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Magento Open Source vs. Commerce: Everything Merchants Need to Know

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A Magento free and paid platform comparison guide.

Magento Open Source is a completely free platform that gives merchants useful tools for marketing, search engine optimization, and product management.

Magento Commerce represents a much higher level of ecommerce capabilities and a long list of advanced features. With the Commerce version, as a merchant you can pick either an on-premises version of the platform —  hosted on your physical servers or use an off-site provider — i.e. the cloud version hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

Magento Open Source Pricing vs Magento Commerce Pricing

Magento Open Source Costs

Magento Open Source is a free platform, but it has some associated costs. To get set up for the first time, you will have to pay for:

  • Website hosting (from $10)
  • Website theme ($200 or more)
  • Domain name (from $10 to $500+)
  • The cost of development for implementing the system properly, which can easily reach into the tens-of-thousands or more

Magento Commerce Costs

Magento Commerce is a significant investment. Pricing starts at an estimated $22,000 per year, unless your store has a Gross Merchandise Value of more than $1 million dollars. After breaking that million-dollar barrier, expect to pay substantially more for the platform each year. 

Which is Better? 

Magento Open Source was built with the basic needs of online retailers in mind. And can be further customized to meet your store’s unique goals.

Magento has a large extension marketplace too, which offers plugins that extend the functionality of your online store and helps you integrate with HubSpot, Zendesk, Walmart and more.

However, Magento Commerce is a vastly superior platform for B2B ecommerce. Magento Commerce has some impressive customer segmentation features to help you personalize shopping experiences and ultimately improve your conversion rate. It also has Elasticsearch, to help customers quickly find and buy whatever they’re looking for. 

User Experience: Magento Open Source vs Magento Commerce 

You would be forgiven for comparing Magento’s free and paid platform on price alone. But it’s worth taking a closer look to fully understand the user experience of each option and see the gulf in capabilities between the two.

Using Magento Open Source as a Merchant

The Magento Open Source setup is targeted at developers, rather than non-technical retail and ecommerce professionals.This option will suit web development professionals and those with medium-to-large online stores with the resources to hire technical support. 

Using Magento Commerce as a Merchant

Magento Commerce is built for non-technical retail professionals Its page-builder extension gives you effortless control over your site content. Magento Commerce also has an impressive Adobe Sensei integration which can analyze customers’ site behavior and make recommendations in real-time. The visual merchandiser also makes it simple to move and update products, without spending hours entering product codes on your site’s backend. These capabilities are just the tip of the iceberg too — it also boasts a radically more impressive user experience. Given the many features in Magento Commerce, there is a steep learning curve for merchants hoping to master the platform.

Customer Support for Merchants

You’re bound to get stuck at some point — and this is where customer support comes in. And there’s a vast difference between the free and paid platforms here. 

Magento Open Source has a large user community that offers mutual support and is quick to address questions and issues. Magento Commerce comes with email and live support included in their $22,000+ annual price tag. That means 24/7 access to an expert technical team, not to mention an extensive library of support materials. 

Accepting Cross-Border Payments in Magento

If you plan to do business internationally, you’ll need a payments plugin that localizes your customers’ checkout experience with the payment options they prefer, or if you are doing business in countries where credit cards and PayPal aren’t the only popular payment methods

Providing relevant local payment options tailored to your customer’s location will help you reach new customers and grow sales across the globe. Rapyd provides an easy-to-integrate payment plugin for both Magento platforms to help merchants easily grow their sales with cross-border customers.

Which eCommerce Platform is Right For You?

It’s clear that Magento Commerce outguns its free-to-install Open Source counterpart. But Commerce’s staggering pricing may be out of reach for many of even the most successful ecommerce sites. 

To decide between the ecommerce platform’s free and paid versions, merchants must consider how their company goals and capacities align with each option’s pricing, user experience, and customer support. 

Accept International Payments in Your eCommerce Store with Rapyd’s global payment plugins for Magento.

 

Photo Credit: Armin Rimoldi for Pexels

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