What is Magento?
Magento Inc. is a billion dollar commerce company, which offers flexible eCommerce platforms to businesses. Released in 2008, Magento uses cutting edge technology and an agile ecosystem of developers and solution partners to provide an intuitive workspace to project your business onto.
Its initial release was in 2007. After 7 months of development the first beta version was released. Owned by Varien, Magento secured investments from eBay in 2010, which helped to transform the platform into its current agile state.
With customers such as Marie Claire and Osprey London, Magento has a platform to elevate your online store to the next level. With intuitive design and flexible set-up, Magento will provide instant benefits to your business.
How We Can Work Together
Khaos Control Cloud + Magento = Magic. We love Magento because it fits in with our core ethic; it's FOR the customer. Magento reflects the ever changing landscape of eCommerce. It provides a platform suited to work with you as a consumer to get the eCommerce space you need to efficiently run your business, attract, delight and retain customers. Magento doesn’t do everything though, and while it manages your online storefront, there is no way it can control your entire business. Khaos Control Cloud can fill in the gaps by helping you smooth out your back office processes, while Magento works to make what your customer sees as intuitive and as relevant as possible.
How it Works
Magento provides two distinct platforms: Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce.
Open Source – previously known as Magento Community, this is, like it sounds, an open-source commerce platform. It’s free to use, and available for everyone to download and customise. Most SMEs are using Open Source currently as it works well for companies who want to sign up and get started with minimal fuss and set up.
Magento Commerce - larger companies commonly prefer Magento Commerce as they have more customers and traffic compared to SMEs and therefore need more complexity from their hosting platform. This is the licensed version of Open Source and contains much more functionality than the free version.
But how much does this cost? For many of you reading this blog, Open Source will be meet all your needs and more. As this version is completely free, it's a great place to start. If you are a larger business and feel Magento Commerce and its advanced functionality is more suitable for the specifics of your business, you’re looking at anything upwards of $18,000 year, for licensing fees and the like. Best to contact Magento directly if you’re looking into that.
How to Get Started
Actually getting started with Magento is simple. Just go onto their website and click ‘see a demo’. Enter your basic information, and one of the Magento team will contact you. After this you’ll then have the chance to create your own store.
Designing Your Store
We will focus specifically on Open Source here (the free version). You have two main options for designing your store. The first is to hire a designer who can create and code your theme and store, to get the exact look you want, consequently costing you money but saving you time. Second, you can download a free theme from a website such as Template Monster, which offers thousand of themes that you can implement into your store. One thing to be aware of when using a site such as Template Monster is that once you have applied the theme to your store you can't then amend it. Magento also has paid themes in their app store. You can see those here.
Finding the right theme is critical to the success of your eCommerce store; if you site isn’t intuitive or doesn't fit your customers' needs, you’ll suffer high bounce rates and empty baskets.
You can purchase extensions directly in Magento, however using Khaos Control Cloud can enable you to access all the functionality you need without any hidden extra costs. Let Khaos Control Cloud take care of your back office system while Magento powers your eCommerce front of house. If you do want to delve into the deep pool of extensions, you are spoilt for choice in the app store which has 3000+ extensions to choose from. Prices range from $0 to $5,100. The extensions you need will depend on your business size and requirements.
Step by Step
1) Book a demo
2) Migrate an existing online store to Magento (if needed) – you can skip this if you don’t already have an online store
3) Choose your hosting
4) Optimise your theme
5) Add any extensions
6) Set up your database – info such as products and product categories, as well as payment methods
7) Enter your product information
8) Set up Groups and Pricing
9) Optimize site speed
10) Set up SEO – connect to a Wordpress blog if desired
11) Set up Magento API
12) Keep your software up-to-date
If you need a more detailed guide, check out this useful resource from Creative Minds. This will give you an idea of setting up your Magento database, including adding products, optimising site speeds and SEO, as well as customer groups and pricing.
Go Ahead and Sell
As you can see, Magento is one of the most highly regarded eCommerce platforms in the world. Use its extensive functionalities to create the online store of your dreams. And make sure to sell some stuff too!
Now you’re ready to sign up for a Magento demo and get cracking on your store, don’t forget that you need a back office management system to power your front of house. Khaos Control Cloud is the ERP of your dreams. Find out how we can make your Magento store great by signing up for a demo. The first 30 days is on us.