When Magento was first released, it provided an eCommerce platform that offered functionality not seen before. It still does, but as Magento stores have grown, their requirements have changed. The platform’s functionality now needs to be delivered to an increasingly large customer base, and in an increasingly performant way. For this reason, we’ve made sure that our Magento solutions are optimized to make the best use of the resources available to them.
You’ve probably heard the statistic that “a 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.” This may be overused, but it provides vital insight into what eCommerce customers expect. A single second can be the difference between a Magento store that drives traffic and generates as much profit as possible, and one that falls flat.
“Magento is capable of supporting eCommerce stores of any size, but making the most of that power requires careful optimization.“
Since Magento’s creation, Hostdedi has worked to increase performance and optimize Magento environments. Our first guide, released in 2013, helped developers to create incredible, high-performance Magento stores. Stores which beat out the competition when it came to speed, efficiency, and responsiveness.
Our newest guide brings things into 2018 (now 2019), with everything from PHP optimizations, MySQL recommendations, and notes on how to implement Varnish and full-page caching effectively. Moreover, we’ve included all of this in a convenient 68-page book available for any Magento 2 developer who wants to know how to optimize a Magento 2 site.
What Has Changed With Magento 2?
From a technical perspective, Magento 2’s performance has improved since Magento 1; especially with regards to PHP utilization. Changes in how the application handles PHP threads has led to noticeable speed gains and better memory utilization.
Some of the reasons for this performance boost are that Magento 2 supports full-page caching, database improvements, native varnish, a modern code base, and has improved CLI tools.
Yet while the second version of the application originally brought the eCommerce platform in line with the increasing demands of a modern online marketplace, these demands continued to grow. Further performance optimizations have become essential to ensuring that eCommerce businesses are now able to keep pace with their competitors.
How Can I Optimize My Magento Store?
For a full list of Magento 2 optimizations, we highly recommend downloading The Definitive Guide to Optimizing Magento 2. We will cover only a few of the main environment optimizations here.
We’ve discovered several PHP optimizations for Magento 2. These are specifically designed around increasing performance and load times for users.
From a high-level perspective, we’ve managed to improve Magento PHP performance even further by turning out back on mod_php, and opting to use php_fpm instead. Php_fpm allows for the serving of seperate php processes to serve dynamic requests, so further performance tuning means improved responsiveness and a reduced memory footprint.
You’ll also find recommendations on php version usage in our guide. With our cloud solutions, it’s possible to set your php version as far back as 5.6. We don’t recommend this as using a newer php version, especially 7.0 or later, will lead to performance improvements and can dramatically reduce memory usage.
At last year’s Imagine, a third-party patch was needed to make Magento 1 compatible with PHP 7.0. As of September 2018, Magento released an official php 7.2 patch, which can be downloaded here.
Some of the PHP optimizations you’ll find in The Definitive Guide to Optimizing Magento 2 include:
A PHP runtime limitation of 600 seconds.
A script memory utilization limitation of 768MB
A POST data size limitation of 512MB
PHP Opcache Optimizations for Magento 2
Opcache is a PHP-caching extension able to improve performance by optimizing what static code is stored in shared memory. This can improve PHP performance dramatically by skipping the intensive compilation process and reading files directly from memory.
By default, however, Opcache is not optimized for Magento. Instead of performance gains, you’re more likely to see performance losses. After careful testing, we found several settings that could easily be optimized by configuring the opcache.ini in the php.d directory.
Some of the Opcache optimizations we recommend are:
Set opcache.memory_consumption to 512mb
Set opcache.max_accelerated_files to 65407
Set opcache.revalidate_freq to 4
MySQL Optimizations for Magento 2
For Magento 2 database optimization, we recommend implementing and optimizing MariaDB as a replacement in the MySQL section of your stack. MariaDB is fast and offers a simplified deployment over CentOS 7.
In general, MariaDB, by default, allocates too many resources to database processes. We’ve found that these numbers can easily be reduced while still providing improved performance.
Some of the MariaDB optimizations we’ve implemented include:
Single server environments to incorporate a 50% buffer size pool. For systems dedicated to MariaDB this should be increased up to 80%.
Set query cache size to 2% of your available memory, or 127MB.
A well-tuned stack means optimizing the technology that helps to deliver your Magento store. Simply enabling NGINX microcaching can double store performance with no additional modifications. For more information on the stack we offer, see our application stack page.
Enable Full-Page Caching
It was introduced with Magento 2 for a reason. Even if Redis is not available and you need to use local files for caching, full-page caching will pull load away from the PHP interpreter and MySQL, increasing site speed.
Run Modern PHP
With the official update for Magento 1, there is now no excuse to not upgrade to PHP 7.0 or later. If you’re unsure on how it will affect your store, try using a dev site to test and develop safely.
Hostdedi Cloud as Changing the Magento Environment
One of the biggest changes the Hostdedi Cloud has brought to Magento 2 stores is the inclusion of Hostdedi Cloud Auto Scaling. Auto Scaling is a feature which allows for your cloud account to scale the number of concurrent users automatically, whenever your Magento store picks up traffic spikes.
For instance, if you run a sales event which results in your store receiving double the number of guests it normally does, Hostdedi Cloud Auto Scaling will allow your store’s concurrent user capacity to increase. This means no rejected page loads and no loss of potential income.
Magento Imagine is less than a week away. Kicking off May 13th, this year promises to be a big one, with merchants exploring how to “Expand the Experience”.
And NexcessLive is back for another incredible party and the chance to talk with merchants about how we can help them to optimize the eCommerce experience.
If you haven’t already, keep reading to see what we’re going to be doing to keep the party going outside of the Wynn, and see if scheduling a time to talk is right for you.
The NexcessLive Party – May 13th
The Hostdedi Live Party is a chance for you to let loose and channel your inner golfer – regardless of how well you can actually golf.
Taking place at Topgolf Las Vegas, from 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm, enjoy complimentary drinks, hors-d’oeuvres, and take the chance to go club to club against the Hostdedi team. If golfing isn’t your thing, don’t worry. We’ll have a pro on standby to help you learn, or you can just enjoy the ambiance of the cabanas.
Transportation will be provided from the Wynn at 7:00 pm and then back from Topgolf at 10:30 pm. All guests will also receive a bonus golf-themed gift set, with more than a few luxury surprises.
This year, we’re invited BigCommerce along, who will be providing a number of prizes. This includes:
A Nintendo Switch
A Moleskin Eclipse + Set
A GPS Golf Smart Watch
An Oculus VR set
Interested in getting your hands on one of them? Three will be raffled off and one will be offered to the winner of our golf-themed competition.
Reserve your spot on the guest list today. Places are limited.
The Suites Meetings – May 14th
Besides being a great chance to get off your feet during conference hours, the Suites Meetings let merchants demo new Hostdedi innovations and see how we can help you to realize the promise of Magento.
Interested in scheduling a time? Click here and let us know what works for you.
