With the recent release of Magento 2.0, there's been a lot of buzz at the Echidna office. As an commerce agency, many of our clients not only come to us design and development, but consulting on platform options. Those currently on Magento are wondering if upgrading 2.0 is the right fit, and in some cases wondering if they should move away from the platform and evaluate other providers altogether. It also has those retailers on other platforms asking if moving to Magento 2.0 would benefit them. All of these questions had us running to catch up with Amzed Hussain, who is Echidna’s Senior Director of Technology Delivery & Innovation, to get his insight the topic.
Echidna: You’ve been at this for close to two decades and have seen some serious changes in the commerce world and overseen implementations for mid- large-scale commerce platforms like Oracle ATG, Demandware, Magento, and Mozu. We're curious: what upgrades and improvements do you think will have the biggest impact on Magento retailers with the new release of Magento 2.0?
Amzed Hussain: The biggest impact-creating features for Magento retailers with Magento 2.0 are going to be improved performance and scalability, better security, faster time-to-market. These will make site maintenance easier, along with improving conversions.
E: So if you’ve decided moving to Magento 2.0 is right for your business, what are some common pitfalls an online merchant should look out for when making migration to Magento 2.0?
AH: Yes, so Magento 2.0 does have a small set of pitfalls. A major area where Magento merchants need to be cautious is extensions compatibility. There are thousands of Magento-authorized/certified extensions which are serving customized and non-OOTB requirements of customers, so customers should definitely focus on extension compatibility with 2.0.
E: With the release of Magento 2.0, how will it affect the commerce community, in your opinion? What do you expect from this long-anticipated platform?
AH: There are two key commerce communities: one is the retailer community, and the other is the platform community.
In terms of retailers:
• Upgrades, with cost and time involved, will be affected
• Getting associated with implementation partners and potentially finding new ones that focus specifically on 2.0
And when talking about the platform community — all the competitors are going to evaluate and compare where they have challenges, so as to come up with their own strategies to stay strong in the commerce platform market.
E: Very true. Last question: we know Magento uses extensions and modules. What are three must-have extensions for Magento-based websites, in your opinion?
AH: Magento has a giant store of extensions, so listing just three is a tough decision to make. And each retailer will naturally have unique needs. But at a high level, there are certain modules of functionality that often use extensions — three modules in which retailers should consider using extensions would be:
• Payment gateways
• Product merchandising
• Analytics & marketing