Emerging Technologies that Bridge Commerce and eCommerce

In today’s world of the Internet of Things and prevalence of new technological advancements, it’s pretty hard to imagine that there’s still place for brick-and-mortar commerce. But, as a matter of fact, offline stores are immensely important in a modern shopping chain. There are a number of reasons for that: some people like to actually touch the product, before buying. Some online retailers use the stores as fulfillment centers. Others simply enjoy the process of looking through the racks and discovering the product that they’d like to buy, etc.

In this kind of environment, where businesses try to build a working omnichannel solution, it’s important to be able to find the right technologies to support the strategy. That’s where the following technologies come in. They bridge the real world and the world of eCommerce.

Beacons

Beacon technology is a relatively new concept for shopping, but it’s extremely effective at engaging people who prefer to shop offline. It was first introduced 3 years ago by Apple and created quite a buzz in the world of commerce. Since then, it has been gaining traction with more and more retailers worldwide. This technology takes advantage of the most abundant digital product, user’s mobile device, in order to engage them. In order for it to work 2 things need to happen: the user has to optin for beacon notifications from the specific vendor/retailer; the physical shop has to have the beacon device installed. The device tracks the users around the shop and sends them relevant notifications, prompted by certain actions. For example, a customer leaving the store might get a sudden notification with a personalized discount just for them. It’slikeexit-intenttechnology, onlyinreallife.

It allows businesses to convert more people offline, using online technologies and eCommerce marketing tactics. According to a research by Business Insider, beacon-triggered sales might increase by 10 times in 2016 and reach a staggering $45 billion, in US alone. There’s a dollar in it for you, IF you use the beacon technology in your offline stores.

Urb It

It’s a pretty innovative service that allows you to get same-day delivery from your local stores – just pick what you want and choose where you want the product to be delivered. Imagine to have a butler, whose only job is do the actual shopping for you. What are the advantages of this kind of service? You can have your goods delivered in an hour. You can buy products that are not available online or it’s important to buy them now, as the store is running out of stock. The service is extremely mobile friendly, as you shop through their app and get notifications about the state of your order or delivery on the spot.

It’s currently only available in 3 European cities, but it looks like a promising experience. It’s interesting to see where this business is going next, as it’s pretty hard to compete with Amazon’s same day delivery and other online stores that take pride in timely deliveries.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is probably one of the most anticipated technologies of the decade. With products like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive – VR is finally entering the mass market. As devices will become more affordable, sophisticated and easy to use, we’ll see more eCommerce business utilizing VR to build sales. VR potential for commerce is limitless. The best thing about this technology is that it can work for any industry:

  • A virtual furniture store that can scan your room and project furniture into the spots that you want to place it
  • Virtual tours around locations that you want to visit during your next trip abroad
  • Virtual storefronts with racks of clothing that you want to try on with virtual mirrors that will allow you to see how the particular piece of clothing will fit you

And the list is endless. Of course, the technology has to overcome certain problems like processing ability and the price. But with the current advancements in the field – it should take us less than 10 years to do that.

Author

Alex Plotnikov – CMO at MageCloud.net, an innovative Magento solution that allows you to build Magento stores in a matter of minutes. Just pick a theme, connect your hosting and you’re good to go. Add extensions in a matter of clicks and manage your stores from a single dashboard. Alex is passionate about eCommerce products and marketing.

Happy Easter! Grab a Special Discount Across Entire Envision Store!

As you all know Easter falls early this year on 27th March and it is just a few days away, so it is the time to start thinking how to make your Easter festival memorable. You don’t need to look further as we’re offering a special Easter discount across our entire Envision Ecommerce store to make your Easter day unforgettable. All you just need to do is look closely through our store for special discounts on eCommerce extensions, WooCommerce plugins and other eCommerce services.

To grab this marvelous opportunity, you need to use Easter15% coupon code while placing an order for your desired ecommerce extension, plugin or any other ecommerce solution. Just choose a best eCommerce product & a service for your eCommerce store, and get ready, set your e-store more efficiently & done for Easter day!

