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Join us for a Webinar on 12/14/16 with eBridge!

Join us for a Webinar on 12/14/16 with eBridge!

We’re happy to announce an upcoming webinar with our partner eBridge Connections!  The webinar will be Wed, Dec 14, 2016 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM EST.

In the time it takes to watch a rerun of Seinfeld, gain a handful of useful tips to help take your eCommerce strategy to the next level in 2017.

As online shopping becomes old hat, your customers’ expectations are going up (and their attention span is going down).

Join eBridge Connections and Redstage Worldwide for a 30-minute webinar.

We will all explore:
– Delighting your customers with fast and accurate orders
– Common mistakes that are hurting your store’s conversion rate.

The strategy team at Redstage has specialized in conversion audit and enhancement for over 8 years. Redstage will present some of the most common faux pas we find across both SMB and Enterprise sites alike.

Click here to sign up!

 

The Incredible Benefits of Magento 2

The Incredible Benefits of Magento 2

Magento Ecommerce - Redstage Worldwide | Magento Development |

Magento just took everything to a whole new level with Magento 2.0. Magento 2 offers a superior feature set compared to nearly any other ecommerce platforms but you may ask yourself… What are the real benefits of Magento 2?

Originally, we thought that Magento 2 would simply be a major upgrade from Magento 1, but it’s actually much, much more than that. The file structure, admin panel organization and themeing system are all highly upgraded from the original Magento branch. What we would like to discuss are the major benefits of Magento 2.X and why you should embrace these changes and all of the opportunities for improvement that an upgrade will bring your business. As long time members of the Magento Community, we compiled a list of all the features and changes we love in an attempt to familiarize you with the improvements.

Let’s get started with the basics.

Intuitive Dashboard for User Admin:

The new Magento Admin is intuitive, easy to use, fully mobile responsive and accessible on any device. This update allows you to effortlessly configure your administrative workspace to manage products, process orders, and analyze customer data. You now have the ability to turn on or off any column in your view and drag it into the position of your choosing which allows you to quickly access the information you need when you need it. You can save the specific view and return to it in the future. Multiple admin users can create and edit products without fear of data conflicts. Menu grouping by function- system or e-commerce all modules are more logically organized and user friendly.

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Real Time notifications of Updates

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Data Grid & Keyword Search:

Combine your use of full text searches with keyword searches and SEO for greater customer satisfaction and greater exposure of your products. Omnichannel capabilities allow you to connect your site to other sites such as Ebay in order to increase the exposure of your products and their sales.

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Visual Merchandiser:

You can reduce optimization time with the drag and drop tool and the new automated sorting tool.

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Reporting & Analytics

Built in reporting and support for google analytics and google tag manager.

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More Opportunities for Magento Customization & New Speeds

Magento 2 provides more opportunities for customization without changing core site functionality. It organizes everything under the app structure and allows every module to have its very own directory where you can access all Magento templates, layouts, etc. Setting up new products is a breeze with a guided process that allows you to easily configure your product values such as size, color, and price. The new Magento Attributes give you an opportunity to recreate and better your site and gives you the motivation you need to reevaluate your Magento Performance to make it a better experience for your customers.
Other Magento ecommerce features include its partnership with Varnish Cache, a leading http accelerator technology for fast page loads and server loads which are making Magento sites work much faster than in previous versions. The efficient updates have improved query performance and speed dramatically.

Guided Migration

Magento 2 has a robust a migration tool to help with the data migration between platforms. This assists with store setup, products, customers, orders, and promo rules, but theme and code customizations which includes 3rd party extensions will not be transferable. This is a very interesting tool that we’re excited to see grow into an even more powerful system.

 


At Redstage, we always treat new Magento versions with caution and wait patiently while the new version is tested by the real world and the outstanding Magento community of partners and merchants. Magento 2.0 was released in November of 2015 and it’s truly ready to be your ecommerce platform!

Cloud Architecture: A Close Up of Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition

Cloud Architecture: A Close Up of Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition

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In April of this year, Magento launched its Enterprise Cloud Edition. A Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) environment designed specifically for Magento 2.0 and runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Sounds fancy right? Pretty much! But as an e-commerce merchant I’m sure you’re wondering how you will benefit from this new software and why it’s different from anything you may have currently.

