Do I need Magento Consulting?

Magento is the most robust ecommerce platform for the price that’s currently on the market, period. Like any powerful tool…it has a learning curve and needs some care with implementation. That is the key that most entrepreneurs miss.

Magento Community Edition is free to use, that’s right Magento is free…sort of. How much does Magento cost? Magento CE can be a huge mess in the wrong hands or kick some serious ecommerce butt.

Magento has more features and customizations, plugins, SAAS solution partners than any ecommerce system.

Having a system that is so customizable makes figuring it out very tricky. Every store has it’s differences due to themes, extensions, structure and developer customizations.

Within each plugin there are many options to setup and it can seem daunting. A Magento consultant has the experience to help you navigate these waters using experience.

Magento gets a bad rap by entry level merchants often. They try the free version and it’s a mess.

Ecommerce merchants that are savvy typically get some help from an experienced Magento Consultant can often be the difference between success and failure of an ecommerce website.

Getting Magento Consulting help from someone that uses Magento every day is an amazing resource and incredibly valuable to your bottom line.

Magento Developer Coder

The difference between a Magento Developer and Magento Consultant?

Having an experienced Magento Developer on retainer will allow you to keep Magento working smoothly. That’s not quite the same as a getting Magento consulting help and training.

It’s not cheap but hey are worth it especially during the first year or so of your new Magento Website.

The developer’s job is to write code. They are not entrepreneurs or marketers.  Remember that.

They also don’t have experience running sales, creating customer funnels and don’t know your customer on a marketing level.

A Magento Consultant has experience running many different types of stores with many different types of developers and customers.

This consultant can guide you to ways to setup Magento properly to maximize your customer experience and the ROI of your online efforts.

Getting help a magento consultant that knows how Magento should be setup and work properly is the key to making money with Magento. Magetnto consulting can enable you to use the entire featureset in Magento to best serve your visitors and business.

Should I use Magento for my ecommerce store?

Magento is not for all ecommerce store types. If you need a simple ecommerce store with just a few products or invention you want to sell online checkout a free trial of Shopify.

We’ve helped launch new inventions launch online through Shopify with custom landing pages and Facebook Advertising that were great and didn’t need Magento.

Magento is the best choice for large B2B retailers launching their catalogs online.

It can provide portals and feeds for retail partners, quick ordering portal, onsite marketing and merchandising to promote select products to retailers and also sell direct.

This is a great way for Manufacturers to go online right the first time and sell direct to consumers while still serving and supporting their wholesale partners.

If you have a large catalog and want to have perfect customized experiences for your customer, Magento is a great fit.

Magento uses true faceted navigation or layered navigation and attributes and attribute sets to perfectly define your product types and product attributes.

This allows for true drill down searching for ecommerce businesses that sell parts, accessories or other hard to categorize parts where you need great filtering.

Magento can be customized more than any other platform on the market and is built in a modular fashion that allows it to scale and be customized easily.

Many other ecommerce platforms don’t allow you to customize them and have strict rules like no blogs on the same domain like Volusion.

Or Shopify not allowing quick order by SKU features because of locked down code they won’t let you change.

Magento is open source and you can adjust it any way you want to. With the right developer you can do literally anything you want with it.

That said, bringing in a Magento Consultant who’s made money with Magento and knows the tricks can really help navigate the plugins and features you choose.

Magento vs Shopify?

Shopify is just not a good choice for B2B and manufacturers selling direct. It doesn’t have B2B features like Magento Commerce does and doesn’t have the B2B portal type interface you’ll want to use with your retail sellers. However, for setting up a quick store Shopify can’t be beat.

We once setup a Shopify store in about a day for a guy with an invention he wanted help selling. Incredibly fast for initial setup.

We launched marketing campaigns within a week and he was selling product fast and we had proof of concept that the product was viable.

Shopify is also much cheaper from a development standpoint.

Since Shopify is fairly locked down it’s mainly app based and the app developers support it pretty well. Yeah they charge monthly fees for plugins but it’s still way cheaper than Magento Development.

The only drawback is you’re limited to the tools Shopify provides for you. For many merchants this is enough.

Why spend the money on Magento if Shopify is so great. Well…Magento can do anything.

It also has tons of control for the Admin users in the back end.

You can do things like Catalog Price Rules where you can setup discounts to entire product lines via percentage or absolute dollar amount off using rules.

Shopify also can’t provide proper layered navigation filtering. If you have an auto parts catalog for example there’s no way you could set it up on regular Shopify, maybe on Shopify

Plus but you’d be in the same price game as Magento Commerce at that point but with less features.

Magento is great at displaying banners based on customer behavior.

You can do things like present a banner to customers based on their purchase history, onsite behavior, what’s in their cart, wishlist, you name it.

In general Magento is for larger ecommerce stores with complex catalogs and B2B needs. Here’s more info in another article we have called Magento vs Shopify vs Volusion vs Big Commerce.

Magento Consulting Services by Sharp Commerce

Going it along with Magento sucks. I wish I would have hired a Magento Consulting firm when I first started out with Magento.

My IT guy and I switched from Volusion to Magento and it was terrifying. I’m a fairly solid web nerd and had been in ecommerce for about 5 years at the time.

There was a huge learning curve that I wasn’t expecting.

It was painful, expensive and we almost killed our ecommerce store that year! However; within 2 years we had doubled sales and grew exponentially with the new tools we had access to.

Even after 10+ years of working with Magento I’m learning new stuff daily.

If you’ve got 2 years to learn Magento and are a glutton for punishment…by all means give it a shot on your own with your IT guy.

I promise you at best a rocky journey into the unknown that you won’t enjoy.

Or press the easy button and hire a Magento Consultant, better yet hire us. Get some magento consulting help from someone who’s done it before and do Magento the right way.

Contact Us anytime for a free no obligation review of your project or current website.

Travis Romine