Magento 2.3.5: New Release

The new Magento 2.3.5 release was launched in April 2020 and is the second quarterly upgrade of 2020. This upgrade covers security, platform quality and new functionality to maximise performance. 

Here is an overview of the key updates and what to look out for, with a focus on Magento Commerce 2.3.5. 

AI-Powered Product Recommendations

The first major feature available with Magento 2.3.5 is AI-powered product recommendations functionality, powered by Adobe Sensei.

Product recommendations can be powerful for any ecommerce store looking to offer a personalised and seamless online experience for their customers. With these product recommendations powered by Adobe Sensei, your online store will automatically analyse shopper behavior and produce high quality, meaningful product recommendations that increases conversion rates and drives additional sales. 

This will be available exclusively for retailers using Magento Commerce for no additional cost. 

Page Builder Templates

With the latest upgrade to Magento, retailers will be able to maximise the use of Page Builder through the use of templates.

Retailers will be able to create content and page layouts using Page Builder and save them as templates for use across their site. You can now also use video as backgrounds in Page Builder elements, along with full height rows, banners and sliders and an integration with Yotpo. 

Page Builder has proven to be a useful tool for Ecommerce Managers, with many retailers taking advantage of the feature such as Augustinus Bader and ChloBo. This improvement to the tool will speed up the process of creating new pages and allow retailers to focus their time and energy on growth.

Other Updates

  • Over 25 security enhancements
  • Support for Elasticsearch 7.5
  • Deprecation of core integration of third-party payment methods (Authorize.Net, eWay, CyberSource, and Worldpay)
  • Deprecation of the core integration of the Signifyd fraud protection code.
  • Upgrade of Symfony Components
  • Improvements to customer data section invalidation logic
  • Multiple optimizations to Redis performance
  • The PayPal Pro payment method now works as expected in the Chrome 80 browser
  • Enhancements to inventory management
  • Integration of dotdiigtal Engagement Cloud and Magento B2B, along with improved importer performance

Magento 2.3.5 Release

Pre-release for Magento 2.3.5 was launched on the 14th April 2020 for all customers and partners of Magento, with the full launch launched on 30th April.


If you’re in need of an experienced Magento agency to support your patches and upgrades on the platform, get in touch.

Security is crucial in making sure your Magento site can continue to grow and thrive. If you experience downtime or a cyber attack, the consequences can be damaging to your brand and to your success.

Magento invests in ongoing security patches and upgrades, but there are steps that every retailer should be taking, either on their own or with a trusted ecommerce agency, in order to make sure their Magento site is as secure as possible.

Whilst typical security guidelines need to be followed, such as having strong passwords and two-factor authentication, we will focus on what steps you can take that are specific to Magento.

What steps can you take to ensure your Magento site is secure?

#1 – Migrate to Magento 2 before the Magento 1 end-of-life deadline

The first step you should be taking is making sure you are migrated to Magento 2 before the Magento 1 end-of-life deadline. Magento 1 will no longer be secure after June 2020 and it is vital that you are no longer on the outdated platform after this date.

Any retailers on Magento 1 after the sunset deadline will be targets for cyber attacks and your customers’ data will not be safe.

You can read more about the risks of remaining on Magento 1 here, or you can reach out to us directly to find out more.

#2 – Make sure you’re upgraded to the latest Magento version

You also need to make sure that, even if you’re on Magento 2, your site is upgraded to the latest version. The vast majority of Magento upgrades will come with a security update and so minimises the risk of hacks, cyber attacks or simply an unstable ecommerce store.

If your site does not have these security patches, your site is at risk. You can read more about why it is important to upgrade to the latest Magento version here.

#3 – Make sure your plugins and modules are all upgraded

Similarly, whilst you may take time to upgrade to the latest Magento version, are you making sure all of your plugins, modules and ecommerce technologies are upgraded with their latest security patches?

Sometimes these security patches may be different to the core Magento patch and so you need to be vigilant in looking out for when these are available and working with your ecommerce agency to schedule in these upgrades.

