Magento GO Review

Magento GO

Today we review the recently released Magento GO platform. It was early 2011 when the popular shopping cart platform Magento came out with their Hosted version called “Magento GO”.

Magento has been huge for several years and gained a lot of traffic and users worldwide based on their Community edition. For several years Magento has only been available as a Download and available on 3 levels: Enterprise, Professional, and Community editions. Their Community edition being their Open Source (free) platform available as a download which you can then upload and install into your own server.

Now, Magento surprised the community with a new Hosted version of their platform earlier last year and it is called “Magento GO” edition. They currently offer a 30 day free trial with no credit card required so we took it for a spin and put it to the test!

Better than Magento GO

Signing up was super easy and quick. We chose to add the sample products so we could have something to play with from the get go.

The signup process guides you through a wizard to setup basic information like Store Name, Address, Contact Information, and such. Once you are finished you are then directed to your Dashboard.

We really like the fact that you can set your store’s language with 4 options to choose from: German, English, Spanish, French, and Dutch.
Magento GO LanguageThe above options set both, your storefront and your back-end (admin area) on the language of your preference. Quite impressed to be honest! Now… what if you want to target a Spanish speaking market but run your admin area in English? Well, Magento GO lets you choose a different language for your Control Panel! So you can work in English and sell in… lets say German. Once again, you have the same 4 options to choose from:
Magento GO Language 2

Design

Choosing our base template was not hard at all, considering they only provide you with 6 options. We kind of expected more options but it was OK for testing purposes.

Customizing our store is where we started to get a bit disappointed. There is no access to the HTML source code of your store, so you really are very limited on what you can do. Yes, there is access to the CSS files, in the sense that you can download the files, edit them, then re-upload but even this is not very user-friendly. Magento GO does come with a “drag-N-drop” editor where you can move blocks and place them where you need them but doesn’t have nearly the flexibility of other shopping cart platforms in this area; which bring us to the next point…

No FTP Access

Unfortunately, with Magento GO, you don’t get access to your store via FTP; so you can not upload files or images this way.

Currency Conversion

Magento GO comes pre-integrated with tons of worldwide currencies. You can choose as many currencies for your store as you like. We tested 7 of them (US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Brazilian Real, Cuban Peso, Indonesian Rupiah, Japanese Yen, and Mexican Peso). This software comes also pre-integrated with an online service that will pull real-time conversion rates for your store so you don’t have to be searching for them all over the web. Once you select the currencies, apply the conversions, and enable currencies on your store, your visitors will be able to change currency prices on the store from a drop down menu on the top right corner of your website.

Real-Time Active Shopping Carts

Another feature we liked was the Real-Time Active Shopping Carts report that you can access from your Control Panel. This report will show you active shopping carts in your store with total amounts and products. Kind of basic information and you really can’t do anything with it other than see it come and go. It would be great if you could push a notification to the visitor and help the conversion process, but you can not do this at this time.

Branding

Removing the Magento branding from the front-end of your store is very simple. Just find the setting under System / Configuration / Design and go to Footer. Then just remove the text that says “Magento” and you are good to go.

Scattered Options

Something we did not like has to do with Design and it is just hard to find how to customize the storefront from the Control Panel. Options and settings seem to be scattered around in different places like for example: There is a main Design tab on the Control Panel but to edit the Footer text you need to navigate to System / Configuration / Design and go to Footer; it would just be easier if it was all under the Design tab. Also setting up currencies you need to go to System / Configuration / Currency Setup but then go to System / Manage Currency Rates to set rates and activate them. Again, much easier if it was all in one place.

Payment GatewaysMagento GO Payment Gateways

Magento GO offers integration with your basic payment gateways. We were surprised to see so very few options from the control panel:

  • PayPal
  • Ogone Direct Link
  • Check / Money Order
  • Zero Subtotal Checkout
  • Purchase Order
  • PSI Gate
  • Sage Pay Direct
  • Authorize.net
  • iPagare
  • Card Gate Plus
  • Paybox Direct
  • eWay Direct
  • Cybersource (SOAP Toolkit)
  • Payone.de

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Bulk Upload of Products

Our worst experience was uploading products. We decided to upload a CSV file from our testing computer (a MacBook Pro) and went to System / Import-Export / Import which should really be under the tab Catalogue / Manage Products in our opinion. Anyways… we tried uploading a simple CSV file and came up with an error message “Column names has duplicates” which we verified and there were no duplicates on the columns. We then headed over to the Magento GO community website and there were several complaints about this issue. We tried some of the methods suggested by the Magento GO employees but no luck. So then we decided to Export the current product CSV which worked fine for Export but then we deleted all the products in the store and tried uploading the CSV file we Exported and… No Luck… again. After all the tests we were NOT able to import our product database to Magento GO. You may find the thread on their Community page here.

Our Overall Experience: Disappointing

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Closing Notes:

Although a promising platform with a very BIG name, we were NOT SATISFIED with this shopping cart. It has some nice features like multi-currency and multi-language which can come in very handy but it lacks on very important aspect such as Customization and Bulk Upload.

We really hope they incorporate more Template options in the near future. Their current layouts and designs are very limited.

This platform would work well for a small start-up company who doesn’t mind adding products manually and who is fine with basic template design.

Additional Information

There is no drop-shipping configuration options
There is no Social Shopping integration
This platform is PCI certified
No mobile shopping


Read the BigCommerce 7 Review or Read the 3dCart Review.


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