Having made an entry into the realm of eCommerce not so long ago (in 2008), in its brief stint of less than 5 years, Magento has already made a mark for itself and is now owned by eBay. With a proven track record and an impressive list of solutions, Magento can build small, big or gigantic web stores effortlessly. There are a number of e-stores of various magnitudes already functioning on it. Its flexibility as a CMS is wider that most eCommerce platforms.
While it goes without saying that it will do justice to your web retailing needs, the big questions is which plan offered by Magento would suit you the most?
Considering that its target group is a variety of business owners and enterprises, Magento has charted out three distinct plans. Let’s take a look at those three options.
It’s particularly designed for small business providers to create fully equipped online stores quite easily and fast. You don’t need to worry about installing any software or administering any servers. It’s armed with a set of powerful tools to take your business to the next level. Magento Go is for those who want an eStore, without knowing the technology.
- Design as you like- With no knowledge of HTML, no knowledge of designing you are still good to go. It assists you in deciding the branding of your enterprise. You can pick your logo, edit the text of menus and the buttons, like the typical word editors, line up the attributes on your page. And if you wish to align with your trusted web designer, Magento gives you a free hand by letting you use its CSS editor.
- Flexibility in Stacking Products – If you have a product, any product, it has a catalog so wide that it allows you to place it and categorize it. Plus, its powerful search tool makes looking out for any product by your customers a trouble-free affair.
- SEO-Friendly Web stores- What good is a Web store if it isn’t search Engine friendly? Specifically for this, it has built in capabilities for SEO. You are in charge of your URLs and can modify meta keywords accordingly. And that’s not all, it even creates a sitemap and a Google sitemap all by itself.
- Keep Your Buyers Engaged – Customer loyalty is high on its radar. That’s why it gives you ways to retain your customers. It provides you flexible coupons and banners to keep your customers lured. Besides, you can make product comparisons and allow visitors to create their own wish list.
And you can always enhance the functionality and user experience by employing extensions from Magento Connect.
OUR VERDICT: With a pricing that starts at $ 15/month that includes a client support as well, Magento Go could certainly be a great option for those who want to set up an eCommerce site without a complicated solution.
If Magento Go offers you the world Magento Enterprise brings the whole universe (along with sound technical support) to you at a price of $ 14,420 per year.
Aimed at mid-sized entrepreneurs, it’s as big as it can get. It allows millions of visitors to see your site, provides you product comparisons, offers you relevancy, flexibility, extreme scalability, and optimized speed to accommodate thousands of transactions at any given time. You can also move the data back and forth between the systems.
Apart from everything provided by Magento Go, the Enterprise Edition extends to you the knowledge about your customers so you can customize and make shopping a more personalized affair for them. You can make segregations based on shopping habits and demography. Besides, new visitors can be drawn in through special offers. You can showcase special content, target customers through exclusive promotions, suggest offers, launch surgical email marketing campaigns on the basis of their product browsing habits.
Some of the things you get in Magento Enterprise and not in Magento Go are:
- Reward Points
- Gift Registry
- Enhanced Customer Categorization and Targeting
- Invitations, Events
- Content Roll back
- And More
Also, making payments is easier yet again. This edition is loaded with plethora of payment gateways. But that doesn’t mean one has to make payment through the gateways only. You can get your customers to pay by check, purchase orders, gift cards & money orders. Also a single page checkout will see to it that payment is kept hassle-free. And with an advanced security system your customers can rest assured. Also, shipping is more strengthened, as its calculated on real time shopping and has a fixed cost too.
OUR VERDICT: Go for it, if you have a really vast canvas. It’s extremely efficient for managing a big web store. It offers great technical support. There is even a Premium Edition in it. Proud brands already on Magento Enterprise are Nike, Reed & Barton, Papyrus, Men’s Health, Olympus, Vizio, and Baby First.
Finally something that’s open source and could assist developers in their own endeavors. Magento’s Community Edition can be downloaded free of charge, while developers can alter its code and put in additional attributes and functionality. It is majorly utilized by organizations/vendors who customize Magento stores for commercial purposes (with the help of their own developers).
Quite naturally, you don’t get the technical support from Magento here, but anyone who goes for such services from Magento providers, gets the support from them.
Even though the list of what you get is not so long in a Community Edition, it can still satisfy your needs to a fairly good extent. You get code level access, and an already integrated Mobile HTML5 theme. You get full access to its extensions, themes, MCommerce, SEO befriending urls, multilingual support, multiple stores, order management and lots more.
OUR VERDICT: Your choice solely depends upon your requirements. Go for it if the functionality permitted by Community edition suits you. Needless to say it’s efficient, does offer a lot and is absolutely free. So, tight budgeted entrepreneurs can surely opt for it. It’s also a great choice for developers who do a lot of work with eCommerce sites for clients.
First off, going thoroughly over the functionalities of these three versions by Magento can really help you to decide which option is right for you. Regardless of how tech savvy you are, it will help make an informed decision.
About the Author:
An established Technical Writer with MagentoJunction, a branch of Creativeweblogix. Amit Pankaj is well-versed with HTML to Magento Template Conversion, Social Media, Content Management and SEO. He often opines on CMS’s like Magento. To hear from him, subscribe to our Blog RSS or you can follow us on Google+, Facebook, Twitter also on Linkedin for updates on Magento CMS.