Magento Commerce vs Magento Open-Source, which is the best for you?

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For companies that start an online store or want to run an extensive e-commerce platform, Magento offers two versions: Magento Open-Source and Magento Commerce. At first glance, both look alike, however when you look in more detail, there are significant differences. We’ll explain all the differences you need to know.

Differences between Magento Commerce and Magento Open Source

More than 10 years ago, when Magento launched its first version, it was open-source and therefore free of charge.

A lot has changed since then: the Magento portfolio has grown over the years and many versions and products have been released.

At this moment, there are two main Magento versions available. The distinction has been made between the open-source version and Magento Commerce.

The differences are big. Many small online stores and start-ups use Magento Open Source, larger companies and enterprises use Magento Commerce.

One of the main reasons is the costs. With Magento Open Source, you only pay for hosting costs, special extensions and, if it is needed, the agency that develops the online store.

License fees will only be charged at Magento Commerce. The amount depends on the number of installations made and the turnover the online store generates.

In addition to costs, many more distinguishing features that make many medium and large companies choose Magento Commerce.

The main differences in terms of features are visible in the image below.

Agreements Magento Commerce & Magento Open Source

Magento is extremely flexible and versatile e-commerce software. Magento can be used for fashionable online stores, B2B platforms or complex digitization projects to name a few.

Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce are developed with the much more powerful Magento 2, the successor of the first version of Magento.

The core of both versions are similar:

Store structure, categories, products, product features, prices, and more are also identified and managed in the same way. Therefore, in both versions there are functions for navigation with filtering based on product features or intelligent price control with individually configured price rules.

In addition, they can be easily connected with other IT-systems via APIs. Thanks to the service layer, you can connect your Magento Open Source and Commerce easily with PIM (Product Information Management) or integrate it with SAP (software for shops) system.

The benefits of Magento Open Source

An open source solution has an essential advantage: it’s free of charge. In combination with many available extensions. Through Magento Marketplace, you get a really cheap and functional shopping system.

Provided you have enough technical and specialized experience with using PHP to adapt an online store to your wishes.

In addition, it is important to understand the quality of the extensions before installing them. While Magento strives to deliver high quality, thanks to the proven extension market of Magento 2, you still have to check the extension carefully.

If you can handle both challenges, Magento Open Source is a good choice for many e-commerce projects with relatively low investment costs and high flexibility.

The benefits of Magento Commerce

Magento Commerce was developed to meet the needs of larger businesses, as the name implies. Although the premium software of Magento is now called Magento Commerce, the company concept remains in the spotlight.

These are the specifics of Magento Commerce:


Magento Commerce supports database sharing. The tables are divided into different databases that can operate in cluster mode.


Magento Commerce is secured better than the open source version. One reason for this is the operating system PCI-DSS (PCI Data Security) certified. On the other hand, administrative processes are registered and orders will be archived.

You can manage the admin rights for different pages. In case of incorrect changes in the content of the page, you can easily load a backup.


You can also search, select and order products in Magento Commerce with the ‘Storage’ (SKU) attribute.

Combined with the ability for customers to import their own order list and to store their item numbers or SKUs, the commercial version is ideal for B2B e-commerce.


In general, Magento Commerce contains many B2B modules. Such as the questionnaires and company accounts with different rights you can set up.

Business Intelligence

In e-commerce, you must always have all relevant KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in view. With Magento Business Intelligence (BI), allows you to collect, display and analyze the performance of your business in a holistic way.

Customer service and loyalty

With Magento Commerce, you get a wide range of customer retention tools and the ability to specifically segment existing customers into individual groups that are relevant for the business in question.

As with product rules, segmentation is performed using a "rules engine". It can be based on geographic and biographical information, order history, order totals, shopping cart attributes and products.

With this segmentation, exclusive gift and loyalty programs can be implemented through the platform, including VIP zones or individual landing pages with special offers and customer approaches.


Companies should not make the mistake of just looking at costs. Instead, attention should be paid to the features and quality aspects of both options.

In the open-source version, security, support and further development are operational tasks of users, which is hard to reconcile with the strategic approach of the modern IT governance of large companies.

In this case, licensing Magento Commerce would be the better choice.

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