In this Holiday Preparation blog series, Magento’s Expert Consulting Group (ECG) will share tips and resources to help you prepare your online store for a well-executed and profitable Holiday season.
MagentoEarly Bird Discounts Available on Upcoming Classroom Courses
Get 15% off when you register early for one of our upcoming Fundamentals of Magento Development classroom courses. This is a great class to learn the Magento development basics that will help you work smarter and more efficiently.
**Discount cannot be applied with any other offers.
Upcoming Online Courses
Get instructor-led training from Magento experts—wherever you are!
» August 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 30
» August 20, 22, 26, 28
» August 14, 16, 19, 21, 23
*All of these courses are instructor-led.
Boost Your Business With Magento U Developer Certifications
Magento U began offering certifications in early 2012 and, from the beginning, Partners and developers have told us that getting certified has helped them prove their Magento expertise and attract clients. If you’re looking for more good reasons to get certified, you’ll find some great ones in these profiles.
Why They Got Certified
Click on the partner name to read the full profile.
Ready to take your business to the next level with Magetno U certification?
Patch Needed to Address USPS Shipping Option Name Changes
On Sunday, July 28, the United States Postal Service rolled out changes to their API that impact Priority and Express mail shipping options. USPS is changing the name of these two shipping methods and their Webtools API was updated to match those changes.
To continue utilizing USPS Priority AND Express mail methods, merchants on Magento solutions must install the patches we’ve created to address the issue, and we have included patches for all versions of Magento Community Edition and installation instructions in this post.
For more information, download the official statement from USPS.
Click here for Magento Enterprise Edition patches.
Patch Installation Instructions
Please upload the patch into your Magento root directory and run the appropriate SSH command:
For patch files with the file extension .sh:
Example: sh PATCH_SUPEE-1868_CE_188.8.131.52_v1.sh
For patch files with the file extension .patch:
Once that is done, refresh the cache in the Admin under “System > Cache Management” so that the changes will be reflected. We highly recommend you test this patch in a test environment before taking it live.
Patches for Magento Community Edition
Versions before 1.7 require applying an upgrade of shipping methods patch first (if you have not already installed it). Please use the table below to find and download the correct patches for your version.
Please note that the Shipping Methods patch contains several other improvements to the shipping methods. Please make sure to backup the system before applying, test extensively and make sure your custom extensions and third-party modules still work after this change.
Learn tips and strategies you can use to drive repeat sales and brand loyalty
Not long ago, customer engagement meant attracting customers with great deals and then moving them as quickly as possible to checkout. These days, customer engagement means using social media, personalized shopping experiences, and targeted interactions to build lasting customer relationships.
Right now, “omni-channel strategy” is something of a buzz-word in eCommerce circles. Whether they’re discussing traditional brick-and-mortar businesses expanding their reach online, popular eStores opening a physical location, or evaluating the endless list of shopping portals and social media outlets, most of the conversation has centered on the channels themselves.
I find this sort of exchange quite interesting, but I’m typically the guy in the back of the room that not-so-politely clears his throat and says, “Um, how exactly will this affect your brand?”
Brand development is typically not at the top of a busy executive’s list of to-do’s, but I like to remind them that their brand is all they’ve got. If your brand loses its potency, you’re doomed to engage in price wars with other companies that may even be favored to win.
While it’s comforting to talk at length about omni-channel strategy, it’s important to remember that your customers don’t care about any of that. 99% of them have never used the term omni-channel in their life, and channel distinctions are fairly meaningless to them. No matter where a customer encounters a brand, they tend to see it all as a seamless whole from which they base their feelings. Your customers only care about their needs, certainly not yours, and you have to be enormously empathetic to them.
Wait a second here. Feelings? Empathy? Yeah, I know, this is getting kind of weird and uncomfortable, so let me bring it back down to the bottom-line: Buying is emotional. The less feeling a customer has towards your brand, the less they buy from you.
Now that should make you feel uncomfortable. In order to avoid that outcome, we need to get a little weird. We need to get out of our rigid routines and really evaluate why we’re doing what we’re doing. If meeting your customer’s needs isn’t your core inspiration, it’s time to recalibrate. After all, you don’t ultimately determine the success of your brand—your customer does. Continue Reading Article…
MagentoLive Australia rolled into Day 2 with great energy. Following a great party the night before at the Verandah Bar, sponsored by Exceed Online, the conference floor this morning was buzzing with excitement.
This is truly an amazing story about the success merchants can achieve leveraging the power of Magento Enterprise Edition in conjunction with the expertise of a Magento Solution Partner.
