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The basics

Mailchimp Open Commerce is an API-first, modular commerce stack. The API implements all features in GraphQL and is fully extensible via plugins.

Open Commerce is open-source-licensed, freely available software. You can explore the platform’s repos on GitHub, or follow the Quick Start guide to install the development platform on your computer. If you’re interested in contributing to Open Commerce, be sure to read and follow the code of conduct and check out the community resources.

Like the code, the documentation is also open source, and previous versions of the Reaction Commerce docs are archived on GitHub.

Using Open Commerce

Whether you’re a business owner running a shop or a developer setting up a custom implementation, it’s easy to get a shop up and running with the Open Commerce development platform and build from there.

Every shop is built around a catalog of products. You can set up your products in the admin dashboard and then organize them with tags to help shoppers navigate your catalog. Once shoppers have found what they want and make a purchase, you’ll fulfill their orders by accepting payments and delivering their items.

Developers can customize any part of the administrator or shopper experience by manipulating existing plugins and environment variables or by writing their own plugins. Because Open Commerce is fully modular, you’ll often want to share code between plugins so features are available across the entire platform. If you’ve created a new plugin or modified an existing one and you want to share it with other developers, you can contribute to the Open Commerce community. When committing to existing Open Commerce repos, you should follow the testing requirements

Open Commerce vs Reaction Commerce

Open Commerce was formerly known as Reaction Commerce. You may see references to Reaction throughout the guides and docs, especially in code—all Open Commerce repos are under the reactioncommerce GitHub organization.

As we continue the renaming process, we’ll announce any future breaking changes in the release notes.

Development platform

The Open Commerce development platform is the simplest way to set up the API and its supporting services on your local machine. The development platform is containerized and uses public Docker images by default, though you can also choose to run the platform in development mode, which uses local images that can be updated on the fly as you make edits to a running plugin.

The development platform has several make scripts that automatically pull the latest version of Open Commerce and start all of the required services using Docker Compose. The development platform runs on localhost; see the Quick Start guide for a list of ports where you can access its various services. For details on specific make commands for controlling and customizing the development platform, see the development platform project documentation on GitHub.


Open Commerce has a global team of contributors to its projects on GitHub. New contributors are always welcome, and they should read and abide by the code of conduct.

If you have questions about implementing Open Commerce, customizing code for your own purposes, or contributing to a project, check out the developer forum and Discord server. For bug reports and feature requests, you can create a new issue directly in the appropriate repo.

For more information on getting your code ready to commit, check out the ESLint configuration project and the Testing Requirements doc.

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