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Magento: A platform for large online stores

Magento is used by thousands of retailers and brands worldwide. The platform is recognised as the leading commerce platform to the 2017 Internet Retailer Top 1000, B2B 300, and Europe 500 lists.

Magento works hand-in-hand with the world's biggest retailers, brands and branded manufacturers across B2C and B2B ecommerce industries. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the features below and why it stands out:

  1. Products
  2. Transactional Emails
  3. Multi Store Setup
  4. Payment gateways
  5. Adobe Support
  6. Cloud or local installation
  7. Customisable
  8. PWA Studio

Products

For merchants with a large online store and a large product base, Magento is a very good platform to consider. With Magento, a merchant does not only have the ability to add more than a million products (depending on the server size), but they also have the ability to create products with multiple variants (options like size, colour and material) and can easily group existing products in order to sell it as a bundle.

Digital products can also be added to the store out-of-the-box and users can view their purchased digital products in the user account after logging in. Uploading such a large number of products is also made easier with the help of the product CSV import functionality. This gives a store admin the ability to use a single CSV file to upload or update hundreds of products in one go.

Transactional emails

Out-of-the-box Magento does provide tools for merchants to set up automatic mail sending and once set up, transactional emails (such as order confirmations and invoices) can be sent automatically or manually via the admin panel.

Extensions to integrate the stores’ mails with a third-party service, such as Dotdigital, can also be found on the Magento store for merchants who prefer other mailing services. Magento provides a default email template for each email type, but these can easily be customised in the Magento admin panel. New email templates can also be created if required.

Multi-store setup

By default, Magento gives merchants the ability to set up multiple stores on one instance, each with its own URL and settings. This means that merchants can have different online stores, each with its own payment and shipping methods, language, currency etc. without having multiple solutions on multiple servers.

All stores are managed from the same admin panel, so all settings are still in one place. The appearance and availability of products in different stores can also be managed so some products can appear in all stores while others only appear in some, or even one store.

Magento also has functionality for creating user roles and permissions that can be specified on three levels, so store managers can be limited to only change settings on their own stores while global managers can have access to all settings of all stores. Most settings for themes and modules can be set specific for different stores.

Payment gateways

Each Magento installation comes with a number of payment gateways already installed, but merchants are not limited to only the pre-installed gateways.

The Magento Marketplace contains extensions for other payment gateways and if you need something more, custom modules can be built for the merchants preferred payment gateway. All payment gateways can be enabled or disabled via the admin panel, so while a payment gateway is installed on the store, it does not have to show as an option for customers on checkout.

Adobe support

In 2018 Magento was acquired by Adobe and is now an Adobe Company. Now - more than ever - Adobe | Magento is strategically positioned to deliver contextualised commerce experiences that will help each of their customers transform into experience businesses.

The benefit of this extends from store functionalities (like the ability to directly add Adobe stock images to static content in the Magento admin panel) to the powerful Magento Commerce Cloud solution. Magento can now also provide Merchants and Partners alike with improved support and guidance.

Cloud or local installation

It’s important to keep in mind that there are three different versions of Magento. Each comes with different uses and features. They are:

Magento 2 Open Source: Also known as the Community Edition, this is the free version of Magento. Downloadable from the Magento website, anyone can use it. However, users are then responsible for hosting, support and development costs.

Magento 2 Commerce: The full, on premises, premium edition of Magento comes with added features and support. Magento Commerce gives ecommerce business owners complete control of their website.

Magento 2 Commerce Cloud: This is a cloud-hosted version of the full Magento 2 platform. However, it gets rid of the need for self-hosting, which can cut costs for businesses who need it.

As you’re exploring platforms, these questions will help you narrow down your options:

  • How does the platform scale for future growth?
  • What are the native out-of-the-box (OOTB) features?
  • Can the platform accommodate heavy customisation to meet our business requirements?
  • What is the support offering?
  • How does the platform handle peak trading periods in our business?
  • Can the platform meet the business needs of both B2B & B2C markets?

Customisable

A default Magento installation comes with a standard theme that can easily be extended to create a custom theme to fit the look and feel the merchant requires. It’s all about understanding your customer’s needs. For the rest of it, you have basically no limitations when it comes to customisation.

Magento also offers an extensive marketplace, Magento Marketplace, which is the global ecommerce resource for applications and services that expand Magento solutions with powerful new features and functionality. Magento Marketplace is designed for easy discovery of relevant Magento extensions. It provides a curated user experience with offerings from top brands and new innovators.

PWA Studio

Progressive Web Application (PWA) is a next-generation web technology standard which delivers app-like shopping experiences via mobile and desktop devices. Using PWA Studio, merchants can build their own high performance PWA on top of Magento Commerce, which is proven to increase user engagement, boost conversion rates, and diversify revenue streams.

Features

  • Product count: No limit - Depends on server size
  • Product variants: Available - no limit
  • Grouped Products: Available
  • Related products: Available
  • Cross sell products: Available
  • Upsell products: Available
  • Digital products: Available
  • Email services: Available - can be integrated to mailing services
  • Solution types: Cloud / Local
  • Multi store Setup: Available on one instance with different domains
  • Customisable: Theme Themes can be bought/built
  • Custom functionality: Modules can be bought or built
  • Static content: Can be added/edited with WYSIWYG editor / pagebuilder (Commerce)
  • Payment Gateways: Can add to default gateways
  • PWA support: Support via PWA studio.

Useful resources:
Vectra
Vectra Business Technologies is a software company focused on digital innovation in Retail. We specialise in point-of-sale and e-commerce solutions.
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