An excellent software, beyond making it possible to customize the page design according to your expectations, should also offer the options of configure your online “shop window”, search features as well as all the processes in detail.
Otherwise it could not comply with various requirements, even within one single organization because these needs may change considerably over time.
Therefore it is really something if a particular ecommerce system is regarded by firms of different sizes and experts from different industries as best choice. Well, Magento Commerce happens to be like that.
Its major characteristics are expandability, scalability, and flexibility.
We are talking about such an ecommerce platform that truly features a framework system that offers you the freedom to shape it completely according to your own needs ― on condition that you are willing to assign an expert to do those tasks that seem rather complicated for you.
We now show you why this ecommerce platform is the ideal choice and to whom it can generate the most benefits.
“Everyone uses it”
Yes, we know that this argument may lead to false conclusions. It well may be that something is agreed on by the majority while it is not necessarily the best option.
But now we are talking about ecommerce and business results.
Magento is the second most popular ecommerce platform: it has a market share of 17%, among the Top 100k sites (Magento CE and Magento Enterprise combined, July 2017).
Professional technological support and huge knowledge base
The IT developers of Magento eCommerce, thanks to the help of volunteers, have been able to create a platform that truly serves the unique needs of users.
The flexibility and openness of the system is basically the result of this philosophy. A couple of years ago Magento was acquired by eBay.
This did not come as a disadvantage: it stayed to be an open source platform, while it also enjoyed the massive amount of expertise of the huge ecommerce company.
Magento Commerce then got independent of eBay, but its extremely strong and loyal developer community, which had evolved well before its acquisition by eBay, is still passionately working on its development.
See more on Magento Commerce’s history here: Magento Commerce: History and Features of The Most Popular eCommerce Platform
The system has a remarkably rich administrative area, which gives you the possibility to modify everything according to your needs – such as product features and categories or content targeted at different customer groups. Magento is capable of handling many things, it is a robust system.
Although sometimes it is simple to deal with, in other cases it can be quite complicated. For example, you can set that different customer groups (say, retailers and wholesalers) see different prices on the pages of your online store. This kind of customization is one of the greatest advantages of Magento.
You can create an online store that not only shows the products to the shoppers, but can also direct them towards conversion.
The discount system has great features with which you can learn how to manage the discount offers even without the help of a programmer. Should you have special requirements, experts can develop whatever you think of since the software is open-source.
It is also possible to organize the categories into a tree structure and with the help of extensions you can make the process even more effortless, like using drag&drop actions.
Huge array of product information
It is no surprise that Magento is so popular: it is the most widely used ecommerce platform (according to 2015 statistics) in the world with a nearly 30% market share. Serving such a big chunk of the market successfully would be impossible without a massive amount of flexibility.
You can define basically any product feature you like.
You can set and manage the attributes without compromise in the admin panel. Basically, you can adjust the entire system to your products.
The discount system is equally flexible. For instance, you can give a discount (e.g. a percentage of the price or free shipping) to a particular shopper if he or she puts two products from the same category into the shopping cart. You can define a whole bunch of combinations, you have loads of opportunities to do whatever you like.
Impressive, responsive design
Needless to say that you can tailor the look of your Magento store according to your expectations. It simply could not be any other way, since a standard template would not add very much to your brand value.
It is not a problem if you are not an expert in web design, for Magento offers thousands of freely customizable templates. Installation, however, is recommended to be performed by a specialist.
Responsive design is even more important. There are many solutions on the market that have “forgotten” to adapt to the most recent market needs. Since 2014, more and more people use the internet on their tablets and smartphones, and an increasing proportion of purchases are done on mobile devices.
An online store can compete in such an environment successfully if it has a responsive layout, which means that it offers an interface to its shoppers, which is easy to handle on all platforms from tablets and smartphones to PCs and netbooks.
Magento features a range of default options to create an SEO-friendly website. You can generate SEO-friendly URLs and sitemaps (e.g. yourdomainname.com/productname), can define the meta data and so on. Searches within your e-store is also crucial, which is also a major strength of Magento.
Customers make multiple, narrow-down searches, which is good for user experience, but less beneficial for SEO because this makes the system generate new product lists or new pages after the searches have been made, but can be regarded as duplicate content by Google.
