The cost of owning and maintaining a Magento store can vary depending on a number of factors. In this blog post, we will discuss the key costs associated with running a Magento store in 2023.
The Cost of the Magento Platform
The first cost you will need to consider is the cost of the Magento platform itself. Magento is available in two editions: Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce.
Magento Open Source is the free version of Magento. It is a good option for small businesses that do not need all the features of Magento Commerce. However, you will still need to pay for hosting, extensions, and other services.
Adobe Commerce is the paid version of Magento previously Magento Enterprise. It includes a wider range of features and functionality, as well as dedicated support from Adobe. Pricing is based on annual Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and Average Order Value (AOV).
The Cost of Hosting
The next cost you will need to consider is the cost of hosting your Magento store. The amount you pay for hosting will depend on the size and bandwidth requirements of your store. Hosting is a major cost for any eCommerce website, so it’s important to get an estimate early on so you can factor it into your budget
The Cost of Extensions
Magento’s strength is it’s flexibility and it has a large community of developers who create extensions that add new features and functionality to the platform. Extensions very in cost depending on the features they offer and nowadays come on an annual license rather than a one off fee.
Magento’s flexibility allows you to create a unique and tailored online store that aligns with your business requirements. However, customization often requires the expertise of developers and designers. The cost of development can vary based on the complexity of your customization needs. It’s advisable to budget for ongoing development costs as you will likely need to make adjustments, add new features, or react to customer feedback/improve the user experience over time. This continual evolution is essential to ensure that you remain competitive and that the ever shifting customer demands are being met.
3rd Party Partners
Closely tied to the above is the partner services you’d want to integrate into your store and the cost of doing so. Some will be as simple as integrating an extension that supports their services out of the box, others may need to have something custom built as part of the store setup and maintained from their own. Getting sight of these early in the planning is vital to not getting any hidden financial surprises.
Planning for the implementation and testing of all upgrades to the core software is vital to stay secure. Most security breaches happen to unsupported, older versions of platforms and Magento is no exception. If sites are not regularly kept up to date they give a much greater opportunity to cyberattacks on customer data. The costs associated with these events are significant; in fact in 2022 IBM Security reported:
“Reaching an all-time high, the cost of a data breach averaged USD 4.35 million in 2022. This figure represents a 2.6% increase from last year, when the average cost of a breach was USD 4.24 million. The average cost has climbed 12.7% from USD 3.86 million in the 2020 report.” – IBM Security “Cost of a data breach in 2022”
As a relatively fixed cost it’s important to set out how you’re going to delight customers with a fantastic shopping experience. To do this we need to make sure we’re capturing all the details necessary to monitor their time spent on your online store. When going through a discovery process for what’s needed for your online store, factoring in what we want to capture about the customer experience and how we’ll visualise and analyse the relative data points for all stages of a customer’s journey is vital.
In addition to the costs mentioned above, you will also need to factor in the cost of marketing and advertising your store, as well as the costs dependent on the approach to customer service.
You’ll need to consider other external factors too (such as potential carding attacks) and having a support structure in place to react to these issues in a timely manner.
Tips for Reducing the TCO
There are a number of things you can do to reduce the TCO of your Magento store. Here are a few tips:
- Choose the right Magento edition for your needs. If you don’t need all the features of Adobe Commerce, you can save money by choosing Magento Open Source. At C3 we have migrated customers to and from Commerce and Open Source editions based on changing requirements over the years.
- Hosting Efficiencies. At C3 we offer dedicated hosting to all of our customers and have multiple monitoring services that allow us to keep hosting resources at an efficient level to avoid wasted spend.
- Select the right partner agency. Choose carefully an agency, such as C3, who focuses attention on cost-saving measures when it comes to TCO. For example, we offer a Service Package that encompasses many of the activities needed to keep the lights on, such as security patching, performant and secure hosting, virus and malware scanning, and continual observability, for a flat monthly fee.
- Keep things simple. When you’re thinking of introducing a new extension or feature, ask yourself whether it’s really needed. The more complex your website becomes, the higher the TCO. Have you planned out the ROI of this new feature, taking into account the increase in TCO both in the short and longer terms?
- Carefully consider the ongoing cost of the services you work with. There are many extension providers out there creating similar functionality – consider providers that either do not have a recurring fee for support, or where the fee is lower. Similarly there are usually many providers in the areas you will be looking for partners, where cost can vary significantly For example, the charges Payment Service Providers levy per transaction can be very high; there however those that charge more reasonably, and yet still deliver a fantastic service. Part of what we do at C3 is to advise on the best fit when it comes to partner services, taking TCO into account.
By following these tips, you can reduce the TCO of your Magento store and save money. These savings can then be put back into the business to optimise your solution and increase your takings.
Magento is still the market leading eCommerce platform for offering a highly tailored online shopping experience to your customers but TCO will vary depending on a number of factors. However, by following the tips in this blog post, you can reduce the TCO of your Magento store and save money. If you want to be clearer on what the costs for your requirements are or if you’d like to fact find that you’re paying the right ongoing cost feel free to get in touch with us at C3 and we’ll be happy to explore your requirements and costing together.