Navigating the future of ecommerce in 2024
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Shopware 5 to 6: The best time to migrate is now

Shopware 5 to 6: The best time to migrate is now

Shopware 5 will reach its end of life in 2024. What does that mean? Our partners at communicode give us their perspective on Shopware 5 and Shopware 6 and share their top migration tips.  

Enthusiastic users find Shopware 6 an unbeatable ecommerce system. It offers a host of new features and has been optimized from the ground up, its API-first architecture setting it on an even more successful footing. But Shopware 6’s development journey is far from over – there are further innovative features and new extensions to look forward to. From 2024, Shopware will be focusing solely on developing Shopware 6, which is why migration from Shopware 5 to the latest version can only be a good thing.  

What can Shopware 5 users expect?  

In version 6, Shopware has achieved a new level of innovation in ecommerce and handed users an extensive toolkit for customer acquisition, customer retention, and sales growth. The Rule Builder, the Shopping Experiences, and the revised customer experience are designed to cater to virtually every wish and offer plenty of scope for creative marketing. Thanks to ongoing development, Shopware 6 includes all of the features you need to sell even the most complex structured product – something that should appeal to users in the B2B sector in particular.  

While we were happy to use Shopware 5 ourselves at communicode and implement it for our customers, customer and user requirements when it comes to online stores have grown phenomenally in recent years. As a result, today’s store system not only needs to keep pace with market demands but should play a role in shaping those demands too. While there is no need to rush to switch to Shopware 6 – all the key compatibility and security updates for version 5 will continue until 2024 – we definitely recommend migrating to Shopware 6. And since innovative developments will be exclusive to Shopware 6, it is worth planning the move soon.  

Banner Migration Shopware 5 to 6

What makes Shopware 6 a must-have?  

Shopware 6 enthusiasts not only appreciate its well thought-out user interface but also its API-first structure and straightforward usability. The latest Shopware version makes it easier to create new, comprehensive marketing initiatives and enables the store owner to control marketplaces and go-to-market channels. The new Shopping Experiences feature, in itself, is a crucial success factor, presenting an optimized customer experience and allowing products to be marketed in a more targeted way. The Rule Builder allows the store owner to offer exclusive special sales conditions to predefined customer groups. And a simpler procedure for creating product variants opens up even more opportunities for customer-oriented online commerce.  

The pioneering technology on which Shopware 6 is based offers scope for further developments to be made to the customer experience and key commerce functions. It is now even simpler to connect microservices and third-party systems to a store platform along with the online store. With these and other features, store owners have at their disposal all the key tools they need to manage their online store successfully.  

Migration Shopware 5 to 6

Shopware 5 to 6: What does the move involve?  

Because of Shopware 6’s new architecture, switching from Shopware 5 is not a simple matter of installing an upgrade. The basic structures of the two systems are very different, and this means that migration requires more than just a few clicks of a button. Ideally, store owners should seek out an experienced service provider who understands how to transfer the store system’s customizations to the new version. In principle, some areas of the store are easier to migrate than others. These include:  

  • Text fields  

  • Categories  

  • Manufacturer databases  

  • Product master data  

Other areas are a little more complex, in that they are saved in different locations or in a different format in Shopware 6. These include:  

  • SEO settings  

  • Shipping and payment methods  

  • The switch from Shopping World to Shopping Experiences  

  • New design templates  

The restructured administration in Shopware 6 is now even more detailed and requires additional modifications, including in the way you work with the store system. Properly planned migration is the key to success.  

What happens with the plugins when we migrate?  

In general, you will not be able to continue using all your plugins from Shopware 5 in Shopware 6. This is largely because several features of the new version of the store system are features that previously required plugins. It is also the case that certain developers do not yet offer a plugin upgrade. Here too, it is advisable to work with a service provider who can provide the missing features if they are not already available in Shopware 6. They will also be able to contact the plugin manufacturers for you.  

Shopware 5 to 6: Migration phases  

To ensure that the online store runs smoothly on Shopware 6, full-scale migration is key. This needs to be planned carefully and carried out in separate phases.  

Phase 1: Planning and analysis  

In this phase, all of the content and data that is to be transferred to the new system is extracted from the existing Shopware 5 store. All of the required features of the new store are also specified at this point and incorporated into the planning process.

Planing process - Migration Shopware 5 to 6

A roadmap is then used to schedule precise dates for each of the migration stages. Consultation on the new features and potential of Shopware 6 should take place at this stage.  

Phase 2: Migration  

To ensure that migration is successful, the current store must first be upgraded to Shopware 5.6, if this has not been done already. The aim of a service provider is usually to automate as much of the migration process as possible in order to minimize resources and costs. Any settings, content, and data that cannot be migrated automatically will be imported into the new, Shopware 6-based system by the service provider. This phase also involves creating the new design for your Shopware 6 store.  

Phase 3: Relaunch  

While your current store is still active, the new, Shopware 6-based store is readied. The prepared data is now automatically imported into the new system environment. Additional settings are made and the features you require are set up. In this phase all of the plugins you require are implemented and Shopware 6 is tailored to your needs.  

Phase 4: Go-live  

In this last step, finals tests are run to ensure that the new online store runs correctly on Shopware 6. If everything functions as required, we will switch off the old store, and your new online store will go live without delay.  

Migration Happy Customer

Once operational, there is, of course, always the possibility of teething trouble with the new store, with errors only becoming apparent at a later stage. That’s why communicode insists on providing hypercare services as part of the overall migration.  

Shopware 5 to 6: Migration and the associated workload 

As already mentioned, migration on this scale is not a straightforward upgrade that can be carried out at the click of a button. An important digital project like this will often also include complex data and content structures that need to be taken into consideration. It is important to break down this complexity and to filter out unnecessary functions, data, and content before migration. The new, Shopware 6-based online store will reduce the workload, cutting out unnecessary processes and making the project more manageable.  

With well-designed middleware, the manual migration processes can also be kept to manageable levels. And if you choose to migrate from Shopware 5 to Shopware 6 before 2024, you will also have time on your side. You will be able to carry out all of the above measures at leisure and without time pressure, enabling you to avoid unnecessary errors and ensure that the new online store performs reliably.  

Shopware migration: Why now rather than later?  

Because support for Shopware 5 is set to end in 2024, we are advising everyone to take this important step. As a store owner, moving to Shopware 6 will give you the technical and legal security that you need in order to operate successfully. Move now, and you can get a head start with Shopware 6 and its new features and boost your online ecommerce success.  

To sum up: The sooner we begin to tackle Project Migration, the sooner merchants and their customers will benefit from the wealth of technical innovations that Shopware 6 offers. 

The video tutorial for the migration from Shopware 5 to 6

In this video tutorial, Rachel will work with you to migrate from Shopware 5 to Shopware 6 and give you some helpful tips and tricks to help you with your own migration.

About the author  

communicode is a full-service digital agency based in Essen. The interdisciplinary team consisting of specialists for digital communication focuses on strategic consulting, conception, and production in the field of interactive business and communication solutions. communicode thus convinces with concepts and systems for successful multi-channel platforms and offers future-proof overall solutions which connect people and technology. 

From Shopware 5 to 6: Everything at a glance!

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