E-commerce has continued to evolve dramatically over the past decade. While much of that evolution was focused on security and usability, there has also been major improvements in making e-commerce more affordable and easier to use for businesses of all sizes. We have come a long way from Yahoo Storefronts of yesteryear, today's new e-commerce platforms are being introduced at a rapid rate, each one boasting to be easier to use and more scalable than its competitors.
Here at Tragic we are experts with a variety of different CMS and e-commerce platfroms, and we firmly believe that whatever system we recommend for our clients should be the best solution for their specific project. So when scoping out an e-commerce project, we take into consideration the necessary front-end functionality, back-end requirements, 3rd party integrations, and ultimately the client's budget and needs for growth in the future before we decide upon the platform to recommend. Listed below are our 3 e-commerce platforms of choice along with a description of the system and the type of sites that we use them for.
Magento is a feature rich open source digital commerce platform that empowers merchants to integrate their digital and physical shopping experiences. Magento is teeming with out-of-the-box functionality and a robust administrative interface, it also boasts an extensive library of community extensions that do everything from improve site management and marketing capabilities to further extend the site functionality as well as integrate with other services. In late 2015 Magento released the newest version of its platform, Magento 2.0, which boasts many new feature and administrative updates. Magento 2 has all of the power and reliability of the original platform, with a modern facelift and some fresh new tools.
When we use it
We use Magento for all of our large traditional e-commerce clients. These clients usually have brick and mortar stores that they want to expand into the online space. Most of these stores have large amounts of products and want an Amazon-style site experience. These store usually require integrations with ERPs and warehouse/fulfillment software. We generally will build Magento in conjunction with a WordPress site. The two systems are themed to look identical, and it is a seamless experience for users on the site. However, this allows us to build our clients better content and blog administration while still providing the sophisticated e-commerce tools of Magento.
Drupal Commerce is an open source e-commerce framework that was built from the ground up for Drupal 7. It empowers you to build any type of eCommerce website, making as few hard-coded assumptions as possible about your business needs. In the same fashion as Drupal, Drupal Commerce gives developers the building blocks to build complex, custom e-commerce that has rather limitless possibilities. Because it is an unassuming framework, you don't have to strip away at core functionality in order to build new and innovative ways to do retail online. Drupal Commerce adds itself seamlessly to the standard Drupal administration and allows us to provide our clients with complex content administration along with a custom e-commerce platform all in one back-end. Drupal 8 was released in late 2015 and Drupal Commerce has been completely rebuilt for Drupal 8 in order to properly leverage the exciting new infrastructure of our favorite open source CMS.
When we use it
We use Drupal Commerce for any of our web projects that have heavy CMS needs (lots of different types of complex content) along with a store. As well as any of our custom e-commerce projects, this includes complex digital products, product subscriptions, content subscriptions, and crowd commerce to name a few.
Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform that makes selling online easy. It handles all the hassles of ecommerce, and is perfect for beginners and experts alike. The platform boasts hundreds of professional themes available for download and is mobile commerce ready.
When we use it
Shopify is one of the few non-open source solutions that we use. As a result we do not like to use it for large complex projects as that goes against the philosophy of our brand. However, Shopify is a great tool for smaller stores that do not have the budget or the need for larger enterprise solutions like Magento and Drupal Commerce. We use Shopify when our client needs a traditional e-commerce store but has limited budget or does not need the extended features of our other recommended solutions. We will generally theme Shopify to look like our client's WordPress or Drupal site in order to provide a smooth front-end experience for customers while allowing us to add e-commerce to our client's website.
If you are currently stuck in an e-commerce nightmare, or are looking to add e-commerce to your website; email or call us today for a free consultation!