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April 15, 2015

Making the most of Magento Enterprise

We have the pleasure of talking to a wide range of exciting businesses about their Magento solutions.

We often find those using Magento Enterprise Edition are not using it to its full potential in order to generate the best return on their investment. Magento Enterprise Edition requires an annual licence fee and that investment can pay for itself and then some: You just need to make the most of those additional features! Here I will talk about some of the features we find are often underutilised.

Customer segmentation

This is one area which personally, I have rarely seen users of Magento Enterprise Edition make use of. Segmenting your customer data is very important as it gives you the ability to target your marketing efforts more effectively toward the customers who would actually be interested in the product you are marketing. Think about it; have you ever received an email which was totally irrelevant to you?

I once bought a pair of trainers online (I won’t name names) and one week later I received an email from the same company about ladies UGG boots. This company knows I am male – they had my suffix as ‚ÄòMr’ so they could have easily segmented me to receive emails specifically on my gender. They could have gone one step further and segmented me by the type of trainers I purchased (casual, white trainers) and they could have sent me an email on similar trainers or an offer on trainer wipes or whitener to cross-sell. Consequently, I unsubscribed from the mailing list. This is what you can avoid by correctly segmenting your customer database.

Enterprise makes it easy to segment your customer data by; the customers gender, the area they live in, the products they have purchased, the products they have looked at, their age, the amount they have spent‚ and so on. It is also easy to export this information to a CSV file for use in reports or to upload to your Email Marketing Software (EMS) for more effective target email marketing.

Email reminders

Another common consumer act is to abandon their shopping baskets. There are a lot of reasons that someone may abandon their basket, maybe they became distracted, the price was too high, the cost of delivery caused them to adjourn, whatever their reason for abandoning; it is up to you to entice them back. They are obviously interested in your products as they have taken the time to browse and add them to the basket, you just need to provide a reminder or a tipping point to prompt them to complete the purchase.

Magento Enterprise saves the baskets for logged in users and, based on rules you set, will email the user to remind them of what they have left. In the event that they abandon because of price, you can even add a discount code to your email template if they return within the next 24 hours or time frame set.

There are some very specialised E-mail Service Providers (ESPs) out there but if you are not in the market for one of these you should definitely be making use of this feature.

Category smart rules

A while ago I was responsible for uploading new products into an older version of Magento. I still help clients on occasion when they need an extra hand adding new products. It’s a task which is time consuming and repetitive and I can only wish the Category Smart Rules feature made available with Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14 was there when I sat and added hundreds of products to Magento for a new startup.

Now, it doesn’t add products to Magento for you but what it does do is save you a lot of time, not just for an initial upload of products but an ongoing basis as well. When setup correctly it can manage your categories for you based on a set of rules you provide (i.e. based on the attributes of your product catalogue).

Keeping it simple; say you want to have a category just containing polo shirts, you can set a rule so that Magento only displays ‚ ‘Polo Shirts’ in your category. If you wanted to be more specific you could set it so the category only displayed ‚ ‘Red Polo Shirts’. Or you can be even more granular and set the rule so the category only displays ‚ ‘Men’s Red Polo Shirts’.

Therefore; any products you have in your catalogue or any future products you add with attributes defining the product as being a ‚ ‘Men’s Red Polo Shirt’ will automatically be assigned to that category for you. Saving you from having to tick each individual category you want the product to be in.


* It is worth noting this feature is only available on Magento 1.14 and above.

Virtual gift cards

We’ve all been there, Christmas or someone’s birthday is three days away, you think you know their taste in clothes, accessories, music, games but when you start looking there is too much choice so you turn to the old faithful gift card. Why not? They can get something they want and also have the option to put in a bit of their own money and get something better. Win-win.

Okay, some sites may not sell gift cards dependent on the products they sell or their target audience but there are a lot more companies out there who can offer gift cards but currently don’t. Magento Enterprise gives you the ability to offer virtual gift cards as standard which is an opportunity not to be missed.

It is well known that it takes users more than one shopping trip to redeem the full value of a gift card and often when redeeming gift cards they often spend more than the value of the card itself. According to Synergy World Inc. the average gift card user ends up spending an extra 20% beyond the value of the card with the most common value being £25.00. Plus the balance of gift cards are not always redeemed before the expiry date.


Reward points

You’ve acquired a new customer through your social media efforts or a digital marketing campaign you’re currently running. They’ve purchased a product which they could have easily bought from one of your competitors, but they didn’t, they came to you. Perhaps it was price, word of mouth, the user-friendliness of your site or they were in a rush and didn’t have the time to shop around. Whatever the reason, the main thing is they have bought your product. You have won half the battle.

I say half the battle because getting them back time and time again is the second half. Other than delivering the product, you haven’t really given them a good reason to come back. Yes you delivered the product they wanted and intact, but that’s what they expect from anyone they buy from. That’s the problem with eCommerce, there are few touch points, no friendly smile at the counter or small-talk. You therefore need to make extra efforts to retain loyalty and one way you can do this with Magento Enterprise is by using the Reward Points System.

Reward points on Magento Enterprise can be awarded based on a wide range of transaction and customer activities. They are a great way of gaining repeat purchases but also for extending customer lifetime value.


This isn’t a comprehensive list of the features Magento Enterprise has to offer, these are just a few of the features we feel are underused and serve as a reminder for those considering moving to Magento Enterprise or who already use it to make the most of the built-in features. Magento Enterprise is a great system, especially so if you make the most of its core functionality to really achieve the best returns on your investment.