Easter Day discount is valid till 28th March, 2016 (Till Midnight). So what are you waiting for? Go & grab, before they’re gone by the end of Easter day.

How to Create a Custom Module Helper in Magento 2?

Helpers – as the name suggests it is related to something which is right for you or helps you in certain ways. Helpers are the classes, primarily build to offer different ways for a common functionality in Magento 2. The Magento developers are free to utilize/call these classes from anywhere, such as controllers, views, models and helpers.

As a Magento developer, it is essential for you to know how to create a custom module helper since it is the most crucial development process for you. This blog post is going to throw light on the technical steps on how to create Magento 2 helper functions of custom module:

Module namespace is Eecom & the module name is Customhelper.

And, the directory structure will be like:

app\code\Eecom\Customhelper\etc

app\code\Eecom\Customhelper\Helper

app\code\Eecom\Customhelper\composer.json

app\code\Eecom\Customhelper\etc

Create a  composer.json file with the below content:

{

"name": "eecom/productlabel",

"description": "Eecom Custom helper",

"require": {

"php": "~5.5.0|~5.6.0|~7.0.0"

},

"type": "magento2-module",

"version": "1.0.1",

"license": [

"Commercial"

],

"autoload": {

"files": [ "registration.php" ],

"psr-4": {

"Eecom\\Customhelper\\": ""

}

}

}

This is compulsory file for module in Magento 2. It is the same, just change the name of module name with “ Eecom\\Customhelper”.

Create a  registration.php  file  with the below content:

<?php

\Magento\Framework\Component\ComponentRegistrar::register(

\Magento\Framework\Component\ComponentRegistrar::MODULE,

'Eecom_Customhelper',

__DIR__

);

This is a module registration file in Magento 2 and it is also the same, just change the module name  as ‘Eecom_Customhelper’.

Now, create a file named as module.xml  under “Etc” folder having the below content:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<config xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="../../../../../lib/internal/Magento/Framework/Module/etc/module.xsd">

<module name="Eecom_Customhelper" setup_version="1.0.1">

</module>

</config>

This is a module config file in Magento 2.

And, then create a file named as Data.php under Helper folder having the below content:

<?php

namespace Eecom\Customhelper\Helper;

class Data extends \Magento\Framework\App\Helper\AbstractHelper

{

public function CustomHelperFunction($key)

{

$array = [0 => __('Default'),

1 => __('Magento Certified developers'),

2 => __('Ionic app development')

];

return $array[$key];

}

}

So, as you can see we have created a function in the above file, named as:  CustomHelperFunction ()

Now, we need to call this function in our Magento 2 site like:

echo $this->helper('Eecom\Customhelper\Helper\Data')-> CustomHelperFunction ('1');

And, it will return the value of id that you will pass in the parameter.

That’s it! We hope you’ve enjoyed this coding tour of creating a custom module helper in Magento 2.

Introducing Envision Mobile Apps – Bring Your Ideas & Dreams to Life on Mobile!

With the rise in consumer & company adoption of mobile, mobile apps are also becoming a necessity for every online business to increase both sales & visibility. From small to mid to large eCommerce business, both mobile devices & appropriate mobile apps have brought about an astonishing growth in the business functions with great consumer services.

So, we at envision eCommerce apparently decided to develop an independent online platform to showcase our ability in mobile app development. As a result, today we are delighted to announce about our new launch of Envision Mobile Apps website – a mobile development entity of Envision Ecommerce.

We have created this new App development related portal to meet the evolving needs of businesses & consumers demanding & adopting mobile apps. Our move is only to render the best mobile solutions based on different technologies such as Android, Hybrid & Ionic.

Be it a UI/UX mobile design, quality coding, modern technologies, flawless app solution, delightful user experiences, app marketing strategies and killer mobile solution, we at Envision Mobile Apps follow a mobile app development life cycle to bring your mobile venture innovation to life. Also, we have successfully launched our two mobile app products – Institute App & AskHoncho App, displayed on Envision Mobile Apps.

