Magento Thought Leadership

Kadro named one of the Top Performing E-Commerce Developers in North Carolina

top software-eCommerce developers in North Carolina 2020 according to Clutch

The team at Kadro just received some exciting news from Clutch Analyst Jake Cox! He called to let us know that internationally-renowned B2B rating and review platform, Clutch, named Kadro one of North Carolina’s top e-commerce developers for 2020, praising our e-commerce strategy, consulting, design, and development! Now’s a particularly unique and important time to invest in your existing eCommerce business or to consider starting one, so we value that we’re being recognized as a great investment for businesses. According to Clutch and their research, amongst all providers in North Carolina, Kadro is consistently one of the best!

"We are honored and pleased to be recognized by Clutch as a leading B2B company in the United States. Since Kadro's founding in 2001, we have worked diligently to build a company founded on technical expertise, responsiveness to changes in the eCommerce market, outstanding customer service, and superior project outcomes. Accolades such as this and the positive words from many satisfied Kadro customers serve as a testament to the success of our ongoing efforts,” said Ariel Mordetsky, VP of Revenue at Kadro.

Clutch is the world’s leading B2B ratings and verified reviews platform. Located in the heart of the District of Columbia, Clutch has a team of dedicated team of analysts who conducts reviews with clients from around the world. Then, their editorial team independently verifies the content and curates it into a case study style format that Clutch offers, ensuring that you are receiving all the information that you need as you purchase B2B services! Clutch is the gold standard for B2B ratings and reviews, and we’re honored to maintain a stellar review average on the platform!

In a recent review, the owner of Garman Homes praised Kadro’s e-commerce development!

We’re incredibly grateful to all of our satisfied clients!  To join their ranks, please contact us today!

See Kadro’s complete Clutch profile by clicking this link….  https://clutch.co/profile/kadro

 

BOPIS - Spicy Filipino dish or eCommerce business strategy

BOPIS signage - online shopping and easy pickup

BOPIS – Spicy Filipino dish or eCommerce business strategy?  YES!

In a prior blog post entitled Your eCommerce store customers want this!, I pointed out the fact that in today’s world of online commerce customers expect both convenience and choice when it comes to paying for the items they buy online. But what about convenience and choices in other aspects of the online purchase? When actually receiving those online purchased items, not so long ago a consumer had two choices – buy online and have them delivered OR go to a store to buy them and take them home from the store. For what is sometimes termed a pure online retailer, the choices for their consumers remain the same, buy online and get it delivered. But for those merchants who have an eCommerce website and physical store location(s), their consumers often have another option called BOPIS, also sometimes shown as BOPUS or click-and-collect. This hybrid shopping and delivery choice can present a real competitive advantage over the pure online retail experience.

BOPIS. WHAT IS THAT?

BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) is an increasingly utilized tactic for consumers to shop and place orders online and then pick up their purchases at brick-and-mortar stores, sometimes even the same day. BOPIS is a part of the larger multi-channel shopping trend that has been emerging since around 2013 when retailers like WalMart, Target and others began to adopt the tactic. It allows retailers and consumers to merge the online, in-store and mobile experiences when selling products and making a purchase respectively.

CONSUMER SEE TANGIBLE BENEFITS

A customer’s BOPIS purchases will be stored in any number of locations at a retailer’s store - the customer service desk, a storage locker or in a designated BOPIS location for convenient in/at-store pickup.   At times, that pickup can occur on a 24/7 basis for extra consumer convenience. To help incentivize BOPIS activity, some retailers offer discounts on BOPIS orders. And the consumer knows for certain that the item is available in advance of a store visit, which in the past could result in out-of-stock disappointments.  One additional benefit of BOPIS is the local effect. Consumers get the chance to buy local and pick up from a retailer in their local community which helps to support the local economy and at times local manufacturers as well.

RETAILERS GET BOPIS BENEFITS AS WELL

For retailers, it allows them another path to shape the customer experience by encouraging shoppers to visit their brick-and-mortar stores, while still doing the shopping online. This can provide a number of additional retailer and consumer benefits like providing an avenue for additional sales to occur in-store during pickup, a mechanism for strengthening customer engagement and affording the potential for increased brand loyalty. BOPIS can also reduce retailer delivery and fulfillment costs.

