Analyzing Magento Cloud Omnichannel for Enterprise

Magento Cloud Omnichannel tops out omnichannel offerings

How Does Magento Measure Up?

For the last few weeks, our blog has explored each of the major eCommerce platforms and their viability for enterprise-scale application.  This week, we touch on a platform (and the included services) we haven’t discussed yet: Magento Cloud Omnichannel (MCO.)

The Magento Cloud Omnichannel platform was launched in late 2016, building off of Magento’s already existing Magento Enterprise ECommerce platform.  Interestingly, it was one of the first devoted enterprise cloud offerings to reach market. Despite having the early bird advantage, though it has had fierce competition from some of the other platforms we have explored in our blog in recent weeks such as BigCommerce and Volusion.  Going into 2018, it seems like every major eCommerce platform is gearing up for a battle for the patronage of the big names in eCommerce.  If you’re a larger company with an established customer base, though, it’s important to understand what Magento Cloud Omnichannel can do for you and how it currently measures up in addition to what plans have been released for the future.

As with any eCommerce platform, there is always an investment cost; once you’ve built your store on a specific platform, it can be costly (both in cash and in labor) to switch platforms.  With this in mind, making the right choice is quite highly incentivized.

The Benefits of Magento Cloud Omnichannel

As the name would indicate, Magento’s enterprise business solution is both cloud-based and designed for businesses who will be selling through multiple channels of eCommerce.  One of the big advantages of Magento in this area is that they designed MCO with businesses who are established in brick-and-mortar commerce and moving to eCommerce in mind.  This means that from the get-go the approach in designing MCO was centered on facilitating flexibility and a transition process.  With Magento citing a “30% higher lifetime value” on omnichannel shoppers, their design approach alone is a notable benefit to anyone moving to the platform.

Magento has always been very strong in the area of customization, and this trend continues with MCO.  While the enterprise cloud edition of Magento is fully hosted by Magento, unlike other editions of Magento, it still has the customizability mindset of previous self-hosted Magento editions.  While there are some sacrifices to ease-of-use that we will discuss below, the complexity of Magento’s administration options allows for the tools to be configured on a company-by-company basis.

If your company has developers on staff already, you are likely to draw more value from the MCO platform.  MCO as a platform is very open to third-party development, and many third-party plugins already exist for the platform.

Another great benefit of MCO is its excellent order fulfillment features.  With a focus on established businesses entering into eCommerce, MCO already contains the tools necessary to smoothly manage orders to and from physical locations and customers’ homes.  Magento can seamlessly allow for online shoppers to purchase from in-store locations to ship to their home while also allowing other shoppers to have an item shipped to their local store for pickup (which means they’re also more likely to pick up additional products while they are there.)

Magento Cloud Omnichannel ties online sales to brick-and-mortar better

MCO’s Weaknesses

No platform is without its downsides, and Magento Cloud Omnichannel is no exception to that rule.  With Magento’s longtime reputation as the favorite of tech-savvy entrepreneurs, Magento’s first party tools are not as extensive as some of their competitors, especially in the marketing department.  While Shopify’s enterprise solutions have extensive marketing tools, Magento’s seem somewhat lacking in comparison.  While Magento allows for easier implementation of custom or third-party tools, their weaker first-party marketing tools could be a roadblock for businesses without established development teams.

Along the same line of thought, Magento’s design was structured with more complex organizations in mind, including companies specializing in business-to-business.  The platform, therefore, can sometimes be legitimately overwhelming for companies who simply do not need that level of openness for their eCommerce platform.  If you are a company operating with a smaller team, MCO’s expectation that you have some tools of your own might prove challenging or require on-boarding new team members or consultants.

While the hosting and web development back-end portion of MCO is very accommodating, with hosting and support offered in full by Magento, the price range is understandably higher than the competitors.  In terms of pure pricing, Magento compares unfavorably to options like Shopify Plus, which might mean that companies with established web hosting solutions may not have as much to gain from Magento Cloud Omnichannel.

Making a Decision

When it comes to making a choice for your enterprise eCommerce platform, you’re going to need to compare your companies needs and negotiables.  No platform is a one-size-fits-all solution.  If you have connections or in-house design and development employees, you’re likely to have a great advantage on the MCO platform.  For a company in that situation, Magento might actually be the ideal platform, especially if omnichannel sales are important to your business.

Nearly no other platform in eCommerce offers as high-quality omnichannel tools as Magento, but the tradeoff is that the base price is higher than the competition.  For established businesses, this may not be as much of a risk, especially because of the cost savings Magento’s omnichannel tools can bring.

All-in-all, Magento is one of the strongest options for enterprise eCommerce.  While their development cycle is slower than their competitors, with releases being spaced further apart, each launch contains solid features, upgrades, and offerings that have continually been forward-thinking and ahead of the curve.

While Magento’s competitors, especially BigCommerce, appear to be ready to try to catch up during 2018, as it stands Magento is well ahead, at least in regards to omnichannel.  Competing platforms have largely begun to implement multi-channel solutions recently, and most are only designed for other online marketplaces such as Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay.

If you’re considering making the switch to Magento, we can help.  Our team is 100% devoted to eCommerce, and we know the industry better than anyone.  Contact us today at info@1digitalagency.com to find out more!

 

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