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Retail

Magento Community vs. Magento Enterprise: Which is Right for your Business?

Written by Adam Melrose Posted June 16, 2018

With the paradigm shift towards digital consumer behavior, online and mobile experiences has undoubtedly flourished in the retail landscape. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that more and more consumers are staying loyal to brands that offer seamless retail experiences through all channels.

With online stores needing much of the same IT infrastructure as their brick and mortor counterparts, many businesses look to ecommerce platforms as a solution to their digital strategy. One of the leading such platforms, Magento, offers solutions to B2B and B2C businesses of all sizes.

Magento is one of the most powerful e-commerce platforms available today. Leveraged by retailing giants and major brands, the success of Magento can be attributed to its extensive features, functionality, and dexterity. Magento offers two versions of its platform – Magento community edition, a free open source version and Magento Enterprise edition a paid premium version allowing businesses to leverage Magento's full set of features.

How to decide between Magento Community and Magento Enterprise?

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing which version to go with as each one appeals to different business needs and objectives. As a business owner, the decision is based on how best you are able to utilize the enhanced distinctive features of each version.

Beyond features and functionality wants, a business is going to have to look at their current and future business model to make a decision based on certain parameters including:

  • The amount of sales generated per month
  • Total number of unique visitors per month
  • Amount of time you are willing to spend to implement

What is Magento Community Edition?

Magento Community edition is a free open source software, meaning anyone can utilize it to build an online store. This version is usually best for small to midsized B2C retailers looking to scale their business.

The free open source edition allows users to customize and tailor Magento extensions to enhance website functionalities and customer shopping experience. With Chetu, a Magento Certified partner and developer, you can take advantage of the free edition with custom Magento solutions.

Image with different hands reaching out to Magento community edition open source platform

What is Magento Enterprise Edition?

Magento Enterprise Edition is the paid version of Magento. Compared to the community edition, the enterprise edition has advanced custom features and functionalities. Advanced features include promotional pricing for specific stores, categories, customer segments, products and more.

Magento Community Edition vs Magento Enterprise Edition – Key Differences

Magento Community Edition is used by business owners looking for a low cost ecommerce shopping front to further develop operations and enhance user shopping experience. Larger online retailers use Magento Enterprise edition because of its advanced and highly customizable features. When choosing between both versions, it's important to consider your current needs and future goals as an online merchant. To help you choose between the two, consider these 5 key differences: cost, performance, scalability, functionality, and security.

1.Cost

Depending on your business goals, budget and objectives you should consider the following. Magento enterprise edition starts off at $22,000/year, it is backed with advanced features, security updates, exclusive product enhancements and more. Although Magento Community is a free version, with Chetu Certified Magento Developers you can transform the platform to have all the industry focus features your store needs.

Image with illustration graphic featuring ROI return on investment from magento enterprise edition and chetu

2. Performance

Most online retail business owners prefer the Magento community edition as it offers limitless customizable options available through its open source platform. But platform customization can be difficult for non-tech users. It's essential to be able to customize your Magento store and Magento multi store platforms through redevelopment, redesign, and design services to enhance and ensure smooth operation and target business goals. There is a necessity in hiring experienced Magento certified developers to properly build and support your professional online store.

Increased limitations with Magento Community Edition makes Magento Enterprise Edition more appealing. For larger businesses with more needs, the paid Magento enterprise edition can be the most cost-effective option with a higher return on investment due to its support for running multiple databases to support checkout, order management, and product data, allowing for functional areas to be independently scaled. In addition, new Magento cloud service like the Enterprise Cloud Edition enables rapid deployment of fully customizable, secure, and scalable web storefronts on a redundant, AWS-based hosting and managed services infrastructure, fully optimized for performance and resilience.

ecommerce icons with Magento enterprise edition performance features

3. Scalability

If you're business is looking to grow in the near future and gain heavy website traffic, then site functionality, major customizations, security, and product enhancements will be essential to bottom line ecommerce goals. Magento Enterprise edition is designed for scalability if you're expecting large website traffic, as its underhand code base is better formatted to implement high end development. Enterprise edition features accelerated rendering of admin product, and also customer and order management views for faster access to information.

Before committing to Magento community edition, it is important to consider this: upgrading from one version to another is not simple. Code base differentiations between each platform will require proper integration and planning before any switch. It's important to ensure that your business is backed by an experienced team of software developers who are able to seamlessly migrate your eCommerce site from community edition to enterprise edition, ensuring data integrity, extension compatibility, and consistent storefront designs.

4. Functionality

ecommerce info graphic with magento enterprise edition functionalities like customer support, personalization, and payment option icons

When it comes to online selling capabilities, both community edition and enterprise edition compensate the same core functionalities. But the higher cost of Magento enterprise comes with advanced functionalities such as full-page caching for fast site performance. Another added benefit is customer segmentation and personalization where merchants can boost conversion rates by dynamically displaying content, promotions, and pricing specific to customer demographic, order history, lifetime purchase value, and wish list items. Business owners can also offer reward points for purchases, registration, product reviews and other actions, contributing to added conversions and improved revenue. With the paid version you are also able to Streamline re-ordering by enabling shoppers to add products to the cart by SKU. If you want visibility on all products, Magento enterprise helps to enable detailed search results for search engine optimization by automatically adding structured data markup to product pages. Magento community edition employs these features on a basic low scale level.

5. Security

Security is the fundamental highlight of Magento Enterprise edition as the biggest downside of Magento community edition is that it is not PCI compliant. In addition, Magento community does not have credit card tokenization or highly secured payment bridges. Customers appreciate the ability to have an online store that offers multiple secure payment gateways. With Magento enterprise you are able to securely Integrate PayPal, Braintree, Authorize.net, CyberSource, WorldPay, and more. The paid enterprise version also offers regular scanning, external penetration testing, and bug bounty programs that promote core platform security.

What should you choose?

In summary, both Magento Community and Magento Enterprise tackle different business objectives with varying functionalities. If you are a small to mid-sized business owner Magento Community edition may be your best option. By going with community edition you save on the $22,000/year license fee given you find a software solutions and integration company able to seamlessly configure the Magento platform to your product, business, and style needs suitable for your brand's e-commerce goals. Magento enterprise is made scalable for online stores with large traffic as it offers advanced features such as customer segmentation, multiple master databases for functional order management and optimized catalog management.

Although, Magento is an ecommerce industry leader offering versions that can be a solid platform option for any business, it is important to ensure that you have a support team of e-commerce software solution experts able to provide custom integration and support for your online store. Chetu is a certified Magento partner providing custom software development solutions for businesses worldwide. Chetu seamlessly migrates your eCommerce site from other platforms to Magento 2.0, ensuring data integrity, extension compatibility, and consistent storefront designs, as well as custom migrations from Community to Enterprise edition. Contact us now to see how our custom software development and IT staffing services will benefit your business.

Disclaimer:

Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

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