Magento Solution Partner Balance Internet also shared a great story about Wittner Shoes. Michael Wittner explained how, with Balance’s support, they’ve taken their mail-order business online with Magento Enterprise Edition.
Thank You Australia!
Thank you to all of our merchants, developers and partners for attending MagentoLive. You are all great brand ambassadors for Magento here in Australia and we are grateful for your ongoing support. And a special thank you to our sponsors for helping make this such a great event.
We’ll see you next year!
MagentoLive Australia kicked-off Tuesday morning in Sydney with a flurry of activity. More than 400 merchants, developers, partners and Magento and eBay employees came together for a great event. Here are some of the highlights from the day.
Roy’s Keynote – Magento is Commited to Australia
Magento’s COO and Co-Founder, Roy Rubin, opened up the conference with his keynote address. He talked about Magento’s momentum in Australia—Magento has a commanding 42% share of the Alexa top 1 Million sites in Australia—and emphasized Magento’s commitment to the Australian community of merchants, developers and partners.
Focus on Fashion
Magento’s Head of Sales, Ben Pressley, showcased Magento’s focus on the fashion industry. In addition to sharing the story of Rebecca Minkoff’s success on Magento Enterprise Edition, he also highlighted some great fashion brands including Missguided, Stella & Dot, and sass & bide.
Magento U – Search Engine Optimization
More than ninety merchants and developers joined the Magento U team for a training course on search engine optimization in Magento-based stores. Magento’s Danny Essner explained the key concepts around search engine marketing and showed attendees how to specifically apply these concepts to their stores.
Thank you again for a fantastic day one!
Educational-toy retailer Kidstuff wasn’t playing when they asked for a complete upgrade of their site from Magento Community Edition, and they definitely wanted increased conversion and better integration with their brick-and-mortar stores.
Magento Gold Solution Partner eWave tapped into the sophisticated features and functionality of Magento Enterprise Edition to give them all of that—and much more.
As a result, Kidstuff hit their yearly goals just six weeks after their re-launch, opening the business’ eyes to what their eCommerce channel can do.
Feature Highlight: Virtual Gift Cards
Kidstuff offers an advanced virtual gift card option where you can easily customize and download your gift-card purchase, for use in-store or online. The personalized message is also a nice touch. Click the image to expand.
Thousands of companies—including many of the world’s biggest brands—are using Magento Enterprise Edition to grow their online businesses. Find out how it can help yours.
They really needed more support and flexibility from their eCommerce solution and Magento Solution Partner Infinity Technology knew that Magento Enterprise Edition was the perfect fit.
Since their re-launch, Bendon has reported:
Thousands of companies—including many of the world’s biggest brands—are using Magento Enterprise Edition to grow their online businesses. Find out how it can help yours.
Magento U in Kiev
Magento U is hosting their Fundamentals of Magento Development course in Kiev, Ukraine next week! This is a fantastic opportunity for developers in the area to learn the architecture, terminology, and core functionality of Magento Enterprise Edition from Magento experts.
Fundamentals of Magento Development
*The class will be taught in Russian and the materials will be in English. Класс будет проводиться на русском языке, а материалы будут на английском.
This course will also be available in:
Upcoming Online Instructor-led Courses
» July 22–26
» July 29–August 1
» July 29, 30, 31 & August 1, 5, 6, 7, 8
» August 5, 6, 8, 9
*All of these courses are instructor-led
Magento Developer Certification at MagentoLive Australia
On July 23, Magento U will be offering two Magento Certification Exams for developers at the MagentoLive Australia event in Sydney. If you’re attending the event, don’t miss this chance to get certified! Register
Tickets for MagentoLive Australia are now sold out and we’d like to send out a big thank you to our Australian ecosystem for their enthusiasm and support for this event. We can’t wait to see you in Sydney! Attendees, keep an eye out for email updates.
MagentoLive Australia is almost here and there’s still time to register! Here are four of the great events we have planned to bring you insider ideas and information and help you connect with eCommerce experts and merchants in the Australian market.
1. Magento Co-founder and COO Roy Rubin Will Be Keynoting
Magento Co-Founder and eCommerce innovator Roy Rubin will be there as a keynote speaker to share updates on Magento’s momentum and plans, an overview of eBay Inc.’s vision for commerce and examples of Magento customers who are on the leading edge of innovation. Don’t miss it!
