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E-commerce is a dynamically developing industry, especially in the B2C sector, which is linked with the retail customer service. It happens so, because of a few reasons. However, the unprecedented meaning of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed some things in the e-Commerce industry. The pandemic has affected digitalisation of businesses and the way e-trade operates as a whole. It’s understandable that coronavirus and connected restrictions have increased the interest of the customers and convinced many to reconsider doing shopping online. What’s more, the current pandemic situation has increased online shopping traffic, causing businesses to adapt to new demands of the constantly in-flowing customers.

However, not all the online stores have noted such increases, but only those that had been prepared. These preparations concern not just the products for sale, but also arrangements for new expectations of customers and accurate marketing strategies. How did the retail sellers know, what steps should be taken? Thanks to data analysis concerning the customers: their attitudes and preferences. It’s the data analysis that has allowed them to draw the best conclusions for the future of e-Commerce and develop e-businesses. Find out what data analysis is really about and how can you utilise it in your business!

notebooks with graphs and analyses

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Interesting and needs-fulfilling products. Personalised offers. Choice of different payments and delivery options. This is a bunch of elements, but it’s just a part of what your store should have. If it does, you’re on the right track. It’s worthwhile to look closely at another factor, as well – check how you can improve the customer journey in your business. What does it mean and why is it important?

Woman finalising a transaction on the phone

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Crises, bloopers and little slip-ups happen in every industry. That is why a part of the world of business has stopped to carefully hide bloopers. Quite often, businesses do the opposite - they talk about the mistakes loudly, so that others can learn from their mistakes. Some are even using this trend to organise series of meet-ups, such as “Fuckup Nights”. During these sessions, the visiting speakers tell tales about the greatest, or should I say - the worst screw-ups in the history of their companies. The bloopers are most of the time, quite typical for the type of the industry they relate to, but sometimes they can really be something absurdly random. It’s a worthwhile experience to listen about what preceded such mistakes and avoid unnecessary risk-takings. Where does it pay to stay cautious when it comes to e-commerce?
As today is the International Cat Day, we will tell you how to avoid buying a cat in the sack!

cat-in-the-sack

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2020 can certainly be hailed as the boom in the e-commerce industry. This was caused by the overall technological advances in this field, but also by the pandemic situation, which forced users to become interested in online trading. A significant number of them, even after the lifting of restrictions on traditional trade, have already stayed there. What is the key in the e-commerce industry? Of course, a properly adapted purchasing platform, high-quality products, focus on user needs, as well as transport. It is worth focusing on the latter a little longer, because it is an important issue from the perspective of both the owner and the customer. Shipping has become a key component of an e-commerce sales strategy that often convinces users to purchase from a specific store and more. So let's take a close look at why shipping should be a fundamental part of e-commerce marketing and why it's worth taking care of it!

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If you are an e-commerce trader, you may be one of the lucky ones who not only survived the difficult period of the lockdown but also saw significant gains in profits. Such a pleasant surprise during the COVID-19 pandemic happened to many retailers who developed their businesses despite the crisis.

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The changes that have taken place recently in the field of e-commerce are huge. Not only have a lot of new online stores been created, but also those operating on the market for some time have been modernized.

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More and more companies dealing in online trading use the Magento platform. Until recently, sellers had to settle for the first version of the Magento e-commerce platform. However, now the new edition offers, among other improvements of the order acceptance system, simple headless PWA implementations or multi-level authentication.

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Marketing strategies should be adapted to the business model and the market in which the e-commerce business operates. To some extent, however, general principles and basic rules are common. This is due to the same ideas and often very similar platforms. There are several important elements that should be taken care of in cooperation with a business client. Check out what we mean!

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Do you produce your own goods and want to develop your business online? Are you a wholesaler and you want to reach a wider group of customers? Or maybe you dream of expanding your existing e-warehouse and increasing your assortment? If you answered "YES" to any of the above questions, we have a solution for you! It is the implementation of the appropriate e-commerce platform that will answer all your needs! How can I do that? We invite you to our guide, in which we will show you step by step how to choose and implement a B2B platform!

