Magento Commerce 2.2.2 is here – and dotmailer’s bundled in!

Magento Commerce 2.2.2 merchants can look forward to Advanced Reporting, Magento Shipping improvements, and a much-anticipated Instant Purchase button. But that’s not all… we’re excited to announce that all Magento Commerce 2.2.2 downloads will now have our marketing automation platform included with the core software.

dotmailer can be found in the Admin panel, under the Marketing tab. If you don’t currently use dotmailer as your marketing automation platform, you can experience the power of the integration with a free 14-day trial. Just head to Stores > Settings > Configuration > DOTMAILER > API Credentials and select the ‘trial’ banner to get started.

What are the benefits of dotmailer for Magento?

dotmailer for Magento enables you to seamlessly create campaigns from inside the Magento interface. The integration offers the full capabilities of dotmailer, plus the added benefits of single sign-on and access to an unparalleled level of data.

The dotmailer integration uses Magento attributes (including custom ones) and connects with other backend systems, like Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce, to create a more complete view of the customer.

Here are a few of the other features in a nutshell:

  • Synchronization of all historical customer and order data
  • dotmailer ROI tracking within your Magento site
  • Rescue customers’ abandoned carts using triggered campaigns
  • Advanced campaign and contact reporting
  • 24/5 support from Magento experts
  • An Account Manager to help you get the most out of the platform
  • Omnichannel automation, including email and SMS

Why is dotmailer included?

dotmailer was honored to become Magento’s first and only Premier Technology Partner for Marketing Automation back in 2015. We were recognized as offering one of the most feature-rich and robust marketing integrations, verified for quality by developers at Magento.

Since the launch in 2015, hundreds of global brands have chosen to integrate their Magento platform with dotmailer, including the likes of Paul Smith and Lulla Bellz. You can check out our customer success area to read case studies on other brands who’ve made the connection.

How can I find out more?

There are lots of resources to get you up to speed on the news. If you’d like to discover how dotmailer for Magento can transform your business, visit our magento.dotmailer.com mini site. For full details on Magento’s latest release, visit their Magento Commerce 2.2.2 blog post or sign up for the Magento webinar on January 18, 2018.

The post Magento Commerce 2.2.2 is here – and dotmailer’s bundled in! appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 10 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

What top ecommerce experts love about Magento 2

While some were intrigued by new tools and improved content structures, others seemed reluctant to join the bandwagon. After all, Magento 2 was a significant departure from the original version. Many weren’t prepared for such a big leap, which is why there are so many ecommerce websites still powered by an older version of this platform.

From today’s perspective, it’s safe to say that Magento 2 managed to push the entire ecommerce industry forward. This is one of the reasons why we wanted to engage the community of Magento experts and learn their opinions on this platform. If you continue reading, you will learn what top ecommerce experts have to say about Magento 2 when we asked them to tell us what they loved about Magento 2.

“More powerful than you think”

Many individuals believe that Magento 2 is overly complicated – at least until they try the platform themselves. Other ecommerce platforms are doing an excellent job of marketing their user-friendly features. As a result, inexperienced online store owners become overwhelmed once they decide to try one of those platforms. Magento seems to be doing the opposite. It appears overly complicated at first, especially since it involves working with highly-trained professionals, however anyone can master Magento 2 with a little bit of effort.

Here is what Ryan Street, a trainer at Magento Commerce, says:

Magento is a robust and complex platform. Many times, I receive questions about ‘Can Magento do this?’ More often than not, I am able to tell clients that Magento has their requested feature right out of the box. This usually comes as quite a surprise to many of them. Magento 2 is more powerful than you think.

“Magento has no competitors in the market”

Only a couple of years ago, there were a few powerful ecommerce platforms. However, the competition grew quickly and now there are currently more than a dozen heavily-marketed platforms battling over each and every online store owner. However, we often forget that Magento is one of the oldest platforms in the market.

