End of life

When a piece of software is put into an ‘end-of-life’ stage it means that from the given date the company will no longer be performing updates, addressing security issues or developing the technology. It doesn’t mean that in June 2020 those with sites built on Magento 1 will lose their sites, but the technology the site is built on will no longer be supported or secure, so action to migrate to a newer platform is necessary, and an awareness that their site is vulnerable needs to be accepted.

What's happening with Magento 1?

For the ‘Commerce’ edition (formerly known as Enterprise) support will be provided through June 2020, whilst for those on Open Source (formerly called Community Edition) security patches will be provided for later versions for the same period.

What now?

Having to start thinking about a new site and migrating content can be an anxiety inducing headache, however sitting with a vulnerable site, can cause greater problems if its exploited. For those dependent on their ecommerce stores for their business, the implications are particularly significant.

Although transitioning to a newer platform will incur expense, the reality is that most on the Magento 1 platform will have sites that are at least 3 years old, which is the generally accepted lifespan of today’s ecommerce stores, and therefore further investment is warranted.

The opportunities afforded by redeveloping your ecommerce store cannot be underestimated, as ultimately any redevelopment should be with an end goal of helping to grow your business. Always invest in redevelopment with a clear vision of what the return on investment (ROI) should be, and share your goals and objectives with the development company you are working with so that they share a responsibility for getting you there.

In terms of investigating your redevelopment options, we’d suggest you carefully consider two defining questions;

1. What platform is right for my business both now, and into the future?

Migrating to Magento 2 can be a good option for those whom Magento 1 worked well and would benefit from the platform improvements such as streamlined checkout. The option to have multi-stores with advanced features such as rich search, complex product catalogue, internationalisation, advanced integrations (e.g. ERP, POS system, stock management system, marketplace integration etc) are also a real strength of Magento 2. If your ecommerce store is unlikely to turnover more than £1m pa, and a cheaper solution is sought then Shopify might be worth considering, so long as you don’t mind paying over a percentage of your sales. If your ecommerce store requirements are fairly simple and your products (SKUs) limited in number, then WooCommerce is a solid alternative. There is of course always the option to build a bespoke solution on proprietary software if your requirements don’t fit any of the open source solutions on the market, this of course has its own unique benefits and drawbacks.

2. Who should I work with?

Selecting an agency to collaborate with on your site redevelopment is a task in itself. There are many agencies that profess to be ecommerce experts, but they need careful vetting. Are their capabilities limited to setting up and importing a product database into an off-the-shelf solution, or can they customise your platform of choice to work in the way your business needs it to? Is there a local agency that can work with you to develop your business, or do you need to travel further afield to find the experts that you need, potentially with experience in your particular market? It is always worth meeting agencies and speaking to a range of their clients in the process of making your selection. Some choose to put a tender out to a shortlist, and narrow down that shortlist to pitch for the work. Making your selection based on connecting with people that understand your business market and goals and are driven to help you succeed in a long-term partnership is as critical (arguably more so) than your choice of fit-for-purpose tech.

Why choose Magento 2?

Yes, we may be biased because we are Magento developers, however we made the decision to develop on Magento for the same reasons you choose to use it. It offers our clients everything and more than what they could possibly need and gives our developers free reign to bespoke a site, much to the advantages of individual clients.

Magento 2 comes with everything you expect from an ecommerce platform and more;
  • Great marketing capabilities and enhanced SEO to help increase your store’s visibility and conversion
  • Ease of integration with other tools such as email marketing, ERP and accountancy platforms
  • Has standard product features like; catalogue management, multiple product views, configurable products (and other product types), promotions, coupons, free shipping, wish lists, bundled products, upsell capabilities, product reviews, customisable tax settings, order confirmation emails, delivery options and more.
User Experience

User journey and UX (User Experience) can make or break your ecommerce store. A quick and user-friendly checkout is critical to avoiding the dreaded high cart abandonment rates. The Magento 2 checkout is exceptional. It’s packed with out of the box features like automatic guest checkout, one-click account creation, and streamlined two-step (shipping and payment) checkout with discount code box.

Scalable

Most ecommerce store owners need the flexibility to add functionality or features as their product offering grows. Magento offer a vast array of over 2,000 extensions (both free and paid for), whilst others lag behind between 100-1000 apps and add-ons. If you want to do something like change product images based on a user changing a configurable option, that’s easily achieved on a Magento store.

Good for Growth

Good hosting is essential for a successful ecommerce site, it can affect speed, storage, and the number of products you can offer. Having a flexible hosting situation empowers Magento users to adjust to their needs (even hosting additional things like integrated WordPress blogs there). If your store handles a lot of products, then the general consensus is that Magento is the better platform.

Design

Design is critical to brand. Magento stores are generally built on ‘themes’ (like design wireframes/templating options). Magento 2 includes drag and drop visual editing, which allows non-coders and coders alike to create beautiful sites in no time. Coders obviously have the added benefit of being able to do what they like on Magento through their use of PHP wizardry!

Control

Control is a major factor for many business owners, Magento 2 gives you this with bells on, as its designed to facilitate large merchants. Although having such a myriad of options on your user admin dashboard can be a bit daunting to first time users, it gives you the power! You have the ability to manage several stores from within the same user-friendly admin panel to market products, sort customers, access advanced reports, manage payment processors and so much more.

Investing in the future

Price point is not a reason to embark on a Magento development. It’s an investment in the future of your business. Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 has to be seen in a similar light. Proper planning and expertise in development enables your online revenue to grow, reduces costly manual interventions and increases customer satisfaction. There is a reason why Magento is the open source ecommerce platform most widely used in the world today with $25 billion in sales per annum and over 300,000 stores worldwide.

If you’d like to chat more about this please get in touch.