Consumers Avoid the Crowds, Spend Record $1 Billion Online During Black Friday!

Online sales are off to another record start as US consumers spent $1.042 billion over computers and phones the day after Thanksgiving. This represents a 26% lift from a year ago and is an extremely positive sign for the holiday sales to come.

With this year being the longest possible holiday season (as Thanksgiving was as early as it can be in the calendar cycle) many analysts had expected consumers to pace themselves and reduce initial spending. Quite the contrary, purchasing started off with a bang as consumers spent $633 million on Thanksgiving day, a jump of nearly 32% from the year before.

Cyber Monday is expected to be another record breaker with talk of a potential $2 billion sales today. Make sure your Magento store is ready to ride the wave!

The Commative Team

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Are Here!

I hope you all enjoyed your turkey because its time to get ready for the biggest sales days of the year! Tomorrow will mark the official beginning of the holiday season and while not as online-centric, Black Friday is huge for retailers of all kinds.

You can bet on a busy weekend and then the coming Monday will kick of a week of Cyber deals where you should make sure your Magento store is ready for some major traffic. Get all of your product data in order, your promotions configured and ready to go, double check your inventory, and apply all those last minute changes you’ve been meaning to do.

Happy Selling!

The Commative Team

Ultimento 3.2 Officially Released!

Work on Ultimento never stops and today Commative is pleased to announce the release of Ultimento 3.2! This release doesn’t rock the boat too much and concentrates on a few bugs and layout tweaks we’ve been wanting to make. That said, there are a few new features too so make sure you check out Ultimento if it’s your first time and upgrade if you already use the most reviewed Magento template on the Internet.

Among the changes:

  • Updated checkout that includes a persistent preview of your cart
  • Additional Rich Snippets information tags
  • Cleaner text segmenting on the Dark theme
  • Fixed Twitter bug when account only has one tweet
  • More CSS tweaks to various pages

Get the update today at Commative.com or download the update through your user account!

The Commative Team

St. Bernard Sports on the Ultimento Magento Theme

We are pleased to announce the new website launch of St. Bernard Sports, a leading retailer of apparel, ski, and snowboard products and equipment in the Southwest. It is another great example of the customization options that Ultimento bring to Magento. This Magento template really takes advantage of the clean format of Ultimento and adds the stores own unique look through some new CMS blocks and great use of color and fonts.

As we hit the winter months and start planning the next ski or snowboard trip, take a moment to see the new site a www.stbernardports.com.

New Ultimento Magento Theme: St  Bernard Sports

Is That Magento Extension Really That Popular?

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want a cool new weather app for your iPhone you pop on over to the App Store, type in “weather” and get hundreds of apps to choose from. But how do you decide which one to get?

For most people, the reviews make the difference. You look for the most popular product in your price range, read a few reviews to see what people say, and powered with that information you can make a decision. We’ve talked about the power of reviews before and their value isn’t going away anytime soon.

Now, If you’re looking for a cool new Magento theme or extension among the sea of software at MagentoConnect you may think to do the same, but you’ll notice something is different. Where you might expect to find just reviews you’ll also see a flame icon that represents “popularity”.

Popularity is intended to track the number of times a Magento theme or extension has been downloaded. The problem with popularity though is that people have figured out how to game the system. Just look at the numbers. Does 350,000 downloads and only 6 reviews make sense?

Magento is on to this trickery and working on a solution, but it highlights an important fact. Reviews matter! Nothing is more insightful than what other users have to say and you can learn a lot about the capability and quality of a product in just a few minutes.

So with all that said you may find yourself asking, “What are the best REVIEWED programs on MagentoConnect?” Well, if you sort by Most Reviewed you’ll find that Commative’s flagship Ultimento theme with built in extensions is not only the most reviewed theme on MagentoConnect, but it’s the most reviewed paid program on all of Magento!

