Powerful Software but Frustrating to Use
September 11, 2018
Powerful Software but Frustrating to Use
Score 5 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Magento
We use Magento to support our multiple e-commerce websites for all brands and all locations, execute transactional emails, manage warranty registrations, sync order data to our Email Service Provider, run promotions, and manage pricing/shipping/order follow-up info, and other development items. Primarily Marketing and IT use Magento to support our e-comm websites, with our call center using a section of Magento to reference customer information.
- You can do SO much with Magento (that can cause it to be highly overwhelming). It allows for a lot of custom development so you can accomplish the goals you want to achieve with your site.
- Creating simple promotions (such as 10% coupon codes for signing up for your emails or Free Shipping codes) is really easy to execute and test. You can create your own codes or auto-generate codes with a set character count (or specific prefix/suffix) and set effective & end dates.
- Creating a new subcategory and adding products you already have loaded is really easy and efficient.
- You will not be able to accomplish a Buy Two X and Get Y Free promotion. It is literally impossible. There are extensive articles on StackOverflow and elsewhere that state this, in addition to Magento's own site. You can Buy 2 of the same and Get Y (of yet again the same) free, but that is the extent of that ability. Creating other seemingly simple promotions can be very difficult as it was clearly built by developers for developers, not by developers for marketers/merchandisers. That leads to a lot of time being inefficiently spent testing these promotions instead of other more valuable work.
- The amount of time it takes for some things to update is ridiculous in 2018, especially when there is a host of other software that do this way more efficiently and effectively. It can take over an hour after moving a few items around in the Visual Merchandiser. Really?
- Support is severely lacking. There is no easy way to contact Magento to get support. I am not the account owner and I have no way to get easy support when I run into an issue. If our developer is very busy or away on vacation, I am stuck sifting through countless articles and navigating dev sites I'm not highly familiar with to get a seemingly simple answer.
- Magento has made it painful to move away to another platform but equally as painful to stay. It's clunky, but it is powerful. There needs to be a balance for people like me (and most of my team) who are not developers but use it for hours on a daily basis.
- Magento definitely lets us get a return on our investment. Because we have developers who can customize Magento to our needs, we have been able to create a beautiful and effective website, run promotions, and serve up customized product display pages that are effective and beautifully branded.
- Magento has also caused a lot of time to be invested in doing something that seems simple, but without a lot of knowledge, end up taking far more time than could otherwise be better-spent.
- We have had to outsource some of our development work due to Magento being developer-focused rather than marketer/merchandiser-focused. I've used other website management software that is comparable to Magento's capabilities but is far easier to use, that even someone like me (with basic HTML/CSS skills) can customize the front-end without requiring a back-end developer to intervene.
I wasn't involved in the purchase of Magento but I have used Shopify and Woo Commerce in the past and they are, in my opinion, far easier to use. You can get started very quickly and set up your store without the need of a dedicated developer. If I were involved in the purchasing process (even if to just give an opinion), I would have not recommended going this route and would have preferred to manage it all in-house with our more limited resources and getting an easier-to-use platform instead.
If you have a strong development team who is familiar with Magento (or willing to learn its nuances), it is a very powerful e-commerce tool that can accomplish a lot for your brand. If you don't have someone (or multiple 'someones') that can be dedicated to Magento development/management on a daily basis, you will be very frustrated and it will not be a viable solution. Other tools in the platform are fairly easy to use, but without backend support from a knowledgeable developer, you will not be successful with Magento.