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Lots of questions about Magento
Total Posts:  52
Joined:  2009-02-06

Right now we have a Magento-esque e-commerce provider whose name shall be withheld and a back-end order fulfillment service called OrderMotion. ECom handles all of the web admin and passes orders to Order Motion to be processed and fulfilled by our warehouse.

OrderMotion changed their pricing this year and, for us, that meant a TEN-FOLD increase in price. So we made the decision to ditch them and pick up an ERP to better suit our growing business. At this point, it’s likely to be Sage or SAP. With this came the opprotunity to ditch our current ECom Provider. They are TERRIBLE. Their design is horrible, we can’t change it, no new style sheets, no php, no jQuery- We can only add text. That’s it. Support is also horrible and their pricing just jumped. So! We’re essentially rebuilding our web empire from scratch and I want to make sure that it goes well.

Here are our major concerns: Integration with the ERP: It needs to be able to pass order data to the ERP for fulfillment. This is the alpha and omega. Does Magento have an API?

Second: Does Magento allow for jQuery/PHP inside of it’s templating? If not, Is it possible to sort of segment off part of the site so that the promo things are either handled “cold”, via handwritten code or another CMS like Joomla? We have several features (Store Locator and ECards) that would need to come with us.

Third: It looks like Magento’s templates are pretty flexible. Tell me more. I was excited to hop into Volusion’s templates, too, until I got a look at (GASP!) nested tables. Ugh.

Fourth: As far as customer data goes, our current e-commerce supplier provides us with 0 data about our customers. What we know comes in two parts: Web traffic data from Google Analytics and general order-metrics from OrderMotion. What this means is that I know that 7000 people looked at Product X yesterday and that 1000 of them ordered. But if Joe orders Product X, I have no idea what else he may have looked at. I have no idea what else people who ordered product X looked at. That data lives in two different places and never the twain shall meet. How much customer data does Magento hold onto? How does it report data?

Fifth!: With regards to customer problems, we have an 800 number and an e-mail address. Sometimes the Call Center needs to key in an order for a customer. Doing this via ERP can be expensive as we pay-by-user. Does Magento track enough customer order data to be able to alter or key-in orders outside on an ERP/back-end? Also, does Magento contain any kind of ticketing system for customer concerns? What’s the good word on CRM?

Sixth: E-mail marketing. Does Magento have it? Is there an additional cost? What’s the allotment per month? We have about 25k subscribers at the moment.

Also: Multiple Stores/Currencies- Doable? And e-mail marketing, is this in Magento?

I think those are the biggies. Our other option is Volusion- I was initially impressed, but I’m getting a little wary as I really get under the hood.

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Total Posts:  796
Joined:  2008-10-03

1. Yes. You can find details in the wiki
3. If you are starting from scratch I suggest using the “blank template” available in the connect as a starter. Also this is a good place to start learning
4. That information is available in Magento. You can play with the demo to get more specifics on what/how it is reported or check this link out. Another option may be something like Clicky which, unlike Google Analytics, provides user specific details
5. Yes. From the backend you can see users current shopping carts and wishlists as well
6. This depends on what you mean by e-mail marketing. Transactional e-mails and newsletters exist, but no auto-reponders.
7. Multiple Stores/Currencies, yes

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