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Interview with Matthias Zeis: Magento – complex, yet flexible

Magento is one of the fastest growing e-commerce platforms. Lingo24 asked Magento expert Matthias Zeis about Magento and its future, why it is so popular and, of course, what he thinks about a translation API and the internationalisation of business.

Matthias, how did your career start? When did you make (web) programming your profession and how did you discover Magento?

I wrote my first programs when I was 8 or 9 years old, and we already had a PC at home. At the age of 16 I developed my first websites. After studying communication science I turned my hobby into a career.

When I started working at the online agency LimeSoda we were looking for good and future-proof shopping software that far exceeded the possibilities of popular systems.

I had previously heard of Magento when it was quite new to the market. That’s why I suggested that we deal with it in greater detail. We have never regretted this and, luckily, have backed the right horse.

Why do you think Magento is so popular and why would you recommend Magento as a solution for e-commerce businesses?

Magento has proven to be very flexible regarding its use and adaptability. Developers need some time to become familiar with the programme, as it is particularly extensive and complex, but after that they will be rewarded with a flexibility that opens up many doors. Online retailers benefit from Magento, because they can use it for almost all sectors. Both medium-sized local companies and large international organisations can work with it very well. Magento can grow with its users and can be adapted to their individual needs.

Do you think Magento is suitable for international online shops? And what do you think about new developments like translation API?

Magento is definitely suitable for international online shops. Localisation and internationalisation are innately some of its features. Thanks to its multi-store concept you can establish an online store for different target markets.

A plugin for a translation API is an interesting idea, because customised content in the customer’s language is an important factor for good conversation rates.

In your opinion, what difficulties most often occur when setting up a (Magento) online store?

Online retailers should definitely cooperate with a technical service provider who has comprehensive experience with Magento. This helps to prevent problems that seem to be quite common relating to Magento: extensive hardware wastage and complexity.

Generally, the complexity caused by the operation of a platform-independent site should certainly not be underestimated. You need to constantly work on the store, its content and offer to be successful.

How would you evaluate the future of e-commerce? Would Magento be able to keep pace with changing trends?

Besides internationalisation we experience a constant rise of new business models and distribution channels, and a greater connection between an offline and online environment. In addition, B2B trade is becoming more important and the entire business life cycle from marketing and sales to logistics and follow-up support (like returns) are becoming more and more professional.

We can expect the release of Magento 2 still this year. It will offer online retailers new incentives through improved adaptability, stability, performance, modularity and new features. Almost all features will be accessible via external interfaces. This facilitates integration with other systems and the optimisation of the above processes.

*Photo credits: limpido /

Matthias Zeis

Matthias Zeis has been Magento developer since 2009 and Magento certified developer since 2011. He blogs at and works at the Austrian agency LimeSoda in Vienna as technical project manager and web developer. Follow Mattias on Twitter @mzeis and Google+.

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