#4 – Monitor your security and downtime

On an ongoing basis, you can invest in tools that monitor your security and downtime. Tools like Pingdom or StatusCake can monitor your website availability and performance and notify you if there are any issues.

If you have experienced an attack or downtime, you want to know as soon as possible so you can minimise the damage. This will help you best create a plan for resolving any issues.

#5 – Create custom permission roles for your team

With Magento, you can create custom permission roles for your team to only allow access for what they need. You can even create custom roles at the lowest level of permission to reduce your security risk.

You should only give your team the minimum access they need for their role, and only for the duration that they need it. Magento supports this principle with their custom roles.

#6 – Maintain regular backups in case of an attack

Whilst maintaining regular backups will not prevent an attack and will not make your site secure, it is still an important step in your strategic security plan. Your ecommerce agency or cybersecurity partner will be able to help you maintain regular backups and help you explore how frequent these need to be.

If you do experience an attack, you want to revert back to normal as soon as possible so you can continue trading.

#7 – Work closely with your Magento support agency

Your Magento support agency is a valuable resource when it comes to ensuring your site is secure. They will have the knowledge of the platform but also the connections to partners and technologies that will help keep your site as secure as possible.

However, we know that finding the right Magento support agency for you can be difficult. Here are some questions you should ask when looking for a Magento agency.

#8 – Work with a cybersecurity partner

Our final point is to work with the cybersecurity experts. A cybersecurity technology partner like Foregenix can be helpful in working with you to create a plan specifically for keeping your site secure. They can work in partnership with you and your ecommerce agency to make sure the plan fits with your goals and targets.

Keep your Magento site secure

Security is an often overlooked aspect of ecommerce but is one of the most important. It can be easy to sit back and expect the Magento platform to handle your site’s security, but there are certainly actions you can take to make sure your site is as secure as possible.

Find out more about how we manage our Magento support clients here, and if you want to explore how we can work with you to keep your site secure, get in touch.

In the current climate, many retailers are either experiencing incredible ecommerce growth or are finding online retail challenging. Many retailers are seeing decreases in traffic and revenue, and are looking for ways to both weather the storm and position themselves so that they’re in a place to bounce back quickly once trading is ‘back to normal’.

Many technology partners, agencies and ecommerce professionals are doing their bit to help support the retail industry, whether this is sharing advice and insights or offering complimentary audits and services.

Earlier this week, Adobe (and Magento) announced a number of initiatives that support small to medium sized ecommerce businesses to help them “survive and thrive”. How is Magento helping ecommerce retailers during the coronavirus outbreak?

Three Months Free Magento Commerce

Retailers can now receive their first three months of Magento Commerce free, which will help many retailers get up and running quickly and start to drive revenue with no initial payments for the Magento platform.

This is also true for a Marketo Engage or Bizible contract.

Free Access to Magento University

Magento is also giving all retailers free access to Magento University for three months. Magento University (and Marketo University) is full of support and advice for retailers who are looking to take their digital operations to the next level, including resources across ecommerce, design, marketing and more.

Magento Commerce Launch Package

Whilst Magento recommends working with an agency or solution partner, they are also offering a fast track launch package with their Adobe Customer Solutions team.

The team will get you up and running within two weeks, with their cloud infrastructure, and you will have access to all of the out-of-the-box functionality that comes with Magento Commerce.

This is great for retailers with limited budgets who need to get up and running quickly. For those who are looking for a more bespoke setup, get in touch and we can explore your custom options with you.

Adobe Services

Adobe are also offering access to a number of Adobe services, including:

  • Acrobat PDF Services
  • Adobe Connect
  • Adobe Talent
  • Adobe Portfolio

Survive and Thrive with Expert Support

You can find out more about these initiatives on the Adobe announcement, but we have also interviewed Mo Nofal and Alex Goff as part of our Self-Isolation Insights series, where you can find out more.

Support for retailers is out there. Whether you need advice on Magento 1 end-of-life, or you need help with PPC strategy, we are happy to offer our expert insights. Get in touch and we can explore how we can help.

