MAGENTO COMMERCE EXTENSIONS – TOP 10 BEST FREE: WHAT DID USERS SAY?
In this day and age, e-commerce development is a must for every business that wants to take benefits from the rise of the Internet. Magento – one of the best e-commerce platform, is a wise choice that should never be overlooked. However, to make a website really become “your website”, you need to build it base on your requirements, which can be satisfied by adding Magento commerce extensions one by one.
In this article, CO-WELL will summarize users’ reviews about top 10 free Magento commerce extensions that rated by users. They can be free, but we are sure that they work.
1. Why Magento commerce extensions?
As we have mentioned, Magento extensions are essential if you want your website to meet the demand of both your company and your customers.
The word “extension” itself expresses that it can “extend” or add extra functions to your e-commerce store. From reminding about abandoned carts to calculating sales tax, extensions are indispensable elements to boost your online business.
2. Top 10 free Magento commerce extensions for different areas
- Developer: Yotpo
- Particular purpose: Customer relationship management (CRM)
Yotpo helps brands easily collect and leverage customer reviews and photos throughout the buyer journey to increase trust, social proof, and sales. With Yotpo, businesses can collect user-generated content and use it to build a stronger brand and better customer experience.
- How it works:
First, Yotpo enables customers to write reviews, ask questions, and upload photos in the customer journey. Then, businesses display that content on-site, establishing trust and increasing conversion rates. And finally, businesses use customer content to boost search their ranking, enhance paid ad performance, drive traffic from social networks, and more.
- Pros: According to a user’s comment on Magento Marketplace, Yotpo is:
“+ Easy to install
+ Optimize For Mobile: All of Yotpo’s features are mobile-friendly. When businesses send review requests, mobile users can leave reviews without ever leaving their email app.
+ Nice design: Customization of widget onsite, you can input your exact color to use for the text, review title, etc. You really can make the widget fit into the theme of your store.
+ Notification: About customer notifications, customers can set how many days post-order they would like before Yotpo auto-sends an email to the customer requesting a review. The customer can complete their review right within their email without having to go anywhere else (they can if they choose to). And about admin notifications, when a review is left, you receive an email notification. From there, you can click within the email to “Publish to My Website” (one-click) as well as to “Push to Social” (one-click) which will auto-post it to your Facebook or Twitter accounts per your settings. (Note: these posts as well have a default template you can then edit however you’d like your post to appear)
+ Supportive: “I did have issues on my first day, which appears to have been when they had a planned system outage for some updates (bad timing); either way, every single one of my 4 rather redundant support requests was answered (within 24-hours generally) and addressed professionally.”
+ Yotpo has both free and paid versions, though free version seems quite enough for almost requirements, it is not flawless. “It has a very, very clean layout and is very easy in use. But, the free edition lacks a few ‘simple’ features – like commenting on a review. If you want these extra options, you pay a high price. A very high price. Most of the business wouldn’t be able to spend +300$/month only a review extension (not profitable).”
+ This runs with Java script, “so only our developers can do to speed load times.” Loading time is not really an issue with Yotpo, however, if you want it to work completely smoothly, developers are required.
- Developer: CO-WELL Asia
- Particular purpose: Email marketing
Nowadays, people have many reasons to leave e-commerce websites while online shopping resulting in a large number of pending orders caused by unwelcome interruptions. In order to help lock-in those deals and reduce shopping cart abandonment, that’s why Abandoned Cart Email extension was built.
- How it works
Automatically sends emails to customers who accidentally forgot their selected products based on shop owners’ set conditions such as the number of items in the abandoned cart, value of the order and quantity of selected products in stock. Customers will then receive messages about their abandoned carts, encouraging them to come back to the online store and finish their orders.
+ Boost revenue for sellers as the buyers are encouraged to complete their shopping process
+ Improve shopping experience as the buyers feel valued.
+ Highly customizable: This extension allows you to design email templates, set schedules and make your own rules as well as support you to manage the history of sent emails effectively
+ Easy to use with a premade template
- Cons: Beneficial as it is, this Magento commerce extension pre-made templates are not diverse and well-designed so users need to design or code them.
b. Content & Customization
- Developer: CO-WELL Asia
- Particular purpose: Product content
Drupal is an open-source CMS (Content Management System), which offers a solid platform to create highly advanced websites, while Magento is leading E-commerce platform which has a great reputation for its excellent scalability, features, SEO friendliness, and other market-leading attributes.
