Are you trying to determine which solution you need: Magento Community or Magento Enterprise? It is a serious decision; in one hand you have a free solution and in the other a $15,500 yearly solution. So what is the difference between these two and why are brands opting for Enterprise?

To understand the power that Enterprises offers, let’s take a look at its main features that distinguish it from Magento's free Community edition:

Magento Enterprise-vs-Community

As you can see from the chart, Magento Enterprise offers a number of powerful features for companies looking to provide a better online experience for their customers. If you are interested in learning more about these features, checkout these brief overview about the feature:


Capable of Managing a Large Number of Products

Magento Community doesn’t manage a large amounts of products very well. For stores with +10K products, selecting Enterprise is your best solution for managing these products and pushing rapid product updates on the front-end.


Full Page Caching

For faster performance, Enterprise offers full page caching unlike Community. This feature creates a static, HTML snapshot of the page in order to rapidly display the page to visitors. Faster performance can lead to lower bounce rates, increase in conversions, and ultimately happier customers!


Staging / Rollback / Backup System

If you make a change in the Admin panel in Community, it can be very frustrating since you can only revert back to the previous day’s backup. Not to mention, if you revert to the previous day, you will have to reenter any sales transactions that occurred after the previous day’s backup :(

Enterprise on the other hand automatically backs-up your system and allows you to restore to a previous version. You will be able to see the Date, Time, and User that made the modifications.

You can also create a staging site to test new categories, products, content, banners, promotions, etc. This allows you to test changes to your site and see if they appear and work properly. You can even schedule content to go live to your site on a specific date and time with Enterprise. Need an approval process? Enterprise offers approval process for changes being pushed live such as new content.


Better Scalability

Anticipating a large flow of visitors to your site? Worried that your site won’t perform for a lot of visitors? Enterprise resolves these issues for you with better scalability. Since Enterprise was coded specifically for sites with large volumes of traffic and sales, you can host separate parts of your site on different servers.

Community sites generally use one server to manage: PHP, DNS, Memory, Database, Caching, Sessions, and more. With Enterprise, you can isolate these pieces and host them on different servers and avoid performance issues when demand is high.


Enhanced Tax Calculation System

Managing tax codes can be very painful when determining rates for specific locations. Thankfully, Enterprise simplifies the process for you and gives you more freedom to manage tax rates:

  • Manage Taxable Goods: restrict taxes being applied to non-taxable goods in specific states.
  • Manage Zones & Rates: easily enable tax rates in specific zones by entering the Country, State, Zip/Postal Code and specifying the tax percentage.
  • Able to Import / Export Tax Rates
  • Manage Customer Tax Classes: create tax classes for retail and wholesale customers.


Advanced Admin Roles, Logging & Site Access Permission

If your company manages multiple sites then this feature will be of great benefit to you. Advanced administrator roles enables you to setup admin users on a per-site basis thereby restricting the admins access only to their specific site. You can also monitor which users log into the site, update product information, and access customer information. If needed, you have the ability to designate access levels for users in your Admin panel. For instance, if customer service doesn’t need to create and manage products, you can remove their ability to modify products.


Manage Customer Attributes Quickly & Easily

Enterprise allows you to quickly update a customer’s:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Prefix
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Tax/VAT Number

You can also create new customer attributes if your store captures different customer information.


Built-in Gift Wrapping Option

Magento Community, by default, does not offer gift wrapping; you would have to install an extension to offer this feature. With Enterprise, this feature is already included! Simply enable the feature, specify the products that offer gift wrapping, and add the cost.


Advanced Marketing/Segmentation to Clients

Advanced marketing is one of the main reasons companies choose Enterprise over Community. With this ability you have complete control of your sales cycle. You can customize your content, coupons, banners, prices, and more based on the type of customer visiting your website. You are able to specify customer segments based on order history and location and target customized ads and prices to these segments.

