The eCommerce industry and online shopping cover all purchases that occur over the internet. Among online stores, third-party marketplaces, and cross-border data flow access all over the world, these online sales have yielded trillions each year. The year 2021 witnessed annual retail eCommerce sales grew up to $4.9 trillion worldwide, and total sales are expected to pass $5.5 trillion by the end of 2022.
Limited financial resources prevent many small-sized businesses from creating their online store. Luckily, free trial, free edition, or low-cost options are available from several popular eCommerce platforms these days.
In 2021, the number of online shops ranged from 12 to 24 million, which means very fierce competition for online retailers. Thus, new e-retailer should use a free eCommerce platform to test the waters of their business plan first. You may just waste your money to sink your life savings into a new e-retailer idea.
Especially, eCommerce sites are becoming the de facto product catalog solution, particularly for B2B brands. As a result, many small businesses want to look for the best free eCommerce platform for their needs.
In this article, we have a detailed analysis to vote for the open-source foundation upon which Shopware stands as one of the best choices for you. If you have a command of technical skills, can handle the hosting of web applications, and don’t require Shopware’s support, the Community Edition is yours. The Shopware Community Edition can help you get your eCommerce idea off the ground and into the actual world.
We will give a synopsis of significant features of the Shopware Community Edition and what business it is fit for. Business owners and eCommerce managers: Get ready to launch your eCommerce website by the end of this article!
Shopware is a German eCommerce platform for developing an online eCommerce store that can meet the changing expectations of the eCommerce store. The Shopware eCommerce platform can help you generate optimized customer experiences and unlimited connection possibilities for online merchants. The company was founded in 2000, and now they are trusted by over 100,000 renowned brands worldwide.
Impressively, the company has been consistent and passionate in upgrading its platforms with the present latest version of Shopware 6. Moreover, the Shopware platform can meet sophisticated storefront customization to various niches and standards.
Furthermore, the Shopware platform features high product management, which means you can sell any product using Shopware. Thanks to innovative eCommerce technologies, the Shopware platform comes with highly state-of-the-art marketing features and integrated SEO capabilities. An intuitive interface and user-friendly backend make the Shopware platform the final choice of many online businesses, organizations, and freelancers. Some international brands such as L’Oreal, Segway, and Euronics selected the Shopware platform among eCommerce development solutions out there to power their businesses.
Read about why the latest version of the Shopware platform – Shopware 6 is a great choice for online merchants at: https://bsscommerce.com/blog/the-latest-version-shopware-6/
Overview of the Shopware Community Edition
The Community Edition is an open-source variant with underlying features of Shopware that is available for everyone to use without payment required. In addition, all other Shopware editions, including Professional and Enterprise, are all built based on the Community Edition with additional plugin integrations, which are only available in these editions.
The Shopware Community Edition offers ease of use that enables small businesses to run their own businesses. A small business without inside software developers should use the Shopware Community Edition because it does not require technical skills but just basic knowledge.
Moreover, the Shopware Community Edition is offered under an open-source license aside from paid editions. In contrast with Professional and Enterprise editions, online merchants can get started their business path at the lowest to no cost, without severe limitations on how you run or grow your business.
Shopping Worlds Presets
Integrated into the Shopware Community Edition, Shopping Worlds were created to widen online businesses’ outreach by influencing customers’ emotions and awakening their desire to make a purchase. When you use the Shopware Community Edition, you have several free Shopping Worlds presets to choose from. This plugin can make working with this feature easier than ever, thereby bringing about a considerable competitive advantage. Besides, these Shopping Worlds presets come with predefined image and text snippets, which can be easily customized as per your back-end requirements. Moreover, the presets from the Shopware Community Edition also provide a wide range of license-free images all available for your online store to use for absolutely no cost.
Customer Streams can cater to your customers with individualized product recommendations. Thanks to the new Customer Streams, you can divide your customers into different categories based on the criteria so that you define and present products that are of their interest. Regardless of newsletters, vouchers, or content on your landing page, Customer Streams can adjust to show content that fits customers’ interests. Besides, consistency between Customer Streams and Product Streams can create new customer streams and offer them individualized products.
Source: M&M’s (powered by Shopware)
Apart from customer streams, product captures draw your customers’ attention to specific assortments behind the scenes, using conditions. For instance, you can display the latest products from a certain category of a particular manufacturer at different prices with just a few simple mouse clicks. Product streams can appear at decisive points in your shop, such as category pages, product detail pages, or in the shopping world. What’s more, product streams can automatically update themselves. This means that when you put any new product for sales, the system will update the stream that meets the defined filter criteria.
Subshop licenses are a direct part of Shopware’s core and are integrated free of charge. Subshops allow online merchants to either develop large-scale online stores with different language shops or quickly and inexpensively target groups. You will find it easier to build your ideal online shop.
