PHP 7 Why It’s Great and Our Compatible Extensions

We have great news at Extendware. Not only are we adding new Magento 2.0 extensions weekly, but we are also updating our extensions to PHP7. Many of them are available now so we thought we would share a little bit about PHP7 here in our blog!

Much Faster Speed

A great advantage of the new PHPNG engine is the significant performance improvement. The development team of PHPNG refactored the Zend Engine, and remarkably optimized memory usage. With PHP 7, not only your code will be executed faster, but you will also need fewer servers to serve the same number of users.

64-Bit Windows Systems Support

PHP is a prominent member of the LAMP stack which means its native environment is Linux, but it’s also possible to run it on a Windows system. PHP 7 introduces consistent 64-bit support which means both native 64-bit integers and large files will be supported, allowing you to confidently run the language on your 64-bit Windows system in the future.

The New Zend Engine

The Zend engine has been powering PHP since 1999 when it was introduced with the PHP 4 release. Zend PHP#NG-01-01(not to be confused with the Zend Framework) is an open source execution engine written in C that interprets the PHP language. PHP 7 receives an entirely new version of the engine coming under the code name of PHP#NG (Next Generation). The enhanced functionality of the initial engine and adds an extensible object model and a significant performance enhancement to the language.

Anonymous Classes

PHP 7 enables you to use anonymous classes, already a well-established practice in other object-oriented languages like C# and Java. An anonymous class is a class without a name. The object it instantiates has the same functionality as an object of a named class.

The syntax is the same as what we are used to in traditional PHP classes, only the name is missing. If anonymous classes are used well, they can speed up coding as well execution time. Anonymous classes are excellent when a class is used only once during execution and in cases when a class doesn’t need to be documented.

Error Handling

Handling fatal and catchable fatal errors have never been an easy task for PHP coders. The new Engine PhP image 2-01Exceptions will allow you to replace these types of errors with exceptions. If the exception is not caught, PHP will continue to return the same fatal errors as it does in the 5.X series.

The new Engine Exception objects don’t extend the Exception Base Class. This ensures backward compatibility and results in two different kinds of exceptions in error handling: traditional and engine exceptions. To enable programmers to catch both, PHP 7 introduces a new shared Parent Class under the name of Base Exception.

New Spaceship and Null Coalescing Operators

The Spaceship operator runs under the official name of Combined Comparison Operator. The notation of the new operator looks like this: <=> (kind of like a simplified spaceship, if you imagine it right). The Spaceship Operator returns 0 if both operands are equal, 1 if the left is greater, and -1 if the right is greater. It’s also called a three-way comparison operator, and it already exists in other popular programming languages like Perl and Ruby.

The Null Coalescing operator is denoted with two question marks ( ?? ). You can use it when you want to check if something exists and return a default value, in case it doesn’t. The coalesce operator returns the result of its first operand if it exists and is not null, and the second operand in any other cases

Enables Accurate Type Declarations

Have you ever wanted to prevent unintended return values by declaring the return type of a function? PHP 7 enables developers to enhance the quality of their code with the help of return type declarations.

Imports from the Same Namespace

The new Group Use Declarations feature will be crucial for those who want to import many classes from the same namespace. The new syntax cuts verbosity, makes your code tidier and easier on the eyes, and saves you a lot of typing time. It will also be easier to read through and debug codes, as group use declarations help you identify the imports that belong to the same module.

Frees Up Space

The goal of PHP 7 was to free up the space to enable improvement, so it was necessary to get rid of many deprecated functionalities and old and unsupported Server APIs and extensions.  All the removed items have been deprecated for a while in PHP 5 so most likely you haven’t used them for a long time. However please note if you have a legacy app running on older PHP versions the new PHP 7 can potentially break the code.

Check out some of our updated PHP7 compatible extensions!

LLucene-Searchucene Search

Increase revenue and customer satisfaction with faster, more relevant search results. Lucene Search is a powerful and flexible search solution that helps ensure your customers can always find the products they want.

 

Full Page CacheFull-Page-Cache-(Web)

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

 

 

CacCache-Crawlerhe Warmer

The Magento Full Page Cache Crawler / Warmer will ensure your Full Page Cache solution is always “warmed” and ready to serve your store pages at the fastest speed possible. The extension is efficiently coded to reduce bandwidth, CPU, and crawling time.

