Wagento Creative

  • Pin it to Win It!

    How often do you take advantage of the unique marketplace that is Pinterest? Nowadays, most people who own and operate an ecommerce site have familiarized themselves with social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook but recently it is Pinterest that is showing great strides of growth.

    The visual discovery tool has enjoyed increased use, climbing its way to become the 3rd most popular social media site. This just screams opportunity for marketers to take advantage of Pinterest to boost site traffic and sales!

    In fact, Shopify reported that Pinterest garners up to 10% more conversions than other social media sites and boasts a whopping average sale price of $80! (For a frame of reference, Facebook averages a $40 sale).

    Pinterest definitely sees its own potential and has begun efforts to increase its presence as a marketing tool for businesses. Pinterest already offers a free analytics tool to anyone who has registered their website with Pinterest, but they recently announced that they are soon going to be launching a new feature called “Business Insights API”. This will allow businesses to see which of their pins are raking in the clicks and which ones are lost in the crowd. In addition to that, developers will be able to use the API to help understand how consumers navigate around their Pinterest boards.

    All of these efforts to take a website for hobbies and make it a selling machine sound very intriguing, but there are some potential roadblocks. Primarily, a flooding of similar pins that result from the success a certain style of pin might garner. If businesses use Pinterest to replicate sales success of other companies Pinterest will quickly become much more artificial and predictable and ultimately less interesting. Will Pinterest lose its unique appeal by catering toward an advertisement based website? Hopefully not!

  • What's All This Talk About Net Neutrality?

    What is Net Neutrality?

    Simply put, net neutrality is the idea that the internet should be provided equally to anybody who wants to use it without favoring certain companies.  Net neutrality is the idea of an open internet that does not discriminate against content, companies, posts, applications etc… It’s sort of similar to the way telephone communications work.  Everyone who pays for the service of making telephone calls has equal priority as other people making calls.  No one gets to make a call faster than someone else and they have the right to call who they want and say what they want.

    Why is it important?

    Recently the Federal Communications Commissions has been making headlines for proposing rules that would effectively eliminate net neutrality.  The new rules would allow internet service providers to charge certain companies extra for preferential treatment.  For example, Netflix may wind up paying more to be able to host all of their streaming content.  In turn this would likely increase the amount you have to pay for Netflix so they can cover those increased costs. This would also allow for the possibility of internet service provider exclusive content.  With their ability to block content they would be able to partner with a site such as Youtube to be the only one to offer that website and charge insanely high rates to us as consumers.  What’s more is that the large companies would be able to afford the faster broadband, leaving smaller/startup companies in the dust.  This would discourage new businesses and ultimately squander one of the greatest aspects of the internet: innovation.

    What can we do?

    The best thing you can do right now is to have your voice be heard.  Tell the FCC why keeping net neutrality is important to you.  We want the FCC to make internet service a telecommunications service by law, requiring equality for all who use it.

    fcc.gov/comments

  • When Fishpigs Fly...

    If you are reading this then you are currently benefiting from the fine work that Fishpig provides to those who work with the Magento platform.  Specifically, you’re benefiting from a service called Magento Wordpress Integration, a free blog extension for any Magento ecommerce website.

    fishpiglogo

    Fishpig created the Wordpress integration extension to provide users with a free (yes, free) and simple blog extension, thus improving your SEO and   allowing you to post quality content to your website (such as this     wonderful blog post).  The list of features is impressive.  Fishpig’s Magento Wordpress Integration extension includes easy installation and upgrading with Magento Connect, full integration of Wordpress to your Magento theme, the use of popular plug-ins such as WordPress SEO, Add This, Yarpp, Google XML Sitemaps, NextGEN Gallery, Contact Form 7 and many more.  For a more detailed list of stellar features, check out the official product page at:  http://fishpig.co.uk/magento/wordpress-integration/

    So you’ve found a free extension that is filled with all sorts of fun and fantastic features.  So what?  I’ll tell you so what.

    In the modern world, customers come to a website with certain expectations.  One of those expectations is great communication (imagine that).  With the Magento Wordpress Integration extension you’ll open up the doors for a greater communication experience for you and your customers.  You can post meaningful content to engage your visitors and keep them coming back, you can allow more interaction for customers and as mentioned before you will increase your SEO.

    Fishpig doesn’t stop there when it comes to Magento Wordpress Integration.  Once you’ve gotten the ball rolling with the free extension you can then explore their huge variety of paid extensions.  From Facebook plugins that allow commenting and liking from a customer’s Facebook account to Wordpress Customer Synchronization which allows your customers to have a single sign-in account for your Magento and Wordpress integrated blog.  The latter one is particularly enticing because not only does it make you seem more professional by eliminating the need for multiple accounts but it also increases conversions as customers are less likely to forget which accounts they need to sign in with.

    And the list goes on and on.  Here at Wagento we’ve got 2 dogs, 3 dinosaur heads and an intern who gets rowdy from time to time so we are certainly open to the idea of adding Fishpig to the list of animals we’ve come to love.