The most significant limitation to ecommerce platforms is their flexibility. We believe that Magento is an example of freedom in design and development to other platforms. The truth is that you have unparalleled freedom with Magento 2 as you can design an online store of your own custom design and implement features found nowhere else.

Take a look at this quote from Miguel Balparda who is a senior Magento developer:

In my opinion, Magento has no competitors in the market. Shopify, for example, is a fine platform but it’s not as flexible as Magento. Other platforms are also easy to use, but the flexibility of Magento can’t be compared with any other platform at the moment.

“A Magento 2 website can grow with you”

When choosing between different ecommerce platforms, scalability is one of the most critical factors. This is easy to understand since every online store owner wants to know that their website can easily grow, but you might be surprised to know that scalability is one of the biggest strengths of Magento 2. The newest version of this platform brings dramatically improved performance while reducing server load. At any moment, online store owners can work within their website’s backend without affecting the performance. Powerful design features make this process as effortless as it can be.

Rebecca Brocton, a Magento 2 developer and project manager, recently spoke on this matter:

If you are serious about ecommerce, growing your business, and having a scalable website that can grow with you, then the first choice has always been Magento.

“Issues can be identified and fixed quickly”

Support is of the utmost importance when it comes to any ecommerce platform. Unlike traditional websites, technical difficulties can greatly impact any online store. Every second an online shop displays an error or becomes inaccessible means losing a potential customer, but this can be avoided by having a reliable support team or a dedicated community of users.

As you surely know, Magento 2 is drastically different from the original version. This change didn’t happen overnight. Instead, many developers all around the world have had prepared for this step. Today, there are armies of highly-skilled develops that can help you resolve technical issues in no time.

This is what Sean Breeden, a certified Magento developer, says:

So much effort has gone into the development of Magento 2 that I do recommend it for store owners. Magento 2 has a much larger community than Magento 1 in the beginning, which means that many of the problems that are encountered will be identified and fixed quickly.

“Great built-in functionalities of Magento 2”

Even though other ecommerce platforms can be a fantastic solution for small online stores, Magento is the only platform with incredibly capable functionalities that are built into the system. Different platforms offer premium-priced extensions to make up for this but Magento 2 brings it all at once, right out of the box.

Eugene Zubkov is a senior Magento develop with years of experience under his belt. Here is how he feels about built-in functionalities of Magento 2:

One of the most significant advantages of Magento are numerous helpful built-in functionalities of the platform. After installing the system, we get a fully-functional store with multi-currency, localization, a lot of store views, marketing, and reports.

“New improvements and new functionalities every few months”

Security and implementation of advanced features are what concerns every online store owner. Upgrading to Magento 2 is a complex process that takes meticulous planning and execution. However, this is also a vital and rewarding process. One of the most important reasons to make this leap is the constant and rapid development of this platform. After upgrading to Magento 2, you can be sure that you have access to the latest security patches and newly introduced features. Luckily, upgrading to a new incremental update within Magento 2 is as easy as it gets.

Check out what Nestor Gonzales, a developer with 12+ years of experience, says about applying updates within Magento 2:

The main selling point of Magento 2 is that it’s easy to upgrade because the upgrades are extremely simple with the new releases every quarter. It’s going to be like a new store with improvements and new functionalities every few months.

“Sheer amount of customization possibilities”

Online shoppers don’t care about the technology that is powering ecommerce websites. Instead, they are focused on visual design and user-oriented features. Magento 2 is diverse as it gets when it comes to visual design as this platform thrives on customization.

You will hardly find two Magento 2-powered online stores that look and work the same way – even if they use the same template. With a bit of effort, inexperienced online store owners can experiment with different layouts without sacrificing functionality and performance. The truth is that Magento 2 can be used to create an optimized website for just about any purpose and business model.

Josh Cameron, who is a Magento developer and consultant, recently stated:

Personally, I think the sheer amount of customization possibilities is a huge factor. Businesses can fine-tune Magento to fit their business model, instead of the other way around.

