In the cloud and managed hosting era, every popular ecommerce product requires its own store or market. Such marketplaces encourage sharing of new services, features and extensions, while providing a focal point for vendors and clients to meet.
Magento’s new marketplace is now open for business. It has a host of extensions, store themes, integration tools and service partner deals to help ecommerce sites build up their offerings and customize products to better match their needs, and those of their users. The new store was the topic of much discussion at the recent Magento Developers Paradise event.
It joins the likes of Elastic Search Stack v5.0, which also recently combined and refined its products, and now offers packs of tools to users. These help to create a more refined, seamless experience and a more developer and operator-friendly environment, promoting the overall ecosystem, which is also more saleable to new clients.
Previously, developers had to know where to look for some Magento features. But as with any app store, features and products now benefit from easier discoverability and users will have more confidence in adopting Magento.
Welcome to the Store
The Magento Marketplace , also known as Connect, is well laid out to promote the more popular products and services, but offers improved search to help users find a particular feature or extension. With so many Magento developers out there, the service section allows users to find local or global partners to help them manage their sites and stores.
As with all good stores, there’s a ratings system to help highlight the best-in-class products and service providers, while those with lower scores should be able to respond to criticism and improve their products or help users with additional support.
The new Marketplace site features a customer experience section with social, imagery, sales model, checkout and other tools. There are also sections dedicated to site management, integration, marketing, utilities and themes. Sections for the highest rated and newest products will help users find the key tools to improve their Magento sites, and there’s a filter for the Enterprise or the Community edition, depending on which version you use.
The Future for Magento
With virtual reality the talk of tech sites this year, expect the Magento Marketplace to soon be bustling with VR features and extensions to encourage virtual stores, avatars and other enhancements. These should help drive stores to new levels of interaction as end users get into VR via their PCs, consoles and mobile devices.
Similarly, as new social media platforms bubble up, store owners will want to leverage these fast moving trends and be able to integrate and connect. Whatever the next WhatsApp or SnapChat success story is, stores and brands will want to be involved.
The Magento Marketplace will make it easy to find these next-generation tools and get them running on stores, quickly and easily. Even if you don’t need endless extensions, we can help you improve your store’s visibility with a range of tips and advice, such as creating search engine-friendly URLs.
Cool Cloud Tools Outside Magento
Even with all these features, and integration with the likes of Drupal, WordPress and eBay, there are some things that Magento doesn’t offer. The new marketplace lacks features such as time management solutions like Mitrefinch to help manage staff hours and attendance.
There’s also little in the way of quality collaboration tools like Knotable that you can use to gather a distributed workforce and plan and arrange projects. Perhaps these or similar tools will soon filter into the Magento Marketplace to help better manage a growing business and improve how teams perform and tasks are managed.
As businesses continue to expand their Magento footprint, expect more and more products to link into the ecosystem, to help provide a more rounded experience. Whatever your managed hosting needs, Cloudways has the expertise and experience to get your business flying. To see where Magento is going, check out the interview with a lead developer for the platform, Dusan Lukic.