2020 was an extraordinary year in many ways. We take the turn of the year as an opportunity to look back on a turbulent and eventful Shopware and ecommerce year.
2020 – without question the Corona Year
2020 was, of course, significantly shaped by one central topic: The coronavirus. For merchants, the pandemic had very different effects. The local retail, which had to compete with online retail even before the Corona pandemic, had to struggle even more this year. Consumers increasingly shopped online as a result of the virus - whether in lockdown or even when the local shops were open. After all, the fear of a possible infection caused many consumers to prefer to shop from home. According to the Search Engine Journal, the winners were above all those merchants who were able to adapt quickly to the pandemic. This is the case for online trade in general.
Shopware offers immediate assistance for merchants
We supported merchants in need with the power of the community in the best possible way. In the blink of an eye, we set up a platform where especially small, medium-sized and local merchants were provided with news about the topic and were able to take advantage of various offers of help. We would like to thank everyone involved and hope that we were able to help many merchants.
As part of this, we also pushed the Downtown project - a free software that allows cities, municipalities and trade organisations to open digital marketplaces for free. The traders of the city of Bolzano in Italy were the first to take advantage of this.
The first completely virtual Shopware Community Day
For May 2020, basically a normal Shopware Community Day was planned at the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, Germany, as it was the case in 2018 and 2019.
In February, we saw the first events being cancelled, and in March the state government announced the ban on events of our size. "The cancellation of all events from March onwards presented us with some challenges and prompted us to rethink possibilities of online events," says Lucas Schlüter (Event Marketing Manager).
Event Manager Björn Meß adds: “The week of the cancellation was quite hard because we didn't know what to do from that point. We decided to go with a very basic live stream that we had to produce completely on our own and film it at the campus in the garage we have here. When we sat down with our existing technology partners from the region, we set up a studio and that worked out really well!"
Interestingly, networking via Slack also worked very well: “I also experienced that on the Slack channels. There were so many people, logging in and chatting about all kinds of stuff and also in the live chat.”, Björn explained.
Since the digital SCD was a great success, the digital event series SCD Explore was launched in the same year. It kicked off on 3 December with valuable insights and learnings from and for experts from the B2B sector. From this point of view, the fact that the Shopware Community Day did not take place as usual and was able to discover new forms of the format had a positive effect.
2020 = 20 years of Shopware
During all the Corona hustle and bustle, we unfortunately couldn't celebrate as extensively as we would have liked. In fact, 2020 was also the year of our 20th anniversary. You can read more about the founding story here or watch the video interview with our founder.
Huge changes from the product perspective
From the product perspective, we were able to achieve a number of milestones in 2020. In the first half of the year, we introduced two new products:
- Firstly, the Shopware Cloud. With this, we have added a useful component to our product portfolio, with which even inexperienced users can get started in ecommerce easily, cost-effectively and without risk.
- On the other hand, the Shopware PWA frontend, which can be seamlessly integrated with Shopware 6 and enables unique customer experiences.
In the second half of the year, we revised our release strategy and pursued our goal of offering our community more predictability and transparency. What's new about the revised release cycle: With a few exceptions (for example, in the upcoming January), we publish a new Shopware 6 version every month. In this way, we promote regularity and enable users to benefit more quickly from innovations.
In connection to this, we have also launched two new formats to create more transparency regarding our products and their development:
- The Release News, which are published on the day of the new release and present all innovations in detail.
- The Global Product Update - a video format in which our developers and product managers give a preview of the features they are currently working on.
We have also updated the product roadmap so that shop owners and developers can see exactly what we are currently working on, what we want to tackle next, and what visions we have for the future.
The Shopware Boost Day
The year started very excitingly for Shopware and the community: Shopware 6.1 was released in January 2020! Together with our community, we aimed at constantly improving Shopware 6!
Therefore, on 14 May 2020, the starting signal was given for the first virtual Shopware Boost Day. On this day, the Shopware core developers worked hand in hand with the community on new features and on the further development of Shopware 6. With 138 participants, 45 pull requests and over 3000 messages sent in Slack, the kick-off was a complete success so that the second virtual Boost Day already followed in September.
The third digital Boost Day will take place on 14 January 2021. This Boost Day will be all about the community: Under the guiding theme "Boost your knowledge", there will be a beginners' workshop with Dockware for installation and a beginners' workshop led by Michael Telgmann. For our experienced community, there will of course be exciting tickets available on GitHub.
Our Shopware developers are already looking forward to the day together with the community.
If you would also like to take part in the Boost Day, then register now:
Recognition in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
Also important for us: Gartner recognised Shopware in their Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce 2020. The Magic Quadrant is trendsetting and offers investors, providers, and manufactures with a sense of direction for their respective market segment.
Christmas events for the end of the year
For the first time ever, we have started a huge Secret Santa event for the community. Under #ShopwareSecretSanta, we have already seen numerous lovely gifts on social media. We are delighted about the engagement and creativity of our community.
Another Christmas activity relates to projects close to our hearts, for which we are donating a total amount of EUR 20,000. Help us to decide how much of the donation goes to each of our favourite projects. Moreover, you have the opportunity to submit your own suggestions.
We would like to say THANK YOU, we wish you HAPPY HOLIDAYS and a good start to the year 2021!
Unfortunately, we were rarely able to meet the community in person in 2020. But hardly any other year has shown how crucial mutual support is. That makes it all the more important for us to say "thank you". Together, we always get great things going - and look forward to the New Year 2021 full of hope!