Magento and Drupal Commerce are two of the most popular eCommerce platforms, supported by a large community of developers. However, with the news of Magento being acquired by Adobe in May 2018, the first thought for everyone has been the issue of proprietary vs. open source.
What Changes for Magento’s Customers
With Magento becoming a part of Adobe’s Experience Cloud, Adobe users can expect a fully integrated solution for their eCommerce needs. As for Magento, there is no doubt that it will benefit from the acquisition and have added features like advanced analytics and personalization.
But Magento users, especially SMBs, can expect some key changes:
Magento Commerce is highly popular because it’s scalable. As an open source product, businesses have been free to modify the code to create a solution that works for their specific needs. But the Adobe Experience Cloud does not offer such options. Any modifications and extensions to the code are only possible within the scope of the APIs made available. This is likely to make Magento solutions more expensive for small businesses.
Magento’s self-installation option does not fit with current Adobe tools. Owing to rising emphasis on the cloud solution, it is possible that Magento Open Source is completely phased out.
Keeping Magento’s active community of 315,000 developers engaged is a challenge for Adobe, which is known for its strict licensing policies.
However, despite initial fears in the open source circles, it is quite unlikely that Adobe would not try to leverage Magento’s the greatest strength, the community. It might consider making alterations in it to fit its purpose and policy, but a complete backtracking from the open source elements is probably not on the cards.
Choosing Drupal Commerce
Post the acquisition, Drupal Commerce remains as one of the very few completely open source eCommerce solutions. And even though Drupal is currently focussed on enterprises, Drupal Commerce is still customizable to be used by both large enterprises and SMBs.
Here’s how Drupal Commerce now fares in comparison to Magento:
Besides the base code being free to install and extend, Drupal’s open source community and resources provide great support for online marketplaces built with Drupal Commerce. Highly customizable, it can be moulded to fit the needs of businesses of any size.
On the other hand, Magento, with its Enterprise Cloud Edition, will have an excellent ability to serve the enterprise market with its SaaS solution. But the tools will likely be too expensive for small and medium-sized players. The existing smaller Magento users would probably be asked to pay a modest fee for an access to the Experience Cloud.
Strong CMS along with commerce
Magento solutions are developed solely for eCommerce, and so if you want to just build a marketplace with very little content, Magento may be the right fit.
But as an online retailer, content marketing becomes crucial to engaging and converting visitors to buyers. Drupal combines its advanced CMS capabilities with a robust ecommerce solution. It offers numerous content types with custom fields and attributes, and media tools. It also gives you the ability to customize your landing pages with its optimized product lists.
So if your needs go beyond the standard commerce solution, Drupal Commerce is a decidedly better choice.
Features and functionalities
Both Magento and Drupal Commerce function extremely well as eCommerce platforms. Also Magento’s acquisition may enable new features and functionalities drawn from Adobe’s solutions repository, that takes the entire e-commerce landscape to a new level.
But Magento’s extensibility can get limited when it comes to adding features that are not currently available with Adobe. No more easy integration with third-part tools that fit the bill. On the other hand, Drupal Commerce still has infinite possibilities to adapt to your needs:
One can easily customize the backend and frontend, be it the product display, shopping cart block, checkout pages, form components, or the administrative interfaces.
It also provides a powerful taxonomy engine, allowing e-commerce portals to support intricate designs and complex product categories and catalogs.
Its has the ability to integrate with third-party applications along with a strong and robust architecture, making it popular among enterprises as well.
Combined with Acquia Commerce, Drupal can also deliver advanced personalization and a unified content, data and analytics platform.
Given that both platforms are customizable to varying degrees, having an expert team to execute that is a must.
Drupal Commerce is built on the Drupal CMS, so if your team is already familiar with Drupal, they will find it easier to use. For beginners too, Drupal Commerce is recommended as it is simpler and easier to customize and design. But major redesign is not advisable for amateurs.
For Magento, you will definitely need the assistance of an experienced developer, and there is a steep learning curve for beginner users. It is however ideal for advanced users who can dig into its many features, or for businesses who think big and want software that can fulfill those ambitions.
What Should You Choose
The final choice between Magento and Drupal Commerce boils down to what is more convenient and cost effective for the business. Joining the Adobe family gives Magento a new market, as businesses already in the Adobe ecosystem will find it to be an easier fit for their eCommerce needs. Enterprises and SMBs that prioritize scalability and flexibility of solutions, might just find Drupal Commerce to be a better alternative.
At Srijan, our teams have expertise in building massive online marketplaces with Drupal Commerce, integrated with a host of other solutions to deliver robust and scalable eCommerce platforms.
Are you looking to build a robust eCommerce solution? Just drop us a line and explore how Srijan’s expert Drupal teams can help.