BOPIS CAN PRESENT RETAILER CHALLENGES

Yet BOPIS is not without its challenges for the retailer and their eCommerce systems.  The retailer must be able to show inventory visibility in real-time at its store locations so customers know what's currently available and where it is available. With the trend towards greater online shopping continuing and the desire to be as contact-less as possible in retail transactions as part of the COVID response, stores are looking to rethink their layouts to better handle the volume of online orders and to accommodate things like curbside pickup services. They have to also examine their product ordering and inventory processes to ensure that they can fulfill orders quickly and without excessive out-of-stock occurrences. Plus there is the ever-present risk of a greater degree of fraud.

IS BOPIS BEING USED? 

According to retail trend information published by Offers.com (2020 Retail Trends), 64% of U.S. adults will use BOPIS in 2020.  It seems to be a particularly popular option among busy parents in the 35+ demographic.  

BUT WHY?

Again referencing research published by Offers.com, consumers like not having to pay shipping and not having to wait for an item to ship as key reasons.  There are others factors as well like avoiding possible package theft risks when an item is delivered and being able to instantly check their order and return it immediately is there is something wrong. 

Not all items are ideal for being included in the BOPIS model, but plenty of today’s most popular product categories work well in this shopping and pickup model such as consumer electronics, apparel and even groceries. 

HOW DOES KADRO FIT IN?

For the online retailer, whether you choose to offer BOPIS or not, it’s essential that you choose the right technology partner to help you create and support your ongoing ecommerce business.  Kadro offers a broad spectrum of eCommerce services including B2B and B2C eCommerce website development, Marketplace solutions, analysis and optimization services, ERP/OMS/PIM/CRM integrations and more. With a team of knowledgeable, certified Magento 2 developers and as an Adobe Gold Solution Partner, we have been successfully delivering eCommerce solutions for our clients in a wide array of industries since 2001. When you are ready to make your vision for selling online a reality, we are here to help.  Give us a call at 877-435-3453 and be sure to spend some time on the website for more information about Kadro and all of our services.  

Oh and for those of you curious about the spicy Filipino version of BOPIS, Bopis is a spicy Filipino delicacy made of minced pork lung and heart cooked in onions, garlic, and chili peppers. Popular as an appetizer, it is also commonly served as a main entree. Like adobo, afritada, and other Filipino classics, there are many regional interpretations of this dish.  Happy eating!  

Your eCommerce store customers want this!

ecommerce payment options graphic

There are many keys to being a successful online merchant.  But in the end it’s really all about the customer experience, whether your customer is a business or an individual consumer.  As a person who has overseen the creation and operation of a number of B2B and B2C eCommerce websites over the years using Magento and other technologies, I can speak first-hand about the importance of customer experience and two essential factors that are sometimes taken for granted or simply overlooked – convenience and choice. Online shoppers value these two things greatly and typically make the decision about where to shop and buy weighing these heavily in their decision criteria. 

Fortunately Magento Commerce, in conjunction with its many technical partners, provides an environment that gives you, the online merchant, an optimal mix of convenience and choice. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the area of payment gateways. In case you are unfamiliar with the term “payment gateway”, it is a third-party service provider that automates payment transactions between an online store and its customers. 

In today’s world of online commerce, customers expect both convenience and choice when it comes to paying for the items they buy online.  Choosing the right payment solutions provider is therefore something you should take seriously.  When selecting a payment solutions provider you don’t have to pick just one, although many of the major players in this space offer a wide array of payment choices so it certainly is possible to select just one. The goal is to provide your customers with both convenience and choice, so providing several payment solutions options would typically be preferable. 

The universe of choice in this area continues to expand. Today I’ll focus on a few options; some of which you mostly likely have heard of, others perhaps not. This is NOT an exhaustive list of available choices.  Remember that the payment solutions options you choose should align with your short and long term business goals and should also meet your needs in terms of price, security and functionality.

So let’s explore in brief a few of the major players - Amazon Pay, Braintree, APS, Authorize.net, and Cybersource.

Amazon Pay logo

One of the top payment solutions available for eCommerce businesses today is Amazon Pay.  Amazon Pay is a solution that hundreds of millions of Amazon customers know and trust.  Offering Amazon Pay as one of your payment options can provide a number of advantages to both you and your customers including optimizing and simplifying the checkout process in just a few clicks for those customers with Amazon accounts using their Amazon account information; enhancing the customer experience and improving customer satisfaction with Alexa by allowing delivery notifications via Alexa-enabled devices to reduce customer concerns about their order status and advanced fraud prevention which is a critical element in the online commerce world.