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For years, we have been implementing e-Commerce platforms for our clients' businesses. In this way, we help them spread their wings and improve the operation of the entire company. Choosing the right software is the basis for effective sales. This is an important issue for both the seller and the customer. The fast operation of the store, the possibility of multi-level browsing of products, adding them to favorites, verification of the shopping cart and many other aspects affect customers' purchasing decisions. It is on their basis that they decide (or not) to choose a given online store. That is why every website should be stable and efficient. After all, it represents your brand. So it's safe to say that making a decision about choosing a hosting platform is the most important step and a key element in running your business.

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The market trend in the e-commerce world shows that mobile users dominate the site browsing. However, checkout still mostly takes place on desktop computers. It will not be easy to reverse this trend, but the gap between them can be reduced.

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How to secure your shop with Magento Security Scan Tool? Forewarned is always insured? This slogan has entered our culture so much that today hardly anyone remembers the occasion on which it was created. It was for the PZU advertising. Although it is no longer broadcast, the slogan is still valid. In our case, it is worth relating them to the functioning of the online store, because by protecting it in advance, we can be sure that the hacking attack will not be so terrible for us.

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As you know, in recent times more and more attention has been paid to online security. This applies not only to websites that are used on a daily basis, but above all to online stores. If you are a reseller, you probably know how important it is to keep your website and customers safe.

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What makes you successful in online sales? This is due to many factors. Among other things, the appearance of your store, the right choice of sales platform, the ability to attract customers with your offer, as well as a well-optimized website. These are obviously not all elements, as many more aspects influence the success of e-commerce platforms. The attention paid to their development must be evenly distributed among them. However, one of the most important may be product information management. If you sell in many channels at the same time, you need a solution that will not only improve control over information about products, but also guarantee you an advantage over the competition in this field. PIM (Product Information Management) solutions that centralize efforts to store information about products can be a great solution for you.

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Consumers are more likely than ever to buy with their mobile phones. According to Adobe, smartphones are on track to generate over 50% of online spending by September 2022. The share of people using them to obtain a loyalty loan increased from 26.8% in 2019 to 34.8% in 2020. Experts believe online shopping and mobile commerce will continue to expand as the pandemic continues.

 

Improving the comfort of using your mobile phone may therefore be one of the most important investments you will make in your business this year. "Meeting customer needs and expectations is essential at this point: it can either build up or damage your brand," said Nate Smith, group manager for product marketing, Adobe Analytics.

 

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are the best way to provide a great customer experience across all mobile devices and even desktops. They can replace a mosaic of responsive websites and mobile apps with a single codebase that works for all endpoints.

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Hacking attacks are still a common case that owners of popular sites have to deal with. Usually the biggest problem is that you may not even know that your e-commerce store has been attacked. If criminals have hit your business, you need to clean the infected Magento website. In addition, you must take care to protect against possible further intrusions. To help you with this, we discuss how to identify, fix and secure the Magento system and include information about the most common types of intrusions and the ways in which criminals use e-commerce stores to their advantage.

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Everyone in the industry knows that Magento has become the most powerful e-commerce platform. It is Open Source based, has a lot of features and additions, is flexible and durable. However, the question remains, does the industry opinion grow up to the real requirements that are facing it? In this article, we will introduce you to the technical and practical aspects that will help you understand why Magento is the perfect solution for any e-commerce business.

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As people, we are different from each other. Each of us often has different preferences, needs and likes than the other person. However, often, based on various criteria, we create groups of people with similar interests, views and preferences. Exactly such parameters must be taken into account by online sellers who want to reach the right audience and meet their expectations best. How to be successful in the best matching of products to a given customer?

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Streamlining your workflow is a very important part of running any business. This is done primarily to reduce the number of insignificant duties or to automate frequently repetitive activities. Thanks to this, we are able to save time and financial resources. Magento sellers who want to automate routine duties also strive to do the same in order to be able to focus on more profitable business processes or on other complicated and requiring more attention matters. There is also no need to hide that this approach allows you to spend your free time in a slightly more pleasant way and simply break away from work. How can I do that? Thanks to Magento 2 webhooks and automation they guarantee. See what Webhooks are and how do they work in Magento 2, and learn about the best solutions developed to transform e-commerce workloads into background processes.

 

What are Webhooks?

