Magento is an open-source ecommerce platform, based on PHP and MySQL, that is popular amongst online retailers, as it provides them with a scalable, secure, and feature-rich platform to conduct online transactions. It is a solution owned by eBay, and represents close to 30% of all top online retailers. It’s major competitors in the Content Management System (CMS) arena includes Shopify and WordPress’ WooCommerce. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to read our related Blog post titled “Magento vs WooCommerce (WordPress): Which Ecommerce Platform is Ideal for you?”. At Webilize (Portfolio and Testimonials) we specialize in building optimized websites that help drive sales revenues www.webilize.com.
Here are some of the advantages of using Magento as your online e-commerce CMS platform:
- Has plenty of pre-built-in out-of-the-box features such as drop shipping, promotions and coupons
- Seamless integration with Google Analytics
- Great for SEO
- Shipping module integration
- Payment module services
- Data migration
- Multi-currency support
- Open source
- Mobile-friendly configuration
- Can run multiple storefronts from a single backend system
- Powerful means to present the products
The process of designing and developing a Magento ecommerce website typically follows a strategic and systematic process. This is what a typical Magento project workflow will look like:
1. Discovery Phase
This is the stage where the Agency and the clients meet, and get to know one another. The objective is to learn more about the client’s business as well as identify the areas where the Agency can provide the most added value.
Deliverables: Establish goals and objectives and identify target market persona.
- Kickoff meeting
- Needs analysis
- Identify goals and deadlines
- Competitive analysis
- Establish goals and objectives
2. Strategy Phase
This stage involves collecting more information and using it to determine the best strategic approach to optimize the success of the new website.
Deliverables: Market intel, and best practices and creative strategies.
- Brainstorming sessions
- Scout for innovative ideas
- Research and market intel gathering
- Best practice recommendations
- Marketing and creative strategy
3. Planning Phase
At this stage, the tactical plans are derived, risks are identified, and timelines and milestones established.
Deliverables: Identify roles and responsibilities and begin executing on established tasks
- Blueprint and site map
- Establish milestones and timelines
- Assign tasks and responsibilities
4. Information Architecture Phase
This stage focuses on building the page layouts and navigation throughout the website. By conducting a thorough market study in the Discovery Stage, the client’s target market is identified, where then the website can truly be built with the target persona in mind. The Agency will typically go through a few rounds of UX/UI design iterations with the client.
Deliverables: The website mock-up framework that uses best practices in UX/UI design.
- User personas
- UI/UX Design
- User-Experience Creation
5. Design Phase
This is the final stage before the development and coding phase. It involves determining the voice, feel, and brand for each of the pages on your new website. It is critical that your website helps your business stand out from the competition, therefore this step will help ensure that your website speaks to your potential customers and helps them convert into sales for your business.
Deliverables: The finalized design is typically produced in a vector file format, which is then passed onto the developers to code the design into the website platform. The design vector file is the main deliverable from the Design Stage.
- Brand and look
- User interface design
- Page layouts
6. Development Phase
The initial part of the Development Stage involves setting up Hosting for your website – ideally a hosting platform that is optimized for a Magento website. Next, the finalized design from the Design Stage gets coded, typically in HTML, CSS, JS, Flash. The last part of the Development Stage involves rigorous QA testing to ensure that your website’s coding is clean and that it is optimized for all devices and browsers.
Deliverables: A coded website which has gone through rigorous QA testing.
- Hosting setup
- HTML/SCC/JS/Flash development
- Cross browser optimization
- Testing and QA
7. Integration Phase
At this stage, integrations with Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Point of Sale (POS) systems, shipping & logistics, and multi-currencies occur. Streamlining your business operations through integrations can help your business improve process efficiencies, as well as help save on time and money.
Deliverables: A fully integrated website that automates operational processes
- Cross platform logistics
- Existing software collaborations
- CRM, ERP, POS integrations
- API, EDI, SOAP, XML, Flat File, JSON
8. Launch Phase
It is at this Stage where a final testing, review, and approval process occurs prior to launching live. The Agency will typically provide website training and support for the client, thereafter.
Deliverables: Launch the new website and provide website training and support.
- Final testing and quality assurance
- Review and approval
- Launch process
- Training and support
9. Management Phase
After launching the new website, it’s important to continue to work with the Agency to ensure continued success. Updates, support, maintenance, and adding new features, are all part of the customer management stage. Professional product photography, performance optimization, data collection, and analysis from Google Analytics are additional value-added services that can help optimize online sales. Not all agencies provide these services, therefore it is important to work with an Agency that does to ensure guaranteed success.
Deliverables: Customer support and success.
- Performance optimization
- Magento support and maintenance
- New feature development
- Product photography
Webilize builds Magento eCommerce website with features that can streamline the purchasing, inventory, shipping, and accounting processes! https://www.webilize.com