Shopify Alternatives

Do you have an online store that's built with an all-in-one platform like Shopify or BigCommerce? Are you getting tired of all the limitations that come with the service when your store is trying to grow? Are you thinking of trying other options but don't know where to start?

You're not alone in your frustrations! Do-it-yourself tools like Shopify are cheap in cost and easy to set up, but over time you find out what works and what doesn't work with them. When Shopify doesn't work the way you want it to, and your store and products no longer fit into their mold, then what can you do?

A well-known negative attribute of every all-in-one eCommerce platform is their lock-in clause, typically stating that you'll lose your store and all of its data if you ever want to cancel your account and try out a different platform with higher functionality. But, this doesn't mean that you're stuck with Shopify or BigCommerce forever. Today, we'll discuss a powerful and flexible platform known as Drupal Commerce that's highly customizable and has no lock-in clause. So, you can switch developers anytime in the future and take your awesome online store with you.

There are many other do-it-yourself eCommerce alternatives other than Shopify and BigCommerce, but we're going to skip over all the do-it-yourself tools and explain why Drupal Commerce is the best option for your online store's success.

DRUPAL COMMERCE

Drupal Commerce is the most flexible open-source eCommerce platform there is, and there's no question that migrating your store to Drupal Commerce will take your do-it-yourself eCommerce store to the next level. In using Drupal Commerce, you can sell anything as well as integrate its software with any program that has an API (Application Program Interface).

Custom/Flexible Products

Drupal Commerce offers a lot of flexibility in how your products are set up and configured. You can sell anything from physical and digital products to subscription services, and you can even sell products that are highly configurable. We have the ability to set up and configure any type of product for sale.

Stock Management

Stock management is often a concern when choosing an eCommerce platform, but with Drupal Commerce, stock levels are extremely easy to maintain. The only question is, do you have an ERP system or a similar system that you use to manage your inventory? Well, we can easily integrate your management systems with Drupal Commerce, so that everything is in one place, clean and simple. You can control everything from your Drupal store environment, or, if you prefer, you can use your ERP system's software and it will update within Drupal automatically.

Custom Checkout WorkFlows

After one of your customers has chosen their product, we can send them down a custom checkout process. It can be as simple as a one-page checkout, or it can have higher levels of complexity. For example, you can have a more lengthy automated workflow that requests the customer to opt-in to other services or that offers cross-sells and upsells before completing their purchase.

Payment and Custom Payments

Once your customer gets to the final portion of the checkout process in your Drupal Commerce store, you can provide various options for shipping, coupons/discounts, and payment. If there is a third-party system that you prefer to use, and there isn't already an integration for it, your developer can take it one step further and create the integration on your behalf. (We excel at custom third-party integrations at Trail 9!)

SEO

SEO is a big factor that causes me to shake my head at the do-it-yourself website tools. These tools usually offer minimal SEO and provide no guidelines for how to improve what you have. This leaves you guessing, and it's not beneficial to you or your store. With Drupal Commerce, you don't have those restrictive SEO limitations. With your developer, you can improve your store's SEO by using various tools and setups, and you can continue enhancing it over time.

One Website Platform: Website + eCommerce

Of course, a Drupal Commerce store integrates spectacularly with a Drupal website. If you build both your website and your eCommerce store with Drupal, you'll have one platform to maintain, and one web domain to give out. Shopify, on the other hand, starts you off with a free subdomain (with their name included, like xxxx.shopify.com) and a free SSL certificate. Free perks are nice, but these perks, in fact, actually segment your website into TWO URLs: https://xxxx.shopify.com and yourdomain.com. 

It's exceedingly beneficial to consolidate all of your resources and have everything under one roof. Besides maintaining a single domain, you have the power to do things like pull certain products into a blog post's sidebar or have your eCommerce content throughout your current website and not just in your 'store.' This way, you really are one entity, and further enhancing your current website like this CANNOT be done with Shopify.

RECAP

So, why not skip all the do-it-yourself store limitations, frustrations, and overall B.S.? Instead, you and your developer can build the eCommerce website that your company needs, where it will benefit continuously over time. You won't need to settle for a 'standard mold' tool that only works at the beginning of your company's lifecycle.

Our Trail 9 team's specialty is the best eCommerce websites. We want to help you build exactly what your company needs and set up your store for success over the long term. We're happy to make suggestions based on our thorough experience, and you could end up with some amazing functionalities for your store that you didn't originally know were needed!

SKIP THE DO-IT-YOURSELF WORDPRESS

WordPress is a user-friendly open-source CMS solution like Drupal is, and it has a couple of eCommerce plugins available for online stores. While these plugins can be further enhanced by various extensions and paid upgrades and updates, Drupal Commerce is a complete eCommerce project that's totally free to use. You only need to pay your developer for their work in setting up and maintaining your online store.

From our experience, when companies create their own WordPress websites, most of them tend to eventually need an expert's skill anyway in order to actually complete their project. Also, during the development process of a WordPress website, there are many decisions typically made that are actually against website-building best practices and that we generally disagree with. This is why we recommend seeking professional help and make your project the right way the first time. Remember, just because a do-it-yourself solution looks good to you, it doesn't mean it's what's best for your customers in terms of its usability, design, and its other aspects. It's always worth it to make sure that your website is perfect for your customers in every way. After all, it's their satisfaction that matters most!