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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.
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Shopgate & the history of the mobile internet
Our history is closely linked to the highly dynamic development of the mobile Internet.
2020 - today
The mobile revolution has another effect on retail: 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. They order products online, but do not want to wait long for home delivery, but want to pick up products directly in the store.
The best case scenario: consumers order online and receive the order the same day thanks to fast delivery from the store.
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.
- "Click & Reserve", reserve online, pick up in store.
- "Ship from Store/Same Day Delivery": order online and receive same day delivery thanks to store delivery.
- and many more
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 manage online advertising and orders more easily, quickly and profitably. We have recognized this and have been working on our omnichannel expertise since 2018 and have developed a solution for stationary retailers with which fulfillment processes can be automated, inventories can be transparently mapped between stores and online shops (inventory management) and customers can be advised in a more personalized manner.
Shopgate is optimally positioned to offer such a platform due to its history.
By the end of 2020, the time had come and we launched the omnichannel suite retail.red, built on the strong foundation of the Shopgate Connect platform.
Omnichannel expertise & penetration of new markets
Developer platform for mobile shopping apps
Developer platform for mobile shopping apps
2018 - today
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
Merchants liked our marketplace, but saw more pressing and important priorities: mobile optimization of their own websites and 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.
The consequence: Amazon, eBay, Alibaba and the large marketplaces that could afford app development and elaborate mobile optimizations gained market share - from which they still profit 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.
The result was a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that enabled merchants 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 that were previously reserved for e-commerce giants.
Shopgate was so successful that the marketplace was discontinued and instead we expanded our SaaS platform for mobile commerce into the US market with the help of strong investors.
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 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, responsive websites, which tend to convert worse than our dedicated mobile websites, but are a more or less affordable alternative for merchants.
Mobile commerce increasingly became a matter of course. Initially still a sole pioneer, Shopgate increasingly developed into the market leader with a focus on mobile shopping apps.
The Mobile Commerce Solution
Beginnings: One app, all shops.
2009 - 2012
At the beginning of Shopgate, in 2009, there was a conversation between our founders Ortwin Kartmann and Andrea Anderheggen. Both were also 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 a quick and easy mobile shopping experience similar to the Apple App Store could be offered for online retailers. No sooner said than done. In 2009, Shopgate originally launched 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 the sole pioneer for mobile commerce in the German-speaking world. At that time, many people - even prominent e-commerce experts - still smiled at us. The most common objection was that screens were too small for mobile shopping.
But the market spoke a very different language: Many online retailers were confronted with a rapidly growing number of visitors via mobile devices and later tablets.
The problem: 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!