If the world has learned anything over the past few months, it’s the value of having an effective eCommerce business. Not only are customers more comfortable making online purchases, in many ways, but the online shop also allows customers more freedom and security.
But for customers to find, like, and especially buy from your site, it has to have a solid platform and thoughtful design. So let’s talk about how a Magento Consultant at Atiba can help Magento-hosted eCommerce sites win customers and optimize their business.
What is Magento?
Why don’t we go ahead and cover the basics first, right?
Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform that utilizes PHP development. There are tons of brands and retailers worldwide that use Magento to reach their customers and grow their brands.
Similar to other open-source platforms, Magento comes with a wide range of plugins and themes which can be implemented to enrich the overall customer experience. It also comes with a wide range of tools to assist your business with marketing, SEO, and management.
It’s also received praise from users for its robust customization and functionality. There are plenty of advanced features that need the eye of an experienced developer, but smaller businesses and eCommerce stores selling on a smaller scale often find they can get by with minimal professional assistance.
What are the Pros and Cons?
Just like any platform, it helps to run through the pros and cons of Magento. What does it do well and where could it stand to improve a bit?
Going the positive route first, let’s begin with the pros.
Magento has regularly received praise from both developers and inexperienced coders for its flexibility. Implementing third-party plugins is easy and doesn’t require extensive knowledge to take advantage of the number of tools that are out there.
You can’t talk about websites without eventually running into SEO. SEO is a whole industry in itself and mastering the trade can take years. If you’re running an eCommerce store, chances are you don’t have time to learn the ins and outs of SEO besides a few basics.
Magento makes SEO-friendly actions easy and quick. You can modify URLs, meta descriptions, and more with just a few clicks, something other eCommerce platforms don’t let you do.
#3-Lots of Customization
When you’re looking at making the perfect site, you want it to feel like your site. Magento has plenty of options to give you the customization that you’re looking for. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or CSS either.
Magento also comes loaded with extensions, over 4,000 by our last count, that give you plenty of opportunities to tweak and change your site here and there. It may seem overwhelming at first, but we guarantee you’ll be thankful for so many options later.
What are some of the downsides of Magento?
#1-It’s a Bit Pricey
The most obvious downside to Magento, unfortunately, is the cost. While there is a free version of the platform, for those wanting to make any head waves you’re going to want to go with the enterprise version which can cost you a pretty penny.
Some of the extensions, which may be necessary, can also drive up costs and hurt your wallet even more.
#2-Some Customizations are Hard to Implement
One of the biggest gripes against Magento is its slow loading time and slow loading could eventually hurt your traffic and user experience. Unfortunately, that slowness extends to other areas of Magento as well.
Although there are multiple customization options, implementing many of these is quite time-consuming. Importing data from other eCommerce platforms is very slow as well, frustrating developers and webmasters alike.
#3-Small Developer Community
Unlike other platforms such as WooCommerce or Shopify, there is a much smaller pool of developers to choose from. Magento has a large community from the outside but doesn’t have the developer supply to keep up with the community’s demands.
Plus, mastering Magento can take a long, long time so even if you find a developer they may not have the skill level that you’re looking for. That’s why you need top-level Magento consultants to help you get the most out of the platform.
What Does a Magento Consultant Do?
Let’s start things off with a basic question, what exactly do Magento consultants do?
In short, they are experts who examine an eCommerce website and know how to make it profitable. They often have many years of experience with big-name companies that rely on them.
Just because the big guys love them doesn’t mean they aren’t excited to jump in and help smaller companies thrive. Magento consultants cover a wide range of topics, such as IT and strategy eCommerce experts who take a comprehensive approach to improve large and small eCommerce sites. They understand how and why people shop online and they know how to analyze a site to find opportunities and solutions.
While there are many aspects Magento consulting examines and considers, the process is fairly straightforward.
They ask a few basic, but common, questions.
- Does the site get enough traffic?
- Are the people who visit the site making purchases?
- Does the site have a high customer retention rate?
Each of these questions can lead to technical and strategic improvements that could benefit the site. Let’s talk about what that process might look like.
How Do They Help Customers?
So we posed the questions above, now what can the Magento experts do for customers?
Magento consultants help customers:
- Drive traffic
- Increase purchases
- Improve overall technical and strategical health
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to have a great product available for purchase. When shopping online, customers navigate an immense sea of options. While the price is important, customers base their purchase decision on many factors.
