[Guest post by Christopher Meloni]
Magento is known for its broad community and rich features but, it is true that many retailers have found it complex as well as costly.
For any e-commerce website, everyone wants to generate mind-blowing sales by converting window shopping visitors to loyal customers. This big as well as important decision is taken before the website takes it’s shape.
If you want to go online and establish yourself, then there is one important question for which you need to give an answer. The question is – Which e-commerce platform should I opt for to create an influential website? You may feel the question to be very simple. Right? In the actual sense it not that easy. A number of platform options are available there and everyone is created differently.
As I have been part of e-commerce for last many years, I can strongly recommend Magento to be considered as the platform for e-commerce websites. It is again true that it may not work for everyone (you will find why later in this post), yet it is one those platforms which help users to manage back-end on their own.
Five features that makes Magento better than others:
Catalog Management: For any e-commerce site, it is really a tiresome task to upload the products one by one. It consumes a lot of time even if it sells very few products. So what about the big online stores? With Magento you can easily upload thousands of products with just a click. You can even add a number of attributes with the product like its SKU number, description, the place where a product should be placed, URL path, price, thumbnail image, manufacturer name, model and many more other things.
Magento comes with an amazing catalog management system which supports a number of categories, EAV architecture, dynamic product attributes, etc. A number of other things like up-sells, comparisons, cross-sells, wish lists, etc. work smoothly with Magento.
Option for Multiple pricing: Every product needs to be priced differently and it is one of the important need of an online business.
For any online store on Magento, you can easily achieve customer group pricing. This means the store can offer different prices for different customer groups. Every online business needs this. It allows businesses to offer different prices to wholesalers, retailers, staffs as well as VIPs. This can be achieved without changing the layout or design of the store. Similarly, if a user is not logged in, Magento can restrict the user from viewing the price. This single feature helps the online store to know the product preferences of new and existing customers.
Product alerts: It will not be wise to underrate the alert feature of Magento. It has been proven from time to time that alerts help to increase sales. It notifies customers when a product is on sale or when an out-of-stock item is in stock. Though it is not a big feature, it is good enough.
Manage multi-stores: If you succeed to meet all the criteria to spread geographically, you can take your online store worldwide. Magento helps online businesses to create a website that works on different languages. Thus, you can take your products to a larger audience base. In case you want different online stores for different industries, then Magento helps you there too. This means Magento helps to create different front-ends which can be managed by a single back-end system.
User interface which is customizable: With Magento, online stores can easily change the layout or theme of the store while maintaining a single back-end. This helps buyers have a better experience and thus increase conversion rate.
It’s Counter-effects: Even though Magento comes with these outstanding benefits, there are certainly other things that you need to consider before you choose this platform.
Magento needs heavy resources even though it is strong: It is true that Magento is strong and scalable, but it needs a huge resource to run the game. The platform needs heavy servers to work, which eventually increases the operational costs. So in case you are planning to create a small online store, you need to consider the costs to run on the Magento platform.
Magento modifications may need help of skilled developers: If your online business is built on a Magento platform, then you must know how to manage it too. It may happen that the IT department in the company may not be able to update or alter it as Magento is quite complex. So you need to take the help of a Magento development company or you can Hire certified Magento developer. Many a time it may prove costly too as alteration on Magento platform needs the understanding of specific skills.
A regular maintenance is necessary for Magento: In order to keep the system run smoothly, Magento uses a number of flat tables, in-built indexes, logs, caches, etc. So you need to maintain and update them regularly. It is true that most of the work can be automated, still you need to keep an eye on them to confirm that everything works in an optimized way.
So from this, we can understand that Magento can prove costly to small businesses but if they are looking for a scalable store for the future, Magento can be the best bet.