  • Geographic Targeting - run special promotions in designated areas like 20% for customers in North Carolina.
  • Order History - locate and target customers that have purchased a specific dollar amount or purchase frequently.
  • New Visitors - convert more visitors by running special banners designed to guide them through the sales cycle. Aside from banners, you can offer free shipping, rewards points incentives, buy 1 get another 50% deals, or a free gift with purchase.
  • Shopping Cart - you can even target the type of products in a customer’s shopping cart by running cross-sell and up-sell, and more.


Host Private Sales for Customers

Another key feature that sells a lot of companies to use Enterprise is the ability to run private sales for customers. Invite users via email and set special prices for the products available in their private shopping opportunity. You can create customer groups for this purpose or use customer segments that were created for advanced marketing.


PCI Compliant Code

Unlike Community, Enterprise provides merchants with a secure payment bridge that is compliant with PCI Security Standards. This is very important for companies concerned with transactional protection.


Loyalty Points

To retain customers even more, Enterprise allows you to offer loyalty points to your customers without having to install an extension. Have fun offering customer points that can be redeemable for defined rewards.


Store Credits & Online Gift Cards

This useful feature allows you to send a gift card or store credits to a customer for your website. Specify the website the credit or gift card applies to, balance, expiration date, and send to the customer. Simple marketing technique that helps build customer loyalty and retention that isn’t offered in Community.


Product Return Management

With Enterprise, you can easily manage a customer’s product return. Sure, you can return a product in Community but it is very difficult and you cannot automate the process. Enterprise has a return management authorization system specifically built to manage the return process.


Solr Search

Connect visitors with your products even faster with Solr Search. As a customer starts typing in a search phrase, suggestions will appear in a drop-down box to assist the customer with their search. If you have ever performed a search on Google then you are familiar with this technique. Aside from suggested searches, Solr Search utilizes semantic phrases to avoid misspelled search phrases from producing zero results.


Automated Email Messages

Able to manage multiple emails through Enterprise. Specify the rules that govern your different emails and let Magento so the rest! Examples of emails that can be sent: abandoned shopping cart, second day order, and email subscribers.


Easily Create Multiple Landing Pages

If you are running a special offer that you are advertising in an email or PPC ad, Enterprise allows you to effortlessly create a new landing page for that offer. This allows you to maximize the results for your offer by drawing your targeted crowd directly to the intended page instead of having them locate it through your site.

To further refine your sales cycle, you can create specific landing pages for your customer segments. Thus, a returning customer might land on a page trying to persuade them to order another product.


Cross/Up Sell/Recommended Products Automatically

Yes, Enterprise will automatically cross sell and upsell for you! Cross sell and upsell is a standard feature in Community, however, you have to manually specify the products for cross selling and upselling. To help companies with a lot of products, Enterprise automates this process for you. All you have to do is designate the categories of products to use.


Customer Assisted Shopping

If a customer is having issues checking out on your site, your customer service representatives can locate their shopping cart in the Admin panel and assist the customer with checking out. In addition to adding and completing the checkout process, your support team can even see previous purchases the customer has made in the past.


Magento Technical Support

Since Community is offered for free, Magento does not offer any technical support. By choosing Enterprise, you will have access to Magento’s support. This includes: best practices, expert advice, resolving basic configuration issues, and troubleshooting.


Auto-Generated Custom Coupons

Another great promotion that Enterprise offers is automatically generating coupon codes per customer. In Community, you can create a coupon code that can be utilized by one or more people. Within Enterprise, you can create a rule such as creating a coupon code for a customer that makes a purchase for the first time. The biggest difference here is the fact that the coupon code is generated automatically for you based off of your defined rule(s).


Tie Custom Banners to Coupon Codes & Discounts

If you are running a flash sale or special promotion, maximize your efforts by advertising the sale and promotion on banners throughout your site. With Enterprise, you can designate specific ads to appear on the top of the site, left side, right side, bottom, and within a content block that advertise your sale or promotion.


Gift Registry

Enables customers to create gift registries on your site. As the products are purchased from the registry, they are automatically removed in order to prevent duplicate gifts from being purchased.


Below is the list of features where Enterprise and Community overlap (except for pricing of course):


Choosing between these two editions is a serious decision. If you are looking to accelerate your brand's performance, then Enterprise has an impressive arsenal of goodies to help you ignite your brand.