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SaM E-commerce
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SaM ecommerce web department specializes in eCommerce and Web consulting, design, development, integration, marketing and support.
SaM ecommerce web department specializes in eCommerce and Web consulting, design, development, integration, marketing and support.

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Magento offers a store owner an exceptional possibility to have a full control of products. However, to enjoy this opportunity to the full extent, you should figure out the differences among product types and sense the right situations for using, for example, bundle products instead of grouped ones. Only having mastered this knowledge, you’ll be able to obtain the expected results. Otherwise, you can obtain only various kinds of frustration.

But don’t be afraid! We’re here to help you out in this challenging situation! From this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about product types to successfully run the business.

Product Types in Magento 2

There are 6 product types in Magento 2:

Simple Product
Grouped Product
Configurable Product
Virtual Product
Bundle Product
Downloadable Product
In Magento 2 Commerce (former Enterprise Edition), there is one more product type — Gift Card.

Further, we’re going to discuss each product type in great detail.

Simple Products in Magento 2

Simple Product is ... simple. It’s got a unique SKU number. It is in one size and color. So, it’s the easiest and, at the same time, essential product type. Other product types, such as configurable, grouped, or bundled products are made of simple products like a wall is made of bricks.

Think of a cup as an example. As a simple product, it is of one color — white; it is of one size — 250 ml. A customer can’t choose another color or size since this very product doesn’t have these options. A customer can buy only this white cup or go to another simple product on the site, for example, a brown cup, and buy the latter one.

To set up a simple product in Magento 2, go to Admin, Products, Catalog, Add a Product. Choose Simple Product from a drop-down list. Define up to 40 product attributes (product name and SKU, weight, color, price, quantity, etc.). Add images, videos, and search engine optimization (a couple of sentences that shortly (255 characters) describe the product).

We’re sure you won’t have any problem while applying basic settings as, there, you have to add general information about the product. Just skip the Configuration section as we’re trying to add a simple product without configurations.

Advanced settings may seem tricky and intricate at first. We’ll try to explain some of the most complex points:

In the Advanced Pricing section, you may not at once grasp the meaning of the field Cost. There, you should add a regular product price, which will be displayed on the product page together with a special price, but the regular price (which you’ve defined in Cost) will be displayed crossed.
In the same section, you’ll meet the Tier Price field, where you’ve got to define a number of products that must be bought at a time if the customer wants to get a discount.
In the next section that’s called Advanced Inventory, you can enable Quantity Increment and set a number of products that must be bought at a time. For example, if you set here to 2 cups, a customer will be able to buy 2, 4, or 6 cups but not 1, 3, or 5.
Skip the advanced custom options for now as we’re trying to add a simple Simple Product. If you use custom options here, you won’t be able to manage each configuration of the product separately; and it is a huge disadvantage.
Define Related Products, Cross-Sells, and Up-Sells. It’s an easy job if you know the meaning of these terms. If not, read this piece 4 Useful Tricks of Up-Selling and Cross-Selling.
In Auto settings (the last section of Advanced settings), pay your attention to Visibility. Very often merchants decide not to showcase simple products to a customer. For this, choose Not Visible Individually.
Congratulations! Your first Simple Product is all set up!

Simple products can be set up faster than any other product type and they are great for a small business.


Configurable Products in Magento 2

At first sight, a Configurable Product looks like a simple one. But here, a customer is able to vary product configurations. Let’s get back to our cup. Now, a customer can choose a color of a cup: white, brown, or red; as well as its size: small, medium, or big. Thus, a customer can order a medium brown cup or a small red one staying on the same product page. Isn’t it convenient?

Let’s try to create a configurable product in Magento 2!

The first step is the same as for adding a simple product: go to Admin, Products, Catalog, Add a Product, Configurable Product.
Then you’ve got to define an attribute set. You can either choose a ready-made attribute set or create a custom one if the product has specific information.
Your next step will be to complete the required fields with the general information about the products such as its name, SKU number, price, tax class, etc. However, don’t enable the product yet as it isn’t completely ready.
At the next stage, you’ve got to choose configurable attributes (e.g., size and color) and their values (e.g., color: white, brown, red).
Once the values have been chosen, add images to the configurable product. You can apply either a single set of images to all product SKUs or unique images to each product SKU to depict the difference. In the same way, you can define the price of the configurable product and its quantity.
The last stage of adding a configurable product is to fill in the fields with the required information, which we’ve discussed above explaining how to add a simple product in Magento 2. Here, you can also add videos and more images. At the end, don’t forget to enable the new configurable product.
Grouped Products in Magento 2

Grouped Product in Magento 2 is a set of simple products. Arranging simple products in a grouped one, the merchant gives customers a possibility to decide whether to buy several products at a time as a grouped product or buy them one by one as simple ones. Merchants can encourage their customers to buy a grouped product by offering a special deal on it.

For example, you can sell a cup and a saucer that matches with it. If you associate these 2 simple products together, a customer will be able to order them as 1 product. It will save the customer’s time and perhaps money (if you offer a special deal). Nevertheless, you don’t take the possibility away from a customer to buy these products separately. Thus, grouped products are great for sales.

To add a new grouped product is very easy. As usual, when you want to add a new product, go to Admin, Products, Catalog, Add a Product, Grouped Product. Then, fill in the basic information and associate the desired simple products with the grouped one by clicking on Add Product to Group.

