Magento is an open source e-commerce platform that enables highly feature rich state of the arts, scalable, functionality, and flexible content management system to e-commerce websites. Magento is based on the Zend PHP Framework. Magento has three editions, Magento Community Edition, Magento Enterprise and Magento Go. Magento retains all the advantages of the designed flexibility in its all editions.
Magento is a fully-integrated e-commerce platform featuring flexible product display options, mobile templates, multiple transaction options, multi-stores, marketplaces and multi-sites functionality, advanced user accounts and loyalty programs, product categorization and shopper filtering, configurable discount and promotion rules, plus many more functionalities.
Magento Community Edition offers e-commerce websites flexibility to manage the content, looks and functionality of their e-commerce store. Developers can modify the core code and add features and functionality by installing extensions from the Magento Connect marketplace. Magento has a big support community, which means you can find tutorials and articles almost about anything you need.
The main advantages of the Magento ecommerce solutions are:
1. Open source software with a lot of 3rd party add-ons and modules to extend its functionality
2. Integration support for dozens of payment gateways and other systems such as ERPs, CRMs etc.
3. Magento is designed in configuration based MVC system (along with a range of extensions) that helps to make your website highly scalable.
4. Magento offers you to custom code any functionality or feature as a module or extension making to highly flexible and feature rich. It offers a multitude of options for products including virtual, configurable and custom products.
5. Magento enables highly flexible integration with other web services which helps you to expand into multiple channel marketing channels. Magento can integrate your e-commerce website products with 3rd party services such as ad networks like Google Product listings, marketplaces, analytic tools and other functionality.
6. Magento e-commerce platform features rich powerful SEO, marketing and catalogue management tools so as to fulfill all the online business requirements of merchants.
7. Magento enables full customization for the UI/UX with available themes and layouts to customize your website so that it can stand out. Magento supports responsive layouts from start and thus supports a mobile version of your ecommerce site without any extra efforts.
With powerful flexibility and scalability, the base Magento product can be started up cost-effectively and provide you with the resources and rich features to start an online presence within a short period. Also more advanced functions can easily be added through extensions and customization.
For comparison see our Article: Magento Community Edition Design and Development and choose which edition suits your needs.