The new Magento Marketplace
Talking to Magento about the new Magento Marketplace; an interview with Tanya Soroka.
Tanya Soroka is from the Ukraine and has been with Magento for 7 years. Now residing in the United States, she’s the Senior Product Manager for the new Magento Marketplace, which is replacing Magento Connect as the official store for buying and selling Magento extensions.
The new Magento Marketplace was launched at Imagine 2016 with over 150 Magento 2 extensions for sale. We recently sat down with Tanya to find out more.
Hi Tanya. How has the Magento Marketplace been going since it launched?
Very well, thanks. We’ve received lots of positive feedback, and constructive feedback too, on areas where we could improve. It’s been a great start, but this is only the beginning.
We want the Magento Marketplace to be the first destination where merchants and system integrators go to find functionality to extend Magento.
As the product manager, what were your main goals for the Magento Marketplace?
We want the Magento Marketplace to be the first destination where merchants and system integrators go to find functionality to extend Magento. We also want to deliver more revenue to the extension providers. This creates a cycle of supply & demand: higher revenue allows providers to build more extensions, which in turn makes happier merchants who keep coming back to get more functionality for their stores.
How did you go about achieving those goals?
Increasing buyer trust is our main focus. First, we provided a more consistent storefront process for purchasing and installing extensions. Second, we’re making sure that the extensions are more trustworthy. All extensions have to go through a thorough audit before being accepted into Marketplace, so that merchants don’t have to be as concerned about the quality, performance and security of what they’re buying. Thirdly, we’re doing more curation of the extensions to make sure they are better organised and so it is easier for merchants to find what they are looking for.
Increasing buyer trust is our main focus.
Why create Magento Marketplace instead of continuing with Magento Connect?
Magento Connect wasn’t a true marketplace. Magento Marketplace is designed from the ground up to serve the three foundations of a true marketplace:
1) The extension providers – to help sell their products & services.
2) The extension purchasers – in buying the product & services.
3) The marketplace platform itself – to promote and protect both sides in the exchange, and to create a great user experience throughout the process.
When will Magento Connect be closed down?
Magento Connect will remain open until all the Magento 1 extensions are migrated to the new Marketplace. It will take some time because all of the Magento 1 extensions need to be reviewed to meet the requirements of the Magento Marketplace extension quality program. This also means that some lower-quality or duplicate extensions will not be migrated over, unless they are updated to meet the new criteria. We’ll be sure to give both merchants and extension providers plenty of notice throughout the process before Magento Connect is closed down.
Passing level two of the quality program enables the provider to earn a ‘Top Quality’ badge on their extension.
Tell us about the Extension Quality Program for the new Marketplace.
We have two levels of quality. All submissions must pass level one, which is broken into three areas:
- The Business review checks that the extension provides real business value to the merchants, and that it has unique functionality that doesn’t duplicate existing extensions.
- The Technical review validates the package construction and coding standards, scans for security issues and malware, and checks for plagiarism.
- The Marketing review checks that the marketing guidelines are met for the extension’s description, company information, and the usage of the Magento brand & logo.
Passing Level Two of the quality program enables the provider to earn a ‘Top Quality’ badge on their extension. It’s required for all extensions submitted by Magento Partners, but other providers can be invited from Magento to participate. Level Two verification does a deeper dive into the coding standards, functional testing, security, and documentation of the extension.
If I want to develop a new Magento extension, what advice do you have?
First off, we’re looking for the highest quality extensions which provide the best functionality and user experience for Magento merchants. The best way to start is to survey the landscape and find gaps in the market. Look for a common problem that most merchants face but haven’t been addressed yet. Based on the feedback we’ve received from merchants, there are several areas with room for new extensions:
- Payments & Taxes
- Point of Service (POS)
- Multi Channel Feeds & Affiliates
- Customer Service & Live Chat
- Product Information Management (PIM)
- Business-to-business (Please be sure to contact email@example.com for B2B extension design criteria)
Once you’ve identified the problem that you want to solve, the next step is to ensure the extension is relevant. Create differentiation in your extension to make it stand out from others, and so that it targets the right market. Also remember that user experience is just as important as functionality when creating differentiation.
The most successful extensions tend to ‘over-inform’ their customers.
When the extension is released, be open with your customers. Provide comprehensive documentation and examples, especially if the extension is quite technical. The most successful extensions tend to “over-inform” their customers, and give very fast feedback on customer support issues.
Be sure to build a relationship with the Magento Marketplace team. The more we understand your product and market, the better we’ll be able to position your product on the Marketplace.
How do extension providers earn revenue on the new Magento Marketplace?
Payouts to providers are based on a 70/30 revenue sharing model. Magento’s 30% is used to cover the costs of credit card processing fees, the extension quality reviews, and investing in the marketing of the site to generate more revenues. Payouts to the providers are in US Dollars for now, but we’re looking to make payouts in local currencies.
What kind of marketing investments are you making to promote the Magento Marketplace?
The Marketplace team is focusing on demand generation to attract more merchants to the Marketplace through a variety of marketing initiatives such as email campaigns, trade shows and conferences, and strategic partnerships. We are also looking to expand the reach of our capability to promote marketplace listings on more search engines.
What are your next steps for the Magento Marketplace?
We are continuing to improve the searching & browsing of extensions on the website, so that merchants can find what they’re looking for. We’re also working on a Developer Dashboard with notifications for orders, questions & answers, and returns & refund confirmations.
In the longer term we’re looking at integration with third-party search engines, shortening the approval process time for new submissions, and of course migrating the Magento 1 extensions as soon as possible.
As a merchant, what if I can’t find the extension that I’m looking for?
We love this kind of feedback! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what extensions you are looking for. This helps us improve our search and organisation of the Marketplace. And if no extension exists, we can let the developer community know that there is a demand for creating it.
Thanks for your time, Tanya!
My pleasure, and here’s a list of references for the Magento Marketplace to help the readers.
Technical review overview
Marketing review overview
Magento 2.x submissions:
Magento 2.x coding standards
Magento 2.x package validation self-check
Verify your extension versions
Magento 1.x submissions:
Magento 1.x package validation: Use System > Magento Connect > Package Extensions
Magneto 1.x coding standards: see the ECG code sniffs to verify the quality of the extensions