Magento Development

Magento vs Shopify: What should you pick for your business?

As a brand owner or a marketer, the last thing you would want is to have a tough time choosing the right platform for your ecommerce website development and spend time and money by ending up with the wrong one! With popular and leading platforms like Magento and Shopify, brand owners are often in a dilemma to decide which is better. If Magento has been a popular choice, Shopify has grown to be one of the biggest competitors, making it a tough call for marketers.

So, to make it easier, we give you a comparative study of each of these equally useful and help you choose the right one for your business:

What we learned from Adobe’s acquisition of Magento

The current buzz in the digital marketing space these days is about the much-awaited acquisition of Magento by Adobe at a whopping $1.68 billion. What does that mean for enterprises, brand owners for marketers? To start with, here are few observations that we can derive out of this powerful alliance of a digital experience giant and a market-leading platform in the e-commerce space.

Innovation in the most important ingredient for sustainability

In the last few years, Magento has positioned itself beyond a simple e-commerce solution. By partnering with all kinds of technology powerhouses, it expanded its product base and built a robust ecosystem of content management, business intelligence, and social solutions. With a notable name like Adobe, we can expect progressive innovation and improved strategy in adapting to the changing consumer trends and volatile market behavior which could outdo its competitor platforms.

Creative Integration is the next big step in e-commerce

When it comes to e-commerce, we are somehow used to focusing on sales, marketing and the rising numbers on the monthly report. And, that is why we most platforms offering direct e-commerce and performance marketing solutions. But, with Adobe stepping into the picture, the entire landscape of e-commerce could take a creative leap. With one of the most comprehensive ecosystems for the creative aspect of businesses, marketers can look at a visually exciting store with a host of direct e-commerce tools- all under the same umbrella.

Best of both worlds

On one hand, there is Magento’s expertise in the mid-market segment. On the other, there is Adobe Digital Marketing with innovative and experience-driven products. The Adobe-Magento integration is most likely to bring together two separate technologies and systems into one seamless strategy that would change the way consumers interact with the digital.

A market ripple-effect

Any major acquisition stirs up the market, and the Adobe-Magento deal is no different. Graduating from SMB user base of Magento, the new partnership is all set to target larger enterprise clients, which is sure to have a ripple effect on the enterprise software market. And, competitors are most likely to use this as an opportunity for reanalyzing their numbers and step out with a whole new strategy.

Overall, we can look at a highly altered B2B and B2C experience with this new acquisition of Magento by Adobe.

Why Magento Community vs. Magento Enterprise?

When it comes to using a comprehensive content management system like Magento, most brands tend to pause at this question- Magento Community or Magento Enterprise? Open-source and agile, here’s what each of them can do.

Magento Community vs. Magento Enterprise

Magento Community is an open source ecommerce platform, which you can download and use to build your online brand store. It serves as a good starting point for a small business that is not looking at a hefty investment right away. Magento Community’s flexible platform allows brand owners to experiment. Furthermore, with the Magento extension marketplace feature, you can add enhanced functionality to your site and maximize conversions. Being free and supported by a global network of developers and user support, the Magento Community remains a sought-after platform for ecommerce brands.

On the other hand, Magento Enterprise is a premium version of the platform, available at a cost. It is best suited for enterprises or brand owners who seek features beyond those of the Community edition. The Enterprise version of Magento is packed with advance features like a plugin module to integrate necessary SEO tools, added security updates, product enhancements, customer segmentation with targeted offerings, assisted shopping experience, and more. Each such feature comes with customizable options that is best suited for your brand and business type. To add to all this, Magento Enterprise is backed by a round-the-clock support team.

Here’s a quick comparison of Magento Community and Magento Enterprise:

Points of comparison Magento Community Magento Enterprise
Cost Free $15500/year. Plus implementation charges. Additional features might come for an extra cost.
Security ___ Powerful security feature with PA-DSS, secured payment bridges
Functionality Easy functionality
best for newbies
Complex interface, but works
best for a pro.
Performance Faster Better
Target user Small ecommerce enterprises,
newbies
For larger businesses with annual revenue
exceeding six-figure.
Marketing support __ An inbuilt marketing suite, supported by an internal and external team for usage, analysis and planning.

While Enterprise has high-end features that can be attractive, the Community version is practically more feasible for brand owners. Your business needs and growth plans would tell you which one is best suited for your enterprise.

