UPDATED for 2021: How to Prep Magento for Peak Performance during the Holidays

UPDATED for 2021: How to Prep Magento for Peak Performance during the Holidays

Summer is flying by and it’s time to plan for the holiday shopping rush. As experienced Magento developers, we are very familiar with merchants turning to us for direction and help with how to get their sites ready for the holiday season. We’ve seen merchants experience 2/3 more traffic or process double (or triple) the number of transactions during November and December compared to the rest of the year.

Notably, the Magento Business Intelligence group found that merchants acquire up to 59% more customers during the holidays compared to the rest of the year. That’s a lot of new site traffic. Can your Magento site handle that big of an uptick in new visitors? With nearly 60% more new customers preparing to visit your website in a couple months, it would be smart to run performance tests now. 

Tip 1 – Page Load Speed Optimization

%

of shoppers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.

%

of shoppers abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load.

%

of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from the same site again.

Magento can be a very involved platform to work with. Most Magento instances are so customized that there is no other site exactly like another. That dynamic creates several potential points of failure if your code and server configuration are not optimized to work together. Module conflicts, unoptimized CSS/JS, and any potential server-side issues need to be identified and resolved. Unresolved code issues can cause major page speed performance issues and become detrimental during an otherwise very profitable time of the year.

If your site shows signs of performance issues and slow load times now, how will it perform during peak traffic times come November? It’s critical to perform site load tests before the real traffic influx begins. Contact your hosting company before performing any tests and work with them and your development team to identify any possible issues with server resources. 

It’s also important to note that page load times and user engagement metrics contribute to your PPC quality score. Those holiday PPC campaigns could take a hit if load times are poor. Key engagement metrics to monitor are bounce rate, time on page, time on site, and pages/session. A fast site will also help your PPC cost-per-click and impressions. In addition, we’ve also seen load times have a positive or a negative effect on SEO. Page load speed is critical across the board for the success of your site.

Tip 2 – UX/UI Optimization

Not only is site traffic at its peak during the holiday season, but customers’ tolerance and attention levels are low, as they tend to be in a hurry to complete their holiday shopping activities. Make your site easy to navigate and streamline the browsing experience for customers by removing conversion blockers. Bounce rates are naturally higher during the holidays as people quickly window shop and bargain hunt. Optimize poorly performing pages, ensure page load times are at their best, and keep your product offering up to date to avoid high bounce rates.

A quick way to optimize under-performing landing pages is to identify your lowest bounce rate landing page(s) in Google Analytics. Analyze those lowest bounce rate pages and try to find ways to improve engagement across your site. Of course a more thorough review of your shopping experience (complete with A/B tests) would be the most beneficial for optimization. However, there are valuable opportunities available for improvement that can be discovered through a Google analytics review.

The maintenance of products and pricing is also vital.

    • Keep catalog images, product descriptions, prices, inventory, and shipping rates clear and updated. 
    • Ensure your pricing is competitive. Have import/export templates set up so you can easily update pricing on the fly. That way, you’re not scrambling when a competitor suddenly has a flash sale. 
    • Make sure your strongest products (best selling, best price, or highest inventory) are easy to find for customers on your category and landing pages. 
    • In addition, make sure your upsell, cross sell and related products are all set up and relevant to each other.

Don’t Ignore Mobile Traffic

Magento can be a very involved platform to work with. Most Magento instances At least a third of your traffic during the holidays is going to be from mobile devices. Mobile sales will account for more than half in most retail industries. Perform a thorough, unbiased review of your mobile shopping experience from the homepage down through the checkout process. Remove any conversion blockers, consolidate any redundant pages or steps in the checkout. Do not mark any checkout fields as required unless they really are required. Finally, make sure chatbot and email sign-up pop-ups are disabled on mobile!

Tip 3 – Security Optimization

Site security is also critical for overall site performance during the holidays and always. If your Magento site isn’t upgraded to the latest version or is missing Security Patches, you are at risk for security issues. We’ve encountered several merchants over the last year or so who have ignored security or bug patches. Or, merchants have severely delayed the upgrading of their Magento sites. By ignoring Magento Security Patches or avoiding updates, merchants are opening themselves up to a much larger problem. Problems like legal indemnification since many maintain publicly that they are PCI compliant while leaving gaping security holes in their site’s infrastructure. 

