When you look at the world of open source ecommerce, its next to impossible to not cover a topic as important as magento extensions development. Extremely important for anyone running a site on magento, but the overall concept of using extensions to assist in the speed of delivery as well as to decrease the need for re-inventing the wheel spans beyond that of open source and is now reaching the Shopify community.
When we are looking at our development plans for clients, we often consider what extensions may be available, can they be further customized by our team to meet the needs of the client, and will this be advantageous or should we build out the needed custom features for our client. A well written extension can save you a lot of time and money. For this reason I also make sure I consider the source of the extension.
One of my most trusted and first places I look when considering magento extension development is Mageworx. They have been major players in the magento extension space for many years, and this is why I reached out to have Ellie on our show. As always, I have taken the notes from the call and put together a post for those without the desire to listen to the show, but I would strongly encourage you to take a listen.
One of the most popular extensions Mageworx offers is also an extension we almost religiously deploy on our magento sites, SEO Suite Ultimate.
All of the extensions Mageworx develop have very specific objectives in mind, which is to facilitate and expand certain aspects and possibilities of merchants who’ve chosen Magento for doing their businesses. So each solution solves or covers a business specific objective. *They also create Shopify Apps.
The unique thing about Mageworx SEO extension is that because there is no one size fits all, they also offer an SEO configuration service which is quite unique to the niche. One would think it would be rather hard to offer extensions of such varying degrees with such detailed levels of apparent understanding, and still lead the magento extensions development community. This I believe after speaking with Ellie, is because of the level of research they not only put into the upfront development around the extension but also in their continuous efforts to ensure they are up on changes within the industry.
An excellent example of an extension that is rather robust and needs to be developed this way because of the many ways in which various potential clients may need to use the application is the “Store Locator and Instore Pickup” extension.
This is an excellent extension to help bridge a big gap in the omnichannel space, and one that works well for merchants who run both online and physical stores, as it brings the buy online pickup in store functionality to the merchant. It allows the online shopper to choose any specific physical store as a fulfilment option.
It automatically creates a separate page with locations of an unlimited number of physical shops on Google maps, as well as at a highly customizable pop up with stores, details.
For the shopper the convenience of order pickup in fast, easy access to details about the physical store and for the business owner it’s in opportunity to drive more foot traffic to some specific physical destinations. It’s also a way to easily generate an SEO optimized and a mobile friendly designed page, or even pages, if we talk about location pages as a part of this extensions functionality. (This just touches the surface on what this extension can do).
There are alot of complexities that come with the business function as it relates to buying online and fulfilling in store. One of the major issues to date has been ensuring that the given stores of choice actually have this item in stock. Which we discussed at length on Generational Loyalty in eCommerce and Does it Matter where as much as the title may diswade we actually hit this topic head on!
According to Ellie, “The business owners or store admins, can easily configure which products are available in each store.”
The pickup in store type of solution needs to be customizable, like you said, because the last thing you want to do is, have your customer go down to a store to pick up an item and find out that it’s not there.
So there’s a lot of components that go into something like this and this is an example of an extension that is well thought out and adds value to utilize as an extension because it saves an immense amount of cost to the merchant than having this developed from scratch. I do like the fact that it’s very customizable.
Ellie’s Final Words of Wisdom:
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave the trail. – Ralph Emerson.
I believe that these words encompass very well everything in business but also very specifically an leading approach to magento extensions development.