June 6, 2016
by Lori Shecter

Comparing Magento to a SaaS E-Commerce Solution


We Are Immediate has developed e-commerce stores in both customized Magento (Seour Press Release) and Woo-Commerce, as well as Shopify and Big Commerce. People ask us what the difference is and there are a few. Here’s what you need to know:

1: Startup Costs: Costs to set-up an e-commerce store in Shopify or Big-Commerce are considerably less. If you have the time, and most people don’t, you can set it up yourself for free. The monthly charges range anywhere from $30 -$100 (on up) depending on the level of functionality. Your gateway and processing fees add an additional percentage per store. We Are Immediate sets up SaaS-based stores starting at $2500.

Magento, on the other hand, has significant start-up costs and most U.S. based developers (including us) won’t even consider taking on Magento development for less than $20,000. The majority of reputable Magento shops in the US start at $50K and up.

2: Ownership: The superiority of functionality, customization, and ownership can’t be replicated when you own the code, as is the case with Magento. With Shopify, Big Commerce, and other SaaS services, you are renting the code for a subscription fee.

3: Ease of Use: My opinion, as both a CEO and constant user of these content management systems is that Shopify and Big Commerce are easier to content manage than Magento. However, your developer can easily show you complete instructions and provide a video instruction manual on how to use Magento. The benefit of the SaaS services is that they come with 24 hour support, so, if you are like me, and want to do some work at midnight, well your support team is there.

4: Discounts and Coupons: Magento offers more robust discounting than Shopify. Magento also offers a greater range of functionality, for example: polls, surveys, coupons, and built-in newsletters. In addition, Magento has c with more out of the box analytics, better order inventory tools, and a larger range of browsing options.

5: Other Features: Magento has more robust starter elements and you have much greater control over the behavior of your store. Shopify developers create add-ons and plugins that cause your monthly subscription fee to sky-rocket.

6: SEO: Magento, Shopify, and Big Commerce all have respecitible SEO tools including meta tags, editable meta descriptions, and image and page title alt tags. They also offer a free customizable mobile app.

7: DESIGN: Shopify and Big Commerce both offer a lot of templates that are free, or you can purchase some pretty awesome ones for under $200. Magento doesn’t have great templates and will need to be customized by a development and design team like We Are Immediate. Here is one example of a custom Magento store designed and developed by We Are Immediate.

8: Payment Processing: Both Shopify and Big Commerce offer integration with up to 70 different processing companies. However, you will be sure to pay a pretty hefty processing fee from Shopify no matter which gateway you integrate with. With Magento, the processing fees that you incur will only be from your gateway and merchant services provide. But hey, that’s how SaaS companies make some of their revenue! Magento also integrates with more than enough processors via extensions and offers one-page checkout, that can improve shopping cart abandonment. You can also customize your checkout with Magento. Pretty cool.

9: Customer Service and Technical Support: The great thing about using a SaaS service is that some of them have 24/7 customer support – Shopify’s support is AMAZING. Magento on the other hand, owned by you– your support is your development team. It’s kind of like the difference between renting an apartment that has a super on the premises to fix everything, versus owning your own home and having to hire a plumber if there is a leak.

In the end, the decision needs to be based on:

  • Your budget
  • Your technical knowledge
  • Your future growth
  • How customizable you want your e-commerce website to be.
  • Your business function needs.


It’s not which e-commerce solution our team thinks is better, it’s which solution is best for your business. As your business grows, your technology needs might change. However, if you are just starting out with e-commerce, and don’t have a need for a customized solution, a SaaS service is fine. As your revenue increases , and you realize more customized needs that are not met by a SaaS service, Magento is the way to go.

April 11, 2016
by Lori Shecter

11 Reason why to use Magento as your e-commerce platform

magento e-commerce we are Immediate

What is Magento eCommerce?

Magento eCommerce is an innovative open-source eCommerce system created in PHP. Among its numerous other accolades, Magento has been voted the #1 eCommerce system in the Internet Retailer B2B 300 eCommerce guide, which features 41 eCommerce sellers who use what is the Magento eCommerce platform. Read on to discover why to use Magento eCommerce.

Why Use Magento eCommerce?

