Developed by the merchant, Magento 2 offers a host of features over and above what's available in Magento 1, here's a quick rundown of just some of the extra features that you get:
- Improved scalability & performance
- Quicker checkout process
- Improved UI of admin panel
- Better reporting
- Improved security
As with version 1, Magento 2 is available in paid and free versions; Open Source (formerly the Community Edition), Commerce (formerly the Enterprise Edition) and Enterprise Cloud Edition; a new edition to the family.
Magento 2 Open Source
Open Source is the free-offering from Magento and is ideal for smaller merchants that don't need the extra functionality of the Enterprise Edition. Below are some examples of stores that use Open Source.
As you can see, you can build great ecommerce stores through this edition that look fantastic.
Magento 2 Commerce
Magento Commerce is widely considered to be the offering that suits the needs of medium-large sized merchants. Offering extra functionality including automated merchandising and marketing, this enterprise version has a yearly retainer applicable for the life of your store.
New to Magento 2, the Cloud Edition is Magento's SaaS offering. Built on a powerful technology stack, Magento 2 Enterprise Cloud Edition is hosted on AWS for global availability, features Fastly's CDN and performance management tools New Relic and blackfire.io. This version basically means that there is no need for self-hosting your store. Instead, it is hosted in the cloud, so aspects like performance are taken care of by Magento. Below are some examples of stores that use Commerce.
Magento Open Source or Commerce?
Having these different available versions gives great flexibility to retailers when looking to choose the perfect solution to fit their business needs. But, having the option to choose means that you have to be able to decide which version is best for you. This is not the easiest decision to make, and it's difficult to know where to start.
To help you make the choice and clear things up a little bit, we're going to see what Open Source and Commerce editions can offer you based on 5 main categories;
- Scalability & performance
- Shopper experience
- Marketing & merchandising
So, let's get straight to it!
As previously mentioned Open Source is completely free for merchants to download. There are of course development costs, but this lower price point has a clear advantage for smaller sized stores that don't have large budgets to spend on software.
In terms of the Commerce edition, the cost follows a revenue model. So, what you pay will vary depending on how much revenue your business makes. It is based on a tier-system, so if your revenue lies between two set limits, you will pay the respective set price. Quotes start at around $22,000. The Commerce Cloud Edition is based on the same pricing system, quotes for this start from around $40,000.
Scalability & Performance
Magento claims that both editions can handle up to 39% more orders per hour than its predecessor. However it's important to note that hosting and development will have a huge impact on performance.
Compared head-to-head, Magento 2 Commerce offers much greater performance and scalability compared to the Open Source edition due to its advanced features.
Commerce also offers the Magento 2 Split Database Solution which allows a merchant to use 3 MySQL master databases used concurrently, for different functional areas of Magento. This provides excellent flexibility for your store in terms of scaling load from different store functions, keeping performance high.
When trying to scale, Commerce offers data analysis and data backups which do not affect the 3 master databases, making it easy to build upon the data you already have without having to alter it.
Both versions enable you to manage content from the admin panel, however the Commerce edition provides additional functionality to personalise your customer experience. For example, you can show customers personalised content based on a variety of factors as they browse, provide an instant checkout process, have advanced content management and layered search.
Furthermore there are more advanced options such as built-in custom loyalty rewards programs. Admins can even create a private website for a flash sale.
In all, the extras you get from the Commerce edition may not be needed by start-up ecommerce merchants. However, it does give you many different options to try and create a great experience for customers, turning them into brand advocates.
Marketing & Merchandising
Most of the new marketing and merchandising functionality lies only within the Commerce edition. The marketing features you are provided with are extensive and give you many options to reach your customers with personalised messages via a variety of channels.
For example, you can show customers related products via custom rules and also introduce flexible pricing rules. Another great feature in Commerce is the ability to segment customers by additional attributes, such as gender, to create fully-custom segments that you can use to target with marketing campaigns.
Magento has also recognised the importance of email marketing to retailers in Magento 2 by offering Dotmailer baked in. Send cart-abandonment emails with ease and develop personalised emails based on customer purchase data..
Finally, after you've created and executed marketing campaigns, you can analyse the results with new easy-to-use reports.
Support can be an extremely important factor when picking what version you want to go with. Whether you need technical help, your store goes offline or you have a security breach, having a solution with a support structure in place is vital.
Magento 2 Commerce has a superior offering compared to Open Source. Commerce comes with 24/7 technical support, dedicated account managers and security support. The account managers are especially helpful to give you tips and advice on how to use the most out of all the features we have previously mentioned. They also use special diagnostic tools to sort out issues quickly.
However, should you chose to go for Magento Open Source, we offer an unrivalled website maintenance service to support Magento users.
After reading this article, you will have realised that Magento 2 Commerce Edition provides a much more feature rich solution compared to the Magento 2 Open Source Edition. These features are excellent and provide retailers with many options over a variety of business functions, but are not a must-have for every retailer.
If you are only a small retailer who sells a few products then Open Source is the best place to start. It's free and covers all the basic functionality an ecommerce store needs to get up and running to start fulfilling orders. You may not require all the additional features available in Commerce, but the opportunity to upgrade is there should your business grow.
On the other hand, If you're a medium-large retailer, stocking many products with a large amount of traffic visiting your site consistently, then Commerce Edition is definitely the way to go. It's unparalleled in the features it can offer your store, from support to providing a great customer experience. It has everything a merchant could want to take their ecommerce business to the next-level.
Made Your Decision?
If this article has helped you decide which version to go for, we can help you with the next steps to design, develop and host your Magento store. We are Magento certified and have years of successful projects under our belt so why not visit our website here or contact us today.