By Author admin

Official Akeneo Solution partner. Certified Implementation Specialists and Advisors. Magento 2 Commerce and Shopify Plus.

A Product Information Management (PIM) solution provides a single place to collect, manage, and enrich your product information, create a product catalog, and distribute it to your sales and eCommerce channels. A PIM solution makes it faster and easier to create and deliver compelling product experiences.

Akeneo is a global leader in PIM solutions enabling retailers to deliver a consistent and enriched customer experience across all sales channels, including eCommerce, mobile, print, and retail points of sale. Akeneo’s open-source enterprise PIM improves product data quality & accuracy while simplifying and accelerating product catalog management

The Akeneo Enterprise Edition is designed to enable B2B and B2C retailers and brands to deliver the great product experiences needed to fuel better customer experiences. Unlike proprietary black-box software solutions, Akeneo PIM Enterprise Edition is an enterprise-grade, open source PIM solution and open API, delivering a transparent, secure, and extensible environment for the ultimate flexibility.

acidgreen are official Akeneo solution partners with a team of Certified Akeneo Implementation Specialists and Akeneo Advisors in Australia. acidgreen specialises in Akeneo PIM integration with Shopify Plus and Magento Commerce.

akeneo-solution-partner akeneo-advisor-partner

As an Akeneo Solution partner acidgreen can help with business and taxonomic issues as well as providing seamless integrations between Akeneo and your existing systems. After launch, we are available for training and ongoing support.

Akeneo has over 100 marketplace extensions and acidgreen will consult on the best for your requirements and provide integration, configuration and customisation to meet your business needs.

Shopify Plus Akeneo Integration Agency

Akeneo and Shopify have recently partnered to enable integration between Akeneo PIM and Shopify Plus. acidgreen can now assist Shopify Plus customers to seamlessly use Akeneo’s PIM solution to manage and enrich their product information and deliver it more easily and quickly to multiple sites, locales, and sales channels.

Webkul has created a Shopify Akeneo Connector that will enable you to export your catalogue from Akeneo to Shopify. You can send product data including images, categories, quantity, SEO, price and can even filter the products which you want to export to Shopify.

The key benefits of using a PIM with Shopify Plus are product data governance, managing product data across multiple stores, automation of enrichment and other tasks, efficiency in managing various other areas and unified product data against different stores and channels.

acidgreen are official Akeneo solution partners and Shopify Plus Partners with clients such as Camilla, Guess and UNSW.

Magento 2 Akeneo Integration Agency

Akeneo has partnered with Magento, an Adobe Company, to enable Magento merchants to deliver compelling product experiences to their customers. With Akeneo PIM, merchants can easily and rapidly manage and deliver high-quality product information across all sales channels, streamline internal catalog management processes and facilitate catalogue expansion.

Akeneo has developed a connector for Magento 2 Enterprise (Commerce) and Magento 2 Community (Open Source). Webkul also has a Magento 2 Akeneo connector that allows us to connect your Magento store with the Akeneo PIM and manage thousands of products easily. 

While Magento 2 serves as a perfect foundation, Akeneo is needed to manage extended product catalogs, support multi-channel strategy, and provide content in multiple languages, all while preserving agility of operations, durability, and security.

acidgreen are official Akeneo solution partners and Magento Commerce Partners with clients such as Olympus, Petbarn and Godfreys.

For more information or consult on setting up Akeneo PIM and/or integrating Akeneo with your Magento or Shopify store simply contact acidgreen today. acidgreen have over 70 staff with offices in Sydney and Melbourne Australia and have been specialising in digital commerce for over 20 years.

By Author admin

How To Improve Your Site Speed: The Ultimate Guide to Magento 2 Speed Optimisation

 

Magento

Whilst Magneto is one of the most popular enterprise-class eCommerce platforms used by one in four businesses, it still needs to be optimised for speed. Magneto 2 speed optimisation isn’t for the faint-hearted, but if you have the time, enthusiasm and the skills, you can do some of it yourself. On the other hand, it’s probably much easier to give this type of specialised job to a Magneto developer who has the experience to do a good job. 

