A former teacher, Matt now specializes in R&D for ecommerce business owners and helps guide merchants in understanding the importance of this digital-first world.
Even if you’re just getting started in the world of eCommerce, you’ve probably heard of Magento.
And with good reason:
The eCommerce giant has earned the #1 spot on Internet Retailer’s Top 1000 List for the past six years running. With over 250,000 merchants (12% of the eCommerce industry) conducting over $155 billion worth of annual transactions on the platform, there’s no denying the validity of this accomplishment.
Magento makes it easy for even newbie entrepreneurs to quickly get a basic eCommerce store up and running. However, most serious business owners will soon realize they need much more than the “vanilla” version of the platform to supercharge their online efforts.
Which is where Magento’s various extensions come in.
What are Magento Extensions?
Magento Extensions are third-party apps or plugins that enhance the functionality of your eCommerce store (or your overall business processes) in some way.
Some extensions operate mainly on the backend, while others have more overt, customer-facing uses. More often than not, the best Magento extensions provide a combination of sorts, performing a specific set of tasks while also integrating with your company’s other processes.
For this article, we collected information on the most popular extensions on Magento’s Marketplace in the following categories:
- Content Presentation and Customization
- Customer Support
- Marketing & Sales
- Payments, Shipping, and Fulfillment
- Reporting & Analytics
For each entry, we’ll give a brief overview of what the plugin actually does, discuss any outstanding value it may provide, and mention any caveats you might need to know before using a specific tool.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Magento Extensions for Accounting
A number of Magento extensions focus on automating and otherwise streamlining accounting processes, such as recording transactions and enforcing tax laws as applicable.
- Automate the accurate application of sales tax to a given transaction
- Sync sales data between your eCommerce site and third-party marketplaces you operate on
- Log sales and tax-related data for easy retrieval come tax time
TaxJar can allow eCommerce companies that do business in a variety of jurisdictions to take control of their sales tax processes, both internally and customer-facing. TaxJar’s regularly-updated database of tax laws include documentation from over 30 countries, so you’ll almost never have to manually assign sales tax to your online customers again.
While TaxJar is pretty easy to pick up and run with, though, some users report that its customer service team can be slow to respond at times. Still, instances when the support team is needed are few and far between.
2. Quickbooks Desktop by MagenestFor eCommerce owners who use Quickbooks for accounting purposes, this extension is a must-have.
Magenest’s Quickbook Desktop integrates with your Quickbooks account, ensuring that data related to sales, orders, invoices, credit memos, and inventory all remain synced between platforms.
You can also manage product- or category-specific fees on both platforms all at once; for example, if offering a promotion on your eCommerce site through Magento, the discounted price will be automatically reflected in your Quickbooks documentation.
Magenest’s extension also allows for a high level of customization, as well. While some users report that customization often requires assistance from the company’s customer support staff, the service provided by the team is superb.
Magento Extensions for Content Presentation and Customization
Making it easy for visitors to navigate your site—and providing value to them at every corner—are essentially the name of the game in the world of eCommerce.
That being the case, you’ll want to check out the following Magento apps that focus on making your customer experience a memorable one.
Using powerful artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, Nosto analyzes your customers’ on-site actions and engagement history to deliver offers, content, and promotions that fit their individual expectations.
Nosto automatically delivers this content at just the right time, offering:
- Product recommendations on product pages
- Discounts via popups throughout your eCommerce site
- Dynamic or otherwise personalized content via email
Many of Nosto’s users say the extension has allowed them to transform the way they engage with their customers—without having to completely overhaul their processes.
Nosto offers a variety of subscription plans, going as far as to offer an “Incubator Plan” focused on helping small startups get their business’ off the ground.
With Layered Navigation implemented on your site, your customers can browse through your product catalog for products that fit a specific criteria. This may include narrowing their search by:
Companies can also promote specific brands within the displayed results as customers narrow their search. This can allow you to point your visitors toward specific items that meet the criteria they’ve set for their potential purchase.
