Commerce v1 SimpleCart or Commerce?

Not sure which e-commerce solution to use with MODX, and doubting between SimpleCart and Commerce?

TL;DR: Commerce.

Pricing

Yes, the Commerce license is a bit more expensive than SimpleCart, increasing your up-front cost. But it's also capable of much more, and will save you a lot of time and effort compared to SimpleCart.

When building a webshop, a reliable foundation is crucial. In many cases you'll be building a virtual storefront responsible for a significant portion of the business revenue, and the success of that business may depend on the choice of software.

It should be possible to extend the software when the business comes up with new ideas or wants to promote products. The software should continue to evolve, as the business does.

SimpleCart is rather limited in its extendability, while that is one of the core principles that guided the development of Commerce.

We've seen it happen so often: people choose SimpleCart for budgetary reasons, and then end up spending days battling against the limitations of SimpleCart to incorporate features that come standard in Commerce.

For organisations doing good in the world, we also offer non-profit discounts.

Feature comparison

These are just some of the features where Commerce outshines SimpleCart.

  • Payment provider integrations: Commerce has 10 (and counting) plug and play payment integrations. SimpleCart has 5, each of which is also available for Commerce.

  • Flexible shipping methods: Commerce has 3 different shipping method types built-in, including based on weight and customer country, plus 3 other types (and counting) available as installable extensions. SimpleCart is limited to a fixed or percentage-based shipping fee.

  • Need to get data out of your shop? Commerce ships with a bunch of different reports and exports covering a wide range of data (also extendable), while SimpleCart is limited to a single CSV export of basic order information.

  • Don't like taxes? Neither do we, but Commerce does support powerful tax rules with automatic tax rates for the US and EU, inclusive/exclusive product prices, and the ability to show accurate tax calculation before the customer enters their billing information using geolocation or default addresses. Shipping costs are taxed, too, unlike with SimpleCart.

  • Flexible product pricing: Price types in Commerce gives you sale, bulk/quantity, user, and user group product prices. And yes, custom price types can be integrated as well. SimpleCart is limited to a single sale price.

  • CRM/ERP/PIM integrations: there are no plug and play integrations available at the time of writing, but Commerce does support retrieving product information from an external source and includes dozens of events to implement bi-directional synchronisation. For SimpleCart you're limited to a order finished hook.

  • Powerful fulfillment workflows, including label generation, printing packing sheets, invoicing, or custom integrations. Commerce offers a very powerful status workflow system with the ability to fire any action at any step in the process.

  • Stock management? SimpleCart does not restrict purchases to the available stock, Commerce does. It's also possible to disable stock management in Commerce (in case you've integrated with an ERP/PIM system), and per-product unlimited stock is also supported.

We could go on - but you probably get the point.

The only thing SimpleCart has over Commerce is being simple. There's much less to learn in SimpleCart, so with very limited requirements (and a client that won't change their mind in 3-6 months), a very short deadline, and no experience with either systems, then you may be quicker to launch with SimpleCart.

We do think it's still worth taking the time to learn Commerce in such a case. The next project may not be as simple, and you'll already have beaten much of the learning curve in Commerce if you worked with it on a simpler project. Understanding the basics will help you beat the clock on the next more complicated project.

Also keep in mind email support is included. We have your back, and have already helped dozens of agencies and similar numbers of freelance developers getting up to speed with all that Commerce has to offer. You can also use our Commerce starter pack to get a fully functional catalog and custom checkout theme from a simple package installation. That gives you a complete setup, ready to customise while you learn.

Community

The MODX community is definitely embracing Commerce. Half of the available extensions for Commerce have been made by third-party developers.

Commerce has also overtaken SimpleCart in the number of installations using it, even though SimpleCart has been available for several years longer than Commerce.

Already using SimpleCart?

Don't worry - we'll continue to provide bug fixes and support for SimpleCart. We don't have major (re-)developments planned for it, but we'll do what we can to make sure it's stable.

If you're looking to migrate a SimpleCart shop to Commerce, we're happy to offer you a €50 discount on the Commerce license. (Only for SimpleCart licenses bought from modmore, or for older licenses with a support extension.)