Magento 2 eCommerce Platforms: Which One Is Right for You?

The Magento 2 eCommerce Platform comes in two distinct flavours: Magento Open Source (previously “Community Edition”) and Magento Commerce (previously “Enterprise Edition”); the later of which is available in both an On-Premises version or as a platform-as-a-service (also known as “Commerce Cloud”).

Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform. Developers can implement the core files and extend its functionality by adding new plug-in modules provided by other developers.

Magento Commerce is derived from the Open Source edition and has largely the same core files. Unlike Open Source, this edition is not free, but supports more features and functionality. This product offering is designed for large businesses that require technical support with installation, usage, configuration, and troubleshooting.

In determining which edition of Magento 2 is the best fit for you and your business, it would be beneficial to break down the differences based on the necessity for the additional exclusive features the enterprise Commerce version offers. Some of these exclusive features are as follows:

Magento Open Source vs. Magento Commerce

magento 2 ecommerce platforms which is right for you

Attract & Convert

Customer Segments

  • enables your business to optimize marketing initiatives and dynamically display content and promotions to specific customers.
    • based on attributes such as customer address, order history, shopping cart contents, and more
    • creating personalized shopping experiences

Customer Attributes

  • enables you to easily create new custom fields in addition to the default customer attributes provided by the system.
    • you can add custom attributes to the Account Information, Address Book, and Billing Information sections of the customer’s account
    • leverage them both during checkout or account registration to further personalize your sales and marketing efforts

Related Product Rules

  • enables the ability to target a selection of products to be presented to customers as related products, up-sells, and cross-sells.
  • the Open Source edition also includes Product Relations, but defining them is a manual process that requires linking products to one another.
  • each product rule can be associated with a customer segment to automatically produce a dynamic display of targeted merchandising and more purchasing options at check out
    • further utilizing the features of the enterprise Commerce edition

Make Buying Easy

With Magento 2 Commerce you can convert more customers through a seamless and convenient buying experience.

Visual Merchandiser

  • Commerce offers this set of advanced tools, enabling you to position products, and apply conditions that determine which products appear in the category listing.


  • Commerce offers this powerful and highly scalable distributed search engine that helps your customers to find relevant products faster.
  • includes both search suggestions and recommendations.
    • accounts for customer misspellings, supports synonyms and stop words, and uses attribute weighting to improve search relevancy and performance

Category Permissions

  • access to categories or display of prices can be limited to specific customer groups; such as wholesale customers.
  • business-to-business retailers can leverage this feature to display custom sets of products to different customers.

Order by SKU

  • your customers can order items either by entering the desired SKU and quantity information directly into this widget, or by uploading a .CSV file from their customer account.
  • makes it convenient for customers to add items to cart en masse.
    • a huge time saver for businesses with large orders, recurring orders and orders based on offline catalogs


  • an RMA (Returned Merchandise Authorization) may be granted to customers who request to return an item for replacement or refund directly from your site.
  • conveniently process the request and authorize returns, exchanges, refunds, and store credits all through your Admin Workspace.
  • Commerce edition simplifies the returns process for you and your customers, compared to the Open Source edition, and is designed with the purpose of enabling you to build long-term relationships with your customers.

Drive Loyalty and Retain Customers

Convert happy customers into loyal customers with tools designed to keep them coming back to your store for more.

Rewards & Loyalty

  • with Magento 2’s reward points you can implement unique programs that drive user engagement and promote customer loyalty.
  • customers to your online store can also redeem these points directly online.

Gift Cards

  • Magento Commerce supports businesses that wish to offer gift cards and makes it convenient for customers to redeem gift cards.
  • a great way to increase your store’s customer base.

Gift Registries

  • Magento Commerce provides the ability for customer create gift registries for special occasions, wherein they can invite their friends and family to purchase gifts from the registry.
  • Magento 2 keeps track of all items purchased and the quantities remaining.
  • a terrific way to boost sales while simultaneously bringing in new customers to your site.

Private Sales & Events

  • with Magento Commerce you can create an exclusive shopping experience for your most valuable customers or prospects
    set up invitation-only offers, limited-time or private sales, and even add a countdown ticker.
  • a great way to leverage your existing customer base to increase branch loyalty as well as generate both buzz and new leads.
    • by giving your best customers the VIP treatment

Email Reminders

  • increase sales by encouraging people who have visited your store to take advantage of a promotion and, ultimately, make a purchase.
    Email reminders may be automatically sent to customers when a specific set of conditions is met.
    • for example, use email reminders to encourage customers to return to your store, and include a coupon code as an incentive
    • for example, send an automated email reminder to customers with abandoned shopping carts and wish lists

Make Store Management Easy

Magento 2 Commerce provides effective administration and store management through the Admin Workspace.

Order Archive

  • by allowing store maintainers to archive orders on a regular basis, Magento Commerce can improve the performance of your site and keep your Admin Workspace efficient, effective, and free of unnecessary information.
  • focus on running a business, instead of running a site.
  • invoices, shipments, and credit memos are archived separately from orders, and can be accessed any time.

System Reports

  • Commerce’s system reporting tool gives you the ability take periodic full, or partial, snapshots of the system, and save them for future reference.
  • enables you to create a comprehensive report for your support team to help them quickly diagnose and resolve technical issues.

Grow & Scale

Magento 2 Commerce’s high performance architecture is scalable to support your growth.

Split Database Performance Solution

  • Open Source edition only works off of a single database.
  • Commerce edition, in contrast, supports ability to use three separate databases for different functional areas of the Magento platform.
  • Checkout, order, and product data can each use a separate database.
    • This separation independently scales load from website checkouts, order management activities, website browsing, merchandising activities, and more depending on the unique needs of your business
    • this can significantly boost the scalability and performance of your store

It is important to weigh the pros and cons of each platform variation against your business’ needs. The most appropriate edition of Magento 2 for your business won’t necessarily be the same as another store.

Whichever Magento 2 Edition you choose, you can be assured that they all share the same key features that make Magento such a successful eCommerce platform: scalability, performance, and customization.