Magento Marketplace is live

Magento Marketplace is launched today. It is a slight delay (the plan was to launch it in 1st quarter 2016), but not significant for software development business. Let’s have a quick look at Magento Marketplace first of all from merchants prospective.

 

Magento Marketplace home page.

What is Magento Marketplace

Magento marketplace is a replacement of existing extension catalogue called Magento Connect. The main differences are:

  • Magento Marketplace will work similar with Apple Appstore way – taking share of revenue, so merchants will buy from Magento and developers get paid later minus the store commission
  • It is more selective, Magento plans to vet the extensions listed more carefully, so the merchants should expect high quality extensions
  • It is promised to have better usability than Magento Connect. We’ll quickly check does Magento hold this promise below.
  • There is a common refund policy (25 days) and some other rules that developers abide to be listed

At the moment Magento Marketplace runs in parallel mode with Magento Connect and connect only handful of Magento 2 extensions. Eventually Magento plans to retire Magento Connect and to run Magento Marketplace only.

Magento Marketplace launch official video

Extensions selection

We’ve counted around 150 extensions listed at the moment and just 2 themes. It is much less than Magento Connect has for Magento 1 (over 8,000 extensions and themes according some estimations) and even less than number of Magento 2 extensions at Magento Connect (around 400 extensions and themes are listed there at the moment).

That isn’t unexpected taking into account more rigorous selection process, but it’s a bit disappointing not having there such popular extensions as: MageMonkey (Mailchim integration from eBizmart), M2EPro (eBay integration), Bronto, eWay; the choice of site search extensions is very limited too. Hopefully with the time the situation will improve in the near future.

Developers

There are 38 developers listed, including Aitoc, Aheadworks, Magestore, Boostmyshop, Amasty, Fooman. It is interesting that some developers are listed, but have zero extensions or even services. Hopefully their extensions are on the way. Both solution partners and developers that are not official partners are listed.

There are only 13 solution and technology partners listed among developers at the moment. For comparison 78 technology partners are listed in Magento partner directory. That raise concerns about is the bar to get listed on Magento too high and not all developers can justify the costs to get through the process now.

User experience

One of the declared goals of running Magento Marketplace was improved user experience. Unfortunately these goal hasn’t been quite achieved at the moment. We’ll write why below.

Extension search sucks

Below are several search queries we typed and results we’ve got.

Search for ‘slider’

As you see couple first results are very loosely related with the keyword at the best.

Search for ‘eBay’

The extension that does Magento eBay integration comes 2nd for no apparent reason.

The worst one – search for ‘Store Locator.

Search results, at least without further ‘Load more’ contains irrelevant results, why the extension that called “Store Locator” and does exactly this job isn’t listed at all. Maybe it was a temp glitch, when we revisited the page it showed that extension, but still disturbing.

No mercy to user

The search doesn’t understand such basic things as very simple typos. For example if I search for ‘stripes’ (meaning payment platform Stripe) there is no results.

It doesn’t have any auto-complete or auto-suggest functionality not talking about more advanced features.

Search for developers work the same not inspiring way.

So long way to go, Magento team.

Categories are gone

There are only 2 types of extensions at Magento Marketplace now: extensions and themes. So all categories that existed on Magento Connect and may help a merchant to browse rather than search are gone.

Combined with poor search I don’t think that it makes a user happy.

There are some filters in search, but they are not related with extension category.

Checkout not mobile friendly

Magento Marketplace website is responsive and displays quite well on Android mobile we tested it.

However it stops play nice after shopping cart page. Once you go to checkout  you see a non-mobile friendly page where you have to login (Magento Connect account works) or create an account.

After login and accepting Marketplace T&C you are back to responsive website, but checkout page is a bit clunky with little glitches here and there.

So the overall impression of Magento Marketplace usability isn’t really positive – it’s quite raw and unpolished at the moment.

Hopefully Magento team takes the steps to keep their promise and provide really good user experience.

Extension prices

To see what’s going on with extension prices we compared Magento Marketplace prices for several extensions with those at Magento Connect and at developers websites. The results are presented in the table below.

Magento extensions price comparison
Developer Extension Magento Marketpace Developer website Magento 1 version
Amasty Product Labels $103 $79 $79
Amasty Product Feed $168 $129 $129
Fooman Order Manager $149 $149 $99
MageWorx Order Management $149 $149 $149
MageWorx SEO Suite Ultimate $249 $249 $249
Boostmyshop Admin Logger $99 $99 $59
Boostmyshop Inventory Management $289 $290 n/a
Magestore Megamenu $199 $199 $99
Magestore FAQ $199 $199 $99
aheadWorks RMA $499 $499 $159
aheadWorks Store Locator $249 $249 $119

  • Most developers checked (Amasty is the exclusion) keep advertised price consistent across the channels, so swallow Magento Marketplace commission
  • In many cases Magento 2 extensions are more expensive than Magento 1, sometimes very significantly (RMA from aheadWorks)

Conclusion

It’s good to see Magento Marketplace up almost in time. Earlier Magento was often guilty missing deadlines (Magento 2 launch was rescheduled and very significantly several times), so good job here.

There were number of concerns regarding Magento Marketplace at the time it was officially announced and many of them have come through (prices, limited supply). It is understandable that the filling in extensions inventory isn’t very quick process, so it would be unfair to expect all possible extensions there instantly. It is also not very surprising that not all developers hurry to jump in into Magento 2 bandwagon.

What is a big disappointment is usability (especially poor search), honestly we don’t see improvements here comparing with Magento Connect, it is rather a bit worse at the moment. This part can be done better in all the time invested in this project. Magento team, fix it quickly please!

 

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