Essential Drupal Modules for Building E-commerce Portals

Your Guide to Choosing the Right Modules for a Drupal-Based E-commerce Website
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The ongoing digitalization of our lives makes online transactions commonplace, offering unmatched convenience to consumers. With statistics like this—1 ,"Global retail e-commerce sales reached an estimated 5.8 trillion U.S. dollars in 2023 and are projected to surpass eight trillion dollars by 2027"—to compete, businesses need more than a digital storefront. They need a memorable destination. That's where Drupal and Drupal Commerce excel.

While well-suited for stores with focused product lines, Drupal + Drupal Commerce truly shine when you want to go beyond simple listings. You can highlight product features, share compelling stories, and guide customers through a great online experience. This duo stand out from platforms like Magento, Shopify, or online marketplaces by giving you unprecedented control over your brand's digital presence. Forget being "just another store"—Drupal with Drupal Commerce enables you to craft a distinctive online destination tailored to your vision and customers' expectations.

At the heart of Drupal Commerce is its modular design and a growing ecosystem. It starts with a powerful core set of features and, through the contributed modules, allows you to tailor every aspect of your store—from product displays to inventory management, shipping, tax calculations, and more.

Special Acknowledgment

The DropTimes thanks Safallia Joseph, Acquia Certified Drupal Developer at AcroCommerce, for her expert contributions to this article. Safallia's help was invaluable in selecting the e-commerce modules for this compilation.

In this article, we'll dive into some essential modules that help you build an eCommerce store with Drupal. Let's get started!

i. Core Modules

1. Commerce Core

Drupal Commerce is a contributed module and ecosystem for Drupal to build an eCommerce platform that prioritizes flexibility and adaptability. Unlike many other eCommerce solutions that emphasize out-of-the-box capabilities, Drupal Commerce focuses on providing a framework for creating tailored eCommerce experiences. Its features include 

  • the ability to create custom product types with specific attributes, 
  • dynamic product pages with multiple variations, 
  • diverse order types, 
  • related checkout processes, 
  • support for promotions, 
  • payments from over 100 gateways, 
  • address management and 
  • tax calculation. 

Above all, it is built on top of Drupal. The digital storytelling that is possible by combining the power of content, experience, and commerce enables you to create a store that stands out.

The module's robustness is expanded through additional contributed modules, covering functionalities such as 

  • recurring payments, 
  • shipping, 
  • stock management, and more. 

This extensive range of features enables teams to cater to complex business requirements and effectively manage online retail operations.

2. Payment Gateways

Drupal Commerce comes with popular payment gateway integrations like, Paypal, etc, and it offers robust integration with more than 139 payment providers worldwide through a range of contributed payment gateway modules. These modules enable seamless connection to numerous payment methods and processors, catering to diverse currencies and countries, thereby providing flexibility for e-commerce businesses to offer convenient payment options to their customers. 

Moreover, Drupal Commerce empowers users with the capability to implement custom online payment gateways as per specific project requirements, enhancing its adaptability for unique business needs and ensuring a comprehensive and tailored payment experience.  

ii. Inventory & Shipping

1. Commerce Stock 

The Commerce Stock module is an essential extension for Drupal Commerce, enhancing stock management for online stores. It offers transaction-based inventory management, multi-store support, and a structured approach for custom development using services and OOP implementation, catering to various business needs. With user-friendly stock-level editing widgets and event-handling capabilities, such as reactions to order completion, the module ensures precise and reliable stock management within Drupal Commerce implementations.  

2. Commerce Shipping

Commerce Shipping is a pivotal component of Drupal Commerce, providing a shipping rate calculation system and integrating shipping service selection into the checkout and order edit forms. As a framework, it collaborates with shipping method modules such as Commerce Flat Rate and Commerce UPS, offering flexibility in handling shipping service availability and rate calculation through an API and Rules. This high degree of configurability enables users to implement simple or complex shipping scenarios as per their specific business requirements, making it an indispensable tool for tailored and streamlined shipping management within a Drupal Commerce setup.  

Find a list of Commerce Shipping Modules here. This list is constructed with data from Commerce Contrib Review, which makes, periodic updates.

iii. Financial Management

1. Commerce Reports

The Commerce Reports module for Drupal Commerce offers sales and customer data analysis through an integrated reports dashboard and supports visualization via the Google Visualization API. Harnessing Views' reporting power and additional submodules for tax, Geckoboard integration, and stock insights enables users to gain comprehensive insights into their online retail operations. The module allows for creating custom reports and dashboards, supporting high-volume stores and facilitating historical report event analysis based on order updates, making it a valuable asset for data-driven decision-making in online commerce. 

