Iflexion
Magento Customization

Magento Customization: How to Craft the Perfect Customer Experience

We live in the age of customer-centric eCommerce. There’s a variety of contested spaces and niches there, and customers have an incredible array of options when it comes to choosing where to spend their money.

That’s why customer experience (commonly referred to as CX) is an integral part of modern eCommerce operations. It’s all about pleasing your visitors and making the sales funnel as short as possible.

That requires a tailored approach to web design, marketing and other elements of your store that interface with the customer. This is also relevant to B2B commerce. Businesses also want the customer experience when they go out shopping.

There’s an extensive pool of Magento customization features, both built-in and enabled by third parties. With the right team and sense of direction, these features can help you craft the perfect customer experience in your Magento store. Let’s take a closer look at some of these features, functions, and capabilities.

Let Your Employees Drive CX

A lot of modern eCommerce businesses are pretty restrictive when it comes to data democratization. Data silos are a severe problem for many companies. But luckily, some of them started realizing the potential of a widespread access to data for its employees.

Data and access to it can shape the way you interact with customers and score customer experience points. Hypothetically, you have some divisions or employee categories that can benefit from a better access to data. These groups include customer care representatives, marketing professionals, salespeople, and any outside developers that you might involve in your Magento project.

Magento offers you some great options when it comes to data/backend access with the help of user roles. This functionality allows you to create new roles, like ‘a support rep,’ and manage their permissions and access rights within the backend.

After creating a specific role, you can assign particular role privileges, letting this user type perform specific actions within your backend. It’s crucial to carefully assign these, as you might end up handing out permissions to people not qualified to act upon them.

system-permissions-role-resources-product

How does this affect customer experience?

  • It allows to streamline customer support
  • It allows to improve billing and accounting operations through access to payment information
  • It enhances marketing through marketing specialists’ ability to update product and company information on the go, if needed
  • It shrinks the servicing timeline due to the capacity of marketing, support, and sales personnel to update orders, customer credit, shopping cart details, and other customer details.

A carefully crafted set of admin roles at your site will allow you to remove any bottlenecks and delays in the sales pipeline. This results in an optimized shopping experience with fast response times and precise customer care operations.

Next-Level Fulfillment

This is an essential part of any eCommerce experience, which encompasses the entire product cycle. The stripped down fulfillment funnel looks like this:

  • Receiving goods from your suppliers
  • Managing stock
  • Processing orders
  • Shipping products
  • Managing returns

What customers demand from a modern fulfillment pipeline

Data Source: Magento

Magento can efficiently tackle any of the demanding requirements that modern eCommerce stores face. This is not just about getting the order to the customer. It’s about getting the order on time, delivering it conveniently, and providing all of the necessary additional services and options. The efficiency of this process improves customer satisfaction and guarantees customers’ loyalty. It’s all about their experience, while minimized inventory management costs and fulfillment optimization are just perks for your business.

  • Managing Orders

Magento allows you to see the order status and orchestrate its fulfillment, from splitting orders to making partial shipments. You can also use the built-in functionality to route orders to specific fulfillment centers and handle backorders.

  • Omnichannel Fulfillment and Inventory Management

You can use your stores as local fulfillment centers, with stocks integrated across all of your locations. This enables support for store pickups and the option of using your stores to send out orders.

You can also easily integrate a delivery service into your local fulfillment logistics, and manage returns through your local stores.

sales-returns

On top of that, you can track any orders in transit. Anywhere in the world, throughout all of your locations.

  • Risk Management

Magento guarantees fraud protection and streamlined order processing. They even claim that their order acceptance rate is 14% higher than the industry standard.

But, as we mentioned previously, there are tons of additional features that you can build on top, as Magento customization options are virtually endless. Or you can use any of the third-party vendors that have some fantastic order fulfillment products designed specifically for Magento.

  • Custom Carrier Trackers Extension

It allows you to extend the number of available order tracking options within Magento. By default, Magento customization of order tracking is a bit limited, with only a handful of shipping carriers that support it. This extension increases the available options threefold to support tracking for carriers based in Europe, specifically in Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands.

  • Multi-warehouse Inventory Extension

This extension improves the breadth of inventory management options available in Magento. It also introduces stock types, like physical stock, stock to be shipped, and stock available for sale. Additionally, it is governed by a sophisticated warehouse selection algorithm, which can automatically select the best fulfillment warehouse based on its location, delivery priority, and customer group.