Let’s zoom in a little to look at Magneto’s new baby and its benefits. So what exactly is Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition? Magento themselves describes it as a platform-as-a-service offering that enables rapid deployment of fully customizable, secure, and scalable web storefronts, combined with a leading hosting and managed services infrastructure. Designed to support Magento Enterprise digital commerce software, Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition takes advantage of the architecture and functionality enhancements provided by versions 2.0.5 onward. In simpler terms, the new Cloud Edition enhances Magneto’s Community and Enterprise offerings. Magento enterprise Cloud Edition is hosted; setting up and managing a Magento store is a lot easier for merchants now.

Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition is fully customizable; merchants can now offer customers’ differentiated experiences while they benefit from simplified integration and the ability to respond to changing technology.

The new Cloud Edition also runs on the Amazon Web Services (AWS), to the merchants this means that they will always be ready for high volume in demands for their products, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, will no longer be a nightmare and merchants can spend more time optimizing their stores for customers’. The new platform running on AWS ensures that merchants have the capability to respond to a rapidly changing environment, continuously deploy innovations, and not worry about the day-to-day management of infrastructure.

Breaking barriers as the first of its kind in a post software as a service (SaaS) era. It offers customers the benefits of cloud computing usually associated with SaaS solutions but with a highly performaing and scalable PaaS platform.
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Magento’s Chief Product Officer, describes the new Cloud Edition as a “game changer.” At the core of Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition are an innovative PaaS that enables merchants and their system integration partners to adopt continuous delivery practices by providing best-in-class DevOps, release management and cloud management tools that make deploying, testing, promoting and operating multiple environments rapid, easy and manageable.

For more information about Magento’s Enterprise Cloud Edition visit their website here.

11 Tips To Make the Most out of This Holiday Season

With the holidays upon us, here are some helpful tips to help make the most out of this holiday season. Work on implementing some of these tips for an easy way to boost sales and profits.

1. Prepare in advance – you could receive 40-60% more traffic
Speak with your hosting company to see if your server will handle a massive increase in traffic and discuss options for adding resources to handle extra traffic. 57% of customers will leave your site if your page takes longer than 4.3 seconds to load. Limited number of warehouse staff for processing orders or customer service reps for dealing with customer communications? Staff up temporarily for the holidays to keep customer service levels high and to keep up with extra orders.

2. Go Mobile
Every year, mobile eCommerce increases by 100-150%, you need to make sure you are not missing out on this market. This could be a custom implementation by your developer or quickly installing a mobile theme that you’ve purchased from the web. There are a number of mobile solutions out there, but our favorite is MobileNow for Magento – it’s quick and inexpensive, and you get to customize the theme – (www.mobilenowapp.com)

3. Check inventory levels
You will be selling 30-40% more this holiday season, some eCommerce sites sell as much as 80% of their yearly volume in the weeks between Black Friday and Christmas. You need to make sure to have a good handle on stock levels and purchasing plans at this time of year. Have your most popular items in stock and factor in time for potential supplier delays which may affect your ability to fulfill orders promptly for your customers. Running out of items will cost you sales now and will likely affect your future sales as well.

4. Check for bottlenecks
Slow page loads will most definitely turn off your visitors and cause them to leave losing you sales! Grease the wheels a bit by performing some site optimizations or upgrading your hosting for the season. There are a number of free services out there, such as webpagetest.org and pingdom.com – which will give you a free analysis on how your site is performing.

5. Get Social
Advertising can be time-consuming and expensive. Let your customers help take some of the weight off your shoulders! Make sure you have implemented some social sharing features (facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc.) so your customers can share their favorite products with their friends.

6. Add more product media
Sometimes, just seeing a photo or two of a product isn’t enough to give the customer a full picture of what you’re selling. This is a suggestion that applies regardless of the season, but implementing videos and 360 views of your products will increase customer confidence and increase conversion. Show off your products by providing demo videos and tell your customers the whole story.

7. Ramp up email marketing
As the holidays come around, all of those newsletters that you’ve signed up for start sending out tons of emails prompting you to go their site and check out their deals, use this special coupon code or check out their new products available now. These companies do this for a reason – IT WORKS! Spend some extra time on putting together exciting marketing emails with a good call to action to push your customers to visit again.

