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Shopware 6 vs. Shopify - Which is better for your online store?

If you want to run an online store, you can use a so-called store system. The creation of an online store using store systems such as Shopware or Shopify makes it easier for you to set up your store. In this article we would like to compare the two store systems with each other. So you can find out which of the two variants fits best to you and your project.

What to expect
  1. We explain to you what a store system actually is
  2. Then we will briefly introduce you to the companies Shopware and Shopify.
  3. In the main part of our article we make the big comparison of the two store systems
  4. After that, we will summarize all the advantages and disadvantages again
  5. and give you information about the Shopware 6.4.10.0 update
  6. In addition, we give you an update status July 2022
  7. Last but not least we present you our conclusion

We hope you enjoy this article and that you will know at the end which store system is best for you.

What is a store system?

A store system is a software with which a company can operate an online store and sell its products and services. The system is managed, maintained and usually operated by the company itself. It must be clearly distinguished from platforms such as Ebay and Amazon. These are so-called marketplaces, which companies and retailers can also use to sell their products. However, these platforms are operated by Ebay and Amazon themselves and can only be customized to a limited extent.

There are many different store systems that can be used with or without programming skills. Shopware and Shopify, for example, are such store systems. They are both characterized by the fact that they have drag & drop functions that anyone, with or without programming experience, can use. How exactly the functionality of Shopware and Shopify is expressed and what is possible and what is not, we would like to show you later in more detail.

The Shopware 6 store system

The Shopware store system was developed in Germany in 2004. It is a store system that consists of various modules that can be combined into an online store. The latest version of the store system, Shopware 6, has been available since May 2019. The current update is 6.4.10.0, which was released at the beginning of April 2022. We will also take a look at this version later in our comparison.

Shopware 6 is available in different editions at different prices: That is the Community Edition, the Professional Edition, the Professional Plus Edition and the Enterprise Edition. Thus, Shopware is available as open source software and as a commercial version. The individual versions can be purchased in a subscription model at a monthly rate or with a one-time payment.

The Shopify store system

Shopify was also founded in 2004 as a Canadian company by the German developer Tobias Lütke. The first real version of the store system was released in 2006. The first webshop that went online with Shopify was the company's own store. The online store offered snowboards. Over the years, the system gained popularity and customers, and then was even able to go public in 2015.

With Shopify, small and medium-sized companies can operate their online store. In a newer version, there is even the possibility that large corporations can create your online store. The cheapest basic version is available from 29 USD.

With the help of a modular system, an online store can be created and designed very easily and without technical knowledge. For additional features and designs, there is an app store that provides over 1000 extensions for free or for a fee.

