There is no doubt that Magento is the biggest and most popular e-commerce platform these days. Some of the biggest retailers in the world use Magento to power their online shop, so should you be upgrading your online store to Magento?
Let’s discover in this article if this is the solution for you when upgrading from Shopify, Big Commerce or WooCommerce.
First of all, if you are setting up your online store in Magento, you’ll either need some experience configuring shopping carts or to use a website development agency with experience using Magento, like our great team at Foundry digital!
This is because it has a robust set of integration tools to make your online business extremely powerful.
Building a powerful Magento store
Magento is a self hosted platform, so you will need to arrange with a server company a hosting package. You need to ensure your package includes FTP permissions and databases, as you will need to install the software via FTP, which should be straight forward for your design company.
At present, there are 2 versions of Magento: Community (which is open source and free) and Enterprise (which is quoted individually by their team but budget around £15,000+ for software rights).
So, what’s the difference between Magento Community v Magento Enterprise, you may ask.
Well, whilst the standard list of features is endless Magento Enterprise focuses greatly on conversion optimisation and exclusive marketing and product options to make a richer online experience.
Key Magento features list:
Marketing, Promotions and Conversion Tools
• Related products, up-sells and cross-sells
• Catalog promotional pricing with the ability to restrict to stores, categories or products
• Flexible coupons (pricing rules) with ability to restrict to stores, customer groups, time period, products, and categories
• Generate a set of unique coupon codes for each promotion and export the list of codes or offline distribution, email, newsletters and more. Easily manage and monitor coupon usage and generate detailed reports
• Multi-tier pricing for quantity discounts
• Minimum Advertised Price (MAP)
• Landing page for categories
• Customer groups
• Product bundles
• Recently viewed and compared products
• New items promotional tool
• Persistent shopping cart
• Free shipping options
• Newsletter management
• Send to a friend for all visitors or registered users only
• Send wish lists by email
Search engine friendly
• 100% search engine friendly
• Google Site Map
• Search engine friendly URL’s
• URL rewrites give full control of URL’s
• Meta-information for products, categories and content pages
• Auto-generated site map for display on site
• Auto-generated popular search terms page
• Google Content API for shopping
• Control multiple websites and stores from one Administration Panel with the ability to share as much or as little information as needed
• Administration permission system roles and users
• Fully 100% customizable design using templates
• Support for multiple languages and currencies. Web Services API for easy integration between Magento and third-party applications
• Batch import and export of catalog and customer information
• Content Management System for informational and landing pages
• Tax rates per location product type or i.e. wholesale vs. retailer
• CAPTCHA functionality to help prevent automated software from attempting fake logins. This auto-generated test ensures that the login is being attempted by a person and can be enabled in both the admin and customer login areas.
• Multiple images per product
• Product image zoom-in capability
• Related products and upsell
• Stock availability
• Multi-tier pricing upsell
• Product option selection
• Grouped products view
• Add to wish list
• Send to a friend with email
• Share on Facebook
Checkout, Payment and Shipping
• One-page checkout
• Guest checkout and checkout with account to use address book
• Shipping to multiple addresses in one order
• Option for account creation at beginning of checkout
• SSL security support for orders on both front-end and back-end
• Saved shopping cart
• Accept gift messages per order and per item
• Shopping cart with tax and shipping estimates
• Saved credit card method for offline payments
• Configurable to authorise and charge or authorise only and charge on creation of invoices
• Integration with multiple PayPal gateways
• Integration with Authorize.net
• Accept checks/money orders
• Accept purchase orders
• Additional payment extensions available through Magento Connect
• Offer Bill Me Later as a payment option
• Shipping integration with label printing – view edit print labels for all major carriers
• Integrated for real-time shipping rates from: – UPS account rates FedEx account rates USPS and DHL
• Ability to specify allowed destination countries per method
• Flat rate shipping per order or item
• Free shipping
• Table rates for weight sub-total destination and number of items
• On-site order tracking from customer accounts
a. Mobile HTML5 pre integrated
Quickly and easily create a storefront optimised for mobile devices so customers can shop even when they’re on the go. This mobile interface uses HTML5 technology and supports iPhone Android and Mobile Opera browsers. It includes out-of-the-box features such as:
– Device-specific media capabilities for audio and video
– User-friendly search and results display
– Clean display of product detail pages
– Pinch multi-touch and scaling images
– Easy swipe between product images
– Zoom capabilities
– Cross-sell and up-sell capabilities
– Drag-and-drop of products to the shopping cart
b. Responsive design
Quickly create a site optimised for any device using an included responsive design reference theme
– Can be easily customised for a fast time to market
– Includes all major flows product types and features
– Reduces long-term maintenance costs and eases site updates
– Offers SEO benefits by using Google’s preferred approach to optimising mobile sites
What about the additional Magento Enterprise features?
Customer Segmentation, Targeted Promotions & Merchandising
Segment customers into groups and optimize marketing initiatives by identifying specific customer address, location, sex, etc.purchase history, on-site browsing, etc.
Advanced segmentation capabilities include the ability to identify unknown site visitors. Whether they’re new visitors or returning customers who have not logged in you’ll now be able to identify and target them with special promotions to convert browsers into buyers.
Dynamic Rule Based Product Relations
Dynamically target customers to present up-sells cross-sells and related products based on their specific product selections. Rules are easily administered through a condition based tool allowing marketers to easily manage specific product suggestions shopping cart price rules and banners
to any customer segment to encourage additional purchases.
