Magento Events 2015

January 23rd, 2015 No comments

The last year was full of Magento events and meetups. We broadly highlighted all the conferences held on different continents as we sincerely beleive that the Magento community is one of the most propelling factors for the overall platform success.

Magento Conferences 2015

original- Magento Live; green- Meet Magento; purple - Bargento; yellow - Imagine; blue - other Magento events.

The new local conferences, started in 2014, brought their additional impact to the growth of Magento in local markets and allowed developers and merchants establish even closer connections for their mutual benefits.

Europe is, of course, the busiest region for Magento conferences, and it is not surprising that three new conferences started just here: Meet Magento Romania, Meet Magento Switzerland, and Meet Magento Ukraine.

According to their names, the main merit for their success belongs to Meet Magento, which is now can be rightfully called a leading communication platform for Magento enthusiasts around the globe. So, in confirmation of this, last year it added New York to its wide geography.

Managing a great number of events, Meet Magento is still not the only organizer of Magento conferences. There are at least two more multi-conference formats, such as Magento Live and Bargento, which run Magento events globally.

In addition to the mentioned above conferences, there are several single Magento events, among which Imagine is the biggest and most popular.

Except Europe and North America, Magento is also presented on other continents. For instance, Magento Live Australia consolidates the vast and developed local community with plenty of Magento merchants and long traditions of the platform usage.

The raising markets of Asian countries kicked off a new conference in China – Magento Com.

The South America ecommerce market, and especially the Brazilian one, also exploits the benefits of Magento for a long time. So, Brazil has two main Magento dedicated conferences – Meet Magento Brazil and the Bargento Brazil edition.

This way, basing on the events of the last year, we created a map displaying the locations of biggest Magento conferences around the globe. Despite, many organizers has not yet determined the dates of their upcoming events, we hope that 100% of them will certainly continue to connect and stimulate the community development in 2015.

Please bookmark this post and use it for planning your visits to these conferences, especially that we’ll further add new information to it as soon as it becomes public.

Your comments on this post are much appreciated. Leave them below, please.
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    Product Color Swatches 1.1.0. More Covincing… More User-Friendly…

    January 19th, 2015 No comments

    Product Color Swatches is one of those extensions, which make the process of selecting a product in your store much easier for customers.

    The Product Color Swatches Magento ExtensionIt replaces native Magento attribute options with image swatches and makes the shopping process more conscious and justified.

    In our efforts to further improve the module’s capabilities we have implemented several new functionality refinements and pleased to present you the new version of this valuable extension.

    Features of the Current Update

    Product Images as Swatches
    If a product processed by this extension contains only one attribute, you can display product images of child simple products as swatches for this very attribute.

    Child Product Images as Swatches. * Click the image to switch to the Frontend

    Backend UX Improvements
    Possibly, the most exciting improvement delivered by this update is the backend UX renovation. It contains several significant enhancements, which facilitate the ways to load swatch images and assign them to certain product attributes.

    From now on, you can upload multiple pictures simultaneously to the right section of the Images area without any page reloads. You can also track the upload progress and get the status of uploaded images at the end of loading.

    Note the Functionality: You can also drag images from your standard file manager to the right section of the Images area, which also starts the loading process.

    In order to assign images to certain attribute options just drag them from the right section to the necessary empty cell of the main Images area. If you want to replace a swatch, just put the new picture over the existing one.

    Images Area

    Images Area

    If necessary, you can remove an image from the main working area. For that, you should just hover the cursor over it and click the Trash Bin icon.

    All changes will take effect after you save the attribute.

    Display Swatches on Category Pages
    Since the current versions of the extension product swatches are available on category pages. This enhancement makes its own contribution to the overall frontend usability and allows customers to use product swatches functionality on category pages without visiting products.

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      Development Directions of Main E-commerce Platforms. Where and Why.

      January 16th, 2015 No comments

      Early this year we all make plans for the future.

      In order to synchronize our own goals with current ecommerce trends and technological innovations we’d definitely like to find out, what functionality we can get from leading ecommerce platforms.

      Development Directions of Main E-commerce Platforms

      Of course, the ideas for new features may come from different sources, including customers’ requests, competitive analysis, internal logic of the platform development, etc. Nevertheless, ecommerce platform providers, at least the biggest of them, should surely consider new commercial tendencies in their products and timely offer corresponding functionality to their customers.

      2014 Features Overview

      The apparent consistency of our reasoning provided above let us presume that the new functionality added to the platforms in 2014 should have a lot in common. Still, the analysis reveals that in 2014 the development focus of leading ecommerce platforms was pointed towards considerably different areas of their products.

