When you think about digital technology today, it’s easy to get inspired. Think of everything that you can do technologically today that you couldn’t do 10 years ago, or maybe even two years ago.
We have so much tech around us, it’s also easy to get overwhelmed.
This past Wednesday, I felt both feelings within a few hours of one another.
Photo by Anna Dziubinska
My day started at Chicago’s McCormick Place for Salesforce Connections. The annual event and expo brought several thousand attendees together to highlight all the new and exciting possibilities available to Salesforce users. Now, I confess, I consider myself a Salesforce groupie. I love the platform, and to see how it’s evolved from a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to a full-fledged stack of different cloud-based services is remarkable.
As I sat hearing about the various clouds Salesforce offers — Sales, Service, Marketing, Commerce, Community and Integration — my mind kept going back to a thought I’ve struggled with for several years now: How much technology is too much technology?
Don’t get me wrong, I am always on the lookout for the next great device or system, but when it comes to businesses, how much is too much? I’ve talked with dozens of clients and potential clients over the years who tell me they were sold on the greatness of a certain software, and to get that software, they also got six accompanying programs that they can’t figure out how to use. And of course, they didn’t just pay for the one software they really wanted — they paid for all seven.
That’s the model that Salesforce and fellow software giant Adobe follow. They present their applications as part of a full platform of functionality that create a unified stack. In order to use one of those applications, you need to invest in them all.
For Salesforce and Adobe, the benefit is clear. But what about for the consumer? I’m sure there are some who stumble upon the benefits of secondary applications they’ve purchased, but I believe that for the most part, people are investing in more technology than they need.
It was that thought that was stuck in my head as I left McCormick Place and headed north to Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood. I walked into an open loft space and was greeted by a scene that was almost as opposite as possible from the one I just left. There were maybe 30 chairs — not 3,000. There were no movie stars serving as speakers (unlike at Salesforce Connections, where actress and producer Kerry Washington was just one of the many headliners).
This event was a casual meet-up with Matt Glaman, senior Drupal consultant at Commerce Guys and co-maintainer of Drupal Commerce. The group talked about Drupal Commerce 2.0, the leading flexible ecommerce solution for Drupal. Drupal Commerce powers more than 50,000 online stores of all sizes, and it’s a fantastic tool for Drupal-based websites in need of ecommerce functionality.
Drupal Commerce is a perfect option for any business selling digital assets, and it fully integrates with Drupal 8. It provides the personalized experience all platforms currently strive for, and it is great when it comes specifically to digital commerce, like digital asset sales or subscriptions.
Past Drupal sites may have built their commerce needs through Magento or Shopify, but both bring their own problems, as Glaman explained. Magento, for one, can be an incredibly expensive subscription-based service, depending on your organization’s needs. It also was acquired by Adobe last month, so expect it to be included in Adobe’s suite of products in the near future.
Shopify is another platform we’ve seen used in the past, and as Glaman explained, it is great if you want to sell a few T-shirts in three colors. But If you want three colors, plus custom engraving, multinational shipping opportunities and multiple language functionalities, “you will get charged up the wazoo.”
Drupal Commerce — like Drupal itself — provides the functionality most businesses need at a price they can always get behind … Free! There are no additional programs or applications you need to purchase in order to use it. What you want is what you get.
If your business is looking to build out its ecommerce functionality, don’t be overwhelmed. Be inspired by the flexibility and cost of Drupal Commerce.
Get in touch with us here at Duo and we will happily introduce you to Drupal Commerce and show how it might just be the right option for you.