 

 Image OptimizationImage-Optimization-(Web)

Images are very important for online stores, but unnecessarily large images can slow down the user experience and reduce search engine rankings. Image Optimization will optimize your images and reduce their size without sacrificing image quality, so that your site images are faster loading.

 

Auto-Translate-(for-web)Auto Translate

Increase your stores potential customer base by allowing users to translate the page to their preferred language. Ensure advertising campaigns and feeds targeting certain languages will automatically translate to that languageMinify 1.0

 

Product-Labels-(For-web)

Product Labels

Automatically highlight your special offers, featured products, sales, and more. Multiple images / labels per products supported, flexible rules, and many, many options to empower you to market your products the best way possible.

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Why People Look But Don’t Purchase

I started my online clothing store 8 months ago. Once the excitement wore off, I was nervous about a lot of things. Do people care about my clothes? Is the competition too steep? How will they even find me for crying out loud? I didn’t have a large budget and had tried some small social media buys, word of mouth etc., but that was it.

To my surprise, after about 3 months or so, I was getting amazing inbound numbers. People were actually finding me! This was a huge achievement, but sadly my bank account wasn’t exactly celebrating yet. I was drawing all of these people but my clothes weren’t selling.  Sure I had the occasional “window shoppers”, but looking at my stats, I could see some people were checking reviews, FAQs, and generally showing a deep interest in my product. So what gives?

Here are some facts I looked up as to why I wasn’t making those sales:

1.My Shipping and Handling was too high.

I was sure my prices were fair and way under the competition, so why would people abandon ship! That’s it right there…” ship”. delivery
My S/H prices were way too much and they weren’t flexible. I was so focused on the actual product prices, I failed to realize the amount that adds up in shipping. I shifted some numbers around and was able to make certain purchases include free shipping. There are lots of ways to fix shipping to make it more appealing. You may even want to include a countdown time so people have a short window to snag the zero-dollar transport deal.

2.What Return Policy?

Return-policyYikes, I slowly realized that people are much more apt to make a purchase with a return policy. Sounds like a no brainer right?  Maybe, but at  first my thought was that I didn’t want to deal with it or lose money but in reality I was losing customers. So I found a way to limit the policy with certain rules attached so that people wouldn’t take advantage. I also included size charts to reduce the amount of returns I would have to deal with. I rarely have returns because my clothes are awesome, but also because I do the most I can to alleviate issues before the purchase.

3.A Photo of Me and My Dog Was Not Enough to Gain Trust

credit-card-2
I mean, it’s a great picture and we both have trusting eyes, but this may not be enough for some people to feel secure enough to enter their credit card. Doing a little research I found that a lot of people are nervous these days when it comes to online payments and transactions. So I decided to get third party security involved and make sure my customers knew that we had their safety in mind. This is especially helpful for the log in and shopping cart areas.

4.I Wasn’t Mobile Friendly

responsiveIt never occurred to me how many people would be online shopping on the bus, at the nail salon, at work, in line at the DMV! I had figured well, I can access my store on my phone but when I really sat and looked, it was super tiny wording and you could hardly see the pictures! So I had the site redesigned to include mobile and even tablet layouts. Now you could easily see everything, click side tabs to search different products etc. Heck if we get big enough, we may even create an app!

5.My Pages Were Too Clutteredweb-design

I just had too much to say. Words and names and buttons… it was just too much visually to take in. When I redesigned the site, I noticed more pages being explored and more time spent on each. Cleaning up my messy room, deemed to be a crucial part of my online success!

A Little Help From Your Web

A lot of people rush into building their stores (like I did!), and forget to do a little research as to how it can be better and what steps can be implemented to make your customers have an overall better experience. My big issue was all look and no buy, but with a little elbow grease and a lot of coffee I was able to figure it out.

Abandoned-Cart-Email-(for-web)

One tool I used to alleviate my shopping cart runners was the Magento Abandoned Cart Email Extension. I was able to email those who ditched their cart and bring them back to visit my store. Plus, I could also see why they left which gave me the great insight I have shared with you today. Happy Selling!

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Why is it Beneficial to be a Part of an Affiliate Program

The marketing world today is exciting and dominated by affiliate trend. Those who don’t know what an affiliate marketing program is should learn it fast. For that, it is the latest way for marketers and bloggers to make money by flexing their marketing muscles. Affiliate networking is all about getting the piece of the action and getting paid handsomely for it. Widely known for the win-win situations they create and the great results they can provide, affiliate programs seem to be the new golden child of marketing.

