34 Features Available Only in Magento 2 Commerce Edition

A common question I often receive when speaking to customers about Magento 2 Commerce is “what is the difference between Magento 2 Open Source and Magento 2 Commerce?” It’s natural for business owners to want to fully understand the investment into Magento’s enterprise offering. Some customers may not be aware that there are two versions of Magento 2—Open Source and Commerce—and that understanding the differences could have a substantial impact on their business.

Magento Open Source is the “free” edition of the Magento platform. This version of Magento includes tons of extremely valuable features out-of-box, not covered in this article. Suffice it to say that Magento Commerce, the paid edition of the Magento platform, includes all of the features available in Open Source plus additional powerful features.

While Magento does provide resources to help customers compare Open Source and Commerce, including an in-depth PDF outlining the entire feature set of Magento Commerce, I’ve found that these resources refer to features abstractly and misconstrue Open Source features as Commerce-only features. Unfortunately, this creates a lot of confusion for prospective merchants and complicates their purchasing decisions.

I wish that Magento would unify the Magento User Guides (currently separated into Commerce, Open Source, and B2B) into a single resource and clearly delineate the Commerce-only features. It would be absolutely fantastic if they made the documentation Open Source as well (as it appears to already be hosted with Github Pages). Perhaps one day they will, but in the meantime, the only way for prospective customers to compare actual features is to painstakingly search through the User Guides for differences.

Fortunately, Gauge has compiled a list of Commerce-only features directly from Magento’s User Guides. Merchants can use this list to easily identify Commerce-only features and make educated purchasing decisions. If you need help determining if Magento is appropriate for your business, contact Gauge today!

Please Note: This list was compiled on October 4, 2018. The current version of Magento at this time was 2.2. This list of features may change in the future (likely via new additions, such as Magento’s highly anticipated Page Builder).

  1. Category Permissions
  2. Gift Cards
  3. Advanced Catalog Search
  4. Banners
  5. Content Staging
  6. Page Hierarchy
  7. Customer Segments
  8. Email Reminders
  9. Gift Registries
  10. Google Tag Manager
  11. Events & Private Sales
  12. Rule-based Related Products
  13. Rewards & Loyalty
  14. Visual Merchandiser
  15. Multiple Wishlists
  16. Additional Payment Methods
  17. Gift Options
  18. Order Archiving
  19. Order by SKU
  20. Returns
  21. Shopping Assistance
  22. Store Credit
  23. Customer Attributes Manager
  24. Admin Action Log
  25. Scheduled Import/Export
  26. Support Tools
  27. (B2B) Shared Catalogs
  28. (B2B) Company Accounts
  29. (B2B) Quick Order
  30. (B2B) Company Credit
  31. (B2B) Quotes
  32. (B2B) Payment on Account
  33. (B2B) Requisition Lists
  34. Additional Customer Account Dashboard Pages

Category Permissions

Category Permissions allow mercherchants to limit access to browse categories, view pricing, or add to cart for products within a category based on customer group.

Gift Cards

Gift Cards allow mercherchants to sell virtual, physical or combined gift cards online, and maintain a record of gift card issuance and usage via Gift Card Accounts, accessible within the Magento admin dashboard.

While Magento Open Source only supports MySQL search, Magento Commerce also supports Elasticsearch, a powerful and highly scalable distributed search engine that is used by such high-volume sites as eBay, Wikipedia, and GitHub.

Banners

Banners allow merchants to display images and blocks of content that are visible only to specified customer segments, whenever price rule conditions and coupons apply, or based on a schedule; these features distinguish Banners from Content Blocks (a.k.a. static blocks, or CMS blocks), an Open Source feature which displays fixed information like text, images, and embedded video, or dynamic information from a widget. Rotating Banners, unlike carousels, may cycle through banners in a specific sequence or a random order each time a page is viewed, allowing merchants to create on-site marketing campaigns.

Content Staging

Content Staging allows merchants to easily create, preview, and schedule content changes to Products, Categories, Promotions (Shopping Cart and Catalog Price Rules), CMS Pages, CMS Blocks, and Widgets. This can be extremely helpful when scheduling on-site marketing for a new promotion which must be published at a specific time—often at night or over the weekend, when your team may be out of the office. Magento Commerce also provides an easy-to-use visual dashboard for scheduled content, the Staging Dashboard, which displays active and upcoming “campaigns” in a timeline view.

Page Hierarchy

Page Hierarchy allows merchants to organize content pages within a hierarchy and add pagination, navigation, and menus with an easy to use drag-and-drop admin interface.

Customer Segments

Customer Segments allow merchants to dynamically display content (banners) and promotions (shopping cart price rules) to specific customers, based on properties such as customer address, order history, shopping cart contents, and more! Customer segment information is updated continuously, so customers may become associated and disassociated from a segment as they shop, enabling merchants to create highly-targeted campaigns based on customer activity. Customer Segment Reports allow merchants to measure the number of customers in each segment and export the data for external use.