 

 

We don’t mean to brag, but Ultimento comes with great support and includes multiple themes and over 15 individual extensions, all rolled into one easy to install package that we’re pretty proud of. We think it’s worth checking out, and from all the reviews it sounds like we’re not the only ones.

The Commative Team

Vote For the Next Commative Magento Extension!

It’s Election time and we thought what better way to get into the voting spirit than to hold an election of our own!

We’re gearing up on a number of different Magento products and want to know what Magento users out there think are the most helpful, valuable extensions that they could use for their stores. We’ve put together a list of potential candidates and want you to help us decide what to do next.

Check out the Commative Facebook page to cast your vote to decide what the next Commative Magento Extension should be. Remember, write-ins are welcome so if you don’t see something you like put in an idea you do.

The Commative Team

Live Magento Theme Case Study on Ultimento 3: San Franciso Gourmet Gifts

With holidays around the corner and the high expectations of online retail sales this year, we thought it would be timely to showcase a gift-focused site using our popular Ultimento package for their Magento store. This is yet another example of the customization possibilities of our flagship Magento theme to achieve a very personalized and unique online store experience. The prominent use of the built-in product slider extension on the product page is a very nice touch and makes it easy to compare products.

If you are looking for holiday gifts, take a minute and check out the site: sanfranciscogourmetgifts.com

New Magento Theme on Ultimento: San Franscico Gourmet Gifts

 

Record Holiday Shipping Expected December 10th, Driven by E-Commerce

FedEx announced this morning that it expects Monday December 10th (known as “Green Monday” for being the second Monday in December which is traditionally one of the biggest sales days of the year) to be the largest shipping day of the year. FedEx is planning for a 13% rise in shipments this holiday season, driven primarily by growth in e-commerce.

The holidays are traditionally the biggest sales period of the year for retailers and online e-tailers are no exception. eMarketer is predicting a 16.8% increase in overall holiday online sales and says that $1 in every $10 spent will be done online.

The “holidays” start the day after Thanksgiving which is only 1 month from today! Now is the time to prep your Magento store with all the best themes and extensions so you can wrap up your implementation and testing before things pick up. Get your site in tip top shape and prepare to sell!

The Commative Team

 

Talk With the Magento 2 Development Team

We’ve talked before about the release of Magento 2 and now is your chance to hear about the changes first hand from the developers on the front lines. Magento is going to be hosting a live chat with the Magento 2 development team at 9:00am PST on October 31st.

The developers will be answering any and all questions and speaking to the backwards compatibility of Magento 2. Find out all there is to know about this major refactor and what affect it will have on your Magento store.

As an added incentive, 5 random attendees will win free vouchers for the Magento Certified Developer Exam, a $260 value.

Come hear about the future.

The Commative Team

Google Makes 65 Changes to Search in August and September

Keeping your Magento store on the first page of Google search is among the most important things you can do. That said, it’s vital you stay on top of changes to Google’s search algorithm so that you keep and improve your ranking.

Google is always testing and changing the algorithms that control its search function and it isn’t slowing down going into the Fall. Google has a fresh collection of 65 changes for August and September that are important to stay on top of. Among the updates are:

  • LTS. [project “Other Ranking Components”] We improved our web ranking to determine what pages are relevant for queries containing locations.
  • #83105. [project “Snippets”] We refreshed data used to generate sitelinks.
  • Imadex. [project “Freshness”] This change updated handling of stale content and applies a more granular function based on document age.
  • #83709. [project “Other Ranking Components”] This change was a minor bug fix related to the way links are used in ranking.
  • #84010. [project “Page Quality”] We refreshed data for the “Panda” high-quality sites algorithm.
  • #84211. [project “Snippets”] This launch led to better snippet titles.
  • #81360. [project “Translation and Internationalization”] With this launch, we began showing local URLs to users instead of general homepages where applicable (e.g. blogspot.ch instead of blogspot.com for users in Switzerland). That’s relevant, for example, for global companies where the product pages are the same, but the links for finding the nearest store are country-dependent.

The Commative Team