At the outset, it is worth emphasizing that Webhooks are not available by default in Magento 2. Fortunately, the very flexible architecture of the platform allows them to be adapted to the needs of a given company. So you can easily create even a very complex automation with them and achieve goals specific to your company.

 

What are Webhooks? These are the elements that represent how applications communicate. However, this interaction requires external influence. How does it work? You set up the system and it works according to your guidelines, while all processes run automatically in the background. To better understand the phenomenon - we present the example of Paypal. The entire website relies on Webhooks that inform your accounting application about the emergence of new payments. So you don't have to look for new transactions yourself, because you know about them right away.

 

Why use Webhooks in Magento 2 when the platform offers its native API, flexible enough to allow every sync? The case is not that simple. Even though the Magento platform includes an API, you still have to work hard to adapt it to your individual requirements. The more complex and unusual they are, the more time and money you have to spend on them. Thanks to Webhooks, in some cases you can radically reduce the costs incurred, compared to when you would only use the API.

 

Differences between Webhook and API

Magento 2 API is certainly number one when it comes to integration. It is a very effective support for any seller. The drawback of using the API is the need to constantly ask for data. The first thing to do is to send requests to obtain the necessary data before it becomes obsolete. Unfortunately, this is time consuming and can be quite tedious because communication takes more resources than it should. The more frequently your queries are, the more overloaded the system becomes. So if an operation requires frequent updates, this method may not work. Then your Webhooks come to your rescue. Their principle of operation is the opposite of the API. You don't have to ask questions yourself, Webhooks will inform you about important data themselves.

 

How do webhooks work?

The most important point is that the third party app or site is the webhook provider. This means that immediately after a specific action occurs, it sends a signal to your website - Magento 2. This, in turn, contains the so-called "Listener", which is a URL designed to do two things. First, it receives a response from the Webhooks. Second, it performs a predefined action shortly thereafter.

 

As a clarification - Webhooks are user-defined HTTP callbacks. They are small pieces of code related to a web application. They are triggered by specific events. This is the key algorithm of this technology:

 

1. The triggering event appears on the source site or linked application.

2. The webhook detects this event.

3. Relevant data is collected.

4. The webhook sends the collected information to the specified URL - "listener".

 

The technology is so flexible that you can configure an event on one site to run the selected action on another page.

 

And to note the difference between the API and Webhooks, it's worth noting that the former relies on request-based exit mechanisms, while webhooks contain event-based exit rules.

 

To sum up - Webhooks are instant notifications about specific events that meet the given criteria. Pre-requested data is transferred to other applications in real time, unlike the typical API where frequent, self-requesting data is necessary. As a result, with Webhooks you get more efficiency!

 

Examples of using Webhooks outside of Magento 2

You probably meet with Webhooks more often than you think during everyday use of the Internet. For example, if you use MailChimp to automate e-mail marketing, you associate processes such as subscription, unsubscribe, profile updates, etc. Webhooks are involved in all these activities. If you run a weekly newsletter, the system notifies you when the subscriber changes their email ID. Thanks to this, you can update the relevant record in your CRM system or elsewhere, without wasting unnecessary time.

 

Shopify is another example. There, a set of webhooks informs you about product, cart, checkout, order and return data updates. The platform does everything to avoid situations where an order is missed or other real changes go unnoticed. Such action ensures really efficient customer service.

 

Magento 2 - Prerequisites for using Webhooks

How did Webhooks become part of Magento 2? Let's take a closer look at it!

 

Magento 2 REST API

It is worth noting that Magento offers various REST endpoints. The choice of a specific one depends on the type of user's request. However, obtaining information is only possible after sending the inquiry. For security reasons, a special token is required to access the client and administrator REST API endpoints. This makes data exchange quite complicated.

 

REST endpoints are grouped according to user type:

 

1. Administrator REST API endpoints.

2. Client REST API endpoints.

3. Guest REST API endpoints.

 

An important feature of the REST API is also that it allows the POST, PUT, PATCH, and DELETE endpoints to run asynchronously. The entire process takes place while the async.operations.all message queue is active. The purpose of this type of web endpoint is to inform the user of asynchronous routes, payloads, and responses. This information does not directly translate into the functioning of Magento 2 Webhooks, but at the moment it is necessary to present the entire functioning of this tool.

