Magento Open Source vs Adobe Commerce: When the latter makes sense

Magento Open Source vs Adobe Commerce: When the latter makes sense

Magento Open Source vs Adobe Commerce -which is a better eCommerce platform considering my goals? This is what every B2B, B2C, and D2C business owner contemplates when looking to choose a flexible and modern eCommerce platform from Adobe. However, much of which eCommerce platform is right for your business depends on your business goals and needs. To help you choose the right digital commerce system, we compare both these platforms on the basis of must-have enterprise-grade features of an eCommerce platform to help you assess:

  1. Which solution offers surplus advantages over the other?
  2. How does Adobe Commerce offer more business value than Magento Open Source despite both the systems being based on the same platform?
  3. When should you upgrade from Magento Open-Source to Adobe Commerce?

This blog is a summary of our CRO, Anand Ramdeo’s LinkedIn Audio Event, Commerce Conversation on When Adobe Commerce makes sense, where he along with other experts, Mohamed Nofal from Adobe Commerce, Sourabh Modi and Sarvesh Singh from Ranosys discussed  the key differences between Magento Open source and Adobe Commerce, when does it make sense to stay on the Magento Open Source, and What are the key use cases where Adobe Commerce makes a massive difference. 

Magento Open Source vs Adobe Commerce vs Adobe Commerce Cloud 

Once you’ve decided to launch an eCommerce store powered by Magento 2, the next question is which edition amongst Magento Open Source, Adobe Commerce, and Adobe Commerce Cloud. While  the tech people know the minute and major differences between these editions, to the non-tech ears like retailers and business owners, they seem to fuddle between which edition is the best for their online stores. Not to say, Adobe renaming Magento Enterprise to Adobe Commerce didn't make it easy for people to spot the differences. 

Here we breakdown these platforms for you to help you decipher which eCommerce solution is the best-fit for your e-retail objectives. 

A bit of history about the Magento technology (before being renamed to Adobe)

Magento lays the digital foundation of over 300,000 active eCommerce websites. Even before Adobe acquired it in 2018, the Magento platform has been known for its performance, usability, scalability, and security (all of these were improvements made in the Magento 2.0 version). Since its inception, Magento has been made available to enterprises in two versions:

  • Open Source edition (also known as Community Edition): This Magento version is free but loaded with several feature extensions and a relatively easy learning curve. 
  • Commerce edition (available as Enterprise Edition and Magento Cloud edition): This version is paid and the best-fit for large businesses who wish to deliver custom experiences, limitless functionality, and scalability to all deployment sizes. 

(Please note that since 2021 Magento has been renamed to Adobe)

As of now, there exists three versions: Magento Open Source, Adobe Commerce, and Adobe Commerce Cloud. Let’s explore these now. 

#1: Magento Open Source

As per reports, a whooping 80% of websites exist on Magento Open Source, reason being its free of cost nature. Previously known as the Community Edition, Magento Open Source is a self-hosted eCommerce platform, meaning the owner is responsible for the network and server needs (which combines infrastructure costs, hosting costs, and recruiting costs to hire people able enough to manage it for you). Originally, when customers weren’t that demanding and expecting personalization in every click, this version was a perfect fit for small businesses who simply wanted to launch an online store with basic functionalities and some out-of-the-box features like site search, catalog management, global selling, mobile optimizing shopping, integrated checkout, payment, and shipping solutions, WYSIWYG builder, and access to Adobe Commerce Marketplace extensions. 

The popularity of this platform is not hard to understand, supported by a robust community of developers. However, when it comes to implementing functionality and achieving scalability, this platform requires time, which delays your time-to-market and impacts your growth. 

#2: Adobe Commerce

Now that you have a brief understanding of Magento Open Source, Adobe Commerce is everything that and so much more. As this is a paid on-premises offering from Adobe, it includes all the top-end features you can imagine having in an eCommerce platform. Live search, product recommendations, customer segmentation, visual merchandising, B2B functionalities, advanced marketing tools, business intelligence dashboards, gift cards,  content staging & preview board, customer loyalty tools, and so on. The best part, Adobe Commerce centrally manages your checkout, payments, shopping, and marketing all through a single interface. 

This makes it the perfect eCommerce platform for enterprises that have complex needs and wish to leverage leading-edge capabilities to deliver superior customer experiences across channels and devices. 

