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When it comes to open source E-Commerce platforms, there are many solutions to choose from and often this choice becomes quite critical.
We have already seen in one of our previous articles, Magento and PrestaShop and what their characteristics are.
But have you ever heard of Sylius instead? If not, in this article you will learn how it works and what features it has. I will also explain how to get started with this tool and the possibilities of extending its functionality.
What does the open source E-Commerce platform mean?
An open source E-Commerce platform is software for running and managing an online business, with direct access to the source code.
Generally these solutions are free, although obviously there are collateral costs. The costs you have to incur relate to hosting, development and personalization. We can say that you decide how much to spend on each process.
Another aspect for which you can choose, according to your needs is the functionality. In fact, being able to access the source code, you can add the features you need or modify the existing ones. This clearly offers great flexibility and scalability. Like other open source platforms, those related to E-Commerce are supported by communities which can certainly be a valid help.
Sylius for e-commerce
Sylius is an open source E-Commerce platform based on the Symfony framework. It is built with decoupled components that can be used independently in any PHP application even if it doesn’t use Symfony. Then you can decide whether to use the complete platform provided by its creators or take advantage of standalone elements to create a custom solution.
Is Sylius free?
Sylius is available in two versions:
- Standard (free) using the open source MIT license
- Plus (paid) with a commercial license with an annual subscription. Its amount depends on the gross volume of sales you made with this E-Commerce platform.
In addition to standard Sylius features, the paid version contains enterprise-grade features such as multi-store (allowing you to sell products from multiple business units or legal entities), a loyalty system, and returns management. Let’s now take a look at the functions of a non-paid solution.
Features of the free version
With Sylius Standard, you can create a fully functional online store with many useful features.
- Order management : each order is linked to the channel (e.g. webstore, mobile application) from which it comes and to the language used by the customer to carry it out.
- Taxation : You can use the right taxes for different products and billing zones.
- Payments : Support for many payment service providers.
- Shipments: possibility to attach multiple shipments per order.
- Product Reviews : Thanks to this feature, your customers can leave opinions on the products they have purchased.
- Product association : you can suggest to customers the complementary items to what they are viewing.
- Sylius Themes : This is a great option when you have more than one channel for a single instance and you want each channel to look different.
To discover more features and possibilities of this e-commerce solution, access the Sylius documentation .
Who Uses Sylius?
This platform is perfectly suited to the needs of different types of companies: medium and large B2C / B2B companies, but also to startups with high development needs. Its flexibility and adaptability make it a platform that can be adapted to many different realities.
Why use Sylius?
Despite this roundup of features, you may still wonder why you should use Sylius? So here are 6 reasons for you:
- Scalability . You can deploy Sylius on a single server or in the cloud on a self-scaling multi-server architecture, providing great efficiency for large projects.
- Flexibility . It is possible to customize every part of this platform, thanks to its modern and well thought out architecture and the use of the Symfony framework. You will thus be able to tailor your E-Commerce to your needs.
- Ability to apply it on multiple devices . You can easily build native mobile apps for iOS, Android, or a PWA
- Perfect for developers . This E-Commerce platform guarantees the highest code quality, has a solid test environment and uses business-driven development (BDD). It means the tests are written in a business language which speeds up application testing.
- Community. There are more than four thousand developers, e-merchants and other specialists working with this tool gathered on the Sylius channel on Slack. You can join them to ask for support or help others solve their problems.
- Open Source. You can participate in the development of this tool.
Sylius: a headless open source platform
Headless is a word that basically describes the decoupling of the front-end of your E-Commerce from the back-end. Simply put, what sets the headless model apart is the lack of control over how the backend data will be presented to the data to the customer. In the headless approach, the most important is the content that needs to be delivered to the customer, regardless of which platform they want to access and when. To make this possible (also in Sylius), companies use APIs to synchronize data and provide control to IT teams in terms of the technology used to interact with the customer.
Basically, while in traditional ecommerce, all marketing channels, such as blog posts, newsletters, etc., are designed to bring the customer directly to the site, with headless technology, it will no longer be necessary. Purchases will be made directly from the platform through which the promotional message arrives to the customer. Will it be a mobile app, a single page app, or some other system? You don’t know, but the purchase will come by itself and that’s what matters!
The organization behind this platform has developed six open source plugins. One of them is the billing plugin which creates an invoice after a customer has created an order. Both the customer and the administrator can download this document.
In the Sylius Store you can find more than 80 different plugins and most of them are free.
- There is the Elasticsearch plugin which provides the complete search mechanism, separate from the database. It allows you to lighten the store’s resources. In addition, Elasticsearch enables intelligent search and provides product filters. A developer can easily create new ones, as there are helpful guides and guidelines for making them.
- Another useful extension is the CMS plugin which allows you to add a content management system to your store. Thanks to this, you can create eg. a subpage with the regulations of your online store or a better homepage.
- With Odiseo’s SyliusReportPlugin , you can add a reporting interface to the platform administration. You can also easily create custom reports. As for statistical data, you can also use the Analytics Plugin which adds Google Analytics tracking to your store, or the Facebook Tracking Plugin which allows you to add Facebook Pixel to track visitors who come to your website from this channel. of social media.
Have we already talked about Sylius plugins and what about integrations with external systems? You can run it via plugin (e.g. the aforementioned Analytics Plugin) or write your own custom integration.
Custom online shop
In this article I have shown you how Sylius is a very flexible system, which allows you to really do everything with your E-Commerce. The customization possibilities of this E-Commerce solution are its biggest advantage. With the help of Sylius experts, you can have an online store entirely tailored to your business needs.
So if you are looking for a useful tool that is easy to configure on both the admin and development side, Sylius may be the one for you.