If you are at all familiar with Magento, then you already know it’s one of the most powerful e-commerce platforms available. Like many other e-commerce platforms, Magento is packed with native features that make it easier to get a store up and running online.
However, because every online business is different, it’s impossible for Magento to offer every single thing you need to get your business running “just right.” To fill in the gaps and customize your experience appropriately, Magento has a marketplace full of extensions that can enhance everything from the customer’s order experience to your management of incoming orders and inventory on the backend.
Although there are thousands of extensions available, only a select few are likely to be useful for your e-commerce store. Here are some of the top extensions you should consider using with your Magento store.
1. MageMonkey for email marketing
MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing platforms available today, and even the biggest names in e-commerce rely on it. MageMonkey allows you seamlessly integrate your Magento store with a MailChimp account so you can synchronize new subscriber lists. You can also generate custom fields to monitor different subscriber attributes, and segment your lists based on these different demographics.
With segmented lists, you can create more targeted email campaigns that will have a higher likelihood of success with your audience. Creating relevant emails can generate up to 18x more revenue than a generalized email blast, so keep the MageMonkey extension in mind for supercharging your email marketing efforts on Magento.
2. WordPress Integration for blogging
Businesses that prioritize blogging as the primary component in their marketing strategy are 13x more likely to see positive returns on their investments. This extension integrates your WordPress blog with your Magento store, giving you one-click access to your content platform. You can also carry over the theme for your store to maintain visual consistency with your brand’s blog.
Not only is WordPress Integration able to link products to specific content posts on your WordPress blog, but it also supports the majority of popular WordPress plugins.
3. Yotpo for reviews
Yotpo added a lot of new features recently, but the core benefit of this extension that you should include in your e-commerce store is the reviews section. Yotpo reviews are visually appealing, they’re easy to manage, and they add a next-level element of social proof that is critical to convincing more customers to follow through with a purchase.
Social proof has a measurable impact in the checkout process, as 92% of customers trust reviews from their peers over any other kind of advertising.
4. MatrixRate for more shipping options
Shipping issues are one of the primary causes of cart abandonment. When you give customers multiple shipping options to reduce shipping costs, they will be far more likely to complete your checkout process rather than seeking out cheaper alternatives from one of your competitors.
MatrixRate is a shipping extension on Magento that lets you offer multiple shipping options to customers based on their location, and you can also offer different rates based on the order’s destination, weight, quantity, and shipping method used.
5. Speedster – Fooman for improved site speed
Site speed (how quickly your website loads) has a significant impact on your organic search visibility. When product pages and other landing pages fail to load quickly for visitors, it can be detrimental to your conversion rates. Even a mere one-second delay in loading a page can reduce your conversions by as much as 7%.
Speedster combines scripts in the background, enabling faster execution so webpages will load more quickly for your customers. This extension reduces the total size of files on your site, as well as the number of HTTP requests. Speedster can also be fully automated once it’s installed so you never have to go back and tamper with options to ensure faster load times.
6. Google Tag Manager for remarketing and tracking
Usually you need to manually add tags to the code on your website, depending on the third-party resource you’re using. With Google Tag Manager, however, you can easily update tags and code snippets for simplified integration with Google Remarketing, Facebook Pixels, conversion tracking in Facebook, and more.
Along with snippets, the Google Tag Manager extension will monitor user behavior throughout your site and feed that data back through your snippets to systems like Facebook to improve your remarketing campaigns.
7. RewardStream for referral marketing
Referrals can drive serious business to your e-commerce store. According to a 2016 report from Nielsen, 82% of Americans reportedly seek recommendations from friends and family when they’re considering a purchase.
67% of consumers also say they are more likely to purchase a product after a friend or family member shares it with them online.
You can leverage the power of referrals through an extension like RewardStream’s Refer-a-Friend. The rewards program makes it easier for customers to refer their friends and family, and they’ll receive automatic rewards for doing so. It’s a great way to incentivize and delight your current customers, which builds their lifetime value while adding new customers to your sales funnel.
8. BankPayment for more payment options
One of the simplest ways to get more customers to purchase from your e-commerce store is to offer them multiple payment options. This can greatly reduce friction during checkout and build trust in your brand. One study shows that 56% of consumers expect to have a variety of options when checking out from an online store.
You probably have a merchant card processor already in place, but you can enhance that with the BankPayment extension. This allows your customers to pay through a direct bank or wire transfer. It’s a great alternative for large-volume or high-value B2C purchases, as well as B2B e-commerce transactions that demand more payment flexibility.
9. eBay Amazon Magento Integration for selling on other major sites
Driving customers to your e-commerce store is an ongoing challenge for most retailers, and it often results in greater ad spends on Google’s PPC platform and social ads. A cheaper alternative that will still get your products in front of several prospects is to expand into additional marketplaces.