  • Order Number Customiser Extension

While this might seems like a non-priority feature, the ability to customize order numbers can be a useful business tool. By default, customers get a randomized order ID that they can use for reference purposes and order tracking.

This number simplifies management for your customer support representatives and sales since the order ID would already contain relevant information about the order itself. You can also perform basic and advanced analysis, understanding order ID logic, like distinguishing and separating orders made during a specific period.

Refine Search and Navigation for Visitors

Allow customers to search for products themselves, and open up a ton of opportunities for your business operations. A good site search lowers the strain on customer support. It also improves the discoverability of cross-selling opportunities. It decreases churn if people can find the exact product they’ve been looking for. This is a very potent tool that improves the general customer experience in your store.

Powerful site search drives conversion and growth

The latest versions of Magento support ElasticSearch, which is one of the best search and analytics engines explicitly designed to handle large quantities of queries in an intelligent and facilitating manner. That’s why companies like Facebook and Dell use ElasticSearch for their internal and external needs.

Its more specific features include:

  • Multilingual support
  • Support for synonyms and ‘negative’ keywords
  • Support for real-time analytics
  • Support for internal databases and enterprise data lakes

And while this will work for most Magento stores, there are alternatives available at the Magento Marketplace. There are many great solutions, but here’s a couple of them with an excellent track record:

  • Celebros Search

This extension offers semantic search, based on customer intent and a myriad of other features, like autocomplete (similar to what Google does), multi-value search and more.

  • InstantSearch+

This is another great extension that offers product recommendations based on a visitor’s browsing history, and merchandising features that let you localize search based on significant dates for those specific locations.

Streamline the Checkout

This part of the customer experience ties in perfectly with the fulfillment pipeline, as this is the intermediate stage within this pipeline that’s handled by the customer. The easier it is for them to complete, the smoother the fulfillment process will be.

The number of checkout steps (2012 vs 2016)

Magento 2 offers a pretty comprehensive checkout experience by default. It includes default guest checkout, 2-step order form, rich shopping cart content with product details, real-time delivery cost calculations, and short order form with no ‘billing address’ requirement unless specified by the payment processor.

But you can take it a step further with one-step checkout options, freely available for Magento 2. Additionally, the extensions in this category greatly simplify the process of building the checkout experience, as you don’t have to include the extended development phase.

  • Amasty One Step Checkout

You can customize the layout of the checkout page and its design, specify default input for the checkout field, and customize the order success page, among other features.

  • AheadWorks One Step Checkout

This extension includes checkout behavior and abandonment reports, newsletter sign-up forms and other marketing features.

Explore the Power of API

Magento offers some of the best integration capabilities with its versatile API. You can easily connect many of the data visualization, analytics, and marketing tools that are available today. Use this opportunity to streamline and unify your customer experience analytics. This can additionally empower your sales and marketing teams, as they won’t have to see Magento’s backend to have access to all this wealth of data. It will be available for your preferred BI tools. It will serve as the backbone for the decisions that you make around the initiatives described in this article.

Conclusion

Overall, Magento customization lineup can be described as the ultimate customer experience package. It includes customization options for each stage of the customer journey, and when the standard functionality can’t fulfill the requirements, third parties step up with their extensions to bring in those necessary features.

Magento also boasts a pretty powerful content management package that allows users to create pages and CMS blocks intuitively. Combining this with the virtually endless customization capabilities gets you the ultimate bundle of customer experience features that can convince and convert even the most demanding shoppers.

It’s always important to remember that the complexity of Magento can also harm your business if you don’t take into account all of the dependencies and development peculiarities of this platform. So if you’re looking for the development team to craft that ultimate customer experience for your Magento store – feel free to reach out to us.

What’s your favorite CX feature in Magento 2? What other features or extensions in this category would you recommend to Magento store owners? Share your thoughts and ideas below.

Ivan Kot

Ivan is a Senior Manager at Iflexion, focusing on business development in verticals such as eCommerce, Business Automation, and cutting-edge tools such as Blockchain of Business. He began his career as a developer, taking different positions in both web and mobile development projects, and eventually shifted focus to project management and team coordination. Ivan’s everyday motto is: if something has to be done, it has to be done right.

Magento Customization: How to Craft the Perfect Customer Experience
Ivan Kot December 6, 2017

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