Top 5 E-Commerce Trends That Will Add Value to Magento

Magento is a leading e-commerce platform that has left other e-commerce software far behind. Magento mixes a high degree of flexibility and functionality with the ease of customization and scaling to empower large and evolving businesses to reap the benefits more effectively at the global level. Plus, Magento themes are very popular among business stakeholders who want to focus on customer engagement as Magento provides power to your website by making its presence known through SEO techniques.

Magento has been progressing at a fast pace. In 2017, Magento made improvements in speed for a better experience. For 2018, Magento focused on increasing conversion rates for websites. So, what’s going to empower Magento in 2019?

1. Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots:

In the latest scenario, artificial intelligence is taking thelead. By attracting many users globally with better user interfaces, AI is assisting businesses with engaging customers. AI is revolutionizing the Magento e-commerce sector in understanding user behavior and preferences, which aids in giving users a personalized e-commerce shopping experience.

In parallel to AI, Chatbots are no less important. Chatbots are among the most liked features by many end users today. With 24/7 customer support service, chatbots are adding value to business owners as well as customers. With seamless service and better customer management, they add to the strength of Magento. Moreover, the chatbot market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 34% from 2018 to 2024.

2. Smarter Organic Search and Engagement:

A well-made e-commerce website will give a smooth navigation experience, but will it engage your customers? The smart search with Magento engages customers by making them dive deeper into the website with quick and easy searching options.

3. Mobile First:

Today’s tech-savvy world is more smart and alert. With smartphones and high-speed internet, people are accessing the required information within seconds. As far as e-commerce is concerned, they expect the same. According to a survey, by 2020, almost 54% of e-commerce sales will be done using mobile e-commerce applications. So, it is very important for you to have a mobile optimized e-commerce application for your business.

4. High-Quality Content:

A website might look beautiful, but it cannot fetch much traffic until it attains a level of quality content. User-centric high-quality images and content are very important to attract customers and get them to buy what you are selling. Fine product images and catchy product descriptions are key to growing a customer base.

5. Augmented Reality Experience:

Augmented reality is one of the popular technologies that help give immersive user experiences. Many top-rated e-commerce mobile applications like Amazon have incorporated an augmented reality feature that allows customers to see the products superimposed in the real environment. This means that if you are planning to buy a couch, you can simply select the couch and click on the augmented reality view. Next, you need to focus your smartphone’s camera towards the place where you want to place the couch in real time. Augmented reality will show you the view with the selected couch placed. Isn’t that a great shopping experience? With Magento, you can also reinvent your e-commerce website and incorporate augmented reality.

According to a survey, 71% of customers say that they would want to shop again and again with an e-commerce application that caters the augmented reality feature.

The Inference:

The growing e-commerce market is attracting a lot of traffic, and it is very important for e-commerce businesses to adapt to the latest technologies. Magento is one platform that brings a powerful pack of features with robust security leading to increased customer retention. The above-mentioned technologies blended in Magento are expected to revolutionize the e-commerce development services and its market in 2019.

Let’s Get Started with MFTF

Introduced by Tom Erskine at Merge Test Fest, the ‘Magento Functional Testing Framework’(MFTF) is an open source solution for creating functional tests for Magento applications. This cross-platform solution aims at replacing traditional functional testing framework and reducing mistakes due to complex functional flows.

MFTF is a series of readymade tests to check the functionality of Magento 2 systems. In some scenarios, auto tests are run to cover extended functionalities. These auto tests are easy to code and implement, even by manual testers in a Magento development company.

The Features of MFTF that Make It Desirable

As MFTF is based on technologies like Selenium, Allure, and Codeception, it caters a wide variety of testing scenarios and cases. The following features of MFTF make it a popular trend over other primitive technologies.

Guarantees security and stability

It’s built completely by Magento and for Magento and provides great customer support services

Infrastructure scalability lets MFTF run different tests in different environment

Provides flexibility with modularity support

Easy to customize existing tests

A reporting/logging tool makes it more informative

Highly compatible

Setting up Environment for MFTF

1. Upgrade your PHP Version: First of all, you need to upgrade your PHP version according to the Magento instance that you prefer to use.

2. Install the Composer

3. Install Java to run Selenium Server

4. Use Selenium Server on your System: The Selenium jar file will help you to run MFTF test cases.

5. Get a Web Browser Driver: A web browser driver is required to run the test cases. You need to install the correct one according to your choice of browser.

Setting up MFTF Framework

The following steps will guide you through MFTF setup process.