Why is Magneto 2 speed optimisation so important?

As a website owner, you already know that speed is everything on the internet. Shoppers are impatient and don’t like slow opening web pages, causing them to quickly close their browser and move onto the next site on their list. This increases your bounce rates and decreases your sales, conversion rates and revenue. Slow speeds also loses you repeat customers, because they won’t bother returning if your site is too slow.

The best Magneto developers know that even Google also doesn’t like slow-moving websites. In fact, it likes fast-moving websites so much that it is preferentially crawling mobile sites, rather than desktop versions. Since this ‘mobile-first’ indexing focuses on how well your website renders on mobile devices, the lack of a fast mobile experience could negatively affect your rankings. So if your Eommerce store is taking too long to load, Google may well rank you lower than your competition – it’s that important!

So let’s take a look at how to increase a Magneto website’s speed, helping you to decrease your bounce rate and increase your rankings, traffic and sales. 

Tips on how to increase a Magneto website’s speed

1. Check your website’s speed

There’s no point in optimising your site’s speed if you don’t have a starting point. So it’s essential that you check the loading times, giving you a baseline for later comparisons. There are a number of ways you can do this, one of the most popular is to go to gtmetix.com, insert your website’s URL and it will give you your site’s loading speed. It also gives you a report that most people can’t understand however, but at least it gives you your site’s speed. Another option is to check your site’s TTFB (time to first byte), which is a measure of how long it takes for the first byte of your website to travel from the server to your browser; it should be less than 200ms. You will need to enter your URL into the Sucuri Loadtime Tester or use the Chrome Developer Console. One solution for increasing your site’s TTFB is to change to a faster server, but this can be a pricey option.

2. Is your site running in production mode?

 When you first load Magneto it runs in default mode, which lets you make simple changes to your store before it goes live. You might also want to use the developer mode to perform more in depth changes. The problem is that both of these modes slow your site’s loading times, so you need to move it into production mode.

You can change these modes using the Command Line Interface, as follows:

      • php bin/magento deploy:mode:

If the result is that you are not in production mode, type in these commands:

      • php bin/magento deploy:mode:set production

It might not sound like much, but it will help to significantly increase your site’s loading times.

3. Use caching tools to speed up loading times

Another Magneto 2 speed optimisation strategy is to use caching tools. The cache is where frequently used data is stored, so that it can retrieved quickly without having to search for the information each time a request is made to the server. Redis and Varnish are third party software caching tools that help to improve the performance of Magneto 2. Redis does this by retaining data in the RAM, whilst Varnish does the same, only better. Essentially, any data stored in RAM can be accessed and read quickly with minimal effort, which is why both Redis and Varnish increase your website’s performance.

The difference between these two caching tools is that when you use Varnish a request from a shopper’s browser doesn’t go to the server, instead it gets intercepted by Varnish which downloads the pages directly to the browser. This reduces the load on the web server and speeds up the whole process. Redis on the other hand, just speeds up the delivery of these web pages from the server. Whilst both of these caching tools significantly increase the performance of your website, Redis requires a lot of RAM, so it puts a drain on the server, which doesn’t happen with Varnish.

Varnish however, doesn’t work with HTTPS and SSL certificates, so you need to set up a proxy to decrypt the HTTPS traffic before it reaches Varnish. It’s possible for you to download and configure either one of these caching tools, but it’s very complicated.  It takes even the best Magneto developers time to optimise these caching tools properly, so you might need help with this step.

4. Remove unused extensions

The more extensions you use with Magneto 2, the lower your site’s performance. It might not be much of a hit, but it all adds up. Log into your Magneto server using SSH (a secure shell protocol that lets you connect to a server without sending your username or password over the network) and check out the modules folder for any extensions that aren’t being used. If you do this, be careful that you don’t delete common extensions that serve as the base for other extensions or you will lose everything. If you are in production mode, you can submit the following commands to disable and delete the extensions you don’t want to use anymore. 

