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Magento 1 End of Life: What You Need To Know Before 2020

In 2018, Magento announced that June 2020 will be the Magento 1 end of life date. This means that after June 2020 Magento will cease to support eCommerce retailers using its version 1.x platforms.

Stores will no longer receive vital security updates and patches for keeping their sites secure and working smoothly. This leaves store owners with a decision to make – upgrade or choose a different eCommerce platform.

Either way time and financial investment are unavoidable. Is this the perfect time to change to another platform such as Shopify or remain and upgrade to Magento 2?

If you’ve had a quick look at the available eCommerce platforms the top three consists of Shopify, WooCommere and Magento. All three platforms have their strengths and you can compare them in our Shopify vs WooCommerce vs Magento – eCommerce Platform Showdown article.

With only eight months until the Magento 1 end of life, now is the time to weigh up your options. In this article, you’ll discover the concerns and possible solutions for Magento 1 owners before it’s too late.

Magento 1 End Of Life Frequently Asked Questions

With the Magento 1 end of life fast approaching what thoughts and concerns are keeping Magento retailers up at night?

When Should I Take Action?

With the timer counting down to Magento 1 end of life now is the time to start planning your next move if you haven’t already done so. Whether you choose to re-platform or upgrade to Magento 2 your store is going to need a redesign. And depending on how complex your current store is this can be a lengthy process.

Before rushing into a redesign it’s important to map out a plan. You need to ensure you’re able to maintain similar functionality, user experience and journey, not to mention keeping your SEO intact and not losing traffic due to broken links.

To minimise disruption you should aim to launch your new eCommerce store during a quiet trading period. Due to the June 2020 end of life deadline realistically you want to be launching your new store between February and April 2020.

Start mapping out your requirements and speaking to potential eCommerce agencies as soon as possible. The closer you leave it to the deadline the more you’ll find fully booked eCommerce agencies.

If I Stay With Magento Which Version Should I Upgrade To?

If you’re going to stay with Magento the best option is to upgrade to Magento 2. This is the latest version of Magento and includes more features and functionality than Magento 1. You also shouldn’t have to worry about a major upgrade again for a while.

Staying with Magento is still going to be hard work. It’s complicated, bloated and has high development costs. But if your store is unique and other eCommerce platforms can’t provide the bespoke functionality you require then it’s best to move to M2.

What Are The Costs Involved?

Every Magento 2 build is unique. Depending on the size of your store a new Magento 2 website can cost anything from £20,000 to £100,000+. You also need to think about existing features, additional functionality and data migration which can increase the cost.

Developing a Magento 2 site is likely to cost more upfront due to custom development compared to other platforms such as Shopify. Here are some factors that are likely to affect the cost of a Magento 2 build.

  • If you’re on Magento Commerce or Magento Open Source
  • The amount of data migration required
  • How much new data entry is required
  • If the site is being built by a freelancer or an agency
  • The complexity of the design
  • Any bespoke features – frontend and backend
  • Level of testing and SEO

Should I Move To Shopify?

If the thought of spending at least £20,000 on a new eCommerce store is making you sweat then there is another option and in our opinion a better option.

Shopify.

There are quite a few Magento retailers that had their site built several years ago when Magento was the go-to eCommerce platform for a growing business. Back then Magento developers were a lot cheaper and they were championing Magento making development costs affordable.

But times have changed.

New platforms have emerged and Magento might not be the right fit for your business.

Most store owners won’t have the funds to pay £20k for a new Magento site. They also don’t want to use a freelancer either because they need a dependable agency to handle the project. The solution could be to leave Magento behind and move to Shopify.

Shopify is a very affordable solution with all the features you’d expect to keep your eCommerce site running fast and securely.

If the standard Shopify installation doesn’t meet your requirements then Shopify Plus is the one for you. Shopify Plus is fully customisable, built for speed and capable of processing over 10,000 orders per minute with unlimited bandwidth. With Shopify Plus you’re in good company as some of the world’s biggest brands use it, such as Gym Shark, Red Bull and MVMT.