Braintree logo

Braintree offers payment solutions that cover a number of popular and emerging payment methods. The company points out that they are the only payments platform that delivers PayPal, Venmo (in the U.S.), credit and debit cards, and popular digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay in a single, seamless integration, so an online merchant gets a wide array of choices right from the start.    

With Braintree solutions you can drive greater conversions, increase operating efficiency, expand your business reach and help to mitigate risk related to fraudulent transactions while keeping payment data secure and maintaining PCI (payment card industry) compliance.

APS PAyments logo

APS has been in business for over 11 years providing reliable, omni-channel, B2C and B2B integrated payment solutions for businesses.  APS Payments seamlessly integrates with multiple leading ERP, eCommerce, CRM, POS, and Mobile applications.  APS Payments is a payment gateway and processor that is trusted by thousands of merchants daily to process payments. 

The company works diligently to offer the lowest credit card processing rates, provide strong processes to help reduce risk and to supply the best payment solutions for its customers.

Authorize.Net logo

Authorize.net has been working with merchants and small businesses since 1996. As a leading payment gateway, Authorize.Net is trusted by more than 430,000 merchants, handling more than 1 billion transactions and $149 billion in payments every year.

Authorize.net makes it easy for customers to pay by accepting the payment types they prefer to use including major credit cards, signature debit cards, e-checks and digital payment solutions.  Authorize.net supported payment types include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, PayPal, Visa SRC (Secure Remote Commerce), Apple Pay, Chase Pay and E-check. 

As with other payment solutions, Authorize.net offers retailers a wide array of convenient features designed to make it easier for you to focus on your business and customers.  Take the worry out of payments and payment processing with solutions from Authorize.net. 

cybersource logo

Started in 1994, Cybersource pioneered online payment and fraud management services for medium and large-sized merchants. Today, Cybersource’s modular platform lets you select the payment management solutions you need, when it’s right for your business - to help maximize growth. Aside from payment acceptance solutions, Cybersource also provides robust fraud & risk management solutions and top-notch customer service. Plus merchants can access additional services, including global tax calculation, recurring billing and more.

You can find a list of more of our technology partners by visiting the PARTNERS page of the Kadro website.  

IN CONCLUSION

So there you have it, a glimpse into the world of payment solutions for online retailers.  As you can see, there are many, many payment options and solutions providers for an online retailer to consider.  And most of the providers make the same general claims about their focus on data security, PCI compliance, fraud protection, range of payment options and flexible pricing, so it will take an investment of your time to learn about the option(s) that may be best for you and your online store. It’s time worth spending as the payoff in terms of more satisfied shoppers and customers can be significant.

Kadro is here to help. Should you want to learn which solution(s) is best for you, contact your Kadro Account Manager. Don't have one yet? Give us a call at (877) 435-3453.

Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter: June 2020

Kadro Offices

Insights

New Site Launch: Houser Shoes

Houser Shoes

Kadro deployed Houser Shoes' new Magento 2 site in May! We have worked with Houser Shoes since 2014 and were ecstatic to help them migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2. Read more about this project below.

"Kadro’s team has been a true asset to our online business with Magento Enterprise and has responded to deliver for our plans around site performance, mobility and strategic eCommerce planning." - Gary Houser, President & Founder of Houser Shoes Inc.

Project highlights include:

  • Full data migration for products, orders and customer accounts
  • Website redesign and setup of all content into PageBuilder
  • Migration of all EDI integration with show vendors
  • Using ShipStation for fulfillment.

Learn more about Houser Shoes' new Magento 2 site, and the migration from Magento 1.

Visit HouserShoes.com & use code KADRO25 to get 25% off any normally priced merchandise.

Webinar: Building an Online Community Marketplace

Building an Online Community Marketplace webinar on July 9th conducted by eTail with our client/partner MakerPlace, Adobe, and Kadro

Please attend the Building an Online Community Marketplace webinar on July 9th conducted by eTail with our client/partner MakerPlace, Adobe, and Kadro are presenting.

I’m on Magento. What Extensions or Tech Partner do I work with?