Top 10 Social Media Management Tools for Your Business

Irrespective of whether you run a small business or a multi-million dollar empire, social media is a necessity you can’t do without today. From announcing product launches to sale and promotions, and even a call for justice; social media is an effective channel to not only garner visibility, reach far and wide, but also be heard and know what your audience wants.

However, without proper knowledge and tools, it can all be quite overwhelming. Having the right social media management tools is crucial to your business. Ideally, a tool should allow you to monitor and engage across all your social profiles and provide reports so you can follow what you are doing.

Today, the market is flooded with choice. However, we have put together 10 of the most popular social media management tools, to help you grow your business.

Broadly speaking, here’s a list of parameters, based on which you need to pick your tools.

  • Content marketing
  • Content discovery
  • Email marketing
  • Web analytics
  • Social media posting
  • Lead generation and
  • Security and password management

1. SproutSocial

A great tool to monitor your social media mentions, engage with brand advocates, schedule content in advance, and utilise reporting tools to inform future strategies.

2. Agorapulse

A must-have tool if you have less or no time to manage your social media. Similar to Sprout social in its functionality, but with competitive pricing and more efficient reporting tools. It makes it easy to handle all aspects of your social media from one space. You can create, schedule, and publish content on all social networks.

3. Google analytics

The data gathered from this tool helps us focus our efforts on the social media platforms that are driving traffic and conversions.

4. MailChimp

It provides marketing automation for e-commerce businesses. Send beautiful emails, connect your e-commerce store, advertise, and build your brand.

5. Buffer

If you’re looking for software that is easy to navigate, seems simple, and can make your team more efficient, then Buffer is your key to managing social media.

6. LastPass

LastPass is a password manager for businesses. Whether you need to share passwords with colleagues or enforce a company-wide password policy, LastPass is the online password manager for your business.

7. Sprinklr

If you want an all-in-one service, Sprinklr seems to be the best management tool for all of your social channels. It helps you with posting, approval of content, and metrics reporting.

8. Bitly

Bit.ly is an URL shortener and click reporting tool all in one. It’s great for Twitter with short posts, and also tracking the clicks to help you understand how well your content converts traffic to your website.

9. Oktopost

A social media management tool focused on generating leads for businesses. Oktopost helps businesses gain money.

10. Splice

A video-editing tool built by GoPro with social media in mind, Splice is a great solution for those who want to edit social media video content on the go. With Splice, iOS users can trim and crop footage, apply filters, add animations and customize video audio in one user-friendly app.

In conclusion, we have listed only ten tools here, that we thought might be a great starting point for you to begin your research on what tools will help your business best. Remember, the thing to keep in mind, while picking a tool is what aspect of your business are you looking to grow or manage. Also, having a dedicated resource to use these tools efficiently and monitor them constantly can give your business the much-needed boost you are looking for.

 

 

Top 3 must-dos to make your Magento Community edition superfast

Introduction

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We often hear customers complain about the slow performance of their Magento websites, so, in this post, we have decided to share three important tips to speed up your website.

Top 3 Important tips to speed up Magento

Like everything that comes free, Magento community Edition also has its own hiccups and slowing down is one of them.  Downtime is a major threat for eCommerce companies as they will have to lose valuable business, here are our top three important tips to speed up your Magento website.

Using the Latest Version

Using the latest version of the platform is one of the most important things to before you even begin your store operations. Latest versions will contain some major performance enhancements and bug fixes and will aid in improving the overall performance of the website. Here area fewsteps to upgrade your Magento installation.

  1. Download a fresh version of Magento
  2. Run the installer from the new download on top of the existing database
  3. Move themes and custom extensions from the old version to the current version.

From time to time Magento sends updates and important information on major enhancements and bug fixes, you may keep an eye on these messages to keep your platform up-to-date. This not only helps you to speed up your platform but also helps you resolves other issues as well.

Cache Management

Magneto’s cache management system is an easy way to improve the performance of your site. Whenever a cache needs to be refreshed, a notice appears at the top of the workspace to guide you through the process. Follow the link to Cache Management, and refresh the invalid caches.

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The Cache Management page shows the status of each primary cache and itsassociated tag. The large buttons in the upper-right corner can be used to flush the Magento Cache or the all-inclusive Cache Storage. At the bottom of the page, there are additional buttons to flush the catalog product images cache and JavaScript/CSS cache. After clearing a cache, always refresh your browser to make sure that you can see the most recent files.

2

Enable Flat Catalog

Magento has a unique feature called the Flat Catalog. By enabling Flat Catalogs, Magento tries to fetch product information from this new flat catalog instead of executing complex queries and SQL statements. This is a procedure is highly using for speeding up your website in case you have more than 1000 products.