Shopify - alternative to Magento

Why Shopify Is A Better eCommerce Solution

Secure Fast Hosting

Being a fully managed solution means Shopify takes care of the hosting and security side. All Shopify stores use 256 bit SSL technology and are automatically set at the highest level of PCI compliance, keeping customer data safe and giving store owners one less thing to worry about.

Future Proof

Shopify does not release versions of its platform to store owners. Instead, every Shopify store always runs on the latest software. This means there is no need to get developers involved to update the files and run into potential issues.

Shopify stores will always have access to the latest features and the latest payment gateways such as Google and Apple Pay. This way of working means less time spent updating files and reduced developer costs.

Don’t worry if your business begins to grow quickly. If you started on the standard Shopify plan you can easily scale up and move to Shopify Plus without having to redesign and rebuild your store.

Easy Store Management From Anywhere

Store management with Shopify is straightforward and fast. You can easily create new products, add variations, change content and set shipping rates, all without the headaches. Inventory and fulfilment management is simple, allowing store owners to notify customers via email or text.

Another area Shopify excels in is its mobile app. Shopify offers amazing iOS and Android apps allowing you to manage your store wherever you are. You can view traffic, monitor sales, manage products and create discount codes when you’re on the go.

If you have a bricks and mortar shop you can choose to use the Shopify POS. This enables shop owners to integrate their face to face sales with their online sales, keeping customer data and transactions in one place.

Customise With Apps

Like all eCommerce platforms, the standard functionality can be extended with extensions, plugins or in Shopify’s case apps. The Shopify app store has approximately 2000 apps helping store owners increase sales, print shipping labels and offer customer support.

The main difference with apps is they’re on a monthly subscription rather than an upfront cost. The cost of apps ranges from free to an average price of $15 per month and usually have a hassle-free installation process.

What To Do Next?

As Magento 1 end of life fast approaches retailers will have to make a decision to continue selling online after June 2020. It’s frustrating that store owners have to go through this process. However, it can be the perfect opportunity to choose a new eCommerce platform that fits your business, is easy to use and doesn’t need constant updates.

As a Shopify Partner, we can provide you with a fully functioning Shopify store allowing you to transition from Magento with the least amount of headaches.

If you’re unsure of what to do next, just get in touch and we’ll happily answer your questions about choosing Shopify as your new eCommerce platform.

Call 0161 791 0100, email hello@mechanised.co.uk or click on the message box in the corner for a no-obligation chat.

5 Popular Brands Using Shopify

Shopify is possibly one of the most well-known eCommerce platforms and is experiencing rapid growth. Its popularity might be down to its ease of use, the speed at which you can get a store online, its excellent support or because it’s a fully hosted solution with minimal maintenance. Shopify is popular with smaller eCommerce brands but there is nothing stopping it from scaling with a growing business.

Fueling Shopify’s growth could be the rise of dropshipping. Dropshipping allows store owners to sell products online without having to have a large inventory or handle them. This means the barrier for entry is quite low for creating a new online business using this method.

Set up a Shopify store, find a popular product and start selling online.

Spend a couple of minutes on YouTube and no doubt you’ll come across a “dropshipping guru” telling you they made fifty thousand dollars selling a wolf mug using Shopify.

Although this is great for Shopify’s growth rate it can give Shopify a bit of a dirty name. If you’re looking for a new eCommerce solution or to re-platform you might see Shopify as an inferior choice compared to the likes of WooCommerce and Magento. But it’s far from it.

Want to know how the top three eCommerce platforms compare? Read our Shopify vs WooCommerce vs Magento – eCommerce Platform Showdown article.

Brands Using Shopify

Don’t worry, you’re in good company. There are some huge brands using Shopify, more specifically Shopify Plus, the enterprise level solution. Shopify Plus can cater to the needs of huge brands by offering the following.

  • Unlimited staff accounts
  • Handle over 10,000 transactions per minute
  • Dedicated support
  • Greater design flexibility

These brands have turned their backs on the other eCommerce platforms available and invested in the Shopify platform. So who’s on the list of users?