Creating a grouped product, you don’t need to define the price as it’s controlled via simple products. In case you want to offer a special deal on the grouped product, go to Promotions, Catalog Price Rules.

Bundle Products in Magento 2

Bundle Products are often confused with grouped ones as the both types of products are the set of simple products. But they also have one distinct difference: a customer can’t buy a separate product if it’s included in a bundle product whereas they can buy a separate product if it’s included in a grouped product.

Do you remember the example about the cup and the saucer? If you decide to associate them together as a bundle product, your customers won’t be able to order just a cup or just a saucer: they’ll have to buy either these products together or nothing. It’s a smart decision to sell a best seller together with a not-so-popular product as a bundle product.

The process of adding a bundle product is quite similar to the one of adding a grouped product. Click on Add a Product and choose Bundle Product, fill in the required general information, and associate several simple products with the new bundle product.

Downloadable Products in Magento 2

Downloadable Products are the products that can be downloaded. It can be an e-book, music album, or movie.

The adding of a downloadable product doesn’t differ much from the adding of a simple product. But for this type of product, you have to add several specific pieces of information:

Add a link to the downloadable product.
Define how many times the product can be downloaded per purchase.
Set whether the link can be shared.
You can also provide samples of the product.
Virtual Products in Magento 2

Virtual Products seem like simple ones; however, they haven’t got any physical entity. A virtual product can be a product key or a kind of service. For example, a tea ceremony is a virtual product.

Adding a virtual product is very easy. Follow the steps for adding a Simple Product but select “this product has no weight”.

It’s everything you need to know to manage products in your Magento 2 store. If you have questions, ask them in the comments. If you need help with your Magento store, contact Our Team of Certified Magento Developers.

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The site security status is crucial for a lot of customers. According to a survey conducted by Ponemon Institute, almost 60% respondents stated they lost their trust in the organization that experienced a customer data breach. At the same time, 31% respondents decided to stop dealing with such organizations at all.

It means that the security status of the site must be of an uttermost importance for merchants, too. Regular Magento version upgrading or patch applying can guarantee a vital security level.

If you aren’t sure whether your Magento store has all necessary patches, you can check it with the online tool MageReport.

MageReport is a Free Online Tool for a Fast Security Test

MageReport is an online tool that gives a brief overview of the Magento store security status for free. Furthermore, it offers possible ways of fixing security vulnerabilities. This tool was developed by the Magento hosting specialists of Dutch provider Byte in order to increase the security level of Magento stores in the whole world.

It’s totally safe to use MageReport for testing the security status of your Magento store. First of all, the tool works in read-only mode.That is, it doesn’t alter anything in the store; it just looks for the essential patches. Secondly, MageReport doesn’t reveal any information that can be exploited by hackers. As it’s been mentioned above, the tool only informs you whether you have all the necessary patches plus why and how you should apply each of them.

How to Use MageReport for a Fast Security Test?

MageReport is very easy to use. You just need to type the URL of the site you want to test. In a few seconds, you’ll see:

what security patches your Magento store lacks — highlighted red.
what security patches have been successfully applied — highlighted green.
If you see only green color on the monitor, it means your Magento store is safe and sound. Red color means that you have to apply the highlighted security patches (the instruction is attached).

You may also get gray (unknown) results. It may happen since MageReport tool doesn’t have access to the code of your Magento store. And, sometimes, recently applied patches make it impossible to test whether the earlier ones have been installed properly.

Can I Rely on the Results of the Fast Security Test?

As we’ve already mentioned, the online tool MageReport doesn’t have the access to the code of the Magento store. That is the reason why you may get gray (unknown) results or even red ones when you’re sure you’ve already installed that patch. Moreover, each Magento store is different so the tool can’t guarantee a 100% accuracy.

The developers continue working on the tool and constantly improve it. However, they suggest using MageReport only as a free guide. To be absolutely sure about the store security status you should consult a developer. Only a developer can conduct a profound test of the Magento store and guarantee a valid result.

In case you need a security test of the store or other Magento services, our Magento Developers will be glad to help you!

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The Calendar of the Most Important eCommerce and Magento Conferences (July - December 2017)
To know all the latest news in eCommerce and Magento, you should attend various conferences. We've decided to gather the most important conferences of the 2nd half of 2017 in one so called calendar. The majority of the presented conferences are Meet Magento...

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At various eCommerce and Magento conferences, you can meet a lot of new people, tell about yourself or your brand, and, surely, keep up with the recent news. One more great advantage of attending these events is that you can visit so many places all around the world!

At first, we’re going to give a brief overview of the future conferences divided into 3 groups: Meet Magento, Mage Titans, and major eCommerce conferences. In the end of the article, you’ll find a calendar with these events.

Meet Magento Conferences 2017

Meet Magento Conferences are always full of astonishing news, breathtaking speeches, and superb evening events. They are great for both merchants and developers as offers inspiring talks together with intensive workshops.

This year, you still have the possibility to attend the following Meet Magento Conferences.

