Shopware recently held its first ever Customer Advisory Event. Read what the event was all about, who took part, how merchants will benefit from it in future and how you can provide your own feedback on the product.
Our first Customer Advisory Event: Making time for open dialog
Shopware’s first ever Customer Advisory Event got underway at 9 am on June 22, 2022. The online event, attended remotely by notable Shopware customers from the comfort of their own homes, focused on two subjects: Returns Management and Multi-Inventory. We outline what each of these involves below.
In keeping with Shopware’s open commerce philosophy, our primary motivation for holding the event was to promote open dialog between ourselves and our customers. After all, our customers’ day-to-day experience of working with Shopware and of the intricacies of running an online store make them the ideal people to turn to for genuine expertise and valuable feedback.
Online platforms like Shopware are based on open-source code and an inherently collaborative culture. With our ecommerce solution, everything – literally everything – is open for customization, extension, and integration. So, when we’re working on new concepts, our customers’ feedback has top priority. Valuable insights from the merchant perspective enable us to improve our product day by day in line with our customers’ wishes.
Who participated in the first Customer Advisory Event?
At Shopware, we specifically chose the participants for our first Customer Advisory Event according to the event’s themes. We looked at businesses that had already had dealings with Returns Management and Multi-Inventory and were likely to have a particular interest in the topics. We also selected different-sized businesses from a range of industries to ensure a good mix of different perspectives.
On July 22, seven companies attended our event and made knowledgeable contributions to the discussions. In total, nine representatives of the participating companies joined us – representing a range of roles in different industries, from procurement staff to CDO. The businesses attending the event were Armedangels, Babyone, Poolpowershop, fackelmann, CHRIS sports, and other Shopware Enterprise customers.
The various Shopware representatives looked forward to the merchants’ feedback and were fascinated by the new insights they heard. Shopware founder and co-CEO Sebastian Hamann opened the event and then handed over to Shopware Product Targeting Managers Aaron Schaarschmidt and Jonas Fuchs, who had initiated and planned the event along with their colleague Vanessa Brauch. Several Shopware product owners from Orders & Customers, Inventory & B2B, Checkout, and Sales Channels helped them to run the event.
How Shopware’s first Customer Advisory Event unfolded
The first Customer Advisory Event consisted of morning and afternoon sessions which were held in German. The focal points chosen for this initial event were Returns Management and Multi-Inventory.
But what exactly do we mean by that?
Returns Management is a logistics function and includes planning, controlling, and monitoring the flow of goods, money, and information between the customer and merchant. It is essential here to avoid returns and optimize costs, because 77 %  of online customers see the ability to return a product as a key factor when it comes to making a purchase. Your goal should therefore be to integrate seamless returns management into your online store.
Multi-Inventory involves creating and using multiple inventory locations, warehouses, and stores within your ecommerce business. Multi-inventory features allow you to manage stocks, keep track of and reduce shipping costs, set user-defined shipping methods and tariffs, and optimize the organization of your multi-stock management.
Both Returns Management and Multi-Inventory were discussed in depth during the workshop. The relevant product owners presented the participants with initial concepts for validation. A series of key questions helped to identify specific problems, focal points, and needs in relation to the new functions.
Valuable insights: Looking back at a successful event
We are happy to report that the event achieved its aims successfully. Above all, we wanted to:
- encourage open dialog and collaboration,
- understand issues and problems,
- validate existing concepts,
- and make the event fun for all involved.
The Shopware customers actively participated in the discussions and offered valuable insights. They were very positive about the format of the event. Dialog between the participants also worked well. For example, merchants also used the event to share tips and tricks with each other.
The team surrounding the Shopware Product Targeting Manager and Product Owner were able to learn a lot from our customers during the event:
“Some of our customers’ insights were new to us. We can now feed these back directly into the concept for returns management. In the multi-inventory field too, we were able to gain valuable understanding and establish a sound basis. Now we have a better idea which functions need to be covered by Shopware ourselves and which use cases make less sense within Shopware and can instead be connected to Shopware through existing third-party systems.”
– Jonas Fuchs, Product Targeting Manager at Shopware
“Product owners can use the findings from the workshop to quickly establish initial concepts before testing them on customers in another feedback loop. We are currently developing new concepts based on the insights from the event, so users can start looking forward to new Shopware 6 features.”
– Aaron Schaarschmidt, Product Targeting Manager at Shopware
Plans for regular events: Your expertise matters
Following the success of this first event, there are now plans to hold regular Customer Advisory Events in the future. We still have a lot of open and visionary ideas we would like to try out with the help of our unique Shopware community. We are hoping to stage the next Customer Advisory Event in the fall this year. In addition, we are already working on constantly improving the concept of the format and are looking forward to hosting the next event on site, if it is possible due to corona. In this way, even more exchange could be promoted even beyond the event topics. Events like this should be about benefiting from each other’s experience and learning alongside one another.
We are planning on experimenting with different formats in the future. At the moment, we are working on a platform designed to simplify direct dialog regarding preferences and ideas for features. This will involve our customers more closely in product development and enable us to align the product even more closely with their needs.
But we also regularly reach out for customer feedback outside of such formats. Shopware can only grow as a product and a company through an open exchange with you. Thank you for your feedback, your constructive criticism, and your confidence in our ecommerce solution!
Want to get involved?
If you’re interested in an open dialog with us and other established Shopware users, you are welcome to contact us via the community Slack channel or email email@example.com. We would be happy to include you in our Feedback Pool and look forward to your valuable input.
You might also be interested in:
- Visit Shopware TV to find out more about how and why the Product Discovery Team gathers feedback
- G2 Summer Report 2022: Shopware is delighted with numerous awards
- This is what merchants think about omnichannel commerce
- Tips for boosting conversion with the perfect returns policy