Advanced Reports – The Ultimate Reporting Solution for Your Magento Store

October 30th, 2014 No comments

Running a successful and prospering online business is impossible without advanced reporting systems. High-quality reports are not only a source of indispensable commercial information, but also a great inspiration for original business decisions and breakthroughs.

Magento provides its users with multiple useful commercial reports, which inspect and visualize numerous aspects of your online business, from reviews and coupons to orders and sales. Still, sometimes we need special solutions fitting individual purposes and showing business from a slightly different angle.

In this case, the Advanced Reports extension is the first to draw your attention as it is able to provide you more information about your sales and create a complete picture of your business.

The Advanced Reports Extension

The Advanced Reports extension for MagentoThe Advanced Reports extension provides you with a wide range of Magento reports and great number of additional units you can integrate with the extension at your discretion and keep your expenses as low as possible.

Report configuration options enable you to set up the appearance of reports, including the height, chart color, font color and size, background color, orders processed, custom date range options, etc.

Variety of Reports

Product-Focused Reports
High-quality products greatly attract customers, the same as reasonable prices, of course. But which of your product meets those requirements and draw visitors better? The “Bestsellers” report is designed to answer this question and show you the way to more balanced and profitable product lines.

"Bestsellers" report

“Bestsellers” Report

The “Sales by Product” report shows the dynamics of sales of chosen items during a definite range of time. Using this report you are able to determine the correlation of sales fluctuations and seasonal demand changes on certain products; to see how the changes of product pages or discount offers increase or decrease sales; to weed out declining SKUs, etc.

Time-Focused Reports
Attaining successful online sales is a formidable task and requires the knowledge of all aspects of the purchasing process, including seemingly tiny and unimportant. But…

rsz_mark83Trifles make perfection and perfection is no trifle.

So, the information about sales rush hours can be very important for sellers. First of all, you can check the bandwidth adequacy of your store within these hours and improve it, if needed; then you can increase you promotional efforts while you have the greatest flow of visitors; or you can bring additional staff on board to provide immediate customer service within these hours; etc.

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    E-commerce Platforms Popularity Study, October 2014

    October 28th, 2014 2 comments

    Our previous Alexa 1 million top sites survey unveiled an unsurpassable leadership of Magento CE among world top e-commerce platforms.

    But things change rapidly in this fast-paced and highly competitive market, and Magento itself undergoes significant changes. So, in order to keep abreast of the latest changes and trends we prepared a new edition of the study.

    The current research is updated with new platforms, included into the main sample, and delivers a bit different relative data, but the absolute changes, we discovered, clearly explain the main trends.

    Study Description

    The study supervises Alexa 1 million top sites and detects the stores, which use one of thirty two e-commerce platforms included into the survey. Compared with the previous study, this edition is extended by 12 new platforms, including WooCommerce, Yahoo Stores, Demandware, OXID eShop, etc.

    Note: We’d like to remind you that the obtained results are accurate only under specific conditions of this study.

    E-commerce Platforms Popularity Study

    Magento CE takes the leading position among the examined e-commerce platforms in Alexa 1 million top sites. The nearest competitor WooCommerce is 5% behind the leader, and thus, together these platforms take 46.4% of the market share.

    Ecommerce platforms market share

    The great insight here is that comparatively different e-commerce solutions have almost the same popularity and market shares. The only difference, worth to be mentioned, is that the sites based on Magento CE have higher positions in the Alexa rank. For example, Alexa Top 100 thousand sites contain 68% more Magento CE sites than WooCommerce ones.

    If we continue to exploit the Paretto principle, we’ll discover that top 7 e-commerce platforms, which constitute 22% of the total quantity, hold 76% of the market share.

    Due to the added e-commerce platforms to our investigation, the shares declined, compared to previous study, but, excluding WooCommerce, the leaders are still the same: Magento CE, PrestaShop, Shopify, VirtueMart, Magento EE.

    However, their progress since the last study differs greatly. Shopify is still the most progressive, just as in the previous study, and grew by 26.5% since April, 2014. While the total number of sites running Magento CE within Alexa 1 Mln increased by 13.5%, and PrestaShop sites – by only 2.8% over the same period. Below you will find the changes in progress of all platforms in comparison to the previous April’s study.

    Ecommerce platforms performance

    Expectedly, Magento Go and Magento PE are decreasing and take “leading” positions among the most regressing platforms. However, Magento EE is also rather unsuccessful within the past period and performs the 13.7% decrease.

    And yet some noteworthy facts: the OpenCart platform increased by 7.4%, while Volusion and osCommerce decreased significantly, by 7% and 12.3% respectively.

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      MagentoLive Germany 2014 Handpicked Presentations

      October 24th, 2014 No comments

      MagentoLive Germany is always a terrific event for the Magento Community in Europe, as it gathers numerous experts and outstanding people all around the world.