Beyond the cost and headache of what a data breach could do, merchants could lose a solid portion of customers. In fact, 31% of customers terminated their relationship with a targeted business after a breach was discovered. No merchant wants to be the next Target fail. Make sure your Magento site is upgraded or patched as soon as possible.

Tip 4 – Review and Test

It’s important to be proactive about performance testing to be prepared well in advance of holiday traffic. Merchants need to test the shopping experience on their site.  Be sure that the browsing process, shopping cart and checkout is a seamless experience for your customers.  

Review your site analytics. Verify that key engagement metrics such as bounce rate, time on page, time on site, and pages/session are performing well. Look for dips in data and bottlenecks. Pull data from the prior holiday season. Review what issues you had and where your site could improve. In addition, note what worked well for your site and look for ways to improve based on positive metrics. Analyzing your own data can save a lot of time and solve a lot of puzzles when it comes to customer experience and site performance issues.

Run perform load tests and user-based browsing tests to make sure your site is ready for any expected (and unexpected) traffic spikes. Performance tests and implementation can be a test and tune process. We’ve worked with merchants with complicated, and not so complicated, infrastructures. It can take time to locate the cause of issues and bottlenecks. Sometimes “simple” tasks can cause hiccups that take time to diagnose and find the ideal configuration. Performance tests need to be conducted long before the holidays to be successful and in place before the traffic picks up.

Get started now – or very soon.

If you are missing patches or haven’t reviewed your analytics in a while, don’t fret. Merchants still have time to get started on performance testing to get an idea of what they will need to have in place come October and November. Contact us to learn more about performance testing options or to get help with your UX/UI optimization. Or, give us a call to talk to a Magento expert: 513-469-3345.

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7 Simple A/B Tests to Improve Your eCommerce Site

7 Simple A/B Tests to Improve Your eCommerce Site

No matter how much time and resources you devote to building the most modern, most user-friendly automotive eCommerce website, there are always going to be features that can be improved upon. That’s where A/B testing comes in. 

 A/B testing comes down to making small adjustments to your website until you find the combination that resonates most with your audience. This means that there are few “ah-ha!” moments; with A/B testing it’s all about baby steps. But be patient, let the testing data inform you, and you will reap serious rewards. 

 Whether this is your first attempt at A/B testing or you’re already on a never-ending quest for ways to improve your eCommerce site and increase sales conversions, here are seven simple A/B tests to try for your automotive eCommerce site.

Show Your Product Alone or In Context?

Of course you are going to feature your products with great, high-res images, but what’s the best way to display them? Do users want to see the product in action or just against a solid background? A/B testing will tell you.

Product Videos

Every single bit of research and data shows that video is the future. Even the most crisp, beautiful high-res images have limitations. Video is as close as merchants can get to bring their product to life, short of having customers physically hold the parts or products in their hands. If you haven’t yet fully committed to product videos, start with a few for some select products and see how they perform. If you already have product videos, test out an auto-play option and add captions to make it accessible and to catch the eye of customers surfing your site with their sound off.

List View vs Mosaic

It’s the job of your website to make it as easy as possible for customers to find the right product. But, what’s the best way to organize your products visually? For some, a grid view is more successful. For others, a mosaic produces better results. Try A/B testing the visual layout of your product pages and compare the user engagement for a list view versus a mosaic view. You could also ultimately provide both view options via small buttons above the product results, as CARiD does, if you find that your shoppers respond well to having the choice.

BIGGER calls to action

Customers should never have to search for what they’re looking for on your page. It should always be fairly obvious where they should go for what they need. If they can’t find where to check out or add to the cart then your site is failing. Those are the two most important elements of your store and when it comes to those CTAs, bigger is better. But what design, color scheme, and wording on your buttons work best? Test it out.

Feature Contact Information

It may seem like something small, but adding your contact information can have a big impact on your conversions. Relationships are built on trust, and customer/merchant relationships are no different. Customers want to know how to get in touch with you if something goes awry. Try prominently listing your email address, phone number, and (if applicable) physical location across the top of your site and see if your conversions are boosted.

