All the worldwide-known e-commerce brands that these two e-commerce platforms power are equally impressive. They're both well-built, widely-used, ideally customizable and scalable. In short: they're equally tempting. And this is what turns any Magento vs Drupal Commerce comparison into such a frustrating “dare”!
In vain you'll let yourself seduced by one's “promise” to help you get your online store up and running in no time if it turns out that it's not built to handle your high-volume store or your entire “ecosystem” of online stores. And in vain you fall for one of the 2 e-commerce platforms' irresistible load of features and customization options if it doesn't empower everyone in your team, even the non-technie staff, to tweak various aspects of your website.
See? It's nothing but a question of “which features, which functionalities” are relevant for your own e-commerce business. And which one of the 2 platforms can deliver the most of them.
Now let's indulge in an overview of both Magento and Drupal Commerce's feature sets, shall we?
But First: A few Words About Magento
Magento's an e-commerce software platform built as an open source solution for eBay (who owned it until 2015), effortlessly “seducing” both developers and business owners with its:
- enterprise-level tools and functionalities (e.g. “sophisticated” search capabilities, such as multiple filters that users can apply to their product searches, prompts etc.)
- tones of possibilities for customization
- unmatched scalability
- capabilities for managing complex product assortments
- deep integration with eBay (obviously!)
And Now: A Couple of Things About Drupal Commerce That You Should Know
"What is Drupal Commerce?" A two-in-one CMS and integrated e-commerce platform! Or an e-commerce platform built on Drupal CMS if you prefer, designed to help users set up versatile online stores and apps having Drupal as their foundation!
And this is precisely what tempted and eventually convinced its users to run their online store on it: its incredible versatility! Practically it's a plug and play solution enabling you to set up your e-commerce website anywhere within your environment and it's easy to tweak to fit perfectly your specific way of doing business in the e-commerce arena!
And there's more! Non-technical staff of your team gets to implement changes and to “experiment”, so say “Hello!” to unlimited extensibility and flexibility.
Note: Drupal Commerce does require separate installation and configuration from Drupal core, do take this aspect into account!
Bottom line Drupal:
- “plays well” with third-party systems
- seamlessly connects content to products and comes packed with tones of modules that you can use for adding on (even) more functionality to your online store and for making it grow along with your business needs and goals
In short: Magento vs Drupal Commerce debate the latter is an A-lister in terms of flexibility and versatility!
A Magento vs Drupal Commerce Comparison: 8 Criteria to Consider
1. Ease of Setup
- if you already have Drupal Core installed, setting up and configuring Drupal Commerce, as well, will be... nothing but a child's game: download, load, install the package
- if not, you'll need to go through the slightly more complex Drupal CMS installation process and then enable Drupal Commerce
- and there's also a third option, where you go for an installation profile allowing you to install Drupal Commerce on its own
Overall, both Drupal Commerce and Magento empower their users to get them installed from the ground up.
2. Maintenance Costs
Both shopping cart platforms are open-source projects, therefore, they're both free to use.
And yet, depending exclusively on your specific business needs, there are certain costs adding up.
- is completely free except for the hosting fees
- it's Commerce Guys that provides the Drupal Commerce users with various levels of support, each level having its own price points
- also free to use, apart from the hosting costs
- as your e-commerce business grows you get to extend your website's functionality with various Magento extensions; for a fee, of course
3. Adaptability and Customization
Customization is undoubtedly one of the key criteria in any Magento vs Drupal Commerce comparison. No business owner with a long-term vision would want to tie his company's future to a rigid e-commerce platform.
So, the more freedom granted to the end-user, the more “power under the hood”, the more “attractive” a shopping cart solution becomes, right?
- is incredibly customizable by nature (for we're talking about a modular nature)
- you get to tailor it to your business needs, implement new enhancements, experiment, add new features (and go beyond the “traditional” e-commerce-specific ones) thanks to Drupal CMS backing it up
- enables you to “tweak” its look, as well, going through the whole collection of Drupal themes and doing a little bit of design work
- is entirely customizable if you do have a Magento specific expertise or you can afford a Magento development team instead
- comes packed with a heavy load of “tempting” features to “turbocharge” your online store with ranging from zoomable images, to “narrow down” search”, responsive design, promotional options, reviews, calls to action etc.
- the sky is the limit, along with expertise and creativity, when it comes to customizing both your Magento site's appearance and functionality
4. Third-Party System Ecosystems
- integrates with a whole variety of third-parties, yet it has a “weakness” for social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest)
- “bids on” customer communities”, user review sharing, connecting content to products (and thus influencing purchases, reaching out to new potential customers etc.)
- to the list of third-party systems that Drupal integrates with we could add: Xero, SagePay, Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad, Android, web-based devices
- it's a simple and straightforward integration, with most major players (Payone, Facebook, eBay, Mandrill, BeeTailer, Windows, Mac, Android), that you get to leverage when running your online store on this e-commerce platform
- and the ecosystem of third-parties that you can easily “inject” into your Magento online store will turn out to be some great “allies” for crafting user-tailored experiences (you get to tailor your future sales and special offers according to your shoppers' profiles or “shopping histories”); Magento's built to draw huge influxes traffic, no doubt about it!
5. Target Market
- makes an ideal “plug and play” shopping cart solution for both individuals and e-commerce businesses
- enables you to have your versatile online store up and running in no time
- also empowers you to boost your product marketing campaigns with great content (since Drupal's been primarily designed for content management)
- if Drupal's a perfect fit for small businesses, in particular, Magento, on the other hand, is built to power businesses with high-volume of sales, managing “clusters” of online stores
- Magento Enterprise, in particular, makes the perfect choice for enterprise-level e-commerce businesses, as it comes “loaded” with tones of enterprise-level tools and features to customize high-volume, high-trafficked online stories with
6. SEO Support
- Drupal has the edge on SEO, undoubtedly, thanks to its entire “ecosystem” of SEO-specialised modules that you get to enable onto your website (and you sure aren't short on choice when it comes to Drupal SEO modules: Google Analytics, URL management, Robots.text generator, Site Map Generator etc.)
- if in Drupal you have a whole set of modules at hand to enable and to install, in Magento you get your SEO tools right out of the box; they're pre-built into the platform
- enables you to tweak your URLs, to double check search terms, to adjust your category and product information etc.
Overall: although Drupal does have the edge, in the Magento vs Drupal Commerce “competition” there's no “winner”. They're both remarkably SEO-friendly.
7. Web Hosting
Although they're both open source projects, none of the 2 e-commerce platforms is self-hosted. So, make sure to “squeeze in” the hosting fees when you plan out your budget!
8. Ease of Use
- if you already have a website/app running on Drupal, so you're familiar with the Drupal codebase, UI and development practices, learning how to use Drupal Commerce is... piece of cake
- yet, if you're new to Drupal, you might find it a bit challenging at first
- it does “spoil” its users with advanced tools and customization features and it does grant them total control, yet they do need to be “Magento experts” in order to handle all of Magento's “powers”, all the coding, design and development processes
- in short: consider leaving your Magento site's setup and configuration to some Magento professionals; it's a powerful e-commerce platform, packed with an overwhelming set of robust features, yet it does take Magento expertise to handle them right
And this is our list of the most important criteria to use when making your own Magento vs Drupal Commerce” comparison.
So, which is the clincher? That criterion that makes you decide for one or the other?
We sure hope this post will steer you in the right direction: choosing not THE best e-commerce platform from these 2 rivaling ones in the e-commerce arena, but THE best one for YOUR own e-commerce business' particularities and for YOUR own goals as a business owner!