 

Magento 2 GraphQL

Why does Magento 2 include GraphQL? The answer is simple - to meet the different needs of users. It uses the data query language as an alternative to web REST and SOAP APIs due to better frontend development.

 

From the version of Magento 2.3.4 you can use the following GraphQL functions:

 

1. Support all types of products as well as payment and shipping methods.

2. Use a response time of less than 0.5 seconds for 500 simultaneous requests.

3. Use layered navigation using GraphQL.

 

In future versions of Magento, the plans include full GraphQL coverage for B2C. For example, if your development team performs actions to streamline re-ordering, in-store pickups related to inventory management, order history for logged in customers, gift wrapping, payment methods, etc., it should include coverage for B2B scenarios.

 

Event and observer

Event and observer are one of the main ways to extend the default functionality of Magento 2 by enabling the publish-subscribe pattern. The latter runs custom code in response to native Magento action or custom events.

 

In Magento 2, modules can send events after certain actions (events). The system offers flexible order shipping as both default and custom conditions are allowed. When any of them are provided, the data is passed on to observers for tracking purposes. The followers, in turn, represent a specific type of Magento class that can affect the overall behavior of the entire e-commerce site, changing its performance or business logic. They follow the events they are supposed to keep an eye on. When such events are sent out, the right observers appear. The algorithm of events and observers is somewhat similar to Webhooks, but it is not the same mechanism.

 

Webhooks in Magento 2

 

API design for the website

 

Research and observations show that the Magento event concept already offers a logical place for webhook implementation. However, there are problems that prevent this.

 

It would be good if the webhook calls were made asynchronously. This would help to avoid slowing down the processing of the main thread. Since nobody wants PHP code to be blocked because of a slow external URL, this could be the main cause of concern about Magento 2 webhooks.

 

Beyond the above problem, there is the fact that events often go through classes. What does it mean? Imagine a situation where you need to send data to a remote endpoint. To achieve this goal, you must serialize the appropriate data from the class. The consequence of serialization is therefore a data structure such as JSON or XML that is POST sent to the configured URL. Unfortunately, the procedure cannot be completed without serializing the code.

 

That's why the first idea behind Magento 2 Webhooks was to implement an example module that launches the Webhook by registering an observer. The latter then sends an HTTP request to the remote endpoint. Then the Observer.php file is created in the Magento_CacheInvalidate module. This is a simple implementation for an observer that includes the events.xml file and a reference to curl. As for the Magento_CacheInvalidate module, its job is for the observer to carry out the Webhook implementation and notify the external url when it needs to empty its cache.

 

What is the algorithm of such a project?

 

1. The events.xml file in the etc directory associates various events with functions in the Observer class.

2. Observer constructor includes reference to Magento, Framework, HTTP, Adapter, Curl. There is a dependency insertion framework that provides the observer with this instance whose sole purpose is to communicate with the PHP curl library. The latter is an HTTP client library built into PHP.

3. invalidateVarnish () causes the sample code that extracts information from an event to create the data that is sent to Varnish. However, sendPurgeRequest () is called to insert a string into the HTTP header field. There is no problem adapting it to generate a JSON or XML payload.

4. The flushAllCache () function shows an example of sending a Webhook call. No data is taken from the event.

 

It should be emphasized that non-standard logic is taken into account here. For example, the configuration settings are used to check if Varnish is enabled. This step is not required for a regular webhook. InvalidateVarnish () finds a valid Varnish header string. To implement webhooks in Magento 2, we take flushAllCache () function here and delete unnecessary data structures. This method illustrates the complexity of the code required, but should not be used.

 

As a result, the code necessary to implement the Webhook in Magento 2 is relatively short. There is no need to add a code snippet to extract data from an event, assuming you want to send that data to the endpoint. At the same time, it's pretty easy to do with PHP as it supports JSON and XML by default.

 

Magento 2 Webhooks Extensions

You are not coding proficient, but want to automate some of the processes using Magento 2 Webhooks? Fortunately, the developers thought of a user-friendly alternative. These are extensions that use event-based exit rules. Check below what belongs to them!