Open Source AGPL v3
The free and open-source Shopware Community Edition is under the open source license AGPL v3 (Affero General Public License). Since October 2010, Shopware has been setting goals to provide a mutually beneficial value to all members of the Shopware Community. Thousands of members involved in the code development can ensure an even greater quality of our product thanks to a broader scale. The “copyleft” provisions of the AGPL also allow us to maintain control over any changes to the code.
Pros and cons of the Shopware Community Edition
Cost And Pricing Plans
The difference that strikes the eye between the Shopware Community Edition vs other editions is the price. It is reasonable to say that online merchants prefer the Shopware Community Edition over Professional or Enterprise Edition mostly because of their cost.
The Shopware Community Edition is the free open source eCommerce platform where anyone possibly downloads the latest version without paying any additional fee. However, when you pay for a license of Professional or Enterprise Edition, you can get more advanced functionalities to empower your sophisticated online business site.
The cost of a Shopware Professional Edition license is 199 euros per month or 2495 euros for a one-time purchase. With the Shopware Enterprise Edition, you can get maximum support level and exclusive enterprise features at a quite high cost of 2495 euros per month or 39,995 euros for a one-time purchase. In the case of less than $5 million worth of businesses, if you look at the amount spent on licensing versus the revenue being generated by the site, you should consider choosing the Shopware Community Edition.
Discover key differences between two renowned technology solutions in the market: Shopware vs Shopify at: https://bsscommerce.com/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-shopware-and-shopify/
Shopware API Integration
Rather than listing all features from a user perspective below, we’d like to mention a few key features, which are also worth looking at more technically. All of these features are available in every single edition & are described in several articles inside this documentation. The Shopware 6, including the Community version, is built with the API first approach. Your first technical feature touch points might be our different APIs built into our Core component.
With the connection to the Administration component ( Vue.js SPA), the Admin API works on all administration tasks and interacts with every single entity resource of Shopware. With the very first API approach, online businesses can have the opportunity to follow the entire customer journey starting from a product listing, showing product information to placing an order through the checkout. These integrations characterized by the exchange of structured data, synchronizations, imports, exports, or notifications can promote consistency, error handling, and transaction-safety are critical.
Hosted on either your own server or a third-party hosting company
The Shopware Community Edition allows users to host their website on their own servers or their chosen hosting provider. In fact, if you host your own website, you can have full control of your own data. Moreover, it is relatively easy to host your own website, not a massive challenge. Fortunately, you only need to follow instructions so you can host your website with relative ease. You can perform the server setup from scratch in a matter of minutes, use some set standards, set up a DNS zone and point your domain appropriately, install the software stack, and create a virtual host.
When you host your website yourself, you can keep a much closer eye on your traffic and get a better read on the potential customers and leads. However, in case, you’re inexperienced with coding or web hosting in general, the Shopware Community Edition allows you to get outside technical help from third-party hosting providers.
Exhaustively integrated CMS possibilities
Another feature worth mentioning with the Shopware Community Edition is CMS integration which features page customization like listing, shop pages, landing pages, and product detail pages. Because this feature is also an available feature integrated into the Administration panel, you can easily drag & enforce predefined blocks to your page layout to create your own. From a technical perspective, the Store API store and provide this translatable content generically. There is also a conceptual article that covers this topic more specifically.
A wide range of language and currency options
Shopware Community Edition users can choose from a variety of languages thanks to the Shopware Language Pack. As a result, you’ll be able to set up your admin and storefront in many languages, and you’ll be able to confidently pursue internationalization. What’s more, over 25 languages are available at your disposal in just one extension. There is no need for you to activate an extension for each language. Furthermore, it can add more languages to bring about a better experience for the Shopware platform’s worldwide clients.
With the Shopware Community Edition, you can set up everything properly to meet your business needs ranging from currency, shipping provider, language, and to name just a few. Thanks to numerous extensions and interfaces from the Community Store, you already have access to a large collection of diverse options to help drive your internationalization.
More than 1,700 extensions are available in the Shopware Store
With the Shopware Community Edition, numerous extensions & themes are waiting for you to equip your online shop with new possibilities and functionalities. In the Shopware Store, many extensions for your online store are available at your reach, and many out of them are completely free. As a result, you can save a lot of money thanks to free Shopware Community Edition and free extensions as well. The extensions help you make your shop more intuitively attractive, attract many more target audience customers, and increase loyal fans. What’s more, it is neither difficult nor time-consuming to use the Shopware Store: All extensions are ready for downloading in just five steps. You can also buy and download your extensions using the plugin manager implemented into the Shopware backend.
A community with over 5.000 members worldwide supporting each other via Slack and community forums
As an open commerce platform, the Shopware platform involves a dynamic and innovative community of store operators, developers, and partner agencies daily. When you use the Shopware Community Edition, you can live chat with over 3,500 users on our Slack channel, thereby finding support, suggestions, and answers to your emerging problems. Furthermore, you may benefit from successful online stores and gain crucial insights and know-how via free training videos from home.
