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Shan Foods Spices Up The US Market With Magento & WordPress Online Store

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We all know that WordPress is top of its game when it comes to CMS (content management systems) and blogging based websites and we also know that Magento is top of its game for e-commerce but what if we want to use both together and bring the best of both worlds to our client.

The Need For WordPress & Magento

Although Magento is one of the leading ecommerce frameworks, it has a fairly poor CMS and its limited fields prevent full customisable product and page templates.  It’s also a resource hog, requiring massive memory and processing resources and building simple web pages on this platform are akin to using a tank for a drive to town. A change request to alter the websites appearance takes too much time and while it’s perfectly possible to blog within Magento using add-ons like Blog extensions, there are advantages to integrating a platform that has been built with content publication in mind. It’s also possible to turn WordPress into a eCommerce store, but Magento offers levels of flexibility and functionality that it’s difficult to replicate on a platform designed for content management.

Also as Google becomes more sophisticated and social media especially reviews becomes a dominant source of referrals, it’s important that eCommerce retailers get on board with content publishing if they’re to attract new customers and retain existing buyers. It can however also be difficult to publish audience-attracting content on an eCommerce store like Magento. Product descriptions are essential but they aren’t the sort of content that will attract a loyal readership.

Thus if a retailer wants to maximize both the effectiveness of their content publishing efforts and the efficiency of their sales process, an integration that makes use of both WordPress and Magento is the optimal solution.

The MI Digital Solution:

As consumers continue to demand compelling experiences with brands, retailers are challenged with finding partners that can create rich, differentiated online experiences for their consumers while driving growth. We recommended that Shan Foods turn to Magento Community Edition because it is the only commerce platform that is designed from the ground up to be configured, extended and customized to meet each merchant’s requirements, providing virtually unlimited flexibility to create unique brand experiences that delight consumers and also convert and increase sales. It also provides integrated tools into platforms such as Ebay and Amazon as well as integrating advanced analytics tools such as RJ Metrics for Cohort Analysis and Life-Time-Value analysis.

Dedicated Food Brand Store – An Industry-First

Marrying content with commerce is reason for fanfare as conversion increases. As content moves closer to the consumer, deft brands are lubricating the purchase funnel and reducing dependency on traditional media partners. New direct-to-consumer, owned platforms (branded URLs, social channels, etc.) offer a chance to stray from traditional formats and present and deliver content that offers relevance and resonance vs. reach and frequency.

The ability to weave together content and commerce may be what separates retail winners from losers. 78 percent of consumers now report engaging in “webrooming,” or purchasing a product in-store after browsing online and brands are sensing the opportunity to secure the sale before the consumer enters a traditional retail format’. Brands now need to weave digital content & commerce together in a seamless customer experience to drive sales online and even in-store. Shan Foods which is the leader in ethnic foods category, stands as one of the most reputed food companies and a powerful global brand with presence in more than 65 countries across 5 continents understood this when it chose MI Digital as its digital agency to help power this phase of digital online presence.

As an innovative food brand, they wanted to expand their formidable presence which ranges from Amazon in US to Zooom Stores in Dubai and Tesco, Waitrose and everything in between to the online medium and tasked MI Digital to provide an integrated set of tools and processes to power Shan’s omni-channel strategy, reduce operational and integration complexity, and enable the marketing team to create consistent brand experiences across channels.

One example of an area where food brands find themselves challenged to keep up with rapid changes in consumer behavior is in the delivery of compelling experiences across devices. “With Magento, we were able to optimize the customer experience for consumers on desktops, tablets and mobile in time, even as new devices enter the market,” said Zeek, chief technology officer at MI Digital. Amongst other challenges, Shan Foods also wanted to create a customized user experiences for each brand yet maintain common core processes and integration across all brands. They also wanted full in-house control over merchandising promotions, catalog, pricing and all other aspects of the online shopping experience to easily customize sites by region or product line.

MI Digital was also required to develop a responsive web design which allowed us to create content once and have it automatically adapt to the format of specific mobile or tablet devices. This feature was important to quickly deploy mobile and tablet applications with confidence, knowing that the product, promotion, account and brand experience will be consistent across every consumer interaction.