Make the Most of Vegas
You might be in Vegas for one of the biggest eCommerce conferences of the year, but don’t spend all your time with Hostdedi. Make the most of your time in Vegas by exploring a little. Swing by the casinos, view some of the city’s unique and interesting shows, and soak in the atmosphere of one of the world’s most luxurious cities.
Magento is still one of the best eCommerce platforms available for merchants looking to optimize the eCommerce experience. Between incredible functionality and unrivaled product management, it provides the ability to create storefronts that can’t be created in other, comparable applications.
In 2018, we found that the top reason merchants chose Magento was functionality. Yet great functionality requires a lot of server resources. As a result, Magento is a known resource hog.
Luckily, with over 10 years of experience supporting Magento stores, we understand the application’s complex performance requirements. In fact, we even wrote the book on the subject. For this reason, merchants continue to choose Hostdedi for reliability, security, and performance.
Interested in learning more about how we create Magento environments you can’t find anywhere else? This article looks at four of our optimizations and how they make your store faster with Hostdedi.
PHP code lies at the foundation of Magento, and there are multiple ways that a web server can be configured to execute that code. Even minor changes to default configurations can lead to significant Magento performance improvements.
Usually, when you install PHP support on a web server, an apache module called mod_php is set up. This module offers a simple set of configurations that will provide a Magento installation with the type of performance you’ll see with any web host.
We don’t accept the default mod_php file configurations. Instead, we use PHP FastCGI Process Manager, commonly known as php-fpm, on our servers.
PHP-FPM allows Magento sites to make use of memory and CPU resources more efficiently than its mod_php counterpart. This helps Magento sites to better manage content and serve websites faster.
In additional, we optimize the mod_php setup so it makes the best use of memory and CPU resources. Usually, a mod_php setup is also configured so that each Apache httpd process also contains a copy of the PHP interpreter. This inevitably means a larger memory footprint – even for Apache threads serving requests for static assets.
Under our configuration there are separate PHP processes to serve dynamic requests so the web server can serve only requests for static assets. This also allows us to tune settings related to how these processes behave to improve responsiveness or reduce memory footprint.
A Fine-Tuned OPcache
PHP is an interpreted programming language. This means that when PHP code is executed it must be parsed by an interpreter. This interpreter organizes the code into an internal representation that can then be executed by the PHP runtime.
Parsing must take place within the interpreter before the code can even begin to run. Usually, parsing repeats every time a request is made. That means that every time someone visits a new page on your site, the parser kicks in.
This is where OPcache can help. OPcache helps by saving the internal representation of the code so it doesn’t need to be parsed for each request. For an application like Magento, which has tens of thousands of PHP files, this translates into a significant performance improvement.
As part of our strategy for optimizing performance for Magento, we’ve tuned the settings for OPcache to support a large number of compiled files. This translates to less time spent parsing PHP code and more time spent running useful code that helps customers access your Magento store.
NGINX-Based Cloud Accelerator
By implementing built in microcaching using NGINX, static assets can be stored and served directly from memory for a short period of time. This is particularly useful for highly trafficked stores that have a selection of very popular products, with NGINX meaning that each visitor page load is faster and uses less server resources.
Nginx also provides HTTP/2 protocol support, which allows for optimizations such as server push, where a web server or web application can tell a browser to download additional assets in response to a request.
Traditionally a browser would not start downloading additional assets until it encountered them during a page load. Server push means a browser can be told to download static and other assets immediately.
Automatic Processing Priority
All multi-tasking operating systems have a mechanism called a CPU scheduler. This component determines which tasks are allowed to use the CPU at a given time and to what extent. On Linux, this is done by assigning a “niceness” value to a process. The value is called this because it determines how “nice” the process is, or how big a share of CPU resources that process will get. The idea is that nicer processes use less CPU resources.
Hostdedi has created a system that automatically changes the niceness value of running processes so that web critical processes (NGINX, apache httpd, php, mysql, etc) get CPU priority over less critical tasks. (compressing files, backups, etc).
Additionally, we run most maintenance tasks with a low CPU priority. This helps ensure that your website responds quickly even when administrative or scheduled tasks are running.
Get Started With Optimized Magento
Magento optimization starts on the server and finishes in the application. Server optimizations can help to provide merchants with a solid foundation for creating the Magento experience they want, but the development process is still vital.
We always recommend testing new code and implementations on a dev site before you push to your production site. Dev sites allow Magento merchants and developers to test speed and performance in a secure environment.
Interested in learning more about how we help merchants to optimize the eCommerce experience? Visit our Magento hosting page to see what features come with a Magento install.
When it comes to selecting the right eCommerce platform, merchants have a lot to consider: Store size and number of products, payment and shipping options, and how they want the store to actually work.
At the center of these questions is an answer to which platform will do everything you want, while still being cost effective and providing the customer experience you’re looking for? Two of the main contenders are Magento and Shopify.
While both are able to create unique eCommerce stores, they differ significantly in almost all areas. As we’ll look at in more detail, Magento and Shopify have two different target audiences. Magento is aimed at larger, enterprise businesses, while Shopify is designed around small businesses looking for simple site creation.
We’ll explore several different areas and ask which platform is best for merchants in what ways. This article will try to answer:
When it comes to numbers, Magento and Shopify couldn’t be more different.
In terms of number of sites, Shopify boasts over 880,000, which dwarfs the 245,000 Magento sites currently live.
Yet if we take a look at the percentage of those sites that have made it into the top 1m and top 10k sites, we begin to see a different picture.
According to BuiltWith, 6.2% of Magento sites are featured within the top 1m sites globally, compared with just 2.51% being sites that operate on Shopify. This trend continues into the top 10k sites, with 0.07% of Magento stores featured, compared with just 0.05% of Shopify sites.
This suggests that Magento is more likely to support enterprise level stores that are able to better hone in on personalized customer experiences.
As we will dive into later in this article, Magento is known for its incredible functionality and ability to customize the eCommerce experience. So it’s no surprise that larger online stores lean towards using it.
* Requires a hosting solution, which normally starts at around $29 per month.
Magento vs Shopify: Pros and Cons
Magneto offers incredible functionality compared to almost any other eCommerce platform out there. This makes it one of the most versatile options for merchants looking to create personalized customer experiences, especially if they have a developer team behind them.
Advanced Shopping Cart Options
Shopping cart customization can make all the difference in terms of real ROI. As one of the most vital stages of a customer’s journey, the right options during purchase can be the difference between clicking cross and clicking buy.
Magento has almost twice the number of extensions as Shopify. And it’s not just quantity either. Magento extensions stay true to the platform’s reputation for flexibility by providing more in terms of functionality.
An asset that is not talked about enough. Magento’s community provides the eCommerce web application with a lot of support that other non-open-source applications don’t receive.
Difficult for Beginners
Magento was not designed for those looking to take their first steps into eCommerce. While there is a page builder in the works for open source, you still very much need either coding knowledge or a developer to get started.
