The growth of eCommerce has been exponential, and consumers more often turning to online modes of shopping has become the new norm. There are an estimated 2 billion online shoppers globally and in Australia, 8 out of every 10 people shop online. As a result, there is a vast pool of potential consumers for eCommerce businesses to tap into.
One of the most powerful and popular eCommerce platforms currently available is Magento. With a vast range of features and an open-source code, there is immense potential to customise and build robust eCommerce sites with Magento. Worldwide, more than 250,000 eCommerce sites are powered by Magento, and the numbers continue to rise.
To utilise the full potential of the Magento platform, you may need developers, but the result is a unique and fast performing digital store that can support future growth. Magento regularly releases updates to its software and security patches, so that your eCommerce site is up-to-date and safe.
Magento Open Source Vs Commerce
Magento offers two eCommerce platforms; the Magento Open Source which is available for free download, and the Magento Commerce, a paid and licenced platform. The primary differences between Magento Open Source and Commerce are the feature set, support, and advanced marketing and merchandising tools.
Although Magento Open Source has all the basic functionalities and can be used to setup a reasonably successful eCommerce site, for advanced features and support, Magento Commerce is the answer. Well-suited for small businesses, mid-market businesses and enterprises, Magento Commerce can help generate more revenue at a faster rate with more complex operations.
Unlike Open Source which does not have hosting, Magento Commerce does have optional cloud hosting. If you would rather not have to manage a separate hosting service, you can choose Magento Commerce Cloud that comes with AWS (Amazon Web Services) hosting.
Reasons to Choose Magento Commerce
There are various reasons why Magento Commerce is a first-rate choice for an eCommerce portal. It is easy to manage, fast for customers to use, efficient, and backed by superb features available out-of-the-box.
Here are some of the reasons you should choose Magento Commerce for your eCommerce site:
1. Effective Marketing and Merchandising Tools
Magento Commerce comes with powerful merchandising and marketing features that you can use to catch the attention of your customers and encourage them to purchase. The visual merchandiser feature has a visual drag-and-drop interface and can also be setup to categorise by rule for bulk products, without the need of a developer.
Customer segmentation helps display content and promotions that are targeted for the specific customer, improving the customer experience considerably. Exclusive private sales, flash sales and catalogue events can also be setup for specific customer segments. Magento Commerce can also integrate with popular sales channels such as Amazon, eBay and Facebook, helping you increase your customer base and improve visibility.
For easier and effective cross-selling, upselling and related products display there is a rule-based product relations feature. Based on a customer’s wish list or shopping cart you can send automated email reminders, encouraging them to complete their purchase. These tools help increase conversion rate, average order value, and customer loyalty, thereby increasing revenue and profit for you.
2. Easy Content Creation and Authoring
With the content authoring tools native to Magento Commerce, you can easily personalise your eCommerce site using the Page Builder WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. Nearly 67% of consumers say that it’s important for brands to adjust their content on the basis of the current context. There is no need for any technical knowledge or understanding coding. The Page Builder is powerful and yet fast, making it useful for launching campaigns and new products quickly, helping you stay up-to-date with recent trends. It is intensely visual, enhancing your website’s visual appeal, further driving customer engagement.
The page hierarchy feature allows you to organise the hierarchy of all pages easily and add menus, navigation and pagination as desired. Dynamic blocks and banners can be setup so that personalised content can be triggered from price rules and based on customer segments. Adding content to the pages is simple and can be done quickly, with great impact. Around 87% of consumers rate product content as an important factor influencing their purchase. All digital assets can be managed, searched and filtered from the Media Gallery, with access granted to external users as desired, boosting the visual appeal of your site.
The staging and preview feature enables you to schedule changes to site elements such as pages, categories, products and promotions. As a result, you can set up entire marketing campaigns in advance and preview them before launching. The promotional calendar gives a Gantt-chart style overview to all promotional campaigns current and upcoming.
