Magento is a leading provider of open omnichannel innovation to retailers, and acclaimed as arguably the most venerated development software in the web-design world. The platform has been executed as a means of creating an online presence for some of the biggest brands: Björn Borg, Charlotte Tilbury, Fred Perry, Harvey Nichols, Kurt Geiger, Liverpool FC, Missguided, Paul Smith, Radley and The North Face are just a selection of examples of big brands that I’m sure you’ll recognise. If these colossal names are investing their resources into Magento software, there must be something exceptional about it; the question is, what is it that makes Magento so superior?
I’ll begin by giving an insight into Magento itself. The US company was founded just 9 years ago; since then it has received investment from internet giant, eBay, whom obtained a 49% ownership of the company in 2010, before purchasing it entirely. In 2014 it spun out as an independent company due to the breakup of eBay, as London-based private equity firm, Permira, invested in Magento. It currently has a gross merchandise value of approximately £35 Billion, and is accountable for about 240,000 websites.
Like WordPress, or any other similar online software, it is a web design platform; more specifically it is an open-source platform, written in PHP language. What differentiates it from its competitors is its eCommerce capabilities. To help your understanding, I’ll compare it with the most similar and popular competitor, WordPress.
Although WordPress is also an open-source platform, written in PHP, and allows you to add plugins that enable eCommerce functionality, it was originally developed as a blogging platform. If you require a website for business needs, the option of a platform that is designed exclusively for custom eCommerce is much more alluring, especially when there is such a prestigious list of brands (as listed above) that are successful with it.
So what about other eCommerce platforms?
Alternative eCommerce platforms include Shopify, BigCommerce, Miva Merchant and XCart, so I will list how they compare.
Shopify – Magento provides more templates, extensions and customisations than Shopify, as well as having the capability to provide a more powerful, robust eCommerce solution; Shopify is only beneficial for a quickly-built, small-scale site.
BigCommerce – BigCommerce is easy to set up, but it requires plugins that are difficult to work with. Magento has a much easier framework and greater third-party support.
Miva Merchant – Miva allows custom programming language, so you are not restricted to PHP, however it is a framework which requires payment, unlike Magento. Furthermore, Miva doesn’t have reseller discount, a loyalty program, nor does it offer a product review or a wishlist feature.
XCart – Unlike Magento’s open-source code, XCart is of a defined code, and restricts the flexibility and customisation that is provided by Magento.
The one factor that puts Magento, head-and-shoulders above its competitors in terms of eCommerce, is that it even hosts its own annual event called Imagine Commerce. The event was inaugurated 6 years ago, and works towards the vision of connecting the eCommerce ecosystem internationally. It brings together over 2,500 commerce experts from over 45 countries; merchants, agencies and technology providers inspire, advance, educate, collaborate and enjoy these events. The evidence of dedication and innovation conveyed by this occasion is, in itself, an astounding example of how Magento is the forerunner in the eCommerce sector of Web Development.
Is it free?
There are two forms of platform that Magento offers: Community and Enterprise. Community is a free download, Enterprise however, requires a license fee. The difference being that Enterprise provides: Advanced customer targeting, built-in security, technical support, reward points, and an enhanced Content Management System, as well as more than a handful of other features. The license fees for Enterprise begin at around £10,000 per year, so I would only recommend this package to a high-end, larger-scale retailer that can afford to make such an investment. The community package, I would recommend to anyone in need of an eCommerce solution, however Magento requires high-level programming skills, and you will struggle to find good themes for free. Developers also tend to charge more for using it; so I would recommend hiring a developer with proven experience of using the platform, or exploring other eCommerce options if you are on a tight budget.
If you would like advice or further information, or have any enquiries regarding eCommerce or Magento, contact us at Kandeshop today, on: 0121 4000 171