Magento offers almost everything an e-commerce site would need to showcase products, carry out online transactions, offer customer service and run all your backend processes efficiently. However, it’s not a plug and play e-commerce platform; it does need some level of coding knowledge to build the site in the first place.
Made For E-commerce
Magento started life as a platform intended for e-commerce unlike WordPress, Drupal or Joomla which are primarily content management system platforms which offer the option of e-commerce plugins.
Magento key e-Commerce features
- User Dashboards
- Inventory Management
- Advanced shipping and supplier management
- Allows bundling of products
- Built-in cross sell and up sell capabilities
- CMS option
Freedom To select Hosting Service
If you still need the convenience of a hosted platform, Magento Go offers you exactly that along with all the benefits that come with the Magento Community edition platform.
Easy To Integrate Third Party Apps
Magento extensible API allows you to connect to any kind of app or plugin of your choice extremely easily. So be it payment gateways, web analytics or shipping and tracking; find the app of your choice and plug it into your Magento site with in no time.
Modular And Customizable
Modular And Customizable: E-commerce businesses come in different shapes and sizes. What works for a fashion retailer may not work for a hardware and power tools seller. Similarly size and scale of operations, customer service requirements etc. pose different challenges in the e-commerce environment.
Being an open source platform, Magento is expected to be inherently highly customizable and modular. However, with the right coding smarts, Magento becomes like putty in your hands.
45% of today’s web users expect a site to load in under 2 seconds. Any longer than that and they simply close the tab and move on with their lives. Every customer that leaves without buying leaves behind yet another dent in your overall conversion rate.
With such pressure on performance, you would want a platform that loads fast, allows caching of pages easily, while still allowing you to have as many bells and whistles as you need on your e-commerce site.
Magento gives you each of the above and more. It allows you to cache your pages easily using Varnish, retrieve data from gigantic databases in milliseconds, process queries in no time and load pages fast enough to please your impatient customers.
We all know how important it is to make our websites as SEO friendly as possible.
Magento saves you the development trouble of creating SEO optimized URLs, meta tags, descriptions, URL rewrites, site maps, navigation and category structures and more. Its source code comes with all of these features built right in, saving you a lot of trouble and time, while still ensuring that your site is search friendly.
Run Multiple Websites With One Common Backend System
While almost every other e-commerce platform – open source or otherwise – lets you have only one store on one system; with Magento, you can run multiple websites on the same common back end system.
Every website can have distinctly different layouts and design with their own stores. You can even have different domains for each site. Control all of them simultaneously through a single unified admin panel using Magento. This capability is a boon for e-commerce businesses that operate in multiple niche categories.
Some more about it if that’s not enough!
Magento Is Open Source. Open Source = Free!
- True, Magento has 3 versions in total
- Magento Community Edition (free)
- Magento Enterprise Edition (paid)
- Magento Go (paid & hosted on Magento’s servers)
The most popular of them all is the Community Edition, which is completely open source and boasts of probably the largest and most active developer community for e-commerce platforms on the internet.
Magento is free to download and install. You can tweak the source code any way you want to suit the type of website you are building and install extensions that are easily available through the Magento Connect Marketplace. Magento Connect, by the way also happens to be the world’s largest e-commerce app marketplace.
The platform gets upgraded regularly by the developer community working on it, security flaws are spotted and plugged making it extremely safe from an e-commerce perspective. If you are looking for even higher security standards, you could always opt for the Enterprise Edition which offers a Secure Payment Bridge that comes with PCI Data Security Standard.
The best part is the free and easily available troubleshooting that you can fall back on from the large developer community and forums.