Amasty’s extension also allows companies to get more granular in their product classifications, allowing for advanced customization as needed. The software also automates SEO processes when categorizing products, ensuring for maximum navigability and visibility of your site’s content.
Advanced Reviews allows you to capitalize on social proof by collecting and presenting reviews of your products or services throughout your eCommerce website.
You can use Advanced Reviews to collect customer feedback either directly on your website or via automated email. Once a review is submitted, it will be collected and stored with all other incoming reviews for your team to manage as needed. This makes it easy for your team to filter out spam and other irrelevant messages, and also allows them to quickly reach out to respondents who may be in need of further assistance.
Your customers can then engage with other customer reviews in a couple ways. Before making a purchase, they can, of course, consult current reviews for further information regarding the product in question. After they’ve made a purchase, customers can also vote on the value of a given review (further verifying this social proof to other potential customers in the process).
Magento Extensions for Customer Support
Customer service and support are complex operations that can easily get overwhelming if not properly managed.
Which is why there are a number of extensions for Magento that help your team collect and organize service and support inquiries, and follow through with the provision of said service.
6. LiveChatLiveChat enables your service, support, and sales team to communicate with visitors to your site in real-time.
With LiveChat, you can proactively reach out to your visitors with discounts and promotions, or simply to offer assistance as necessary. Or, you can take a more reactive approach, allowing your visitors to take the first step in contacting your team if need be. LiveChat also integrates with a variety of tools, such as Facebook Messenger, MailChimp, and Hubspot CRM.
LiveChat also allows you to collect data regarding your vistors’ on-site experiences by tracking their on-site behavior, and by automatically soliciting feedback from those who engage with your team through the extension. This data can help you improve your customer service and support initiatives, as well as your overall customer experience.
Once you have Help Desk Ultimate set up, your customers will be able to open a support ticket via email, a contact form on your site, or through their individual customer account pages. From there, inquiries are sent to a single, centralized inbox, where your team can prioritize and assign each incoming request as necessary.
(Help Desk Ultimate also allows your customers to mark their tickets based on need, priority, and other factors, as well.)
The software also provides in-depth reporting with regard to your customer service and support efforts. With this information in hand, you can begin making specific improvements to these initiatives as needed (such as improving response time, time to resolution, etc.)—and can also help you ensure your customers don’t even need to reach out to you in the first place.
8. Manage ContactUs by Pennywise Solutions Private LimitedManage ContactUs enhances your ability to organize and engage with messages incoming from your on-site contact form in one centralized location.
Once a message comes in, your team can view and reply to it directly in your Magento backend, and can assign it to a specific team member as appropriate. You can also assign permissions to a specific message, ensuring that multiple team members don’t accidentally pick up the same request.
Though a relatively simple and straightforward solution, Manage ContactUs does provide automation in the form of templated email responses to be sent to customers who reach out to your team. Manage ContactUs also provides multistore support, allowing those who manage multiple stores to keep all their Contact Us messages in one place (while still keeping each audience base separated).
Magento Extensions for Marketing & Sales
Simply having an eCommerce website isn’t enough to get your target audience to engage with your brand.
And, even after they’ve landed on your website, there’s no guarantee they’ll actually make a purchase.
(And, even if they do that, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to stick around forever.)
To keep your prospective and current customers fully-engaged and ready to do business with your brand, you’ll want to utilize some of the following Magento extensions.
9. Google ShoppingFor eCommerce companies selling physical products, generating a strong presence on Google Shopping is all but a prerequisite for success.
For one thing, Google is the most-used search engine in the world by far. From a simple “numbers game” perspective, it just makes sense you’d want your products and your brand to be as visible as possible on the platform.
More importantly, those who use Google Shopping specifically are almost certainly in “buyer’s mode” when doing so. That is, they’re much more likely to be looking to make a purchase than the average individual using Google’s basic search function. This is one of the key reasons Google Shopping ad campaigns see about eight times the ROAS of text-based Google Ads.
