Deliveroo reported recently that it had seen its orders double in the first half of this year. Nothing surprising there, we were all stuck at home and ordering out for food was one of very few luxuries on offer. What is surprising is that Deliveroo has seen orders continue to grow despite lockdown coming to an end!
Founder and chief executive Will Shu said: “We are seeing strong growth and engagement across our marketplace as lockdowns continue to ease.”
During lockdown, many businesses had to start selling their products and services direct from their websites. This trend looks like it is set to continue, with the predicted return of consumers to the high street not happening yet. Therefore, companies that have not started to offer an online service, or have one which is not working effectively, may wish to start thinking about either launching an ecommerce facility or improving their offering online.
Adding ecommerce functionality to an existing website – turning it from an online brochure into an actual shop – can be daunting. Although, it does not have to be!
Adding ecommerce functionality to a DNN website is usually achieved by installing a third-party module. The module that is used will need to be configured correctly during the installation process, and the products and services prepared for clear cataloguing before the work begins. If these procedures have been undertaken correctly, then the transformation can be relatively quick and easy to achieve.
Adding ecommerce to DNN
There are numerous options available in the DNN store – and even outside it – and choosing between them can seem like stepping through a minefield. We have examined the main contenders and have balanced the functionality of each with budget considerations. By doing so, we have selected three front runners to mount the DNN ecommerce podium as Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners.
Here we show our three preferred ecommerce modules for DNN and evaluate the merits (and drawbacks) of each one:
At $399.99 this ecommerce module for DNN is the most budget-friendly solution in our list. But the competitive cost has not been achieved at the expense of quality and should in no way dissuade you from exploring the rich gold standard functionality it contains.
On the plus side, there numerous attractive features, well laid out in DNN store so you can see exactly what you get.
However, the standard version has a few gaps in its functionality – for example, no bundled products. To get the professional version (which you may well need) costs $549.99
Mandeeps is a well-known producer of DNN modules and themes, and this ecommerce package for DNN meets the same high standards we have come to expect from the stable that brought us the Porto theme and Live Helpdesk. This ecommerce plugin is comprehensively stacked with features and will cover the main requirements of any online store.
These features are clearly outlined and described in the DNN Store listing and there is even a demo of the admin functions for prospective buyers to play with.
Nevertheless, at $499 we would expect all of the key requirements of an online store to be covered. This is not the case with Live Storefront 2. Even after spending top dollar on the module, you may well still have to pay more for the payment gateway of your choice. The increasingly popular Square, for example, incurs an extra cost of $149 (taking the total for the framework alone up to $648).
RazorCart is the successor to the Smith Consulting’s popular and well-regarded first DNN ecommerce offering, Smithcart. As with the earlier version from the same stable, the admin interface is relatively straightforward and populating products is fairly intuitive.
On the other hand, it is less easy to obtain meaningful reports from this system than it is from the other two, and for that reason your marketing department may well prefer one of the other packages more than this one. Reporting aside, the functionality is good and at $495 the cost is right in the middle of our three preferred solutions.
Talking of preferred status, both RazorCart and Revindex Storefront are awarded Evoq preferred product accreditation. DNN Store describes this valuation as follows. "Evoq Preferred Products have been tested and verified by DNN to work with Evoq products on all supported deployment platforms. When you buy an Evoq Preferred Product, you're buying with confidence that the product meets quality standards and is sold by an established vendor."
The Mandeeps’ offering (Live Storefront 2) has not gained Evoq Preferred Products status, at least not at time of writing.
Final thoughts ...
Firstly, it is important to mention that all three modules are fully PCI compliant. This means that users of these ecommerce facilities can have full confidence that their personal and payment details will not be retained after a given transaction is completed. Their privacy and financial security are thus fully protected.
To conclude, each module has its own merits. However, we have opted for Revindex because the combination of its affordability, Evoq preferred status and full list of key ecommerce features mean that it just edges the other two as the complete ecommerce package for DNN.
Whichever one you choose, you can rest assured that the robust nature of DNN combined with its inherent resilience to cyber-attacks, means it will be a secure and reliable long-term solution for your ecommerce needs.
As leading UK specialist DNN developers and Registered DNN Implementation Partners, the DyNNamite team has exceptional expertise in all aspects of DNN functionality. If your business is considering the prospect of adding an ecommerce facility to your website, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice and support.