Many webshop owners ask, “What’s right for me, the (free) Magento 2 Community edition, or the Enterprise edition?” This article explains the differences between the two, and the pro’s and con’s for your business.
For businesses with a limited number of products and visitors, the choice is obvious: opt for the latest version of the Community edition, and stay up to date with patches and updates. This version offers everything the standard webshop requires. Your costs are limited to a domain name, webspace and a good – preferably certified – Magento programmer. Use of this version of Magento is free of charge.
For businesses with a web presence in multiple countries, multiple languages, many visitors, and many products, Magento Enterprise is the answer. This version has everything in the Community Edition, but with a number of additional features, especially when in comes to scale and performance.
Magento 2 Enterprise Edition Features
The following features are available exclusively with the Magento 2 Enterprise Edition:
Support from Magento
As an Enterprise owner, you receive technical support from Magento itself and are free to use the same diagnostic tools they use themselves. You are assigned a dedicated account manager and can access the Expert Consulting Group (https://magento.com/support/consulting). You’ll also receive exclusive access to quarterly extended releases to ensure that your webshop keeps growing.
Powerful scalability and performance
With Enterprise it’s possible for customers to save their shopping cart contents, which improves performance during peak traffic hours. There’s support for running multiple MySQL databases and clustering for quicker data retrieval. Databases can be reserved for different uses; for example, you can set up separate databases for checkout, order processing, and product data, to ensure that the ordering process isn’t affected by product edits.
Marketing & Merchandising
Magento Enterprise makes a more personal shopping experience possible. There’s a built-in points system, gift registry and multiple wish-lists, features that increase customer loyalty. It’s also possible to organise exclusive private sales events.
Customer profiles can be constructed using custom attributes. Specific customer segments can be targeted with flexible pricing rules, discount codes and promotions.
The new drag-and-drop Visual Merchandising Tools greatly simplifies the creation of product categories as well as the grouping of products.
Related-, upsell- and cross-sell products can be assigned according to a number of rules, ensuring the automatic display of relevant products.
The integrated Solr search method delivers quicker and more accurate search results.
Enterprise Edition also offers automated e-mail messaging, useful for sending a reminder when a customer abandons a filled shopping cart, or wants to receive updates on products saved to a wish-list.
De CMS pages now have a versioning system, so you can always revert to a previously saved copy while editing.
Extending customer loyalty
Using the standard point system, customers can receive loyalty points by placing an order, subscribing to a newsletter, or writing a review. Points can be converted to discounts when making a purchase. It’s possible to set limits on the number of points to be collected, or to set an expiration date on points earned.
Store credit can be issued for returns. Gift card implementation is simple. When organising private sales events, it’s also possible to use the new “Invite-a-Friend” feature.
Customers can set up gift registries for special events (weddings, baby showers, or birthdays). Thanks to automated e-mail messaging, friends and family can easily purchase products from the registry and opt for gift-wrapping or other special packaging.
Better Management Tools
The Enterprise RMA module is the most efficient manner to process returns. Customers announce their returns in the webshop. From there, the entire process is automated, including the sending of e-mail instructions to the customer.
Large concerns usually have multiple administrators using the Magento backend. Backend users can be assigned roles to determine their access levels.
To increase efficiency, importing and exporting products and customer data can be scheduled to ensure that new data enters the system at the most opportune moments.
For a good summary of the all Magento versions, consult the ‘Magento Features List’.