As an agency specialising in building eCommerce websites, I spend a lot of time helping clients decide whether Magento 2 is the right platform for their business or not.
It’s an important decision given the choice you make will form your eCommerce strategy for years to come.
Magento 1 was a solution for all sized retailers, however, Magento 2 has changed its position to cater predominantly for relatively complex B2B/B2C retailers and wholesalers (e.g. complex catalog, multiple storefronts, international customer base, custom functionality, etc.)
My personal suggestion is if you’re a simple B2C retailer with no plans to add any complexity is you should consider moving to a SaaS platform – it will be far more cost effective and you’ll get all the functionality you require. If your requirements are (or are likely to become) more complex or custom than those of a small B2C retailer, then you should consider Magento 2.
In this article, I will look specifically at the pros and cons of Magento. It should give you a good understanding of the offering of Magento and a form a benchmark to compare against other eCommerce platforms.
If you have ambitions to continually grow the business, then Magento will help support that growth with it being a fully scalable platform. What this means is that you won’t be limited by the number of products, orders, features or functions.
When choosing an eCommerce platform, not only should you consider the immediate requirements, but also what you will require in the next 1-5 years or even more. You want to avoid re-platforming again on the basis your current platform doesn’t support your growth plans. Magento is a platform you’re very unlikely to out-grow.
With Magento being Open Source, any feature your business requires can be developed (providing the feature isn’t already part of Magento native functionality). This is seen as a huge benefit if your business has custom requirements or you foresee your business to have custom requirements in the future.
This is often seen as a major plus when compared to SaaS-based eCommerce platforms.
If you have more than one store, Magento natively supports a multi-store business. You can manage multiple stores from a single admin area making the management of your business easier.
Magento is built for complex eCommerce businesses that undoubtedly will have a number of systems they use to operate their business. Magento’s open-source framework allows practically any third-party system to be integrated into your Magento website.
If you do not currently have any third-party systems integrated with your website, you should envisage how your business will grow over the course of 3 to 5 years or more. There’s a good chance you’ll need your website to talk to another system, be it accounting, fulfilment, ERP, CRM, warehouse management or something else.
Magento offers built-in SEO features enabling you to easily optimise your product pages with best SEO practices. This is an important aspect of your online marketing and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Magento has a dedicated marketing place for extensions. These are developed by the community as a cheaper alternative to developing a feature from scratch. Using extensions can drive down cost.
With Magento having been around for more than 10 years, the ecosystem has a large global community of Magento specialist developers and consultants. This is an important aspect into the support available along with the commitment to constantly improve the platform.
Magento 2 is a resource-hungry platform. This means that an appropriate server will be needed to ensure the website front-end and back-end doesn’t lag. Our partners Sonassi and UK Fast specialise in Magento 2 hosting who we recommend. The cost will depend on the specific requirements of the website. Cost will start from £200 per month
Time to build
Due to Magento’s complex structure (that is built for flexibility), the time needed to build a website is longer compared to other platforms (more often than not).
As Magento is a self-hosted platform, updates and security patches need to be made by the developer to ensure the website is fully up to date. Each update can vary in time to implement depending on the type of update which will dictate the cost.
There isn’t a definitive answer as to which platform you should choose. The decisions depend on a variety of factors such as your business model, features required, budget and importance of the website.
Magento is generally a more expensive option than other platforms. What you do get in return is a feature-rich and highly flexible platform that may be worth the investment.
Please feel free to each out to me if you do have any questions.