Kadro takes the mystery out of choosing a tech parnter

There are over 250,000 merchants on Magento for eCommerce. The vast ecosystem of Magento developers and technology partners is often a driving force for merchants to choose Magento as their platform for growth. One of the greatest benefits of Magento can also be one of the most daunting problems. At some point every merchant struggles with deciding on the right technology partner or extension to meet their need. With so many choices, how do you decide the right choice for your business?

How businesses are adapting during COVID-19

Kadro is partnering with Signifyd to bring you ongoing coverage of eCommerce trends data - by category - across their network of 10K+ merchants globally. We hope this info is helpful peripheral vision as our industry navigates this dynamic environment, and the team at Signifyd is happy to host deeper data reviews if helpful for merchandising, advertising or other decisions.

Turbo Boost your Magento site with Kadro's Site Analysis & Optimization Services

Cure your slow Magento speed headaches

Does your Magento site run slowly, inefficiently, out of sync or worst case not at all? The Kadro Team can help. Learn about our Magento Site Analysis & Optimization Service.

I’m on Magento. What Extensions or Tech Partner do I work with?

No more frustration when choosing an SI or Extension

There are over 250,000 merchants on Magento for eCommerce. The vast ecosystem of Magento developers and technology partners is often a driving force for merchants to choose Magento as their platform for growth. One of the greatest benefits of Magento can also be one of the most daunting problems. At some point every merchant struggles with deciding on the right technology partner or extension to meet their need. With so many choices, how do you decide the right choice for your business?

Our clients engage the Kadro team regularly to help identify, evaluate, and integrate potential technology partners and extensions that can satisfy business needs.

So how does the Kadro team help our clients? We start by continually educating ourselves about the possibilities. The solutions and architect teams routinely meet with technology partners to understand their offerings and evaluate whether their solution aligns with any known customer needs. Some of these technology partners we enter into a formal relationship with as you can see on our partner page. Formal relationships provide us better access to technology partner resources and support that we can leverage to benefit our clients.

The solutions teams working directly with clients internally share their experiences, positive and negative, with third party extensions. Kadro uses those experiences to advise clients on what extensions or extension providers to avoid, and which ones clients have had more positive experiences with.

Selecting the right technology partner can be very complex. Is there a cost difference? Are there functional differences? How well does the technology integrate with Magento without development? Can the technology solution also integrate with other systems in our technology stack? So how do we do it? We help separate the sales pitch from the offering. As an example, below is a list we use when our clients are evaluating Digital Marketing Platforms (formally called ESPs – email service providers). These same criteria can truly be used for any technology partner/extension with a few tweaks. Also listed are some unique points on each bullet that we ask our customers to consider.

  • Presales and Sales Engagement
    • The buying journey for consumer, and even businesses, is an emotional decision. You have to feel strongly about a vendor that you are going to partner with for 3+ years.
  • Eases of use of the technology platform
    • How much training will you need to work on the platform? Is there an additional expense to get training?
  • Integration capabilities
    • Out of the box the solution should integrate with Magento, but what if you need to connect to your ERP, OMS or other 3rd party systems. Can this be done? What is the level of effort to make that happen?
  • Account Team/Support
    • Who will you be working with on a day-to-day basis? What is the escalation path when you have issues? Are you comfortable working with these people? By default their team will become an extension of your team.
  • Professional Services
    • Should you need additional help in creative, copywriting or enhanced strategy can they help you? If so what are the associated costs?
  • Overall digital marketing tools
    • Will the tools presented enhance your customer interaction today, tomorrow and into the future?
  • Maturity of the platform and growth potential
    • How long has the partner been in business? How many clients do they have? What is their churn rate?
  • Proposed Contract length
    • Are you looking to kick the tires or make a long-term decision? How does this affect your budget?
  • Access to partner executives
    • Do you have access to the partner executives? Do you need it?
  • IP address warming strategy
    • Very email specific, but this is mission critical for any company who has switched ESPs.
  • Deliverability Service (inbox placement)
    • Again email specific, but very important.
  • Product roadmap
    • What does the future hold? Does their roadmap that resonate with yours?
  • Current Kadro customers’ feedback
    • This is the best! Hear from real life customers who are not references given to you by the sales team. We have found this to be a great way for merchants to talk to other merchants and have a true conversation about the partner being evaluated.

