eCommerce is undergoing rapid change from the traditional search, view, add to cart, and checkout paradigm to one that is rich in content, creates a more engaging and unified user experience, and drives buying decisions within that context. This change will require a shift in thinking around the platforms selected and their ability to support both content and eCommerce needs seamlessly. No longer will silo'd solutions with a long list of features that make vast (and many times incorrect) assumptions about your business provide the tools necessary to respond and adapt quickly to these market changes.
If you already have Drupal to manage content and community interaction for your site, or are considering it for its powerful CMS capabilities, and plan to add or upgrade commerce capabilities, you have two choices:
A separate eCommerce solution that is integrated with or "bolted on" to Drupal. While this can work, it adds unnecessary complexity and results in a disconnected experience for your users that maintains valuable customer data in multiple places. An alternate choice that an increasing number of companies are considering...
Utilizing the power, scalability, and flexibility of Drupal + Drupal Commerce, where content, community, and commerce can all be served natively within a single environment.
Here is why it is important to go beyond features to make the right long-term decision for your business.
Looking Beyond Features when Selecting an eCommerce Solution
All too often, eCommerce selection is based on a long list of features. While features are important, focusing too much on features creates blind spots that prevent focus on other more strategic considerations that have far greater impact on long-term success. The reality is that eCommerce solutions today all do approximately the same thing. General feature parity exists because eCommerce has been around for a long time and there is little in terms of features that differentiates one from the other.
Let's face it, any feature list, and the assumptions they are based on, only reflects requirements that are important at a given point in time. Undoubtedly, those requirements will change over time; sometimes very quickly. As a result, it is increasingly important to consider how well the solution you select can adapt to rapid changes in technology, the market and your business needs. The important choice here is determining how much control and flexibility you want to retain in adapting to these changes versus being dependent on a particular solution vendor to meet those needs.
Having the flexibility to implement new features and rapidly innovate in the future to serve the changing needs of your customers and business is a critical consideration when selecting an eCommerce solution.
As businesses focus more on inspirational shopping driven by engaging content, the "feature" that will become increasingly important is a rich CMS that is natively integrated with eCommerce.
Drupal + Drupal Commerce provide seamless Content and Commerce
The importance of content and social engagement in influencing what people buy cannot be overstated. Drupal + Drupal Commerce is the only solution that provides powerful content, community, and commerce functionality all within a single environment. A rich content platform like Drupal is critical to creating an engaging user experience that results in attracting people to your site, keeping them there longer, and spending more money.
Today, there is massive competition for eyeballs and high placement in search results. Google and other search engines now place higher priority on content that exists on your site and how that is shared and linked with other sites. A weak CMS or one that is separate from your eCommerce platform makes it significantly more difficult to get the results necessary for success. And if your online presence is split between two systems, it becomes even more challenging to target and personalize messages and offers since customer data resides in multiple databases.
While many sites bolt together independent CMS and eCommerce solutions, it's not nearly as powerful. A Drupal + Drupal Commerce solution means that you have 1 code base, 1 skill set, 1 backend, and 1 database, resulting in less complexity and a single platform to support your entire online business.