When exploring your ecommerce platform options, Magento is likely to be one of the key platforms you consider. It can be difficult to truly evaluate which platform will suit your needs, but there are certainly key differences for ecommerce brands who sell internationally.

International ecommerce brands face unique challenges that an ecommerce platform will need to help solve, and Magento has a strong armoury of functionality to support any retailer when taking their brand international.

Why is Magento perfect for international ecommerce brands?

 

#1 – Multi-site and multi-store management

One of Magento’s core strengths as a platform is in its multi-store management. As Paul Rogers says in his evaluation of Magento compared to Shopify Plus, “the platform is built around managing data at different levels that allows for efficient management of multiple stores.”

Magento 2 has the ability for a retailer to manage multiple stores from one admin area, with comprehensive flexibility for each storefront across pricing, language, content and more.

For example, we worked with Augustinus Bader to migrate their seven individual Shopify Plus stores over to three sites (UK, US and EU) and across six store views (English, French, German and Spanish). This flexibility and granular management from one admin has allowed the high-growth health and beauty brand to thrive internationally.

Other platforms offer some form of multi-store management, but with limited infrastructure and flexibility. Magento really excels at managing multiple storefronts for international brands.

 

#2 – Multi-language functionality

Similarly, you can create multiple stores with various languages. This is obviously key for an international brand trading in regions across the world with different languages.

Magento 2 store views (with the same domain) allow you to customise language content based on where the shopper is located.

This is crucial when aiming to provide a seamless customer experience for your shoppers across the world. You need to be able to deliver the right content to the right customer in the right language, and Magento 2 store views are transformative here for this.

 

#3 – Multi-currency and payments

Magento 2 also offers flexibility when it comes to both displaying and accepting multiple currencies.

At a store view level, you can customise the currency to that region (EUR to a French store, GBP to a British store, USD to a US store etc.). This also creates a seamless customer experience for your shoppers who will be able to make payment in their desired currency.

However, you can also configure the currency you receive at a site level under your ‘base currency’. If you set up your base currency for your European site as GBP, you will always take payment in GBP, regardless of if your store view is accepting EUR, GBP or another European currency.

 

#4 – Multiple pricing options

Magento 2 also allows for retailers to offer different prices for the same product across sites. Across your key regions, you may want to price products differently depending on currency conversion or additional costs to cover when trading internationally.

This is also useful for retailers with a direct-to-consumer site and a wholesale site.

 

#5 – Multiple payment methods

Magento is a flexible platform for accepting various payment methods.

If you’re a retailer based in the UK, you will be familiar with accepting Visa and Mastercard, PayPal etc. However, in other territories you may need to explore new payment methods, such as Alipay. You may also see customers opt for other payment methods such as bank transfer or cheque, which may be rarer to see in the UK.

Whilst Magento can help you with this natively, by working with a payment partner such as Adyen, with a ‘baked in’ integration with Magento 2, you will be able to easily explore and fully take advantage of payment options for each region you want to expand into.

 

#6 – Easy tax calculations

Magento simplifies some of the complex tax calculations needed when trading internationally.

With Magento 2, you can set up tax rates for all regions and localities with their tax zone and tax rates functionality. This is a simple enough feature for most retailers who are in the early stages of international selling, although once you begin to grow and expand into more regions and increase your volume, you will need to use a tool like Avalara.

 

Selling internationally

International expansion can be challenging but can also unlock plenty of growth potential. International growth is a strategic objective for many retailers and so selecting the right ecommerce platform to help you achieve this is crucial. For most retailers, this is likely to be Magento.

If you’re interested in exploring how Magento 2 Commerce or Magento 2 Commerce Cloud can help you grow internationally, then get in touch.

After the launch of your new Magento site, you need to be able to work with your ecommerce agency on an ongoing basis to make the most of your new site.

Once your new Magento 2 migration or build project has been completed, you need to work with your agency to scale and grow your ecommerce brand further. You will need iterative changes, new technologies and integrations, and bug fixes.