8. Implement a PPC strategy
If you don’t already use PPC, start right away. People are searching for what you sell, they just need to be able to find you. If you can spend some money to increase your traffic and get targeted visitors, this is a no-brainer way to generate additional sales on your site.

9. Offer Free shipping & Expedited shipping discounts
Studies have shown that customers expect free shipping and are more willing to purchase from sites that offer free shipping. You don’t need to offer free shipping on all orders, but offer a free shipping at a minimum order threshold such as $50 or $100. This will encourage customers to add more products to their order to reach that minimum threshold increasing your average dollars per order. Also, there are plenty of procrastinating shoppers out there – so be sure to set up shipping options that get presents to people before Christmas!

10. Add trust logos and security
It’s very cheap to purchase an SSL certificate for your site – we like www.comodo.com. Also, add trust logos to your site once you are SSL secured, have paypal or merchant services partnerships, and add the credit card logos.

11. Incentivize your Customers
Incentivize customers to buy early – Offer special promotions to customers who purchase early. Encourage your customers to buy now rather than wait it out for a better deal by giving them a special perk for doing so: Free upgrade to Expedited shipping, 10% of gift cards purchased before December 15th, or guaranteed holiday delivery for orders placed by a certain date.

For more ways to improve your site for the holidays, feel free to contact us at info@redstage.com to see how we can help you boost your holiday sales! Good luck, and Happy holidays!

Why Does Redstage have Magento Support Retainers?

Why Does Redstage have Magento Support Retainers?

We often get asked why we use a retainer based payment system for our Magento Support services.  First off, let me catch you up on what I mean by “Retainer Based Support”.  Our Magento support service works similarly to the way an attorney retainer works.  Basically, if you need ongoing assistance with your Magento site, the retainer is a pre-payment for a number of hours.  These hours can be applied to many different tasks.  Here’s some of the things we’ve done for retainer clients in the past:

  • Magento Upgrades
  • Plugin installation & Configuration
  • Bug fixes
  • Template / Theme Tweaks
  • Custom features or custom plugins and
  • Switching web hosts

We don’t limit the number of issues or fixes you can submit, it’s all based on how long it takes to fix everything.

Luckily, we’re (really) good at this.

If you ever paid for a legal retainer, it’s almost exactly the same. The lawyer will deduct the hourly fee from the pre-payment whenever you need them to look over a contract or advise in any legal situation.  Redstage Magento support works the same way.  If you need help with any aspect of your Magento store, you log a ticket and we get to work.

Ok, so back to the point.  Why a retainer based system?

Deducting hourly from a retainer allows us to provide the highest level of service to our support customers.  First, the retainer doesn’t expire.  You can use 2 hours one month, take one off with no issues or tickets, and then use 5 hours the next month.  It let’s us provide a level of safety and security to the a Magento user because we’re there when you need us, just by logging a ticket.  You can have 100 issues, and it doesn’t matter since it’s all based on the time it takes to complete the tasks.  If it’s easy for us, it’s cheap for you.

We time the retainer work to the second, so the client gets the most for their money.

I apologize if I sound sales-y, but as a marketer, Magento support is a fun sale… Magento users come to us all the time after having bad experiences with developers who weren’t ready for the complexity of the Magento platform and we need to step in and help out.  It took us a couple years to become Magento masters but we’re one of the best around, so it’s fun to talk about.  Our development team likes working with Magento!  If you’ve ever searched around on twitter for Magento, the average developer is frustrated but we’ve gotten over the learning curve and know the system inside and out.

Don’t just take my word for it; we have clients who tell us things like this:

“”THANK YOU!!! We all finally feel confident that we have found the right partner for our new business.

-Sharon, Founder, Charleston Naturally

That gives us a warm fuzzy feeling… and it proves that the retainer system works!

Now, I have to ask… If you need anything Magento related, call 1-888-335-2747 and we’ll set you up w/ a retainer, or a full project if you’re just starting out (full design & development).

I hope you understand a bit more about what we’re all about and if you have any questions, leave a comment below!

Thanks!

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