Join CouchCommerce as Cordova / PhoneGap Engineer

We are looking for developers with experience in Apache Cordova / PhoneGap to help us to build a solid bridge between our existing web apps and some native functionality.

In your job you’d help us write Cordova apps that use our existing web app and sofa  components. You’d work closely with the rest of the team to design new APIs and Cordova plugins to build bridges to native functionality.

These are the things that we consider critical for this role

  • You’ve a curiosity about how things work and don’t fear the rabbit whole
  • You like to create new things
  • You’ve been writing iOS and Android applications for a while
  • You’ve experience with Cordova/PhoneGap and know how to write plugins
  • You are a strong communicator.
  • You write understandable and maintainable code
  • You are someone that others enjoy working with due to your technical competence and positive attitude.

Please get in touch with Nadine ( if you are interested to join our team!

By 2016 smartphones will be more important to your e-commerce shop than desktop pcs

Here at CouchCommerce we are closely following all studies and available statistics on the growth of touch driven traffic via smartphones and tablets. One great source is Statcounter that publishes daily updated statistics of worldwide web usage by platform.


As you can see in the graph above this tool provides a great overview of what is happening on the web since the release of smartphones and tablets. You can also drill down by location to understand better how your target markets are doing.

Now in December 2014 we are looking at the following data:

  • Desktop traffic: 61,98 %
  • Smartphone traffic: 31.55 %
  • Tablet traffic: 6,46 %

This means that the touch driven traffic via tablet and smartphone has reached a total of 38,01 % already and is quickly increasing. Between January and December 2014 desktop lost a share of 13,8 % and touch devices grew their traffic share by 35,2 %.

As a consequence we see that by mid 2016 the worldwide traffic for all websites and e-commerce shops will be dominated by touch driven devices. Especially the smartphone will be dominant as it proved itself as our primary computer.

While we see first topics and discussions about the need of innovation in e-commerce front end technology these days, it is still very surprising to us how this radical change is underrated by merchants and software companies. Clearly the existing template technology from the 90s of shop systems is not going to survive in a mobile-first world.


Meet CouchCommerce at the Web Summit in Dublin

Arrived at the web summit!Web-Summit-Logo-Dublin-November-2014We have arrived in Dublin and tomorrow (4th of November) the Web Summit will begin. Only tomorrow we have a booth where you can meet us in the eCommerce area, which is located in RDS Main Hall (Town Square). Our booth number is ECM202. Please stop by and say hello. Kai, Nadine and I will be there to talk to you and share information about CouchCommerce and the Sofa SDK.

In the afternoon at 15:08 we will be pitching in the Beta track on Pitching Stage 3. So make sure to stop by in case you are around!

You can follow us on twitter (@couchcommerce) for more updates during the next three days of Web Summit.

It’s called Open Source

Two month ago we were happy to share with you that we not only released our sofa SDK as open source but also our entire web app as well.developer_view

But open source isn’t all equal. Some projects work behind closed doors and only release the source code for each new version as open source. I like to refer to that as readable source rather than open source.

On the contrary there are projects where the entire development process happens in the open. People can follow or even engage in discussions in the issue tracker to understand how the software is evolving. People can read the commits and learn from them rather than just see the final state of the code. And last but not least they can contribute by filing bugs, writing documentations or even code.

We strongly want sofa and our app to be of the latter kind. Until today, we didn’t fully achieve that. While sofa was 100 % open source our app was more like readable source. We released a snapshot of the code but at that time it wasn’t the repository that we internally used to continue with our work. We wanted to push something out to you as soon as possible but we still had lots of things to solve before.

So what was holding us back you ask? Mainly things that still need to be kept private :) While we want to take open source seriously we also want to take the privacy of our customers seriously. Our issue tracker was full of sensible information and so where parts of the repository, too.

As people started to send us pull requests to our public repository and the codebases kept on diverging, we felt more and more pain. As of today we are very happy to say that we sorted out all issues on our end so that the repository that you already know and use is the one and only repository that we use for the main development of our app.

This is an exciting step for us. We entirely open up. We want your contributions and we are excited to work with you.


The CouchCommerce Team

CouchTeam-15. Juli 2014_306

First 3 days of Sofa – we are overwhelmed!

sofa SDK

Only three days ago we launched our open source Sofa SDK for e-commerce web apps and now we are really happy to share the first numbers with you:

All this within just 3 days is a great result for us and we are overwhelmed with the feedback and involvement of first contributors. We could even approve first contributions that improve Sofa for everyone!

