Magento platform has been drastically growing in the last few years, and now it has become one of the most sorted out options by the E-commerce stores. Today, a number of online business owners and retailers are trying to grow their business using the Magento platform.
To help you out in making use of the Magento platform, we have come up with an outline that describes the various stages of the process. Here you will also find some resources that will help you get started with the platform.
The beginner’s guide to use the Magento Platform
So have you come to the conclusion that Magento is best for you and your business? If your answer is yes, then the first thing you need to do is visit Magento.com and check out the different editions. Once you have gone through them you can choose yours.
- The Enterprise Edition is for the people who want the tailor-made solution for their business. It is a paid edition and offers higher scalability and performance. You can easily have better control over your online store by making use of the extensions and features available on the platform. Moreover, it comes with an amazing support team of experts who will help you out, if you get stuck anywhere.
- The community edition is for the developers who know to work on the platform. The edition is very much free, and small businesses can make use of it just by taking the help of a developer. This open source platform comes with all the basic Magento functions like adding products, customer information, coupons, etc. To get friendlier with the platform, you have access to the community support too. Moreover, you can control your different online stores through a single Magento platform using the multi-store feature. Some other stunning features you will find in this edition are Cross-sells and Up-sells, related products, etc.
It is recommended to take your time before you zero in on the edition for your business needs. This is because the later transition from the community to enterprise edition will not be that smooth. In the other scenario, if you have already taken up the community edition and just want some of the features of the enterprise edition, you can always get it done by choosing them individually.
Moreover, if you are not clear about the Magento versions, there is a sample data version available at your service. So you can simply take a look around and try out things like change themes, check the back-end with different product types, work with data – all without having the need to enter any in real-time.
Migration to Magento platform :
Magento works on an EAV model which means that once you move the things like products, customer information, orders and everything to the new platform, you still need to write the codes so that everything gets synced together on the new platform. Moreover, to help you out with the migration process, Magento offers a number of extensions too.
Remember that you need a developer to help you out when you are migrating your already existing store to the platform. When it comes to Magento developers, they have expertise either in the front-end or on the back-end. If somebody says you that they are well-versed to work on both, just don’t take their words.
Choose the hosting:
Magento needs strong servers for hosting. There are many companies that can help you get the task done. You are going to need powerful servers if you expect heavy traffic on your site or want to add a huge number of products on the site. The hosting charges can go around 3.95 USD, and if you want to power multiple stores, then it may go around $114/month.
Building store theme :
Different stores have different brand strategies, and so they require unique themes. You can build your theme with the help of a Magento developer. If you don’t want to invest in a developer for the task, then you can choose a theme from the Theme-forest and later customize it according to your business needs. Just keep in mind that theme is only used as a visual treat and you cannot add any features or functions to it.
Use extensions for added store functionalities :
Extensions are basically the added functionality that you expect to get on your Magento store. They are a kind of external module that you install to satisfy certain needs and add value to the store. Magento is quite large platform and it is very easy to find an extension offering the features you think of.
You can find extensions that are absolutely free or that may cost you hundreds of dollars. The price of the extension depends on the value that it can provide to your store.
|Few things that Magento extensions can help you accomplish|
|Auto-complete feature for product search|
|Making your store available as multi-vendor marketplace|
|Promoting sales on an abandoned cart by offering coupon codes.|
|Showcase your products through banner sliders|
|And much much more!!!|
Build up your database
Once you have completed the hosting process, selected the theme and even chosen the set of useful extensions, then the next step you need to take is setting up your database.
|Now this includes the following things like|
|Email address for notification|
|Email notification for admin|
Entering product information
You can bifurcate your products on Magento in the following categories:
- Simple product – A product which does not have different attributes.
- Virtual product – They are the services or support that you offer on an hourly basis by being in direct contact with the sellers.
- Downloadable products – They are videos, eBooks and scripts which you can have your buyer to download.
- Complex products – They are the ones which have multiple attributes like size, colour, etc.
- Grouped products – They are the kind of simple products sold in groups. For example, it can be a camera along with lens and memory card.
- Bundled products – They are a bunch of products kept together and customers are allowed to select from it.
It is not easy to import the last three kinds of products directly to the Magento store development. You have to get them as a bulk import in the form of simple products along with its attributes, images, metadata and description and then group them the way you want.
Customer group and pricing :
With Magento, you have the ability to offer different prices and promotions to the customers by making customer groups. This will help you to increase the number of returning customers.
To start with, you can create a group the moment a new customer is added and change it with time. You can either have a single or multiple customers in a group. The group can be changed based on the behaviour of the customer at your online store.
Improve the speed of website :
Magento resources are quite heavy, so it is imperative to have the best hosting company. Apart from offering technical services, they will help you in case of any troubles. If you feel that your site loads slowly even after opting for a good hosting company, then there are certain things that can help you with the task.
There is a built-in feature called as a flat catalog. It directly fetches all the product information from the flat table rather than making use of all small tables. So customers can go through all the information at once. This reduces the load on the server and offers amazing user experience.
There are many indexing options available at Magento so that you can update the product prices, catalog search database, stock status, categories as well as product attributes easily and seamlessly.
The built-in caching feature will help to improve speed performance. They are not capable of doing things and so better go for the 2 level caching system. It is a bit complex but, will do the task neatly.
Recommended SEO practices :
Magento comes with amazing SEO features and is good enough to drive in more traffic to the store. Some of these SEO tools are built-in on the platform while you can have additional features by going for extensions. You can even make use of the WordPress blog to promote your products and attract user attention. A Magento back-end can easily manage this blog without altering the WordPress front-end.
Using a Magento API
In the first phase, we have set a store with products, categories, customer groups, etc. Now the next thing you need to do is to integrate the Magento API with the code scanning device which will help you to create and update the stock whenever a user makes a purchase. This will help you to manage the physical store inventory and Magento inventory from time to time.
Version update :
Version update is a very important process in Magento, and it takes a good amount of time. Any mistake during the process can cause errors and thereby get the site into troubles. So it would be better that you hire a good Magento developer for the task. Again, it has to be taken care that any changes or the version update should be made after midnight so that you will have enough time to fix up the issues if anything goes wrong.
Invest in the right developer :
We have seen the importance of a certified magento developer in above words, so it is needless to say that you need to invest in one that can get the job done properly. But, now the question is how can we know the developer is good enough? You can better ask the developer about his previous work samples or about certificates he owns.
Magento is an amazing e-commerce platform that is scalable and flexible just enough to offer unbeatable solutions. But then, you need enough knowledge and experience as it keeps on evolving and updating from time and again. Magento is the best solution if you are focusing on bigger sales from your online store.