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Meet Medusa, a Free, Developer-friendly Shopify Various

This text introduces Medusa, an open-source, developer-focused different to Shopify that permits for personalisation and scaling as wanted.

Shopify is an ecommerce platform that gives retailers with a straightforward and fast strategy to arrange their on-line retailer. It’s a preferred alternative amongst companies who don’t need the technical complexity of different platforms when creating their on-line retailer.

Nonetheless, it’s well-known that Shopify has limits to its scalability and that attempting to construct extra customized logic into it may be a dreadful expertise for builders.

Medusa is an open-source Shopify different that was constructed to resolve a few of these scaling issues.

Out of the field, Medusa offers comparable core ecommerce functionalities as Shopify, however its open and composable structure permits for extra flexibility and a greater developer move when constructing customized logic or integration with third-party providers.

This text covers Medusa’s benefits over Shopify and how one can get began utilizing Medusa.

Medusa’s Benefits

Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at what Medusa provides to builders.

A developer-focused platform

Medusa is constructed for builders, and its principal focus is offering an excellent developer expertise. It’s constructed with abstraction layers that make it extremely extendible if any customization is required.

Including integrations can also be trouble free because of its headless and summary structure. Builders don’t want to fret about utilizing workarounds to make the platform work with different providers and instruments. They’ll prolong the prevailing summary layers to create any integration.

As a developer-focused Shopify different, Medusa offers detailed documentation that’s continually being improved to permit builders to construct their ecommerce platform following easy steps.

Medusa’s headless structure

Medusa's architecture

Headless is the idea of decoupling the frontend from the backend. For the backend, which means that it’s free from the shackles of any presentation layer. The backend is just answerable for dealing with the information and logic of the system.

The backend exposes a set of APIs that permits any frontend or presentation layer to work together with it.

This decoupling offers builders the liberty to decide on which language or framework to make use of for the frontend. Builders can use Jamstack frameworks like Gatsby and Subsequent.js. They’ll additionally combine various kinds of channels akin to cell apps or marketplaces.

Medusa consists of three parts: the headless server, the storefront, and the admin panel. Though Medusa offers two starter storefronts — one constructed with Subsequent.js and one other with Gatsby, and an intuitively-designed admin panel — builders have the complete freedom to construct these parts with some other frameworks from scratch. All they should do is work together with the REST APIs.

This enables the builders engaged on the frontend to focus their efforts on offering a singular and good consumer expertise with out the storefront being tightly knit to the backend.

An open-source Shopify different

An enormous drawback of proprietary options is that you just’ll by no means have full possession of your tech stack. Irrespective of what number of customization capabilities you’re given, you’ll all the time be restricted in your decisions of functionalities or instruments.

An open-source resolution like Medusa, then again, lets you have full possession of your tech stack. You should use Medusa as is in your ecommerce retailer, however you can even utterly customise the core and adapt it to any particular want.

This flexibility ensures that companies can have a platform that utterly caters to their use case. Moreover, their platform can develop with their enterprise wants with time.

Whether or not they should add extra options and customizations sooner or later or be sure that the platform can scale with them over time, this may be completed with Medusa with no limitations.

Flexibility for builders and retailers

The pliability that the benefits above result in signifies that each builders and retailers have full freedom of their alternative of providers and instruments to make use of inside their Medusa ecommerce platform.

For instance, for wealthy CMS functionalities, retailers can select to combine Strapi, Contentful, or some other service they need.

There are not any restrictions on what instruments or providers can be utilized. That is much more vital when selecting native cost and achievement suppliers.

All integrations are achieved by means of plugins. You’ll be able to both select from ready-made plugins or create your individual.

Plugins are put in in your Medusa server in a plug-and-play method. They run throughout the identical course of because the Medusa server, so that you don’t must allocate further server area or infrastructure.

Superior Ecommerce Options

Placing apart all technical benefits, Medusa additionally comes with many superior ecommerce options out of the field, together with the next.

Multi-currency help

An enormous downside that Shopify companies run into is supporting a number of currencies of their retailer. This function requires particular circumstances relying on what nation you use in or what plan you’ve.

Nonetheless, even with this function enabled, it nonetheless doesn’t present companies with the flexibleness to format and set pricing per product.

The dearth of availability of this function and its limitations lead companies to arrange and handle a number of shops for every foreign money. This causes a number of further guide work and human errors.

Medusa, then again, offers multi-region help out of the field, and with out limitations. You’ll be able to add as many areas as you need, specify the foreign money for these areas, and handle the pricing of every product for every foreign money individually all from the identical admin dashboard.

Multiple prices for each currency for a product

This eliminates the necessity for the additional guide work that comes with managing a number of shops and prevents human errors that happen with it.

Automated RMA (return merchandise authorization) flows

Based on statistics by UPS, 73% of customers say their return expertise impacts whether or not they buy once more from the retailer sooner or later or not. So, it’s important to offer your ecommerce retailer with a straightforward and hassle-free return expertise.

Medusa offers totally automated return, swap and declare processes that may simply be dealt with from the Admin dashboard — ranging from the client’s request to return the gadgets from the storefront to the gadgets being marked as returned.

Objects will also be swapped or exchanged in the identical method. This may also be mechanically mirrored on the built-in accounting methods and might all be managed simply from the admin dashboard.

