Magento is open source e-commerce platforms that offer online merchants unprecedented flexibility and control over the store layout, content and functionality of their e- commerce sites. Magento not only includes a large variety of features that are available out of the box but also provides ready-to-use extensions for additional functionality. These extensions make the development process speedy and hassle free.
Magento extensions, as the word suggests, extend Magento to suit the needs of the store owner’s and help them design a professional and customized site that fulfills their requirements. The extensions are available for free as well as paid. Extensions offer some major advantages to lessen the burden of site owners namely:
- Accelerated Development – Since the functionality of each extension is predefined and well tested, they can be used off the shelf thus saving the effort of developing each one from scratch and testing in integration with your store.
- Functionality Improvement – If for any feature, default Magento functionality does not meet requirements of your business, you can first of all look for any ready made extension that extends the functionality the way you want. With right magento extension development, you can quickly setup the required functionality without requiring technical support.
For example if you are using SalesForce as your CRM software, integrating the two with the help of available extension can save a lot of time in duplicating the information in these two desperate systems.
- Cost & Time Saving – Many extensions are readily available for free or at an affordable price and can be easily downloaded from third party vendors or Magento’s Connect interface, thus saving cost and time.
- Easy Implementation: Most of the extensions are plug and play. From your store admin, you can connect to the Magento Connect platform and download and install the required extension without needing any technical expertise.
- Support – The commercial developers for these extensions provide excellent support for using and customizing these extensions along with regular updates.
A sample ecommerce site can help completely illustrate the power of extensions. Assume a florist decides to expand her sales and reach a wider audience by going online. She resorts to the flexibility of Magento to develop her site. The following extensions may aid her develop the Magento e-commerce site quickly and in a cost effective manner.
1) The bouquets can be categorized according to the variety of flowers and numbers. An extension can then be used to create the landing page for each bouquet which will include information like the type of flowers, their colors, number of flowers in the bouquet, price etc. The landing page can have a SEO link to aid searches.
2) On selecting a particular item the image can be enlarged by using an extension that will open it in a separate box, thus giving a better view of the end product to the prospective buyers.
3) The Google maps store locater extension can be used to depict the exact location of the florist in maps whenever the store is clicked in searches.
4) The extension to send follow up emails can help the florist connect well with her customers through alerts.
5) The daily deals and special offers like Valentine ’s Day can be displayed using a provided extension.
6) Extensions can be used to swap the color of the flowers in the depicted image, customize menus, edit orders and refer the site to a friend.
Thus extensions along with the built in functionality offered by Magento will help the store owners set up their site in no time by leveraging on the efforts of third party vendors. This is an ideal tool for budding and/or seasoned merchants who want to tap the infinite online customer base in no time and also in a very cost effective manner.
Jayesh is working for Rightway Solution Corp. An outstanding customize Magento website development service supplier around the globe. I have a vast passion for internet technology, web development, ecommerce and software. I always love to cooperate with free and open source software. At the present time he blogs on Custom Ecommerce web development.