Commerce or Open Source? Which Magento site suits your store?

Did you know that Magento V2 has two very different options? Understanding the differences, the similarities and knowing what your store needs will help you make the right choice. 

Let’s clear up the names first. Magento Community Edition (CE) now goes by the name of Magento V2 Open Source. While Magento Enterprise Edition (EE) is best known as Magento V2 Commerce. So, these are your two options when moving to Magento or upgrading your existing Magento site. But what’s the difference? And, which one should you be using? 

Magento Commerce vs Magento Open Source: what’s the same? 

Essentially Magento Commerce is an advanced version of Magento Open Source and, while the two have distinctive differences, at their heart are the same core functionalities. Both have nine, eCommerce specific features in-built. So, whichever option you choose you will get the following as a standard:

  • Product catalog
  • Content management system
  • Order management
  • Marketing support
  • Cart and checkout
  • Customer management
  • Store management
  • Analytics and reporting
  • System management. 

Magento Commerce vs Magento Open Source: what’s the difference? 

The first and most obvious difference is price. Magento V2 Open Source is a free platform, while Magento 2 Commerce has a licensing fee to pay and includes more advanced functionalities. 

Magento 2 Commerce has been designed to support scalability and to create a super-smooth journey for both store owners and customers. It has functionalities for improving SEO, the checkout experience and global database capacity. Magento V2 Open Source is – well – open-source, that means that various expandable options are available as plug-ins. For example, an out-of-the-box gift card features in Commerce. Here it’s a simple as enabling it and allowing your customers to start using it. Yet, while this isn’t included in an Open Source site, it can be added to your Open Source by installing a Magento V2 gift card extension.  

However, there are benefits to Magento V2 Commerce that will drastically make your store experience easier and more intuitive. For example, ‘schedule changes’. Small but powerful, this feature enables you to set times for automatic category updates, for content changes, and price amendments. Set them to go at the same time, and watch your store refresh and reset on your terms.  

Magento V2 Open Source has a wishlist capacity for customers. Wishlists are crucial for an omnichannel approach to online selling. With so many options available for consumers, combined with their fast browsing times across multiple devices and from different platforms, it’s never been more important to keep track of ‘wishful’ purchases: the ones they’ll come back to. With nowhere to save potential purchases, you risk losing customers fast. Magento V2 Open Source has a wishlist, but Commerce boasts a far more comprehensive approach, enabling multiple wishlists. You can also tie in reward schemes and store credits to help keep your customers loyal.  

Magento V2 Commerce also has a returns system that will seriously clear-up any stress you have with returning products and potential loss of revenue. RMA (Returns Management Authorization) is your ticket to hassle-free returns, refunds, exchanges, store credits, and flexible policies. A definite bonus for large store eCommerce sites, or if you have a shopping model that is heavily reliant on a returns system. 

In short, content updates, marketing, banners, staging and managing campaigns (complete with an easy-to-digest staging dashboard) are simple and fast with Magento V2 Commerce. That’s not to say that its capacities are inaccessible in Open Source, but you’ll have to look around and discover the right plug-ins for your needs. Don’t forget that if you’re paying a developer to help with multiple extensions and to help manage your Magento store, you could end up paying for more than the Commerce site. Take your time and weigh up your needs and options. 

Which Magento site is best for you? 

If you’re just starting out in the eCommerce world, then hosting your site on a free platform, such as Magento V2 Open Source is going to make financial sense. The fewer initial overheads you have, the more room you give your business to breathe. You can always upgrade your Magento site if your store takes off and you need to expand. 

If you have a successful store and you’re looking to migrate or upgrade, Magento V2 Commerce has pretty much been designed to meet your exact needs. It will enable your business to scale, support a global store with hundreds and thousands of products. In short, if you’re drowning in site admin, Magento V2 Commerce could help to lighten the load, allowing your site to run as it should and you to develop your business – rather than managing an array of plugins. 

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