1

What is an Affiliate program and how does it work?

Launched by 2Amazon in 1996, affiliation has managed to earn true popularity only in recent years. Affiliate programs are a form of the performance-based marketing through which a company, also known as a merchant, agrees to pay its affiliates (or webmasters) for the visitors or clients that they bring in through their efforts. Based on the object of the contract, the affiliate will advertise certain products and pay a flat fee or a previously negotiated percent per every sale or visit which was brokered through the referral.

Why Opt for an Affiliate Program – The Benefits Associated

An affiliate program is structured on the idea of a mutually beneficial relationship through which both the advertiser and the publisher can draw consistent benefits. However, the affiliate market is a fiercely competitive performance-based, result-orientated market which will require good marketing skills to bring about consistent income and professional success. Overachieving affiliates tend to be well connected, thus marketing passionate people, a fact which usually brings bloggers and online marketing specialists to the front of the pack.

Leaving that aside, providing you have some marketing skills of your own, here are a few of the benefits brought about by affiliate programs and why they are totally worth giving it a try:

  • You are your boss meaning that you set your own goals to chase after.
  • You have a flexible schedule which you design however you deem fit.
  • It is one of the fastest, free ways to make money online (not to be confused with the easiest).
  • The affiliate program is a transparent agreement which functions on clear, well-defined terms. Affiliate programs usually function on simple contracts which leave little to no room for confusion and misinterpretation.
  • The better connected you are, the easier it is to create real impact and get paid.
  • You get paid based on your results, This means every time someone uses your referral to visit and buys a product which you are advertising, you are paid a commission amount. While SEO and digital marketing require constant ticking and are often paid per project, an affiliate program will pay you the commission you agree upon every time a sale is facilitated through your referral.
  • Affiliate marketing is cemented on ROI and sales, a fact which makes it a very powerful online marketing tool. If you can sell, these numbers will turn into hard cash.
  • Most of the affiliate programs which the companies are running can be joined free or with a certain charge and without a tedious set-up process.

Which affiliate program to choose?

Choosing the right affiliate program is not easy, considering that one can easily find a variety of affiliate networks in every field of 3the market. However, some of the fields are saturated, hyper-competitive areas which make them unattractive for most marketers out there.

If you are a seasoned affiliate marketer or want to become one and you are looking to join a rewarding affiliate network, try the Extendware Affiliate Program. The affiliate program is free to join and is based on the Magento Extensions and various development/configuration/customization services associated with them. Once you log in, Extendware’s backend has readymade links and banners you would need to promote and states so that you can track your progress all of which already include your personal code so that when people click on them you automatically get the set commission. In addition to the exceptional quality of the products and the great price Extendware is selling them for, you will get bi-weekly newsletters, exceptional support and extra prizes at the top tier level, this affiliate program is quite generous with its top-performing marketers.

The commission section is organised in 4 Tiers which range as follows:

  • Tier 1 ($0–1,499 in sales) earns 10% of every purchase to the affiliate
  • Tier 2 ($1,500-2999 in sales) earns 15% of every purchase to the affiliate
  • Tier 3 ($3000-4,999 in sales) earns 20% of every purchase to the affiliate
  • Tier 4 (above $5000 in sales) earns 25% of every purchase to the affiliate

The affiliate program also includes clear steps and detailed suggestions that educate you on how to best advertise the products. Doing affiliate work is quite fast and rewarding even for a novice who has just entered. When done right, it has every potential to pile up a significant income. So what are you waiting for? The time to affiliate and collide with success is right here!

 

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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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Optimizing the Shopping Cart: 12 Steps for Magento Users

T he shopping cart is the most important component of your e-commerce business. In order for your business to survive, your customers need to be able to make their way to the “Complete Order” button easily and quickly. Magento enables users to create user-friendly shopping carts, allowing you to maximize ROI. Here are the best practices for creating a streamlined checkout process with Magento:

  1. Provide checkout buttons at the bottom and top of your site.

Today’s Internet users are more distracted than ever, and one checkout button just isn’t enough. Place checkout buttons at both the top and bottom of your website. That way, customers can begin the checkout process Checkout-buttonsno matter where they happen to be on the page.

Checkout buttons should be in contrasting colors that catch users’ attention. As with most elements related to shopping carts, usability outweighs aesthetics.