  • Short Recap on Imagine 2014

    Imagine 2014 was an event for over 2000 ecommerce professionals to gather and geek out over the exciting events that took place at this year’s Magento conference.  Among the reasons for geeking out was the announcement of Magento Community Edition 1.9 and Enterprise Edition 1.14! (I’ll bet you spit out your Nutella sandwich with excitement just now).

    Our very own Brent Peterson was quoted on a blog posted by aheadWorks, one of our fantastic partners, saying “Magento is showing rejuvenation back to the community and the energy level has jumped 20 notches. It was a well needed infusion of excitement and a new commitment by eBay Inc. In addition the announcement of Magento2 and Imagine 2015 gives everyone the confidence that eBay will continue the support of both the Community and eBay. Mark Lavelle stated in his partner session that eBay is committed to Magento and the community and the Magento Ecosystem.”

    B-rent

    That’s right, Magento2 was also announced at this year’s conference if you hadn’t already heard!  For more information about the after-party recap we encourage you to check out aheadWork’s article right here.  Or here.  Or maybe even right here!

  • UI/UX & You

    That first slice into a new jar of peanut butter.  Car rides in the summer with the windows down.  "2048" on my smartphone in the waiting room.  These are all things that make me feel particularly good.  Oh, and of course a nice looking website that is user friendly!  You can tell when a website gives you a feeling of simplicity and efficiency all while being aesthetically pleasing.  It’s not like it’s shocking news that we all want the websites we use to be user-friendly and make us want to come back in the future.  This is why user interface and user experience (UI and UX) are vital to a website’s success.

    If you’re at all involved with the web business it is likely that you’ve heard these two terms before.  It is almost equally likely that you think these two things are identical or similar, and that is a perfect reason for you to read on! UI and UX are indeed related but they are certainly not the same thing. It’s like pop and soda, some people think they are the same thing but there is definitely a difference! (the correct one is pop, by the way…)

    UI is the front end. This is what someone interacts with when they visit a website.  Hover features over icons, links that are a different color from regular text and take you to the proper site, buttons that indent when you click on them, placement of text and pictures.  All of these things are a part of UI and they are all very important, as trivial as they may seem.  There’s an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and bliss when you click on a button and it indents a little bit (or maybe that’s just me).  Maybe you’ve been on a subpar website and something about it put a bad taste in your mouth and you couldn’t quite explain to yourself why you didn’t like it very much.  It likely could have been something as simple as a bad UI job.

    UX on the other hand is that feeling someone gets from the experience they had with the UI.  Imagine yourself at a website where the links are obscure and the interface isn’t straightforward.  All you want to do is sign up for their free trial and you’re having a hard time even finding a place to register.  How is that website going to get people to subscribe to monthly updates on their company beard growing competition?  UI is the fine craftsmanship of a shiny brass trombone and UX is that warm feeling you get when you perform on that quality instrument.  Websites work the same way!

    As you can probably tell (or perhaps knew from the beginning) UI and UX go hand in hand.  They each require a unique kind of thinking that can often go unappreciated.  So if you know someone who works as a web designer, be sure to stop and thank them for spoiling us with the simple things that make all the difference.

  • Google Glass & Ecommerce

    If you have not yet heard about Google Glass, you will soon. And if you are an ecommerce website it may be more important than you realize.

    Google Glass is an upcoming hybrid of fashion and technology. It is essentially a smartphone built into a pair of glasses. Glass offers similar functionality as your smartphone except with the added luxury of hands-free computing. Glass does this with the use of accurate voice commands. For example, you begin each command by saying “Okay, Glass” followed by whatever it is you’re trying to do, be it checking your text messages or taking a quick photo. Save for a couple buttons on the side of the glasses, this is a wearable, hands-free smartphone.

    glass

    Google Glass has not yet officially launched, but a few developers have already begun work on third-party apps for Glass that could drastically affect ecommerce. Take a look at a new app called Fancy. Fancy has created software that you can install on your Google Glass that allows you to take pictures of certain items and find matching styles and complementary items to match whatever it is you just took a picture of. From there you’ll be able to use a quick voice command to make your purchases.

    And that is just the beginning. Google Glass has a lot of potential for ecommerce. Imagine being able to take a picture of someone’s shoes as you pass by them in the street and immediately know where to buy them, how much they cost and to have them shipped to your home. Perhaps you will want to use Glass to scan a barcode in a store to do a bit of automatic price comparison.

    Google has also stated that they plan to incorporate Google Wallet into Google Glass. This electronic wallet can be linked to a bank account or any major credit card and can be used to make instant purchases through Glass. If Google Glass takes off, it will be vital for ecommerce websites to be compatible with this payment method.

    It may be too soon to know if Google Glass will be a huge hit or a frustrating flop. But despite the fashion gamble there is definite potential for Google Glass and anyone in the ecommerce business.

  • Magento's Imagine Event Ends Today!

    More than 1,900 Merchants, Partners, Developers, Digital Industry Experts and Open Source Enthusiasts, from over 40 countries, have converged at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas for three days of networking, collaboration, cutting-edge sessions and, of course, imagination!

    The event was packed with great speakers and presentations. 