Static Image over Carousel

Carousels have fallen out of favor in recent years. Testing has shown they can often be distracting to customers, causing them to overlook details that merchants are often trying to get noticed, such as sales and new products. Automotive eCommerce customers also crave control, which auto-carousels remove. So if you’re using a carousel (banner slider) at the top of your pages, try swapping that out for a static hero image with a single, clear proposition. You may find that one bold image and message resonates more than a flurry of images and options. CARiD’s homepage is a great example, enabling shoppers to immediately enter their vehicle’s details to find the best products for their needs.

Highlight a Price Reduction

If you’ve recently reduced the price of an item, make sure your customers know about it by showing them visually. But what’s the most effective way to show them? That’s what you need to test. Perhaps it’s a ‘slashed’ price like JEGS uses on their website, different colored text, or an icon on the product image. There’s only one way to find out which works best for your site: A/B test it.

What to Prioritize With A/B Testing

You can avoid costly mistakes with your A/B testing if you know what to prioritize. Here are some things to do and keep in mind as you begin.

Test Your Most Profitable Pages First – Start where the money is. Begin testing on the pages that bring you the most traffic and the most money to build on that success.

Assign A/B Testing to a Single Person – Give one person on your team the responsibility of A/B testing management, implementation, monitoring and reporting. The term “too many cooks in the kitchen” definitely applies to A/B testing. Keep things simple and empower a single person to handle these aspects.

Don’t Forget About Mobile – Perform A/B tests on both mobile and desktop. Results for mobile can be 180 degrees off from results you see on desktop. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other.

Start Big – Begin by testing the larger elements on your pages; hero images, purchase buttons, product descriptions. Don’t get bogged down with testing the smaller elements until you’ve tested the larger elements and improved those first.

Test a Single Element At a Time – Select one element at a time to test, otherwise your results are going to be skewed and you won’t be able to determine what elements that are being tested are effecting the page. 

 

Our team has a lot of experience in A/B testing to determine the most profitable outcome for automotive eCommerce websites. If you’re ready to get the absolute most out of your website, contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

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Magento’s Most Recent Platform Update

Magento’s Most Recent Platform Update

Recently, Adobe announced their last Mid-Quarter Release (MQR) for 2020 that include enhancements you need to know. Keep scrolling to check out important Magento Commerce updates and features.

NEW MAGENTO COMMERCE FEATURES AND UPDATES INCLUDED IN THIS MQR:

  • Product Recommendations Expansion: As a way to deliver more Adobe Sensei value to merchants, Magento has added Visual Similarity to their product recommendations portfolio. Visual Similarity finds products that are visually similar to what shoppers are viewing on their screen by using computer vision. This update helps drive wider catalog exposure, especially to items that have high discoverability needs in a large catalog. To further create even better recommendation experiences, make sure to check out Catalog Sync and Inclusion/Exclusion Filters.
  • Magento Business Intelligence Enhancements: Focusing on multiple areas of your business, Adobe’s Business Intelligence released four new dashboards (Business Intelligence v3.0). Executive and Customer Level dashboards provides  an overview and better understanding of your business. Then, the Order and Product Level dashboards dive deeper to give  a more definitive understanding of the health of your business. Lastly, Adobe introduced Heat Maps as a new visualization feature. Heat Maps allows you to see across multiple dimensions at once. For more information about Business Intelligence, you can check out Adobe’s Tips & Tricks video on Business Intelligence and Marketing Analysis or contact one of our team members.
  • Managed Alerts: By monitoring 200 metrics, you can proactively track your performance on the Magneto platform, take steps to resolve site performance issues and avoid downtime. In Adobe’s last launch, you may have noticed that they supported four different categories of alerts — CPU, APDEX, disk and memory. Now in this update, they have added two new categories: Redis memory and Maria DB alerts. If you would like to stay up to date with these categories, sign up for Managed Alerts notifications by logging into your New Relic dashboard.

For more information or help understanding these updates or improving your webstore, please feel free to reach out to our team at InteractOne at any time.

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UPDATED: Top 10 Magento Extensions for 2021

UPDATED: Top 10 Magento Extensions for 2021

With the new year fast approaching, it’s time to take stock of your business and identify any areas that could be improved upon. Of course, there are plenty of apps and extensions for that, but how do you know which ones are the best? 