2. Commerce Product Tax

The Commerce Product Tax module for Drupal Commerce enriches the platform with a user interface for selecting applicable tax rates on product variations. By facilitating the creation of a "Tax rate" field type, users can easily assign reduced rates or tax-free statuses to products, complementing the default selection of tax rates. This capability allows for granular control over tax applications, providing businesses a means to tailor tax rates by product-specific requirements. This level of control is pivotal in ensuring accurate and compliant tax management within the Drupal Commerce ecosystem.  

iv. Customer Experience Enhancements

1. Commerce Purchase Order

The Commerce Purchase Order module for Drupal addresses a crucial aspect of online transactions, allowing customers to utilize purchase order numbers for payments during the checkout process. After a customer pays with a purchase order, the payment transaction status is set to "Pending," requiring manual validation of the PO number for the payment transaction to be deemed successful. This functionality streamlines the purchase process for businesses that commonly use purchase orders, enhancing the platform's adaptability to diverse transaction methods and contributing to a more inclusive and convenient e-commerce experience.  

2. Commerce Giftcard 

The Commerce Giftcard project for Drupal provides a platform for managing gift cards that can be utilized to partially or fully pay orders during checkout. This functionality includes creating and generating gift cards of different types, each of which can undergo transactions to monitor amount changes. Furthermore, the module features a gift card checkout pane for using gift cards to pay for orders, supports the use of gift cards across multiple orders, and allows for gift card amounts used on orders to be refunded. 

3. Commerce Cart API

The Commerce Cart API module provides a RESTful interface designed to interact with carts in Drupal Commerce through a lightweight public API. A reference implementation is available in the cart flyout module. 

4. Commerce Cart Flyout

The Cart Flyout module offers a convenient and modern way for shoppers to interact with their carts. Instead of being redirected to a separate cart page, a sleek sidebar opens directly on the same page, allowing for quick edits to quantities, removing items, or proceeding to checkout—all without interrupting the shopping flow.

5. Commerce Checkout Order Fields

The Commerce Checkout Order Fields module enriches Drupal's e-commerce capabilities by exposing order form display modes as checkout panes, allowing for the collection of additional order data during the checkout process. This extension facilitates the customization of the form display mode to capture essential information, such as order comments and shipping notes, providing users with a more comprehensive checkout experience. 

6. Commerce Cart Redirection

The Commerce Cart Redirection module, a part of the Commerce/Advertising and E-commerce categories, empowers users to redirect to the checkout, cart, or a customized location immediately after adding a product to their cart. Offering the flexibility to filter redirections based on product variation type, the module includes the option to clear the cart of existing items when a new product is added. 

7. Commerce Exchanger

The Commerce Exchanger module is an essential asset for Drupal Commerce 2, designed to facilitate currency exchange rates. It functions as a plugin-based module, offering support for various external providers, cross-conversion between non-default currencies, and manual data overrides per currency. The module's integration with Commerce Currency Resolver and Commerce Funds and its compatibility with leading currency exchange providers make it a crucial tool for e-commerce platforms, effectively managing and processing currency exchange rates to ensure global transactions.  

8. Commerce Variation Cart Form 

The Commerce Variation Cart Form module provides a dedicated add-to-cart form for individual Commerce Product Variation entities within Drupal. This integration is designed to replace the standard Commerce Product add-to-cart form with individual Product Variations as rendered entities, enhancing the flexibility and customization of e-commerce platforms built on Drupal Commerce.

v. Integrations and Advanced Features

1. Commerce Stripe

The Commerce Stripe module integrates Drupal Commerce with a variety of Stripe payment solutions, including the Payment Element and the legacy Card Element, supporting multiple payment types such as credit cards, mobile wallets, and bank transfers. It ensures robust fraud detection, secure payment tokenization, and advanced features like Strong Customer Authentication. The full list of payment gateway integrations is available here.

2. Commerce License

The Commerce License module for Drupal provides a versatile framework for managing the sale of access to local or remote resources. It introduces a license entity created during the order checkout, serving as a record of purchased access and featuring status and optional expiration date functionalities, crucial for store administrators and customers. This enables the sale of access to a wide range of resources, including files, node types, or even accounts on remote sites, using a unified API, thus enhancing the platform's capacity for resource access management.

Start Building Your Dream Store

Drupal and Drupal Commerce, with the addition of selected modules, deliver unmatched flexibility and a perfect blend of content & commerce functionality. This empowers you to build e-commerce experiences that are engaging, informative, and tailored to your brand's vision. Start by understanding your unique needs and then explore the wealth of modules to enhance your Drupal Commerce journey. 

How Did You Succeed with Drupal Commerce? Share and Inspire Others

The DropTimes wants to feature you! If you've created or worked on a successful Drupal Commerce website, share your insights with us at [email protected]. This collaborative exchange will inspire and empower businesses to achieve extraordinary e-commerce results with Drupal.

  • 1Chevalier, Stephanie. "E-commerce worldwide- statistics & facts," Statista, 20 November 2023. Web.

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