While open source itself is free, hosting is not. This can cost many hundreds of dollars if you’re a large store. It can cost you more than the Shopify equivalent, but we would argue that you get more for your money by self hosting.
Ease of Use
Shopify is designed to be a simple eCommerce platform that provides owners with an easy way to get started selling quickly. Pages can be easily customized, as can products. While this customization is nowhere near Magento’s, it’s enough to get started.
Shopify has several free themes available to get started with. They require no coding, are responsive, and look modern.
Shopify is all managed through a single point of contact. Instead of having to manage your store on multiple fronts, you’re able to access and do everything in one place.
Once you’ve gone through all the additions you’ll have to add to your Magento budget, Shopify is often the more inexpensive option.
Transaction fee per sale
Each time you sell a product, you pay Shopify. With the basic plan, this starts from 2.9% + 30¢ per sale. If you use an external payment gateway, you can add an additional 2%. Learn more about Shopify’s transaction fees.
As we’ll explore in this article, Shopify just can’t compete with Magento in terms of functionality.
Designs and Themes
In terms of design, both Magento and Shopify hold their own. From the get-go, Shopify does offer a better experience for beginners. The stock themes available come in both free and paid flavours, and provide a classy, modern look.
Shopify’s themes can also be tweaked to line up with your brand image. These tweaks can include, but are not limited to:
Changing color schemes throughout the site
Applying custom images to products and pages
Changing how newsletter signups work
Editing the action bar and navigation text
Mobile responsiveness is now more vital than ever. 79% of mobile users made a purchase with their mobile in 2018. For merchants, this means it’s important that their site looks good and offers a great user experience on mobile.
Both Magento and Shopify offer responsive templates by default. However, if you’re willing and able to develop your own eCommerce store, Magento really shines.
Creating your own theme in Magento can be a long process that requires coding knowledge. However, the rewards are multitude. A customized Magento build allows you to create a storefront unlike anything offered in Shopify.
Cross-selling and up-selling blocks throughout your site
Expanded footer functionality including newsletter sign-ups
Advanced cart and payment integration
Which platform is better really depends on what you want to do with it and your experience level. Shopify is great for beginners, but Magento offers more experienced users a wealth of design and theme options you just won’t find in simpler eCommerce applications.
Ease of use
Straight out of the gate, Shopify takes the lead. Known for its ease of use and ability to create simple, easy to navigate online stores. It, without a doubt, is the easier application for merchants.
Shopify also features an easy to use drag and drop interface. This is something you won’t find in Magento and makes creating new pages much easier.
Shopify makes store creation simple with an easy to navigate admin interface.
However, with that simplicity comes a lack of versatility. Versatility that can be found and taken advantage of with Magento.
Besides offering a host of built-in customizations and functionalities, Magento also offers an extension marketplace with over 4,700 extensions available to download and add to your store.
Additionally, Magento’s recent acquisition by Adobe has already led to other added functionality and integrations for the eCommerce application. Integrations that Shopify simply can’t compete with for enterprise level clients.
If you’re looking for ease of use, Shopify is the way to go. However, if you’re willing to put in the time and energy needed to learn and adapt a Magento store’s customer experience, Magento is the application you should stay behind.
Magento is known as an eCommerce powerhouse. Between built-in functionality and add-on extensions, it stands as one of the most adaptable eCommerce platforms available.
Yet Shopify does offer enough functionality for small and medium businesses to grow. The eCommerce application makes it easy to do a lot of things without having to code even a single line.
Inserting custom images to create a personalized experience
Adding products and SKUs to your store
Setting up optimized payment options
Customizing the customer experience and the look and feel of your store
However, as you start to require more advanced functionality, your monthly premium will increase. You’ll have to pay more than $29 a month if you want to use gift cards, build professional reports, and implement advanced shipping options.
Magento, on the other hand, is engineered to allow merchants full control of the customer experience by default. This means creating and selling fully customizable products and managing them across multiple stores (if needed).
One of Magento’s greatest strengths benefits international merchants. Magento offers 148 payment processors, many of which come with support for different countries and languages. 60% of overseas, online consumers rarely buy from English-only websites. So being able to offer that international, multilingual experience is vital if you want to target this group.
Shopify does offer a limited number of translation apps, but they don’t provide the complete experience like Magento can.
Magento wins here. But we knew that before we even started.
Apps and Extensions
Once you’ve got your store up and running, you may find that some functions and features you want are missing. Advanced checkout, improved search, and expanded payment options, as a few examples.
Both applications have an answer to this, and it comes in the form of 1-click add-ons that can be purchased (in some cases), downloaded, and installed. Shopify call these Apps, Magento calls them Extensions.
Delving into the options available to merchants, it’s easy to see why Magento’s marketplace is praised, where Shopify’s app store is seen as more of a useful addition.
The first thing you might notice is the difference in the number of extensions made available for each. The Magento marketplace offers over 4,700 extensions, almost double Shopify’s 2,500. And it’s not just the quantity of add-ons that make Magento so much more versatile, it’s the quality as well.
Shopify apps allow users to:
Integrate their store with social and shopping channels
Add additional shipping options
Make basic edits to SEO important data
Magento extensions make it possible to:
Add advanced pre-order functionality
Draw insightful analytics into how well a product is doing
Integrate marketing and analytics software into the eCommerce platform
Leverage powerful advertising tools both internally and externally.
A comparison of some of the more popular add-ons for each, shows that Magento truly is aimed towards delivering a custom user experience and that its extension marketplace only aids in doing so.
Amasty Improved Layered Navigation
Amasty Customer Attributes
Aheadworks Ajax Cart Pro
Point of Sale
Aheadworks Add Free Product to Cart
Magento extensions can be found on the Magento marketplace.
Unfortunately, Magento’s extensions (in general) are costly compared with Shopify’s apps. Moreover, Shopify offers a lot more in terms of free add-ons.
Magento is the clear winner here. Despite costing more, the extensions available add more in-depth functionality and there’s a much larger range.
Both eCommerce platforms allow for an unlimited number of products. They also both allow for you to integrate shipping and fulfilment extensions into your store so that inventory management is easy.
However, the larger your store becomes with Magento, the more likely you are to run into performance problems if you don’t upgrade your hosting account. Shopify has similar problems. However, because your store will be hosted by Shopify themselves, they will encourage you to upgrade your account before you start to experience slowdowns.
With Magento, we recommend finding a Magento-optimized hosting provider, as they will provide you with a fully managed service, similar to Shopify. In some cases, you may even find that your store is faster and more reliable than its shopify counterpart.
Shopify still wins this round, simply because it’s easier to manage performance and inventory through one point of contact, instead of having to get in touch with a developer, hosting provider, and the Magento community.
Magento is a known resource hog, requiring a serious hosting environment to back it up. It’s common knowledge that a merchant’s hosting infrastructure can start to feel the strain as more product SKUs are added. Backed by over a decade of experience, we offer an optimized Magento solution that uses caching to improve the performance of Magento stores. Many of those optimizations you won’t find elsewhere.