We’ve identified our top 10 Magento third-party apps and extensions that will make your eCommerce website the strongest it can be. They’ll also make your life as a merchant that much easier. 

Read on for our list and let us know if there are any you’re missing on your website.

10. Urapidflow Product Import/Export

uRapidFlow is one of the most feature-rich and robust product and sales export and import extensions for Magento. It lives up to its name by providing lightning-speed importing and exporting of all of Magento’s product and sales data. With this extension you can import, export or update thousands of records in a matter of minutes. You can also set up multiple profiles and export or import product data and order data to and from different locations using FTP. This extension is the easiest to use when importing Magento product or order information. You can synchronize data between Magento installations and integrate with other applications using CSV, SOAP or XMLRPC interface.

uRapidFlow

9. Xtento

Xtento aims to make life easier for developers, store owners and merchants, and it achieves that as the most stable and powerful order export and shipment tracking import solution available for Magento. This extension allows merchants the flexibility to set up multiple profiles and export your orders to many different places using one extension. These exports can be done in any text-based format (Text/TXT, Tabbed, CSV/Excel, XML, JSON, SQL, ASCII/Fixed-Length Files) and can include any required field. Xtento can be used to connect your store to almost any CRM, ERP, warehouse, dropshipping or shipping system. Merchants are also empowered to set up an unlimited number of export profiles. All of this can be accomplished from within the admin interface of the extension. 

Xtento

8. Advanced Subscription Products

If you’re selling a product or service on subscription then this extension may be a great solution for you. Advanced Subscription Products for Magento 2 by Aheadworks allows you to create subscriptions with multiple products, create separate shopping carts for subscriptions and more. It helps merchants maximize profits and engage returning purchasers by giving them flexibility and control over subscriptions and the ability to update, renew or extend them with ease. It works with various payment methods including Adyen, Cash On Delivery, Authorize.net, Stripe and NMI. The extension can also handle multiple languages and stores, allowing you to localize recurring payments and subscriptions to all possible markets. This is a big win for B2B businesses. 

Advanced Subscription Products

7. SEO Suite Ultimate Extension

This all-in-one SEO extension by Mageworx is the most popular of its kind for a reason. It covers a full range of onpage SEO activities, from optimizing small page elements to building a well thought out site architecture. Its advanced templates allow you to mass-optimize any meta values, descriptions, URL keys, SEO names and so on for any of your products, categories, CMS and category filter pages. Improve your store click-through rates and boost its visibility with advanced rich snippets. The extension also comes complete with a full arsenal of SEO tools, allowing you to tackle such tasks as eliminating duplicate content, adding breadcrumbs and setting redirects. It also includes the Wave Crypto Payments extension, which enables merchants to collect crypto payments via their eCommerce store. 

SEO Suite Ultimate Extension

6. ShipStation

While we’re on the topic of shipping, ShipStation is another favorite of the InteractOne team. ShipStation is excellent for merchants who need a shipping label printing solution that can scale. Its built-in automation engine allows merchants to have a hands-off approach with a low overhead, all while providing branded and customized labels, packing slips and shipping confirmation emails. It provides a geo-tracking page featuring your brand, social media links and messaging, and a custom self-service portal for fast, hassle-free customer returns. ShipStation even tracks your inventory so you’ll never run out of stock, and provides detailed analytics. If you have multiple Magento stores, ShipStation also allows you to manage and organize them all from a single account. It also boasts integrations with ERP systems like Acumatica and Netsuite, and is fully integrated with more than 25 shipping carriers

ShipStation

5. ShipperHQ

This app is a must-have for most Magento merchants—we touched on this in our blog about Magento’s Top Shipping Rate Quote Solutions. ShipperHQ gives you control over the shipping rates and methods you show customers at checkout, while also providing you with a wealth of options such as multi-origin shipping, in-store pickup, live LTL rates and backup carriers. Set up shipping rules based on what you sell, where a customer is located and more, and automate how boxes are selected for each order for more accurate shipping rates with dimensional packing. ShipperHQ also allows for customization in their Magento extension, allowing you to make adjustments within the Magento checkout code and cover every feature you may require for powering shipping quotes.

