Magento & ChampagneAndLemonade.com
Magento seems to be taking over most of our working life now it seems! We were contacted by Isi (a friend of mine from 10 years ago down the pub) regarding some issues with getting her Magento website online … so it was E-creation to the rescue.
www.champagneandlemonade.com is a super-cool fashion retail site for pre-loved designer brands online.
Some of the usability tuning we applied included:
Adding some text on the ‘account login’ page to remind people that ‘You need to have activated your account by clicking the activate your account link in the confirmation e-mail when you first set up your account’.
Meta ContentAlthough meta content is playing a decreasingly important role in search engine positioning, a phrase such as “Pre-Loved Designer Fashion and Luxury Goods, Style Steals.” It makes sense to spend a bit of time looking at the …
We have now reverted to using the News section of the E-creation website for blog updates. Running two blogs seemed to be a bit unnecessary!
What is Magento?
Magento is an open source e-commerce platform written in PHP with a wealth of built-in functionality & extendability through plugins. Magento was purchased by eBay in 2011 to form the cornerstone of its e-commmerce offering. It is used by 100,000+ merchants ranging from micro businesses to large corporations like Nokia, Salomon, Ford, Pentel & Mothercare.
Mangeto e-commerce websites can be simple, fast & cheap … or sophisticated, customised & expensive. As an open source platform, code can be modified to reflect each client’s unique requirements. Essential Magento functionality (with plugins) includes:
Add/update/delete template content pages via CMS
Add/update/delete products via CMS
Blog/news functionality via CMS Search functionality (search content pages / products)
Shopping basket (add to basket, remove, edit quantities)
Delivery cost calculations (e.g. free if order over ┬ú50)
Promo/coupon codes for shopping cart
On-line payment processing Inventory management (and future proofing to connect to accountancy …
Fast doesn’t need to look cheap. E-creation recently produced a business card design for a local Bournemouth business with a 4 hour design budget (┬ú275 + VAT). Okay, it’s not a fast or cheap as online business card design tools or websites BUT the results are in a different league.
Using a spot varnish, the golden area of the business card will actually ‘shine’ like gold within the need for expensive foil printing and will provide a better ‘feel’ to the finger. This is something that online business card printing company’s design tools can not deliver – a deep understanding of both design & the medium itself.
So if you are serious about your business, how it looks and how people will feel about you – then give your business cards proper consideration and avoid the online business card designer trap!
Integrating Magento & Sage 200 to achieve eBay’s X.Commerce objectives for an start-to-end e-commerce platform
In June 2011, eBay bought the remaining 51% stake in Magento as part of a strategy for its X.Commerce open source platform. eBay’s goal is to provide a complete end-to-end service to e-merchants, bringing together local inventory data, discounts, pricing history, transactions & tools for payment with its auction platform
Most SME businesses aim to become more profitable through growth but cost reduction can yield better profitability with less business growth ‘stress’. Magento (a tool to increase sales) integrated with Sage 200 (a tool to manage stock levels, product information & business processes) yield business benefits throughout SME businesses. However, there has been a lack of integration tools to connect Magento & Sage 200, so E-creation has developed the Sage Magento Integration Connector 2011 (SMIC2011)…
SMIC2011 provides businesses …
Smartphone App Development that makes sense …
After the hype of 500,000 Apple apps, why does the average iOS app lose £16,000+?
Since Apple introduced the App Store in 2008, everyone seems to be developing iPhone applications. 500,000 iPhone apps available in AppleΓÇÖs app store at the end of July 2011 with 15,000,000,000 downloads, but the underlying smartphone market is shifting:
In the UK, in March 2011, the percentage of smartphones sold was:
RIM (Blackberry) 24.5%
iOS (Apple) 23%
So Apple is in 3rd place in the hardware sales front … something that isn’t immediately obvious given their fantastic PR. Apple is doing very well and making big profits (apparently they had a larger pot of cash than the US government at the end of July 2011), but the profitability for developers creating iPhone apps is more questionable, especially when you consider the 30% …
We are voracious book worms here at E-creation and always looking for something interesting to read (any suggestions?) Even though this book is over a year old, ┬áit is our ‘must read’ book for 2011:Malcolm┬áGladwell’s ‘Outliers’
Malcolm Gladwell scores a hit with another one of his books in our office, this time with the rather quirky ‘Outliers’. Vaguely reminiscent of Freakonomics, Gladwell takes a look at people and unusual statistical ‘outliers’, analysing how ‘destiny’ drives success.
As Malcolm put it himself ‘Did you know that there’s a magic year to be born if you want to be a software entrepreneur? And another magic year to be born if you want to be really rich?‘ when explaining his book.┬áSports stars have ‘magic months’ to be born, with a huge percentage of professional hockey and ┬áfootball players being born in January, February and March. …
For the past 3 months, E-creation has been working on a substantial e-commerce website build using the Magento open source e-commerce platform. The website has been created to take the client from sub ┬ú1m turnover per annum to ┬ú2m+ per annum with a complete business process & infrastructure to meet this aggressive target – all directly driven & run by the e-commerce website & business integration.To achieve this growth, E-creation has pushed the core capabilities of Magento, customising Magento code to accommodate the clients specific requirements, with features like:
Quick order page
Mixed sub-category / product pages
Units of measure
Credit sales using account credit limits
Sage 200 into Magento integration
However, the key functionality enabling the client to grow so aggressively is the Sage 200 Magento integration through a custom written Sage 200 Magento connector. There are Sage 50 (a significantly simpler product when compared …
Difference between open source website development vs. traditional website development
In a recent proposal, E-creation was asked to explain what open source website development is in laymen’s terms. Since a layman’s explanation of open source website development is probably useful for other potential clients exploring the best avenue for their website development approaches, here is an extract:
On a simple level, open source vs. traditional website development is similar to the difference between Wikipedia vs. Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica is a commercial resource written by experts, with staff & organizational costs and as a resulting, substantial cost attached to the purchase of the content. Wikipedia is a content platform, open to anyone, where information is entered / validated by the public – and offered to the public for free. Quality of the information is ‘policed’ by the public (effectively using ‘wisdom of …
F-commerce (Facebook Commerce) is a hot topic for E-creation’s online retail customers – with many client’s asking about the effects of F-commerce on the e-commerce market. Given that most of our e-commerce website development is done on a bespoke basis (either customising off-the-shelf packages like Magento, WP e-commerce or our our platform), we are rarely asked to look at ┬á’online packages’, since they lack the flexibility of custom e-commerce website developments.┬á
So what is F-commerce? Facebook Commerce, put simply, is an Amazon WebStore embedded into Facebook page. F-commerce is receiving lots of interest due to its low entry costs & development speed, making it possible to create a fully functioning e-commerce store, in a matter of days.
Amazon Webstores are built using an online tool, provided by Amazon, enabling businesses to create e-commerce front-ends using a simple, web-based administration system. Products loaded …