Shan Foods also wanted to give their customers “buy anywhere, receive anywhere” convenience by providing accurate inventory availability across channels. Real-time inventory visibility across multiple locations, including stores, is key to enabling the buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere experience. This feature when implemented has already helped Shan reduce excess inventory, capture lost sales and promote the most profitable products to their customers.

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Understanding Shan’s markets and requirements, MI Digital also offered an integrated master and subsequent catalog structures which allowed the team to easily share products across categories, catalogs and sites and manage and maintain seasonal, branded and future catalogs simultaneously, putting an end to inconsistent information across channels. This ensured that we delivered highly branded, personalized and consistent content across channels, and helped our customers make smarter buying decisions.

“We could use a web interface to efficiently select which attributes or actions we wanted to display across brand experiences or we could apply granular control to tailor Shan’s customers’ experiences to each specific brand. For example, we could easily share and replicate promotions, manage multiple optimization tests and even share customer records across sites. We could also publish product content and catalogs across multiple brands with speed and accuracy using a simple web interface and process flow. With integrated master and subsequent catalog structures, you can share products across categories, catalogs and sites, while simultaneously managing and maintaining seasonal, branded and future catalogs”, said Zeek.

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Taking advantage of order fulfillment services that go beyond the normal pick, pack and ship operational process, we consulted and then implemented solutions that ensured that when the customer received their purchase, the experience delivered the full brand identity from specialized packaging to gift wrapping, to ease of returns.

“Our impressive roster of new client wins and our innovative integration practices demonstrate our momentum in this category. We will continue to find new ways to tap into the power of our open source ecosystem and make it easier than ever for brands to continue to deliver fresh, new consumer experiences. The industry can expect us to launch more tools that simplify the merchandising process further to optimize product category pages and boost sales soon,” said Umair Mohsin, Director Digital.
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About MI Digital – Global Digital Marketing Services:

Based in 5 countries of the world including offices in USA, MI Digital is a leading ecommerce solutions agency. We create solutions with high sales conversion through elegant technology while promoting the branded experience across all digital channels. Our industry expertise of over 10 years working on global brands coupled with the Magento ecommerce technology produces more sales from your digital channel. Having worked on Magento projects for leading global companies such as Shan Foods, Pfizer, etc, MI Digital is the most advanced and experienced agency in the industry.

We share a vision of accelerating growth through the delivery of innovative commerce experiences and capabilities. Through a proven network of technology partners,  you’ll gain our access to expertise in strategy, development, enablement and support, logistics as well as complementary technologies poised for integration. All  of which will help you accelerate time-to-market, improve ROI and reduce your cost of deploying third-party functionality.

 

About Magento:

Magento serves more than 240,000 merchants worldwide and was recognized as the leading ecommerce platform for fast growing retailers in the 2014 Internet Retailer 500. Magento also powers 26 percent of all ecommerce sites in the Alexa one million sites list; more than any other ecommerce platform.

 

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Migrate From Magento GO to Magento CE

Migrating from Magento Go to Magento Community Edition

You’ve probably already heard the news about Magento Go closing down. The official date that the platform will be closed down is 1st February 2015. It should be worth remembering that Magento itself has two offerings: Magento Community and Magento Enterprise. Since Magento Go merchants are quite familiar with operating a Magento store, it is quite logical that many should choose to move to the Community or Enterprise editions of Magento, rather than learn a new platform, such as BigCommerce.

Migrating to Magento CE

For clients looking to stay on the Magento platform, and are also looking for power and flexibility, you might be tempted by Magento Community – and rightly so! You are already familiar with running a Magento-based shop, so why would you want to learn how to use a completely new piece of software. With Magento CE you’ll be able to focus on rebuilding your store instead.

There are a number of things to remember when you’re looking to move your site from Go to Community, some of which can get quite technical and that’s why we recommend that you work with a company such as MI Digital so we can take the headache out of the transition.

Here’s an overview of difference in services you will receive over the Magento Go Platform.

Support: Phone, Mail, Live support is available to you now at a more personal level than you had with GO.

Magento Go To CEManaged Backend and Product Uploads: The biggest time and resource crunch for Magento is hiring people to just upload your products, ensure your uptime, uploading new campaign banners and so forth. We can easily take the hassle of managing your store off your shoulders and provide timely and quality support and integration services. We also provide marketing services which ensures that the only thing you have to do is relax and concentrate on what you do best.

