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Open Source, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and the Internet of Things (IoT), are Powering Technology Trends that are Changing the Retail & eCommerce Landscape

The COVID-19 pandemic shocked businesses around the world. Nonetheless, online shopping is one of the most popular activities on the Internet. Global sales through websites and applications are projected to reach $5.4 trillion (USD) dollars in 2022, according to Siteefy, and 74% —nearly 55 million — live websites are built on Open Source. And innovation can stem from disruption.

Both physical and digital storefronts experienced a tremendous shift in the way consumers purchased and received retail goods. In addition to selling products in brick-and-mortar stores, many storefronts now offer Buy Online Pick up in Store (BOPIS) services, same-day delivery and online shipping — all of which are powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), including Open Source. With new ways to order products, Point-of-Sale (POS) systems are becoming smarter and communicating on- and offline transactions, tracking inventory and calculating real-time store promotions.

Augmented Reality (AR) shopping may become a new norm. With virtual fitting rooms, enhanced in-store AR navigation and other AR experiences spreading across the market, AR may also bridge the gap between digital eCommerce and brick-and-mortar stores. Ikea Studio uses AR to display rooms, measurements, windows, doorways and more on customers’ iPhones so they can easily and quickly visualize a new interior design.

Inevitably, Open Source is revolutionizing the way people shop. Here’s a sampling of what a few OIN members and retailers are doing in the world of Open Source.

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Here are a few highlights about our community members:

Etsy | OIN Community Member

The Open Source Application Programming Interface (API) for New York-based Etsy, supports eCommerce integrations used by thousands of worldwide sellers.

Grab | OIN Community Member

Grab — Southeast Asia’s leading Internet-based app — provides everyday services and access to over 9 million drivers, merchants and agents.

GoPro | OIN Community Member

From California GoPro relies on an Open Source interface to communicate with its cameras, many of which include Open Source Software (OSS) components. | OIN Community Member

China’s largest eCommerce company and retailer by revenue,’s online platform and backend systems leverage Linux and other Open Source projects to improve the infrastructure’s speed, functionality and stability.

Mercari | OIN Community Member

Driven by OSS, the Mercari app — Japan’s largest community-powered marketplace — features a live streaming eCommerce channel and the Mercari NOW service.

Shopify | OIN Community Member

Shopify — a Canadian multinational eCommerce company — delivers an online platform with tools to start, grow, market and manage retail businesses. The platform is built on Ruby on Rails OSS.

Target | OIN Community Member

United States-based Target uses Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS) to help guests who shop with the mobile app in the store access a map that identifies their position relative to the items they need.

OIN Community Members

Open Source Advocates | Retail & eCommerce

The Home Depot | OIN Community Member
IKEA | OIN Community Member
Shopify | OIN Community Member
Haier | OIN Community Member
Fossil | OIN Community Member | OIN Community Member
Etsy | OIN Community Member
Target | OIN Community Member
Rakuten | OIN Community Member
Mercari | OIN Community Member

What Members are Saying

At Shopify, we’ve built our platform on Ruby on Rails. We view open source software as a key foundation for our business. By joining the Open Invention Network, we have committed to patent non-aggression in core Linux and adjacent open source software. We believe that this commitment will promote innovation and help enable entrepreneurs and developers to build on open source foundations without focusing on the threat of litigation. We strongly encourage all forward-looking ecommerce platforms, retailers, and other companies to do the same.  
Robert GuaySenior Counsel, Intellectual PropertyShopify