Magento’s New Privacy Policy

Most people tend to pass on reading through long boring legal documents whenever they’re installing new software, filling out forms, and especially hearing about changes to their privacy policies. It may not always be the most pressing information to stay on top of, but Magento recently updated their privacy policy and it’s good to know what kinds of changes may affect you…

  • Cookies – There have been changes to how Magento tracks users on its site with cookies and other tracking technologies.
  • Collecting Personal Information – Updates have been made both to how Magento describes your personal information and an expansion of what they collect (mostly through calls and text messages)
  • Sharing Personal Information – Magento will not share personal information with any third parties, but note this doesn’t preclude them from giving information to parent company eBay.
  • Privacy Disputes – Magento now works with privacy dispute resolution provider TRUSTe

The changes are immediate for new users of Magento and will apply to all customers starting on April 6th, 2013.

Stay informed!

The Commative Team

New live Ultimento Template on Magento: CLn Skin Care

We are pleased to showcase another recent launch of a Magento store using Ultimento. As opposed to some of our more traditional online retailers, this website only has two products. However, the Ultimento template is still ideal to help showcase the products and uses CMS pages and blocks to provide much more detailed product information, news and customer testimonials.

The Magento template has been edited throughout the header by moving some pieces around off the menu bar, and it uses Google fonts and different colors throughout the site. However, the major edits have been made to the product pages by using a 3 column display, edits to the main price box, and leveraging the built-in product tab extension to incorporate custom attribute information. It also uses a custom tier message system (buy X and save Y) to have an actual add to cart box and link (‘our most popular offer’). For those interested, the “3″ in three pack is pulled from the tier volume, and pricing from backend

Please take a closer look at all the features here: www.clnwash.com
Magento template on Ultimento: CLn Skin Care

Get Your Magento Site Ready for IE10

The two words that scare web developers the most are often “Internet Explorer”. While version 9 of Microsoft’s flagship browser ushered in a new era of stability and speed, earlier versions of IE are almost universally derided for incompatibilities and poor performance.

Unlike Chrome and Firefox, the biggest problem with IE has always been the fact that it can’t upgrade itself. No browser is perfect, but without the ability to go get updates behind the scenes most users end up using software that is sometimes years old. This all changed with Internet Explorer 10 which supports automatic upgrades, but unfortunately IE 10 was only available on Windows 8. Until now…

Microsoft has just announced the availability of IE 10 on Windows 7, making their newest browser available to the largest audience of Windows users. You should soon see a majority of users move over allowing developers to begin standardizing their projects across modern browsers. For online shop owners, especially the Magento ones, this is vital to simplifying testing, feature roll outs, and general compatibility. If you haven’t gotten IE 10 on your own computers now is the time!

The Commative Team

Amazon Leads the Way, You Should Follow

One of the most important factors in being a successful retailer, online or otherwise, is keeping customers happy. It’s hard enough just getting customers that once you have them you need to ensure they come back again. If you want a lesson on how best to appeal to your customer base look no farther than Amazon.com.

According to the latest Harris Interactive Poll, Amazon is the most well respected corporation in America, beating out the likes of Apple, Disney, and Google among others. Amazon led the way in a number of categories including “emotional appeal”. For an online company that avoids call support whenever possible that’s quite a feat.

Amazon also leads the pack in the American Customer Satisfaction Index utilizing easy returns, clear product information, quick shipping, and great selection to simplify the entire shopping experience. Such customer-centric policies have helped Amazon collect over 180 million active customers and keep them coming back for more.

Amazon may have size at its advantage, but retailers can learn an important lesson. Think about the customer first. Do what makes the customer’s shopping experience easier and they’ll come back again and again.

The Commative Team

 

Facebook Steals the World’s Traffic

For nearly thirty minutes on February 8th Facebook “borrowed” some websites. Lots and lots of websites. Users logged in to their Facebook account while on sites that are integrated with the social giant’s network found themselves redirected to Facebook.com.

The issue was corrected quickly and far more annoying than damaging, but the precedent such a bug presents is disconcerting. With the ever increasing interconnections among websites one can quickly see how mistakes can lead to cascading events that can affect thousands and millions of sites.

There can be a trade off for the functionality site integrations bring so make sure you only partner with companies you trust. If the companies you trust still have problems just hope that they fix them quickly!

So if you were on an Ultimento-powered site on Thursday and suddenly found yourself on Facebook, don’t worry, we didn’t break anything!

The Commative Team

Ecommerce Sales Top $1 Trillion in 2012!

$1,000,000,000,000! That’s a whole lot of zeros!