Drupal Integration is the ideal solution to capitalize on the power of both Drupal and Magneto in the fierce competition among E-commerce businesses.
- How it works:
Drupal Integration allows you to operate your Drupal site as the back-end and a Magento site as the front-end of your E-commerce platform.
All the data in the Drupal site will be automatically transferred to the Magento site, including images, text, and articles related to the products. The data transfer process is achieved in just a few clicks with easy-to-follow guidelines.
+ Data utilization to reduce development time
If you’ve got some experience in developing a website, then building an entirely new site in a couple of days is totally possible. This means you’re spending less time on the actual implementation work of the site, allowing you to spend more time being creative with your designs. This helps you stand out from the rest of the competition.
+ Organize Content Easily
One of the difficult parts of many CMS tools is the ability to organize your content for later use and recall. Drupal allows you to categorize your content through path URLs, create custom lists, associate content and create defaults. This structure helps you to organize, structure, search, find and reuse content.
+ It fits within your ecosystem: Standing out from other Magento commerce extensions for providing sophisticated content management and digital marketing capabilities, Drupal also enables data modeling and integration with an endless variety of applications and services, which makes it easier to adapt within an organization. This gives organizations a great opportunity to implement functionality in the most appropriate technology and then simply connect to it via web services or other means.
+ A huge community:
With a community of thousands of users that always can report bugs and security threats in a nick of time, security will not become your issue anymore.
+ Compatibility: Since this extension has plenty of new solutions, if you are used to an older system, getting used to its script could take some time.
- Developer: Nosto
- Particular purpose: Personalization & Experience Management
Nosto, a Magento Premier Technology Partner, analyzes hundreds of thousands of data points across your store in real-time, to help you go beyond the numbers and see the individual. Designed for ease of use, Nosto enables marketers to build, launch and optimize powerful 1:1 multi-channel marketing campaigns without the need for dedicated IT resources.
- How it works:
Nosto’s patented technology combines proprietary algorithms and big data analytics to automatically predict the best products and offers for each individual customer based on a moment-by-moment analysis of their unique user behavior.
- Pros: According to users’ comment on Magento Marketplace:
“+ User-friendly: “The site personalization for Magento is fairly easy to use – and it gives our webshop some great options so that customers have better and more relevant product suggestions. You can add rows of recommendations like: “You previously viewed…”, “Customers who looked at this also looked at…”, “Top sellers in this category…”,…. The blocks of recommendations can be modified to fit your shop’s needs, avoid duplications, be relevant to the customers, etc. It does take some thought and consideration before making changes to be sure that the recommendation will do what you want, but Nosto is very eager to help, and to make sure you don’t make any mistakes.”
+ Easy retargeting ads on Facebook, e-mail followup, “We miss you” e-mails,… all with customization options that are easy to set up. Pop-ups are another great feature – we use discount codes to encourage newsletter subscriptions. And the folks at Nosto are very helpful with new ideas, downloadable documents with suggestions, timely hints for improved holiday sales and more.
+ Supportive: “The Nosto team is also very helpful. Unlike may web-based services, with Nosto I have a contact person with a name and a personal e-mail address. This person is proactive, checking in with me periodically about how it is going and what I can do better – and she answers my e-mails within minutes.”
+ And finally, from one small business owner to another, once you get the Nosto recommendations set up and running the way you want them to, you can sit back and focus on other things. The recommendations and other features run in the background and tick along all by themselves. The reporting is clear, and you can see what works – and then just let it run.”
“Nosto is overall a great tool for a Magento webshop, BUT it’s not really working. During the creation of an account it fails, during installation from backend Magento, it fails and so it continues…
I’ll probably get back to this extension later on, but for now, it has way too many bugs.”
“This is a very good add-on but unfortunately it’s not compatible with the new Magento 1.9.2 .”
c. Shipping & fulfillment
- Developer: CO-WELL Asia
- Particular purpose: Address verification
This extension helps to enhance the shopping experience by reducing checkout time. Reports show that customers are more likely to abandon orders at checkout if there are too many information fields to complete. This Magento e-commerce extension helps improve sales performance by simplifying the checkout process.
- How it works:
Global Postcode Finder supports an improved experience for both sellers and buyers. When a customer enters a postcode, several suggestions will be offered, allowing the customer to choose their address, then simply add details such as the house number or building name. Shop owners can use the same function to edit customers’ information.