Meet Magento Indonesia 2017


For the second time, Indonesia invites Magento community to meet and collaborate in Jakarta. Last time, more than 300 retailers, developers, and partners visited Meet Magento Indonesia to talk over the hottest business topics. This year, the main topic of the conference is the omnichannel strategy. However, you’ll also have the opportunity to listen to the stories how famous brands (such as Mothercare and Love Bonito) achieved success, take part in Magento technical sessions held by Ben Marks or Max Yekaterynenko (who is going to discuss Magento 2.1 issues), picture the future of retail technology with Microsoft, and so on. Moreover, you don’t need to buy tickets as the conference is free of charge. You just have to register on the site.

Date: August 3rd, 2017.

Location: Jakarta, Indonesia.

Tickets: free (you need to register before the conference).

Visit Meet Magento Indonesia

Meet Magento China 2017

Shenzhen International eCommerce Expo is taking place on August 29th—31st, 2017. The first day of the Expo will be dedicated to Magento technology and topics related to Magento. It’s the first time Meet Magento Conference finds its place in China, so don’t miss the opportunity!

Date: August 29th, 2017.

Location: Shenzhen, China.

Tickets: will be available soon

Visit Shenzhen International eCommerce Expo

Meet Magento Poland 2017

It looks like colors of the fall highlight the beauty of European cities. To check whether it’s true, visit Poland on September 18th and 19th, 2017. Why these dates? You’re right! Because the 6th Meet Magento Poland Conference takes place exactly on the mentioned above dates in Krakow. For 2 days, e-store owners will talk about trade on the Internet; at the same time, developers will have a nice opportunity to find out new capabilities of Magento platform development as well as to gain new skills while solving some issues at numerous workshops.

Dates: September 18th—19th, 2017.

Location: Krakow, Poland.

Tickets:

Visit Meet Magento Poland

Meet Magento Switzerland 2017

Due to organizational reasons, Meet Magento Switzerland won’t be held this year. The conference in Zurich is expected to take place not earlier than in the beginning of 2018.

Meet Magento Belgium 2017

For the first time, you can visit Meet Magento Conference in Brussels. On the first day of the conference, Max Yekaterynenko together with his team are going to carry out a contribution day — a day-long workshop —that can only mean that you’ll get deep insight into Magento 2. And the evening will be spent in Belgian manner: you’ll be invited to taste Belgian beer and enjoy Belgian fries. The second day, you’ll spend attending business and technical seminars, and in the evening, there will be an amazing networking event.

Dates: September 26th—27th, 2017.

Location: Brussels, Belgium.

Tickets: €88.45 — €240.19

Visit Meet Magento Belgium

Meet Magento Greece 2017

It’ going to be the 2nd Meet Magento Conference held in Athens. At the same time, it will be the 1st one held in Thessaloniki. Thus, apart from intensive networking and knowledge expanding, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy two beautiful Greek cities. Meet Magento Greece has more surprises for you: the attendees will have a wonderful opportunity to participate in the 1st Speed Innovation Workshop. Furthermore, developers will be able to listen to Magento top experts and find out more details on Magento 2 access and migration. Merchants will have a close look at Magento 2 features and find out more about ERP and supply chain management.

Dates: October 11th, 2017, in Thessaloniki; October 12 th, 2017, in Athens.

Location: Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece.

Tickets: €50 — €100.

Visit Meet Magento Greece

Meet Magento Romania 2017

Meet Magento invites you to Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Apart from talking to experts, getting new contacts, and discussing the hottest trends, you’ll have a unique opportunity to visit the motherland of Count Dracula! Moreover, the organizers of the conference are going to throw one of the biggest evening events!

Dates: October 16th—17th, 2017.

Location: Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Tickets: €79 — €129.

Visit Meet Magento Romania

Meet Magento Mexico 2017

For the first time, Meet Magento Conference will be held in Mexico. It usually takes a lot of time to get prepared for the first conference. For the time being, organizers promise to offer over 20 talks and over 20 workshops on one day — October 26, 2017.

Date: October 26th, 2017.

Location: Ciudad de México, Mexico.

Tickets:

Visit Meet Magento Mexico

Meet Magento Brazil 2017

Meet Magento Brasil is going to take place in Sao Paulo on October 31st. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any other information about the conference yet. On the official site of the event, you can sign up for newsletters to keep track of changes.

Date: October 31st, 2017.

Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Tickets:

Visit Meet Magento Brasil

Meet Magento Spain 2017

On November 7th, 2017, Meet Magento will come back to Spain. Over 500 attendees are expected to visit the conference to talk about the hottest eCommerce trends as well as to get to know more about Magento 2. Neither the agenda nor the speakers are known yet, but we’re sure Meet Magento Spain in Madrid will be a fabulous event!

Date: November 7th, 2017.

Location: Madrid, Spain.

Tickets: €45 — €124.

Visit Meet Magento Spain

Meet Magento Japan 2017

It’s the second time Meet Magento Conference’s taking place in Tokyo, Japan. This time more than 200 merchants, developers, experts, and agencies are expected to participate in over 6 workshops and 10 talks. Don’t miss your chance to benefit from synergy effect!

Date: November 13th, 2017.

Location: Tokyo, Japan.

Tickets: ¥8,000 — ¥10,000

Visit Meet Magento Japan

Meet Magento Argentina 2017

For the third time Buenos Aires, Argentina, welcomes Magento community and organizes Meet Magento Conference on November 16th, 2017. At the conference, you’ll have the opportunity to get new connections, talk to experts in eCommerce business and Magento development, and get inspired by successful business stories.

