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Shopware retailer survey – these are the results

Shopware retailer survey – these are the results

To the German article

We have conducted our annual retailer survey for the sixth time. Once again, it was about important ecommerce-related topics, from the industry and sales to the greatest challenges. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic and its effects were in the spotlight in 2020 as well. More than 150 participants gave us valuable insights into what they deal with on a daily basis. In this article, we have put together the most exciting insights for you.

Diverse industries in the B2B and B2C segment

We interviewed retailers and agencies from the Shopware universe. They are represented in the most diverse sectors. From construction, gardening and do-it-yourself (15.46%) to food (22,68%), clothing and accessories (10,31 %), gifts and merchandising (8,25%). Just over a third of the respondents not only operate an online shop, but also a physical retail shop.


In addition to the product range-related industries, the target groups are, of course, also relevant. It emerged that: the majority of respondents (around 66%) work in the B2B as well as the B2C segment. 30% of respondents specialise in B2C and only few (4%) in B2B.

How are the online shops managed?

We asked what the technical support was like. Approximately 30% have a partner agency that provides the online shops with technical support. Though the majority (70%) handle technical support themselves. This sounds like a great deal of work when you consider that more than half of the companies surveyed have only 1–4 employees.

How did ecommerce fare in 2020?

2020 was a turbulent year. Thus, it is all the more interesting to take a look at the turnover that retailers were able to achieve from their e-business:

  • Around 25% of the respondents earned up to EUR 25,000
  • Around 23% of respondents earned between EUR 25,000 and 100,000
  • Around 24% of respondents earned between EUR 100,000 and 500,000
  • Around 28% of respondents earned between EUR 500,000 and 10 million

This is a fairly even distribution. But were these sales in line with expectations, or did the coronavirus pandemic throw a spanner in the works of the respondents?


The coronavirus pandemic and its impact

The graph above shows that just under half of the respondents achieved a turnover that met their expectations. Favourable: 28% even reported a higher turnover than expected. This could be related to a pandemic-related boost in ecommerce. However, open-ended responses show that these are isolated instances. There are also retailers who have to cope with negative effects, for example because they source products from the Far East or, in the B2B segment, supply businesses from industries that are at a standstill during a lockdown.

Hint: Are you also struggling with the effects of the pandemic? Then it would be worthwhile taking a look at our Covid-19 platform. Because here you will find offers of help and consolidated knowledge on the topic.

How are sales and purchasing carried out? Trends can be identified

What about sales channels and which payment methods are popular? We asked.

Modern payment methods are catching up

This year is no exception when it comes to the majority of online retailers counting on conventional payment methods in their online shops. However, PayPal (81,82%) has surpassed prepayment (63,34%) for the first time. Klarna also made it into the top 5 payment methods for the first time compared to the previous year.


A quick note: this statistic relates to which payment methods retailers use. It does not show which payment methods customers use most. In addition, we have considered the German and English language results separately here.

Mobile and social media commerce are gaining in importance

We were also interested to find out which sales channels online retailers use. Around 19 percent sell their products at physical retail shops in addition to online shops. Other popular sales channels are Amazon (33,33%) and eBay (14,29%). On the other hand, 19% of respondents are pure players, who concentrate exclusively on their online shop as a distribution channel.


Also worth a mention: __selling via social media channels is becoming increasingly important. __Facebook stands out with 4,76 percent.

In this context, we also asked about sales that occurred through mobile devices. According to our survey, most shop operators generate an average of 20–30% of their revenue through mobile devices.

Legal questions trouble online shop operators

As was the case last year, we asked which challenges confront retailers. Legal problems and competitive pressure from other shops remain top of the list. __Pressure from marketplaces and __sustainability also continue to play a significant role. A new addition is problems related to the coronavirus pandemic, which is in 6th place.

Here are the top 7 greatest challenges:

1. Legal problems (44%)
2. Competition from other shops (43%)
3. Pressure from marketplaces (40%)
4. Sustainability (e.g., packaging waste) (30%)
5. Emotional branding (28%)
6. Problems related to Covid-19 (21%)
7. Direct sales by suppliers (20%)

The Shopware blog attracts a high level of responses

As part of the survey, we asked which sources of information retailers use to keep up to date with current developments in ecommerce. We are pleased that our Shopware blog is ranked number 1 (73.49%) and that the Shopware website is also highly rated (46.99%). We will continue to do our very best to provide you with valuable information on a regular basis. Also often mentioned: General knowledge acquisition via newsletters, YouTube and the Händlerbund.

Shopware 6 convinces as online shop system

We were also curious about the use of Shopware. The majority of respondents use Shopware 5 (52%), closely followed by Shopware 6 users (34%). How many are planning to upgrade from Shopware 5 to Shopware 6 and when? 34.9 percent have already upgraded, 5.6 percent are in the middle of doing so, and many of the respondents are planning their upgrade to Shopware 6 in the first half of the year (14.38%), in the second half of the year (12.88%), or in 2022 (12.03%).

We wanted to find out more about satisfaction, and we asked how exciting or interesting Shopware 6 is, expressed in percentage points from zero to one hundred. This resulted in an average value of 70.5 percent. The survey also showed that users would recommend Shopware to others with an average probability of 79 percent.

Regardless of the Shopware version, the distribution of the editions is as follows:

1. Community Edition (57%)
2. Professional Edition (33%)
3. Professional Plus Edition (4%)
4. Enterprise Edition (2%)
5. Starter Edition (4%) 

THANK YOU for your participation and trust!

By the way, 13.2% of respondents stated that they did not yet use Shopware. In this case, we recommend our demo version:

Request demo now

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