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Monthly Archives: November 2011

  • New Magento Training Course Dates for 2012

    We have just released dates of our first lot of 2012 Magento Training Courses, to be held in Central London in 2012 (which is not that long away

  • Categories in Magento - A How To guide

    A category in Magento can be described as a place to group all related products. For example if I had a clothing store, I would categorise it as Jumpers, trousers, shorts and T shirts but I might also categorise it as Men'­s and Women'­s and then by brand just to make it really simple for the end user to find what they are looking for. People react to websites if different ways. There are those that like text links so will automatically go to the top to look for links, or they will use the image navigation or some may even find a special offer on an attractive banner on the site and follow this right through to sale ñ you should always try to accommodate any many different tastes as possible, and not forgetting that there will be some people that skip categories all together and just type the product name in and go straight to your product page. Categories in Magento are very easy to set up you just have to make sure you are creating them in the right place. You can have as many categories as you want, and place products in as many categories as you feel necessary. It is sometimes better to put them in more than one category to ensure that different types of users find them  and then introduce filters to help your users find the products they want.

    Now, what vital information do we need in Magento Category Set Up?

    Make sure you are not creating root categories; always make sure your creating sub categories underneath the root. (Root categories should as a rule only be used when creating different stores on one installation). Category Settings in Magento Name Make sure you give your category a name that the customer will recognise, in this example the name of our category is simply T-shirts Is Active State whether the category will be active on your site URL Key Following the advice of this Magento pages article (link) make sure this is search and user friendly. If you are amending the Thumbnail Image A Magento category thumbnail should be about 200px by 300 px so that people get a good idea of what is in the category as well as not making them too big on the page. Description Add your description here that will show up just above the products on the page ñ draw interest, add images and even video in here using the WYSIWYG editor. Image To add a magento category image is really easy. To do this go to Catalogue -> Manage categories -> and navigate to the part that says category Image and browse your files for an appropriate image and upload. This will then make your categories have a descriptive name and image. Page Title, Meta Keywords and Meta Description This is your chance to shine in the rankings make sure you pay particular attention to the title. Include in Navigation If you want to create a category only to base promotions on, choose no to this question or if you want it to be live on the site choose yes.

    Next Tab: Display Settings

    category-display-settings-magento Display Mode Choose whether it should be products only, static blocks only or both. By choosing products only, only products will show on the category page whereas choosing static blocks will eliminate showing your products and display your selection of static blocks only. CMS Block If you have chosen Products & Static Block or Static Block only, here you can select what cms block to choose. Try playing around with different combinations. Is Anchor Important when creating multiple stores and also to make sure your category shows filters, choose Yes to show filters. Top: Make sure if the Custom design tab you have more than one column set. Available product listing Sort by Use these multiple selects to say what the sorts are available in your category eg. Sort by Value, Sort by Price. Default Product Listing Sort By Use this option to choose what your products are by default sorted by when a category is loaded. If you want to choose your own, untick the box and select the ones you want to use and then select from the multiple select in the preceding menu option. Layered Navigation Price Step By default, the filters will increase by 10s if you have low value products but you can change it here to whatever you like.

    The Custom Design Tab

    Custom Design Categories in Magento Use parent category settings Use this option is you want to inherit the settings of the parent category. Apply to products If you want the customisation of the category to apply to the products within this category, you should select yes. Custom design If you want to have a different theme for different categories, you can click on the dropdown for custom design and providing you have additional themes installed you will be able to choose here. Active from and to: You can amend whether a certain category changes are active during specific date periods, use this to control the date. Page Layout As with CMS pages, you can choose whether your category is 1 column, 2 columns with a left navigation bar, 2 column with a right navigation bar or 3 columns which will show all of the columns you have on the site. Custom Layout Update You can add xml in this box if you are technical and want to go further with category customisation.

    The final tab, Category Products

    products in a magento category

    This tab simply lists the product. If you want to quickly add products, click Reset Filter and select all that you want to add in here. So, that's all about categories in Magento. If you've liked what you've seen, why not sign up for our free magento e-book that has 10 things that we are most asked about and action you can take straight away on your site.

  • Conversion and Abandoned carts

    Meet Magento London UK

    A round up of the Meet Magento UK Conference

    There'­s good news and not so good news, let'­s get the not so good news out of the way: Less than 1% of new customers will buy! Once they are aware of you however they become prime for conversion and this is where the good news comes in:Serial abandoned carts are more likely to convert that a one time abandoner. So, referring back to the 1st stat, yes less than 1% of first time visitors will convert but this is just the way the internet now works  there are multiple paths to conversion so as retailers we just need to target these channels and get them coming back through and working them up to a conversion or a serial abandoner at least there is intent there.The advice is now that like in the Magento loyalty programs post , it is no longer a channel but a touch point and we now need to touch the prospect multiple times and they ultimately need to be nurtured through the sale.

