Magento, in recent times, has emerged as one of the most popular ecommerce solutions, specially for bigger stores which can afford to spend on dedicated server costs and specialized magento ecommerce development skills. There are many reasons for the popularity of Magento – a robust and scalable framework, advanced features, excellent catalog management options, multi store, multilingual option, SEO benefits, etc. But all these functionalities come at a cost.
Let’s have a more detailed look at some of the pros and cons of Magento as a ecommerce solution.
One of the cumbersome tasks for any ecommerce business is to upload products one by one to an online store. But with bulk upload features Magento gives the option to add thousands of items in a single import. The uploaded products can include all significant attributes such as product category, SKU number, manufacturer name, price, description, model, URL path and much more.
Magento has catalog management features which encompasses multiple categories, products, dynamic product attributes etc. Comparisons, wish lists, search results list, and related products blocks all work like a breeze with Magento’s advanced capabilities.
Magento enables customers to subscribe to two types of alerts by email: in-stock alerts & price change alerts. In price alerts whenever the price changes, or if there is any special price promo going on, the one who has signed up to be notified receives an e-mail alert. While in-stock alert specifies that the product is back in-stock which was out of stock earlier. Such alerts are helpful in bring the customer back to the store and reconsider purchasing the product a customer may have selected earlier.
Multiple Pricing Options
One of the advantages of Magento is that it provides multiple pricing options to the users. Like offering customer group pricing where you can include special prices for retail, VIPs, wholesale, and staff groups who can see their respective group pricing. And suppose if one of the buyers adds more than one item to the shopping cart you are able to set store’s administrative parameters to offer the additional items at a discounted price. Secondly, it allows you to conceal product prices from the visitors which can help you collect important information about existing and new customers’ product preference.
Magento enables you to easily develop a multi-lingual website that automatically loads specific language store views. This allows you to expand to different geographical regions. If you have thought about having separate stores for different industry products, this too, is available with Magento. Magento makes it easy for B2B sites with multiple product lines and a need for multiple front-end systems and a common backend to manage all of them together.
One of the major distinguishing features of Magento is that is comes with SEO features built into the software. It has the ability to auto generate sitemaps, helps you in customizing meta tags, keep seo friendly urls, etc. You need not be an SEO expert to be found by your customers or rank high in Google searches. It also helps you set up landing pages that you can further optimize for specific keywords to make them rank higher in search results.
Require Development Skills
Compared to other popular CMS platforms like WordPress, Magento has a more complicated structure and requires specialized Magento ecommerce development skills. So it may not be ideal for a store owner with limited number of SKUs and who wants a simple ecommerce solution. Also if you are looking for any customizations, any additional extensions, then also you need to have development skills to either develop your own extension of integrate a ready made extension to your store.
Extensive Use of Resources
Robustness & scalability often means heavy server resources which in turn increases the operational costs. So with Magento you need better resources than other e-commerce platforms. And if you’re looking to start up a small store, you need to factor in all these expenses and see if having a Magento store is profitable for you.
Need a Good Hosting Environment
Executing Magento on normal shared hosting will create a slow and annoying user experience for visitors. Hence it should only be hosted on dedicated servers that you can configure or else, go with hosting partners who specialise in Magento hosting. This means you will need to pay higher for good, reliable hosting.
While Magento do provides some advantages and fulfills the needs, for e.g. product alerts, multi store enabled, catalog management, order processing Integration but on the other hand, it comes with baggages like bulky resources and requirement of development skills. Generally speaking, if you are dealing with thousands of SKUs and want an enterprise level ecommerce solutions that is robust and scalable, go with Magento. But if you want a simple ecommerce solution for a small storefront, Magento may prove to be more than what you can handle.