Powerful Features Including Inventory Management and Invoicing

The incredible functionality of Magento allows users to list up to a half-million items for sale on just a single web page! With multiple store management, you can control several web stores with just one installation, and items you sell on other domains all share the same admin dashboard for effortless monitoring of product sales. Catalog management enables you to create simple product groupings while establishing different prices for each item. There is also an automated function for resizing images which makes browsing easier for customers sorting through your items. You can manage all your inventory, invoices and buyer records from a single admin panel.

Coupon Codes

Magento eCommerce features allow you to easily design coupons and set up discount rules for increased future sales and customer retainment. Enable customers to use several coupons for one order and increase future profits when they return for more merchandise. Buyers can view which coupons they’ve used in the shopping cart, and the used coupon codes are also viewable in both the admin panel and in the consumer’s account.

Easy to Sell

Although a number or content management systems like WordPress offer eCommerce functions, they aren’t built exclusively for that purpose like Magento sites. That’s the reason Magento stands above WordPress with WooCommerce and Drupal with Drupal Commerce packages. This internet commerce system comes pre-installed with all the functions and specifications required to organize an operating eCommerce website and get items listed quicker and easier than ever before.

Completely Customizable

Because of Magento’s open system structure, a Magento professional can help customers develop attractive and personalized user experiences depending on the kind of access devices they’re using. It is even possible to include personalized back-end workflows to satisfy particular company requirements. Magento is truly a modular eCommerce solution that gives you total control over the way you want your website to look and function.

Hundreds of Themes

Magento sites come with a huge assortment of impressive Magento eCommerce themes to choose from. These themes are developed to wow your prospective customers and highlight your merchandise in an enticing manner. All Magento eCommerce themes are designed with an emphasis on style and functionality. There are literally hundreds of themes to pick from for any category of web store, including art, animals, cars, clothing, design, electronics, food, jewelry, medical, real estate, sports, and much more.

Responsive Functionality

In terms of page loading speed, processing time and other functionality variables, Magento eCommerce features beat those offered by competitors. Even the slightest delay in handling user requests can destroy an eCommerce site’s ability to turn guest browsers into customers. Magento’s top quality caching solutions like Varnish and various other DB optimization strategies ensure lightning fast response time on eCommerce sites.

You Own It

There are several advantages to owning your eCommerce website as opposed to renting it. If you are the site owner, you have more leverage concerning its appearance, functionality, and other variables. An additional advantage of owning your eCommerce site is that it cuts costs in the long run. With a Magento website, there is no need to be concerned about paying a contracted monthly lease.

Robust Reporting

The best way to make effective business choices on a regular basis is to base them on facts. Always having access to dependable data takes the guesswork out of the picture, conserves a lot of time, and enables you to monitor the results of applied changes.
Magento’s eCommerce features for extracting and managing store information present a clear picture of your store metrics. Whether you need an assembled list of featured items, advice on the best times to engage social media, or prompt notification of inventory shortages, Magento’s reporting element provides all the pertinent information and helps to circumvent an array of management concerns.

Easily Scalable for All Sizes

Magento is ideal for all eCommerce businesses, both small and large, because it expands in tandem with your company. No matter what type of eCommerce functions or improvements you need, Magento will be there to provide them. This is why countless Fortune 500 businesses (most of which have rather sophisticated eCommerce functions) use Magento currently.

Excellent Support

Magento provides a stockpile of step-by-step instructions and reference material to our customers, all created by our network of skilled authors. Support options include best practice tips for servers and hosts, clean installations of Magento, and troubleshooting of active installations or downloads. Troubleshooting procedures include the diagnosis and repair of any performance or graphics issues in the Magento package. We also help you to set up Magento so that it’s optimized for all languages, payment processors, shipping options, tax fees, and more.

Huge Developer Community

Because it’s an open source technology, there’s an enormous community of developers all over the world studying and improving it every single day, which includes making sure that the eCommerce system is fast, protected, and properly updated. Our customers can easily network with other Magento users in order to share tips, techniques, and other valuable information, which in turn helps to improve the way the Magento eCommerce system functions for all users.

March 22, 2016
by Lori Shecter

These 10 Tips will make your Magento e-Commerce website ROCK!

discover magento

But first, what is Magento?

