Drupal Commerce is built from the ground up to integrate with Drupal, which makes it hard to beat when comparing it with dedicated ecommerce platforms such as Magento or Prestashop.
Why? Because changes to Google's algorithms over the past 18 months (Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird) have placed Content Marketing front and centre of your online marketing strategy. This means that any serious ecommerce solution must incorporate a robust content management system if it is to provide a platform for ongoing success.
Going forward, standalone platforms such as Magento or Prestashop are simply not going to cut it unless you can somehow integrate them with a decent content management system.
The problem with trying to integrate two separate platforms in this way is that any extensions to these platforms tend to be bolt-ons rather than fully-fledged content management systems. As a result, they aren't as functional as they need to be, and you end up having to do a lot of work to get the two platforms to look the same and play nicely together.
What you really need is a platform where the CMS and the ecommerce platform are on an equal footing. For this reason, I always recommend Drupal plus Drupal Commerce as the best solution for any ecommerce platform I'm asked to work develop.
With that in mind, here are ten reasons why you should be shortlisting Drupal Commerce for your new ecommerce development, or ecommerce re-platform:
- Drupal is an awesome content management and online marketing platform. Drupal Commerce is integrated into Drupal at the deepest level and takes advantage of all the power that Drupal has to offer. This ensures that both users and customers have a seamless experience when using your ecommerce website.
- Development time is less (compared to a two-platform system) since there is no need to develop and maintain a custom integration between two separate systems.
- There is also no need to develop two separate versions of your visual templates, and no need to manually configure the CMS with information about products held in the ecommerce store, such as you might need to do when building a landing page on the site that should feature both content and featured products.
- Ongoing management and maintenance of a Drupal Commerce site is easier since there is only one set of tools for your team to learn (not to mention that Drupal's management tools are flexible and highly configurable for just about any administration task you might have in mind).
- SEO, CRO (conversion rate optimization) and website analytics are much easier to control because you only have to work with one system, not two. Optimizing the customer journey is much easier because it’s all one journey, not two journeys with a bridge.
- Drupal Commerce's order management tools are part of the same administration toolset found in the CMS, so you can view, manage and update orders on the website, and send update notifications via the website (so that the correspondence relating to the order is all kept in once place, which allows an audit trail to be created).
- Reporting and analytics tools that allow you to view how many visitors the website is receiving, the rate at which those visitors convert into paying customers, and statistics relating to order value and frequency.
- Drupal offers granular user and role management which you can use to control access to functionality within both the CMS and the online store, as well as controlling the features available to your customers.
- Drupal offers a range of powerful community features that allow you to engage more deeply with your customers, which can help drive repeat sales and higher lifetime customer value.
- Drupal is able to integrate with external systems via a RESTful API, meaning that you can complement or extend the functionality found in Drupal and Drupal Commerce with third-party systems. Drupal's Feeds module also allows you to import content from external systems.
- Drupal Commerce is free. Unlike the Magento and WordPress communities, the concept of "premium" plugins or modules that you have to pay for doesn't really exist in the Drupal community. That doesn't mean that Drupal modules aren't well supported - quite the opposite. The Drupal community is one of the best we've participated in.
It's difficult to do justice to Drupal in only ten points (or eleven - I couldn't resist sneaking an extra point in), but these should give you an idea of why Drupal is the best solution when developing an integrated ecommerce platform.