Magento U Announcements: Magento U in Kiev and Sydney!

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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.

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Fundamentals of Magento Development
Kiev, Ukraine
July 29–August 2, 8 am–5:30 pm
Breakfast and lunch provided

*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.

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This course will also be available in:

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands » July 22–26 Register
  • Sydney, Australia » August 26–30 Register

Upcoming Online Instructor-led Courses


*All of these courses are instructor-led

Check out our full course list and class schedule.

Magento Developer Certification at MagentoLive Australia


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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


MagentoLive Australia Is Sold Out!

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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.

For more information about the event, visit the MagentoLive Australia site. You can also follow the event on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #MagentoLive to talk about the conference!


Four Reasons To Join Us At MagentoLive Australia

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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!

View Schedule

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:

  • How Great Fulfillment Drives Greater Sales
  • Carl Hartmann from Temando
  • Going Local: Strategies for Bringing Your Store to China and Eastern Asia
  • Patrick Deloy from Bluecom
  • Make it Personal, Make it Matter: Strategies for Boosting Sales
  • Tim West from White Labelled
  • Build it Right: Laying the Foundation for Magento Performance and Optimization
  • Chris Wells from Nexcess
  • Every Screen Counts: Designing for Today’s Multi-Screen Reality
  • Justin Milwidsky from Netstarter

3. Special SEO Session

  • Keep Current with Search Engine Practices to Enhance Performance on Magento Enterprise Edition
  • Danny Essner from Magento
  • This Magento U course provides an up-to-date understanding of the SEO environment and how you can optimize your site to boost your organic search results.

    Sign up for this 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..

When:
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
4:00pm – 6:00pm

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 merchantsession@magento.com.

*The Merchant to Merchant event is open only to merchants on Magento Enterprise Edition.


Enter To Win At The 2013 Canada Post E-commerce Innovation Awards

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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:

  • Best Multi-Channel Retailer (Large and Small)
  • Best E-tailer (Large and Small)
  • Most Innovative Retailer (Large and Small)
  • Consumer Champion (as voted by Canadians)

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.

Watch the announcement of winners at last year’s Awards Gala

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.


Optaros: A Solution Partner’s Perspective on Magento Developer Certification

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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 is now a Gold Solution Partner and member of the Magento Advisory Board with twenty-five Magento Certified Developer Plus and three Magento Front End Certified Developers.

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.

Flexibility

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.

Scalability

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.

Cost

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.

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New Staff Picks Selected in Magento Connect

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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!

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SimpleRelevance

SimpleRelevance allows you to send highly personalized, targeted email to your customers for better customer engagement and ultimately more revenue for your store.

 
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Bronto

The Bronto extension helps Magento customers to drive more sales faster by creating highly targeted lifecycle marketing campaigns that convert one-time buyers into repeat customers and motivate them to buy more.

 
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Addshoppers: Social Commerce Platform

AddShoppers helps you leverage social media to make more sales with smarter sharing buttons for eCommerce, social rewards to drive sales, actionable analytics, and way more.

 
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BrightPearl: Commerce Acceleration Platform

BrightPearl is a Commerce Acceleration Platform designed to help you grow your business faster and more profitably by managing inventory, orders, shipping, accounting and CRM in one place.

 
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Olark Live Chat

Olark’s on-page chat lets you answer questions immediately and keep your customers shopping.

 

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:

  • The extension offers something unique to merchants
  • It drives real value and benefits for merchants
  • Its extension and developer profiles are complete and well thought-out, including detailed benefits, feature functionality and service descriptions, as well as UI screenshots
  • The extension developer provides strong technical support
  • The extension has a good overall rating from the Magento Connect community, plus a good number of individual ratings
  • The extension’s Magento Connect page has strong, regular traffic
  • The extension is available for multiple recent versions of either Magento Enterprise Edition or Magento Community Edition
  • Magento Enterprise Edition extensions have few or no Magento Tech Support tickets (Not applicable to Community Edition extensions)

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:

  • Improve your extension and developer profiles (e.g. focus on benefits and value, not just feature functionality. Sure features are great, but why should a merchant use them? What benefits will they get?)
  • Make sure you are supporting the latest version of either Magento Enterprise Edition or Magento Community Edition
  • Improve your developer support – customer service is everything!
  • Request reviews. Following up with your customers post-integration can not only help you understand how to improve your product, but it’s also great customer service. So follow up, ask questions, and request reviews!

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!


