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The beginning of a new Shopware era – What can our customers expect?

The beginning of a new Shopware era  – What can our customers expect?

To the German article

Mid-market businesses have specific needs that an ecommerce platform has to meet. Flexibility, future viability, scalability and automation represent only a fraction of them. More than 20 years ago, Stefan & Sebastian Hamann had the idea of sustainably improving the online shopping experience: now Shopware has reached an additional milestone. 

With an updated product portfolio that consistently and completely focuses on the challenges and needs of mid-market companies, Shopware is ushering in nothing less than the beginning of a new era. Starting immediately, Shopware's entire portfolio is available as both a self-hosted environment and as a cloud version. This allows our merchants and agency partners to enjoy complete flexibility with their choice of the optimal individual solution. 

Moreover, with its new plans, Shopware is focusing on providing merchants with even more options for transforming their online stores into individual worlds of experience, and thus placing the customer at the heart of their corporate strategies. Many new, innovative functions will find their way into the product portfolio over the next few weeks. 

In this interview with the co-CEOs, you'll find out exactly which innovations are planned, as well as other things that you can look forward to.

Interview with Sebastian and Stefan Hamann 

Stefan and Sebastian, a number of changes are currently in the works in the Shopware product universe. What are they exactly? 

Sebastian: A completely new era has begun for us. We are providing merchants with everything they need to operate successful and outstanding ecommerce stores, now and in the future. To make this possible, we've taken what was already there as a basis and are now elevating it to a new, even more future-oriented level. This is characterized by a range that focuses our customers more clearly, and offers them the service and feature set that are perfectly tailored to their business model


The names of our new plans represent  
the ability of limitless evolution: 
Rise, Evolve, Beyond.


How did you go about this, and what was the outcome? 

Sebastian: Ecommerce is fast-paced and is continuing to develop at a rapid speed. That makes it all the more important that we not only occupy ourselves with the current requirements of the market, but also keep an eye on tomorrow's challenges. For this reason, we have reshaped our product portfolio based on evaluations, surveys and forecasts. This will allow our customers to choose between various plans in the future that are perfectly tailored to their needs for flexibility, individualization and scalability. The names of our new plans, Rise, Evolve and Beyond, stand for the ability to continually evolve and develop. 

They build on the successful foundation of the previous Shopware Professional and Enterprise editions, and expand them by many new functions and options as well as new support levels that offer more comfort and flexibility – especially for larger merchants

Stefan: Exactly. Compared with our old product range, there are now three plans instead of two editions. This ensures that merchants can choose the options that are optimal for their individual needs. That's also true for the support, which is now integrated into the respective plans by default and includes expanded options such as "around-the-clock" support. In general, the new portfolio will see to it that merchants with differing needs in the mid-market segment can choose the product that fits them. 


Could you explain this in more detail? Which plans are suitable for which merchants? 

Sebastian: Sure, Shopware Rise is geared toward merchants in the B2C or D2C segments who want to make an impression with a sustainable brand presence and engaging shopping experiences. 

Shopware Evolve contains all the features that are also included in Shopware Rise, and more. Evolve is geared toward merchants with various business models, from pure B2B merchants to hybrid companies that pursue a strategy with a focus on B2B and B2C or also D2C. 

Shopware Beyond is the most comprehensive, and offers the non plus ultra of features and support. This plan is therefore optimally suited for sophisticated or international players who want to expand, scale, and impress their customers with outstanding experiences. 


You mentioned new features. Could you provide us with a preview of them? 

Stefan: Sure, be glad to. We're planning various improvements to merge content and commerce. For one thing, we'll provide a blog function where you can tell exciting stories about your company and your products. 

On the process level, Multi-Inventory helps you manage inventory across multiple warehouses. The professional return process that we're currently working on is also practical. 

Many people will probably also be happy about our “Subscriptions”. This enables entirely new digital business models or just the enhancement of existing business models by a subscription functionality. 

The Flow Builder and other automation tools are being expanded significantly. Currently, you can already visualize and automate complex company processes without having to write a single line of code. In the future, the Flow Builder and the Rule Builder will have a preview function with which merchants can test rules and flows in advance, before they go live. With Flow Sharing, flows will be able to be exchanged between different systems in the future. With the Flow Promotion Actions, the merchant can use flows that are linked to certain conditions, for instance to unlock discounts. Delayed Flow Actions allow flows to be triggered at different times. This means the merchant can for instance send automated mails a week after an order to request a product evaluation, suggest additional suitable offers for the product, and much more. 

These are just a few examples. All told, we have added many valuable features to our product roadmap that we still want to publish this year. 

