Magento is an open-source platform for e-commerce that is downloadable from the company website. The product becomes a capital expenditure when your team implements it into an online store. Magento has several responsive themes to choose from on their website, some being free, while others cost anywhere from $39 to $99+ Magento was first released in 2008. Magento’s market share among the top 30 e-commerce platforms is about 30%, making it one of the largest e-commerce providers in the world. There are also several different “specialties” of Magento. There is a special Magento for fashion shops, as well as a B2B version of Magento that streamlines B2B sales for online eCommerce stores. Magento also works on mobile devices quite well, being one of the first e-commerce providers to start designing themes with mobile HTML5. We also found that some third-party plug-ins and platforms made it possible to do things from your mobile device, such as monitor your sales and inventory. With some third-party integration, you might even be able to chat with your customers from your mobile device. However, these solutions can increase the cost of Magento.

 

Rank Chart
Price
Features
Our Score
#1
$9 - $179
256
8.5
#2
$30 - $200
256
8.4
#3
$15 - $135
128
8.3
#25
magento
N/A
256
5.8

The Good

Like many of the open source e-commerce platforms, we LOVE the price of Magento for small businesses. It is free and the only costs you have to pay are for extensions, themes, and other features, as well as development resources for building your online e-store. For enterprise-level businesses, they do custom quotes, but we read online that the average base price for enterprise businesses is $17,900 per year.

Here are the features from Magento that we liked the best:

  • Built-in web design: There are thousands of themes to choose from in the Magento industry.
  • Shopping Cart Integration: In addition to abandoned cart management, you also let your customers choose from a robust array of payment portals. These include PayPal, Amazon, Google Checkout, Simple Pay, and many more, in addition to the standard credit cards.
  • Personalized Customer Experience: You let customers see their purchase histories and tracking information for current orders.
  • Mobile E-Commerce: Magento’s responsive themes immediately detect what type of device your customer is using, making their product selection process easier.
  • Analytics and Reporting: These features include Google Analytics, detailed sales reports, and other specialized types of custom reports.

One of the most important features of Magento is that it is scalable across multiple e-stores. With some providers that we reviewed, you had to purchase an additional subscription to use this product with other websites.

We also liked the power of social media with Magento. With Magento, you can share products on your company Facebook page. Additionally, there are marketing and social integrations that let your customers use their social logins to log into your e-store.

If you are new to Magento, you’re not going to be stuck on your own. There is an extensive knowledge base with Magento. In addition, there is a community wiki that has helpful articles on processing payments, store design, and more. Finally, there is a Magento Expert Consulting Group, which helps you get your store up and running if you are a small business.

Magento, in our opinion, is one of the best open-source e-commerce platforms on the market today. We like the additional “expanded” Magento versions for fashion and B2B commerce. In the future, it might be possible for Magento to unroll some new versions of its e-commerce solution for different industries.

The Bad

You have to be pretty tech-savvy to run Magento. There are plenty of resources to help you get up and running if you have a development background, but there is a steep learning curve with Magento. You’re not going to be able to get a fully-functional store “out-of-the-box.” Magento developers are out there, but they can become quite pricy…some cost around as much as $150 per hour.

Also, you’re on your own for security with Magento. You will need to buy an SSL certificate with a third-party provider. Then you also have to implement your SSL certificate on your domain. As a small business owner, you might be better off with a subscription service that takes care of things for you.

As you run Magento on your own server (unless you hire a Magento management service), you have to take care of all the “capital expenditures” associated with running an e-commerce platform.

Also, we were worried about Magento’s lack of phone support. If you are using their free downloads, you are totally on your own. However, there is a team of experts who can help you if you are an enterprise-level business using the appropriate subscription.

The Bottom Line

We would recommend Magento if you are a large business that has its own server infrastructure. Magento doesn’t have an SSL certificate option for their free download, so it is up to your business to buy these from another vendor. Magento also has a ton of plugins and extensions for marketing, social media, and more. Most of these are free.

Magento takes a little bit of work to implement in your e-store, but the analytics and features are great. There are also abandoned cart analytics to help you figure out where customers are “dumping their merchandise” without buying before leaving your e-store.

Finally, we like the payment options available with Magento. You can scale these up or down as much as you’d like and take payments in most of the currencies from customers around the world.

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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