 

Magento 2 Webhooks by Wizkunde

It is a module that will provide your e-commerce website with an ERP connection, with a fulfillment service or with another system with a REST interface for 199 EUR. As with other ready-made modules, there is no need to write any code. By using this Magento 2 Webhooks plugin, you can connect Magento 2 with a REST compliant API of any complexity, getting customer, catalog and sales data in real time.

 

The key benefit of this extension is that it will not overload your Magento 2 website. Because as we mentioned, Magento 2 webhooks only send data when certain conditions are met. Consequently, system resources are used as efficiently as possible. When it comes to high-traffic websites, all data is transferred in a fully controlled manner. So nothing happens without your knowledge.

 

Moreover, the Magento 2 Webhooks extension transmits not only real-time data but also all the up-to-date information required for integration. Historical store data is transferred to the REST API endpoint using Burst Queue.

 

The extension is safe with sensitive information. You just need to rely on HTTPS as your endpoint. Therefore, the connection itself is encrypted with SSL. HMAC headers are another security measure. The Magento 2 Webhooks extension allows you to use it to verify data integrity on the REST API side while automating multiple backend processes. To do this, then you need to use the encrypted key set in the back-end of Magento 2, verifying the signature against the data sent. This is an additional security measure that strengthens the security of stored data.

 

It's also worth mentioning that the Magento 2 Webhooks extension is really easy to use. After installing the module, you must perform a user-friendly configuration. Flexible conditions allow you to send webhooks to the required endpoints by specifying only the correct URL. Each Magento 2 online store can be set to a separate ID to distinguish between how Webhooks are sent and to have no doubts which site it refers to. In addition, you can specify which webhooks to use. Enable or disable data flows required by the integration being performed.

 

By using this module, you send webhook data from the queue, reducing the load on the page. To further increase your productivity, you can define the maximum number of items to be moved within the entire cycle. Isn't that a great solution?

 

Webhook for Magento 2 by Mageplaza

Megaplaza has its own point of view on Magento 2 Webhook extensions. Unlike the tools mentioned above, it is free. How does it work?

 

The plugin helps in setting API requests to customizable destinations such as CRM tools or for e-mail marketing after certain events such as cart abandonment. The module registers requests and responses, and sends alerts about errors in the requests.

 

As a store admin, you can create Hooks based on the following events:

 

✔ creating new orders, invoices, shipments or credit notes,

✔ receiving a comment on a new order,

✔ updating, sharing or deleting customer data,

✔ updating or deleting product data,

✔ updating or deleting category data,

✔ customer logins to the purchasing account,

✔ abandoned shopping carts.

 

For example, if a user abandons a shopping cart on your e-commerce store, the Webhooks Magento 2 extension sends an API request. Then the module sends a notification to the appropriate department for further consideration of the case and possible correction of the problem.

 

Moreover, with the help of the plugin, you can transfer data to CRM systems or an e-mail marketing program. It is able to automatically transmit new data to such external services without the need for employee involvement. Thus, the Mageplaza Webhooks module enables the establishment of an information flow between Magento 2 and any connected system, updating relevant data in real time.

 

You also gain full control over this process thanks to the capture logs (application logs). So you can monitor the effectiveness of all automation. Each error is carefully logged with the appropriate description, identifier, entity, etc. In addition, the module enables you and your administrators to receive email notification of API request errors. However, if you want to clear the resulting errors, you can set the maximum number of records and enable the auto-clean feature. It is also possible to resend a new request after fixing the error.

 

 

Using Webhooks in Magento 2 seems problematic to you? You don't have to deal with it yourself! We offer full programming support for the Magento platform. We will definitely choose the best solution for you and adapt it to your requirements.

Each industry is characterized by a certain seasonality. This is a specific period when its products are the most popular among customers, e.g. water equipment before and during holidays. However, during the year there are also other special events that are also associated with an increased demand for the items on offer, e.g. all kinds of sales, Black Friday or Cyber ​​Monday. These hot periods are especially important in the online sphere of commerce. This is when e-store websites need to be ready to increase turnover - more users, more transactions and the resulting server overload. How to properly prepare your store to meet the customers' requirements and bring the expected profits?

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