Magento e-commerce for starters – and others

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Why Magento has emerged no. 1 for ecommerce

The e-commerce software Magento has emerged as the no. 1 e-commerce platform choice for start-ups, according to a survey by BestVendor. The company surveyed largely marketing and admin staff in over 500 new businesses.

All of the businesses employ less than 100 people so the results will be of interest to all new SMEs thinking about online shop technology to drive their business. Whilst there are clear winners in some categories – Salesforce as CRM, Quickbooks for accounting and Google Analytics for web stats – in the e-commerce section results are much closer with Magento narrowly emerging as the main choice. More established businesses are also looking towards Magento. Adam Golomb, director of e-commerce for Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, spoke at Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE 2011) in June this year. He said he reviewed 13 proposals, including several from proprietary software vendors, for his new website SmileyCookie.com. The two main requirements for the e-commerce software were:

  • High level of functionality
  • Low level of cost

As Adam describes it “I wanted a million-dollar solution, but only had a budget for about 20% of that”. His choice was e-commerce platform Magento. There were clear advantages to the business including:

  • Website launched within budget
  • The technology provided high-level functionality including letting shoppers use a configuration tool to select among nearly 1,000 variations of customisable cookies
  • Fast development time, the flexibility to do nearly anything you want in site development and often at low expense
  • The resources of a large pool of developers

Back in 2009, Aramando Roggio of PeC review called Magento ‘an open source powerhouse’. Awarding it 4.5 stars [out of 5] he concluded Magento is an excellent e-commerce platform. Some users may find it too complicated, but I believe it is one of the top solutions for online retailers in the market today. It earns every bit of glitter and sparkle from its four and a half stars in this The PeC Review. His reference to ‘too complicated’ also links back to Adam Golomb’s experience. He used a consultancy to set up and manage the process. Whether other companies feel that is necessary will depend on a few factors:

IT experience

Some people are more confident in their IT abilities than others. Even for those with limited experience of websites, one of the main advantages of a marketing leading e-commerce platform like Magento is that there are literally thousands of users and hundred of forums offering advice and guidance.

Time

If you need to get something up and running quickly for commercial reasons, or your time is better used in marketing, finance, product development etc then it might be commercially more sensible to use a consultancy, if only in the initial stages.

Size and capability

As Golomb revealed, his e-commerce platform needed to cope with 1000s of variables. He felt this needed expert help. Magento is ideal for large scale e-commerce sites but the volume and variables might mean expert help is required. Even with consultancy costs, Magento should always prove much cheaper than a proprietary or bespoke system. If Magento can help you deliver an e-commerce platform to grow your business, Opace Technology Solutions offer a web design team who will provide expert Magento development services and provide advice and experience on all aspects of e-commerce development using Magento.

Image credit – Fosforix

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