        • bin/magento maintenance:enable
        • bin/magento module:disable TestExtension 
        • bin/magento setup:upgrade
        • bin/magento setup:di:compile
        • bin/magento setup:static-content:deploy en_US de_DE
        • bin/magento maintenance:disable
        • cd app/code/TestExtension/
        • rm -rf TestExtension

5. Flatten your category and product catalogues

In Magento 2, product attributes are stored across multiple database tables, so when a shopper wants to view a product, this information must be drawn from these tables. The more tables that need to be accessed for this information, the longer it takes and the poorer your site’s performance. The easy solution is to consolidate all this information, so that the process is speeded up. This is called flattening your catalogue and the more products on your site, the faster it will perform. To make this happen, all you need to do is to go to your catalogue (stores > configuration > catalogue) and click ‘yes’ in the box next to ‘Use Flat Catalogue Category’.

6. Speed up search results 

One of the easiest Magneto 2 speed optimisation strategies is to speed up your site’s search results. That’s because if you have an extensive product list, it can take too long for a shopper’s search results to display on your web page in their browser. This leads to a poor user experience and long loading times. The solution is to speed up this search process by using the Magneto 2 Elasticsearch extension. It’s a server based tool that is capable of full text searches at very high speeds. It’s also very scalable so it’s perfect for sites with growing product lists. It works well out of the box and supports multiple languages, as well as stop words and synonyms, and SKU codes. For super-fast indexing and search functionality, Elasticsearch is one of the best on the market. You can upload and configure this extension using the following commands:

      • elasticsearch:
      • type: elasticsearch:<version>
      • disk: 1024
      • relationships:
      • elasticsearch: “elasticsearch:elasticsearch”
      • $ git add -A && git commit -m “Enable Elasticsearch” && git push origin <branch-name>
      • $ bin/magento indexer:reindex catalogsearch_fulltext
      • $ bin/magento cache:clean

7. Update your old Magento theme

This might not be at the top of your list, but an old and outdated Magento theme can seriously slow down the performance of your site. Some of these older themes can use a lot of bandwidth, costing you more money for hosting compared with updated themes. If the developers of your old theme have stopped issuing updates, it’s time to refresh your website. A new lighter and more modern theme has the positive side effect of faster performance, so it’s a win-win situation. If you really want to stick with your older theme however, you can optimise the images to increase your site’s loading speeds. There are lots of free image optimisation tools available online, and this strategy will help speed up your site to some degree. There are other problems with old themes however, such as security issues, so why not hunt around for the best magneto developers in your area and have a conversation about updating your theme?  

Now you have some idea of how to increase a Magneto website’s speed, what are you waiting for? 

To chat to the best Magneto developers in Sydney about making your Magneto website lightning fast, call acidgreen on 1300 139 658 or send us an email enquiry today.

By Author admin

How Progressive Web Apps and Magento Commerce Are Changing Mobile Commerce

As always Magento Commerce is paving the way, and with the help of progressive web apps, they are delivering a next-level mobile customer experience. Magento understands the e-commerce business like no one else, and to make sure you’re ahead of the curve they’ve already started developing to bring new capabilities for 2018.

Here is everything you need to know about progressive web apps and how they can help your e-commerce store.

Progressive Web Apps

What are Progressive Web Apps?

With the wide range of devices we all use on a day to day basis, chances are you’re well versed in responsive web pages. But progressive web apps (PWAs) take it a step further. Even if you’re not familiar with the name, I’m almost certain you’ve come in contact with a few PWAs.

PWAs are similar to responsive websites where content naturally fits the size of the screen it’s displaying on, but the range of capabilities and advantages of using a PWA instead of a responsive website are what’s causing such a stir.

Every now and then you come across a website or an e-commerce store on your phone or tablet that makes you stop and think, am I still in the browser? This is a progressive web app. PWAs are websites that look and behave as seamlessly as apps but runs through your browser.