Email Reminders

Email Reminders allow merchants to send customer’s automated emails based on the customer’s shopping cart or wishlist activity, to encourage the customer to return to the site and make a purchase. Abandoned cart (or wishlist) emails can be sent automatically based on triggers such as “number of days abandoned”, “number of line items”, “item quantity”, “cart total”, and more.

Gift Registries

Gift Registries allow merchants to offer their customers the ability to create gift registries for special occasions. Customers can then invite their friends and family to purchase their gifts from the gift registry using Magento’s Gift Registry Search widget which allows a customers to search for another customer’s registry. Magento keeps track of all items purchased off of a registry and the quantities remaining.

Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager helps merchants manage the many tags (a.k.a. JavaScript “pixels”, or code snippets) required for analytics and marketing services to track customer activity, measure engagement, personalize content, retarget, or conduct external marketing initiatives. Support for Google Tag Manager, and [Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce](Enhanced Ecommerce), is provided natively only in Magento Commerce.

Events & Private Sales

Events & Private Sales allow merchants to create exclusive sale events for customers. Optionally, events can be configured to be accessible only to logged-in customers. Events are usually time-bound, and the Event Ticker may be used to display a countdown to the event end. Optionally, customers also have the ability to send Invitations to other potential customers. The Private Sales Reports display information on the number invitations sent, accepted, and discarded, along with the conversion rate for invitations to each event.

Rule-based Related Products allow merchants to specify which related products, up-sells, and cross-sells are displayed conditionally, based on rules, rather than requiring product relationships to be assigned manually. These rules can be associated with a customer segment for dynamic targeting. This is one of the most powerful time-saving features of Magento Commerce.

Rewards & Loyalty

The Rewards & Loyalty features allows merchants to offer a points-based loyalty program to their customers. Customers can earn points for account registration, newsletter sign up, purchases, inviting other members who create an account or place an order, and for submitting product reviews. Points can also be managed by a site administrator, allowing merchants to control point allotment, balance, and expiration. Customers can redeem points toward purchases, based on the Reward Exchange Rates—the relationship between reward points and currency. Points can also be awarded to customers on the basis of a cart price rule.

Visual Merchandiser

The Visual Merchandiser allows merchants to merchandise (i.e. define the order in which products appear within a category), either visually via a drag-and-drop interface, or by applying rule-based conditions powered by “Smart” Attributes.

Multiple Wishlists

Multiple Wishlists allow merchants to offer customers the ability to create and share multiple wishlists. Magento Commerce also provides a Wishlist Search widget which allowing customers to find any public wishlist by the name or email address of the wishlist owner. This feature is similar to the gift registries search widget, except that if an item is purchased from a public wish list by another customer, it is not removed from the original wish list.

Additional Payment Methods

Magento Commerce supports additional payment methods, including CyberSource, eWAY, and Worldpay for international merchants.

Gift Options

Gift Options allow merchants to provide customers with gifting options in the cart, before checkout. Customers may add a gift message and specify gift wrapping for each item in an order or for the entire order. A gift receipt and printed greeting card may also be added. Gift wrapping and printed gift cards may be offered as an additional charge, and taxes may be configured independently for these gift options. The Gift Options configuration applies to the entire website, but can be overridden at the product level.

Order Archiving

Order Archiving allows merchants to clean up their workspace by archiving orders on a regular basis. This improves performance and keeps the admin interface free of unnecessary information. Invoices, shipments, and credit memos can be archived automatically or manually, and can be viewed at any time. This is not order tracking/history, which is available in both Commerce and Open Source.

Order by SKU

The Order by SKU widget allows merchants to offer customers the ability to add products to their cart simply by entering SKU and quantity information directly into the Order by SKU widget, or by uploading a CSV file from within their customer account. This feature can be made available to all customers, or only those in specific customer groups.

Returns

Returns (a.k.a. Returned Merchandise Authorization or RMA) allow merchants to provide customers the ability to request an item return for a refund or replacement. The customer may request a return by entering their order information within an “Orders and Returns” interface. If approved, a unique RMA number is assigned to identify the returned product. RMA may be enabled for all products, or for only certain products. The Returns grid lists the current returned merchandise requests (RMAs), and is used to enter new return requests. RMAs may be issued for simple, grouped, configurable, and bundle product types. However, RMAs are not available for virtual products, downloadable products, and gift cards.

Shopping Assistance

Shopping Assistance allows merchants to offer immediate shopping cart assistance to any customer who has registered for an account on their store. Merchants have the ability to edit the contents of the customer’s shopping cart in real time, from the Admin interface. Customer Service representatives can see the contents of a customer’s shopping cart while the customer is on the phone, and the changes can be seen by the customer immediately after the page is refreshed.

Store Credit

Store Credit allow merchants to refund customers for cash purchases. Customers can use store credit to pay for purchases, and track the status of refunds and store credit from their customer account dashboard. After an order is paid and invoiced, all of the order, or a portion of it, can be refunded by issuing a credit memo. A credit memo differs from a refund because the amount of the credit is restored to the customer’s account where it can be used for future purchases. In some cases, a refund can be given at the same time that a credit memo is issued, and applied to the customer’s balance of store credit.