  1. Allow customers to continue shopping

Some customers want to continue shopping after adding an item to the shopping cart, and you need to make it easy for them to do so. Shopping cart pages should include a visible “Continue Shopping” button.

  1. Product-DisplayProvide a related products display

By showing customers products related to the items already in the shopping cart, you can increase the average purchase order. There are extensions available for Magento that automatically display products that are frequently purchased together.

  1. Minimize the number of steps that customers must take to complete checkout

There’s a reason why Amazon has established a one-click buy feature. It’s an established fact in e-commerce that more steps to complete a purchase means fewer orders. While most e-commerce businesses cannot implement a one-click purchase feature like Amazon does, streamline the process so that buyers go through only one or two screens before finalizing their purchase.

  1. Implement proper authentication procedures

However, don’t skirt on authentication procedures. Trust is critical to any e-commerce business, and customers appreciate seeing that basic security measures are in place. A two-factor authentication system is industry standard.

  1. Don’t ask for the same information repeatedly

Entering in the same information more than once is tedious, so don’t make customers do it. This means, for example, that you should provide a checkbox for customers who have the same shipping and billing addresses (as most of them do).

Also consider which information is truly vital to collect. While it may be useful to know demographic information about your buyers for marketing purposes, requiring users to enter in too much information is a turn-off. In addition to being tedious, many e-commerce buyers worry about privacy issues and become suspicious when they are asked too much personal information.

  1. Give customers a variety of shipping optionsShipping

When you are able to offer customers more choices for shipping, you increase your business’ credibility. Again, look to Amazon as a model. For most purchases, users can choose from at least three different shipping options, from more expensive selections that allow quick receipt of purchase to more budget-friendly choices.

  1. Better yet, offer free shipping for large orders

Studies of e-commerce buyer behavior have repeatedly demonstrated that many customers balk when they discover high shipping fees. In order to remain competitive, more and more businesses are offering free shipping in order to offset the effects of shipping price shock.

Setting a minimum order price for free shipping is particularly effective because it incentivizes customers to buy more items.

  1. Show customers their savings

If you’re providing customers with savings via special deals or a rewards program, show them exactly how much they’re saving. Knowing this information will make them feel confident in the purchase and more likely to buy from you again.

  1. Allow customers to register for reward programs

The moment of checkout is your best opportunity to gain a long-term customer. Make sure that buyers have the option to register for your site while checking out—and make the process easy.
While many customers are wary of signing up for fear of being spammed, offering future deals and savings provides a strong incentive for registration.

  1. Let customers provide feedback at time of sale

feedbackEveryone appreciates being heard. Providing an optional comments box at time of purchase starts off the customer-seller relationship off on the right foot by letting buyers know that you care about their input.

  1. Use a shopping cart recovery system

Among e-commerce experts, it’s no secret that abandoned carts cut into profits. In 2015, the estimated cart abandonment rate was an astonishing 68%. Implementing a shopping cart recovery system helps businesses to gain back some of this lost business. Sending friendly reminder e-mails to customers who didn’t complete the checkout process gains additional sales. If you can provide a discount to sweeten the deal, shopping cart reminders become all the more effective.

Optimizing the shopping cart is critical for the success of any e-commerce business. All of these tweaks can be made with Magento. Investing in expert-designed Magento extensions makes it easy to create a great checkout experience, thereby maximizing your ROI.

We hope you find these tips useful to enhance the checkout process of your Magento Store, until next time!


Shopping Cart Price Rules Extension Overview

Extendware’s Magento Shopping Cart Price Rules, you can create new promotions that are not possible in default Magento stores. With 24 different price rule actions, you will be able to create much more powerful promotions to attract customers to your store and products. For example, you can create rules like, “Buy a shirt and get a discount on a tie” or “Buy 2 of a product and receive the 3rd for free”. Why wait? Take action now and create much more powerful promotions to make your online business successful!


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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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Maximize Your Marketing ROI with Irresistible Product Pages

If you’re like most e-commerce business owners who use Magento, you invest in paid advertising to drive targeted traffic to your store.

So it’s very important to receive strong ROI (Return on Investment) on your marketing campaigns. Here’s how to optimize every product page to receive great ROI on each dollar you spend on advertising.

