Why BURNHARD moved from Shopware to Shopify
When the fast-growing German BBQ brand BURNHARD reached the limits of Shopware 5, they started looking for a more user friendly, less costly, more scalable platform: Shopify Plus. Shopify’s fast Time-to-Market and Code’s strict adherence to their deadline were key in relaunching their online store just before BFCM.
TECHNOLOGYShopify plus webshops
Services we provided
A dedicated BBQ community
BURNHARD is a German outdoor cooking brand selling gasgrills, BBQ accessories and pizza ovens - but they are so much more than a brand. BURNHARD serves a dedicated community of grill enthusiasts who revel in cooking and eating outdoors. So dedicated in fact, that some of their fans tattooed the BURNHARD logo on their arms.
However, with the community growing steadily - the brand grows at an incredible pace, with strong YoY improvement outperforming the market - BURNHARD felt more and more restricted by their e-commerce platform. Even before Shopware 5 announced its EOL (End of Life), it was clear they needed to move away from it. After a thorough preparation process they decided to go with Shopify Plus and Code instead, and their new online store went live just in time for BFCM.
From Shopware 5 to Shopify Plus
At Code we are quite familiar with the general pain points of Shopware 5, having migrated a number of ex-Shopware-users like SNURK and Le Nouveau Chef to Shopify Plus over the past year. Like them, BURNHARD took the EOL as the final push in the direction of a better platform. Minh Gerritsen, Team Lead CRM & Webshop at BURNHARD, recalls: “We have very specific requirements because of the type of products that we sell. We needed lots of customization in Shopware, but these custom features could not be updated. So it was clear we couldn’t grow anymore with that setup, even before the EOL.”
What’s more, the ‘Shopware way of doing things’ didn’t make much sense to BURNHARD’s employees. Minh: “Things like reporting and search were very … in German we would say ‘verschachtelt’. The backend was a mess, it was hard to find things because it was all nested, a box in a box in a box. With Shopify Plus we no longer need a large team to operate, which has many advantages for us.”
After BURNHARD assessed a number of platforms, Shopify Plus came out on top for several reasons. Minh: “We liked that Shopify was so out-of-the-box. Things like payments took forever and were buggy with Shopware, while in Shopify everything is very standardized. You don’t need a huge development team for it because it’s easy to use and easy to launch, and you can focus on conversion and retention instead. End-to-end testing in particular is so much easier with Shopify than it was with Shopware.”
→ SNURK, Santaverde and Le Nouveau Chef also left Shopware for Shopify: read about their experience here
Shopify’s fast Time-to-Market was a big factor as well. With the Shopware EOL (July 2024) looming, BURNHARD wanted their new store to go live on October 24th 2023, just before BFCM and Christmas. Thanks to Code, they made that deadline. Minh: “It’s usually quite a struggle to launch that late, because you don’t have any data in the system yet. But sales were really good, better than last year. This kind of result wouldn’t have been possible with the old platform, because the hosting crashed a lot.”
→ Read the five reasons why Shopify is your best bet, too…
→ Get insight into the costs of a Shopify online store for your brand. Use our TCO calculator for a personalized calculation, including Shopify fees, Apps and (ongoing) store development
BURNHARD spent a lot of time preparing for their migration. By the time they started talking with Shopify and Code, the whole itinerary was mapped out and they had a clear vision of the MVP that they wanted to launch with. Minh sums up: “We aimed at rebuilding the old store and being able to sell, most importantly, and to offer a better UX than we had. In addition, we wanted to incorporate comparisons between variants of a product on the PDP, because our products are quite complex.”
At Code, we’re especially proud of the performance of the product pages. The complexity of BURNHARD’s grills, smokers and pizzaovens required a lot of metafields and metaobjects on the PDP, where customers can check a variety of technical specs. Frontend Developer Bogdan thought it was a fun challenge: “There were so many product details placed in tabs, pop ups and comparison tables - it was like solving a puzzle to make it user-friendly and enhance the shopping experience.” All these specs are taken from BURNHARD’s PIM system and ERP, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central. Even with all this content, the pages are nice and fast to load: we clocked a 7% increase of page speed on desktop, and an impressive 50% increase on mobile!
This is only the start for the BURNHARD store, however. Minh explains: “We took a very brand-oriented approach: there was a lot of discussion on the UX and UI elements we wanted to have ready before launch, for instance. The idea was to launch with 60% of the project done, and to improve it further from there throughout 2024.”
Working with Code
At the time of writing, BURNHARD and Code have already begun the next phase of the project. Minh is very content with the collaboration so far. “It’s really nice, at Code they’re open to our ideas and they have lots of Shopify knowledge, which we don’t. We worked with Jeroen (Project Manager) and Bogdan (Front-end Developer), who did a great job on the metafields, and Pier (Solutions Engineer) and Dominick (Project Manager) on the ERP integration.”
What impressed Minh the most was the fact that Code could meet their deadline. “That almost never happens. It was quite astonishing. This was my fourth relaunch, and all the other ones had delays. To be honest, until halfway I didn’t think we would make it, but then it all started coming together. Also impressive: during the end-to-end testing prior to launch there were no major bugs, nothing that would endanger the launch. Of course, ‘in time’ means ‘on budget’, too, which we were very happy about at BURNHARD.”
At Code, we were also impressed by BURNHARD. Their preparation for the project was incredible, which gave us a lot of information on what they had in mind. Frontend Developer Bogdan found it inspiring: “Working on BURNHARD’s online store was a unique challenge. The complexity of their design and data structure demanded precision and kept me engaged throughout. Their design system was a level up from what most clients hand us: every UI element was detailed, showing the team’s effort - it really motivated me to match their dedication and go the extra mile to create a truly exceptional shopping platform.”
Now that the MVP store is live, BURNHARD is ready to start the concluding stages of the project. What are their plans for the future? Minh: “Our aim is to get a better grasp of the customer journey. What questions do customers have, what are their first impressions, what are the obstacles to buying? Since our products are typically an investment, our customers often have a long consideration phase. They take up to six months to make a decision to buy. And they do so via a variety of channels, not just in our online store but also in our showroom for instance.”
The switch to Shopify Plus, with its infinite scalability, is also meant to give a new impulse to BURNHARD’s international ambitions. Minh: “We’re not yet very international, but it’s on the agenda. We plan to go where the agreeable weather leads us!”
It was astonishing that Code could meet our deadline, that almost never happens. This was my fourth relaunch, and all the other ones had delays. Also impressive: during the end-to-end testing prior to launch there were no major bugs, nothing that would endanger the launch. Of course, ‘in time’ means ‘on budget’, too, which we were very happy about at BURNHARD.