Is Magento the Right Ecommerce Platform for You?
by Sorin Despot
These past two weeks, we have published a fairly detailed analysis of the ecommerce industry, focusing on the global distribution and market share of top ecommerce platforms, and then moved on to a deeper dive into the ecommerce phenomenon in Europe, keeping our focus on ecommerce-platform market share data.
Figuring out the actual market share of each leading platform has proven somewhat challenging, since private corporate data and presumably inflated user counts blur the ecommerce platform landscape. Nonetheless, we were able to determine the hierarchy of the most popular shopping cart / ecommerce platform solutions, globally and across Europe.
Magento Is Europe's Current Market Leader
Even though WooCommerce dominates global ecommerce with a 28% market share, Magento has managed to snatch the lead in Europe, with 24.6% of ecommerce websites now integrating Magento. According to a Hivemind study, WooCommerce is close behind, with 19.8% of ecommerce websites now using this ecommerce platform.
Among the top ecommerce websites in Europe, other popular shopping cart software solutions are OpenCart (7.4%), PrestaShop (6.4%), OsCommerce (5.8%) and Shopify (5.4%).
The Pros and Cons of Magento Ecommerce
Magento is developed with flexibility and scalability in mind. It is a top-rated open source ecommerce solution, with over 125,000 sites and Fortune 500 companies having chosen it for their online shops. Nonetheless, you should not select any solution just because the big brands have.
Before jumping on the Magento bandwagon, here are a few pros and cons to consider:
- It Can Be Time Consuming – Magento’s architecture is quite flexible, but that makes it somewhat complicated. It sometimes requires more time to obtain similar customizations, by comparison with other platforms. Moreover, developers have reported that Magento has a steeper learning curve than other solutions.
- Those Elusive Developers – Magento developers are not that hard to find, but genuinely great developers are, regardless of technology. Magento is an extensive system, with over 20,000 files and 200 database tables, so it requires a reasonably savvy developer with good command of object-oriented development and relevant experience with the core software to really set up and run Magento at its full potential.
- It Can Be Pricy – the community version is free but most adopters require extensive support. The Premium Enterprise version starts at $50k/year, so only fairly sizeable eshops can shoulder the costs of Magento's top support services. Also, consider the fact that Magento developers usually charge more than your average coder.
- It Is Resource Intensive – due to its generous dimensions, Magento is usually hosted on dedicated servers. Magento is ultra-robust and amazingly scalable, but this is precisely why it is bulky and resource-hungry. Intensive data input for optimal performance, massive server usage needs, higher than average operational costs make Magento a less than optimal solution for a small store.
- More Bang for Your Buck – After all, the community version is free. Find the right developer, and the costs can turn out to make economic sense. Additionally, the software is open source, offering control over every developed functionality.
- Remarkable Scalability and Flexibility – Magento scales beautifully so, if your sales increase ten-fold from one day to the next, Magento will handle it. Regarding flexibility, Magento’s templating architecture allows for virtually limitless customisation.
- So Many Features – the community version provides features elusive to most other solutions. You can manage multiple storefronts, you have multi-currency and multi-language support, and it is superbly mobile and SEO friendly.
- User-friendly – the administration dashboard is one of the most user-friendly ones we have come across. The back-end provides intuitive navigation and remarkably organised store management features.
- Vibrant Community – there is a wide community of users who have developed many extensions and plugins and can help with support. Time-consuming as it may be, there is little you cannot find an answer to within the Magento community.
To sum up, Magento is simply unparalleled in terms of flexibility and scalability for a genuinely custom Ecommerce experience. While Magento's complexity may be a bit overwhelming for some e-tailers, for others, it might just be the perfect solution.
All in All
Ecommerce has profoundly transfigured the business world scene. Moreover, thanks to the proliferation of ecommerce-platform solutions, with a few clicks or touches of a mobile device, you can conduct most of your business.
Even though there are many relevant industry players, Magento is keeping its edge at the forefront of the online business world. Nonetheless, it is not exactly devoid of disadvantages. Selecting Magento for your ecommerce store should be the result of minutious research, and we hope we have given you a hand with that.
As a European financial institution and payment gateway, Twispay integrates beautifully with Magento. New and existing store owners can quickly accept credit card payments through our elegant payment modules, crafted specifically for online shops.