Magento is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the world, and for good reasons. It’s powerful, scalable, and feature-rich.
But is it the right platform for you?
In this comprehensive Magento review, we’ll explore the facets of the platform that solidify its reputation as an industry powerhouse. From its mobile commerce capabilities that align with the shift towards smartphones to its advanced SEO, blogging, and marketing tools that empower businesses to reach wider audiences with ease.
Whether you’re considering Magento for the first time or thinking about an upgrade, this review will navigate through its offerings to help you understand how Magento can serve as the backbone of your e-commerce strategy.
What is Magento?
Magento (now Adobe Commerce) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Adobe Commerce corporation. Its main product is an open-source platform that supports developers & tech-savvy merchants building eCommerce websites. Currently, it is one of the leading ecommerce platforms. Magento is known to users and professionals for its limitless customization, scalability, high customization, and seamless integration.
In particular, Magento is also highly appreciated for its technological capabilities. It is always at the forefront of the market in product upgrading. Currently, this platform is also the only unit that provides a professional toolkit to help developers build PWA – PWA Studio.
However, there are a few facts not everyone knows about Magento. Since its first release in 2007, it has had dozens of different updates. However, up to now, you can divide Magento into two main versions: the Magento version and Magento 2 version.
Although the two versions have similar core features, Magento 1 has much obsolescence and obvious inferiority compared to Magento 2 in terms of interface, performance, security, etc. Therefore, if you are intending to use Magento. We highly recommend you choose Magento 2.
Magento has been called the “monster platform” by many experts due to its huge amount of quality functionality.
In fact, although Magento has a vast extension marketplace, you don’t need to install too many plugins to complement your business activities. Most of what you need is already a built-in feature in the platform, you just need to install some small additional plugins to support its work.
Since there are too many Magento features to list in detail, we will divide them into 4 main categories:
- Magento can create a straightforward inventory administrator panel to manage goods configurable (for example, you can add color, size, and the like). This function is also available for downloadable and virtual (with samples) products.
- Create pre-defined goods themes that allow you to set up new products with specific characteristics faster.
- Third, automatically attach products to suitable categories based on their characteristics. In other words, no more hours of boring work, you only need to set the attributes yourself and Magento will take care of the rest!
- Automatically sync catalog, stock, and order data across platforms like Amazon to Magento.
- Catalog change automatic sync is available with no extra manual action needed.
- Allow users to create Google Ads or Google Merchant Center accounts from the Magento Admin panel.
- Optimize your potential customer reach with Google Smart Shopping marketing campaigns.
Shipping & Tax:
- Support international shipping deliverers.
- Offer plenty of upselling programs such as free shipping, product recommendations, discounts, vouchers, buy one get one, etc.
- Provides fixed selling taxes (such as WEEE/DEEE in the EU).
Check-out & Payment Gateways:
- Automatically calculate tax and shipping costs in customers’ shopping cart; Show order summary with detailed product pictures in the checkout step.
- Increase conversion rates with “Instant Purchase”, which uses saved customers’ previous payment and shipping data for fast checkout.
- Supports multiple payment processors, such as WorldPay, CyberSource, Authorize.net, PayPal and Braintree.
Magento’s mobile commerce capabilities are designed to cater to the increasing trend of online shopping via mobile devices. The platform offers m-commerce features that enable e-commerce businesses to create responsive and user-friendly mobile shopping experiences.
For those looking to increase sales and overall revenue, Magento provides the means to build a dedicated mobile app. A key feature includes a customizable home screen, which gives customers the option to tailor what items they see on their home screens via a drag-and-drop interface, simplifying their shopping experience.
As we said above, Magento is also the first and only unit currently developing a separate toolkit for PWA development. With it, developers can develop, deploy, maintain and upgrade the interface of Magento PWA eStores in the most efficient way. However, this toolkit is only compatible with Magento 2 in version 2.3 and above.
In addition, Magento’s checkout process is optimized for mobile devices, making it easy for customers to complete their purchases even when they’re on the go. It features a number of features that make it more convenient and efficient to shop on the go, including:
- One-step checkout: Magento’s one-step checkout process allows customers to enter their shipping and billing information, select a shipping method, and review their order all on one page. This can save customers a significant amount of time and effort, especially when they are shopping on a mobile device with a smaller screen.
- Touch-friendly product navigation: Magento’s product navigation is optimized for touch-screen devices, making it easy for customers to browse and select products. Product images are large and easy to tap, and product descriptions are concise and to the point.
- Support for mobile payment methods: Magento supports a wide range of mobile payment methods, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal. This allows customers to quickly and easily complete their purchases without having to enter their credit card information.
SEO, blogging & marketing
Magento’s SEO, blogging, and marketing capabilities are extensive and can significantly enhance the visibility and reach of an e-commerce platform.