Magento is an e-commerce platform that is used by millions of online entrepreneurs fromall over the world. Magento offers an amazing experience that allows you to sell online, track orders, integrate with accounting systems such as Quick books, integrate with POS systems and payment gateways, as well as manage your inventory, print shipping labels and much more.

The reason that there are so many online shopping sites using this using this open source content management system, is because it’s specifically designed for e-commerce. In order to make your Magento website the best it can be, we’ve compiled these 10 Magento Tips. These Magento development best practices will help you build a website that help build your business and making costly mistakes.

Tips for a high-quality Magento e-commerce site

1:  Choose the correct theme– A theme is different than complete customized work, because some of the development is already completed, thus reducing the time and the cost of development. Choosing the wrong them is a mistake that a lot of developers make. Everything may appear fine at the beginning, but it is after stress testing that problems occur.

 How to ensure correct theme selection:

  • Understand the business goal
  • Identify plans for growth
  • Understand the size of the business, category and product amounts.

Some Magento themes work well for small websites that only have a few products, but are a bad choice for those that have hundreds of items listed across different categories. If the Magento themes that are currently available don’t suit your needs, hire a Magento development professional to create one for you. A custom-made theme will also have the advantage of ensuring that your site’s look and feel is truly unique.

Fast Theme Files: This means that your page loads super fast. Not only is this good for user experience, Google has defined fast website loading as one of the primary keys to help your site get a good Google grade.

2: Define your user experience – from search, to add to cart, to check out. A good user experience will help increase sales from your store and avoid shopping cart abandonment. If your store is not easy to use, than it will act as a sales killer, not a sales builder. User experience is defined prior to graphic design and development with a UX expert and wireframes.

3: Make sure that your Magento store is responsive. Over 50% of all e-commerce occurs via mobile devices. In addition, Google now penalizes website that are not mobile friendly. Make sure that your e-commerce website is mobile!

4: Design: Your graphic design should reflect your brand and help prospective buyers to understand who you are, what your product is, and what they can expect from your company. Remember perception is reality, so if you don’t have kick apps design, you could be turning off potential shoppers. This means that you need to have great category pages, great product pages and most of all, GREAT IMAGES. Don’t spend money on development, only to end up with blurry product shots.

Magento Design

5: Site Structure and Navigation: One of the primary reasons why online shoppers leave an online store to go look elsewhere is because of poor site navigation. Any expert in Magento development will tell you that making your site easy to navigate for users should be the number one priority when you design an online store.

Some visitors may arrive at your homepage, while others may get to product pages directly form search engine results and links on other websites. All of your users should be able to browse your website easily and access all of your products. Every item that you sell should be neatly categorized so that users are able to find what they need. Few people want to spend half an hour just trying to find a product that they want on a website. If they can’t quickly get to what they want, there is a high chance that they will just leave.


Magento Store

6: Sell, sell, sell! Make sure that your Magento store easily allows you to have items on sale, feature offers, discount codes, coupons and more.

7: Search Engine Optimization: Your Magento store should be build with great SEO. You web developer and content manager need to ensure that your h1 tags, h3 tags, meta data, and URL structure is properly optimized.

8: Use a dedicated or cloud server to manage site performance
While an online store that uses Magento can technically run on a shared server, doing so is not recommended. Unlike a WordPress blog, an online store powered by Magento will use a lot of resources. Your site might work fine on a shared hosting account if you only get a handful of visitors a day at most. Anything more and your visitors will get a poor experience. A better idea is to get a VPS, dedicated or cloud server that provides support for PHP and MySQL.

9: Don’t Modify the Code
As Magento is an open source ecommerce platform, its codebase can be edited by anyone. Avoid modifying code base unless you have absolutely no other choice to make your online store work the way you want it to. Modifying the code has the potential of causing issues should you install extensions or upgrade Magento to a newer version.

10: Installing third-party extensions may also cause problems in certain situations. Therefore, you should always ensure that any extensions that you use are compatible with your version of Magento. Any extension that you don’t need and don’t plan on using should be deleted.

If you need help with a Magento based website, please let us know. Take a look at our latest Magento release!


Magento Ecommerce