With the start of the new year, it’s the ideal time for everyone to look at the way they are doing things, see if improvements can be made, and make New Year’s resolutions to change the way things are. This is the same for businesses as it is for individuals and Exto have a number of tools that can help your business improve the way it operates and have a material positive impact on the bottom line. Unless most New Year’s resolutions though, Exto’s Magento extensions won’t be discarded by the end of January!

Below we run through seven of the best extensions for Magento that Exto have released and that are really worth having a look at when thinking about how you can improve the way your business operates in 2017.

ANALYTICS FOR MAGENTO 2

Even with all the right systems and staff in place, how can a business know whether it is going in the right direction? It’s a tough question to answer and requires the examination and interpretation of multiple indicators, and doing this independently can be time consuming. Thankfully, Exto have released the completely free Magento analytics extension that can generate the reports that are required, using a friendly dashboard interface.

Furthermore, though, the system enabled the development of advanced comparative reports and analytics that can provide greater detail for those that need it, and enable comparison between time periods or product segments.

The Analytics extension ensures that the merchant can make decisions that are based on the effective collecting and interpretation of data. Without having analytics, money can be wasted on pointless marketing campaigns; with analytics, the expenditure can be well targeted and generate a much greater return.

MAGENTO 2 SUBSCRIPTIONS AND RECURRING BILLING

Having a subscription payments system that is seamless for both the customer and the merchant to use is essential. If the customer has to go through a multi-stage process many times, it makes them less willing to complete purchases and the merchant will find it harder to retain them as a customer. For the merchant, a subscription billing system that can handle recurring billing is critical to increase efficiency.

That’s where the Magento subscriptions extension comes in. It’s ideal for easily allowing both single and recurring payments, and for setting up recurring billing for customers.

With full control over the customer’s subscriptions and an advanced dashboard that allows the merchant to track key indicators at a glance – including the number of goods with subscription options and statuses of the subscription profiles – the subscription extension allows the merchant to keep appraised of the success of their business. The subscription extension allows subscription templates for individual or bulk product lines to be set up, and is simple to integrate with any current web architecture. The merchant has full control over a customer’s subscription status and can change it if required (for example to ‘suspended’).

From the customer side, the subscription extension is simple to use, allowing the customer to set up recurring payments and subscription payments using an intuitive interface. This increases the overall spend value of the customer.

MAGENTO 2 REWARD POINTS

Many businesses use reward points to increase customer loyalty. After all, who doesn’t like getting rewarded for doing things or buying something? And by using reward points, businesses encourage the customer to purchase further goods from them in the future, creating a program of customer rewards that can be self‑perpetuating.

The Magento reward points extension is an ideal way to implement such a system without having to worry about all the administrative overheads.

The merchant has total control and flexibility, and can specify the amount of reward points (such as by purchase value), can set minimum transaction values (number of products or cost), how long points are valid for and so on. The reward points extension allows the merchant to see the total value of points rewarded and to analyse them in a number of ways, for example so that the impact of a particular campaign can be determined. This type of a customer loyalty program also allows the merchant to issue refunds using points, rather than in cash or onto credit cards, increasing likely future customer spend and retaining cash.

From the customer side, access to their account means a quick and simple purchase or point use arrangement. When completing a purchase, a customer can choose whether they wish to use their points to pay for it. This can be in-part or in full payment. This all encourages purchases and repeat use.

MAGENTO 2 HELP DESK

Stuff happens and things can go wrong. Without a good help desk or service desk, customer service can suffer. The Magento help desk extension makes sure that the customer service that is provided is of the top quality, making life simpler for both the merchant and the customer.

The extension integrates a customer support and ticket system with the Magento store. It allows full data integration and speedy access to ticket details for customer service support staff, a full communications suite that is linked with email, and automatic routing of tickets to the appropriate agent, and has an simple-to-use customer interface.

Exto have made sure that this extension is designed around the work of customer service and support staff, enabling them to have a ticket system that gives staff access to all the details they need at an instant.

MAGENTO 2 RMA

Even when customers are not happy with their goods and want to enact a product return for a refund, we know how important it is to make sure that the returns process is smooth and efficient so that there is the greatest chance of retaining them as a customer in the future. Exto’s Magento RMA extension works to achieve just this by ensuring a streamlined and efficient system that can be set to allow customer returns steps, such as enabling refund in part or in whole, requests from both existing repeat customers and from one-off ‘guest’ customers, online product refund and so on.

The extension is simple and intuitive to use, for both merchants and customers. For the merchant’s the extension shows all the data regarding a customer in one place, including other return requests within the order, the request resolution status, the owner of the request, communications history, and more.

STORE CREDIT FOR MAGENTO 2

For a merchant, when customer credit has to be issued, it can cause an unexpected and unplanned impact on cash flow. The Magento store credit extension helps to work around this issue by enabling the merchant to issue customer credit that is linked to the store. The merchant can issue store credit for special occasions such as holidays and birthdays, or as part of a new customer retention campaign. What is more, a merchant can issue refunds with a store credit rather than transferring money back to a client’s bank account, thus retaining money for the merchant. When a customer has a positive balance, this encourages future purchases.

MAGENTO 2 DROPSHIPPING

To build a good company, generate sales, and ultimately retain customers the fundamentals have to be right: goods have to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. This is even more critical today with the sheer variety of choice that customers have and the ability to switch from one supplier to another. So, when you’re using a dropshipping component in your business and relying on others to fulfil your purchase order, how can you effectively undertake inventory management and make sure that the goods that customers order are actually there?

Exto are developing the perfect extension for this. The Magento dropshipping extension – which planned to be released soon – will be perfect for this. It undertakes a real-time tracking of warehouses, ensuring that there is automated dropshipping sync between wholesale suppliers and your system. This eliminates the chances of errors due to manual tracking and reduces the chances of outdated catalogs being used for orders.

The dropshipping extension allows unlimited warehouse management, with key features focused on keeping the customer happy as well – such as tracking all the order processing steps so that a customer is informed about the order status, or receiving items within one order from multiple warehouses and not overpaying for separate deliveries.

This extension is ideal for managing the fundamentals of your business, whether it’s new, expanding or undergoing a refresh, and is a powerful way for the merchant to take control of purchase order processing and product delivery.