Many thanks to everybody who got involved at this early stage and we are looking forward to the next weeks of working with you on first projects! And for all of you that like to see Sofa in the wild here you can find live projects based on Sofa.

p.s. find us on twitter, facebook and google+ :).

Launching our Open Source eCommerce Web App SDK Sofa – already chosen by our new Flagship clients Runtastic & Reno

Sofa is here!As you might know here at CouchCommerce we have been working for more than one year now towards releasing our e-commerce web app SDK called sofa. Today we are very happy and proud to announce that not only sofa has been released but we also decided to open source our entire AngularJS web app including a great feature set. You can download it right now and get started in three easy steps!

For developers and agencies this is a great starting point to create e-commerce front ends based on superior web app technology. Sofa cannot only be used to bring great touch driven user experience to smartphones and tablets but also covers in-store and even desktop use cases thanks to the almost complete coverage of modern browsers today. So we are moving towards a unified front end experience delivered by CouchCommerce!

developer_viewFrom today on merchants can start to work with one of our partners or in-house developers towards a customized web app experience based on sofa. We have published a API reference that should get you started in minutes. And in case you need help or training we are happy to assist.

Once a customized web app has been developed there are 3 ways to integrate, deploy and run it:


  1. You integrate 3rd party components yourself based on the GPL version of sofa & the web app
  2. You choose CouchCommerce Enterprise self-hosted and get our support, SLA and a MIT license of sofa & the web app
  3. You choose CouchCommerce Enterprise SaaS and utilize our platform integrations, scalability, SLA, updates, support and a MIT license of sofa & the web app

The beauty about sofa is that you can work with your highly customized web app in all 3 cases. Please have a look at our solution page for more information.

runtasticTo demonstrate the power of sofa in combination with the CouchCommerce Enterprise SaaS platform we are proud to announce that Runtastic launched with us to deliver the best smartphone shopping experience available to their 35 Million + users. You can read about it here. Runtastic is a great example for the impressive performance and scalability of single page web apps as we offer them with sofa.

logo_RenoAnd as if this would not be enough great news we are also very excited to be working on a unified front end experience based on sofa and the CouchCommerce Enterprise SaaS platform for Reno. This will cover smartphone, tablet, desktop and in-store through one unified front end experience. CouchCommerce will be directly integrated with IBM Websphere and deliver the front end experience. Our solution partner Projekteins is responsible for the customizations to sofa and working closely with the CouchCommerce team.

So please browse our brand new CouchCommerce and sofa websites to learn more about our exciting future and feel free to reach out to us with any question you might have.

Greetings from the whole CouchCommerce team!

CouchTeam-15. Juli 2014_306

New URLs for the CouchCommerce single page Web Apps

New CouchCommerce URLsLet’s talk about URLs today and how they affect CouchCommerce shops.

It’s been not too long ago that the URLs in our web app looked like this. (For category listings) (For product listings) (For product pages)

There are a couple of problems related to such URLs and there has been a steady demand from customers to improve on them. Let’s first outline what the problems are.

Search Crawler Visibility

WebApps work differently from Websites. A traditional website fetches HTML, Images[1], CSS[1] and JavaScript[1] every time that you click on a link to navigate through the pages. More precisely, the browser hits the server at the given URL to fetch such assets every time that the URL changes. In a WebApp there are no different server side pages but still we want link-ability. Therefore engineers recycled an old technique that has been around since the early days of web browsers.


This is an anchor:

Notice the hash before foo? This has been used for ages to direct the browser to jump to an element on the current page with the id foo. It is not part of the server side resource and therefore if you go from to the browser won’t hit the server because the actual resource did not change. Everything on the right hand side of the # character is only relevant for the local web page and changes do not trigger a HTTP request.

WebApps “abused” (and continue to “abuse”[2]) this fact and used such anchors for client side routing. A WebApp can react to changes to the right hand side of the hash to perform client side actions such as navigating to a different view. This is why a product page in the CouchCommerce WebApp was[2] accessed as until recently. It’s really nothing more than a good old local anchor though.

What’s not to like?