It is our great pleasure to launch such an exciting portal for mobile app consumers. We’re looking forward to considering how the Envision Mobile Apps grows over the coming years.

Institute App – Empowering Institutes to Take Student Engagement to Next Level!

Continuing our success streak after launching AskHoncho online portal & Android based apps, we have just launched our first white label and cross platform ionic mobile app – “Institute App”. This mobile app solution is built to facilitate almost every institute’s needs to make engagement with students through institutional updates, news, notifications or alerts.Whether it is an institute, college or school, Institute App is commonly developed keeping in mind the need of everyone.

Right from the day one, our professional mobile app developers have been very strong-minded to bring up such a flexible mobility solution that could serve an institute’s miscellaneous purposes. Initially, this same solution was exclusively built for Android based mobile devices. Then, after following several brain storming sessions, we decided to make an ionic version of the same app. As you guessed it right, this mobile app solution is based on ionic framework which makes it supportive to multiple mobile platforms such as iOS, Android and Windows.

Standout Features of Institute App

1. Institute app is a cross platform ionic app which makes it high-quality, interactive, fast & multiple mobile platforms supporting app.

2. It features different menu categories like about us, courses, video gallery, image gallery, notifications and contact us. The institutes can utilize or customize all such categories according to their own needs.

3. The institutes can use “About Us”, “contact us”, address map & “leave a message form” to display their own institute details or other address details.

4. With a push notification feature, the institutes can send alerts or other emergency notices to students.

5. The app facilitates institutes/colleges/schools with video & the image gallery feature, which permits institutes to upload video or images related to institute.

6. It supports students to have a quick access to the list of courses or sub courses displayed or shared by institute through the institute app.

7. This app solution gives institutes the liberty to make a choice for one theme from 3 different themes.

Review the App

We understand that you will want to see the app and its feature. You can review the app irrespective of the device you are on without needing to ask us for the installable build. All you have to do is follow these steps.

1) Download Ionic View App (http://view.ionic.io/)

2) Create an account

3) After that you need to add app id to review the app

4) We have developed the app in three different layout so any one can be choosed

Institute App (Made in three different layouts)

App Id :: 26C33303

App Id :: 5C0A6A58

App Id :: A920FDCB

Further, as Institute app is an extensive ionic based solution, it offers an ample scope to integrate new changes and can be configured as per the requirement of specific institute or college. Both of our technical & mobile development teams have been so gripped about Institute App that they have been putting their great efforts to develop another awe inspiring ionic apps. There are more features scheduled to be added in this app.

Get in touch with us to discuss how you can use this app for your School, College and Educational Institutions. Feel free to reach us with you custom app requirement and any enhancement in this app.

How to Add an Attribute in Magento 2?

While developing a Magento extension, if there is a need to add an attribute programmatically in Magento 2, it is really easy as compared to Magento 1.x. Since Magento 2 features a more developer-friendly’ architecture and offers much more convenient methods to interact with the core & keep away from different kinds of conflicts. Magento 2 has no code pools, so there is no chance of any dispute regarding the right place where to put the code. Following is the right path to put the main files of extension:

app/code/[VendorName]/[ExtensionName]

Crate an extension in this directory based on the above:

app/code/Eecom/CustomAttribute/

A file named as module.xml in the app/code/ Eecom/CustomAttribute directory is required to define our new module by the means of following content:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<config xmlns:xsi=http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="../../../../../lib/internal/Magento/Framework/Module/etc/module.xsd">

<module name=" Eecom _ CustomAttribute " setup_version="1.0.0">

<sequence>

<module name="Magento_Catalog"/>

</sequence>

</module>

</config>

As you can observe that XML files in Magento 2 features schema definitions that permit to validate your XML in different positions. The <sequence> node is used to express your extension’s dependencies, same like <depends> node is used in Magento 1.x. Now, it is our next step where we require developing the data script through the parameters of the new attribute:

<?php

/* app/code/Eecom/CustomAttribute/Setup/InstallData.php */

namespace Eecom\CustomAttribute\Setup;

use Magento\Eav\Setup\EavSetup;

use Magento\Eav\Setup\EavSetupFactory;

use Magento\Framework\Setup\InstallDataInterface;

use Magento\Framework\Setup\ModuleContextInterface;

use Magento\Framework\Setup\ModuleDataSetupInterface;

/**

* @codeCoverageIgnore

*/

class InstallData implements InstallDataInterface

{

/**

* EAV setup factory

*

* @var EavSetupFactory

*/

private $eavSetupFactory;

/**

* Init

*

* @param EavSetupFactory $eavSetupFactory

*/

public function __construct(EavSetupFactory $eavSetupFactory)

{

$this->eavSetupFactory = $eavSetupFactory;

}

/**

* {@inheritdoc}

* @SuppressWarnings(PHPMD.ExcessiveMethodLength)

*/

public function install(ModuleDataSetupInterface $setup, ModuleContextInterface $context)

{

/** @var EavSetup $eavSetup */

$eavSetup = $this->eavSetupFactory->create(['setup' => $setup]);

/**

* Add attributes to the eav/attribute

*/
$eavSetup->addAttribute(

\Magento\Catalog\Model\Product::ENTITY,

'requestforprice_text',

[

'group' => 'General',

'type' => 'varchar',

'backend' => '',

'frontend' => '',

'label' => 'Request for Price Label',

'input' => 'textarea',

'class' => '',

'source' => '',

'global' => \Magento\Catalog\Model\ResourceModel\Eav\Attribute::SCOPE_GLOBAL,

'visible' => true,

'required' => false,

'user_defined' => true,

'default' => '',

'searchable' => false,

'filterable' => false,

'comparable' => false,

'visible_on_front' => false,

'used_in_product_listing' => true,

'unique' => false,

'apply_to' => 'simple,configurable,virtual,bundle,downloadable'

]

After expressing all parameters of the new attribute, we have the need to tell Magento about the files with the installation instructions that require to be executed. To enable the extension along with your Magento 2  0.74.0-beta4 or later, you can apply a CLI command. Go to [magento_root]/bin directory and apply the command as mentioned below:

php magento module:enable Eecom_CustomAttribute

Now, it is required to clean the cache (How to Clean & Manage Cache in Magento 2 – please check our previous post) and verify that everything is working fine. Go to [magento_root]/bin directory and apply the command as mentioned below:

php magento setup:db:status

Now, we require synchronizing the database with a setup version of the module. Run the following command to execute data setup script & synchronize the process for adding an attribute:

php magento setup:upgrade

After running all the aforementioned commands, you should now able to have the new attribute in Magento 2. Hope we have clearly explained all coding & commands. If you have any query, feel free to contact us and share your own findings or suggestions as well.

How Request A Quote Functionality is Important for Ecommerce Websites?

There is always one word “Discount” that we as customers attract. Well, you can often observe that this word works fine when you buy more than one & the total amount is a challenging one – an amount that we do not often have in-cash with us.

However, if we get some kind of buying assistant like “Request a Quote” functionality which further leads to discounted price benefits, we will be surely pushed to buy and not to just postpone after adding products in the cart.

So, we can confidently say that a “Request a Quote” functionality along with your store products helps in making direct interaction between your & your customers for price negotiation. And, price negotiation, mainly works like a convincing tool to turn your visitors into your potential customers.

Request a Quote functionality makes your ecommerce store customers feel like they are shopping in a real store & have that ability to ask for a quote for required products/items available. This feature helps in making contact between supplier & buyer by sharing list of products for which the quote is requested. The buyers can ask for a quote and admin can compromise & respond back with a compromising quotation proposal.

Overall, this “Request a Quote” functionality can be a powerful weapon for your eCommerce store in terms of getting successful conversions & an increase in purchases of your ecommerce store.

