eCommerce platforms

What is Adobe Commerce? Pros, cons and features

Mariluz Sampalo

Mariluz Sampalo

Feb 9, 2022

magento for online shops and ecommerce businesses

Inside this article

  • iconWhat is Adobe Commerce?
  • iconAdvantages of Adobe Commerce
  • iconDisadvantages of Adobe Commerce
  • iconHow to install Adobe Commerce
  • iconHow does it compare to other eCommerce platforms?
  • iconHow is the shipping process with Adobe Commerce?
  • iconPayment methods supported by Adobe Commerce
  • iconIntegrate your Adobe Commerce shop with other sales channels
  • iconMarketing and branding on Adobe Commerce
  • iconStatistics and reports on Adobe Commerce
  • iconAdobe Commerce marketplace
  • iconAdobe Commerce's built-in tools
  • iconFAQ about Adobe Commerce
  • iconWrapping up
  • Are you thinking about creating an online store on Adobe Commerce? Find out its advantages and disadvantages, the cost of builidng your online store with this software and the main features of this eCommerce platform.

    What is Adobe Commerce?

    Adobe Commerce, formerly known as Magento, is a platform for the creation and management of large online shops. Nowadays, 2.3% of online shops worldwide use Adobe Commerce. In fact, businesses using this platform tend to grow three times faster than others.

    Adobe Commerce is a self-hosted open-sourced platform that offers two software versions, free and paid. Both options are open-source. This means that its architecture is completely customizable. If this is an aspect that’s especially desirable to you, Adobe Commerce might be the perfect eCommerce platform for your shop.

    However, you’ll need help from a Adobe Commerce expert to create an online shop, make changes and carry out maintenance tasks.

    Read on to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of using Adobe Commerce, its top features and how to open a shop with the platform.

    Advantages of Adobe Commerce

    Adobe Commerce comes with many benefits for eCommerce businesses and online shops. These are the most outstanding advantages of Adobe Commerce:

    • Scalability. Since it’s an open-source solution, it can be used for an online shop even as the business grows. 
    • Customization. You’ll be able to fully customize your online shop. However, you must consider the costs associated with a great investment of time and resources.
    • Omnichannel. It includes tools to link your online shop, physical shop and other sales channels, like a marketplace.
    • Free version of the software. It has a free option (Open Source). This version includes fewer functionalities and doesn’t offer hosting or security systems.
    • Adobe Commerce to add new functionalities to your online store

    Disadvantages of Adobe Commerce

    Using Adobe Commerce also comes with some disadvantages.

    • To use Adobe Commerce, you need to provide the server. This can be challenging, especially in the beginning when you may not know how much website traffic you are going to receive.
    • Adobe Commerce is a platform that is difficult to navigate. This is a common downside among self-hosted solutions. However, it's especially hard to use, and you’ll consistently need help from experts to create and modify your online shop. Additionally, the interface created by the developers may not be the most intuitive for online shop staff.
    • Adobe Commerce isn’t an affordable option. If you choose this platform, you’ll need to pay for the server, the domain and additional tools, such as extensions, as well as the cost of developers, software updates and security measures for you and your customers. And it doesn’t end there.

    Alongside those costs, you need to add the following:

    How much does Adobe Commerce cost?

    In principle, you can open an online shop on Adobe Commerce “for free”, since it offers a free version: Magento Open Source.

    In practice, however, even the free version comes with costs. Unless you’re a total coding expert, Adobe Commerce will be a very expensive solution for you. You’ll need to hire someone to set up your online shop, design the aesthetic of the website and carry out maintenance tasks. You might also need help with other aspects of running an online business (SEO, content creation, social media, fulfillment, support, etc.). So the costs of opening an online shop on this platform are high, and you’ll need to pay for a permanent team to deal with all the technicalities of the platform.

    magento ecommerce opening online shop in your computer

    If you opt for the professional version, Adobe Commerce, you should know that it’s one of the most expensive options for opening an online shop nowadays. The exact price can vary depending on the nature and size of your business, but the paid version of Adobe Commerce will cost you around $20,000.

    In particular, the free version (Magento Open Source) includes tools for selling, paying and shipping, a mobile-friendly payment system and additional functionalities offered through extensions. The paid version (Adobe Commerce) provides all of these functionalities as well as other features that ease the process of managing an online shop. You can check them out on this comparative chart.

    What’s the commission fee on Adobe Commerce?

    Adobe Commerce doesn’t charge any type of fee.

    Can you migrate your shop from Adobe Commerce to another eCommerce platform?

    Yes, this can be done with an extension for online shop migration.

    How to install Adobe Commerce

    These are the first steps that you need to carry out to create your online shop on Adobe Commerce:

    1. Download the software onto your computer and install it on a local drive. Log into your server and go to site admin. Create the database.
    2. Once the database has been created, you can carry out Adobe Commerce's installation.
    3. Install the software. Go to Portable Files on your server, where your PHP files are found, inside the Local Word Wild Web. When you click on this option, Adobe Commerce's settings and installation will automatically appear.
    4. Set up localization, language, time zones, currency and country for the online shop.
    5. You can now connect the database (depending on the type of hosting and language you use, choose the name of the same Local Host or the IP of the local server).
    6. Establish which database you have created, the user and password, the base URL of the system and, in Admin Path, determine the name you want for accessing the admin console. Tick the following boxes: "Enable Charts", "Skip Base URL Validation Before the Next Step" and "Use Web Server (name of the server we are using) Rewrites".
    7. Create your admin account with your personal data. The software is now installed and you can start creating your online shop.

    To have a fully functional and personalized online shop, you’ll probably need to contact experts on Adobe Commerce.

