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Posted on • Originally published at codica.com

Spree Commerce: How to Build an Ecommerce Website Fast

This article was originally published on Codica Blog.

All is fair in love and war but is it in e-commerce? Let’s find out which tech stack can be your powerful weapon in launching a profitable marketplace.

In this post, we’ll discuss Spree Commerce as a powerful, scalable, flexible, and time-efficient solution for building online marketplaces. Read on to discover the key benefits of Spree and learn how famous brands profited from opting for it. Also, we’ll tell you about our experience in building e-commerce websites with Spree.

Spree Commerce: what is it?

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Spree Commerce is an open-source e-commerce platform built with Ruby on Rails. It was created in 2007 by a Rails developer Sean Schofield. Since then, the platform has found many loyal fans.

Spree helps developers create online stores of any complexity quickly but without sacrificing the quality. Thanks to its modular structure, this platform makes personalization and upgrading easy and convenient. It allows for the creation of unique marketplaces suited to your specific needs.

Some facts & figures about Spree Commerce:

  • 1100000+ downloads;
  • 10100+ Github stars;
  • 2000+ commits;
  • 780 contributors.

Advantages of Spree Commerce

So what does Spree offer for those who want to start an online marketplace website? Let’s discuss the key benefits of this platform.

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Development speed

Like the Rails framework itself, Spree significantly cuts the development time and, therefore, the cost of it. This feature is a lifesaver for startups with tight deadlines. Coders using Spree Commerce write ten times less code in comparison with other platforms like Magento.

Easy personalization

Spree Commerce offers advanced out-of-the-box functionality. And when you need a bit more, it’s also not a problem. You can always upgrade and customize your store using a vast number of extensions.

Furthermore, a qualified Ruby on Rails developer can create Spree extensions as well. This will add much flexibility and scalability to your marketplace and make it unique.

Also, don’t forget about Ruby gems, free open-source libraries for Ruby on Rails. With gems, some functionality doesn’t need to be developed from scratch. Developers just need to use a particular gem for each feature, like item review or payments.

On-demand scalability

When launching even a small marketplace, you should consider the possibility of further scaling. In this sense, Spree may become your ultimate choice.

Being a robust framework, Spree can serve a great number of requests from users simultaneously. This means that your users won’t experience any interruptions in response time, and heavy traffic won’t prevent your business from growing.

Mobile-friendly approach

Do you still think that mobile doesn’t count? Business Insider states that mobile commerce is expected to reach $488 billion in 2024, weighing 44% of the whole e-commerce industry.

Spree platform was created with mobile users in mind. The marketplaces built with Spree have intuitive UI design. Besides, the framework is compatible with frontend technologies used for PWA development. What does it give to business owners? They get fast-loading progressive apps that can function with a poor Internet connection or even in offline mode.

No license fees

It is worth mentioning that Spree Commerce is free to download and use, regardless of the scope of your project. Even if it’s a large multi-vendor marketplace like Amazon you want to build, there will be no fees.

Moreover, extensions needed to implement extra functionality are free as well. You are free to download the extensions you need and apply them to your e-commerce site on Spree.

Numerous marketing features

The launch of your online marketplace website doesn’t mean the matter has been resolved. The next step is to adopt the most productive marketing strategies for drawing buyers and sellers to your marketplace.

The following Spree Commerce functionality will ease the promotion of your e-commerce website.

  • SEO-integration;
  • A/B testing;
  • Heat maps;
  • Analytical dashboard;
  • Loyalty programs handling;
  • Decent email marketing.

The main features of Spree Commerce

Let’s take a closer look at the vital Spree Commerce features that help you get the most out of this e-commerce solution built with Ruby on Rails.

  • Convenient item management (managing items, creating detailed descriptions);
  • Advanced order features (handling orders, payments, refunds, etc.);
  • General settings (editing the website’s name, currency, updating policies, etc.);
  • Membership sales (privileges for subscribers: discounts, free shipping, etc.);
  • Extensive FAQ (knowledge base for customers);
  • Comprehensive taxation (depending on the country, etc.);
  • Return extension (initiating product returns, tracking return history);
  • Predictive search;
  • Integration with Google Analytics;
  • Support of local payment gateways.

Examples of e-commerce sites built with Spree

Finery

Finery London is a British fashion label offering contemporary womenswear. The company used Spree Commerce to develop a fresh-looking and elegant e-commerce website that will suit the fashion industry.

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Their marketplace was launched to the public in 2015. During the first year of its existence, it attracted 100,000 clients and brought £5 million. Also, Finery London has been awarded as the Website of the Year at the Retail Systems 2016 Awards.

What helped Finery gain such incredible success? Mainly, it is an outstanding UI design together with a great user experience that was created thanks to the great functionality offered by Spree Commerce.

Conclusion

When you need to build your multi-vendor marketplace in the shortest time possible, it is a great idea to think about Spree Commerce. With Spree, the quality of your product will never be compromised.

For more detailed information about Spree, check our full article: Spree Commerce: How to Quickly Build an Ecommerce Website.

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