Spree Commerce vs. Shopify: Pros and Cons Comparison

The main difference between those two lines in the core definition of their nature. Spree is an e-commerce platform, whereas Shopify is an eCommerce solution. In other words, your Shopify store is created, hosted and managed by the solution itself. Instead, with Spree Commerce, you’re the sole owner and manager of your eCommerce store. Do you feel the difference? Read on to find out more.

Spree is open-source and free. This means that the benefits of using such types of software are practically limitless. This modular platform allows you to add, configure or replace any functionality you need, so it’s possible to build the store exactly the way you want. On the other hand, it’s not a simple task — a certain technical knowledge is required to use Spree. For instance, the system must be installed and hosted manually. This way, most businesses using Spree either employ a dedicated IT team to handle the storefront or lookup for a company that specializes in Spree to implement and maintain it for them. However, this is an only serious obstacle as once your store is live, the backend (where you’ll spend most of your time dealing with orders and inventory) is one of the most functional and properly designed on the market. And this advantage is huge, especially in the long term.

It’s a completely different story for Shopify. If your business simply wants to start selling products online, Shopify may be a perfect match. That is why Shopify is more popular now — people want to have a quick start. The implementation of basic customizations requires any coding skills nor knowledge of the platform itself. Simply put — you can launch your online store within an hour. The platform has a convenient dashboard area so you can customize the look of your store. Managing products is also clear, with fields for titles, descriptions, prices and more. This way, if you are an absolute beginner in web design and you look for the fastest way to set up an online store, give Shopify a try. However, customizations beyond standard ones (like changing a theme) may give you some terrible headache. For example, integrating with a shipping carrier that Shopify does not support may be a very tough thing to do. Moreover, some specific features (and crucial) to your business may simply not be possible to implement.

The statistics below represent the current position (February 2019) for both options:

Picture source — www.datanyze.com



Here’s how Mike Faber (a well-known Spree evangelist) describes the platform: “ There aren’t just one or two flavors of Spree — it’s a much more complex ecosystem. But one thing is sure — thousands of stores and developers rely on a lean, flexible, extendible Spree open-source project to go on.”


  • Light, fast, and flexible with a powerful backend admin module.
  • Comprehensive support package plus Ruby on Rails community offers solid and reliable support.
  • Spree officially maintains many extensions to provide additional functionality that isn’t available out of the box.
  • Fast and easy integrations with third-party solutions.


  • Currently, only a handful of themes is available.
  • In some cases, some “common” functionality may require custom development.




We interviewed a bunch of architects, looking for someone both open to our ideas and a close working relationship but committed to modern and green design that was warm and family-oriented,” says Fiona McKean, Tobias Lütke’s wife witnessing the company’s beginnings and vision.


  • A massive library of apps (over 1500 units) in their marketplace.
  • The simplest to use the admin panel.


  • It is a paid product in general.
  • Less flexibility and power because you don’t have access to the underlying code to make changes.
  • Shopify themes don’t contain microdata (a feature that optimally structures data for search engines)



Basic: $29 / month

Standard: $79 / month

Advanced: $299 / month


To sum up:

  • You want to rapidly upgrade your online store (thanks to the Ruby on Rails framework).
  • You want to avoid paying additional fees.
  • You want to customize your store in various ways.
  • You like the fact it’s easier to optimize your shop’s performance (website loading speed for users and Google bots)

Choose Shopify if:

  • You want to sign up and have an eCommerce store launched in a quick manner.
  • You don’t want to learn any technical details of your eCommerce platform.
  • You’re in a dropshipping business with Amazon, Shipwire, or Rakuten. Shopify comes with dedicated solutions for these platforms.

P.S. Considering to launch your eCommerce venture? and find out how we can help you to make this journey enjoyable and fun.

Originally published at https://sumatosoft.com.

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