Sebastian: We also want to pursue entirely new paths with regards to the quality of digital storytelling. We want to expand the current possibilities in order to build emotional and impressive storytelling pages on an unprecedented level of experience. Pages that don't just look pretty, but that also perfectly convey the respective brand value proposition and make their customers into real long-term fans.


What can you tell us about the distribution forms of the new plans? Keyword: software-as-a-service? 

Stefan: In addition to new plans and features, we have also expanded our infrastructure. This means Shopware Rise, Shopware Evolve and Shopware Beyond are available as self-hosted or SaaS solutions. Upon request, we also offer all plans as PaaS solutions. Generally, we can say that the new model meets our customer needs even more individually. Depending on how much flexibility merchants need, with Shopware they can find the right solution for their needs. 


You take the cloud-first approach, right? Can you explain that in more detail? 

Stefan: Yes, with this approach, our goal is to allow our customers to also run their online stores with us as an infrastructure partner. This provides various advantages; aside from time-to-market, a merchant doesn't have to deal with maintenance and updates and still has a lot of flexibility. All this is supplemented by a PaaS offer that can be booked optionally. If someone needs complete flexibility, of course they can continue to run Shopware on their own infrastructure, or they can work with one of our many hosting partners.


We've been open source since 2010.
And we're going to stay that way.


We've only been talking about the commercial editions and plans. What's going to happen with the Community Edition?  

Stefan: The Community Edition will remain an integral part of our portfolio. We've been open source since 2010. And we're going to stay that way. The edition you're asking about belongs to the community. Its scope will not be reduced and it will not become fee-based. We want to convey this in its description as well, which is why we're keeping the well-known name "Community Edition." 


So Shopware will not lose any of its openness – its most important asset? 

Sebastian: Definitely not. Openness is one of our core values. This is reflected in all facets – in how we deal with each other and with our merchants, partners and the community, in our transparent roadmap, and not least in our open source philosophy

Stefan: Exactly, our software is open to everyone so that many eyes can see the code, we guarantee high quality, our community and our ecosystem quickly create new solutions and integrations, and nobody runs into restrictive lock-ins. 


Back to the new plans and services. What advantages does this transition provide to merchants? 

Sebastian: Each company has individual needs. Merchants get a state-of-the-art solution from us that is much more closely tailored to their needs than ever before. Combined with our advanced technology, this enables a simple, flexible and intuitive user experience that feels as natural as it should. The scalability will also feel natural – the ability to grow with us. Every Merchant can choose a plan that corresponds to their individual maturity level and can change to the next plan at the right time. Rise, Evolve, Beyond. 

Stefan: Even the freedom to choose PaaS, SaaS or self-hosted is a big advantage. It also ensures that merchants can adapt better to the market, and that we are providing them with the service that fits them best. 

The new, impressive features on our roadmap are additional advantages that also ensure more planning reliability and a better product experience – not to mention our support, which we have raised to a new level.  

We have really rethought many key aspects of our business model so that our customers and we are even better positioned for the future. I am already really looking forward to this new era.


Why is Shopware taking this step now?  

Sebastian: We've been carefully considering and planning for a long time. For us, this is the next logical step on a path toward positioning Shopware very clearly as the best ecommerce solution for mid-market companies in Europe and the USA. The entire company has worked on this intensively over a long period of time, and we're very proud to present the result to our merchants, partners, and the entire Shopware community. If anybody has questions or would like to dive into it a little deeper, we'd be glad to walk them through it.  


We believe that our new plans and our strong focus 
on the challenges of mid-market companies
unlock many new benefits for existing and future merchants.


Will anything change for merchants who are currently using Shopware 5 or Shopware 6? 

Sebastian: As we announced in 2019, Shopware 5 will reach its "end of life" in 2024. In the long term, we therefore recommend migrating to Shopware 6. This will guarantee that merchants will benefit from future-proof technology, flexible headless commerce, practical automation tools, and our excellent content and commerce features. For this reason, we are providing a migration bonus of up to $10,000, depending on the plan. This is definitely a great opportunity to head toward the future and to benefit from the many advantages that Shopware offers. 

Stefan: Nobody with Shopware 6 has to change to the new plans soon. Shopware 6 customers can use the features of the new plans even if they haven't booked a new plan yet. The scope depends on the plan. Additional features are currently being developed and will automatically be made available once completed. This means merchants can try out the new functions and think about when a switch to a new plan, with all its possibilities and growth potential, makes sense.  


Where can you get more detailed information? 

Stefan: Anyone who wants to know more is welcome to get in touch with us. 


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