Shopify, on the other hand, is a lightweight application. As a result, it runs quickly in most environments, and can hold a larger number of product SKUs on the same hardware that will only run a smaller Magento store.
However, Shopify doesn’t have the same level of functionality as Magento. Personalized shopping experiences with Shopify can be as much as occasional product recommendations and cross-selling.
The reason Magento is such as resource hog is because of everything going on behind the scenes. True personalization of the commerce experience with cross-selling, up-selling, customized shopping cart experiences, and more.
And Magento will run smoothly if the server is configured properly. In 2018, we saw 64% of our hosting solutions run Magento. When asked why they chose us for Magento, merchants cited uptime and functionality as the two main factors at play. Indicating that performance did have a part to play.
Magento scrapes by as the winner here. While Shopify requires less optimization, Magento reigns champion due to the added functionality that comes with it. Moreover, with customized customer experiences, it’s almost certain a Magento store will perform better in terms of ROI.
Both Magento and shopify are strong SEO contenders. In some research, Shopify comes out on top with an SEO score of 98, compared with Magento’s 95.
However, while Shopify is better from an absolute beginner perspective, those with some SEO knowledge will be able to get more out of a Magento installation. The primary reason for this is the extensions available and the ability to truly conform to coding best practices.
Magento doesn’t just let you edit metadata, it also allows you to make vital product and on-page customizations that can provide you with an SEO boost you won’t find in a SaaS product. Additionally, if you’re looking to start working in SEO longtail, adding a WordPress blog to your Magento store is a relatively simple process.
We’re setting Magento as the winner here, due in large part to the added customization options available for users and the ability to customize the SEO process manually.
Security should be at the top of your list. According to the State of Hosting, 61% of shoppers will not purchase from a site that is missing a trust seal such as an SSL certificate.
With changes to the way Google handles security, sites that lack an SSL certificate will now be subject to unsecured site warnings before shoppers can proceed. 98% of shoppers will not proceed past these warnings.
While Shopify manages the integration of an SSL certificate, Magento requires you to purchase and install one separately. This process can be managed for you by a managed hosting provider, but you’ll need to find one first.
In terms of updates and patches, Shopify manages them for you. Magento requires you to do this manually. While Magento’s method requires more time investment from the merchant or developer team, it also provides more flexibility. This is, in large part, due to the incredible community behind Magento.
Magento frequently releases dedicated security patches that are the result of constant testing and development by a community of developers well-versed in the requirements of eCommerce stores.
Shopify, on the other hand, is only managed by in-house talent. This makes for a much smaller pool of resources working on creating and deploying fixes for security problems. While there is a Shopify bounty program that rewards users who find vulnerabilities, the fixes themselves are internal.
Finally, in order for merchants to process credit card data, it’s important for them to be PCI compliant. Shopify, again, manages this internally. However, once again, finding the right Magento hosting provider will make managing PCI compliance just as easy.
Magento is the winner here. While it’s true that Shopify makes security easier, Magento community support can’t be matched. Moreover, by searching for and finding the right hosting provider, managing security with Magento can be just as easy while still providing flexibility you won’t find with a SaaS platform.
A quick look at the pricing for each eCommerce platform makes it seem as though Magento is the cheaper option. However, while Magento open source itself is free, there are numerous hidden costs.
As a Magento merchant, you have to consider hosting costs, security costs (such as SSLs), and developer fees. Developer fees can be the largest, with some Magento stores costing several thousand dollars in terms of development.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, Shopify is the better choice. It’s also a lot more predictable, with a clear, monthly payment in addition to a transaction fee per sale.
Magento vs Shopify: The Winner
So when it comes down to it, which is better: Magento or Shopify?
We’ve come to the conclusion that it really depends on what you’re looking for. Magento is better for those looking to create personalized customer journeys that visitors won’t find anywhere else. Shopify is good for merchants looking to create an eCommerce site with little coding or technical experience behind it.
If you do have either the technical experience or a team of developers, we highly recommend Magento. With functionality you just can’t find anywhere else, and an open source version driven by an incredible community, it’s hard to beat.
If, however, you don’t have the time or money to invest in creating these unique experiences, Shopify is going to leave you with a better storefront that serves customers that information they need.
Data is one of your eCommerce business’s most valuable assets. But it’s not only valuable to your business. It’s also valuable to criminals, who use personal data for identity theft and credit card numbers to commit fraud. Over the last few months, several major eCommerce retailers and many smaller stores were targeted by Magecart, a criminal group primarily focused on scraping credit card numbers.
Magecart is the most prominent victimizer of eCommerce stores, but they are far from the only one. eCommerce store owners should be alert to the risk of data theft and know how to fight it.
Store owners fighting this type of data leak should focus on preventing the attacker from injecting malicious code in the first place.
Keep software up-to-date. Attackers frequently exploit vulnerabilities in older software. If an attacker can compromise an eCommerce store via a known vulnerability in the operating system, utility software, or the store itself, they will inject malicious code, which will run in shoppers’ browsers. Updating fixes known vulnerabilities.
Ensure the database is only accessible via the web store. Database misconfiguration is a common source of data leaks. An eCommerce store’s database should only respond to requests from the application, not to requests from the internet. It should be password protected to prevent any access from unauthorized individuals.
Use a web application firewall such as ModSecurity. A web application firewall can mitigate the risk of attacks against a store’s front-end, including SQL injection attacks and cross-site scripting attacks. Hostdedi uses the advanced ModSecurity WAF on Magento and WooCommerce hosting accounts. To learn more, check out our post on Why ModSecurity Should Be Your Web Application Firewall.
Use two-factor authentication on your Magento or WooCommerce store. The easiest way for an attacker to breach a store’s defenses is to guess the right password. Simple passwords, popular passwords, and passwords based on dictionary words are easy to guess. Long and complex passwords are difficult to guess, and the longer they are, the more difficult it becomes. However, we can’t always trust users (or even developers) to choose a long and random password. Two-factor authentication, as provided by Hostdedi’ Sentry extension for Magento, helps to protect stores from poor password practices.
Disable unused store and server passwords. Unused accounts serve no purpose and increase the surface area of a store that can be attacked. Audit the user accounts on your store and server, deleting those you no longer need. On a related matter, when giving an employee or third-party access to your store, use a unique account created for the purpose. Once they no longer need access, delete the account.
If attackers can’t infect your store with malicious code, they can’t steal your shopper’s details or credit card numbers. By following a few security best practices, you substantially reduce the risk of data theft.
Whether you’re new to eCommerce or looking to see if there’s a better option for your growing store, choosing the right web application is important. There are several different options out there for merchants. This article looks specifically at Magento and Prestashop.
Both of these applications are open source platforms that allow merchants to start, maintain, and manage their online store. Both offer unique customization features, and both have been adopted by large audiences of both developers and merchants.