The Sales & Orders team can help you get your Google Shopping initiatives up and running, and will continue to assist you as you adjust and improve your campaigns over time. You can use our Universal Product Feed Tool to get started.
10. CleverReachCleverReach is a Magento extension that enables you to create newsletters, announcements, and other promotional emails tailored to your individual customers.
CleverReach collects a combination of on-site behavioral and transactional data on your individual customers and segments, making it easy for your team to create email content that resonates heavily with them.
(You can also use the extension dynamic content functionality to automatically generate highly-targeted email content using your current content library and ongoing promotions.)
As you look back on your email campaigns, you can get an overview of how these initiatives played out using CleverReach’s conversion tracking tool. You can also split-test multiple versions of the same email to get a more clear idea of just what your audience is looking for from your promotional campaigns.
11. Fresh RelevanceFresh Relevance focuses on spurring engagement and driving loyalty among your customer base through real-time personalization on a number of levels.
With Fresh Relevance, you can set promotions, offers, and other content to be delivered to your customers automatically based on behavioral triggers. This includes:
- Showcasing relevant product recommendations on certain product pages on your site
- Presenting social proof, countdown timers, and other on-site widgets to nurture prospects toward conversion
- Sending cart abandonment and other follow-up emails to get lost prospects back on track
Fresh Relevance integrates with all email service providers and marketing platforms, ensuring that all data collected through the extension remains up-to-date and accessible at all times.
12. Ultimate Reward Point by MagenestMagenest’s Ultimate Reward Point aims to help eCommerce owners increase customer retention by creating an engaging loyalty program.
With Ultimate Reward Point, you can easily create a loyalty program tailored specifically to your audience and niche. Depending on what you sell, how your customers engage with your brand, and other such factors, you can develop unique rules, goals, and rewards for your program that keep your customers engaged—and keep profits going up.
Managers and owners have full visibility of customer accounts within Ultimate Reward Point, allowing them to:
- Ensure accuracy (and honest use of the program on the part of the customer)
- View program-related activity for individual customers
- Assess the overall effectiveness of the program (and make improvements as needed)
Magento Extensions for Payments, Shipping and Fulfillment
A huge part of operating a successful eCommerce business is ensuring your transactional and logistical processes consistently run like clockwork.
The customer-facing extensions we’ll be discussing in this section allow your clientele to quickly and easily navigate their path to purchase in a variety of ways. The ones focusing on internal operations focusing on automating and otherwise streamlining the behind-the-scenes processes that allow your team to fulfill your customers’ orders exactly as expected.
Rather than forcing customers to go page-by-page through the various stages of checkout, the extension allows you to present all relevant forms and information on a single page for customers who decide to go the “one-step” method. From this single page, they can enter contact and delivery details, edit their cart, and apply coupons or other discounts—then immediately confirm their purchase.
Smart One Step Checkout also provides in-depth reports regarding checkout and cart abandonment data, allowing you to assess the effectiveness of your one-step checkout offer. By tweaking the appearance and functionality of this process over time, you’ll further streamline the process for your customers—and make them even more likely to convert from the start.
Once the extension is integrated with your Magento account, your customers will also be able to take control of their recurring orders directly on your site. Not only will this allow them to make applicable changes quickly and at their convenience, but it also means your team won’t need to be on-hand for every change your customers might need to make.
Additionally, Subscribe Pro allows you to create transactional emails to be sent automatically to customers after an order is placed, or after they take a specific action relating to their order. Since the extension syncs with your product feeds and promotional campaigns, you can set these emails to present certain offers as appropriate.
Which is exactly what Amasty Store Pickup allows you to do.
After integrating the extension, your online customers will be provided the option of picking up their order in-person—and can customize their preferences accordingly. For example, you may allow your customers to choose a specific location for delivery, or request that their order be ready for pickup at a specific time. You can also provide payment options to your customers who decide to initiate an order online, but complete it in person.
