What is Visual Merchandiser?
Recently Magento has introduced several upgrades to its Enterprise e-commerce platform, the biggest one being a built-in Visual Merchandiser tool. This functional addition allows Magento Enterprise Edition merchandise managers drag and drop web content to build customized product displays in preview mode and make adjustments before applying changes on the live site, according to Paul Boisvert, head of product management for Magento at eBay Enterprise. However, Community Edition customers also have access to exactly the same functionality via purchasing and installing the Visual Merchandiser tool, offered by a UK-based e-commerce developer On Tap Group. This same functionality now built into Magento Enterprise is still available as a plug-in through the Magento Connect marketplace. While Magento Enterprise license costs almost $20,000 per year, having Enterprise-grade functionality is quite possible by integrating several free and paid extensions such as the Visual Merchandiser. Let’s take a closer look at the extension’s functionality. The video below provides a brief overview:
What Does Visual Merchandiser Do?
This Magento extension introduces “Smart Categories” to the Magento store. Smart Categories enable users to automatically include products into categories based upon predetermined rules. For example, users can create a category that includes all discounted clothing automatically, or categories for brands where adding a product to the catalog causes it to automatically appear in the corresponding brand category.
Features of the Extension
The recently updated tool offers the following selected merchandising management functionality and features:
- Drag-and-drop user interface with an entire category in a single window
- Integrated product search that aids in product category assignment
- Customizable product metadata display – showing stock, price and other attributes
- Bulk assignment of products to a category
- Ability to assign categories based on smart rules
- Instant stock availability display
Why Use Virtual Merchandiser?
While on the surface insignificant, this product category functionality can save considerable time and headache for content managers and free up valuable development time at apparel retailers and other stores with a large number of frequently changing products in several categories. Visual Merchandiser also offers a developer interface so that the extension can be extended to provide custom sort logic within Visual Merchandiser or Smart Categories.
Which Magento Editions Does Virtual Merchandiser Work With and How Much Does it Cost?
Visual Merchandiser is compatible with Magento Community Edition 1.6.2 to and up. The software license price is based on the number of front-end web servers, at $450 (or 299 in British Pounds) per each server and is available on the Magento Connect store, but payable on the developer’s website. Bug fixes are free for the lifetime and the extension code is not encrypted, but technical support and product updates are only available for 90 days from the point of purchase.
The Visual Merchandiser Magento extension available via the Magento Connect marketplace offers some of the key functionality of the Magento Enterprise Edition that greatly simplifies the job of a store merchandiser. Users of large stores will greatly benefit from the ability to create and organize product categories quickly and easily with using a simple drag-and-drop user interface. Feel free to contact Maven to discuss how we could help integrate your Magento store with Visual Merchandiser and customize it for your store’s specific needs.