The problem with such URLs is that they lie to you. The content is just not there. The content is entirely constructed on the client side. In the browser. Search engine crawlers, however, don’t see the web as a browser sees it[3]. They only see resources on a server. Unfortunately we don’t have them. Just like a native web written in Java or Objective-C views are entirely created on the client[4].

Pushstate API to the rescue

The outlined problems lead browser vendors to agree on an API to address the issue. A new API called `pushState` lets us change the URL of the browser without causing the browser to hit the server. Remember that any change to the URL previously caused the browser to hit the server to fetch a new HTML document.

We changed our app to make use of the `pushState` if available[2] so that the URLs from above transformed into:

Are we crawlable yet?

Unfortunately, that alone does not address the search crawler concerns. It may assist on the bigger mission depending on which way to address the problem one decides to go. In our case though, we address the problem differently. We give hints to search crawlers where to find snapshots of the html. Each time a search engine wants to crawl a page of a CouchCommerce shop, we point it to another direction where it can request a previously created and cached snapshot. That’s a recommended technique by Google and deserves a blog post on it’s own.

URLs for human beings

Notice the bold parts of the URLs? Computers love such parts. They are great to deconstruct a URL and map it to an actual view. It’s easy for a machine to understand that the first URL is a category view, the second one is a product listing and the last one is a product page. Unfortunately humans unlike machines don’t care about such special identifiers. What people care most about is that URLs don’t change between desktop and mobile view.

A product page in the desktop shop accessed at should just transform into for the mobile shop. Just an extra `m.`[5] to get from the desktop to the mobile view.

We implemented exactly that so that any[6] valid desktop shop URL is automatically a valid CouchCommerce shop URL just served from a different subdomain.

You can see the URLs in action on our demo shop but we will soon roll that out to all our shops.

[1] Let’s not nitpick on caching here
[2] For older browser that don’t support the pushState API the URLs continue to use the hash based routing.
[3] That’s actually changing rapidly
[4] Albeit in a completely different fashion. Typically without HTML
[5] Or any other subdomain for mobile use. That’s up to the merchant.
[6] Well, not any. So far, it only works for category/product listings and product pages

Der Videovergleich: Responsive Shop Template vs. Single Page Web App

Wie vor kurzem bereits in einem Beitrag angesprochen, werden wir regelmäßig nach den Unterschieden zwischen einem Shop Template mit Responsive Web Design und CouchCommerce Single Page Web Apps gefragt. Da die reine Erklärung etwas langweilig ist und besonders jetzt zu Zeiten der WM der Videobeweis sowieso hoch im Kurs steht, haben wir ein kleines Video aufgenommen:

Ausgangssituation ist ist ein iPhone 5c im 3G Netz. Mit diesem Smartphone rufen wir das empfohlene RWD Template für Shopware und eine aktuelle Single Page Web App von CouchCommerce auf. Beide Shops haben das Shopware Demo Sortiment und somit vergleichbare Inhalte.

Die Aufgabe in diesem Video: Den Shop über ein Lesezeichen aufrufen. Dann über die Navigation des Shops über zwei Ebenen “Genusswelten” und “Edelbrände” das Produkt “Cigar Special 40%” aufrufen, in den Warenkorb legen und bis zur Eingabe der Persönlichen Daten in den Checkout gehen.

Hier ist das Ergebnis:

Man sieht sehr gut, wie sich ein Template mit Responsive Web Design im Vergleich zu einer Single Page Web App verhält. Die Gestensteuerung gleicht bei Web Apps der Gestensteuerung von nativen Apps aus dem App Store, bei dem Template mit Responsive Web Design werden die Seiten allerdings wie bei einer normalen Website bei jedem Klick neu geladen. Selbst bei diesem kurzen Klickweg ist der Zeitunterschied enorm.

Bei den Test hatten wir guten 3G Empfang. Sobald hier jedoch eine schlechtere Verbindung vorliegt oder sie kurz unterbrochen ist, wird der Unterschied noch deutlicher.

Eine Auflistung der Vorteile einer Single Page Web App und Erklärung zur Funktionsweise finden Sie in diesem Beitrag.