      Magento and Shopify have most of all in common, as in 2014 they both concentrated on checkout and product improvements. However, the biggest Magento focus lies on security, while Shopify additionally developed payments and responsive design. It is also worth noting that Prestashop largely improved its installer for different customer groups.

      Still, traditional areas like products, checkout, payments, and design are found in all revised platforms.

      Main Improved Areas by the Number of Features

      Main Improved Areas by the Number of Features

      Of course, the maturity of a platform significantly define the functionality it currently enhances, but we can surely claim that most mentioned providers, nonetheless, follow the current market needs, including such as m-commerce and personalization.

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        Knowledge Base – Useful Functionality for Any Online Store

        January 9th, 2015 No comments

        A well-structured and content-rich knowledge base is able to accomplish several important tasks in your ecommerce store.

        Knowledge Base. Get the Answers.

        The Benefits of Knowledge Bases

        It Reduces the Workload on Your Support Team
        Answering most common and often questions about your products and services knowledge bases reduce the number of calls to the support team. This allows your staff to thoroughly concentrate on other important requests and make their best to resolve them properly.

        It Saves Your Money
        Since the number of requests directed to the support team is reduced, you need no additional employees in your help desk. This way, knowledge bases save your money.

        It Increases Traffic and Conversions
        The Knowledge Bases containing multiple useful articles are able to significantly enlarge the number of visitors from search engines. Landing on the pages of your knowledge base they continue to browse the store and make purchases. So, this traffic can also bring additional conversions and revenue.

        As soon as we realize the value and necessity to create knowledge bases in our stores, we face the next challenge – to make them effective and attractive for customers.

        How to Write Useful Knowledge Base Articles

        Follow the Questions Commonly Asked in Your Help Desk
        As the main purpose of any knowledge base is to answer most common questions of your customers, your help desk is the primary source of knowledge base article ideas. Usually customers want to clarify a really limited number of questions, so your first knowledge base articles will likely cover the majority of them. Thus, these comparatively minimal efforts are able to provide great benefits for your support team.

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          aheadWorks in 2014: The Sum of the Year

          December 31st, 2014 No comments

          At the end of each year we are accustomed to summarize our achievements and make plans for the future.
          This year was very busy for us and Magento in general. Still, we can rightfully mark the 2014th year as a successful time for our company, as it put a lot of new extensions into our portfolio and draw numerous new customers.

          Happy New Year

          We thank all our customers and want you to know that we greatly appreciate your loyalty and trustful attitude.

          Summing Up the Year

          Bestsellers 2014
          We know that many of you like our products and prefer them when extending the functionality of your Magento stores. But, if you possibly missed some extremely useful modules, we’d like to highlight our bestselling extensions, according to the opinion of our customers.

          The One Checkout Magento Extension
          One Step Checkout
          Reduces the number of checkout steps from 6 to 1 and allows customers to buy products in one simple click.
          The Follow Up Email Magento Extension
          Follow Up Email
          Follows up your customers with fully automated emails. Inserts coupons, purchased products, pictures, tracking codes, restore cart links.
          The Help Desk Ultimate Magento Extension
          Help Desk Ultimate
          Magento ticket management module with a case tracking, statistics, and resolution systems.

          Other Bestsellers

          • Advanced Reportsimproves the functionality of native Magento reports. Can be expanded with additional units;
          • Subscriptions and Recurring Paymentscreates subscription products using flexible settings and sells them on a recurring basis;
          • AJAX Cart Promakes Magento cart UI absolutely customer friendly by the means of AJAX;
          • RMAcontrols the return or exchange of items sold to customers;
          • Points and Rewards - is one of the most powerful solutions for enhancing customers’ loyalty, improving user experience, and increasing sales rates;
          • Automatic Related Products 2defines the rules for related products and offers people alternatives to the current product automatically.

          New Extensions 2014
          This year we have placed some new extensions and themes in our store, which greatly expanded our portfolio and the sphere of Magento functionality improvements.

          The newly added Magento modules extend different Magento functionality areas, including products browsing and viewing, products and web forms management, social media widgets adding, age verification implementation, store credit functionality, and payment gateways integrations.

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            Viacheslav Kravchuk: ” I’d start with checkout…”

            December 30th, 2014 No comments

            Merry Christmas and a Happy New YearEditor’s note: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

            At this festive time we’d like to offer you not just a business information, as it really sounds boring today, but a valuable advice. In this post we’ll focus on some tips of the conversions optimization and the best ways of its analysis.

            For this purpose, we asked Viacheslav Kravchuk, CEO and founder of Atwix, to answer our questions on the topic.


