I sat down this week with SUMO Heavy’s Director of Technology, Pat Maguire to talk about all things Shopware. Shopware offers comprehensive eCommerce solutions for any company’s B2C and B2B needs. Powered by the leading open commerce platform, they elevate businesses with ease. Let’s recap some of the nuggets of information Pat obtained while attending a Shopware United training event in NYC.
A major focus during the summit was preparing Shopware enthusiasts for what’s to come throughout 2023 and beyond. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, there are a few specific features both old and new that stand out to Pat, so let’s discuss.
Pat notes that SUMO Heavy had been working with Magento, both Community and Enterprise, for over 10 years. When we started with Magento, their focus was small to midsize business, which happens to be the same target as SUMO. However, since Adobe acquired Magento back in 2018, there hasn’t been much of a public roadmap and their focus has moved to Enterprise merchants, where the features do not match the cost. Enter Shopware and its capabilities.
For starters, Shopware’s roadmap for the future and all of its programs is transparent and accessible, directly on their website. Shopware is very open to feedback from both partners and merchants as they expand into the US market. Magento’s plans are hidden, making it harder for both partners and merchants to plan and understand what’s happening with the company, or what new features or versions they’re planning to launch.
Furthermore, Pat notes that Shopware has a focus on Open Source – they want to keep the platform open, whereas Adobe seems to be ambivalent towards the Open source edition. Shopware is really focusing on SMB whereas Adobe is focusing on enterprise, making Shopware the more suitable option for a team like ours. Not to mention, Shopware’s pricing is fair and competitive, starting at $600 per month. Other platforms hide their pricing, or jack up the prices as the industry grows.
So, what’s in store for Shopware this year? Our eyes on the inside (Pat) has the scoop.
Shopware has a huge release coming in April. They plan to launch a wide array of new features that U.S. customers have been begging for. These releases aid in preparing consumers for a big focus on the U.S. market this year.
Another interesting note is that for us at SUMO Heavy, as part of the partner platform, we can create wildcard environments. Wildcard environments offer you the possibility to create and easily configure development environments for your customer projects, including test licenses. In this way, you can create ready-made installations with all the necessary plugins for your customers, and present them to the customer as a demo without having to purchase the necessary licenses in advance. We can install plug-ins at no charge to trial, a feature that Adobe and Shopify simply don’t offer. Pat’s main objective is to work with a lot of the new plug-ins Shopware is launching in the upcoming months.
It’s a breath of fresh air to have members of our team out in the wild again after the pandemic practically eliminated or went virtual with these sort of tech events. Pat said that it was odd being in a convention-like environment traveling for work post COVID. At SUMO we find it crucial to attend these events, as collaboration is key to us. Pat notes that the event reminded him of earlier Magento days as it felt very collaborative, since Shopware values partners' opinions. They’re also always trying to figure out how to support merchants, something we don't necessarily see from most other platforms. The roadmaps Shopware provides keep us organized and in the know, showing that they’re as invested in clients and users as we are.
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