The complexity of the eCommerce industry and the constantly growing requirements for a perfect business image on the Internet make it difficult to decide which platform to choose. In this blog, we will focus on Shopware 6 – a modern solution that can be an exciting choice and alternative for many online retailers who, on the one hand, want to start their eCommerce business quickly and, on the other, need a comprehensive infrastructure.

What is Shopware 6?

Shopware 6 is an open-source headless commerce platform based on Symfony framework and Vue.js used by hundreds of stores worldwide with a vast global network of developers. Shopware 6 provides eCommerce capabilities and flexibility for small, medium, and large businesses. Shopware 6 uses various features out-of-the-box and is ready for installing Shopware 6 plugins.

Shopware 6 is developed under the MIT license, which allows a community of developers to modify the platform without restriction and redistribute it.

The difference between Shopware 6 and previous versions

Platforms like Shopware are built to provide the best customer service, higher-level features and functionality, and an effective conversion rate for your eCommerce store.

As you may know, expectations evolve, and software vendors should follow the same path. Below, we will point out the most significant differences between the two Shopware versions, i.e. Shopware 5 and Shopware 6.

Admin panel

Shopware 6 introduces a new administration panel built from scratch using the Vue.js framework. The Shopware 6 design gives more intuitive management and is more minimalistic. The admin panel is well thought out; you can click out a lot of things, creating different Rules (e.g. if there is a specific payment gateway used and the basket has more than 5 items, give an 8% discount on the order).

New tools for SEO

Writing relevant content is simplified with the SEO features of Shopware 6. In addition, with the Shopping Experience, you can customize every page faster and easier. Moreover, unlike the SEO capabilities of Shopware 5, the new version allows you to adapt much faster to the ever-changing requirements of the search engines.

API-first

Shopware 6 includes a new, fully Symfony-based kernel with a higher performance level. The API-first approach assumes that the integration possibilities of the previous version have been significantly extended and improved. Community Editions are distributed under the MIT license. Additionally, the sixth version has much better integration possibilities, making it more practical.

Webpack

Shopware 6 comes with the Webpack wizard. It is a bundler, a tool that can pack many different formats into one JavaScript file. It will give it the .js extension, and it will do it by transforming and minifying redundant code.

Shopware 6 – architecture overview

API-first architecture

Shopware 6 is a platform based on the API-first approach. It means that you can operate all store functionalities via the API interface. It gives excellent opportunities for integration with external systems and allows you to automate processes.

Shopware 6 API perfectly integrates with ERP systems, PIM systems (e.g. Pimcore, Akeneo), and PWA progressive web apps solutions (e.g. Vue Storefront).

Architecture insights:

  • Shopware does not have a built-in PIM system but can be connected with large systems such as Akeneo or Pimcore
  • Flow builder – reactions to various actions (if there is a condition, flow, e.g. send an SMS)
  • From the development side – when working with applications in Symfony, you use Doctrine, which allows mapping objects to relational models. As Shopware 6 is a pure Symfony-based solution, it is lightweight and consumes fewer resources; you have to learn and get used to new concepts
Marcin Grajoszek - New Business Developer at BitBag
Is Shopware 6 a solution that fits your vision?

Shopware 6 – top features

Flexible Rule Builder allows the implementation of any complex process or dependencies without programming skills. In addition, Shopware 6 provides deep adaptation to customer context. As a result, retailers can customize their product offering and modify both content and interface according to the conditions. It includes e.g. making voice orders.

Shopware 6 Flow Builder

It allows you to define and execute highly individual business processes in one place without writing a single line of code.

Automate complex business procedures with the most intuitive code-less interface and create workflows to complete specific tasks.

Save time and resources by implementing efficient workflows, and benefit from faster response times, greater flexibility, and greater control over your business operations.

Shopware 6 custom products

In the Shopware Professional Edition, a “custom products” module allows you to create advanced multi-variant products. As a result, the customer can decide about specific elements of a given product before purchasing.

For example, you will gather the possibility of uploading a photo that later can be used for personalization by printing media on the ordered item like a professional web2print eCommerce does (custom-made T-shirts with an image, bags with prints, mugs with inscriptions, etc.).

