Magento Ecommerce Explained: The Basics You Need To Know

Get to know the basics of Magento, which companies use it and reasons you should too.

Magento Ecommerce Explained

Magento Ecommerce Explained

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BuiltWith ranks Magento ecommerce as one of the three leading technologies used by the top 1 million ecommerce websites. Some of the largest global enterprises such as P&G, Ford, and Coca-Cola use Magento to power their online operations.

And it’s no surprise why.

Magento offers unrivalled ecommerce functionality and unparalleled customizability. It comes in two editions that make it accessible to businesses of all sizes.

Whether you’re a small business on a budget or an enterprise with advanced needs, Magento can help you succeed at online commerce.

Want to learn how?

Here’s everything you need to know about the Magento ecommerce platform, including:

What Is Magento Ecommerce?

Magento Editions Explained

Five Reasons To Use Magento for Ecommerce

Top 5 Companies Using Magento in 2022

Magento: Ecommerce Simplified

What Is Magento Ecommerce?

What is Magento?

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Magento is an ecommerce software that provides online merchants with a comprehensive set of tools to build and run online stores. It’s written in PHP and uses several open-source technologies such as MySQL, Varnish, Elasticsearch, and Composer.

Magento is currently offered in two editions: Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce. The open-source version packages digital commerce functionality such as customer, catalog, and order management. 

And the premium version, Adobe Commerce, is a cloud-based solution that offers features such as AI-powered store personalisation, advanced B2B functionality, and integrated global cloud hosting.

What sets Magento apart from ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce is that it offers a modular and extensible codebase. You have complete control over the source code of your online store and can add any functionality you need to grow your business.

Magento Editions Explained

What are the versions of Magento?

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Whether you’re looking to get your business off the ground or expand internationally, Magento offers everything you need in two user-friendly editions. Let’s explore both Magento ecommerce editions to understand what they offer.

Magento Open Source

Magento Open Source (OS) is the free version of Magento licensed and distributed under the Open Software License 3.0. This license provides you with royalty-free, non-exclusive access to download, use, modify, and even redistribute its source code.

Magento OS packs essential commerce functionality needed to operate an online store such as:

  • An extensible codebase.
  • Reliable catalog management.
  • Robust order management.
  • Powerful marketing.
  • SEO-friendly product templates.
  • Integrated one-page checkout, payment, and shipping.
  • Mobile optimised frameworks.
  • WYSIWYG Page Builder.
  • PWA support.
  • Easy integrations
  • Thousands of add on extensions 

It gives you more features than most other SaaS platforms on the market. And what it doesn’t provide natively, it lets you add using extensions courtesy of its modular architecture.

The open-source version of Magento allows merchants to build feature-rich, flexible, and scalable online stores on a budget. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

As a Magento OS user, you don’t have access to official application support or managed Magento hosting. Although Adobe provides helpful tips to guide you, you’ll need to host, optimize, and secure the application yourself.

Moreover, you need technical proficiency to build and manage a Magento store. Everything from installing extensions and themes to upgrading the Magento ecommerce application requires familiarity with using the command-line interface (CLI).

But if these limitations aren’t deal-breakers for you, Magento OS is one of the best ways to build an online store capable of scaling with your ecommerce business. There is also a huge ecosystem of developers, agencies and consultants who can help you build, manage and grow your Magento store. Magento is great for creating tailored user shopping experiences online and adding value to your brand and products. If your website is a key part of your user conversion journey and you rely on it to increase your value and embed your brand there is no better option than Magento. If however, you need a simple, low maintenance online store to allow users to select products and complete transactions without much value add or brand shopping experience then Shopify could be a better option for you. If you’re considering Shopify speak to the people over at Hydrogen agency.

Adobe Commerce

Adobe Commerce is a PaaS (platform as a service) offering that adds advanced ecommerce features, cloud hosting, and technical support to the open-source Magento ecommerce platform. It gives you ready access to an all-in-one ecommerce solution that simplifies selling online.

You get everything offered with Magento OS, plus:

  • Cloud hosting.
  • PCI compliance.
  • B2B functionality.
  • Advanced marketing features.
  • Content staging.
  • Visual merchandising.
  • Customer segmentation.
  • AI-powered product recommendations.
  • Web application firewall.
  • Advanced monitoring and reporting tools.
  • Technical support.

B2B, B2C, or D2C, no matter your business model, Adobe Commerce gives you everything you need to succeed online. It lets you enjoy the user-friendly features of the core Magento application without worrying about hosting, optimizing, or securing it.

Adobe Commerce also gives you access to Adobe Sensei, an AI-powered technology that provides customers with personalized product recommendations and automates content creation, catalog management, and data analysis. There are also lot’s of built in advanced features such as promotion scheduling. 

This makes Adobe Commerce one of the most advanced ecommerce platforms on the market.

The Adobe Commerce Cloud Pro license starts at approximately £50,000 per month (billed annually). Adobe calculates Magento pricing based on the average order value and annual gross merchandise value of the business.

Five Reasons To Use Magento for Ecommerce

There are over 130 ecommerce solutions on the market today. Choosing one can be challenging with so many options on offer.

To simplify this decision, here are five reasons why you should choose the Magento ecommerce platform for your online business.

1. It Has a Scalable Architecture

Magento scaleable architecture

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The concept of modularity is central to Magento’s development. Its core functions, such as shipping, invoicing, and marketing, are packed into isolated modules and bundled together as the Magento ecommerce application.

