The MAROLIN® Manufactory (Richard Mahr GmbH) was founded in 1900 in Steinach; a small town in Germany situated in the Thuringian Forest. They have been producing nativity figures, Christmas and Easter decorations and ornamented figures for well over 110 years.
Production takes place exclusively from their factory site in Steinach. One special aspect of the production process concerns the material used to create their world-class ornaments: MAROLIN® papier-mâché, which is a combination of porcelain mass, glue, clay and paper fibers. All products are hand-formed and painted. In addition to their own showroom in Steinach, the manufacturer supplies both specialist retailers and private customers.
Online trade is not a new sales channel for the otherwise tradition-conscious manufacturer. Prior to the shop relaunch, MAROLIN® already had experience working with a few shops systems until they ultimately decided to work with Shopware.
“Shopware stands out as a complete system that is easy to use, offers great performance as well as numerous features that improve the visibility of our products. Since we’re looking for a complete solution – that is, an online shop with content functionalities – we consider Shopping Worlds’ design possibilities extremely beneficial to our business,” says Christian Forkel, Marketing Manager at Richard Mahr GmbH.
Determined to improve their product presentation and engage customers with their company history, MAROLIN® went to Shopware Business Partner, vierpunk, to discuss the new concept for their online store. When defining the targets for the project, a few points were particularly important for Christian Forkel: “A smooth shopping experience, high-quality company presentation and the possibility of connecting with our ERP system were at the heart of our decision to use Shopware.” A well-structured platform was also an absolute must in order to properly present the versatile product range.
Since there wasn’t a connection to their ERP system, Collmex, available in the Community Store, a new interface had to be individually programmed. Ultimately, this was no problem thanks to Shopware’s open API.
On the basis of Shopware 5.2.2, the new MAROLIN® online shop makes use of numerous Storytelling and Shopping World environments. Next to the homepage, four of the five store categories rely on Shopping Worlds to present their products with compelling content and design.
The entire template was adjusted to meet the requirements and corporate identity of the manufactory. Although the design of the paper-mâché figures are still based off the models from 1900-1940, the shop itself is inspired by a modern design.
“In comparison with the previous version, it’s much easier to make adjustments to the template, which is now responsive. This greatly simplifies our work load and helps us implement the ideas from the shop owner with more speed and accuracy,” said Lukas Ebenhoch from vierpunkt, describing the advantages of working with Shopware 5.
Christian Forkel is also convinced by the new design: “Thanks to Storytelling and Shopping Worlds, the product presentation in the shop significantly improved.” The presentation of the showroom and the manufacturing process also impress thanks to the new Shopping Worlds.
With a total of 1,250 listed products in the shop, MAROLIN® uses promotional plugins such as Advanced Promotion Suite and Bundles to create attractive sales campaigns; an absolute advantage come the holidays every year.
As a seasoned veteran in eCommerce, Christian Forkel has a strong understanding of what is important in online sales: “Just like stationary business, an online shop also requires constant care and dynamics. Therefore, it’s recommended to regularly work on the offer and product presentation. Blog functions, the plugins Advanced Promotion Suite and Bundles are very helpful tools to keep your shop always moving and interesting.”
With the project costs coming in at only 20,000 euros, the MAROLIN® shop proves that Shopware “out of the box” already offers comprehensive possibilities.
The shop owner is, in total, completely satisfied with Shopware: “The webshop is performing exceptionally well and providies our customers a pleasant shopping experience. Shopware offers much more than just an online store. The software gives you the freedom to properly present your company and comes with many useful features that assist in online sales. The easy-to-use backend also saves a lot of time and daily work in the shop.”
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