Shoptoberfest 2024

Hookain uses gamification to increase conversions, value and retention

Key facts:

Shopware version


Hookain, established in 2017 in Cologne, is a leading manufacturer of tobacco and shisha products in Germany. The company has a global presence, operating across more than 20 countries and generating a revenue of approximately 15 million euros in 2022.

Hookain: A fast-growing force in the Tobacco and Shisha sector

Hookain stands out as a top manufacturer in the German tobacco and shisha market. The brand launched its first signature products, White Caek and Green Lean, in 2019. Currently, the company boasts an extensive product line with over 2500 offerings available through its online shop. Employing 20 people, Hookain has expanded its reach to more than 20 countries globally. The company utilizes a multi-channel sales approach, distributing its products via its online shop, social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and a physical storefront in Cologne. In 2022, Hookain achieved a revenue of approximately 15 million euros.

Hookain Home Screenshot - EN

The transition challenge

Prior to adopting Shopware 6, Hookain ran its online shop on the WooCommerce platform. At that time, the company offered less than 500 products and faced stiff competition from larger brands. The situation became critical in 2022 when new legislation disrupted the tobacco industry, introducing stringent packaging laws and an additional tax on waterpipe tobacco products. Faced with the threat of losing its business, Hookain was compelled to expand.

Recognizing the need to scale up, the company planned to increase its product offerings. However, maintaining the WooCommerce platform proved too complex and labor-intensive. The platform struggled under the load, becoming inefficient with merely 50 simultaneous website visitors. Consequently, Hookain explored alternatives such as JTL 5 and Shopware 5. JTL 5 was quickly discounted due to its limited plugin options, while Shopware 5 felt outdated for Hookain's ambitious goals. Ultimately, Hookain opted for the more advanced and feature-rich Shopware 6.

Mert from Hookain reflects positively on the transition: "When Shopware 6 was released from beta, we approached our trusted developer, Enno Digital, to establish a new shop. In just a few months, we were contending with the industry's top 5. The feedback from our customers has been consistently excellent."

Shopware 6: A cutting-edge system equipped with numerous practical features and plugins

Hookain Bundle Screenshot - EN

In addition to these core features, Shopware 6 supports an extensive range of plugins, enhancing functionality further. Plugins utilized by Hookain include:

Hookain Basket - EN

Boosted revenue, greater visibility, and uninterrupted uptime with Shopware 6

Launched in May 2023, the new Hookain online shop has swiftly garnered a host of benefits. With Shopware 6's superior performance, the store's downtime has been eliminated entirely, even during high-traffic events such as product launches or exclusive promotions. Furthermore, the intuitive interface of the new store has significantly lowered the bounce rate by sixfold. These improvements, along with the Shopware canonical feature, have dramatically optimized the store's SEO. Previously ranked on the third or fourth pages, the store now secures the top spot for key search terms (Hookain, Hookain Tobacco, Blaze Dark Leaf) and ranks between fifth and tenth for broader industry terms (buy shisha tobacco, Dry Base with aroma). Customer ratings on Trusted Shops and Google have soared from 4 out of 5 stars to 4.92 and 5.5 stars, respectively.

In addition to these enhancements, Hookain's average cart value has surged by 40%, and the conversion rate has increased sixfold. The company’s first-year revenue also rose by 40%, a notable achievement given the legislative shifts that have impacted revenue streams across the tobacco industry. Moreover, return rates have decreased by 30%, thanks to more precise product descriptions and enhanced features in the online shop. The adoption of Shopware 6's gamification plugin has also boosted the rate of repeat customers by over 80%, a significant improvement from the previous rate of 50%.

Hookain: A successful shop relaunch with Shopware 6

With Shopware 6, Hookain successfully developed a contemporary online shop that aligns with evolving business needs and industry benchmarks. The enhancements extend beyond just upgrading the frontend and optimizing SEO; the company has also observed substantial growth in revenue, conversion rates, and average cart values.

Looking forward, Hookain is poised for global expansion and plans to further enrich its platform by integrating additional plugins for automated returns processing, voucher systems, and upselling strategies.

Mert from Hookain is highly satisfied with Shopware 6 and the revamped online shop: "We didn't just arrest the decline — we reversed it. We've increased our average cart values by 40% and turned over 80% of our customers into repeat buyers. Moreover, our improved SEO visibility is attracting new visitors daily who rapidly become loyal customers."

These challenges were successfully solved

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