Yet the online eCommerce landscape changed in 2018. Multiple applications adapted to evolving merchant demands, as existing and new users moved to platforms that better suited their requirements. Moreover, with continued development of headless in mainstream eCommerce circles, merchants found they were no longer restricted by the eCommerce API they selected.
Internally, we’ve seen continued success and growth by Magento stores. According to our research, Magento cloud solutions grew by an average of 18% per month in 2018. Prestashop, on the other hand, boasts that over 270,000 stores run on it worldwide. However, looking a little deeper shows that this number may not be what it at first seems.
Before taking a deeper look at the differences between Magento and Prestashop, we’re going to see how they rank in terms of numbers.
In a comparison of all sites that use Magento and Prestashop, 76% of sites use Magento. While this tells us about the number of sites that use each eCommerce CMS, it doesn’t say anything about the quality of those sites.
When we only consider the top 1 million websites worldwide, we see a similar pattern emerge. 1.5% of the top 1 million sites worldwide run Magento, compared with just 0.4% that run Prestashop. Let’s take a look at some more specific numbers.
Internally, we’ve seen Magento dominate the eCommerce web applications market. 64% of our hosting solutions run optimized Magento environments. Asking clients why they have made this choice, frequent responses include functionality and the ability to implement development processes easily.
Now we’ve taken a look at the numbers, let’s look at some specifics.
Designs and Templates
A good looking eCommerce store is important. According to Blue Corona, 38% of visitors will stop engaging with a site if they don’t think its design is attractive, and 48% of visitors believe that a website’s design is the number 1 factor involved in determining credibility. For these reasons, design and template functionality have made it to the top of our list.
Prestashop does have a large number of free and paid templates available. In addition to those available through Prestashop, there are numerous development agencies that also offer templates for a fee. In general, these templates are able to provide most merchants with an attractive, fast site design that can easily be adjusted to fit their unique business. Merchants can also make simple adjustments to the color scheme, responsiveness features, and more through the Prestashop’s UI.
For this reason, most Magento merchants opt to either hire a developer or learn how to design their site for themselves. This allows them complete freedom in regards to how their site looks and performs. Everything can be customized, from responsive design delivery to core layout options. Advanced Magento developers are also able to take their store headless and implement PWA, whereby Magento serves as the back-end for a separate front-end.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is where Prestashop and Magento differentiate themselves. Prestashop is aimed at beginners and less technical users. While this is great for getting started with eCommerce and simplifying daily management and maintenance of a store, it does have its drawbacks.
At the time of writing, Magento is one of the most flexible eCommerce web applications available. Merchants are able to implement a near-infinite number of capabilities. Moreover, with the continued development and integration by Adobe, we’ll likely see this functionality only increase.
Regardless, if you’re looking for ease of use, Prestashop beats Magento. If, however, you’re looking to create an online store with unrivaled functionality, Magento’s learning curve is probably worth it.
Magento’s main strength is its functionality, and while Prestashop does an admirable job of trying to keep up with a number of optional modules, it just can’t compete.
Prestashop does include integration with other popular eCommerce platforms such as eBay and Amazon. It also offers its own internal analytics system for gaining insights into your audience.
Magento, on the other hand, offers an extensive list of functionality. This includes, but isn’t limited to:
Dynamic rule-based product relations
Visual merchandising page optimization
Customer segmentation and personalization
A powerful admin experience
B2B integration through custom catalogs, price lists, and more
Powerful search integration
One of Magento’s biggest strengths is its Elasticsearch integration. Elasticsearch is a powerful search engine capable of providing customers with results they’re looking for quickly and effectively. According to Moz, on-site searchers are 200% more likely to convert than non-searchers.
While Elasticsearch can be implemented with Prestashop installations (there is a connector module), it doesn’t run as efficiently. With Magento increasing focus on user experience, search has taken a dominant position within the eCommerce application’s ecosystem. The same can’t be said for Prestashop.
If you’re looking for functionality, without a doubt, the winner is Magento.
Modules and Extensions
Magento offers over 4,700 extensions, about 25% more than Prestashop’s 3,900 modules.
Some of Prestashop’s most popular modules includes Amazon Market Place, SEO Expert, PayPal & Braintree, the Google Merchant Center, Advanced Search, and Abandoned Cart Reminder. These modules add a lot of functionality to stock Prestashop, allowing merchants to improve conversion rates and customers experiences.
Magento’s most popular extensions include Yotpo, Add free product to cart, AJAX Catalog, Improved Sorting, and Advanced search. Immediately, a difference can be seen between what merchants are adding to their stores. Magento merchants are looking for added features, where Prestashop merchants are more interested in integrations.
It’s a tough choice here, as both have their advantages. Prestashop is great for beginners and the add-ons allow for site owners to easily integrate other eCommerce products into their store. However, Magento offers even more functionality (on top of already impressive functionality).
Both Magento and Prestashop theoretically come with the ability to host an unlimited number of products. However, if not properly optimized, stores with more than 100,000 products can start to slow down.
With Magento, a number of hosting providers and developers have developed and released information on optimizing the Magento environment to ensure that large stores do not slow down. We should know, we wrote the book on it for Magento 2. Prestashop hasn’t managed to attract as many large stores (as indicated above), so isn’t quite on par in terms of optimization.
If you’re looking to run a large eCommerce store that can maintain good performance, we recommend Magento. Even for smaller stores, Magento environments can be optimized to be blazing fast.
Magento is a known resource hog and requires a powerful environment to run. Users often complain that Magento’s back-end can cause slow downs. For these users, the applications functionality is much more of a draw than its performance.
However, Magento doesn’t have to be slow. Often, slow sites are a result of either poor development or unoptimized hosting. See if your environment is optimized before migrating to another application. Optimization is a lot faster than a site redesign… and less costly.
Prestashop is much more lightweight, so there are usually no issues with site speed. Despite this, as we mentioned above, the eCommerce platform does experience slowdowns when too many SKUs are added.
We’re going to call this one a draw. Prestashop is more lightweight, but it also suffers from slowdowns when too many products exist.
In terms of SEO, Magento and Prestashop are in two different leagues. In research conducted by eCommerce Platforms, the stock SEO capabilities of Magento outrank Prestashop in almost every area. In fact, Magento came 4th in a list of the top 16 eCommerce applications available, in terms of SEO value, with a score of 95. Prestashop only scored 40.
Reasons for this disparity include Prestashop’s need for additional modules to serve simple SEO requirements. For example, you cannot add alt tags to images without installing a module first. Magento, on the other hand, comes with a powerful suite of SEO tools from the outset; including dedicated SEO content sections for products.
Magento wins in this category hands down.
Security is vital for eCommerce stores. Customers only shop with merchants that they trust.
So it’s unsurprising that both platforms offer great security features and have a history of reliability. Both have also been the victim of security breaches.
However, as with any website and its security, infrastructure is as important as the application itself. Important features to note are a web application firewall (WAF), whether the hosting provider is PCI compliant, and what else the provider proactively does to keep a site secure.
