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So… What Even Is Magento?

what is magento
  • Written By Livie
  • Posted March 15, 2018
  • 6 minutes Read Time

Here at Media Lounge, we love all things Magento, and we pride ourselves on being a Magento business partner. But if you know of Magento but not really enough to understand the platform fully then let us guide you through what exactly our favourite eCommerce platform is all about.

Being one of the most popular eCommerce platforms around, Magento was developed based on Zend Framework and PHP programming languages. Nowadays, Magento covers required functions for online stores of all scales from small online stores to large marketplaces.

According to statistics, the trend of using Magento is considerably increasing. There are nearly 240,000 which are currently using websites, and over 413,000 websites using this open source system previously. The graph below shows a tendency that customers from developed countries are likely to use Magento more often, in which the USA, UK and Germany rank in top 3, making up for 36.32%, 13.66% and 11.47% respectively.

where did magento come from

An Overview of Magento History

Magento was first introduced by Varien back in 2007. At first, this company tended to develop a new branch of osCommerce, another open source system. However, Varien soon figured out lots of out of date features, so they decided to launch a new one that is the precursor of Magento 1.

From its birth in 2007 to the first beginning of 2015, Magento 1 developed into various editions including Magento Community in 2008 for the public use, and Magento Enterprise, one year later, for the commercial goal. Both editions have been successful and widely used by web builders. Back in May 2010, Magento Mobile was launched as an independent software which can directly installed on mobiles. This version enables customers to order products on their own phones instead of visiting websites.

In July 2015, the release of Magento 2 marked a breakthrough in Magento history in particular and open sources for eCommerce in general. Compared to Magneto 1, this updated system has included many advances features accomplished by new development tools and structures.

Outstanding Features of Magento

During Magento’s developing history which include over 413,000 merchants on board, Magento proves itself as the most common self-hosted open source system, and it’s easy to explain why. Its excessive and excellent features supply sellers with advanced sources to best carry out successful eCommerce websites.

10 Magento General Features

  • Marketing, Promotions and Conversion Tools: Flexible coupons, multi-tier pricing for quantity discounts, a landing page for categories, customer groups and so on.
  • Search Engine Optimisation: 100% search engine friendly, meta information for products, categories and content pages and Google Site Map.
  • Site Management: One administration Panel for multiple websites and stores control, 100% customised design based on templates and great ability for multiple languages and currencies.
  • Catalog management: Six various product types available and unlimited product attributes.
  • Product Browsing: Multiple images per product with zoom-in capability, multi-tier pricing and other functions to add to wish list or compare.
  • Checkout, Payment and Shipping: One-page checkout, shipping to multiple addresses in one order, saved credit card for offline payments, and check or money orders that have been accepted.
  • Order Management: Ability to view edit, create and fulfil orders from the admin panel
  • Customer Accounts: Account dashboard, order status and product reviews submitted.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Analytics and Reporting sales reports, text report etc.
  • Mobile Commerce: Mobile HTML5, responsive design and native device applications.

 

5 Magento Exclusive Features

  • Customer Segmentation, Targeted Promotions & Merchandising: Customer segment and marketing initiatives optimisation by using specific characteristics.
  • Dynamic Rule-Based Product Relations: Administered rules via a condition-based tool which allows admin to flexibly manage specific products.  
  • Persistent Shopping: An ability of customers to manage and compare items of interest in the shopping cart, and wishlists when logging in to a site
  • Private Sales: The catalogue restriction to specific customer groups through invitations and event for limited time sales.
  • Gift Registry and Gift Options: Gift wrapping and gift messaging options to specific products or orders before customers’ checkout, accomplished by applicable pricing and taxes which are easily configured by administrators.

There are a great number of Magento’s loyal customers all over the world, from online shopkeepers to multinational corporations such as Nike, Bazaar, Samsung, Breville and many others.

So, How did it become so successful?

They had experience.

The company Varien (which is today named Magento) had prior experience as a web design company creating point of sale systems, content management systems and customer intranets of six years before the release of the Magento community.

Magento Had a Clear Focus

The main focus and purpose of the company were to provide usability and ease of customisations. As they started to do more work with eCommerce, their clients became larger and a lot more successful. The focus is still present today though within the Magento products. They have tons of flexibility and customisable features. This gives Magento the most flexible product catalogues in the market for any eCommerce application.

Magento Understood the Problem

The demand grew for customised implementation and the OSCommerce they are using were not designed for large-scale implementations.

Magento Provided a Solution

As they started to look for other alternatives, they found that there were no suitable platforms available for use and decided to create their own system. They released their product under an open source licence in 2008. The platform was an instant success and grew so much that 500 companies were on board. These companies needed more than the free community edition of Magneto and needed commercial level products and support which led to Varien (Magento) to release Magento Enterprise in 2009.  

The Aftermath

In 2010 the company named was changed from Varien to Magento. In 2011 Magento held its first international conference in LA, California where its headquarters are located. More than 800 people attended including merchants, developers and partners. At the event, Magento released the introduction of the first software as a service (SaaS), Magento Go. Last year the company conducted a survey of the top 1 million sites listed on Alexa. Also over 20% of all top eCommerce sites on the list were running on Magento.

So, there we have it. A quick rundown of where exactly Magento came from and just how it has developed over the years into the platform we know and love today.