Spree Commerce

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Initial Results from the Spree Survey

Posted on May 09, 2011 by Sean Schofield

About two months ago we asked people who were using Spree (or evaluating it) to participate in a quick online survey. We also promised the community that we’d share what we learned with them. We’re still trying to figure out the best way to share the results of the survey but for now I’d like to go over some of the highlights.

First, we asked users to rate how important various requirements were to them.

Which Requirements are Most Important?

  • Custom Appearance
  • Custom Business Logic
  • Documentation
  • Open Source

Next, we asked the same users to rank how well Spree did against this same list of categories.

Where Does Spree Excel the Most?

  • Open Source
  • Cost
  • Programming Language
  • Custom Appearance
  • Custom Business Logic

The first two seem obvious, although we somehow managed to disappoint a few people in these categories despite the fact that Spree is 100% open source and 100% free! We are attributing the high marks for programming language to mean that even though the choice of programming language is not crucial to users, they are pleased that Spree is written in Ruby. We were also happy to get high marks for customization since that is not only important to users but also an area where we have deliberately chosen to focus our energies.

Now on to the question we were most interested in asking …

How Can We Improve Spree?

  • Documentation
  • Mobile Store
  • Custom Themes (No Ruby Needed)
  • Real Time Analytics (w/E-Commerce Focus)

Like most projects, we suffer from less than perfect documentation. Unlike most projects, this is an area where we continually strive to improve our efforts. We’ve made considerable improvements to the documentation and we’ve taken care of most of the stuff that became out-dated with the massive series of Rails 3 changes.

Brian Quinn has been hard at work on a cool new solution for creating customized Spree views and themes. This code will be merged into the core soon and we’re also planning on showing it off at our talk next week at RailsConf. We also hope to discuss more about our plans for analytics next week as well.

We have some big plans for mobile support in Spree but nothing major to announce yet. We’re still experimenting with several different solutions to see what will work best.