Commerce v1 SimpleCart or Commerce?

Since announcing Commerce in 2015, the question we received most was if people should wait for Commerce, or use SimpleCart (the other ecommerce plugin we have available)for their projects.

Until we released Commerce that was easy to answer: use SimpleCart, as Commerce isn't ready to go, and there is no release date just yet.

But now that Commerce is in beta, there are different considerations. We'll go over a few in this document to see how the two products differ, and when which one would make sense.

Already using SimpleCart?

Just stick with it. If your webshop is humming along nicely, and there's no immediate reason to change how it works, SimpleCart should do just fine.

We're continuing to maintain SimpleCart, even now that Commerce is available, so as long as you keep that up to date you'll enjoy a stable experience.

If your shop has grown beyond what SimpleCart can offer, migrating it to Commerce may make sense. There's a few options you could consider.

  1. First, you could leave your catalog in place, using SimpleCart. Combined with a few changes to your templates, cart, checkout and customer section this option will save you a lot of content migrations, while benefiting from the more advanced and flexible Commerce features. It's possible to move along your order history as well if needed. We're planning to make tools and documentation to support this available in the next few months.

  2. The second option is to move your products into a new catalog as well. Look into the different ways of managing your catalog in Commerce for comparisons to find what best suits your shop. By moving the catalog, you might get additional benefits or features available that your shop needs.

  3. The most radical option is to start with a clean slate. Perhaps the shop could use a redesign or rebuild? You get to pick the best tool for the job, which is probably Commerce.

High-level Requirements

There's a few high level requirements that will lead you to either products.

Product Prices inclusive of Taxes/VAT

If you need to configure your products to have prices including taxes or VAT, then Commerce is the way to go. Commerce, like SimpleCart, defaults to prices exclusive of taxes, however Commerce offers a setting to toggle to an inclusive calculation instead.

Commerce also ships with self-updating VAT rates for the EU, and a TaxJar integration for automated US Sales Tax calculation.

Read more about taxes in Commerce.

Dynamic shipping costs

If you need to calculate shipping costs based on an integration with a postal service, or based on custom business logic involving product weight, size, or quantity, then you'll want Commerce.

SimpleCart is rather restricted in how it allows shipping methods to be priced. In the past we have researched adding more flexible shipping pricing to SimpleCart, however that turned out to be not as straightforward to do as we hoped due to the structure of the checkout, and the legacy users to consider.

The flexibility of Commerce will allow you to manage shipping costs in various ways.

  1. For each shipping method you can provide a fixed or percentage price out of the box. Each method also has restrictions on the order total you can set, making sure shipping methods are only available as an option until, between, or after a certain order total. Simple business rules like "€5 shipping under €25, €3 from €25-50, free from €50+" can be easily implemented with these options.

  2. A shipping method for weight based costings is also available out of the box, as is a shipping method that sets different prices per country.

  3. For specific business rules or integrations with carriers, you could build a custom shipping method.

Payment Service Providers

When accepting payments online you need to work with one or more payment providers. This can be an important factor in deciding which shopping solution fits your needs.

SimpleCart supports the following payment providers:

  • Authorize.net, SIM integration
  • Mollie
  • PayPal Express
  • Stripe

For a current list of the supported payment methods in Commerce see Payment Methos. At time of writing, the following are supported in Commerce:

  • Authorize.net, Accept.js integration
  • Braintree
  • Mollie
  • MultiSafePay
  • Paymill
  • PayPal Express
  • SagePay
  • Stripe

If the payment provider you need is not on either lists, Commerce is the better option. Implementing gateways is a lot easier in Commerce thanks to the use of the OmniPay library. If a "driver" exists for the Payment Provider you need, we'll be able of integrating it with Commerce much quicker.

Be sure to request the payment provider you need well ahead of time, and we might be able of adding it in our regular release cycle if there is sufficient demand. To commission a payment provider because you need it short term, please contact Mark via [email protected] for an estimate.