April 9, 2013, 3:52 PM

Magento plans to introduce new versions of its e-commerce software

A version for larger retailers launches tomorrow, the other within a month.

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New versions of Magento’s e-commerce software are on the way.

Version 1.13 of the Magento Enterprise edition aimed at larger online retailers will be released tomorrow, Roy Rubin, Magento’s co-founder, tells Internet Retailer. Rubin is chief operating officer of the Magento unit of eBay Inc., which acquired Magento in 2011.

As for the free Community edition that smaller companies typically use, version 1.8 will be available in two to four weeks.

The new version of Magento Enterprise makes it better able to handle the large transaction volumes of big online retailers, a client segment Magento is increasingly targeting. “Magento continues to move upmarket and continues to see larger and larger retailers adopt the platform,” Rubin said during an interview at Magento’s annual Imagine conference for clients and developers in Las Vegas.

As an example of a larger retailer using Magento, Rubin pointed to jewelry retailer Stella & Dot, which he says is generating more than $200 million in annual sales. He says there are Magento clients whose online sales exceed $500 million, but that he could not name them.

Magento, whose e-commerce technology was introduced five years ago, now has 150,000 retailers using one of the three versions of the software. MOst are using the free Community or on-demand Go versions, and an undisclosed number using its Enterprise edition. The Enterprise edition includes added features plus support, and an annual license starts at $15,550. There is an Enterprise Premium package that starts at $49,990.

Magento also will be introducing this year services that enable Magento merchants to make use of consumer data from parent company eBay and PayPal, which like Magento is an eBay subsidiary, says Matthew Mengerink, chief technology officer of Magento.

He says a handful of merchants have tested the service. It allows, for example, a merchant to ask a first-time visitor whose browser carries a PayPal cookie if she would be willing to share data about her PayPal preferences in order for the retail site to tailor content and offer her deals. More than half of the test’s participants have agreed, he says.

That allows the retailer to make use of data that PayPal knows about the customer. The service also incorporates consumer data eBay purchases. In one example, a retailer considering adding baby products quickly learned that only 20% of its visitors had children living at home. “It was a triangulation of PayPal data with information we purchased they could never have afforded. They told us, ‘You saved us a year,’” Mengerink says.

He says Magento will not only make data available, but tell retailers what it means. For example, it will show a retailer what eBay and PayPal data suggest would be the optimal selling price for a particular product, and let the retailer simply click to use that price. “Especially with small merchants fighting to survive,” he says, “they don’t have five hours to pore over data.” He says the service is in an alpha, or early, test with five retailers, and that Magento expects to roll it out later this year.

 

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