4. Klaviyo

Klaviyo is a platform that provides complex customer insights in uncomplicated ways to help you build strong relationships and deliver highly effective marketing. Its power lies in its segmentation and targeting. Its web-tracking system is top notch as it uses specific browsing behavior to segment visitors so they receive specific ad campaigns and emails based on their on-site activity. Klaviyo will help you identify the visitors to your site, who looked but didn’t buy, who is a frequent visitor, who hasn’t visited recently, who left their cart full without purchasing, and so on. With these next-level insights and fine-tuned personalization, you can implement a campaign designed around your visitors’ site-specific actions, helping to dramatically increase your ROI.

3. TaxJar

It’s always tax season for businesses, and our number-one choice to help you with your eCommerce taxes is TaxJar. Currently being utilized by more than 20,000 businesses worldwide, TaxJar is a favorite of large and small businesses alike. The app features Magento’s SmartCalcs API, which determines if, when and how much sales tax needs to be applied and collected on any purchase, foreign or domestic. It allows users to program individual products for different tax rates for different states. But the automation doesn’t stop there. TaxJar utilizes AI-driven tax categorization, a flexible API, certified integrations, and automated filing. This means it accumulates your annual taxes over the course of the year and can file your taxes directly with your home state.

2. Yotpo

Social proof is increasingly important when it comes to increasing sales in eCommerce. Yotpo curates and places that social proof right on your product pages, meaning that visitors don’t have to leave your site to go looking for it. This extension offers the most advanced solutions for customer reviews, visual marketing, loyalty, referrals and SMS marketing. Yotpo integrates with Magento to collect high-quality content that shoppers crave—including photos, videos and reviews—and dynamically display it on your website using AI. It also helps you craft on-brand customer loyalty programs and leverage intelligent UX to gain low-cost acquisition via referral programs. With Yotpo you can create high-converting mobile experiences by targeting shoppers with personalized messages, and acquire high-intent traffic by displaying user-generated content in social, paid and organic search results.

1. Klevu

We sang Klevu’s praises in a previous blog and we’re going to do it again! This AI-powered  on-site smart search remains our favorite. It’s low-maintenance, easy to implement and will provide you with unique insights over time as its machine learning develops a greater understanding of the topics your visitors are engaging with on-site. We particularly like the Autocomplete feature, which will make suggestions to your site’s visitors while they are typing in their search. It also adds contextually relevant synonyms to your catalog in metadata format, and offers advanced merchandising and actionable search insights. It’s loved by over 3,000 retailers worldwide. Overall, Klevu is a great resource for merchants and adds to the overall shopping experience for your customers.

To learn more about any of these extensions  and how to make the absolute most of your eCommerce site in 2020, contact us today.

Magento eCommerce merchants: New versions are Now Available

Magento eCommerce merchants: New versions are Now Available

As a Magento partner, we’re excited to share some big news with our Magento eCommerce merchants: the latest versions of Security-Only Patch 2.4.0-p1, Magento Commerce 2.3.6 and Magento Commerce 2.4.1 are now available to you!

Magento Commerce version 2.4.1 greatly improves your customers’ experiences and ensures that your sites perform at the highest level of security and reliability. This version of Magento includes the following enhancements, improvements and upgrades:

B2B

This release includes multiple updates that enhance the user experience and increase security. Shoppers can now enjoy personalized shipping methods, faster requisition list creation and enhancements to the approval workflow usability. At the same time, sellers can charge to company credit using payment on the account.

Site-wide analysis tool

This portal is now fully integrated with the Magento Commerce Admin Panel. eCommerce Cloud customers now have real-time access to the site-wide analysis tool dashboard to view their site’s health, performance, functionality and recommendations.

Stay secure and remain compliant

Google CAPTCHA is now used for improved security. SameSite cookie attribute support has also been added.

Faster content creation and improved storefront experience

The Media Gallery now allows bulk image operations, duplicate detection and custom metadata. In addition, as Magento  builds out PWA Studio components and expands GraphQL coverage, they have lowered the cost and time to market for headless storefronts.

2021 Patch schedule updates

Beginning in 2021, supported versions that are no longer the most current minor release line of Magento eCommerce (2.3) will move to security-only updates. All quality updates will now be distributed through the new Magento eCommerce Quality Patch (MQP) tool.

