Why Magento eCommerce?

The World’s Leading eCommerce Platform

Are you planning to setup an eCommerce website but are unsure which platform to choose? Here we will provide a guide to the Magento platform and explain why Magento is the number one choice for all businesses.

What is Magento?

Feature rich eCommerce platform and open source Magento is a feature rich eCommerce platform, built using the open source technology. The platform offers a wide range of benefits to merchants including unprecedented flexibility and full control over how their eCommerce websites look and function. As well as having an intuitive administration interface, Magento also offers powerful marketing, SEO and catalogue management tools that provide merchants with the means to make their eCommerce website successful.

Magento makes order and site management easy.

Magento Site Management

Owned by eBay Magento is currently owned by eBay; however it was originally built by a company called Varien. The team at Varien decided to develop Magento after being unsatisfied by the limitations of osCommerce, which was known for lacking stability, features and flexibility. Their plan for Magento was to develop an eCommerce platform that offered all of the above and much, much more and it’s fair to say that they exceeded everyone’s expectations. Varien began developing Magento in early 2007 and the first public beta version was launched at the end of August the same year. After the beta version was declared a success, they went on to release Magento 1.0 in March of the following year under the Open Software License. Since then the ecommerce platform has grown and grown, with businesses all over the world using it to power their eCommerce stores.

Nike uses Magento to power its websites.

Nike uses Magento to power its websites.

Why Magento?

Popular with major brands Even some of the world’s biggest companies including Nike, Samsung and Ford use it as their platform, proving just how powerful Magento is. Magento really is the ultimate eCommerce solution and what’s even better is that it is fully scalable, allowing businesses to expand their stores in-line with company growth. If you have already looked into Magento, you will have seen there are two different versions available. The first of which is the Magento Community Edition. This software is available as a free download under the open source OSL 3.0 license. The second option, known as the premium version is Magento Enterprise. This solution is available on an annual based subscription. But which is the right one for you? Find out by reading our page titled Magento Community vs. Enterprise edition.

Magento is ideal for many genres including fashion.

Magento is ideal for many genres including fashion.

Is Magento the best free eCommerce platform?

We have already outlined some of Magento’s top features and benefits, but what we haven’t discussed is how easy the platform is to use. Whilst many people would describe Magento as being very user-friendly, others would say it has a ‘steep learning curve.’ What you have to remember is that if you are going to use the Magento Community Edition, you are going to need to build on the core code in order to tailor it to your business and the needs of your customers. Expandability  Unless you are experienced in website coding, you will require the help of an experienced Magento developer. Having said this, there are a number of themes and plugins available that make extending your Magento website relatively straightforward. The process of downloading and installing the platform is also something you will be able to do with the guidance provided on our How to use Magento page. It’s free Although there are a number of great eCommerce platforms available including Shopify, Big Commerce, Pretashop and Woocommerce for WordPress, Magento is arguably the best of them all and what’s even better is that it is completely free to download and install. Yes, unlike many of the other eCommerce platforms available today, it will not cost you a single penny to download Magento and install it. There are not any sign up or membership fees to pay and you won’t be charged a percentage of any of the sales you make. Magento is open source software, which means it, is free to download, install, use and extend as you wish too. Feature rich Aside from being free to download, Magento also boasts a wide range of features that can benefit businesses of all sizes from all industries, some of the out-of-the-box features include:

  • marketing and promotional tools;
  • analytics and reporting tools;
  • catalogue management;
  • product browsing;
  • site management;
  • multiple payment and shipping options;
  • customer accounts;
  • order management; and
  • a fully functional content management system.

SEO-friendly Magento merchants can also benefit from the platform’s SEO features. Not only has it been built with clean and organised code (a must-have in the eyes of Google) but it also allows you to optimise your product URLs and other content to make it more search engine friendly. Huge community and support The fact that the eCommerce platform is supported by a dedicated community of developers and merchants also contributes to it being the best free eCommerce platform available. If you have a question, problem or have found a bug, you can simply head to the Magento forums and there will always be someone on hand to help you. Whether you are looking to set up your first eCommerce website or hoping to migrate to a better platform, Magento will make a fantastic choice. Along with being free to download and having excellent out-of-the-box features, it is also very scalable, meaning it will be able to continue meeting your needs as an eCommerce merchant, whether you are selling fifty products or five hundred!