Final thoughts

There isn’t a better way to learn about an ecommerce platform than to see what experts have to say. You can find thousands of Magento 2 experts in every corner of the world, which is the ultimate proof of this platform’s capabilities. Make sure to use their knowledge and to engage with the vibrant community of Magento developers and users.

 

Uwe Weinkauf is the CEO of MW2 Consulting, experts in Enterprise Application Development, eCommerce, IT Outsourcing, and IT Operations that delivers valuable solutions for global business needs. 

You can learn more about MW2, discover dotmailer’s Magento integration, or follow Uwe on LinkedIn.

The post What top ecommerce experts love about Magento 2 appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 10 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Spotlight on Magento: Why you should choose dotmailer for Magento

In 2015, not only did we launch our dotmailer for Magento integration but we were also named one of its Premier Technology Partners. Our specialist Magento developers spent months preparing the integration so it would comply with the ecommerce platform’s codebase. The result? A super-charged tool that works in sync with Magento 1 and 2, and powers smarter, targeted, revenue-driven marketing.

The dotmailer for Magento integration takes the legwork out of marketing to your most valuable contacts, thanks to access to live data and via one interface. However, that’s certainly not the only benefit:

  • Automatic sync of your Magento subscribers, guests and customers
  • dotmailer ROI tracking within your Magento site
  • Rescue customers’ abandoned carts using triggered campaigns
  • Full campaign and contact reporting from within your dotmailer account
  • Plug-and-play extension with single sign-on
  • 24/5 support from Magento experts
  • An account manager to help you get the most out of the platform for your business
  • Multichannel automation, such as SMS

dotmailer for Magento in action

7 ways to make the most of dotmailer tools with your Magento contacts

There’s a long list of things you can do with the dotmailer for Magento integration – but here are a few of my favorites:

Automated abandoned cart emails
You can create your abandoned cart campaigns in dotmailer and then set the trigger from Magento within a minimum of 15 minutes of a cart becoming ‘lost’. You’ll be able to see the return on investment (ROI) and campaign drilldown reporting in your dotmailer account.

Download a free copy of our ‘Put the abandoned cart before the horse’ guide to see the true value of this automation.

Create segments for relevant content
Use your synced contact data fields to better target your audience. For example, things like category purchases, interests, birthday / anniversary / subscribed date / last purchased date are all relevant ways to deliver a more personal message.

Magento external dynamic content links (EDC)
Using links from your Magento site, you can display dynamic product content in your emails to customers; some of these include:

  • Recommended products based on items in cart
  • Recommended products based on order history
  • Manual recommended products
  • Bestsellers
  • Last order ID
  • Coupon codes
  • Wishlist products
  • Upsells and cross-sells
  • Most viewed products

Increase revenue with dotmailer’s automation Program Builder
Use the dotmailer program builder to create welcome, win-back, wishlist, loyalty and many more for revenue-generating campaigns that run themselves.

Catalog sync
dotmailer is releasing a new product block feature, meaning no more time-consuming product image uploads. It gives you the functionality to drag a block into your campaign and add an item by SKU – syncing the product image, URL, title and price, with a button to the item’s page.

Transactional email
We know that consistency is one of the keys to trust – so being able to brand transactional emails in line with marketing messages is an obvious benefit, What’s more, with the transactional email module, you can easily set up transactional data and view transactional reports through the dotmailer dashboard. Read more on using dotmailer for transactional emails here.

Order insight
Synchronizing the order history and insight of your contacts enables you to view all of their purchase history since becoming a guest or customer with you. This is truly invaluable in the drive towards relevancy in email marketing.

If you have any more questions, you can book a demo, register for a free trial account, reach out to your account manager, or attend one of our dotlive events. Check out the dotlive events calendar for upcoming Magento-related seminars, webinars and roadshows.

