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What Is The Best eCommerce Platform? We Profile The Clear Winner...

It’s the start of a brand new year which means most people will have that added drive to kickstart something they’ve wanted to do, but haven’t got round to yet.

For some of you out there, that might take the form of setting up your own online retail store. If this is you, congratulations! You’re about to enter into the brilliant world of eCommerce – trust us when we say it’s not only the future, but the present!

Hopefully by now you’ve settled on a brand name, a logo and most importantly what you’re going to sell. The next step is selecting the perfect platform for your website, and it’s fair to say there are quite a few choices available – we don’t want to panic you here, but selecting the right platform could be the difference between success and failure!

If you’ve done the research into your options, weighed up the pros and cons of each potential platform as well as all the costs involved etc, chances are you’ll have seen one name crop up again and again – Magento.

Magento Logo

When it comes to selling products online, Magento is the king – it’s been the world’s most popular eCommerce platform for almost a decade and is the system of choice for global brands like Land Rover, Jack Daniels and Burger King.

It doesn’t matter if you already have an existing store that you’d like to re-platform or you’re just looking to start afresh; we feel Magento is certainly worth your consideration as an eCommerce solution purely because it ticks so many boxes and delivers detail on an unrivalled scale.

What makes Magento so popular?

Good question. Sometimes people can be put off by a product or service that is popular and considered too ‘mainstream’, but it’s quite the opposite with Magento – its strength as an eCommerce platform comes from its popularity. You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

The key things with Magento are the community and the features – it’s an online playground for both developers and product marketers thanks to its huge selection of plugins and customisable options. Not only that, Magento comes with everything you need to start selling straight out of the box, which is quite unlike some of the other eCommerce platforms out there. Neat huh?

To give you an idea of whether Magento is the right platform for your online store, we’ve gathered together some of the main reasons we love it – in particular the things that Magento bring to the table that other platforms just don’t offer, and how its unique set of features can benefit your store from day one.

Magento is an online playground for both developers and product marketers thanks to its huge selection of plugins and customisable options.

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Magento helps you sell immediately

Unlike some of its rivals in the website CMS marketplace, Magento has been built with eCommerce at its core.

For you as a user, this means you’ll easily be able to add, customise and sell your products through an interface that works fluidly from the get-go. There are of course options to add plugins and additional features, but for stores that just want to get up and running quickly, Magento almost helps you to run before you can walk.

Also bear in mind that the whole concept behind Magento as a platform is that it’s designed to help online sellers sell and make purchasing products unavoidably straightforward for customers – something that many other platforms can struggle with. Once your products have been uploaded and your site is live, that’s it; you’re selling. No time-consuming manuals to read, no confusing software to install, no extra development required.

It gets better though. When the times comes and you decide you do want more from your store, there’s a whole Magento world out there to provide advice and support.

There’s an established community to help you

Another big reason online stores choose Magento over other platforms is its popularity. This isn’t just a case of everyone copying everyone else so the playing field is equal; but more a sense of community support where, if you have a specific question, chances are someone will be able to help through the plethora of forums and discussion boards that already exist online.

As a user, this means you won’t have to waste time on the phone to customer support or sit around waiting for a reply to your query – you can find the answer yourself with just a couple of clicks.

The Magento community are constantly working on plugins, extensions, features and even the core code to improve the platform and tackle the real world business challenges that others have faced in the past. You get the chance, through this community, to learn from other people’s mistakes.

MailChimp Integration

It’s also because of this popularity that major service providers like MailChimp, Paypal, Salesforce and Hubspot all offer plug-and-play integrations for stores like yours. Better than that, because these services are hooked up and integrated directly into your site, the data they use is yours and yours alone – meaning you can save yourself a tidy sum on additional CRM systems and data capture tools. Not too shabby at all.

Magento product types are golden

Another feature that Magento sits top of the pile for on all counts is product types. Regardless of what you’re selling, it’s obvious you’ll want to be able to add and edit your products with minimal fuss.

Magento gives you all the power you could possible need, allowing you to sell a product individually, grouped with other items, in different shapes or sizes, or even facilitating digital downloads of non-physical products like gift vouchers or tickets.

It’s this flexibility of product listings that gives Magento such a huge advantage over other eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce or Shopify. It genuinely doesn’t matter what you’re looking to sell or how you want to market it – Magento can be configured to display the products in the way you want, not how the CMS dictates.

Magento Product Types

Order management couldn’t be easier

Another area that Magento has perfected. Need to find a specific order quickly? Want to edit a customer delivery address? Looking to fulfil an order manually? It’s all taken care of in the backend of your store, with a simple search-and-filter interface allowing you to find what you need when you need it.

There’s more. Magento also takes care of out-of-stock orders and reorders, bringing all this together with a unique but simple workflow that you can customise to suit your requirements. They really have thought of everything here and we can’t recommend the Magento order management system enough!

Ongoing marketing is made easy

When Magento was first released back in 2008, it was built with growth and expansion in mind. The developers behind it understood that as a store increases in size, the platform it sits on needs to grow with it.

Armed with this idea, Magento needed to ensure users had control over their growth. As a platform focused entirely on eCommerce, out-of-the-box features like optimised site architecture and SEO-friendly URLs were added as standard features to make things easy in terms of ongoing marketing and overall organic search performance.

If you’re someone that will be tackling Google head on and taking on the SEO work yourself, Magento provides all the tools necessary to get your site moving up the search results.

As standard, you’ll be able to fully customise your product meta data, tag images appropriately, set up a sitemap, optimise URLs and even identify the most popular search terms within your site’s search function (if you have one). Basic onsite SEO is made easy with Magento and gives you the best possible chance of growing your audience through organic search engine visibility – something vitally important for any online business.

Basic onsite SEO is made easy with Magento and gives you the best possible chance of growing your audience through organic search.

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There’s too much to list!

We could keep going for a few more thousand words about all the benefits of using Magento as your platform of choice, but hopefully this list gives you an at-a-glance overview of the key things this platform can do to get your store selling quickly and effectively.

Having worked with Magento for the best part of a decade, we’ve already taken advantage of these benefits and the hundreds of others that come as part of the platform on one of our own eCommerce stores, and we’d encourage anyone looking for a new eCommerce platform to do the same.

Here’s what our very own Adam King, eCommerce Solutions Architect, had to say:

“Magento remains the most feature-packed eCommerce solution by default. It’s highly configurable to your business needs with its built in configuration options, and if your business has integration or customisation requirements, this platform can be infinitely tailored to your specific needs with a range of built-in systems, community extensions or bespoke customisation. This is a powerful eCommerce tool for the SME market and serious retailers with scale in mind”.