Hopefully the above process resonates with you. This is the service we strive for at Kadro. If you have questions regarding the Magento ecosystem, are looking to build a Magento eCommerce store or seeking a new Magento Partner to help you maximize your investment in Magento contact us here at Kadro!

How to Import Products into Magento for your Enterprise System

Product Management Workflow

Complete eCommere solutions often involve numerous enterprise systems working together. Product management can be one of the most labor intensive and error prone aspects of maintaining your solution.

Clients generally default to three common solutions for handling product management:

  1. Add/Update/Delete products using the Magento Commerce product administration screens.
  2. Upload or add new products using the Magento product import tool.
  3. Installing a rudimentary data upload extension like uRapidflow or Xtento.

If your organization lacks complexity, your product updates are infrequent, or you have simple product configurations these solutions may work for you. For the vast majority of customers we encounter this is not the case. All the above solutions, lack any customer-specific business intelligence on how to organize products (e.g. auto-generation of parent configurable based on sku format, grouping of products into bundles based on particular criteria, etc.)

If you are already using Magento and find your team:

  • Publishing incomplete products
  • Pushing products with errors
  • Manipulating data in spreadsheets
  • Uploading countless different spreadsheets
  • Passing spreadsheets around between team members
  • Having difficulties detecting incomplete products or inadvertently breaking products on updates

… there is a better way.

Some customers can achieve complete automation and never use product management within Magento while most others use a combination of automation and precise workflow to efficiently handle products. A customer's precise capabilities and needs should be reviewed to determine the best architecture for them.

Full automation is only possible if the product data source has complete information capable of properly merchandising (e.g. descriptions, images), pricing, and categorizing a product. Additionally, well defined rules must be established on how new attributes, new attribute values, and new categories are handled.

In these scenarios, the ERP/PIM/Product Data Provider owns the product data and is responsible for product additions and updates. These systems often have limited or fixed formats for data export and are not easily updated. Magento is responsible for ingesting the product feed on a regular basis and performing the following functions:

  • Mapping product feed data to Magento taxonomy
  • Auto generation of new attributes
  • Auto generation of new attribute values
  • Auto configuration/reconfiguration of the category hierarchy
  • Auto generation of new products
  • Auto updating of existing products
  • Auto archiving of deleted products

Depending on the nature of customer products and customer needs, some of the automations may not be necessary. Category structures, attributes, and accepted attribute values may all be maintained directly in Magento.

More often the source of product data does not contain the necessary information to properly sell a product online. In these scenarios, there is joint ownership of product data between systems. The external system feeding product data controls the fields they know and understand and Magento controls and owns the fields necessary to complete the setup of the product.

In these scenarios, a combination of automation and workflow makes sense. Magento ingests the feeds and checks for product existence. If the product already exists, the data controlled by the third-party source is automatically updated. If the product is new, the feed data is mapped to Magento data and the product is dropped into a customer-specific workflow to complete the product setup.

The workflow varies by customer based on their organizational setup. The simplest contains a single role but can easily be split among a number of specific functions (e.g. copywriter, image processor, content manger, approver).

If you are interested in learning more about Kadro’s enhancements to Magento to allow to easier product uploading contact us at sales@kadro.com or visit our Contact Page and fill out our online form.

12 Things to Consider When Moving to Magento Commerce Cloud

Magento Commerce Cloud

Considering moving from an on-premise solution, or alternate cloud hosting solution, to Magento Commerce Cloud?

The great news is the core Magento code does not change. It is possible your Magento solution can be moved into Magento Commerce Cloud with little difficulty. Here are some things to evaluate when considering the move:

1. File System Limitations

The file system on Commerce Cloud is read-only except for the pub/media and var folders. If you have any extensions or custom code that is relying on file system access it is imperative that the code uses the Magento-provided functions rather than pure PHP or PHP framework methods. Attempting to use the non-Magento functions will result in file permission issues.

This is commonly seen in file transfer processes between Magento and 3rd party systems or the generation of log/activity files.

2. Fastly Cache Integration

If your Magento solution is not already integrated with Fastly for CDN and caching, there are a few things to consider. Any code that defines blocks that are not cacheable will cause Fastly to not cache entire pages. This is considered bad practice by Magento. If a block isn't cacheable, the block should be delivered after initial page load via an AJAX request back to the server. Occasionally we see this in custom code, but more often see this in poorly executed third party extensions.