Shopware 6 is event-driven

Event-driven is a type of architecture where actions taken by users are processed by Shopware 6 as events. 

The Shopware components react to these events, so the platform can be modular. Also, these events apply in the case of using the API – that is, communication between the frontend (what the user sees) and the backend. 

Shopware 6 theme development

Shopware 6 themes are essential to maintain a consistent aesthetic and mood in your online store. By combining custom designs, templates, images, and style development, you can improve the visual appeal of your store.

Shopware 6 created extensive documentation to enable developers to create themes.

Essential Shopware 6 extensions

Shopware 6 is an open-source platform, which means that the entire community around the brand can influence its development. Developers are eager to engage in the production of plugins (each Shopware 6 plugin later may be downloaded for free or purchased in the Community Store). Then it’s easy to integrate them into your store instead of programming in-house. It can often save you a lot of time and money.

Shopware 6 is based on new technologies such as Symfony and Vue.js. Moreover, it has a modern and friendly architecture, which is a great asset from the programmers’ perspective. All this increases its attractiveness and thus popularity. Programmers just want and like to work with it.

Extensions in Shopware are divided into 2 groups: plugins and applications. More information you will find in our blog:

Let’s take a look at a few Shopware 6 plugins.

  • CleverReach Shopware 6 – Newsletter for your e-store
  • Channable Shopware 6 Connector – Data feed optimization, product listings for marketplaces, generating dynamic text ads, and an Analytics connection.
  • Shopware 6 Google Shopping – custom product data
  • Shopware 6 cross-selling solution
  • Shopware 6 Payments – The default is PayPal, and there is also Adyen, Stripe
  • Shopware 6 Shipping – InPost, DHL, DPD, and many plugins and applications in the Shopware Store that allow integration

3 ways to manage/install the plugins:

  • Non-technical way to install extensions – ZIP; Upload extension;
    Possible threats: Installation from an unknown source; Lack of awareness of the dangers
  • Connect the instance to the store
    Plugins should be qualitatively tested; there should be no problems with installation
  • Remote installation, through access to the server (technical person)
    The developer can decide if the plugin is safe etc.

Shopware 6 demo & Shopware 6 download

To access the demo shop, you may set up an account on https://www.shopware.com/en/test-demo/ (create login, password, and your shop address to start a free trial).

To download Shopware, go to the download page.

Shopware 6 and Progressive Web App (PWA)

Shopware PWA was created in cooperation with Vue Storefront. Thanks to this technology, you do not have to develop a mobile app (i.e., iOS, Android) and web app (browser) separately. Instead, you can maintain all of your frontend experience within one single technology providing benefits like offline access, high performance, and a great SEO at the same time.

It is one of the most vital points of this platform. In addition, Shopware PWA is available as a plugin. Thanks to this solution, you can create a separate sales channel or replace the current storefront, while on competing platforms, it often requires creating an additional application from scratch, which increases costs and implementation time.

This solution enables implementing a new store design without focusing on the backend. It is also technologically adapted to corporate solutions to be directly connected with systems for tracking orders or product management. The application is, of course, integrated with CMS and plugins via API.

PWA takes full advantage of the functions offered by modern browsers and native mobile applications, such as:

  • SEO friendliness – all pages, tags, and categories are indexed as in the case of “normal” stores
  • Offline browsing – customers will be able to browse the product catalog without being connected to the internet
  • Efficiency – higher website loading speed translates into a lower bounce rate. The creation of PWA allows for the instant content display (supported by data stored in the cache on the user’s device), so even with a slow internet connection, page loading times are reduced to milliseconds
  • Push notifications functionality – staying in touch with customers allows you to build relationships that encourage them to visit your store again
  • Benefits for B2B merchants – e.g. one of the example integrations is a barcode scanner
  • It may be a good choice to create Shopware for fashion

Each feature has a significant impact on business (purchase) results, customer engagement, and conversion, which is particularly important, for example, in the fashion industry.

Summary

Following the highest standards provided by Shopware, you can transfer the shopping experience to an entirely new dimension. As a result, better availability and more straightforward operation significantly increase the conversion rates.

If you think Shopware is a solution that fits your vision, contact us – we may provide you with all the staff and experience to deliver the project in no time and at an acceptable risk. Reach us for more details.