More than 2,000 partners, retailers and ecommerce experts headed to the Shopware Community Day 2018 event in Germany this month to find out more about the innovations the company is bringing to the ecommerce space and the direction it is moving in.

New releases from the ecommerce solution experts were also unveiled at the event, which took place at the Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park in Duisburg, Germany. Boasting a vast selection of speakers and exhibitors, the event also provided attendees with the chance to discuss the ecommerce industry at present.

With an event motto of ‘Beyond Horizon’, the keynote speech was delivered by Shopware CEO and founder Stefan Hamann.

“The theme ‘Beyond Horizon’ describes a special attitude with which we look at ourselves and at others,” Hamann said. “It illustrates our efforts to leave our own comfort zone, think beyond our own horizons and take on new challenges without hesitation. We need to seize opportunities with the same courage and curiosity that we see in children. In an industry where technological progress is fast and disruptive, it is important to look up from the conventional and routine and be open to new things. This is the only way our community can help shape tomorrow’s ecommerce.”

Shaping the future with Shopware 5.5

In his keynote address, Hamann outlined two exciting new developments from the company aimed at helping retailers boost their ecommerce offerings.

The first was Shopware 5.5 – a new release built on openness, growth and intelligence according to Hamann.

This release means code for all Shopware products is now accessible regardless of the manufacturer, and marks the company moving away from IonCube encryption. This will make a big difference to ecommerce development.

“This is not only another clear commitment to the open source concept, it also makes Shopware more flexible, because without IonCube, Shopware is also compatible with the latest PHP version 7.2,” said Hamann.

The new release also helps to support product marketing on an international scale thanks to enhancements around country-specific tax rates and translation options within Shopware 5.5.

Shopware is also embracing artificial intelligence within Shopware 5.5 via a free feature that allows shop owners to gain insight from vast amounts of retailer data, as well as data from the wider retail industry.

Encouraging innovation through Shopware Playground

The event also saw Shopware take the opportunity to reveal its new cloud-based platform – Shopware Playground.

The platform has been designed to allow retailers and developers to realise added value when it comes to experimentation, with Hamann commenting: “The community can test new technologies and application scenarios in the Playground environment.”

Projects within Shopware Playground include augmented reality approaches, voice commerce and access to a new application programming interface.

This kind of arena has been created to encourage experimentation and innovation, and could help enhance the ecommerce tools retailers have available to them moving forwards.

Expert Insight

Other highlights of the event included speeches from:

– Dr Frederik Pferdt, chief innovation evangelist at Google, provided insight into innovation in the modern world

Ben Hammersley, Futurist and writer for Wired Magazine, explained what’s behind some of the current industry trends and examined what the future of digitalisation may look like

Peter Wippermann, trend researcher at Trend Büro, explained how different areas of people’s lives are being shaped by new developments

Williams Commerce at Shopware Community Day 2018

Williams Commerce launched a partnership with Shopware for enterprise-grade customers earlier this year. As such, the event was a great opportunity for Williams Commerce to learn more about the company’s vision and its partner base.

“It was Williams Commerce’s first Shopware Community Day and we are certainly inspired!” said Laura Otten, senior project manager at Williams Commerce. “There was a sense of enthusiasm throughout the day and it was great to hear about the inspiring journeys companies that are looking for the best ecommerce platform to fit for their needs are undertaking. It was also great to hear from the speakers from Shopware who are so passionate, believe in their product and love sharing their knowledge with the audience. The only conclusion to make is that these new products are ready to take on every market and that Shopware as a company is ready to support its customers every step of the way.”