When you create your ecommerce store, you’ll often find that you need to use additional tools to add more features. These can include features related to analytics, search engines, and content management systems (CMS), among other features.
There are many commercial tools that can provide these features. However, open source tools provide you with more flexibility in integrating these features into your store at lower costs.
In this article, I will present to you 8 open source tools that you can use to create or add features to your ecommerce store.
Why Use Open Source Tools?
Open source allows developers to share code for everyone to use and customize based on their needs. Open source tools have a lot of advantages including:
- More security because developers around the world battle-test and contribute to them.
- You have full ownership of your codebase which gives you more customization capability.
- They are usually backed by a strong community which can be helpful when you need any help or run into problems.
Open Source Tools for Your Ecommerce Store
Medusa - Headless Commerce Engine
Medusa is the open source Shopify alternative. It is built with customization in mind giving both developers and merchants freedom in creating their solutions.
Medusa has many features and advantages including:
- Third-party services and tools can be integrated easily as plugins to add a variety of features such as payments and shipping methods, CMS, and analytics. There are already many plug-n-play integrations that are available for use.
- It gives developers full customization control over the codebase and architecture of the ecommerce store.
- Medusa offers an easy-to-use admin interface that merchants can use to manage their products, orders, RMA flows, store settings, and more. You can check out the Admin Demo to get a taste of its features.
- It provides multi-currency support all in one store. This gives merchants complete control over the pricing of each product based on the currencies in the store.
- Medusa has available storefronts with Next.js and Gatsby that you can start with to create fast and performant storefronts.
There are much more features that Medusa also provides. If you want to create an ecommerce store that can be modified based on your business needs and supports a lot of modern features including omnichannel support, then Medusa is a great choice for you and you can create and deploy your store all for free.
To get started check out the Quickstart guide to create your Medusa server in minutes.
You can also join the Medusa community on Discord if you need any help where you’ll get assistance from fellow community members as well as the team behind Medusa.
Odoo - Ecommerce and CRM Platform
Oddo is an open source business app that handles company needs such as Customer Relationship Management(CRM), accounting, inventory management, project management, and much more.
Oddo has a huge set of features including:
- It helps calculate shipping costs for customers on checkout,
- It offers Google Analytics integration and Views sales data analytics,
- Users have complete website configuration and customization with drag-and-drop capabilities.
- Odoo offers email marketing and customization of templates.
- It provides a real-time dashboard to keep track of your products, customers, sales, and more.
Like every open source company, Oddo has a community where users can ask the community questions and get help.
You can get started with Odoo here.
Strapi - Headless CMS
Strapi is an open source headless Content Management System (CMS) with full customizability in its content models. By adding it to your ecommerce stack, you can provide your ecommerce store with rich CMS features.
Strapi has lots of fantastic features including:
- Strapi supports multiple languages for your content, which means your store can support more than one language.
- It provides fully-customizable content models that allow content managers to reshape their CMS based on their needs.
- Strapi adds further omnichannel support to your ecommerce ecosystem as content can be consumed on different platforms in an optimal manner.
- It provides both REST and GraphQL APIs which gives developers more flexibility using it.
In addition, if you are using Medusa as your ecommerce platform, you can check out the ready-to-use plugin which includes many features such as content synchronization with Strapi.
Strapi is an open source company built by developers for the developer, and they have a fantastic community that any developer can join if they wish to know more about Strapi or contribute.
You can get started with Strapi here.
Vue Storefront - Ecommerce Storefront
Vue storefront is an open source platform that provides a storefront for ecommerce platforms. Although it integrates with many monolithic platforms, it is made specifically for headless commerce platforms.
Vue storefront has lots of features which include:
- The storefront is optimized for different screen sizes and devices.
- Its storefront is blazingly fast which gives customers a powerful ecommerce experience.
- It integrates with popular headless CMS like Strapi and Contentful.
- Other than the frontend platform, it also provides Storefront UIs that you can use to create your own frontend platform from scratch.
Vue Storefront has the fastest-growing open source community. You can get assistance from other community members as well as rest assured that Vue Storefront is being tested by many developers globally.
You can get started with Vue Storefront here.
Matomo - Analytics
Matomo is an open source analytics tool that gives users the freedom to study the analytics of their websites, specifically in this case their ecommerce websites.
Matomo’s features include:
- It gives you a deeper understanding of your customers such as which channel your customers make more purchases from.
- You have full ownership of the data collected as it’s not exposed to any advertising platforms, and it is 100% protected.
- You can easily keep track of your sales and see any purchase patterns related to a group of customers.
- There are no limits on the data you collect.
- You’ll have all the ecommerce-analytics features as well as the basic analytics features you would expect from tools like Google Analytics.
Matomo has a supportive community where you can ask questions if you need help.
You can get started with Matomo here.
Meilisearch - Search Engine
Meilisearch is an open source search engine that adds highly performant search engines to any website or app, including ecommerce stores.
Meilisearch has unique features such as:
- It is typo-tolerance to ensure that your customer’s mistakes do not lead to no results. This makes customers’ search experience smoother and leads to more purchases.
- Meilisearch quickly returns search results for a better user experience.
- It can data in JSON, NDJSON, and CSV formats. This gives developers more flexibility and removes restrictions.
- It supports all languages and detects them when the customer searches for your products.
- It can be integrated to many frontend and backend frameworks, as well as third-party services.
If you are using Medusa as your ecommerce platform, you can use the ready-to-use Meilisearch plugin.
Meilisearch has an active open source community on Slack where developers can ask questions and get help on issues.
You can get started with Meilisearch here.
Rocket.chat - In-App and Website Chats
Rocket.chat is an open source tool that you can use to add chat functionalities in your websites. Particularly for ecommerce, with rocket.chat you can have a real-time conversation with your viewers and buyers on your ecommerce store.
Rocket.chat has many features including:
- You can manage your conversations with customers from a single place even if they come from different channels such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram, etc.
- It offers unlimited chat history; you can easily search for any reply from the past.
- You can integrate chatbots with Rocket.chat for better response times and customer support.
- It provides a reporting dashboard to keep track of your customer engagement and team response time.
- Automate chat assignments based on the rules you assign.
Rocket.chat’s open source community is hosted on a Rocket.chat app where you can join and become a part of it.
You can get started with Rocket.chat here.
MinIO - Storage
MinIO is an open source file storage that is available on every cloud. It lets you store files such as videos, documents, and pictures.
MinIO has many features including:
- It has a fantastic encryption system using AES-256-GCM, ChaCha20-Poly1305, and AES-CBC, so your files are safe.
- It protects data with per-object inline erasure coding written in assembly code to deliver the highest possible performance.
- It offers high-performance, S3-compatible object storage.
- MinIO lets the user host their data for their ecommerce store on any cloud.
If you are using Medusa as your ecommerce platform, you can easily integrate MinIO with a ready-made plugin.
Like every open source software, MinIO has a community on Slack where you can contact the team and ask them as well as the rest of the community for help.
You can get started with MinIO here.
Open source tools provide you with flexibility when adding features to your ecommerce store. There are many more open source tools that were not featured on this list but still can enrich your ecommerce store with more features.
Medusa is an open source headless commerce which aims to provide a good developer experience. If you want to get started with Medusa, check out the quickstart guide to easily get your store up and running.
Should you have any issues or questions related to Medusa, then feel free to reach out to the Medusa team via Discord.
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