Out of the box, Magento is already a powerful ecommerce platform. The biggest challenge ecommerce businesses encounter trying to manage their own Magento stores is its complexity.
Thanks to Magento’s dedication to staying open source, the portability of its code mean that independent developers can create tools that help users and businesses get the functionality they need from Magento, and smooth over complications that they’re not interested in.
We develop Magento ecommerce stores every day for clients big and small. Just like no two stores are the same, there are store owners who desire different levels of hands-on interaction with their ecommerce store.
Some of the tech savvy ones can’t wait to dig into the UI and learn everything, but most of our Magento ecommerce clients need their ecommerce store to fit their busy schedule. Magento needs to work for customers, and be easily edited and updated.
That’s why it’s important to choose extensions that will make your website work for customers: easy to navigate, quick to load, and as interactive as modern ecommerce customers expect.
Top Magento Plugins for Simplifying Ecommerce
Website Firewall, Anti-Hacking, and Security: Magefence
If your site is down because it’s been hacked, you’re going to lose customer trust as well as SEO cachet. Protect your rankings and customer confidence with an extension that will be your ecommerce bodyguard. MageFence provides you information and warnings, and can give you Two-Step Verification, adding an extra layer of security to your store dashboard.
Ebay and Amazon Feed Exposure: Magento Feed Manager
One store isn’t always enough for the ecommerce marketplace. Adding your product feed to trusted sites like Google Shopping, Amazon, and Ebay, this feed manager builds a database of your products, and regularly uploads this with these ecommerce giants. Increase your potential audience size easily and automatically.
Page Speed for SEO and Customers: Warp Full Page Caching
Your store’s load time can have a chilling effect on your sales if it’s taking too long. Speed up your load time, and lose fewer customers. A caching plugin will allow you to put up site pages without having to spend as much time testing and tweaking for better load speeds. Warp is a perennial favorite.
Wholesale and Retail Pricing: Customer Specific Products
If your store offers wholesale pricing to other businesses, and separate retail pricing to customers, this is a must-have plugin. Manage your wholesale and retail operations from a single store with Customer Specific Products, and control the pricing that is available to different customer types.
Special Discounts and Promotions: Discount Links
Make the purchase process simpler than ever with a plugin to simplify your sales and promotions. With this plugin from Themezaa, generate links which can automatically apply discounts when clicked. Don’t lose sales to discount confusion!
This plugin will also generate a report based on discount codes, to make your future marketing decisions even easier (but more on that later).
Personalized Product Recommendations: Automatic Related Products
When a customer is already making one purchase, it becomes easier to get them to add a second – as long as you can put the correct secondary product in the right place.
More Detailed Product Information: Product Videos
Delivering self-hosted video can be a real drag on load times. A plugin that makes it easy to embed video from outside sources simplifies the delivery of product video. This plugin can pull videos straight from Youtube, so that you can add influencer reviews of your products just as easily as your own videos!
Simplified Shopping Menus: Fast Navigation
Granular product navigation helps your customers find just what they’re looking for. This plugin makes navigation faster and easier for customers, with AJAX-powered menus that make selecting multiple attributes much faster.
Integrate Magento & WordPress Search: Product Search
If your website uses both Magento and WordPress, it’s necessary that your search extension bridges the gap between these platforms. Sphinx search makes this fast and easy, preventing customer frustration and abandoned carts.
Ecommerce Email with Great Data: Mailchimp + Mandrill
Mailchimp’s Mandrill service allows you to send easy and well-designed transactional ecommerce emails. Mandrill also allows you to market to customers automatically with abandoned cart, follow-up, and VIP customer emails. See our suggestions for ecommerce email automation workflows.
Better Store and Sales Data: Power Dashboard
Good decisions come from good data! The default Magento dashboard doesn’t make important store and sales data as accessible as some of the better extensions. Power Dashboard makes sales and product breakdowns much more accessible and visually appealing.
One of the reasons Magento is a core platform at ATAK is the variety and flexibility of its extension marketplace. Without the open source community, Magento wouldn’t be as robust or versatile as we expect it to be now.
Choosing Magento Extensions
Extensions with a great track record of stability and support make life easier for everyone involved in a web development project, from developers to ecommerce store managers.
On the fence about Magento? We wrote an ebook dedicated to why we love Magento, called Why Ecommerce Stores are Graduating from Shopify to Magento. Get it here!