Measuring the Business Impact of Your eCommerce Platform

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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

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* Source: September 2012 “The Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q3 2012”, Forrester Research


The 3 Components of Building eCommerce Customer Loyalty

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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.


MagentoLive Australia Early Bird Tickets Are Almost Sold Out!

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
Connect with eCommerce Experts
Get Insider Ideas and I…

Creating a Better Performing Magento Enterprise Site by Design

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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


Magento eCommerce Forums are heading to Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles and New York City!

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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!

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Indianapolis, IN

Stephen Kidwell, eCommerce Practice Director of Precision Dialogue, will highlight how you can optimize your site to meet the demands of the connected customer through responsive design, SEO tactics, usability best practices, social media optimization and more. You’ll also learn why Buy Our Bottles chose Magento as their eCommerce platform of choice.

 
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Los Angeles, CA

A team of technical, creative and other eCommerce experts from Magento, EYEMAGINE, Zerolag, Kiosked, Listrak, and Avalara are coming together for a dynamic evening of discussions and networking, focused on innovative eCommerce design with Magento Enterprise.

 
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Kansas City, MO

eCommerce experts from Magento and partners Classy Llama, Channel Advisor and Nexcess will cover how to define the “core” of your business, use data and intuition to guide a cohesive online strategy, and understand the “Natural Order” of eCommerce.

 
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New York, NY

Magento and our partners Pod1 and Listrak will give practical advice on creating a seamless, engaging, and exciting experience for your customers that tells your story. You will also learn what other merchants are doing to build a loyal customer base.

 

Space at these events is reserved for merchants and their eCommerce decision makers. There is no charge, but you must register to attend.

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Looking to Improve Your Resume? Get Magento Certified!

Magento Certification can help you:

Prove your advanced knowledge of Magento Enterprise Edition
Stand out to hiring managers
Make more money!

Get Certified Now!
For a limited time, we are offering a $25.00 eBay gift card to anyone who passes a M…

Registration is Now Open for MagentoLive Australia

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Join MagentoLive in Australia!

MagentoLive events are part of our ongoing efforts to provide members of the Magento ecosystem with more opportunities to connect locally. We’re kicking this year’s events off with MagentoLive Australia, and we hope you can join us!

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Speakers

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Meet Key Magento Executives and Industry Leaders

and sit in on exclusive conversations about eCommerce trends and growth.

Sponsors

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Connect with eCommerce Experts

including merchants from successful brands, Magento Solution Partners and community members.

Schedule

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Get Insider Ideas and Information

you can use to take your business to the next level.

Location

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The Sydney Sofitel

This modern, five-star hotel is located at in the heart of the central business district, and it is walking distance to many of Sydney’s major icons and world famous attractions. The MagentoLive Australia conference area will have a spacious layout over one main level to increase networking opportunities and easily transition between the sessions, exhibit and catering areas.

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Pricing

  • Available Now
  • After Early Bird Sold Out – June 11
  • June 12 – July 9
  • After July 10
  • Limited Early Bird Rate
  • Advanced Rate
  • Standard Rate
  • Last Minute Rate
  • $95
  • $115
  • $125
  • $145
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    More Information


    Call for Speaker Submissions
    Become a Sponsor
    Take a Magento Certification Exam
    Past MagentoLive videos

    Hope to see you in Sydney!


    Interact With a Magento Expert at the Instructor-Led Fundamentals of Magento Development Course

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    Magento U’s On-Demand course “Fundamentals of Magento Development” is a great way to learn development and implementation best-practices on your own schedule. But should you also take the instructor-led version? Absolutely! But…why? What are the benefits of taking the course in person?

    To answer that question, we went out and spoke to to some Magento U graduates. Adam Ring, Technical Project Manager at Temple & Webster says, “The Magento U Fundamentals instructor-led course was ideal for Temple & Webster because it allowed us to interact directly with an expert Magento Evangelist. They were able to answer our most complex Magento questions. The Fundamentals course is appropriately in-depth which has helped us enormously by providing us with much greater context to our understanding of the Magento platform. Highly recommended for those serious about the getting the best out of Magento.”

    Ben Marks, an experienced Magento U instructor, also gave us his perspective in this new video–check it out!

    For more information on Magento U and our upcoming courses, check out the Magento U site.


    Making Big Data Useful for SMBs

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    Big Data is one of the most over-used and over-hyped terms these days, and it’s getting to a point where people seem to replace “data” with “Big Data” altogether. With so much hype and interest in Big Data, it’s hard to ignore it. And yet, when we speak to small-to-mid-sized online retailers, they struggle to understand what Big Data is and whether it can really help a business that isn’t quite so big.


