Over the last decade, Magento has built up a formidable reputation as the most popular eCommerce platform in the world. In 2017, 31.4% of the top 100,000 websites ran on Magento. In fact, an unprecedented number of companies worldwide benefit from the Magento platform.

Magento has become the go-to option for flexible, affordable eCommerce deployments, and is dominating the platform market not only in Sales but with Leader status in both the Gartner Magic Quadrant and the newly-formed Forrester mid-size B2B report.

As a Strategic Enterprise partner operating a dedicated Magento practice, none of this comes as a surprise to Wunderman Thompson Commerce. We’ve been developing Magento platforms that are driving high impact (think: conversion uplift, enhanced site performance) in short timeframes for leading brands such as Audi, Habitat and Punch Taverns.

Since its inception, Magento has been available in two editions:

  • OpenSource Edition (formerly Community): a free version of the platform with a relatively shallow learning curve that offers access to a huge web of feature extensions.
  • Commerce Edition (formerly split into Enterprise & Magento Cloud Edition): allowing large businesses to explore its full functionality, and scalable to practically any size of deployment

With Magento Version 2.2 on the near horizon, we asked: What are the key differences between Editions? How do you know which Edition is the right one for your business?

Magento Opensource Edition

Previously known as Magento Community, Magento Opensource Edition is the free open source Magento platform that Magento started life as back in 2008. Available for everyone to download, install and extend, users are free to make configuration adjustments to the software to meet their specific needs, unlike a SaaS model that locks you into a given software roadmap.

For a developing business or a startup, the OpenSource Editions ease of use and straightforward management provides a great introduction to the tooling and platform and allows customers to spin up an eCommerce web store quickly and with minimal fuss.

The vast community of developers who work with Magento OpenSource is consistently developing new extensions that add new functionality to an already impressive base feature set.

Magento Commerce Edition

Commerce refers to both an instance-based Enterprise-level platform which can be hosted on prem or in the cloud and Magento’s own Cloud Commerce offering.

The Commerce Edition is much more than simply a licensed edition of Magento OpenSource. Although built on the same code stack, the Magento Commerce platform is generally used by larger companies with higher throughputs of customer traffic / larger product catalogs / wider global presence / greater business complexity.

With a set of handy configurable features to ensure an optimal customer experience, some of the additional benefits of Commerce are:

  • Magento Technical Support
  • Magento Dedicated Account Management

*Note: Wunderman Thompson Commerce Managed Service Support & Wunderman Thompson Commerce dedicated Account Management are available for both Editions

Key feature differences between Magento Opensource & Commerce Editions

As we’ve established, at a fundamental level the codebase for both Editions is the same, however certain features are only available in the Commerce edition (Note: these are some of the key features, but please contact us for a more comprehensive list):

Features Opensource Commerce
License Costs Free Revenue based license
cost (tiered)

For license prices tailored to you contact Magento Sales

Responsive Ecomm
website (Global capability)
Promotions Engine /
Product & Catalog Mgt
Checkout, Payment,
Shipping & Order Mgt
Site management
(admin)
ElasticSearch
Bluefoot
CMS in 2.2
Magento Order
Management
Content
Staging & Preview
Magento Shipping
OOTB
B2B Functionality (in v2.2)

Conclusion

As with a decision between platforms, the decision as to whether to use Opensource and Commerce boils down to the specifics of your business and your overall digital strategy. Every customer has their own wishlist and requirements when it comes to their brand, and the key to designing and implementing efficient and effective solutions is in recognizing our clients individuality.

At Wunderman Thompson Commerce, we understand that a broader feature set and scalability are extremely important to get the most out of your online presence, but equally we understand that the ability to put a cost-effective Opensource solution live extremely quickly brings major benefits of its own.

Indeed, the power of Magento lies in the great inherent flexibility of the platform; flexibility that means that Magento is capable of doing just about anything you can think of – and that experts such as Wunderman Thompson Commerce can leverage to produce a solution unique to your needs. Having delivered solutions for our clients using both Opensource and Commerce, we have found that either can be used to build an effective web-shop platform. We’d love to talk to you more about the possibilities of the Magento Web-shop platform.

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