Ecommerce is evolving. It’s certainly growing. By the year 2012, ecommerce sales in the US alone are projected to reach $335 billion. As the online customer base continues to grow, so will the number of online stores. Needless to say, it’s an increasingly fierce competition. In order to keep up and ahead of the pace, it is critical that businesses serious about growth in the ecommerce industry should find the best ecommerce solution for their companies.
Enter Magento. Called the “platform for growth”, Magento is an open-source enterprise-level content management system whose flexibility, scalability, and robust feature set have been acclaimed by experts in the ecommerce industry. It’s the fastest-growing ecommerce solution in the market today, and with 750,000 downloads, the platform is bound to only grow bigger.
Magento’s usable interface, analytics and reporting capabilities, SEO-friendliness, and catalog management tools have been praised by businesses, retailers, wholesalers, marketers, developers, and design firms. But what makes the ecommerce platform truly special is its impressive list of marketing promotions and tools. All these offer endless possibilities that can help businesses, no matter the size, increase their presence and grow their sales.
Here’s a look at 7 top marketing (and merchandising) features of Magento, features that have doubtless contributed to the evolution of ecommerce today.
1. Flexible pricing: These days, fixed prices just don’t cut it anymore. Be stubborn and customers will go elsewhere. Magento’s flexible pricing rules enable stores to create and implement a variety of marketing promotions. Like coupons, discounts, and special sales. Bundles and discounts off large-quantity purchases. Buy this and get that for free. We all know how much customers love this phrase. And the word ‘coupons’.
2. Increased Average Order Value: Magento also comes equipped with powerful tools that help maximize order value. That way, online stores are able the most of key customer touch points. Up-selling in the shopping cart or cross-selling on product pages are only some of the things that build on both the quantity and quality of a store’s customer relationships.
3. Social shopping: The Internet is going social, and so is ecommerce. With Magento’s flexible merchandising engine, stores can empower customers to make their shopping experience a more social one. The platform’s product browsing options include customer reviews, customer group-specific pricing, wish lists, E-newsletters, and, of course, the powerfully ‘word-of-Web’ Send to a Friend with Email.
4. Free shipping: One of the reasons why ecommerce has exploded is that the Web has empowered customers to shop at the comforts of their computer desks at home. No running around town to find a product. No cash wasted on gasoline. Magento promotes this world of convenience and economy by letting stores choose for themselves the ever-delightful Free Shipping option.
5. Mobile commerce: Okay, sorry; ecommerce isn’t just about customers shopping from the comforts of home. There are shoppers on the go, too, who browse and buy with their smart phones and iPhones. Magento enables the so-called M-Commerce by offering mobile-optimized versions of online stores. (There’s an iPhone-optimized theme already.) It allows retailers and manufacturers to automatically detect browser information and provide mobile customers either the full site catalog or a tailored selection of products; soon, with Magento, e-commerce will be a fully mobile, multi-channel experience.
6. SEO-friendliness: It’s easier for businesses to build and grow a customer base if they make it easier for customers to find them. Magento’s SEO-friendly structure and SEO tools – like URL rewrites – help stores become more visible on the Web – and to those search engines. Not only that; Magento can also automatically generate a Site Map for immediate display on site.
7. International support: We now live in a flat world, in the words of Thomas Friedman. You potential clients are not only in your neighborhood or city but across the globe. Information revolution ushered us into it. As a fully global platform, Magento allows expansion of businesses by offering multiple, multilingual, and multicurrency versions of sites to meet the needs of customers from all over the world.