Magento is an open source web platform built specifically for selling goods online
The origins of Magento stretch back to 2008, when the version was published by Roy Rubin of Varien in Culver City California. A few years later Varien was bought by EBay as part of their attempt to grow into the commercial ecommerce market. This effort largely failed and the company was acquired by Pamira a private equity company in 2015.
2018 Game Changer
In a surprise move Adobe Systems announced in May 2018 that they were going to acquire Magento for $1.68 billion. Their aim is to integrate Magento technology into their Adobe Experience Cloud, to provide a comprehensive online commerce offering to B2B and B2C customers.
This move by Adobe has the potential to convert Magento into a global standard for B2B and B2C online enterprises.
Calling Magento a website is a little of a misnomer. Yes, Magento offers website technology but it is not a good choice for building websites. It would do the job i the same way you can take a Ferrari on a shopping trip; just make sure you don't buy too many groceries and your packets will fit in the boot!
Magento is designed to showcase and sell goods online, not to publish web pages, nor to be a BLOG or a photo gallery. Used for commerce, it has few equals. It is flexible and can sell commercial goods as well as electronic content in a dizzying array of ways. For example, you can buy a paperback book and its electronic e-book version in the same shopping cart! Magento has the smarts to determine which one needs to get physically shipped and which one can be linked as a download.
Magento can also be turned into a complete B2B platform, which can link to large scale ERP systems such as SAP. This kind of marriage of capabilities, gives organizations the ability to link customers, their product preferences and credit limits to purchases made online. Invoices inked on Magento can be transmitted into an ERP system, to be combined with the normal monthly invoice run. In a similar way, goods purchased through Magento can be dispatched via integrations with various shipping systems.
In a recent project for example, we connected Magento to a local shipping service via their API. At checkout, a shopping basket of items, can be assessed for destination, weight and dimensions by calling the shipping API, which then returns with a shipping quote. On payment, the same API is called to provide the customer with a shipping and tracking reference.