This support is usually through a Magento support retainer, but it’s important to make sure you plan these in advance as much as possible.

How can you best plan your Magento support retainer in advance?

 

Set ecommerce targets and clear KPIs

The first thing you should do with your ecommerce agency is set your ecommerce targets and determine KPIs. What do you want to achieve with your ecommerce site? What are the key challenges you are currently trying to solve with your site?

You should cover order and revenue targets but you also need to be specific. Do you want to focus on improving add-to-cart rate or basket abandonment rate? Do you have conversion rate targets?

You also should set timescales for achieving these targets (and be realistic with these timescales too).

By setting these targets as early as possible, you can then begin to prioritise your Magento support retainer. It can be easier to plan in advance when you can identify which changes are more likely to help you achieve your goals.

 

Work with a proactive ecommerce agency

Finding the right Magento support agency can be challenging. A strong relationship with your agency is important, whether you’ve just launched your site and need a support agency to manage your online store’s growth, or if you have an established site and need to take it to the next level.

An agency should be reactive to issues and new work from the client, but they should also be advisory on proactive recommendations in order to grow your ecommerce business.

If your agency is proactive, they will work with you to plan your Magento support retainers in advance.

A successful Magento agency will be an additional member of your ecommerce in-house team, to advise and support. Take a look at these questions you should ask when looking for a Magento support agency.

 

Plan for peak trading and busy periods

Most ecommerce retailers will begin planning for the peak trading period six months in advance (if not earlier), and will begin to have an idea of what technologies, features and campaigns they will be launching.

If you can plan these in advance with your support agency, they will be able to make sure that time is reserved in your monthly retainer for this work.

 

Plan for Magento version upgrades

You can also plan ahead for scheduled Magento version upgrades. Most updates are scheduled every quarter and your support agency will have a calendar of these updates.

Make sure that your support agency is transparent with the timings of these updates and communicate how much work will be needed for each upgrade. You will then be able to work together to schedule in the time needed well in advance.

 

Reserve a % of your retainer for reactive work

There will always be an element of reactive work needed in your retainer. You should work with your agency to reserve a percentage of your retainer for reactive work so that you can plan your proactive work around this time.

You want to work with your ecommerce agency to set this percentage as it will vary from retailer to retailer. An average amount is 30%.

This percentage may change regularly, but it’s important to set an ideal percentage so that it isn’t seen as unlimited time. Bug fixes and reactive work can quickly eat up your retainer, so make sure there are set targets for this time.

 

Create a schedule of new site features

Every Ecommerce Director has a wishlist of new site features they want to implement. If you don’t work with your agency to plan these in advance, they can quickly be put on the back burner to make room for bug fixes, version upgrades and technology integrations.

If you have a list of new site features that you want to add to your site, make sure that you share this with your agency so that they can create a calendar of new site features across the year.

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to work on them all at once (nor would it be useful to do so!). However, if you schedule these in, you can make sure that reactive work is done around your wishlist, and not the other way around.

 

Keep your agency up to date with new technologies

You may be speaking with a number of ecommerce technologies that you plan to work with. This may be a new payment provider, personalisation tools or a new email platform.

Some retailers get their ecommerce agency involved as early as possible, whilst others prefer to wait until contracts are signed before looping them in. Whatever your preference, if you keep your agency updated with your plans, they can make sure that any integration work needed is scheduled in and doesn’t conflict with any existing planned work.

Your ecommerce agency will likely have an established partnership with them and will be able to make the integration seamless if they know in advance, or they may be able to offer alternative recommendations if they know a tool is complicated to set up and has the potential to take up your whole retainer.

 

Share company news with your ecommerce agency

Whilst it’s important to keep your ecommerce agency updated with plans for the site, it’s just as important to make sure they are updated with your wider company news.

If you are launching new products, expanding your team, opening new stores or if internal roles are changing, you should let your agency know as soon as possible.

You may be unaware of certain ecommerce challenges that these company updates will face, but your ecommerce agency will be able to share these with you.

