26. Feb 2020


The e-commerce test procedure of the SHOPMACHER from Gescher delivers remarkable results: under the hood, tested shops were not ideally positioned in 2019.

At the end of 2018, the SHOPMACHER developed the standardized health check procedure for e-commerce systems before taking over an external system. The “technical health” of an online shop is systematically put to the test in seven categories: system architecture, software, hosting, performance, deployment, UX/design, content.

In 2019, the Shopmacher carried out almost 20 health checks – for shops that were developed on the basis of the software solutions from Oxid, Shopware, commercetools, Spryker and Magento. Medium and large retailers and brands. B2B and B2C.

One thing is clear: every running setup has to contend with individual strengths and weaknesses, which usually arose historically and which can be countered with targeted interventions. And yet a remarkable pattern has emerged:

The shops tested generally achieved good results for UX, brand conformity and often also content. Many shop operators put their heart and soul into what the customer sees.

E-Commerce Health Check SHOPMACHER

Almost 20 health checks in 2019


E-Commerce Health Check SHOPMACHER - Check and improve the online shop

Check-up in 7 dimensions

Under the hood, on the other hand, things are often not looking so peachy: the architecture of the overall system repeatedly showed that workarounds and provisional solutions were developed and flanged on during operation in order to find solutions for what were probably unforeseen short-term requirements. Perhaps pragmatic at the moment, but often at the expense of the system’s stability and ability to be updated. Especially when connecting third-party systems, the SHOPMACHER inspectors often found “adventurous constructions”, as project manager Carsten Dütschke reveals. “The magic of two years of customization is often built into a single monster plugin – and that makes a simple update almost as complex as a relaunch, because the plugin has to be adjusted in many places”.

Also a typical problem area of almost all tested systems was the performance. Remarkable, because that has a direct impact on the conversion and should therefore actually be the focus of the shop operator. “It’s also there,” reveals Dütschke. “Most requests for the Health Check resulted from the sometimes urgent need to reduce loading times”.


A rogue who recognizes a connection between the “built-in” system architectures and the performance problem. A smart one

nevertheless, because this is exactly where the SHOPMACHER testers had to start in order to achieve noticeable and sustainable improvements in the loading time.

It is also problematic in this context that the common Google tools, with which the performance is evaluated in order to objectify the “perceived loading time”, sometimes deliver contradictory results: Depending on which benchmark you set, you can evaluate performance according to different parameters and get completely different results. “Many traders are no smarter than their gut feeling after checking with standard tools,” reveals Tech Lead Patrick Blom, who examined some of the more complex systems.

In order to get neutral and reliable results here, the SHOPMACHER now use the CommerceScore tool developed by the partner ScaleCommerce, which specializes in e-commerce hosting. This relatively new analysis tool aims to generate consistent and valid test results without fluctuations in order to enable a perspective comparison of the results.

“In the course of our test, we have now come to a more reliable diagnosis and can also better identify the hidden performance killers,” reveals the SHOPMACHER.

The SHOPMACHER auditors were also surprised that almost all of the systems tested fell well below the required standard for enterprise e-commerce systems during the deployment process. “You don’t see it and it doesn’t have a direct impact on the sales figures. But an unprofessional approach to deployment entails considerable risks for a shop operator.” Here, the auditors found points of entry for hacker attacks, or the complete lack of the roll-back option, i.e. the possibility of restoring the shop to its previous state after a failed deployment. “You can bring down the whole shop with a deployment,” Blom warns.

In the end, the bottom line is that those responsible for the tested systems rightly attach great importance to the look and feel of their systems – apparently because the connection to the sales success of the shops is obvious, but often do not know or are aware of the risks of creeping technical neglect underestimate.



Exclusive Shopmacher team at the office partners

Exclusive Shopmacher team at the office partners

For more than 20 years, the office partners from Gescher in Münsterland have developed into an internationally renowned player in the field of office technology. With around 130 employees, the office partners provide their customers with office technology: printers,...

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