… when utilised correctly.
Here at Session Digital we don’t only built new Magento Enterprise solutions, we also take on clients with an existing Magento solution in place. These often need some TLC both on the solution and the technical side of things.
We often come up against vast amount of modules and customisations to offer functionality that could often have been met by simply using Magento’s out of the box (OOTB) functionality correctly.
Below are five features that you may not be familiar with, or have enough knowledge about, to use it efficiently. Spending some time learning how to use these features better, and even receiving training from a Magento Solutions provider, is often a lot more cost effective than getting your developers to integrate a module or a custom solution.
1. Customer Segments
This is one of my favourite features of Magento EE. It is such a powerful tool which many merchants simply don’t know enough about to use effectively – many invest in expensive 3rd party ‘automated personalised shopping’ solutions. Effective use of customer segmentation can help you increase conversion rate and amount of returning customers, so let’s look at how you can improve your conversion with minimal development time below!
A customer segment can easily be introduced by setting a couple of simple conditions. For example: All customers that have purchased items totalling £200+ in the last 30 days.
This will provide with a list of matched customers, and once you’ve created a customer segment you can quickly create shopping cart rules that only apply to certain customer segments. For example, all customers that have purchased items totalling £200+ in the last 30 days will be shown a 10% loyalty discount.
You can also use the customer segments to personalise the user journey using Rule-Based Product Relations (more about that below) and creating banners which you can insert using widgets on CMS pages, categories or product pages.
So by spending a bit of time learning and setting up your segments and related promotions and content, you can quickly personalise the experience for your customers. I really recommend investing a small amount of your time into this and see the rewards you’ll get over the next 3–6 months before looking at potential 3rd parties which could be a potentially expensive investment if not done right.
2. Rule-Based Product Relations
If you have a large product catalogue, it can be a daunting task to set up related products, cross-sells and up-sells. The Magento EE feature called Rule-Based Product Relations can help you automate this as you can set which products to appear as related products, cross-sells and/or up-sells based on the conditions you choose.
Imagine an online women’s clothing store. If you want a product in the ‘Shoes’ category to automatically display products from the ‘Jeans’ category as up-sells, you can use the Rule-Based Product Relation feature to easily create an up-sell rule using conditions based on product attributes. No manual assignment is required.
This is a powerful tool in its own right and when combined with effective customer segments it will offer your customers a personalised experience that will be the envy of your competitors. If you have a customer segments set up, you can simply set your rules to apply to specific customer segments and you will suddenly find yourself with a highly personalised user journey for your customers.
3. Visual Merchandiser
Up until the Magento EE 1.14 release, Magento didn’t provide OOTB functionality to be able to see how your products would appear on the front end. As a merchant you had to use ‘position’ numbering to change the appearance of products in a category and if you wanted a visual merchandiser you had to use one of many Magento modules available through the Magento community.
However, from Magento EE 1.14, Visual Merchandiser is now an OOTB feature. When you’re using the Visual Merchandiser feature in the Magento Admin, you can drag, drop and save your products with ease to and see the new positioning updated on your website.
The Visual Merchandiser feature also includes another two features called ‘Hero Products’ and ‘Smart Categories’. ‘Hero Products’ allows you to specify one or more products to be displayed constantly at the top of your category page – regardless of how these products have been positioned in the visual merchandiser. ‘Smart Categories’ allows you to automatically add products to categories based on certain conditions you set. For example, you could create a ‘New In’ category and automatically pull in products that have been created in the last 30 days.
Magento has a great tutorial on their Vimeo channel on how to use the Visual Merchandiser – Magento EE 1.14 Visual Merchandiser Tutorial
4. Reward Points
The key to all merchants trading online these days is customer retention, and a great way to get customers to return to your shop is to set up a loyalty scheme which will reward customers for various interactions with your site.
A number of 3rd party services and modules offer loyalty features for Magento merchants, but Magento EE provides an excellent feature set that will let you reward your customers OOTB. It is every easy to set up and gives you the flexibility to configure how rewards points can be earned, and how many points customers can earn with each interaction.
Although it may not be as comprehensive as other 3rd party modules, the OOTB Magento feature is a great place to start if you’re looking to introduce a loyalty programme on your website. I would encourage you to use the Magento EE Reward Points functionality to test reward strategies before considering investing in custom solutions or integrating 3rd parties.
5. Gift Registry
If you’re running a eCommerce store selling products that customers are likely to put on a gift list for (e.g. a wedding, birthday or new baby) then you should look at Magento’s OOTB Gift Registry feature.
As a merchant, this feature allows you to define multiple types of Gift Registers with attributed of your choice. For example, you can create a Baby Shower register with a gender attribute so that the buyers know whether the new arrival is a boy, girl or a surprise and then purchase the products to match.
Your customers will be able to create multiple registers based on your defined types, and can add items to their gift registers and share the list with friends and family attending their event. The buyers can then purchase items directly from the register which will update as and when an item is bought.
This is simply another feature which takes minimal effort to configure and depending on your line of business, can generate a high return.
The features above are just a small number of those available to merchant OOTB with Magento Enterprise. Magento 2, coming later this year, promises even more opportunities for merchants to tap into advanced eCommerce capabilities OOTB.
Session will be holding technical workshops and business introductions to Magento 2 this autumn. Sign up here.
About the author:
Paal Soberg is an experienced Project Manager and eCommerce Professional with over 7 years experience in the digital industry. He has diverse sector experience within retail, technology, financial and automotive industries, specialising in digital web and eCommerce projects. Paal is a certified Prince2 Practitioner, Certified ScrumMaster and Magento Certified Solution Specialist. You can find Paal on Twitter and blogging at ThinkCommerce.
This article was originally published under Session Digital, which unified with Inviqa in June 2016. For more information about the unification visit https://inviqa.com/new-era.