Hier die Links zu den beiden getesteten Shops: Template RWD / Single Page Web App

Tobit präsentiert mit CouchCommerce mobil optimierte Shopware Shops auf den Community Days

arktis-chayns-couchcommerce1In den kommenden zwei Tagen findet der Shopware Community Day 2014 in Ahaus bei Tobit Software statt. Wie man Shopware am besten für Smartphones optimiert wird Tobit mit Hilfe von CouchCommerce Web Apps live am Messestand zeigen:

Dank einer Kooperation zwischen Tobit, Shopware und CouchCommerce erhalten alle CouchCommerce Händler die Tobit Chayns App für iOS, Android und Windows Smartphones für die App Stores kostenlos. In diesen Apps ist automatisch die CouchCommerce Web App integriert, so dass dem Shoppingvergnügen mit App Feeling nichts im Wege steht. Alle neuen Funktionen und Updates von CouchCommerce sind immer sofort über alle App Store Apps und natürlich direkt im Web verfügbar.

Ein schönes Beispiel ist der Shopware Shop Neben der Smartphone Web App die direkt beim Aufruf von genutzt werden kann, verkauft Arktis auch sehr erfolgreich via Chayns App Store App für iOS und Android mit CouchCommerce. In einem Blog Beitrag stellt Arktis die Apps vor.

Alle Händler und Kunden die sich für einen mobil optimierten Shopware Shop interessieren können die Arktis App hier testen:

Arktis-chayns-CouchCommerce2 im Interview mit CouchCommerce

Wir haben Ronald Dierks von ein paar Fragen rund um das Thema mobile Commerce gestellt und möchten euch gerne seine Antworten präsentieren.
Maddypopper ist ein Plentymarkets-Shop und Ronald Dierks hat sich für eine mobile Web App Lösung von CouchCommerce entschieden.

Welche Produkte bietet Ihr in eurem Shop an und seit wann seid Ihr online?
Wir sind seit gut 8 Jahren online und bieten Schmuckperlen und DIY Zubehör zur Schmuckherstellung für Hobbyisten und Kleingewerbliche sowie selbstgefertigten Designschmuck an.

Was war der Auslöser dafür euren Onlineshop für mobile Endgeräte zu optimieren?
Gestiegener mobiler Traffic mit vergleichsweise niedriger Conversion insbesondere bei Handy.

Wie hoch ist der Anteil eures mobilen Traffics (Smartphone/Tablet)?
ca. 25 %.

Wie sind zur Zeit (vor dem Einsatz von CouchCommerce) eure Conversion Rates?
Desktop 2%, Tablet 1,7 %, Handy 0,6%.

Eure Kunden sind auf den ersten Blick ja nicht die digital natives, wie hat sich der Trend entwickelt, dass eure Zielgruppe mehr und mehr in den eCommerce eintritt?
Es ist mittlerweile auch für unsere Zielgruppe selbstverständlich, online einzukaufen – zumal wir eine Nische bedienen und es unsere Produkte eben nicht beim Einzelhändler “um die Ecke” gibt. Viele unserer Kunden haben in unserem Ebay- und/oder Amazonshop gekauft und sind dann direkt zu gewechselt.

Wie lange habt Ihr nach einer passenden mobilen Lösung gesucht?
ca. 3 Monate.

Und warum habt Ihr euch letztlich für CouchCommerce entschieden?
Gute mobile Darstellung, kostengünstiges Modell ohne Provision, alle Daten bei uns, Anbindung an Plentymarkets.

Was würdest du anderen Händlern raten, die ihre mobile Lösung noch nicht gefunden haben oder das Thema „Mobile“ noch nicht ins Auge gefasst haben?
Laufende Analyse und Beobachtung von mobilem Traffic und Conversion und ggfs. schnelles Handeln. 

Hast du ein “mobil optimiertes Vorbild” für deinen Online Shop? / Welcher Shop ist für dich am besten für mobile Endgeräte optimiert?
Vorbilder sind für uns diesbezüglich die Big-Player wie Ebay, Amazon, Tchibo etc.

Wie sieht deine mobile Shopping Affinität aus, kaufst du selber hauptsächlich über Smartphone oder Tablet ein?
Ich surfe schon sehr viel mit Handy oder Tablet in mobilen Shops und gehe immer mehr dazu über, dann auch mobil zu kaufen.

Vielen Dank für das Gespräch!

Vanessa Göbel
Vanessa Göbel

Wer an unseren Händlerinterviews teilnehmen möchte, kann sich gerne direkt bei Vanessa Göbel melden.

Telefon: 0511/165 80 82 68