2. Breakout Sessions With eCommerce Leaders
MagentoLive Australia will feature breakout sessions on business and technology where partners, merchants and technologists will share their expertise. These sessions will include:
3. Special SEO Session
4. Magento Enterprise Edition Merchant To Merchant Sessions
Join your peers from other Magento Enterprise Edition* merchants for networking, idea exchange and collaboration. The event is dedicated to merchant networking and collaboration, and the content is entirely driven by merchants. There will be no Solution Partners, Industry Partners or any other vendors in attendance. This is a fantastic opportunity for merchants on Magento Enterprise Edition to meet and share ideas and best practices, and we hope you can attend..
Where: Sydney Sofitel Wentworth, Adelaide room – 4th Floor
RSVP: Please RSVP to attend
If you are a merchant on Magento Enterprise Edition interested in attending the event and have not yet registered for MagentoLive Australia, the first step is to register for the conference! If you are already registered to attend MagentoLive Australia and wish to join us for the Merchant to Merchant session, please RSVP here.
For any further questions about the Merchant to Merchant event, please email email@example.com.
*The Merchant to Merchant event is open only to merchants on Magento Enterprise Edition.
Magento Gold Industry Partner Canada Post is holding their second annual Canada Post E-commerce Innovation Awards event on September 25th in Toronto to recognize Canada’s leading online retailers—and reward the best of them with $1 million worth of total prizes!
Hundreds of Magento merchants are using their new extensions to provide shoppers with more choice and flexibility when it comes to shipping, delivery, tracking and returns. Enter now for a chance to win!
Award categories include:
Top four reasons to enter:
1. Serious prizes! Canada Post is providing $1 million in total prizes to the winners in the form of shipping contracts and marketing packages.
2. Opportunity to connect. Join e-commerce experts in the perfect environment to generate new ideas, potential partnerships and key business contacts.
3. Promote your brand. Showcase your business to media and would-be investors. Finalists will be recognized and honored for their hard work, entrepreneurial vision and contribution to Canada’s economy—whether they’re retail giants or small start-ups.
4. Entry submission is free. But don’t wait! The July 12th deadline for applying is fast approaching.
To learn more or apply, visit canadapost.ca/ecommerceawards. In the application, type in “Magento” as the e-commerce technology.
For more details about the Canada Post E-commerce Award application process, click here.
Magento Gold Solution Partner Optaros sets the bar with twenty-five Magento Certified Developers, three Front End Certified Developers and numerous implementations that are bringing in over $400M annually.
Tell us a little about your business and how you became involved with Magento Enterprise Edition.
Optaros is a global digital commerce service partner that helps companies conceive, build and operate commerce solutions to accelerate revenue and decelerate costs. Part creative digital agency, part systems integrator, and part strategic consultancy, Optaros takes a holistic approach to creating exceptional commerce experiences for exceptional brands.
Optaros is 100% focused on digital commerce and the technology ecosystem that supports it. From core eCommerce and mobile to omni-channel and multi-channel experiences, Optaros delivers next generation tools and experiences that enable consumers at every digital touch point.
Optaros became involved with Magento Enterprise Edition in 2008 because it was the best open source eCommerce platform available with the flexibility to customize and integrate with our clients’ core systems.
Optaros also built, hosts and supports some of the largest Magento Enterprise Edition powered sites, driving more than 5M visitors a day, 6,000 orders in peak hour and $400M in annual online revenue.
What are the key factors behind your success with Magento?
When speaking with large enterprise companies looking for an eCommerce platform, we are often asked why they should consider Magento Enterprise Edition. The question comes up because there is a common perception that Magento Enterprise Edition is not appropriate for bigger organizations, driven by its roots in enabling smaller businesses as an open source platform. But we have found that the opposite is true. In fact, it’s been Magento Enterprise Edition’s flexibility and scalability that have made our implementations so successful.
Our clients are typically large enterprises that are looking for a more agile – one that will grow and adopt new features quickly. The Magento team understands that they can only focus on the core platform and truly new capabilities will be driven by others. And our customers agree, seeing Connect as a unique opportunity for the community keep injecting fresh features into the platform. They feel that the this model, coupled with Magento Enterprise Edition’s relatively open architecture, will leave them less boxed-in and vendor dependent in the future.
We have found that Magento Enterprise Edition, when set up and customized properly, can scale to support significantly large online businesses, well into the 100s of millions in turnover annually. These sites are also highly available. The Magento team recently announced the launch of 1.13, which incorporates new indexing features originally planned for 2.0. The statistics presented at the conference show the improvements making great strides toward supporting high-volume using the core platform.