Here are the steps to the Enable Flat Catalog:

1. On the Admin menu, select System > Configuration. Then in the panel on the left under Catalog, select Catalog

2. Click to expand the Frontend section. Then, do the following:

3
Frontend

a. Set Use Flat Catalog Category to “Yes.”

b. Set Use Flat Catalog Product to “Yes.”

3. When complete, click the Save Config button.

When prompted to refresh the indexes, click the Index Management link in the message at the top of the workspace and follow the instructions to reindex the data.

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Summary

There are many ways to speed up your Magento Community Edition and these are just a few basics that you need to follow before moving on to more advanced procedures. Do let us know what has worked for you.

How to keep your customers?

Introduction

Business Concept Of Attract, Convert, Retain

For many eCommerce companies acquiring new customers seems to be a daunting task, however the real challenge lies in retaining the existing ones. As Jeff Bezos rightly said, “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

In today’s post, let us try to share a few important things that you ought to do to keep your existing customers.

5 Important tips to keep your customers

Customer attraction is the major factor that brings back customers to your store. However, this attraction process is not as simple as it sounds. It requires constant research, perseverance and strategy to achieve a continuous association with your customers. Here are a few tips that will help you to retain your customers and allow you to engage them with your brand.

Offer Valuable customer support

Studies show that excellent customer support is one of the most important factors that motivates your customers to continue their association with your brand. It is a great idea to include information on multiple modes of contact: email, phone and chat. You may even include features such as live chat or interactive QA. We often notice customers talking about poor customer service on social media, so make sure to provide the best customer service to your customers, especially for the ones who are new to your company.

Use the power of Analytics

Understanding your customer helps you to continue your association with them for a longer period of time. Using the power of Big data and Analytics makes this process easy and well-structured for you. Make sure to gather as much information as possible to understand your customer’s behaviour. Details like the frequency of purchase, products added to the wish list, shopping cart abandonment, frequently visited pages etc. help you to personalise your offers and marketing messages to suit the tastes and preferences of your customers. Customers appreciate made to order products and services and motivates them to continue to engage with your brand.

Offers and Incentives

A little surprise is something that everyone loves to receive. Sending a special discount coupon for their birthday or anniversary or reminding your customer that a product that they have shortlisted is on sale, will have a great impact on your brand. Customer’s do appreciate your efforts and continue to show loyalty due to these random acts of kindness.

Send Powerful Emails

Email is a very powerful medium that helps you to convert one time buyers to repeat customers. Regular emails with information on new products and services, current offers or interesting themes with product combos all help you to improve loyalty and credibility of your brand. You may even send specialised emails such as Cart Abandonment, failed transactions, product availability or even weekly/fortnightly newsletters with special themes. All these educate the customers and motivate them to push further through the sales funnel.

Let the Content talk

Content was and will always continue to be the king for your eCommerce business. Aligning your content marketing strategy along with your customer retention strategy is sure to work wonder for your business.  Instead of developing a one-size-fits all content, make sure to develop various customer profiles and tailor the content to resonate with each persona. This will help you to target smaller customer groups with effective communication messages.

Social media is yet another platform where you can easily connect with your customers. It is a good practice to monitor customer activity on social media while keeping an eye on those parts of content that are attracting maximum eyeballs. These practices will help you develop a better understanding of your customers and help you to develop better strategies.

Conclusion

It is most important show your customers that you are always there to listen and care. Understanding ones customers, finding ways to help them and continuing to appreciate their loyalty, will all help in developing lasting relationships. We hope you find these tips useful. Do share your feedback with us.

What are the differences between Magento Community edition and Enterprise edition?

Introduction

vs

If you are new to eCommerce and are trying make choice between Magento Enterprise and Community editions, then this post will surely help you. As we all know Magento Community and Enterprise editions are two widely used eCommerce platforms.  Apart from the fact that one is free and the other is a paid version, there are many other important factors to consider in order to make the right decision.

Magento Enterprise VS Magento Community Editions

We are very well aware of the fact that the Magento Community edition is free of cost while the Magento Enterprise edition is a paid platform. While the community edition is more than enough in case you are a new business owner, however as the company grows and the number of products increase Magento Enterprise edition will be the only answer.

Here are some of the important differences Magento Community and Magento Enterprise editions.

Number of Products

As the number of products on your website increase, you need more reliable and extensive platform to manage them. Magento Community Edition is meant for small businesses with a limited number of products, but the Enterprise edition can handle a large number of catalogues with 1.3x speed when compared to the community edition.

