Out of the box, Magento is one of the most powerful ecommerce platforms available. There are many tools available with a base Magento store that make online retail simple for stores all over the world. The added value with this platform is the amount of extensions available to a store owner. Most of these extensions are low in cost and easy to install. Several extensions available for the Magento platform today can drastically alter the shoppers’ buying experience and increase conversions. Below are just a few extensions that will bring an inexpensive boost to your Magento store.

Late last night I was doing my regular educational search when I found myself at the latest article by Luke Wroblewski on the continually evolving e-commerce checkout - which I highly recommend you read. The best part about the post is that it provides strong data to prove that certain standards that online marketing managers adhere to aren't worth drawing a line in the sand for. It also showed how, based on skill set, people tackle getting conversion rates up very differently from one company to the next.

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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:

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.

Today I attended a track very focused on eCommerce as Drupal traditionally has not carved out a niche in the eRetail market. I was particularly interested as we are a Magento Silver partner and while we've done some terrific work on the Drupal platform for eCommerce it's not nearly as developed or have the focus to manage large retailers without substantial heavy lifting. First here are some of great examples we were given that I'm going to disect:

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.

The landscape of open source and the available technologies continues to change on a monthly (if not daily) basis. Trying to keep track of it all can be a bit overwhelming as you'll quickly run into an unbelievable amount of solution offerings that are free for your continuing development and site management. Unlike many other sectors of technology the web continues to be evolving so fast that all solutions are not created equal with small differences to focus on particular functionality or business verticals.