At the beginning of the year, we reported a 500% growth rate in the UK and Irish market – an achievement we largely attribute to partnerships with innovative agencies and technology partners. In this blog, we are proud to highlight one of Shopware’s many brilliant partner agencies, Space 48, in interview with Managing Director Jon Woodall.
Jon (third from right) together with UK & Irish partners, including GPMD, Williams Commerce, CB Squared and Open Reply UK, at the Shopware Community Day 2018
New eCommerce partnership in the UK: Space 48 and Shopware
Shopware: A lot has happened at Space 48 in the past year. Next to relocating the entire team to new offices in Manchester, you also started working with Shopware. As an award-winning Magento agency and advocate of the platform, can you explain your reasons for partnering with Shopware?
Jon Woodall: Already well known for our expertise with Magento, the partnership with Shopware is part of our move towards becoming the leading eCommerce consultancy in the UK, whilst establishing Space 48 as a platform agnostic consultancy to give our customers a better service.
Shopware’s reputation across Europe, especially in Germany, is well-established, but as you partner with more UK agencies and eCommerce businesses, the platform’s growth within the UK market looks set to skyrocket.
These days it’s not enough to have a good product – eCommerce is completely saturated with good products. As an expert eCommerce strategist, what advice do you give brands looking to claim their space online?
Surround yourself with the best people. Think about who you need on your team and build the best team you can. This extends to your agencies, eCommerce specialists and technology partners. My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that you should carefully build your team with the skills that you need to match your vision and be mindful that as you grow managing change will become as big a challenge as competing in a saturated market.
Content marketing is crucial in eCommerce
How exactly can brands incorporate content into commerce?
Content is ever more important to eCommerce brands. I don’t like the phrase content is king but it is very important to get it right in a busy eCommerce world. You need to stand out from the crowd and offer your customer more. Many online shoppers are hungry for knowledge about your product and as an eCommerce professional it’s your job to make sure the customer gets as good an experience as they would in store. Clever use of articles, product information, images and video incorporated into your eCommerce website is now fundamental. As is choosing a platform that supports this. The content and commerce feature from Shopware is a key feature on their platform and it really does make them stand out from the crowd. It’s perfect for content rich eCommerce brands and part of the reason we wanted to partner with Shopware as we wanted to make sure we could provide the option that best suits our customer.
You once said that eCommerce is largely a H2H (human to human) business. In which ways is technology used as a means to this end?
H2H is definitely something I read somewhere, but it sounds great. In the technology world that we live in we get lost in the latest and greatest eCommerce platform or ground breaking marketing tactics. We look in some cases for something that doesn’t exist. I have worked with many different eCommerce businesses of all sizes and the one thing that the successful ones all have in common is simple! They focus on product, price, promotion and customer service. Technology becomes an enabler where you pick the best platform for your project, based on requirements and the experience of the people on your team.
The impact of AI on eCommerce
At the Shopware Community Day, AI was addressed in many shapes and forms. How do you imagine AI will impact eCommerce in the future?
AI is already impacting eCommerce. It’s already helping drive better online experiences by personalising user journeys and it’s also helping to save valuable time for overstretched eCommerce teams. The rate of change is exponential in our busy world; AI and other technology will only accelerate in the coming years. It’s exciting to see how AI can shape the online experience for customers.
In closing, as you just experienced your first Shopware Community Day, we are curious to hear about your impressions of the event.
The Shopware Community Day is a must attend event and will be one of the first events I put in my calendar next year. The line-up of speakers was excellent, thankfully Shopware provided translation, I would have been lost without it. The venue also didn’t disappoint, set in an industrial park it provided the perfect environment.
But here’s one of my key takeaways that I tweeted on the day:
I’m not sure if there’s a way of measuring a great company culture, but I’ve just witnessed lots of high fives and hugs from the @shopware team for a super successful day @scd_2018 it’s clear to see they are winners #Shopware #TogetherStronger credit to you @s_heyne & team— Jon Woodall (@Jon_Woodall) May 18, 2018
We want to thank Jon for this interview and look forward to the many exciting projects that will result from this partnership. Find out more about Jon and his team on the Space 48 website or learn about the brand’s vision in this video:
About the new Shopware partner in the UK: Space 48
Space 48 is a leading and ecommerce consultancy and website development agency, based in England. Established in 2008, Space 48 has a wealth of experience in ecommerce and omnichannel retail. As the business looked to grow its operations, Space 48 recently moved its HQ to Manchester, where the stunning new office has been designed to reflect the culture and values of the business.
MD Jon Woodall founded Space 48 and grew the business with Technical Director Tony Brown, using their combined knowledge of ecommerce and web development and by recruiting the right balance of people that embody the brand’s DNA. By 2014, the team had quadrupled in size and this made an office move inevitable. Now, Space 48’s head office is based in the centre of Manchester; a buzzing hub of digital innovation.