#3: Adobe Commerce Cloud

Contrary to the Adobe Commerce which is an on-premises eCommerce platform, Adobe Commerce Cloud is a cloud edition. It includes all of Adobe Commerce’s features along with the enhanced Adobe Cloud infrastructure hosting that includes GIT integration and specific environments for developing, staging, and production/live. This means, developers using this platform can code, test, and deploy across integration, staging, and production environments to deliver smooth performances. 

As with Adobe Commerce, Adobe Commerce Cloud is also suited for large enterprises with differentiated requirements as this edition can flexibly and scalably cover them all via their powerful admin features. 

Key differences between Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce


License CostsYou can download Magento open-source for free. Adobe Commerce follows a turnover-based model, which means depending on your average gross sales revenue, your Adobe Commerce pricing will differ. 
Hosting You can host Magento Open-Source anywhere, on-premises or a managed cloud solution provider. You will have to pay separately for Magento Open-Source hosting, which can vary from $4-500/month depending on the support, security, scalability, and features you need. As the platform is quite heavy on capabilities, you would need a superior dedicated server for installing its files. Adobe Commerce can either be hosted on-premises ( Adobe Commerce edition) or on the cloud (Adobe Commerce Cloud edition), both of which are included in the Adobe Commerce pricing. This means you do not have to pay separately for scalability, technical support, and scalability during peak traffic times. 

Magento Open-Source includes capabilities such as integrated checkout, payment, & shipping, mobile-optimized shopping, global selling, catalog management, instant purchase, site search, and WYSIWYG page builder. 

All these features are also present in Adobe Commerce. However, in case you wish to implement customized features, you can employ free extensions available on the Adobe Commerce Marketplace, but for improved functionalities, regular upgrades, and reliable support, you would need to spend additional costs. 

Adobe Commerce comes loaded with several built-in features apart from all the already present Magento Open-Source capabilities. These advanced features include reusable dynamic blocks, business intelligence dashboards, advanced marketing tools, content staging & preview, customer loyalty tools, visual merchandising, product recommendations, AI-driven live search, customer segmentation, BOPIS, gift cards, and more. 

A majority of the extensions on Commerce Marketplace are available for free with Adobe Commerce edition. 

Scalability In case you run a fast-growing business, the scalability of Magento Open-Source would be a downside for you. It is because Magento Open-Source supports only a single database system, which means if you have multiple websites (for different locations) and storefronts, your users will experience a diminished performance. 

Adobe Commerce is designed keeping your scalability needs in mind. It easily supports mid-to-enterprise business and their needs with large & complex catalogs, high transaction volumes, multiple storefronts, and peak traffic. 

Moreover, Adobe Commerce keeps on releasing new releases focussed on improved scalability and minimal latency.

