Ask anyone in the industry and you will discover that ecommerce is one of the most popular business ideas out there. Everyone has a complete business plan for launching the next big brand on their preferred ecommerce platform!
However, once it comes to execution of the idea, choosing the perfect platform is the decision that makes or breaks the execution. With the right platform, the business takes off because of the right support by the platform. Similarly, if the platform doesn’t provide the right set of features to add value to the core business idea, the business would fail in the first three months.
To help you choose the perfect platform for your ecommerce store, I am going to introduce you to Magento, a very robust ecommerce platform that powers a significant section of global ecommerce.
I will give you a Magento demo that gives you a clear idea of how the platform works and the whole host of features that help you achieve your business goals. To illustrate the processes of the Magento demo, I will populate the store with sample data that will help me show you the power and features of the Magento platform.
- What is Magento
- Magento 1 Backend Demo
- Magento 2 Frontend Demo
- Magento 2 Backend Demo
- SEO & Search
- Finding Partners & Extensions
- SEO & Search
What is Magento
Magento empowers thousands of retailers, entrepreneurs and brands with the world-class ecommerce platform to innovate and grow. Magento built on open source components that offer online merchants with a flexible cart system, as well as full-control on look, content and functionalities.
It was initially released 11 years ago on March 11, 2008. The software was developed by Varien, Inc. Later on, Magento was acquired by Adobe in 2018.
Magento offers two distinct editions that caters to the different requirements of the ecommerce users.
The Community Edition is an open source ecommerce platform where developers can execute the core files and extend its functionality by adding extensions developed by reputable developers. Anyone can download the Community Edition for free and kick off their career as a Magento developer or an ecommerce store owner.
The Enterprise Edition is designed for experienced ecommerce store owners with access to a comprehensive support infrastructure comprising of developers and related resources. The core files are similar to the Community Edition with a range of additional features that are suitable for large businesses. Note that the users have to pay for using the platform.
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Magento 1 Backend Demo
Let’s start with a Magento demo. As you read this, Magento has announced that they will continue to provide support and security patches till June, 2020 to ensure that store that are still on Magento 1 can continue business operations without worrying about security.
However, as per the official Magento stance, migrating to Magento 2 should be a top priority of these stores.
Let’s start the Magento backend demo. As you can see the UI looks a bit dated and the UX is not that great either. The Magento 1 dashboard allows you to track Lifetime Sales, Average Orders, Revenue, Tax, Shipping and Quantity.
In Magento admin demo, the Sales menu comprises of multiple subsections where you can track:
- Credit Memon
- Recurring Profile
- Billing Agreements
- Terms & Conditions
Using the elements in the Catalog menu, you can manage the inventory items and product categories. Other options in this menu simplify store processes such as tag management and URL management.
Customer management is an essential store operation. Using the Customers menu, store owners can manage customer information and buyer patterns. In addition, you can keep track of active and inactive customers.
The Promotion tab is further categorized into two areas: Catalog Price Rules and Shopping Cart Price Rules. These menu items allow store owners to set up and manage inventory prices and shopping cart operations.
This tab offers all the tools that store owners can use to add, modify and remove pages on the store. In addition, they can add widgets and polls at selected locations on the store frontend.
The Reports menu offers all the reports about all major business operations. In particular, the store owners can generate reports on store transactions, products, customer engagement and other store statistics.
The System tab provides additional options for customizing the store UX. The tab allows store owners to check and install Magento updates, modify currency, and set up cache management for store performance.
Well, this is the quick and brief Magento demo – version 1. Next, I’ll be giving you the detailed Magento 2 demo.
Magento 2 Frontend Demo
I will now present a Magento 2 store demo that covers all major operational areas of the Magento 2 frontend. The sample data has been uploaded to the backend and the standard Luma theme is in place. Note that the process of uploading sample data to Magento 2 store is very simple and allows you to run simple commands that illustrate store operations.
As you can see, in the top-right corner, there are two options for signing in or creating a new account. Below, you can see the store search bar and the shopping cart icon. In the right, you can see the logo (at the moment, it’s the logo for LUMA theme).
After that, there’s a menu bar with six options. Under the header, you can see the banner area where you can run hot deals and promotions.
