A shop system is the basis for operating a successful online shop - for both small and large companies. This software solution makes it easier for companies to offer their products or services online, take orders and handle the entire purchasing process.

Table of contents

  1. What is a shop system?

  2. The 11 must-haves of a shop system

  3. 4 types of shop systems

  4. Advantages and disadvantages of a shop system

  5. For whom is a shop system suitable?

  6. Shopware: A reliable choice

  7. Frequently asked questions

What is a shop system?

By using a powerful shop system, companies enable their customers to enjoy a seamless as well as user-friendly shopping experience while efficiently managing their sales and business processes.

The 11 must-haves of a shop system

A shop system offers its users extensive functions and features to guarantee the smooth operation of an online store. Here are some important features that distinguish a good shop system:

Product management

The ability to efficiently manage products, including categories, descriptions, images, prices, inventory levels, and product variants.

Shopping cart and order processing

A shopping cart system allows customers to add, edit and remove products. In addition, seamless order processing is ensured, supporting shipping, payment and invoicing.

Payment integration

Integrating different payment providers to offer different payment methods such as credit cards, PayPal, bank transfer, etc. If certain payment methods are not available, buyers quickly bail out, so the system should include the most common ones

Interfaces to shipping service providers

Set up shipping options and costs, generate shipping labels, and track orders. These functions are perfect for keeping track of everything as a store operator.

User accounts and customer management  

Customers can create a user account through which they can view their order history and save important data such as the delivery address. It is also possible for them to leave reviews about the purchased product or service.

Search function 

A store with an effective search function is worth its weight in gold and creates an overview for the user. This allows customers to easily find products and filter search results by specific categories, prices, features, etc.


Shop owners have the option to improve the visibility of their store in search engines with the following settings:

  • Search engine friendly URLs

  • Meta tags

  • Product descriptions

Responsive design 

A responsive design ensures that the shop is optimally displayed on different devices and screen sizes - even on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.

Analytics and reporting

Integrating analytics tools is an important factor in gaining insights into sales, visitor numbers, customer behavior, and other important metrics. This way, shop owners can optimize their pages to generate more sales.

Sicherheit und Datenschutz 

Shop visitors attach great importance to the handling of their data. A secure system for protecting customer data, including SSL encryption, secure payment processing and compliance with data protection regulations, are therefore an absolute must for a modern online shop.

Customizability and extensibility

The ability to customize the shop to individual requirements and integrate it with other systems such as ERP software, inventory management systems, or email marketing tools allows the store owner to control everything centrally.

The above examples are just some of the most important functions of a shop system. Depending on the specific requirements and the size of the store, additional functions may be required.

4 types of shop systems

There are different types of shop systems (e.g. hosted and self-hosted ecommerce platforms) that can be selected according to the individual needs and preferences of a company. Paid versions as well as free versions are offered for this purpose:

  • Self-Hosted: With this type of shop system, the company must install and manage the software on its own server. This variant usually offers high flexibility and customizability, as the source code is accessible and individual adjustments can be made. Examples of self-hosted shop systems are Shopware, WooCommerce (for WordPress), Magento and PrestaShop.

  • Cloud-based: These shop systems are hosted by a provider and made accessible via the Internet. Both the infrastructure and maintenance are taken over by the provider, which reduces the technical requirements but also entails ongoing costs for the company. Examples of cloud-based shop systems are Shopware, Shopify, BigCommerce and Wix Stores.

  • Open-Source: These shops are offered as a free version with publicly available source code. This allows free developers to adapt and extend the system to individual requirements. Examples of open source store systems are Shopware, OpenCart, osCommerce and Zen Cart.

  • Customized: Some companies choose to have a custom shop system developed with extensive features. Such a system requires extensive planning and elaborate development, but offers maximum flexibility and control over the functions and design of the online store. That is why shop operators have to expect higher costs.

Advantages and disadvantages of a store system

It is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each shop system and evaluate the specific requirements of the company to make the best choice. Especially for medium-sized companies and enterprise stores with higher requirements, it is a solid base for online marketing.



Global reach: A company can offer its products worldwide, expanding the potential customer base.

Initial investment: Implementing and setting up a high-quality store system usually requires an initial investment.

Open around the clock: Customers can shop at any time of day, resulting in higher sales potential.

Technical requirements: Store operators need a technical know-how and possibly the support of IT specialists or developers.

Ease of use: An intuitive user interface for customers makes the shopping process simple and convenient.

Continuous maintenance: Regular updates and security measures must be carried out to ensure smooth operation.

Efficient order processing: The integration of shopping cart, order management and payment processing simplifies the entire ordering process.

Dependence on Internet connection: A reliable Internet connection is required.

Personalization and upselling: By providing customers with relevant product recommendations based on their preferences and purchase histories, cross-selling and upselling is promoted and the average order value is increased.

Competition and saturation: The e-commerce market is highly competitive and there are already a large number of online shops in various industries.

Analytics and reporting: Comprehensive data on sales, customer activity, inventory and other key metrics are automatically captured. This makes it possible to measure business success, identify trends, and make informed decisions about business strategy.

Security risks: An online shop poses potential security risks, especially in connection with the processing of sensitive customer data and payments.

Scalability: A powerful store system provides the flexibility to scale the site as the business grows.

Integration with other systems: Seamless connection with other business systems such as ERP, CRM and warehouse management systems.

Marketing capabilities: Various marketing features such as discounts, promotions, coupons and product reviews are available.

Customer Support: Efficient customer support through live chat, email support and FAQ sections.

For whom is a shop system suitable?

A shop system is suitable for various companies that offer products or services for sale online. Especially if it is one of the paid versions with higher expenses, this is more recommended for the following larger companies.

  • Retailers: This can range from clothing stores to electronics stores to grocery stores.

  • Manufacturers: They can sell their products directly to the end customer instead of going through intermediaries. Direct contact with the consumer is promoted and the profit margin is increased.

  • Service providers: Services can be presented online in the best possible way, customer bookings are made possible and payments are accepted online.

  • Creative entrepreneurs: Artists, designers, craftsmen and other creative entrepreneurs can use a shop system to sell their unique products online. This helps them expand their reach and reach customers worldwide.

  • Non-profit organizations: Even non-profit organizations benefit from a shop system, for example, to accept donations, sell merchandise, or conduct fundraising activities.

It should be noted that the type of the most suitable store system depends on the specific requirements of the company. There are different platforms and software solutions that offer different features and customization options. It is advisable to analyze the company's needs and look for a shop system that best meets them.

Shopware: A reliable choice

As an open source shop system, Shopware offers companies a high degree of flexibility and adaptability. Whether a large corporation or a start-up - the modular structure enables customized e-commerce solutions. User-friendliness is also a top priority: The interface is intuitive and both customers and store operators benefit from the ease of use.

All in all, Shopware offers a flexible, user-friendly and powerful e-commerce solution with extensive marketing tools, responsive design, SEO-friendliness and extensibility. These advantages make Shopware a popular choice for online merchants who want to run a professional and successful online store.

Frequently asked questions

What is a shop system?

A shop system is a software solution that enables companies to create and operate an online shop. It offers many different functions such as product catalogs, payment processing, order management and often also marketing tools.

How do I find the right shop system for my business?

Choosing the right system depends on the specific requirements of the business. Factors such as budget, technical capabilities, scalability, integrations, support and ease of use all come into play. Comparing different vendors helps to make the best choice.

What are the costs associated with a shop system?

The cost of a shop system can vary. Open source systems are often free, but require technical knowledge and incur hosting fees. Cloud-based solutions usually have monthly subscription fees, the amount of which depends on the features and scope of the system.