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MANY BELIEVE MAGENTO TO BE THE BEST e-COMMERCE  SOFTWARE CHOICE!

01.06.2015.

 

Each business is different.  If your venture is growing fast, one-size-fits-all solutions will most likely not fill the unique needs of your business. Therefore, you may find that when it is time to launch your online store, choosing an e-commerce software can be quite daunting.  It is important to consider customizations that allow you to maximize sales and optimize your operations, so flexibility is key.

Good software allows customization across the board from background processes, to your storefront interface to your entire website design.  This gives you the ability to create an online store that functions and presents the way you want, while providing ease of use that will simplify the e-commerce portion of your business.

Magento has a lot to offer and is the top pick for many when looking for e-commerce software for fast-growing business enterprises.

So, why Magento?

Full-featured and Open-sourced

Congruent with all types of businesses, Magento is a proficient, flexible, full-featured e-commerce software. Use it as it is, or go outside the box, making little changes or you have the ability to completely modify it to your unique business’s needs. That is the benefit of open-source.  There are unending choices for customization with countless extensions and plug-ins available within the community, from outside sources, and even from your own developer.  It is so flexible that it is fully scalable to change and grow alongside your business.  It doesn’t matter if you want advanced options that prepare you for growth or a simple e-commerce platform that merely provides the basics, Magento is able to fit your needs.

Affordably Priced

Magento users enjoy the cost-effectiveness and affordability of what this platform brings to their business.  There are no monthly subscription costs as there are with so many other of the software choices, which create limits on users, transactions and the number of products that are available.  You can incur little or no cost getting your online store up and running with Magento with selections from their free version to both free and paid extensions and plug-ins!

The Magento Community is a perfect way to get started with the software for small businesses.  It is not only free, but supported fully by the community of users who can help you adapt it to your particular business needs.  You have the option of hosting the software on your own server, because it is open source allowing you a better opportunity to stay within your hosting budget and to control your back-end processes.

Magento Enterprise is also offered, which provides full functionality and support for your enterprise-level to configure the site and workflows on the back end.  The paid version is a decent investment with the basic bundle starting at under $18,000 per year.  The bundle, however, offers all the options for open architecture, server implementation and an array of customized solutions.  Also, it provides access to Magento’s partners and developers that are certified and can assist in both your start-up and the future management of your Magento Enterprise-powered online store.

 

E-commerce logos

E-commerce logos

Features of E-commerce 

Magento offers everything you need to launch and manage your e-commerce business. It also has an extensive cross-section of tools to boost traffic, sales and to engage customers. Further it is customizable with extensions and plug-ins.  Here is a sampling of some of the features you can look forward to:

  1. Web design: Not a techy?  No issue. Magento does not make you start from the ground up.  There are thousands of themes both in the platform and from outside providers that provide your base.  Then all you have to do is specialize the presentation, both its look and feel, and customize the functionality to fit your particular brand, company values and mission.
  2. Shopping cart: Since Magento is full-featured it takes care of all your needs from checkout to secure payment processing.  Customers can create their own personal account or check out under ‘guest’ status.  There are multiple processing options for payments, or use your own preferred payment gateways such as PayPal, Amazon, Simple Pay, Google checkout etc.
  3. Customer service: Customers have instant access to tracking information for current orders as well as their entire purchase histories.  Customers who choose to create a personal account can retain products under their wish list for future purchase and, of course, they receive faster and more convenient checkout cycles by saving information in their personal profile.
  4. Order management: It is easy to manage transactions, fulfill and ship orders, issue invoices, extend credit and do more, all from a single location with the easy to use admin panel.
  5. Mobile commerce: Magento’s browser detection and responsive design result in a more favorable customer experience because it optimizes your store and individual product pages on mobile devices.
  6. Product management: Managing inventory is simplified through efficient import and export features.  You can easily customize your product pages with special pricing options, zoom-in capabilities, and of course, images, along with a multitude of additional storefront customization options.
  7. Search engine optimization (SEO): The tools and configurations Magento offers for SEO boost traffic to your storefront and each product page individually from search results.  For products and categories you have metadata, site maps for Google and other engines and full control over URLs.
  8. Marketing. Opportunities for marketing within your storefront and website are maximized. Promotions with special pricing, invitations, private sales, free or discount options drive sales.  You are also able to simply ‘up and cross sell’ opportunities with both individual pages and shopping carts by using product comparisons and reviews, recently viewed, social sharing and “Send to a Friend” options.
  9. Analytics and reporting. Monitoring and evaluating your store’s online performance with full analytics and reporting is important to measure your effectiveness.  Magento has this under control.  With options like traffic monitoring with Google Analytics integration and the ability to generate meticulous sales reports, detailed shopping cart reports, most-viewed and best-purchased product reports, stock and inventory reports, search term reports, coupon usages, best customers, and much more you, you are able to reach peak performance.
  10. Multiple websites. Conveniently, you can run multiple sites using just one Magento account for simplified store management if you have more than one online presence.

