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.
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.