We at Envision Ecommerce have also developed some effective tools to bring that request a quote functionality in your eCommerce store, WooCommerce Advance Request a Quote & Request for price. WooCommerce Advance Request a Quote plugin supports customers with a bargaining feature to request a single or multiple products for quote & further discount benefits. On the other hand, Request for Price is Magento 2 based extension helps Magento admin to hide the price of products so that customers make requests for product prices. Providing you these tools mean affecting positively your customers’ attitude towards purchases.

Therefore, find out more features of these useful plugin & extension for advantageous quote system for your own eCommerce store.

How to Clean & Manage Cache in Magento 2?

It is important for every eCommerce store owner to understand how to clean as well as efficiently manage a cache in Magento 2. As the 2nd version of the platform having some differences as compared to current one, so it is very important to understand the different commands related to Magento 2 cache management.

How to clean cache in Magento 2?

To clean cache in Magento 2, you need to run the following command on root of Magento installed:

php bin/magento cache:clean

 

Now, the question arises that how to check the cache status?

To check the cache status, you can use the following command:

magento cache:status

However, if there a need to enable or disable cache, what commands you really need?

To enable/disable cache, you can use the following commands:

magento cache:enable [type] ... [type]

magento cache:disable [type] ... [type]

Disabling cache is essential when doing development, as it offers users with an ability to distinguish the results of your enhancements without any need to flush cache.

 

How to flush Magento 2 cache storage?

To remove outdated items from cache in Magento 2, we recommend you to go with the following command to flush it:

magento cache:flush

Congratulations! Now, you have all the commands in your hands to efficiently manage a cache in Magento 2. In case of any difficulty, leave your comments below – a certified team of Magento developers will always assist you.

 

Importance of Installing Magento SUPEE Security Patches

As Magento is one of the most prevailing eCommerce platforms, so it comes under greatest possible hackers attack. These attacks result in spamming customers, carrying out phishing campaigns and stealing of customers’ personal data & other credit card details.

Even though Magento is already equipped with a good amount of built-in security related features, but these security features are not just enough to bulletproof the security of your Magento store. There is always more that can be completed to make your Magento store highly secure from hackers & other security breaches. Magento regularly releases new security patches to keep your e-store & its data safe. And it’s vital to do timely installation of such Magento patches to attain security related benefits.

The benefits of installing Magento patches encompass the followings:

  • Resolving Security Vulnerabilities like Credit Card Hijack, Cacheleak vulnerability, Guru Inc Javascript Hack, etc
  • Bug Fixes within the Store
  • Security Hole Fixes
  • Enhancing the Ease-of-Execution of Magento Store
  • Producing a Safe Environment for Merchant
  • Surpass Hidden Security Threats
  • Upgrade Your Magento Store
  • Addresses Stores Stability Issues & Much More

As a focused eCommerce consultant, we have successfully covered the installation of the following patches:

SUPEE-7405, SUPEE-6788, SUPEE-6482, SUPEE-6285, SUPEE-5994, SUPEE-5344 – Shoplift Bug Patch and much more.

So, we also encourage you to go with Magento security patch installation and keep your Magento store & customers safe.

If you are confronting any related issue with your Magento patch installation, you can contact us as we have already installed Magento patches for over 80+ stores, and successfully done such security upgrades for many websites earlier. So, we are well aware to maintain your store security without a single minute of downtime.

How to Enable/Disable Magento 2 Modules in The Shell?

Sometimes, it is urgently required to enable or disable currently available Magento 2 modules. And, you don’t have enough time to do it manually. You will be happy to know that you can enable/disable such modules in the shell. The blog post is going to show you how to enable or disable Magento 2 modules in the shell instead of doing it manually:

How to Disable Magento 2 Module?

Run the following commands to disable a module:

php -f index.php -- module-disable --modules=Envision_Testmod

The following modules have been disabled: Envision_Testmod

How to Enable a Magento 2 Module?

Run the following commands to enable a module:

php -f index.php -- module-enable --modules=Envision_Testmod

The following modules have been enabled: Envision_Testmod

How to ensure that the enabled modules are accurately registered?

To ensure that the enabled modules are accurately registered, you need to run ‘update’ command:

php -f index.php — update

The setup tool updates app/etc/config.php