Welcome to our new Developer Diaries Series, where we highlight the
incredible innovations in the Magento
and the people who make them a reality.

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.