Products are listed (see above) with simple attributes such as item name, review and price.
Scrolling down to the end of the home page, you can see the footer area that contains navigation shortcuts and the option for setting up the subscription process.
The first part of Magento 2 demo has been done. Now going to the next one i, e Magento 2 Backend Demo.
Magento 2 Backend Demo
The first part of the Magento 2 backend demo is the admin panel that is first screen when you access the backend. You need to provide admin (or user level) credentials to log in.
Once you have logged in, you can see several major sections including Dashboard, Sales, Products, Customers, Marketing, Content, Reports, Stores, System, and Find partner extensions.
The Dashboard offers you to track system level information. In this dashboard, you can check notifications, search the store and maintain account settings.
Additionally, in the dashboard, you can check the status of important metrics such as Lifetime Sales, Average Order, Last Order, Last Search Terms, Top Search Terms.
If you have a fresh Magento installation, you might not see the sales figures. However, since I uploaded the sample data earlier, I can see the Lifetime Sales and Average Order figures. If you do not have the sample data on your Magento 2 store, don’t get confused with the blank spaces. Similarly, you can see data for Revenue, Tax, Shipping and quantity of products.
This is the section that store owners check the most. This section covers sales related metrics including:
- Credit Memos
- Billing Agreements
Since this is a very important section, I think each section requires a bit more explanation.
This section provides information on the orders placed at the store. In particular, this section tracks important order parameters such as:
- Order ID: This is an auto-generated unique identifier for every order
- Purchase Point: In the case of multi-store setup, this section identifies the store at which the order was placed
- Purchase Date: The timestamp (date & time) of the order
- Bill-to-Name: The name of the customer who made the purchase
- Ship-to-Name: The name of the person to ship the order to
- Grand Total (Base)
- Grand Total (Purchased)
- Status: Each order can be assigned a status such as processing, completed, pending etc
- Action: In this column, there is an option, View that redirects to the order detail page
If you have a large number of orders, you might want to use the search bar to narrow down the list. To further dial in, you can apply filters to make your search more specific. All data can be exported to XML or CSV format so that you can use the order data in other applications.
The next section is about invoices that has more or less the same menu items as the Sales menu. This menu contains the following items:
- Invoice: Automatically generates a number against each invoice
- Invoice Date: The unique timestamp for each invoice
- Order Date: The timestamp when the order was placed by the customers
- Bill-to name: The name of the customer who placed the order
- Status: The status of the invoice (Paid or Unpaid)
- Grand Total (Base)
- Grand Total (Purchased)
- Action: The relevant action for the invoices
In addition, you can also search for particular invoices, export invoices into CSV or XML format for use in other applications.
Once the invoices have been generated in response to the orders placed by the customers, the next step is the shipment of the inventory. The Magento 2 Shipments menu offers the following options:
- Shipment: The auto-generated number for each shipment
- Ship Date: The timestamp for the order shipment
- Order: The unique order number that is used to track a shipment
- Ship-to Name: Name of the person to whom the order is to be shipped
In addition to these there is a column for Total Quantity, and Action column for action against each shipment.
As you can see in this Magento demo, the whole idea of Magento Admin Panel is to cover all operational tasks of an online store. With the Pickup section, the store owner can opt to set up order delivery with either 3rd party courier services or dedicated delivery team. This section consists of the following options:
- Order #: The unique order identifier
- Pickup ID: The unique ID for each order pickup
- Order Date: The timestamp for the order
- Customer Name: The name of the Customer who has placed the order
- Origin Location: The pick up location of the order
- Ready for Pickup Date: The date and time when the pickup is scheduled for
- Status: The status of the pickup
- Actions: The appropriate action for the pickup
In this Magento 2 demo, I will now cover a menu item that is important to both the store owners and buyers: Credit Memos that keep track for all the credit transactions and create a PDF version for future use. This menu has the following submenu items:
- Credit Memo: An auto-generated number for individual Credit Memos
- Created: The timestamp when the credit transaction occurred
- Order: The unique order number for which the credit transaction happened
- Order Date: Time and date when the order was placed
In addition to the above options, the menu offers other options such as Bill-to Name, Status, Refunded and Action.
