It’s a popular question on the forums: How can I do e-commerce with ExpressionEngine?
The only built-in way to do e-commerce is using the Simple Commerce Module (SCM), a first-party module from EllisLab. This method is, of course, limited to using PayPal as a payment gateway and some clients are hesitant to do that because they (incorrectly) perceive PayPal to be an amateur solution and not secure. Also, SCM has limited functionality; it’s called Simple Commerce Module for a reason.
This is pre-CartThrob, pre-Store, pre-Brilliant Retails, and even pre-Stripe.
I’ve been using this in beta over the Summer for some testing on a project of mine. It’s very flexible and, out of the box, it should do everything you’d need from a subscription add-on, including customizing through actions.
Subscriptions also delivers a very powerful Trigger and Action system. Utilizing almost 20 different triggers you can customize actions through an easy to use control panel. These triggers allow your administrator to modify and create new subscriptions without modifying template tags.
I can wholeheartedly recommend it and give it my two thumbs up. It has been powering e-commerce for me since 2012 and has handled thousands of transactions without an issue. And look at that beautiful site.
SquareBit publicly released a new add-on last week that makes one-off payments with Stripe a possibility on your EE-powered websites. It’s called Charge.
Charge is great for single product sites. There’s no need for any complicated cart setup. Just let your users pay. It’s a simple as that. There’s an advanced action model to let you attach payment information and perform updates after a user has paid too.
Charge only costs $45 (free for non-profits; email them for information) and does require that you have a Stripe account set up to process the payments. The download also includes some sample templates so you can get started quickly.
Earlier this week I relaunched the Mijingo store using the Store e-e-commerce module. I do want to talk about that some more soon but right now I want to point out an article that covers some of what to think about when setting up an e-commerce site.
CartThrob2 is now production ready and available for purchase here at CartThrob.com. Though it’s been fun building a Google-style perpetual beta, CartThrob2 has really grown and is ready for release. Over the last few years we’ve refined every feature and interface, added tons of features, updated docs, templates, and everything in between.
The sweetheart of a e-commerce system for ExpressionEngine was first released for ExpressionEngine 1 and has been revamped for EE2. If you haven’t used CartThrob before, check out the video walk-thru(.mov file) for a general overview.
If you were one of the customers that particpated in the paid CarthThrob 2 beta, then your license is automatically upgraded to the production ready version.
In the last couple of years we’ve seen a lot of movement in the e-commerce space for ExpressionEngine. It used to be that you had to use a solution that wasn’t exactly a good fit…but it worked. We now have Cartthrob, BrilliantRetail and others.
We’ve been working with David and Tony from Brilliant2 to relaunch the ExpressionEngine Store on BrilliantRetail, their excellent ecommerce add-on for ExpressionEngine. They’ve been a joy to work with and we’ve given them permission to release all the custom work we commissioned into future versions of BrilliantRetail. We can’t be more specific about this until the store launches. Honestly we’re not sure if this will happen before or after EECI, but we’re doing our best to make it before.
I know what you’re thinking…why not Cartthrob? Me too.
One of the marketing points of Store is ease of use. From their write-up:
We also felt that the template tags should be easy to learn and remember. For this reason, we have only 7 tags to learn, and most sites will only need to use 3-4 of these. We have also included a full set of example templates with the install, which you can use as a basis for your checkout process.
Just like with, for example, Cartthrob, Store is fully integrated into ExpressionEngine and uses Channel Entries to store your products. It also includes support for inventory management (pretty cool).
This release is a paid beta ($20) but they consider is stable and production-ready.
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