E-commerce is everywhere these days – so much so that most of us take it for granted in this day and age of smart devices. But how are e-commerce platforms made, and what makes running them possible? Magento is one such e-commerce development suite, which consists of a range of tools to enable developers and their client businesses build a shopping cart website that their customers will love. Being one of the most trusted e-commerce platform suites out there, the industry of software development in Sri Lanka also consists of a niche market that offers development which is specific to Magento. In other words, agencies market Magento development as a service that is available for clients to take advantage of. Therefore, it’s not hard to see just how much the tech world at large depends on Magento, and for good reason.
Just like any other business and any other industry, the customer always has the ultimate power. With an abundant range of options available out there, customers are spoilt for choice. In turn, this had led to shorter attention spans, and moving on to the next available option in the event something doesn’t work (or isn’t accessible enough) is all the more common. This is why it is imperative to maintain a smooth online shopping cart presence – whether it’s over a conventional desktop site or a mobile app. Magento makes this wonderfully possible, what with its wide range of features – from customer segmentation to cloud-based date storage.
On top of that, let’s not forget the importance of data. While collecting data is crucial, it isn’t as useful in its raw form. Evaluating this data via competent data analytics tools is something that Magento extensively provides, thereby eliminating the need for managers and business owners to seek for business intelligence solutions elsewhere.
While Magento offers a vast array of tools for e-commerce development, we’ve simplified four of its primary umbrella categories, under which nest a wide variety of features.
Ensuring your customers are impressed upon first sight is key to maintaining stellar brand reputation and a lucrative business via an e-commerce website. On top of that, if you depend on online sales alone (which is highly common these days, particularly for smaller businesses that are based at home), you need to nail the aspect of customer experience right. While Magento offers anything and everything under one roof, its suite of tools to build and improve customer experiences is one of the most extensive. From custom page builders to user segmentation, most of the CX-oriented tools are conveniently scalable and require no technical expertise to be maintained.
For example, page layouts can be tailored to suit promotions or special seasons via simple drag and drop layouts, while scheduling them to go live at a preferred time. Due to ease of use, IT support is seldom required, and supervisors/managers can attend to these tasks as often as needed, in order to offer customers exactly what they need. Additionally, products can be categorized according to many variables; from colour to most popular, the options are almost endless. While these may seem like basic requisites to any e-commerce platform, ensuring that these features are easy to use and access is now all the more important these days, thanks to the ubiquity of e-commerce tools out there.
Magento takes things a step further with its Elasticsearch tool, which offers product catalogues the advantage of easy scalability. New product ranges can now be searched for through a variety of terms, as Elasticsearch records common misspellings, synonyms and the like to display products that are as close as possible to what customers are looking for. Inversely, showing customers products they may find useful or be interested in requires key insights. While data analytics is required to ensure accurate product recommendations, this is easier to do for existing customers as their browsing/purchase history is already available. However, in the case of unregistered and new customers, Magento’s customer personalization options present the possibility to filter relevant products even to brand new users, thanks to cookies and what they may have viewed on-site previously.
This is where Magento really stands out in terms of uniqueness and level of sync. With steady means of integration with other leading platforms such as Amazon and Google, Magento takes it several notches above in order to leverage convenience for customers, obtain scalability in the event of shifting product streams and reduce downtime in due course of conversions. Starting off, an integration with Amazon synchronizes all product-related information between on-site and Amazon listings, so you don’t need to separately make updates on both platforms. The Buy button for Amazon can also be placed on your Magento site, in order to encourage users who depend on Amazon to make their purchases there. What’s more, intelligent pricing tools enable you to monitor and change prices depending on the buying climate, but also help set minimum prices so you don’t go below your preferred margin.
Moving over to online marketing, maintaining a Google Shopping Ads channel via your Magento platform creates the synchronization of all your Google ads, in accordance to your product offerings. Through this feature, there is no need to maintain separate Google Ad and website accounts, while manually updating ads depending on changes in your product line. Both platforms transfer data between one another, which means that your ads will automatically adjust if your product does. That way, you don’t have to worry about running ads that may display out of stock or discontinued products, while only relying on one source (your Magento platform) for all things related to Google ads as well.
Albeit a fundamental requirement for any modern e-commerce platform, it’s crucial to mention that responsiveness still needs adequate attention so that your site, across every device and dimension, is suitable. A responsive website will also have a positive impact on SEO. As a result, Magento’s suite of tools to develop responsive websites comes under the greater umbrella of integration options, making this a resourceful addition, as much as it is a necessity.
