Magento Improvement Opportunities You Might Be Missing
Using top third party extensions:
There are many very effective Magento extensions such as Fishpig WordPress integration, Creare SEO, Amasty Mass Product Actions, Web Shop Apps extensions, and other high quality third party extensions that can vastly improve your Magento website.
Just be aware that implementing an extension is often much more costly than paying for the extension itself. It is not as easy as installing a plugin on something like WordPress and can often cause conflicts with your Magento site depending on how customized the install is.
There is the developer cost of install, testing, and configuring the extension. Testing and debugging an extension alone can be a major project, therefore be careful and prepare for worst case scenario when implementing a new extension. Stray away from extensions that do not look like they are backed by a credible developer or company.
Using top third party SaaS integrations:
Magento has the most quality third party SaaS integrations of any eCommerce platform. With Loyalty rewards programs like Sweet Tooth, Shipping platforms like ShipperHQ, Marketing automation programs like Windsor Circle, EDI Technology like Logic Broker, fraud detection such as Kount, and many other third party SaaS integrations that can supercharge your Magento site, there is a solution to almost any problem.
Rather than spending countless hours and a large budget on building custom features or technology on top of the Magento core feature set, it is much more cost effective to pay a reasonable monthly fee for many of these SaaS platforms and benefit from their large team of developers and consistent improvements to the platform.
Improving product pages:
Magento is one of the best eCommerce CMS platforms for creating a unique and appealing user experience. The product page is one of the most critical places to provide a compelling customer experience causing someone to add to cart and potentially check out with your product or services.
Magento has a robust attribute and attribute set feature capability that can allow you to create in depth product experiences and organize your product data in a manner that can be well executed on the front end of the website. You can use attributes and attribute sets to add a wealth of information to your product pages resulting in a better experience for your customers.
You can also add custom static blocks to the product page or create a custom product experience such as this custom car seat product we built. Magento is very flexible on the front end so it is possible to build almost anything on the front end regarding a custom product experience.
Improving Search Technology:
The default search functionality on Magento community is fairly limited. The Solr search functionality on the Enterprise edition is much better, however there are still many great third party search technology tools that can be integrated with Magento.
Magento has many search technology partners like SLI Systems and Klevu Search that can massively improve the search experience for your customers. You can also customize the search results page to be a better user experience for your customers.
Ajax filtering / Pagination / Add to cart:
Ajax is an amazing technology that can allow you to dynamically load content without reloading the page. This means you can display filtered results, a new page of products, or add a product to cart, all without loading the page! Designs By JuJu is a Magento site we developed that is a great example of Ajax add to cart.
There are many Ajax extensions for Magento that can do this, just be aware there is a good chance they will break your front end code and you may have to do some debugging to get them to work. Most Magento websites are heavily customized on the front end and front end extensions do not necessarily work with a custom front end out of the box.
UI / UX improvements:
The user experience of your website is critical for winning over new customers. Magento has arguably the most flexible infrastructure for creating a unique and positive user experience for your customers. By implementing custom features, extensions, and utilizing the core functionality of Magento, you can create an amazing customer experience. Magento Enterprise sites such as Candy.com, Alex and Ani, and Warby Parker are great examples of this.
Up-sells / Cross-sells / Related Products:
Magento has related products, up sells and cross sells built into the core software. You simply need to display them and style them with the theme you choose or build. This is a great way to get a higher order value and conversion rate on your website as well as make your product pages more unique and useful to the customer.
Offering multiple payment options or becoming more creative in your payment solutions can vastly increase conversions. Magento offers multiple payment options, and the Enterprise edition has even more than the CE built into the core software. Offering a combination of credit card, paypal, pay with amazon, or a new solution like Klarna is a great way to get customers to buy more frequently from your website.
Login with Social Media:
Taking the friction out of registering an account is a huge step towards increasing conversions. Login with Facebook and other social media has been the norm for most web applications, so why not your Magento site too? There are plenty of extensions and third party SaaS solutions that can make login with social media a fairly affordable feature to add to your Magento website.
Offering competitive shipping promotions and rates is important to converting on your Magento website. Magento has built in connections to the major carriers but there are also extensions from Web Shop Apps and SaaS platforms like ShipperHQ that can take your shipping to the next level.
A mega menu is a much better way to display many categories on desktop than a third level menu. A user that has to go beyond the simple drop downs to a third level will get frustrated and potentially leave your site. A mega menu like Candy.com on Magento Enterprise is a much better way to display category information.
Quick Login & Mini Cart:
Quick login allows your customers to login without leaving to a new register or login page. This makes it easier for them to register or login and buy your products.
Mini Cart allows your customers to see the products in their cart without leaving to the actual cart page.
Alex and Ani allows you to sign in or view your cart without leaving the page.
Magento has a fairly robust catalog and shopping cart promotions feature in that you can essentially create logic oriented promotions right in the admin panel without any programming expertise. You can create rules based on catalog attributes and many things that can tailor promotions to specific segments.
Magento is one of the best platforms to build a quality responsive design. There are plenty of responsive themes on Themeforest and if you build a custom theme you should absolutely be using a responsive framework like Foundation or developing your Magento site to be responsive. Magento is very flexible and it has no limitations when it comes to responsive design. Even the default theme on the new Magento CE and enterprise versions are responsive.
Multi Site Capabilities:
Magento has a built in nested Multi site feature set that includes the ability to create multiple website, multiple stores, and multiple store views. This is incredibly powerful and can help you manage an international eCommerce presence all from one software and admin panel. You can also create multiple brands and websites with one Magento installation.