When it comes to value, Magento Enterprise Edition leads the way. Compared to many of the other platform options available, Magento Enterprise Edition offers lower acquisition and operating costs. We have customers of all sizes who choose Magento Enterprise Edition because it is cost-effective, built on open source technology and lets them control and customize the look and feel, content, and functionality of their online stores.
Why did you decide to have your developers take the Magento Developer Certification exam?
The majority of our developers have been working with Magneto Enterprise Edition for years – before the Certification exam was even available. So when the opportunity came along, having them take the exam was a natural step for us to get their institutional knowledge recognized. The first developers passed the Magento Developer Plus certification shortly after it was released, then it became “viral” within our office. We organized study groups and we more than twenty people get certified in before the end of the year.
We also got involved in the new Front End Developer Certification Exam and, as part of the Advisory Board, we have been helping the Magento team and the Magento community ensure the certification matches the skills the developer need to implement successfully on the platform.
How many Magento Certified Developers do you current have on staff? How will having these certified developers help your business?
Optaros has one of the largest groups of Magento certified developers, with twenty-five on the scoreboard. As Optaros implements Magento Enterprise Edition for large accounts, we continue to focus on the Developer Plus certification. We are also investing in the Front End Developer certification that was announced at the 2013. We already have three Magento Front End certified developers.
What does this mean for our customers? It means they are guaranteed the highest quality solution, as well as better performance and lower maintenance costs. It’s also a proof of our commitment to Magento Enterprise Edition.
What drives you to do what you do?
Optaros is passionate about Digital Commerce, particularly when it comes to helping drive online success for our customers. Whether we’re building the best customer experiences imaginable, performing complex integrations or scaling the largest Magento Enterprise Edition implementation, Optaros is passionate about driving commerce success for companies of all types and sizes, from B2C retailers to branded manufacturers to B2B organizations and to multi-level retailers.
In addition to rolling out Magento Enterprise Edition as a single platform across multiple brands and business types, we are also well-versed in customizing Magento Enterprise Edition to support specific business models needs (e.g., multi-tiered marketing) and in scaling Magento Enterprise Edition for high throughput and performance.
Optaros also uses Magento Enterprise Edition when implementing Private Event Retailing (PER) experiences for customers. Whether it’s a flash sale site or a loyalty rewards program, Optaros’ PER solutions utilize Magento Enterprise Edition as a foundation for digital commerce sites that create a feeling of exclusivity among customers. PER initiatives help retail clients sell off excess inventory and build a new revenue stream while creating a feeling of exclusivity and urgency for customers.
To find out more about how Optaros can help you build a better eCommerce business with Magento Enterprise Edition, visit their listing page on our website.
Developers: find out how you can join the growing ranks of Magento Certified Developers.
Congratulations to our new Magento Connect Staff Picks! Our Staff Picks highlight some of the best extensions in Magento Connect, extensions that are truly helping merchants improve their businesses. Staff Picks are selected from both Magento Enterprise Edition and Magento Community Edition extensions, and developed by both Magento Industry Partners and our ever-growing community of independent developers. Check them out!
How we picked them
Our algorithm for selecting Staff Picks is something of a secret sauce. It’s based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:
Want to be considered for Staff Picks?
Make sure you can check off as many of the above criteria as you can. Extensions that do not fulfill the criteria are not excluded or ignored, but the more of them you can check off, the better your chances of being selected. More importantly, improving your extension is also good for your business.
The following are easy ways to improve your chances of selection – and they are good for your business:
Again, congratulations to our new Staff Picks! And thank you to all of the Industry Partners and independent developers that have posted extensions. Your extensions are driving real benefits for Magento merchants, enriching Magento solutions and improving the Magento ecosystem. Thank you – and keep up the good work!
With 56% of eBusiness decision makers polled by Forrester Research, Inc* planning to increase their eCommerce technology investment, you need to ask the right questions to ensure that your project achieves the ROI that you expect.
Join guest speakers, Forrester principal analyst, Peter Sheldon, and Forrester consultant, Michael Speyer, to hear about the latest eCommerce industry trends impacting merchants’ technology purchase decisions and learn about Forrester Consulting’s Total Economic Impact model as a framework for building a business case for your eCommerce implementation or expansion.
Peter Sheldon, Forrester Principal Analyst serving eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals, will present his latest insights into the state of eCommerce and an overview of key cost and ROI considerations in measuring the business impact of your eCommerce platform.
Michael Speyer, Forrester Principal Consultant serving Sales Enablement Professionals will present the Total Economic Impact model and the key findings of the commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Magento – The Total Economic Impact of the Magento Enterprise eCommerce Platform.
