Why Magento 2/Adobe Commerce Doesn’t Solve the B2B eCommerce Merchant Dilemma
June 15, 2021 By Jason Greenwood
Below, you can read about my deep history and experience with Magento, which provides important context and background for this article.
FIRST, SOME HISTORY
That’s an awful lot of coin for a legacy, on-premise based, poorly architected platform in Magento 2 (thanks Yehor for routinely confirming just how bad things really are over in the M2 camp).
Completing the absorption of M2, Adobe finally brought Magento fully under the ‘Adobe Commerce’ umbrella and branding as of April 2021.
However, Adobe realizes that M2 has major, unresolvable performance issues in a monolithic deployment model (i.e. using Magento back and front ends together as one system). So they essentially propose that you deploy it as part of a headless stack with an Adobe (eg Adobe Experience Manager/AEM) or other front end solution.
Trouble is the extreme cost, complexity and time required to do so, not to mention the very high OPEX and maintenance costs long term.
M2 is simply not the commerce silver bullet that Adobe perhaps thought it would be, especially with Adobe prices attached to it. But they’re saddled with it now…
ADOBE COMMERCE / M2 B2B FEATURE TIMELINE
The core suite of existing M2 B2B features was released with Magento 2.2, circa mid-2017. This article does a good job of covering this history.
From what I can tell from the current info page here, Adobe has done little to further enhance this feature set since taking over Magento ownership. There are also MANY B2B focused modules/extensions for M2, so I can only surmise that this suite is not very complete, thus leaving many gaps for B2B extension providers to fill. This is despite around 4 years of elapsed development time to build out the native product suite further.
Judged collectively, one can safely assume that B2B is just not that important to Magento/Adobe. They are clearly focused on B2C & DTC retailers with Adobe Commerce – and this makes sense as the rest of the Adobe suite is really targeted at a more traditional retail audience.
WHAT YOU DON’T GET WITH ADOBE COMMERCE / M2
When considering an eCommerce platform for B2B environments, what you don’t get is sometimes more important than what you do get…
With Adobe Commerce / M2, you DON’T get:
- A modern, multi-tenant SaaS platform
- A high performance, stable, scalable API first platform
- A solid, consistent architecture that adheres to software engineering best practices
- An easy to upgrade, maintain and secure platform
- A natively PCI compliant platform
- An easy to use platform
WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US?
Well, Adobe’s plans for Adobe Commerce (particularly for B2B) are a little murky at this stage. They’d pretty much have to re-engineer and re-write Magento from the ground up to deal with its shortcomings.
I just do not see them doing this any time soon, if ever. And given what they’ve just done to Business Catalyst, they do not have a good track record of treating acquired eCommerce platforms all that well.
As such, merchants running M2 have few easy options at their disposal…
They can either trudge on with M2, hoping for the best, even as Adobe continues raising the prices of Adobe Commerce, thereby forcing the committed deeper into the Adobe X-Cloud stack. Or they can look at a re-platform to any number of excellent, true SaaS alternatives in the market.
For those yet to choose a B2B eCommerce platform (or their next platform), it seems to make little sense to be considering Adobe Commerce at this time.
B2B businesses value certainty of technology above almost all else, given their typical business and operational complexity, so they need to have faith in their chosen platform for the long haul.
And that’s something Adobe just can’t provide…
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