Choosing the right eCommerce platform for your online store is a crucial decision and one which could very well determine the success or failure of your business. There are a number of high quality, competitive platforms available on the market, each offering different advantages and disadvantages depending on the nature and size of your business.
At the root of deciding which eCommerce platform to use, there are two key considerations to bear in mind. One, the need to deliver an efficient and high-quality user experience to convert the casual shopper into your most loyal customers. And two, the need for a robust Content Management System (CMS) that is able to support all of your business operations. These will again be dependent on the nature and size of your business but also your budget.
For a lot of retailers, Magento’s rich features and broad support community is an ideal solution to fit their workload. However, smaller businesses with smaller aims and reach could find Magento’s features a little complex and also quite costly.
Magento’s rich features and broad support community is an ideal solution to fit their workload. However, smaller businesses with smaller aims and reach could find Magento’s features a little complex and also quite costly.Tweet this now
As I’m sure you’re aware, since it would be hard to miss it, we live and breathe Magento here at Media Lounge. Even our brand colour
matches Magento’s! What this means is that we hold a broad array of knowledge into exactly why Magento is great, but also why it is not too great (dare we say it!!).
Since everyone wants the bad news before the good, what on earth could a Magento specialist agency dislike about Magento?
Good Magento Developers Are Very Hard To Find.
You can take our word on this one! We’re constantly on the hunt for highly experienced Magento developers to join our team yet are always faced with slim pickings. But why you ask? Due to Magento running on an extremely large system with over 20,000 files and 200 database tables, it takes a very clued up developer with a great understanding of object-oriented development and experience with the core software to really know what they are doing. And of course, with experience and knowledge comes a large price tag. This leads us nicely on to our second point.
Magento Can Be Expensive.
Ok, ok, that’s a very sweeping statement since not all Magento editions are expensive. For example, Magento Community Edition (CE) has been and will continue to be absolutely free. However, with Magento CE you will receive zero support – and by that we mean absolutely nothing…nada…zilch. But should you choose to purchase the Enterprise Edition (EE) which provides features such as enhanced site management, enhanced catalogue management, customer loyalty programs, dedicated 24/7 support, extremely well-trained developers, and much more, you will be greeted with a rather steep price tag.
So what you must decide is are the benefits of a Magento Enterprise Edition worthwhile for you and your business?
Hosting Can Be Vital For Magento To Run Smoothly.
Due to the enormity of Magento, Magento should only be hosted on dedicated servers that can be configured or on providers who specialise in Magento hosting. Running Magento on a standard, a shared server will cause the website to run very slowly, leaving your visitors highly frustrated and not your biggest fans!
Magento Alterations Can Take Longer.
Magento’s flexible architecture makes it rather complex. This complexity usually means it requires more time to make certain customisations than on other solutions such as Shopify or WooCommerce. This means it can take your developer longer to do the same job which in turn will make it more expensive. Are you seeing the pattern here yet?
Magento Is Resource Intensive
Magento is robust and scalable, however, this also makes it rather bulky and resource-hungry. With labour-intensive data input needed for optimal performance, a significant time needs to be invested. If you are a small store, these considerations may not be financially viable.
Right, that’s enough talk about the downsides of Magento. Now on to why we love it and think you should use it!
See also: The Pros and Cons of Magento 2
Magento Is Feature Rich.
Even the Community (free) version of Magento boasts features that are not commonly available in other solutions such as the ability to manage multiple storefronts, multi-language and multi-currency support, as well as being mobile and search engine friendly.
It’s A Fantastic Customer Interface.
On Magento, you are able to alter designs and themes based on product categories, allowing you to have multiple storefronts based on a single backend system. This is a pretty powerful tool as it offers a more relevant and personal user experience which can lead to increased conversions and great brand resonance.
There Is A Flexible Pricing Structure.
Although we have already discussed previously that choosing Magento can lead to a hefty price tag, you are able to hide or easily adjust prices based on your business needs. Changes to an item’s base price will automatically affect tier prices, and the CRT is able to accommodate various pricing paradigms at the same time. It also allows special customer group pricing for VIP’s, wholesalers and employees.
Order Processing Integration.
Magento has extensive integration partnerships that provide a whole host of order fulfilment options. These connect directly to your Magento system and communicate instantly with the partner to update order status, shipping method and also tracking information.
Magento Is Scalable For Any Business Size.
As we mentioned previously, Magento is built to scale so whether you sell 10 products or 10,000 – Magento can handle it.
It’s An Impressive Community.
The community that comes along with Magento is pretty impressive. There is a wide community of users who have developed many extensions and various plugins that can help with any support you are looking for.
So, after reading both the pros and cons of Magento, I think it’s fair to say that you should only be really considering it if you have an already-successful online business that you need to scale and customise. You will need development resources available that can spend the right amount of time to set it up – this could be by way of internal developers who already know PHP and MySQL, freelancers or agencies who already have a Magento development experience like our team here.
On the other side of the coin, if you’re running a micro business and are on a bit of a tight budget, then we suggest looking elsewhere, for now at least. The investment of both time and money into Magento will blow your budget to bits. If this is the case, then there may be better eCommerce hosted solutions such as Shopify, BigCommerce or Volusion. These others are hosted solutions but don’t have the disadvantages that Magento has but it also means they don’t have the flexibility that you may want.