In the wake of global quarantines eCommerce is booming. People who previously would have visited local stores have taken their business online and discovered how easy online shopping is. Consequently, many have realized that the time for getting started in eCommerce is now. What’s more, setting up a Magento eCommerce store has never been easier.

Getting started in eCommerce

By setting up an eCommerce website you can sell your products to people all over the world. This is a great opportunity whether you want to extend the reach of your brick-and-mortar business or if you are starting a new venture.

Like with any other enterprise, you need to do a bit of research before you start an eCommerce business. You need to decide on business and revenue models, make a buyer persona, and investigate what your competition is up to. If you follow our simple checklist for starting an eCommerce business in 2020 you will have a solid foundation for your online store.

But you also need to decide on an eCommerce platform.

Why Magento?

There are several eCommerce platforms available, and Magento is one of the most popular – for good reason. One of the main advantages of Magento is how adaptable it is. If you have a design in mind, Magento is likely able to accommodate you. Additionally, it has all the functions necessary to build a successful online store.

“How successful?” you may ask. Data shows that merchants that use Magento on average see their businesses grow three times as fast as non-Magento users. Furthermore, Magento has consistently been the most popular eCommerce platform alternative among the top-selling online retailers.

Why now?

It is not just a matter of eCommerce becoming the sensible shopping alternative. Magento Commerce is also available for free for three months for small and midsized companies. This is a great opportunity if you are looking to getting started in eCommerce.

With the help of either the Magento Commerce launch package or a solution partner, your Magento eCommerce store can be up and running in short order. The free three-month period lets you focus on establishing your business and converting visitors to customers. It will also provide you with valuable data on whether or not an eCommerce website is a good investment for your company. Remember that this data will be influenced by the quality of your website, so it is a good idea to team up with people who have experience with eCommerce best practices.

Which Magento is right for you?

Magento 1 is being phased out and support will be discontinued as of June 2020. If you are running your Magento eCommerce store on Magento 1 it is time to upgrade to Magento 2.

Magento 2 comes in two versions:

Magento Open Source, which was previously known as Magento Community Edition. It offers essential features such as mobile optimization, catalog management, and site search. It is available for free and is a great choice if you are familiar with Magento, or if you are a smaller business who can hire a developer to help you out.

Magento Commerce, formerly Magento Enterprise Edition. This is the paid version with all the bells and whistles. It can offer everything that Magento Open Source can and then some, including advanced marketing tools, customer loyalty tools, and B2B functionality. Magento Commerce is hosted on the cloud and has access to expert Magento support. If you are running a large or fast-growing business, this is the Magento version for you.

What Magento has to offer

Magento has many features that can help your eCommerce website stand out from the competition. If you are starting an eCommerce store, don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the following:

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Search engine optimization

The best ad is the ad that brings in traffic for free. This is why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important. The right content, word choices, and placement of keywords can push your Magento eCommerce store to the top results in search engines. This will bring it to the attention of people who are actively looking for the products that you sell. Magento is an SEO-friendly eCommerce platform and there are several extensions available that you can use to improve your search engine visibility further.

When you are getting started in eCommerce, take the time to familiarize yourself with SEO best practices, or get help from an expert. It is best to do this before you put your website together. It will save you a lot of time and effort, and you will see results faster. As SEO is a long-term investment, it can take several months before the improvements you have made begin to truly pay off.

Mobile friendliness

Magento offers a responsive design to ensure that your eCommerce store is mobile friendly. This is essential as more and more online shopping is done on mobile. In fact, many choose a mobile-first strategy, where the website is designed for mobile-first rather than desktop, to ensure the best possible shopping experience for mobile users.

Chat agent

In a recent update, Magento included a free chat agent to Magento Commerce. Chat agents are a great feature for eCommerce stores as they can provide live customer support even when there are no humans available. This timely help can be just what you need to make a sale. According to one study, 62% of visitors who engaged with the chat function on an online store were likely to buy from that website again. What’s more, 38% reported that their decision to buy was due to the chat session.

AI recommendation system

A recent addition to Magento’s many features is an AI-driven product recommendation system. Adobe Sensei, as the AI is called, helps create a personalized shopping experience for all of your customers. This is especially useful if you have a large variety of products as it will help guide your visitors to items that are likely to interest them. Consequently, Adobe Sensei can help you upsell, cross-sell, and create a smoother shopping experience on your Magento eCommerce store.

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When you are getting started with Magento you should invest in reliable servers. If you expect heavy traffic, or offer a lot of products, your website will require stronger servers. Comparing server providers can be a little tricky, but it is worth the time investment.

Server response time affects the loading speed, and the loading speed is an essential factor in whether or not your visitors become customers. Thus, it is in your best interest to ensure that your servers are up to the task and optimized.

The benefit of a helping hand

If you want to take advantage of Magento’s generous offer but are not ready to go through the time-consuming process of recruiting a team of your own, consider outsourcing. Get in touch with us if you need skilled professionals that can help you get started in eCommerce and set up the online store of your dreams.