      This year, powered by PayPal, eBay, and other e-commerce major players, the conference was, once again, an excellent opportunity to strengthen the community. Multiple invited persons, speakers, and attendees shared their vision of the future, discussed successes and obstacles, and delivered their knowledge about Magento and e-commerce in general.

      And, as usually, we offer our readers an overview of some noteworthy presentations in our blog. It contains only a several abstracts, while you can look through the entire list of videos and presentations on the conference website.

      Win New Online Customers and Build Relationships with a Direct to Consumer Business Model

      Win New Online Customers and Build Relationships with a Direct to Consumer Business ModelPresentation

      Boris LokschinBoris Lokschin, eCommerce Business and Delivery Manager, CGI Sarah SchachenhoferSarah Schachenhofer, Product Manager, HEAD

      The presentation covers some peculiarities of a comparatively uncommon, but currently trendy business model – D2C (direct to customer) sales. Based on the example the authors briefly touch the features of the D2C model and explain the advantages of this marketing and business positioning.

      According to the authors, direct to customer sales is a global trend and provide several advantages over other business models:

      • Direct contact to customer;
      • Two-way communication;
      • Unique user experience;
      • Differentiation from competitors;
      • Special product range;
      • New markets.

      The modern and powerful site fulfills all the mentioned above tasks and allows customers to create their own unique Head Racquet online or send their expectations about the product and new services directly to the manufacturer.

      This still developing project is a great success among Head’s customers and allows the management of the company to plan new initiatives towards further D2C implementation using Magento as a foundation for their online embodiment.

      Beyond the Curve, Staying Ahead of your Customer’s Journey


      Sebastian GutierrezSebastian Gutierrez, Senior Project Manager, eBay Enterprise
      Richard BettinsonRichard Bettinson, Senior Digital Media Strategist, eBay Enterprise

      The mainstream of the presentation is in guiding customers during their online journey, rather than just following them behind. The authors offer several trendy tips for that.

      Location Based Marketing
      Using customers’ location marks merchants are able to offer them products or services available for immediate consumption creating a sense of constant brand presence and useful assistance.

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        10 New Magento Themes in Our Store

        October 21st, 2014 No comments

        Fine dress helps to impress

        Nothing better affects the appearance of an e-commerce store as a gorgeous and UX-friendly web store theme and today we glow to announce you our new products – 10 fine-designed responsive Magento themes from our partners.

        Professionally looking and easy-to-browse online stores have much more chances to grab customers’ attention and hold it until the very checkout.

        10 New Magento Themes in Our Store

        The mentioned below themes all deserve to be installed on your store and you should just choose the one, which perfectly fits you customers and products. All the themes are multipurpose, modern, and functionality rich:

        • Activa Themea high-quality responsive theme suitable for any kinds of devices;
        • Electra Theme a highly-customizable theme, which allows you to create exclusive appearance of your store easily;
        • Vespa Theme – the theme is suitable for leading brands and retailers and provides a cutting-edge design and functionality;
        • Pulsar Themesimplicity and elegance is the slogan of this theme;
        • Glamour Themea stylish and modern theme adaptive to all kinds of devices, designed for trendy brands and customers;
        • Maestro Themesoft and gentle, it meets all the requirements applicable to a modern and superb theme;
        • Deluxe Themethis theme brings to your store great appearance and rich functionality;
        • Access Theme – it is all about style and usability;
        • Duke Theme – highly configurable and feature rich, the Duke theme makes your store 100% responsible;
        • Karizma Thememakes your site recognizable and exclusive with its own flavor and style.

        Browse those excellent Magento themes in our store and you will find the one perfectly suitable for you. Great functionality, clean code, and smooth integration with Magento make them all worthy of your choice.

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          HOW TO: Create Effective Loyalty Programs with Magento Points & Rewards

          October 16th, 2014 No comments

          Pure sales are no longer the only marketing goal for merchants, as the sales funnel starts far beyond the checkout or even pages of you site, and a low price is no longer the only incentive for customers. Brand awareness, retention of customers, and continued loyalty – these are the greatest values for sellers nowadays.

          The Points & Rewards Magento extension by aheadWorks provides you great functionality to achieve the objectives mentioned above persuading customers to purchase more from you using their earned points. The universal nature of points is truly beneficial as they can be spent on any product, in contrast to free products or gifts.

          Effectiveness of Customer Rewards

          Create Clear and Exclusive Rewards
          Reward programs and loyalty systems have passed a long way since their first implementations offline and today are used almost by each and every retailer. As the competition is great and customers usually have plentiful options to choose, the rewards you offer should not only be beneficial, but original as well.

          It may come either from exclusive rewards or unique approach to offer the loyalty program. Originally designed and arranged rewards attract customers and make them feel your high-quality service and appreciative attitude.

          The same time, a rewarding policy should be clear and simple without any confusing issues or potentially unfair clauses. Merchants should place their Reward System Statements in a close access for each customer and the main or a most popular landing page, perhaps, is the best location for the link to it.

