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Magento taking over Australia one shopper at a time

Any company with over 40% market share must be doing something right, and e-commerce platform Magento seems extremely well placed to take advantage of Aussies' obsession with online shopping.

Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Roy Rubin and head of product Jimmy Duvall, sat down with iTWire to talk about their sold out conference, and how the company has found dealing with Australia so far.

First, the spiel. Magento is a Los Angeles-based e-commerce platform launched in 2008 and has been on the market for about five years. It's open source, and boasts roughly 150,000 merchants who are transacting billions of dollars online. Duvall and Rubin describe it as the fastest growing and largest e-commerce platform in the market, with a massive 42% market share in Australia.

There are two options, a free and open source product called Magento Community Edition, and an enterprise offering. The company boasts 2500 local customers, with names like Nike, Harvey Norman, Dick Smith.

Duvall and Rubin were in Australia for their first Australian conference, part of a series of worldwide events. Over 400 partcipants came to Sydney to talk Magento, moslty merchants, solution partners and developers, to learn but also to collaborate and inform the company about where the market's going and how it can better collaborate and mutually grow.

"It went fantastically," Rubin told iTWire. "Our expectations were much more conservative, we sold out the event and that was a big surprise for us. The content was great and some of Australia's largest brands were here."

The conference featured presentations from eWave, Netstarter, Bluecom, eBay and more, along with networking lunches and information seminars.

"There's a vibrancy and passion around e-commerce in Australia that's really exciting. We've seen phenomenal growth in Australia for our business, it's our top market in terms of penetration," Rubin said.

When pressed about any regulatory hurdles, the pair were quick to express how pleased they were with conditions in Australia.

"There are oftentimes when we see challenges with regulations that are limiting trade, with taxation and things like that, but with Australia it's been pretty straightforward for us," Duvall said.

"We have some strong partnerships here in the local market with payment providers, like our brothers at eBay and Paypal, to shipping providers like Australia Post, it's provided us a unique opportunity to be quite successful."

Recent studies are showing online shopping is a constantly growing market, especially in Australia, and is expected to account for 7% of all retail expenditure in 2013.

Magento was purchased by eBay in 2011, and the pair have only good things to say about the acquisition.

"It's been fantastic, it's been two and a half years since we joined with eBay, and it's uniquely positioned to partner with merchants and help them grow and succeed. eBay has spent about 3.5 billion dollars in acquisitions since 2010, so they've got a portfolio of capabilities, we've got a framework in place to partner with merchants across many different technology needs," Rubin said.

"From that standpoint, the fact we can approach a merchant and offer them a plethora of a choices, it's very exciting, because it's an opportunity for us to get deeper in the relationship and get better outcomes, as opposed to when it was just us on our own."

More Australian visits are surely on the horizon but for now, more information about Magento's offerings is available on its website.


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