 

The post Spotlight on Magento: Why you should choose dotmailer for Magento appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Win a trip to Magento Imagine 2017

 

In its sixth year, Magento’s Imagine brings together over 2,500 commerce experts including merchants, agencies and technology providers from all over the world. Be inspired by the world’s brightest experts and visionaries, entrepreneurs, authors and adventurers. All while collaborating with executives, marketers, merchandisers, developers and commerce visionaries – and did we mention you get to do this poolside?

 

 

This year, dotmailer wants to send YOU to Imagine. Magento developers are a huge part of the Magento community and you deserve a chance to be in the room (or rooms) where it happens. Don’t miss this chance to enter to win a round-trip flight, luxury accommodation at the Wynn, and an exclusive full conference pass to Magento Imagine 2017, taking place from 2-5 April in Las Vegas.

We here at dotmailer believe the Magento developers community #RealMagento should be front and center (or networking poolside).

Enter for your chance to win! All online entries must be received by 10 March, 2017 11:59PM EST.

Please note that this competition is only open to Magento developers based in the United States; you can read the full terms and conditions here.

The post Win a trip to Magento Imagine 2017 appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

[INTERVIEW] Tink Taylor speaks at Indonesia’s first Meet Magento conference

In your own words, what is Meet Magento all about?

Meet Magento is a global not for profit phenomena. It pulls together the various elements of the community, which includes merchants, technology providers and agencies, right through to system integrators. Because of the love for Magento in the wider ecommerce world, these kinds of meet-ups have been put together over a number of years and they’ve really grown traction.

It’s fantastic to see Magento, now that it’s an independent organization, being able to attend and   augment this community of events. It was really good to be there with Ben Marks, Magento’s Product Evangelist and other speakers including Mike Doyle, Magento’s Enterprise Sales Manager for South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

We’ve attended and spoken at various other Meet Magento events globally – including London, New York who we have hosted in our dotmailer offices and most recently Sydney. And as we expand our global remit, and Magento does too, then our attention turns to Asia. As one of Magento’s Premier partners, it’s important for us to work closely with the team, particularly as they look to expand their operations into the region.

For instance, I’m going to be speaking at one of Meet Magento’s next events in Vietnam run by Smart OSC  and they’re expecting something like 500-1,000 attendees! Shortly followed my Magentocom session in Shanghai China, run by Bluecom. The event in Jakarta, which was hosted by ICUBE, attracted around 300 delegates – even national TV broadcasters and finance ministers came along.

Why do you think Indonesia presents a big opportunity for ecommerce success?

While I was at the event, there was one statistic I heard during Acommerce’s presentation that really stood out for me. A lot of ecommerce is done out of Indonesia, into South-East Asia, and what strikes me is the huge opportunity. The size of South-East Asia in terms of ecommerce possibility is that it’s twice the size of the United States, and the third-largest combined economy in the world – behind China and India.

Tink and the Meet Magento speaker line-up

What did you speak about at Meet Magento and why?

I spoke about the 10 revenue-driving email programs for merchants. Simply, this is the number one piece of content that resonates around the world – including in the states, in the UK and in Australia.

When a retailer is buying a piece of software, they often have so many different requirements in their RFP document. But when they finally make their purchase and get the platform, they don’t know where to start or what to do with it! It’s a bit like getting writer’s block.

The 10 email programs guide gives online retailers a real starting point, because it highlights the top programs that are proven to make revenue and bring ROI. If you don’t begin with these, you’re effectively leaving money on the table. What’s more, they’re all simple to set up in our platform because it’s so easy to use, unlike some of our competitors. But if you haven’t got the time or inclination to set them up, we can offer it as a service or use one of our local partners who are fully trained.

Once online retailers have implemented those, we’re here to talk to them about their business and help them identify other automations that could make sense.

Who did you meet at the event?

As I mentioned earlier, the mixture of people at Meet Magento included Magento users, tech partners, solution partners, Magento themselves and, of course, retailers.