SEO Capabilities of Magento
SEO is one of the most basic yet needed marketing features of every online store. It helps businesses reach customers organically without having to pay any third party. Especially, your web ranks in the search engine result pages will also help your brand become more trustworthy in the eyes of customers.
Magento is a powerful eCommerce platform that offers a number of features that can help you improve your website’s SEO. These features include:
- Canonical URLs: Magento automatically generates canonical URLs for your product and category pages. This helps to prevent duplicate content issues and ensures that your website is properly indexed by search engines.
- Meta tags: Magento allows you to easily customize the meta tags for your website’s pages. This includes the title tag, description tag, and keyword tag. Meta tags help search engines understand what your website is about and how to rank it in search results.
- Rich snippets: Magento supports the use of rich snippets, which are structured data that can be used to enhance the appearance of your website’s listings in search results. Rich snippets can include information such as product prices, ratings, and availability.
- Sitemaps: Magento automatically generates sitemaps for your website. Sitemaps help search engines to crawl and index your website’s pages more efficiently.
- Performance optimization: Magento is optimized for performance, which means that your website will load quickly. This is an important factor for SEO, as search engines tend to rank faster websites higher in search results.
If you want to learn more, we wrote an entire article about Magento SEO, be sure to check it out.
Blogging Capabilities of Magento
Magento includes a built-in blogging platform that allows you to create and publish blog posts directly from your Magento admin panel. This makes it easy to add fresh content to your website on a regular basis, which is important for SEO.
Magento’s blogging platform also includes a number of features that make it easy to optimize your blog posts for SEO, such as:
- Keyword optimization: Magento allows you to easily add keywords to your blog posts’ titles, descriptions, and content.
- Image optimization: Magento allows you to easily optimize your blog post images for SEO by adding alt text and captions.
- Social media integration: Magento makes it easy to share your blog posts on social media, which can help to increase traffic to your website and improve your SEO.
Marketing Capabilities of Magento
Magento offers a number of features that can help you to market your eCommerce business, including:
- Email marketing: Magento integrates with popular email marketing platforms such as MailChimp and Klaviyo. This allows you to easily send email newsletters and marketing campaigns to your customers.
- Social media marketing: Magento makes it easy to connect your eCommerce store to your social media accounts. This allows you to share your products and promotions with your social media followers.
- Search engine marketing (SEM): Magento integrates with Google Ads, so that you can easily create and manage your SEM campaigns.
- Content marketing: Magento’s blogging platform makes it easy to create and publish high-quality content that can help you attract and engage potential customers.
In addition to these features, Magento also offers a wide range of extensions that can be used to add additional marketing functionality to your eCommerce store. For example, there are extensions that allow you to create loyalty programs, offer discounts and coupons, and manage customer reviews.
By using Magento’s features and extensions, you can create a comprehensive marketing strategy that will help you attract more visitors to your website, convert them into customers, and grow your business.
Since Magento is a world-leading platform, of course, it is also optimized for maximum security of customer data and information. Currently, this platform’s security feature can be divided into three main factors as follows:
- Securely and directly deliver users’ credit card data from their browser to the payment processor, skipping the Magento application. Thanks to this feature, your customer information is ensured not to be leaked out during the transaction.
- PCI compliant: All websites are confirmed to qualify for PCI compliance (SAQ-A or SAQ A-EP) relying on the utilized payment methods. This aims to shield your client’s data when you start to process, preserve or transfer credit card info.
- Automatic abnormal detection tools: Release the anxiety of eCommerce scams, abuse, security holes, and the like.
- Evolved Encryption Standard: Info encryption based on AES-256 and SHA-256. Magento uses an international standard of encryption (AES and SHA). This plays a vital role in keeping prying eyes away from our data.
- Protect your eStores and stop unnatural logins with Two Factor Authentication and Google ReCAPTCHA.
- Prevent password guessing situations with strong-password conditions and a safe Admin sign-in method.
- Timely notify about any security issue via the Magento Security Center and e-mail.
In case the above factors are still not enough to make you satisfied, you can always add additional protection features with Magento security plugins. Magento has an extended plugin market of both free and paid, you can find the add-ons you need easily here.
Design & Themes
Since Magento is an open-source platform, it is incredibly flexible. In case you don’t notice, this is one of its main strengths, it is also the reason why it is chosen by many businesses.
And thanks to that flexibility, you can also edit most of the elements you aren’t satisfied with on your website’s themes. However, the theme customization limit will depend on some other factors, hence if you want to do a lot of editing, you will need the help of the developers. In case you do not want to outsource, you should read the template description carefully to understand their adjustment limitation.
If for some reason you are worrying Magento web themes are not meeting your needs, then no need to overthink because this platform has a huge theme market that includes both paid and free. We believe you will be able to find your dream one.