Promotions APIs and present playing cards

Discounts in Medusa

Medusa offers a sophisticated Promotions API with many customization capabilities. Retailers have the usual use instances from this promotions API that you just’d discover on all platforms — akin to setting free delivery reductions, fixed-amount reductions, or low cost percentages.

Moreover, retailers can specify reductions particular to buyer teams, merchandise, variety of redemptions, and way more circumstances.

Moreover, present playing cards can simply be added and managed into Medusa by means of the admin dashboard, and so they’re dealt with in a different way from different merchandise on buy. Reward playing cards even have their very own superior circumstances and customizable settings that may be specified from the admin dashboard.

Multi-vendor help

There’s a rising want for platforms that allow the creation of on-line market ecommerce platforms. Medusa’s extensibility makes it an excellent platform to create your on-line market.

A neighborhood plugin known as Medusa Extender makes this even simpler to realize. This plugin offers you much more customization capabilities to completely prolong the core and modify it for a market use case.

Medusa additionally has a tutorial collection that introduces the fundamentals of making a market — together with linking completely different entities like customers and merchandise to shops, managing orders per retailer and globally, and managing customers inside their retailer and their permissions.

Different options

Medusa comes with many APIs and ecommerce options that present builders and retailers with superior functionalities.

The Tax API, other than the settings it offers out of the field, is carried out with abstraction to permit integrating third-party providers and instruments to deal with superior taxes.

Taxes in Medusa

The PriceList API offers many pricing circumstances for merchandise associated to reductions, buyer teams, and extra.

Price list in Medusa

All these settings and functionalities out there within the headless server could be simply managed from the intuitive admin dashboard constructed with Gatsby.

Medusa can also be engaged on extra options akin to bulk import and export of merchandise, gross sales channels, multi-warehouse help, and extra.

Group and help

As a developer-focused platform and as an open-source resolution, Medusa is concentrated on working intently with the neighborhood and offering any help wanted.

Builders can be a part of Medusa’s neighborhood on Discord, the place they’ll take part discussions, showcase their work with Medusa, and get assist at any time when they run into hassle whereas utilizing Medusa.

Builders can get assist from the neighborhood and from the core Medusa crew nearly immediately. All they should do is ask a query on the #need-help channel and somebody will information them by means of the answer — usually inside just a few hours.

Builders can even report bugs, contribute to Medusa, and be a part of discussions on the GitHub repository.

Easy methods to Get Began with Medusa

This part offers a normal overview of how one can set up a Medusa server, the Medusa admin, and the Gatsby Storefront.


To make use of Medusa, you want Node.js with at the very least model 14 put in.

Easy methods to arrange a Medusa server

Begin by putting in the Medusa CLI instrument:

npm set up -g @medusajs/medusa-cli

Then, run the next command to create a brand new Medusa server:

medusa new my-medusa-store --seed

This installs the Medusa server within the my-medusa-store listing, which can also be created. The --seed possibility creates and seeds an SQLite database within the my-medusa-store listing.

Lastly, change to the listing of the Medusa server and begin the server:

cd my-medusa-store
medusa develop

The server runs on port 9000 by default. You’ll be able to check it out utilizing the REST APIs, or you’ll be able to comply with together with the remainder of this part and see it in motion when related to the Medusa admin and storefront.

It’s additionally advisable that you just set up a storage plugin to deal with storing product photographs. You should use both MinIO, S3, or DigitalOcean Areas.

Easy methods to set up the Medusa admin

In a separate listing, run the next command to clone the Admin GitHub repository and alter to the newly created listing:

git clone medusa-admin
cd medusa-admin

Then, set up the dependencies with npm:

npm set up

Lastly, ensure that the Medusa server remains to be operating and begin the Medusa admin server:

npm begin

The admin usually runs on localhost:7000. Open it in your browser and it’s best to see a login display screen.

Admin Login

To log in, you should utilize the demo consumer credentials with the e-mail and password supersecret.

On the admin dashboard, you’ll be able to add merchandise, handle orders, handle retailer configurations, and way more.

Admin Dashboard

Easy methods to set up the Gatsby Storefront

Set up the Gatsby CLI should you don’t have it put in:

npm set up gatsby-cli -g

Then, in a unique listing than the earlier ones, run the next command to put in the Gatsby storefront:

gatsby new my-medusa-storefront

Then, change to the newly created listing and rename .env.template to .env.growth:

cd my-medusa-storefront
mv .env.template .env.growth

Lastly, whereas the Medusa server remains to be operating, begin the Gatsby server:

npm begin

The storefront runs on port localhost:8000 by default. Open that in your browser. You must see some demo merchandise from the Medusa server. You’ll be able to add these merchandise to your cart, undergo the checkout course of and place an order. You may as well create an account and take a look at buyer profile options.

Gatsby Storefront

Subsequent Steps

That’s it for this introduction to Medusa, a viable Shopify different for builders on the lookout for extra freedom and adaptability in organising an ecommerce retailer.

After organising your Medusa server, admin, and storefront, you’ll be able to discover extra of what you are able to do with Medusa, together with:

Ought to you’ve any points or questions associated to Medusa, be happy to succeed in out to the Medusa crew by way of Discord.



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