Full Page Caching

Full page caching is a process that creates a snapshot of each page in the server and offers to for faster access. This feature is extremely useful to speed up page loading on your website and is available only in theEnterprise edition.

Scalability

The Magento Community edition runs on a single server that handles multiple process which makes it less scalable. The Community edition can be improved further but the Enterprise edition is specifically designed for scaling up your operations. Each of the processes can be executed on different servers, thereby improving the scalability and performance.

Complex Tax Calculations

The tax calculations are fairly simple in the Community edition. These calculations can be extended using third party tools but that only makes the process more complex. The Enterprise edition is designed for businesses with larger scale of operations, hence the tax calculation regime is well structured and simplified to suit your nature of business. So it would be a wise decision to opt for the Enterprise edition if your business operates in multiple geographic locations and has a fairly large scale of operations.

Well Structured Checkout Process

The Checkout process is more streamlined and well structured in the Enterprise edition when compared to the Community edition.

Advanced site Administration

The enterprise edition come with advanced site administration features that allows us to manage administrative roles and site access permissions. The site access feature is so sophisticated that admin site access can be designed such that the administrator of one site cannot access other sites.

Advanced Customer Segmentation

Magento Enterprise Edition offers advanced customer segmentation options that allow us to personalise the shopping experience for our customers. Advertising campaigns and marketing messages can be customised for different customer groups and the right message can be conveyed to the right audience.

Security and Compliance

The Magento Enterprise edition offers a highly secured environment for your transactions. The PCI Compliant platform allows you to store your customer credit card information in a highly secured environment.

Multiple Landing Pages

With the help of Advanced Customer Segmentation features, the Magento Enterprise Edition allows you to create multiple landing pages for each of your customer groups with ease. This helps you customise your offers basing on the interests of your target audience. The Enterprise edition also comes with an inbuilt version control feature to track and manage various versions.

Automatic Coupon Generation

The Magento Enterprise Edition allows you to generate coupons automatically. The system tracks a customer’s purchases and in case it is his/her first purchase the system automatically generates a coupon which can range anything from a free shipping to a fixed percentage off on their next purchase. This can be done in the Community Edition as well, but that requires some amount of manual intervention.

Conclusion

We hope this post gives you an overall idea on the major differences between Magento Community and Enterprise editions. So if you are small business owner with limited product portfolio then the Community Edition works for you, however as you scale your operations further the Enterprise Edition will empower you to tackle larger business challenges with ease.

If you have already made your choice, do let us which one you chose and why?

How to build a Moat for your eCommerce store?

Introduction

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Acquisition and Retention are two important aspects of any eCommerce business. In the wake of cut throat competition, retaining customers is as important as acquiring new ones. Not just retain, we must continue to grab their attention, encourage them to engage more with our brand and try our best to reward them for their loyalty.

In this post, let us try and understand some strategies that will help you to build moat around your ecommerce store.

How make your eCommerce store competition proof?

In today’s world, merely owning a business is not just enough. We must put in continuous effort to make it stand out from our competitors and device strategies that encourage our customers to engage more with our brand. Here are some strategies that will help you achieve just that.

Improve your online presence

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As a first step in building a moat for your eCommerce store, concentrate more on your inbound marketing efforts. Improve your efforts on SEO and social media marketing and developing more engaging and conversational content helps customers to identify brands through search engines and land at the right place. We also need to focus on improving our presence on all social media platforms by posting relevant content as often as possible.

Sell on all market places

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Are you are selling only on your own eCommerce store? Then you might be losing all the customers who shop only on a particular online market place. To gather more visibility for your store, create a shop with the same name on all the leading market places and diversify your business to as many channels as possible. In this way, you will not only reduce your risks but also enhance your online presence.

Maintain your own customer list

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Customers are your ultimate strength, so make sure to grab every opportunity to gather your customers’ emails. Maintain well curated lists of all your customers and segment them appropriately, so that you can send out targeted emails to convey the right message to the right audience. Make sure to develop a steady line of communication in the form of newsletters, tweets, Facebook posts etc. and continue your association with your customers.

Connect with B2B customers

k

Studies indicate that B2B customers are highly predictable and loyal, so try to identify those businesses who use your products or services and directly send targeted marketing communication to them. These efforts will bring in steady revenues and also help you to build a strong community of customers.

