Magento Community Vs Enterprise

How to decide if the £10,000 per year license fee for Magento Enterprise is worth it.

£10,000 per year versus nothing. That’s the difference in investment for upgrading to Magento Enterprise from Magento Community. No wonder it’s such a big decision to make. Here we discuss when you should consider getting a Magento Enterprise license and when you should look at other options.

Magento Community is a tool that’s powered many eCommerce businesses and helped them make millions. And, best of all, there’s no license fee.

Magento Enterprise is the slicker, feature-packed version of Community designed to make eCommerce websites function even better. The only thing is it currently costs around £10,000. So is it worth it?

The difference between Magento Community and Enterprise

The main differences between Magento Community and Enterprise are that Magento Enterprise includes:

  • faster database indexing that makes updated content and pricing changes available to customers quicker
  • customer segmentation
  • geo-location so you can show visitors in different areas products more appropriate to them and provide different prices
  • automatic cross sells and up sells, taking the pain out of doing this manually and away from you and your employees
  • returns that are processed on the site which can lower incoming phone calls
  • store credit where any returns value is transferred to the customers credit balance
  • visual merchandising to manage categories

eCommerce businesses can use these features to finesse their business processes and provide a better online experience for users.

But it’s worth noting that many of these features can be achieved through Magento Connect extensions or custom development of Magento Community at a fraction of the cost. And any savings you make can be pumped into other areas of the business, such as marketing or seo. For example, Nosto can automate your cross-sells and up-sells. And there are Magento Connect extensions that take care of online returns and visual merchandising.

However for some businesses it will make more sense to just invest in Magento Enterprise from the get-go, with time savings far outweighing cost savings. It depends on your business requirements, your appetite for risk and what skills you have in-house.

What to consider

There are no hard and fast rules for which businesses should or shouldn’t upgrade to Magento Enterprise. But we think there are 4 key questions you should ask before taking the leap:

1. Is it an investment or a cost?

If upgrading to Magento Enterprise will weigh heavily on your business with each year’s licence fee commitment, we suggest seeing if you can achieve what you need through development of Magento Community or using Magento Connect extensions.

2. How much do you turnover?

Magento Enterprise really comes into its own as it scales up. So if you’re doing a lot of business online, Enterprise could be ideal. We’d suggest a business turning over:

  1. under £1m would satisfy its needs with Magento Community
  2. between £1m and £3m is a grey area that needs more investigation into what results Magento Enterprise will bring
  3. over £3m will probably find the features Magento Enterprise offers pay for themselves easily

3. How many visitors are you likely to serve?

Again, this all comes down to scalability and that Magento Enterprise will serve you and your customers a lot faster if traffic is high.

4. How large is your product catalogue?

If you have thousands of product lines, Magento Enterprise will simply be worth it for how fast it can load with its powerful caching abilities. Anything less and the results you need can probably be achieved through Magento Community development.

A final thought…

Here at Cohesion we’ve heard of many hugely profitable and large businesses sticking with Community to drive their eCommerce site with fantastic results. These include: Nimans, Mini Sport and Witherby Publishing Group. While others – The North Face, Mothercare and Harvey Nichols for example – have capitalised handsomely on the benefits Magento Enterprise can bring.

So it really does come down to each individual business and its needs.

Need help choosing between Magento Community and Magento Enterprise? Check out our Discovery Project

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