+ Simplify the checkout process
+ Minimize abandoned carts
+ Reduce manual intervention by administrators
+ Simple installation
- Developer: Shipstation
- Particular purpose: Order Management
ShipStation leads the e-commerce world with web-based software designed to make e-commerce retailers exceptionally efficient at processing, fulfilling, and shipping their orders from all the most popular marketplaces and shopping carts using all the top carriers.
- How it works:
Save time and money with efficient shipping. Sync all your orders from Magento and wherever you sell and start printing labels from all the major carriers with a few clicks.
Shipping can be unnecessarily complicated and inefficient. This Magento commerce extension makes it easy for Magento users to scale their businesses by eliminating those complications. When you install and connect the extension, ShipStation imports your orders. Process your orders with automation rules and flexible workflows and ship them out with the best carrier, service, and rates to fit your needs.
- Pros: The most out-standing pro of this Magento commerce extension is that it is time-saving:
+ Time saving: “This shipping program is really amazing. I have never before witnessed one program like this being a deal changer for our online store. Order processing is so fast that we have completely restructured our online business to utilize these time-saving abilities! And there is so much more built into the program, too, like custom sales reports, a stamps.com account, among other countless added features.”
“Shipstation has been a massive time saver for us, as we are a small business with few employees. It is a very intuitive application that allows us to attach weights to all of our products and it will do the math for us while shipping.”
+ Supportive: “ The support is very friendly and knowledgeable. They have got us up and running in no time at all. I highly recommend this great product. You will not be let down!”
“+ Shipstation is an excellent feature to streamline the shipping process for our orders. It automatically imports orders, provides options for the cheapest shipping providers and has the ability to note what shipping method the customer selected. It has amazing automation features, presets and many more.”
+ Cost issue: “I had to pay a coding team to install ShipStation and getting their help wasn’t cheap. I attempted to do it myself and try to work with the resources on ShipStation and that was too intimidating for a non-developer like myself.”
+ Bug issue: “Shipstation has a major bug with Magento. When a partial order is shipped, Magento shows the ENTIRE order as being shipped even when this is not the case. This bug has been reported to Shipstation and they keep promising to fix it. Unfortunately almost 1 year with no solution.”
d. Accounting & pricing
- Developer: TaxJar
- Particular purpose: TaxJar helps eCommerce businesses save time on sales tax by automating the hard parts of filing a sales tax return.
It helps taking all the complicated math and calculations out of determining what you owe and even automatically filing your return for you if you want to. This is called the AutoFile.
- How it works:
TaxJar helps you save hours by automating sales tax calculation, reporting, and filing for your store. Magento customers can enjoy TaxJar Reports that break down the sales taxes collected and owed by the state, county, city and other taxing districts so your sales tax filings are all ready for you. TaxJar Reports can also accommodate any of the other channels you sell on, too (Including Amazon, eBay, and more).
- Pros: This Magento commerce extension become many businesses’ first choice is because it helps to save their resources
+ Labor-saving: “It makes us legally compliant, keeps us up-to-date and saves us from hiring an additional person.”
+ Time saving: “We have been using this tool now for several months and it is saving us a lot of time and headache by keeping things simple.”
+ Supportive: “The support by the TaxJar staff is excellent – they reply quickly and they’ve helped us with some issues we encountered. It is drop-dead simple to set up and use. Highly recommended.”
Need backing up the website: “Do not try and install this without backing up your site first. It totally hosed our website after throwing a bunch of errors when installing through Magento Connect. Nice concept, but definitely not a stable release. Proceed with caution.”
eBridge Connections ERP Integration
- Developer: eBridge Connections
- Particular purpose: Enterprise resource planning (ERP) & Accounting
eBridge Connections delivers powerful, cloud-based ERP and accounting integration solutions that automate vital business processes and eliminate the need for manual data entry. The eBridge universal integration platform supports over 30 ERP and accounting systems including products from Sage, Microsoft, SAP, NetSuite, Epicor, and Intuit QuickBooks.
- How it works:
Accounting system and ERP integration by eBridge Connections allow Magento store owners to automate orders, inventory, tracking information, customer data updates, product data and pricing and inventory levels, and more between their back-office accounting/ERP system and their Magento eCommerce store.
“We have an old Sage system Mas 200 v4.4 and needed to integrate Our M2 Site and Amazon store with Sage.
We chose E-bridge and couldn’t be happier with the results. Now that we have the integration set up, all orders from our M2 site and our amazon store come into Sage sales order module so we don’t have to manually add them via hand typing.
Pros Huge time saver.
