The launch of Magento 2.0 has raised a lot of questions about the future of ecommerce. Is this new platform worth migrating to? Are there any benefits to upgrading from 1.9.x, given the potential teething problems and the lack of certain extensions and themes? What does the platform have to offer to someone who is currently deeply invested in a different ecosystem?
It’s normal to fear change, but the truth is that this latest edition of Magento has a lot to offer, not just to existing users of the platform, but to anyone who is interested in providing their users with a robust and scalable ecosystem. Magento 2.0 is designed to be high performance, to scale well for everyone from sole traders to chain retailers, and to offer fast time to market and easy maintenance, making it a significant upgrade over the previous incarnation.
There are some pitfalls. If you invested a lot of time into building your existing website, and you have a lot of un-certified extensions, or a heavily customised store, then you will need to take some time to look at Magento 2.0’s features and the existing extension set, before you upgrade.
Out of the box, Magento 2.0 offers numerous features that were previously only available with extensions, so you might find that upgrading is relatively painless – or that you see an instant improvement in the functionality of your site. This may hold true for both the management of the back end and the performance of the front end for your customers. The improvements are particularly noticeable for users with high traffic websites.
There’s a good chance, however, that you will need to use extensions for merchandising; your payment gateway; and for analytics and marketing. There are plenty of extensions to choose from, however, so this should not be an issue. And irrespective as to any teething troubles, it will be worth the effort.
The rollout of such a huge new platform is a perfect opportunity for people who want to innovate to try new features and experiment with better offerings for their customers. There will be challenges along the way, but the platform is now sufficiently mature that it is worth taking a chance on it. If you wait too long, you will simply be overtaken by other retailers who are more willing to innovate.