March 12, 2019
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Magento Open Source
We are currently in the process of migrating our main retail website over to the Magento 2 platform -- this would be the open source or community version. The primary business problem this addressed was the requirement to integrate with our current point of sale solution, NCR Counterpoint. As stated, we are currently using this platform for our retail website only, but we have plans to roll this out to our wholesale division as well in the near future.
- As a shopping cart platform, version 2 has matured fully. The built-in feature set is immense.
- Extensions -- there are extensions for virtually every need and vision
- Intuitive backend -- it's very easy to work with and find things-- again, in version 2. Order management is a breeze, and the level of customer data access that's built-in is huge.
- A clean modern front end -- from standard/simple templates to the more expensive paid templates, Magento websites are clean, clear, and they work very well.
- Cache management -- I think this should work better OOBE. Lots of manual flushing of caches, and tricky setup for automation.
- It's very expensive to develop on the platform -- it's time-consuming for me, and expensive when hiring outside people.
- Some things that are baked in, like shipping rates (USPS), can be improved to grab internet rates.
- Need more US-based extension developers and ways to work with them when code needs to be rewritten...
- ROI -- that's a tough one. It's a pricey platform to launch on. Coming from the BigCommerce platform, which is relatively cheap, and where most of the design was handled in-house, the M2 platform is quite a bit more expensive as we outsourced most of the dev and the ongoing is much higher. I'd say at these early stages, we're well in the negatives with ROI.
- Now on the positive side -- I see the potential of the platform. Once we get the marketing down, and the traffic levels raised, I see the ROI leveling out very quickly. This is a platform meant for growth, so as growth is pushed, we'll be ready to scale and handle it effectively.
- All in all, I'd project that we'd be in the green on the ROI within 3 years (start of project through new site launch through year 3) with nothing but future growth in front of us as we learn and continue to develop the site over time.
The three main reasons we went with Magento: 1. It was recommended by our NCR Counterpoint, VAR. 2. It's the best platform to integrate tightly with that NCR Counterpoint. It's also the best eventual platform to integrate with our wholesale ERP, so it's one platform to run multiple websites with different backends. 3. Future potential -- of all the possible platforms to be on, this is the one that is the most customizable and built to support large volume online retailers, which we hope to be in the near future.
In sync with our needs -- if you want to tightly integrate a website with NCR Counterpoint, Magento is likely your best choice. You have a very deep level of control over the integration. If you do a high volume of online sales, this platform is for you, as there is plenty of room for growth and you can start out on the Community platform as you rise towards Amazon and Walmart levels of sales. =) This platform is not for small businesses, and I would not recommend this to developers who don't have some heavy experience with backend coding. This platform is costly to run from a dev perspective, and also from a hosting perspective. Ongoing management, don't forget about that!