Building the Foundation for Magento 2

Gian Genovesi

magento 2 foundation.pngThe first steps in building a successful Magento Commerce 2 site. 

There are a lot of exciting changes that come with an eCommerce project. When implementing a new Magento site or updating your software to Magento 2, it can be easy to get carried away with planning all of the advanced things your new eCommerce site will accomplish. And while it’s certainly fun to dream up new and exciting ways to sell to your customers, every eCommerce project needs to start by building a solid foundation.  

We know it’s not the flashy, exhilarating part of a project, but going back to basics and making sure your project is starting on the right foot is important. This guarantees that when you finally get to the advanced features your site is ready to facilitate them.   

So, what groundwork needs to be laid? Start with personas and analytics, then move onto functionality, content, and marketing.    


Your Magento site’s foundation rests on your customer personas. Personas take real information from your current or desired customers and forms an identity around those demographics. These generalized representations of your ideal customers help make sure that all site development decisions are made with your end user in mind.  

Defining who your customers are (or who you want them to be) and what they want from an eCommerce experience will help you figure out how to sell to them. Using your personas, you can design and implement your Magento 2 site in a way that is beneficial for your desired audience. Your personas will help you better figure out if you’re reaching your audience in an effective way to get them convert from visitors to customers.   

The good news is that you most likely already have the information you need to create customer personas. For example, you probably already know the approximate age of your average customer and what they’re looking for when they come to your site. You just need to take that information a step further and use it to shape a well-rounded picture of who your customers are.  

Analytics and Transactions 

Now that you know who your ideal customers are, you need to figure out what you want them to do when they get to your site. In the eCommerce world, your customer’s actions are referred to as transactions. But a transaction isn’t necessarily a purchase; it’s simply what you’re considering a successful interaction with your customer or site visitor. By defining your metrics for success, you can better navigate how to facilitate those transactions 

Most eCommerce sites have both primary and secondary transactions. A primary transaction is the main goal for the site and a secondary transaction is often an interaction on the path towards a primary transaction. For most eCommerce sites, the main goal is making a sale. So, if your primary transaction is making a sale, what does a secondary transaction look like? In that case, a secondary transaction might be something that nudges a site visitor towards becoming a customer, like signing up for emails or adding an item to a wish list.  

Believe it or not, making a sale isn’t always the ultimate goal of an eCommerce site. We have clients whose main goals are to drive brand recognition. In those cases, the primary transaction is when a site visitor viewed a page that gave them more information about the product, and a secondary transaction was making a sale.   

We've had other clients whose customers were, primarily, an older crowd, skeptical of making purchases online. For them, a primary transaction was a site visitor signing up to receive paper catalogs in the mail. Someone receiving a catalog is making purchases, just not necessarily on their eCommerce site.    

Identifying your primary and secondary transactions will help you better understand how your organization is defining success for your Magento site. And not only can success look different for every organization, you can have more than one definition as well. We often find that our customers have three to five primary transactions and about ten secondary transactions.  

Functionality, Content, and Marketing  

So, you know who you want your customers to be and what you want them to do; how are you going to get them to do those things? Knowing what features your site needs to get your customers to accomplish the desired transactions will define the development of your Magento site.  

With your audience in mind, what Magento features, functionality, and marketing programs are going to resonate with your customers and help you accomplish your goals?  

After looking at their site activity, one of our clients found that their customers love a good deal. Whether that’s a price cut or a free gift with purchase, their customers were jumping on a bargain whenever one presented itself. So, they knew they needed the ability to easily adjust pricing and promote daily sales on their eCommerce site, both of which Magento offers. They are also able to run email campaigns alerting their customers of upcoming deals through Magento’s marketing tools.  

For another one of our clients, they knew that having big names advertising their product onsite would resonate with their customers. So, they had some of the most recognizable names in their industry endorse their product through high-quality images and videos. Additionally, they included detailed product descriptions and imagery to educate their customers on their products.  

Back to Basics 

For anyone who has implemented a new eCommerce site before, these foundational items shouldn’t come as a surprise. Having established personas and well-defined success metrics along with identifying what features, functionality, and content you need to implement are fundamental items to have in place when making changes to your eCommerce site. All of that preparation when paired with a well-designed, easy-to-use Magento 2 environment will build a rock solid foundation on which to expand your eCommerce site to more elaborate, flashier features.  

Are you looking to upgrade your eCommerce site or implement a Magento 2 environment? Contact our experienced team to get started.  

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