Date: November 16th, 2017.

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Tickets:

Visit Meet Magento Argentina

Meet Magento Norway 2017

It’s going to be the first Meet Magento Norway Conference and the last Meet Magento of the year. The conference takes place in Oslo on November 16th, 2017. You won’t get cold in this Nordic country as intense workshops, talks, and an evening event will keep you warm during the whole conference.

Date: November 16th, 2017.

Location: Oslo, Norway.

Tickets:

Visit Meet Magento Norway

Mage Titans 2017

Mage Titan Conferences 2017

This conference was organized for developers by developers. Initially, it took place annually only in Manchester, UK. But now, thanks to sponsors worldwide, you can attend the conference in Italy, Spain, USA, Mexico, and next year in Netherlands. This year, you still can make it to Austin (USA), Manchester (UK), and Mexico City (Mexico).

Mage Titans Austin, USA

The next Mage Titans Conference will take place in the city Austin, Texas, USA, in only 2 months. It will last for 3 days. During this time attendees will be offered a day of workshops and training, a day of the Massive Titan Event, and a day full of Magento developer focused workshops. In case you have something to share with the community or you know something that will change the way others’ work for the best, you are welcomed to contact the organizers and offer your presentation. Mage Titans Austin is the event not only for developers but also for those who need help: all profits that will exceed the cost of the event will be donated to a specially chosen charity — SafeAustin.

Dates: Massive Titan Event is on September 15th, 2017. But you are welcomed to the whole conference that starts on September 14th and ends on September16th, 2017.

Location: Austin, Texas, USA.

Tickets: $150 — $700

Visit Mage Titans Austin. Help to keep Austin weird=)

Mage Titans Manchester, UK

Manchester is the city where in 2014 Mage Titans started paving the way for the personal greatness of each rising star of the community. This November, you have the opportunity to visit the original conference. On November 10th, 2017, you’re welcomed to visit Mage Titans Workshop. Mage Titans Conference itself is taking place the next day — on November 11th, 2017.

In case you want to share your knowledge with the community, contact the organizers: they’re still calling for papers.

Moreover, all attendees take part in the charity: the profits that will exceed the cost of the event will be donated to a specially chosen charity — Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Dates: November 11th, 2017. Workshop on November 10th, 2017.

Location: Manchester, UK.

Tickets: £82 (sold out) — £94

Visit Mage Titans Manchester

Mage Titans Mexico

Unfortunately, the information about this conference isn’t available yet.

Major eCommerce Conferences

The following part of the article will be interesting mostly to merchants and retailers. Below, we’re going to give a brief overview of 4 major eCommerce Conferences in which Magento's going to take part.

Online Retailer 2017

Online Retailer is the most important conference and exhibition in Australia. It has been supporting the Australian eCommerce industry for many years. Online Retailer was designed to inspire and connect its attendees and enable them to grow their business effectively.

This year, it’s going to be a two-day event full of inspiring stories, useful how-to’s sessions, and roundtable discussion series. Furthermore, only here, you can attend Kickstarter Workshop (perfect for those who are about to start their business) and Online Fraud Summit dedicated to the security.

Magento team takes part in Online Retailer, too. You’ll find their booth in the expo hall.

Location: Sydney, Australia.

Dates: July 26th - 27th, 2017.

Tickets: $1540 - $3399

Visit Online Retailer Sydney

B2B Connect US 2017

B2B Connect is an interactive forum, at which top senior B2B executives in eCommerce business can exchange their ideas and find the most suitable business solution. You have to be one of 75 most ingenious executives in North America to get the invitation to the forum. Unless you’ve received the invitation, you aren’t allowed to attend the conference. In this way, organizers can guarantee that attendees will network with an exclusive group.

Location: San Diego, CA, USA.

Dates: September 17th - 19th, 2017.

Tickets: by invitation only.

Visit B2B Connect US

eCommerce Paris 2017

eCommerce Paris is the part of PARIS RETAIL WEEK. The conference is expected to bring together 500 exhibitors and 45,000+ attendees. eCommerce Paris is going to offer about 300 sessions focused on business improvements. At the event, you’ll find out more about payment solutions, marketing, customer relations, logistics, digitization of the point of sale, and how Magento is shaping commerce.

Location: Paris, France.

Dates: September 19th - 21st, 2017.

Tickets: €50 (on-site registration).

Visit eCommerce Paris

Shop.org 2017

Shop.org is a digital summit that is held every year. This conference will bring together more than 5,000 attendees, 200 exhibitors, and over 50 speakers, among which you’ll be happy to find a basketball superstar Kobe Bryant. Among the exhibitors, at the Booth 325, you’ll meet Magento team that will demonstrate the latest Magento products and offerings.

Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Dates: September 25th - 27th, 2017.

Tickets: $675 - $1000.

Visit Shop.org

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Magento 2.2: Ready! Steady! Go!

Pretty soon, Magento Inc. will announce the general availability of their new product — Magento 2.2. What does it have to offer?

Magento 2.2 Features

Below, we’re going to describe the most awaited features of Magento 2.2.

Magento B2B

According to Ben Marks, “Magento was a leading B2B platform even before any B2B features were included”. Lots of worldwide known brands such as P&G, Team Viewer, Ford, and so on already use Magento for B2B. Magento reached this leading position thanks to lots of extensions and custom development. In the new product, B2B is an out-of-the-box feature (but only with Magento 2.2 EE).