Customer Attribute Manager

The Customer Attribute Magnager allows merchants to easily add additional customer attributes beyond the default attributes Magento includes to support the order, fulfillment, and customer management processes. Custom customer attributes may be added to the Account Information, Address Book, and Billing Information sections of the customer’s account. Customer address attributes can also be used in the Billing Information section during checkout, or when guests register for an account.

Admin Action Log

The Admin Action Log keeps a detailed record of all admin actions. Each record is time stamped, and records the IP address and name of the user. The log detail includes admin user data and related changes that were made during the action. If something within the store becomes misconfigured, this report is an invaluable tool for determining who made the change and when.

Scheduled Import/Export

Scheduled Imports/Exports allow merchants the ability to scheduled imports and exports on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and may be useful when integrating with third-party services. The files to be imported or exported can be located on local Magento servers, or on remote FTP servers. Native import functionality supports Advanced Pricing, Products, Customers and Addresses, Customers Main File, and Customer Addresses. Native export functionality supports Products, Customers Main File, and Customer Addresses.

Support Tools

The Support Tools include the Support Data Collector and System Report. These tools may assist in identifying known issues in your system when issues emerge. These tools can also be used as a resource during the development and optimization of a site, or as diagnostic tool to help Magento’s support team identify and resolve issues.

(B2B) Shared Catalogs

(B2B) Shared Catalogs allow merchants to create “shared” catalogs with custom pricing, products and permissions for different companies. These catalogs are only available to specific customer groups, and custom catalogs may be created that are visible only to members of specific company accounts.

(B2B) Company Accounts

(B2B) Company Accounts allow merchants to create and manage company accounts. If enabled, a visitor to the store can request to open a company account, or a company account may be created by a site administrator. Once the company account is approved, the Company Administrator can set up the Company Structure, add Users and Teams, assign Roles and Permissions, and manage the Company Profile all from the storefront, while merchants have the ability to manage all of this data from within the admin interface, and assign a Sales Representative to each company account as the primary contact.

(B2B) Quick Order

(B2B) Quick Order, similar to Order By SKU, allows merchants to offer customers the ability to add products to their cart simply by entering SKU and quantity information directly into the Quick Order interface or by uploading a CSV file.

(B2B) Company Credit

(B2B) Company Credit allows merchants to extend a line of credit to B2B customers, who may then make purchases on their account up to their allowed credit limit. Merchants can monitor issued and utilized credit from within the Credit Activity dashboard. An offline payment made by a company toward the credit balance of their account (a.k.a. a “reimbursed balance”) may be entered via the admin interface.

(B2B) Quotes

(B2B) Quotes allow merchants the option of permitting an authorized buyer from a company to initiate a price negotiation by submitting a request from within their shopping cart. Merchants can manage quote requests within the admin interface, view a history of the communication between buyer and seller, save views, and export data.

(B2B) Payment on Account

(B2B) Payment on Account is an additional offline payment method that allows companies to make purchases up to the credit limit that is specified in their profile. Payment on Account can be enabled globally, or per company, and appears during checkout only if enabled. When Payment on Account is used as a payment method, a message appears at the top of the order that indicates the status of the account.

(B2B) Requisition Lists

Requisition Lists allow merchants to offer B2B customers the ability to maintain requisition lists. Requisition lists are similar to wishlist, except that products are not removed from the list when items are purchased. The primary reason to maintain a requisition list is to make it easy to reorder products. Items from a requisition list can be easily added to the shopping cart, or moved or copied from one requisition list to another.

Additional Customer Account Dashboard Pages

The additional functionality within Magento Commerce necessitates some additional pages within the customer dashboard, so the customer can easily manage their own account. Depending upon configuration, the following pages are added to the customer account dashboard with Magento Commerce:

Do It Yourself

Gauge compiled this list of URLs by using wget to spider the User Guides for Open Source and Commerce and then comparing the URL lists. This list, which contained only URLs unique to the Commerce User Guide, was then manually reviewed and organized.

If you’re interested in compiling this list yourself, the command we’ve used to generate the list is found below:

comm -13 <(wget --spider -r -I /m2/ce -A html https://docs.magento.com/m2/ce/user_guide/getting-started.html 2>&1 | awk '$1 ~ /^--/ && $3 ~ /^https/ { print $3 }' | sort | uniq | sed -e 's#/ce/#/ee/#g') <(wget --spider -r -I /m2/ee -A html https://docs.magento.com/m2/ee/user_guide/getting-started.html 2>&1 | awk '$1 ~ /^--/ && $3 ~ /^https/ { print $3 }' | sort | uniq)

It took some time to crawl (≈20 minutes) the User Guides, and we also had to run a separate crawl for the B2B User Guide (which is oddly separate from the Commerce User Guide, despite being included within Commerce), so pour yourself a cup of coffee and relax while your computer does the heavy lifting.