Monthly Archives: October 2011

  • Meet Magento UK 26th October 2011

    Meet Magento UK 2011

    Big Ben at Meet Magento

    Here Today and Here to Stay

    All the way from version 1.00 released in March 2008, fast forward 3 years and there are big plans...it is fair to say that Magento has come a long way to announcing Magento 2 will be released in Qtr 4 of 2012. Keynotes from both Bob Schwartz & Roy Rubin gave us an appetite for the rest of the day and of course the Magento journey as a whole.

    Keynotes from Roy Rubin & Bob Schwartz

    After the keynotes, the best session of the morning was from John Lunn from X.commerce (tip: say outloud as x dot commerce) who's main theme was: Mobile | Social | Local | Digital I think the above has a nice ring to it, and John talked passionately about how X.commerce and Ebay Inc are pulling it all together with Fabric. A lot of the back bone is already in place with the use of some of the tools below and one thing that has been unclear is what the strategy is with buying/acquiring†all of the†components x.commerce parts to make a whole - PayPal. Where the online payment fits in and is already being used to power PayPal Access to login to sites instead of creating *another* password. -ebay. Using the original dream set out by ebay founders of "bringing buyers and sellers together". - magento. What we were all there to see what was happening! - gsi commerce. For everything from merchandising to distribution - milo which finds local stock which brings clicks and bricks together. - where for the local social aspect to find the best places and offers nearby picked for you - redlaser for barcode scanning which opens up opportunities for online and offline channels meeting. - zong which is a mobile payments provider - all you need to know if your mobile number X.commerce is based simply on: Create Innovate Develop where extensions are the secret sauce.  Taking a holistic look at all of the components that are coming together it makes it a lot clearer where the whole of X.commerce is going: Commerce not just eCommerce.

    Meet Magento London UK

    Also announced on the day was a new Magento edition: †Magento Enterprise Premium which includes platinum support, expert consulting and training and is aimed at the very top of the market. Throughout the day we had a full program of guest speakers which had some really good perspectives and really deserve separate posts so make sure to come back for more posts later on in the week on;

    • Personalisation
    • Loyalty Programs
    • Cart Abandonment

    Plus other practical nuggets that we picked up and a great after show party!

    meet-magento Deryck and Tracy

    Air hockey at Meet MagentoRacing at meet magento UK

    Tracy & Gillian First on the Dance Mats

  • Future Clients are going to Meet Magento UK

    Team members Deryck, Gillian and Tracy are going to Meet Magento UK - the first time the Magento Meet has rolled into the UK and we are hugely excited. After my review of Innovate 2011 from the SanâFrancisco conference just over a week ago we are looking forward to hearing all about Magento's future plans and of course, the after-show party! Meet Magento We'll update this page with exciting developments as they happen!

  • Magento 1.6.1.0 - What's new?

    What'­s new in Magento 1.6.1.0

    For the ever evolving Magento community edition, we are lucky to be involved in a ecosystem that is so fast moving. Although the major highlights are mostly geared towards developers and a lot of the inventory was fixes (Full list here), I am going to pick out what is relevant to those running their own store and how these changes may affect them.

    Major Highlight

    • Added two-step password reset flow

    What does this mean? Forgot-Password in Magento 1.5 In versions below 1.6.1.0, when a user clicked to say they had forgotten their password the user was prompted to enter their email address and a new password would be sent out. So, anyone who knows your email address could enter to have their password reset and the next time you come to log in it throws you an incorrect password error without you even knowing why. The second problem is that if someone else did have access to your email they would now have full access to your history on your favourite ecommerce store, now with 2 step it will  send a link to your email address and then take you to the Magento site to change the password.

    Improvements

    • Added support for using Shift-Click to select a range of grid rows when clicking check boxes
    • Added ability to register during checkout when using PayPal Express now those who want to get through the checkout as soon as possible can, or those that like a tie with the site they are buying with can register as a member of your store

    Changes

    • TheFind integration was removed much like the removal of Google base in version 1.6.0.0 which is now supported as a core extension, now shopping feeds can be used via extensions. .
    • In a similar fashion the Google Optimizer was removed and will be supported as a core extension.

    So we've got our copy and will let you know how we get on and anything else cool we come across. P.s if you are struggling with your Magento Store, want upgrade advice or some help check out our Magento Consultancy page where we detail how we can help you to help yourself.

  • An Armchair Round up of Innovate 2011

    A round up of whatís happened at Innovate 2011 via the power of Twitter from right here in the UK!

    Via: @X_commerce / @magento / @webshopapps/ @royrub05

    Magento Connect

    A new Magento Connect has been launched over at magentocommerce.com/magento-connect which is a much more slicker part of the site ñ a lot of thought has gone into the design. A great set of facts on the front page about 4 million extension downloads (although I am not sure how many are down to our training sessions!) and over 5000 extensions on there ñ what an awesome community. †Plus the Magento connect extension market is worth over $100 million dollars per year †- phenomenal What'­s changed Now under 6 main categories with the ability to filter down.†Instead of the old version of more than 20 categories, there is now a†main navigation, broken down so that the searcher is able to drill down. Other neat features include the ability to search by a sliding price, there has also been the introduction of Trusted Extensionsshowing only trusted extensions that have been tested by Magento and found to have passed or exceeded security, performance and developer support which is a great way to raise standards in the already flourishing community.