Magento offers massive customisation opportunities.

Magento offers massive customisation opportunities.

Designing your Magento website

Magento boasts excellent functionality out of the box but it’ll take more than that to win customers over. In order to keep them on your site long enough to use its features and explore your product pages, you will need an attractive Magento design. One of the easiest ways to customise the look of your Magento eCommerce store is with Magento themes. These can be downloaded for free (or a small cost) from the Magento Connect store, as well as various other websites. You can even download responsive themes for free, which are optimised for all devices from PCs to smartphones. They’ll improve your Magento store’s user experience and also help to increase its search rankings too. It can be difficult getting started on your Magento design, especially if you have little experience, which is why we have created a Magento Design Guide to give you a helping hand. There you will find all of the tips and information you need to build an attractive Magento website. If you need any other help, you can always get in touch with our team of experienced Magento designers.

Marketing your Magento website

Once you’ve built a great looking, well functioning website with Magento themes and extensions, you will need to think about how you are going to market your eCommerce brand. There are plenty of different marketing techniques you can incorporate into your digital marketing strategy for Magento. SEO One of the most important is SEO. If your Magento site can’t be found through search engines, you’re going to struggle getting organic traffic to your website. This is why you need to optimise your Magento website and make it search engine friendly. Thankfully, Magento has great SEO features and makes optimisation easy. There are a wide range of Magento SEO extensions you can use in addition to our SEO tips, to help boost your search rankings. Social media You’re likely to already be using social media to promote your new Magento business but if you need a little extra boost you may want to think about affiliate marketing and email marketing too. Affiliate marketing is great for building professional relationships with influencers and involves paying them a small percentage of sales for their help in marketing your products. Email marketing Email marketing allows you to engage with your customers, drive traffic to your site and increase your conversions. It’s still one of the most powerful marketing methods on the planet. We recommend using Magento marketing automation extensions to help make your email marketing strategy more effective.

Why is Magento the best free eCommerce platform?

We all know Magento is an open source eCommerce solution that is written in PHP code but just what makes it so special? To answer your question, we’ve put together a list of some of the reasons why Magento is the best eCommerce platform.

Stand out from the crowd with Magento

Magento is the world’s leading eCommerce platform.

Used by all the top websites

One of the ways you can tell Magento is the best free eCommerce platform is by the other businesses that use it. With the likes of Rosetta Stone, Harpers Bazaar, Mothercare, Rebecca Minkoff, Olympus, Nike and Paul Smith all using Magento, you can have the peace of mind that it’s a high quality eCommerce solution. Between 2013 and 2014, the number of eCommerce sites detected in the Alexa top 1 million had increased by 34% to 46,859 (according to a survey by TomRobertshaw.net). Out of all the eCommerce platforms, the results showed that Magento continues to power the most stores in the top 100,000. All of the best eCommerce websites are using Magento, so isn’t it about time you did too?

Fantastic out of the box features

It is not just a coincidence that so many of the world’s leading eCommerce brands use Magento to power their online stores. Many are drawn to Magento for it’s powerful out of the box features, which other competitors are still yet to beat. Superior modular architecture – One of Magento’s key features is its superior modular architecture. The platform has been designed to allow for extensive customisations to both the frontend (in the form of layouts and themes) and backend (re-writes, modules etc.) This means eCommerce merchants can customise the look and functionality of their web stores as much as they wish too. Inventory management – Magento makes it very east for merchants to upload their products, write descriptions, add tags and categorise their products. Any possible inventory management action you need to take can be done in Magento. Selling products – Not only does Magento make it easy for you to upload and manage products but also sell them. With upselling and cross selling features, as well as things like coupon creation, you have all the tools you need to encourage customers to spend more on your web store. Order management – Magento makes order processing and management simple. By allowing you to review, change and track orders, you can get a full overview of the sales coming in and the products that need to go out to your customers. Reporting – One of Magento’s key strengths is its reporting features. From your admin panel you will be able to create and view detailed analytics and reports that give you a clear idea of everything from your top selling products to how customers interact with your website. The information you curate in Magento can be used to help you make better-informed business decisions in the future. SEO – You won’t find an eCommerce platform that is as SEO friendly as Magento. With great SEO features out of the box, including search engine friendly URLs, Google Sitemap generation and customisable meta-information for products, categories and content pages, you have everything you need to optimise your website and improve it’s search engine rankings. Multi-store management – Can you see yourself creating different versions of your eCommerce store in the future? If so, you’ll be pleased to hear that Magento offers multi-store management out of the box. Merchants can create multiple versions of their stores in different languages and currencies and manage them from a single admin panel. Responsive design – The latest version of Magento Community is fully responsive. This means you can benefit from offering customers a seamless shopping experience on your site, no matter what device they are using. You will also benefit from elevated mobile search rankings, thanks to Google’s latest algorithm.