    There are two popular definitions of Big Data:

    Gartner defines Big Data as, “High volume, high velocity, and/or high variety information assets that require new forms of processing to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery and process optimization.”

    Forrester on the other hand, uses a more business-friendly definition: “Big Data is the frontier of a firm’s ability to store, process, and access (SPA) all the data it needs to operate effectively, make decisions, reduce risks, and serve customers.”

    Take the “Big” out of it, and it comes down to understanding how to use all data to meet customer needs and grow your business.

    There are three key concepts of a data-driven approach:

    1. Results Oriented Execution: This means that you are looking to drive a business outcome, such as growing your revenues by 10%. Before you launch any strategy, you should know what results you want. This will help you understand what data you should be tracking and analyzing, and how it reflects on your strategy’s effectiveness.

    2. Data Driven Decision Making: This means that you are looking to reduce the trial and error that comes with making decisions on gut-feel and anecdotal information. Instead, you are looking to move to making informed decisions using data.

    3. Focus on Actionable Data: This means that you are looking to focus on data that helps you make the decisions you need to achieve the results you aspire.

    When viewed in this light, it becomes a lot easier to avoid getting distracted from the hype of Big Data, and instead focus on deriving the maximum value from all data you have access to.

    There are a number of ways to get started here. One helpful approach is recognizing that there are different types of data. A useful segmentation is along the depth and breadth of the data available:

    • Micro, or “narrow” data, refers to deep transactional, customer or segmentation data.

    • Macro, or “broad” data, refers to shallow and wide data such as market data, indices, market trends and more.

    Both Micro and Macro data are Big Data, and Magento merchants of all sizes can glean actionable insights from both.

    Micro data can reveal greater insights about differences in customer behavior on your store. For example, identifying key segments such as first time buyers, loyal customers, most valuable customers, and measuring their purchase behavior and contribution to revenue, can reveal valuable differences in customer behavior. Armed with these insights, merchants can target segments with appropriate offers and messages. Similarly, conducting A/B testing can provide merchants with insights on messages and strategies that work with their customer base.

    Macro data can help add context to your online store performance. For example, comparing sales growth for your store with relevant category trends can help identify opportunities for performance improvement. Similarly, profiling transacting customers along demographic attributes can help merchants identify dominant personas and target their keyword-spend accordingly.

    Magento Connect offers a number of extensions that specialize in analyzing both “micro” and “macro” data. Check out Lexity,
    RJ Metrics,
    Terapeak (Analytics);
    AddShoppers (Social Analytics);
    Windsor Circle,
    Bronto,
    Springbot (Segmentation and Targeting);
    Optimizely (A/B Testing); and
    Fanplayr (Offers).

    These are just a handful of specialized extensions found on the Magento Connect marketplace that offer unique insights with clever analysis of data. With access to the right insights, Magento merchants can start taking advantage of Big Data to compete more effectively.

    Author:

    Abhi Rele
    Principal Product Manager, Magento Big Data and Analytics

    We welcome your inputs and feedback. You can reach me at abrele@ebay.com or via Twitter (@abhirele)

    Related Links: “Hidden Gems: Using Data Driven Insights to Grow Revenue”, panel discussion at Imagine 2013 in Las Vegas, April 8-10, 2013


    New Forrester Study Examines Total Economic Impact of the Magento Enterprise eCommerce Platform

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    Based on interviews with five Magento merchants who migrated from other eCommerce solutions, Forrester Consulting created a composite merchant with $40m in annual online sales and analyzed the main costs, revenue lift, and ROI attributable to the Magento platform.

    The study concludes, “Overall, we found that Magento Enterprise Edition provided the interviewed merchants with a stable, scalable, flexible platform that contributed to their incremental online revenue growth.”

    Total Economic Impact

    “Magento Enterprise Edition Enables A Scalable eCommerce Platform That Drives Businesses’
    Growth”

    For a hypothetical composite merchant with $40 million in online sales that operates both brick-and-mortar stores as well as its eCommerce website, the study found that with the Magento Enterprise Edition Commerce platform the composite merchant experienced the three-year risk-adjusted costs and benefits shown in the below table:*

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    Revenue Uplift

    “The composite merchant experiences an average revenue uplift of 17.3%. Of this, 20% is attributed directly to the Magento platform. We note that the interviewed merchants attributed between 10% and 80% of their revenue uplift to the Magento platform. For the interviewed merchants, revenue uplift was driven by more frequent marketing activities, sales events, and site optimization, which are enabled by Magento’s features and scalability.”*

    To read the full commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, The Total Economic Impact of the Magento Enterprise Edition eCommerce Platform, please go to: magento.com/tei

    * Forrester Consulting – The Total Economic Impact Of The Magento Enterprise eCommerce Platform – p. 2.


