Magento is an open-source ecommerce platform that offers users a high level of customization. It provides visual merchandising, customer segmentation, rule-based product relations, an instant purchase checkout option, and more. Magento’s prices are customized, and its platform is best for mid to large-size organizations.
Magento Pros and Cons
Open-source—high level of customization
Steep learning curve
Product rule automation
Expensive for small businesses
Customer segmentation and personalization
Technical support via phone or live chat is not available
Who Magento is Best For
- Mid to large scale enterprises: Magento is capable of global, multi-site, and multi-brand deployments. It is completely customizable and supports physical and digital products as well as features for buy online, ship-to-store, ship-from, store, and more.
Magento’s pricing guide is not readily available, though a white paper that I downloaded from its website shows that its enterprise plan starts at $150,000. Get in touch with Magento for a quote.
Magento Alternatives 2020
Most ecommerce and multichannel businesses
Growing businesses selling exclusively online
Brick and mortar shops that want a free online store
Starts at $29 per month
Starts at $29.95 per month
Starts at $0
Magento has robust features as its high degree of customization and extensive marketplace allow you to set up, optimize, and scale your online store as much as you want to. Here is a summary of its notable features.
Page Builder, Visual Merchandising, and Content Staging
- Magento offers drag-and-drop interfaces for you to create flexible layouts without the need for a developer.
- Automatic updates can be deployed on schedule.
- You can either optimize product category pages by arranging products with the drag-and-drop interface or arrange products by best seller, color, highest margin, or newest addition.
- You can set rules to automatically assign products to specific categories based on their attributes such as brand, price, or date created.
Customer Segmentation and Personalization
- You can display content, promotions, and pricing to specific customers based on properties such as their location, gender, order history, lifetime purchase value, wish list items, and more.
- You can target unknown site visitors based on the products they have viewed.
Rule-Based Product Relations and Automation
- Product Suggestions: This can be done using automated rules through a condition-based tool. It can determine which products to present as up-sells, cross-sells, and related products to each customer segment.
- Order fulfillment, inventory management, and shipping can be automated.
Instant Purchase Checkout Option
This feature allows customers to use their previously-stored payment credentials and shipping information to skip checkout steps. This is a huge advantage for mobile shoppers.
Progressive Web Application (PWA) Studio
- Magento PWA Studio allows the creation of reliable, fast, and engaging mobile experiences.
- Magento themes are known to be responsive, which means that they are touch-friendly, can be easily customized, and offer SEO advantages.
Magento Marketplace, its extension store, offers over 3,600 free and paid extensions (which cost anywhere from $18 to $3,000 each). You can find integrations for just about anything—like marketing, accounting, analytics, sales, shipping and fulfillment, payments, and customer support. Popular extensions include Amazon Sales Channel, DHL, PayPal Braintree, Yotpo, and Drip.
Most Helpful Magento Reviews
Most of the Magento reviews I have read online are positive. A majority of those centered on its ability to support a huge amount of product details, including SKUs. Some also appreciate the extensions and high level of customization it provides.
However, its open-source solution is a frustration to some, since a common thread on negative Magento reviews is about its steep learning curve. They said that the platform is not ideal for those who do not have technical skills or no budget to hire a web developer.
Extensive marketplace for extensions
“Magento is a web platform that does a lot out of the box for smaller ecommerce sites that require little maintenance. There are many plugins available if you need to do mass updating, importing, and exporting.”
Not budget-friendly; customization need high-level technical skills
A user who left a negative review of Magento on Capterra said that platform configuration was frustrating. He shared that customization requires high-end technical skills and that one needs to install extra modules to be able to get the basic site functionalities. He furthered that the platform is better suited for those that have resources for a web developer.
Magento Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Magento offer a free trial?
No, it does not; but you can request a demo on its website.
What types of support does Magento provide?
Magento’s phone and email support are dedicated mostly to sales inquiries. If you need technical help, then you can submit a support ticket from your dashboard, which is usually responded to in 24 hours. Magento also provides an extensive knowledge base, a community forum, and tech resources such as tutorials, videos, and user guides. Certified solution partners are also available for consultation.
Does Magento provide SSL/TLS certificates?
Yes, it does. All Magento Commerce Cloud clients can get a shared SSL certificate powered by Fastly. It covers staging and production domain names as well as first-level domain names. You need to submit a support ticket to ask for it.
Our Top Ecommerce Software Picks
If you aren’t sure if Magento is right for you, this article on the best eCommerce platforms is a review of our top choices. Our team looked at a variety of software and narrowed our recommendations down based on price, ease of use, user reviews, and features such as payment processing, inventory management, reporting and analytics, additional sales channels, and integrations.