

Speed Up Downloads With Hostnames
Speed Up Downloads With Hostnames

 

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

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Reduce Page Size, Bandwidth, Server Load and More with the Minify Js/Css Extension for Magento

One of the worst feelings one can have is jumping on a website to make a purchase and the process is slower than molasses dripping out of a jar! Faster load times are ideal for online businesses and ensures your customers will stay and make purchases rather than give up and throw their laptop out the window in frustration…or worse, go to your competitor!

A process called Minification will help to alleviate all of these issues. It simply means that all of the unnecessary characters in your page’s source code will be extracted and your store pages will be as compact as possible when sent over the internet.

Minify Technologies
Minify Technologies

With Minify Js/CSS HTML you can :

Minify Your Javascript, CSS, and HTML

The Minify Js / CSS extension reduces the size of your Javascript, CSS, and HTML using 1 of 4 minify technologies (JSMin, JSMin Plus, YUI Compressor, and Closure Compiler). These technologies work by removing comments, rewriting CSS statements in a more efficient manner, removing white space, and rewriting Javascript variables. This extension will even minify your inline JS / CSS. On a default Magento Commerce install, you can expect the following (as shown in the graph found in the product image gallery):

Ability to Defer Loading of Javascript Loading for Even Faster Loading

Easily enable javascript deferment to eliminate render-blocking javaScript so that your page loads will not block while waiting for javascript to load. This can greatly improve google page speed score for javascript compatible with deferred loading.

Minify Inline Javascript                                                                               

Javascript is only half the story. The HTML and Javascript / CSS that are inside of each of your pages are equally important. Importantly, this data cannot be cached by the browser, so it must be downloaded on every page request. Other solutions completely ignore inline data.

Versioning of JS / CSS Files                                                                            

Ensure your content is always up-to-date. No need to flush caches or wait for files to be updated on the frontend. Your files will show any changes you have made immediately.

Intelligently Combine Javascript

On a default Magento Commerce install, the number of Web server requests will be reduced by 16 (this number is usually even higher on a non-default install). This significantly reduces request latency and bandwidth and marginally reduces the HTML size of page. Also, it means your Web server will not have to work as hard which will allow you to server more requests per second.
Do not compare the Extendware Minify JS / CSS extension’s ability to combine files with other modules.

Compress your Javascript and CSS                                                                        

Your Javascript and CSS will be compressed using 3 different compression algorithms (gzip, gzdefalt, and gzcompress). All files are pre-compressed, so they are not compressed on a per-request basis. This reduces latency and CPU load and speeds up high traffic Web sites.

Ability to Change Hostnames
Ability to Change Hostnames

Minify Non-Standard JS / CSS Files                                                                      

Some themes directly output javascript / css files to the theme instead of following Magento standards. Usually these cannot be minified, but with our technology they can be minified!

Improve the Browser Cache Management of Javascript / CSS files 

Javascript and CSS files have forever expiries added to them. This means that once downloaded the user will never have to make another request for your Javascript and CSS. This reduces latency, bandwidth, and your server load. When making changes to files the changes will still appear immediately on the site as the filenames will change.

Ability to Change Hostnames of URLs

Browsers generally have a 2-5 connection limit per hostname. For this reason it makes sense to use mutliple hostnames, so the browser will make more connections which can reduce download time. We support selecting custom hostnames for certain urls to maximize the number of browser connections.

Choose the Minification Algorithms that is Best for Your Needs

Different algorithmns have different characteristics and requirements. We don’t limit your choice. We include them all so that your site can be optimized as much as possible.

Compatible With Almost All CDNs                                                                          

Minifying javascript / css is compatible even if you use a content delivery network.

3 Different Compression Algorithms
3 Different Compression Algorithms

So simply install the Minify Js / CSS extension and reduce page size, bandwidth, request count, and server load and your customers will thank you!

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

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Magento Security Patch SUPEE-6788 installation

Magento has released a new security patch that affects many parts of Magento and as a result will affect your store. You should use various good practices when installing this patch or else it will negatively affect your store.

Preparing to install the SUPEE-6788 patch

Before you install the Magento security patch you MUST install all previous security patches. This will ensure that it can be properly installed. In addition, you should follow these other recommendations:

  1. Create a development environment and install the patch there first. The patch causes many core Magento changes that will break extensions and customizations
  2. Only after your development environment has been fully tested should you move the changes to production

What are some of the behavior changes of Magento after the patch?

  1. Bypassing the admin.html module for admin URLs will no longer work. Any extension that does this will no longer work after installing the patch.
  2. SQL field names and quoted field names will no longer be allowed with collection filtering. Any extension that makes use of this will not work after the patch
  3. The magento CMS system now uses a whitelist system of allowed block / config directives

If you are using any extensions that are affected they will not work. So, ensure you wait to update until any of these issues are resolved with your store.

Okay, I am ready. What are the installation steps?

Download the patch and you will have an sh file. Upload this to your magento root directory and run the following in shell. Replace [file name] with the actual name of the downloaded sh file.

