During the past few years, with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, when the entire world got locked within the four walls of their houses, the eCommerce industry saw a sudden boom. Ranging from the purchase of essential commodities to even some non-essential items, eCommerce platforms have been a go-to option for most people across the globe. Not only there has been an exponential growth in the number of retailers selling their products and services online, but the number of eCommerce platforms has also grown consequently. Even though there are a number of options for eCommerce platforms available, Magento is still amongst the most widely preferred options.
Note: If we consider websites that do substantial business online, Magento (Adobe Commerce) has a very large share of that market.
What is Magento?
Magento is a customisable eCommerce platform written in PHP, developed by Varien Inc. thirteen years ago on 31st March 2008. In May 2018, Magento was acquired by Adobe Inc. for $1.68 billion.
This feature-rich eCommerce solution offers online retailers flexibility and complete control over their stores, making it more appealing for even larger enterprises such as Samsung and Nike to choose Magento. Since it requires enormous efforts and a large sum of money to develop all the necessary functions, this platform is ideal for enterprise-level businesses. The two distinct platforms that Magento provides are – Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce.
- Magento Open Source: Previously known as Magento Community, this is a free online platform that helps small businesses to sell their products online. Known to provide a flexible digital commerce solution, Magento Open Source can be downloaded and installed without any fee. But there are other costs involved, such as hosting, domain, and more, that needs to be covered by the merchants.
- Adobe Commerce: Initially known as Magento Enterprise Edition, Adobe Commerce (also known as Magento Commerce) runs on the mutual core files as Magento Open Source. Unlike Magento Open Source, it is not free but has more features. Designed specifically for large businesses that need technical assistance for installation, usage, configuration, and troubleshooting, Adobe Commerce is a premium version of Magento Open Source that includes cloud-hosting. Adobe developed Adobe Commerce in cooperation with users and third parties specialising in eCommerce.
Features of Magento
As already discussed, the primary feature determining the popularity of Magento as compared to other eCommerce solutions is the flexibility it offers and the total control over the functioning of the business it gives to the business owners. Magento comes with a number of customisable features that help business owners develop and customise their online stores to fit their business requirements, thereby maximising the profits earned.
Some of the commonly discussed features of Magento that differentiates it from other platforms are:
- Highly Customisable: The most prominent feature of Magento is that it provides you with the flexibility to customise. Magento also lets you expand your platform to help create a unique and distinct brand experience. At the same time, Magento can adapt to change and can be modified according to the requirements of your business.
- No Restrictions in Choosing the Hosting Services: Magento provides eCommerce retailers with the freedom to choose the host platform of preference without just sticking to one host. This feature lets online shopping businesses own their respective files and choose the hosting companies selectively.
- Responsive Mobile Design: Known to maintain the standards of mobile web design Magento gives an enhanced shopping experience by incorporating the HTML5 platform. It is a part of both Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce. You can also stay assured that your eCommerce store will always be optimised and will offer the customers a great browsing and shopping experience using their smartphones or mobile devices.
- Convenient third-party Integrations: Integrating third-party add-ons and modules into Magento stores has become more convenient. You can easily make modifications without any restrictions. For data analysis, you can add third-party integrations such as Google Analytics, PayPal, etc. All you need to do is find the right add-ons for your store.
- Enhanced Speed: Waiting for page loading time is no longer an issue with Magento. Known to create fast-loading web pages, Magento delivers the fastest eCommerce stores in the world. Magento can speed up your website even further by using a PWA storefront.
- SEO Friendly: Magento is an SEO-friendly content management system that contains features such as-
- URLs that are search-friendly
- Layered Navigation
- Product Title
- Meta Tags
- Meta Descriptions
Magento eCommerce provides a sturdy URL structure and meta-implementation option required for SEO. Besides, Magento is at par with the latest SEO ranking factors, making it the perfect eCommerce solution for businesses of any size.
What makes Magento the Next-Generation eCommerce Platform?
Now that we have discussed the distinctive features of Magento, let us talk about the reasons why Magento is the next-gen eCommerce platform.
- You can shop from anywhere: With the advancement in eCommerce platforms, customers want to shop on the go. The multi-platform integration feature in Magento allows you to grow your business into new channels and geographical locations and lets you conduct both business to business (B2B) as well as business to customers (B2C) shopping in just one platform. The companies that function on the omnichannel retail approach can benefit immensely from Magento for integrated sales channels while delivering a seamless shopping experience to their customers.
- Efficient Operations: Magento offers all businesses modern commerce landscapes that involve automation, efficiency, and access to data just in a few clicks. The data-driven technology enables smooth operation besides other intelligent options such as Business Intelligence, Shipping, Inventory Management, Order Management, and Customer Service.
