Divante: Setting the Bar High in E-commerce
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Divante: Setting the Bar High in E-commerce

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Piotr Karwatka, CTO & Co-Founder, DivanteTomasz Karwatka, CEO & Co-Founder When thinking about truly inspirational rags-to-riches accounts, what comes to mind are exceptionally motivational business stories of companies that climbed to the top after having started with humble beginnings. But the most inspiring of all is when a business has remarkably high ambitions from day one and manages to pull them off. Such is the storyline of Divante, whose sights were set high from the very beginning. Years ago, the company had a bold vision, operating then with just half of the resources that they have today. Divante continues to build on that ambitiousness till this day having got over 200 people onboard, served 400 clients, and delivered more than 1000 projects successfully. “We are technology enthusiasts and innovators who are eager to see our ideas positively impact the everyday lives of people around the globe,” says Tomasz Karwatka, CEO and co-founder of Divante. “Commerce is the field for this to happen.”

Back then, Divante as an e-commerce agency had a multitude of different competencies from IT to UX, with a slight touch of marketing. Its founders, Tomasz and Piotr Karwatka, tread distinct career paths despite both having graduated in computer science. Tomasz was focused on the business side of projects, with greater emphasis on UX while Piotr was intrigued by the world of open-source IT. This blend of diverse know-how led to the birth of the company in 2008 that attained local success very quickly. The Divante Group went on to include several diverse ad tech companies in the likes of Ideacto, an interactive agency; QuarticON, a recommendation system; Sendingo, an email marketing system, and WellCom merce, a shopping platform.

The story does not end there as the Divante team’s destination goal was bigger. As they went about extending their reach outside of Poland, global expansion turned to be a more formidable objective than it seemed from a local perspective. “It became clear that a big part of our services simply couldn’t face foreign competition. We did not know the specifics of these markets. We reached a dead end and were forced to make some difficult decisions,” says Tomasz. For Divante, this was a time for redefinition as they started focusing strongly on technology, more specifically on ecommerce software while replacing the UX design department with a product design team. The changes as a whole were signifying a shift towards delivering fully close-to-market solutions that satisfied the demands of both users and businesses. E-commerce was a thoughtful choice, not just because of its dynamic growth measured in dollars, but also due to its specificity, which requires short time-to-market and rapid innovative cycle, which combined, provide Divante with an opportunity to make a significant and almost real-time impact on the way people get in touch with online brands.
Being able to make that decision allowed Divante to focus on creating a scalable technology that enabled both large enterprises and start-ups to build and manage digital storefronts for their products and services.

We are technology enthusiasts and innovators who are eager to see our ideas positively impact the everyday lives of people around the globe

As an e-commerce software house, Divante houses a team of experts adept in providing top-notch e-commerce solutions and products for both B2B and B2C segments. Divante defines completely novel ideas, implements the latest technologies, and delivers an unprecedented user experience by supporting clients in sales growth. In Europe, Divante is one of the biggest partners of Magento, the most renowned and used open source e-commerce platform. The company supports an in-house team of over 30 Magento certified developers who have helped Divante’s projects be among the winners at the Magento Imagine Excellence Awards consistently. Also, as a Pimcore strategic partner, the company strives to assist companies in getting the most out of Pimcore with their in-house team of more than 30 Pimcore developers that build reliable solutions in close cooperation with the Pimcore headquarters in Salzburg.

Top-Notch E-Commerce Solution

When internet ubiquity is what defines the present world scenario, e-commerce sure has panned out to be the most transformative and impactful business model in over a century. A witness to this ascent is Highsnobiety, an online and print publication documenting forthcoming trends and news in fashion, music, art, culture, lifestyle and technology. The media company observed that commerce had been a long-standing demand from its audience that wanted to connect with the products they read in their magazine, website and social channels. On a mission to deliver a content commerce product to serve its audience best, Highsnobiety partnered with Divante as the leading e-commerce solution company. They established a plan to design a new mobile-first e-commerce product powered by a headless shop system called CommerceTools, with a state-of-the-art frontend built within Facebook’s React, and GraphQL, to support commerce across all of Highsnobiety’s channels.

“We have ambitious plans of building an offer for the luxury brands that are looking for new clients, and current e-commerce is not enough for them,” says Tomasz. “By mixing a mobile-first approach with engagement tools and big data we can offer an amazing end-user experience, which the best brands are looking for.”

The Next Industry Standard in E-Commerce

Fast and reliable software is Divante’s forte, but most of all, the company believes progressive web apps (PWA) to be the next big thing in e-commerce, with the capability to allow developers to provide a native-app-like experience via standard web applications. Which is why, Divante is the core contributor to Vue Storefront, an extremely popular PWA for e-commerce with a strong and growing community.
The company’s foray into PWAs was worth the while as at the end of 2017, SAP approached Divante for collaboration. As the Vue Storefront turned out to be very aligned with SAP’s R&D work on a new commerce frontend, Divante firmed a deal with them to work together and share their experiences. One of their primary goals was to provide the SAP developers with a headless frontend, which could be easily upgraded with each new release. After leveraging PWA technology and modern JS frameworks to create an extendable code base, which could be easily customised, Divante’s objective was to release it as an Open Source product and involve partners in further product development and in the adoption process. To bring all of their plans to fruition, an interdisciplinary team was formed comprising over 15 experts on SAP’s side and eight developers on Divante’s side including a scrum master, frontend architect, technical writer, fronted/backend developers and QA. Spread over disparate locations across Europe and North America, the two teams continue to cooperate on a day-to-day basis using Agile principles. Their collaborative efforts proved useful in the development of Spartacus, a lean Angular-based, fully decoupled JavaScript storefront that connects with SAP Commerce Cloud and potentially other services through the REST API. Spartacus is slated to be a total game-changer for SAP end-users.

"By mixing a mobile-first approach with engagement tools and big data we can offer an amazing end-user experience, which the best brands are looking for"

The Answer to Mobile Commerce Challenges

Exactly a year afterVue Storefront’s debut, Divante announced the availability of their Storefront Cloud platform at its first showing in Meet Magento New York. Storefront Cloud is a powerful mobile-first e-commerce platform that supports merchants in creating an engaging user-experience across all devices. Based on Vue Storefront, the platform provides online store users with a sophisticated mobile and desktop e-commerce frontend that is connected with every existing e-commerce backend system like Magento or Pimcore. With Storefront Cloud, merchants can use PWA and AMP technologies directly in their online stores while guaranteeing a faster and smoother experience for the client, especially on mobile devices. It is the answer to mobile commerce challenges, especially with its integration with the Open Loyalty program providing merchants with a whole array of tools for re-engaging users and managing all their touchpoints, both offline and online. By offering business owners a 360-degree view of the customer and carefully-crafted marketing communication and triggers, Divante enabled businesses to establish a whole new recurring revenue stream.

For over a decade, the company has been building e-commerce solutions for industry leaders, learning about market changes and designing future-oriented solutions. Divante’s impressive clientele includes industry giants such as T-Mobile, Continental, and 3M, who view technology as their key component to success. With an assortment of services and products, Divante has enabled its clients to expand their business and boost competitive advantages as the go-to entity in the e-commerce space.
- Katie William
    July 15, 2019