Step 1- Install Magento 2.3

The first and foremost step is to install Magento 2.3. For this you can either follow this link
https://devdocs.magento.com/guides/v2.3/install-gde/install-quick-ref.html
or download from a trusted source and extract to your local host directory. Next, go to the Magento directory on your web browser and complete the setup.

Step 2 – Install the Dependencies

Use the following command to install MFTF

composer install -d dev/tests/acceptance/

Step 3 –Build Project

Run the following command in the Magento Project Root

vendor/bin/mftfbuild:project

Step 4 – Edit Environment Settings

Edit the .env file in [Magento_Root]/dev/tests/acceptance/ directory, with

vim dev/tests/acceptance/.env

Furthermore, set the following parameters required for tests –

MAGENTO_BASE_URL: should contain a domain name of the Magento instance that will be tested.

MAGENTO_BACKEND_NAME: must contain the relative path for the Admin area.

MAGENTO_ADMIN_USERNAME: should contain the username required for authorization in the Admin area.

MAGENTO_ADMIN_PASSWORD: must contain the user password required for authorization in the Admin area.

Step 5 – Enable the Magento CLI commands

Run the following command in [Magento_Root]/dev/tests/acceptance directory

cp dev/tests/acceptance/.htaccess.sample dev/tests/acceptance/.htaccess

Step 6 – Create and Run the Tests

In order to run the tests, you need to have a running Selenium server and ‘MFTF’ commands

Rcd /Java -Dwebdriver.chrome.driver=chromedriver -jar selenium-server-standalone-3.14.0.jar

Generate the tests

Run the following command to run complete test cases

vendor/bin/codecept run functional

You may also run a specified group (vendor/bin/mftfrun:group product)by using vendor/bin/mftf command.

Next, run all the Magento tests

In the dev/test/acceptance, run the following command to run all test cases

vendor/bin/mftf run functional

Step 7 – Generate Reports

MFTF generates test reports in CLI. For visual representation of reports, you can also use Allure Framework.

Install Allure

Install ‘npm’using the following command

sudo apt install npm

npm install -g allure-commandline –save-dev

Next, run Allure to check the final report

To check the test result report in Allure, use the following command–

allure serve dev/tests/_output/allure-results/

Conclusion

Finally, MFTF facilitates the testing of user interactions with web applications. It helps testers with easy automation of regression testing. The above-mentioned steps will help you start MFTF from scratch and generate test reports with ease.

Chocolate and Cake Delivery – Not Every Online Seller Tends to Such Demands

It’s true. Time-constrained delivery of items like chocolate and cake are not every online seller’s cup of tea. These intricately designed and inventively prepared confectionery items are in high demand, and shipping them is equally complex. Due to the lack of adequate handling and precautionary solutions, these items are at a higher risk of being damaged before or during delivery.

A deformed cake or melted chocolate will never have the appreciation it should, even if it tastes good. So, it is important to deliver them intact. Let’s look at some important tips on how to deliver chocolate or cake so that it reaches its destination picture perfect.

Good read: Tips for New Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

Tips to Deliver Chocolates

Chocolates are a complex product to be shipped due to temperature variations throughout the world. Various locations around the globe craft chocolates with special traditions, ingredients, and flavors and shipping them over a long distance has a lot of constraints. Here are a few tips that can help you deliver your finest chocolates with ease.

1.Plan judiciously: Before you ship chocolates, you must make a plan that ensures quick delivery while considering the temperatures through where the chocolate needs to travel. Make sure to keep the transporters and customers well informed about the pickup and delivery times to avoid keeping chocolates in hot temperatures for longer than necessary.

2.Know the perfect temperature: Ideally, a temperature between 65°F and 68°F with a humidity level of less than 55% keeps chocolate intact for months.

3.Wrap, freeze, and then pack: Wrap the chocolates with waxed paper or a plastic wrap and then freeze before final packaging to avoid any moisture.

4.Use refrigerated containers for commercial use: A refrigerated container is the best option to ship chocolates in bulk.

5.Pack and Ship smarter: While shipping chocolate, wrap it in a bubble paper and then place in a cold insulated box with cold packs or dry ice to maintain temperature and shape.

Tips to Deliver Cakes

Cakes are a delicate confectionery item that needs intense handling precautions. Even if shipping in the vicinity, the utmost care is required both in terms of temperature and handling. The following tips might help you with the flawless delivery of your beautifully handcrafted cakes.

1.Plan well: For delivering a cake, you always need to have a streamlined process with all the things ready considering the distance and time of delivery.