Implementation went very smooth, which from my experience is rare for technical projects of this nature.
The cost was very reasonable. Better than the other quotes we received from competitors.
E-bridge connector works via cloud, so you don’t need to set up hosting for the connector software.
Customization – Software allows for logic rules/customization so you can get everything mapped up just right.”
e. Payment & security
- Developer: Signifyd
- Particular purpose: Fraud
This Magento extension solves the challenges that growing e-commerce businesses persistently face: billions of dollars lost in chargebacks, customer dissatisfaction from mistaken declines, and operational costs due to tedious, manual transaction investigation.
Signifyd’s guaranteed fraud protection is supported by a full-service cloud platform that automates fraud prevention through real-time, machine learning, allowing businesses to increase sales and open new markets while reducing risk.
- ￼How it works:
When a customer places an order with your Magento store, Signifyd automatically reviews the order and tells you whether to ship it or not. Signifyd’s guaranteed fraud protection covers merchants against chargebacks associated with fraud or unauthorized charges.
+ Time-saving and money-saving: “Signifyd has saved us both time and money. Whenever we used to get large orders with different billing and shipping we had to contact the customer and make sure the order was legit and that took a bunch of time. No more of that. With Signifyd you get approved quickly and if the payment is disputed, they pay you back. Their service is great and highly recommended”
“It was a serious pain having to sift through international transactions and call banks to verify names and addresses. With Signifyd, it becomes a very easy process and with one click you can submit any transaction to be guaranteed by Signifyd against chargebacks. Great tool considering the amount of false credit card charges being made online. Easy to install and use, great customer support and follow up from their team”
+ Supportive: “Not only is the extension great and super easy to use, but the support that comes with it is efficient, reliable, and friendly. If I have an issue, I just pick up the phone and help is just a few minutes away.”
“Signifyd doesn’t work with Magento cloud. If you have a bunch of e-commerce stores running on a single Magento instance it will NOT work. It only works with a single instance. So if you have 10 different stores for your clients running on a cloud, you have to have 10 different Magento instances running.”
- Developer: Paypal
- Particular purpose: Payment Integration
Braintree helps businesses of all sizes, from small to large enterprises, accept and process payments to help maximize business opportunities and revenue growth. Companies around the world benefit from the technology and support of Braintree coupled with the scale, backing, and confidence of partnering with a PayPal service.
- How it works:
This is an official Braintree extension built in collaboration with Gene Commerce. This extension updates and extends the core Braintree functionality that comes shipped with Magento 2. This extension takes advantage of the latest version of the Braintree SDK and it is strongly recommended that all Merchants using Braintree upgrade to this extension in order to benefit from many improvements and additional features such as Apple Pay and PayPal Credit.
+ All mobile payment methods in one: “Great to have an extension with all mobile payment methods in one! We had one minor issue with Apple Pay showing up in the cart but this was linked to some CSS in the template which the developers quickly helped us identify. Great extension…it just works!”
“Great extension, exactly what Magento 2 needs, love the fact it has the latest PayPal smart buttons and all the mobile payment methods in one. Easy to set up and configure…thank you.”
“We integrated this with 2.1.16 and found out only AFTER that the Kount fraud service we had with Braintree doesn’t work with our version and only works on the 2.2 or 2.3 versions. We have fraud orders flying through and can’t do anything to block emails, IPs, ship-to address, etc. Our sales team/support integrator and account manager take turns replying every few weeks. So if you want something that is basic, has little to no fraud filters and can’t get a reply from anyone there, pick this solution.”
“For some reason that they cannot explain, anytime an order is made the customer is charged the subtotal (even though the confirmation reads the grand total). This means that shipping and tax aren’t reaching Braintree.”
3. CO-WELL Asia – A supreme e-commerce development service provider
There are millions of things to do when you start your e-commerce business (shipping, managing payment, improving sales,…), which can be either overwhelming or ineffective to do on your own. That’s why having outsourcing IT companies should be considered if you want your business to run smoothly and effectively in the long term.
With significant experience in building enterprise systems which manage more than 200 stores, over 20 million products and handle around 10000 orders each day, CO-WELL Asia offers consulting and development services for all levels of e-commerce systems.
We have developed the following Magento e-commerce extensions to functionally enhance our customers’ website: Abandoned cart email, Global postcode finder, and Drupal integration.
These are unbiased reviews that we have summarized from Magento’s users. Despite some of the mentioned flaws, Magento e-commerce extensions are improving.