Magento is a rapidly-growing ecommerce solution. Since its launch in 2008, millions of users have fallen in love with the platform and its open-source capabilities. And now, nChannel offers cloud integration to POS and Accounting systems for Magento users. Magento is probably most well known for its open source ecommerce solution, known as Magento Community Edition. In case you havent seen it yet, Magento Go is their new cloud-based eCommerce solution that is much more turnkey – similar to Volusion, yet a bit more streamlined.
Why Magento should be On Your Short list as an eCommerce Solution
Wondering if you should use Magento as your online stores ecommerce platform? Below are a few areas that I found to be compelling when evaluating Magento over a similar system Ive used called Volusion. There are many reasons why you should consider this product, but here are just five reasons why you should be choosing Magento as your companys ecommerce solution:
- Price One of the best features of the Magento ecommerce platform remains the price. For being such a popular and effective product, Magento remains affordable for any company that wants to sell online. For smaller sites that have less than 100 SKUS youll pay just $15 per month. By comparison, Volusions pricing for the same number of SKUs in November was $29/month. It appears they dropped over the past year to $19 per month to better compete.
Ive been hearing rumors that Magento will soon release a new pricing package for web sites that have up to 50,000 SKUs. Currently Volusion offers an unlimited edition for $149/mo. There are no transaction fees with both Magento and Volusion however, a key difference users should note is that Magento users have the option to customize a plan if they dont see one that fits their needs.
- No Transactions Fees – sort of – I ran a Volusion store for 2 years, and loved it. But I will say that Volusion appears to make their money by selling you their payment processing services. If you dont use them, youre forced to use PayPal or Google Checkout as cheaper alternatives…but when I explored their payment processing plans I thought the transaction fees were high. Magento enables you to add on a variety of credit card processing providers, or even transfer over the one you already use.
- Lots of Functionality – Magento is comparable in feature set to Volusion however, it seems like Magento is a bit more streamlined and intuitive. Setting up customer groups, address groups, and attributes are great features and I especially like the ability to configure a variety price rules and shopping cart rules
- Customization I really like the templates Magento Go provides which can act as a great base to start with or give to a designer to spruce up and brand for you without having to recreate the entire look and feel. This could end up saving you lots of design time and money. However, for those that want their own look, the system is fully customizable. I found customizing the site was a little easier than Volusion (I got frustrated and ended up hiring someone to create a deisgn for me at the time). However, I just set up a Magento demo site, and customized the design in all of 20 minutes. I know enough html to be dangerous and am no means a designer, but Magentos templates made it super easy.
- Easy to Install Setting up Magento is easy too. Like I mentioned above, took no time to configure the design and using the nChannel adapater for Microsoft Dynamics, I was able to populate items, inventory, customers, and supplier info in a matter of minutes. You could also do manual imports, or hand jam information too – but the point is its easy to set up, easy to use and intuitive.
- Abundance of Resources Once you have Magento up and running, the learning process doesnt stop there. You will likely have questions, but there are many available resources (from the Magento site to numerous Magento-related blogs and forums) that will give you tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your experience. Theres also a large partner community that provides a variety of services and even add-ons should you require functionality (like loyalty programs) that are not native to Magento.
Obviously, these are just a few of the reasons that should help you select and choose the right eCommerce solution for your business. Magento has an excellent site with more indepth resources to explore and I can help refer a Magento partner to you should you need one. nChannel works with a variety of Magento partners that can service small or large customers. To learn more about what Magento can do for your business and how nChannel can help you easily integrate your Magento site to an accounting or ERP solution, a point of sale system or even marketplaces liek Amazon, feel free to email us or visit us online.
You should specify Magento Go in the title. We are a Volusion re-seller and we also work with Magento platforms. We have found that both have their shortcomings. One BIG issue you did not mention with Volusion is their bandwidth overcharges, which can be pretty high if you get a good amount of traffic. If one was planning to eventually run a self hosted eCommerce store, then Magento would be the hands down winner. Another note, Volusion will also customize a package for almost any set of requirements.