3. B2B and Hybrid Commerce Capabilities
There has been significant growth in popularity of B2B eCommerce sales, and it is an immensely lucrative market across industries. Whether you already have a B2B business, or are planning to expand to B2B in addition to B2C sales, Magento Commerce is an ideal platform. Magento Commerce has dedicated B2B features providing an intuitive online buying experience and effective account management to increase your B2B success. Both B2B and B2C sales are also supported with the Hybrid model, allowing you to easily switch between both modes.
For B2B sales, dedicated company accounts can be set up with a hierarchal structure to streamline access and activities of multiple individual users. Company roles can be defined granting different levels of permission to individual users. Shared catalogues can be setup for companies with custom pricings, products and permissions.
B2B buyers can be granted permissions to make purchases from company credit, and payments can be made by referencing an authorised Purchase Order (PO) Number. Buyers can directly upload CSV files with their requirements from their customer accounts, and also maintain requisition lists. Authorised buyers can be enabled to request quotes and price negotiations from the shopping cart itself.
4. Dedicated Features for a Positive Customer Experience
Happy customers are at the core of any successful business. Magento Commerce has dedicated features that help you provide your customers with a memorable experience, encouraging them to return. The search box is equipped with Elasticsearch to deliver high quality results that help your customers find what they are looking for. The overall speed of the website is faster, even when there is heavy traffic, or surges of traffic.
For easier customer segmentation and personalised service, custom attributes can be added to the account information, address book and billing information sections of the customer’s account. Multiple wish lists can be created and shared by customers, including items for gift registries where they can invite their friends and family to make purchases. A points-based rewards system is available for customers, to increase engagement and encourage loyalty. The Instant Purchase feature provides a fast checkout experience for returning customers, by using previously stored payment and shipping data, skipping extra steps.
Customer service tools include support for call centre requests so that you can solve any problem customers face quickly. If required, you can also view and edit the customer’s shopping carts in real-time, directly from the Admin interface. Returns are supported, so customers can easily request a replacement or refund, including for store credit. Customers can track their store credit directly from their customer account dashboard, helping them plan future purchases.
5. Efficient Store Operations
Apart from offering customers an amazing online shopping experience and supporting sales, an eCommerce platform should also be easy to manage. Magento Commerce has administration and operational tools that make the platform easy to manage and efficient, improving your productivity while minimising stress.
The dedicated admin panel can be used to manage multiple storefronts in a streamlined manner from a single interface. It has an intuitive user interface and a dashboard with quick access to data on sales, orders, best-selling products, and search terms. Multiple admins can be granted varying levels of access for easier management. Every change made by any admin is recorded in the Admin Action Log, helping you keep track of all activities and in preventing unwanted changes to your online store.
There is full support for Magento Commerce, including a dedicated account manager, 24/7 technical support, and access to Magento Express Solutions. Support diagnostic tools are available to identify any known issues on your site to help Magento support teams diagnose and resolve issues.
6. Powerful Reporting and Business Intelligence Tools
Analytics, reporting and business intelligence tools are vital for sustained and planned success of an eCommerce site. They help you analyse in-depth the sources of your customers, conversions, leads, acquisitions, purchasing patterns, and much more. Over 100 ready-to-use reports are generated that help you learn more about your customers. With this data, you can refine your eCommerce strategy for a fact-based approach to growth.
Magento Commerce comes with access to Magento Business Intelligence (MBI), a powerful data warehousing and analytical tool that integrates directly with the Magento Commerce site. The MBI gives you access and analysis of your data from day one, and can be integrated with other data sources such as website analytics and advertising channels. As a result, you get a single platform to view all the relevant data.
There are several commerce dashboards that are a part of MBI, including customisable reports on aspects such as repeat order probability, and average lifetime value. With the MBI platform, you can setup an unlimited number of new dashboards and derive new analysis. All the data is automatically updated regularly so that you have latest details without having to spend time and effort in manually collecting the individual reports.
7. Support for Mobile Commerce and Cross-Border Sales
When your eCommerce site is on its path to success, support its growth with expansion to mobile commerce and cross-border sales. Mobile sales will help you expand your reach to local consumers that use smartphones for shopping, while cross-border sales will expand your geographical reach.
