Magento Open Source vs Commerce – What’s the Difference?

Arguably the world’s most powerful and feature-rich eCommerce solution, Magento offers two main versions aimed at slightly different users: Magento Commerce and Magento Open Source.

If you’ve spent any time looking into Magento, you’re probably wondering about the main differences between the two. So, which one is right for you? Should you stick with the free version, or is it worth investing in the premium edition?

Magento Open Source

Formerly known as Magento Community Edition (CE), the free version of Magento is a hugely popular choice for online retailers. If you’re looking for a robust and flexible eCommerce solution that offers everything needed to create and grow a unique online store, you could do a lot worse than choosing Magento Open Source.

Although it is available as a free download, you’ll also find a wide variety of premium extensions that allow you to further extend its functionality as required. It has been designed as a developer-friendly platform and is supported by a massive community of over 350,000 contributors.

Magento Commerce

Unlike Magento Open Source, Magento Commerce is a paid solution that offers a plethora of additional features and services.

While we’re huge fans of Open Source, it does have some limitations that make it less suitable for medium to large enterprises requiring extra flexibility and scalability. 

Some of the key upgrades in the Commerce edition include:

Page Builder

An intuitive editor that allows you to edit the content and pages on your site without the need for developer support. Using the powerful drag-and-drop builder, you can quickly and easily design pages and products exactly how you want. What’s more, you’ll see your changes in real-time – all without needing any code. It’s even possible to create layout templates and use them in multiple locations across your site.

Advanced Marketing Tools

Magento Commerce includes a wide variety of advanced marketing tools to help you boost sales and increase engagement, including:

  • Customer segmentation and personalisation options, allowing you to dynamically display content and promotions based on customer location, order history, lifetime purchase value, wish list items, and more.
  • Abandoned cart emails to notify customers about products they added to their basket but didn’t actually purchase. 
  • Private sales and events including time-limited sales, member sales, event invitations, and more.
  • Dynamic rule-based product relations, allowing you to increase sales by automatically presenting up-sells, cross-sells and related products to your customers.

User Experience

Magento Commerce includes a number of features that improve the customer experience and boost conversions.

ElasticSearch, for example, provides the customer with more relevant search results. Built to handle huge catalogues, it includes useful features like support for misspellings, stop words and attribute weighting.

As you would expect, Magento Commerce utilises responsive design to ensure your site is optimised for all screen sizes. In practice, this means page layouts, menus, images and checkout screens look great on every device – from mobiles to desktops.

Administration Tools

Magento Commerce includes additional features that make day-to-day admin tasks simpler and more intuitive.

Content Staging and Preview allows you to schedule content updates directly from the admin area.

Visual Merchandising makes it quick and easy to optimise product category pages and deploy sorting rules based on popularity, colour, highest margin, etc. 

B2B Modules

Magento Commerce includes a wide variety of features specifically designed for B2B retailers, including:

  • Advanced ordering options, including support for SKUs, CSV files, easy reordering, etc
  • Built-in quote management tools
  • Custom catalogues and price lists
  • Real-time inventory management tools

See our recent blog post to learn more about B2B features in Magento Commerce.

Other Benefits

You’ll find a number of additional upgrades over the Open Source version, including access to advanced analytics and reporting, Magento-certified cloud infrastructure and more. In addition, your subscription includes official Magento support and access to a dedicated advisor.

Which Version is Right for Me?

In conclusion, choosing between the two versions comes down to your business, your overall objectives, and how much you have to spend. 

Magento Open Source is the perfect choice for a small or startup business looking for a robust eCommerce solution that can be set up and managed with minimal cost. Meanwhile, Magento Commerce is ideally suited to growth-oriented merchants with more complex needs.

Unsure about which version is right for you?

As a certified Magento digital agency, we’re here to advise and guide you on the best possible solution for your business.

We believe in complete honesty and transparency, meaning we’ll never sell you something we don’t think is right just to make a quick buck. Contact us today to discuss your options with our friendly team.

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