PCI Compliant, Optimised, Magento tuned hosting done by the MI Digital team based on our years of experience serving global clients and multi-store brands.

Bigger, Better, More Branded Solutions: There was no way to generate a proper branded store under Magento GO. Only pre-determined themes and extensions could be used, and these were very limited plus limited Java script support. No access to your code was given either. However, with Community CE you will have access to the code-base and can make bigger and better changes and should you choose us, you can create a brand in the mind of your customers.

Connected to your Partners. Our services can connect to your existing distributors, fulfillment and logistical partners and suggest new ones e.g. for email marketing services, programmatic buying, analytics and reports on a whole different level such as with Heat Maps, Scroll Maps, Engagement and customer journeys.

Anything Go did, Community can do and it can definitely do it a lot more as well a lot faster. It’s fast, scalable and secure. Whilst this shows a small demo of how the platforms services will differ, of course, migrating your content and domain name are also big parts of the process of migration. Migrating with MI Digital as your partner means that that you won’t lose any content due to the data being re-mapped or ‘lost in translation’. 

If you would  like to discuss how MI Digital can smooth your transition from Magento Go to Magento Community, then please contact us at corporate@midigital.co or connect to us at (UK): +44-20-32901438 or (US): +1-603-842-2536. You may also fill out the contact form here and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours.

Magento has emerged as the dominant platform for those interested in e-commerce. The opportunities it provides in terms of customization and optimization are nearly unlimited and it allows you to quickly build an effective and scalable business operation. Magento is state of the art software that includes the most modern ecommerce features available at the moment. There are no barriers for migration to Magento platform from any software you use. The complete list of what is possible is below:

MAGENTO MANAGEMENT FEATURES

  • Select and Control Information to Share Across Multiple Online Stores From a Single Admin Area
  • Assign Roles and Permissions Across Users
  • Web Services API for easy integration between Magento and any third-party application
  • Custom Website Design and Styling
  • Manage Online Customer Groups
  • Integrated Content Management System (CMS) for Creating and Managing Informational Pages
  • Google Website Optimizer Integration for A/B and Multivariate Testing

CHECKOUT, PAYMENT & SHIPPING

  • One-Page Online Checkout
  • Integrated for Real-Time Shipping Rates from UPS®, FedEx®, and USPS®
  • Option on Credit Card Transactions to Authorize and Charge or Authorize Only and Charge on Creation of Invoices
  • Integrated with Amazon Payments, PayPal, Authorize.net, and Google Checkout
  • Ability to Accept Checks, Money Order, and Online Purchase Orders
  • SSL Security Support for All Online Order and Sensitive Transactions
  • Online Tax and Shipping Calculation and Prior to Checkout Estimates
  • Option to Create Account as Part of Online Checkout Process
  • Gift Message Management
  • Configurable Saved Cart Expiration
  • Multiple Shipping Address Management
  • Online Order Tracking from Customer Account
  • Ability to Manage Multiple Shipments on a Single Online Order
  • Destination Country Management
  • Per Order and Per Item Flat Rate Shipping Option
  • Free Shipping Functionality
  • Manage Shipping by Weight and Destination

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

  • Light Footprint Design for Fast Load Time and Search Engine Optimization
  • Google Site Map Creation and Site Map Auto Generation
  • Search Engine Friendly URL’s Including URL ReWrite Controls
  • META Information Management at Product and Category Levels
  • Auto-Generated Popular Search Terms Page

ANALYTICS AND REPORTING

  • Integration with Google Analytics and more advanced analytic systems such as RJMetrics, KISSMetrics, ClickTale, iPerceptions and more.
  • Admin Report Dashboard with Business Overview
  • Sales Reports Including Total Sales and Returns
  • Tax Reports
  • Abandoned Shopping Cart Reports
  • Best Viewed Products Reports
  • Top Sold Products Report
  • Low Stock Item Report
  • Onsite Search Terms Report
  • Product Reviews Report with RSS Support
  • Tags Report with RSS Support
  • Coupon Usage Report

