DutchDrops

“We also chose Shopware because the culture is a good fit for us.”

Interview with Robbert de Smit — founder of DutchDrops.

DutchDrops

Digital e-commerce agency DutchDrops was ahead of its time. Before there were any e-commerce platforms, search results or payment solutions, they built one of the first web shops for children’s clothing. Founder Robbert: “During those days, people would call to ask if they could just come by and bring the money for their order. That was really an interesting time.” Much has changed since then: Shopware is now the standard, but the focus is still on fashion.

A hand on a trackpad of a laptop showing a children’s clothing website

This is the result of more than 15 years of experience. “Because we’ve been in the fashion business for so long, we have the right mix of conversion and branding. We know what works and what doesn’t. As an e-commerce player, you have to make a difference for your customers in order to be successful. The strength lies in continuous development, doing things just a bit differently than others. And you can’t do that with a standard solution.” Accordingly, almost everything that DutchDrops builds is customized.

“The strength lies in continuous development, doing things just a bit differently than others.”

Robbert de Smit Founder of DutchDrops

“We immediately saw the limitations”

Here’s how it all began. “There were some e-commerce platforms, but their functionality was terrible. Because we had large shops with a lot of traffic from early on, we knew exactly what the bottlenecks were. As a result, we immediately saw the limitations of a platform and what would cause delays. So we mainly built our own solutions. That makes us a technical club. We started working with headless e-commerce very early on. Headless e-commerce allows you to do really cool things with the front end, while staying dynamic and flexible since all data is retrieved with an API. We also build all of our own integrations with ERP systems, like Navision and Exact. We think more complex things are awesome.”

Robbert de Smit with a female colleague at her desk

A sense of family

Nevertheless, at a certain point DutchDrops decided to choose a fixed platform. Robbert: “As we grew, our own platform was no longer scalable. We came to the conclusion that we preferred to build cool front-end things and good back-end integrations instead of continuing to work on a system. It’s tough to do both.

Still, it took a while before we decided to fully embrace Shopware. We still had some comments, but we always manage to come up with workarounds. Headless e-commerce is also possible starting with Shopware 6, so that’s great. But we also chose it because the culture of Shopware is a good fit for us. There’s a sense of family within the company culture. We have good contact with the founder, Stefan Hamann. The lines of communication are short, and you can always call if you need anything. I think that’s really nice.”

Robbert de Smit discussing with his brother

Sincere and honest

DutchDrops takes the same approach when working with its customers. “What sets us apart is that we build long-lasting relationships. We are an integral part of each customer and we are highly involved. We also have a solid platform. We’re good at both. Otherwise it’s just like having a Ferrari, but with a tiny engine inside. It looks amazing, but you’re going 30 on the highway.”

“Otherwise it’s just like having a Ferrari, but with a tiny engine inside.”

Robbert de Smit Founder of DutchDrops

Robbert therefore has no problem selling “no”. “I’m not going to offer you Shopware if it isn’t the right fit for you. I also think that’s the reason why we have such long-term relationships: because we communicate so sincerely and honestly with our customers. For example, customers will ask if we can build something for them, but I know that it won’t be helpful. In fact, it will only end up costing them conversion. I could simply do what the customer asks and charge them for 30 hours, but that’s not how we work. It’s not about booking hours; I think we’re different.”

Robbert de Smit in a light office

The quality we convey

“I’m very loyal: not only to our clients, but also to our partners. That’s why I spent a long time collaborating with another PSP, until I noticed that the development started lagging behind. The quality we convey is partly dependent on our partners. If things aren’t working in that regard, you really have a problem. Then I switched to Mollie. There are many good reasons to do so, but it’s also about the click. I had that with my old PSP, I have it with Shopware and now I have it with Mollie, too. You understand that better than anyone.”

“It’s also about the click. You understand that better than anyone.”

Robbert de Smit Founder of DutchDrops

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“Our e-commerce success prepared us to take on other great projects.”— Martijn Wijsmuller, Co-founder at Ask Phill