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DrupalCamp Nordics picks part 3 – Shopify to build a simple e-commerce solution with Drupal 8

Continuing on our series of posts about DrupalCamp Nordics talks, this time we analyze Wunder‘s João Ventura‘s talk about using Shopify to build an easy-to-use solution for e-commerce. The recording is available on the event’s YouTube channel.

Shopify is one of the most used e-commerce platforms in the world, providing a simple way to start an online store. They have also built, or sponsored the building of, integration modules to use with Drupal. The Drupal 8 version of the module was the starting point of João’s talk, but using it as such was not an option for his use case. Instead of using the default functionality, the project opted for adding more meat over the bones of the content provided by the mere integration: they created a content type which could be used to provide even more information on the products.

An additional neat feature highlighted by João in the Drupal module is that it can be used to provide style customisation assistance in the Shopify store settings. The module can produce a compressed file which can be used as a starting point for a Shopify store theme by uploading it directly in the store settings.

The solution seems more straightforward than going the full Drupal Commerce 2.0 route or even the Commerce Kickstart route, which is only available for Drupal 7. There is no denying that some custom work may be needed, whether you choose Shopify or Drupal Commerce. Cost structure is another differing factor: whereas Shopify provides you with a swath of ready-to-use functionality for a monthly fee, a full-blown Commerce solution will need an investment up-front before you or your client can start selling online. At a quick glance at Shopify’s pricing table it does not seem there would be vast differences in the operating costs such as payment premiums and shipping compared to the custom solutions necessary in Drupal Commerce, however.

As João pointed out, if you are using Drupal to deliver content anyway, using Shopify could be a very good intermediate step on a journey to a more full-blown Drupal Commerce solution. Having a shop ready in days rather than weeks or months is a good way to start funding your business at the onset.

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