Magento 1.3 Sales Tactics Cookbook Review
Hello, it’s Adam from the Magento Blog here… yes I can review stuff too! Here’s my take on the Magento 1.3 Sales Tactics Cookbook.
Something that can be easily overlooked if you’re the owner or indeed developer of any ecommerce website design is simply a question of whether you’re doing enough to promote the products on your site, which would lead to increased sales. After all, it’s always nice to make money out of these kind of things right? This can be through a combination of optimisation, related products, cross-sells, social media, intelligent categorisation and organisation of products, and effective point of sale on your storefront.
This book deals with the how to get the most out of your Magento website, how to use a lot of the features that may be a bit too complicated for inexperienced users to get to grips with without instruction, and how to ultimately boost the sales of the site. Without proper explanation, asking some clients to have a go at using the discount system is not dissimilar to asking them to ‘have a go’ at disabling an advanced nuclear explosive in 10 seconds… hmm, perhaps not that bad.
In terms of content this book certainly covers a lot of ground:
- Basic SEO tips such as optimising text, sitemaps & meta data
- Adding to Google Base
- Upsells, related products, discounts and cross-sells
- Advertising promotions in the right way
- Interactivity in polls, reviews and tagging
- Multiple store setups (including a wholesale store)
Everything in the book is tactical though, meaning you don’t have to do it. But for those who have the time and inclination to try these techniques you can suddenly get a whole lot more out of the package than what normally appears available.
The book is very well written and even manages to describe the discount system in a clear and concise manner! Something which I struggle to do on a daily basis… It uses pictures for virtually everything, emboldens words which related to the website content, and uses numbered bullet points to break down instructions.
What’s nice about it is that it shows that there are other people out there who can actually use Magento and are skilled enough to publish about it. The book doesn’t reinvent the way we use Magento in any way and it doesn’t provide you with any complex scripts that will bring waves of new functionality to your site. If that’s what you’re after you’d be better off getting the Magento 1.3 PHP Developers Guide.
This book is like the user manual that Magento never had. If Magento was a creased shirt, this book is the iron. The person who wears the nicely ironed shirt will get the attention of the customer and make money from it.
A Little History
Before I start let me tell you something, I can’t cook that well. I can scramble a few eggs and perhaps stretch to a stir-fry every now and again but that’s about it. So it was with much trepidation that I approached this Magento guide, having cookbook in the title meant that I was instantly repelled. Silly, I know but that’s just the way it is. The red and green vegetation on the front of the book didn’t help matters either.
As always I digress, in a direction that is not only unhelpful but also somewhat confusing – even for me. Was I talking about food? Or was I about to review a Magento book?
Book it is, I’m not hungry.
When I heard about this book I was rather excited, not just for me as the developer but also for my customers. I felt that a book like this should be shared – the knowledge gained through reading it should be passed like a precious heirloom, father to son, developer to client. Even the title itself sent tingles through my spine, an E-commerce book that is actually teaching you how to sell your products. What could be better?
Let me first explain the worst-case scenario when it comes to e-commerce web design. A client wants a website built, they are an entrepreneur so they know that e-commerce is the way to go. However they know nothing about it. Meanwhile the developer, who has just finished building the site knows nothing about their customers business. They don’t even have a general idea of what sells and what doesn’t, they just make websites. What you are left with is an ecommerce website that has no target, no relationship with the customer, no cutting edge features and no hope of succeeding.
- No point.
The Magento 1.3 Sales Tactics Cookbook was created specifically to rectify this scenario. It was written to merge developer and client in a way that produces the following:
- The developer knows how to design an e-commerce website that can sell products effectively.
- The client understands the strengths and limitations of Magento and can tailor, with the help of the developer, their ecommerce website to suit their products.
Basically this book is ideal for both developer/designer and for any client who owns a Magento store.
Here’s my brief overview of the content. When you develop a store you must optimise it. This is a fact of life. If you want customers they need to know where your store is, which means you need to rank high in the search engines for your products. This book teaches you some in-depth SEO techniques, especially on the product pages. It also shows you how to set up Google sitemaps and implement the Google product search feature. All of which is integrated into the Magento framework already but which a lot of people don’t know about or don’t even bother with.
This book also goes the extra mile when it comes to accommodating your overseas visitors. Letting you know in easy to follow steps how to set up multi-language Magento sites and all the extras that go along with it.
As for the process of reading this book you will find that for every detailed description of an event there is an even better visual demonstration. Written in easy to follow paragraphs and steps in a tutorial sort of manner. You will find that as soon as you have completed a chapter, you will not need to re-read it.
My honest opinion is that every Magento developer/designer or even store owner should own this book. There are so many useful tips and tricks in here that everyone should be privy to.
Out of 10 this baby is hitting 9 for me. That’s a high percentage, and I can guarantee that after you read this book you website will be hitting high too.