Customers are able to shop and maintain items of interest in their shopping cart wish lists recently viewed and recently compared items between browsing sessions and from device to device. Once a customer logs in to a site a long-term cookie is established for that browser/device combination and the customer can now view the contents of their shopping cart in subsequent sessions without logging in again.
Automated Email Marketing Reminder
Increase customer retention by automating email reminders to customers with abandoned shopping carts and wish lists. Email reminder campaigns are configurable and customizable for a variety of parameters including frequency cart value quantity and more.
Restrict your catalog to specific customers. Create invitations and events for limited time sales to select customers and allow customer-initiated invitations.
Increase revenue and capture valuable customer data with the Gift Registry feature. Those purchasing gifts can search for the registry by owner’s name email or gift registry ID. Privacy settings are included.
Allow customers to purchase physical and virtual gift certificates/cards for your store. Increase the average order value with gift wrapping and gift messaging options to individual products or complete orders before check out. Applicable pricing and taxes for gift wrapping options are easily configured by administrators. Magento Features List
Enables merchants to implement programs that provide incentives to frequent shoppers increasing customer loyalty. Points can be awarded based on a wide range of transactions and customers. Redemption rules can be controlled by merchants based on a variety of parameters including balances expiration customer history conversion rate and more.
Store credits can be created and tied to customer accounts. Orders can also be refunded with store credit or virtual gift cards which can be redeemed to make future purchases.
Multiple Wish Lists
Customers can save products to multiple wish lists and copy or move items from list to list. They can make their wish lists public so they’re searchable by anyone. And merchants can review them to learn about their customers’ wants and needs.
Add to Cart by SKU
Streamline the ordering process especially for B2B customers by enabling them to enter a list of SKUs without having to go into product pages. This simplifies large orders recurring orders and ordering based on offline catalogs.
Return Management Authorisation (RMA)
RMA enables of customer and merchant administration of returns with support for partial order and individual item returns customer notifications shipping methods and more.
Content Management System
Magento’s CMS uses a WYSIWYG editor with support for rich content. Build complex content pages create multiple versions of a page restrict publishing privileges and create menus. Easily add CMS pages to the navigation menu and create copy or delete different CMS hierarchy trees for each website and store view individually or en masse.
Scheduled Import/Export Functionality
Import and export product catalog data either locally or from remote FTP servers. Merchants can configure for error handling status reporting and backup.
Backup and Rollback
Manage and schedule a variety of backup operations with the option to rollback the changes to reverse any modifications. This feature is particularly useful when testing new modules or customisations or when upgrading to a new version of Magento. You can review specific customisations and their impact.
Staging Merging and Rollback of Content
Create a staging site to test new categories product information promotions etc. Content can be merged to the live site after approval either on-demand or per a schedule. Supports on-demand scheduled merges and rollbacks of content.
Customer Attribute Management
Improve sales and marketing efforts with advanced attribute management. Customer account and
address attributes are managed by the Magento Administrator interface and then used to create
customised marketing campaigns and customer profiles.
Administrator Permission Roles on Website and Store Levels
Restrict access roles so that staff can view only the data to the stores relevant to them.
Price and Promotion Permission
Merchants can create and control multiple admin roles for reading and editing prices and promotions.
Logging of Administrator Actions
Track and review all actions taken by administrator users with the ability to see views edits and deletions of information. Logs are associated to specific administrator users with the ability to see the action taken when it was made and more.
Limited Catalog Access
Manage viewing or purchasing items access by customer group. Access can be controlled globally or by specific category.
Increase store performance and provide efficiencies in store management through an order archiving module enabling merchants to archive orders after a configurable time. Orders are still available to both administrators users and customers while providing increased performance by storing historical orders in an archive.
An alternative to the standard Magento search Solr search provides merchants with site-search options and enhancements to the speed quality and relevancy of search results provided to customers.
Performance and search quality are improved with layered navigation and features like spelling/synonyms/stop words and weighted attributes.
Full Page Caching
Enhance performance with caching of primary pages including category product and CMS pages for all users excludes personal information server response times and reduces load.
Optimised indexing enables significantly faster indexing with limited to no impact to the customer’s shopping experience. This makes it easier to add and update products more frequently while ensuring URLs promotions navigational menus and product search tools are always up to date while never slowing down site performance. Incremental indexing reduces the need to perform a full re-index and most indexing operations are automated.
Configurable Order Tracking Widget
Customers can track the status of existing orders and returns without the need to log in to their account.
Support for Alternate Media Storage – CDN and Database
Media files can be stored within the database or CDNs.
PA-DSS Certification/Payment Bridge
Magento Secure Payment Bridge is a PA-DSS certified payment application enabling merchants to efficiently attain PCI compliance with minimum cost and effort. Customers will also be able to securely save their credit card information for future transactions.
Strong Data Encryption. Hashing and Key Management
Strong data encryption based on AES-256 and strong hashing based on SHA-256. Database keys are easily managed and updated.
re these features enough to convince you to opt for a Magento software?
As you can tell Magento is a strong contender in the e-commerce platforms arena. But do you need all these features. Are they worth the integration fees plus in the case of Magento Enterprise, the software fees?
…This is a key aspect that needs to be considered. Medium to large e-tailers use Magento, so this is a different league.
If you are ready to start building your e-commerce store using Magento please contact Foundry Digital on 020 7736 7959 or send us your e-commerce project brief.