We are Commerce experts.
We're going the right way, not the easy way.
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We are constantly learning and growing with each task, never standing still and facing the new.
We inspire and motivate each other and work with all the strength of all team members towards a common goal.
With locations in Butzbach, Hesse and Austin, Texas, USA, Shopgate is backed by an international team of over 50 employees who share a passion for innovation and omnichannel commerce. A lot has changed since Shopgate was founded in 2009.
Shopgate & the history of the mobile internet
Our history is closely linked to the highly dynamic development of the mobile Internet.
2018 to date // retail.red: Connecting online with offline commerce
The mobile revolution is having another effect on commerce:
The dividing line between online and offline retail is slowly but surely dissolving from the consumer's point of view.
Consumers search online for locally available products.
Consumers order products online, but do not want to wait long for the delivery to their home, but want to pick up products directly in the store.
The best case:
Consumers order online and receive the order the same day thanks to fast delivery from the store.
A number of larger American retailers have already recognized and implemented this development.
New mixed forms are increasingly developing in the retail sector:
- Search online and pick up locally at the store.
- "Click&Collect": shop online, pick up at the store.
- "Reserve-online-pick-up-in-store" or ROPIS for short: Reserve online, pick up at the store.
- "Same Day Delivery": order online and receive the same day thanks to delivery from the store.
Such offers make the difference between a customer-oriented, long-term successful retailer and its competitors.
Basically, it's about how to attract customers, who spend a significant amount of time online, to the local store and increase the number of visitors to a store.
The market needs an omnichannel solution that allows local stores to more easily, quickly and profitably master online advertising and online ordering.
Shopgate is optimally positioned to offer such a platform due to its history.
That's why the omnichannel suite retail.red was launched at the end of 2020, built on the strong foundation of the Shopgate Connect platform.
2018-today // Developer platform for mobile shopping apps.
The focus on mobile shopping apps has also been a shift in our customer base towards larger retailers with more customers.
There's a simple reason for that:
The most important purpose of a mobile shopping app is customer loyalty, i.e. the possibility to be permanently present on the customer's smartphone.
Customer loyalty is especially relevant for retailers who serve many customers or for whom repeat buyers are a relevant sales factor.
Shopgate reacted quickly to this realization and began developing a novel platform back in 2015 that combined the benefits of a readily available SaaS platform with a fully customizable framework for app customization.
We released the new platform at the beginning of 2018, and its main feature is that developers can create feature-rich apps very quickly, using a large number of pre-built integrations.
The platform is now called Shopgate Connect.
2013-2017 // The Mobile Commerce Solution
The traders liked our market place but saw more urgent and important priorities:
Mobile optimization of your own websites and a cost-effective participation in the rapidly growing app economy.
While market leaders like Amazon or Ebay had already released their own shopping apps very early - as early as 2008/2009 - most of the online world was still sleeping a deep desktop-only sleep.
Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba and the big marketplaces that could afford app development and elaborate mobile optimizations gained market share - from which they still benefit today.
The mobile revolution thus mainly benefited the large, global players; much less the smaller, medium-sized or traditionally positioned retailers.
To help merchants participate in the explosive mobile development, Shopgate transformed from a mobile marketplace provider to a company focused on developing mobile shopping apps and mobile-optimized websites in the 2010s.
A Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution was created, thanks to which merchants were able to publish a perfectly optimized mobile website within 24 hours and immediately realize much more revenue thanks to higher conversion rates.
With a mobile shopping app, retailers could also gain a permanent presence on customers' smartphones and realize the customer loyalty effects previously reserved for e-commerce giants.
Shopgate was so successful that the marketplace was discontinued and instead, with the help of strong investors, we expanded our SaaS platform for mobile commerce into the US market.
In the mid-2010s, in addition to our location in Butzbach, Germany, we added another one in the USA, in Austin, Texas.
The market spoke a clear language:
Mobile commerce has developed from an initially ridiculed fringe phenomenon to the actual growth driver and primary form factor in e-commerce.
Increasingly, alternative technologies emerged, especially for websites, the responsive websites, which convert mostly worse than our dedicated mobile websites, but are a more or less cheap alternative for merchants*.
Mobile commerce has increasingly become a matter of course.
Initially a stand-alone pioneer, Shopgate increasingly developed into the market leader with a focus on mobile shopping apps.
2009-2012 // Beginnings: One app, all shops.
In the beginning, in 2009, there was a conversation between Ortwin Kartmann and Andrea Anderheggen. Both were part of the founding team of Sofortüberweisung.de; a now very popular payment method that was bought by Klarna Germany in 2013.
The question was whether online retailers could be offered a quick and easy mobile shopping experience similar to the Apple App Store.
No sooner said than done. Shopgate originally launched in 2009 as a marketplace for mobile commerce - just 1 year after the App Store was released in 2008.
"One app, all shops." was the motto.
Shopgate was thus the sole pioneer for mobile commerce in the German-speaking world.
At that time, many - even prominent e-commerce experts - still smiled at us. The most common objection was that the screens were too small for mobile shopping.
But the market spoke a very different language:
Many online retailers have been confronted with a rapidly growing number of visitors via mobile devices and later tablets.
For a long time, the vast majority of retailers were not prepared at all for the mobile wave and only offered desktop websites.
Via classic, non-optimized desktop websites, mobile visitors convert poorly or not at all into real customers!
The time had come for a solution that helped dealers optimize conversion rates for mobile visitors and jump on the unstoppable app bandwagon!