Magento is often optimized for its environment and so comes with a level of security you don’t see with Prestashop. Moreover, with a large number of dedicated providers offering platforms to develop on and great public documentation, most providers have more knowledge of how to secure and maintain the application itself.
While there is a self-hosted version of Prestashop available for download. A large number of users host their site with Prestashop. If you want your eCommerce store to remain secure, it’s usually better to have control over the environment and access to a support team. For this reason, we recommend a self-hosted solution regardless of which application you pick.
Both Prestashop and Magento offer free, open source options for merchants. However, to support these you will need to pay for hosting. Hosting costs vary by provider. We offer optimized Magento hosting solutions that enable merchants to create scalable and powerful eCommerce stores on a secure platform.
As a result of the incredible functionality that comes with it, Magento can be resource hungry. For this reason, we recommend only opting for a hosting provider that optimizes specifically for Magento. Prices for a stable provider start at around $20 a month and scale to several thousands for a dedicated cluster environment.
Prestashop, on the other hand, is not as resource intensive, and can be installed on a flexible environment without any needed optimizations. Flexible solutions can start from less than $20 a month, but they usually limit the number of monthly visitors substantially. The lower your monthly visitor capacity, the lower your likely revenue.
If you’re looking for a cheaper solution, Prestashop is likely the right choice. However, if you believe your store is going to grow and want to invest in a scalable solution now instead of later, Magento should be your eCommerce application of choice.
Magento vs Prestashop: The Winner
Both web applications provide merchants with a secure eCommerce environment. However, at their core, they are aimed at different types of merchants. Prestashop is aimed at merchants with smaller eCommerce stores and that require much less functionality. Magento, on the other hand, is aimed at merchants that require more advanced eCommerce functionality and are looking to optimize their conversion rate.
From a merchant perspective, if you’re able to invest enough time into a proper Magento implementation, then it offers much more than Prestashop and you’ll like see higher ROI. If, however, you’re looking for an easy WYSIWYG and don’t necessarily require some of the basic functionality that comes with Magento (such as advanced customer connection tools or SEO tools at the core) then Prestashop may suit your business model more.
Magento Live Australia has come and gone, and another year of informative information, actionable strategies, and future predictions has passed.
For Merchants, changes to Magento such as the 2.3.1 update, came with a promise of increased accessibility and improve integration. For developers, roundtables, discussions, and future developments came with both personal, professional, and business recommendations for the next twelve months in the APAC region.
Attending several of the sessions, talking with clients, meeting new faces, and – of course – experiencing another incredible Magento party, our team were on the ground gathering as much information as possible for those that couldn’t attend. Keep reading for our top five takeaways from Magento Live Australia 2019.
1. Mobile Is Incredibly Strong in the Asian Pacific Region
It’s been said time and time again, but the fact that mobile remains particularly strong in the APAC region is still a huge takeaway from Magento Live Australia. In 2018, it was predicted that more than three-quarters of B2C eCommerce sales were through mobile in the Asian Pacific. Comparatively, In North American mobile commerce made up just 39.6% of the market.
For merchants, this provides valuable insight into the buyer’s journey (another key takeaway this year) and aids in the creation of commerce experiences that are increasingly frictionless and accessible. For developers, it allows for adjustments to best practices, so new and existing stores continue to meet the needs of merchants and businesses.
Undoubtedly, Magento developers in the Asian Pacific have “led the charge” with regards to mobile. Few other regions have managed to keep pace. The reasons are multitude, but the direction Magento is heading in will continue to support merchants whose most profitable channel is mobile. Most importantly, the multitude of capabilities that come with PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) will contribute enormously to a future frictionless eCommerce experience.
2. eCommerce Is Increasingly Focused on Creating Integrated Shopping Experiences
As customers, we are now more connected to the world around us than ever before. We connect through our smartphones, our computers, voice assistants, and much, much more. Each of these connections provides merchants with opportunities for integration and conversion. For merchants, it’s not just about being a purchasing option anymore, it’s about being present and accessible at the exact moment a customer recognizes and wants to fulfill a desire.
One of Magento Live Australia’s best takeaways was the emergence of truly global, ubiquitous commerce solutions. The idea that eCommerce and Magento merchants don’t just have to exist online; that they can be integrated into a customer’s offline journey to create more than just a purchase.
Increased and improved vertical technology integrations for Magento are what will make this happen. The continued evolution of the payments industry, the integration of data to inform shipping and inventory, and the inclusion of machine learning in content strategy and delivery.
We’re looking forward to seeing how these integrations continue to grow and improve throughout the rest of 2019, and what developers will be looking for next.
3. Shipping and Logistics Is a Top Priority
How long do you usually wait for a package to arrive? How long would you have waited two years ago? How about five years ago?
Hand-in-hand with integrated customer experiences comes expectations with regards to shipping. Digital and offline commerce have many differences, but one of the largest divides is immediacy; the ability for a consumer to get a product as soon as they’ve decided to make a purchase.
As Consumers become even more connected and as long as immediate gratification remains a core tenant of not only good customer experiences but also good commerce, shipping and logistics will continue to remain a competitive advantage for merchants. There are several different shipping and logistics providers out there, so there’s no excuse not to invest in one that will not only increase your sales, but also improve retention.
4. Magento Will Become More Accessible
The new drag & drop page builder didn’t escape anyone’s attention. As a WYSIWYG that enables instant previews and offers a powerful set of pre-defined content types, merchants will now be able to expand their development capabilities and create better, more fluid content.
Particularly excited about this should be small and medium businesses who otherwise have limited access to a development team. Page creation can now be managed by fewer team members, with it being possible for scalable Magento stores to be built in a much shorter time frame.
For those looking to implement different solutions such as a PWA, the page builder can also help. The new page builder will be compatible with PWA, meaning APAC developers and merchants can more easily implement Magento solutions that appeal to their audiences and keep pace with the changing outlook for Mobile.
5. eCommerce Will Continue to Grow in the Region
One of the big APAC learns of the past few years has been that eCommerce in the region has continued to grow at an unprecedented rate. This year, the total online retail value of APAC commerce is forecast to grow from $787b to %1.2t. That number shows the true value in moving into eCommerce with a solution that truly allows for customer experiences that convert.
January 22nd, 2019 – We became aware of a potential issue with clients using Authorize.net as their payment processor in Magento stores. The issue originated from an Authorize.net update which led to multiple customers being unable to complete payment for purchases.
During this time, the Hostdedi support team were actively engaged in fixing the issue for customers that reached out.
Changes made to how character data was submitted to Authorize.net systems led to payment issues arising.
The issue originated as a result of multiple-character delimiters passed via the x_delim_char field no longer being respected by the Auth.net payment gateway. Because of Authorize.net’s change, only the first character in the delimiter was being used.
Customers trying to make purchases on Magento stores that used Authorize.net were unable to complete the checkout process and were instead directed to a 500 page, with the server receiving a RESPONSE_CODE_ERROR (3).
