Magento: The Platform for Larger eCommerce Businesses - 1Digital® Agency
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Magento is an open-source CMS similar to WordPress. Known for having the most flexible capabilities, Magento has nearly unlimited customization possibilities for the technically inclined store owners or programmers. Magento is best suited for mid to large size companies who have the capacity to employ tech savvy individuals or developers. It’s not unusual for larger corporations to have a whole department dedicated to the maintenance and development of their Magento eCommerce platform. Major enterprises such as Burger King, Nike, The North Face, and Samsung utilize Magento for its vast capabilities.

Setup

Magento’s setup process is similar to WordPress in that you have to manually install the official software from Magento’s website as well as find your own web hosting. After downloading the software, you may use either an auto-installer or manual installation to get the application up and running. The initial setup process is fairly complicated. However, once installation is complete, you’ll find the dashboard to be much more intuitive and user friendly.

All themes designed for Magento are built by third party developers. Some are free, but most are paid and can go as high as $500. As Magento doesn’t develop themes directly, you can search for themes at Magento Connect, Magento’s online marketplace that connects platform users with third party developers. That being said, most companies that use the Magento CMS have custom designed websites specifically tailored to their companies needs.

Adding products to your storefront is just as easy as the other platforms. In fact, most of the business operations in terms of the setup of your eCommerce store are not difficult. The real difficulty is found when it comes time for customization. For that, you’ll have to get involved in the source code, which is nearly impossible for anyone without a programming background.

Features

Magento’s feature list is so vast that it requires one to sit down and meditate on mankind’s achievements. Truly a piece of brilliant software design, the platform allows for total control of your online channel. Magento interface is top notch with well-arranged categories and a polished look. From catalog and order management, SEO tools, marketing and promotion, checkout and shipping, and full website customization, Magento is the ultimate platform for enterprise-level businesses.

Magento has an extensive ecosystem of plugins and extensions to optimize your business. Together, they fall into the shared collective of Magento Extensions. Magento Extensions provides a whole host of additional functionality to optimize your business, and the options are vast. Want to offer referrals and loyalty rewards, streamline shipping, invoicing and order management, or analyze conversion optimizations through A/B testing? Magento Extensions has you covered for nearly every imaginable eCommerce related functionality.

Ongoing Management

Unlike the other platforms discussed on our blog, Magento’s lack of user friendliness and technical understanding make the upkeep beyond the scope of a novice. Due to the complex nature of the platform, you’ll need to outsource to an agency or hire professionals internally to keep up with the management of your platform.

SEO

Magento is great for SEO but can be difficult to implement due to the high level complexity of the platform. Magento became popular, in part, due to its SEO capabilities, such as Google Sitemap, image optimization, and URL rewriting. It’s also simple to meta-tag products and information. Magento 2, the newest addition, comes included with an SEO extension which acts as a full SEO solution to your eCommerce website. Like any other platform, it’s important to have a basic understanding of SEO best practices in terms of using proper keywords, product image optimization, site speed, and avoiding duplicate content, among others. SEO operations within your Magento ecosystem would fall into ongoing maintenance and, without a computer-savvy background, should be undertaken by professional management.

Omnichannel Integration

Magento gives merchants the ability to integrate into many different sales channels. It just so happens that eBay owns Magento, so it comes as no surprise that the Magento Enterprise edition automatically syncs with eBay, allowing merchants to sell their products and services right out of the box. Many of the extensions available can be difficult to install to the point that developers may be needed for proper installation and functionality.

Being the largest online retailer with 60 billion in sales, it’s a no brainer for businesses to integrate onto the Amazon marketplace, provided they can handle a large customer base. Magento provides many extensions that allow enterprises to export products from their store onto Amazon, Facebook, eBay, and most every other major eCommerce marketplace.

Magento is a top contender in its ability to integrate with social media outlets. Moreover, it facilities the user to integrate its social media into a collective stream; this gives the user a singular stream of analytics to organize their product distribution and inventory.

Pricing

Magento comes in two forms, Magento CE (Community Edition) and EE (Enterprise Edition). Magento CE is free to download; you’ll need to install it on your web server. As an open-source platform, there’s a large community engaged in everything regarding the platform.

The Enterprise version is built for larger organizations. There is no quoted pricing available for this edition. You have to fill out a contact form and speak with a representative before they deliver you a quote. Because the Enterprise Edition represents the pinnacle in eCommerce functionality, the cost is reported to range from $15,000 to $50,000 per year. Full tech support is included with the package.

If you’ve read our previous blog posts, you’ll have noticed that every major eCommerce platform offers a varying degree of options. However, in terms of functionality, they basically do the same thing. The platforms reviewed in this article provide the springboard from which just about any business can start monetizing its operations in the electronic marketplace. In terms of specifics, many large enterprise organizations may be best suited for Magento, as it is best suited for complete customization and scalability. Other than that, those who are making their transition from brick and mortar to the world of eCommerce will have to evaluate their budgets, specific needs, and individual operations to find the platform best suited to their needs.

If you’re looking to migrate your growing eCommerce business onto Magento’s open-source CMS, 1Digital Agency can help! As a Magento preferred partner, our experts can help you create an eCommerce site that will not only look professional, but will draw in a wider consumer base. Visit our website or give us a call at (215) 809-1567, and let us help you create an unforgettable site!

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Dan Kogan

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