CURRENTLY, SHOPWARE IS TAKING MAJOR STEPS IN THE UK MARKET. PLEASE TELL US WHAT HAPPENED IN 2017.
In 2017, we have seen a growth of over 500% in the UK and Irish market and we’ve built relationships with a number of strategic partners and also with clients. And the one thing which really worked for us is the product differentiations, because with our product you have access to the full source code. We are an open source technology and our values are: Open, Authentic, Visionary. So, we believe in that and we live with these values every single day.
HOW CAN THE PLATFORM HELP RETAILERS TO EXTEND THEIR BRAND INTERNATIONALLY?
Internationalisation is one of the key feature sets of the Shopware platform since it enables brands to roll out to multiple country sites from a single instance of Shopware. It is very scalable which is one of the reasons that mywalit chose the platform for its expansion to a further 23 countries. Paul Hewitt is another great example of how internationalisation works with Shopware. The fashion brand operates 26 sites, each fulfilling requirements of a different country.
HOW IS DISRUPTION CHANGING THE RETAIL LANDSCAPE?
The ongoing pace of changing consumer behaviour and technological disruption pose both a threat and an opportunity for retailers. Love it, or hate it, disruption is close on the horizon of today’s business landscape and has the potential to both help and harm. Today’s advances in digital technology are changing the rules of commerce. The industry has gone from location-centred commerce to multichannel to today’s connected commerce which sees consumers connected constantly to their work, home, friends, favourite retailers on multiple devices and wherever they are.
Brands and retailers need to transform their businesses to gain fully from the opportunities that lie in the new world of omnichannel retailing. Transitioning is not enough. Retailers need to look at every aspect of the business, the technology and how everything links to the core of the business rather than carrying on business as usual. The commerce platform, therefore, is critical since it generates a lot of revenue.
This transformation process gives companies the opportunity to evaluate how every aspect links to the core of the business, including their online platform and how it supports their omnichannel growth. It’s a hard point but it could be the death knell for those companies that don’t transform in the next 5 years.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE KEY THEMES FOR RETAIL IN THE FUTURE?
Disruptors – such as smart devices and voice-assisted devices and, of course, consumers’ omnichannel behaviours – are impacting on retail and brands have to transform their business to not just align with these technological and behavioural changes but also to ensure that they are flexible and agile enough to withstand future changes. Mobile-first, machine learning and artificial intelligence are all impacting on commerce platform requirements today.
Shopware invests no less than 20% of its annual turnover on research and development to ensure that the platform continues to incorporate the requirements of brands, retailers and consumers. The Shopware Lab includes the latest developments in technologies, including voice assistants and virtual reality devices, to ensure that the company and platform development keep facing forward.
HOW IS THE SHOPWARE ROADMAP HELPING RETAILERS TO STAY AHEAD?
Shopware is an open source ecommerce platform so its openness brings together a community of enterprise merchants, agencies and partners. As retailers are listening to their customers and user testing at every point of their digital development so Shopware takes the feedback from our community into the development of the platform.
Involving the industry at every step of the way means that everyone knows what will be in each release of the platform, what features it will contain and when it will be released so that they can feedback as well as adapt their business models to the new functionality. This results in every upgrade being close to the needs of retailers and ultimately their customers.
The latest release, Shopware 5.4, for example builds on Shopware’s pillars of success which are: content & commerce, usability, scalability and lower total cost of ownership.
The first aspect of content & commerce means that the two best of breed aspects are incorporated into one platform so that retailers and brands can better inspire their customers and engage with customers over the long-term. It also incorporates personalisation. The enterprise suite is easy to use with limited integration requirements and is scalable for enterprise-level retailers with revenue running into billions.
HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE?
This Company Spotlight was produced by InternetRetailing and sponsored by Shopware. Funding articles in this way allows us to explore topics and present relevant services and information that we believe our readers will find of interest.