As a robust eCommerce platform, Magento accelerates custom eCommerce application development by providing a flexible shopping cart system and tools for digital marketing, search engine optimization, and catalogue management. The themes and plug-ins provided by Magento make it easier for enterprises to scale their web stores and enhance customer experience. An enterprise also has option to choose from various editions of Magento – enterprise, business intelligence, community, shipping, order management, social and commerce – according to its needs and budget.
Each edition of Magento is written in PHP – an open source server-side programming language. But various editions of the popular eCommerce platform differ from each other in terms of features and functionality. Unlike other editions, Magento Community Edition is open source and free. Hence, an enterprise can use the community-based edition of Magento to curtail eCommerce application development cost significantly. Likewise, it can make changes to the Magento Community Edition according to its precise needs. But Magento Community Edition still simplifies eCommerce websites development by providing an array of features.
Overview of Important eCommerce Features of Magento Community Edition
eCommerce Website Management
Magento Community Edition simplifies web store management by allowing administers to select, share, and control information across multiple eCommerce websites through a unified admin area. The administrator even has option to assign roles and permissions to individual users and manage online customer groups. He can further use Web Services API to integrate Magento with third-party applications seamlessly. Likewise, the administrator can simplify information web page creation and management by integrating a popular content management system (CMS).
Checkout, Payment and Shipping
Magento Community Edition helps enterprises to boost customer experience with one-page online checkout. But it supports multiple payment options – credit cards, gift cards, checks, money orders and online purchase orders. An enterprise even has option to integrate the eCommerce application with popular payment systems like PayPal, Google Checkout, and Amazon Payments. At the same time, the community-based edition of Magento allows enterprises to manage multiple shipments for a single order, avail free shipping functionality, manage shipping by weight, and offer flat rate shipping option.
The features provided by Magento Community Edition make it easier for customers to browse through various products and gather elaborate product information. The eCommerce platform allows users to display multiple images per product, allow customers to zoom the product images, show stock availability, group products view, and recommend related products. At the same time, an enterprise can even enable customers to add products to wish list; post product reviews, and send products details to a friend with email.
Magento Community Edition enables administrators to view, edit, and fulfill orders from a unified admin interface. The admin panel further helps users to simplify common order management tasks like creating and printing multiple invoices, packing slips, create reorders, and trigger transaction emails for orders. An enterprise can also take advantage of the unified admin panel to accelerate its call center activities like monitoring orders and identifying preferences of a customer based on his purchase history.
Catalog Browsing and Management
The community-based edition supports layered and faceted navigation for product filtering in both categories and search results. The administrator even has option to assign design at both product and catalog levels. He can further enhance customer experience by displaying recently viewed products, product comparison and product reviews. Magento Community Edition simplified catalog management by supporting product updates in batches, export/import of catalogs in batches, personalizing products, approve/edit/delete tags and product reviews, define product attributes, and sort products according to categories.
Customer Account Management
The administrator can avail the features provided by Magento Community Edition to manage individual customer accounts efficiently. He can use the eCommerce platform to make it easier for customers to track order status and history, view recently ordered items, and reorder from account. At the same time, the administrator can create address books with unlimited addresses, and specify default shipping and billing address. He can even add options to submit product review and product tags, and create wish lists that include both product details and customer comments.
Search Engine Optimization
The community edition of Magento helps enterprises to create eCommerce websites according to latest search engine guidelines. It enhances the search engine visibility of eCommerce websites by reducing page weight and increasing page loading speed. Also, the administrator can use the tools provided by the eCommerce platform to create Google sitemaps, make URLs search engine friendly, generate popular search terms page, and manage meta information at product and catalog levels.
Digital Marketing and Promotion
The tools provided by Magento Community Editions help enterprises to promote their products or services by targeting relevant customers. An administrator use these tools to create and manage online poll, create landing pages, manage newsletters, manage free shipping promotions, promotion new items, and implement flexible coupon rules. He can even use specific tools to accelerate up-selling and cross-selling activities on product pages and in shopping carts.
Analytic and Reporting
Magento Community Edition enables entrepreneurs to monitor the performance of their eCommerce websites and gain customer insights through Google Analytics integration. At the same time, the administrators can also avail the tools provided by the open source eCommerce platforms to generate sales reports, tax reports, shopping cart abandonment reports, onsite search term reports, product review reports, low stock item reports, coupon usage reports, and top sold products reports. These reports make it easier for enterprises to make the right decisions related to web store optimization and product promotion.
Magento Community Edition helps enterprises to provide prompt customer service by creating appealing contact us forms and robust customer accounts. The administrator can also use the eCommerce platform to send order/account update emails, track orders from customer accounts, customize order emails, and display order history with status updates.
On the whole, an enterprise can use Magento Development Service without incurring additional expenses. But the community-based edition of the eCommerce platform can meet basic commerce needs of the enterprise. It lacks a number of robust features provided by other editions of the eCommerce platform including international support and mobile commerce. Hence, the enterprises have to avail the commercial editions of Magento to accelerate development of large and complex eCommerce applications.