At around 8 pm EST, Authorize.net confirmed that they were planning to revert the changes. At approximately 9:30 pm EST, clients were reporting that their payment processing system is again working.
How to Fix It
Note that as of January 23rd, 2019, Authorize.net have reverted their changes and this should no longer be required. If you have already implemented this fix, we recommend that you revert it – or ask the Hostdedi support team to revert it for you.
A quick fix offered by the Magento Community stated that the line:
Be changed in the following class (app/code/core/Mage/Paygate/Model/Authorize.netphp)
We strongly advise that you review this change with your developers. If you would prefer Hostdedi to make this change for you, the support team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The goal of every Magento store is to increase online sales, and almost every day, a new strategy for doing so seems to pop up. But keeping up to date with the latest and greatest can be an impossible task, especially when you’re confronted by the enormous number of options available and need to prioritize which are the most important.
To help you get the most out of your Magento store, we’ve put together a list of the 17 best strategies for increasing sales quickly and efficiently. We’ve found that these techniques are the most effective amongst those we have tried.
1. Optimize Your Buyer’s Journey
Before you can hope to increase Magento eCommerce sales, you need to understand what actions your customers are performing and when. This is what’s called the buyer’s journey.
The buyer’s journey is represented in several different ways on paper. For the sake of simplicity, when we refer to the buyer’s journey here, we are referring to the sales funnel.
The sales funnel has three primary levels, each of which addresses a different set of thought processes.
Awareness – Buyer is aware of a need for a product or service
Consideration – Buyer researches competing products or services to find the right fit
Decision – Buyer makes a purchasing decision
There are several different ways to optimize this process so a buyer can move from awareness to decision swiftly. The real trick to optimizing a sales funnel is to isolate what channels are the most profitable for your Magento store, and then build on these to create as clear a pathway to checkout as possible.
2. Optimize Your eCommerce Hosting
A simple way to increase sales is to improve your eCommerce store’s hosting performance. Numerous studies have shown that even a 1-second delay in page load time can lead to a 7% decrease in sales. The faster your store loads, the more sales you will make.
Your store may be slow due to not being optimized, being overloaded, or because you’re hosting with an unsuitable provider. Regardless of the reason, to improve your site’s speed, you’re going to have to make some changes.
Before making those changes, it’s a good idea to benchmark your site’s performance. Google Lighthouse is a great way to start and can easily be implemented through your Chrome browser without having to download anything. There are also several websites that allow you to check site speed manually.
With Google’s increased emphasis on user experience, the time it takes for customers to see and interact with your site is the most important. Many providers emphasize their TTFB load speeds, when this number isn’t a good metric for estimating sales performance. The most important metric is time to interactivity or time to full page load.
3. Take Control of Your eCommerce Environment
When we say take control of your eCommerce environment, we mean being able to make changes to the resources you have access to. This usually means you should avoid SaaS platforms. SaaS platforms, while great for getting started, lack the customization capabilities many hosting environments provide.
You don’t need to be a developer to take full control of your application environment. Many managed hosting providers will help you unlock the true potential of your eCommerce store with auto-installs and help getting your application off the ground.
A good eCommerce environment allows you to increase page load speeds, optimize environment settings, and implement custom tools for advanced functionality.
4. Go Content First
The best way to attract new customers and draw them into your sales funnel is by luring them with great content.
Great content at the top of your funnel means that potential customers will find your brand while researching for the right product or service. From here, you won’t only be a vendor, you’ll also be an authority – one they’re more likely to purchase from.
Long tail keywords are key to a true content first Magento strategy. The best way to get started is with tools like MOZ and Google Trends. Find content opportunities and fill them.
5. Improve Personalized Experiences
Personalization has long been at the center of great marketing campaigns, so there’s no excuse not to provide it in 2019.
With the introduction of AI and machine learning services, and Magento’s already incredible internal functionality, creating campaigns that appeal to multiple users should be easier now than ever before.
Moreover, improved personalized experiences are an important part of optimizing your buyer’s journey. A buyer is more likely to make a purchase and remain loyal to a store when their name or attributes are mentioned and appealed to.
6. Create Abandoned Cart Emails
10% of customers that receive abandoned cart emails will make a purchase. The potential power in reminding customers of what they left behind, even if it isn’t the same in every industry, is incredible.
Abandoned cart emails are one of the most effective ways to increase Magento sales; especially if you haven’t been sending them already. Implementing them can be tricky, but extensions like Recapture’s Abandoned Cart Recapture or Magewares’ premium Abandoned Cart Email can help you to get started quickly.
7. Reduce Abandoned Carts
Do you know what’s better than sending abandoned cart emails? Not having to send them at all.
Understanding why potential customers are abandoning their shopping cart is the first step to avoiding it. Looking at the main reasons behind cart abandonment reveals some clear trends.
According to Baymard, the top reason for cart abandonment is unexpected shipping costs, followed by having to create a new user account, and a checkout process that is too complicated. These are all issues that can easily be resolved through minor tweaks.
A great way to improve the second two points is by integrating social logins. This can be done by installing an extension and will, in most cases, provide customers with increased peace of mind over your store’s reliability and trustworthiness.
8. Upsell and Cross-Sell Products
We’ve all heard “would you like fries with that” when we order fast food. It’s a great example of upselling and one that can help you increase Magento store sales.
Upselling is when you provide a customer with additional options for purchase. If you sell shoes, for instance, you may also try to upsell them on a shoe protection and maintenance kit, thereby increasing the life of the shoes and keeping them in the best shape possible.
A good upsell requires two primary elements to be there, otherwise, it can fall on deaf ears.
Upsells should be related to the original product
Upsells should not increase the price of the original product by too much
If you’re already selling an expensive product, customers may be eager to buy into a warranty or protection program. recommendations like these often appeal to a buyer’s journey to find value for their money and make the best purchase possible.
9. Bundle Products
You decided to have fries with your fast food order. You probably got a drink as well, and all for less money than it would have cost you to order each individually. This is bundling, and it’s an incredibly effective way to increase sales.
Not only does bundling help you to upsell more products, but, if done correctly, it can position you as a knowledgable vendor with a clear idea of what is important to customers.
In the example above regarding a shoe repair kit, you can do more than recommend the kit. By increasing the purchase price of the shoes and including it, you’re able to provide both at a lower combined cost. Customers will feel they are getting great value for money and be less inclined to purchase from a competitor.
Again, bundling products needs to be done strategically and bundled items should be relevant to one another. Savings are an important part of bundling, so analyze what items you are able to reduce prices on. Potentially run a test to see if bundles or the single items perform better.
10. Integrate Social Media
Integrating social media into your sales funnel can be a great way to increase your Magento sales. Social posting, social ads, and interaction with potential customers are great ways to increase awareness, reposition your products, and retarget potential customers.
