Drupal 8 or 9 online store on Drupal Commerce: key features & benefits
Hello everyone! Isn’t it great to live in the era of ecommerce? It has erased all geographical boundaries and transformed the shopping experiences forever. All that shoppers may need is a comfortable chair, their favorite cup of coffee… and your online store!
It’s just the time to create one, or upgrade your existing online store so it keeps up with the latest digital trends. Consider an awesome option — a Drupal 8 or 9 online store on Drupal Commerce.
Drupal Commerce: a comprehensive e-commerce solution
The Drupal Commerce module (yes, it is officially a Drupal module) is in fact a full ecommerce package. It allows you to build e-commerce shops of any scope and complexity on the basis of Drupal.
Drupal Commerce shops have key features included from the start and tons of extra ones available through contributed modules made specifically for the DC. They include modules for payment gateways, marketing, analytics and reporting, shipping and fulfilment, live chats, etc. There also are various Drupal ecommerce themes for creating the look and feel of your ecommerce shop.
It’s all open-source and free, but professional teams that offer Drupal services help you set up your shop correctly and make sure everything reflects your business requirements, your user experience scenarios, and your brand identity. When needed, they build custom modules and themes specifically for your ecommerce project.
Drupal Commerce 2: the start of new digital experiences
On September 20, 2017, Drupal Commerce 2.0 officially rolled out. It was designed for Drupal 8 ecommerce shops. Compared to DC1, DC2 has been revamped from the ground up, equipped with more powerful APIs, offering more functionality out-of-the-box, and providing more opportunities for store admins, users, and developers.
DC has been improving all this time, and now we already see Drupal Commerce 2.20. Today, DC is fully compatible with the newly released Drupal 9. This means you can create an online store on the most modern version of both Drupal and DC.
Key useful features of Drupal Commerce 2
Flexible store options
Your store holds all your key settings — the default currency, the time zone, the tax types, the billing and shipping countries it supports, and more.
The first store you create in DC is your default store. However, you are free to create multiple stores. The same products can be shared across your stores due to being stored in the same database, but each order will be assigned to just one store. You can create various store types in Drupal Commerce.
The popular marketplace model is also available in DC. You can allow multiple vendors to create their own stores within your platform and sell their goods (just like on Amazon, eBay, or Etsy).
You will need to select a default currency for your shop but you will also be able to add as many currencies as you wish in a few clicks. Drupal Commerce supports multiple currencies thanks to using the CLDR (Unicode Common Locale Data Repository), which is the world’s largest, internationally recognized standard repository of locale data. Currencies are based on the locale of a language, which allows you to provide truly localized user experiences.
Drupal Commerce 2 has a convenient system of product attributes. These are characteristics that may differ within the same product (e.g. size, color, fabric, etc.). Their combination (e.g. M-sized white sweater) makes a product variation with a unique ID called CKU. Thanks to CKUs, it’s easy to track how many items are left in stock.
Thanks to the fact that product variations belong to the same product in DC2, you can add product variations and shoppers can switch between the attributes while staying on the same page. DC2 supports an interesting feature called “fancy attributes”, which allows you to present the choice of colors not just as color names but as color swatches. Moreover, by clicking on the color, users will see an image change dynamically.
Drupal Commerce uses an intelligent approach to taxes, which means they will be calculated and added automatically. Taxes can depend on the product type. For their calculation, third-party services such as Avalara can be used.
It’s also possible to specify the country of your shop registration so the taxes are collected according to its laws instead of the laws of your home country. Indeed, there are differences in taxes for physical and digital products across countries (European VAT, Canadian GST, US Sales tax, Swiss VAT, etc.)
User-friendly shopping cart
Your shopping cart can be placed as a block anywhere on your site, with its contents visible and easy for customers to edit. The shopping cart block is customizable via Drupal Views. If this is not enough for it to exactly match your shop style, it’s easy to brush it up with CSS.
One of the latest DC cart improvements is the ability to configure shopping cart expiration time. A regular cleanup of abandoned cart contents from the database is beneficial for website speed.
An increasingly hot trend is using a decoupled shopping cart, which means it is handled on the client side, separated from the backend. This significantly increases the store’s speed and provides dynamic experiences like content updates without page reload, cart flying out from the sidebar, and more. This can be provided with modules like Commerce Cart Flyout, Commerce Cart API, and others.
Drupal Commerce 2 has a new approach to managing orders. It’s possible to create different order types. Each order type can have its own order processing workflows, order refresh frequency, specific shopping cart form and block view, individual checkout flows, different notification email settings, and more.
A handy drag-and-drop checkout form builder in DC will help you define what information you want to collect from your customers. Single or multi-page checkouts are possible. Moreover, checkout flows on your Drupal Commerce ecommerce shop can be configured based on different order types. Each can involve a different number of checkout steps, the availability of guest checkout, etc.
You can provide your customers with various payment options to their liking. The choice of payment gateways in DC 2 is really impressive. They can be easily connected to your shop via contributed modules. Just a few examples include Authorize.Net, Square Connect, PayPal, Braintree, Amazon Pay, Stripe, Vantiv, Adyen, etc. Whichever payment gateway module does not yet exist, can be built by a Drupal development team.
DC offers user interfaces that help admins easily authorize, void, and refund payments. Drupal Commerce 2 also supports tokenization, which allows customers to save their credit card data for future reuse with the help of PCI-compliant tokens impossible to intercept.
Coupons and promotions
Drupal Commerce allows you to use promotions and coupons, for which you can configure specific pricing rules. DC2 creators have paid special attention to updating the user interface so it’s easy for any online store administrator to set up promotions. Among the latest improvements is the option to set the exact time of the start and the end of the promotional sale in the right timezone.
Everything will be shipped to your customers —you just need to integrate with specific shipping providers, for which there are contributed Drupal Commerce modules. Among them are Commerce FedEx, Commerce Canada Post, Commerce UPS, Commerce Kiala, Commerce USPS, Commerce Australia Post, Commerce NZPost, and more. There is also a key module that serves as the framework for the shipping setup — Commerce Shipping. Shipping rates based on conditions (country, weight, size, and so on) are possible in Drupal Commerce.
Your ecommerce store is almost there!
Interested in the above described features? You can have them all and many others! Even if you want some functionality not yet included in Drupal Commerce, professional custom ecommerce development will make everything possible.
Take the best from Drupal ecommerce with Golems! Let’s start discussing your future store today ;)