Shopware 6 vs. Shopify - The comparison

SHOPWARE 6 SHOPIFY
LICENSES
Shopware 6 comes in different licenses: community, starter edition, professional and enterprise version. There are different subscription models here: Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify. For companies with a particularly high volume of business, Shopify also offers Shopify Plus. If you have a blog, you can add products through Shopify Lite.
HOSTING
Cloud- or self-hosted depending on the edition Cloud hosting
PRICE
The Community Edition and the Starter Edition are free. For the Professional Edition you pay 199 € monthly or 2.495 € one time, the Enterprise Version costs 2.495 € monthly or 39.995 € one time. Starting at 29 USD per month for the smallest Basic version. Products you only want to add to your website or blog can be offered through Shopify Lite for as little as 9 USD monthly. The regular version for growing businesses costs 79 USD monthly. The Advanced Shopify version is available for 299 USD monthly.
EXTENSIONS
In Shopware Shop there are many plugins that can extend the functionality of the online store. Since Shopware 6 is still relatively new, there aren't quite as many plugins as there were in previous Shopware versions. However, new plugins are added regularly. You even don't have to pay anything for some plugins. There are over 1,000 extensions and design templates in the Shopify App Store, some of which are free, but some of which can be paid for. The downside with the store system is that not all extensions are available in Europe or tailored to Europe. Since it is a North American company, all features are more tailored to this region.
PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE
Previous knowledge is not necessary, because you can create the Shopware store by clicking different modules together. However, with prior knowledge you can implement more and create your own custom solutions. Not necessary, because the online store creation is done with the help of a modular system.
BASIC SOFTWARE
Modular e-commerce system with extensions and standard solutions. The basic software is a closed modular system.
DEVELOPMENT EFFORT
The effort for the setup of a Shopware Onlineshop is low. The own further development is relatively easy, because there is a good documentation and a German support team is available for questions. The setup is simple. However, individual further development is not possible, since it is a closed system.
FURTHER DEVELOPMENT FROM YOUR OWN COMPANY
The company Shopware is constantly developing and informs its users about changes on the company's own blog. In addition, it is a German manufacturer that finances the system and further development itself. New changes and suggestions for improvement can therefore be implemented quickly. Shopify's further development is dependent on the listed parent company
INDIVIDUALIZATION
With Shopware 6, it depends on the edition to what extent the Shopware Online Shop can be individualized. Generally, you can make your own changes and customizations in the self-hosted variant. Since the entire code is open source, you or your programmers have the possibility to develop individual solutions and plugins to make your Shopware store even more professional. Shopify is kept very simple and can also only be customized to a very limited extent. There are several design themes that you can use. You can also install extensions for other functions. However, you cannot add your own developments.
FUNCTIONALITIES
The cloud-based Shopware 6 version is not as well developed as Shopify. But in the self-hosted version of the Shopware online store can be flexibly adapted and extended by functions. These can be easily developed by Shopware programmers. Shopify is limited in functionality. You cannot add your own functions and must use those that already exist. However, for a standard online store, all the functions that are needed are available.
DESIGN
There are various online store templates that can be both free and paid. It is the same with Shopify.
LEGAL COMPLIANCE
Shopware is based in Germany, so all developments and plugins are very tailored to the German market and DSGVO compliant. Shopify, on the other hand, with its headquarters in Canada and servers in the USA, is not necessarily legally compliant for the German specifications. However, you can still make your online store legally compliant. There are enough instructions on the Internet for this.
MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES
Online marketing in shopping worlds with different tools. Landing page creation is possible, for example. A wide range of tools is available for marketing. This can be used to create advertising campaigns, for example.
WHO IS THE STORE SYSTEM SUITABLE FOR?
Primarily for medium-sized to very large online stores. The different versions are perfectly suited for different company sizes. Especially for medium to very large online stores. The different versions are perfectly suited for different company sizes.

Advantages and disadvantages of the store systems at a glance

After we have compared the two store systems, we would like to briefly list the most important advantages and disadvantages of Shopware 6 and Shopify. This will give you a better impression of which store system is best suited for which situation.

Shopware 6:

+ Many customization options, since code is open source.

+ Different versions depending on the size of the company and individualization requirements

+ Easy setup and online shop creation with modules

+ Community and Starter Edition are free

+ Company based in Germany, legal conformity is given

+ Many plugins that extend the functionality of the Shopware online store

× Costs are higher if it is not exactly the free open source tariff.

Shopify:

+ Shopify versions for any size business.

+ Easy setup and online shop creation with modular system

+ Smallest version already from 29 USD monthly

+ Over 1,000 extensions

× Not all extensions are available in the European region

× Is a closed system, few individualization possibilities

× For legal conformity in Germany, some conversions have to be made

Update 26.04.2022: Shopware 6.4.10.0

Another advantage of Shopware 6 is that the store system is constantly being developed and new functions are released. So you can always update your online store with Shopware 6 to the latest technology, but also adapt to the legal situation in Germany. The latest version is Shopware 6.4.10.0, which has been available since the beginning of April 2022. With the release, for example, improvements have been made that affect the admin and his field of activity. Likewise, changes have been incorporated to help meet legal requirements.

In the EU, for example, a new Price Indication Directive has been introduced. This means that products must also contain information about the lowest price of the last 30 days. This should benefit the user and prevent merchants from advertising "false" low-price offers, even though the product has been cheaper before. The Shopware developers have adapted the store system directly with the latest release. Two new price fields now allow to specify the lowest price in gross and net in the product details. As you can see, using Shopware is very convenient to always take into account all legal requirements. You only have to maintain the details and don't have to deal with the programming implementation in your online store. This is a great advantage of Shopware 6.

The cookie banner has also been adapted in Shopware. Due to the Telecommunications Telemedia Data Protection Act, the buttons in the cookie banners must now all be the same color and size. Previously, store owners had their preferred choice of cookies being stored highlighted. Those who continue to display this in this way risk a warning notice. So that you as a store operator do not receive a warning, this has been adjusted accordingly by the Shopware programmers.