This integration extension simplifies the process of selling your products on major sites like eBay and Amazon. You will have access to a centralized data management system which will allow you to easily control the order, import, and stock levels that are otherwise automatically synchronized. You’ll also get unlimited stores and accounts once you configure the extension, allowing you to streamline everything from a single dashboard.
10. Blog – Community Edition for blogging
If you’re not a fan of WordPress or you simply don’t use the platform, the Blog extension could be a good alternative. With simplified integration, it offers all the benefits of content marketing within your own Magento store. Blog is also loaded with useful features such as categories, simple editor tools, menu and display customization, widget integration, content tagging, comments, and more.
Blogging is a worthwhile investment for any business, especially since there are few costs aside from the time it takes you to produce new content. The benefits outweigh the costs, as companies that blog get 97% more links to their websites than those that don’t utilize content marketing.
There is simply no better way to develop a natural link profile to help your business gain visibility in the search results.
11. Enhanced Admin Product Grid for product management
A great deal of your time running an e-commerce store is spent behind the scenes, updating content on your website and managing the incoming orders. To simplify the process and make your life easier, you should look into an extension like the Enhanced Admin Product Grid.
It comes packed with awesome features, including a full product search that’s similar to the consumer search functionality, a grid row highlighter, catalog grid thumbnails, mass product refresh, and rapid export options. Take more control over product management and free up more of your time with the help of this nifty extension.
12. Easy Lightbox 2.0 for improving images
The default settings in Magento for zooming in on images can leave a lot to be desired. This is something every e-commerce store should address quickly, as your product images carry considerable weight in the decision-making process.
Your customers can’t pick up and handle a product like they do in a brick-and-mortar store. Because of this, they rely heavily on the visual experience and thorough product descriptions to determine whether the product is a good fit for their needs.
Easy Lightbox 2.0 improves the default image settings on Magento, and presents your product photos in an attractive and engaging lightbox that elevates your products right off the page. You can readily manage lightboxes on product pages using the extension’s widget system.
13. Vertical Navigation for better navigation
For a store with a significant number of items in its inventory, the horizontal navigation toolbar across the top of the site may not be enough. Instead, use Vertical Navigation as a sidebar to help your customers locate the products that they’re looking for.
The Vertical Navigation extension adds a vertical menu on the side of your site, which will improve the navigation process for customers and ultimately reduce friction during checkout.
Reducing the number of clicks it takes to complete a purchase can have a dramatic impact on conversions. Help more of your customers expedite the shopping experience by adding a vertical menu similar to those used by major brands and marketplaces like Amazon.
14. ShipWorks to coordinate sales across channels
There’s no shortage of shipping platforms available to help streamline your fulfillment process on Magento, but ShipWorks is a top contender in terms of features and functionality. While many e-commerce platforms let you ship from within their systems, this is a little more complicated if you’re selling products through multiple channels.
ShipWorks integrates all of your marketplace channels, synchronizing with the online stores to funnel your orders in from every channel into a single fulfillment center. You can even manage all of your carriers from a single dashboard and adjust shipments on the fly. It’s a powerful shipping platform for any e-commerce store trying to coordinate sales across multiple channels.
15. Google Analytics+ – Fooman to track the success of campaigns
Every marketing and business operations decision you make should be driven by data, to ensure the most profitable outcome. To accomplish this, you’ll need easy access to the analytics and metrics you track to monitor the success of your campaigns.
Fooman provides a Google Analytics extension that monitors your data on the Magento e-commerce platform itself. Creating a customized and comprehensive sales funnel is a breeze, and you also have the option to set up goal tracking to pinpoint exactly where you’re losing customers.
If you are running multiple storefronts, you can even track secondary profiles and combine multiple sites into a single analytics account. AdWords conversions can be compared with conversions brought in by other paid campaigns, and you’ll be able to use dynamic remarketing tags as well.
16. Flagbit Change Attribute Set for more flexible product attributes
Some of the most frustrating limitations for e-commerce store owners are the fixed attributes on products (such as color, size, width, height, etc.) that can’t be modified once a product page has been created. Fortunately, the Flagbit Change Attribute Set extension can override this restriction in Magento and put you back in control by allowing you to change attribute sets for your products whenever you want to.
17. PDF Catalog to create a digital catalog
Once upon a time, brands sent out product-centric catalogs featuring beautiful images and product models that drove foot traffic into their stores. With PDF Catalog, you can replicate this process for your digital marketing campaigns.
Create clean, product-focused PDFs for digital promotions or use these PDFs as sell sheets to guide your sales team. For B2B e-commerce stores, this kind of professional presentation highlights the benefits alongside product images to improve closure rates. You can choose from pre-existing templates or customize your own so that your sell sheet or catalog 100% fits your brand’s style.