Planning for PHP 7.3 EOS

In December 2021, PHP 7.3 will end its support. Therefore, to ensure compatibility and compliance for the 2.3 release line, Magento will add support for PHP 7.3 to the release of Magento eCommerce 2.3.7 in May 2021. This update will bring change into 2.3.7 that might affect your site and extensions. You will have seven months between the launch of 2.3.7 and EOS for PHP 7.3 to either upgrade to 2.3.7 or 2.4.1. To avoid unwanted interruptions, Magento encourages you to adopt the latest release of Magento eCommerce 2.4.1, which supports PHP 7.3 today.

All of these release packages are available today via composer at repo.magento.com and via account.magento.com. (You still need to use the primary MageID associate with the Magento eCommerce account.)

With these important updates to security and performance, we recommend that you upgrade as soon as possible. This will help ensure that your sites remain secure, compliant and optimized for the highest level of performance. Please let us know if you’d like assistance with implementing these upgrades.

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Sam Villa Video Case Study

Sam Villa Video Case Study

Sam Villa

Sam Villa partnered with InteractOne to migrate their old Magento 1 website over to Magento 2, while also making a number of cosmetic and customer experience improvements.

Sam Villa also had years worth of vital and original content that needed to be ported over to their new site as well, including Customer Reviews, Blogs & Training videos. In this Case Study video we’ll be taking a look at the work needed to migrate Sam Villa’s assets to a new site while also creating a better, more engaging customer experience.

Click here to see the new Sam Villa website for yourself.

Click here to learn more about InteractOne and how we create amazing ecommerce experiences.

Contact the certified Magento developers & their team at InteractOne right here.

Sam Villa is the hair stylist’s choice for online hair education and quality professional ergonomic tools. Discover tools made by a hairdresser, for hairdressers. Sam Villa also features and extensive online training video courses designed to build their community and connect with stylists worldwide.

Since 1998, InteractOne has been helping our clients grow and compete online, always keeping in mind to do what’s best for our clients. We build, maintain and market great eCommerce experiences.

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Putco Video Case Study

Putco Video Case Study

Putco

Putco’s original Volusion website was showing its age, lacking in mobile-friendly responsiveness, limited design and functionality. Putco tasked InteractOne with migrating their Volusion site to Magento 2. This migration included a new responsive design with custom development of a vehicle parts lookup (year, make, model) and lighting application guide, including the ability to save a vehicle in account information. In this Case Study video we’ll be taking a deeper look at the features and functionality the InteractOne team brought to Putco webstore and how they create a greater Customer Experience that keeps visitors engaged and shopping.

See the new M2 Putco site for yourself here.

Click here to learn more about InteractOne’s experience in the automotive aftermarket industry:

Contact the certified Magento developers & their team at InteractOne here.

Putco manufactures and sells aftermarket automotive accessories including chrome trim, LED lighting, step bars, truck accessories, and stainless steel fender trim. With its dedication to domestic manufacturing and innovative line of high-quality LED lighting products, Putco continues ahead of the change curve in the industry.

Since 1998, InteractOne has been helping our clients grow and compete online, always keeping in mind to do whats best for our clients. We build, maintain and market great eCommerce experiences.

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Padawan Series: Creating Customer Personalization with Magento

Padawan Series: Creating Customer Personalization with Magento

Any merchant who wants their Magento store to be successful must think about the needs and wants of the customers. The ability to appeal to specific customers can mean the difference between simply attracting a specific group of visitors and turning them into long-term customers.  With most customers being more likely to buy from stores that provide relevant products and suggestions, customer personalization is a key element in the success of an eCommerce store. In this guide we will dive into Customer Personalization and how Magento can help merchants create a unique shopping experience.

What is Customer Personalization?

Customer personalization refers to the optimization of the strategy and messaging to an individual customer rather than the group that the customer belongs to. Although this is an important concept in the business world, personalization is not just something you turn on. It requires thoughtful planning and execution.

For a merchant to be successful in customer personalization, they must first understand their analytics and customer data. Based on the analyzed data, they can then identify key differences in shopper profiles to create an experience that will appeal to their customer. This forms the first step to the process of personalizing customer experience on your site and ensuring you offer exactly what the customer is looking for.

