Changing a merchant’s eCommerce platform is a mission critical business decision. It is a decision that should not be taken lightly. The storefront platform, in many ways, is a reflection of the merchant. How they came to market. How they position themselves. How they manage their e-business. How they chose to innovate and how they share their passion.
More now than ever, the eCommerce platform is the first and only experience a customer (or just someone kicking the tires) will have with the merchant. Ultimately, the eCommerce platform is the medium on which merchant’s promises are made to their customers. The decision to change platforms, therefore, must be made holistically, aligned with business strategy, operations, services, and user experience. The decision to change should be made balancing current constraints and requirements as well as future visions and goals. In short, making this change is a very big deal.
In the beginning, there was Magento Open Source
For many, Magento Open Source (formerly known as Magento Community Edition or CE), has been the go-to eCommerce platform. In fact, tens of thousands of merchants around the world use Magento Open Source. Magento’s first product, developed in 2007, the platform remains capable, adaptable, and of course free of charge.
In working with merchants, I have experienced Magento Open Source supporting stores that transact tens of millions of dollars in online revenue. However, over time as merchants broaden and grow their respective businesses including scaling their online offerings, they face the decision to upgrade to Magento Commerce (formerly Magento Enterprise Edition). I collected opinions, did some research, and below share my personal opinion on the top 5 reasons it might be time to perform Magento 2 upgrade from Open Source to Commerce.
Magento Open Source features
Magento Open Source is a feature-rich platform, but Magento Commerce takes platform capabilities to an entirely new level.
Magento Commerce offers dozens of additional features relative to Magento Open Source. Some of these features are more important to merchants as compared to others. For example, most successful merchants I worked with benefit from Page Builder, which allows effortless content creation and changes without the need for a developer to be involved. Additionally, Staging and Preview tools now make it possible to establish advance scheduling of sales events and content rollouts, saving store administrators precious time and hassle. This includes scheduling product imports in advance.
For additional feature insights and comparisons, go to Magento Open Source vs. Commerce feature comparison.
Magento Commerce offers a native cloud package, bundling the Magento license, infrastructure, and other essentials such as content delivery network (CDN) and performance monitoring tools under a single offering. With enterprise cloud spend growing at more than six times the rate of general IT spending, Magento Cloud is an extremely popular product.
Some merchants choose Magento on-premise. The decision to go with on-premise is more common in Europe, where enterprise cloud adoption is not quite there yet… However, upgrading to Magento Commerce on-premise does position a merchant to readily and seamlessly migrate to Magento Cloud at a later date. This is possible, as the codebase is the same, which is not the case with direct migration of Magento Open Source to Magento Cloud.
Deeper integration with Adobe ecosystem
Adobe’s acquisition of Magento in 2018 brought both ecosystems close together. The long term upside for merchants is significant, as Adobe’s digital experience platform (that includes Magento) provides end-to-end commerce and marketing solutions. Integrations of Adobe products with Magento are being developed and released at a rapid pace, however, it is important to understand Adobe product integration roadmaps. Adobe Stock, for example, seamlessly interfaces with both Open Source and Commerce editions of Magento but Adobe Sensei Product Recommendations is only available for Magento Commerce.
Incorporating advanced AI capabilities into Magento Commerce will aid merchants on many fronts including long term cost savings, as third-party solution dependencies will be reduced. But options will continue to be important for merchants, as they assess their own business needs and tailored solutions. To that end Adobe offers over a dozen additional Adobe Sensei integration candidates. It is reasonable to assume most will be available for Magento Commerce but not Magento Open Source.
B2B & Hybrid Commerce
B2B is rapidly adopting its marketing and delivery strategy to incorporate online commerce. A Forrester report projects the US B2B eCommerce to hit $1.8 Trillion By 2023.
Magento Commerce already contains many core B2B features like account hierarchy or quotes. Other key features are known to be on Magento’s near term delivery roadmap, like custom workflows. All of this to suggest Magento Commerce is well suited and positioned for B2B and hybrid merchants.
As B2B merchants begin to focus more and more on providing a B2C-like shopping experience to their customers, Magento becomes especially compelling. After all, providing a unique, smart shopping experience has long been the core of Magento’s offering. This recipe of engagement holds true for businesses doing business with other businesses.
Customer support and account management
Magento Commerce offers growing merchants much needed service level agreements and patch support. While not a critical concern for earlier stage merchants, as they grow and their business complexities expand, availability and reliability become a must but not at the sacrifice of security and scale. It becomes very important to have not just a proven platform but a team of engineers monitoring and servicing each merchant year round, and around the clock.
Let’s talk about your eCommerce journey
These are just my Top 5 reasons to consider migrating to Magento Commerce. For merchants who determine now is the time and Magento Commerce Cloud is the right platform, please reach out to our Atwix team to discuss or learn more.