Editor’s note: E-commerce environment comprises a number of challenges experienced by the companies of various sizes that try to build and maintain an efficient Magento e-store. The Magento community managers are the experts who can help you deal with these issues and bring clarity into the strategic planning of your new online shop.
Today we are happy to present you with an interview with Fayyaz Khattak, Magento Community Manager at Cloudways. He guides us through the key Magento features, tells us his thoughts on how the Magento platform can improve customer experience, as well as shares his Magento predictions for the upcoming year.
1. Fayyaz, being in the IT industry for almost a decade, you have been working in different areas. Please, tell us the tipping points of your career path?
I started my career as an IT Technician at a law firm where I was in charge of diagnosing computer and network related issues, install software and perform tests on various computer hardware & software programs. While doing all this, I polished my skills as a web developer and learned how to build static websites from scratch, as per the requirements of the clients.
Furthermore, I have also worked as a Customer Support Representative and Team Lead in a customer service center for some time.
For me, the pivotal point was in 2014, when I eventually ended up working as a Software Engineer. I was a bespoke PHP developer responsible for developing and maintaining web applications built on multiple frameworks and CMS.
After about two years working as a developer, I joined Cloudways as a Magento Community Manager, with a 100% focus on cloud hosting, PHP, Magento, and their communities.
2. When was your first experience of using the Magento platform? What was the most impressive? Сan you outline the top 3 Magento features that help e-store owners reach the desired results?
My first Magento project was a multivendor marketplace with a strict deadline. Since I had no prior experience of building an ecommerce store, I googled and found Magento as one of the best ecommerce platforms for creating scalable ecommerce stores. I decided to go for it.
I discovered that Magento offered almost everything – optimized Magento hosting partners, themes, extensions, tutorials, and a robust online community to help out when I run into trouble.
In my opinion, the top three features of Magento platform are:
1. Catalog Management: Whether you own a beauty store or sell apparel, electronics, or accessories, a catalog is a crucial component of online ecommerce store management. Magento undoubtedly offers an array of features for price and catalog management.
2. Mobile Friendly and Responsive Ecommerce Experience: This is one of the most significant features of the Magento platform. It allows a personalized store experience for both desktop and mobile.
3. Page Builder: The process of creating pages and managing store’s content using HTML and CSS is getting outdated. With the release of Magento 2.3, one of the most anticipated features of the Magento platform is the Page Builder. It’s a rewrite of Blue Foot CMS that retains most of the features and ideas including drag-and-drop layout management, template creation, and a clean and friendly user experience for non-technical users (mainly store owners, marketing managers, and content creators).
3. It is well-known that Magento shopping cart is one of the most popular platforms on today’s e-Commerce market. In your opinion, can the solution fit the requirements of different businesses? Or is there a type of merchants that would run their company better with other platforms?
In this very competitive ecommerce industry, the platform should be the icebreaker between the store owners and the users, and I must say that the Magento platform is indeed the most versatile ecommerce platform till date.
The trends that the Magento platform has brought in the ecommerce industry are proof that it is the only ecommerce solution that all store owners should use to optimize their electronic business channels and provide a rich user experience.
Magento platform was built to meet multiple business needs, and with Magento 2, I believe it will provide top-notch success to the ecommerce businesses.
4. There is a wide range of Magento extensions that expand the solution’s functionality. Can you specify the significance of Magento plugins?
Magento extensions play a vital role in developing a better ecommerce store experience. Through these extensions, developers can extend the core Magento features. Long story short, these are essential for attaining the high standards of user experience and store functionality that the industry has come to expect from top-notch stores.
5. Since you are a Magento Community Manager, what are your main responsibilities? How do you think the Magento Community could change in several years?
As a Magento Community Manager at Cloudways, I lead a team of great minds who help me in learning and sharing relevant content about PHP & Magento within the community.
Our idea is to spread awareness and educate the beginners about multiple issues that they often face while creating or maintaining Magento based ecommerce stores.
I also attend Tech meetups and sometimes participate as a speaker where I educate attendees about the Magento and the Cloudways platform. Moreover, I engage with Magento influencers, developers, Magento officials & contributors and also conduct their interview to know more about the latest trends in the Magento Community.
Last but not least, as a developer, I also resolve Magento development related issues raised by Cloudways clients.
6. As I can see from your profile, you have obtained a position of customer service representative for some time. Please, provide our readers with insights on how can Magento solution enhance the client experience?
The key to excellent customer experience is a personalized experience. The open source Magento platform already has several features that allow store owners to customize the store’s customer experience.
Store owners should have a solid grip on customer analytics data that breaks down the user journey from the first contact to the final exit. This is an essential aspect of delivering customized experiences to customers. This is an excellent way of converting potential visitors into paying customers. Another related idea is funnels that should be based on how the visitors interact with the landing pages and sales pages.
Now, when a customer returns to look for more items, they should be presented with the personalized experience based on their past behavior. This all should be managed via dynamic segmentation.
7. At last, the new year is around the corner, what are your predictions for Magento improvements in 2019? Will the company experience any challenges? How will the changes influence the Magento customers?
Here is a rundown of my predictions and challenges for Magento in 2019 and how these changes will influence Magento community:
- After the acquisition of Magento by Adobe, I assume that Magento will officially be saying goodbye to Magento 1 support in 2019.
- As great things should be well documented, Magento will provide even more comprehensive documentation for Magento 2.
- The migration process from Magento 1 to Magento 2 will improve in 2019, and I think Magento will offer multiple pathways into the ecosystem. Right now, I see no issues with the platform itself. However, the migration process is still not that simple, and it’s hard to say that many store owners will stay on Magento 1 because of migration complexity, stability, and build costs.
- With competition heating up in the ecommerce industry, I think merchants will be focused more on using the data to improve their stores. So, Analytics and Big Data will play a crucial role. Big Data will be used more often for quick and smart searches, and it will influence store design and information presentation on all levels.
Plumrocket team is very grateful to Fayyaz for sharing some of his rich career experience and Magento insights with us. We are sure the suggestions provided in the interview will help our readers to successfully build and maintain Magento based e-stores and improve customer experience.