The e-commerce marketplace is a crowded one, and platforms with straight out of the box functionality are rarely enough to cut through. That’s why using an open-source web application such as Magento is such as a good idea - crafty developers can massively extend the functionality with a vast range of plug-ins that alter the style or performance of an e-commerce site. Given the ease with which even major upgrades can be made and the potential returns on investment available, it’s no surprise then that Magento is among the most popular platforms for brands. Here are five Magento plug-ins that have really changed the nature of e-commerce for the better:
This SaaS solution offers real-time behavioural analysis across the e-commerce site, with many benefits, from making automated marketing a lot more precise, to boosting conversion rates and offering customers a far better online shopping experience. It tracks visitor behaviour from landing to leaving, enabling the retailer to offer personalised recommendations, for example, to cross- or up-sell. It might display items a user has looked at on a previous visit but not bought or items that other shoppers have found useful.
Nosto will also send out highly-relevant emails to attract visitors back, reducing cart abandonment rates, the scourge of e-commerce. It’s been reported that Nosto can increase conversion by up to 70%, and the average order value by up to 20%, which will be why it’s in use with several international brands. A handy infographic details just some of the quick-wins possible from installing this great little plug-in.
It’s widely-known that product reviews are incredibly important to e-commerce merchants. People place a lot of trust in authentic reviews, with over 60% reading them before a purchase. Similar numbers are more likely to buy from a site that features reviews, and adding more than 50 reviews can mean conversion rate increase of more than 4% - not to be sniffed at. Overall reviews from other buyers are massively more trusted than manufacturer recommendations, so if your site doesn’t yet have them, look at Yotpo.
The plug-in sends automatic emails after purchase to solicit trustworthy reviews. It also invites customers to share their reviews across social media platforms. This is a great way to boost customer engagement and ensures higher-quality traffic coming through as well.
When your store features hundreds, or thousands, of products, many of them similar, categorization can be problematic. The aim of Megamenu and one in which it has been very successful it must be said is to make the job of a site administrator much easier.
Megamenu has instinctive automated functionality, so it’s fantastic for categorising product lists with images, for example, with very little need for the admin to do much more beyond adding a thumbnail. A simplified admin panel is also a boon, making it a snap to configure and customise.
Points and Rewards
Loyalty points programs are a very useful way for e-commerce stores to keep loyal customers coming back. This nifty plug-in automates the whole thing, a major time-saver. It can be tailored to reward users for different activities, such as uploading video testimonials, product reviews, Facebook Likes, signing up for newsletters, or even on their birthdays!
The points can also be grown by referring friends, encouraging viral brand recognition. Customers can check their points balance anytime and redeem against discounts. Since this kind of program guarantees much lower initial customer acquisition costs, anything that makes it easier is extremely valuable.
Pop-Up Email Collector
The early collection of customer data is all-important - staying in touch with customers increases brand loyalty, boosts conversion, and serves a wide variety of other marketing purposes. But it’s not always easy to collect contact details, especially if people are reluctant to share their personal information.
What this plug-in does, is automatically display a pop-up whenever a user lands fresh on a page, with a clear call-to-action, perhaps offering something in return for a valid email address such as a dynamically-generated coupon code. That gives a much better chance of getting the data. It also syncs with Mailchimp, allowing for deeper analysis of visitor metrics than you would get using the standard Magento functionality.