Editor’s note: Wonderful time of Christmas holidays is coming. We are all inspired by the magic atmosphere of these magnificent weeks and wait for wonders and pleasant surprises. We want to receive and, even more, to give presents to our family members, friends, neighbors and the entire world… But how can we cater all the numerous wishes of our loved ones? The solution is a gift card, of course, which can meet any personal demands.
According to Nielsen, gift cards are expected to be the number one in the Top Ten Gifts in 2013
Purchasing Gift cards online is a steady modern trend and customers value gift cards even more so than gifts of the equal value. Shoppers have already appreciated gift card usability and constantly purchase them on numerous occasions. Here are some confirming facts:
1. 2/3 of American customers purchased one or several gift cards;
2. More than half of gift card recipients visit stores several times spending their gift cards;
3. Gift card receivers spend up to 20% above the value of their gift cards;
4. About 80% of customers buy gift cards for birthdays and 2/3 on other occasions.
Today we release the Gift Card/Certificate extension, which is intended to allow Magento-based stores to offer gift cards to their customers. The module equally treats fine merchants’ and customers’ needs.
Editor’s note: Checkout page is the last thing that separates customers from their purchases and merchants from revenues. How to prevent customers from cart abandonment? The only rational answer is to improve checkout process constantly.
According to numerous statistics, customers abandon their carts because of several reasons:
- Registration before checkout;
- Numerous checkout steps;
- Slow checkout;
- Unclear delivery details;
- High shipping costs;
- Hidden charges.
It’s clear that people want to make a purchase quickly and easily, and checkout process plays here a very important role.
We have several extensions in our portfolio, which greatly enhance native Magento checkout functionality.
1. One Step Checkout
It is a must-have extension for any Magento store. It reduces the number of steps necessary for checkout. This extension contains multiple features, which will make checkout simple and quick.
- Checkout on a single page
This is the main feature of this extension. During the checkout process customers see the full checkout page. They do not need to press annoying “Continue” button when filling the form. Six native Magento checkout steps are transferred into single checkout operation.
- Login/registration option on the checkout page
Registered customers are able to log in on the checkout page. Unregistered customers can fill a registration form directly during the checkout. However, customers can easily make their purchases without any registration.
- Ability to save address in address book. Auto-fill billing and shipping addresses for logged in customers
Customers are able to save billing or shipping addresses in the address book and use them for further purchases. For logged in customers corresponding fields are filled automatically.
Editor’s note: Everlasting traditions seem to be unable to resist the newly formed consumer behavior anymore and apparently retailers yield to it as well. Thanksgiving dinner is going to be replaced by the early starting shopping rush or at least combined with online shopping.
And the reason is as usually simple. Most people prefer buying during the holiday instead of waiting for the early opening hours on Black Friday. According to National Retail Federation 33 Mln people in the U.S. are planning to make purchases on Thanksgiving Day either online or in stores.
Traditionally Black Friday is expected to be more plenteous: 69.1% (97 Mln) plan to shop on Black Friday, but the share of online shoppers is higher on Thanksgiving Day (according to Placed).
This weekend U.S. customers are going to spend more than 50% of their holiday budgets. So, the possible catch is really attracting. And retailers are fully armed for this hot weekend. More than half of retailers started their online promotions five days before the Thanksgiving weekend. (by Prosper Insights & Analytics). Retailers are going to carry out numerous promotional activities including special email campaigns (44.2%), one-day sales (41.9%), free gift with purchase promotions (23.3%), free standard shipping on all purchases (20.9%) and discounted shipping (20.9%) (according to NRF). This year overall online holiday sales are expected to be 15% higher over the last year (according to Shop.org).
A huge piece of the global economy is related to and trades by date-dependable products and services and particular date or time are very important for these products. For example, you can’t buy flights or accommodation services without their date or time specification. Date or time here defines the product itself and influences all other product’s parameters, including price.
Booking and Reservation module by aheadWorks makes Magento products date-based. So merchants are able to start a new business related to booking and reservations with the help of this extension. Not only the module converts products into date-based ones, but also maintains the whole process of sales with flexible configuration, customer notifications, enhanced pricing, etc.
Numerous pricing rules allow store owners setting various prices for the same products depending on the date and time of sale, quantity of products, date and time of the event.
The module includes multiple configuration options to fit different types of business. You can set “excluded dates” not available for purchasing, certain time periods when purchases can be made, set multiple purchases available for the products with the same date or time, etc. Instant price changes when you choose different dates or time periods for your reservations and AJAX-based calendar are also included.
As well as other aheadWorks Magento extensions, Booking and Reservation extension contains multiple additional options for admins and customers.
aheadWorks always delivers to customers the best and the most advanced technologies in its extensions and themes. Magento is a source-consuming platform, so using AJAX technology in functional Magento extensions allows saving server resources and reduces site response time. We have several AJAX-using modules in our portfolio (twenty, to be precise). Some of them are fully AJAX-based and the others simply include features that use AJAX technologies.
What is AJAX?
group of interrelated web development techniques used on the client-side to create asynchronous web applications.
AJAX provides asynchronous updates of small pieces of web pages content. It allows avoiding excessive server bandwidth and makes updates invisible for users. Actually it updates page content without page reloads.
Last Friday we celebrated our 10th Anniversary and now we want to share our joy about this event.
Our working space turned into a great party venue with over 60 colleagues and guests. It was an excellent occasion for us to get together and have a talk. And, of course, it was a great opportunity for team building.
Three flours of our office hearty welcomed our guests and partners and encouraged them for birthday congratulations and gifts. We got a great chance to get to know each other closer. Wonderful mood and friendly atmosphere were particularly favorable for this, and Akute band performance made it simply unforgettable.
We want to congratulate all the staff with this anniversary and wish all of us more modules and themes, more customers and partners and a long success in business.
No doubts, that the most proper way to convey our festive mood to you is showing interesting photo from the party. Enjoy our 10th Anniversary Photo Album and some comments for the pictures
That’s how it was.
Stage 1. Drinks and Snacks are waiting for the guests.
White banquet tables were full of colors and looked lovely. Delicious snacks and refreshments were just what we needed at the end of the day.
Stage 2. We went to drink some beer.
Waiting for a glass of beer is a chance to talk to colleagues and guests. Beer is a popular drink as it turned out.
Today, when the current eCommerce competitive environment is so unfriendly and spontaneous we exert every effort attracting customers to our online store and retaining them there. And sometimes they just can’t find the item they need among the huge number of goods. Now this disappointing obstacle is fully removed by Magento Layered Navigation extension from aheadWorks.
This extension meets all advanced standards of Web 2.0 solutions for Magento platform. AJAX-based, it contains powerful features which greatly enhance native Magento layered navigation functionality.
Easy installation and configuration (all data will be imported from Magento)
Attributes set available for filtering are added from native Magento Layered navigation during the installation and you do not need to define them again.
AJAX technology allows the extension to filter products fast and without page reloads. Moreover, you can use “go back” or “go forward” buttons in your browser, but, once settled, filtering configuration will be saved for your convenience.
AJAX-based pagination and sorting
Pagination and results sorting are done seamlessly, without any reloads, and do not distract customers from searching the products they need.