A Shelf is not a Store

shelf-imageOnce in awhile, we get into some conversation with friends and we end up discovering interesting things about them, and vice versa. Sometimes, as far as I can tell, this experience is surprisingly. Specially, when you hear “Dude, you always talk about eCommerce…what is the  difference between a regular page and a eStore? I know it sells products.. but, just that?“.

Remembering the days that I used to help some friends in learning Math, I used an analogy to give him a big picture on the subject. “Man, is a shelf the same as a store? The same way a shelf is part of a complex system called store, what you see in a eCommerce is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of interesting functionalities on the back of that. You should compare a eCommerce to a real world commerce. For example, in a eCommerce you have features that work as regular departments, like financial, marketing, customer service and so on”.

In this article, my dear reader, I want to show you some of those features. My objective is not to explain everything in detail, but just give you a big picture on the subject. By the way, I’m using Magento as our business platform for that.

Analytics and Reporting

Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” – Sun Tzu

Magento analytic and report feature provides visibility into the store performance. Using this powerful feature you can understand your customer needs and react in the best way. What is your customer searching? What products are best reviewed? With these feature you can answer those and more questions.

Inventory

  •  Low Stock Report

Products

  • Best Customers Report by Total and Number of Orders
  • Best Purchased Products Report
  •  Best Viewed Products Report
  • Product Reviews Report
  • Tags Report

Sales

  • Coupon Usage Report
  • Sales Report
  • Total Sales Invoiced
  • Total Sales Refunded

Shopping Cart

Abandoned Shopping Cart Report

Tax

  • Tax Report

Search Analysis

  • Search Terms Report

Customer Service
Customers can access feature-rich accounts to view order statuses and receive tracking information directly on the site, as well as submit requests via the contact us form.
Customer Service agents are able to view customer account information, including not only the order history, but also items in customers’ shopping carts and wish lists, to effectively answer questions and complete orders for customers via the Call Center dashboard.

Marketing

When you want to increase your conversion rates, nothing is more important than flexibility. You should be able to create your own price strategy and make your catalog visible in the most efficient way. For that, Magento has some important marketing tools like:

Improve ranking in search engines

  • Search Engine Friendly URL’s

Marketing Campaigns

  • Landing Page Tool for Campaigns

Offering Products:

  • Bundled Products
  • Cross-sells on product pages
  • New Items Promotional Tool
  • Recently Compared Items
  • Recently Viewed Products
  • Up-sells in Shopping Cart

User interaction:

  • Newsletter Management
  • Polls
  • RSS Feeds for New Products, New Specials and New Tags
  • Send product info to a Friend
  • Send Wishlist to a Friend by Email or RSS

And If we talk about price you can work with a lot of options, for example: Percent Discount, Fixed Amount Discount, Free Shipping, Buy x get y free, Buy x get y with percent or fixed amount discount,  Buy x  get free shipping on order, Buy x get percent discount,  Buy x get fixed amount discount

Payments
Magento is integrated with a variety of major payment gateways out of the box, as well as alternative payment methods such as PayPal.

Shipping
Magento adapts to the way you ship. Easy like that!

Integrated for real-time shipping rates

UPS, FedEx ,USPS and DHL

Shipping options

  • Ability to specify allowed destination countries per method
  • Multiple shipments per order
  • Shipping to multiple addresses in one order

Shipping rates

  • Flat rate shipping per item
  • Flat rate shipping per order
  • Free Shipping

Tracking

  • On-site order tracking from customer accounts

As you can see, Magento is an awesome and flexible platform for eCommerce. It can adapt to your business model and put a new perspective in it. Answering my buddy’s question an eStore does much more than “just sell products”. It offers you all the tools and functionalities to make your business succeed on the internet.

But, if you don’t believe me… check some good examples!

Vitor Nunes
Web developer, interested in e-commerce, interfaces, HTML5 and willing to see your business online!

  1. Pedrina says:

    Great article! Congrats.

  2. Charles Grimm says:

    vitor is the high wizard of magento!

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