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Magento - Brief Overview

Updated on May 29, 2015

We are in the age of Information Technology and e-commerce boom has taken place recently in India. Until the early 2000’s people in India were still buying stuff directly from stores, the primary reason being the unfamiliarity of online sellers. Now, with so many active online sellers in India, people are keen to spend their money into buying from online stores. There is proven transaction security and much ease in the overall process of purchasing. Apart from this, there are many other alluring reasons to shop online like there is wider choice, competitive prices, and delivery at your doorstep.

Most of all, online shopping is the ‘in’ thing these days. It’s considered modern and cool to shop from the convenience of your home.


Magento has played a big role in the e-commerce boom all over the world and India is no exception. Magento is an e-commerce web-application development platform, released in March 2008. Magento community version is free to use and customize. In just a few years, Magento has changed the scene of the e-commerce market very rapidly by bringing other ecommerce-platforms to its feet!

Figure1: Graph plotting Magento’s share in the e-commerce market today.
Figure1: Graph plotting Magento’s share in the e-commerce market today. | Source

Magento Features

Let us look at why Magento has grown so much in the market despite of other big names like OpenCart and osCommerce. We will look at the features Magento provides over other shopping carts and why it is so beneficial to build your e-commerce store with Magento.

Inbuilt Features:

  1. Catalog Management –
    1. Batch Import/Export of Products: Magento allows import and export of catalog from other stores. So if you had a store in, say for example, osCommerce and you want to switch to Magento for obvious reasons, you don’t need to worry about re-entering all the product information. You can directly port the products from osCommerce to Magento using the inbuilt CSV import.
    2. Digital Products Support – Apart from the regular tangible stuff, magento has provision for digital stuff like e-books and other downloadable items.
    3. Magento allows you to easily generate coupons/discounts/special prices without the knowledge of computer programming
    4. Catalog Browsing –
      1. Layered navigation for filtering of products in categories.
      2. Product Comparisons
      3. Product Reviews
      4. Checkout and Payment –
        1. One page checkout
        2. Guest checkout
        3. Multiple payment options supported with integrated Paypal and Paypal Express.
        4. Excellent Customer Service Features –
          1. Customer dashboard with features like previous orders, wishlist, reordering, order tracking etc.
          2. Guest order status
          3. International Support -
            1. Multiple languages are supported
            2. Multiple currencies are supported

Customizability

Many a times the above features are unable to cater to the very unique and complex seller needs. That’s where Magento’s custom modules/extensions come into the play. Magento is fully customizable but it is not that easy to customize. It is always better to go to an expert with your customization needs to build a custom and complete e-commerce solution for you.

Community support

As Magento is growing in popularity, the number of people in community is also growing. There are a lot happening simultaneously in the Magento Community online. A lot of questions are being asked in the forums, new features being requested, bugs being reported and fixed and hence new releases of Magento Community are releasing one after another.

It is the truly the era of Magento e-commerce and both an online seller or someone aspiring to become one can take the benefit. Here are some of the businesses who have used and benefited from the Magento Platform:

Figure2: Some businesses who use Magento
Figure2: Some businesses who use Magento | Source

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