31 May 2023 5min.
When Magento is not a good choice
There is a certain practice among e-commerce agencies that infuriates us. It involves forcefully pushing a technology on the client, just because the agency specializes in it. However, the decision to choose a platform should be solely motivated by the business needs and capabilities of the client. That’s why today we will go against the tide and show you cases where implementing Magento, our flagship e-commerce technology, doesn’t make sense.
A brief overview of Magento
Magento is an open-source technology, just like WooCommerce or PrestaShop. This means that anyone with the right skills can modify the code and create their own solutions based on it, such as plugins or extensions.
When Magento is NOT for you
Magento open source is a great, flexible, and scalable technology, which is why it happens to be our specialization. However, this doesn’t mean it is a universal answer to the needs of everyone considering profitable e-commerce.
Here are three cases, taken straight from our experiences at Satisfly.
You’re not planning extensive expansion
When a potential client approaches us at Satisfly and tells us about language versions, integrated B2B and B2C platforms, or expanding internationally, we know that Magento is almost certainly the right technology for them. However, such inquiries are only a fraction of the ones we receive in our mailbox. Many businesses do not have such extensive needs and won’t even utilize a fraction of the capabilities Magento offers.
Another aspect that makes companies with expansion plans choose this platform is cost. Sure, the implementation of Magento itself may be more expensive than setting up a store in a SaaS model, but it’s an investment. Because in most cases, the money you have to pay each month for each transaction to a subscription-based platform increases as your business grows. And it can simply suffocate it when you reach a large scale.
You don’t need custom solutions
The strength of Magento lies in its flexibility. Where multiple integrations, custom solutions, and changes in the purchasing logic are required, Magento shines. Experienced developers can modify the core Magento to accommodate countless business scenarios without violating its core functionality.
If you don’t have such needs, it’s highly likely that you should opt for a subscription-based solution. There are plenty of them in the market, and you can confidently choose the one that offers the most for the lowest price.
You have a small budget (but not entirely)
It’s not that Magento development itself is expensive. The cost of a project always depends on the rate and the number of hours required for development. The correct answer here is that a Magento store is expensive because it typically involves a complex project. As mentioned earlier, this technology shines the brightest when the planned e-commerce is more intricate.
From our experience at Satisfly, we know that the cost of such a store starts at 100,000 Polish złoty. Therefore, if you don’t have the budget for implementing extensive business requirements, try to find existing off-the-shelf solutions that can be tailored to your needs. They may not fulfill 100% of your requirements and certainly won’t provide customization capabilities, but you will get a functioning store within your available budget.
How we do it at Satisfly?
The typical process of working with an e-commerce agency like Satisfly looks like this:
- Initial contact – you talk to a person whose role is to understand your needs. Prepare as much information as possible about your project. At this stage, two paths will emerge:
- either we determine together that your e-commerce is indeed complex enough to consider Magento, or
- we advise you on another technology (usually a subscription-based SaaS solution) that would be suitable for implementing your project, and we can recommend a company specializing in it.
- Briefing – we will ask you to fill out an e-commerce brief. This is a crucial document, so we count on comprehensive answers.
- Preliminary estimation – we will present you with a rough estimate of the implementation cost. The most important element here is the analytical sprint. We work in an agile time and material model, which means you only pay for the approved and worked hours in a given month.
- Analytical sprint – a series of collaborative workshops where we discuss your business needs step by step and align them with technological solutions. This stage can also have two outcomes:
- after the analysis, with the final project estimate, we proceed with Magento implementation, or
- we give you a recommendation that Magento is not the right technology and suggest an alternative.
Pay attention to the last path. The analytical document itself is a product of our collaboration, serving as a compass for your further actions. This means that you can take it to another implementation company or work on a different e-commerce platform other than Magento.
What to be cautious about?
Remember that Magento, despite being a leader among e-commerce solutions, is not the only suitable choice for every online store. If you’re unsure whether Magento will truly meet your business needs, seek the assistance of an agency like ours. A reputable company will provide honest advice, even if the recommendation points to a different engine than Magento.
Another thing to be cautious about is comparing estimates. Contrary to appearances, agencies do not differ significantly in terms of hourly rates and final estimates. So, if you collect three quotes from the market and one of them is drastically lower than the others, it doesn’t mean you’ve stumbled upon a gem offering “good and cheap” services. Most likely, that one company didn’t include all the necessary components in their estimate, while the other two did a proper job considering the full scope you require!
It may sound like a cliché, but we believe it’s worth repeating: an agency should primarily aim to achieve the client’s business goals and treat them as their own. Otherwise, we would become unreliable technology vendors.
We exist to be your trusted advisors, regardless of the technology you ultimately choose.