Sometimes you need a little more help in handling every aspect of the business, from moderating comments on your social media sites to keeping track of sales. Magento is the fastest growing ecommerce solution on the Internet. Many business owners are going to developers looking for a solution that has amazing functionality, great flexibility, and is stable enough to handle a high traffic load. Magento has all of these abilities and much more. Here are the top 4 reasons why I chose Magento as my e-Commerce platform of the future.
Advanced Order Management
Magento has a lot of great features, but the one that I use the most is the Order Management feature found through the back-end dashboard. Here, you can view, edit, and even fulfill orders right from the admin panel.
I sell wallpaper over the Internet, and many times my customers are interior designers or general contractors working on multiple projects on multiple sites. Magento allows me to easily take their order and then break it down by product, shipping address, or billing address. I can also take an order and split it into multiple invoices, or take multiple orders that are still unfulfilled, and make them one order. Being able to work with my customers in this way, to make their billing needs paramount to my business, has increased customer satisfaction immensely. My ability to separate invoices for each project is a great service to offer my clients. This functionality is not limited to the back end. Consumers can re-order products that they have purchased previously, or schedule orders for purchase and shipment, bringing in a lot of repeat business.
Themes & Incorporated Marketing Admin
Magento has numerous themes that can be applied to any site, and the add-ons available to help maximize site revenue are overwhelming. Each theme has a unique look, but almost every theme can be customized with the Marketing Tools section of the back end dashboard.
You can add conditional statements to create up-sells, cross-sells, and related products. These added tools can help to maximize the average order value for your site. For example, if I decide to run a sale on York Wallpaper, I can add a conditional statement like this:
IF (ANY) of these conditions are true:
Manufacturer (IS) (YORK)
(DISPLAY) (5) Products in category (WALLPAPER)
Everything in parentheses is selected in the drop-down menus. This example populates a related products section on any page where a consumer is looking at York wallpaper. Sometimes, a sale can draw people in, and a robust conditional statement can convert them to a sale. I try to add these for any condition I can think of. When a consumer visits a wallpaper product from the “$8 & below” section, I have a statement to up-sell, offering a third roll free. Deal-sweeteners often close sales, and the conditional statements allow more flexibility in my sales.
The most important feature that I found after my upgrade to Magento was the reporting tools. Combined with the free tools offered by Google Analytics, anyone with a head for Internet marketing has all of the data they could possibly ask for. Searching for correlations between products and landing pages is one of my favorite things to do on the weekends.
The entire setup is integrated with Google Analytics already, so there is no need to have two browser windows open to get your data. You can see Tax reports, Most Viewed Products, Most Purchased Products, Low Stock, and Abandoned Shopping Cart Reports.
Setting up an abandoned shopping cart email plugin allowed me to recapture almost 4% of all abandoned shopping carts. Better than no sale at all!
Multiple E-Commerce Stores, One Dashboard
When you do finally decide to branch out, and possibly open another web store, Magento is still there for you. You can manage multiple storefronts from the same dashboard, and with the same data. All of the features that I mentioned before, and all of the new ones that you will discover when you install Magento are available to both sites.
With a very convenient drop-down menu in your dashboard, you can navigate between both storefronts. Furthermore, when you need to upgrade magenta to the most current version, there is an easy section called “One-Click Upgrades” that you can visit and choose to update one, or both of your stores.
The FREE open-source Magento Community Edition is really the best platform out there to host your e-commerce site. It is very well supported. It integrates Google Analytics with its own type of Analytics, and allows for a ton of flexibility and functionality right out of the box. Do you already have the enterprise or professional edition? You can “downgrade” to the community edition and keep the same functionality with a good web developer working on it. In essence, Magento is what the future of e-commerce looks like. It is user generated and self-supported. I am a Magento fan until there comes a better option, but with the way that it is being developed, another option seems unlikely.
Pete Wise is a Content Creation Specialist and White-Hat SEO Jedi. This article was written for Customer Paradigm, a company that employs many Magento Developers. Are you looking to Upgrade Magento? Call on Customer Paradigm! Follow Pete on Twitter: @MySEOHeadache