Gym Shark

Founded in 2012 in a UK garage, Gym Shark is a leading fitness apparel and accessories brand that can be found in gyms across the country. Like any growing brand wanting to sell online Gym Shark opted to use Magento but quickly regretted their decision.

Due to the typically long development time for Magento stores by the time the store was finished Gym Shark had already doubled in size and outgrown the original Magento store. To make matters worse the Gym Shark website crashed during their Black Friday sale costing them approximately £100,000!

After this disaster Gym Shark replatformed with Shopify Plus which allowed the company to expand internationally and provide a stable online store for customers.

Gym Shark - 5 Brands Using Shopify

Red Bull

The energy drink giant Red Bull have boosted their revenue due to their online Shopify store. Due to legal restrictions, they cannot sell their energy drink online but they are allowed to sell their line of performance wear, accessories and sports merchandise from their Formula One and football teams to their loyal fan base.

MVMT

Founded in 2013 MVMT set out to sell high quality, classically designed watches for a fraction of their high-end counterparts. After a successful and historic Indiegogo campaign, shifting their website traffic acquisition to over 60% mobile and social and they had to capitalise on this influx of traffic. As Shopify Plus merchants their website was ready for mobile visitors, offering clean layouts, great product photography and simple descriptions.

By developing their own Shopify Apps and creating a multi-channel approach to selling online, they generated 60,000 visitors and $15,000 in the first three months, doubling their mobile conversion rates.

Simba

Simba was late to the party but it didn’t stop them from getting a share of the mattress-in-a-box market. The company quickly found their way into high-end retail stores like John Lewis but wanted to scale without rushing or compromising.

Simba identified two new markets to sell in but first, they needed to understand the cultural idea of sleep. Instead of copying the UK website or just having a single store, Simba decided to create separate stores for each country allowing for unique messaging and straightforward checkouts without the need for currency converters.

With Shopify Plus Simba has launched online stores in more than ten countries enabling the company to hit $100 million in global sales.

Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner

Even the Kardashians are using Shopify! Kylie Jenner built a Shopify store for her brand Kylie Cosmetics in 2015 and as one of the top ten most followed people on Instagram her stock of 15,000 products sold out in minutes. It goes to show that Shopify is robust enough to take on big brands with big aspirations.

Do You Use Shopify?

Could your company be the next brand to use Shopify?

If you want to start selling online drop us an email at hello@mechanised.co.uk, call 0161 791 0100 or click on the message box in the corner and we can have a chat about your requirements and goals.

Shopify vs WooCommerce vs Magento – eCommerce Platform Showdown

Selling products online has never been easier, but which eCommerce platform is the best to set up an online store?

Whether you’re starting a new eCommerce business or looking to re-platform an existing store there are quite a few eCommerce platforms to choose from. Before deciding on which platform to build your online empire on here are some factors you should consider.

  • Which platform will fit your needs?
  • Which platform is the most flexible?
  • Can the platform support your growth plan?
  • Which is cheaper to set up and maintain?
  • Which is the easiest to use and manage?

In this article, we will focus on the three most popular eCommerce platforms – Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento. We’ll give you a break down of each platform, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses to help you decide which platform to choose.

eCommerce Platform Breakdown

Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento run the majority of the top eCommerce websites on the internet and with good reason. Shopify has 800,000 active stores and growing, WooCommerce has over 3 million active stores, and there are over 500,000 websites using Magento.

Shopify logo - eCommerce platform

Shopify

Launched in 2009 Shopify is possibly one of the most well-known eCommerce solutions. One of the reasons it’s so popular is down to its ease of use, how quickly you can get started and because it’s a fully hosted solution. Shopify is popular with smaller eCommerce brands but there is nothing stopping it from scaling with a growing business. There are some popular brands using Shopify, see below for some examples.

