Literally, any ecommerce entrepreneur ends up searching for the ultimate ecommerce platform. Cost-efficient, user-friendly, SEO-perfect, secure – it’s only a basic list of expectations. It can be easily extended with something like flexible architecture, open-source, maintainable, etc. And it is always hard to find a perfect match for your needs.
I don’t think it is a surprise that there is no panacea for the ecommerce platforms. Though, I am going to explain which pains Drupal can cure and which it will make only worse.
The right question to ask
First, I think the right question is not “Why use Drupal for ecommerce?”, but “When to use Drupal for ecommerce?”. Certainly, there are tons of reasons to use and not to use Drupal for your next online shop. Analyzing and applying all of them can be quite a task for someone without knowledge in programming and web technologies.
To make it easier, I think it is worth creating a list of indicators which will point how applicable Drupal is for your particular project.
When Drupal is a BAD choice for your store?
- You already have a big content website and need a tiny shop with merchandise for your brand.
- Your company has a tiny budget for the store, and is keen to use a standardised solution for the store. (I think you should go with Shopify or WiX in this situation).
- You want lots of reporting out of the box.
- You are not going to expand features of your store a lot.
So, when to use Drupal?
- You want to have ecommerce on the edge of content and SEO. Drupal allows you to have a great combination of content marketing and ecommerce under the same roof.
- You would like to experiment with features and offer your clients experience they did not get before. Drupal allows adding new features using community or tailor-made modules at a fast-pace and a low-price.
- You want high-depth product customization with visualisation and an ease of content management. We’ve developed a free Product Builder module for this case. We’ve successfully used it for 5 websites already and continue its growth.
- You expect to grow fast and don’t want to get a vendor lock-in. Drupal is an open-source software and a quite popular one. It won’t be a challenge to find a right contractor (not as good as we are, of course 😇).
- You want a multi-language, multi-domain and multi-currency website with flexible access management logic.
Finally, why use Drupal for ecommerce?
Let’s return to the question which opened up this very post. There is one reason to prefer Drupal over other Frameworks and CMSs. And I want to state it separately.
It is a Drupal community.
The Drupal community is an extremely powerful driver which makes this platform prosper over a decade. Even emerging CMSs and frameworks cannot really take it over.
The Drupal community developed a vast infrastructure of all kinds of modules, themes and services around a Drupal core, which makes development of complex enterprise-grade websites reasonably cheaper than using any other kind of technology.
For sure, Drupal is not very cheap for tiny websites. It’s expensive to launch. Though, once it is done, you can extend it without much effort.
And as I’ve mentioned, having a huge reliable community, makes you confident in the future of your web application. It means:
- if something goes wrong with your development partner, team, etc., you can relatively easily find a replacement.
- Security breaches are being fixed in hours.
- Technology won’t be abandoned and forgotten in a couple of years.
Drupal is not a cure for all diseases
...but it is definitely worth checking when you plan your next ecommerce endeavour.
P.S. If you need any help planning or developing an ecommerce web application, feel free to contact us using this form.