    How does it compare to other eCommerce platforms?

    You can check the advantages and disadvantages of Adobe Commerce compared to other eCommerce platforms.

    For instance, you can read our comparison of Shopify and Adobe Commerce or PrestaShop vs Adobe Commerce.

    How is the shipping process with Adobe Commerce?

    Adobe Commerce has a system called Out of the Box (OOTB) that enables shipping cost calculations. Once you’ve set it up, you can choose between offering free shipping to your buyers, establishing a flat rate —the same rate independently of the size, weight or destination— or selecting price escalation depending on the destination, weight, size, value of the order, number of items, etc. This last method is the most complex but it makes the most sense financially.

    To configure a variable shipping rate, upload your own .cvs file with the rates and the rest of the specifications. This will determine the rates you charge to your customers.

    online shop management on magento: setting up shipping options

    If you want to include your couriers in your online shop, look for an extension for those companies. However, if you can’t find an extension for a particular courier, you’ll need to develop your own extension. Connecting your online shop on Adobe Commerce to Outvio is the easiest way to solve this problem, since you can include all your couriers, with your established shipping rates and conditions.

    Payment methods supported by Adobe Commerce

    The payment methods can be set up in the sales section, under payment methods. You can also choose to enable a minimum price for certain payment methods, cash on delivery, local payment methods, etc. In the same section, you can also determine the order of the payment methods as they appear to your customers. 

    If you want to include payment methods that aren’t readily available on Adobe Commerce, you may need to install additional extensions.

    Integrate your Adobe Commerce shop with other sales channels

    Adobe Commerce can be connected to all other sales channels, creating an omnichannel strategy. This feature is absolutely essential in a market where customers are demanding more flexibility for the sales channels, devices, checkout, shipping options, etc.

    In order to implement an omnichannel strategy, Adobe Commerce has developed the Order Management feature. This tool will transform your business from multichannel to omnichannel, thereby centralizing your inventory in one place, making the fulfillment of orders more efficient and providing a better purchasing experience for customers like multiple shipping options: to the store, from the store, in-store pickup, etc.

    Marketing and branding on Adobe Commerce

    Adobe Commerce includes a wide variety of marketing tools. For example, you can create automatic rules to offer promotions and free shipping or set up automatic emails and newsletters. You’ll also be able to create and modify email templates by using Adobe Commerce's visual editor.

    Another way to improve your marketing strategy with Adobe Commerce is to configure how customer reviews work. You can do this in the “Reviews” section and make the most out of this feature by approving, editing or disabling comments for the entire shop.

    If all of these tools aren’t sufficient, you can also connect your Google Analytics account and Tag Manager. Most extensions like these are free or very inexpensive, so the ROI is particularly good.

    Statistics and reports on Adobe Commerce

    In the report section, you can find valuable statistics for your business: reports on the products your customers add to their carts, reports on abandoned carts, the most-searched terms on the website and the results of your email marketing campaigns, among other useful data.

    Adobe Commerce marketplace

    Adobe Commerce provides a marketplace full of extensions to improve and boost the performance of your online shop. These extensions are sorted by category or functionality, so it’s very easy to find what you’re looking for. You’ll find extensions related to customer service, payments and security, marketing, accounting and finances, website optimization, and couriers and fulfillment.

    Adobe Commerce's built-in tools

    Use Adobe Commerce to offer a safe, professional and time-efficient purchasing experience to your customers. The tool provides great possibilities for personalization and compatibility with third parties. Some of the features include:

    • Segmentation and personalization with promotions and special prices for users depending on their gender, region, order history, items on the wishlist, etc.
    • Seamless purchasing saves you and your customers time and boosts conversion rates. Payment and shipping information is stored to speed up the process for the next purchases. This is especially useful for mobile sales (m-Commerce).
    • The Page Builder tool enables you to design and edit content in a professional and simple way, without having to hire a graphic designer or developer.
    • Up-selling and cross-selling strategies are available through the use of smart rules that can be easily set up by establishing conditions.
    • Visual commercialization allows you to organize your products in a clear and logical way to get the best results.
    • Elasticsearch provides for the creation of especially large catalogs, and it seamlessly increases the catalog search capacity as the number of searches, sales and, in general, the size of your business, grows.
    • Multi-brand management and global expansion can be achieved from a single server. If you use Amazon Web Services (AWS), you can choose from a large number of AWS data centers.
    • B2B functionalities allows you to create business accounts, set up multiple buyers and define their functions and responsibilities to make purchasing a self-service and easy experience. You can also create personalized catalogs and price lists, payments on account with fast forms, request lists and an optimized workflow to ask for estimates.
    • REST API will enable you to connect any source of data to your online shop.

    FAQ about Adobe Commerce

    Who owns Adobe Commerce?

    Adobe Commerce (Magento) belongs to Adobe.

    What is Adobe Commerce used for?

    Adobe Commerce is used for the creation of online stores

    Why is Adobe Commerce bad?

    Adobe Commerce isn't a bad platform. However, it could be that it isn't what your online store needs. For instance, if you run a small online store that doesn't require customisations the cost of Adobe Commerce would be an inconvenience.

    Is Adobe Commerce easy to use?

    Adobe Commerce isn't know for its usability, being hard to use and understand even for experts developers specialized in Adobe Commerce.

    Wrapping up

    We hope that this article answered all the questions you had about Adobe Commerce. Now that you have a complete and holistic view of this eCommerce platform, you can assess the potential benefits as well as the challenges. If you think this platform may not be the best for your business, you can read our article on PrestaShop. It may be exactly what you’re looking for!