Even more benefits!

Because Magento is so popular to both developers and merchants, this provides you with a never ending list of options and support services during all facets of your site, from design, to launch, and through maintenance of your online store and website.

The great thing is that just because you choose Magento, you are not stuck within its confines.  Even with the amazing resources that you have within the program itself to customize your store, the options for integrating third-party offerings to gain further functionality that work for your particular needs are endless.  This flexibility is a very attractive attribute to this software.

The fact that you are not forced to use only Magento’s servers opens up an array of opportunities.  Most e-commerce software not only offer, but require your hosting of your online store be on their servers.  This really sets Magento apart because you can choose your preferred provider allowing more control over the entire platform, including your site.

As a leading open-source choice, Magento is being developed not only by the company but upgraded with contributions from the Magento community itself, both users and developers.  This means Magento continues to be a fresh, flexible and a user friendly environment.  This not only is pertinent in regard to the software itself, but to the mass collection of extensions and plug-ins that are at your availability for customization of the platform.   If you have a particular feature in mind you would like to add to your storefront, it probably exists already with support coming along with it.  So rather than developing your customization yourself, often you are merely implementing it.

Customer service

Magento software offers a far reaching variety of resources for support that resolve any issue you may face. Magento Enterprise users get the benefit of unlimited support which includes both phone and online portals for the customers. Each use a ticketing system that provides a turn- around of between one and four hours depending on which package you purchased.

There is no phone support for Magento Community users, but you aren’t left hanging.  The Help section in Magento assists with everything from a knowledge base to consulting services:

  • Knowledge base: Access articles, tutorials, webinars and screencasts, white papers, and an e-commerce library.
  • Magento forums: A community of Magento users provide help on the Magento website or at magento.stackexchange.com. Find the answer you need in existing posts or ask a question.
  • Magento wiki: A community-run wiki filled with helpful subjects such as setting up your Magento store, managing products, processing payments, designing your website and store, implementing plug-ins and extensions, adding functionalities, and so much more is available.
  • Consulting services:  Magento’s Expert Consulting Group (ECG) and certified Magento partners and developers can be contacted for one-on-one assistance. You will find their advice is invaluable for the design and launch of your website and online store, implementation of the software itself, marketing campaigns, completing performance assessments, etc.

For techies who want to get deep into software knowledge, Magento offers training and certifications along with other valuable coursework that assist you in squeezing the most out of this platform.  You can learn more about development, customization and your on-demand options within your own Magento account.

Limitations

If you know how to use it, Magento is the best customizable e-commerce software for businesses in today’s marketplace.

If you’re not tech-savvy, Magento may not be the best option for you. You don’t need to be a developer or programmer to use the software because Magento has multiple resources for the non-savvy.  There will be a learning curve, however, for some.  You can use the software out of the box to get started right away or you may choose to invest time for customization before you launch.  It is more than a plug-and-play solution.

In order to get the most out of this platform, you may choose to hire a developer.  Because Magento is so popular, the good news is that finding an expert will not be difficult.  It will be an investment, however, because the market for programmers and consultants working with Magento average $200/hour.

Also, keep in mind that if you choose to run the platform on your own servicer, Magento is not responsible for maintaining back-end architecture, upgrades, or handling glitches and bugs that may arise.  So if you are not familiar with server-related issues, or comfortable with keeping up on software updates, you may want to invest in tech support beyond that offered by Magento itself and engage in a support program with your preferred hosting company.

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