Security The biggest downside for Magento Open Source is that it does not meet the PCI DSS compliances required for ensuring a safe and secure payment experience. It also does not support WAF and DDoS security services, all of which warrants for outsourcing costs to achieve the necessary compliances. Adobe Commerce is a secure bet when it comes to high-end security and user information safety. It comes with Fastly Web Application Firewall that protects against suspicious web attacks in real-time. It also includes DDoS protection, is a PCI-certified Level 1 Solution Provider, and comes with security scanning tools.  
SupportMagento Open Source doesn’t come with 24*7 support or any team that can help you with issues. You will have to rely on developer communities, guide libraries, and community forums to troubleshoot issues. Adobe Commerce comes with proactive support solutions- a dedicated account manager and technical assistance 24*7 to troubleshoot all store-related issues. You also gain access to Adobe Commerce Rapid Deployment Packages that makes it easy to set up and launch any feature. 
B2B capabilities Magento Open-Source doesn’t possess capabilities for B2B Commerce and can only be employed by B2C and D2C enterprises Adobe Commerce includes native B2B tools such as custom price tags & catalogs, custom payment solutions, quote requests, purchase limits, credit limits. Customers can easily manage their accounts, set up multiple buyer tiers with different roles & permissions, track quotes & orders, upload personalized buyer-specific catalogs, request quotes, define purchase approval rules, and a lot more. 
Marketing Magento Open Source comes with basic functionalities such as tags and meta description creation, custom URLs, and SEO optimization. Adobe Commerce provides advanced tools for product promotions. It comes with data analytics capabilities to optimize marketing strategies & campaigns. Other features include customer segmentation, loyalty system, wishlist search, discounts system, related product rules, and integration with Google tools such as Adwords, Tag Manager, Analytics, etc. 
Catalog ManagementMagento Open-Source comes with traditional catalog management capabilities like adding new products, creating product categories, and basic inventory upgrades. Adobe Commerce comes with advanced functionalities around catalog management like AI-powered product recommendations, full catalog exports, gift cards, action logs, order archives, scheduled catalog import/export, and order management system. 
Content ManagementIt comes with a WYSIWYG builder where you can drag and drop widgets to create your product pages. Although Adobe Commerce also comes with a WYSIWYG builder, you can preview pages on staging and production, set up page hierarchies, and build dynamic blocks of content. 
Live SearchMagento Open Source does not come with Live Search or any other AI-powered functionalities. Adobe Commerce comes with Adobe Sensei-powered Live Search that uses AI and ML to analyze a user’s previous buying behavior and data to suggest relevant and personalized product recommendations in real-time. 
Integration with Adobe ecosystemNo such seamless integration with the Adobe ecosystem existsAdobe Commerce is a part of the Adobe Experience Cloud ecosystem that also includes tools such as Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Analytics, and Adobe Target, all of which can be seamlessly integrated with Adobe Commerce. This allows you to bring content, commerce, data & audiences, customer journey, and marketing on a single dashboard. 
SWAT Magento Open Source does not include capabilities for site wide analysis toolAdobe Commerce includes the capabilities SWAT to check for site performance, generate reports, and derive actionable recommendations on performance improvements 
Time-to-marketMagento Open Source doesn’t offer the speed-to-market and agility you need to survive and thrive in today’s competitive eCommerce ecosystem.Adobe Commerce consists of several leading-edge functionalities all of which help deliver robust experiences with accelerated time-to-market. This agility and speed-to-market becomes predominant when you’re expanding into new regions, introducing new products, or realigning your business structure. 

The business value of upgrading to Adobe Commerce

IDC conducted research in 2022 on enterprises that upgraded from Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce to assess the business value this upgrade brought forth. The enterprises belonged to the following industrial verticals -  retail, automotive, financial services, and manufacturing. These enterprises reported an increase of average annual benefit of $45,000 per 10,000 transactions, improvements in customer satisfaction scores, average order values, customer conversion rates, and a remarkable improvement in ROI in three years. 

They concluded the report by saying that the upgrade would help Adobe customers to achieve benefits worth $6.54 million annually per organization. These improvements are attributes to:

  • Offering products and services on an omnichannel, robust, and scalable eCommerce platform, resulting in higher revenue realization
  • Accelerated time-to-market of new products, brands, and services
  • Providing a holistic view of every order, shopper, marketing strategy to allow sellers and sales team to work more efficiently 
  • Consolidating all operations, infrastructure, hosting, server to a single platform 

While there is enough data on why enterprises must upgrade from Magento Open Source to Adobe Commerce, much of it depends on your business needs and revenue goals. The question that remains is if your business has room to grow with Magento Open Source or you wish to leverage a powerful platform like Adobe Commerce. 

Adobe Commerce vs Magento Open Source: Which to choose? 

If you’re looking for an enterprise-ready scalable ecommerce platform that grows with your business, then Adobe Commerce is the right direction. But when you’re just starting out and can outsource commerce implementation requirements to other businesses, then Magento Open Source can be the right tool for you. Most of it depends on your outlook for the 4S’s - security concerns, scalability, speed, and support. 

Magento Open Source is more suited for small eCommerce startups and one-product eCommerce businesses. On the contrary, SMBs, large enterprises, and B2B eCommerce businesses must choose Adobe Commerce to support their scalable eCommerce goals. 

How Ranosys can help with Adobe Commerce development

Whether you wish to upgrade from Magento Open Source to Adobe Commerce or want to build an Adobe Commerce storefront from scratch, Ranosys can be your growth partner throughout the process. As an award-winning Adobe Gold Partner with a specialized Adobe Commerce badge, we have assisted several leading global brands in upgrading from Magento Open Source to Adobe Commerce and/or launching user-driven omnichannel eCommerce stores. Get in touch with our certified Adobe Commerce experts to understand how we can help you supercharge your online store growth. 

Know more about our Adobe Commerce development services?


Talk to our experts for more insights.

We would love to hear from you.


Please fill the form or send us an email at