Must-Have Magento 2 Extensions
Learn about some of the essential Magento 2 extensions and extension categories that you need to implement and find out how they can drive better user experience and sales.
Today’s ecommerce requires sophisticated systems to adequately run an online business. That’s why over the years Magento, being one of the biggest ecommerce platforms, grew to be incredibly multi-dimensional.
But it still can’t keep up with the demand for new features required by modern online storefronts. That’s why Magento ecosystem keeps playing a vital role in its success. Hundreds of highly specialized ecommerce development companies create Magneto extensions—additional software packages that enable specific capabilities within a Magento 2 store.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the essential Magento 2 extensions that your store needs to have embedded.
Powerful SEO features are one of the clear advantages of Magento. However, default SEO functionality in Magento 2 is still limited.
That’s why there is an ecosystem of advanced SEO tools, designed to facilitate smart SEO strategies, even for complex inventories with thousands of products. Some of their distinctive features include a friendly interface and a multitude of guard rails built in to make sure that you’re properly executing SEO basics. These include small but important things, like notifying you when your word counts on descriptions and titles for products are exceeding the maximum amount of characters set by Google.
SEO Toolkit for Magento 2 by Amasty
This is one of the most well-rounded extensions in this category, with tons of features that won’t allow you to let any SEO potential slip away. Some of the notable features include:
- Cross-linking within your site semi-automatically by just typing specific keywords. These will be linked to pages that you identify in advance. This is a real time saver for stores with tons of different products in the same category.
- Improved categorization through the rel="next/prev" link attributes that ‘explain’ the connection between the pages to search engines.
- Link controls—from the size of a link to its properties and SEO parameters—anything to make your linking strategies more impactful.
Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and an elaborate review is not doable within a single article. Keep in mind that there are dozens of features, and most of them can be enabled and maintained by someone without any significant SEO experience.
Another robust extension in this category is Magento 2 SEO by MageWorx. It is very similar to the one by Amasty, but it is a bit more expensive with negligible differences in functionality.
Having the flexibility to seamlessly manage your inventory is crucial for a successful Magento 2 store. Improved stock availability and supplier relationship management are important, as they drive better fulfillment, which results in higher customer satisfaction and, as a consequence, higher LTV per customer.
Managing inventory in Magento 2 can be challenging, especially when you have more than one warehouse and a multitude of POS systems involved. Setting up all these dependencies, connections, and notification capabilities can become a monumental challenge for your development team.
Luckily, Magento 2 extensions in this category are abundant and versatile. There are plenty of great vendors putting out some serious products in the inventory management space.
- Advanced Inventory by Wyomind
It has a ton of great features that automate a variety of inventory management processes—from automated product dispatching based on country codes to automated order notifications. Some of the other features include:
- Connectivity capabilities through a diverse set of APIs that allow you to connect your inventory management environment to 3rd party tools.
- Stock movement journal/logging.
Inventory Management by Amasty is another great tool in this category that deserves our attention due to its versatile capabilities. For example, it supports inventory updates via a CSV file and direct database import.
There’s nothing more frustrating to a visitor than not being able to get around a website. Poor navigation and lackluster design of navigational elements can ruin the user experience. It can also completely obliterate the success of your marketing campaigns. Imagine driving people to a product through AdWords only to find that the visitors are lost on your website or that they’re not interested in exploring your products further.
Magento 2 isn’t that good at solving complex navigational problems for stores that offer thousands of products. Setting up the most convenient and logical paths is tricky, especially if this is your first Magento 2 store.
There’s a variety of impactful Magento 2 extensions in this category that can make site navigation intuitive and user-friendly. Many of them allow users without any development skills to build navigation experiences with ease.
- Layered Navigation by AheadWorks
Don’t be discouraged by its pricing. This extension truly delivers the ultimate navigation experience for your store visitors. Some of its advanced features include:
- Amazon-like category list style.
- Selective filtering that allows certain filters to be displayed only within selected categories.
- Additional SEO functionality, like the ability to disable indexing for catalog pages.
Think of all the potential that your store’s visitors have. It is exploited to the full extent, in the good sense of the word. There are plenty of upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and it’s been established for a while now that these can become a great revenue booster if executed correctly.
Magento 2, however, is limited in its capabilities for this category. The setup is painstaking, and the capabilities enabled as a result are far from being optimal. That’s why many vendors offer upsell and cross-sell extensions with robust functionality and simple setup.
- Upsell & Cross-Sell by Beeketing
Note that the extension itself is free, but it is enabled through a monthly subscription. It is affordable and flexible, as pricing depends on the performance. Some of its notable features that drive better sales include:
- Upsell popup whose content depends on the current cart.
- Gamification features through interactive popups, encouraging visitors to add more products to their cart.
Being able to find anything on your website is very similar to being able to navigate it properly. When the navigation fails, site search is usually a common alternative. Not to mention that many modern shoppers choose to go for site search right away, without even trying to go through a couple of pages. A modern user is accustomed to Google-like ability to find whatever they want. In their mind, your site is not an exception out of this rule.
Unfortunately, catalog search in Magento 2 is far from being perfect. It lacks many of the advanced features, like AI capabilities for contextual search and spelling variation detection. Things are a lot better for the Enterprise Edition, as it runs ElasticSearch. But if you have the Community Edition, your search capabilities are very limited.
However, don’t be discouraged, as there are plenty of Magento 2 extensions that can turn your site search into an almighty entity that knows exactly what any specific user is looking for.
- Celebros Search & Merchandising
This is probably the only tool from this category that you might ever need. Celebros enables Google-like capabilities within your store—with the sole purpose of driving better sales, which can result in an up to 800% conversion rate improvement. Some of its cool features include:
- Search operators enablement that allows your visitors to use ‘AND’/ ‘OR’ and other operators that refine search results.
- Semantic search that predicts customer intent and displays relevant results.
Being able to understand the underlying processes happening in your store is vital. Unfortunately, Magento 2 has a very limited pool of capabilities in this domain, at least out of the box. There are no proper built-in data exploration tools, and the visualizations just aren’t there. If you have a marketing and sales team, they’ll have a hard time making sense of your store’s performance.
That’s why a proper reporting tool is important. It connects your business users to the store’s performance metrics. Otherwise, you can’t expect your sales and marketing activities to be aligned with the real business. Not to mention that this is also hard to achieve using just the basic tools, like Google Analytics, as they aren’t always transmitting accurate data. However, there are some very robust Magento 2 extensions in this category.
- Advanced Reports by AheadWorks
Another great product from this company that offers user-friendly reporting capabilities for Magento 2 store owners. Some of the features at a glance:
- Bookmarking allows you to save specific reports.
- Forecasting capabilities based on previous performance.
- Over a dozen of report types.
There are some other great products in this category, like Exto Analytics, which has a user-friendly interface that’s going to be very familiar to Google Analytics users.
All of the Magento 2 extension, listed above, are just a small pool of products within the crucial categories that we decided to focus on. Many other functions within your store can easily be covered by the standard out-of-the-box features, or created by your development team. Remember that getting the extension is only a half of the battle. Installing and testing it is the other half.
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