To optimize your internal processes, Amasty’s extension allows you to customize delivery rules for specific audience segments. In turn, you’ll be able to fulfill each of your pickup orders in a logistically-sound, convenient manner.
16. Order Management by MageworxMageworx aims to help eCommerce companies gain more control over their incoming orders to be processed in a variety of ways.
In terms of customer and order details, Mageworx leaves no stone unturned: The extension adds 28 extra columns of information to Magento’s Sales-Order grid. This allows you to organize and analyze your incoming orders based on a wide spectrum of factors.
(You can also hide irrelevant or unnecessary data columns as needed, too.)
Order Management also allows you to make changes to your incoming orders if necessary—both individually and in bulk. This flexibility helps ensure that any orders being processed for delivery are put on the best possible track to the end-user.
17. ShippingEasyShippingEasy’s goal is simple:
Make sure all the “little things” are in place that will allow your outgoing orders to actually be delivered.
More specifically, ShippingEasy automates the processes involved in:
- Selecting the optimal carrier for a specific order
- Printing labels, packing slips, and pick lists to be included with each order
- Confirming receipt and shipment of orders to customers via email
The extension also provides in-depth reporting for both inventory management and customer outreach. This will help you stay ahead of any demand-related trends that may be forecasted for your industry in the near future.
Magento Extensions for Reporting & Analytics
Finally, there are a number of Magento extensions on the market that allow you to gauge your company’s overall performance as a brand and as a business.
In doing so, you can pinpoint both strengths and weaknesses throughout your organization that may impact your overall business is more ways than you’d imagined. In turn, you’ll be able to make changes and improvements as necessary throughout your organization that can lead to an enhanced experience for your customers—and more revenue for your business.
Advanced Reports’ main dashboard provides instant visibility into a variety of sales-related metrics, such as:
- Number of orders placed (and number of items ordered)
- Total revenues for all orders (and average order value)
- Potential lost sales and revenue numbers (e.g., abandoned carts, refunds, etc.)
You can also assess the above metrics and more for specific audience segments, or based on specific criteria. By applying multiple filters to your sales data, you can get a more granular understanding of who your best customers are—and what keeps them coming back to your company time after time.
19. HumCommerceHumCommerce aims to help eCommerce companies improve conversion rates by improving their overall on-site experience.
The first step toward doing so—which is where HumCommerce comes in—is knowing how your customers actually engage with your site. To help you figure all this out, HumCommerce collects and presents information in the form of:
- Heatmaps detecting on-screen activity
- Visitor session recordings showing visitors’ on-site pathways
- Conversion funnel visualization
This allows your team to better understand what about your online customer experience gets some visitors to convert—and what turns others off. By using HumCommerce’s split-testing feature in conjunction with its real-time data reporting, you’ll easily be able to optimize the various aspects of your site to your target audience’s liking.
With Mopinion Feedback Survey, you can create questionnaires discussing your customers’ overall experience with your site and brand, or you can focus on more specific areas of the experience as needed.
Surveys can be presented automatically based on timing or behavioral trigger ensuring you reach a specific visitor at the optimal time. Your visitors can then provide feedback as they wish, complete with screenshots to further explain their comments.
Once you’ve collected survey responses, Mopinion provides a customizable dashboard that allows you to organize your data based on your current needs. Additionally, Mopinion’s sentiment analysis technology automatically discerns the context behind certain comments—allowing you to quickly make sense of a ton of customer information as it comes in.
Taking full advantage of your eCommerce platform of choice is one of the keys to running a successful online business.
Whether aiming to increase traffic, drive more sales, or streamline your internal processes, Magento’s Marketplace offers the extensions and plugins that will fit your growing business needs.
We at Sales & Orders can also help you drive more traffic to your website and spur your sales numbers by helping you gain traction on Google Shopping, Instagram, and many more of today’s most lucrative online retail platforms.
Request a complimentary demo to see how our eCommerce marketing software can help you stay ahead of the competition.