How to Select the Right E-Commerce Platform for Your Business, Part 1: Magento

You wouldn’t spend your money fixing a car without first addressing problems with a faulty engine. Similarly, you wouldn’t buy a house without first making sure that the foundation was on solid ground. So if your business is getting ready to launch online, why wouldn’t you first determine which e-commerce platform best suits your goals?

The platform you select will serve as both the engine and the foundation of your e-commerce site. It should drive business and create a satisfactory end-to-end customer experience. With so much resting on this decision, it’s important that you weigh the pros and cons of various e-commerce platforms for your business.

In Part 1 of this series, we will consider the pros and cons of one popular e-commerce platform—Magento.

Pros of E-Commerce Platform Magento

?  Customizable Interface

Magento differentiates itself from many competing e-commerce platforms by providing for back-end management. This can empower your business to tailor the interface for your exact needs. Magento also offers an open-source version, further increasing your ability to customize the platform.

?  Convenient Inventory Management

Magento offers businesses the ability to add thousands of items to a site at once, instead of forcing users to import goods in a piecemeal fashion. This also includes product descriptions and details, from manufacturers, thumbnails, SKU numbers and more. Pricing options are also highly adjustable. That means discounts may be applied instantly as customers increase quantities. You can set the administrative parameters yourself so that these changes occur automatically—ideal for a business with a wide variety of items in its inventory.

?  Engagement-Boosting Features

A notification that an item is out of stock can easily deter customers. But Magento will offer product alerts to customers when a sought-after item has been replenished and is once more available for sale. This can draw back customers that may otherwise have left in favor of a competitor. Magento is renowned for features designed to increase engagement and provide a superior customer experience.

Cons of E-Commerce Platform Magento

?  Costly Infrastructure Investment

The Magento platform offers great customization and enterprise-grade scalability, but because of the breadth of its features, requires significant IT and infrastructure resources. As such, smaller businesses may not be able to justify the additional spending that will be necessary to support the platform.

?  Complex Development

Magento is based on Zend Framework. Your in-house developers will need to have specific knowledge of Zend in order to apply a number of customizations or additions to your site. If your in-house developers do not have the knowledge necessary to carry out these functions, your business may once again be forced to expend additional resources to achieve your vision.

The Bottom Line

The Magento platform can be customized to support a business with thousands of products. At the same time, it also requires extensive investments for in-house developers and IT personnel. As such, Magento may not be suited for smaller businesses with limited budgets, inventories and personnel.

Be sure to check out our upcoming blog reviewing the e-commerce platform Woocommerce for Part 2 of this series.