It was really good to meet some of the solution partners we’ve been in discussions with; it’s always much nicer to speak to people face-to-face and engage with the senior executives. It was also encouraging to speak to smaller yet growing retailers who’ve been doing the basics of ecommerce and email, and are now ready to take the next leap. Naturally, the logical move would be for them to consider dotmailer and Magento 2.

There were lots of technical integrators in attendance, who wire products together, which was really interesting. They were keen to speak to us because of dotmailer’s email automation tools and the level of sophistication we offer.

We’ve also got conversations going on with several new partners and we’re in the process of signing them up.

What were the three most interesting things you heard or learnt at #MM16?

  • The size of the ecommerce market and consequently the opportunities
  • The expected penetration of mobile devices is significantly higher in Asia than in other areas of the world
  • A shift in readiness of merchants who are set to adopt Magento 2 – and now we’re on 2.1, and almost 2.2, people are more comfortable and confident

What’s next? Tink will be speaking at Shop.org Dallas at our partner Absolunet’s event and then again at Meet Magento Vietnam next month. He’ll also be attending Dreamforce in early October as well as a number of other events. Keep your eyes peeled on the blog for updates.

Reblogged 2 years ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Meet Dan Morris, Executive Vice President, North America

  1. Why did you decide to come to dotmailer?

The top three reasons were People, Product and Opportunity. I met the people who make up our business and heard their stories from the past 18 years, learned about the platform and market leading status they had built in the UK, and saw that I could add value with my U.S. high growth business experience. I’ve been working with marketers, entrepreneurs and business owners for years across a series of different roles, and saw that I could apply what I’d learned from that and the start-up space to dotmailer’s U.S. operation. dotmailer has had clients in the U.S. for 12 years and we’re positioned to grow the user base of our powerful and easy-to-use platform significantly. I knew I could make a difference here, and what closed the deal for me was the people.  Every single person I’ve met is deeply committed to the business, to the success of our customers and to making our solution simple and efficient.  We’re a great group of passionate people and I’m proud to have joined the dotfamily.

Dan Morris, dotmailer’s EVP for North America in the new NYC office

      1. Tell us a bit about your new role

dotmailer has been in business and in this space for more than 18 years. We were a web agency, then a Systems Integrator, and we got into the email business that way, ultimately building the dotmailer platform thousands of people use daily. This means we know this space better than anyone and we have the perfect solutions to align closely with our customers and the solutions flexible enough to grow with them.  My role is to take all that experience and the platform and grow our U.S. presence. My early focus has been on identifying the right team to execute our growth plans. We want to be the market leader in the U.S. in the next three years – just like we’ve done in the UK –  so getting the right people in the right spots was critical.  We quickly assessed the skills of the U.S. team and made changes that were necessary in order to provide the right focus on customer success. Next, we set out to completely rebuild dotmailer’s commercial approach in the U.S.  We simplified our offers to three bundles, so that pricing and what’s included in those bundles is transparent to our customers.  We’ve heard great things about this already from clients and partners. We’re also increasing our resources on customer success and support.  We’re intensely focused on ease of on-boarding, ease of use and speed of use.  We consistently hear how easy and smooth a process it is to use dotmailer’s tools.  That’s key for us – when you buy a dotmailer solution, we want to onboard you quickly and make sure you have all of your questions answered right away so that you can move right into using it.  Customers are raving about this, so we know it’s working well.

  1. What early accomplishments are you most proud of from your dotmailer time so far?

I’ve been at dotmailer for eight months now and I’m really proud of all we’ve accomplished together.  We spent a lot of time assessing where we needed to restructure and where we needed to invest.  We made the changes we needed, invested in our partner program, localized tech support, customer on-boarding and added customer success team members.  We have the right people in the right roles and it’s making a difference.  We have a commercial approach that is clear with the complete transparency that we wanted to provide our customers.  We’ve got a more customer-focused approach and we’re on-boarding customers quickly so they’re up and running faster.  We have happier customers than ever before and that’s the key to everything we do.