 

Plan, plan, plan!

Your ecommerce agency is often an extension of your team and should be seen as an ecommerce growth partner. Be as transparent as possible with what you want to achieve and what you have planned, and your support retainer will be able to be used strategically and proactively.

Our Magento 2 support packages are flexible and tailored so you can choose the most appropriate level of support for your ecommerce needs, with monthly retailers and booster packages. If you want to find out more, get in touch.

Magento has been an established ecommerce platform for many years and has many strengths, including their B2B functionality. For retailers who are exploring Magento over other platforms, such as Shopify and BigCommerce, it can be challenging to understand which platform would fit their requirements best.

There are specific challenges for retailers who need to meet the growing demand of managing B2B transactions. When it comes to B2B ecommerce, Magento has many benefits that retailers can take advantage of to achieve ecommerce success.

But why is Magento so strong for B2B ecommerce? What key functionality does the platform have for B2B retailers?

 

#1 – Custom Catalogues & Pricing

With Magento, you can personalise your online experience for each customer by assigning custom catalogue and price lists to your buyers.

You can also customise your platform by offering various payment options for each buyer to maximise sales across invoices, credit cards and alternative payment methods.

 

#2 – Convenient B2B Reordering

Magento is also strong at offering fast reordering for B2B. You can boost sales with fast and convenient browsing and purchasing options, by allowing B2B buyers to place orders by entering SKUs, uploading CSV files or even choosing items from requisition lists that have been pre-set.

 

#3 – Quote Management Tools

With the Magento platform, you can take advantage of customer quoting and pricing negotiations that can be entirely managed with both Magento and any external systems you have, using API integrations.

These can be handled with streamlined advanced workflows to help quote responsiveness, customer experience and ultimately, higher conversion rates.

 

#4 – Account Management

With Magento’s B2B suite of tools, your customers can manage their own company accounts to track quotes, view detailed order history, manage account credit and more. This ultimately reduces the need for a reliance on customer support, with your B2B buyers able to manage their accounts themselves.

 

#5 – Buyer Roles & Permissions

Along with Magento’s account management, buyers can also assign buyer roles and permissions. Customers can set multiple tiers of buyers, with varying responsibilities including buying power and account management. For B2B buyers, this can improve customer experience by reducing the need for your customers to call you or email you for additional support.

 

#6 – Advanced Segmentation & Targeting

Magento has advanced segmentation and targeting for retailers, allowing personalised and dynamic ecommerce experiences. This is especially important for B2B brands, where you may have multiple buyer types across roles, verticals and industries, affinity and more.

The ability to create segmented and targeted content for these customers will improve your online experience and improve conversion rates.

 

#7 – Business Intelligence & Analytics

Magento comments that it is “the only commerce solution that also provides data pipeline, warehouse and visualization capabilities” as part of its unique Business Intelligence tool.

Their out of the box analytics can give Ecommerce Directors unique and valuable insight into their ecommerce performance, which can be especially useful for B2B brands.

Dashboards can be visual and customised, gathering simpler data across average order values, customer lifetime value, retention rate etc., but can also be used for more complex data needs too.

 

#8 – B2B Infrastructure

Magento is a leader in cloud commerce, with their Magento 2 Commerce Cloud platform, and can deliver secure, stable and reliable experiences that can integrate with B2B legacy systems and your existing infrastructure.

For B2B brands, integration is key as there are many more technologies and tools needed to maintain your business operations. Your ecommerce platform needs to integrate with these.

 

Magento for B2B

Magento is one of the strongest ecommerce platforms for B2B ecommerce. We have experience building B2B ecommerce solutions on the platform for our clients, including Whispering Smith and Cablecraft, who take advantage of most of these features here.

If you need support exploring the right ecommerce platform for you, and are considering Magento for your B2B brand, then get in touch.

The upcoming Magento 2.3.4 release will be available late January and will be the first quarterly upgrade of 2020. This upgrade covers hundreds of bug fixes, enhancements to security and performance, feature updates to core functionality and more.

