If you’re starting a business from scratch, looking to switch solutions, or even a brick-and-mortar business expanding into the online space, we can all agree on one thing. Choosing the right solution has a huge impact on widening customer reach and the profitability of your business.
The Shopware review will try to figure out if this platform is capable of handling high traffic peaks and huge order uplifts. This level of scalability is made possible with unique tools such as the Apache JMeter that replicates different environments.
Just like other software solutions, Shopware has its downsides too. It has high server requirements and you may need to hire a programmer if you don’t use the free plugin for the technical specifications.
So does Shopware’s limitations overpower its benefits?
Let’s find out:
Shopware Review: What it’s All About
Shopware is a leading ecommerce platform in Germany that is making major leaps in the global market. The PHP-based ecommerce solution features the community version that is open-source and fee-based versions.
Shopware has been excelling in the ecommerce industry for 18 years with notable brands such as L’Oreal, Segway, and Euronics under its belt. Its impressive features include integrated SEO competences and out of the box marketing features.
Shopware Review: Key Features
Now that you’ve had just a taste of its features, let’s take an in-depth look at what Shopware has to offer.
Here’s the deal: product information that’s rich, consistent and detailed boosts customer experience. Your products become easy to find and it becomes simpler for you to expand your product assortment.
The product setup in Shopware is straightforward so you can include your product and create variants along with their different prices and images. Its merchandising capabilities let you set rules based on the set criteria for attributes.
For instance, you can use data in the attributes section to boost various products depending on set criteria. You can use rule-based merchandising to promote your products above those of other brands or boost products that have a higher margin. This strategy comes in handy for larger online stores.
Customer steams are more like customer segments you make based on established criteria. This can include gender or amount spent to allow for automation. For example, you can set up a customer stream filter for customers below 25 years who have made a purchase using a mobile device.
New users who meet this requirement will be added automatically to your customer stream so you can assign marketing newsletters and promotions that fit this target audience.
Shopware also comes with advanced options that allow personalization of products. This makes customization smooth for your customers and enhances their experience. It also lets you assign an added cost to the options.
Shopware’s Shopping World feature lets users generate flexible content pages. It uses the drag and drop function for products, blog posts, video guides, and banners. This storytelling feature helps brands build a higher level of engagement with its new and existing customers.
Consequently, Shopware has its built-in blog with all core blogging features such as user management, digital publishing, media management, and an easy theme system. However, you should note that this CMS solution is not as effective as WordPress.
SEO optimization and marketing
Shopware features an automatic SEO configuration that provides a good solid basis for effective Google ranking. It also offers powerful features for sales promotion. This includes:
Shopware lets you create affiliate links with different cookies, commission amounts, and individual codes.
Shopware also comes with loyalty programs where you can manually set the number of loyalty points to award on different items and customer groups.
This feature helps develop your brand’s voice and authenticity. Customers get to create an image of what your brand is like. This builds customer engagement, inspires their shopping experience and promotes loyalty. You create this in the Shopping World section we discussed earlier.
Shopware integrates with several third-party solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Stripe, WordPress, PayPal, Skrill and Braintree. It also comes with some APIs for custom integration and their ongoing customer support can help you around this.
One of the most valuable integrations available for Shopware today is the SendinBlue plugin. If you’re not already aware, SendinBlue is a digital marketing platform designed to support email and SMS marketing. You can send newsletters, announcements, and transactional emails to your customers through SendinBlue. On top of that, the service also allows for marketing automations.
With specific triggers and tags, you can make sure that customers on your Shopware store will instantly receive an email or message at the right time. For instance, if your customers add something to their basket and then leave your website without checking out, then you could put an automated email in place to remind them to come back.
With the plugin from SendinBlue, you can:
- Automatically collect data from the people who sign up for your online store.
- Intuitively segment your email lists to send more relevant content to the right people
- Send instant and automated reminders for abandoned shopping carts
- Use pre-made templates for marketing automation. SendinBlue has templates for welcome messages, birthday celebrations and more.
- Track the actions of your visitors and use them to make decisions about messaging.
- Access statistics on domain information, clicks, heat maps, and more, in real-time.
SendinBlue allows business leaders to send up to 9000 emails every month with no charge. There’s also an intuitive drag and drop editor where you can create your own message templates. Companies all around the globe already use SendinBlue, both with and without Shopware.
The ecommerce software also features a dealer integration that comes at an extra fee. However, it allows online store owners to create storefronts and manage them for drop-shippers. It works well for resellers who opt to use a unified product catalog.
Shopware’s customer support comes at a monthly cost and hence its quality. The support offers a designated technical account manager for general inquiries and Shopware related issues.
Moreover, Shopware provides its own forum to users that is available in German only. So unless you’re willing to learn a new language, it can be overwhelming. Shopware has an academy complete with live training, webinars, and certifications.
Mapping B2B functions in ecommerce is a complex process that requires a high degree of customization and integration of business processes. For this reason, Shopware came up with the B2B Suite to allow you to extend standard functionality. This helps business owners to integrate the B2B Suite into their workflow.
Some of the more advanced capabilities you should expect here include:
- Customer budget management
- Private shopping
- Ability to set up different themes at the customer level
- Ability to set up individual stores
Shopware Review: Pricing
Shopware has four pricing plans separated by the features they offer. Let’s see what each plan offers for online store owners.
The Community edition is a decent choice for entry-level storeowners. It uses the open source version to involve the community in the development process. It includes community forum support, product streams, customer streams, and plugin extensions. The Community edition plan is free of charge.
The Professional edition aims for customers who need an all-inclusive manufacturer support system. This package includes manufacturer support, product streams, customer streams, warranty, Shopping World presets, Shopware ERP, digital publishing and storytelling feature. The Professional edition costs €1295 as a one-time fee.
Professional Plus Edition
The Professional Plus edition offers premium plugins that open your business to new possibilities. The features you’ll get in this package include manufacturer support, customer streams, product streams, Shopping World presets, warranty, plugin extensions, all premium plugins, digital publishing, and the storytelling feature. The Professional Plus package has a one-time fee of €5995.
The Enterprise edition offers all the stops for a successful online business. Its scalable features include 24/7 customer support, B2B Suite, individual care, developer support, marketplace, client management, exclusive access to the Enterprise portal, dealer integration and all the features mentioned in the Professional Plus package. It uses the custom enterprise pricing for its charges.
Shopware Review: Who Should Consider Using
Whether Shopware is the perfect fit for your business model is subjective. This decision requires a detailed look at your business goals. Regardless, the community version is a great option for a newbie online store owner with some technical expertise.
The plans and licensed plugins are costly and may not really fit small-budget businesses. However, we can justify the high prices by an impressive performance and reliability.
Equally important, Shopware’s newest version, the Shopware 5.2 comes with a Pickware interface on its Professional and Professional Plus plans. This enables users to track stock movements, evaluate Last in, First out method in inventory evaluation as well as assign articles to suppliers in few clicks from a single backend.
Shopware is a great ecommerce solution due to its flexible configurations, simple user interface and its rich extension base to boost functionality.
However, it is not very user-friendly for those who are not tech savvy. Therefore, you will have to hire a programmer to take you through the process. Nevertheless, it is a better alternative to other ecommerce solutions such as Magento due to its scalability and advanced SEO capabilities.
Do you have any questions about this Shopware review? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.