As a Magento Enterprise Partner we regularly keep an eye on other ecommerce platforms and the wider ecommerce marketplace.

We have now reviewed two different ecommerce platforms that are rated highly in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital ecommerce; Demandware and Hybris, and assessed them as potential alternatives to Magento Enterprise.

EBay’s Magento Enterprise is also rated highly in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, and in this article we shall be look at the pros and cons of Magento Enterprise as an ecommerce platform, and how it can benefit your business.

In our first blog of this series, we examined Demandware, the popular cloud based platform, coming to the conclusion that while it is a powerful platform for B2C businesses, for B2B businesses it holds its limitations.

In our second blog, we assessed Hybris, another powerful platform that has been chosen by many big names, and is strongly focused on B2B, while also offering great B2C functions.

Rated as a ‘challenger’ in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, Magento Enterprise is a very powerful ecommerce solution, excellent for B2B or B2C businesses. Magento Enterprise’s less powerful counterpart, Magento Community, is the most popular ecommerce solution for businesses, taking up over 25% of the market (2014)[i].

With over 200,000 businesses using Magento, including some fortune 500 companies, Magento dominates the digital ecommerce market. But does the system live up to its popularity?

While Magento Community is best suited to small to medium sized businesses, Magento Enterprise is more suited to medium to large sized businesses, and when a business using Magento Community has grown, turning over £1-2million in revenue per year, then upgrading to Magento Enterprise is the next best option to continue online growth.

Magento Enterprise features everything you will find in the incredibly popular Magento Community (of which there are too many to list here) and more. You can see a full list of Magento features here[ii].

One of the key benefits of Magento Enterprise is scalability. As your business grows online, or more products are introduced, Magneto Enterprise has the ability to grow with you, with reports seeing the platform successfully handling 2,000 orders per hour.

Capacity is also a key feature that makes Magento Enterprise so popular. For businesses with a huge number of products, Magento has the capacity to list them all and not compromise on speed.

This brings us to platform’s performance, which is continually improved upon as each update is introduced. Caching, taxation, catalogue indexing, checkout processes and in-built search have all been approved upon in recent updates. Furthermore, Magento Enterprise offers a highly responsive template system across desktop, mobile and tablets that is key to ecommerce success, particularly now that many B2B customers expect the same customer experience that can be found on the top end B2C websites.

Similar Hybris being owned by SAP, Magento is a subsidiary of eBay, and therefore have access to many of eBay’s assets, which includes PayPal integration as well as Retail Order Management, Marketing solutions and many more eBay merchant and commerce solutions, as well as much potential to integrate with extensions and third party solutions.

A point that could be considered both a positive and a negative is that there is an element of exclusivity to Magento Enterprise. ‘Good’ Magento developers are hard to find. There are approximately 170 Silver and Gold certified Magento developers, and thanks to Magento’s certification system, it means that once you do find certified Magento developers, there is a qualification that endorses them. However, it also means that finding the right developers for your specific needs can be a challenge.

Originally, Magento was an open source platform, and is in the process of transitioning from being open source to a more traditional platform vendor. As a result, some customers have sated that they would like to see a clearer product vision, certification of open source plug-ins, further integration with other eBay assets such as order management, among other things.

The flexible nature of Magento Enterprise, and Magento in general, also means that it can take longer to make customisations for Magento than it might on alternative ecommerce platforms. Furthermore, if you are using in-house developers, it can take time for them to get up to speed with how Magento works.[iii]

Magento Enterprise has a yearly fee of roughly £12,000 per year. This, coupled with the cost to commission a Magento Enterprise website with a firm qualified to develop one means that Magento Enterprise is a considerable investment. However, if a business is turning over the revenue that requires a Magento Enterprise platform, then it is a worthwhile investment.

Conclusion

If you are a business with a large stake in ecommerce and with ambition to grow, then Magento Enterprise is an excellent choice as it has the capacity to continue to expand to meet not only your current needs, but also your needs in the future.

Whether you have 100 or 10,000 products, Magento Enterprise will cope, and while Magento developers can be had to come by, when you do come across certified Magento developers, or an agency with Magento developers involved in their operations, you know you are in good hands.

If you’re in analysis paralysis trying to decide on an ecommerce platform, we can help provide some objective advice on a platform’s suitability according to your specific business requirements. The ecommerce platform must meet your needs according to features, functionality, cost, support, partners, ease of implementation and day-to-day management and more.

Need some help? Contact our ecommerce consultants at Williams Commerce today to discuss in more detail. Phone us on 0116 326 1116 or email us at [email protected]

[i] http://www.digital6technologies.com/10-reasons-use-magento-e-commerce-website/4103

[ii] https://info.magento.com/rs/magentocommerce/images/Magento%20Full%20Features%20List%20052714.pdf

[iii] http://cornerstone-digital.com.au/blog/using_magento_for_your_ecommerce_website/#.VToxkq1VhBc