E-commerce merchants interested in the Magento 2 platform often struggle with the question of whether they should go with its Community Edition (CE) or Enterprise Edition (EE). The most basic difference between these two editions is the price. While Magento 2 CE is available to use for free, Magento 2 EE is a paid platform and demands license fees for usage. Even though Community Edition comes with pretty powerful e-commerce features, Enterprise Edition offers more advanced set of functionalities and capabilities, which explains why the former is free and the latter will cost money.
So what should you choose, Community or Enterprise? The free edition does seem like an attractive and affordable choice for everyone, but it’s actually better suited for small e-commerce businesses. That’s not to say medium and large scale businesses can’t use Community Edition to their advantage, but bigger online stores often have more complicated workflows and needs, thus requiring more sophisticated features than what’s offered by the Community Edition.
It’s possible to expand the scope of Community Edition’s functionality with the help of extensions, but this will only cost additional time and money to the business. So, Enterprise Edition already comes equipped with most of the advanced features that an e-commerce store could need and you can get straight down to using them for your store without any more trouble or inconvenience.
Enterprise Edition is recommended for e-commerce businesses that have been around for a while, require exclusive supporting features, need upgraded scalability and performance ability, and aim for broader future business objectives. Medium to large sized businesses often fit this criteria.
Here’s an overview of the different ways in which Magento 2 EE trumps Magento 2 CE:
Unique Marketing and Promotional Capabilities
An online store thrives if its marketing and promotional endeavors are on point. Magento 2 EE offers various related tools and options to aid a merchant in the process. It’s possible to create separate customer segments by using customer attributes like: location, date of birth, and gender, for planning marketing campaigns and shopping experiences that are specifically targeted or tailored for each of the segments.
Promotional activities can be geared for customers depending upon their wish lists, type of products in shopping cart, and order history. In fact, promotions can even be personalized for unregistered users depending on the products viewed by them in the past and the products in their shopping carts. Promotional pricing can be set for different customer segments, and even for specific products and categories.
Store owners can create custom promotional coupons for specific customer segments, products, categories, time duration, etc. The coupon codes can be exported for purposes like email newsletters and offline distribution. It’s also possible to analyze how well a coupon is performing by tracking and reporting its usage.
Enterprise Edition’s special feature of automated email marketing reminders offers a great way to effortlessly stay connected with customers. These emails remind customers about their wish lists, shopping carts that the customers had abandoned, etc.
Magento 2 EE also makes it easy to earn customer loyalty with its efficient loyalty programs like, store credits and reward points. Merchants can configure criteria based reward points for customers who can then redeem at the time of billing. Store credits added to the customer account is another great customer engagement method which ensures that they will eventually come back to the store for more shopping to redeem those credits.
The gift registry option of the platform allows customers to craft special gift lists and share those with their friends and family for special occasions like birthdays, weddings, etc. This option benefits the store in two ways; while it offers the existing customers an organized way to manage their gift expectations for an occasion, it also brings in new prospective buyers for the store.
Another worthwhile mention in the exceptional marketing capabilities of Magento 2 EE is the ease of up-selling and cross-selling in the platform through automated rule-based product relationships. To sum it up, if marketing and promotional activities are the driving engine for an online store, then Magento 2 EE offers plenty of ways to ensure that this engine keeps running smoothly.
Reliable Support Just A Call Away
Technical issues can come knocking at any time. Magento 2 EE offers 24/7 professional support to deal with issues. The technical support that you receive is from Magento itself, which means that your issues will be addressed by bona fide Magento experts. You’ll also be assigned a dedicated account manager whose sole job would be to help your business leverage the Magento platform in the best possible way . Magento 2 EE gives you someone to always count on.
Better Product and Product Search Management
Visual merchandising and Elasticsearch are the two major ways in which Magento 2 EE supports better product and product search management. The visual merchandising tool offers a drag-and-drop or rule-based functionality which you can use to order the products in a product category page on the basis of criteria like: best selling, latest addition, color, etc. The tool also enables setting up rules that govern automatic attribute-based allocation of products to categories.
Elasticsearch streamlines search processes and results for the users allowing them to easily get to the product they’re looking for. Elasticsearch gives users more relevant and faster product search results even as the product catalog keeps growing.
Richer and More Powerful Admin Panel
Can you imagine managing your different e-commerce stores with just one integrated admin panel? Well, Magento 2 EE makes this possible. With this panel, you can define as many admin roles as you want while also defining permissions for each role to restrict access as needed. You can also track all the actions performed by different admin users using Admin Actions Log. The log will keep you informed about all the activities being performed on the back-end along with the admin users who have performed those activities.
Return Management Authorization (RMA) allows the admin to configure rules that steer the entire return process, a matter of great convenience for the customers too. Content staging, scheduled import/export, and detailed system reporting are some other notable features of Magento 2 EE admin panel.
Optimized Performance of Online Store
Scalability should never compromise with the performance of the online store. Magento 2 EE takes care of this. Your store can grow and expand and, yet, continue to deliver robust performance with Magento 2 EE. Distinct master databases for operations like order management, checkout, and product data allow these three important areas of the website to function independently and efficiently without their getting in the way of each other. Incremental index updates and 80% faster catalog reindexing (than Community Edition) are some of the other major performance benefits of Enterprise Edition.
This was just a brief glimpse into the outstanding features of Magento 2 EE, that give it an edge over Magento 2 CE. The final decision of which edition to opt for would depend on the business requirements and revenue generating capacity of your online store. Choose wisely!