Integrating social channels doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. Integrate social channels with your blog for auto posting and use a social media tool to auto-alert you to brand mentions. For Twitter, Tweetdeck is a great, free tool with a good level of customization.
For social ads, run multiple tests to see what content performs best and work on narrowing down the right audience. The longer you work on it, the better your content will perform and the more customers you’ll start to see hitting your funnel.
11. Go Responsive
Mobile now counts for over 50% of all eCommerce traffic, and it’s not surprising considering the number of people equipped with smartphones and other mobile devices.
in 2019, responsiveness is not something that should need to be mentioned. However, if you haven’t got a mobile-friendly store already, it is a surefire way of increasing Magento conversions. Moreover, there are several great guides and themes available to help store owners make their Magento store responsive quickly.
12. Improve the User Experience (UX)
Good UX makes a buyer’s journey as intuitive and simple as possible. In eCommerce, UX should not aim to recreate the wheel, but adopt the wheel that already exists. There are several primary aspects that eCommerce design should follow, including:
Simplicity of navigation
Ability to leave and check product feedback
Easy access to contact information
Design that supports, not overshadows
From the perspective of a business, these elements require a clear audience definition and the identification of that audience’s expectations. A tech-orientated audience is going to have a different set of assumptions regarding how an e-commerce site is meant to look and feel, compared with an audience looking for flowers.
13. Embrace User-Generated Content
Imagine being able to improve your content-first marketing tactics without having to hire a writer or strategist? It’s time to look at user-generated content.
Leveraging customer images and reviews can provide you with great advertisements, but it also does something much more important: create advocates.
As soon as a customer shares positive content about your products, they become an advocate. They are a real person sharing real feelings about their purchase. This authenticity can go a long way toward pushing a buyer that is otherwise on the fence towards making a purchase.
User-generated content provides authentic, easily-digestible content, and gives your Magento store the edge you need to increase sales.
14. Run an SEO Audit
On average, 51% of all website traffic comes from organic search. That means that potentially 51% of your traffic and potential customers come as a result of your SEO efforts.
If you’re new to SEO, then blogging regularly can help you to improve your SEO rank quickly. Create fresh and helpful content that appeals to what buyers are looking for. We recommend getting started with tools like Google Trends and then going from there.
15. Update Local SEO
SEO is more multifaceted than you may believe – this is especially true if you’re running an omnichannel Magento store and want to encourage online visitors to visit your brick and mortar location.
Local SEO is a great way to increase your business visibility for free. Start by heading to Google My Business and make sure that your business’s information has all been configured correctly. You can provide your customers with important information including your:
Well configured local SEO can increase your store’s visibility on Google and allow even more customers to find your store during the awareness stage of their buyer’s journey.
16. Listen to Customer Feedback
Getting feedback from customers is an important part of knowing how to improve your store’s eCommerce experience. Buyers are often more than happy to give you feedback, especially if they’re not impressed by something. You can enable feedback in a number of ways. Each of which has its own unique advantages.
Surveys are the easiest and quickest to implement. There are a number of free survey sites available, or you can invest in a cloud service such as SurveyMonkey. We find that surveys often need something to motivate customers to engage. This can be a discount code, a voucher, or something else.
Social media is also a great way to elicit feedback. Moreover, by combining feedback with your social media efforts, you’re able to engage with customers online and position your brand as one that cares.
However you decide to collect feedback, the information you receive will be invaluable.
17. Take Part in Holiday Sales
Online sales for Black Friday in 2017 were 26% higher than they were in 2016. In 2018, they increased again. If we’re not being clear: holiday periods can net you a significant increase in sales if you’re suitably prepared.
There are several ways to prepare for holiday sales. Many of them include retargeting potential customers. The reason for this is that during a holiday sales period, buyers are often looking for the best deals available. This involves a much longer consideration stage, with many different merchants competing for a buyer’s decision.
As a merchant, it’s your job to make sure that your products remain at the forefront of your buyer’s mind. Retargeting campaigns through PPC ads and abandoned cart recapture can help to keep you there.
How to Increase Magento Sales the Easy Way
The tips above should help you to make serious headway when it comes to increasing sales. However, it’s important to know that this isn’t an exhaustive list. There are numerous techniques and strategies at a merchant’s disposal. We have included those we have found to be most valuable yet for many merchants, techniques not listed here may make the biggest difference.
We highly recommend checking what other eCommerce stores are doing right and aligning your optimizations around what already works. Again, being a successful eCommerce business is not about reinventing the wheel, following the patterns and expectations that already exist.
Magento is a mature and feature-rich eCommerce application. It has everything a retailer needs to build an online store. But Magento, as richly endowed as it is, can’t be all things to all retailers. That’s why the Magento Marketplace and Magento extensions exist. They give developers the opportunity to put their own spin on essential eCommerce features.
In this article, we’re going to look at five of the best Magento extensions for increasing sales. We’re interpreting “increase sales” broadly, and will suggest extensions that will help you to bring new customers to your store, improve the shopping experience, and win back customers who leave without making a purchase.
Loyalty programs that offer discounts to loyal shoppers are an effective way of increasing sales and making sure that shoppers come back for more.
Loyalty Program from Amasty provides a huge range of functionality focused on building flexible discount reward schemes. The extension allows Magento retailers to create rewards based on a variety of attributes, including cart contents, purchase history, and more. There are many loyalty program extensions for Magento, but I’ve chosen to highlight this one because of its flexibility: Loyalty Program offers over 16 discount actions and intelligent discounting rules that cover almost everything a retailer might want to offer shoppers.
Research has shown that around 70% of carts are abandoned. Shoppers put products in the carts, but fail to complete the checkout process. Shoppers abandon carts for many reasons, but some can be won back with a well-timed email and the offer of a discount.
Abandoned Cart Email provides highly configurable email reminders with personalization features such as email templates customized for specific customer groups. The extension can also automatically generate coupon codes based on flexible rules chosen by the retailer.
Uncertainty is the enemy of eCommerce retailers. Online retail has many advantages that brick-and-mortar does not, but it suffers from some limitations where direct interaction is concerned. The answer to a question or concern can make the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart. Instant chat embedded on the site and staffed by a knowledgeable support team helps shoppers to get the answers they need to make a decision.
ZenDesk Chat provides Magento integration to the popular ZenDesk real-time chat service, allowing support staff to respond instantly to queries.
A significant proportion of shoppers arrive at eCommerce stores via a search engine. Magento is well-equipped to support excellent search engine optimization, but the SEO Ultimate Suite makes it easier to implement SEO best practices such as adding metadata to product and category pages, internal cross-linking, duplicate content resolution, and rich snippets.
Algolia Instant Search upgrades Magento’s built-in search capabilities with features shoppers are familiar with from search engines like Google. Algolia’s features include instant search results as the user types, autocomplete, search suggestions, and synonym matching.
I’ve tried to include the best of each category of extension in this article, but there are many that provide similar functionality. If my suggestions don’t fit your needs, be sure to browse the Magento Marketplace for more ideas.