Shopware's new prices: Licensing model unsettles users

Shopware is one of the most popular open source-based online shop systems, especially in the DACH region. After raising 100 Millionen US$ for its global expansion at the beginning of the year, the company has now massively changed its pricing and licensing model. Unsurprisingly, it will be much more expensive for the time being. However, the free Community-Edition without professional support will remain.

The new prices have been live since 15 September: under the labels "Rise", "Evolve" and "Beyond", three plans are available which, according to the provider's ideas, should appeal to all customer groups from small B2C/D2C traders to internationally operating players. However, even the cheapest variant "Rise" starts at costs of 600 € per month - obviously Shopware only wants to address customers above a certain size with its commercial offers.

In contrast to the past, when the costs were based on the respective range of services of the Shopware installation, the two higher-priced offers are based exclusively on the shop's turnover. This development has surprised and irritated many Shopware users. Uncertainties remain, especially when it comes to migrating existing e-commerce providers to the new pricing models.

Consistent Orientation towards Enterprise Customers

As a certified Shopware partner with many years of e-commerce experience, we believe that the decision is consistent and future-oriented for the company. The trend in e-commerce software has been clearly moving in the direction of enterprise for a long time. Shopware is now also moving there, which is also clear from the many new features. These include integrated blog functions, multi-inventory for multiple stores, digital subscriptions and marketing automations.

Furthermore, support services are now included in every price model. This is communicated by Shopware as a great gain in convenience and service, but in practice it deprives users of important freedom of choice when calculating prices. Shopware use can still be selected between self-hosted, SaaS or PaaS models. Existing Shopware customers are to be transferred to the new price models with high discounts.

In our view, this is an altogether fitting development for a company that is increasingly oriented towards the global capital market, as Shopware is today. However, this also places a greater obligation on the provider to regularly deliver meaningful updates and new features.

Community or Professional: What suits your business?

In addition to the three new Shopware price models, there is still the option of free use of the Community Edition according to the MIT licence. The edition is only supported by the Shopware community, receives no manufacturer support, no warranty and no possibly newly developed advanced features of the commercial versions. This means that the Community Edition is certainly still sufficient for many customers, but no longer for larger medium-sized companies and beyond.

We recommend all Shopware users to lay their own cards openly and honestly: Which model makes the most sense for my business in the future? Especially important in the decision-making process is a forward-looking strategy that is oriented both to the status quo of an e-commerce project and to the question of where the project should be in three, five and 10 years. We advise our readers to look more to the future than to the past or to the moment.

As an expert for Digital-E-Commerce +Pluswerk is at Shopware users' disposal as a strategic sparring partner as well as for all classic Shopware services - just contact us.

A contribution by:
Hans-Jörg ist member of the management and management consultant at +Pluswerk in Dortmund
Write to him at info(at)pluswerk(dot)ag

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