    All of these points lead us on to one thing: remarketing

    Top converting traffic sources out of those that are returning to the site will be via the abandonment email an email that is sent after a customer has abandoned their cart. Typically these are sent 24 hours after the customer has finished shopping yet those who have *just* abandoned will convert highest so these emails need to be sent within the hour  think back to what you were doing this time yesterday is the same thing your highest priority? Apply this to your customer. According to Charles Nicholls. - 72% will buy in first 12 hours which makes it a critical time to remarket

    Final Word

    As Etailers, we do have to accept the fact that abandonment is part of the purchase cycle but abandoning is better than not putting anything in the cart at all!If you missed out, have a look at our round up of Meet Magento UK 2011

  • Personalisation - The round up of Meet Magento

    Meet Magento London UKA well put together presentation from Neil Hamilton from Predictive Intent based upon personalisation personalising based upon where your visitors have come from, how they browse and search and ultimately what they buy and dynamically changing this. Your site should be an elephant and remember everything about your returning customers!

    What can you do with personalisation?

    - Real-time stock and product awareness never suggest an unavailable product

    - Use preconfigured Magento product attributes for better catalogue understanding

    - Transactional email personalisation

    - Adapt product recommendations, homepage images, site banners and content suggestions

    What are the common issues?

    If you know about your customer, you should only show items that are available to buy, for example if someone has been on the site before and bought size 5, really your site should only show shoe'­s that have stock in size 5- This is based on customer profiling and requires the customer to log into their account based on the first bullet above.During the presentation someone brought up the point that a woman may have bought a present for a man but really when they return they are more likely to want to return to buy for themselves- This is based on browser profiling but 9 times out of 10 it should get the personalisation right and will ultimately encourage people to buy more. Obviously you can only do such a level of personalisation when you have a returning customer so there are challenges when decided what to display to new visitors and often the answer is personalising it to what channel they come from until you have built a profile for that customer.

    Some stats from Predictive Intent on what results can be gained with personalisation;

    33% of total revenue influenced by personalisation, where products were suggested to a visitor and then purchased at the end of the same session.12% of total revenue that was directly generated where a product is suggested to a visitor, clicked on and purchased immediately.20% decrease in the clicks-to-buy/buy distance by putting the right products in front of the right visitors at the right time.And one final benefit is the reduction in labour costs as everything is done via the profile and not having to set up your cross sells, upsells and related products.If you'd like to know more about personalisation for magento, check out predictive intent.Check back for more from the Meet Magento UK Conference.

  • Sweet Tooth for Magento : Cross Channel Customer loyalty

    Meet Magento London UKHow many people carry loyalty cards in their wallets and purses? How many people use these?

    • A loyalty program can:
    • Induce initial purchases
    • Encourage repeat purposes
    • Create a reluctance to switch Brands
    • Inspire a customer to refer your brand via Net Promoter Score

    So, what is a Net Promoter Score and how should we be using this on our stores?

    A net promoter score is a based on one question: How likely are you to recommend a collegue or friend on a scale of one to ten?Here'­s the results:

    • 1 to 6 are those that are not happy with you,
    • 7 & 8 are indifferent and those in the
    • 9 and 10 category will be active promoters

    so the obvious plan here is to have more 9 & 10s than 1-6s.

    How can you improve your net promoter score and increase loyalty?

    • Offer Customer Loyalty programs
    • Offer significant differentiators (Price & Customer Service being prome examples)
    • Customer experience
    • Do something that the customer is not expecting.

    What sort of loyalty could you reward?

    • Points
    • Referral fee's (both you and a friend win)
    • Discount

    How does this fit?

    Multi Channel is over, we now just have different touch points including non purchasing touches such as Facebook and twitter but they all contribute to the end result: increased net promoter score. It is vitally important that all methods of buying from you have congruent payment methods & returns policy as a customer will see no difference in buying online and picking up in store vs getting it delivered to their home address AND THE MOST IMPORTANT part is to have the same loyalty program across all channels.

    So, practically how can we increase loyalty?

    In order to increase loyalty, you can then start to offer loyalty points based on a non buying action such as liking on facebook, tweeting about a product, uploading a product review video on youtube and then move onto purchasing based rewards. If you have a retail store you must look into this - the rewards are there to be taken (no pun intended!).

    Still not convinced?

    Hereís a stat: 5% in customer loyalty leads to 75% of net profit increase...For more information, check out our day at Meet Magento UK -

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