What's New in Drupal Commerce 2.x for Drupal 8?

What's New in Drupal Commerce 2.x for Drupal 8?

Drupal Commerce 2.x for Drupal 8's here, have no fear! “Fear” that the new version of the module may lack groundbreaking changes or that its developers may have failed to fully leverage Drupal 8's innovative functionalities. No such thing! Expect even more cool out-of-the-box features that will help you set up and customize your future online stores, tailor multiple buyer experiences and... more!

Even though we're still talking about a “pre-release version” of Drupal Commerce 2.x, all the blog posts that this topic generated and the module's developers' own session, at DrupalCon Baltimore 2017, already weighted heavily on early adopters' decision making process.

And yet, let us play the “devil's advocate role”! If Drupal commerce for Drupal 7 already empowers you to get an online store, with basic functionality, up and running in no time, what more out-of-the-box “goodies” could Drupal Commerce 2.x for Drupal 8 bring?

Let's dig in for our answer(s) then!

Let's look for reasons why we/you should become an early adopter, too. For reasons why this new version of the module is not just user-oriented, but built with developer experience in mind, too. Then let's cast some light on the improvements and bundle of new features that sets is apart from its predecessor!
 

4 Reasons for Building Your First Drupal Commerce 2-Powered Site
  

1. It Fits Tightly To Your Own E-commerce Web Solution

And this is huge! You just can't afford to ignore seeing adaptability as any piece of software's ultimate advantage!

Although it might seem to you, at first, that such a platform asks for a high initial investment (compared to a bloated one), being developed to adapt to your own (given) design and to your web projects' own custom workflow is something far more valuable on a long term.

So, think beyond the initial web development phase of your e-commerce projects: the more adaptable the platform that your (or your client's) e-commerce website runs on is, (meaning the more capable to “assimilate” changes and “along the way” enhancements to its functionality,) the less expensive it will seem to you on the long term. Just think of all the costs that a more “rigid”, less prone to “tweaks” platform would automatically involve).       

2. It Makes Full Use of BigPipe's Potential

… which  is no surprise for anyone, I suppose, since we all expected (and secretly demanded it) that Drupal Commerce 2.x for Drupal 8 would make full use of this version of Drupal's innovative features.

Well, there you have it: BigPipe's incorporated in this new version of Drupal Commerce!

Leverage its performance-enhancing functionality (which speeds up page loading time tremendously by loading the static content first and the dynamic pieces of content next). Turn it into a crucial factor for improving the user experiences on your website!

3. It's “Equipped” With The Capabilities Needed to Power Your Content Strategy With

And in today's digital landscape, with new content types emerging every day and with an ever increasing number of technologies “redefining” the way users interact with content, you definitely depend on a super adaptable content-dedicated platform!

One that makes creating multiple types of content (each one coming with its own “load” of specific fields and particularities) editing it and administering it, as streamlined as possible. 

Displaying products, blog posts and putting together your custom “network” of pieces of content, which “communicate” with one another, has never been any easier!

This is precisely what Drupal Commerce 2.x for Drupal 8 does: it provides you with the right toolbox for setting up your complex content strategy !

4. It Enables You to Easily Customize Your Order Checkouts
 

  1. selling physical items
     
  2. selling downloadable items
     
  3. selling memberships

... are only 3 possible scenarios calling, each, for a different type of checkout.

The one-size-fits-all checkout procedure is so... “last century”!

This is why Drupal Commerce 2.x's pre-built functionalities empowering you to design multiple request sorts and to enable your customers to have multiple carts is simply... “pure gold” in today's e-commerce environment!
  

Drupal Commerce 2.x for Drupal 8: New Features You'll Want to Try First
 

1. Products

Product entities are no longer “nodes-dependent”, they're no longer referenced by... nodes in this new version of the module! In other words: products have their own “stand-alone” display pages.

Moreover, product variations (what the customer actually buys, whether it's a size M t-shirt or a green shirt or some striped pants) represent stand-alone SKUs.

2. Product Attributes

That's right, you even get a whole “box” of “refinements” (meaning product attributes) that you can customize your product pages with: size, color, yearly, monthly, if it's a subscription platform that we're talking about)!

Cause a great shopping experience lies in the details, right?

3. Improved Checkout Process

And it's precisely these improvements brought to the whole buyer experience during the checkout process that have one of the biggest impacts on your website's conversion rate.

Let me list just some of these enhancements:

  • now you have the checkout progress block nicely displayed on top of the page, divided into several steps ; so the users know, at any phase of their checkout process, what step they're at and how many more there are left for them to complete
     
  • cards can be reused; basically when you have a returning customer, Drupal Commerce 2x for Drupal 8 streamlines the whole payment process by enabling him to use the same card that he has previously used in your online store
     
  • it empowers you to decide/configure whether users are allowed to go through the checkout process as anonymous users or they need to register first instead
     
  • the order summary has been moved to the sidebar, in the name of a better structured checkout page design and... enhanced UI, obviously    

4. Stores 

There's a whole new concept that this version of Drupal Commerce introduces: products can be included in several different stores (so you can have the “french store”, the “chinese store” etc.)

And there's more:

  • you get a whole set of per-store settings to leverage: default currency, contact e-mail, supporting billing countries etc.
     
  • you get out-of-the-box support for your entire “ecosystem” of stores
     
  • while products can get included into multiple stores, orders do belong to just one store 

5. Payments 

And the enhancements made to the payments section target you, the Drupal developer, specifically!

Let me detail:

  • the time you spend building both on-side and off-site payment gateways is reduced dramatically thanks to the improved APIs
     
  • it integrates Authorize.Net, Braintree
     
  • it supports tokenization right into the core API (by default)

6. Checkout Flows

Since we can no longer be talking about “a” buying experience on the same e-commerce website, but about “multiple” buying experiences, tailored to each order type's particularities, Drupal Commerce 2.x for Drupal 8 enables you to make all the right configurations for... setting up these multiple checkout flows!

You get to configure:

  • how many steps each checkout process should include
     
  • what customer information should be required per each checkout flow
     
  • whether the customer can go through the whole process as a guest or only as a registered user

 
And I shall end my “pledge” of Drupal Commerce 2.x for Drupal 8 here, although there still are plenty of other cool features that I haven't included in this post. Take the ones that I did mentioned as a “teaser” and an incentive for you to take this module for a test drive and to discover all its other new improvements on your own. 

As usual, I look forward to reading your first impressions in the comments section!