Choosing between Magento Community Edition (CE) and Enterprise Edition (EE) is not easy. But, thanks to Magento 2, the job is no longer as difficult as it was with Magento 1.
Magento 1 CE and EE had very few differences and you could achieve similar performance with Magento 1 EE as you could with Magento 1 CE. However, with Magento 2, the gap in functionality between Community and Enterprise Edition has greatly increased. It seems as though Magento is more inclined to add features and support EE compared to CE, making the decision process easier.
But, that does not mean that Magento CE has no significance. The best way to decide which one you should go for is to weigh both editions based on several parameters to ensure you make the right decision.
So, here we explain the differences between both Magento 2 versions with the additional features that have been missing in Magento 1. Read on to learn more.
Magento 2 EE offers a built-in functionality that enables you to easily manage customer attributes from the admin, but that is not also the case with Magento 2 CE. The latter version requires you to buy an extension to add customer attributes that are not the default ones.
For small businesses, this might not be a matter of much concern. However, for merchants who manage many stores and catalogues and require different attributes or classes for each one, the built-in functionality is a big boon.
In addition, Magento 2 EE comes with the Message Queue Framework (MQF). With this system, a module can publish messages to queues and it does so by using RabbitMQ as the messaging broker that offers a platform, which can be scaled up or down, to send and receive messages.
This system includes a mechanism which goes through the messages which were not delivered and identifies the clients who will receive the messages asynchronously. You can also set up a basic messaging queue without using RabbitMQ. This should be explored whenever feasible.
The MQF feature is not available with Magento CE.
If you want loyal customers, look no further than Magento 2 EE. It offers several loyalty features, such as the following:
- Bulk ordering
- In-store credits (which can be used for returns)
- Reward points
- Gift registry (which can be used for special events, including weddings or birthdays)
- Gift cards
- Private sales with an “Invite-a-Friend” option that improves shopper engagement, rewards your customers and encourages repeat purchases.
These features also help you keep your customers engaged by updating them with the latest product discounts and releases.
Marketing and Merchandising
Marketing is a critical function of every business and Magento 2 EE comes with powerful tools to strengthen your marketing initiatives. For example, it provides drag-and-drop visual merchandising tools that simplify product category creation and product grouping.
Here is a quick rundown of some of the marketing tools which Magento 2 EE offers:
- Rule-based related products
- Cross-sells and up-sells (not available with CE)
- Flexible pricing rules
- Promotions targeted by customer segment
- Automated reminder emails for abandoned shopping carts and wish-lists
Analytics is just as important as any other business function since it helps you identify what works and what does not. In this way, you can tweak your strategy to improve the end results. The good news is that both Magento 2 versions offer an analytics and reporting feature. You can download the report data as a .CSV or .XML file or view it online.
The main types of reports are products, invitations, sales, reviews, tags, search terms and customers.
Most importantly, Magento now also comes with a brand new integration with Google Tag Manager (GTM). This is a free tool from Google that helps you easily manage many snippets, codes or tags related to marketing initiatives and which is deeply integrated into the platform. For example, you can use GTM to add tracking tags to your Magento site for retargeting, audience measurement, search engine marketing, personalisation and more.
The best part is that GTM directly transfers the events and data to Google Analytics Enhanced E-commerce and other third-party analytics solutions to help you analyse the performance of your products, the site and your promotions. In a nutshell, GTM gives you all the insight you need to identify user behaviour on your site so that you can plan and strategise accordingly.
Shopping Experience and Navigation
Both Magento 2 versions help you manage contents from the admin panel. You can manage the homepage and landing page banners that display on your store’s frontend as well as the blocks and pages. However, Magento 2 EE offers advanced content management as well.
And, when it comes to navigation and shopping experience, Magento 2 EE is the undisputed leader. With Magento 2.x EE, you can configure advanced search by using Solr (an alternative to the standard Magento search) as a catalogue search engine. Solr is highly scalable, providing distributed search and index replication and offers extensive plug-in architecture if you need more advanced customisation. Also, it's powerful external configuration enables you to tailor to almost any type of application with zero Java coding. Magento 2 EE even offers a short and fast checkout process to improve the user experience.
Magento 2 EE comes with a scheduled FTP/SFTP transfer feature via XML which is every useful to manage large catalogues and inventory updates. Ideally, it is extremely difficult to transfer massive amounts of data, such as customers and catalogues using API calls, but the transfer feature of Magento 2 EE makes transferring your website into another hosting environment seamless.
Performance and Behaviour
Magento 2 EE offers the Magento 2 Split Database Solution which allows you to exploit three master databases concurrently which increases site performance. Furthermore, this Magento 2 feature incorporates the orders, checkout, and product data. Each one of these sections of the platform can have its own master database. This master database then allows you to make a copy so that you can scale load from Magento 2 checkouts, browsing or order management and merchandising activities with ease.
When it comes to database replication, Magento 2 EE also offers scalability, data analysis and data backups which do not affect the master database. Also, the MySQL database copies asynchronously. In this way, slave databases do not need to always be connected to receive the master updates.
Here are some other aspects which indicate the better performance in Magento 2 EE:
- Usage of MySQL cluster
- Multiple master databasesJob queue mechanism
- Varnish page caching
There are a couple of improvements in the performance we could see in both Magento 2 versions. These included the following:
- Deferred inventory updates in checkout for better performance
- Compatibility with MySQL cluster for checkout and order management databases
If support is your primary requirement, then you should go for Magento 2 EE. Unlike Magento CE, Magento EE comes with round-the-clock technical support, dedicated account management and security support. It also has an experienced support team that can quickly and efficiently solve any problem.
Such comprehensive support saves you the time needed to troubleshoot your issues with their expertise and special diagnostic tools. The account managers are also a great help as they can advise you on getting the maximum out of your solution.
The Magento 2 EE license fee is directly proportional to your business revenue. The fee amount varies, depending on your business’s earnings. So, the higher your revenue is, the less percentage of the revenue is charged. Looking at such a licensing structure, EE seems more suitable for big merchants, while CE is more apt for startups or emerging small businesses as it is free.
If you run a small e-commerce site with a few products and visitors, you should undoubtedly go for CE. It offers everything a standard online shop requires and it does so with zero cost. So, your costs are limited to the webspace, domain name and a good, preferably certified, Magento programmer.
But, if you serve multiple countries in multiple languages, have many visitors and products, integrate with a different ERP, then you should look no further than Magento EE. It has everything CE offers as well as the great additional features mentioned above which can help you take your business to the next level. Yes, Magento EE costs more, but the list of advanced features and capabilities it offers nullifies that concern. That does not mean that Magento 2 CE cannot be customised for complex requirements; only, the development time and expenses will increase greatly.
So, whether you need Magento EE or CE completely depends on your business needs.
If you still need assistance with choosing the right platform, get in touch with experienced e-commerce solution providers with a proven track record to take you on the right path.
Speak to us today, to learn how we can help.