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One of the most informative sessions I attended yesterday, was “Doubling Your Revenues in 6 Months.” In this session, the panel, which included two merchants and two Magento Solution Partners, discussed 20 specific, actionable items that retailers can use to substantially increase their revenue. Of the items discussed, here are the ideas presented by the panel that could be quickly implemented to start yielding results immediately:

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Today is the first day of the conference and there where several large announcements worth noting to people that engage the Magento platform at any level. As a quick summary those major announcements include:

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Magento is providing two distinct tracks for the business of ecommerce and corresponding development during this years conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. I'll be focusing on the business track to help broaden the knowledge base of industry trends, new emerging best practices, and of course new value that can be offered back to our client base. During the conference I'll provide a daily summary of the tracks in our blog for you to follow along with interesting and perhaps also controversial topics. The tracks that I'm planning to attend include:

Magento's Imagine eCommerce conference starts Monday in Las Vegas! In addition to the opportunity to meet others who are actively working with and promoting Magento, I am most looking forward to getting a glimpse into Magento's vision for the future. I'll be attending sessions in the Business and Partner Powered tracks in order to learn more about how companies are leveraging Magento to drive revenue and understand where the market is going.

With the rapid development of mobile and tablet devices, more and more people are browsing the web with these powerful devices. In merely a few years, mobile and tablet devices are expected to surpass laptops and desktops as the tools of choice to explore the web. Based on a US Digital Media Usage Report by eMarketer, mobile internet users will grow from 97.3 million users in 2011 to 113.9 million users in 2012. That is over 17% growth in a year. These are early growth estimates. I expect the percentage in growth to be much higher. What do these statistics tell online store owners? It is time to invest in a mobile presence.

One aspect of an online store that really sets it apart from others is the user shopping experience. There are several elements that can be incorporated into a store that allows shoppers to interact closely with the available items and with fellow shoppers. A deeper shopping experience will keep users involved and eager to explore everything the site has to offer. User accounts, social sharing capabilities, image galleries, product reviews and commenting, and other interactive tools create a dynamic user experience that will keep conversions high and allow a store to grow.

When thinking of ways to improve conversions for an online storefront, there is one method that is both easy to implement and often overlooked by storeowners. This is the concept of cross-selling and up-selling. This is an excellent way to appeal to an impulse buyer in a subtle manner to encourage additional purchases. Cross-selling and up-selling can be utilized by online stores of all sizes and types.

I was recently working with our finance manager to purchase our holiday cards that would go out to our family, friends, supporters, and clients. During that process, we ordered online from TinyPrints. Next thing you know I found that we were placing orders for additional gifts and that our finance manager was telling other members of the staff to use this site as well for their personal/holiday cards. This peaked my interest because in the print industry, everyone is price competitive and the expectation of technology is either met in its entirety or not at all. In addition, after 5 years of business as a web focused firm, we've established a low amount of loyalty to any particular online printing company since these services are very transactional and we're also usually without a direct rep managing our account.

With the growing number of retailer becoming available to online shoppers, it is difficult to argue the influence of design on a customer’s decision to make a purchase or shop elsewhere. There are many aspects of an online store that will make it succeed or fail when considering online conversions. A designer will have the major task of ensuring that the store has the perfect design that is on brand, works well with the products displayed, and is simplistic and streamlined. Below are some major issues to consider.

Magento is arguably the most powerful open-source e-commerce solution available. Every detail and setting is completely customizable which let's the store owner tweak everything to work as they wish. However, because the codebase is quite large, the smallest changes can seem like daunting tasks to the new Magento developer.

In this post, I'll share some useful tips for developing and debugging custom code on the Magento platform.