Fastly does provide a tool for you to verify that the caching is working correctly on your site.

Your current CDN solution will no longer be necessary.

3. 301 Redirects

Commerce Cloud only provides limited redirect functionality by default. Simple redirect rules can be applied to your corresponding YAML file. If your current solution has pattern-based redirects (e.g a legacy system using request parameters to define pages) you will need to reimplement these redirects as VCL snippets to install into Fastly.

4. File System Access

Commerce Cloud requires that server access runs through SSH key exchanges. If you have current integrations or business processes that presumes unfettered access to the server or basic login/password credentials, they will need to be upgraded to use SSH keys. Any processes that are leveraging file copies or basic ftp will need to be revised to instead use sftp to transfer files to and from the Commerce Cloud server.

In the event that your local processes cannot accommodate the more secure ssh key exchange, you will need to revise your Magento installation to pull and push from the Magento side rather from your internal application side.

5. Database Access

Commerce Cloud only allows direct access to the database instance from the application server. To access the database you will need to use your registered SSH key and use SSH tunneling. Tools like DbForge will allow you to setup the SSH tunneling and access that database like you would in normal circumstances.

Database administration can be accomplished through a tool that supports SSH tunneling or by ssh'ing to the application server and using the MySQL cli interface.

6. WordPress

Numerous non-cloud installations still use WordPress for blog content. This is not recommended by Magento due to the security vulnerabilities associated with WordPress and is forbidden within the Commerce Cloud setup. Only in rare circumstances (e.g. you have a team of WordPress experts, use many WordPress extensions, and have significant content separate from the e-commerce solution) would maintaining WordPress make sense.

There are several blog extensions that provide popular blog features and serve as a reasonable replacement for WordPress. If your solution must continue to use WordPress you may need to reorganize your site to ensure WordPress will be installed in a separate server infrastructure apart from Magento Commerce.

7. Domain-based Licensed Extensions

Some extensions limit their use by domain names. This licensing structure is incompatible with Commerce Cloud. Commerce Cloud allows customers to spin up new environments with a few button clicks. Each of these environments will have a new domain name. At a minimum your site will have four domains (production, staging, integration, and local development). If your site has multiple stores and the stores use unique domains, each additional store will be another 4 domains at a minimum.

8. Realtime Integrations

If your application is relying on real-time communications to your ERP or OMS system, you may have been leveraging the fact that your system was within the same LAN (local area network) as Magento. With Magento moved to the Commerce Cloud there will be significant latency issues compare to a LAN connection that may make your solution untenable. You may need to work with the cloud infrastructure team to make special provisions for traffic between your server environment and the cloud environment.

9. Active WAF

The default setup for Commerce Cloud only includes a passive WAF from Fastly. If you have suffered through some DDOS attacks and are using active WAF's from companies like Cloudflare you have to consider a few options:

a. Subscribe to the Fastly Active WAF in addition to the default options.

b. Setup a double proxy that routes Cloudflare (or like) -> Fastly -> Magento (not recommended by Magento).

c. Forgo your current active WAF setup and work within the passive WAF capabilities

10. Bulk Data Loading

Commerce Cloud does not allow for bulk inserts into the MySQL database using the PHP MySQL interface. If you are bulk inserting data, you will need to configure the YAML file to specifically add the bulk operation permission to the database user.

11. Composer-based Deployments

Commerce Cloud uses GIT and composer to execute deployments. If you have made modifications to the vendor folder (and you should never do this), these changes will be lost on deployment to cloud. The deployed code in the vendor folder will be completely determined by the composer.lock file.

If you have hot fixes from Magento, they will need to be placed in the m2-hotfixes folder. When placed there, the hot fixes will be auto-installed on each deployment.

If you have been disabling extensions by editing the config.php file, you will need to modify a deployment file to make sure that they remained disabled after a deployment. Direct editing of the config.php on the cloud post deployment will not work.

12. Local Development Environments

Lastly, a common misunderstanding for customers new to Commerce Cloud is that the integration environment is where development takes place. Developers should be running the system on their own local environments to take advantage of modern development tools like PHP Storm.

If you don't already have local development environments, plan to spend some time setting up those environments. This includes a separate GIT repository for tracking all code changes within the standard GITFlow process. Commerce Cloud GIT is not your source code repository, rather it is simply the mechanism for pushing application builds to an environment.