E-commerce. Our review of the some of the leading solutions.

The need to be able to ‘purchase’ online is in demand now more than ever. Your customers want to be able to transact with you at a time that suits them whether this is for actual products, buying or renewing memberships, booking events, reserving time slots, purchasing gift vouchers and more.

From a business perspective, this allows you to keep your business ‘open’ 24 hours a day, enabling the automation of the transaction process as well as the ability to join other useful processes together.

We develop e-commerce websites for a wide range of different organisations and keep our finger on the pulse. We thought it would be useful to share our review of some the biggest players:

Good for small and straightforward stores WooCommerce

WooCommerce launched in 2011 and is an open-source e-commerce platform which plugs in to WordPress and is perfect for small and medium sized organisations and those taking their first steps. It is currently one of the most popular platforms for creating an online store.


  • Free and open source.

  • Wide range of templates and plugins to customise your store and make it feel your own.

  • Built upon WordPress.


  • Care needs to be taken with set up and maintenance as there has been security incidents reported with WooCommerce in the past.

  • There is a cost for hosting.

  • WooCommerce is limited to WordPress.

  • Customer support has been reported by some as being poor.

The scalable solution for standard ecommerce requirements Shopify

Founded in 2006, Shopify provides a suite of services to 2,000,000 businesses in over 175 countries*

Shopify is the go-to solution if you are looking to scale up your standard operation. Offering both e-commerce and retail point of sale services payments, marketing, shipping and other customer engagement tools can all be provided.


  • Quick and easy to setup.

  • Plenty of customisation options and lots of themes to choose from that are beautiful and mobile friendly.

  • Can be integrated into Drupal relatively easily.

  • Shopify takes care of hosting and updates leaving the client to focus on selling their products.

  • Good customer support.


  • One of the more expensive providers with the basic monthly fee costing £25.

  • This is not open source.

  • There are monetisation limits that require monthly payments or features locked behind paywalls.

If you are looking for something tailormade to meet more complex processes Drupal Commerce

Originally called Übercore and renamed Drupal Commerce in 2011, this is a strong, open source solution for those organisations with more complex needs. Unusual sales processes, deep customer user journeys, complex products or complicated integration into back end systems. Drupal Commerce is the platform we use most often and have deep knowledge and understanding of its capabilities.


  • Free and open source.

  • With the right developer, you can tailor the solution to the exact needs of your organisation.

  • Drupal Commerce is a flexible platform that grows as your business grows.

  • There are no monetisation limits that require monthly payments or features locked behind paywalls.


  • The initial outlay is more expensive than other solutions.

  • Development can take longer solutions are usually bespoke.

Can we help?

We are Olamalu, Drupal experts and experienced web developers. We’re a friendly and down to earth team based in West Oxfordshire, who work together to achieve brilliant outcomes. We’ve been developing websites and designing tailormade tech solutions for a huge range of different challenges for over 10 years.

We work with many of our clients as an ongoing technical partner, but we also offer a consultancy service to solve a specific strategic challenge.

May 2023