Extensions that Every Magento Store Needs
There are currently thousands of Magento extensions available. Think of any new functionality, the chances are that there would be an extension available for that. Even if an extension is not available to do exactly what you need, you would find an extension that is close enough and you can customise it to meet your needs.
Although the list of extensions you should implement in your Magento website design depends on your requirements, there are some features that every Magento web developer should implement on their Magento projects. These are extensions to make your website more users friendly, improve your customer experience and reduce your workload.
1.1 One Page Checkout
Magento by default comes with a 5 step checkout which could feel too cumbersome for your customers. Even though the amount of information they provide in Magento web development with one-page checkout probably is very similar to the information provided in the default check-out process, the process may still feel inconvenient. It also gives them more time to change their mind and abandon their shopping carts. With One page checkouts, customer complete all the steps within the checkout process right from entering their billing details to their payment details, thus giving them less buttons to click and finish the transaction quickly.
Magento website design with one-page checkout shows how easy it is for your customers to finalise their transaction and avoid shopping cart abandonment. A recent study shows that one-page checkouts reduce shopping cart abandonment by up to 20%.
1.2 WordPress Integration
Magento web development provides a feature rich eCommerce solution but lacks advanced blogging and content management features. That is where WordPress integration with Magento comes into play. Magento Web Developers merge WordPress and Magento to take advantage of the powerful blogging features offered by WordPress.
Various Magento-WordPress plugins available (mostly for free) in the market provide seamless integration between the two hugely popular open source solutions.
Some of the advantages you get by integrating WordPress with your eCommerce store include:
- Uniform theme across the eCommerce and the blog section
- 1-click login to your WordPress admin through Magento
- Ability to associate your WordPress blog posts with Magento products.
- Add WordPress Menu to Magento Menu
Integrating WordPress with your Magento website design also offers a massive advantage when it comes to improving your website’s search engine ranking. You can not only publish blogs with ease, you can even connect them with your products or show them up on the related product pages. This helps you provide unique content for your products.
1.3 Accounting Integration
The biggest complaint that every eCommerce merchant makes is that they spend too much time entering the Magento orders into their accounting systems. An eCommerce merchant that receives 25-30 orders every day could easily spend up to 2 hours each day entering their sales into their account package.
Merchants that use cloud based accounting packages like Xero, Myob AccountRight Live or Quickbooks Online can now use third party services to share data between their Magento store and the accounting package. These third party apps allow you to simply configure your workflows, tax settings and payment settings once and then import your Magento sales to the accounting system. You can also update your accounting package with your SKU’s from Magento.
1.4 SEO Extensions
Even the most well designed Magento stores will fail if they are not ranking well for the key phrases related to products and services they offer. Although Magento offers basic inbuilt SEO features, it is important to integrate advanced SEO extensions in your Magento Web Development.
The dependence of online stores on search engines like Google makes advanced SEO extensions a must have. These extensions save you a lot of time that you may spend on auditing and optimising your website. Using these advanced SEO extensions you can optimise specific products and categories for specific search terms and greatly improve the performance of your store on search engines. When choosing an advanced SEO extension for your store, make sure that the extension you chose offers the following as minimum:
- Create SEO templates for Meta Title of Categories
- Setup unique meta-tags, HI headings, meta description for any page of your eCommerce store
- Create single product URL for whole store
- Create SEO Friendly URL’s
- SEO Friendly URL’s for images
- Ability to Auto-create internal crosslinks
1.5 Shopping Feeds Extension
With customers becoming more and more price-sensitive and as brand loyalty evaporates, it is important that online merchants use platforms like Google shopping (Google Merchant), get price, shopbot and myshopping to advertise their products.
Shopping feed generators like Koongo Connector can really help you ensure that your product data on these comparison sites is always up to date. Every time you create a new product, all you need to do is re-generate your feed and either manually update google shopping extension or schedule the feed to be updated automatically. You can also setup Cron jobs to ensure that your feed is updated regularly without you having to manually update the feed every time you add a new product or change prices.
1.6 Shipping Tracking & Delivery Notification
For a busy eCommerce store, it is very important to track their shipments and ensure that customers can even track their orders without having to call the merchant. This can help reduce follow up calls from customers requesting an update on their order and also help you keep track of any orders facing delivery issues.
Extensions like AfterShip provide a lot of these functionality for free and for a small amount you can configure the system to send you notification emails for various stages of the shipment. E.g. you can configure the system to send you and your customer an email when there is a failed attempt on delivery or an exception is raised.
1.7 Upsell and Cross sell
Everyone has experienced “Would you like chips with it” or “Would you like to upgrade to large meal for 50 cents only” at McDonalds. This is a very effective strategy to increase your revenue and every Magento Website design should incorporate this.
Magento does offer some standard upsell and cross-sell features, however, many merchants don’t find them effective. With the more advanced upsell and cross sell extension, Magento website designers can add an anchor product to the shopping cart and check out button. The customer will see the popups based on the product they have purchased.
The above mentioned extensions, in our opinion, are the ones that every Magento website design should have. Incorporating these extensions in your Magento Web Development improves your online store by:
- Improving your Customer experience
- Increasing your Revenue thus offering a better ROI
- Improve your Magento stores visibility on search engines
- Reducing post-sales support requirements
- Reducing manual labour – thus saving you hours of admin time and money
- Making your store more competitive