  1. You’ve moved the U.S. team to a new office. Can you tell us why and a bit about the new space?

I thought it was very important to create a NY office space that was tied to branding and other offices around the world, and also had its own NY energy and culture for our team here – to foster collaboration and to have some fun.  It was also important for us that we had a flexible space where we could welcome customers, partners and resellers, and also hold classes and dotUniversity training sessions. I’m really grateful to the team who worked on the space because it really reflects our team and what we care about.   At any given time, you’ll see a training session happening, the team collaborating, a customer dropping in to ask a few questions or a partner dropping in to work from here.  We love our new, NYC space.

We had a spectacular reception this week to celebrate the opening of this office with customers, partners and the dotmailer leadership team in attendance. Please take a look at the photos from our event on Facebook.

Guests and the team at dotmailer's new NYC office warming party

Guests and the team at dotmailer’s new NYC office warming party

  1. What did you learn from your days in the start-up space that you’re applying at dotmailer?

The start-up space is a great place to learn. You have to know where every dollar is going and coming from, so every choice you make needs to be backed up with a business case for that investment.  You try lots of different things to see if they’ll work and you’re ready to turn those tactics up or down quickly based on an assessment of the results. You also learn things don’t have to stay the way they are, and can change if you make them change. You always listen and learn – to customers, partners, industry veterans, advisors, etc. to better understand what’s working and not working.  dotmailer has been in business for 18 years now, and so there are so many great contributors across the business who know how things have worked and yet are always keen to keep improving.  I am constantly in listening and learning mode so that I can understand all of the unique perspectives our team brings and what we need to act on.

  1. What are your plans for the U.S. and the sales function there?

On our path to being the market leader in the U.S., I’m focused on three things going forward: 1 – I want our customers to be truly happy.  It’s already a big focus in the dotmailer organization – and we’re working hard to understand their challenges and goals so we can take product and service to the next level. 2 – Creating an even more robust program around partners, resellers and further building out our channel partners to continuously improve sales and customer service programs. We recently launched a certification program to ensure partners have all the training and resources they need to support our mutual customers.  3 – We have an aggressive growth plan for the U.S. and I’m very focused on making sure our team is well trained, and that we remain thoughtful and measured as we take the steps to grow.  We want to always keep an eye on what we’re known for – tools that are powerful and simple to use – and make sure everything else we offer remains accessible and valuable as we execute our growth plans.

  1. What are the most common questions that you get when speaking to a prospective customer?

The questions we usually get are around price, service level and flexibility.  How much does dotmailer cost?  How well are you going to look after my business?  How will you integrate into my existing stack and then my plans for future growth? We now have three transparent bundle options with specifics around what’s included published right on our website.  We have introduced a customer success team that’s focused only on taking great care of our customers and we’re hearing stories every day that tells me this is working.  And we have all of the tools to support our customers as they grow and to also integrate into their existing stacks – often integrating so well that you can use dotmailer from within Magento, Salesforce or Dynamics, for example.

  1. Can you tell us about the dotmailer differentiators you highlight when speaking to prospective customers that seem to really resonate?

In addition to the ones above – ease of use, speed of use and the ability to scale with you. With dotmailer’s tiered program, you can start with a lighter level of functionality and grow into more advanced functionality as you need it. The platform itself is so easy to use that most marketers are able to build campaigns in minutes that would have taken hours on other platforms. Our customer success team is also with you all the way if ever you want or need help.  We’ve built a very powerful platform and we have a fantastic team to help you with personalized service as an extended part of your team and we’re ready to grow with you.