Effective eCommerce sites do a great job making the shopping experience easy and enjoyable. Those that focus on customer experience are more likely to have a higher customer retention rate.
To become one of those sites customers love and return to is every seller’s dream. Magento hosting is a great platform for building a strong eCommerce site. Using a sound strategy and expert knowledge can go a long way in optimizing an already great platform.
If you really want to kickstart your website into a bustling sales machine, you want to consider having Magento consultants help optimize your site.
Without people visiting the site, you have no chance of making a sale.
Pretty simple, right?
So that’s where Magento consultants are going to begin. They look at how people would find your site. By checking SEO (search engine optimization) data, they can suggest both technical and content changes. These changes can boost your visibility in search rankings, your click-through rate, and help lower your bounce rate.
For example, if someone is looking for hiking socks they’ll go to a search engine and type “hiking socks.”
How do you make sure that your page shows up high enough in those search results? And what if the customer accidentally types in “boot soks”? Would the search engine know to pull your site up?
Ecommerce sites that don’t optimize SEO are losing their chance to even try to make a sale. BigCommerce.com in its article, Ecommerce SEO Guide: How Online Stores Can Drive Organic Traffic in 2020 Bill Widmer believes that “SEO has the highest ROI of any eCommerce marketing campaign.” With that kind of impact, the value of the improvement is huge. Knowing the right changes to make to your site is a challenging part of improving SEO.
There are tons of factors that go into SEO rankings and Magento experts can help you make thoughtful and effective changes to improve those rankings. From making sure you cover the basics so a “hiking socks” search puts you front and center to ensuring a messy “boot soks” search still brings your site and everything in between.
Great! The customer has clicked on your site. Now what? Is the purchase process simple? Can customers navigate the site easily? What happens if users abandon their carts during the purchase process?
Magento consultants can help with this, by looking at:
- How people navigate your site
- If and when they add things to their cart
- Where they abandon the purchase flow
Magento consulting can help you improve the customer sales funnel so that customers who land on your site actually make purchases.
Maybe during the customer’s quest for hiking socks, one of your pages didn’t load well on a mobile device. Those precious hiking socks were left in an abandoned cart. Do you have a strategy to bring that customer back?
Magento can help you see and fix that slow loading page and create a marketing plan to reach out to customers who almost bought your socks.
Salescycle.com data shows that “cart abandonment data from 2018 puts the global average cart abandonment rate at 79.17% across all sectors”. That’s a lot of opportunities for eCommerce sites to optimize the process and capture more sales.
Finding and fixing those abandoned carts and other sales flow opportunities could mean a major payoff for you and a better experience for your customers. This leads us to repeat business.
You’ve come up with a plan of how to reach out to customers who abandoned their carts. The customer came back and ended up buying those hiking socks, fantastic!
As a business owner, will you be happy if a customer buys a pair of socks and then rides off into the sunset? No! You want them to come back and continue buying socks from your store.
As well as some boots, a tent, a fishing pole, and even a ukulele. But they never come back to your site, why?
You worked hard for your customers and you don’t want to lose them in a single sale. Remember, acquiring new customers is always more expensive than retaining them. In his article, What is a Repeat Customer and Why are they Profitable? Alex McEachern says “The average eCommerce store devotes more than 80% of their marketing budget to acquisition.”
That’s a huge investment lost when customers don’t return. Magento consulting creates meaningful and customizable marketing that’s paired with effective data analytics. Those tools help you create a purchase experience your customers love and return to again and again.
Mistakes to Avoid
When you want to optimize your eCommerce site, there are several mistakes that you need to avoid to get the most bang for your buck.
The eCommerce world is dynamic and competitive. While it’s still new in many ways, some people have a wealth of knowledge, experience, and success making eCommerce sites robust and profitable. You could spend a fortune tinkering with a site and through trial, error, and likely significant expense, find success.
A partnership with Magento consulting can remove significant time and guesswork from your approach, giving you the leg-up your site needs to compete online. Working with Magento consultants can help you better understand why and when your site functions most successfully.
There’s a lot that’s unknown in the world but one thing seems for sure, people are spending more money online than ever before. The sooner your site is found, the sooner you’ll see the benefits and the profits. Reach out to Atiba today to optimize your Magento-hosted eCommerce website.