Update 13.07.2022: Shopware Version 6.4.10.1 to 6.4.13.0

To bring you up to date in this post as well, we would like to introduce you to the Shopware update 6.4.13.0 from July 04 and the new features it contains, as well as all the important improvements that have been added since version 6.4.10.0. With each Shopware update, the store system is improved and the wishes of the users are gradually implemented. Thus, the community also has an influence on how Shopware changes. For example, if you have an urgent request for a function, you can open a ticket at Shopware to express this. Under certain circumstances, your request will be implemented in the next or subsequent updates.

Version 6.4.10.0

6.4.10.1 is a security update for Shopware. This was released on 20.04.2022. Some security vulnerabilities were closed there, which were of the "medium" to "low" threat level. Thus, all older versions were improved and protected against attacks on the store system or your online store.

Update 6.4.11.0

The next update was released on 04.5.2022 by Shopware. It is version 6.4.11.0, which brought some new features. The new features include a confirmation email that goes out to users who send you a contact request through your store. They will then receive an email that contains that their message has been sent to your online store and has been received by you. In addition, in the new update, Shopware developers have added salutations to the emails that are sent when the user's password is reset in your store. Another improvement has been made for the address input. Thus, the states field appears only if the previously selected country also has individual states. This was not the case before.

Shopware Version 6.4.11.1

Right after the update 6.4.11.0, version 6.4.11.1 was released. Here another change was released: Now only categories are displayed in the navigation, which are also active. Until this point, it could happen that categories were visible that were actually set to inactive.

Major update 6.4.12.0

In June 2022, there was another major update: Shopware 6.4.12.0. Here, some improvements were implemented, especially for the administrators of your online store. One new feature is the improvement of the tag manager. With the tag manager you have the possibility to tag products, orders, shipping methods and more. These keywords help you to categorize data and analyze it better. Of course, you can also use the tags to create new rules in the Rule Builder. With the update 6.4.12.0 you can now better manage your set tags. There is a clearly arranged module for this purpose: Delete, edit or merge tags. You can also see what is assigned to a particular tag.

There have also been improvements for the dynamic product groups. Now two more filter conditions can be selected: GTIN/EAN and delivery time. With the option of GTIN or EAN you can select products with a certain identification number. With the selection option delivery time you can only play out products that have a certain, for example, very short delivery time. This is useful, among other things, when it comes to gift purchases just before Christmas or a similar event.

Another point is the improved search for admins. With the improvements, admins can work more efficiently and find what they are looking for. For example, Shopware developers have significantly improved the performance of the search and adjusted the ranking of search results.

In addition, with 6.4.12.0, the Flow Builder has also been optimized (Maybe link the Flow Builder article here?). Here, the sorting and grouping of the individual actions you can select has been improved. If you want to select an action in the dropdown menu, you will find it well sorted in appropriate categories. Also, you will now be asked if you want to save your changes before exiting the flow builder.

More about the updates 6.4.12.0 you can find on the website of the store system itself

Version 6.4.13.0

The latest Shopware release was published on 04.07.2022. With this update, the store system gets a few small improvements, such as fixing some minor bugs and adding smaller features that make the work in the store system easier. For example, texts can now be inserted into the text editor with the combination CTRL + Shift + V. In addition, the quantity selection field changes to an input field if the number of possibilities is over 100. Also the loading time for the influx field sets has been optimized.

Now you are up to date with the functionalities and news around the store system Shopware. In the future, we will continue to provide information about the updates, so you can always refer back to this article if you want to learn about the latest Shopware versions.

Our conclusion: Shopware 6 or Shopify?

Both store systems have their advantages and disadvantages, but when it comes to customizing an online store, Shopware 6 is our clear favorite. Shopify unfortunately only offers limited choices. You have to use the functions and designs that are already available and cannot easily implement new ideas yourself. This is different with Shopware 6. If you have a good team of programmers who can help you develop individual functions, you can customize your online store. There are practically no limits! Of course, you can also use Shopware 6 without programming knowledge. There are enough modules that you can combine using drag & drop. In addition, many extensions are available to you in the Shopware Shop.

If you want a Shopware store according to your ideas, but do not have a team of Shopware programmers, you are at the right place. Our EXWE team is specialized in making online store dreams come true and will gladly support you from planning to online store creation. You can find more information on our service overview for online store creation.

Meike
Meike
from 15.11.21 um 16:46

Hello, my name is Meike. I take care of the EXWE back office and am responsible for our social media channels. All of our articles are meant to make your life easier and help you make decisions. Nevertheless, it can happen that something remains unclear, so: If you have questions about this article you can easily reach me at +49 231 93149827.

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