With Magento B2B you'll get the following benefits:

Custom Pricing can bring your relationships with companies to the next level: you can create as many various price lists as you wish and assign them to specific companies. Moreover, you can create a default public price list that will be visible to non-logged-in visitors.
Quotation Engine lets you continue improving your relationships with other companies: instead of ordering the items at once, the user is able to turn their cart into a quote and negotiate the prices with the merchant.
Credit Limit allows the company “to pay on account”: each company has its own account where all payments are saved; so the company is able to finish their ordering with a postponed payment.
Requisition Lists save plenty of time: the company can create lists that include often ordered products and just reorder them periodically.
Quick Order will be appreciated by many B2B buyers: very often, such buyers don’t require excessive product descriptions as they know all details about the item, new Magento feature allows them to make orders by entering SKUs or uploading CSV files.
You’ll definitely enjoy these outstanding B2B benefits with Magento 2.2 EE. Moreover, Magento is planning to add a couple of additional features that we’ll be announced closer to the date of Magento 2.2 general availability.

Magento Business Intelligence Essentials

Magento BI Essentials is a relatively new Magento product designed by RJMetrics - a leader in providing business with a first-rate analytical solution. We’ve described this product in depth in our article Magento Business Intelligence: Advanced Analytics for eCommerce.

In a nutshell, BI Essentials can provide you with integrated data from Magento and Google Analytics. The data are presented in 75 reports designed to meet all possible business requirements, but it doesn’t deprive you of the opportunity to create your own reports — a limited number though.

Moreover, in Magento 2.2, you’ll meet 12 new advanced reports using MBI UX.

Magento BI Essentials is a standard feature with Magento 2.2 Cloud Edition, however, it is available for all Magento Merchants at a small price that starts at $100 a month and depends on the company’s annual GMV.

Magento Shipping

Shipping is one of the most painful aspects of the retail business of any size as the half of cart-abandonment cases are related to shipping. Magento Inc. decided to take care of this problem and found a perfect solution: in collaboration with Temando — a leader in providing merchants with a perfect software for a complete shipping process — they’ve developed a new product called Magento Shipping.

This multi-carrier shipping solution can be easily set up and adjusted to your business. Moreover, Magento Shipping doesn’t need updating when new carriers become available.

With this shipping solution available out of the box with Magento 2.2, merchants can provide their customers with the cost-effective shipping:

offer to ship orders by worldwide known carriers, such as UPS or Fedex.
offer possible shipping alternatives taking into account the location of customers as well as warehouses.
Magento Shipping automatically informs customers about the order updates that empowers them to take control over their delivery.

But not only customers will get a better experience. You, as a Magento 2.2 Admin, will also enjoy this shipping solution. You’ll be surprised how easy the process of picking, packing, and dispatching can be.

Are you already itching to try out those absolutely stunning key features of Magento 2.2? Unless you are one of Magento partners, you’ve got to wait until September 2017.

Magento 2.2 Release Candidate Software Is Available

At Meet Magento DE, Paul Boisvert announced that Magento 2.2 will be publicly available already in September 2017. Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact date yet, but we promise to provide you with this information as soon as possible!

Until September 2017, the new Magento product has to undergo a bunch of tests. And you can contribute to the development of Magento 2.2 as Release Candidate Software is already available on GitHub.

On June 23rd, 2017, Magento made available Magento 2.2 CE, EE, and B2B Release Candidate software. So now, Solution, Technology, and Hosting Partners can participate in evaluation and edition of the code structure.

Such cooperation will be beneficial for both parties:

Magento Inc. will manage to enhance the functionality, usability, and code quality of the new product taking into account received feedback. Thus, at the date of Magento 2.2 general availability announcement, every member of the community will be able to enjoy the most innovative and flexible platform.
Partners, who have decided to participate in the evaluation process, will be the first working with the code. It will give them the advantage over other companies as their technical team members will have been trained and the update of their extensions as well as the custom code will have been thoroughly planned by the date of Magento 2.2 release.
Despite all the benefits mentioned above, you’ll have to work with a raw material: the code of Magento 2.2 Release Candidate hasn’t approached the production quality yet and includes bugs as well as incomplete features.

But in case you do decide to take the responsibility to participate in Magento 2.2 improving, clone the repositories you want to install (CE, EE, and\or B2B) from GitHub:

Magento 2.2 Release Candidate CE (publicly available)
Magento 2.2 Release Candidate EE
Magento 2.2 Release Candidate B2B (must be installed together with EE)
Notice that you have to be a Solution partner and sign up the Release Candidate Software agreement first to get access to EE and B2B. This stage can take up to 3 days.

Get through the installation process and start testing. You should submit your feedback to GitHub and regularly check DevDocs for updates.

So, are you going to participate in the code editing and evaluating? Share your opinion on the new Magento product in comments!

In case you need help with current Magento versions, don’t hesitate to contact Our Certified Magento Developers.

CONTACT US

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Get Ready for Back-to-School Retail Season
Less than in a month, in the USA, Canada, and Europe , lots of people will face the back-to-school season: the period of time between the middle of July and the beginning of September when students buy the things they need for their education. The back-to-s...

