I always felt that any website should be a tool for driving sales. And there is no better way than enabling customers to make a purchase right there on your website. And now you can do it with Drupal 8.
Building commerce websites is not easy. The only way to make it easier is to use a service like Shopify, where there are presets available that will cover requirements for 80% of entrepreneurs doing their first online commerce venture.
Sooner or later things get complicated ...
Sometimes a business becomes so big that it needs to have its merchandise in multiple warehouses, or it sells to customers from different countries, or it has simply developed a unique business model that is enabling its growth. In many cases, DIY tools can't handle those requirements anymore.
Do mind that I don't try to dismiss companies providing those services. I think services like Shopify are outstanding and that everyone should try to see if they can build their webshops on their platforms. When I get approached by potential e-commerce clients, I always advise starting with a cloud e-commerce platform, if the business needs can fit in their feature set.
OK, so what happens when I see the requirements of the business don't fit into Shopify or alike? Well, I advise going on a route to building something more complex, something entirely tailored to them.
Commerce on Drupal 7
When we were still building sites with Drupal 7, we had an excellent weapon in our arsenal: Drupal commerce. With the efforts of Commerce Guys, the company that took full ownership of the idea to build the best commerce solution, the Drupal community was able to say we don't only have pretty darn good CMS, but also a pretty darn good solution for building web shops.
I remember that it was quite easy to sell Drupal Commerce back then after showing Drupal Kickstart distribution. To be honest, Drupal kickstart was also very useful for us developers to figure out what are the best practices in developing Drupal Commerce sites.
Commerce on Drupal 8
With the arrival of Drupal 8, the future of commerce was in question. The company that was driving the development of open source modules and was able to stand behind the product (very important factor for enterprise clients) was not the same as it was years before. News that Acquia is partnering with Magento didn't help as well. While talking with many agency executives, the topic of e-commerce on D8 usually ended up with a conclusion: not yet.
Commerce Kickstart for Drupal 8
But Drupal commerce 2.x for Drupal was successfully released, and there are already many excellent examples of huge e-commerce website built with it. What is great about Commerce 2.x is that is very functional out of the box. This is also the reason a Kickstarter distribution was not developed. However, I did miss a demo that I could showcase to potential clients.
Recently I stumbled upon a blog post from Acro Media. I realised they've set up a demo website with Drupal 8 Commerce 2.x showing its full features months ago! If you missed it as I did, I welcome you to check it out.