This is fast becoming the new standard for building a modern UX. Magento Commerce, with the help of progressive web app technology, is creating a responsive, accessible and well-polished shopping experience for all consumers by integrating the latest innovations and merging the accessibility of the web.

So what’s the difference between a PWA and a responsive website?

You’ve probably realised by now that PWAs are more than JUST websites, but what are the main differences and how can they actually help your e-commerce store? Well, there are a few key features that progressive web apps are capable of, that a regular website just isn’t cut out to do.

These features are what’s making them so popular among e-commerce stores and the online developing community alike, and why PWAs are the all-important key to unlocking your real potential.

Progressive Web Apps

They’re not called progressive web apps for no reason, they actually function and run with many of the same features we have come to expect from a regular native smartphone app.

Being an app, PWAs give you the ability to send push notifications to your customers. This gives you a higher level of engagement and eventually re-engagement with the customer.

In an e-commerce sense, this is perfect because customers want you to know about them and personalise their shopping experience to them. Features like Push notifications allow your communication to be more contextual and personalised. Ensuring you are building brand loyalty and getting those elusive repeat sales.  

This is more than just Magento magic though; the ability to access your content offline is super important for reliability. Anyone running an e-commerce store will tell you that having a reliable website that your customers can always access is absolutely vital to your success.

Why replace responsive websites with PWAs & What are the advantages for Magento merchants?

Like most web development, progressive web apps aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution for all websites. They are ideal, however, for any site that updates regularly or requires real-time data to display. This fits e-commerce to a T!

We touched on it briefly before, but there’s a wide variety of ways PWAs can improve the online shopper’s experience like no regular website can.

Progressive web apps are currently compatible with most mobile browsers, which is excellent for Magento stores as it allows widespread access to your content. So, If you have any recent smartphone or device chances are you’re ready to access the world of PWAs.

Many browsers already recognise the advantages of having PWAs on your device and provide simple options to add the site to your homepage. The app then sits with a user’s native apps, allowing for easier access to your content at any time.

Progressive Web Apps

Yes, anytime! PWA’s can load while offline or with low connectivity which is a real benefit. I won’t go into the technical details on how this works but its thanks to a magical piece of script known as service workers.

This means they’re ready whenever your customers are prepared to shop. According to KPMG, 52% of online shoppers said that offline channels are important for their brand awareness and to create trigger moments.  

When the PWA is accessed from the device’s home screen, the app can load instantly. This always-open access allows you to create a far better experience than shoppers can receive from brick and mortar stores. At a time when everyone wants everything 5 minutes ago, this feature is excellent for your UX.

The ability to add your PWA to a device without the need for an app store improves the likelihood that those all-important return customers will actually download. After all, the web reaches three times more people than apps currently do.

It’s clear that progressive web apps are more accessible and perform better than traditional websites but what about the other features customers want like one step checkouts?

PWAs offer an even more seamless checkout process and expand upon the tenets that Magento has built into their OneStepCheckout process. For any mobile e-commerce, an easy to navigate checkout is a necessity. Not only is this great for your conversion rates and sales it can do wonders for your UX.

Progressive Web Apps

The reliable performance and faster accessibility will drive traffic to Magento e-commerce sites utilising progressive web apps. Ultimately resulting in higher conversions and increased revenue.

Websites are already being rewarded for their switch to PWAs. In the case of Flipkart, they saw their mobile conversions increase by around 70%. For any current Magento store looking to boost their mobile conversions, a PWA could be a simple solution.

And just like that progressive web apps can integrate the best features of websites and mobile applications to build a second-to-none customer experience.

As Magento rolls out this breakthrough in web development to the entire Magento Commerce community this year, it may be worthwhile to consider utilising these features. When you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, contact us to make sure you don’t get left behind.

acidgreen is an award winning e-commerce agency specialising in Magento, Shopify Plus and digital marketing with over 15 years of industry experience. Our certified developers and digital marketers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing Magento and Shopify Plus websites that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, or give us a call to learn more about our services.