Frequently Asked Questions
We're collecting the questions we get most often into a list of FAQs. If your question is not in the list, please reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be glad to help.
When will Commerce be available?
We've just started sending alpha invites. In this phase of the project, Commerce has a baseline of functionality that allows accepting orders, however it is not yet stable or feature complete.
Throughout Q1 2017 we'll gradually invite more of our customers to try it out. We expect that around February/March 2017 Commerce will have the features we decided on for version 1. That's when we'll start the beta testing, which focuses on making sure Commerce is stable, fully documented, and ready for production. This means that Commerce would be available for actual project use around April/May.
How much does Commerce cost?
Commerce is set to cost €299 per license, valid for one MODX installation each. All 1.x upgrades and a year of support is included in that price, as are a collection of modules.
Licenses are not available to be purchased until we reach beta, which we expect to hit around Feburary/March 2017. We likely wont offer an unlimited subscription for Commerce.
Free development licenses will be available for Commerce, which will allow all features of Commerce with the exception of setting the shop to live mode. Non-profit discounts are available for organisations that meet a set of criteria.
How does Commerce handle product prices and sales tax/VAT?
Taxes in Commerce are quite flexible. They are organised around Tax Groups, assigned to your products, and Tax Rules that determine when a certain Rate Provider should be used.
Product prices can be configured to be either inclusive or exclusive of taxes. When a customer address is available, taxes will be shown as soon as a product is added to the cart.
What are the requirements for running Commerce?
For Commerce we've set slightly higher requirements than our other extras.
- PHP 5.5+ (5.6 or higher strongly recommended)
- MODX Revolution 2.5.2 or higher
- Valid HTTPS certificate and configuration on the website
It is possible to install Commerce without meeting all of these requirements right away, however you will be warned about the lacking configuration on the dashboard, and may not be able of switching the shop to live mode depending on what requirement is missing.
What will happen to SimpleCart when Commerce is released?
We'll continue providing support for it and improving it for at least a year after the first Commerce 1.0 stable release. Over the next couple of months we'll work on at least one more Payment Gateway for SimpleCart and adding some improvements to make it more flexible. We wrote about this in more detail: How Commerce affects SimpleCart.
One of the cool things about Commerce is that it allows you to use different tools to manage your catalog of products. The SimpleCart custom resources are a great example of what you might use for managing your catalog, so rather than throwing SimpleCart out with the bath water, we intend to offer a solid integration between the two.
Does modmore.com use Commerce?
How can I manage products in Commerce?
Commerce introduces a divide between the customer-facing Catalog and the internal Products that it requires to calculate totals and handle orders.
The Catalog is your front-end. It's how customers browse through what your webshop has to offer, including product information, different variations, photos or videos, reviews, and so on. How you build this catalog is completely up to you: it can consist of resources, Collections, MIGX TVs, SimpleCart product resources, a POS or ERP system, custom tables or third party database... the possibilities are limited to your imagination (and skills and/or budget).
Products are simple database objects consisting of a product's name, description, SKU, stock level, and price. These products are what Commerce does care about. When a customer sees an item they'd like to purchase in your catalog, they will add this Product to their cart.
It's possible to manage products within resources, separately, or integrated with something custom.
How can I change the markup (HTML) used in the cart or checkout?
Commerce uses Twig file-based templates for its theming. The documentation has more in-depth information on how to use that, but here's the basics.
- Create a new folder under
core/components/commerce/templates/with a name of your choosing*. For example
design2017. The name of this folder is your theme name.
- Edit the
commerce.themesystem setting and set it to the name of your theme.
- Locate the template file you wish to edit (for example
default/frontend/checkout/cart.twig) and copy it into your own theme folder with the same name and directory structure (for example
- Edit your copy.
It's not recommended to copy over all template files, just the ones you have edited.
* It's also possible to place the template folder somewhere else using the
commerce.theme_path setting. See the documentation for more detailed information about the possibilities for themes.
Does Commerce offer different shop designs or themes?
No. Commerce has only one "theme" for the cart and checkout that adds a basic design to the default markup. This theme consists of two CSS files that are registered to the site header, layout.css and style.css.
The layout.css file contains some basic layout-related css definitions to position things fairly intuitively. It contains no colors, fonts, borders or other style decisions.
The style.css enhances the layout.css styles to make it look pretty. This is more opinionated and may or may not look great with the rest of your design. It still inherits as much as possible from your existing CSS (for example font-sizes use em to be relative to the size on your body) but does define colors and backgrounds.
commerce.register_checkout_css system setting determines if these two files are loaded. Set it to 1 to load the files automatically on your cart and checkout pages, or set it to 0 to not load them.