MARKETING PROMOTIONS AND TOOLS

  • Online Poll Creation and Management
  • Newsletter Management
  • Landing Page Creation Tools
  • Catalog Promotional Pricing and Controls
  • Flexible Coupons Rule and Pricing Restrictions
  • Free Shipping Promotion Management
  • Multi-Tier Pricing for Volume Discounts
  • Bundled Products Options
  • Customer Group Pricing
  • Recently Viewed Products
  • New Items Promotional Tool
  • On Page and In Shopping Cart Upsells and Cross Sells
  • Send to a Friend and Wishlist Management

Order Management

  • View, edit, create and fulfill orders from admin panel
  • Create one or multiple invoices, shipments and credit memos per order to allow for split fulfillment
  • Print invoices and packing slips
  • Call Center (phone) order creation − Includes ability to create new customer, or select existing customer and view shopping cart, wishlist, last ordered items, and compared products list, as well as select addresses, give discounts and assign custom prices
  • Create re-orders for customers from administration panel
  • Email Notifications of Orders
  • RSS feed of New Orders

CUSTOMER SERVICE

  • Contact Us form
  • Feature-rich Customer Accounts
  • Order History with Status Updates
  • Order Tracking from Account
  • Password Reset email from front-end and admin panel
  • Order and Account Update Emails
  • Customizable Order Emails
  • Create and Edit Orders from the Admin Panel

CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS

  • Order status and history
  • Re-orders from account
  • Recently ordered items
  • Address Book with unlimited addresses
  • Default Billing and Shipping addresses
  • Wishlist with ability to add comments
  • Email or Send RSS feed of Wishlist
  • Newsletter Subscription management
  • Product Reviews submitted
  • Product Tags submitted

CATALOG MANAGEMENT

  • Inventory Management with Backordered items, Minimum and Maximum quantities
  • Batch Import and Export of catalog
  • Batch Updates to products in admin panel
  • Google Base Integration
  • Simple, Configurable (e.g. size, color, etc.), Bundled and Grouped Products
  • Virtual Products
  • Downloadable/Digital Products
  • Customer Personalized Products – upload text for embroidery, monogramming, etc.
  • Tax Rates per location, customer group and product type
  • Attribute Sets for quick product creation of different item types
  • Create Store-specific attributes on the fly
  • Media Manager with automatic image resizing and watermarking
  • Advanced Pricing Rules and support for Special Prices (see marketing tools)
  • Search Results rewrites and redirects
  • Approve, Edit and Delete Product Tags
  • Approve, Edit and Delete Product Reviews
  • RSS feed for Low Inventory Alerts Customer Personalized Products – Upload text for embroidery, monogramming, etc. (this one is already there, but want to have the following shown after it)
  • Customer Personalized Products – Upload Image
  • Customer Personalized Products – Select Date/Time options for products
  • Customer Sorting – Define Attributes for Customer
  • Sorting on category (price, brand, etc.)

PRODUCT BROWSING

  • Multiple Images Per Product
  • Product Image Zoom-in Capability
  • Product Reviews
  • Related Products
  • Stock Availability
  • Multi-Tier Pricing Upsell
  • Product Option Selection
  • Grouped Products View
  • Add to Wishlist
  • Send to a Friend with Email

CATALOG BROWSING

  • Layered / Faceted Navigation for filtering of products in categories
  • Layered / Faceted Navigation for filtering of products in search results
  • Flat Catalog Module for Improved Performance with large catalogs
  • Static Block tool to create category landing pages
  • Ability to assign designs on category and product level (unique design per product/category)
  • Configurable search with auto-suggested terms
  • Recently viewed products
  • Product comparisons
  • Recently compared products
  • Cross-sells, Up-sells and Related Items
  • Popular Search Terms Cloud
  • Filter by Product Tags
  • Product Reviews
  • Product listing in grid or list format
  • Breadcrumbs

Talk to us about migrating your store today.

We can also help you in:

  • Migration from Zen-Cart/osCommerce to Magento
  • Migration from CS-Cart/X-Cart to Magento
  • Migration from Virtuemart to Magento
  • Migration from Volusion to Magento
  • Migration from Prestashop to Magento
  • Migration from Opencart to Magento
  • Migration from legacy custom shopping carts (PHP or ASP) to Magento platform