The Shopware Community regularly organizes free workshops for developers to connect and share with each other for better improvement. Especially, the Boost Days organized by Shopware take place several times a year and give developers worldwide to grow and learn together. In addition, you can visit our documentation, the community forum, and the academy to enlarge your knowledge even further.
Lack of technical support
In contrast to paid editions that offer direct support from the Shopware platform with a guaranteed response time, technical support is not available from the Shopware Community Edition. However, the response time to paid edition users depends on the respective support level you’ve chosen. Of course, the Shopware platform won’t be able to provide the same level of support for their free version users, though, posting in the community forum will still provide you with lots of aid and significant advice from the community.
The unavailability of the cloud edition
The Shopware Community Edition does not integrate the cloud edition, which offers a quick and easy set-up. With the cloud edition, extended functions and services are available for users to easily customize their store. Besides, the lack of the cloud edition will make you miss automatic updates and maintenance. Moreover, a simple selection of plans for your success in eCommerce will not be available to users of the Shopware Community Edition.
The Shopware Community Edition has fewer features or less sophisticated functionality compared to two other editions. In fact, free, time-limited trials allow a user to kick the tires before they become a customer. However, the Shopware Community Edition still provides various features compared to a paid edition from other platforms despite being free for distribution.
Is it easy to migrate from the Shopware Community Edition to another?
Comparison between the Shopware Community Edition and other Shopware editions?
Across all Shopware editions from the free Community Edition to Enterprise for high-end solutions, Shopware offers a high-quality eCommerce solution for your online shop.
First, the Shopware Community Edition is an open-source edition that is free of payment. Consequently, you can establish your online eCommerce store from scratch with the Shopware Community Edition and run it in a hosting environment. However, there is no technical support available in the Shopware Community edition. In fact, the Shopware Community Edition is more appropriate for small to medium businesses than international players.
If you are successful in the eCommerce market, you should consider Shopware Professional to help you continue to enlarge the profit in the future. Shopware Professional Edition can integrate your company’s goals, wants, and opportunities. The professional edition will provide you with comprehensive Shopware features and additional eCommerce tools for realizing your dream store. In addition, there are extra features such as Social Shopping, Custom Products, and CMS extensions integrated into the Professional edition.
On the other hand, Shopware Enterprise is the most powerful edition for any business model of any size. With this edition, you can easily operate B2B and B2C business processes with better output within a solution. You can implement classic and specific sales solutions with its modular software architecture. With the Shopware Enterprise Edition, developers can also handle demanding and complex eCommerce projects and yield full security, stability, and the highest performance.
Get to know why Shopware is a top-notch website development solution for small business models at: https://bsscommerce.com/blog/why-is-shopware-platform-suitable-for-small-businesses/
Which edition is suitable for your business model?
If your business grows at a good pace using the Shopware Community Edition, you can also consider later upgrading it to the Professional or Enterprise edition in the future to meet greater business requirements.
Besides, edition selection also depends on your business model and your requirements. The Shopware Community Edition is the right solution to grow your online business. If you already have specific ideas and a long-term business plan, the Professional Edition is perfect for you. However, for complex projects with high demands and specific requirements, we highly recommend the Shopware Enterprise Edition which can offer you individual experience and the most extensive and wholehearted support. If you have any further pending questions, then please freely contact us!
Switch from the Shopware Community Edition to another
It is quite easy to expand and customize your eCommerce business. With over 4000 extensions integrated, you’ll find the right solution from three Shopware editions for all your requirements in the Shopware Store. Besides, it is not a big deal to switch Shopware editions. Based on Shopware cloud plans, you can flexibly switch among different plans. Upgrades to a commercial license, whether Professional Edition or Enterprise Edition, can be made at any time and without causing any issues with the current installation. The software subscription can be accessed immediately after purchase.
In order to maintain as flexibility as possible and easily react to unexpected developments in your business, you ought to first opt for the Shopware Community Edition license even with a larger shop. Because you can then expand and individualize your online store with a countless number of plugins.
In this article, we have dived deep into the Community version of Shopware, which you can choose to run your business online. BSS Commerce, the leading eCommerce software development agency worldwide, has highly experienced Shopware 6 developers who can customize your Shopware store as per your requirements. Besides, we can give you extensive consultation on which edition will be suitable for your business.
Thanks to our Shopware development services, you can generate high-quality user experiences that enlarge your business and increase sales. A future-oriented and highly adaptive eCommerce store is possible to achieve with Shopware’s innovative features and BSS Commerce resources.
If you have any inquiries, please leave your comment below. You can visit our Shopware development landing page here: https://bsscommerce.com/shopware-development.html
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