Magento 2 was released in 2015, and is delivering on it’s promise of being a much improved and optimized version of the Magento 1 platform. Magento 2’s improved performance and new features provide your customers with a faster, easier shopping experience.
Magento 1 will continue to be officially supported with security issues patched until November 2018, although no new features will be added. This means that if you are making major changes to your Magento store, you should seriously consider upgrading to Magento 2 as part of those changes. In this document, we will outline some of the major benefits of Magento 2 that you can instantly take advantage of once you upgrade that make the costs of doing so well worth it.
Magento 2 was redesigned with performance in mind. Page loads in Magento 2 are 30% to 50% faster. Studies show that Magento 2 can handle up to 39% more orders per hour with 66% faster add-to-cart times than Magento 1 and with the proper hosting setup can deliver nearly instant server response times for catalog browsing. Performance that fast means more user interaction with your site, more products added to your site’s cart, and more sales with fewer abandoned carts.
The comparison shopping site Shopzilla saw a 25% increase in page views and a 9.5% increase in revenue after moving to Magento 2 with Varnish.
Magento 2’s better functionality means it can also handle more traffic. Magento 2 can manage 10 million page views an hour; Magento 1 can only process 200,000. At checkout, Magento 2 CE can handle 50,000 orders an hour; Magento 2 EE handles 90,000 in the same time.
How does Magento 2 provide such an improvement in performance and reduction in server load? Some of the highlights of Magento 2’s performance enhancements are as follows:
- Cache: Caching systems store commonly accessed page elements to serve them faster to your visitors. Magento 2 has a much improved caching system and now includes native support for caching technologies like Varnish (Varnish is a popular HTTP accelerator).
- PHP 7: PHP is the programming language that Magento is built with. Magento 2 is optimized for PHP 7, which provides superior performance to previous PHP versions.
- Hosting Environment Improvements: Magento 2, especially Enterprise Edition, includes new features and functionality that allow you to more easily spread the demand on your hosting infrastructure over multiple servers and thus more easily handle large traffic spikes.
You are busy and your time matters. Magento 2 has quite a few improvements to make the job of administering your site simpler and more efficient.
- Improved Product Creation: The new step-by-step product creation tools allow you to more quickly and accurately add products to your store. This tool makes adding products up to 4 times faster in Magento 2.
- Improved Data View and Filtering: Magento has added a very robust data grid view to the admin of Magento 2. This grid gives you the ability to customize what attributes are shown in a grid view (such as a product list) without the need to get a developer involved. Each administrator can customize their data views to suit their individual needs. These leads to clean, uncluttered interfaces and guarantees that you can see the data that you need to see. Magento has also added the ability to quickly filter data based on any of the attributes that you have enabled in your data view.
- Admin Navigation Improvements: The admin interface is cleaner and less cluttered. Menus are more organized so that finding the page and functionality that you are seeking is much simpler. These improvements lead to a smaller learning curve and quicker productivity for administrators.
- Data Safeguards: Magento 1 was designed for a single admin user to be manipulating product data at a single time. This is troublesome for larger sites that might have multiple administrators. Magento 2 has added safeguards for product data that allow multiple administrators to work on product data simultaneously thus making your team more efficient and allowing you to more easily keep your store’s products up to date.
- Product Videos: Adding videos from Vimeo or Youtube are now very simple and supported natively by Magento 2. This offers a great opportunity to properly merchandise your products.
Improved Customer Experience:
Magento has made huge strides in improving customer experience and cutting down on shopping “pain points” that lead to abandoned carts, especially on mobile devices. These improvements make shopping much simpler for your customers and will result in more sales from your store. Below are some of those improvements:
- Improved Checkout: The checkout process is much smoother and simplified compared to Magento 1. Making checkout as simple as possible is vital in having high conversion rates and getting the most from your site when shoppers have such low tolerances for complications.
- They simplified registration by allowing customers to create an account after ordering instead of during the checkout process.
- Checkout now includes order details on every step to help put your customers at ease.
- Fewer confusing choices (like registering for an account) and fewer forms means a significant increase in conversions as customers focus on what matters: finishing the checkout process.
- Improved PayPal Integration: Magento 2’s integration with PayPal has been improved by not requiring additional needless information such as a billing address that is handled by PayPal.
- Order Summary Photos: The order summary in Magento 2 now includes product photos. This reduces ordering errors which cuts down on returns and increases buyer confidence that leads to higher conversions.
- Improved Search: Magento 2 has much needed search improvements to allow customers to more quickly and efficiently find products. The default search engine has been switched to ElasticSearch for Enterprise Edition. Configuration and customization of ElasticSearch is simpler and faster, resulting in better search results and fewer development costs.
- Mobile Browsing Enhancements: 50% of online transactions are now performed on mobile devices. Magento 2 utilizes many of the enhancements mentioned above to greatly improve user experience on mobile. Browsing is much more complicated and slow on mobile, so many users rely heavily on search. By improving the search capabilities in Magento, your mobile users greatly benefit. Combining that with a much more streamlined mobile-friendly checkout and faster performance will result in a much higher conversion rate for your mobile shoppers.
All businesses currently running Magento 1 will benefit from migrating to Magento 2 because the performance improvements and new functionality in both the Enterprise and Community editions make migration worthwhile.
Because of the improvements listed above, conversions and therefor revenue should increase from upgrading to Magento 2. Shopzilla’s experience is noteworthy here: a 25% increase in page views and a 9.5% increase in revenue. For most businesses, increases on this scale will quickly recoup the investment in migration to the new and future platform.
Changing the customer trends will make migration more important in coming years: as we see more and more mobile use of the internet, e-commerce sites need to be able to meet the demands of those users. Magento 2 with its responsive, HTML5 front end and the new, streamlined checkout process meets those needs and can make your business more effective in a small screen world than ever can be managed with the current Magento platform.
Magento 1 will not be supported after 2018. So any investment that your business makes into the old platform will be essentially short term in nature.
How Does the Upgrade Process Work?
Unlike Magento 1 upgrades with their relatively straightforward upgrade process, migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is considerably more complicated. Since Magento 2 is a completely new platform, most businesses will require a serious commitment to the planning and implementation of the process.
Magento has implemented a data export/import tool to aid with migrating data between the two platforms, but you’ll still have other considerations:
- You’ll need to check that your server meets the requirements for Magento 2. and you’ll most likely need to upgrade to a new server.
- Your developers will need to check that all third-party extensions installed on your site have compatible Magento 2 versions.
- You’ll need to have any incompatible extensions coded from scratch or purchase an alternative extension.
- Your site’s theme(s) will need to be rebuilt from the ground up since Magento 2 has a totally different structure from Magento 1.
- If any core tables were altered when you installed Magento 1, data migration will be more complex.
The amount of work your migration requires will largely depend upon the amount of customization you’ve done to your Magento 1 store. Custom modules will need to be modified extensively but Magento 2 versions of most third party extensions are available or will be available in the near future. If you’ve been using Magento 1 for some time, this may be a good opportunity to improve user experience or even redesign your entire site.
How Jamersan Can Help
Migration to the new Magento 2 platform can be a daunting prospect. After all, Magento is supporting the revenue stream and online presence of your entire online business. If your e-commerce platform lets you down, then your entire business is at risk.
Even if you are thinking of staying with Magento 1 for the time being, it is a good idea to open a conversation with your Magento solution partners about how to best handle the future of your online business and put together a long term transition plan.
At Jamersan we have been developing e-commerce sites for over 16 years. We are a Magento Professional Solution Partner with expertly trained staff capable of making your transition to Magento 2 a simple one. We would love the opportunity to discuss your interest in Magento 2.