This drawback can be handled by custom development. The developers of Magento have always kept in mind that Magento websites should be easily found and stay strong in terms of SEO.
Magento is secure
Safety is not an option, it is a must in an environment where hackers try to crack databases every minute. We hear news almost every day mentioning data breaches, so in case of an ecommerce store it is essential to have a hack-proof system.
Luckily, Magento is always tested by a vast number of developers.
The whole system is constantly watched by experts (e.g. ethical hackers) searching for defects and eliminating vulnerability by uploading patches.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to hunt down updates all the time. Magento always calls your attention when an update is available so you will know about fresh developments right away. (You had better ask an expert to carry out the update process, especially when you already have some custom developments in your store.)
All in all, the system is not perfect. No system is. But with Magento it is just amazing how fast its dedicated community can reveal the errors and after making the safety updates, you can avoid any future problems before they can kick in.
Even if you only have a little experience in online marketing, you very likely know that this business is based on data.
No matter what kind of a website you run, if you want to earn money with it, you need to build databases and after examining them, draw the appropriate conclusions.
You have to know how many visitors you have, how they find you, how much time they spend on your pages etc.
There are a lot of factors you should keep an eye on so that you can optimize your website according to user behaviour and preferences.
You can integrate one of the most useful data collection systems, Google Universal Analytics, into your Magento website.
An even better solution can be implementing Enhanced Ecommerce, specially developed for ecommerce systems. Applying this extension for Analytics needs some programming, but it provides much more detailed data.
Thus you can collect a huge amount of useful data about your shoppers, such as what they like or how they behave when browsing in your store. You also have to watch and control the system. You should know how your website performs, how it works, what may cause failures.
Thanks to the tools of Magento support, you will receive comprehensive reports from which experts can easily find the reasons for malfunctioning.
If you have the possibility, it is worth to request an automated testing system service from your developer partner, which may raise problem solving to a whole new level.
Complete ecommerce toolkit
- Shopping Cart: Magento can comfortably lead the customers through the whole shopping process. It can be either used by registered users or guests and can also offer multiple payment options.
- User Account: Shoppers can quickly access their purchase history, check their orders or save products that they want to buy later. In addition, they can store information so that next time they can check out faster. Such information can be delivery address or invoicing address which the users can switch with only one click if they wish to.
- Management: You can manage transactions in the admin panel, start and complete the shipping process or resolve complaints. A top list can be downloaded about the most searched products (exact terms of what your customers typed in the search field), about the most popular products, or you can see if a particular shopper put some items in his or her shopping cart, but did not order them.
- Product Management: You can import and export thousands of products and modify their attributes at the same time, you can upload images, set custom pricing conditions, and determine what to show and how to show them in your “shop window”.
- Marketing: You can run promotions, create unique sales deals, offer free shipping or other special bargains. You also have opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling, you can preset opinions about or comparisons between products, display lists of recently viewed items, and also make it possible for shoppers to share your product pages easily and quickly with each other on social networking sites.
- Multiple websites: Magento is capable of handling more, an almost unlimited number (!) of websites simultaneously. You can run multiple iterations at the same time with only one user account so managing all these is much simpler. What does it mean more precisely? Say, you have a central online store with a dozen brands. You also have separate e-stores for each brand, all independent from the main website, where you can define different prices and discount offers―and you can manage all this in one single admin area.
What about Magento 2?
Is Magento 2 so much better than Magento 1? Is it worth migrating over to Magento 2 if you have a Magento 1 store?
We have covered these questions in our article Magento 1 vs. Magento 2.
To give you a short answer, we can tell you that Magento 2
- provides better performance and speed
- offers more advanced user experience
- more features and possibilities
- has a simpler checkout process
- has a more advanced search engine (Elasticsearch)
- makes extension installations and updates easier
- has an advanced dashboard
- offers a simpler product upload process
- is compatible with more technologies (e.g. HTML5, CSS3)
In short: Magento has got even better!
However, at the moment, you have to pay a premium for that. It’s because Magento 2 development takes more time and also many developers are just catching up with Magento 2 development challenges. We have elaborated a separate post about Magento pricing for 2017, which you’ll surely find useful.
