Keep your customers! Drupal + eCommerce + You
Snapshot: eCommerce + Drupal
Every business can benefit from e-Commerce. As we are learning to accommodate the changing landscape of our businesses and how we connect with our customers, e-Commerce is a great way to start. Similar to our previous blog, ‘Let WordPress Woo You’, we have put together some important and essential information on a few Drupal commerce modules to help get you started.
Embracing the online experience will only benefit your business. By not leveraging the growing need and demand for this currently, very essential service, you may miss out on more than 50% of potential revenue.
Is Drupal the Right Match?
Drupal is not for every business and at Cheeky Monkey Media, we understand that. As a partnered agency with our clients, we work with you to make sure that the Content Management System (CMS) you are choosing is the right fit.
Drupal is an incredibly robust platform. Not only is it considered one of the most secure open source CMSs, but it is also very flexible, scalable, and rich with features/modules.
All of this awesomeness comes at a price though. Literally. Drupal can be cost prohibitive for many companies and typically requires regular maintenance by professionals.
If you already have an existing Drupal website, you will be aware of most of this already. If you are wanting to build a new Drupal website, we would suggest doing some due diligence on Open Source Content Management Systems.
We here at Cheeky are fans of WordPress as well as Drupal. Both are excellent platforms and you can read more about WordPress vs. Drupal here.
Drupal is a free open-source content management system that allows you to build your dream website. It is scalable, allowing your website to grow with your flourishing business. Drupal was launched in 2000, after 20 years, Drupal has over 40,000 modules, 27,000 themes and an active community of over 1.3 million members.
Drupal is one of the most dynamic platforms available and the safest. Security is no joke when it comes to the Drupal community. With new releases every few months, Drupal continuously updates its modules and Drupal core to ensure security threats are kept at bay.
Whether you are looking to update or enhance your existing Drupal website or starting from scratch with a shiny new Drupal site, you will need to spend time choosing the right theme that works for your business. Like WordPress, Drupal comes with a variety of out of the box themes to choose from, some free and some paid.
If you have more flexibility with your budget and are in need of something more “meaty” than an out of the box theme, you might want to consider a custom design. Your agency partner will be able to work with their designers to create a custom eCommerce design that matches the personality and unique needs of your business and potential customers/users.
If you are curious and would like a more in-depth look into Drupal eCommerce themes, you can browse this blog showcasing the wide range of beautiful themes here.
For every transaction, whether you're in-store or online, you need to have a payment gateway so customers can complete their transactions. You will need to choose the right payment method that is not only secure enough to ensure sensitive information is kept confidential but one that integrates seamlessly with Drupal, while meshing well with your business’s needs. We know there are a lot of moving parts, but that is why Cheeky Monkey Media works with our clients, offering the best fit for you.
Drupal integrates with numerous gateways that are quite simple to use with Drupal Commerce. Payment gateways options could include:
- SagePay integration
The above are only a few examples, as Drupal integrates with many more payment opportunities, which will give you a lot of options for choosing what works best for your business. Taking the time to do research and/or take some recommendations from your digital agency on selecting the correct payment gateway, will be very important.
Considerations that should be kept in mind when choosing a gateway is how each differs. Some payment gateways charge more than others, some only offer limited credit choices (Visa but no Mastercard or American Express for example). In some cases, your payment gateway choice may be an off-site application...which is fine, but is that what you want?
Utilizing a seamless payment gateway will allow your users to go from browsing to happy paying customers in no time.
Drupal Commerce was created by the Commerce Guys, revolutionizing the way Drupal + Commerce comes together for connecting your business to the consumer. Drupal Commerce is a powerful, open source module that comes with the flexibility to adapt to the ever changing online landscape (and it is user friendly to boot!).
Commerce Guys have created a module that gives retailers a powerful tool to bolster their business. Drupal Commerce is expansive. It was built with your unique business in mind and was developed with the focus on what each individual business could build with it. Drupal Commerce isn’t just a module that has predefined functions. It can be customized through integrations with third-party systems, feature enhancements, and it has international functionalities. Awesome!
This is a great module for any Drupal website or new build, and it is highly recommended by professional developers.
Fulfilling your customers' transactions/orders in a timely, cost-efficient manner, will be very important. Drupal Commerce also comes with a contributed module called Commerce Shipping. This module easily integrates with Drupal Commerce, which is an expansion created by Commerce guys.
When you are building in e-Commerce on your website, how your customer receives their purchase is as equally important as the transaction itself. You will need to spend some time on what you want your delivery method to look like, and more importantly, the costs associated (both to you and your customers). For example:
- Flat Rate
- Delivery Fee Tier
- Free Shipping
All websites need a domain name, which is basically an address of where your users can find and identify you on the internet. It is important that your domain name is simple and represents your business in a logical, natural way.
At Cheeky Monkey Media, for user friendly domain name purchases, we recommend namecheap.com or webnames.ca. If you are unsure about the next steps, your agency partner should be happy to guide you through each step.
For a more detailed description of the importance of domain names, click here to read how it applies to WordPress, as the information is universal, regardless of which platform your website is on.
“A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for a website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet.” (source: website.com)
While there are hundreds, even thousands of platforms you could host your website on, we at Cheeky Monkey recommend Pantheon. They are an excellent solution for Drupal sites and have a long history of being secure and reliable.
Hosting with Pantheon will give you a wide variety of resources and features.
Their WebOps platform has hosted over 300,000 sites worldwide, with unrivaled speed, uptime, and scalability. They also provide 24/7 support which gives you access to their team for any questions or needed assistance.
In these new, extraordinary times, it is no longer ok to rely on face to face interactions. This is the time to embrace all that technology has to offer for you and your business.
Having a Drupal website is simply not enough (and not having one at all is YIKES!). You must consider how your customers and/or potential customers can reach you and complete transactions. Safely, securely and simply.
Drupal and eCommerce are like peanut butter & jelly...They are meant to be together. Just like having an agency like Cheeky Monkey Media to virtually have your back, is meant to be. With over 125,000 hours working with Drupal, we can help you discover how eCommerce can influence your online presence.
If you haven’t already embraced Drupal, or Drupal and eCommerce, now is the time to create that unique footprint for your business on the world wide web.