Studies have found that mobile commerce accounts for nearly 58.9% of all digital retail sales worldwide. However, speed, responsiveness and functionalities are crucial when it comes to mobile shopping. Around 53% of people are likely too leave a mobile page if the loading time is more than three seconds. While most websites can be accessed from a mobile device, it is not necessary that the sites are suited for online shopping. Magento Commerce is mobile device optimised, with fast and responsive themes, and a flexible interface.
Global sales can be intimidating, since you would need to consider the local regulations, taxes, international shipping, and import/export duties. However, successfully expanding into an international market can dramatically increase your revenue. With Magento Commerce, you can create your site in any language, and also manage multiple independent country sites from the same panel. Multiple currencies are supported along with their local tax rates. For a measured expansion process, a list of allowed countries can be configured for site registration, shipping and billing.
Who Should Consider Magento Commerce?
The functionalities, versatility and customisation capabilities of Magento Commerce make it an ideal match for eCommerce businesses across industries. Furthermore, it is inherently scalable and can easily support the growth of your business, and grow along with your brand. The robust features, excellent support and advanced tools provide you with all the tools for success. With regular updates released by Magento, the Commerce platform is future-ready and errors free.
Anyone interested in a high performing online store should consider Magento Commerce, but even more so if you fall into the following categories:
- New eCommerce Businesses: If you are planning to launch an eCommerce site, either to support an offline store or independently then set your brand up for success with a Magento Commerce platform. There are a wide range of features supported that will make managing your eCommerce site an ease, and encourage sales. Magento Commerce has additional capabilities for marketing, merchandising, content creation, B2B and hybrid commerce, customer management, store operations, and Business Intelligence.
- Magento Open Source Users: If you currently are using Magento Open Source for your eCommerce portal then upgrading to Magento Commerce is a smart decision to help boost the growth of your business. While Open Source is adequate for basic digital stores, there are several signs that your store is growing and you need better capabilities. For example, if your site traffic is increasing and you have high mobile page views, but slow site speeds and low conversion rates, it might be time for an upgrade. With Magento Commerce, you can sell on multiple online channels such as Amazon, eBay and Facebook, and also offer cross-border sales, significantly enhancing your revenue. There are more automated tools, marketing techniques and plugins with Magento Commerce.
Upgrading from Magento Open Source to Commerce is simple and straightforward since they are built on the same code stack. The process of upgrading to Magento Commerce is the same as applying any other Magento update, and can be completed by your developers.
- Other eCommerce Platform Users: Even if you already have an eCommerce site supported by another platform, you can still migrate to Magento Commerce. There can be any number of reasons why you choose to migrate; from expensive maintenance to need for more features. If you are not happy with your current platform and it is not supporting your growth, then it might be time to move on.
Magento Commerce is immensely scalable, flexible, and customisable, and offers a plethora of excellent functionalities, plug-ins, and tools. The migration process requires careful planning and preparation to backup and transport all the data and integrations. Depending upon the visibility and prominence of your old platform, you can retain the previous design, or opt for a complete revamping with Magento Commerce.
If you have an eCommerce site, or are planning to launch one, the choice of an eCommerce platform is one of the most important decisions you make. Magento Commerce has established its name as one of the best eCommerce platforms in the industry. The extent of customisation capabilities, out-of-the-box features, and fast performance have led to Magento Commerce being a top choice for eCommerce businesses across industries.
To get the maximum benefit from the Magento Commerce platform, you will need the help of capable developers. Although Magento Commerce is user-friendly, initially setting up the site and integrating all the required tools will need technical knowledge. The right developers can provide you with the perfect design and interface, and all the desired customisations, features, third-party apps and integrations, setting up your business for success and growth.
Here at 18th Digitech, we are a certified Magento solutions partner with a team of qualified developers, and can help you setup your ideal eCommerce site. Reach out to us today to discuss your business needs.