Her collections are the feminine answer to ready-to-wear - a synergy of extraordinary colour feeling, dynamic interplay of different textures and an unmistakable feeling for style contrasts in every look. Founded in 1989, the label's collections are now available in 11 independent stores and pop-up stores - including London, Berlin, Munich, Warsaw, Madrid, Hamburg and Dusseldorf - in 19 shop-in-shops and more than 600 partners, including boutiques and department stores, in more than 46 countries. Since its launch in 2011, the brand's own online shop has been shipping to 47 countries. Customers all over the world will find here the dressed answer to a mindset characterised by femininity and casual originality.
eCommerce is one of the most frequent points of contact with the brand and is therefore not only a sales channel, but an important marketing and branding tool.
Dorothee Schumacher laid the cornerstone for eCommerce in 2011 with its first online shop based on Flash. The aim was to create a "digital wardrobe" in which women could find their favourite items of clothing.
As the brand continued to grow digitally, they found their previous shop system was no longer able to meet their evolving demands. This ultimately led to the decision to switch to a new system; a system that had to include a strong and easy-to-use content management solution, as storytelling and branding would play an increasingly important role in the brand’s digital strategy in the future.
"In our opinion, Shopware is the best system, integrating a CMS that is not available anywhere else on the market. The luxury brand Dorothee Schumacher thrives on storytelling and therefore they decided to use Shopware," explains Volker Will, CEO of Shopware Enterprise Partner superReal, who has been working with Dorothee Schumacher since 2011 and accompanied the brand relaunch.
Moreover, Dorothee Schumacher was convinced by Shopware’s usability, intuitive backend, extensive subshop functionalities, and strong basis for international growth. "We were looking for a system that would allow us to manage a lot in-house," says Daniel Buchberger, Head of eCommerce at Dorothee Schumacher. "And after we visited Shopware on site and witnessed the kind of energy and creativity the team was working with, we opted for Shopware within two days after months evaluation other software options," Buchberger continued.
Personal exchange with superReal was particularly important to Dorothee Schumacher's team during the implementation of the project. "A constant personal exchange on site, rounded off by video conferences, greatly strengthened the intensive cooperation within the 20-strong team," says Buchberger. "We divided the project into 250 user stories and implemented them on an agile basis within only seven months using Scrum methodology," adds Volker Will.
Initially, a design relaunch was required for further digital growth. A central goal was to strengthen the shopping experience and emphasise the brand. Further reasons for the system change were a stronger international focus and omnichannel strategy.
From this, the most important requirements for the relaunch were identified:
Overall, the new online shop should maximise performance, agility and brand experience. "We achieved this through a unique and high-performance combination of Shopware and React. The homepage and various subpages were implemented as a single-page application. At the same time this was a big challenge, because React first had to be integrated into the Shopware backend," explains Will.
React is used as a frontend framework and uses a frontend API that provides the endpoints for querying product data, product detail pages, and more. All content for the brand can be defined in the first step; in the next step, the channels on which the content is to be presented are selected. In standard Shopware, this would require server-side template rendering. Due to Shopware's high level of flexibility, superReal was able to perform this complex adaptation of the system architecture.
All actions such as "Checkout", "Send orders", etc. are mapped via the frontend API (Figure: storefront level) and displayed via the React application in the browser.
Shopping Worlds with their components such as images, videos and text were also rebuilt in React as native components. Here, too, the underlying data and the presentation are separated.
"At the same time, we also built a new photo studio and took countless product photos that matched the look and feel of the new online shop that needed to be ready for the relaunch," explains Buchberger.
Today, Dorothee Schumacher distributes its luxury fashion internationally in the B2C and B2B sector with its new online shop, using nine subshops and 82 language shops, and segmenting its customers into 31 groups for individualised price/offer structuring.
The success of the relaunch is reflected in concrete figures. "In line with tradition, conversion decreased by approx. 30% immediately after the relaunch. But after the customers got used to the new shop and we implemented various optimisations and fixed bugs, we were able to increase the revenue and conversion rates by 30% shortly afterwards – and both KPIs continue to grow," says Will.
"In addition, the returns rate has fallen significantly. We owe this above all to our investment in the new product images, as they allow our customers to experience the collections much better and more emotionally before they make a purchase," explains Buchberger.
Dorothee Schumacher is not resting on its laurels. Instead, the company is looking to the future again. They will continue to be accompanied by superReal, and their goals have already been laid down on the basis of a five-point plan:
In this way, the Dorothee Schumacher brand aims to grow internationally, and strengthen its marketing on the basis of approaches geared towards specific target groups. The B2C, B2B and retail channels will also be more closely linked, and omnichannel strategies such as pickup or return in-store will be evaluated.
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