Tag Archives: Magento

Up-Selling and Cross-Selling Techniques in Magento

In this article we discuss two sales techniques which are often used in both online business and offline business to increase revenue and profit in a fast, simple and easy way namely “Up-Selling” and “Cross-Selling”. These are common techniques implemented throughout a business process.

Up-selling is a sales technique that a seller applies to motivate their customers to buy another more expensive product with more features than what he planned to purchase at first in an attempt to make a larger sale. It is like a customer who buys an iPhone 6+ instead of iPhone 6 after hearing a great number of cutting edge features of the latest version and its promotion.

To be able to up-sell effectively, the first thing you need to do is to be aware of the needs of the customer and to comprehend how to make the questions to find out the necessary information in order to understand their real needs. You also need to be well-equipped with adequate knowledge about the products being sold as well as price, promotion related and the relationship between this product to other products. From these points, a business can introduce the right one according to its customers’ needs.

This is also a popular technique which is employed to inspire a customer to buy more items related to what he has just bought. It means after purchasing his iPhone 6S, the customer will be offered more some accessories such as a case, USB charging cable, shell holster, back cover, etc. Another typical example about cross-selling which we usually see in a fast food store is: “Would you like fries with that?”

up-selling and cross-selling

In order to cross sell you need to ensure that you have enough additional products and make clear which are the well-matched couplings or perfect triads. You may also tie them up in a bundle with a more attractive price than placing each item individually. That will be a good hook to push the customers to pay more and increase your order value.

In traditional commerce, these sales techniques rely heavily on the talents of a salesman; yet in e-Commerce, it is a technique used when building a website system. An extension or store which can integrate both up-selling and cross-selling function is a must-have to be able to track your customers as well as their behaviors and automatically recommend more similar products and accessories based on your websites data. Contact Us for more information if you would like help in managing an effective up-selling and cross-selling campaign on your Magento store.

USPS Shipping Error for USA to Canada Shipping

An unexpected USPS shipping error occurred to most Magento stores in the USA who are using the USPS Magento module in their shipping methods to ship to Canadian customers. This error caused some confusion for both us and our clients during the last two weeks.

Normally, USPS has three options in their service, including (1) First-Class Package International Service, (2) Priority Mail International and (3) Priority Mail Express International, but the problem only happened to the second one “Priority Mail International”. This option suddenly disappeared from the estimate shipping column so that shoppers couldn’t choose this shipping method during their check out process.

USPS shipping error 2

More dangerously, the error sometimes turned the “Priority Mail International” option into an empty label option at a price $0.00 for Canadian orders. This means that our clients had to provide a free shipping service, or contact the shopper to redeem the correct postage value causing considerable inconvenience.

USPS shipping error 1

Here is what we detected after checking the file log: The Origin ZIP Code was absent.

<ServiceErrors><ServiceError><Id>50050</Id><Description>The Origin ZIP Code and the Destination Postal Code is required for Priority Mail International when mailing to Canada.</Description></ServiceError></ServiceErrors>

And this is our solution: The Origin ZIP Code injected. We added in line 394 file app/code/local/Mage/Usa/Model/Shipping/Carrier/Usps.php as below (shown in red):

$package->addChild(‘Width’, $width);

$package->addChild(‘Length’, $length);

$package->addChild(‘Height’, $height);

$package->addChild(‘Girth’, $girth);


$package->addChild(‘OriginZip’, $r->getOrigPostal());


It seems that USPS have since fixed this issue but we believe that a soon to come update may cause this again. So for now, everything is back as normal. If this issue appears again when USPS release their changes to their API within the next few weeks as per their recent email sent to one of our clients affected by this on May 7, 2015 at 6:28:30 AM PDT:

“May 31, 2015 USPS Web Tools will be implementing modifications and additional features to the U.S. Postal Service APIs. The following changes may especially impact shipping systems:

– Origin ZIP Code required for Priority Mail International to Canada
– Modified special services
– Modified service IDs
– Modified available mail classes for Merchandise Return Services”

Therefore this information should help people out when they encounter this error which was caused by the first bullet point change listed above.

We hope others will find this information useful.

Top three open source search engines

In current e-commerce scenario where online retail owners are competing to win front seats with racing speed, a slow page loading is considered as a silent killer and a snail’s pace of searching process is regarded as a disease which make your customers feel sick and tired of. Be an extra feature of Magento Community Edition but its default search function is not really highly evaluated. Almost users complain that this search tool is too slow and inefficient. Thus, the mission of online merchants is to upgrade this function in order to make the search process easier, faster and more precise.

open source search engine

The easiest way to meet the current needs is to install a searching module to replace the default search tool. Although there are many vendors who offer a variety of modules based on different technologies, but the most three open source search engines are Solr, Sphinx and Lucence.

Sphinx – The SQL Phrase Index is a free open source full-text search serve. As an independent search engine, it is fast and suitable for other applications. Sphinx was specially designed to be compatible with SQL databases. This Application programming interface is used in many languages like PHP, Python, Perl, Ruby, Java and MySQL storage engine. It is also very easy to utilize in a new language.

Solr – An open source platform provides a useful search function to those who want to build a search tool for their website or to make a specific search page to search music, film or to seek a job. The Solr uses the Lucene TM Search Library and extends it. Additionally, Solr’s major features include powerful full-text search, hit highlighting, faceted search, real-time indexing, dynamic clustering, database integration, rich document (e.g., Word, PDF) handling, and geospatial search.

Lucene – An Open source library with full text search support is developed by Dough Cutting and managed by the Apache Foundation Organization. This is a tool applied to create an index for the text used in the search engine. The Lucene helps process input documents for plain text to generate an index and supply search mode based on this index. A leading Lucene – based Magento module developed by WiseRobot’s programers is Lightning Search Extension. This module enables the searching process to work in a flash. Your customers can save their valuable time and therefore be motivated to purchase more. In order to get more knowledge about the full features and the functionality of each, please visit our Lightning Search Extension‘s page. The demo and user guide are also available for your checking out. Read more about the interview with Kevin Irish from one of our key clients Storables.com to know his experience with the module. 

[Infographic] Magento overview – The best CMS for e-Commerce business

Choosing a suitable Content Management System (CMS) is the key to open the door of success in the e-Commerce world. In spite of the appearance of great number of CMSs on the marketplace at the present time, but Magento, with an open source foundation plus strong and rich features, has been keeping its position on the top.

In order to meet growing demand of e-Commerce clients, Magento has launched three Editions with a lot of highlights and great features including Enterprise, Magento Go and Community. Each merchant can choose the most optimal edition which suits his business size, budget and orientation best.

Enterprise is a perfect edition for medium-large sized businesses, providing a full set (or suite) of tools and features to build and set up an amazing e-Commerce website in a short time. Meanwhile, Megento Go is generated solely for small businesses. It is a smart edition with many advantages such as: flexibility, ease of use and reasonable cost, etc,. You also can design your store by yourself without technical expertise. But this edition is no longer available on the market any more because it was shut down on February 1st, 2015 for some reasons. The last but certainly not least is the Community Edition. This is the most widely used edition and available as free downloads. This edition is fully open source but not supported by the Magento team. That means you need specialist knowledge or assistance from an agency like WiseRobot to ensure successful implementation of your store. Magento Community Edition can be upgraded and extended with more than 5,000 extensions, including our own. That might be the reason why many tech savvy as well as merchants favor this edition.

Check out the Magento overview infographic below, created by WiseRobot, for more information about this CMS.

Magento overview infographic