DUISBURG, Germany / LONDON, UK (3/05/2019) – Shopware introduced the next generation of their software at the Shopware Community Day. Shopware 6 is built on an entirely new technical basis and has been developed from scratch following an approach that allows the implementation of any conceivable form of eCommerce project. Focussing on maximum freedom through automation and networking, Shopware has effectively evolved from a “shop system” to a comprehensive “eCommerce system”. Shopware wants to provide retailers with a platform that acts as a technological hotbed for diverse business strategies and open up previously untapped growth opportunities.
“Your freedom to grow”
The idea of maximum flexibility and the intention of preparing retailers for future challenges has been Shopware’s goal from the beginning, which is also underlined by the product claim “Your freedom to grow”. “People evolve and change their behaviour. It’s the same people that decide which products stand the test of time. In a world of rapidly increasing complexity, simple solutions for complex problems point the way to success. That’s why we provide our retailers with more flexibility and opportunities for growth on different levels, whilst simultaneously reducing complexity as much as possible,” says Stefan Hamann, Shopware CEO and Head of Product Development, explaining the concept behind Shopware 6.
Flexibility through sales channels and “headless eCommerce”
The need for more flexibility and less complexity is what led to the API First approach on which Shopware 6 is based. This means that all areas of a shop can also be controlled via an API, making it possible for various third-party providers to automate processes within Shopware. A key feature is the option of integrating any imaginable sales channel, thus bringing the omni-channel idea to a well-thought-out conclusion.
In addition to classic online shops, mobile apps, marketplaces, social shopping, or local POS (points of sale), Shopware 6 is prepared to connect with any conceivable channel that will emerge over the coming years. It will also be possible to implement exciting projects in the field of IoT (Internet of Things) as well as voice or conversational commerce, and all with Shopware 6 at the helm of central data storage and control. “Automation and thinking in terms of channels are the most important aspects. Fundamentally, this is about connectivity and the ability to create cross-channel customer experiences. The location of the customer touchpoint will no longer be of major importance in future. All channels should be mapped centrally in one shop system, and Shopware 6 can do that,” Stefan Hamann elaborates on complete independence from input and output channels – also referred to as “headless eCommerce” – providing retailers with a high degree of flexibility.
Freedom for the Shopware Community
The entire system architecture also offers freedom at an technical level. At its core, Shopware 6 relies on a completely new foundation with standards-based technologies, such as Symfony and Vue.js, to provide a sustainable, robust, high-performance and flexible base for any variety of scenarios.
Through the use of standard technologies, external developers can now learn the ropes of the Shopware universe much more quickly and easily. The standard storefront included in the package is based on the Bootstrap framework and Twig template engine, which offer simple customisation options without the need for Shopware-specific knowledge.
Furthermore, Shopware developers have created a proprietary design concept and component library for the administration, which can be accessed by developers of third party systems for their own plugins. “This hugely beneficial, as thousands of new community members can now create solutions for Shopware and continue to improve the product,” says Stefan Hamann, stressing the company’s commitment to the open source approach. The new version offers the Shopware 6 Community Edition under the MIT licence, thereby granting more freedom to developers in particular.
The new administration is clear, easy to navigate and accesses the Shopware API for all processes. Furthermore, the administration has been redesigned largely based on community feedback. Stefan Hamann points out that Shopware aims to be transparent and customisable at all times to prevent total user dependency on the manufacturer (“vendor lock-in”). This greatly facilitates experimentation and simplifies the process of creating new projects, as less resources are required (“rapid prototyping”). Shopware 6 therefore also turns into a suitable platform for innovative business models, for example for emerging start-ups.
Perfect customer experiences
Shopware 6 offers many new functions that simplify the sales process. Among these are the “Shopping Experiences” feature, which – in a similar fashion to brick and mortar stores – place inspirational shopping at the centre of the online retail experience. Shopping Experiences allow for virtually any content page of the online shop to be customised, and that applies to all sales channels. This opens up boundless options for implementing product detail pages, landing pages, blogs, shop pages, etc. Working with Shopping Experiences is simple and intuitive, even allowing retailers with less design expertise to effectively combine content and commerce. A large selection of standard templates (content blocks such as product boxes, videos, social media feeds, and text blocks) is available for retailers to set up their own pages. Retailers can also easily control the content that is played out on the various sales channels. This, combined with the simplicity and various customisation options, provide Shopware retailers with a large degree of freedom. “With Shopware 6, the boundaries between content and commerce are broken, so that shopping experiences are seamlessly charged with emotions,” according to Stefan Hamann.
For a business model to thrive, the software should be based on the business's own processes, rather than the other way round. This is why Shopware has created a new “Rule Builder”. The Rule Builder allows the software to map individual business models, as the functionality enables retailers to define their own rules and conditions on the basis of all available data in the shop. “Discounts based on weekdays”, “Free shipping according to customer type”, “Payment method depending on product category” are just a few examples of dependencies that retailers can define. “The ‘configuration over coding’ principle was applied during the development. Retailers should be able to customise Shopware to fit their processes, without needing any specialised development knowledge,” says Stefan Hamann.
The new “Discounts & promotions” feature can also be configured with the Rule Builder. This function makes it easy to implement a multitude of promotional discount campaigns directly in the Shopware standard, e.g. percentage discounts, free items, “3 for 2” campaigns, etc. Moreover, a completely new variant system was developed, making it even easier for retailers to present product variants of any complexity.
Shopware 6 will be launched in July. However, technically inclined users can already download the developer preview on GitHub. The manufacturer also has some good news in relation to the current Shopware 5 product line: “Shopware 5 is a very stable, reliable and powerful e-commerce solution. After the release of Shopware 6, the development of Shopware 5 will continue, and it will be provided with long-term support for a period of 5 years,” announces Stefan Hamann. To substantiate this point, Shopware will release Shopware 5.6 at the same time as Shopware 6.
All information and updates can be found at www.shopware.com.
Shopware 6 overview
• Maximum freedom and flexibility for retailers and developers
• Developed according to the API First approach
• Uses standards-based technologies such as Symfony and Vue.js
• Claim: “Your freedom to grow”
• New customisable “Shopping Experiences” on virtually all content pages
• New “Rule Builder”
• New variant system
• New “Discounts & promotions”
• Available as of July
Manager Public Relations
Wiljo Krechting is an ecommerce expert and Manager Public Relations at the ecommerce platform provider Shopware. The media professional has a master’s degree in political science and journalism from the universities of Münster and Melbourne, where he gained experience as a foreign correspondent for the publisher Axel-Springer-Verlag. Krechting has worked as a journalist at Rheinische Post, WELT, BILD, Hamburger Abendblatt and the Australian business portal theaustralian.com.