Conference summary report: MTL+ECOMMERCE #31

conference-summary-report-mtlecommerce-31

Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform written in PHP created in 2007. They were the main guests of our 31 edition of MTL+ECOMMERCE.

Magento is the most used e-commerce platform in the world. Their first version was sold from 2008 to 2016, when they decided it was about time to roll out Magento 2, an enhanced version. It’s a better looking, more fun version of the ecommerce platform. Not less than 32,000 enterprise clients are already processing to move on to Magento 2.

 

Why use Magento 2?

Each e-commerce platform has its uses. Basically, Magento tries to provide a tailored experience, and therefore the best customer experience possible. With new tools and new extensions, people can now make their website look like what they want it to look like, do whatever they need it to.

More specifically, Magento creators have a roadmap going 3 to 4 years down the road, releasing new components their clients are expecting.

 

With Magento 2.1, two main new features were rolled out:

  • Content staging and preview. Christmas, Boxing Day, Black Friday, New Year, … Update your site with content ready to go in precise months. Install it, then forget it. Periods, promotions, homepage, banners, product pricings, everything will be done the day the manager wants it to. There is no rush when the time comes.
content-staging
  • Improved management interfaces. It makes it easier and faster to search for information in the Admin.

 

This year, Magento is also releasing Magento B2B as an official product, including basic features designed for these businesses. It can be frustrating when you go to an ecommerce platform, and something very basic isn’t available, such as responsive design (5 years ago, you didn’t need responsive design!).

It also enhanced a streamlined checkout experience, integrated product videos, and responsive reference themes to increase engagement, conversion rates and sales. If there’s something unique that Magento’s customers need, their developers can create it.

 

Case Study (by François-Xavier Degroot, Le Site)

Magento Enterprise Edition 2.1 has a catalogue of over 1,000 categories, with construction fasteners and tools.

There was the example of a B2B site similar to Home Depot. It uses Mailchimp, Tier pricing, Rule-based free shipping, with connexions to Fedex and Paypal.

Magento 2 has really improved the way it deals with API. Each entity is linked in Magento (as product, customer, order, invoice…) are linked to an API, making them accessible from the outside in order to sync them with accounting systems for instance. It has become really easy to implement your own API (such as a blog).

 

Developers from Le Site are managing everything straight from SAP Business One using Middleman application, completely based on Magento APIs. It’s doing real-time updates, and is secured by an Access Control List (ACL). It’s important to understand the power of this connector. Clients want to be able to modify their catalogues completely, and to check their coming orders.

 

With Magento 1, Le Site developed its own Mailchimp module in order to connect directly with Mailchimp to send newsletters and emails. It took them 30 hours to develop it, whereas to do so in Magento 2, it took them only 8 hours.

A bit more technically, it uses the REST API of Mailchimp in order to send newsletter to subscribers. The newsletter system is completely externalized. Magento, out of the box, can therefore send subscription emails, while checking in real time the customer’s status.

 

Elasticsearch is a really powerful search engine. It’s based on Apache Lucene, and it gives you the opportunity to index any kind of document: blog posts, CMS pages, etc. The search behavior is also fully customizable, for example with keywords or some products at the top. It also provides a suggestion engine, doing autocompletion (it is to say suggestion when searching for something, as on Google) and spell-check. Also, when the search engine finds no results, it can show a “did you mean” note, or a search that you could be interested in.
Magento is therefore a go-to ecommerce platform, highly customizable and to be improved by professionals.

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