Shopify’s monthly pricing starts at $29 per month for the Basic Shopify plan, $79 per month for the Shopify plan and $299 per month for the Advanced Shopify plan. The major difference between the plans are lower transaction fees, options to add more staff accounts, create gift cards and professional reports. If you require more scalability and flexibility and then Shopify Plus would best suit your needs.

Shopify Strengths

  • eCommerce first platform
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Easy to install apps for additional functionality
  • Straightforward product and order management
  • Simple theme set up
  • Short development time
  • Hosting and SSL certificate included
  • 24/7 support – online, phone or email
  • Sell across Facebook and Instagram
  • Automated abandoned cart emails
  • Easy to add PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Synchronise physical shop sales and online sales using Shopify POS
  • Powerful Shopify mobile app

Shopify Weaknesses

  • Lack of complete flexibility
  • Weak content management capabilities compared others
  • Monthly subscriptions fees
  • Subscription fees can easily increase when using apps
  • Third party payment gateways incur additional transaction fees
  • Credit card rates 1.6% – 2.2% + 20p

Which Brands Are Using Shopify?

  • Tesla
  • Gymshark
  • Red Bull
  • Penguin
  • KKW Beauty
  • Kylie Cosmetics
WooCommerce logo - eCommerce Plaform

WooCommerce

Launched in 2011 WooCommerce is built on top of WordPress. Working as a plugin, WooCommerce enables you to run an online store with all the functionality of WordPress.

WooCommerce is a popular choice to build an eCommerce store due to the familiarity of WordPress, its wide choice of themes and it’s free to download.

WooCommerce Strengths

  • Good content management system (CMS) capabilities
  • Full control of base code for customisations
  • Huge catalogue of plugins for additional functionality
  • Free to download
  • Vast open source community
  • Simple platform use and learn
  • Integrates seamlessly with WordPress

WooCommerce Weaknesses

  • Not an eCommerce first platform
  • Requires hosting and SSL certificate
  • Requires constant updates to plugins and core software to stay secure
  • Plugin conflicts can become a problem
  • Will rely heavily on a developer to maintain and improve over time
  • Support only available from the community or plugin developer
  • Risk of using a bad developer
  • Long development time

Which Brands Are Using WooCommerce?

  • All Blacks
  • Webber
  • Singer
  • Airstream
Magento logo - eCommerce platform

Magento

Launched in 2008 Magento is a corporate level eCommerce platform geared towards web developers and large online stores. Its reliability, functionality and scalability have made it a popular choice for larger businesses.

Magento’s Community Edition is free to download and offers community-based support. Magento Commerce is their cloud offering and the Enterprise version of Magento is a full eCommerce solution for large retailers that includes premium technical support with plenty of features and extensions.

In 2018, Magento announced that the Mageneto 1 platform will reach end of life in June 2020. This means that stores will no longer receive vital security updates and patches, which leaves store owners with a decision to make.

Read our Magento 1 End of Life: What Retailers Need to Know Before 2020 article if you’re unsure of what to do next.

Magento Strengths

  • eCommerce first platform
  • B2B eCommerce
  • Good flexibility and core functionality
  • Excellent scalability
  • Good product catalogue and order management
  • Good integrations
  • Community functionality
  • Can handle large SKU counts
  • Multistore on a single installation

Magento Weaknesses

  • Very high cost of ownership
  • Expensive developers
  • Required hosting and SSL certificate
  • Third-party extensions might require a developer
  • Themes are more complicated to implement
  • Requires software updates
  • Steep learning curve
  • Poor site speed
  • The free Community Edition only offers community-based support
  • Risk of using a bad developer
  • Long development time

Which Brands Are Using Magento?

  • Budweiser
  • Coca-Cola
  • Ford
  • Christian Louboutin
  • Olympus

Our Opinion

As you can see there are plenty of strengths and weaknesses for all three eCommerce platforms. If you revisit the five questions at the start of the article you should be able to find an eCommerce platform to suit your business needs.