How can I automate (part of) the merchant order fulfilment?
Most order-specific automation will happen through the status system.
Basically whenever you manage an order and want to change its status, you will need to choose a Status Change instead of the new status. The status change controls the flow the order goes through from the customer going through checkout, all the way through the products getting shipped.
For each Status Change, you can add Status Change Actions that happen when the status is changed. These status change actions include sending emails to the customer or merchant, but with a bit of development you can also create status change actions that automatically print shipment labels, sends order and customer information to a CRM or ERP system, or does something else entirely.
Through these actions you can automate a whole lot of normally labour intensive tasks to ensure your fulfilment works at top efficiency .
Does Commerce support multi-context setups?
Sure, your shop can be spread across different contexts. They'd all be served from the same MODX installation (on a single hostname) and a single Commerce dashboard. The product records would be shared across the MODX installations, but your catalog could be vastly different per context.
It's possible to use different template themes per context, as well as different cart/checkout pages with context-specific settings.
It's also possible to set a different currency per context, which requires you to have context-specific cart and checkout pages as well.
Can Commerce integrate with my CRM, ERP or POS system?
When we built Commerce, we made sure it was easy to extend and integrate, so yes you will be able of integrating it with any three-letter-acryonym system.
Commerce does not currently have any pre-built integrations, though we expect several will become available over time as we get involved with customer projects and build commonly-requested integrations.
If you'd like to commission an integration, please contact Mark via email@example.com with details to receive an estimate and information about the possibilities and availability.
How do I enable/disable the standard cart/checkout theme?
Can I put my template (theme) files in a different directory?
By default Commerce looks inside
core/components/commerce/templates/ for your theme files. If you'd like to have it also look in a different theme directory, such as
/assets/checkout/, you can specify the
commerce.theme_path system setting with the absolute path to your template directory.
When setting a theme path, you still need to create a folder inside that directory that matches your theme name as configured in
What payment providers does Commerce support?
As of December 2016, the following payment providers are available:
- Mollie (Dutch gateway offering iDeal, Sofort, Bancontact, PayPal, CreditCard and more)
- PayPal Express (off-site hosted checkout with PayPal accounts or guest checkout with credit card)
The Roadmap has a list of other gateways we're planning or considering. Be sure to send us a feature request for the gateway you need if it's not listed or planned yet!
As the templating uses Twig, can I still use MODX snippets or tags?
Why does Commerce use Twig instead of standard MODX tags?
Twig brings a more powerful templating language to Commerce. Simple conditionals, loops and includes are all possible in Twig, which would become a rather complicated set of snippets and chunks with the standard MODX parser.
The Twig for Template Designers documentation is a good starting point if you haven't worked with Twig before.
Do you offer non-profit discounts for Commerce?
Yes, to select organisations that meet our requirements we will offer up to 50% off on a Commerce license. For the process and requirements, see the Commerce Pricing.
Should I migrate my SimpleCart store to Commerce?
If you're happy with SimpleCart, you can continue to use it. We'll still support it, so you don't have to migrate just because we've got something shiny and new.
If you're doing a redesign or rebuild of a previously SimpleCart-powered shop, we would recommend looking into the differences (see the documentation for a summary) and determining whether SimpleCart, Commerce, or both are the best match for your store.
Does Commerce support multiple currencies?
Yes, but it's only basic support for now. You can set a different currency per context, which will affect the price formatting the customer sees. Orders placed within different contexts will also keep track of the used currency, so in your merchant dashboard you can see what currency the customer used for their order and payment.
At this point in time however, Commerce does not support currency-specific pricing, so you will need to create different products in different currencies. The reports are also not all currency aware, meaning they might clump together amounts in somewhat unpredictable ways.
Can I restrict my shop to specific countries?
Yes, using the Country Validation module provided with Commerce you can set up a blacklist or whitelist of countries that are allowed to place an order. This will warn customers that their country is not currently supported when they try to place their order. See the documentation for more information on this module.
How is address validation handled in Commerce?
There is a basic address validation module available in Commerce which will make sure the required fields are filled in, and that the email is syntactically valid. It also checks if a valid country was selected. See the documentation here.
The module does not verify if an address is accurate, but it's possible for developers to build a validation module that verifies an address is real.
Is it possible for my (logged in) customers to use their previously used address during checkout?
With the User Profile Address module, the address on a logged in users profile will be pre-filled to the billing and/or shipping address during checkout.
Before Commerce 1.0, we're also planning to introduce a way for the user to choose from all addresses they've used in the past, with an optimised checkout flow.