BelVG has over 12 Magento certified developers and 8 years of experience building Magento sites. For years, their team has worked with Magento merchants to create impactful and engaging web stores. We sat down with Vlad Yunusov, BelVG Sales Manager, to talk about some of the most popular extensions from BelVG, why social media is a key component of commerce success and, of course, the popular BelVG developer blog.
Magento: How long have you been a Magento partner?
Vlad: We have been with Magento for more than 5 years. Our company was founded in 2004 and we became an official Magento partner in 2012.
Magento: Do you make extensions for Connect or Marketplace?
Vlad: We have been making extensions for the Marketplace for quite some time, but now we are a solution partner, which means we help develop merchants’ online stores using the Magento platform in addition to creating new extensions for the platform
Magento: Can you tell us about some of your top extensions and their key features?
Vlad: We offer over 100 extensions for the Magento platform. Most of our extensions make online stores more efficient, streamlined and customer friendly. Our most popular extension is Facebook Connect and Like, which allows customers to log in with their Facebook accounts and interact (like and share) with a store through social channels. The app simplifies access to the web store by allowing customers to connect to the merchant’s store using Facebook credentials. Additionally, the extension allows you to “like” the product and share it with friends.
Magento: How did you come up with the idea for Facebook Connect and Like?
Vlad: Many of the merchants we were developing for were having problems integrating social media with their online stores. We wanted to make the process easier for merchants. Social channels are expected to account for upwards of 10 percent of total online sales in 2017 alone. Our social extensions, such as Facebook Connect and Like, allow merchants to engage with current and potential customers directly through social media channels, including Facebook and Pinterest, ultimately driving more sales online.
Magento: Do you think it’s necessary for merchants to invest in tools for social networking?
Vlad: It’s essential nowadays. People use social networks every single day to communicate. The same is said about how they are interacting with businesses. People prefer to communicate with companies directly via their social pages. They want to share products with family and friends, and they want to read reviews and testimonials from others. Having your store connected to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can raise your sales.
Magento: What advice do you have for others who want to innovate in commerce?
Vlad: Choose the right partners who will work with you to create your website. You should be on the same page with the agency because if you just ask someone to create or modify your eCommerce store, they will not fully dive into your business and will miss out on important details that make your business unique. There is not an eCommerce one-size-fits-all model, and partners should go the full length to understand what your business and your customers need. What are your products? Are there any quirks? My best advice is to find someone who understands the business 100%. Usually, these are certified professionals.
Magento: What is the most exciting problem in commerce you are solving, or want to help solve?
Vlad: I get the most excitement and pride from our blog, which we started in 2011. Today, we have more than 1,500 daily visitors. All of our developers spend their time writing really useful articles on Magento coding, new Magento products, web design trends and other news for the community of developers around the world to read, learn and ultimately use. We enjoy sharing our experience with the world, especially with newer Magento developers. It’s pretty powerful. We’ve received a lot of letters and messages from developers around the world thanking us for the continued help.
Magento: What’s next? Any big projects on the horizon?
Vlad: Our company is growing. We just moved offices; we are becoming better known in the eCommerce world; we are hiring freelance professional developers and we are getting more and more customers. Next up is tackling Magento Commerce 2. We need to get all of our developers certified on the new platform. We have about 100 modules for Magento Commerce 1 to migrate and rebuild for Magento Commerce 2 to make them compatible. It’s not a simple process. We are also planning to develop more templates for Magento stores.