Schöppingen/Duisburg, 18.05.2018 – Almost every child has creative potential and the ability to come up with unconventional solutions. But as we get older, this potential dwindles more and more. At the Shopware Community Day 2018, Shopware looked at how each individual can counteract this tendency in order to retain visionary creative power and tackle challenges of the future with courage and imagination. Appropriately enough, the motto of the Community Day was "Beyond Horizon", under which the shop system manufacturer brought together more than 2,000 retailers, partners, developers and eCommerce enthusiasts from all over Europe to the Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park. In his keynote speech, Shopware CEO and founder Stefan Hamann presented the company's plans for the future, Shopware 5.5 and the new "Shopware Playground" platform. The programme on the main stage also included top speakers such as Google evangelist Dr. Frederik G. Pferdt, futurist Ben Hammersley and trend researcher Peter Wippermann. With 40 additional speakers and 50 exhibitors, the largest audience to date was provided with comprehensive information on all topics surrounding eCommerce.
Openness, growth, intelligence – Shopware 5.5
As in previous years, Stefan Hamann's keynote speech was eagerly awaited. The company founder presented the latest innovations from the Shopware universe and detailed the background of this year’s motto: "The theme 'Beyond Horizon' describes a special attitude with which we look at ourselves and at others. It illustrates our efforts to leave our own comfort zone, think beyond our own horizons and take on new challenges without hesitation. We need to seize opportunities with the same courage and curiosity that we see in children. In an industry where technological progress is fast and disruptive, it is important to look up from the conventional and routine and be open to new things. This is the only way our community can help shape tomorrow's eCommerce", explained Stefan Hamann.
The first step into the future of eCommerce is the forthcoming version: Shopware 5.5. According to Hamann, this will focus on three things: openness, growth and intelligence. "Openness is one of our core corporate values. For this reason, we decided in early 2016 to offer all products manufactured by Shopware as open source and do away with encryption by IonCube", explains Hamann. Shopware is therefore very pleased that third-party plugin manufacturers will also forgo encoding software in the future. As of Shopware 5.5, the code for all Shopware products, regardless of the manufacturer, are therefore accessible. "This is not only another clear commitment to the open source concept, it also makes Shopware more flexible, because without IonCube Shopware is also compatible with the latest PHP version 7.2", says Hamann.
To support the growth of the community beyond national borders, Shopware will also contain several functions that make it easier for shop operators to efficiently market their products internationally, which include improvements to country-specific tax rates and translation options within the software.
Artificial intelligence is also one of Shopware’s topics of interest. The company is taking the first step in this direction with a new feature in version 5.5 that is free of charge. The aim is to help shop owners draw conclusions and derive knowledge from the large amount of data available about retailers including sales forecasts based on historical and seasonal data and the identification of potential new target groups. Statistics can be supplemented by anonymous industry data in order to derive new findings from the comparison. The goal is to develop new ideas with which you can continuously optimise your own online shop and reach even more success.
Shopware Playground – A new cloud-based platform
While the community was pleased with the new Shopware version, the announcement of Shopware Playground provoked an excited and curious reaction from the audience. The new platform offers considerable added value for retailers and developers who are eager to experiment. "The community can test new technologies and application scenarios in the Playground environment," explained Stefan Hamann. As part of Playground, Shopware also delivers a number of additional projects, such as augmented reality approaches, voice commerce and access to the new API, all of which can be tested by users and enriched with their ideas. According to Hamann, everyone should experiment with technology and topics beyond their normal scope, and this is precisely what Playground enables. "In addition, the final feedback from Shopware Playground is very important to us because, among other things, it could form the basis for one of Shopware 5's future successor products", Hamann emphasised.
Top-class speakers from every walk of the industry
After the keynote speech, presentations from additional speakers continued on the main stage and the four session stages, opening up new perspectives for the audience following various themes. Dr. Frederik G. Pferdt, Chief Innovation Evangelist at Google, Stanford Professor, advisor to the UN and the German Football Association, provided interesting insights about innovation. Ben Hammersley, author, futurist, consultant and inventor of the term "podcast", shed light on current trends and dared to look into the future of digitalisation. Trend researcher Peter Wippermann also provided the audience with exciting input on developments in the different areas of people's lives.
The Shopware Community Day 2018 in brief:
Location: The Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park in Duisburg, Germany
Key figures: Over 2,000 retailers, agencies and developers, 50 exhibitors, 40 speakers
Main theme: "Beyond Horizon"
Keynote topics: New Shopware version 5.5 and new platform Shopware Playground
Speakers: Dr. Frederik G. Pferdt, Ben Hammersley, Peter Wippermann and many more.
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.