When it comes to selecting an ecommerce platform, making the right decision involves a strenuous evaluation process. The choice between different ecommerce platforms is vast and defining the operational area is not always so straightforward. Many platforms fail to meet the bar set by today’s online retailers and some have become outdated in an industry that continues to evolve without an end in sight. This results in a high degree of uncertainty when it comes to the long-term success of your online business.
Today we are speaking with Wiljo Krechting of Shopware to find out more about what they have to offer online retailers.
Where does Shopware come from?
Shopware is now one of Europe’s leading open source eCommerce platforms, but has very humble origins. Back in 2000, Shopware CEO Stefan Hamann founded the company as a classic web agency when he was 16 years old. After programming the first webshop in 2003, Shopware started developing and offering the software as a standard system.
Shopware grew rather quickly, because at the time there was nothing else like it on the market. The company went from a kid programming out of his parent’s house to one of the most successful eCommerce platforms in Europe. Shopware now has a global network of more than 1,200 solution and technology partners and a very active developer community that gives customers access to robust third-party extensions and certified professional support. Over 80,000 customers across B2B and B2C, including brands such as L’Oréal, mywalit, Hughes, EURONICS, Discovery Channel, and BRITA, trust in Shopware as the basis for their online business. In 2017, Shopware enabled more than £5bn in gross eCommerce volume.
What advantages does Shopware offer its retailers?
Shopware has the lowest total costs of ownership of any platform on the market. Meaning, the cost to implement and maintain Shopware is the lowest of any other enterprise solution on the market. Shopware’s extensibility, flexibility and access to the source code allows retailers and brands to control its functionality and adapt the platform to meet their requirements. Due to the platform’s short time to market, merchants can go live comparatively quickly and save valuable resources for other aspects of their core business.
Shopware offers brands complete control over the functionality of their online channel. Shopware’s SEO, catalogue management and powerful marketing tools give retailers and brands the ability to create sites that provide an unrivaled shopping experience for their customers. Shopware’s intuitive administration interface allows merchants to tailor their site to their unique business needs. It is completely scalable to each business size, and it is also possible to connect other enterprise solutions with Shopware by means of a REST API.
How is the Shopware roadmap helping retailers stay ahead?
Just as retailers listen to their customers and carry out user testing at every point of their digital development, Shopware incorporates feedback from our community of users into the development of the platform. Involving the industry at every step of the way results in every upgrade being close to the needs of retailers and ultimately their customers. We can react quickly to market changes and focus on what’s relevant for our users, as we take a holistic approach to digital and retail. We constantly think ahead, test new technologies and create a living roadmap of what will be relevant to retailing in the future. Our solution is open source and modularly extensible, giving retailers the choice, control and flexibility to build the consumer experiences that are right for their business.
What would your ideal retailer customer look like?
We cover the full spectrum: From small to medium-sized businesses and scale up to big enterprise players who bring in several thousand orders a day and turnover in the hundred millions. Our fastest-growing sectors are the retail and B2B sectors. Due to our flexibility and scalability, Shopware is the ideal solution for brands who want to grow their business with one of the most advanced eCommerce platforms on the market.
Shopware is known for providing brands with a solution that allows them to combine content and commerce and create attractive, emotionally charged shopping experiences. This is for a particular reason: It is getting harder and harder for SME retailers to compete against big players such as Amazon and eBay. Brand building is absolutely essential here. That’s why Shopware offers modern tools that enable merchants to build their brand and claim their stake in an increasingly competitive industry.
What do you consider to be the most important trend in eCommerce and why?
We suspect half of the merchants view disruption as an opportunity and half of them see it as a threat. Yet, love it or hate it, disruption is close on the horizon of today’s business landscape for brands, and has the potential to both help and harm companies as they encounter it. Shopware believes it is essential for brands and eCommerce entrepreneurs to understand the challenges of disruptive events like unwelcome platform migrations and devise strategies to use these events to their benefit.
Shopware is currently offering a whitepaper on platform migration on Tamebay. Everyone interested in learning more about one of Europe’s leading eCommerce platforms can download it here.
You can contact Shopware by calling +44 (0) 203 095 2445 (UK 8am – 4pm GMT), writing an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shopware headquarters is at Ebbinghoff 10 Schöppingen North Rhine-Westphalia 48624 Germany.
What started as a radio repair shop in 1921 has since grown to become one of the leading specialist electronic retailers in the UK. With upwards of 6,000 products and over 60 brands represented in the shop, Hughes needed a sophisticated solution that seamlessly connected with their existing business processes and gave their dedicated eCommerce team the freedom to change content on a moment’s notice.
When it comes to searching for products from specific brands, Hughes customers now have multiple resources at hand. Next to a separate category reserved for brands and the ability to filter brands in other categories, CB Squared built a solution so that individual landing pages for each brand can be implemented using Shopping Worlds. This extensive feat was made possible by making clever use of Shopware’s standard marketing functionalities in combination with custom programming.
Simon Cox, eCommerce Director said: “Our dedicated team for eCommerce now has complete control when it comes to quickly implementing new content, including landing pages, special offers or individual brand promotions, which was exactly the goal of the relaunch. For example, we were able to change the complete look and feel of the home page 3 times in the first month alone.”
The company has also grown to include a special trade division – Hughes Trade – which will be one of the first projects to migrate to Shopware’s B2B Suite.
“The B2B industry is going through a digital revolution. The Shopware B2B Suite will allow us to stay ahead of the curve, providing our trade customers with a more efficient and easier online ordering process”.
– Paul Chisnall, General Manager Hughes Trade
Driven by the desire to follow the tradition of his ancestors the name of the company founded in 2009 was clear: PAUL HEWITT, named after his grandfather, Paul Edward Hewitt. Today, PAUL HEWITT products can be found in more than 3,000 stores worldwide.
One of the greatest challenges during implementation involved the technical individualisation of the software and processes. The initial configuration already posed a major challenge, considering PAUL HEWITT´s new online shop is the combination of 26 subshops and country shops, including B2B shops. “Our goal was to create a technical basis for strong and, above all, international growth,” explains Andra Möllhof, Team Leader eCommerce and Project Manager PAUL HEWITT.
Along with strong overall growth, the number of customer inquiries has also increased. In order to have a better overview, the PAUL HEWITT team uses a ticket system. The Shopware Premium Plugin manages the entire customer communication centrally in the Shopware backend and allows tickets to be allocated to employees, guaranteeing even faster response times.
The online shop includes categories and 600 items not including variants. All watches and bracelets are available in a multitude of combinations and can be customised using a configurator.
Further marketing tools featured in the shop include Shopware´s Smart Search and the Advanced Promotion Suite.
The numbers reported by PAUL HEWITT just months after the relaunch speak for themselves. “We were able to achieve a conversion increase of up to 25% across all devices. Our returns quota has also been reduced through using Shopware”.