Spree 4.1 - blazing fast, mobile-first E-Commerce platform with superior UX and SEO

The latest Spree Commerce 4.1 is available after 6 months in development, 6000+ hours spent between 25+ core dev team members, tested in 3 release candidates by several community testers providing feedback and contributing.

As a result of this effort, the Spree community members will be able to launch blazing fast, mobile-first E-Commerce applications with superior UX and SEO within weeks from project kickoff saving hundreds if not thousands of hours on development and QA.

Try it out for yourself:

This new Spree version was designed and developed with a mobile-first approach and focus on:

  • Improved business KPIs
    • Faster loading pages
    • Higher Google rankings
    • More organic search traffic
    • Improved mobile conversions
    • Reduced bounce rates
    • Better social sharing
  • Highly optimized UX
    • Mobile-first element stacking
    • Advanced caching techniques
    • SEO with structured data
    • Open Graph social preview
    • Retina-optimized images
    • Srcset fallback to low-res images
    • Lazy image loading
    • SVG optimized images and icons

Spree 4.1 version packs thousands of hours of E-Commerce best practices available now for free on Github and RubyGems with support on Spree Slack or by email.

Here are the 9 main reasons to upgrade or use Spree 4.1 for a new project:

USER EXPERIENCE

1. Truly mobile-first

We’ve redesigned the Storefront UX from scratch for the mobile. Spree now comes with a fully responsive layout with mobile and tablet devices in mind. We’ve implemented all the best mobile-first E-Commerce practices making it both pretty and useful for the users.

mobile-first Spree UX

iPhone, Android, iPad, desktop – no matter the device the new storefront is ready to handle all of those, out of the box!

2. Amazing page load speed and SEO

Speed is a major factor affecting E-Commerce KPIs but also search result rankings, according to this Google update. It was one of our goals to reduce page load times and make the UI snappy and responsive.

As a result of several types of optimizations, the new Spree UX scores very highly in Google Lighthouse testing, even on low performance hosting options and with poor mobile internet connections. We encourage you to test your current website with Google Lighthouse set for mobile and compare your scores with the ones below.

Short page load time

This leads to more organic search traffic, more conversions, more sales and more value brought by Spree 4.1 to the business owners.

3. Fully featured E-Commerce platform

Spree 4.1 extends existing E-Commerce functionality with a rich and customizable UX designed with upselling in mind:

  • a homepage to convert first-time visitors into buyers
  • a desktop mega menu dropping down on hover
    • with quick access to the main product categories and sub-categories
    • with 2 promo banners for each main category
  • improved product variant discovery
    • variants showing in the product listings based on in-stock availability
    • improved product variant color and size swatches
    • corresponding product filters in product listings
  • several related products sliders
    • on desktop
    • on mobile
    • slider images loading only after a user scrolls down for better page load times

Feel free to customize to your own needs and brand guidelines. Review this slide deck to explore Spree UX customization options.

BUSINESS VALUE

4. Short time-to-market

Spree 4.1 allows you to set up your own E-Commerce platform (an online store, a marketplace, a B2B store), customize the UX, configure payments and shipping methods and start selling. With its ecosystem of official extensions, 3rd party integrations and community support it is a top-of-mind, scalable and future-proof open-source E-Commerce platform for any growing brand.

Launch in a week: install, customize, configure and start selling.

5. Open-source: you own it

Spree is open-source, so there are no license or transaction costs. It’s free for you to take and customize it to your needs. “Open source empowers the CxO in giving back control over budgets and architecture.” On top of it all, you have total ownership of your Ecommerce assets, increasing your business valuation.

Self-hosted and fully-owned platform. And it’s free!

6. Flexibility for future growth and scaling

Spree is cloud-ready, so lets you be cost-efficient on slow days, yet handles busy days or rapid growth with ease. With the right architecture and infrastructure Spree fits unlimited SKUs or orders and scales up to millions of users per day.

Spree is also built with Ruby on Rails, which simplifies repetitive developer tasks and greatly speeds up iterative delivery. Airbnb, Groupon, Kickstarter, Linkedin, Shopify, Slideshare, Square, Zendesk are among the websites built with Ruby on Rails.

Start lean, test the market and then scale as you grow.

MATURITY & SECURITY

7. PCI compliant

Spree supports numerous credit card processors as well as Apple Pay, PayPal, Amazon Pay and AfterPay allowing you to skip checkout altogether streamlining the shopping journey and increasing conversions. For multi-vendor marketplace development Stripe Connect or PayPal Commerce Platform come in handy.

Available payment gateways enable full PCI-DSS compliance.

8. Secure, transparent and up to date

Spree not only keeps up to date with Ruby, Rails and its dependencies but also undergoes major refactoring with every major release, introducing new features, modern REST API V2 and soon GraphQL support. Spree is being developed according to publicly available project roadmap, so you have both a high-level overview and in-depth visibility into every single pull request.

Feel free to code review, comment or contribute yourself.

9. Mature underlying technology

Spree is powered by Ruby on Rails which is a framework also used by 8 out of 10 most valued Y Combinator companies in the 2019 ranking. Companies such as Stripe or Dropbox use Ruby on Rails as their backend framework. Also top 4 online marketplaces – Airbnb, Doordash, Instacart, Postmates – on the Andreessen Horowitz “Marketplace 100” are built with Ruby on Rails.

It’s a mature and market-proven platform that lets you move quickly, iterate and scale.


We sincerely hope you find the latest Spree Commerce version a good fit and decide to upgrade or use Spree 4.1 for a new project.

Try it for yourself, check out this fashion site demo: demo.spreecommerce.org

Or deploy your own demo on Heroku (requires a free Heroku account).

Questions? Feel free to reach out using this contact form.