Shopware AG is one of the leading manufacturers of online shop systems in Europe
Meet the company: Shopware
Deciding which platform to build your website on is one of the most crucial decisions an online business faces. Today we speak to Wiljo Krechting of Shopware to find out more about what they have to offer.
Whilst Shopware is a fully featured solution suitable for large enterprises, the vast majority of their clients are small businesses which is the audience the solution was originally built for. Still today, 90% of Shopware websites are owned and run by SMEs so I was interested to hear what Wiljo had to say:
Who are Shopware?
Shopware is Germany’s leading open source ecommerce platform. 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.
The success of Shopware came 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 with more than 1,200 partner and over 54,000 customers including some of the biggest European brands such as L’Oréal, PerfectHome, GAASTRA, EURONICS, Discovery Channel, BRITA and many more. In 2016, Shopware enabled €5bn in gross ecommerce volume.
There are four different editions of Shopware – Which one should I choose?
Shopware is a feature-rich ecommerce platform solution that 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 possible to connect other enterprise solutions with Shopware using our REST API.
90% of Shopware users are small businesses and this is where Shopware came from. They’re experts in helping a small or medium sized business grow online which is why they have a totally free offering to get you started.
Shopware’s Community Edition is open source and free of charge. It’s a great place to start for a small retailer with the opportunity to grow to their more complex offerings as your business develops. Many thousands of retailers have launched on the Community Edition.
Along with more powerful tools, a key feature of the Professional Edition is the Shopware ‘Story telling’ feature which offers the ability to develop your own brand and deliver an emotionally charged shopping experience. Small businesses often have great stories to tell, but developing a brand is often overlooked and Shopware Professional Edition can help you engage website visitors on a personal level and allow customers to develop completely individual ties with your brand.
Professional Plus Edition
Shopware is a modular platform and can be expanded using plugins and modules. “Start small” and add unlimited new features and functions to compliment the growth of your business. The Professional Plus Edition of Shopware includes all extra features which you’d have to buy with the Professional Edition
Shopware Enterprise is the ideal solution for ambitious ecommerce projects. This is where consultancy, service and performance meet under one platform; powered by the visionary features that make Shopware one of the fastest growing solutions on the market.
Why would a retailer use Shopware instead of your competitors?
Lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): the cost to implement and maintain Shopware is the lowest of any other enterprise solution on the market. With Shopware you’ll be able to do more with your ecommerce budget than with any other platform. Shopware’s extensibility, flexibility and access to the source code allows retailers and brands to control its functionality and adapt the webstore to meet their requirements.
How is the Shopware roadmap helping retailers to stay ahead?
As retailers are listening to their customers and user testing at every point of their digital development so Shopware takes feedback from our community 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 the retailers and ultimately their customers. We can move fast and focus on what’s relevant for our clients as we take an holistic approach to digital and retail. We constantly think ahead, testing new technologies and creating a roadmap for what’s relevant to retailing in the future. The solution is open source and extendible giving retailers choice, control and flexibility to build the consumer experiences that are right for business and to enable the emotional connection that’s appropriate for their customers.
What would your ideal retailer customer look like?
We are covering the whole range: from small to medium-sized businesses and scaling up to big enterprise players such as EURONICS, L’Oréal or PerfectHome with several thousand orders a day and a turnover of several hundred million €. 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 move one step forward with one of the most advanced ecommerce platforms on the market.
Shopware is especially known for supporting small and medium customers, providing them with a solution which 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 or ebay. So they simply have to build a brand and offer their customers something the big ones can’t. This is what Shopware stands for.
What do you consider 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.
A couple of weeks from now, Shopware is having a webinar on platform disruption. Everyone interested in that topic is welcome to register now. Shopware is currently providing valuable information on platform migration with a whitepaper.
Shopware headquarters is at Ebbinghoff 10 Schöppingen North Rhine-Westphalia 48624 Germany.