Harnessing open source to serve small businesses globally

Spree + GoDaddy

The world of e-commerce is changing at a rapid pace. Forrester expects online U.S. retail sales to reach $294 billion, about 9 percent of all sales, in 2014. The global market promises similar growth in the coming years. Online transactions have leveled the playing field for small businesses who may otherwise have found it difficult to compete. But, the path can be technical. This brave new world is fraught with a complex web of payments, shipping, taxes, branding and SEO. All necessary facets to e-commerce, but tangential to a business’s core product or service.

Small businesses should be able to focus on what they do best.

They should be able to devote their resources to what they’re making and selling. They shouldn’t have to worry so much about the ones and zeros and technical infrastructure that make their store work.

We believe we need to do more to make this happen.

An online store that works for you

So we recently redesigned our e-commerce solution. We simplified the setup and management of an online store. Now, you can get a store up and running in record time. Your idea? Your next step? You can take the firsts steps in just a couple of hours. We made it easier and more intuitive to use. That’s important. But our new system required a solid, reliable technical foundation.

That’s why we went with Spree Commerce, an open-source platform. When we started work on our new platform, we knew we needed the best base possible. We looked at a lot of different solutions. We researched; we played with them; we compared them. In the end, Spree stood out as a fast, reliable and flexible platform with a world-class community of developers and project contributors.

The technical stuff

Spree is meant for single e-commerce stores. It’s powerful, but it can be technical. Set up a hosting account or server, set up a database, download the software, configure it, upload it, and then customize your website. To make it work for our typical small business customers, we needed to scale out the single-store design of Spree and make all of the technical stuff happen in a snap. We used other open-source applications to extend Spree’s capabilities. We set up Apartment to make account management possible, and we’re using Liquid for flexible storefront theming.

So what does all of this open-source collaboration mean to you? Good question. For small business owners, it means you’ve got a small army of people making sure you don’t have to worry about your online store. You’ve got enough on your plate worrying about getting to the post office after you drop your kids off at school. To developers and people who work on open-source projects like Spree, it means you have more contributors now. We’re here to help and share what we learn.

We believe Spree is the strongest open-source e-commerce offering out there; we’re betting our future on it. Give us a call at 480.505.8877 to get the scoop on our Online Store.

Want to learn more about the partnership between Spree and GoDaddy? Check out the press release.

Shawn Pfunder
Shawn's been working with freelancers, entrepreneurs, and business owners for more than 20 years. He's consulted companies large and small on communication, social media, and marketing strategies. At heart he's a small-business superfan. He believes that working for yourself is one of the most courageous and creative moves anyone can make. Currently, he's the senior director of communications at GoDaddy. When he's not hanging out with solopreneurs, Shawn loves to write, run, and travel. He's passionate about teaching and he's convinced that a good story is the best way to do it — especially if it involves El Caminos, potato fields, and really loud music.