In our opinion, Magento is a very powerful eCommerce platform but comes with a very high cost of ownership. We find that Shopify ticks most of the boxes and can fulfil the majority of a clients’ eCommerce needs straight out-of-the-box. It’s flexible enough to suit a variety of products and variations whilst being the most cost-effective option and the quickest to develop and launch online.

What’s great about Shopify is that it can support a growing eCommerce business. If you want to scale your business you can upgrade to Shopify Plus and benefit from complete customisation, handle high volumes of traffic, get a dedicated Shopify support manager and a quicker checkout process.

WooCommerce is a good platform and a close second to Shopify. The main reasons are due to longer development times, more time spent on maintenance and can become slower over time because it’s not an eCommerce first platform. Also when you compare the cost of a Shopify site to a WooCommerce site you might be tempted to choose Shopify.

Breakdown of Real World Costs

The first year of running a Shopify site would cost approximately £1499. Here’s the breakdown…

  • Monthly subscription x12 = £270
  • Monthly app subscriptions x12 (say 3 apps) = £130
  • Development costs = £1099 (including a premium Shopify theme)

Running costs for a Shopify site for subsequent years would cost approximately £400.

Now let’s look at WooCommerce.

The first year of running a WooCommerce site would cost approximately £5600. Here’s the breakdown…

  • Development costs = £5000
  • Plugin renewals (say 3 plugins) = £140
  • Hosting = £160
  • Maintenance = £300

Running costs for a WooCommerce site for subsequent years would cost approximately £600.

Choosing Shopify would save you over £4101 in the first year which could be used towards a digital marketing campaign. The cost of ownership in subsequent years is £200 less and by choosing Shopify you would have a 12 months headstart in digital marketing.

What Next?

We hope our Shopify vs WooCommerce vs Magento article has given you an insight into what you need to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform.

If you want an online shop but don’t have time to create it yourself drop us an email at hello@mechanised.co.uk, call 0161 791 0100 or click on the message box in the corner and we can have a chat about your business goals and requirements.

WooCommerce SEO Tips – How to Get The Most Out of Yoast SEO

If you’re running an online store you’re most likely using one of the following top three eCommerce platforms; WooCommerce, Shopify or Magento. In 2018 WooCommerce had the largest eCommerce market share with 21% which is mainly due to its ease of use, scalability and SEO capabilities.

Now, I’m not saying that just by using WooCommerce will make your website rank better on Google but there are several plugins that make the job a lot easier. One of these plugins is Yoast SEO and is the number one ranking SEO plugin for WooCommerce. It’s free, simple to use and gives you guidance when optimising your website.

You still have to put the work in to make your website appear for relevant search phrases in Google, but if you research your target keywords and follow the guidance from Yoast, you’ll be heading the right direction.

What I’m going to show you in this article is how to set up Yoast SEO and make the most of its analysis and recommendations. Even if you’re already using Yoast there are some hidden settings that can help your website rank better in Google.

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SEO or PPC – Which is Better For Online Sales?

If you’re new to eCommerce or a seasoned retailer, there’s only one thing that counts… making sales! Deciding how you’re going to attract new customers and where you’re going to spend your digital marketing budget can be a bit of a minefield.

You’ve most likely come across SEO and PPC (pay-per-click) when researching ways to market your business but which is the best for you… SEO or PPC? Today we’re going to look at the strengths and weaknesses of SEO and PPC, letting you know which could work best for you in the short and long term, increasing your sales.

So let’s take a look at the different options.

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eCommerce SEO Checklist – Start Selling More Online

Whether you’ve just launched a new eCommerce website ready to take on 2019 or you’ve been running your site for a year or two but never thought about ranking in Google, this eCommerce SEO checklist is for you.

Ranking high in Google means getting traffic to your website and traffic means sales! Those sweet sweet sales that you need more of and the reason why you took your business online. But if your eCommerce website isn’t optimised for people searching for your products and brand you’ll be missing out on clicks and vital sales.

Do you want to know how to rank your eCommerce website and appear when a customer is searching for your products? Read this checklist and you’ll be on your way to getting more online sales.

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