This approach reduces complex dependencies between functions and makes the architecture highly customisable. You can add or edit its core functionality without risking the integrity of the entire codebase.

Magento’s modular architecture has fueled the rise of a thriving ecosystem of themes and extensions. It empowers merchants to customise their online store’s appearance and functionality without learning code. Because of the Magento ecosystem people are always moving the solution forward and are innovating on the frontline of Ecommerce to be part of Magento is to be part of an ecosystem of developers, strategists and designers all working to keep Magento one step ahead of the competition. 

2. It Has a Versatile Catalog

Magento catalog

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Magento supports seven unique product types out of the box, including:

  1. Simple product.
  2. Configurable product.
  3. Grouped product.
  4. Virtual product.
  5. Bundle product.
  6. Downloadable product.
  7. Gift Cards (Adobe Commerce only. *Although there are extensions/plugins available on the free open source version that will give you this feature).

What makes Magento’s catalog unique is that, in theory, it can handle an unlimited number of products. It’s only limited by the underlying hosting infrastructure.

The Magento ecommerce catalog functionality simplifies product creation with an intuitive product creation template. Moreover, it even lets you manage inventory from multiple sources and integrate with leading ERP systems easily.

Additionally, Adobe Commerce offers integrated B2B catalog management features such as Company Accounts, Shared Catalogs, and Requisitions Lists. These features make the B2B selling experience seamless.

3. It’s SEO-friendly

Magento SEO

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Magento ticks all the boxes of an SEO-friendly ecommerce platform. Its default product template contains markup based on standards. This ensures product listings display with rich snippets on search engine result pages without any additional configuration.

It also gives you complete control over your site metadata. You can customize the metadata for each product individually or use global placeholders to automate metadata generation without using a Magento SEO extension.

Magento also lets you configure canonical meta tags from the admin panel to help search engines index pages with identical content correctly. It includes an inbuilt sitemap and robots.txt support so you can use search engine crawl budgets efficiently.

4. It’s Secure 

Magento security

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Adobe handles PCI compliance for Adobe Commerce users. It integrates payment gateways such as Braintree and PayPal that handle card data to simplify PCI compliance for Magento OS users.

Both Magento OS and Adobe Commerce encrypt all store-related data for maximum security. They use an industry-standard AES-256 algorithm to encrypt sensitive data such as customer and payment information and SHA-256 to hash all other data.

They also use strict content security policies to prevent clickjacking and cross-site scripting attacks. This protects your store and its customers from common card skimming exploits.

Magento periodically releases free SUPEE patches and version upgrades for both the paid and free version to ensure that your site is stable, secure and protected. You will need a developer to install theses for you so a support plan with someone like VIXXR is advisable! 

5. It’s Future-ready

Magento is a futurecapable platform

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One of the most underrated features of the Magento ecommerce application is the Magento web API framework. It ensures the platform can transform effortlessly from a monolithic ecommerce platform to a decoupled headless solution.

Ecommerce industry experts believe headless commerce is the future of online selling. Adobe prepares you for this future with a powerful API and gives you the tools you need to build a Progressive Web Application with Magento.

Magento ensures your online business is prepared for the future no matter what it holds.

Top 5 Companies Using Magento in 2022

  1. Ford
  2. Coca-Cola
  3. P&G
  4. Jaguar Land Rover
  5. HP

Magento’s versatility allows businesses across industries and verticals to leverage it for online growth. Here are the top five companies using Magento in 2022.


Ford, one of the top automakers worldwide, uses Magento for its D2C website. It retails accessories globally by leveraging Magento’s personalisations. You only need to select your automobile’s make and model, and the website automatically recommends the best accessories for your vehicle.


Coca-Cola, one of the world’s biggest beverage companies, uses Magento to sell collectibles online. It uses Magento’s ecommerce marketing features to offer rewards programs and leverages its Gift Card product type for promotions.


P&G, one of the world’s largest consumer goods (CPG) companies, uses Magento to build and grow its diverse distribution network. It leverages Magento’s B2B features such as company accounts, shared catalogs, and ERP integrations to power its distribution portal for retailers.

Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover, a UK-based luxury automobile manufacturer, uses Magento to sell accessories and collectibles for its global fan base. It uses Magento features like order tracking, one-page checkout, and search terms to provide customers with a user-friendly shopping experience.


HP, a renowned multinational technology company, uses Magento to power its online operations in the Asia-Pacific region. It uses Magento’s In-store Delivery feature to offer Click and Collect across 600 stores in India.

Magento: Ecommerce Simplified

Magento makes it easy to start an online store VS building a custom solution from the ground up. It gives you essential commerce functionality in its open-source version and provides advanced features with Adobe Commerce so you can design unique shopping experiences for your customers. It’s the best option for companies who prioritise personalised online shopping experiences who want complete control over the look and feel, features and integrations. Magento enables you to pioneer your Ecommerce business around your needs and the ecosystem of talented people who support it can help you build anything you can imagine.

Whether you’re selling locally or globally, Magento makes it easy for you to scale your business and expand into new markets. Its extensible codebase ensures you’re always at 

the forefront of innovation with personalised shopping experiences.

The Magento ecommerce platform offers limitless possibilities. All you need is a reliable Magento agency to realize its potential.

More questions? Book a free consultation with a VIXXR Magento solution specialist below. We can help you understand the total cost of ownership of Magento, put together a requirements document and provide you with quotes and timelines.