Solidus.io is an open-source, community-driven eCommerce framework that is entirely free to use. It’s built on the Ruby on Rails framework and is developed by a dedicated group of web developers. It was created to assist businesses, brands, and developers in creating unique and customized eCommerce platforms. In this Solidus review, we’ll go over all this platform has to offer, how to utilize it, and who this programme is most suited for.
Let’s get this party started…
Before we get into the details of Solidus’ functionality, it’s essential to understand how Solidus differs from competing for eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.
Solidus is a Ruby on Rails-based open-source ecommerce platform that can be completely customized. Therefore, it can be used as a monolithic platform (one in which the backend and frontend are combined). Still, it also has a headless ecommerce architecture that is regularly updated by the developer community.
For the uninformed, this implies that the frontend and backend of your eCommerce website are separate.
With headless eCommerce, you can only add the functionalities you need and leave out the ones you don’t. Solidus allows you to choose from various “modules” to customize your store’s functionality.
You may also use the platform’s admin features to create your backend UI and administer your storefront in the way that works best for you.
In this study, we’ll look at three of Solidus’ most essential features for business owners:
The product module comes first.
This product features three primary features:
- Organization of the website/product
- Product information/display
First, let’s look at the inventory management system. You can manage incoming and outgoing inventory across all your warehouses and stores, as well as connect your website to receive real-time stock information (usually held in a database of some kind). As a result, you’ll be able to relax knowing that you have access to the most up-to-date inventory.
Product management is the next consideration. You may add products and build searchable product listings with the product manager. Then, for users to see, you may add information about the product, such as its name, description, and availability. You may also enhance SEO by adding metadata to your products.
Finally, you can categorize your inventory based on product attributes or data gathered from consumers.
The final component improves the website’s organization. A taxonomic structure can be used to organize your website’s products into categories and subcategories. You can give these categories names that are easy to remember so that clients can quickly find what they’re looking for. Furthermore, products can belong to many categories, allowing website users to make dynamic use of your site.
The payment module of Solidus is next, and it includes the following features:
- Calculation of the payment
- Processing of payments
- Credit in the store
Solidus comes with a built-in calculator that can calculate the various taxes and rates that apply to various products. It also considers the user’s country, state, or custom zone when calculating the product’s price.
When it comes to payment processing, Solidus offers a variety of payment integration solutions, including:
This isn’t an exhaustive list. Solidus’ architecture supports hundreds of payment methods, including digital wallets like Apple and Google Pay. Customers can use them to make safe and secure payments on your website.
The complete list of available payment extensions can be found here. However, it’s important to remember that many Solidus extensions, like many of its features, are created by the Solidus community. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this in theory. Even so, as you navigate through the available extensions, you can see if they were built by the Solidus community, a third party, or the provider itself. As a result, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which extensions to utilize.
The subscription support feature comes next. This enables you to charge for individual items and services via subscription. Again, your consumers will know precisely what they’re paying for and for how long because the subscriptions have configurable start and end dates.
Then there’s the promotional engine, which allows you to do things like:
- Discounts are available for bulk orders.
- Accept codes for referrals.
- Customers should be given freebies based on their previous orders.
To further automate this business area, you can also build and trigger promotions using various pre-set rules.
The shop credit feature is the final payment element we’ll discuss. Customers can receive store credit as presents or reimbursements. Additionally, a store credit can be set up as a payment method.
The next module will deal with shipping, postage, and transactions for your product. Solidus’ available extensions allow you to work smoothly with a variety of logistics providers, including:
- Station for Ships
You may pick and choose which services you need and even work with multiple providers simultaneously, all while maintaining complete control over your data and client experience.
For example, you can offer numerous shipping options at checkout and request real-time pricing from carriers so that customers can select the best delivery option for them. You can also set your delivery prices, either as a percentage or a flat rate, or even offer free shipping if that is a viable option for you.
Although we’ve gone over the core features of Solidus, there are a few additional significant integrations that you might be interested in. The ones connected to marketing and reporting are maybe the most useful, including:
- Analytics: integrates with Google Analytics to provide real-time data on all of your website’s key metrics, such as page traffic and demographics.
- Marketing: You may use Klaviyo or Drip to combine your Solidus store with email, SMS, and social media marketing channels.
The following are some other significant extension categories:
- Management of content
- Optimizations for conversions
- Social media and omnichannel solutions
- Returns and shipping
- Payments, pricing, and taxation are all things that need to be considered as well as a slew of others.
To utilize Solidus, you’ll need a basic understanding of the programming language Ruby and the Ruby on Rails framework, as we briefly mentioned. You’ll also need some technical skills to install Solidus and move your store from other platforms like Shopify or Magento. If you lack this knowledge, you may need a developer to help you set up, administer, and maintain your online store.
Fortunately, Solidus has teamed up with several reputable professionals and specialists to assist you in getting up and running. Nebulab, for example, is an eCommerce consultancy and full-service business that can assist you with this.
Solidus eCommerce development is their speciality. Nebulab can handle everything from designing to putting up website features to maintaining your store.
Solidus is an open-source platform that is supported by a vibrant community. That’s why it’s worth looking into what kind of help you may get if you’re having trouble with the platform.
Let’s say you want to get in touch with Solidus through the website’s ticketing system. In that situation, you’re contacting Nebulab, the project’s principal contributor and project director, which is an eCommerce consulting firm, as we’ve already mentioned.
However, due to the nature of open-source projects, you cannot expect fast assistance. Instead, you can rely on a community of over 670 contributors and a Slack channel with over 4059 users that you may join.
You’ll also discover online guidelines to assist you in getting started with the platform and making any contributions you want to make. The developer guides go into the API and examine numerous capabilities such as customization, inventory, extensions, shipments, taxation, and more.
Keep in mind that Solidus is constantly growing due to community contributions, so you’ll need to be tech-savvy enough to grasp how Github works. For example, you should enable alerts for vulnerable dependencies in Github or subscribe to the Solidus security mailing list to receive all security updates for your store. As you’ve already guessed, keeping up with Solidus will require a little more effort than keeping up with the usual eCommerce platform.
Our Final Thoughts
In a nutshell, here’s what we believe Solidus excels at:
First, it allows you to construct a highly configurable store.
- Headless eCommerce: Because this framework lacks a “head,” it can be applied to various mediums. You can host a Solidus-powered store on your website and blog, regardless of your tools to create it.
- Solidus’ flexibility allows you to manage vendors, logistics, payments, and marketing from a single backend. This provides you with a great deal of versatility for designing and maintaining your store. With some Solidus code magic, you can automate all aspects that generally slow down your business, such as inventory, stock, and product administration. Thanks to Solidus ‘ vast integration list, you can also use third-party or community extensions to manage the ins and outs of regular business operations.
- Overall, Solidus provides all the building pieces your business needs to establish a fantastic eCommerce store, as long as you have the proper technical smarts (or can hire someone who does).
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