Magento – The Story Behind the Most Popular E-Commerce Solution

Magento – The Story Behind the Most Popular E-Commerce Solution

Andy Holland

Magento is the world’s chief open-source e-commerce platform. It provides industry-leading solutions to some of the biggest retailers and brands on earth. No other platform has the potential, nor the tools, to compete with this GIANT successor.

But how did Magento reach such a prestigious position of success and dominance?

It all began with an Idea…

Roy Rubin is the CEO and founder of Magento. As a student, Roy found himself in financial trouble. He needed to make some extra money on the side to support his student lifestyle, and he needed to make it fast.

With years of experience in engineering and development behind him, Roy used his skills to identify a growing need for an online platform that would leverage open source technology in the right way. So, he put his mind to work and started his first company, Varien.

What is Varien?

Varien is the company behind Magento. At first, it provided bespoke web applications and content management systems to online merchants. Roy admits that in the beginning, he had no clear “master plan”. At times, the road to success seemed long and almost impossible. However, he never gave up on his dream and realised that he had to be 100% focused on succeeding. It was this inner drive to prosper that pushed Roy to work hard and stay motivated.

The Growth of Magento

Magento began its development back in 2007. After carrying out a great deal of research, Roy’s company detected a number of existing problems. E-commerce platforms lacked the necessary tools and expertise to provide solutions to these problems. Thus, they were unable to satisfy their customers. This resulted in many online retailers choosing to leave their current platform in search for something far greater.

Magento Development Process

Back in the early days of Magento, Roy’s developers were keen to try something new. They grew tired of the same old workload and felt as though it no longer challenged their intellect. In other words, they were bored. Upon hearing this, Roy decided to set them a new challenge. He gave them a deadline and asked them to get started on a brand-new project. This secret project would later be revealed as Magento.

However, the team had a huge obstacle standing in their way. They lacked the finances necessary to develop such an intricate software and platform. The solution was to find a trustworthy investor who believed in the project as much as they did. The light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be in the form of a fifty-cent AdWords advertisement. Varien had just landed its biggest client that eventually went on to fund Magento.

After a period of development, trial and error, Magento was released on August 31st, 2008. This was exactly one year after the public beta version of Magento was released. Large companies, with even larger budgets, soon flocked to Magento. They came in search for an open source e-commerce platform that would exceed their expectations and this is exactly what they found.

E-Bay Buys Magento

With a thriving community of over 150,000 developers, it wasn’t long before the platform grabbed the attention of eBay. E-bay first announced its interest back in February 2011, when it purchased 49% ownership of Varien.

Of course, once the giant e-commerce store got a taste of what Varien had to offer, it wasn’t long before eBay became the full owner of Magento. Now, that’s not to say the original members of the Magento team were pushed aside. In fact, many of the original developers of the platform, including Roy Rubin, are still active members of the Magento team today.

Magento and PayPal

Once eBay retained complete ownership, Magento grew even larger. The most obvious reason for this sudden growth is the fact that eBay owns PayPal and online retailers love PayPal. This isn’t a huge surprise, since PayPal provides a smooth and secure payment solution. As the world’s largest and most trusted third-party payment provider, businesses that use PayPal often see an increase in buyer confidence and experience higher conversion rates.

Why Choose Magento?

So, now that you have a better understanding of Magento and its roots, it’s time to consider what this leading commerce platform can do for your business.

Since customer behaviour and buying patterns are always changing, you need an e-commerce platform that can keep up with these changes. This agile open source platform has a growing network of over 300+ solution partners. Magento strives (and succeeds) in boosting your online conversions, helping you to increase sales and maximise gross margins.

Magento and the Online Shopper

As an online business owner, providing your customers with a flawless shopping experience should be one of your top priorities. If your website is difficult to navigate and fails to offer a personalised experience to your customers, you will lose them.

Magento offers a platform that is both flexible and adaptable. You can build an entire website with Magento. It even has its own complete content management system that can give CMS WordPress a run for its money.

One of the most difficult aspects of sustaining a successful online store is integration and customisation. Magento offers various editions. These include the Enterprise Editions (including the Enterprise Cloud) and the Community edition. Each option allows online retailers to customise their online store exactly how they want to. For example, you can add specialised extensions and choose from a huge range of possible themes that reflect your brand perfectly. This gives the user complete control without limitation.

What does the Future hold for Magento?

Magento never slows down. It is admired for its flexibility and innovative services. The future looks incredibly bright for this company, who regularly hosts online webinars, interesting events and business conferences throughout the year. This is a great opportunity to tune in and network with other like-minded individuals.

Magento is constantly improving its services. From releasing new extensions to providing more innovative enterprises to its clients, the potential for this leading commerce platform is truly limitless.

Want to know what the future holds for Magneto? Watch this space.