Connect with Influencers

influencer_marketing_ecommerce_online_retail_tips

Influencers are those customers who are the earliest to make a purchase and try and leave a lasting influence on all the other potential buyers. For example, bloggers are the first ones to use your products and through their reviews and posts, they tend to influence many others. Customers do a lot of search before they make a purchase. They mostly depend on blogs, reviews and endorsements for gaining more knowledge about your product, so make sure to identify the right set of influencers in your niche and help them to understand your products or services in a better way. If possible offer samples to them and then seek their honest reviews. This helps you to gain genuine customers and in turn create loyal customers for your business.

Conclusion

We can never secure our business and make it future proof. One needs continuous effort with a focus on your company’s objectives. Align all your marketing efforts with your objectives and continuously review the performance of your campaigns in order to sustain in business over a longer run.

 

How many Push Notifications can you send to your customers?

Introduction

Push notifications are a great way to interact with your app users. You can use push notifications to keep your customers informed about your latest offers or even to guide them to the right local deals. They help you to retain your customer’s interests and allow you to continuously engage them.

Push notification are messages sent by the publisher of the App. The customers have to “Opt-in” for these notifications at the time of installing the App or later. Only then, the publisher of the App will be able to send them the notifications. These messages are known as “Push Notifications” as,the user of the app does not initiate them.

How many are too many?

Whilst there is no set rule on the number of notifications too many could be quite annoying for the users. Studies indicate that more than 50% of the app users find push-notifications to be “annoying distractions” if they receive them more than once a week, however the best part of the study was that the push notifications have shown a considerable increase in the business and customer loyalty too!!

According to the survey, 45% of the customers decided to disable the push notifications as they received 2-5 notifications in a week. Also, more than 30% of the users said that they will delete the app altogether if they ever received more than 6 messages in a week.

These stats clearly show that too many messages in week will increase the risk of losing a customer.

Best Practices for sending the ideal notifications

Personalisation

Customers value messages that have a personal touch to them. Such messages aid in better conversions. For example, the above image shows a notification sent by the Nearbuy app. It has the recipient’s name to show them that they value their customers.

Customer Segmentation

A well-researched customer segmentation strategy helps in sending out the right message to the right user.  Mobile marketers need to identify appropriate user attributes and align their campaigns with the right set of customers to derive the maximum benefits.

Enticing Language

Messages such as “Hot deals!!” or “Deals of the day” no longer gather customer attention. Frame your messages such that they motivate the user to perform a desired action. For example, take a look at this message:

This message has enough details to grab the user’s attention. It talks about the time limit for the offer, the discount offered and the products that are on sale.

Conclusion

Push notifications can build and break your customer relations, so determining the ideal frequency for your notifications is very important. So make sure to design your push notifications such that they align with your company’s marketing goals and derive the best results.

Customer Segmentation and Targeting on Twitter

Introduction

Twitter is a powerful medium that can leverage your business. With just 140 character messages, Twitter can send huge volumes or traffic to your websites or blogs. In this post, we will try to understand how we can target new customers on Twitter.

How to target new customers on Twitter

Twitter offers a unique tool to create custom ads. We can create an audience profile with a number of filter criteria such as people in one or more locations, gender, languages, devices used, interests, events, behaviours etc. All these filters help us to drill down to a well curated list of people who are most likely to view and connect with our ad.

 Here are a series of images that show the various filters available in Twitter

how-to-target-new-customers-on-twitter
how-to-target-new-customers-on-twitter2

Promoted Tweets

Promoted tweets are those tweets that marketers purchase to promote their businesses. If you want to reach a specific audience, you may choose to do so by promoting your tweets. While creating your audience profile, you may specify the location of your promoted tweet as shown below:Promoted TweetsPromoted tweets are highly useful for:

  • Increasing your engagement with your customer
  • For promoting blog posts, white papers, promotions, offers etc.
  • To drive traffic to your website
  • Promote sales and giveaways
  • To reach influencers and brand advocates

You may even request for retweets to reach a wider audience.

Twitter Cards

Twitter cards allow you to go beyond the 140 character limit for your tweets.  You may attach a graphic image or a video with a call to action such as “Download an App” or “Visit Website” to your tweet and increase its scope and reach. Twitter offers different types of cards such as summary card, app card. Player card etc. Choose the one that best suits your requirements and business objectives.

For example, here is how Flipkart is using Twitter cards to promote their website traffic and sales:Twitter CardsConclusion

Twitter is a great platform for quick and effective marketing.  Determine your marketing goals and experiment with the various options available on Twitter to run an effective and successful campaign.

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