    Designer Tracy Reese Re-launches on Magento Enterprise Edition

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    Tracy Reese’s designs have been worn by luminaries such as First Lady Michelle Obama, but Reese’s website wasn’t delivering the experience (or the sales) that she wanted.

    So she turned to Magento Solution Partner One Rockwell, and they rebuilt TracyReese.com using Magento Enterprise Edition.

    The results?

    • A site that reflects Reese’s sensibilities
    • Improved definition of Reese’s brands (Tracy Reese and plenty)
    • Dramatically improved sales and conversion
    • View Tracy Reese’s Success Story

      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.

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      Magento Passion Pervades Internet Retailer Conference in Chicago

       
      Tuesday Night: Capacity-Crowd Party
      IRCE 2013 kicked-off Tuesday night in Chicago, and Magento helped everyone celebrate by hosting an incredible party. More than 800 people joined the Magento team at Public House, Chicago’s most-famous gastro…

      Maximizing the Power of Google’s Paid Shopping Feed

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      Welcome to The New Age: Making The Most of Google’s Paid Shopping Feed

      Traffic from Google Shopping has been a major source of traffic for the eCommerce industry for over 10 years now. While it’s gone by different names like Google Base and requirements have evolved over the years, the basics remained the same: submit accurate data, with product inventory, pricing, and links to images, and the world’s largest search engine would send traffic your way.

      This all changed in Q3 2012, sending shockwaves and panic through the industry as merchants attempted to grapple with the change amid a busy holiday season. Amazingly, despite all of the advance notice and forum buzz, many merchants were caught unawares and had to adapt quickly, sometimes haphazardly. Now that we have had a full 9-month gestation period to deliver the change, let’s revisit the changes to Google Shopping and talk about how to get the most out of the platform!

      October 2012: Conception

      If you were one of the merchants affected by this change, or you’ve been interested in getting started with Google Shopping Product Listing Ads (PLA), but weren’t sure how to get a good return on your investment, keep reading. Google Shopping’s change from a free shopping portal to a paid shopping comparison engine was seemingly inevitable, as Google was one of the last shopping engines to embrace this model, albeit late in the game.

      Though Google had been slowly adding more and more paid listing categories and benefits during the first part of 2012, the final cutoff of free traffic didn’t come until late 2012.

      What Has Google Shopping Delivered?

      Here are the big differences:

      • All Google Shopping is now paid search. There are no more freebies. Google claims that going the paid route will introduce more accountability to the shopping portal, which for years had been known to feature grossly inaccurate or misleading product listings. “Put your money where your mouth is” sums it up.

      • Google PLAs now show up in traditional PPC spots (above organic listings and to the right side), whereas the traditional listings before intermingled with the organic results. This provides a vitrine for your products, rather than being tossed into the open market of organic listings.

      • Shopping feeds are now managed both through the Merchant Center and Google AdWords. You feed your products to your Merchant Center account, but the real heavy lifting is done inside AdWords, where you control your bids, promotional text, and ad groups.

      You Need This!

      If you haven’t leveraged Google Shopping to generate traffic before, now is the best times to get into it: the holiday rush is over, the metrics are in, and the new platform is still in its infancy, so you can jump in at relatively low rates and a high return on investment.

      The holiday rush at the end of last year provided some opportunity to get hard metrics on Google Shopping’s effectiveness, traffic generation, and cost, and man, are they impressive!

      Many of the merchants and systems integrators we work with have confided to us that traditional PPC is too expensive to manage. We know from our own numbers that Google’s PLA ads are much cheaper than the average cost of PPC ads, and these reports show even more compelling reasons to jump on the PLA bandwagon.

      Google Shopping Rocks!

      Product Listing Ad rates average a mere $.31/click, while PPC rates averaged $1.04 in 2011.

      • Not only are they cheaper, they have a greater Click-Thru Rate (CTR): 73% higher than standard text PPC ads.

      • Conversion rates for PLA ads are an additional 35% higher, meaning that prospects are finding the right products sooner, so you waste less money on clicks made by mistake.