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Sorting Products by Best Sellers in Magento

Product-Sorting-(Web)Sorting products by best sellers is an important way to increase revenue. The way that your products are ordered is very important if you want to increase conversions. It makes sense that sorting products that are most likely to sell in front of customers will increase the purchases. I will tell you how to sort products by bestseller by default in the catalog.

How to Sort Products by Best Seller in Magento

To sort products by bestseller just follow these simple steps:

  1. Install Product Sorting on your Magento store
  2. Go to System -> Configuration -> Catalog and look under Frontend and change “Product Listing Sort by” to Best Sellers
  3. There is no step #3. It is that easy!

What else can be done with Magento product sorting?

The product sorting extension that you installed has many more features besides just sorting by best sellers. You can also sort by most viewed, highest converting, and more. You can even automatically sort out of stock products last. It is really a must-have for a serious Magento store.

Can I sort my custom product collection by best sellers too using the extension?

Absolutely! If you are someone who likes to code you can also use it to modify your existing collections. Just perform the following on any product collection:


Quick Extension Overview

Magento Product Sorting increases the effectiveness of your online product catalog and can increase your conversion rates. Sort products on your sales page by Best Sellers, Top Performers, Most Viewed, Number of Reviews, and more. Easily cascade your sorting options – such as always showing in stock items first.


 

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Currency Switching by Country in Magento

Store--Currency-Switcher-(for-web)Automatic currency switching by geoip is a great way to improve store usability international. Imagine if you sell products in USD, but someone from the the United Kingdom visits. Of course they will want to view prices in British Pounds. To automatically switch currencies based on geographic location is very easy. Just follow these steps:

Setup Currencies in Magento

Follow these steps to enable currencies for your store:

  1. Go to System -> Configuration -> Currency Setup
  2. Select any of the currencies in the Allowed Currencies field that you want to enable on your store
  3. Go to System -> Manage Currencies -> Rates and click the Import button to import rates and save the rates

How to switch currencies automatically based on visitor geoip location

Now you have currencies setup, but they are not that useful to customers as they do not automatically see prices in their preferred currency based on location. To resolve this you will want to follow these steps:

  1. Install Magento Currency Switching extension.
  2. Go to Extendware -> Manage Extensions -> Auto Switcher -> Currency Rules.
  3. Associate any of the currencies in your Allowed Currencies list with any countries that you want to auto switch to that currency.

Once completed your store will be much more internationally friendly! Have a look at all of our best magento extensions.


Quick Extension Overview

Make your store more personalized and easier to use by gracefully redirecting customers to the proper store and currency based on their geographic location and browser configuration with Extendware’s Magento Store Currency Switching extension. Easy and flexible rules give you full control on switching. Compatible with full page cache systems.


 

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How to Minify Javascript in Magento

Minify-Js--Css-(Web)Minifying javascript is a very important aspect of a faster Magento store. For many stores, it is their greatest weakness on their Google page speed tests.

Why should I minify javascript?

It is important to minify your javascript because it slows down the page load of your Magento store. Many stores can save 500KB off their download size simply by minifying javascript. The less your customers need to download to view your store the faster they can start shopping and purchasing products!

How do I minify javascript in Magento?

It is simple. Follow these steps:

  1. Purchase Minify javascript / css for Magento and install it in your store
  2. In your store backend go to Extendware -> Manage Extensions -> Minify JS / CSS -> Configure -> Files and click the “Auto Configure” button

It is really that easy!


Quick Extension Overview

Speed up your site, improve your search engine site rankings and conversion rate, and improve your user experience in the process. Minify Js / CSS extension reduces page size, bandwidth, request count, and server load without anything more than installing this easy to use and feature-full extension.


 

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Secure Magento admin login with two-factor authentication

Two-Factor-AuthenticationTwo-Factor Authentication is a great way to secure your Magento admin area. Imagine if a hacker or someone else gains access to your backend? Not only could they destroy data and harass customers, but they could steal valuable business data and the end result could be customers lose confidence in your store. The best two factor authentication is using Google authenticator for Magento.

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication increases the security of your Magento login by requiring an additional authentication method. Normally, you would input your password only. With two-factor authentication that is compatible with Google authenticator you would also input a 1 time access code in addition. This access code changes every 60 seconds, so it is nearly impossible to hack your login. By combining these two methods (two factors) your login is much more secure.

How do I enable two factor authentication for Magento?

You should install the Two-Factor Authentication Magento Extension for your store and then go to System -> Permissions -> Users and enable it for specific users.

Great! What else can I do for a secure backend?

In addition to using the Google Authenticator Magento extension you can change your store admin URL. Leaving your store admin URL at yourstore.com/admin is bad for security. To resolve this, simply edit the file at app/etc/local.xml and change contact us.


Quick Overview

Protect your store from key loggers, connection sniffing, unprotected wifi connections, and other threats with our two-factor authentication system. If you ever login to your store over wifi or on a public computer, then you urgently need this extension.


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