Here is an overview of the key updates and what to look out for, with a focus on Magento Commerce 2.3.4.

 

Security Enhancements

Magento 2.3.4 comes with over 30 security enhancements for retailer’s online stores to prevent exploitation of customer information or takeover of admin sessions.

These security enhancements include:

  • Removal of custom layout updates and the deprecation of layout updates to remove the opportunity for Remote Code Execution (RCE).
  • Redesigned content template features so that only whitelisted variables can be added to the templates.

Along with this update, Magento always recommends that online retailers are diligent and take action to minimise risk further, such as “IP whitelisting, two-factor authentication, use of a VPN, the use of a unique location rather than /admin, and good password hygiene”.

 

Performance Boosts

Magento 2.3.4 also has several boosts to performance which can improve speed, efficiency and structure.

These performance boosts include:

  • 250 enhancements to core quality, which improve the quality of the Framework and these modules: catalog, sales, PayPal, Elasticsearch, import, CMS, and B2B.
  • Elimination of redundant non-cached requests to the server on catalog pages.
  • Refactoring of PHTML files to better support parsing by the bundling mechanism.
  • Addition of the ability to disable statistic collecting for Reports module by default.

 

Updates to Page Builder

Magento’s Page Builder also benefits from key enhancements in Magento 2.3.4, with a number of upgrades to improve usability and functionality.

These updates include:

  • Improved product sorting.
  • Improved product carousel.
  • Optimised content for rendering on the storefront using the Venia Theme (PWA Studio).

 

New B2B Features

Magento has strong functionality for B2B retailers, and Magento 2.3.4 comes with added features that allow online retailers to fully maximise their B2B offering.

These new features include:

  • Ability to export requisition lists into CSV format.
  • Granular ACLs for B2B modules.
  • Over 20 further enhancements and platform fixes.

You can read the full list of B2B enhancements in Magento’s release notes.

 

Inventory Management Enhancements

Magento 2.3.4 enhances inventory management functionality, including fixes to well known performance issues and GraphQL bug fixes.

These inventory management enhancements include:

  • Addressed issue with higher than expected loads on the database server in scenarios involving the shopping cart.
  • Update to the Inventory Reversations CLI command to reduce memory usage.
  • Update to multiple quality issues, relating to credit memos, grouped products, source and stock mass actions.

Read Magento’s detailed release notes for inventory management for more information.

 

Live Chat Powered by dotdigital

dotdigital also sees an update in Magento 2.3.4 with their live chat tool. All Magento 2.3.x merchants will receive a free live chat agent, powered by dotdigital – even if the merchant is not a dotdigital Engagement Cloud customer.

 

Improved GraphQL

GraphQL is improved with Magento 2.3.4 tool, with improved coverage on search, layered navigation and cart functionality.

These bug fixes include:

  • Linking of carts to customers for multiple devices.
  • Improved return of pricing data for rendering on storefronts.
  • Fixes to product tax and product level discount information.
  • Promotion data in cart.
  • Line item and cart level discounts.
  • Category filtering by ID, name or SLUG.
  • Filtering by customer attributes in layered navigation.

Magento has released detailed release notes on GraphQL bug fixes.

 

Hundreds of Bug Fixes

This release also fixes hundreds of known issues within Magento that merchants and agencies have reported.

This includes fixes for:

  • Infrastructure and code cleanup.
  • Installation, upgrade and deployment.
  • User interface.
  • Analytics and reporting.
  • Cart and checkout.
  • Catalogues and orders.
  • Product bundling.
  • B2B features and functionality.
  • Customer management and reviews.
  • Payments.
  • Search.
  • Shipping and tax.

 

Magento 2.3.4 Release

Magento 2.3.4 will be available on January 28, with pre-release available on January 14.

If you’re in need of an experienced Magento agency to support your patches and upgrades on the platform, get in touch.