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Back-to-school season is the time when students together with their parents begin preparing the supplies and clothing necessary for school or college. In the USA, Canada, and Europe this season usually begins in the middle of June and lasts till the beginning (or sometimes middle) of September. In this article, we’re going to discuss whether the back-to-school season works for eCommerce business and the best selling products of the season as well as present the dates of tax-free weekends.

Let’s Talk About Numbers

eMarketer anticipates that back-to-school sales will grow in the USA up to $857.2 billion in 2017, that is 4% more in comparison to the last year numbers.

If we talk about the total amount of annual sales, the back-to-school retail season makes up to 17% of yearly sales. And it puts the back-to-school season on the second position among the biggest retailing periods leaving the first position to Christmas sales.

Online stores win the majority of customers as young consumers prefer to buy goods on the Internet rather than in brick-and-mortar stores. Thus, during the back-to-school season, US eCommerce is going to make transaction worth of $37.56 billion.

Best Selling Goods during the Back-to-School Season

You can surely guess that the most required items during the back-to-school season are office supplies and equipment as well as books and video. Computers and other portable electronic devices are also in high demand. Don’t forget about toys and goods for hobbies, for example, items for different kinds of sports.

Clothing is one more segment among back-to-school best sellers. Traditionally, customers preferred to buy clothing and accessories in offline stores. But the situation changes in the favor of online stores. Probably, it happens because of the shoppers' age.

Tax-Free Weekends in States in 2017

Calculator. Taxes

During the back-to-school season, the state governments of several US states don’t collect taxes on some items. As this period lasts one weekend, it’s called Tax-Free Weekend or Sales-Tax Holiday.

Tax-free weekend differs from state to state. Below, we’re going to present the dates of the tax-free weekend in 17 US states. It was decided to cancel the tax-free holiday in Massachusetts.

State Items Dates
Alabama Clothing, electronic devices, books, stationery July 21-23rd, 2017
Mississippi Clothing and shoes July 28-30th, 2017*
Tennessee Clothing, stationery, electronic devices July 28-30th, 2017
Iowa Clothing August 4-5th, 2017
Louisiana The first $2,500 on personal items August 4-5th, 2017
Missouri Clothing, electronic devices, stationery August 4-6th, 2017
New Mexico Clothing, electronic devices and equipment, stationery August 4-6th, 2017
Ohio Clothing and stationery No official date yet
Oklahoma Clothing August 4-6th, 2017*
South Carolina Clothing, electronic devices, stationery August 4-6th, 2017*
Virginia Clothing and stationery August 4-6th, 2017*
Arkansas Clothing and stationery August 5-6th, 2017*
Taxes Clothing, backpacks, stationery August 11-13th, 2017
Maryland Clothing and shoes August 13-19th, 2017
Connecticut Clothing and shoes August 20-26th, 2017
Georgia Clothing, electronic devices, stationery No official date yet
Florida Clothing, electronic devices, stationery No official date yet
*not verified dates.

For more details, visit freetaxweekend.com

Don’t miss the chance to participate in back-to-school retail season and try out new special deals and offers.

Get Ready for the Back-to-School Retail Season

According to the researches done during the first quarter of 2017, 53% of traffic to e-stores and 32% of orders worldwide were done from smartphones (the US data don’t differ significantly: 54% of visitors were mobile users, and 34% of orders were done from smartphones). Although the majority of e-store visitors are smartphone users, 56% of orders are still done from desktops. However, Euromonitor International anticipates that mobile orders will grow up to 43% by 2020.

We recommend you to check whether your site is mobile friendly before the second biggest retail season of the year begins. In case you need help, Our Team of Dedicated Developers is ready to help you!

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Magento 2 is a superb eCommerce platform with a more flexible architecture (comparing to Magento 1), first-class performance, engaging shopping experience, and brand-new features. However, Magento 2 is a new platform; that means, you’ll have to spend plenty of time searching for the solution of a problem on the Internet. SaM Ecommerce is a Trained Magento 2 Solution Partner and we’re eager to lend you a willing hand in this difficult situation. In the given Magento 2 tutorial, we're going to have a close look at the process of migration, installing, and updating of Magento 2.

How to Migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2?

Probably, the question about the process of migration is the most popular one, and we’ve already answered it long ago. Check out our article Magento 2 Migration Tool, where you’ll find a step-by-step tutorial on migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 using a Data Migration Tool.

Using this Tool you’ll be able to perform a store data migration. To migrate some customizations use a Code Migration Toolkit that focuses on Magento modules migration. Unfortunately, this Toolkit can’t help you with themes migration; moreover, you'll need a developer to manually adapt some files. But still, it does perform the most tedious tasks: the Toolkit deals with the migration of a module directory structure, layout and config XML files and PHP files.

For adapting custom Magento 1 code to Magento 2 with the help of the Code Migration Toolkit you need PHP 5.5.x or higher and a composer dependency management software.