Under this section, you can manage and track several transaction related parameters including:
- Order ID
- Transaction ID
- Parent Transaction ID
- Payment Method: Magento supports multiple payment methods including Authorize.net, PayPal, and offline payment methods
- Transaction Type: This holds different transaction types such as Order, Authorization, Void, Refund and Capture
- Closed: This holds two values Yes or No to indicate the status of the transaction
- Created: This is used to determine the starting and ending dates of the transaction
The next item in this Magento demo is the Catalog section that is further divided into sections:
This is the place where you manage the entire inventory of your store. You can see multiple options to customize your products such as ID, Thumbnail, Name, Type, Attribute Set, SKU, Price, Quantity, Visibility, Status, Website, Action.
This section allows your to set up and streamline your store’s navigation. Here you can assign each product to one or more categories and make your store setup easier and more efficient.
Tracking and saving customer information is crucial store operation. Customer information is ideal for maintaining great customer relations. In addition, this data is important for predicting trends such as when the next spike would occur, how to tailor your inventory to suit the customer buying patterns. In this Magento 2 admin demo, I will walk you through the three Magento Admin panel areas that relate to customer management.
This section contains all the information about everyone who ever shopped at your store. This data is very valuable for trend and demographic analysis. In addition, the customer data allows you to discover the customer favorite inventory items that you should restock on priority.
As you can see on this Magento 2 demo admin, the customer information include data items such as ID, Name, Email, Group, Phone, ZIP, Country, State/Province, Customer Since, Website, Confirmed Email, Account Created In, Date of Birth, Tax VAT Number, Gender, Action.
Manually adding customer information is a simple matter of filling out the following form and hitting the Save Customer button.
This section lists the status of the customers in a grid format, along with some important attributes.
This section presents your division of the customers into different groups. As you can see from the screenshot below, the customers are divided into three groups: General, Wholesaler, Retailer and within the next column, their Tax Class.
Magento is a complete package which covers all the aspects of operating an online store. Marketing is one of the essential aspects of online commerce that requires continuous attention from store owners.
As you would see in this Magento 2 demo admin, you can perform multiple marketing operations including Promotion, User Engagement, SEO & Search, Communication and User Content without even leaving the platform.
While promoting your products, you have two options: Catalog Price Rule and Cart Price Rule.
Catalog Price Rule: Everyone likes the word discount. That’s the reason Catalog Price Rule is so effective. It allows you to set the discount that appears in the catalog and motivates the customer to add products to the cart.
This option allows you to add custom rules, define the start & finish date and the status of the promotion.
Cart Price Rule: You might have seen promotions such as: Buy 2, get 1 FREE! That’s a great example of setting up a Cart Price Rule. Customers love to avail opportunities where they can find a bundle of things at a much lesser price.
Improving communication with customers and enhancing user engagement at your store is the key to success. Magento 2 demo admin allows you to communicate with your customers in several ways such as:
- Email Templates
- Newsletter Template
- Newsletter Queue
- Newsletter Subscribers
SEO & Search
This category contains all the fundamental options related to Search Engine Optimization that help enhance the user search experience. Higher SERP rankings drive sales figures and ensure that the store reputation and brand reach grows overtime.
Paying attention to the customers will help you to improve the quality of visitors on your store. By enabling this option at your store, you will see a serious jump in user engagement and store conversions.
“Content is the King and engagement is the Queen”
This is the most-repeated statement in digital marketing. As you can see in Magento 2 admin panel, Magento firmly believes in the statement. Content and design are really important for creating a great presence in the online world.
Through the Content section, you can add content and manage the storefront interface. You can manage the entire frontend of the store through this section. The section allows you to control store pages, blocks and widgets. Furthermore, you can define the magento themes for your store along with the theme level configuration options.
Magento 2 demo Report menu is a huge improvement over Magento 1. It offers very detailed reports about almost every aspect of daily store operations. The Report section is further divided into several categories such as Marketing, Sales, Customers, Business Intelligence, Reviews, Products and Customer Engagement.
Products in Cart
This report presents the details of the products in the buyer’s shopping carts. The grid layout of this report includes the following attributes: ID, Product, Price, Carts, and Orders.