Ease of use
It’s pretty clear that Magento is not a suitable platform for web development beginners or non-tech-savvy. All activities of website building, designing, and developing require you to have a deep knowledge of coding in particular and websites in general. In fact, many experts even commented that this is one of the most difficult platforms to use until now.
However, you can reduce the difficulty yourself by purchasing a website template. Although you still need to work with web programming languages to make your theme editable on Magento, the process is generally much simpler than developing from scratch.
On the other hand, although the Magento company itself knows that its product is quite difficult to use and is tailored for intermediate to advanced web development levels, they do not want to modify it. It is this unwieldiness that brings the strength of limitless customization to Magento.
If you are a paid user of Magento then you will fully benefit from this platform’s customer care service. Specifically, Magento will provide you with a 24/7 support service in all formats (chat, email, telephone, etc.).
That being said, don’t worry if you are planning to be a Magento’s free user. Although Magento doesn’t directly support you, you will still have timely help from this platform’s enormous community. There are many experts and longtime users here who are always ready to guide newcomers.
If that’s not enough to reassure you, then you should know this: Magento’s communities provide a lot of learning material for newbies, so you can easily claim any Magento foundation knowledge. Besides, now that there are hundreds of thousands of posts on Magento’s communities, you can easily find a similar problem as yours without having to post new articles.
Data collecting and analytics
When discussing Magento’s data collection and analytics capabilities, there are several key points to highlight that demonstrate the platform’s robust approach to data-driven decision-making:
- Real-time Data Collection and Reporting: Magento is equipped with an automatic data collection system that updates detailed reports in real-time. This feature grants you full control over your customers’ purchasing information and visits history, allowing for immediate insights into consumer behavior and trends.
- User-Friendly Reporting Dashboards: The reporting dashboards in Magento are designed with user convenience in mind, ensuring they are simple and straightforward to use, even for those new to eCommerce. With over 100 different report forms integrated into the platform, users can choose the type of report that best fits their needs, making the analysis of sales, customer behavior, and other vital metrics accessible.
- Flexible Data Migration: Magento offers the freedom to migrate data to any third-party software, even if it is not a part of the Magento ecosystem. The platform imposes no restrictions on data export, ensuring that you can transfer your valuable insights wherever they are needed most. The process is designed to be convenient and efficient, requiring just a few clicks within Magento’s data manager to initiate a data transfer.
These capabilities ensure that businesses using Magento can maintain a comprehensive understanding of their operations, optimize their strategies based on actionable analytics, and utilize their data across a variety of platforms to expand their reach and capabilities.
This is the part that most of you guys are probably is looking for: cost.
Magento pricing relies on various factors. Depending on the needs of each business, the expense of each factor can be adjusted or eliminated accordingly. However, usually, the cost for a Magento website will include 7 factors as follows: Magento License, development, hosting, domain, extensions, and maintenance.
In particular, the cost of hosting, domain, SSL certificate and extensions is quite low, you only need to spend about $200 to $1,000 for all those three.
What you really need to pay attention to is Magento license cost, development cost, and maintenance cost. Currently, Magento is offering three different license types:
- Magento Open Source – Free to use
- Adobe Commerce Pro – About $22,000 to $125,000 annually
- Adobe Manage Services – From $40,000 to 190,000 per year
For the remaining 3 types of expenses, the thing you need to care about most is the website development cost since a good website will help you minimize your budget for SEO and periodic maintenance.
Therefore, we highly recommend you invest a reasonable amount in website building activities to minimize costs incurred later. Don’t overspend, however, as this could put your payback too far.
Pro tip: you can reduce the cost by picking an ASEAN agency. The companies here have the competitive advantage of the low living cost. As a result, they can provide quality services at an affordable price.
A typical example here is us, Tigren, which has more than 10 years of experience providing eCommerce technology solutions to hundreds of different clients.
Conclusion and Recommendation
In summary, Magento stands out as a versatile and robust platform, well-suited for businesses across various sizes and industries. Its extensive array of functions enables it to effectively accommodate a wide range of business models, making it a reliable choice for many.
For small to medium-sized businesses, the open-source version of Magento offers a cost-effective solution with a wealth of features at no cost. This version provides a solid foundation for businesses to establish an online presence and begin scaling their operations.
Larger enterprises and B2B operations can also benefit from Magento’s scalable nature. Starting with the open-source version offers the opportunity to explore the platform’s capabilities and then transition to more advanced versions as the business grows and requirements become more complex.
Ultimately, Magento’s flexibility ensures that it is a viable option for any customer. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand, Magento’s comprehensive feature set and adaptable nature make it unlikely that you’ll be disappointed with what it has to offer.
It’s a powerful e-commerce solution that can evolve with your business, providing the tools necessary for growth and success in the digital marketplace.