According to global sales estimates from eMarketer, worldwide sales of goods online surpassed the $1 trillion mark for the first time ever in 2012. That’s an amazing number and sign not just of an improvement in the worldwide economy, but further evidence of the growing power and influence of online retail.

Among some of the more interesting facts from the 2012 sales figures…

  • 2013 sales are expected to be up 18.3% to $1.298 trillion!
  • The Asia-Pacific region will surpass North America as the largest world market
  • The United States had more than three times the sales of any other country at $343 billion
  • China leads the world in online buyers with 220 million
  • UK buyers spend the most with an average of $3,585 purchased per person

It’s incredible to see the acceleration and size of the online market. In a decade the industry has transformed from a blip on the radar to one of the preeminent channels for retail. Surely there will be a slowdown in growth as online penetration saturates, but for now its a fun roller coaster to ride!

The Commative Team

Nexcess Beefs Up Magento Hosting Options

Premier web hosting Magento partner Nexcess has announced a new high-end hosting option for Magento users with heavy volume. The MCE-SIP-400 option now buttresses the base SIP-100, 200, and 300 offerings by giving customers access to a scalable solution that can grow with your business.

Even the largest Magento sites can be served with a MCE-SIP-400 account as the base configuration includes:

  • 6 Web Application Servers –  Dell Power Edge R420, 2x Eight Core Sandy-Bridge Processors, 24GB of Memory, 2x 73GB 10K SAS Drives – RAID 1
  • 2 Database Servers – Dell Power Edge R420, 2x Eight Core Sandy-Bridge Processors, 24GB of Memory, 4x 146GB 15K SAS Drives – RAID 10
  • File Server – Dell R410, 2x Quad Core Processors, 24GB of Memory, 4x 300GB 15K SAS Drives – RAID 10
  • Load Balancer - Dell Power Edge 1950, 2x Quad Core Processors, 16GB of Memory, 2x 73GB 10K SAS Drives – RAID 1

As you can see, this is a monster system! Nexcess has always been a Commative Magento hosting favorite, and now they can fit any need big or small so check them out.

The Commative Team

Learn More With Magento Webinars

Ecommerce presents almost unlimited options for what you can do to improve your store, the customer experience, the presentation of your product, and to ultimately sell more. Magento is the best tool for the job to start, but part of what makes Magento so great is the massive community that has grown up around it to help broaden the platform into the ultimate ecommerce offering.

So how does one learn about all the extensions and themes and tips and tricks that can take Ultimento to the next level? Well, you can start by checking out a series of Magento webinars that have been put together to help guide you. Learn about everything from conversion optimization and responsive themes to system integrations and the power of B2B commerce.

The ecommerce landscape is as competitive as ever so it’s critical you find the advantages that will give your store the edge. Take a look at Magento’s webinars and keep your eyes peeled for blogs (especially the Commative Blog) to make sure you stay ahead of the pack.

The Commative Team

Magento Imagine 2013! Sign Up Now!

Registration has finally opened up for Magento’s annual Imagine conference in Las Vegas. The conference will again be held at the M Resort April 8th through 10th. This year’s theme  will be The Art of Commerce and act now, they fully expect the show to sell out just as it has every other year.

If you register before January 29th you can tickets for $895 (a $300 savings). It may sound like a lot of money, but the event is invaluable for expanding your knowledge of Magento-powered ecommerce. You’ll also get the chance to network with other Magento customers and developers, listen to speakers in the industry share their thoughts on the direction of retail, and have a blast with a ton of events and parties.

We can’t say enough about the importance of going so check out Magento’s page and you’ll see Commative and Ultimento there!

The Commative Team

102nd Annual National Retail Federation Convention – Retail’s Big Show 2013

You may not have heard of the NRF, but the National Retail Federation is a massive organization that focuses on all things retail. The organization has been around for over 100 years helping to guide the retail industry through standardized practices, lobbying for retail-friendly laws, and most recently seeing brick and mortar’s transformation into the digital and online age.

Once a year the biggest retail players in the world gather in New York to discuss the latest ideas and issues facing retailers. You should check out the NRF blog and follow along to gain insights into retail strategy, new angles of business, learn what others are doing, and to hone your craft. Even Magento is in attendance to talk about new online trends and how to bring your store into the 21st century.

We couldn’t make it out to New York this year, but after attending Magento’s Imagine conference we can’t stress enough how important this kind event can be. It’s one of the few opportunities where you can get out of the weeds of operation and take a step back to think strategically about your business and what to do next. If you’re in New York check out the show and if not, follow along so you don’t miss out!

The Commative Team