As you may be aware, running a viable ecommerce website is about much more than driving traffic and converting visitors into buyers. If you do not have a good inventory and shopping cart solution, you will find it very hard to ensure that buyers will feel confident enough to make purchases on your site. Aside from observing basic shopping cart elements, site visitors also need to feel safe about divulging their personal and financial information. Since Magento tends to be very popular with webmasters, it should come as no surprise that most site viewers are also comfortable with this platform. Therefore, if you are looking for an ecommerce solution, Magento may be one of the best for you to work with.
Aside from a basic shopping cart that can be used to select products and pay for them, Magento also offers:
- Custom coupons and other promotional marketing tools. With Magento you can create customer groups that make it easy to offer all kinds of incentives to valued customers.
- Google maps for your inventory, and also meta descriptions that can be used to optimize you site for search engines
- Shopper and customer analytics. This makes it easy to see when carts are abandoned, as well as help you determine which customers buy the most.
- Easily manage different stores across multiple domains with just one control panel.
Depending on your needs and budget, there are three main versions of Magento. First, there is the Magento Community version which is free to download and use. If you work with this version, you will not be able to receive customer support or warranties. You also cannot archive records. The Professional Version is fairly expensive, but comes with a warranty and offers full security features. Finally, you can make use of the Enterprise version, which offers a wide range of customizations and other bonus elements.
Deciding Whether or not to Use Magento for Your Website
Quite frankly, if you are looking for the best freeware ecommerce cart, Magento may not be the best for your needs. Among other things, you may not have access to the best security features. While this may not be a problem if you hire a web developer that knows how to manage these issues, it can be catastrophic if you try to manage the situation on your own. At the same time, once you look at the costs associated with the other versions, you may quickly conclude that they are out of your range. That said, if you have a fairly successful medium to large sized business, the customizations and reputation associated with Magento may still have some appeal for you.
Once you decide to sell products on your website, it is very important to have a reliable ecommerce solution. For the most part, you will find that the Magento Professional and Enterprise versions will provide what you need. While you can still use the free Community version, you should still take precautions with it and work with a programmer that will create a secure environment around the cart itself.
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