How to make your commerce project a success
Back in 2020, Shopware announced with the introduction of its version 6 that support for Shopware 5 would end in 2024. Of course, there is still time until then and even after that Shopware 5 will remain usable, albeit without security updates and bug fixes. But especially when it comes to the new features of Shopware 6 and the legal as well as technical security of the new version, it is worthwhile to tackle the switch now.
What does Shopware 6 mean for Shopware 5 users?
Shopware 5 will still receive all important security updates and bug fixes until July 2024. However, since Shopware 6 is the system of the future, on which all new features and innovations are focused, further development of Shopware 5 has been discontinued. This also affects the plugins used, as the developers are now fully focused on Shopware 6. However, Shopware 5 will remain compatible for currently used technologies such as PHP or MySQL until 2024, so there is no need for hasty action. In the meantime, Shopware 6 is so technically mature and brings with it such an innovative customer experience as well as the ready-made B2B suite that there is no alternative to migration, at least in the medium term, in order to continue working successfully.
Why Shopware 6 is/will be indispensable
With version 6, Shopware follows the API-first approach for the first time. This has resulted in a modern commerce solution that allows all store functionalities to be controlled via APIs. Marketplaces and other go-to-market channels are controlled directly via the store. This in turn simplifies the handling of own marketing actions noticeably and new channels as well as services can be integrated with less effort.
The operation and alignment of the store with the target group is much more intuitive with Shopware 6 and is supported on the system side by the extensive functionality. The new worlds of experience alone provide the technical basis for an enormously improved customer experience and create more creative freedom for the targeted marketing of your products. Added to this are the simple creation of product variants and the Rule Builder. With it, you can automatically give certain customer segments special conditions, such as special shipping costs, discounts and promotions.
Shopware 6 provides such a technically mature basis, on the basis of which you can expect many new functions in the future, but also third-party systems and microservices can be implemented even better and faster.
All these factors and more give you an advantage over competitors who may not yet be working with Shopware 6 or a system with comparable features. Every effort you invest in your work with Shopware 6 is at the same time an investment in your future success.
These challenges await you when migrating from Shopware 5 to 6.
Of course, migrating to a different store system always involves effort, both financially and logistically. After all, the change to Shopware 6 is not just a simple security update. The technical basis of the store system is completely different from its predecessors and is therefore not accessible with a few clicks. We use our own toolset for the migration, which lets us convert your customized Shopware 5 system into an equally customized Shopware 6 system. The toolset processes and migrates the following data:
- Item master data
- Manufacturer data
- Free text fields
However, more complex data, settings and functions require your direct intervention or that of a competent service provider. These include:
- The transfer of content from the shopping worlds to the experience worlds.
- The creation of the new design template under Shopware 6
- Shipping and payment methods
- SEO settings
The migration or re-setup of these items is beyond the capabilities of a simple tool. In addition, Shopware 6 has a newly structured backend. It is much more detailed, which is an advantage, but also a change for you and your staff. As I said, such a migration to a new system is costly, but in this case it pays off on all levels.
Migration Shopware 5 to 6: What happens to my plugins?
Shopware 5 plugins cannot simply be used in Shopware 6 as well. For one thing, Shopware has made various functions standard in Shopware 6 that previously required a plugin. And on the other hand, it may be that some plugins have not yet been made available for Shopware 6 by their developers.
communicode will support you during the migration and will check beforehand which Plugins are already supported by Shopware 6 and which ones have already been integrated into the new store system as standard functions. We will gladly take care of the communication with the developers, whose plugins are required, but cannot yet be used in Shopware 6. If necessary, we will provide you with our own developments as replacements after consultation and advise you on advantageous functionalities.
Shopware 5 to 6: Migration phases á la communicode
Our goal is to advise you comprehensively on the successful operation of Shopware 6 and to hand over a fully usable store to you after the migration. The phases of the migration project are as follows.
Planning and analysis phase
- In this step, in consultation with you, we record all the settings, content and data records that are required and desired for the migration.
- In addition, we already discuss with you which new features and functionalities you would like to use in the future, so that we can also include these in the project plan.
- The time schedule and all requirements will be advised.
