In this article you’re going to find out the following:
- The real story behind where these myths came from
- Why they were to be expected
- What you can expect from a “Free” product
- And also we’re sharing with a never before seen insight into the reach of the M2EPro Extension for eBay & Amazon.
With that said, let’s dive in!
The Real Story
The M2EPro team recently visited the United States for the Magento Live event ( a huge yearly conference, all the geeks go ).
While there, they were alarmed by the myths that had been told by a handful of US based multi-channel software providers about M2EPro to business owners like you looking to use Magento & M2EPro as their multi-channel software.
Marketplace businesses are being told things like:
- M2EPro is aimed at small businesses and you’ll have problems scaling it
- M2EPro isn’t a real-time system
- M2EPro is too simple, it’s just a datafeed tool
- There is no support
- Amazon is very simple & under-developed
- It’s not cloud based and thus difficult to integrate with
The thing is, that this is all utter non-sense.
Why Such Myths are to be Expected
Before we tackle these myths, it’s worth pausing for a few moments to realise that such myths are to be expected.
The answer to this is actually quite straight forwards.
It’s extremely doubtful that any sales rep from any multi-channel software company is going to fully understand what is possible with the alternatives providers out there.
For example, I know quite deeply what the capabilities of the 2nd generation software providers are in the United Kingdom.
You would expect this after working for 2 such companies and implementing the sheer amount of marketplace based businesses that I have over the past 10 years or so.
But don’t think that for one second I am an expert in all of these providers. I don’t live and breathe them as much as I used to and in September last year decided to start the 3rd generation of multi-channel software after being frustrated with the cost and inflexibility of the current options for you and your business ( hence this website and the video tutorials we now have ).
Back to the sales reps, they (you would hope) know their own software inside out, but when it comes to the other 2nd generation software providers, they won’t know exactly what each competitor is capable of.
In many ways it would be unfair to expect them to know their competitors capabilities inside out, this is the kind of insight that you would only gain after using the software as a business owner, so almost all internal knowledge gained is second hand and that’s where misconceptions and myths spring from.
This could easily be labeled as “playing- dirty” or suggest that because most 2nd generation providers use a percentage of sale model or hefty monthly fees they have a heavy financial incentive to pass on such myths.
The thing is it’s not this at all, it’s just down to insight, understanding and 2nd hand knowledge.
For example ChannelAdvisor can’t even spell my surname right, see here ( and you don’t even want to know what they wrote in that email ).
What can you expect from a FREE product..
M2E which stands for “Magento to eBay”, was developed to help thousands of business owners just like you across the globe to sell on the Marketplaces, leveraging the open-source platform Magento.
This has been delivered with the close co-operation of eBay Inc and by working together they have found the way to deliver a cutting-edge solution to all merchants worldwide, free of charge allowing you to compete more efficiently across multiple geographies while controlling business overheads.
M2EPro maybe free to use, however it should be noted that M2EPro isn’t free. eBay have been subsidising the M2EPro extension for Magento since 2011 and to the best of our knowledge this is set to remain so for the next two and half years.
Also note that in 2011 eBay purchased Magento outright after taking a 49% stake in 2010, so it’s very much in their interests that this continues.
So those Myths, Smashed
It’s also worth noting that the businesses that use Magento & M2EPro to sell onto the marketplaces like eBay & Amazon, probably don’t want you to know about this because they have such a massive competitive advantage over you, both in overheads and flexibility.
Myth #1 – Aimed at smaller businesses and not scalable…
As of June 2014, M2EPro have exceeded 55,000 downloads and have over 14,000 eBay accounts connected.
M2E Pro is used by large and small businesses across the globe every single day. Just over 5% of businesses using M2EPro are turning over more than $1,000,000 USD in gross sales each month.
Yep you’ve read that correctly, over 14,000 ebay accounts are connected to M2EPro. That’s got to be more than most US and UK 2nd generation multichannel software tools combined!
You may also want to listen to Podcasts we’ve done where we interview a business that processes over 2,000 orders a week using M2EPro and another that has over 10 retail stores and 40 members of staff using Magento & M2EPro daily.
Myth 2 – Not a “real-time” system.
Being able to synchronise your orders, listings & inventory is a key requirement for any online business, with M2EPro can synchronise your data and orders as often as every 5 minutes.
