September 20, 2017! For most of us it was just an ordinary Wednesday, yet for the Drupal community and for everyone owing (or planning to own) a Drupal e-shop it was a major release day marked in their calendars: the stable version of Drupal Commerce 2.0 for Drupal 8 was launched into the wild at that date (following no less than 6 beta "teasers") !
And along with it, 2 key promises were put forward:
- the whole Drupal commerce experience would be redefined
- development teams would get more productive (since this new version of Drupal Commerce performs remarkably at scale)
Yet, a promise remains a promise till it's tested and it turns into a certitude, right?
That's precisely what I've done. I've tested this new version of the e-commerce suite and here I am now, eager to show you my “homework”: a list of no more than 10 new features and improvements that will make you want to:
- rush in to develop your brand new e-commerce website/app using this powerful duo (Drupal 8 and Drupal Commerce 2.0)
- migrate from Drupal Commerce 1.x to Drupal Commerce 2.0
- leverage, as a Drupal developer, all the developer-oriented best practices that this team has adhered to while developing Drupal Commerce 2.0; in this respect their Drupalcon Vienna session, Drupal Commerce 2.x: Lessons Learned is more than relevant
And here's my top 10 features and improvements (in no hierarchical order) brought to Drupal Commerce 2.0 for Drupal 8:
1. Multiple Custom Checkout Flows for Different Order Types
- it's physical products that you're selling on your Drupal e-commerce store, so you obviously need to add shipping details to your checkout
- it's digital products that you sell and implicitly there's no need to have a shipping section in your order
Flexibility is what this new version of Drupal commerce “spoils” you with!
You get to configure multiple checkout flows, using the user-friendly drag and drop interface for:
- setting the type of information that the customer has to enter
- defining the number of steps he/she'll need to go through for fully completing the checkout process
- adding the option of purchasing with no registration
Once you have your custom-made checkouts, you can just add them to their corresponding order types.
2. Quick and Simple Integration With More Than 30 Payment Gateways
Ready? For once we tackle payment systems in Drupal Commerce 2.0 for Drupal 8 it's a whole new chapter that we open.
Here are the novelties brought to the payment sector (as well as to the payment integration sector):
- coming with improved APIs, Drupal Commerce 2.0 makes payment gateway integration so much more simplified (close to zero custom logic needed) and, therefore, more time-effective (speaking of getting development teams more productive, right?)
- supercharged with +30 modules, it makes integrating pretty much any payment gateway into your Drupal 8 commerce site a...breeze
- speaking of payment systems, you're anything but nickel and dimed in payment gateway options: PayPlug, Stripe, PayPal, Ingenico, Authorize.net, Braintree, Worldline, Alipay
- the list can continue with the “other” payment methods such as email money transfer, cash/card on delivery, pay in store, bank transfer, check...
- it “spoils” you with user-friendly UI for managing payments in your online store
- it comes with tokenization support for highly sensitive data protection during payment
3. Juggling Multiple Drupal E-commerce Stores: Now Easier Than Ever
And how does Drupal commerce 2.0 manage to ease your job of managing several e-shops?
First of all: it enables you to configure settings specific to each one of your Drupal 8 e-commerce sites (default currency, contact information etc.).
Secondly: it makes it possible for you to engage in cross-selling. To sell the same products on multiple online stores from your own “cluster” of stores.
4. An Alternative to The Not So Easy Composer-Based Installation: Ludwig
Installing Drupal Commerce 2.0 with Composer is THE “standard”. Yet, it doesn't always turn the installation process into a perfectly smooth one.
Until a better GUI is developed, this solution is a more than decent one (compared to Composer at least).
5. SOLR-Powered Catalogue Pages
Curious if you'll be as thrilled about this new feature as I am.
- what for your customers looks like their search results presented in a catalog-type layout that they're already familiar with
- for you, the “puppeteer” in the backstage, it's truly a whole new world of opportunities!
You get to filter those search result pages precisely by the parameters that you, yourself, will have added to your site's content:
- by color
- by shape
- by price
- by size
6. Product Variations: Creating and Editing Them Is Such a Breeze Now
That's right, since:
- Drupal Commerce 2.0 for Drupal 8 provides you with improved inline editing support
- each item variation (varying in pattern, color, size etc.) comes with its own machine-readable ID or SKU
7. Taxes Get Automatically Applied With Drupal Commerce 2.0 for Drupal 8
“Automatic” is, after “flexibility”, Drupal Commerce 2/.0's “middle name.
Practically the proper taxes get assigned to your products by default thanks to:
- the helpful plugins used, providing your e-commerce website with the whole variety of tax rates
- Avalara and other third-party services alike
- the pre-built logic for automatically leveraging these useful services
8. Smooth Integration With Any Shipping Provider
Drupal Commerce 2.0 for Drupal 8's improved core APIs don't make just payment systems integration a breeze, but shipping provider integration, as well.
In other words, if you're not into “one-man-shows” this new version of Drupal Commerce enables you can “delegate” shipping-related services such as:
- printing labels
- creating packing slips
- setting the shipping rates
… to any service provider of your choice, that you can easily integrate with your Drupal e-shop.
9. Drastically Improved Site Performance
Needless to add that Drupal 8 is “responsible” for 99% of its site speed improvements.
Now to name just a few specific speed-boosting “culprits”:
- using PHP 7 out of the box
- leveraging the BigPipe caching technique
10. 3 More Key Enhancements Brought to Drupal Commerce 2.0 for Drupal 8
And this “trio” of improvements includes:
- improved currency management
- helpful Twig templates
- improved UI for managing coupons and discounts
The END! At least the end of “my” list. I'm curious now, once you've tested this new Drupal Commerce yourself, what other features and enhancements will make it to your own list of preferences!