2017-10

What is Magento 2 and why should you care?

by Sam Elliott
 | 
30 October 2017
What is Magento 2?
What is this new eCommerce platform Magento 2 and how does it compare to Magento 1? Netstarter’s Sam Elliott explains.

Magento 1 users, the end is nigh! 

Ok, the online retail world is making a big fuss over the Magento 2 platform. And maybe you’ve been chugging along just fine with Magento 1 or another product. Maybe the idea of switching is a bit daunting after all the effort you’ve put into your current platform.

But since we launched the first Magento 2 website globally in November 2015, the fussing hasn’t gone away. It’s gotten louder. So, what do you need to know about Magento 2?


What’s the deal with Magento?

The Magento hype is hard to beat. It’s an eCommerce platform favourite among retailers all over the world, who get top performance at a competitive price. It can be run as an open-source technology and as a commercial platform, either on a local server or in the Cloud. 

And now that Magento 2 is available, it is making good on years of learnings and success with Magento 1. The Magento team understands what extensions will streamline the customer experience and what features help merchants complete sales and has built these into the updated platform. 


Magento 2: room to grow

The bottom line? Magento 1 did not have the core speed to keep up with the future of online sales as merchants outgrow the platform. Therefore, Magento 2 has amped up the features for your business to expand.

What does Magento 2 offer?

  • It remains flexible. Magento’s cornerstone is the ability to create the unique experience of your store for customers.

  • It is fully supported. Upgrades and fixes have all but ceased on the old platform.

  • It is faster. Magento 2’s modern technology offers superior speeds.

  • It has integrated features. Some of the best extensions in Magento 1 have been brought in house for a streamlined experience.

  • It is built for growth. Magento 2 has new B2C and B2B features.

Features at a glance

Support

If you’re still on the old platform, you’ll notice that Magento has stopped basic support in order to concentrate on Magento 2. If you want full support, you’ll need to migrate your website to the new platform. 

New features in Magento 2 make it easier to maintain and upgrade your eCommerce platform. The modular architecture and coding structures give the platform a whole new capacity for growth as you adapt your eCommerce needs to the market.

Speed

No one wants to wait for a page to load. Not the user uploading new items to the store, not the customers trying to enter their payment details. Faster performance facilitates sales and promotes search engine optimisation. 

Estimates place Magento 2 running around 20 per cent faster than its predecessor. Server side changes allow rich content to render faster and therefore it is faster to create new products in the store, while checkout renders more efficiently. 

Netstarter's Guide to Magento 2

Integrated features

In the beginning, merchants had to build their own basic features, for instance, employing a coding company to create drag-and-drop options, or make the website mobile-friendly. Partner companies sprouted up to fill those gaps, creating popular extensions.

Magento has paid attention, making many those features available out-of-the-box in Magento 2 and partnering with hosts such as BlueFoot and PayPal. 

Unfortunately, you can’t bring existing extensions over from Magento 1, and not every extension has been integrated into the new platform. For more essential extensions, Netstarter has you covered.

The Netstarter Stack

Luckily, Netstarter has been working with the Magento 2 platform since the beginning. We’ve scouted out the features that our Australian and New Zealand merchants can’t live without and bundled them into our Netstarter Stack. 

To make your Magento 2 migration as easy as possible, the Netstarter Stack features eight essential modules to minimise any disruptions to business: 

The Netstarter stack includes:

  • SEO configuration that functions on installation to prevent a loss of traffic to your site
  • Optimised checkout with mobile input fields, post-checkout survey, fraud protection and more
  • Multi-select attribute swatch to filter products according to, for instance, colour and style
  • ElasticSearch to enable search suggestions and suggested products
  • Store locator
  • Postcode auto-complete
  • Address auto-complete
  • FAQ manager creation

Growth in the B2B space

Powered by enhanced speed and agility, your business grows faster.

Merchants can now promote and fill orders in the B2B market. With its commercial edition, the new B2B function handles quote requests, creates ordering shortcuts and facilitates re-ordering. 

Changes to the way accounts are run now give more power to a merchant to set limits on how much a commercial customer can purchase, or create personalised catalogues for customers in different industries.


It’s time to migrate to Magento 2.

Soon, Magento 1 will no longer receive support. That means no new features or security patches, in fact no new development has been done on Magento 1 by Magento since 2015. 

No more upgrades. So what is holding you back? 

Yes, it’s going to take some planning to make the jump to Magento 2 a smooth one. But, the new platform is going to perform better for you and your customers. Find out how in our next blog instalment.

For more information on Magento 2 and how Netstarter can help you migrate, email contact@netstarter.com or call 1300 725 628. Or, visit the Netstarter website here.

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About the author
Sam Elliott
eCommerce Consultant, Netstarter

For the last 10 years Sam's experience has been layered in leading partnerships with preeminent Retailers and B2B players across both the UK and Australia. The keystone to his value lies in balancing the translation of a brand's identity and vision with industry best practice and technical know-how, to drive ROI enabling ecommerce investment.

More articles by Sam Elliott