      • During Q4, Google Shopping was cheaper than Amazon Product Ads by an average of 32.5%, while driving 96.08% more traffic!

      • Pricegrabber, usually one of the largest traffic-generating shopping portals, was absolutely dominated by Google Shopping, which sent participating merchants 62% more traffic.

      • All other product comparison engines except for two increased their rates, making Google Shopping an even bigger standout success.

      The gravy train of low cost, high ROI Google Product Listing Ads, however, will undoubtedly not last forever. At the 2013 Magento Imagine Conference in Las Vegas, several agencies reported that they were seeing increased competition and higher prices for PLAs. Even so, returns continue to be much better than keyword search pay per click rates. Taking advantage of this disruption in the marketplace is the main reason you should consider jumping in now to gain market share.

      Making The Most of Google Shopping

      In order to get set up, you will need to set up your Google Merchant Account (honestly, just Google it!) and connect it to your Magento Enterprise store. Razoyo has used several Magento Google Shopping feeds, but, we prefer Wyomind’s solution for its ease of use and flexibility.

      Once you’ve got the basics set up and you’ve established your first feed, you can explore ways to increase your CTR while reducing your cost. There are several tricks to remember when trying to optimize your Google Shopping strategy on Magento, so be sure to implement these tips.

      1. First, make sure that your data is accurate. As mentioned at the top of the post, part of Google’s impetus to move to paid listings was to force higher quality data standards upon their merchants, filtering out spam listings and over-bidding poor data quality into oblivion. If your data’s not at the top of its game, it’s time for it to hit the gym one more time and come back after a little more training! What this means is that you need to make sure all of your attributes properly match up with Google’s required attributes list.

      2. Make sure you get your Product Identifiers, Brands, and Conditions correct. Google uses these attributes to match products up in Google Shopping, and this can have a significant impact on your cost per click!

      3. If a required attribute doesn’t exist, create it, fill it out in your products, and map the attribute to Google Shopping. Failure to provide clean data means that your average bid rate could be higher, and your account will be at risk for suspension and eventually closure.

      4. If you have different products that aren’t of the same Category type, I would strongly encourage you to create new attribute sets to map to Google Shopping. You may need to do a product export, delete products from the existing Attribute Set that will be moved, then re-import these products into the new Attribute Set. Yes, this is a lot of work, but if you’re not going to put the products into the proper Google Shopping Category, you might as well not even start, because you’ll spend yourself out of business or get your account shut down for bad data (miscategorizing products is about as bad as it gets).

      5. Make your ads stand out. Using alternative, non-supplier images that no one else has is a good way to get your CTR average up. PLAs can also use AdWord’s promotion feature to highlight your special offers, like free shipping or coupon codes.

      If you follow these steps and check out the resources above, you’ll be well on your way to Google Shopping prowess! I truly hope this guide has been helpful to you.

      Paul Byrne
      President, Razoyo

      About Razoyo
      Razoyo is an eCommerce consultancy that specializes in creating, optimizing and managing Magento web stores and has extensive experience working on Magento Enterprise Edition, Magento Go and Magento Community Edition.


      Connect with the Magento Team at IRCE Chicago

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      Meet the Magento team at the IRCE Conference in Chicago, June 4th-7th, 2013 for a great week of learning, networking and fun!

      Visit Magento at Booth 1429

      While you’re at IRCE, make sure to visit Magento at booth 1429 in the expo hall and learn how you can take your business to the next level with Magento Enterprise Edition, our powerful, scalable and flexible eCommerce solution. Inside the booth you’ll be able to see a demonstration of Magento 1.13, win gift certificates to Magento-powered stores and meet the Magento team.

      Magento Mania – $15,000 in Giveaways

      More than 30 Magento Solution & Industry Partners will also be at IRCE. Stop by the Magento booth to pick up a Magento Mania Map, which will guide you to each of our partners’ booths, where you can earn gift cards to shop from some amazing Magento Enterprise Edition-powered brands. Magento and its partners are offering a chance to win over $15,000 in giveaways!

      Party with Magento Tuesday Night

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      We invite you to kick-off the event with one our world-famous Magento parties. Join us June 4, 7:30-11:00 pm, at Public House for Magento’s IRCE Networking Party. Enjoy live music, great food and the opportunity to network with the Magento and eBay, Inc. teams, our Magento Partners and other merchants. The party is free, but please RSVP to secure your spot. We can’t wait to see you there!

      RSVP for Magento’s Networking Party