Magento Review

Provides seamless administration and out-of-the-box features for OMS integration, but needs better performance and a better way to measure performance

What is our primary use case?

I was working as a service delivery manager in the Middle East. That's where I did Magento implementation for B2B. Currently, I am refreshing my knowledge. I am using the open-source version.

How has it helped my organization?

One of our clients was the largest radiator manufacturers in the Middle East. They were into manufacturing radiators for trucks, cars, and construction equipment, and they wanted a solution to reach out to the B2B market in Europe and other geographical areas. We did a Magento implementation with just B2B functionality, which actually helped them to get more traction. They started getting quite a lot of leads through online channels, and they had their marketing team engaged. Previously, they had to send their salespeople literally all over the northern part of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. After implementing Magento, they could get a lot of potential leads.

What is most valuable?

As compared to platforms such as ATG or Commerce Cloud, its interface is easy to use. Magento also provides seamless administration for business users. 

You can also integrate an OMS to an extent. You don't need to have a dedicated OMS. You can leverage the out-of-the-box features of Magento, which is very valuable for startups. Other platforms, such as Commerce Cloud, don't have an OMS, and you have to have your own OMS solution.

What needs improvement?

I am still playing around and trying to catch up with the latest version to understand all the features, but I do feel that its CMS can be much more streamlined. They provide a what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor, which many customers prefer, but based on the implementations that I have done for more than seven years, I have seen that many times, it is run by the marketing team, and they don't find it very comfortable to use. They feel uncomfortable managing and changing the content. As a business user, you need to have at least basic knowledge of HTML, which you cannot expect from all marketing teams. Some companies or organizations have that competency, but many organizations, especially in the Middle East, have a very small team, so it becomes quite difficult for them. This is a common challenge that I have seen across the platforms. Magento is better and easier than Oracle Commerce Cloud, but Shopify is much easier than Magento. A layman or my 10-year-old kid can go ahead and set up a store in Shopify in probably 45 minutes, which is not the case with Magento.

Elasticsearch has really been a pain. It takes a toll on the performance. Starting with version 2.4, Magento requires Elasticsearch, which has been causing a lot of serious performance issues. We had a client in the US who was running a promo, and they lost a subsequent number of orders over one and a half hours. They were on the enterprise platform, not open-source. The team had to open a ticket with Magento. Its performance needs to be upgraded, or some kind of guidelines have to be provided for the setup. It looks like even Magento has no clue. When you go through the answers given in the online community, it seems that in spite of having the hardware configurations that they suggest, it is not performing at the optimal level.

It should also have a better way to measure performance. Performance measuring has to be much easier. Many times, we see CPU utilization going up and down. We see spikes without any reason. Therefore, we need a better performance management system.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have about four to five years of experience in using this solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is not stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability is actually good. You can start with the open-source version, and as you are scaling up, you can move to the enterprise version. Both options are there. In the enterprise version, you also get other benefits and advanced features. So scalability-wise, it is good, but there is a cost for scaling.

In terms of the number of users, we had the end-users and business users. The number of business users varied from four to ten. Up to ten business users were added for managing catalogs and content and for administration and other aspects. You need one person for deployment, code fixes, and maintenance. Apart from that, you need people for testing and catalog merchandising. A very small organization would require six to eight employees.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their enterprise platform support has not been great, but it has improved. As compared to Oracle and other platforms that operate on SaaS models, Magento support is better.

Their response is great. They normally provide immediate responses, but when there is an infrastructure issue, there are delays. I have seen them taking days to get back. There have been instances where we had the Customer Success Manager from Magento sitting with us on calls for eight hours to ensure that somebody from their side delivers a solution. They just need to handle the infrastructure issues better.

How was the initial setup?

It is slightly complex, and you need technical knowledge. It is not as easy as Shopify, where you just log in and create your domain and a store. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to set a store up in Shopify, and you can then start playing with its interfaces and other things, but that's not the case with Magento. It took me a couple of hours to set up Magento.

What about the implementation team?

For deployment, it definitely requires at least one Magento certified lead or a senior developer. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Many implementations were open-source. We also had a couple of enterprise-level implementations, but I didn't have visibility on the licensing cost.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution, but if you are not technically strong, I would suggest Shopify.

I would rate Magento a six out of ten. It is a decent choice.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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