Magento Enterprise Edition: Is the cost too high?
Is Magento Enterprise right for you?
Magento Enterprise Edition is an incredibly powerful piece of software that enables online retailers to work in ways that would otherwise be simply impossible (or at the very least, very difficult). Consequently, it comes with a price tag of around £10,000 a year – a significant step-up from the open-source community edition.
For a small business, this cost may be significant; it’s therefore worth reflecting on the benefits this expenditure might bring before taking the plunge. Let’s take a look at them.
Customers expect a certain level of performance from an online retailer – particularly one that they’re unfamiliar with. If a page takes too long to load, then they’ll take their business elsewhere. A faster site, then, translates directly into conversions.
Thanks to full page caching, (a technique which records the result of a given script and presents them to the user when the same request is made), Magento removes the need to repeatedly process identical requests. The result? Better performance, and more conversions!
With the Enterprise Edition, you’ll be better positioned to incentivise repeat business, thanks to the powerful cross-selling and up-selling functionality it provides. If you’re able to offer customers products and promotions which are more precisely tailored to their tastes, you’ll be in a better position to create conversions.
The Enterprise edition will also provide users with greater control over their content. The ease with which you’re able to make changes to your online catalogue will have a direct impact on the efficacy of your shop. Not only will you save labour on wrestling with clumsy interfaces, but you’ll be able to spend more time devising your catalogue, and less time actually implementing it.
Perhaps the most significant virtue of the Enterprise Edition is the Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Magento it provides. This means that you’ll be able to call upon Magento every time you encounter a problem, and fix it more easily. It should be noted that this support is limited to the core functionality of Magento – those third-party plugins aren’t covered.
Since the Community Edition of Magento is entirely free, smaller businesses will be able to justify using it. But once a store reaches a certain turnover, the purchase becomes more worthwhile. If we consider the performance improvements that come from page caching alone, a store that brings in several hundred thousand pounds a year will almost certainly be able to recoup the asking price of the Enterprise Edition.