How do you go about choosing which Ecommerce platform you can trust? The choice is an important one as it has the potential to last for many years, much like a marriage. Do you choose the most visible ones on the market such as Shopify, Volusion or Big Commerce? As popular as they may be, there is one less known Ecommerce platform that is trusted by 20% of all Ecommerce websites following a report by the reputable website Alexa. That Ecommerce platform is Magento and we will try to break down for you what makes it so successful in the online Ecommerce world.
How does the Magento offering compare with the competition?
If you have some prior experience of working with Ecommerce sites or have recently done your own research, you may be surprised by the above statistic and what exactly it is that makes Magento stand out from the cramped crowd of Ecommerce platforms out there in cyberspace. As a rule of thumb, the target audience of the average Ecommerce platform can be divided into three distinct levels of competency: technophobes with no experience of programming whatsoever, beginners with basic notions of how to set up a website who may have a WordPress blog or finally competent and qualified coders who already make a living out of programming.
Magento is squarely aimed at users of the third category with a professional level of programming, although certain intermediate developers may be competent enough to navigate Magento. This explains in part why Magento is the Ecommerce solution of choice for a majority of medium to large online stores who can afford to employ a web developer or IT department to iron out any potential technical glitches.
Magento covers the full spectrum of features and tools necessary that you can expect from a professional Ecommerce software provider to ensure a successful and profitable Ecommerce site. From Google friendly APIs and URLs to SEO tools, customer segmentation and marketing aides, you will find everything and more with Magento. Significant marketing tools include newsletter management options, coupon codes, product bundles and customer groups. I wouldn’t have enough space to list all the features Magento offers in this short review, but some of the highlights include checkout, payment and shipping, customer service, catalog management, product browsing, mobile commerce and store credits. To read more on the features offered, we suggest you visit their website.
Usability of the Magento Ecommerce platform
As stated previously, Magento should be avoided if you are a beginner in the minefield of web development. If this is the case, we suggest you skip straight to another of our reviews such as Shopify or Web Shop Manager that are both easier to set up and maintain with little technical knowledge or ability. WSM also offers the advantage of being geared towards the Automotive Ecommerce business, no pun intended.
If however you or someone working with you is a developer, the Admin panel interface of the Magento software presents a number of benefits. It is efficient and offers simple hosting setup solutions. All you need is centralized in a useful menu that allows you to navigate customers, sales reports, promotions and products in one easy stroke. The Magento software requires you to install it on your system. This adds to security and should not be an issue for web developers.
Cost of using Magento Ecommerce software
Magento offers a variety of options to choose from based on your needs at the time. These include a free open source version aptly named the Community Edition. If you send them your contact details, you can test the benefits of the Enterprise Edition by signing up for a free demonstration version. The latter offers the necessary resources to cater for the larger businesses, or those experiencing exponential growth that requires powerful and adaptable software capable of supporting an expanding business without glitches. It cannot be compared with the likes of more generic platforms such as Volusion mentioned in the introduction as you can do so much more with Magento. This is reflected in the pricing schedule which can easily run above $10,000 depending on the size and requirements of your business. Therefore it is not an economical option, but if you possess the knowhow and are committed to the growth of your business and in search of a scalable and reliable platform partner, then it may be worth considering.
Customizable tools and features available with Magento
Magento does not provide you with free templates, but if you know what you are doing then the design tools at your disposal allow you to attain some remarkable results. The Magento Connect Store can suggest an array of ready-made templates that can be customized at your convenience. Equally you can explore ThemeForest that offers hundreds of themes tailor-made for Magento at a cost of between $60 and $100. Finally, with an effective inventory management feature and built-in SEO features and tools that automatically configure your online store to optimize visibility, we can confidently recommend Magento as an Ecommerce platform tailored for web developers with a budget and big plans for the future.