In the Code Migration Toolkit, run composer install.
Somewhere in the file system (it doesn’t matter where exactly), arrange such directories:
<src> with a custom Magento 1 code (which will be adapted) and without core files.
<dst> must be empty: it will be filled with the generated Magento 2 code.
<m1> with the standard as well as with the custom Magento 1 code and dependencies of the last one.
<m2> with the standard Magento 2 codebase.
3. The quality of migration highly depends on the correctness of mapping files. Thus, our next step will be to regenerate mapping files. Run:

php bin/utils.php generateClassDependency <m1>
php bin/utils.php generateClassMapping <m1> <m2>
php bin/utils.php generateModuleMapping <m1> <m2>
php bin/utils.php generateTableNamesMapping <m1>
php bin/utils.php generateViewMapping <m1> <m2>
php bin/migrate.php generateAliasMapping <m1>
php bin/migrate.php generateAliasMappingEE <m1>

4. Carry out the migration script in the following order:

php bin/migrate.php migrateModuleStructure <src> <dst> This script doesn’t change the content of files; it arranges a suitable Magento 2 module directory and sends the current Magento 1 code there.
php bin/migrate.php convertLayout <dst> This script does make some changes to files: it breaks them up into isolated XML files for all layout handles individually and changes their format to the appropriate for Magento 2 one.
php bin/migrate.php convertConfig <dst> This script performs the same job as the previous one but with config files.
php bin/migrate.php convertPhpCode <dst> <m1> <m2> This script changes the major part of the PHP code to the one that agrees with the Magento 2 Framework.
To streamline the process of migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2, exploit the Data Migration Tool and the Code Migration Toolkit. You aren't able to migrate themes as they must be created from scratch to suit new approaches of the new Magento platform.

How to Install Magento 2?

In case you’re new in the retailing business and can’t decide which Magento platform to choose, we advise you to go with Magento 2 as pretty soon Magento Inc. will stop supporting Magento 1. We’ve written about that in great detail with references to official sources in our recent article The Official Date of Magento 1.x End of Life.

So let’s go back to the question: how to install Magento 2? Actually, we’ve already answered this question in the article How to Install Magento 2 with Composer? where we share our own experience. Hope, the article will help you to install Magento 2 without any other help.

How to Upgrade Magento 2?

We sincerely advise you to regularly upgrade your Magento 2 to the latest version as:

There you may find new enhanced functions (the latest version as of the date of publishing the article is Magento 2.1.7, and it offers one new function ).
The bugs of the previous version are fixed.
It guarantees the security of your Magento 2 software (Magento 2.1.7 contains over 15 security enhancements).
So how to upgrade Magento 2? For the time being, Magento 2.1.7 is the latest version that contains over 15 security enhancements. It’s highly recommended to upgrade to this latest version as soon as possible in order to eliminate any possibility of misusing some vulnerabilities of the older versions.

Before hitting the road and delving into the process of Magento 2 upgrade, you need to check whether the following necessary set-ups are done properly:

Magento file system owner (regulates who can perform actions)
Cron jobs. Type the next command line crontab -u <magento file system owner> -1 where <magento file system owner> is your user name. If all three necessary cron jobs run properly, you’ll see:
* * * * * /usr/bin/php /var/www/magento2/bin/magento cron:run | grep -v "Ran jobs by schedule" >> /var/www/magento2/var/log/magento.cron.log

* * * * * /usr/bin/php /var/www/magento2/update/cron.php >> /var/www/magento2/var/log/update.cron.log

* * * * * /usr/bin/php /var/www/magento2/bin/magento setup:cron:run >> /var/www/magento2/var/log/setup.cron.log

In case you don’t see this or in Magento Admin you see an error, read this document.

Magento file system permissions (regulates what actions can be performed by the user). To check up whether the system permissions are set up correctly, try to log in to the Magento server or use the hosting provider's file manager application.
If everything works like a charm, your further step will be to choose the way of updating Magento 2 you prefer more or which is more convenient for you and follow the instructions. But don’t forget to switch the site to the maintenance mode to forbid the access to the store during the upgrading. For this purpose, log in to the Magento server and type the next command line:

php <your Magento install dir>/bin/magento maintenance:enable

Upgrade Magento 2 from the Magento Admin via Web Setup Wizard

Probably, it is the most straightforward way to upgrade Magento 2. Even a non-tech-savvy will manage to upgrade Magento 2 with the help of Web Setup Wizard.

Log in to the Magento Admin as an administrator.
In System click Tools. There you’ll see Web Setup Wizard.
In Web Setup Wizard, go to the System Configuration task and check there whether you’ve typed in your authentication keys. If not, type them in and then click Save Config.
Now you can go to the System Upgrade. Magento will start looking for the latest core version. At the same time, you can click Yes to upgrade components, too.
Wait till the latest Magento 2 version will be found. This process may take a while.
You’ll be allowed to choose among several last Magento 2 versions, but we recommend you to favor the latest one with fewer bugs, security enhancements, and new functions. Thus, choose the latest core version Magento 2.1.7 and the necessary components and click Next.
The further step is to check the environment for the correct PHP version, PHP extensions, the file permissions, and compatibility. This step is called Readiness Check.
If you've passed the Readiness Check, you’ll see the permission to move on and you’ll be able to click Next. Otherwise, you have to solve the issues before moving on.
The next step is to back up the file system and database. You’ll be offered to back up code, media, and database. You can choose not to back up, but we strongly recommend you not to do that.
If you’ve chosen to back up, click Create Backup and wait till the system checks the disk space availability and completes the backup. Then, you’ll be allowed to click Next. In case you’ve encountered a problem while backing up, check the document.
And finally, the last step is System Upgrade. On this stage, you just have to click Upgrade and wait.
Upgrade Magento 2 from Terminal with a Command Line

This way of the system upgrade requires some technical knowledge and will suit best developers.

