If you’re an entrepreneur, the Internet has made it cost effective and easier than ever to open up your own online business. When selling your products or services online, the investment required to create an E-Commerce website is significantly lower than the costs associated with starting an equivalent business via traditional means.
After you’ve determined your business goals, niche target market, unique selling points, and product or service offering, you’ll be ready to decide which E-Commerce platform is going to hold up your business. An eCommerce survey performed on websites in the Alexa Top 1 Million by Tom Robert Shaw found that Magento is the top E-Commerce platform choice for online retailers. If you’re considering using Magento, I’ve compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages to help you decide.
Tailored business solutions
Magento offers four editions based on your business needs:
- Magento Community: Recommended for developers and hobbyists
- Magento Enterprise: Recommended for medium to large businesses
- Magento Enterprise Premium: Recommended for large businesses
- Magento Go: Hosted solution recommended for small merchants and entrepreneurs that don’t want to worry about servers and software
Large community of Magento users
As previously mentioned, Magento is the top eCommerce platform choice so naturally it will have a large and developed community of users and developers. When using Magento you are able to leverage the pool of knowledge from Magento contributors in discussion boards and forums to help you find instant solutions to any problems with your online store.
Free CMS platform
Magento is open source and free to download for all individuals interested in developing their website. There are also no additional fees you will need to pay when using its shopping cart system.
Time to market
Although designing your website template and deeply customising your content and feature configurations may require additional time, Magento also offers free design templates and getting started is as simple as uploading files from your server and configuring your system settings. If you need to find a platform that is quick to market, with the right tweaks to your Magento site you can have your own online store up and running within an hour!
If you are not able to gain traffic to your website through search engines than you are not going to achieve a return on your investment. Magento offers in-built SEO features that allow you to modify and optimise elements of your page such as the page titles and meta tags to help you better rank in search engines.
Third party Google services
Your online store with Magento will be already integrated with Google Analytics, Google Base and Google Checkout so that you are able to keep track of your site visitor and conversion information.
This platform supports a variety of payment options including PayPal Express, Standard and Website Payments Pro.
Up-to-date currency rates
If you are planning to sell internationally, you will be able to enjoy the benefit of Magento’s live currency update. The platform is directly linked to WebServiceX allowing your item prices to change with the fluctuating exchange rate.
Gain the trust and loyalty of your customers through indirect marketing by giving them the option to read and write a customer review for your products or services. Allow them to save items with Magento’s wish list functionality and encourage social shopping by enabling the ‘Send to a Friend’ option.
Availability of deep customisations
This platform allows full customisation of their themes, extensions, modules, widgets and add-ons which will allow you to enjoy such features as multiple zoomable images. You will be able to modify and expand your online store, virtually in any way you like.
Not only are you able to batch import and export your catalogs, Magento also comes with simple, configurable, grouped, bundled, virtual and digital product options so that you are able to better organise your stock and sell both products and services at a time on multiple sites.
Requires a good hosting environment
If your website is not properly hosted and you don’t have a good server, your users may experience slow load time. This means you will need to pay for good, reliable hosting.
Magento requires a lot of space and memory. You will need to appropriately optimise your usage to cut down resource space so the site can perform better.
Heavily layered and complex coding
You may need the help from a developer for some of the more complex customisations of your site since Magento does not use best practice programming and coding for deeper level customisations.
If you are considering setting up your online store you can download a free Magento demo by clicking here.