How the Shopware PWA team are taking mobile commerce to a new level.

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Divante and Shopware, two of the leading players in European eCommerce, entered into a partnership with the aim of taking mobile commerce experiences to the next level. A year later, the production-ready version of Shopware PWA is on the doorstep.

Shopware and Divante are working to change eCommerce for the better

If you are in eCommerce, you have probably heard of Shopware. It is a trendsetting platform designed to fulfill the most ambitious eCommerce projects. The German-based platform is trusted by over 100,000 companies, including worldwide brands like the Discovery Channel, Philips, and Bethesda. 

The Shopware platform is a solution for meeting the changing demands of eCommerce. Its goal is to give its merchants the freedom to quickly and easily leverage growth potential, focus on the perfect customer experience, and provide merchants with new sales opportunities and competitive advantages.

Divante was selected by Shopware to work together on a modern PWA (Progressive Web App) frontend for the Shopware platform. The new progressive web app solution is based on the renowned, open-source Vue Storefront framework. VSF provides shopping experiences like native apps and boosts site performance and customization possibilities. Divante was tasked with ensuring the highest quality of the Shopware PWA, which will combine all the benefits of a headless Shopware platform with modern PWA technology.

Divante and Shopware: how it all started

In just under two years, Vue Storefront has become the fastest-growing open-source frontend project in the world and one of the most popular eCommerce projects on GitHub. Global brands like Marc O’Polo, Tally Weijl, and Lampenwelt have decided to base their eCommerce on VSF. This success puts Divante, the originator of VSF, at the forefront of eCommerce companies. As a result, in April 2019, Divante became an official partner of Shopware.

“The work started in October 2019. That is when a team was formed of people from Divante cooperating with the dedicated Shopware team on an ongoing basis. Every week we meet for a review, we plan, say what has been done, what needs to be improved, and what needs to be worked on further. We have an active and extensive community on Slack. Users submit many ideas that they would like to implement. Everyone emphasizes that they are waiting for us to give the product back to product development.”

Patryk Tomczyk.

One of the new people who will focus on the Shopware PWA project in Divante is Łukasz Sajkowski, who joined Divante in March 2020. Previously, he had been running his own software business.

“I was looking for a company where I could use my eight years of experience from running my own business. A place where I won’t fall into a very rigid, unchanging culture built years ago. I decided to work in Divante mainly because of how it is organized and managed. I’m glad that I can make some structures here from scratch, and help to create something interesting and with great potential. I’m part of one tribe but I work with many others. Divante has the advantages of a small start-up but the stability of a large company.”

Łukasz Sajkowski

Łukasz and Patryk are working hard alongside the team to help Shopware PWA to grow. You can read more about that in the article “Behind the scenes of building Shopware PWA” posted on the Vue Storefront blog. 

Łukasz Sajkowski, Software Delivery Director at Divante

The Developer Preview version will appear in May 2020. From then, the Shopware PWA team will be collecting as much feedback as possible to get it together and prepare a final roadmap. 

Shopware PWA – headless frontend for Shopware 6

Shopware PWA is the only official progressive web app for Shopware 6. It was made in tandem by the Divante and Shopware teams. Shopware is a complete product and it offers its own storefront; however, if you want even better website performance and a mobile-friendly PWA, then you can add the Shopware PWA to this product. It works as an out-of-the-box, easy-to-use plugin.

This collaboration was created so that Shopware can focus on providing a great API. Divante makes sure that the Shopware PWA is efficient, fast, and adapted to the mobile world.

Shopware 6 is built from scratch in a headless approach. It gives you a central business base to which you can connect various additional channels. Divante, as a pioneer in the PWA market, is the natural partner to create Shopware PWA. Both PWA and headless are future-proof solutions that are enjoying growing popularity. The synergy of the combination is tremendous. 

Shopware joins Divante’s pool of eCommerce solutions—alongside Magento, Akeneo, and Pimmer—as the lightest and most flexible of platforms. 

Shopware – the lightest and most flexible of platforms made for the modern eCommerce

The current market situation requires some changes, also in the eCommerce world. The agile-compliant approach is popular launching a functioning store as soon as possible, which is the basis for further iterations and improvements. There are several platforms on the market that enable this approach. One of them is Shopware.

Shopware CMS allows the use of many ready-made add-ons so that it can be easily and quickly edited without coding. However, if we have more time to develop, efficient developers can work wonders and adapt the system to completely individual needs. Shopware is the right solution for both small and large businesses, for both quick or more extended implementations. 

Patryk Tomczyk working in Divante Cafe

If you are satisfied with the basic parameters of the shop and you do not make significant changes in the front end, you can build an online eCommerce on Shopware PWA in a few hours. The most significant effort is then to upload the products. Shopware PWA is an out-of-the-box solution. It connects to Shopware and you have the PWA page ready. You can have an individual look of the page, with zero coding effort. 

“In a little more advanced project, we can build a shop in four weeks with Shopware PWA technology. Such eCommerce will have a unique frontend and is tailored to the customer’s needs. So far, it would take at least a few months, not weeks, to prepare this kind of project.”

Patryk Tomczyk

It changes a lot not only in terms of time-to-market but also in terms of costs. The length of implementation is strongly correlated with price. In turn, it makes it possible to cooperate with many new companies, which until now could not afford large, customized implementations. 

It opens the way to professional eCommerce platforms for new customers who have so far rejected Magento because it is too big and complicated. 

“Due to the lack of alternatives, such companies often choose, for example, Shopify, which offers quick solutions for shops. However, it’s a short-term solution, mostly because of the licencing model. Shopify charges shop owners on the basis of their income. It means that once you start selling a lot in Shopify, your licencing costs will skyrocket. We offer a long-term view. In Shopware, the entrance threshold is low. Neither do you have to invest vast amounts of money into a dedicated solution, nor do you pay the ‘tax on success’.”

Łukasz Sajkowski

A short time to open an eCommerce store is essential, as has been proven by the COVID-19 crisis. Some customers need to switch from offline to online in a flash. Others are already online but decide to put much more emphasis on online sales. Shopware PWA can be an ideal solution for them, both in terms of time and costs.

A meeting of the Vue Storefront team

What’s more, the percentage of mobile traffic over desktops has been growing very fast recently. In most eCommerce sites in the world, mobile traffic is 70-80 percent. The problem is that the conversion on mobile is, on average, half as much as on desktops. If there is more traffic from mobile devices in the online store, there is automatically less conversion, which means less income. PWA technology and a mobile-first approach are solutions to this problem.

“There is a great deal of interest in the Shopware PWA even before the beta version. Many agencies are interested in that product, but also companies that create plugins for Shopware. We want to provide proper tools so that the community and agencies can use them in full and develop a marketplace for these products.”

Patryk Tomczyk

Shopware PWA is the future that starts right now

Today, PWA technology offers 85-90 percent of the features that a dedicated eCommerce mobile application has. An increasing number of companies understand that there is no point in investing in the development of several channels at once instead of only one. 

“I think that, in the future, Shopware PWA will replace the current, standard Shopware storefront. We aim to make this product both for those who have fewer resources when it comes to creating their template and for those who would like to have a highly customized product.”

Patryk Tomczyk

Published May 22, 2020