Log in to the Magento server as a file system owner.
Go to the directory where you’ve saved the Magento software.
For the time being, the latest version of Magento 2 is Magento 2.1.7. So enter the next command if you want to upgrade Magento CE

composer require magento/product-community-edition 2.1.7 --no-update

composer update

If you want to upgrade Magento EE, then enter a bit different command

composer require magento/product-enterprise-edition 2.1.7 --no-update

composer update

4. Then you may be asked to enter the authentication keys.

5. Finally, upgrade your Magento 2 with the command:

php bin/magento setup:upgrade
It doesn’t matter, which way you’ve used for upgrading your Magento 2, but after the store has been upgraded, you’re required to perform the following tasks:

Manually clear var subdirectories
rm -rf <Magento install dir>/var/cache/*

rm -rf <Magento install dir>/var/page_cache/*

rm -rf <Magento install dir>/var/generation/*

If you use Varnish for caching pages, you’ll have to restart it
service varnish restart
Disable maintenance mode
php bin/magento maintenance:disable
Check the storefront whether everything works correctly.

In case you’ve encountered any problem with installing, upgrading, or migrating to Magento 2 or any other issue with Magento 1 or Magento 2, Our Team of Certified Developers is ready to help out.

Hope, our article was useful for you. Share your experience on migration to Magento 2 or its installing and upgrading.

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ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software is a must-have tool for your retailing business. With its help, you’ll be able to integrate the finances, sales order processing, marketing, stock control and purchasing in a single central system. In the article, we’ll talk about Khaos Control ERP solution and about Khaos Control Magento module that brings integration risks and the required time down to a minimum.

How Will Your Business Benefit from Integrating with Khaos Control?

Khaos Control is a business management software that enables you to hold the keys of customer relations, warehouse, orders, stocks, accounting, etc. using a sole solution.

In essence, Khaos Control stitches together all aspects of your business:

Khaos Control integrates the in-stock balance of items, customer information, and order management data into one single place.
Inventory Management software keeps account of items in stock and recommends reordering at the most cost-effective point of time.
It also can provide your employees with the correct information they need at the precise moment they need it.
Khaos Control lets you enjoy the advantage of drop-shipping. Drop-shipping is a relatively new retail fulfillment method with nice chances for glittering future in logistics. It is a nice way out for small and medium-sized businesses that can’t afford their own warehouses.
Multi-Channel Retailing gives the possibility to keep an eye on all your selling channels (Amazon, Ebay, your website) in combination as well as separately using a single software solution.
With the help of Mobile Order Management, you can check the main figures of the business on your smartphone.
Customer Order Management software streamlines the customer managing process. It stores all available data on each and every customer beginning with the contract and ending with a video. Having this information at hand, you are able to make special, unique, personalized offers.
Khaos Control allows you to deliver an excellent omnichannel experience to the visitors of your Magento store.
Order Processing software provides you as well as the customers with up-to-date information about the shipping process: it informs about the pick, pack, dispatch, and all possible delays.
Supplier Management software accumulates the information about your suppliers from the estimated delivery date to the percent of products returned. Taking into account this valuable information, you’ll be able to compare your suppliers and choose the most suitable one(s) for your business.
Khaos Control lets your customers enjoy the secure integrated payment system.
In a nutshell, Khaos Control is a software that frees you labor from mundane work and leaves them only with the tasks which require human brains: managing the process or expanding the business. This single benefit leads to fewer employees, fewer mistakes in figures, cost cuttings, the ability to grow the business faster using the saved funds.

According to the testimonials of Khaos Control users, which you can find on the site, everyone states that their businesses benefited from using this ERP software. Business owners felt that they can take a far greater control of their business processes and, therefore, optimize them. As the result, they became able to grow their company in a more efficient way.

Pay attention to Khaos Control Magento module

In case you can’t wait to try this well thought-out software, we want to draw your attention to a nice Magento module that will save the time needed for integrating Khaos Control with your Magento store and make the integration process easy and risk-free.

Khaos Control Magento Module by Flint Technology

Khaos Control Magento module was designed to streamline the process of integrating the Khaos Control platform with your Magento store. With the help of this extension, you’ll be able to integrate your Magento site, call center, and warehouse in a flash. Flint Technology took care of the integration process for you to be able to deliver a first-class experience to your customers without any development or delay.

The possibility to reduce the time required for integration Khaos Control platform with the Magento store is one of the most valuable advantages of the given Magento module. If time doesn’t mean a tremendous lot to you, then note one more advantage of this extension: a risk-free integration. Having Khaos Control Magento module at hand, you won’t worry about possible integration risks, such as loss of important information or common Magento integration performance-related issues.

This module is furnished with advanced integration tools, such as test mode, investigation of the platform interactions, extensive reports with performance metrics, and other things that will optimize the system tuning.

Khaos Control Magento module lets you join your business processes in your Magento store with Khaos Control simply via configuration. Moreover, the module is capable of performing many tasks automatically, for example, to send email reports with the description of a new issue; and to guarantee that the customer sees the correct inventory data.

The module by Flint Technology offers:

Product Management
Price Management
Stock Management
Order Management

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