Over the years MW2 has had many discussions with its Magento Customers – of which many are on Community or Enterprise platforms. With the final release – Enterprise 1.14.1 – Magento has made an important leap to help push your e-commerce goals to a higher gear. Below are the most important highlights and show the advantages of the Enterprise versus Community Edition.
Improved re-indexing performance: Magento Enterprise 1.13 is 80% faster in re-indexing a catalogue, and has many performance features that the Community code base does not have. We serve customers which have up to Mio+ productions or SKUs in their catalogue, and full re-indexing without this features will become a very slow process – leading to issues where products will not become searchable on the site. That’s means that any catalogue change, i.e. product descriptions, prices will be noticeable faster and will not impact customer experience.
Customer Segmentation: if you want to do advanced marketing/segmentation to your customers this becomes is very powerful tool which allows you to dynamically select customers by different conditions and provide them different benefits: discounts, free shipping, etc. This feature alone allows for very complex marketing campaigns which can be set up in a matter of minutes rather than developing this from scratch. These campaigns can also be managed easily, i.e. start and end date, make changes during a campaign and run analytics later to see how effective these campaigns helped to increase revenue or traffic conversation.
Ability to manage customer attributes: in Magento EE you can edit customer attributes via admin panel. This feature is unavailable in Magento CE and you need to ask developers to make changes in the database, admin and ‘my account’ page each time when you need to add/edit/delete customer attributes.
Built-in features to offer Gift Wrapping, Gift Registry, Gift Cards, Reward Points, etc.: Magento Enterprise has a lot of built in tools which increases customer loyalty and incent them to buy more. Magento Community does not have this feature built in.
Private Sales: you can email users directly through the interface (or through an external system, with additional configuration) and set special pricing and products that are only available to selected customer groups or customer segments.
Full Page Caching: it basically creates a static, HTML-based snapshot of each page on the site, and consequently the web server will be able to server them much quicker. Pages often load in 1-2 seconds; without full page caching, pages can take 5-8 seconds or more to load. As many merchants know each second delay in page loading times leads to an increase in traffic loss or higher abandoned shopping carts.
Improved ability to rollback changes: EE has built in version control functionality for CMS pages. You can see the entire history for changes with timestamps and make a roll-back quickly if necessary. Also EE offers a “staging” feature – you can create a staging website and apply changes for review before they are pushed to production.
Improved performance and scalability: code base of Magento Enterprise is specifically designed for Magento Enterprise users who have lots of traffic, lots of SKUs / products, and lots of people buying items. Magento Enterprise is designed for scalability, and it’s code base is better architected to handle a high end architecture like multiple app servers with load balancer. Also Magento EE code base has improvements to speed up the checkout process.
Enhanced Tax Calculation System: improved management for tax zones and rates, functionality to import/export tax rates. For example for one of our customer we had to update tax rates every months until we implemented integration with their ERP system for tax calculation. Monthly tax update file had about 250 000 records – there were different tax rates for each zip/sate/product type. Of course inserting all them manually was impossible so EE built-in tax rate import feature which is very helpful and saves a lot of time and avoids the situation for making manual mistakes.
PCI Compliant Code: Magento Enterprise gives merchants a secure payment bridge that is compliant with the PCI Security Standards Council. Merchants still will need to have a PCI-compliant server in case if you want to collect and store credit card information. If you use one of the major payment gateways, such as PayPal Pro or Authorize.net, Magento Enterprise checks off a few more boxes on your way to full PCI compliance.
SOLR search: Magento EE has native support for Solr (search optimization server) which provides much better search functionality than default MySQL Fulltext search algorithm. To do this with CE leads to higher development cost in comparison to leverage Magento EE.
Magento Technical Support: when you purchase EE license you receive support from Magento team. CE doesn’t have support from Magento. Yeah, with dedicated development team available you don’t need this support as much, but sometimes if issues happens in core Magento functionality having Magento support can save a lot of time.
Last but not least, with the latest release of Magento Enterprise version 1.13, Magento made about 350 improvements to the code base, including on the product pages, category and search pages, shopping cart, checkout process, admin order creation, import and export functionality, web API components and payment methods. Magento pours more energy into the Magento Enterprise code base. Not to say that the Community version isn’t worked on. But money talks, and paying customers’ needs often come first