Extending the Magento Admin

Matt Trimmer

extending magento admin.pngIn our experience working within the B2B Magento realm, and even in some larger B2C projects, we’ve seen customers attempt to use Magento in ways the software never could have expected. While Magento is a strong B2C commerce site, we believe those features can be optimized for a B2B environment as well.

Just because the straight-forward approach doesn’t work for some of our customers doesn’t mean Magento can’t work for them. Here are a few examples of how working with a certified team can help you extend Magento to what you need, beyond the out-of-the-box functionality. 

Address Management

Traditionally, a B2C eCommerce site will only need to store a handful of addresses per customer. Shoppers might have a home shipping address, a different billing address, and maybe an office shipping address. They certainly wouldn’t have hundreds of addresses associated with their account. But for one of our B2B clients, that was exactly the case. 

This B2B client separated their customers into organizations, and each of those organizations could have hundreds of addresses in their contacts. Because of that high volume, addresses were nearly impossible to manage in the Magento admin. While that out-of-the-box tool didn’t work for them, they turned to our team who discovered another tool that would work.

Magento has an import/export tool that is typically used to update product and customer files, but our team modified it to update our client’s organization files. Instead of managing organizations in the Magento admin, the client uses the import functionality to create a new address or update an existing one for an organization.

While the import/export tool itself is standard Magento functionality, our team extended it to work within our B2B module to be able to manage organizations.

Customer Group Pricing

Another one of our B2B clients had a challenge surrounding customer group pricing. Magento allows for customer group pricing, and the pricing management screen lists all of the different group prices for the SKU. This client, however, had customer group pricing for nearly every one of their products, resulting in thousands of individual customer group prices in their catalog. When they tried to manage that list through the pricing management screen, the site would crash.

To solve this issue, our team worked with the client to create a contract pricing screen in the B2B module. This sets up the screen so that instead of first displaying the SKU and seeing thousands of organizations, users now go to the organization first and access their list of contract pricing from there.

This solution is especially beneficial for updating the customer group pricing for changes. Instead of looping through thousands of fields on the traditional pricing management screen, Magento now goes through a hundred or so instead.

Category Information Updates

While B2B projects raise their own complications, larger B2C implementations can come across hurdles too. We had a B2C client that was struggling to update their category information in the Magento admin panel.

This client has around 70,000 products in their catalog, with nearly 64,000 of those products in one category. When using the Magento admin panel to make changes to that category, like changing the name or adding a picture or description, the site would crash.

Working with our team, the client utilized URapidFlow to import and export category information. Now, when a category needs to be updated or changed, the client creates a URapidFlow profile and imports it into Magento.

In this situation, while we didn’t customize anything, our Magento eCommerce expertise allowed us to find a solution. That expertise is one of the key benefits of working with a certified development team. 

We certainly don’t tamper with Magento unnecessarily; out of the box, Magento is a powerful tool and should be leveraged accordingly. But in the unique situations where the base functionality just isn’t going to work, we come up with an effective solution for our clients.

Do you have a tough eCommerce challenge that could use an experienced eye? Contact our team to learn more.

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