How do you find the best Magento support agency for you? A strong relationship with your agency is crucial, whether you’ve just launched your site and need a support agency to manage your online store’s growth, or if you have an established site and need to take it to the next level.

What questions should you be asking when looking for the right Magento support agency?

 

#1 – Are they a Magento solution partner?

There are many agencies out there who have Magento experience and knowledge, but it is important to identify whether they are an official solution partner.

This means the agency has had to meet very high quality standards, demonstrated through exams and training in order to become certified. All developers, project managers, and account managers will have extensive Magento knowledge from having such a close relationship with Magento.

All Magento partners must have shown demonstrable success in using Magento applications and resources. When you work with an official Magento partner, you can be certain that you are working with a fully-committed, Magento-vetted and approved partner who has been trained in all aspects of Magento design and development.

 

#2 – How does the agency respond to bug fixes?

It is important that the agency is able to jump onto urgent issues and fix bugs in a sufficient amount of time. In order to meet expectations, there should be an understanding, from the beginning, of what an agency classes as ‘urgent’ and what the expected time frames are for different types of bug fixes so that both parties are happy.

 

#3 – What is the process for new work?

When you approach the agency with new work, changes and feature requests for your website, it is important to know what the process will be.

Do they have a brief template? Will they provide a quotation? What happens if they go over the estimated hours in a quotation? Are jobs charged ad hoc?

These are all questions that need to be asked to check to see if how the agency works fits in with your company processes and expectations.

 

#4 – How do they communicate to clients?

A good client to agency relationship is key to success, so it is imperative to establish what communication an agency can offer. Regular contact between agency and client is important, whether it be emails, calls or face to face meetings.

Ensure that the agency is willing to give you the time you need to build your relationship with them in order to grow your business successfully.

 

#5 – How proactive is the agency?

An agency should be reactive to issues and new work from the client, but they should also be advisory on proactive recommendations in order to grow your ecommerce business. A successful Magento agency will be an additional member of your ecommerce in-house team, to advise and support.

 

#6 – Can they advise me on recommended technology partners?

Magento is a great ecommerce platform, but can become much more powerful with the appropriate technology partners. A Magento agency should have good relationships with technology partners and be able to advise on the most appropriate technical tools to fuel your ecommerce growth.

Examples of services that technical partners offer would be email marketing, personalisation, payment solutions, search, reviews, order management, and shipping. Different solutions are suitable for different companies and platforms, so it is important your agency has a good understanding of technical partners to advise on the most appropriate services for your product, brand and platform.

 

#7 – What other services does the agency offer?

Every agency specialises in a variety of areas, so it is good to know what is on offer and whether it would compliment your ecommerce needs. Services such as PPC, SEO, and UX/UI design are all very important to ecommerce success. You may have resource in-house to cover these or you may find it useful to check out what the Magento agency is offering alongside design and development.

 

#8 – Are they specialists in your retail vertical?

Take a look at the previous work of the agency and their currently managed clients, to see whether they have experience in your industry. It is good to know if they are familiar with your sector and whether you like the work they have done previously within your vertical.

 

Hit your ambitious growth targets

We understand retailers don’t just need an ecommerce agency when there are problems. Retailers need an ecommerce partner who can provide recommendations for how to make the most of their online store and hit those ambitious growth targets.

If you’re interested in finding out how we could best support your ecommerce store, take a look at our Magento support services.

Magento 1 end-of-life is approaching fast and agencies and consultants across the ecommerce space have been encouraging retailers to replatform and migrate for the past few years now (including us!). But there are many retailers who still don’t fully understand the risks of remaining on Magento 1.

There are six key reasons why it is crucial for retailers to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

 

1. Server attacks, site attacks, spam attacks and payment hacks

The most important reason you need to migrate away from Magento 1 is the lack of security support from Magento. Your site will easily become targets for server attacks, site attacks, spam attacks and payment hacks.

Whilst this has clear consequences for customer trust and confidence, you may also fall into legal battles and lawsuits depending on how severe the attack has been.

