Spree Commerce in 2020 has moved forward on many fronts to address the growing demand for flexible and scalable open-source ecommerce solutions as the digital transformation has sped up significantly.

2020 has brought 2 major version releases delivered by tens of contributors, several use cases demonstrated with demo sites, accessibility and security regulations compliance, and several developments within the spree community.

Tell us what you need in 2021 and we’ll deliver!

Spree 4.1 with a mobile-first storefront

In 2020 we’ve released the groundbreaking Spree 4.1 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, a new storefront was released so the Spree community members are 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.

Spree demo: 4 use case sites

To demonstrate how universal Spree is we’ve built 4 customizable UX demos for various use cases:

Accessibility: WCAG 2.1 AA compliance

We’ve made the Spree default storefront WCAG 2.1 AA compliant meeting not only legal requirements in many countries but also improving the UX for people with disabilities.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are technical standards designed to make online content more accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities, including blindness, deafness, limited movement, and many others.

The WCAG guidelines are a globally accepted benchmark for web content accessibility and are approved as an ISO standard.

You can use the Functional Accessibility Evaluator (FAE) to evaluate your current website against the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and AA requirements.

Security: Strong Customer Authentication

Strong Customer Authentication is part of PSD2 that requires changes to online payment authentication for European customers. Card transactions for over €30 will require 3D secure authentication, which will change the checkout user experience by adding an extra step to it. 

The SCA requirement came into force on September 14, 2019. However, with the approval of the European Banking Authority, several EEA countries delayed its implementation, with a final deadline set for December 31, 2020.

Spree SCA support currently covers:

Multi-store, multi-language, multi-currency but one admin dashboard

Spree 4.2 is the first truly international version and features:

  • country-specific multi-store functionality within Spree Core
  • responsive transactional email templates
  • fully responsive admin panel
  • new modern mobile-first email templates

See the Spree International demo here.

Spree 4.2 with Ruby 3 and Rails 6.1

With Rails 6.1 release on Dec 9, 2020, and Ruby 3 release on Dec 25, 2020, it was time for Spree to support those latest versions.

Spree 4.2 runs on both Rails 6.0 and 6.1 as well as Ruby 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, and 3.0. Spree 4.2 took 1500 commits delivered by 25 contributors. Thanks to the awesome work of Matthew Kennedy! It was a true team effort. Great job everyone!

In case you’re wondering what’s new in Ruby 3 already:

  • Tripled performance – 3 times faster than Ruby 2.0
  • Concurrency – parallel execution for the multi-core age
  • Typing – type checking using abstract interpretation

We’ve invited Bozhidar Batsov, the creator of RuboCop, to tell us all about it during a Facebook Live talk on Jan 28th, 2020.

Spree headless

2020 was a big year for Spree headless projects in which Spree was one of the services in a wider microservice environment.

Spree in a robust headless ecommerce engine exposing its API directly but there is also a JavaScript / TypeScript SDK available.

Spree API v2 is fast, easy to use, and extend. It’s also well documented in OpenAPI 3.0 (Swagger) format which you can import into Postman app. This new API is based on JSON API spec and uses a blazing-fast Netflix fast_json_api serializer library. Authentication is based on Oauth using doorkeeper library. There are no additional dependencies making it lightweight and future-proof.

Spree headless may be used in a variety of use cases – one of them or all of them at the same time:

  • a custom Javascript storefront
  • a native mobile app
  • a PWA storefront
  • a SaaS app

Manage all your apps and country-experiences from a single Spree dashboard. Enable your staff to manage only their own app, storefront, country.

Spree Partner Network relaunched

In 2020 we’ve relaunched the Spree Partner Network as an opportunity for Ruby on Rails (but also Javascript) software agencies to gain new Spree clients, Spree project experience, and marketing exposure.

We’ve been able to pass on a few project leads to the Spree Partners which have been successfully scoped, negotiated, and kicked off. These are currently ongoing projects and we’re offering our daily support to make them a success.

We’ve been very happy to share the Spree Partners’ know-how from their ongoing projects. One such blog post comes from Rafal Cymerys of Upside and talks about multi-tenancy provided by Apartment gem and building ecommerce applications that require creating isolated environments for clients. A great read!

Spree community

Spree community – that’s you – is the driving force behind the Spree open-source project. We thank you for your support, contributions, questions, request which all shape the roadmap and future of Spree.

There are many ways to engage withing the Spree community:

Ecommerce experts talk about 2020 and 2021

As 2020 was drawing to an end we’ve asked 17 ecommerce business owners and practitioners to share their experiences from this past year and thoughts on the challenges to be faced in 2021. 

Check out what these 17 ecommerce experts have to say.

Tell us what you think and we’ll share your thoughts in another blog post reviewing 2020 and looking into 2021.

Tell us what you need in 2021

We’ll be sharing a Spree 2021 requirements survey with the Spree community soon.

We’d like to ask you how you are conducting your ecommerce business, what challenges you’re facing, what goals you are setting and what you would need in the future Spree versions.

This way we’d like to address your needs the best we can.

Thank so much for your support for Spree open-source.

We wish you all the best in 2021.