  1. How much time is your team on the road vs. in the office? Any road warrior tips to share?

I’ve spent a lot of time on the road, one year I attended 22 tradeshows! Top tip when flying is to be willing to give up your seat for families or groups once you’re at the airport gate, as you’ll often be rewarded with a better seat for helping the airline make the family or group happy. Win win! Since joining dotmailer, I’m focused on being in office and present for the team and customers as much as possible. I can usually be found in our new, NYC office where I spend a lot of time with our team, in customer meetings, in trainings and other hosted events, sales conversations or marketing meetings. I’m here to help the team, clients and partners to succeed, and will always do my best to say yes! Once our prospective customers see how quickly and efficiently they can execute tasks with dotmailer solutions vs. their existing solutions, it’s a no-brainer for them.  I love seeing and hearing their reactions.

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself – favorite sports team, favorite food, guilty pleasure, favorite band, favorite vacation spot?

I’m originally from Yorkshire in England, and grew up just outside York. I moved to the U.S. about seven years ago to join a very fast growing startup, we took it from 5 to well over 300 people which was a fantastic experience. I moved to NYC almost two years ago, and I love exploring this great city.  There’s so much to see and do.  Outside of dotmailer, my passion is cars, and I also enjoy skeet shooting, almost all types of music, and I love to travel – my goal is to get to India, Thailand, Australia and Japan in the near future.

Want to find out more about the dotfamily? Check out our recent post about Darren Hockley, Global Head of Support.

Reblogged 2 years ago from blog.dotmailer.com

The Magento Xcelerate program: A positive sum game

As an open source ecommerce platform, Magento is flexible and accessible for developers to work with and as a result, an active community of developers emerged on online forums and at offline meetups all over the world. Many of these were happily plugging away independently of Magento until the split from eBay in early 2015.

Free from the reins of eBay, Magento has decisively been reaching out to, promoting and rewarding the individuals, agencies and technology providers that make up its ecosystem. Last February they announced the Magento Masters Program, empowering the top platform advocates, frequent forum contributors and the innovative solution implementers. Then at April‘s Magento Imagine conference (the largest yet) the theme emerged as ‘We are Magento”, in celebration of the community.

The new Xcelerate Technology Partner Program focuses not on individuals but on business partnerships formed with the technology companies that offer tools for Magento merchants to implement.

 Sharing ideas, opportunities and successes:

This is the Xcelerate Program tagline, which acts as a sort of mission statement to get the technology partners involved moving with regards to continuously considering Magento in their own technology roadmap and jointly communicating successes and learnings from working on implementations with merchants.

“In turn, the program offers members the tools to get moving, through events, resources and contacts. Our goal is to enable you to be an integral part of the Magento ecosystem” Jon Carmody, Head of Technology Partners

The program in practice:

The new program is accompanied by the new Marketplace from which the extensions can be purchased and downloaded. The program splits the extensions into 3 partnership levels:

Registered Partners – these are technology extensions that the new Magento Marketplace team test for code quality. Extensions must now pass this initial level to be eligible for the Marketplace. With each merchant having on average 15 extensions for their site, this is a win for merchants when it comes to extension trustworthiness.

Select Partners – extensions can enter this second tier if the technology falls into one of the strategic categories identified by Magento and if they pass an in-depth technical review. These will be marked as being ‘Select’ in the Marketplace.

Premier Partners – this level is by invitation only, chosen as providing crucial technology to Magento merchants (such as payments, marketing, tax software). The Magento team’s Extension Quality Program looks at coding structure, performance, scalability, security and compatibility but influence in the Community is also a consideration. dotmailer is proud to be the first Premier Technology Partner in the marketing space for Magento.

All in all, the latest move from Magento in illuminating its ecosystem should be positive for all; the merchants who can now choose from a vetted list of extensions and know when to expect tight integration, the technology partners building extensions now with clearer merchant needs/extension gaps in mind and guidance from Magento, and of course the solution implementers recommending the best extension for the merchant now knowing it will be maintained.

Reblogged 2 years ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Is Australia the land of opportunity for your retail brand?

Australia has a resident population of more than 24 million and, according to eMarketer, the country’s ecommerce sales are predicted to reach A$32.56 billion by 2017. The country’s remote location in the APAC region means that unlike European countries or the USA, traditionally there have been a lack of global brands sold locally.