Show stunning images of your product

The quality of a product image can make or break a sale. E-commerce experts strongly advise against using stock images of a product, or images with poor resolution. Take original, high-resolution photographs to sell your product. We recommend 4-6 different shots per product for most industries. While some e-commerce entrepreneurs invest in professional photography, a less expensive alternative is to buy or make a lightbox to take better, more detailed photographs. Once you post images to the product page, make sure that viewers have the option to zoom in.

Don’t just show the product as a still object. Whenever possible, use shots that show the product in action. Photographs that include children and pets are known to be particularly high-converting, so if appropriate include these adorable models in your shot.

If your product requires a demonstration, include instructional videos (or links to videos) on the page itself. Like this one for our Full Page Cache Demo. People want to know that they will be able to use your product with ease.

Make sure products are catalogued properly

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 8.51.06 PM

You want to make it easy for customers to navigate the storefront. Maybe the specific product page they first clicked on isn’t for them, but you still have a valuable potential customer. A well-organized catalogue allows customers to find similar or complimentary products easily, maximizing your sales.

 

Write a Product Description that is Easy to Read and Informative.

Interested buyers will read product descriptions in part or in full, so make sure that yours are engaging. A good rule of thumb is to emphasize benefits over features. To explain further, let’s say you’re selling a cellphone with a 5.5” screen. The screen dimension is a feature. But the benefits of a 5.5” screen are that users will be able to read messages more easily, use a range of other applications, and play Angry Birds better.

Even for selling technical products, avoid large blocks of text that are nothing more than technical explanations. You can place the product specs at the bottom of the description, but the description itself should be readable and relatable for buyers. Also, make sure to avoid typos and other errors that damage your company’s credibility.

Create a Layout that Maximizes Sales

Studies show that web users generally read content in a pattern that graphic design experts refer to as an F-Pattern: First users look at the main horizontal line, then the main vertical line, followed by any secondary headings (horizontal lines).

Many users will not read every word of a page, but rely on these markers to determine their interest. Design your product pages so that the most important information is conveyed in these critical junctures. A compelling image on the sidebar can have a big effect.

You can learn more about the F-Pattern and how to implement it here.

Test your Product Pages and Track your Conversion Rates

While this post reviews general best practices, every market is unique. To ensure that you’re not missing out on possible conversions, try making use of A/B testing so that you can find out what your audience responds to best. Only through careful tracking can you deduce the ROI on your marketing efforts, and work to optimize it.

Before publishing a product page, e-commerce business owners should ask themselves these questions:

  • Are the images high-quality and compelling?
  • Is the product catalogued in a way that makes sense?
  • Does the product description sell the product’s features?
  • Is the page layout conveying the most important information in the right places?
  • Do you have a system in place to track conversion rates?

If you said yes to all five questions, your product page is ready to go. Making these tweaks to your product pages can have massive effects on your business’ bottom line.

 

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Starting a Store on Magento: Time-Saving Tips

For businesses looking to establish an e-commerce store, Magento is an indispensable tool. As an open-source platform, Magento can be adapted to meet the needs of individual businesses. Big brands and small businesses alike can use Magento to create a profitable and user-friendly online storefront.

But while anyone can go to Magento’s website and set up a basic store, creating a successful e-commerce business can be considerably harder.

Magento offers so many different options for customization that many new users feel overwhelmed and intimated. So many different tasks go into running a successful online store:  SEO, web design, marketing, and many more. Magento extensions help online business owners to complete necessary tasks on time and without hassle. Here are some common problems that Magento users encounter—and how extensions can help solve them:

Lagging Loading Times

All research suggests that today’s web users are more impatient than ever. If an online store takes too long to load, visitors to your site won’t buy. While you can’t always control the speed with which users browse your site, there are ways to lower your load times. An extension such as the Full Page Cache will speed up your site by caching it whenever a user visits. This extension serves as a replacement to expensive investments in hardware.

Google Analytics Overload

Traffic is essential to the success of your business, so it can be tempting to visit Google Analytics constantly. But this is an inefficient use of time. With the Google Analytics Dashboard extension, you can see your Google Analytics data right from your dashboard.

Spam, Spam, and More Spam!

There are bots looking to spam your inbox. If you have a contact page on your website, you may be vulnerable to spam. The Anti-Spam Captcha prevents this annoyance, requiring users to enter a short string of characters before their message goes through.

Conversion Confusion

E-commerce is a global phenomenon, but international customers may be turned off if they can’t easily figure out how much they will need to pay for a particular item. Customers also may be unaware that you have separate storefronts for buyers from different countries. The Store/ Currency Switcher extension will enable your Magento store to redirect to the correct storefront.

