Mailchimp Open Commerce (formerly Reaction Commerce): does the world really need another e-commerce platform?

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It feels like the e-commerce arena is already flooded with too many options that aren’t that different from each other. Shopify, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, Magento, Weebly, BigCommerce… The list goes on and on. So, considering that bloated landscape, is there a case to be made for yet another option? 

The answer is yes. 

After spending over a decade working exclusively with Open Source technologies and supporting the top players in the Drupal ecosystem, the last couple of years we’ve worked on expanding our capabilities and targeted e-commerce as a vertical with great potential that we aimed to enter. We set a few requirements right out of the gate: we wanted to work on a platform that was Open Source, customizable, fast, and scalable. Mailchimp Open Commerce (formerly Reaction Commerce) checked all these boxes. 

What exactly is Mailchimp Open Commerce (formerly Reaction Commerce)? 

Mailchimp Open Commerce is an “API-first, modular commerce stack with a service-based architecture built to deliver flexibility and freedom at scale”. Fluff aside, Mailchimp Open Commerce is the platform you need when out-of-the-box solutions like Shopify just won’t cut it for your particular business needs. We’re talking about ambitious brands and retailers that want to retain ultimate control over the online shopping experience they want to provide for their customers. 

If you enjoy to geek out about the technical ins and outs, Mailchimp Open Commerce is built on a very modern stack that includes React, GraphQL, Docker, NextJS, and MeteorJS. And for the developers out there, starting with the release of version 3.0, Mailchimp Open Commerce is now a fully headless commerce stack, which means that you can build custom storefront interfaces without having to touch the core Reaction API or the Admin back end. 

Why choose Mailchimp Open Commerce? 

This all sounds very nice on paper, but why (and most importantly, when) should you choose Mailchimp Open Commerce to build your online store? 

Simply put, Mailchimp Open Commerce is the ideal fit when you want to customize anything and everything about your commerce solution, including which specific CMS to use on the front end, which payment options to offer, and basically any other feature or piece of functionality that relates to your specific business model. This allows you to easily replace anything from your platform as your business evolves, as opposed to being restricted by the constraints of a turnkey system. In addition, its microservices architecture and API-first nature allows for easy integration with your already existing systems. 

Such flexibility is exactly what the stakeholders from the first 2 projects we are developing in this platform were looking for, and as we dig deeper into its features we are just starting to realize the huge potential that Mailchimp Open Commerce has to offer in a field that has become stagnant by the dominance of more rigid alternatives. Interestingly enough, the former Reaction Commerce had been recently acquired by Mailchimp, but no need to fret: Mailchimp plans to keep Mailchimp Open Commerce as an Open Source product and continue supporting its community of developers.

If you’d like to know more about Mailchimp Open Commerce and see if it’s the right fit for you, get in touch with us here.