    Magento Go

    A few snippets about Magento Go, the hosted (and closed) version of Magento, the main one is that from now on Magento Go will have extensions ñ again these will be trusted extensions plus usage: Magento Go has 10000 live stores.

    PayPal

    Paypal announced sites are able to leverage PayPal accounts to save users having to set up multiple accounts with PayPal Access. I am mostly likening this to Facebook connect for Ecommerce. Making it easier for the user to shop ñ what else do you want?!

    X.Commerce

    See more like this at†http://www.facebook.com/XcommerceFans X.commerce has effectively brought together many of the platforms that were huge on their own to form a powerful beast, in the form of eBay, PayPal and Magento as the main foundations with the a plethora of other companies that are supporting this movement including that all important facebook in itís open graph format (Not just liking a product but ëWantí ëOwní & and most importantly ëBuyí as well as others joining the X.commerce ecosystem from the outset. So that was just Day 1, I for one am looking forward to latter part of UK time to catch up on what has happened on Day 2 and also looking forward immensely to Meet Magento in the UK where I hope the same buzz will be about.

  • Starting off with Magento - Getting the Data right

    A guide for those looking to move over to Magento Ecommerce

    Magento really does offer the whole package, so your set on Magento now what? One of the biggest starting points for anyone with an ecommerce store is actually sorting out their data. If like most people you have been on a few different platforms and you are exporting data it can be in different format, doesn'­t fit with the fields you have set up ñ if this is the case and you are importing via spreadsheets you may run into some of these well known problems; Problem 1.The export /import did not bring all the data over in a user friendly way. Extra characters, missing options, missing prices, we'­ve seen it all. Problem 2. The export / import has brought the wrong images or assigned the wrong images to the products there is nothing worse than a user finding a product and being misled or bailing because it is the wrong image. Problem 3. You don'­t know how to start with Attributes.Pay careful attention to attributes as once a product is assigned to a set it is very difficult to move it into another, similarly if you have a diverse range of products it is beneficial to separate these out so that when you are entering data you don'­t have everything from size to expandable for bikinis and suitcases. Attributes aren'­t just for data input, tons of features run off these and this is why it is vital you set them up properly, for example Magento Compare & Advanced Search in Magento run off attributes too. How to resolve this data problem I find it best to disable all products and attempt to work through them one by one.† To disable, simply; 1.  Select all­ from the catalogue and click on the 'Actions' drop down and select 'Change Status'

    Actions - Change Status in Magento

    2. A new option will appear for enabled and disable, select Disabled­ andSubmit­.

    Change-Status-Disable3. All the products you selected will be disabled, ready for you to use the filters to work through them one by one.

    all products disabled in magento

    Before you start addressing problems 1 and 2, you will need to have a good think about what attribute sets you want and how you want them to work for all of the features I mentioned above, as well as promotions, layered navigation and product display. Next, you can address problems 1 and 2 - going through them may take a bit of time but it will help you get the right data set ñ after all there is nothing worse than a customer coming to your store and not being able to find out all the information about a product. I would recommend you try and spend as much time with your data before unleashing it on the world ñ this way it will be easier to manage in the long run. Then...after the hard work an average magento ecommerce store should not need that much ongoing management. As long as you have a)  Someone who checks regularly for orders and can deal with the shipping b)  Someone who knows how to do the above if your magento store manager if off sick. BUT If you want a successful Magento store you need to know how to make the most of it'­s many features so if you are managing the store on your own, you may want to consider getting trained up Magento and in particular on how to administer the store  I'­m not talking doing the above and just shipping orders but actually being in control of the store instead of it running you! See the full details of our magento courses.

  • Google Links up Analytics with Webmaster tools: How To

    All of the wonderful data about impressions from your webmaster tools account is now available directly in Analytics. First though, you need to make sure that they are configured to share data.

    How to set up data sharing between Analytics & Webmaster Tools1. Log into your analytics (new version) and click in the left hand column under search terms Search Engine Optimization as per the image above. Here you will be asked to link up your account with webmaster tools;

    This report requires Webmaster Tools to be enabled.

    What is Webmaster Tools?

    Webmaster Tools is a free product that provides data and analytics to help improve your site's performance in Google search.

    Enabling Webmaster Tools data within Analytics

    Once you connect a site you own in Webmaster Tools to your Analytics web property, its data becomes visible in your Search Engine Optimization reports. You can visit the Web Property Settings page in Analytics account management to change which of your Webmaster Tools sites' data you wish to show, and control which profiles on your Web Property have access to view the data.

    How to use Webmaster Tools data within Analytics

    Webmaster Tools provides data about what users see in Google search results before they decide to click to your site (or some other site). You can use this data to identify opportunities and prioritize development effort to increase the number of visitors to your site. Examples:

    • Identify landing pages on your site that have good clickthrough rates (CTR), but have poor average positions in search results. These could be pages that people want to see, but have trouble finding.
    • Identify search queries (keywords) for which your site has good average positions, but poor click through rates. These are queries for which your pages get attention and improved content could lead to more visitors.

    2. Click on the link to Set up Webmaster Tools data sharing 3. Once you click on the button, you will be taken to a page with the heading Web Property Settings4. In here, you can confirm the Basic information (already set for the website you are editing), select which Webmaster account using the radio buttons to specify which account it should be set up with and click "Save."Wait a few days and you will get all the information you used to get in webmaster tools but in a slicker format - a more rightful place for info on search engine data.

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