Along with Marcus Lorenz, we dive into the secrets of growing eCommerce stores from startups to fast-maturing businesses with astonishing results, featuring the example of Lampenwelt. 

Marcus Lorenz started Lampenwelt in 2014, when this rising star of eCommerce had only three people in the IT department, headquarters in the owner’s garage and was selling its products on eBay. Since then, Lampenwelt has achieved amazing success and now makes over EUR 100 million in revenue. What were the key elements of this growth? How do they build solutions close to the customers’ view? How did they approach technology and complete their teams? How did they settle and stabilize their technology? And most of all, how did they use microservices to construct their IT structure and make it ready to grow and scale globally?

You will find all these answers in this episode of eCommerce Talks. 

eCommerce Talks – video:

eCommerce Talks – podcast:

eCommerce Talks – transcription:

Marcos Bravo C.: Thank you for joining us one more time. This time I have the pleasure of having Marcus Lorenz here. Marcus is the chief technology officer in Lampenwelt. What would you call it? A chief tech or CTO or …

Marcus Lorenz: – … IT director.

– Wonderful! We really wanted to have you here, because in the previous episode we had Jochen Wilmes telling us about the success story of Lampenwelt: how it went from an eBay store all the way up to what it is now. But before we get into that, if you want to tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up working with such an amazing company.

– Yeah for sure, thanks for having me. My name is Marcus, I joined Lampenwelt in 2014. I started to take over the IT department and just grow it, from a very small department to now a bigger one. Our strategic goal is to do a lot of insourcing on key competencies that we see in eCommerce. We want to bring in the eCommerce knowledge of frontend development, data warehousing and all the stuff that is focusing on eCommerce and the eCommerce platform. And it is a pleasure for me to build up this team and dynamic eCommerce story with Lampenwelt and also a fast-growing company in eCommerce, which is, yeah, very cool, with a very cool CEO and CFO guys…

– ….yeah, I heard about them…

– … and it’s a pleasure to work with them.

– Cool :) At the moment you’re growing the team, right? How many people did you have in the team when you joined and how many are you planning to have?

– Yeah okay. So when I joined Lampenwelt we started with three people, which is not very much. Now we are approximately 30 people and our plan is to grow the team just to go get more competences inhouse, especially for frontend tasks, backend tasks and for what’s very close to the eCommerce frontend view or the customer view.

– If we look at the story of Lampenwelt, and if people missed our other episode, we know that it was in 99 that it all started? It was an eBay Shop, right?

– Yeah, exactly. Thomas, our CEO and founder, founded Lampenwelt in a garage. So he started it on eBay and after that, he was starting to focus on his first domain, which was and he was selling, in the first step, all the products on eBay and in the second step he founded Lampenwelt and put the first SKU’s on the website and sold the articles and learned how eCommerce is working.

– One of the things that happened with a lot of companies is… it’s probably what happened also with Lampenwelt, you guys took huge growth, but then around 2016 when you actually were there already, you had to figure out ways to keep growing. Everything has a top, right? No solution goes up forever. So, for you, what was the process? How did you try to figure out how to evolve the platform or to improve the platform? 

– Yeah, a good question. Basically, we did a kind of settlement, so as we saw how the company was growing, we had an app in the right direction, I think we had to settle and stabilize all platforms on the eCommerce side, on the backend side and do some strategic decisions about what we are going to do next. We were focusing on the Magento project, just to settle all the stuff that we had done in the past and now we are preparing for our next moves, to go up over 100 million revenue, and to go into some new markets. 

– I was looking at your numbers before, and they’re very, very impressive. I mean, it’s pun intended, but it’s brilliant. And looking at the way you guys been growing and the way you guys are doing things, looking at the whole ecosystem of eCommerce, how do you see the smaller companies competing with this fast or massive growth that you guys have? How do you see companies adapting to the challenges of getting to the level of Lampenwelt? 

– Well, basically my point of view is that every company learns from each other and you see something going on on the market and so you’re adapting from the bigger eCommerce players, maybe the smaller ones adapt to them also or to Lampenwelt stuff. And, I think, or in my perspective, the key challenge is to decouple all systems, strictly pare them down and focus on what they’re doing. Just build no-monolithic structure, like we did in the past, focusing on service architecture so that you’re much more flexible in the frontend or just add new services in the backend, to keep up scaling and also to have the chance to replace one system by another without breaking the whole ecosystem. 

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Aleksandra Kwiecień

Marketing and content manager. Passionate about new technologies that make our everyday life easier, and people who create them. Leader of the eCommerce Trends 2020 report, editor of Divante blog (2018-2020), and reports for eCommerce experts, incl. The New Architecture and PWA Book | LinkedIn

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