Magento is becoming one of the most popular ecommerce platforms, specifically for larger businesses that can afford the dedicated server costs and specialized development skills. There are multiple reasons for Magento’s popularity: a scalable framework, comprehensive catalog management choices, advanced features, built-in SEO benefits, multi-store functionality, and multilingual options.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using Magento as an ecommerce platform.
Pros of Using Magento
Magento’s wide-ranging features are what makes it so attractive. With Magento, you are able to customize almost anything for your ecommerce store. Here are a few of the many benefits you’ll find when using Magento:
Every ecommerce retailer knows that uploading products onto an online store website one by one is cumbersome to say the least. With bulk upload features, you can add thousands of items to your Magento inventory with one single import. The products can contain important attributes, like product category, manufacturer, SKU number, description, price, model, and a lot more.
Magento’s catalog management features encompass multiple categories, products, and dynamic product attributes. You can also utilize wish lists, comparisons, related items blocks, and search results lists easily with Magento.
Multiple Pricing Choices
Magento offers multiple pricing options. You can differentiate between options like retail, wholesale, VIP, and other customer group pricing. Another sweet feature is the ability to offer customers discounts on additional items. If your customer puts a product in their shopping cart, you can set the store’s administrative parameters to offer additional items at a special discounted price. This is an option that your customers and your abandoned cart rate will both love.
With Magento, your customers can subscribe to two kinds of product alerts via email – price change alerts and in-stock alerts. With price change alerts, your subscribers will automatically be notified via email whenever the price changes on the products they are interested in, or when there is a promotion going on. In-stock alerts let your customers know when products that were out of stock are available again. These alerts are extremely helpful in bringing back customers to reconsider making purchases.
If your potential customers speak languages other than English, Magento makes it easy for you to develop a multilingual website that automatically loads specific language store views. If you need separate stores for different categories of products, Magento also allows you to easily create the separate stores.
The built-in SEO feature is one of Magento’s best features for ecommerce retailers. This function auto generates site maps, helps you customize meta tags, and creates SEO-friendly URLs. You don’t have to be an expert at SEO, Magento does it for you.
Cons of Using Magento
When deciding whether Magento is right for your business, this is where the rubber meets the road.
Requires Development Skills
When you compare Magento to other platforms like Shopify, you’ll find that it’s more complicated and it requires knowledge of specialized Magento ecommerce development skills. For the small ecommerce retailer with a small number of SKUs, it may be more complicated than it is worth. However, for larger enterprises, the extensive list of benefits may make the expense of hiring a developer worth it.
Extensive Server Resources Required
Magento’s specialized features and customization requires heavy server resources, which will increase your operational costs. You will need to have better resources than other platforms may require. Be sure that you factor in these extra expenses to ensure the Magento store functions properly.
Needs Dedicated Hosting Environment
Running Magento on regular shared hosting may not be ideal. It will likely load slowly and cause frustration amongst your potential customer base. If you choose to use the Magento platform, the site may need to be hosted on a dedicated server configured by you or a hosting partner who specializes in Magento hosting.
Is Magento Right for Your Ecommerce Business?
Magento has many great benefits for its users, but it’s also complicated and has requirements that you might not be ready for. It’s a solid choice for businesses with thousands of SKUs and business owners who have development skills or the resources to pay for someone who does.