Abandoned Carts

The bane of every online retailer, abandoned carts can seriously reduce your profits. In 2015, the average rate of cart abandonment was a whopping 68%, meaning that more than two-thirds of online orders were never completed. For e-commerce business owners, few things can be more frustrating. But with the Abandoned Cart Email extension, you can send a friendly reminder e-mail to customers who abandon their carts on your store. The e-mail sequence can be completely customized. You can even include a coupon for customers to incentivize them to complete their purchase.

 

Running an online store is already difficult. By making strategic use of Magento extensions, you can make better use of your resources and increase the profits of your online store.

All ExtendWare extensions come with the option to return within return within 30 days and receive a full refund —making this investment risk-free.

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Increase the Speed of your Administrative Backend with Improved Indexing

Improved-Indexing-(for-web)When saving products, categories, and other entities to your Magento store, the Magento platform must update its various indexes, which can cause a huge delay that reduces your productivity.

Having a Slow Magento Administrative Backend can be a real waste of your time

Not only for you, but also your employees if you have them. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to save categories and products with ease? If these issues sound familiar then Extendware’s Improved Indexing is the extension for you!

Magento Improved Indexing Extension

More Great Features of Improved Indexing

Increase Responsiveness of Admin Backend
Saving products, categories, and more will be much faster, which will allow you to get more work done faster.

Optimize Catalog URL Rewrites 
We include optimizations that optimize the slowest index for large stores: catalog URL rewrites.

Save Time and Save Money
The faster you can get work done in the admin area means you will be able to do more work or have more free time. If you have employees, then the increased employee productivity will enable you to save employment costs.

View How Much Time You Have Saved
You can easily view how much time has been saved as a result of using Improved Indexing for Magento.

Re-Index Manually or On Schedule
Re-indexing events will be processed periodically with a cronjob or you can manually force the processing of events if desired.

Full Page Cache Support
If you are using Extendware’s Full Page Cache, then deferred indexing is compatible out-of-the-box.


Quick Improved Indexing Extension Overview

Improved-Indexing-(for-web)Increase the speed of your administrative backend. Do you have a slow admin backend when saving products, categories, etc? Improved Indexing will speed up your admin backend by making the saving of products, categories, etc more responsive. The end result is that you can get more work done in less time.


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Imagine 2016 Magento Conference

Imagine 2016
Imagine 2016

Imagine 2016

Extendware is excited to say that we got to attend the Imagine 2016 Magento Conference. Now in its 6th year, Imagine 2016 brought together 2,500+ merchants, partners, developers and commerce experts from 45+ countries to network, exchange ideas and build relationships.

Speakers such as Earvin “Magic” Johnson of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Mark Lavelle of Magento Commerce, and Jamie Clarke of LoveOutThere.com took the stage along with many other informative entrepreneurs, business owners, and Magento’s top professionals. Magic Johnson, spent lots of time in the crowd answering questions. It wasn’t hard to find him.

Magento 2016
Magento 2016

Magento News

Magento 2 Momentum: 228,000 downloads of Community and Enterprise Edition, over 800 sites live, and 100+ Magento 2 Trained Partners

Magento Enterprise Edition 2.1: The next release will include enhanced staging and preview, ElasticsSarch, and payments functionality

Magento Marketplace Launch: A better place for developers to show off their best work

Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition Launch: New PaaS environment built to power innovative commerce experiences

Conference Goers
Conference Goers

 

The conference began with awards recognizing the 20 most active users within the Magento developer community, recognizing the exceptional creativity, innovation and success of merchants across the global Magento ecosystem.They also unveiled the Inaugural Magento Trailblazer Award to Vandy Santos, Global Omnichannel Solutions Leader for Nestle and A.J. Nahmad, President of Watsco, Inc.

Schedule Imagine 2016
Schedule Imagine 2016

It is no wonder that the Community itself, is what makes Magento so special and unique. Mark Lavelle, CEO of Magento, used the words “We Are Magento” to acknowledge the community of developers, system integrators, merchants, and partners that make up the powerful ecosystem.

We are happy to congratulate the Magento team on the release of Magento 2.1 and the announcement of the Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition. Both are examples of exciting new tools for the hundreds of thousands of Magento merchants from all over the world.

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