Since personalization involves a specific experience for a customer, smaller merchants with small catalogs rarely benefit from it. They tend to have customers with almost the same profile, with few variations, meaning no  major changes are needed in marketing and messaging for individual customers. However, bigger merchants and companies with a broader range of products and therefore a broader range of customers, must invest in discovering their various shopper profiles and craft customer experiences to appeal to each group of customers and show them that they are valued.  

For bigger merchants, a tool like Nosto can help in making every shopping experience personal for their customers. Although the service may not work well with small or mid-market merchants, it can be beneficial for merchants with huge customer flow and large catalog. Using shopper behavior data collected from powerful machine learning and eCommerce experts, Nosto create​s​ a digital commerce experience that appeals to every customer’s journey in a store.

How to Achieve Customer Personalization

In order to succeed at the  customer personalization game, you also must understand their needs and behavior while in your store. The behavior of visitors to your Magento store can be monitored from the moment they land at the store homepage to the moment they complete a purchase or leave the site. Technology plays a critical role in personalizing customer experience in an online store. For instance, machine algorithms and artificial intelligence allow you to track customers’ information. Based on such information, you can provide offers and recommendations relevant to their buying behavior or interests in a more efficient way.

Personalizing customer experience in your Magento store can be based on several factors that affect customer behaviors. While some customers may be interested in getting perfect information about a product before purchase, others will be more concerned about after-sales services. Given these differences, it is important to personalize customer experience based on the visitor type, their traffic source, site engagement levels, products viewed or previously purchased, search queries, value of shopping cart, and current cart content.

Personalizing Customer Experience on Magento

Merchants on the Magento platform can benefit from the variety of native features that allow personalization to occur. Using customer segmentation, Magento merchants can create segments of customers based on their browsing or purchasing behavior. The content for each segment is then personalized to suit the customer’s journey through the website. Some of the key Magento features that enhance personalization include:

 Banners – You can displace an image with a block of content that appeals to a specific customer segment. These banners are then placed on specific webpages like the homepage depending on the category of customers being targeted.

 Related Products – You can up-sell, cross-sell, and include related products on the product details page to allow customers to quickly add them to cart. While this will encourage additional purchases, it will also enhance the customer experience in your store.

 Shopping Cart Price Rules – You can set up specific rules to allow discounts for customers in a specific segment. For instance, a customer who has spent more than $200, receives a 10% discount.

Other Magento features that enhance personalization include categorizing inventory by product groups, distinguishing new and repeat customers, tracking products that customers have searched for, and offering gift cards. While these features are effective, it is also important to use appropriate strategies. Some of the effective strategies for personalizing customer experience on a Magento store include decreasing the number of clicks to find products, creating custom search results pages, and providing easy access to past results. In Part 2 of this blog series, we will  address these issues in more detail and to give you more ammo to help you appeal to your customers even more. By the time you read Part 3 of this series, you should be able to apply the most relevant personalization strategies that make the most sense for your online store.

If you’d like to really ratchet up your knowledge about  customer personalization and how to create personalized shopping experiences,contact us to schedule a discussion..

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UPDATED: Top 10 Magento Extensions for 2021

NEWS: Announcing New Enhancements from Magento

At InteractOne, we’re on the cutting edge of developments in the eCommerce industry. As such, we’re proud to be a certified Magento partner. Recently, Magento has added many new enhancements to their eCommerce platform. Keep reading to learn all about what’s new, how it can benefit your eCommerce business and how we can help you get started today.

What are the new features in Magento?

The new enhancements to the Magento eCommerce platform include greater security and new analytical tools. The following important features have been added:

  • Origin cloaking: This is a mechanism to connect to origin IP that becomes the trusted source for the infrastructure and application access, which allows only valid traffic to come through.
  • Platform TLS: This now provides individual certificates to each merchant.
  • Managed alerts: These now help prevent site performance issues and avoid downtime.
  • Site-wide analysis tool: This offers a holistic view of the health of a merchant’s site, identifies issues and gives recommendations for resolution.
  • Enhanced security scan: This efficiently scans, discovers and reports infection in any eCommerce stores
  • Quality patches: These offer a way for merchants to know which quality patches are available for their version and easily apply them.

