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Why Upgrade to Magento 2?

by  David Dwyer on  07/01/2019    933 Reads

Magento Editions

Is it really necessary to upgrade to Magento 2? Well here’s a different question: "Do your customers have a seamless, quick and glitch-free shopping experience on your website? " 

Upgrading your e-Commerce platform is most definitely not an option but a necessity, particularly if you plan to have a sustainable online presence.  

Leaving aside the content elements of Search Engine Optimisation, business owners who want to have a high-performing website need a powerful back-end and optimized front end.   

Remember your goal is to make it easier for your customers to buy from you, hence your e-commerce design (Usability and User eXperience) have to be not only quick but also device responsive.  

If you’re considering adopting Magento 2.x then it maybe you’ve been using Magento 1.x or WooCommerce or Big Commerce or Shopify or Etsy, to transact online?  

Some background and context are important here, Magento 1.x released in 2007, has had much fine-tuning and has become one of the most popular Enterprise Level e-commerce platforms. The younger brother Magento 2.x released in 2015, has not had its troubles to seek, whether those issues be stability, security, migration of product lines, customer data, etc.   

If you are on the fence about upgrading your e-commerce to Magento 2.x, you should know that those issues are not uncommon across many platforms and in the case of Magento 2.x have been greatly ironed out. That said there are a few features and benefits that should convince you to proceed.  

SEO 

Ranking high with search engines is the holy grail for every online merchant. Ok, SEO content-wise a platform is only as relevant as the quality of content added, in essence, garbage in-garbage out or highly relevant content in, leads to improved relevance and greater visibility. So Magento 2.x is not going to make your content any better, but where it really shines is its technical SEO performance. 

Magento 2.x has improved several key aspects of SEO such as optimization of product images for searches and increasing the loading speed of your site.  

Where Magento 1.x required a great deal of “server grunt”, which also came with a similar infrastructure budget. Magento 2.x pages load 30% to 50% faster than with Magento 1.9.x, plus Magento 2.x is much better at handling multiple orders per second.  

If you are running a sale or promotion or facing a holiday season, Magento 2.x is designed to manage an influx of concurrent orders without slowing down the system. These are important factors to almighty Google. Opening, loading, searching, buying, and closing your website is now a game of speed with your customers.   

Product Catalogue Pages 

Once your customers have found your site, you want their shopping experience to be easy and efficient. Magento 2.x provides improved indexing which speeds up the query performance.  

Better cataloguing and indexing of your products creates a better search experience for your customer.  Backend operations have been enhanced to provide optimized web pages which load faster and have greater database flexibility. From a hosting point of view, with peak loads, Magento 2.x allows you to distribute that demand across multiple servers to deal with any traffic spikes. 

Ever felt impatient waiting for the next page of products to load? Chances are your customers have experienced that too, somewhere else, but with Magento 2.x, they won’t on your site.  

Shoppers who have a bad e-commerce experience will move on to competitors…in a heartbeat. With Magento 2.x, your store will perform faster and better.  

 

Shopping Cart Checkout 

According to Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is currently 68.8%.  

Customers bail for a number of reasons including extra shipping costs, a long, complicated checkout process, or because the site wanted them to create an account. Baymard also found that with better checkout design, a large e-Commerce site can gain a 35.26% increase in conversion rate. 

Magento 2.x has improved the checkout process in several ways. Instead of the standard 6 steps to checkout in Magento 1.x, your customer now has only 2 steps (Ed: yes you can have 1-page Checkout on Magento 1.x but this isn’t standard). Plus Magento 2.x also plays nice with common payment extensions. Payment extensions include Realex, Elavon, PagSeguro and Converge. Options for different payments and for shipping rates put your customer in charge of the process. 

Mobile Friendly 

Magento 2.x is mobile friendly which is crucial as a growing percentage of e-Commerce transactions are now done from smartphones.  According to eMarketer, this is a trend which underscores the importance of making effective use of e-commerce apps and mobile-friendly websites. OuterBox carried out research in the US and claims the following:  

  • Almost 40% of all e-commerce purchases during the 2018 holiday season were made on a smartphone 

  • e-commerce spend now comprises 10% of ALL retail revenue  

  • 80% of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations 

Clearly, Magento 2.x gets the fact that to be mobile friendly is to be future friendly. 

Magento Editions 

Magento 2.x has 3 editions aimed at different e-commerce environments and needs. 

Magento Community Edition is a free open-source platform. It’s a great choice for small to medium start-ups who need to start an online store quickly with no hassles. Program code is free, and the software can be scaled and customized. Magento Community was designed for online stores with no more than 300,000 SKUs. As it is not designed to support multiple languages and currencies, it is a good choice for stores that sell in a country or region with a common currency and language.  

Magento Commerce Edition (previously known as Magento Enterprise) is aimed at large organizations as it spreads demand across multiple servers. 

Magento Cloud Edition, the newest of the three, can handle large traffic volumes faster thanks to the Apache cashing system. This is the most flexible of the editions and it is growing in popularity, 

The nitty-gritty of Magento 2.x’s performance enhancements are its inclusion of an Ajax Cart which uses javascript to add items to a cart, its use of caching technologies like Varnish which is an HTTP accelerator to store requests, and its use of optimized PHP7 programming language.  

The admin dashboard has also had a makeover and your admin staff will enjoy the user-friendly and much more intuitive dashboard which makes updating easier and accessing data manageable. 

Marketing Features 

Another plus is on the marketing front. Magento 2.x has some great customer persuasion and loyalty program extensions. Magento 2.x enables merchants to create a dotmailer email marketing campaign in a matter of minutes.  

Dotmailer is easy to use and well-supported, should you want to leverage your customers’ purchases with further touchpoints.  

It also includes tools such as upsell and cross-sell popups, free gifts and coupons, stock and price countdowns. Implementing these tools can go a long way to driving up your customer engagement and loyalty. 

Magento 2.x has also been quick to upgrade with more than 30 releases so far. Once you have Magento 2.x, it is easy to stay on top of the ongoing releases, this was not so the case for Magento 1.9.x. 

All in all, Magento 2.x is a vast improvement over Magento 1.9.x, and it continues to be both a robust and nimble choice for retailers who demand the best for their customers.  

If you’re looking to find an e-commerce developer who can transition you to Magento 2.x, particularly if you have done a lot of customization using Magento 1.9.x then you really need to start now as Magento 1.9.x will cease to have support from June 2020. In the rapidly evolving world of e-commerce features and functions, it’s best to let the pros help you stay on the track and out of the weeds.   

If you have questions about how Magento 2 could work for your retail business, contact us or give us a call as we are experts with Magento 2.x. 

Customer Experience, CX, Developer SOS, Digital Trends, Digital Trends 2019, e-commerce, e-tailers, Magento 1.9.x, Magento 2.x.x, Magento e-commerce, Mobile Commerce, Online Stores, Search Engine Optimisation, UI, User eXperience, User Interface, UX Design, Web Consultancy, Web Design
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