The webinar is on Thursday, July 18, from 9am-10am PDT
* Source: September 2012 “The Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012”, Forrester Research
My grandfather purchased a new Oldsmobile every three years for most of his adult life. He was a mechanical engineer and an educated consumer who knew more about cars than most people. He didn’t buy an Oldsmobile because it was the best product for the best deal. My grandfather purchased the same brand of car every three years because he purchased it from the same salesman. That salesman knew his business and paid attention to my grandfather. The Olds salesman connected with my grandfather emotionally, and sold him car after car without haggling on price, so, my grandfather, the tech-savvy engineer, was a fiercely loyal Oldsmobile man.
Loyal eCommerce customers cost less to maintain than it costs to acquire a new customer. They have higher average order values and tend to advocate your message to friends. A recent Adobe study, ROI from Marketing to Existing Online Customers, shows that across retail verticals in the US, on average, 8% of online customers are repeat shoppers, and they make up 41% of total revenue.
To gain more repeat buyers and loyal customers, start by understanding what your passions are and where you want your business to go. Then look at your customers and discover what they care about. Understand the emotional benefit your customers receive from your brand. With this, you can turn good customers into fiercely loyal customers. Fiercely loyal customers won’t bother looking for somewhere else to shop, and they tend to bring others to your brand. They are loyal with heartfelt, powerful intensity. Achieving this with customers that you can’t shake hands with and look in the eye takes planning, honesty and vision, but when done right, can be very efficient and effective. Continue reading article…
About the Author: Rocket Web is a full service Magento strategy, design and development boutique based in the Chicago area. Rocket Web is thrilled to contribute to the art of e-commerce as the winner of the Most Innovative Magento Enterprise site of 2012 for our work with Delicious Karma. We are continuously driven to innovate and solve complex problems with elegant solutions. Focusing on specialty foods, relaxed luxury goods and B2B verticals, Rocket Web offers a personalized, adaptive approach in partnering with merchants to dominate their market. You can follow us on twitter @rocketwebinc or the CEO @mattmac.
Tickets for MagentoLive Australia are selling quickly and the Early Bird tickets are almost sold out! This is going to be a great local event to:
Meet Key Magento Executives and Industry Leaders
Over the course of our experience, we’ve found there are generally two types of merchants: those who understand the importance of design and those who will. Site design—which encompasses visual design, user experience, and even content—helps to implicitly and explicitly establish customer trust. It helps define your brand and differentiate it from the competition, and there’s no shortage of that. To help merchants get the most out of their Magento Enterprise Edition investment, we’ve put together a list of some key areas for you to consider when building or upgrading your eCommerce channel.
Custom Interface Design
One of our favorite aspects of Magento Enterprise Edition is the complete control the platform offers in terms of customizing the look and feel of a site. When it comes to the visual look and user interface, the sky’s the limit, and this is a major advantage of the platform. Sure, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of prepackaged themes available, but your business and brand are unique. Every aspect of your site design should reflect that. The key is to “conform the website to the content, rather than conforming the content to a predetermined layout,” says Bryan Herhold, Front-End Team Lead and certified Magento Developer at Gorilla Group. Take advantage of the flexibility that Magento Enterprise Edition affords, and make your eCommerce channel truly yours.
Design for the Experience
Conversion is the primary goal of any eCommerce business, but there’s more than one way to get there. For instance, a multi-channel retailer competing primarily on price and service may be most concerned with design that gets customers to add products to their cart and through checkout as quickly as possible. Whereas, a brand manufacturer may need design that places more importance on demonstrating their product’s quality, or building community and brand loyalty, in order to meet their customer’s needs and expectations. Finding the right place within this spectrum of experiences influences both primary conversion events (sales) and secondary events (signups, shares, reviews, in-store visits, etc.). Read entire article…
About the Author: Combining award-winning website design, development, strategy, post-launch managed services and hosting, Gorilla delivers innovative ecommerce solutions to B2B and direct-to-consumer brands across industries. A Magento Gold Solution partner headquartered in Chicago, Gorilla has unmatched expertise creating unique, functional shopping experiences that connect brands with their customers, producing better ROI through the digital channel. That’s why Gorilla is a Smarter Species of Commerce. www.gorillagroup.com
eCommerce Forums are coming to a city near you!
Attend one of these informative eCommerce events and learn about Magento Enterprise and how to attract more customers, improve customer loyalty, increase average order value, maximize online revenue and much, much more.
Click on the calendar date to register for an event!
Space at these events is reserved for merchants and their eCommerce decision makers. There is no charge, but you must register to attend.