Shopware partner day 2021

For us at OAK3, last week’s top event was certainly The Shopware Partner Day. Coffees and snacks ready, we joined eager to find out what Shopware has in the bag for the coming months. With a new release planned for the summer and with a community that grows stronger each day, this was a truly interesting event.

The feeling of a strong community oozed from the very beginning. Having decided to go open-source more than 10 years ago, Shopware emphasized their belief in innovation being driven by an open community, which is much closer to different industries and markets. Not wanting to take the trendy path of SaaS platforms, Shopware pledged their support to work in collaboration with the open-source ecosystem in order to build something amazing.

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This approach towards openness has helped Shopware experience increased global traction from the existing Magento community, which culminated with Ben Marks, former Magento evangelist, joining Shopware as their Director of Global Market Development.

Following a booming 2020 in which more than 20000 Shopware shops have seen the light of day, Ben underlined the key differentiating factors that make Shopware stand out: complex story building tools that help your brand stand out, easy maintenance and admin, an innovative platform for developers with competent support, and a facilitator for a closer relationship between technology vendors and the members of the commerce landscape.

Envisaging its growth strongly connected to that of its customers, Shopware has developed and is constantly improving its flagship product Shopware6 based on 3 principles: the open-source approach; a future driven commerce platform, based on flexibility and freedom to adapt to its users’ needs; and the ability to create unique customer experiences.

At OAK3, we have been developing B2C and B2B eCommerce platforms for more than 10 years. Our certified developers have great expertise working with Shopware, so if you want to know more about this complex eCommerce solution, please contact us or drop us an email at hello@oak3.agency. We’re here to help!

Open commerce
Firm believers in open and free commerce, Shopware has made a pledge to place the open-source community at its core. It is the premier source of innovation, and to ensure that this continues, they use technologies like Symphony, GitHub, Vue jS, which are widely used, future-proof, and have an established community all over the world. This philosophy means that merchants, developers, agencies, vendors, hosting companies, and technology providers, can influence not only how the platform develops, but also how the community grows.

With the help of strong believers in the open-source philosophy, Shopware created an association called Shopware United. It became an active link between the community and Shopware, organizing events and meet-ups about integrations and missing features.

Reducing complexity with the Business Model Composer
Seeing what obstacles merchants are facing when running their businesses, Shopware is making one of its main goals reducing complexity. Rather than building a “one-size-fits-all” model, Shopware has implemented its Business Model Composer approach, giving merchants the possibility to customize their platform to the needs of the business model with built-in features. Its core is separated into multiple domains, and with the help of apps from the Shopware ecosystem, or with custom extensions, and the public API, Shopware allows you to design a sustainable infrastructure adapted to your business requirements at all times.

The apps are compatible with Shopware, regardless of the operating environment, and more importantly, they take away most of the side effects, compatibility issues and upgrade disasters. So, with this in mind, the future will definitely see Shopware increase its focus even more, and support as much as possible the development of apps.

The basic idea behind the Business Model Composer
By looking at current business models and by getting feedback from customers and developers, Shopware understood what shortages they faced. And it all pointed in one direction: product types, and especially the assumption that the product is a physical good. So the latest version of Shopware6 has taken away that assumption and will support Digital goods, Services and Subscriptions as new capabilities.

Also, keeping in mind that the minimum common factor of any commerce business is a transaction, they placed transactions at the core, whereas everything that supports them became as flexible as possible. Since most of the existing eCommerce solutions focus on shipping products from A to B, this is an innovative solution, and its core element is the Business Model Composer approach.

This concept has 3 pillars that allow maximizing flexibility by eliminating the dependencies between them: Product types, Order types and Business Processes.

In terms of Product types, SW6.4 supports Digital goods, Services as new capabilities.
In terms of Order types, SW6.4 provides solid support for subscription-based businesses and scheduling businesses.
To simplify Business Processes, Shopware have started to build an original process designer called the Flow Builder. This will enable merchants to design business processes individually and customized them for each business model.

The Flow Builder
The Rule Builder is a real success story for Shopware. Seeing how great the no-code approach works with the Rule Builder, Shopware is now taking the same approach to allow merchants to design new rules, workflows and entire business processes without programming. With the help of the Flow Builder, which will officially be released in the summer of 2021, many actions which usually meant a lot of manual efforts, were ineffective and were prone to human errors, will be eliminated.

With a few clicks, users can now design flows with pure out-of-the-box solutions. More complex flows are possible due to the seamless integration of the Rule Builder and even highly complex flows can be designed.

Composable customer experience
It’s not a secret that the key differentiator for Shopware is its ability to create unique content, and with that, unique brands that stick in the mind of customers. And here, Shopping Experiences play an important part. This module is the perfect combination of content and commerce functionalities, which help merchants to create emotional, inspiring content effortlessly, with predefined blocks that can be added by drag and drop. Everything is designed with ease of use in mind, so merchants don’t have to worry about responsiveness.

Future features in Shopping Experiences
To support teams work more fluently when handling large projects with many departments having different workflows involved, Shopware is currently working on integrating Publishing workflows into Shopping Experiences.

In the admin, there will be a new module where custom workflows can be created. When a new layout is created, the publishing flow can assign an “Open for feedback” status, so everybody involved in the project can get notified and submit their feedback. Permissions can be added too, and all changes can be followed in the Activity feed.

This feature will be available in the enterprise edition with the first iteration seeing the light of day with the 6.4 release. With this release, you will also find the product page layout type next to the other types. Page layouts will feature the basic commerce blocks, which will be filled dynamically, with the product content. In the first iteration, it will be possible to add additional blocks to your detailed page.

The Shopware PWA
Shopware has been working for the last 1.5 years to develop its PWA. The developers have never made any sacrifices in modularity or design for features, and they remained fully headless to give you maximum flexibility within the platform. An extensive amount of native Shopware functionalities have been inserted into the core of their PWA.

One of the novelties is the Guided Shopping Experiences, a next-level tool that allows you to interact with the customers while you are conducting a direct interactive presentation of your product. You can address your customers via video, show them your product, answer questions and tell your story, all of that wrapped into a beautiful interface.

Guided Shopping Experiences is in the early phase of development. It is based on Shopware PWA and will be coming out towards the end of the year.

At OAK3, we have been developing B2C and B2B eCommerce platforms for more than 10 years. Our certified developers have great expertise working with Shopware, so if you want to know more about this complex eCommerce solution, please contact us or drop us an email at hello@oak3.agency. We’re here to help!

Visit our website to find out about our services