            Рисунок2VIACHESLAV KRAVCHUK


            Viacheslav has more than 7 years of experience in e-commerce and a Master Degree in Computer Science. He is also a Certified Scrum Master and Qualified Google Analytics professional.

            Being a CEO and owner of Atwix, Viacheslav manages all aspects of the business and customer relationships. He started building websites in 2002 and worked as a freelancer for the next 4 years. In 2006,  he founded his first company CRE Help, specializing in OSCommerce and custom PHP work.

            In 2010, CRE Help added Magento Community and Enterprise to its profile, was re-branded, and now is known as Atwix.

            aW: We know that you are an active member of the Magento Community and often take part in different Magento dedicated events as a speaker. What is the most exciting Magento event for you personally?

            Viacheslav: Personally for me the most exciting event was Meet Magento Ukraine, as we were co-organising it and this was the first time that we have took part in the event’s organisation at all.

            aW: Tell us a couple of words about your impressions of Meet Magento Ukraine 2014, please.

            Viacheslav: Meet Magento Ukraine was quite a challenge for us. After I have made a decision together with Sergiy Lysak, CEO of Eltrino, that we’re going to make a Meet Magento Ukraine event in Kyiv back in November 2013, a lot has happened.

            We do it for people, and the people’s opinion is what really matters

            Our country has went through the mass protests, dramatic violence of public authorities, escape of the former president, russian annexation of Crimea and attempts to capture some of the eastern regions of Ukraine, shooting of MH17 airplane over Donbass. All this along with the economical crisis. So, as you can imagine, that did not help us much to gather attendees.

            My opinion will definitely be subjective, as I’ve seen the event only from the inside. Like pretty much all of the Meet Magento organisers, we do it for people, and the people’s opinion is what really matters. In this context, I was really glad to hear the pleasant and warm feedback. So, overall I am happy with what we were able to accomplish.

            aW: The conversion rate optimization is the latest subject of your public speeches. Why is the analytical background so important for proper researches and what primary tools would you recommend for newbies?

            Viacheslav: I believe that today’s technology does not really require you to have an analytical background to set up A/B tests with what the majority of store owners are willing to experiment. I’d suggest Optimizely and Google Analytics as the main tools for beginners.

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              The Things You Can Do to Make Your Onsite Search Perfect

              December 23rd, 2014 No comments

              There are only two ways for customers to find a product in your store – an onsite search and stepwise browsing.

              Still, most visitors do not use search boxes when they visit your site, although the results they can get are able to save them much time and efforts. According to Screen Pages, the average number of sessions with onsite searches constitutes only 5.7% of the total number of visits committed to the studied Magento sites.

              Why does this happen? It seems, there is only one reason able to explain this phenomenon – the purpose of their visit to your site. Most customers do not have a confident buying intention during the visit. Naturally, they need to browse through several products to compare their quality and prices and just don’t need onsite search, as have no search queries to enter.

              Provide Customers with an Effective Search

              But the customers using onsite search greatly differ from the rest of the audience. They are much more important for your business, as their conversion rate is five times higher than the average one, according to ConversionXL.

              The search box on your site is the fastest way for them to reach necessary products and purchase them. And it is here lies the main opportunities and risks area for your conversions.

              As visitors have usually not much time for product searches, merchants should instantly provide them with complete and relevant search results. Below we’ll consider some valuable tips aiming to provide customers with advanced and comprehensive onsite search functionality.

              The Things You Should Consider

              Accuracy and Relevance of Results
              Magento site owners get internal search functionality by default with the installation of the platform. However, the main purpose of this functionality lies in accurate and relevant results.

              Search Boxes Position
              The UI practice implies a certain location of search boxes within the store’s layout. Usually, they are situated in the upper right corner of the page, which is expected by customers, so they find it immediately. An unusual location of search boxes annoys customers and may lead to their exits.

              Traditional Search Box Position

              Traditional Search Box Position.

              It is also not recommended to periodically change search box positions on your site, as it confuses visitors and waists their time.

              Allotted Location of Search Boxes
              The box should not be surrounded by other similar design elements, including text boxes, text fields, sliders, etc. This simplifies the discovering of this functionality on the store page and eliminates an accidental use of other interface elements.

              The search box should also be clearly separated from the surrounding area with bright colors and an appealing action button.

              Search Box Placement on All Website Pages
              Customers should have access to the onsite search functionality from each page of your store. This feature eliminates unnecessary returns and excessive navigational steps.

              Autocomplete Usage
              The autocomplete feature is critical for many customers. It saves their time, avoids mistakes and multiple data inputs, and finally leads to relevant and rapid search results.

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