Self-balancing electric vehicles are one of the most innovative movements in transportation to emerge from the past decade, and the name Segway has become so popular that it is now synonymous with the product itself. Powered by electricity and gyroscopic technology, Segway’s products are social, environmentally conscious and change the way we interact with our surroundings. So when Ninebot – a Beijing-based company – acquired Segway in April 2015, a new strategic alliance was formed; one that combines various technologies and creates new opportunities for the future of personal transportation.
Convinced by Shopware
After meeting at the Webwinkel Vakdagen – the Dutch market’s leading eCommerce conference – the Director of Segway Nederland, Piet Kruit, became interested in using Shopware as the basis for their new online shop. With an outdated platform, Segway Nederland wanted to create a complete online concept that met their future-oriented requirements and also represented the Segway / Ninebot merger.
On the decision to eventually choose Shopware, Kruit particularly enjoyed the fact that Shopware already met several of the projects requirements already in the standard version. To realize the online shop, Shopware referred Segway to Sition, a Shopware Business Partner, who have extensive experience with individual programming and template design.
Replatforming with two brands
The Segway shop was to be more than just an online shop – it was to provide a unique customer experience that created a bond between the brand and customer. To do so, the website had to combine business and product information under one roof; the goal being to make the site partially information based and part webshop.
Segway / Ninebot products have a broad target audience. While Segway is more targeted for professional use, Ninebot appeals to younger, more urban customers. In order for the company to appeal to such a broad range of interests, they worked with Shopware’s Storytelling function, which frames the products with context while also providing the customer with a wealth of valuable information.
On the decision to create a part informational, part webshop site, Kruit said: “The customer wants to be seduced, guided but also wants to get their information as direct, easy and fast as possible on multiple devices. Shopware offer all this in its packages.”
Various elements such as full-screen images, videos and interactive banners are used to create a well-rounded Segway experience. To create an even richer experience, best-selling product accessories are also included in each Storytelling environment, and every accessory includes a short story about how it can be used with the product.
Emotional appeal in the online shop
One of the main goals of the new online shop was to infuse more emotion into a product that could potentially change the personal transportation industry. Kruit said of the project: “Business in the Netherlands is more and more shifting towards experiencing the product and offering much more than just product details. Our products, such as the Segway PT and Ninebot are all about experience, so that is where Shopware and Segway Nederland meet and enhance each other.”
One way of achieving a more emotional shopping experience was through customizing various aspects of Shopping Worlds. This meant extending the basic functionality of the module developed by Shopware to meet Segway’s needs, which included creating social media elements, installing a dynamic menu within a Shopping Worlds element and creating a custom 3D product viewer.
Easy to customize, easy to manage
Another requirement was to adapt Shopware to meet Segway’s existing infrastructure, which involved creating a custom connection with the ERP system Mamut. The connection works in two ways: the customer and product data stored in Mamut is synchronized with Shopware and all order data is transferred from Shopware to Mamut.
Sition also created a custom template and design for Segway, which is based off the responsive template that comes standard with Shopware. Along with the customizations made to Shopping Worlds, Sition also created custom forms for service and repair, which the customer can conveniently use should there ever be a problem with the product. Michel Doens, owner of Sition, said: “One of the greatest benefits is the ease of use. Shopware includes features that you see in the popular WordPress module Visual Composer, which works far easier than the interface in Magento 1 and even Magento 2.”
Segway was the first project Sition developed based on Shopware. Previously, the company had 10 years’ experience developing Magento shops. “Once you know your way around, everything works really well. With the new feature Digital Publishing, it will be very easy to import and change visuals. Even extending the Shopware framework is easy; a lot easier than the Magento framework,” Doens said about his decision to start working with Shopware.
Sights set on the future
Segway Nederlands and Ninebot have ambitious plans for how the new online shop could steer the course for future endeavours. Thanks to Shopware’s modular structure, they plan to make use of Shopware’s multishop functionality. They would also like to make it possible to lease Segways or work with a monthly payment model, which would include a pop-up informing the customer of the leasing options and legal information.
- Custom connection with Mamut Business Software
- Custom template design
- Custom Shopping Worlds elements
- Premium Plugin: Bundles
- Sition (Den Bosch, the Netherlands)