Shop based on Drupal Commerce

09-Mar-2017
Shop based on Drupal Commerce

Drupal Commerce, despite less popularity than Ubercart, which is also Open Source software, gains new supporters every day. It's no wonder, because the Commerce Guys team is definitely looking for a good relationship with users of its module through detailed documentation and video materials. It is worth mentioning that some of the developers responsible for creating Drupal Commerce took part in the creation of the Ubercart module. Drupal Commerce appeared only during Drupal 7, currently it is also available for Drupal 8 but in the alpha version.

At first glance, it can be seen that Drupal Commerce can be more difficult to configure since the starter package has been made available, so-called. "Commerce Kickstarter", which takes us through the standard steps of configuring the online store, such as its name or serviced currency. We can also choose to install a demo version of the store with sample items and the appearance of the store. The whole package includes the core Drupal 7 and a lot of additional modules for the most demanding, which we will not find in the basic installation of the module. An exemplary skin will also be installed, which is quite eye-friendly (but not suitable for a professional online store).
The starter package is a particularly good option for new users, but it should be remembered that with it modules are installed which we probably will not use at the average online store. It is worth to limit yourself to the basic installation of Drupal Commerce and extend it with additional modules according to your own needs. Certainly thanks to this, we will keep a larger order in both the database and the server. We can also watch the demo version online.



Drupal Commerce distinguishes itself with the structure of creating products and their variants. They are based on basic Drupal core functionality. Each product is created on the basis of two content type - one is responsible for the variant, the other for displaying it. A variant can be, for example, the color in the case of clothes. After creating several variants, we add them to the view based on the SKU number. This solution is undoubtedly well organized and enables us to present each variant individually, in any way - through a diverse description to other photographs. Browsing variants takes place without reloading the page using AJAX technology.
Unfortunately, this solution also has its drawbacks because it uses more memory in the database than the solution used, for example, in Ubercart. Each variant is one content here, so in the case of two attributes with two values ​​we have four content + the fifth that is responsible for displaying them. A little efficient solution, but with a properly adapted server, this should not be a problem even with more products.

The basket structure is also based on Drupal's functionality. This is the Views module, which is not really part of the core (in version 7), but any Drupal programmer should know it. In the cart, we can display any boxes defining the products in the store. We can create any number of views, thanks to which the basket can be displayed in various places as a block - eg in a small basket in the corner of the screen.

 

The ordering process is simplified. The customer may place orders as a registered user on the site or as a guest (in this case his account will be automatically created after finished purchases).

New Drupal Commerce users may be surprised because the basic version of the module does not include payment and shipping options. We need to install additional modules, as unfortunately it is in many cases. Fortunately, these modules are mostly available in stable versions on the Drupal Commerce website, enriched with detailed documentation.

Drupal Commerce offers a wide range of payment methods such as bank transfer, credit card and also works with payments via websites such as Paypal.
We have also a dedicated UPS module for use, thanks to which we will calculate shipping costs through this company. We will also find a similar module for DHL.

Buyers and sellers are notified of the order by e-mail. The content of the message can be configured from the Drupal panel.

The seller has access to all transactions and baskets created. Unfortunately, the entire view is not very detailed, and the option to generate an invoice is available after installing an additional module (which also allows you to send an invoice to the customer at the e-mail address). Nevertheless, the whole is clear and legible.

The Drupal Commerce module also works perfectly with the Rules module, which gives us many interesting solutions regarding the terms of the items sold (eg minimum and maximum number of purchased items, additional functionalities activated after meeting certain conditions during the order).

Drupal Commerce is undoubtedly an interesting but still new e-Commerce solution, which is why it is not used as often as Ubercart. As it is further developed, we hope that in the newer versions some functionalities will be improved and new ones will be added, which will only encourage using this module. Currently, it is a good alternative to other e-Commerce solutions, but is it the best? For now, it depends only on the individual preferences of the programmer and customer requirements.



For each product, we can determine its inventory, promotional price or tax - in this case we give the gross price of the product. We can also sell digital products in the form of files sent to the customer's e-mail address.

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