2.Packaging: Use a sturdy box to pack the cake securely. Pack cake tiers (in case of multi-tier cakes) and cake decorations like flowers and toppers in a different box to assemble them at the venue.

3.Shipping: Use a clean, cool, and spacious vehicle for shipping. Place an anti-slip mat under the boxes to keep the cake from moving and on a leveled surface.

4.Drive carefully: While carrying the cake, it’s important to drive slowly and stay focused to avoid any sudden breaking that may damage the cake.

5.A cake repairing kit: A cake repairing kit is very important to handle the last minute mishaps. In case the cake is being delivered through a delivery service, the customer should be handed over this kit.

There are eCommerce portals such as Ferns and Petals, Planete Chocolat, and Kiss Cakes that provides efficient delivery services. These eCommerce stores capitalize on the latest technology platforms and provide easy solutions to delivering chocolates and cakes with the utmost care in a controlled environment.

The Final Words

The hard work in crafting chocolates and cakes only pays when they reach their consumers in a well-formed state. Many chocolate and cake sellers are now moving towards eCommerce platforms to scale up their business and serve untouched demographics.

How eCommerce Businesses Can Save Money on Inventory Management

Inventory management is a process of keeping track of a company’s goods in such a way that it meets the market demand but has a reduced cost of holding the inventory. Inventory means goods in any of the 3 states – finished goods, work-in-progress, and raw material. Managing these goods is a crucial element for any business. An inventory management system assists businesses in identifying the time it takes to replenish products or procure more raw materials for manufacturing while earning the maximum profit possible.

The booming e-commerce industry requires businesses to maintain sufficient levels of inventory in order to meet ever-changing demands. But, it is also important for these businesses to identify the what, where, and how of their market demand in order to fetch the maximum profit. It is important to note that if effective inventory management is not implemented, a business can lose a lot of money on missed sales or must invest money in the excessive stocking of inventory.

Good read: Understanding E-commerce Order Fulfillment

When it comes to eCommerce businesses, efficient inventory management can help prevent such losses and in achieving a more profitable e-commerce business. The big question is – how can you achieve efficiency in inventory management? Read the tips below:

Identify and Set the Stock Limits

Keeping stock is important, and identifying its limit is profitable. With customers placing orders and you run out of stock, you are losing profit and giving it to your competitors. Whereas, stocking more than the demand requires means that you are putting yourself on the risk of losses due to your stock becoming outdated, changes in seasonal demands, the overhead of extra storage space than required, and stock getting damaged.

An inventory control system helps you set an average minimum limit that keeps you updated on when to start buying more stock in order to keep a grip on your demand and supply chain. This also helps you save a lot of money otherwise wasted in storing excess stock as warehouse holders charge on the basis of the space you occupy.

Implement FIFO (First In First Out)

A more judicious way is to keep track of your sales and selling the old ones first. This reduces the chances of having expired products, especially in the case of perishable commodities and food items. Sometimes, due to a change in design or technology, you are left with outdated products. Try selling such products first as the older products are more susceptible to wear and tear and can cause a potential loss.

In order to implement FIFO, you must place the goods in the warehouse in the order of their arrival with the oldest ones at the end and the newest ones in the beginning. A smart inventory control system will always assist you in keeping track of all the inventory and its movement according to the FIFO rule.

Prioritize and Forecast the Demand

This is a smarter and more efficient inventory management technique that helps you categorize your products as highest, intermediate, and least priority based on their demand.

Highest Priority Goods: These are the products that are hot sellers and fetch you the maximum profit.

Intermediate Priority Goods: These are the items that are not in much demand, but still move well, and require you to invest in storing them.

Least Priority Goods: The products in this category are no longer in demand in quantity and are just adding to the bulk of your inventory storage space.

This gives you a clear picture of which products are more in demand and will generate more profit for you. This prioritization helps you to identify the changing trends and the future of your demand and supply chain.

Implement a Centralized Inventory Control System

With many automated inventory control systems available today, handling inventory has become easier. Centralized inventory control software does everything from prioritizing to analyzing and updating you with the current status and future prospects of your business. They save a lot of money that is otherwise wasted due to lack of proper inventory management system and analyzing techniques.

Good read: Enhance Your Store Conversions with These Tactics

The Inference

Inventory management system yield more return on investment (RoI) if implemented properly. In today’s increasing e-commerce demand and supply chain, it is important to understand how to save money by implementing software that works efficiently towards the success of your business.