 Loyalty Program

 Loyalty Program Original Design

          Announce and Promote Your Reward Policy
          Since you have an advantageous and original reward program you should promote it among your customers any way you can: on site, while customer service rendering, via emails, etc. Customers should know about it, evaluate its benefits, and get involved, which is especially required when customers just not redeem the points or coupons they already have.

          Reward Consistent Loyalty
          Attracting new customers is of high importance for each business and widely intensified by numerous incentives for new shoppers, but manifold studies state that existing clients are more inclined to purchase from you and worth even more attention.

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            Magento vs. Shopify vs. PrestaShop Twitter Audiences Survey

            October 14th, 2014 No comments

            The importance of social media is high for each brand, as most of us contact followers with promotions, important notifications, feedback requests, and some brands even provide customer service via social media.

            So, we asked ourselves a question: “What are the differences of social audiences of main e-commerce platforms? Do they have something similar? Perhaps, they have some overlaps or similar locations, or anything else?” The presented below survey is designed to address these questions.

            The survey covers the Magento Twitter audience, which is one of the most important social media for the platform, compared to the PrestaShop and Shopify Twitter accounts.

            Key findings of the survey are given at the end of this post.

            Note: The data is obtained using

            General Information




            Joined Twitter

            October 2007

            November 2008

            May 2009









            Magento is the oldest Twitter inhabitant, but much less active than Shopify, for example. Shopify also has the best followers/tweets ratio. Each tweet brings Shopify 9.2 followers per tweet, while Magento gets 8.4 followers, and PrestaShop -2.3.

            Magento vs. Shopify vs. PrestaShop followers quantity

            So, total quantities of followers of the mentioned above platforms differ greatly, as it clearly demonstrated on the diagram above.

            Audiences Overlaps

            But to be absolutely realistic this diagram should look like the following:

            Audiences Overlaps

            We analyzed 10 thousand followers from each account and determined that the audience of these three platforms has considerable overlaps:

            • PrestaShop & Shopify – 3.2%;
            • Magento & Shopify – 8.3%;
            • Magento & PrestaShop – 14.2%
            • All platforms – 2.2%

            The overlap of the Magento and PrestaShop audiences is the biggest and mostly presented by digital companies and developers, according to the randomly chosen sample from the mutual 14.2% scope.

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              MM14NY Presentations: From the Magento Community to Conversion Optimization

              October 9th, 2014 No comments

              Meet Magento New York 2014 is one more successful Magento conference held in the United States for the first time.

              It was full of events, including the hackathon and numerous informative sessions, and fabulous  presentations. Today we highlight some of them, which cover both e-commerce tips and Magento plans for the future.

              Magento CommunityMagento Community

              Ben MarksBen Marks, Magento Evangelist, Magento Inc.

              The future of the Magento Community is a subject of care for each and every member of this formation. The Community deeply influences the dynamics of the platform being a powerful driving force for Magento. This value and provided support make us all perceive it as individual entity, which needs to be supervised and cultivated mindfully.

              In his presentation Ben Marks reveals some plans for the future, which are in line with his main tasks – developing the platform, community, and entire ecosystem. To be precise, he announces his plans regarding the role of the Magento Advisory Board, GitHub usage, Magento Connect perspectives, Forums future, and Community Content delivery.

              Coming soon monthly community reports and coming later revamped events page are also the tasks to be done.

              So, the plans are really strategic and multiple, at the same time. Hope, Ben will make them reality soon.

              Magento Security and UsMagento Security and Us

              Lee SaferiteLee Saferite, Senior Web developer, AOE

              This short presentation contains multiple security siggestions and enumerates different Magento threats we should be aware of. Maybe, it raises more questions than provides answers, but it is still very informative for Magento security starters as unveils the topic strictly in accordance with the Magento structure and functionality.

              It starts from the server security and covers some truly valuable tips worthy to be marked:

              • Do not run other software on the e-commerce server;
              • Open only the port necessary for server operations;
              • Use a bastion host to restrict the SSH access;
              • Use the external log file storage;
              • Fulfill backup security procedures.

              Server and user permissions are the next level of the Magento security policy and can be briefly described as the following: “Do not provide excessive permissions and do not give permissions to unnecessary users”.

              The author advises to grant server only user permissions and not provide it with the login shell. The site code should have “read-only” permissions while the files in /var and /media folders should be only writable by the web server user and should not allow running scripts.

              Consistent code security audits are the key to reliable and safe functioning of your Magento store. Several simple precautions will help you maintain your system secured:

              • Never trust third-party modules without security reviews;
              • Stay away from encrypted or obfuscated codes;
              • Never allow modules to include remote self-updates;
              • Do not install modules from Magento Connect via the admin downloader.

              Next. As Magento and other e-commerce stores are of high value for fraudsters you should have several incident response plans for different situations, including code modifications, data steal, or site lockout. This will help you take either proactive measures or instantly respond to compromising actions.

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