As a follow-up to Zen Den’s overview of various eCommerce platforms, we wanted to go a bit deeper with one of the fastest growing platforms out there: Magento. The greatest advantage of Magento is the platform’s robustness. The company bills itself as the “eCommerce platform for growth,” and Magento’s scalability, customizability, and variety of built-in marketing features back up that claim. Many large online merchants including Olympus, Vizio, OfficeMax, Nokia, Papyrus and Dockers have chosen to build and operate their online stores with Magento.
For companies with large and complex eCommerce needs, Magento is the best way to go. Unlike many other eCommerce platforms, multiple stores can be managed from one admin panel. For a company like The North Face, which operates on five continents in multiple languages and currencies, being able to centrally control the entire operation is a big advantage.
These days, simply showing one picture of an item and its price is not enough information to attract people browsing online; it needs to be an interactive experience. The customer interface of Magento stores can be endlessly customized with features that grab the attention of online shoppers. Items can have multiple images with zoom capability. Special pricing and free shipping deals can be displayed. Customers can rate and review products. Merchants can suggest complementary products or alternatives.
A potential customer looking at this stapler in the OfficeMax store, for example, can zoom in on the image, read ratings and reviews, see suggested staples to go with the stapler—smartly, the staples feature a “buy 2, get 1 free” offer to further entice the buyer—and see alternative stapler suggestions.
Magento’s marketing capabilities are more extensive than any other eCommerce platform. In addition to the interactive features and upsell opportunities on the shopping page, Magento helps merchants entice people to visit the store. Flexible coupons can be customized by target group, time period, product, categories, etc. and sent out as email newsletters.
For specific campaigns, merchants can attract customer and search engine attention by creating a landing page with an SEO-friendly URL. Right now, the home page of the cosmetics store Lush is directing customers to its landing page featuring Halloween-themed products, http://www.lushusa.com/shop/halloween/.
Magento’s power, flexibility, and range of features make it a smart choice for online merchants who are looking to grow a business.