If there is one ecommerce platform that wins hands down on the popularity scale, it’s Magento. A late 2012 survey confirmed Magento’s stranglehold over the industry by cornering over 31% of the market-share. With hundreds of thousands of ecommerce sites using Magento, this platform must be doing something right to tower over other ecommerce platforms like PrestaShop, ZenCart, OpenCart and others.
So, what is it that Magento does differently to steal a march over its competitors? Let’s take a look.
If you are a business that wants to control your overheads by cutting down on your development costs for building a shopping cart,Magento brings to you its Community Edition, open source software meant for businesses who don’t want to make a substantial investment in a proprietary platform. But a word of warning here; as a business wanting to use this edition, you will need to get hold of your own Magento experts, who can modify the core code and add the extensions you want.
If your online business is generating a revenue of between $5 -$10 million, you will want to work with a platform that offers you features and functionalists that help you stabilize your earning and facilitate growth, and that’s where Magento Go comes into the picture. This hosted SaaS based solution is specifically meant for small to medium sized businesses who want to build and launch a comprehensive online store quickly and effectively.
And finally, you have the Magento Enterprise edition for large businesses who want complete control over their online channels.
The varied choice with respect to Magento versions is one of its biggest benefits, and something that other platforms have been unable to match.
Unbeatable Selection of Themes
What is that separates the men from the boys as far as ecommerce websites are concerned? It’s the theme. Now, I know I might have stirred a hornet’s nest here because there are a number of people who believe themes are unimportant in determining the success of an ecommerce website. That might be partly true if you are looking at themes from the visual perspective, but what if you are taking a usability oriented view. Who are you targeting (demographic dispensation of the audience), and what products are you selling, are the two questions you must ask yourself while choosing the right theme for your store. This means there must be huge selection of themes on offer for you to pick from, and that is where Magento scores and scores heavily.
You can choose from the free themes or even premium themes that you need to pay for. The focus of most Magento themes is on ensuring a satisfying shopping experience for users of the site. Something else that stands out are the options available with respect to responsive themes. With responsiveness becoming a buzz word in designing and with far reaching benefits, it makes good business sense to pick from the many available responsive Magento themes available.
Active development community
Popularity of a particular platform breeds growth of the development community and vice versa; this is a logical outcome and we see this in the case of Magento as well. I will not go so far out to say that Magento is as easy to use and implement as say WordPress is, because it isn’t. But if you are well aware of PHP and object oriented programming, you won’t have any difficulty with it. This is the reason why you will find plenty of experienced and proficient developers who are big fans of Magneto and who play an active role in improving this platform and coming up with bug fixes as well as new themes and modules.
With Magento, you are never caught flat footed, because there will always be somebody to help you out. If you are facing a problem while using Magento Community edition, you can always discuss your problem in the various discussion forums focusing on Magento and come with an answer to your problem. Of course, if you are using the Magento Go or the Enterprise Edition, you will get all the technical support from the Magento team, so you don’t have to look elsewhere.
The robust, very active and growing community of developers that are backing Magento, also makes this platform a popular pick.
Complete Bundle of Features for a Satisfying Shopping Experience
First, let’s talk about the Magento Community edition; in this case you are given code level access, web services API and a pre-integrated mobile HTML 5 theme; you can add extensions, APIs and implement a theme of your choice; at the same time it offers plenty of store features like multiple stores, multiple store views, flexible pricing rules and many more.
Magento Go edition is available with technical support, built-in security, is extensible and offers many more features as compared to the Community edition.
Magento Enterprise on the other hand, is the complete ecommerce solution packed to the brim with enterprise level features that ensure your large shopping cart is not just managed easily but also has every ecommerce feature in the book, which makes it profitable.
With such a vast array of features, it will be a crime if you don’t use Magento, wouldn’t it?
Go to Magento Connect, this is the platform’s marketplace; go through all the extensions available. You will realize that there is no functionality that you cannot integrate into your store; that is every feature or functionality that will help you manage your store better and/or make it more profitable is available in the form of an extension. Some are paid and many others are free; the key is to pick the one that suits your needs and requirements best.The immense choice in terms of extension is yet another important reason for Magento towering over its counterparts.
Wrapping it up
If and when you use Magento, and I hope it is ASAP, you will realize that you haven’t just made a good choice, you have made the perfect choice. The top ecommerce websites in the world use Magento and this is as good a reason as any to use it. Also, there are all chances that with Magento keeping up with the latest needs and demands of shoppers as well as online merchants, it will continue towering over other ecommerce platforms.