The search term report presents the details of the inventory items customers are looking for.
This report lists all the customers with carts that have inventory but have not check out yet.
Newsletter Problem Report
All the problems related to the newsletter are included in this report.
Magento 2 demo admin has extensive documentation on all the areas of the sales. This section covers the following areas:
- Paypal Settlement
- Braintree Settlement.
This report covers the total number of orders placed by the customers. This report presents the attributes: Interval, Customer, Orders, Average, Total.
As a store owner, you need detailed information about all aspects of the products on your Magento store. This report offers details such as the most viewed products, bestsellers, low stock, ordered, and downloads.
The Stores section offers six areas: Setting, Currency, Inventory, Attributes, Taxes and Shipping.
Magento 2 demo admin offers several important store operations functionalities such as import/export of data, extensions integration, allowing permissions to users and other tools management etc.
This is the section that allows you to upload an external file with the size of greater than 25MB. It is a convenient solution for importing data from any platform to Magento without any fear of data loss.
Similarly, Magento 2 demo admin also offers data export options that you can select from the drop-down menu and export file format.
Other than that, you can adjust Import/Export Taxes Rates and track all activities related to imported files from Magento admin.
Magento 2 demo admin allows you to set privileges for all users. This section allows you to roles to users and set appropriate user status.
As an admin you can add unlimited users by providing the basic information as shown in the below screenshot:
In addition, you would find additional functionalities such as Notifications which let you know about Magento updates.
Cache lies at the heart of Magento. As such, the Magento 2 demo has a dedicated section for cache management. This can be found under the tools section that also contains other options such as Index Management, Backup and Web Setup Wizard.
Finding Partners & Extensions
Finding Partners & Extensions help you to have collaboration with Magento Platinum Partners. This is a great option for growing your ecommerce business exponentially and build the trust of your brand.
Not only this, you can find Technology Partners that assist store owner in delivering the best possible shopping experiences through magento Extensions and themes.
This was just a short overview of the Magento 2 demo. This in fact requires several blogs to properly cover all the important areas and options of the Magento 2 admin panel.
Note that the success of any Magento store demo is the result of three important operational factors: Security, Reliability and Speed. These three, along with several others define the make or break scenario for your store.
I personally believe that in order to make the most of your Magento store, you need a managed Magento hosting solution. This offers the best mix of dedicated server resources and managed server operations that simplify life for Magento store owners. More importantly, you do not need to have expert level technical knowledge to setup and manage your server.
Let me introduce to Cloudways, a managed cloud hosting platform that offers you a solid foundation for your Magento store demo. The best part: getting started with Cloudways is super easy. Here’s how!
Step:1 Create an account with Cloudways
If it’s your first time with Cloudways, you need to create an account. If you already have one, simply go to the login page to login to your account.
Step2: Launch a Magento Server
Select the Magento version which you want to work on.
Step: 3 Name you Application and Server
After choosing the Magento version, provide the name of your Magento application, server, and the option New Project from the drop-down menu.
Step: 4 Choose Service Provider for Magento Server
Here you have five different options: Digital Ocean, Vultr, Linode, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform. Choose one, select server size and server location.
Step 5: Launch
Finally, click the LAUNCH NOW button.
Here you go!
Now you have your own Magento server which you can manage and upgrade at any time.
The following screenshot represents the different features related to server and application management on the Cloudways platform.
That was the detailed Magento demo where I did my best to cover both the versions. Personally, I like the Magento 2 demo because of its improved features. The user interface is appealing and the user experience is great.
On the technical front, cache management keeps the store performance up to the mark and owners can track all aspects of the store performance right within the platform.
I hope that this detailed tour of Magento demo will add to your Magento knowledge and offer you valuable information. If I have missed out any Magento admin tab or section that you want me to discuss then do let me know in the comment box.
Customer Review at
“Great speed, features, knowledgebase, dashboard, UX and fast, expert support. Very happy!”
Stefan [Management Consultant]
Abdur Rahman is the Magento whizz at Cloudways. He is growth ambitious, and aims to learn & share information about Ecommerce & Magento Development through practice and experimentation. He loves to travel and explore new ideas whenever he finds time. Get in touch with him at [email protected]