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What are your options?
Magento Opnen Source features two important characteristics of modern online platforms: free and open-source.
With Open Source you will not get dedicated technical support, but you can always count on the community as a lot of beginners and experts talk about Magento on numerous forums.
If you are considering implementing a more sophisticated enterprise online store, then Magento Commerce (Enterprise Cloud Edition) can be the one for you. It is a system that is capable of managing vast websites efficiently with advanced technical solutions so that users can always have a positive experience.
In spite of the robustness and complexity, Magento provides you with a fast and very reliable platform.
Speed is a great advantage of both editions. In the case of Magento Open Source, you can enhance speed with custom developments and thus improve user experience further.
Your options are manifold. You can browse among lots of third-party extensions and services, many of which are free, to broaden the potential of your system.
Why Magento Commerce (Enterprise Cloud Edition) may be the best choice in 2017 for your online business?
Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition was introduced in April 2016 as a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), based on Magento 2.
It is basically Magento Enterprise Edition running on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which guarantees merchants advanced hosting services for better performance and security.
Magento Commerce is ideal for larger online stores that
- have a lot of products (thousands or tens of thousands)
- manage large databases
- need to integrate external systems (e.g. invoicing, CRM, shipping)
- need smart and fast scalability
- need high availability globally
- need automated patching (security updates)
- want to guarantee fast page speed to their users
Mark Lavelle, CEO of Magento, summarizes the main benefits as follows:
With this new platform running on AWS, we ensure that our merchants have the agility to respond to a rapidly changing environment, can continuously deploy innovations, easily scale to meet unexpected demand and don’t have to worry about the day-to-day management of infrastructure."
All in all, it is a flexible open source, fully customizable system that is capable of managing even the largest, most complex ecommerce websites efficiently with advanced technical solutions so that users can always have a positive experience.
Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition offers a fine combination of modern cloud computing and Magento’s rich heritage and unmatched experience in the ecommerce industry.
Magento is not tailored to your needs. It is a system that you can tailor to make it perfect for you. It has a great array of functions, which is vital in today’s ecommerce environment.
It is also an extremely flexible framework system in which you can do basically anything to get the maximum out of your online store.
This is the very reason it is worth a try.
Once you start using it, you will soon realize that you have access to such a huge pool of possibilities that you will not find in any other ecommerce platform.
It is true, however, that you will need to pay development costs to have this kind of richness.
On the other hand, for a business which has only some vague ideas about its future, not even sure about what it would sell exactly on the internet, it would be better to choose a simpler and free solution, such as WooCommerce.
You need to understand that implementing and running Magento cost a considerable amount of capital which is worth investing only when you pursue a voluminous ecommerce activity.
Magento best suits those who have a clear objective and know precisely what and how they want to sell.
For example, they already have brick and mortar stores, have a lot of experience in selling, not like the ones that are just starting and it is still a question if they will have customers at all.
An online store’s success is determined by what kind of user experience is offered to its visitors. This experience is provided in the way how the system responds to the activity of the user.
You can influence it greatly if you optimize and personalize the website. The more personal the offer and the more convenient the shopping process, the better the shopper opinion in the end.
Magento has the most features among ecommerce systems which can serve that kind of optimization with its functions, extensions and custom developments.
What to keep in mind?
Let us give you some hints for reaching a higher level of user experience. It is not our own random list, it was outlined by Forbes with the help of ecommerce veterans.
- What is the first impression of the visitor after landing on the page?
- What does the user see when he/she starts typing in the search field?
- What kind of email is sent to the user after registering, after changing the password, after signing up or ordering?
- How do you thank the user for his/her registration, purchase, sign-up?
- What happens when a user lands on a product page where the product is temporarily not available for purchase?
- What happens if the user searches for a product which does not exist?
- What does the user see if he/she has given an invalid email address during the registration process?
- How much information does the user have to provide to be able to close the purchase?
- In what ways does your store earn the trust of your shoppers?
- How do you let the customer know that you will be able to deliver on time?
When you start using Magento, make sure you thoroughly think these issues over. Your possibilities are rich enough to guarantee that your visitors will gain a pleasant user experience.