Speaking of responsive websites, Magento is also comprehensive in its offering for building Progressive Web Apps; what with customer-centricity being the focus of all things across the digital landscape today, PWAs present a breakthrough for businesses to invite customers over to their platforms without giving them the hassle of downloading and installing an app, in order to do so. The app-like feel that PWAs offer over a basic mobile web browser is what enables speedier conversions in turn, and prioritizing on creating such experiences is important owing to the advantages and potential that PWAs are due to bring about in the not so distant future.
What happens once a customer makes a purchase, and the order is fulfilled? Analysing customer patterns and behaviours now goes a long way in determining whether your overall business strategy is a hit or not, thanks to endless options that your customers now have owing to an array of brands out there. It’s rather common for customers to abandon shopping carts on a whim, what with so many choices available. Understanding what they like and dislike is the most viable way to ensuring your customers are happy, and stay loyal to your brand. Magento’s data analytics solutions are user-friendly and comprehensive enough for those who possess no technical skills. With unlimited ways of filtering data, you have the freedom to present statistics from multiple perspectives, thereby heightening understanding and insight.
Providing data hosting via AWS, data from multiple sources is updated automatically so that you don’t need to adhere to any manual tasks of doing the same. Stored safely in the cloud, this data is available any time, and in combination with Magento’s analytics tools, can be made sense of without having to utilise any external business intelligence platforms. While data analytics can drastically improve the level of customer understanding for your e-commerce business, it can also provide insight into a variety of other operational duties such as shipping. Conveniently receive feedback on which shipping methods are most reasonable depending on order, while also providing your customers options based on carrier, delivery times etc.
Inventory management is now also streamlined through the cloud, as data pertaining to multiple warehouses is now updated on a real-time basis. On top of that, processes such as re-stocking can be automated, while each item can be tracked after it has left the storage area. Finally, order management can make tasks easier for your staff, as they can now view every customer order from the back-end and make any adjustments if requested by the customer, or to process exchanges and refunds.
Being one of the world’s leading e-commerce platform tools, Magento offers third-party extensions and APIs for any and every requirement. Seamlessly integrate any component of your choice from its vast repository of elements available, in order to create a shopping cart presence that complements your business objectives. Whether it’s integrating social network plugins or a fully-fledged ERP, Magento’s suite of APIs will make anything possible. Even if you’re a seasoned developer, Magento offers plenty of resources to educate its clients on how to get started and further customize platforms with its range of tools.
Security is extremely important in this age of data, and with breaches quite common these days, Magento also offers security options that are regularly updated for the latest in protection and performance. This does not compromise front-end and back-end performance, as features such as page caching and image optimization ensure the best user experience through faster page loads and accessible images.
Similar to how data analytics are part and parcel of Magento’s offering so you could see how successful your business is over the online medium, performance metrics and testing are also offered for the site alone. This makes Magento stand out in the data and predictive analytics scene, particularly because pre-integrated analytics is still not as extensive and intricate (while it may be commonplace) in most cloud-based applications.
Last but not the least, Magento offers dedicated account managers for each and every client, thereby assuring constant feedback no matter what. The Technical Account Manager (TAM) is responsible for assisting every client to design customization strategies that fit their unique business needs. With added support, Magento assures its clients that help is always at hand, irrespective of how seasoned your development expertise is.
E-commerce platforms have come a long way from merely facilitating convenience through shopping online. With an abundant list of options available for the average consumer, e-commerce platforms now need to be at the forefront of delivering optimum customer experiences, so they can not only win new customers but retain existing ones. Magento is one such open-source e-commerce development platform, as it presents the widest range of tools to build e-commerce websites that match business objectives and delight customers.
Starting off, Magento enables impressive customer experiences by offering ways to segment customer databases and tailor webpages by non-technical staff, so that products which are just right for specific customers can be displayed, in order to attract better conversions. Its seamless integration with Amazon and Google also further enhances conversion rates, since products listed on Amazon can be featured on the main site via a Buy button. As for Google, ads can be synced to only showcase products that are available and relevant to users, thereby eliminating the need to manually update ads if products are out of stock or discontinued.
Next, comprehensive data analytics solutions are embedded right into Magento’s offerings, giving managers and business owners a bird’s eye view of customer habits, operational issues and even evaluations of which shipping carriers are ideal for different orders. With very bit of data stored in the AWS cloud, retrieving this data for analytics is as easy as ever. Finally, consistent support from the Magento team via a Technical Account Manager (TAM) assures clients that they’ll always have assistance in due course of development, irrespective of skill level.