 

2. Bugs, issues and slow performance with your technology partners

Many of the technology partners that we work with have told us they will no longer be supporting Magento 1 in 2020. If you remain on the outdated platform, there is a risk that you will also see bugs, issues and slow performance from the technology you’re using to power your ecommerce site.

Whether this is your payments gateway, personalisation platform or email marketing tool, you may need to migrate to Magento 2 in order to keep your wider tech stack up to date too.

 

3. Slow site load speeds

Many retailers on Magento 1 will already be experiencing slow site load speeds, in comparison to other retailers on newer platforms. Magento significantly improved this for Magento 2 and so all brands who haven’t migrated will have to manage issues with slow performance.

This will have a severe impact on conversion rate, with many customers leaving slow sites before purchase.

 

4. Decreases in SEO performance

Similarly, Magento 1 retailers will also be experiencing issues with their technical SEO strategy due to the outdated code infrastructure on the platform. Alongside an improved code architecture on Magento 2 comes an improved platform for SEO.

Magento 2 has a strong base for search, with SEO-friendly URLS, comprehensive meta tags and page information, image optimisation and more.

Retailers remaining on Magento 1 will be missing out on these improvements and may suffer decreases in search visibility and worse performance in SERPs.

 

5. Lack of innovation

Magento 2 is feature-rich with Page Builder, Business Intelligence, scheduled updates, merchandising and promotional tools, cloud technology, and an easier to use admin.

Magento 2 also has built-in integrations with key technologies including Adyen, Klarna, PayPal, Yotpo and more.

The truth is that retailers remaining on Magento 1 are at risk of not innovating at the same rate as their competitors and will fall behind. Customers will always be drawn towards retailers with excellent customer experiences and if you’re on Magento 1, you won’t be able to meet their high expectations.

 

6. Lack of agency support

Our final risk is that your agency may no longer support your Magento 1 site in 2020. A lot of experienced Magento agencies are either no longer supporting Magento 1 or have plans to stop support in 2020.

Every retailer needs a trusted and experienced ecommerce agency to help them grow, and you may no longer be able to work with your preferred Magento developer if you remain on Magento 1 past the end of support deadline.

 

Migrate now to Magento 2

We definitely recommend Magento 2 for retailers who are looking to focus on scalability and growth. The truth is that Magento 2 is a completely new, evolved ecommerce platform from Magento 1 and has solved many of the issues that retailers had with the old platform.

Most of the flaws, issues and complications from Magento 1 have been fixed and streamlined for Magento 2, with a host of improvements and additional features to help you grow faster (including many more we haven’t managed to feature here).

 

Fancy a Magento 2 demo?

Contact us here and we can arrange a time to walk you through Magento 2 and discuss your requirements for a migration project.

We’ve joined forces with cloud solutions partner, iomart, in order to help spread the cost of a Magento 2 migration project for retailers.

A migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is necessary before June 2020’s deadline for Magento 1 end of life. We speak to many retailers who want to take advantage of the platform’s new features, infrastructure and functionality. However, it can be difficult to get senior buy-in or to justify a large project cost within your ecommerce budget.

With our new partnership, we can kickstart a Magento 2 migration project without the need to fund the whole project immediately. With a longer-term hosting agreement, we can spread the project cost over the length of your agreement.

Magento 2 has been built for growth and technological agility and so many retailers are still missing out. The new updated platform uses many features and functionalities that open up avenues for further growth and innovation such as Page Builder, customer segmentation, site update scheduling, a redesigned two-step checkout and virtually limitless third party integrations with technologies such as Klarna, Dotdigital, Adyen, Yotpo and more.

There are still thousands of sites powered by Magento 1 that need to be migrated to Magento 2 before the June 2020 end of life deadline. If you’re one of these retailers and want to unlock your next phase of ecommerce growth with Magento 2, a platform built to accelerate more growth and revenue, then get in touch and we can help spread the cost with our iomart partnership.

Contact us

Kickstart your project with us today. Let’s have a chat about how we can help you with your Magento or Shopify project, PPC campaigns or Amazon strategy.

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