7 Magento Extensions You May Be Missing
Every day, people download apps to improve their lives in some way – whether it’s to entertain them, make them more productive or connect with others. There’s also an “app store” of sorts that can help retailers be more agile on the Magento platform.
Magento Connect has more than 6,000 extensions and they are built to help extend the capabilities of what Magento can do for retailers.
According to Ryan Thompson, director of partnerships at Magento, the marketplace covers just about everything you can image, from ones helping merchants get the most out their traffic and increasing conversions to ones assisting with sales tax collection and compliance.
With the holiday shopping “officially” kicking off this month, Website Magazine spoke with Thompson for more insight on how, going into the holiday season, retailers can be more agile on the Magento platform by using platform extensions. We’ve also added in a couple of our favorites to make up the 7 Magento extensions you may be missing.
A favorite among merchants (rated 4.8/5 stars), Yotpo is a free extension that enables retailers to ask shoppers for product reviews. Customers receive an email (like shown below) and they can write a review directly inside of the email. In addition to the increased conversions and engagement that product reviews are good for, Yotpo also encourages shoppers to share their reviews over social media, which can drive incremental traffic because the review is seen by their friends, family and colleagues.
As both retailers and consumers, Website Magazine readers are familiar with the several types of email marketing that exists around a potential sale or conversion. There are those email triggered by an abandoned shopping cart, those transactional emails with order details after a purchase and those “because you bought this” emails. SimpleRelevance works on top of email marketing, collects data on a shopper-by-shopper basis (see image) and built an algorithm that helps merchants customize emails so they are very targeted and unique. Simple Relevance is able to do it on a mass scale. Retailers need to connect SimpleRelevance with their email service provider (ESP).
Rated 5/5 stars, Webtex lets retailers offer customers gift cards, which is a must-have functionality this holiday season. Gift cards can help increase average order values (AOV) and conversions, while reducing returns post-holidays (simply because gift recipients pick out what they want). The gift-card giver simply chooses the type of gift card, selects how they or their recipient will receive it (email, print, by post) and then picks the amount to gift. On the back-end, store administrators have full control over all bought gift cards (see image). This is a well-thought-out extension. When it comes to redeeming the gift cards, shoppers can apply some or all of their gift card balance to an order and split the amount due with a credit card. For merchants, this gives them plenty of opportunity to upsell the gift card(er) and increases AOVs.
Taxes – can’t live with em’, can’t sell without em’. Avalara’s AvaTax reduces some of the friction that taxes can cause Internet retailers. It calculates sales tax; manages exemption certificates; files returns; and remits payments across multiple tax regions. Its tax-decision engine determines rates based on 100,000-plus taxability rules in more than 11,000 taxing jurisdictions and instantly applies them to each transaction within a company’s Magento shopping cart.
Customer experience is everything, from initial visit to post-purchase support. Zendesk has built one of the best customer support solutions around. Integrating post-holiday season won’t help the 2013 cause, but if implemented now, it can help retailers with its pre-holiday support tickets to move customers toward purchase. Post-holiday, it can help merchants manage returns and other customer service items they are inundated with.
There’s a lot of opportunity to use Magento to increase efficiency during the holiday season, but customer engagement is equally important when looking to turn holiday purchasers into long-term customers. Bronto helps retailers drive sales with targeted lifecycle marketing campaigns that can extend the life of holiday buyers. It’s important that merchants ask shoppers to opt-in to marketing messages so they can reach shoppers long after November and December. Bronto has extensive segmentation capabilities like those pictured below.
One of Listrak’s most-notable features is its modal popup that retailers can use to grow their email list by requiring new website visitors to either sign up or close the window. Listrak reports that list sizes typically grow three times in the first year with this feature. Once a visitor has signed up via the modal popup, it will not reappear. Additionally, Listrak offers deep email marketing capabilities including meaningful metrics to leverage to build lasting relationships.