Launched in 2008, Magento is an open source e-commerce platform for the biggest and the best. With the most top 1000, B2B 300, and 100 e-commerce stores running with the platform, Magento has a reputation of being the platform to choose for those who are serious about online retail.

Magento has two main products: Magento Community and Magento Enterprise. Magento Community is free to download and is designed primarily for small to medium sized e-commerce sites. Magento Enterprise is designed for larger companies.

Magento’s Community Edition is completely free to download, but is largely intended for those with a considerable amount of knowledge when it comes to web design. Therefore, unless you really know what you’re doing, you’ll have to bring someone on to appropriately set up and design your store. If you do bring on a developer, make sure it’s someone who has already worked with Magento. However, if web design isn’t your thing, and you don’t have the budget for a developer, there are themes you can install for your e-commerce. As an open source software, it’s also possible to find a free third-party theme for your store.

What makes Magento interesting is that they have every option that could possibly exist to customize your site. There is also a considerable amount of third party integration and free and paid add-ons to even further customize your site. While Magento integrates seamlessly with many payment options like PayPal and 2Checkout, you won’t be able to offer giftcards or store credit without purchasing some add-ons. The amount of customization that Magento offers eclipses other e-commerce platforms, and the flexibility means that it will be able to grow with your business.

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With Magento’s Community Edition, the cost of getting your site up and running is little to none, barring a few paid add-ons. The biggest difference between Magento Community Edition and Magento Enterprise is that with Magento’s Community Edition, while it’s free and there are no monthly payments, you don’t have access to Magento’s support staff and you have to host it yourself. Hosting your site can be mitigated, however, as Magento has affiliated with some hosting companies to offer solutions for this, and troubleshooting can be worked around with the help of Community forums.

As an A-Z e-commerce solution, Magento covers every aspect of the sales funnel. The shopping cart is optimized for checkout with secured payment processing. Customers have the option of using guest checkout as well as creating an account, and Magento is compatible with the most popular payment options that currently exist. Customers to your store also have the opportunity to consult their order history and get up-to-date information on their current orders. The Magento platform also offers the possibility of a wishlist to cut down on cart abandonment. In the same goal, Magento also works with responsive design to offer an immediately mobile-friendly e-commerce for your mobile shoppers.

Order management is a snap with Magento, as the back office allows you to manage current transactions, fulfill, ship orders, issue invoices, and refund orders from a centralized place. You can also easily manage your inventory and customize product pages with images, zoom-ins, special pricing and discounts, and landing page customization. Magento also offers SEO tools to improve your traffic by proposing metadata for products and pages, site maps for Google referencing, and full control over your URLs. In marketing, you can manage promotions, private sales, free shipping, and etc. There is also the possibility of using customers’ carts and wishlists to propose other products in your inventory to drive up the cart amount.

Magento is perfect for Google Analytics integration, which makes traffic monitoring simple. Magento also proposes detailed sales reports, cart reports, website analytics, stock and inventory reports, and a multitude of other data that will be at your disposition.

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Magento Community Edition

Free to use and download with plenty of both free and paid themes and add-ons.

Magento Enterprise

The base package starts at over $18,000 per year.

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