- Meaningful Commerce Content: In this advanced digital age, customers browse the internet for any product-related information. To attract potential customers and build and manage brands, companies must keep uploading captivating content on their official websites. Retailers can provide personalised content and promotions to the targeted customers for better results.
Is Magento Good for Small Businesses?
Before figuring if Magento is a good option for small businesses or not, we need to rehash what determines if your business is small. Companies with less than 500 employees can be considered to be small businesses, according to recent data in 2020.
Over the last few years, Magento has successfully transformed the eCommerce industry by making commerce technology accessible to everyone. Many business owners recommend Magento for small-medium eCommerce businesses because of the many appealing features it has to offer.
Some of the known merits of using Magento for small businesses are:
- Magento works best with scaling businesses.
- You can design and customise your online store according to your preference.
- Magento is a very reliable and fastest scaling eCommerce community across the globe.
- Since Magento is SEO-friendly, you can conveniently increase and improve your online presence over any search engine.
- The responsive mobile design feature of Magento makes it compatible with both desktop and mobile devices.
- It is an all-in-one solution that lets you manage all the orders from your online store centrally.
- The integrated content management system (CMS) helps in the easy creation and management of the information pages in your website.
- The availability of advanced tools for marketing and promotions makes Magento the perfect platform to conduct and boost targeted marketing for your brand.
- If you own multiple stores, you can manage them easily from a single platform with Magento’s multi-store functionality.
- Magento’s multi-language feature lets you translate your website into more than 80 languages.
- The PA-DSS certified Payment Bridge on both sides ensures secure payments.
- Magento is a progressive web application (PWA) compatible that lets you develop, deploy, and maintain the PWA.
- Cloud hosting is one of the key features of Magento. It provides simple and easy cache management and increased speed.
- For a better user experience, Magento supports multiple currencies.
- Be it Google Shopping or Amazon Sales Channel, Magento has compatible third-party plug-ins available.
Every technology comes with some minor drawbacks. Listed below are some of the demerits of Magento:
- Expensive: If you are a small business owner, your budget is a crucial factor that you must consider. You cannot invest your entire budget in purchasing an expensive eCommerce platform for your business. Even though Magento is open source, functions such as support, extension requirement, and professional Magento developer’s cost need a certain amount of payment which is costly compared to other eCommerce platforms. Most of the plug-ins (extensions) is not free. The license for Magento’s enterprise edition (Adobe Commerce) can be expensive for some start-ups.
- Complex Customisation: One of the prominent drawbacks of Magento is its slow loading time during the customisation process. Even though the configuration process is easy, you must use an experience team of developers to achieve fast loading time.
- Heavy on Resources: Although Magento is known for its robustness and scalability, it requires heavy server resources to help it run smoothly, thereby increasing the operational cost of the Magento store. At the same time, the Magento software is quite simple and doesn’t provide any technical details or assistance that can pose a problem if you are not familiar with domains, hosting, etc. You would need to learn some basic skills before using Magento.
- Skilled Magento Developers: Since Magento is developed on Zend framework, not every web or PHP developer can help you manage a Magento eCommerce platform for you. You would require a professional with specific knowledge of the Zend framework. Besides, hiring a Magento expert can be a tad expensive.
- Updates, Maintenance and Optimisation: For proper functioning of Magento, you would need to regularly update the in-built indexes, flat tables, caches, logs, etc. Besides, Magento keeps releasing the patches and updates quite regularly that you will need to keep updating from time to time.
- According to data in 2020, it has been seen that Magento is downloaded approximately 5000 times a day.
- In 2019, approximately 7500 eCommerce retailers shifted from other eCommerce platforms to Magento.
- Some of the successful Magento sites are- Al-Bahar (A Kuwait-based brand dealing in FMCG products, electronics, office equipment related products)), HP Inc. (One of the pioneers of PCs, workstations, and printers), Rubik’s (One of the world’s largest toy companies).
- Magento released a new updated version in 2015 called Magento 2 which offers better service in terms of security, performance, SEO, speed, easy usage, and more.
Now that we have discussed Magento and its features at length, it would be convenient for us to determine if Magento is the right option for your small business or not. Magento is the next-gen eCommerce solution for both small and medium business enterprises by most experts.
We know that Magento comes with a wide range of features and functionalities. However, to maximise the capabilities, you need to have the right solutions partner by your side. The certified professionals at 18th DigiTech will help you create Magento-powered eCommerce sites, personalised as per your preference and business requirements. You can stay assured of the development, testing, delivery, and management of end-to-end eCommerce solutions that make your eCommerce platform appealing and easy to use. Contact us for detailed assistance on commerce strategy, Magento consulting, business requirements consulting, Magento design, Magento development, and many other services.