    Magento Co-Founder and COO, Roy Rubin, shared how Magento continues to transform eCommerce, powering more than 240,000 online stores and 30% of the Alexa top 1M transacting websites. But more importantly, through examples including BoxParkJane Normam and Stella and Dot, Roy told the story of how merchants are leveraging Magento to transform their own businesses and industries.

    Mark Lavelelle, SVP of Product and Strategy for eBay Enterprise, shared updates on the Magento product line and roadmap, including the release of Magento EE 1.14 and CE 1.9 and their ability to rapidly deploy a fully-responsive site. Mark also shared the Magento 2.0 timeline, with a Beta in December, and release candidate in March, 2015.

    Malcolm Gladwell also addressed the crowd and provided three ingredients to transformation - understanding the problem and challenging the status quo, a disregard for how others will react, and urgency. Whether you're re-shaping worldwide shipping or re-inventing how to delight customers online, these three characteristics are key to success!

    The Magento U team hosted a special training session for attendees looking to further understand the functionality of a multi-website business, leveraging the Magento platform's full capabilities. The course covered Magento's multi-site architecture, specifically how it provides support for multiple functionalities and business locations across all brands. With only 2,900 Certified Magento Developers, Magento was excited to offer the opportunity for others to test their knowledge to join the fold.

    Of course, our own Brent Peterson and Jhon Montevilla were present, meeting with clients, industry partners, industry insiders, and Magento friends.

  • Magento 2.0 - Scheduled for release in December of 2014

    Mark Lavelle announced the planned release of Magento 2.0 in Dec., 2014, at today's conference in Las Vegas, NV.  Stay tuned for more updates.

    There has been a lot of activity on Magento 2.0 over the past several months. You can follow the official Magento 2 blog here.

    You can get a copy of its current iteration here and view the documentation.

  • Magento Announces New Versions at Imagine Conference: Enterprise 1.14 and Community 1.9!

    Key Features: Responsiveness Built-in, Improved Payment and Financing Options, Improved Search, Improved Cross Border Price Consistency

    Magento just announced the arrival of both Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14 and Magento Community Edition 1.9 at the Imagine convention in Las Vegas. These updates include many new features to help businesses grow. Most notable are a new responsive design reference theme that makes it possible to quickly get a tablet and smartphone-friendly site, a new payment option and streamlined checkout to help increase sales, and cross-border price consistency.

    Less time and less cost to get a responsive site Magento is changing the mobile commerce landscape by significantly reducing the time and cost typically required to get a responsive site, and by making it easier than ever for merchants to take advantage of the rapid growth in mobile commerce. Responsive is the best mobile solution for many merchants because they can invest in one site that serves customers and ensures a consistent and reliable experience no matter what device they are using. It is both cheaper and quicker to have a single responsive site that works on all devices than to have many different themed sites for many different devices. Responsive is also good for boosting conversion, with shopping carts and checkout designed to work in any environment and on any screen size. Plus having a responsive site makes it easy for mobile device-using customers to move from an email offer, for instance, to check out! This is exciting news for any merchant aiming to take advantage of the rampant growth in mobile commerce. eMarketer predicts even more growth ahead, with mobile commerce growing from 19 percent of retail ecommerce sales in 2014 to 26 percent in 2017 in the US, and from 24 percent of retail ecommerce sales to 35 percent in the same time frame in the UK. There are SEO advantages too, because responsive is Google’s recommended approach to mobile optimization and because it allows merchants to focus all of their content energy on a single site. Great content that supports SEO also engages customers, provides a richer site experience and can reduce bounce rates.

    Improved payment and financing options With the release of these new Magento products comes better payment and financing options that can help merchants improve conversion and sales. The Bill Me Later service offers qualified customers access to immediate financing, so they can buy now and pay later with no additional cost to the merchant. Ready-made banner ads and a prominent Bill Me Later button at checkout are included to help promote this new service. Forrester Consulting estimates that merchants offering Bill Me Later see an 18% boost in sales. Merchants are now also able to offer a more streamlined PayPal Express Checkout experience which automatically checks for an alternative payment option when a customer’s credit card is rejected to help promote even more sales!

    Fresher search results for customers and faster indexing for merchants Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14 now has native support for Solr 3.6.2 and indexing that is performed as the product catalog changes without manual intervention. These improvements provide merchants with more efficient operations and better admin performance during search indexing and more up-to-date search results for the customers.

    Cross border price consistency Price consistency is a new option available to merchants serving customers across international borders. When taking advantage of this new system, merchants can present a single price to customers in any part of the world, regardless of the tax rates that may apply in other countries, giving them even greater control of both their website and how their pricing is displayed.

    Improved quality and more features Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14 and Magento Community Edition 1.9 feature more than 50 enhancements that improve quality and security throughout the product.

    So to wrap up, these new updates from Magento include cheaper and more responsive sites that take advantage of the rapidly growing mobile commerce, improved payment and financing options, more recent search results for customers, faster indexing for merchants, cross border price consistency and much, much more!

    For more technical information about these two releases, please visit the release notes.

  • Brent's Interview with Cart2Cart

    Read Brent Peterson's interview with Cart2Cart here: Cart2Cart blog. According to Cart2Cart, 45% of all of their migrations were to the Magento Platform in 2013.

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