The migration to Shopware 6 involves various technical, financial, and operational aspects. Below, you'll find an overview of these factors, providing your organization with a clear understanding of what to expect during the transition. We also explain the implications for hosting and B2B functionalities.
Shopware 6 is built on an entirely new and improved system architecture. This means that migrating from Shopware 5 to Shopware 6 is not just a simple software update that can be completed with a few clicks: the transition requires significant technical expertise. To successfully complete the migration to Shopware 6, it's almost essential to collaborate with Shopware's partner agencies.
Not only on a technical level, but also financially, the migration from Shopware 5 to Shopware 6 brings changes. Shopware 6 has a different cost structure compared to before. While Shopware 5 operated with a more standardized price, Shopware 6 is based on fixed monthly costs, supplemented with additional fees based on turnover. The more revenue your webshop generates, the more you pay for using the platform.
Does your organization deal with vast amounts of historical data? The migration to Shopware 6 also brings significant operational implications. It's crucial to formulate a plan for migrating data, such as customer information, products, and order history. Additionally, consider the impact of the transition on SEO, website design, and the checkout process.
It's also advisable to test the new platform before migrating all data. This ensures no surprises during the final migration. Lastly, keeping a backup of the old platform is wise, in case unexpected issues arise.
Besides the mentioned aspects, hosting and B2B functionalities play a significant role. Shopware offers multiple versions of their platform:
Many organizations are opting for Shopware's enterprise version. Therefore, it's worth considering whether in 2023 you might prefer choosing a SaaS solution instead.
Equally important is Shopware 6's B2B suite and its associated functionalities. In the previous version, some critical features (such as multilingual support) were not robust enough. Since it's an additional suite, it remains a consideration whether this is sufficient for organizations with a B2B focus.
Switching to an alternative eCommerce platform
It's natural to consider transitioning from Shopware 5 to Shopware 6, thinking that you're upgrading to a renewed, improved version of your old platform. However, it's essential to consider several crucial factors that influence your platform choice. An alternative eCommerce platform might align better with your organization's wants and needs. Consider these aspects to make the right decision:
The costs of an eCommerce platform vary depending on the functionalities it offers and its pricing model. Carefully consider what investment is permissible within your organization's budget. For instance, Shopware 6 operates on a pricing model that fluctuates based on your generated revenue, making the platform costs less predictable compared to other solutions.
Not every functionality is essential for your eCommerce platform. Do you need advanced product configurations, dynamic content management, or payment integrations? Look for a platform with standard out-of-the-box features essential for your business. If they are not available, you might need to invest more time and money to integrate desired functions. Prioritize 'must-have' features over 'nice-to-have' ones when making your decision.
As your business expands, your platform needs to scale to meet increasing demands. Outline your expected growth and ambitions, using this as a foundation for a long-term platform choice.
In addition to these considerations, you face several fundamental choices. We delve into three of these decisions: open-source or SaaS, national or international, and vendor or partner.
Open-source or SaaS
Shopware 6 is an open-source platform, meaning you can customize it to the specific needs of your eCommerce organization. However, this requires more technical knowledge for implementation and maintenance. On the other hand, a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform demands less technical expertise and offers more out-of-the-box B2B functionalities.
National or international
Does your eCommerce organization cater to the national or international market? If you have international ambitions, choose a platform that offers functionalities for this, such as multilingual support, multiple currencies, and VAT handling. If your eCommerce organization operates only nationally, functionalities like integrations with national shipping partners and a vendor understanding the local market dynamics would be more beneficial.
Supplier or partner
It's also crucial to consider whether you're just entering a vendor relationship or if a partnership is necessary during the transition. Due to the complexity and profound capabilities of Shopware 6, engaging an implementation partner is almost inevitable. A partner can be valuable in understanding your organization's unique needs. However, there are alternative platforms that offer flexibility, allowing you to choose between a simple vendor relationship or a deeper partnership.
Also, consider the level of influence this partner has on Shopware's roadmap and ongoing development. SaaS eCommerce solutions operate with monthly releases and have direct interaction with their customers. This makes them more accessible and allows for a customer-centric development model, giving you more influence on the ongoing development process."
Actionplan for eCommerce Managers
Transitioning to a new eCommerce platform is a significant decision that requires careful planning and preparation. For eCommerce managers considering migrating to Shopware 6 - or an alternative platform - we've outlined an action plan to facilitate a smooth transition.
5. Evaluate and optimize
1. Evaluate current and future business needs
Analyze your current eCommerce platform situation. What is functioning well and what are the limitations? Also, look ahead: what are the future growth plans, and how will they impact your business needs? Based on this, create a list of features your new eCommerce platform should have.
2. Prepare for the migration process
Proper preparation is key. Ensure a clear overview of all data being migrated, including product information, customer data, and order history. Also, assess the technical differences between Shopware 5 and your new platform. Consider factors such as API changes and integrations with third-party systems
If your organization lacks the necessary expertise, this is the ideal time to hire a consultant or migration specialist. This individual will assist your organization in overcoming specific challenges associated with the migration process.
3. Make a detailed planning
Set realistic deadlines for each phase of the migration. Identify potential challenges in advance and create a plan to address them. This way, you won't lose valuable time and won't be caught off guard.
4. Proceed with the implementation and keep testing!
Utilize the tools and resources provided by the developer for a smooth migration. Also, conduct tests to ensure all functionalities are working correctly and no data is lost
After the successful implementation, it is essential to continuously monitor and evaluate the performance and functionalities. Gather feedback from team members regarding user-friendliness as well as from customers. Use this information to make improvements and optimizations where necessary.
The transition from Shopware 5 to Shopware 6 - or an alternative platform - depends on the specific desires, needs, and growth plans of your organization. While Shopware 6 might seem like the logical choice at first glance, alternative platforms might offer more advantages in terms of costs, required technical expertise, and ongoing development.
Whichever choice you make, with this step-by-step plan, you are well-equipped to smoothly transition and keep pace with the evolving world of eCommerce.