Through all of these enhancements, Magento is working to increase site security, lower costs for eCommerce retailers and give customers a better overall shopping experience.

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UPDATED: Top 10 Magento Extensions for 2021

How to Integrate Omnichannel Marketing in Your Magento Site

Omnichannel marketing is a revolutionary way of connecting with  customers. It offers a seamless experience to customers regardless of their choice of the medium or social media network. Omnichannel involves the use of multiple marketing channels to create a unified experience for the customers. Under this marketing approach, a seamless message is created that adjusts to the behavior and needs of the customers through the sales funnel. When integrating this approach to marketing in your Magento site, several factors apply:

Make Your Website Mobile-friendly

Omnichannel marketing combines both online and offline channels. For this reason, your website and eCommerce store should be ready for various devices, including mobile. With 79% of smartphone users making a purchase with their phones, a mobile-friendly site is likely to make more sales. When you optimize your website for mobile, you get to access customers on both desktop and mobile channels.

Identify Channels Your Customers Use the Most

Part of creating an omnichannel marketing channel is knowing which channels will generate more positive results. You should not jump from one channel to another with the hope of increasing customer interaction. Instead, identify and invest only in the channels your customers use the most. For instance, Facebook is an excellent choice for millennials and gen X adults while Instagram is more ideal for Gen Z adults. Linking your website to the appropriate channel will ensure you get the most from your efforts.

Engage the Whole Team

Omnichannel marketing is an all-inclusive approach to marketing. You cannot succeed if part of your team is not invested  in the strategy. Ensure that every team member is on board with your strategy, while putting the needs of your customers at the forefront. Engaging team members from all departments allows you to gather appropriate data and understand the contributions of each department. On one side, the product development team will provide adequate information about your products. On the other side, marketers will be sharing  this information via your site and other means and collecting customer data for better service provision.

Match Content with Marketing Channel

The content that you post on any specific channel should be relevant and appropriate. For instance, photos do well on Instagram while long posts work perfectly with Facebook. You can use influencer marketing videos to market your Magento site on TikTok or YouTube, and provide longer text-based content on email newsletters and blog posts. A common mistake that business owners make is replicating the same content across the channels. On the contrary, you should ensure that you make the most of the different channels by providing relevant content.

Remember that a big portion of the omnichannel strategy relies on the power of personalization and targeting. You need to achieve a deeper level of personalization for each group of customers. When crafting the message, make sure it fits the customer profile data, their shopping behavior, and campaign engagement.

Implement Shoppable Posts

One of the latest features that has proven effective in omnichannel marketing are shoppable posts. Shoppable posts are now common on social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. Instead of the traditional as that would direct people to your site to complete the purchase, shoppable posts allow customers to make a purchase directly on social media, removing multiple steps and clicks. This provides for a much more streamlined Checkout process that removes many of the steps previously required to facilitate a purchase. Taking advantage of this new content  allows you to increase sales through social media sites.

Segment Your Audience

The success of an omnichannel marketing approach in your Magento site will depend on how well you understand your audience. Each audience segment is looking for something specific. Consequently, different messages will  appeal to different groups. Make sure that you segment your customers before conducting lead generation for your website. This should be based on factors like customer data and triggers. The more data you have about your customers, the better your message will appeal to them. Some of the factors you may consider when segmenting your audience include gender, loyalty, geo-location, and previous engagement. You can then determine the most appropriate channel to use with each customer segment.

Provide Cross-Channel Customer Support

Customers expect the same level of efficiency and customer support across all your platforms. If your live chat support is effective but your Facebook chat is inactive, you are limiting your company’s availability and it could be costing you customers. In fact, a third of customers consider switching companies when they experience bad customer experience. To ensure success in omnichannel marketing, your brand must be  consistent across all your active channels. Both your social media messages, live chat, or email support should provide the same level of experience. Allow your customers to call your company or interact on a personal level to provide that extra personal touch.

Bottom Line

Integrating omnichannel marketing in your Magento site involves passing messages to customers across the various channels. Apart from making your site mobile-friendly, you will also need to take advantage of social media and other platforms. Most importantly, ensure that the content you provide is appropriate and ideal for the channel being used.  Talk to our Omnichannel Marketing Experts today and learn how to integrate omnichannel marketing in your magento site.

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