Any synchronisation delay is not a limitation of M2E Pro, rather a dependency on a server configuration.
This is exactly why the one thing you cannot skimp on when it comes to Magento is “quality Magento hosting”.
That may sound expensive, in reality starts at £16.99 or $19.99 USD per month.
Myth 3 – It’s just a simple data feed which only synchronises Order and Inventory.
M2E Pro is all about task automation, convenience and cutting down errors along while reducing the time spent on listing management to the bare minimum.
M2E Pro has developed a unique “policy” based system allowing you, our customer, to take full control over inventory and orders from “one page”, literally.
The idea of policies may be new to you, think of them as “cookie cutters” to make cookies (yummy!).
For example, if you need to update your eBay listing template, you change the cookie cutter (the policy), any changes made are then reflected on your live eBay listings shortly afterwards.
This is a process that will help you scale your business as you’re working smarter, not harder.
Myth 4 – No help with on-boarding or support.
Well we all know that’s a myth, see these video courses, we make it sooo easy anyone can install Magento and setup M2EPro to sell onto eBay.
Free support is part of the relationship with eBay and M2EPro, plus M2EPro released paid support plans as well, you can find out more about these on their website.
Myth 5 – Amazon is very simple & under-developed.
This summer M2EPro will be releasing a full version of M2E Pro Amazon (i.e. not a Beta!) which will have many long awaited features as well as a greatly simplified interface.
As the M2EPro team say, “It just takes time to develop a great solution…”
M2EPro was first released in 2009 and has had over 50 major updates. The eBay integration had the biggest update when version 6 was released. When the new Amazon revision comes out, expect similar features to what you can currently find for eBay in M2EPro.
Myth 6 – Not a cloud based system and thus difficult to integrate.
This is actually the complete opposite.
M2E Pro is a “3rd Generation” system, which brings your business a huge amount of flexibility in terms of what solution to use and does not leave you with only one option available once the system had been initially set and configured.
M2E Pro uses Magento as a “master database” allowing you to retain full ownership over your own data and system.
Magento is open source and has an extremely well documented development and soap API’s (the nerdy things that developers use).
Thousands of extensions have been developed and are available to you from the online library called “Magento Connect”. M2EPro is just one of these extensions.
All the major couriers such as USPS, Royal Mail (insert a long list of couriers here) are integrated to Magento, the same for accounting packages, fulfilment centres and so on…
2nd & 3rd Generations
You’ll have noticed that I’ve used references to “2nd Generation” and “3rd Generation” multi-channel software a couple of times in this post.
If this is something you have not come across before, simply consider any current software provider that does not use open source code is “2nd Generation” and by using Magento which is open source and the M2E Pro extension, that’s the 3rd Generation.
Fast, highly configurable and missing the massive burden of fixed features & functionality and most likely also missing the epic monthly bill for use of such multi-channel software.
So In Summary…
There are a couple of never before published stats in this article:
- M2EPro have exceeded 55,000 downloads and have over 14,000 eBay accounts connected
- And also over 5% of businesses using M2EPro turn over more than $1,000,000 USD in gross sales each month
That by anyones standards is a massive number of businesses that have chosen the 3rd Generation using Magento & M2EPro as their multichannel software.
The one that stands out for me the most is the “difficulty to integrate” myth (because it’s utter tripe).
Magento powers over 26% of the top 1 million eCommerce websites and this is blatantly a lack of understanding of what’s possible in Magento.
It’s more of a case that if a service provider doesn’t currently or are not working on an integration to Magento they’re almost working in the dark ages as far as the internet goes.
Unlike most 2nd Generation multichannel software, where you’re paying for 50% or more of a system that you don’t or will never use, using Magento as the inventory and order management system you can bolt-on what you need and only what you need.
So for example if you want to sell on eBay and/or Amazon, you add in the M2EPro extension.
If you want Sage integrated, or a specific courier you take an extension “off the shelf” and add it in. And crucially if you don’t want or need this, you don’t.
It’s what makes the 3rd Generation, so highly attractive, highly configurable and highly inexpensive long term.
Oh and one little detail, you don’t need a “Degree in Nerd” to use Magento, here is the “Matt & Dave proof ” video tutorials that you can use to get started.
Have you heard another myth about M2E Pro not listed above?
Let us know in the comments section below.
Matt & Dave