Craft CMS and eCommerce: Using the Commerce Plugin
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July 21, 2021
(Source: Craft CMS)
What is Craft Commerce?
Craft Commerce is powered by Craft CMS (built by Pixel & Tonic) and is an extremely reliable, easy-to-use and user-friendly plugin for eCommerce developments.
Craft Commerce was built exclusively for the Craft CMS platform and is available for purchase and download via the plugin store. Craft Commerce’s interface is basic, simply a more clean version of WordPress designed and customised for eCommerce business needs.
Craft Commerce was released in December 2015, and since, has been developed and new versions have been released – like Craft Commerce 3.0. Since 2015, Craft Commerce has had a steady development and user growth.
Last Update 14/07/2021
Active Installs 8,795
Compatibility Craft 3
Why Choose Craft Commerce?
Craft Commerce offers a wide range of features for seamless development, and ultimately, high conversion web developments. With Commerce, there are no themes – every store created with Craft Commerce is individual and unique.
Craft Commerce is customisable, as Craft CMS web developers can build a commerce store to specific requirements and business needs. For example, developers can choose from a list of features that may be required for a website while also having the option of removing the ones that add extra load to the website.
The front-end is completely up to you and your Craft CMS developers, same with the entire checkout workflow due to Commerce’s flexible craft and payment APIs.
Craft Commerce wouldn’t be complete without additional add-ons or plugins. No eCommerce platform will be enough to cater to all needs, which is where integrations come in. Craft Commerce allows third-party integrations to make your eCommerce store more user-friendly and help with better conversions.
With Craft Commerce, you can manage your products, orders, promotions and settings alongside your web content while also relating products to entries and other content types.
Craft Commerce enables developers to translate and localise products for unlimited sites and languages, with the ability to define currency conversions to accept purchases in multiple currencies.
Craft sites are lightweight and fast because developers build sites from scratch and only include what is absolutely necessary. The site is fast, mainly due to the lean code.
Craft CMS developers take security seriously – it’s the primary feature they focus on to ensure the Craft platform is reliable. The platform is trusted by big names like Apple, Microsoft, Netflix and more. In addition, the codebase of Craft CMS and Craft Commerce undergo a security process where third-party security researchers ensure the platform doesn’t have any security flaws or risks.
The Benefits of Craft Commerce
Commerce comes with everything you need for modern eCommerce. While the basics include custom fields, pricing options and more, the Commerce plugin also has an integrated storefront – with all features combined, it makes Commerce robust and secure.
Craft Commerce Features
The Commerce plugin assists you in building and managing your store. You can create a unique eCommerce experience unique to your business needs.
Custom Order Fields & Checkout Flows
With custom order fields, you can keep track of the order information you need by adding custom fields to your orders. You can also give customers the best-fit checkout experience that aligns with your store.
Dynamic Pricing & Promotions
Encourage customers to buy in the moment with discounts like “buy-more, save-more” and other dynamic pricing rules. You can also utilise sales, discount codes and special pricing to entice visitors to buy from your eCommerce store.
Create a fully integrative storefront. With Commerce, storefronts can be integrated into Craft CMS-powered websites – sharing the website’s domain name, content, templates and user accounts.
Order Index & Management
View all customer orders in one place – even incomplete and abandoned carts. Commerce shows orders in the intuitive and modular order index. You can set custom order statuses and keep customers in the loop.
Products & Variants
You can create product types to group similar products together, with the option of allowing individual products to have various purchasable variants.
Create subscriptions – adding revenue streams and new product possibilities. In Craft Commerce, stores can accept subscription payments with Stripe.
Commerce Lite vs. Commerce Lite
Commerce Pro and Commerce Lite are both first-party options built by Pixel and Tonic, but there are a few differences between Commerce Lite and Commerce Pro.
Commerce Pro isn’t required, but when working with clients, Commerce Pro is recommended. If you buy the Lite edition and choose to upgrade to Pro, you will only be charged the difference of $800.
Commerce Lite is a more recent, feature-limited variant that’s less expensive than Commerce Pro. Commerce Lite addresses the needs of smaller projects but does away with many features that can still be important for Craft CMS developers.
Commerce Lite is ideal for websites that only need the basics. It allows for a single line item in the cart. So if a customer adds something to the cart, it replaces the item in the cart before.
The price includes 1 year of updates, costing $39 annually per site for updates after the first year.
Commerce Lite includes
Custom payment gateways
Custom checkout process
The Commerce Pro plugin is a bit more mature and always evolving. So it’s great for building out a more comprehensive store. But in other words, it’s complex which can be both good and bad.
Like Craft CMS, Commerce Pro is minimally opinionated and lets you build whatever you want. This is essential if you’re building a larger, customised store. The downside is that the developmental burden can hinder some developers from using Commerce Pro for smaller e-commerce projects. In the wrong context, its strength (more freedom via complexity) quickly becomes its weakness.
The price includes 1 year of updates, costing $199 annually per site for updates after the first year.
Commerce Pro includes
Taxes and shipping
Multi-step checkout flow
Sales and discounts
Back-end order editing
Commerce Lite verse Commerce Pro have different features – with the Pro edition having more than the Lite edition. And each can be trialled for free in a local development environment.
Getting Started With Craft Commerce
To install Commerce, search for the name Commerce on the Plugin Store and click install.
What’s New in Craft Commerce
The new and upgraded Commerce 3 brings new exciting features to improve store management.
Back-End Order Editing
Developers can now create and edit orders right from the Craft control panel, but only in the Pro edition.
Merchants and developers can now manage store customers in one place and see all the orders they’ve placed.
New Dashboard Widgets
Craft Commerce 3 introduces ten new dashboard widgets.
Choosing the Craft CMS Commerce Plugin
On your eCommerce journey, the right Craft CMS plugin can help your online store be a success. To accompany the Commerce plugin, choose an excellent Craft CMS developer to help you with your business journey.
We are Craft CMS developers based in Queenstown, servicing New Zealand and Australia. As Craft partners, we work with Craft CMS and the Commerce plugin to create digital solutions for brands and businesses. Get in touch with us today, and let's discuss your eCommerce journey.