- We advise you regarding all new potentials under Shopware 6.
- Your current store receives - if necessary - the preparatory update to Shopware 5.6.
- We export all migratable data and content to our middleware and prepare it there for Shopware 6.
- Non-migratable settings, plugins and features are prepared by us for the new system and coordinated with you in an advisory capacity.
- The design of the store will be designed and set up by our creation team according to your wishes.
- Shopware 6 is put into pre-launch mode and the automated migration of all available data from Shopware 5 through our middleware begins.
- The remaining settings and content are transferred and set up by us in Shopware 6.
- We set up the new features and improvements you want for you.
- The adjustments in Shopware 6 take place, as well as the setup of the required plugins.
- This is the final phase where we run final tests and go live with your new online store in coordination with you.
- Until this time, the "old" store will continue to run normally, so your daily operations will not be affected by our work.
Of course, we will be at your side with our Hypercare services to fix any malfunctions that may occur as quickly as possible. This also includes corrections of errors that may only arise during ongoing operation.
Shopware 5 to 6: Migration with our toolset from in-house development
Our customers not only have high standards for themselves, but also for their products. The preparation of product data and all important store content requires no less attention. To map the individual requirements of your online store, we use a middleware from our own development. This helps us to transfer important configurations into Shopware 6 exactly according to your wishes and to be able to react agilely to new requirements on the part of the data sets. It is a lightweight and well-scalable software solution that can be optimally adapted to your personal application scenario. This gives us the opportunity to define the target paths and playout of your data even before the actual migration.
What is the effort involved in migrating from Shopware 5 to 6?
As with any digital project, the effort required to achieve complete fulfillment always depends on how complex the technical and content requirements are structured. Our task as a full-service provider is to make this complexity more manageable and to show you both potentials and redundancies. In the end, you receive a product that allows you to operate even more successfully on the market and saves on superfluous processes.
In retrospect, you will generate new customers and more sales thanks to the improved customer experience, the customer-friendly features and the professional technology. In addition, you save large sums of money by avoiding a migration "at the last minute" and the resulting logistical, technical or legal conflicts. Because we use our own middleware for the migration from Shopware 5 to 6, we generally keep the effort within a manageable framework and discuss all the necessities with you as a matter of course.
Shopware 5 to 6: Working together for a successful migration
The switch to Shopware 6 is a change for both you and your employees. We are aware of this and that is why we would like to provide you with our full service, which includes all the necessary training, hypercare and agile project planning. This way, before and after the migration, you can be sure that you have a partner at your side who not only knows e-commerce, but also knows how to understand the processes that go on behind your scenes. This means we can provide you with the best possible advice and set up all services so that they work exclusively in your interests and for a successful future.
Migration Shopware 5 to 6: When should we start?
Preferably immediately. Because even if you disregard the many advantages of Shopware 6, there will be no alternative to migration in the medium to long term. Because over time, a store system that no longer receives support will be vulnerable to external attack, which can cause technical as well as financial and legal problems. In addition, you now have the opportunity to take your time and get to know Shopware 6 in all its facets. The sooner you start, the sooner you can use new features for your success and your customers will benefit from the excellent customer experience under Shopware 6.
Why communicode is the ideal partner for the project
As a full-service digital agency, we are practically at home in e-commerce. We rely on almost twenty years of experience and expertise in the digital sector and have accompanied numerous satisfied clients from industry and trade on their way to successful digitalization during this time. Through our understanding of the processes in e-commerce, we immediately recognize potentials and redundancies and have an eye for the perfect customer experience. For us, "full service" means more than the mere technical implementation of a project. Because without the right strategy and the future-oriented use of technologies, a store system is just a store system. Even after the migration, we are there to advise and actively support you if you have further optimizations of your commerce strategy in mind, such as the connection of new sales channels or subshops for international use. Of course, operations and intensive monitoring are also part of our full-service offering.
Take the opportunity to already internalize the numerous functionalities of Shopware 6. communicode is at your side as a Shopware partner for the migration and also afterwards, and will prepare the successful way for you with Shopware 6. Please feel free to contact our consultants for a non-binding initial interview.