There are thousands of Magento extensions to choose from

There are thousands of Magento extensions to choose from

Thousands of extensions

In addition to having the best out of the box features for an eCommerce platform, Magento also boasts the world’s largest eCommerce application market. There are thousands of different modules (extensions) available, each of which are grouped into the following categories:

  • Customer experience
  • Site management
  • Integrations
  • Marketing
  • Utilities
  • Themes

Magento modules are designed to help merchants boost the functionality of their eCommerce stores by extending the core code. Some Magento modules are free to download and use, whereas others need to be paid for. Read our article on how to install a Magento extension for more information about them. Whilst there are thousands of Magento modules available, there’s still a chance that you won’t be able to find exactly what you’re looking for. The good news is that an experienced Magento developer will be able to create a custom module for you. Magento developers know all the ins and outs of the platform and are therefore able to create a bespoke module that will perfectly integrate with the architecture and provide the functionality you require.

Magento has a global community of developers

Magento has a global community of developers

Excellent support

Unless you pay to use Magento Enterprise, you won’t receive any support from the official Magento (eBay) team. However that doesn’t mean you’ve got to go at it alone. One of the things that makes Magento the best free eCommerce platform is its avid community of developers and users. Based all over the world, they voluntarily provide support for Magento users, create patches and make the software the best it can possibly be. If you have a question about Magento or you come across a bug, you can simply head to the forums and someone from the Magento community will be on-hand to provide you with the assistance you require.

Affordable costs

Another reason why Magento is the best eCommerce platform is because it’s completely free to download, use and customise. There are some costs involved in hosting and developing the platform, however you’ll find it is well worth your investment, as these services will help you to create a superior eCommerce store.

Great scalability

Unlike other eCommerce platforms out there, Magento meets the needs of all businesses. It’s completely scalable, so even if you go from selling fifty different products to five thousand different products, it will still continue to offer the features and performance you require, the same of which can’t be said for many eCommerce solutions (just take a look at our Magento comparisons for proof). Magento users can also benefit from the option to upgrade to Magento Enterprise, should their business really take off. Magento Enterprise Edition is the premium eCommerce software. Whilst it costs a significant amount of money (from $15.50 per month), it offers the extensive eCommerce features required by large businesses and enterprises.

Reputation for excellence

Magento has a reputation for excellence. That’s why it currently holds a 26% share of the market, despite new eCommerce solutions being launched all the time. Magento is an eCommerce platform that people trust. Along with excellent features, it offers great security solutions that give both businesses and consumers peace of mind. Customers know that if they’re buying from a Magento site, they can expect quality.

Video source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyZPOj2_mOA

Our conclusion on why Magento is the best platform for eCommerce

For more information on what Magento has to offer for free read our Magento open source guide. If you are currently in the processing of deciding between eCommerce platforms, we recommend reading our Magento comparisons with other leading eCommerce platforms page to see how it compares. We have also written in-depth comparisons of Magento vs. WooCommerce, Magento vs. WordPress, Magento vs. Joomla, Magento vs Opencart, Magento vs Shopify and Magento vs Drupal. With so many amazing features and benefits, it is not hard to see why Magento is the best free eCommerce platform. If you need help designing, developing and marketing your Magento store, get in touch with the Magento eCommerce Agency today.   Image credit: lumaxart  

Why Magento eCommerce?

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