18. One Page Checkout to reduce the steps in the checkout process
Web-based forms of any kind are transactions in and of themselves, separate from the actual checkout process. When you ask for a lot of information upfront or if you have a multi-step checkout process, you could be increasing the odds of cart abandonment occurring.
A common method for reducing friction with consumers is to minimize the number of clicks involved, as well as the amount of information you’re attempting to gather during the checkout process. The Baymard Institute reported that more than 60% of e-commerce sites ask customers for information that is “seemingly unnecessary.” While it may seem relevant to you, your customers might not feel the same way.
Reduce the steps required by using the simple One Page Checkout extension to cut your checkout down to just a single page. Gather only the information you absolutely need to complete the sale; you can always ask for more information later on through customer surveys and interactive content.
19. Email Attachments – Fooman to attach PDFs to automated emails
When customers complete their orders, your Magento store automatically sends out receipts. Confirmation emails for shipping and next-step notifications in fulfillment can also be added in order to keep the customer informed.
With the Email Attachments extension from Fooman, you can add more value to outbound customer emails. If certain products have digital instructions or other kinds of content, attach them to confirmation emails. You can also attach sales and wholesale materials in PDF format to your outbound emails.
Want to promote specific products? Create a PDF catalog to send as an attachment with confirmation emails. This is a smart, zero-cost way to turn customers on to products they might not have known you carried.
20. Notify to display recent orders from other customers
We previously discussed the importance of social proof and the impact reviews can have on the acquisition of new customers. Notify is an extension that takes social proof to a whole new level.
Notify generates non-intrusive pop-ups on your site for shoppers. These notifications display products that were recently purchased by other customers on your site. By popping up during the shopping experience, Notify introduces new customers to new products. The fact that these products are being purchased by other customers can positively influence the prospective customer’s purchase decision, leading to a new purchase and even a possible increase in average order value.
21. Pickup at Event to allow customers to pick up their purchase
Most e-commerce platforms are designed with online retail in mind. The same could be said for the bulk of the extensions and applications. But there are also a large number of retailers that operate brick-and-mortar businesses while also selling products online.
The Pickup at Event extension is perfect not only for retailers, but also for organizations that set up point-of-sale locations at tradeshows and other community events. Let your customers pre-purchase products online through your Magento store, set the products aside, and they can simply drop by and pick up the items in person. For events where inventory might be limited, this is a great way to let customers secure coveted products and avoid missing out on a great deal.
22. Facebook Store Application for selling on Facebook
You’re not limited to selling through your Magento store or even other online marketplaces. As social media has evolved, the ability to sell products directly to your social followers has added another channel to position your products in front of loyal fans and prospects alike.
This extension from StoreYa automatically imports your Magento store inventory, plugging all the relevant data into Facebook for you. Your fully-customized store will be up in record time on Facebook, and you can start promoting specials and calls-to-action immediately.
23. Related Products Manager to show customers similar items
If one of your primary goals for your e-commerce store is growing revenue, then you’ll want to look into this extension. Using existing shopper data and in-cart behavior, Related Products Manager automatically generates related items. Your customers will experience upsell and cross-sell opportunities without requiring you to manually choose which products get promoted.
Featuring upsell items can increase the average order value in your store across the board, lifting your revenue without the added expense of new inbound marketing campaigns or paid advertising.
24. Google Shopping Feed to show products in Google search results
You don’t want to pass up an extension that’s endorsed by the folks over at Google. Increasing your visibility is a big part of success in e-commerce, and many online retailers do this through branded channel marketing and selling on multiple marketplaces.
Don’t forget that search is a big source for traffic to your online store. With the Google Shopping Feed extension, your products can appear when people search for specific types of products. This allows a variety of non-branded searches to direct people back to your Magento store.
25. Top Seller for featuring particular products
Whether you’re moving and rotating out products, featuring a special promotion, or want to highlight the top sellers, this extension can boost product’s visibility by getting those featured items in front of customers.
Top Seller allows you to rotate your top selling products, featured listings, new or recently launched products, top-viewed products, and recently ordered products. Each of these categories can be highlighted and presented on your homepage or other landing pages. For click-and-mortar businesses or those with multi-store operations, you can turn the feature on or off, depending on the location where the customer completes their purchase.
Go forth and sell
The Magento marketplace has thousands of extensions and applications that cover everything from the customer experience to site management, third-party app integration, marketing, shipping, customer service, and more.
The extensions we’ve featured can go a long way toward providing better service and fulfillment for your customers, as well as streamlining your operations to improve your business’ overall efficiency. Most importantly, each extension brings unique value to your e-commerce business and can have a positive impact on your bottom line by lifting conversions and reducing overhead costs.
Do you have any Magento extensions for your store that you absolutely cannot live without? Share them with us in the comments below and let us know how they benefit your business.