Of course, we also know that many expatriates, particularly from inside the Commonwealth, have made Australia their home and are keen to buy products they know and love from their country of origin.

All of these factors present a huge and potentially lucrative opportunity for non-Australian brands wanting to open up their new and innovative products to a fresh market, or compete for market share.

But it’s not just non-Australian retailers who are at an advantage here: Australia was late to the ecommerce party because native, established brands were trading well without it. Subsequently, Australian retailers’ ecommerce technology stacks are much more recent and not burdened by legacy systems. This makes it much easier to extend, or get started with, best-of-breed technologies and cash in on a market that’s booming. To put some of this into perspective, Magento’s innovative ecommerce platform currently takes 42% of Australia’s market share and the world’s first adopter of Magento 2.0 was an Australian brand.

The GST loophole

At the moment, local retailers are campaigning against a rule that exempts foreign websites from being charged a 10% general sales tax (GST) on purchases under A$1,000. And in 2013, Australian consumers made $3.11 billion worth of purchases under A$1,000.[1]

While the current GST break appears to put non-Australian retailers at an advantage, Australian-based brands such as Harvey Norman are using it to their advantage by setting up ecommerce operations in Asia to enjoy the GST benefit.

Australian consumers have also countered the argument by saying that price isn’t always the motivator when it comes to making purchasing decisions.

It’s not a place where no man has gone before

Often, concerns around meeting local compliance and lack of overseas business knowledge prevent outsiders from taking the leap into cross-border trade. However, this ecommerce passport, created by Ecommerce Worldwide and NORA, is designed to support those considering selling in Australia. The guide provides a comprehensive look into everything from the country’s economy and trade status, to logistics and dealing with international payments.

Global expansion success stories are also invaluable sources of information. For instance, it’s not just lower-end retailers that are fitting the bill, with brands like online luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter naming Australia as one of its biggest markets.

How tech-savvy are the Aussies?

One of the concerns you might have as a new entrant into the market is how you’ll reach and sell to your new audience, particularly without having a physical presence. The good news is that more than 80% of the country is digitally enabled and 60% of mobile phone users own a smartphone – so online is deeply rooted into the majority of Australians’ lives. [2]

Marketing your brand

Heard the saying “Fire bullets then fire cannonballs”? In any case, you’ll want to test the waters and gauge people’s reactions to your product or service.

It all starts with the website because, without it, you’re not discoverable or searchable, and you’ve nowhere to drive people to when running campaigns. SEO and SEM should definitely be a priority, and an online store that can handle multiple regions and storefronts, like Magento, will make your life easier. A mobile-first mentality and well thought-out UX will also place you in a good position.

Once your new web store is set up, you should be making every effort to collect visitors’ email addresses, perhaps via a popover. Why? Firstly, email is one of the top three priority areas for Australian retailers, because it’s a cost-effective, scalable marketing channel that enables true personalization.

Secondly, email marketing automation empowers you to deliver the customer experience today’s consumer expects, as well as enabling you to communicate with them throughout the lifecycle. Check out our ‘Do customer experience masters really exist?’ whitepaper for some real-life success stories.

Like the Magento platform, dotmailer is set up to handle multiple languages, regions and accounts, and is designed to grow with you.

In summary, there’s great scope for ecommerce success in Australia, whether you’re a native bricks-and-mortar retailer, a start-up or a non-Australian merchant. The barriers to cross-border trade are falling and Australia is one of APAC’s most developed regions in terms of purchasing power and tech savviness.

We recently worked with ecommerce expert Chloe Thomas to produce a whitepaper on cross-border trade, which goes into much more detail on how to market and sell successfully in new territories. You can download a free copy here.

[1] Australian Passport 2015: Cross-Border Trading Report

[2] Australian Passport 2015: Cross-Border Trading Report

Reblogged 2 years ago from blog.dotmailer.com