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  • 10 Digital Style Guide Examples from Famous Companies such as Apple, Google & Starbucks - If you've ever wondered how designers at Apple defined every little element in iOS as they were building it, then you're in the right place. As technology is constantly evolving, web design continues to become more formalized. Web designers and developers need to create code that can translate seamlessly from PC to mobile devices, make easy to understand site navigation, and innovate other site capabilities — these are all elements that companies standardize in digital style guides.
    Topics: apple, design, web, guides, typography, google, color, elements, examples, guide, digital, companies, style, famous, starbucks.
  • 11 Outstanding Digital Media Campaigns from 2021 - Reviewing the best digital marketing campaigns from established brands can generate ideas for your own efforts. Here is a list of outstanding digital marketing campaigns from 2021. The campaigns feature social justice, celebrity endorsements, personalized products, contests and games, augmented reality apps, and the metaverse.
    Topics: digital, virtual, media, outstanding, users, social, pet, million, launched, personalized, campaign, campaigns.
  • 11 ways to make personalized shopping more effective and profitable - There is no longer a question of whether or not you should offer personalized digital experiences. The research shows that anything less is a death knell to your brand’s long-term success
    Topics: create, profitable, understand, personalization, consumers, need, digital, brands, effective, dopamine, techcrunch, personalized, offer, shopping, ways.
  • 12 Examples of Brands in the Metaverse - Metaverse is the blending of digital and physical experiences. The term first appeared in a 1992 novel. Now brands are in the metaverse, engaging consumers creatively.
    Topics: world, mobility, reality, metaverse, experience, examples, visitors, roblox, worlds, brands, virtual, digital.
  • 20 Platforms to Sell Digital Products - Creators and merchants are producing innovative ebooks, courses, software, and more. Here's our all-new update of ecommerce platforms that sell and manage digital goods.
    Topics: goods, plans, courses, digital, software, platforms, products, platform, sell, price, start.
  • 20 Digital Marketing Ebooks Marketers are Reading in 2022 - The digital marketing industry is always changing. That's why it’s important for marketers to commit to learning as much as possible about digital marketing and emerging trends. But ... who has the time?
    Topics: ebookthis, marketers, reading, ebook, seo, guide, media, digital, marketing, learn, ebooks, facebook, content.
  • 25 B2B ecommerce experts to follow - This post was originally published on September 25, 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and relevancy in the market. Here's a comprehensive list of 25 industry movers and shakers in B2B ecommerce. These hardworking and thought-provoking individuals are known among their peers and commerce community as experts in digital strategy and building digital-first B2B enterprises. We're following them and we think you should be too. Brian Beck, CEO, BECK Ecommerce With over 20 years in the B2B commerce space, Beck has lived through many digital transformations. He now serves as an expert and consultant for mid-market and global B2B firms in the areas of ecommerce strategy, digital transformation, digital marketing and technology evaluation. He’s a frequent speaker at industry events around the globe, and the author of Billion Dollar B2B Ecommerce. Twitter LinkedIn Brady Behrman, CEO & Founder, Punchout2go After 20 years in the web development business, Behrman co-founded PunchOut2Go in 2011 and quickly grew it into a global company, supporting organizations in 39 countries (on 6 continents). During his career, Behrman has gained extensive knowledge and experience within the B2B ecommerce and eProcurement industries; and is a known thought-leader within this niche space. LinkedIn Tiffany Beltis, Director of Biz Ops & Strategy, Intuit  Beltis has held digital transformation roles in enterprise B2B software, including Adobe and Symantec. She oversaw and led the strategy for Intuit.com, including a complete overhaul from the infrastructure all the way through to the customer experience. She is also a sought-after speaker, presenting regularly at conferences such as GrowthHackers, Brand Innovators, and Oracle Open World.  LinkedIn Don Brett, Global Chief Digital Officer at NBG Home NGB Brands is a division of Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm based in New York specializing in retail and consumer investments. Brett held leadership role at Kimball, a leading furniture company and was previously with Newell Brands as the former VP of B2B Commerce.  LinkedIn   Brad Budde, VP, Digital, Emerson Budde is an 18-year veteran in the B2B industry, with experience spanning markets at large and mid-size enterprises, including roles in digital, ecommerce, product management, operations and engineering. He currently leads the overall digital program for Emerson Automation Solutions including guiding the strategic direction, leading the implementation, and driving the adoption of capabilities.  LinkedIn Matt Clark, Chief Digital Officer, Staples  Clark is an experienced ecommerce professional with a demonstrated history of working successfully in the technology and services industry. He leads all ecommerce efforts for Staples.com and Staplesadvantage.com.  LinkedIn Marta Dalton, Global Ecommerce Director, Unilever  As Global Director, Dalton is responsible for B2B and B2B2C ecommerce at Unilever. She’s a popular and featured speaker at many of the industry’s leading conferences, such as DigitalSummit, B2BOnline, B2BOnline Europe, B2BNext, eMetrics Summit, Dreamforce, Ecommerce Brazil, and AD Ecommerce Summit to name a few.   LinkedIn Cynthia DiTullio, Director, Global B2B, Converse  DiTullio is a seasoned practitioner and accomplished B2B leader with extensive global business operations experience. DiTullio has a proven track record for analyzing, benchmarking and improving operational effectiveness. She is also recognized for successfully building and mentoring highly productive and cohesive teams across diverse industries and locations.  LinkedIn Apryl Erickson, Vice President, eBusiness & Customer Centricity, HID Global Erickson is a strategic, customer-centric business leader with HID Global and is responsible for driving commercial digital business and customer experience strategies. With more than a decade at HID Global, she has held roles in sales management, channel marketing, product marketing/management, international sales and marketing communications.  LinkedIn Adrienne Hartman, Senior Director, Ecommerce & Campaign Sales, JJ Keller & Associates   Hartman is a digital leader and frequent speaker at shows like B2B Online, B2B Next, THAT Conference, IBM Think and STEM Innovation Summit. She currently leads the team responsible for digital marketing, ecommerce, creative, content, UX, support and direct sales. Hartman is also empowering others as a Board of Director member for Women in Technology Wisconsin.   LinkedIn Kyle Hilbrenner, Digital Sales, Parts Town As data driven practitioner, Hilbrenner has led everything digital and ecommerce. He specializes in strategy and analytics with a proven ability to collaborate with IT teams to deliver new and improved customer experiences. He was previously VP Ecommerce & Digital Marketing, RepairClinic.com.  LinkedIn Andy Hoar, CEO & Founder, Paradigm B2B (former Forrester Analyst)  His long-standing credibility in the B2B space as a former Forrester Analyst and now Founder of Paradigm B2B, Hoar is really an expert and leader for practitioners.  LinkedIn Richard Isaac, CEO, Real Decoy  Isaac is a successful entrepreneur, VC and ecommerce thought leader. He has been considered a leading authority when it comes to boosting customer loyalty and ecommerce conversions. He also serves as a trusted advisor to executives of the world’s most recognizable brands extract greater ROI from their ecommerce investments. LinkedIn Justin King, VP, Industry Marketing, Salsify  King was one of the first thought leaders to truly double down on B2B ecommerce as an advisor for manufacturers and distributors. He’s the author of Digital Branch Secrets and a frequent speaker on B2B ecommerce. His firm B2X Partners was acquired by Salsify.  Twitter  LinkedIn Mike McMahon, Ecommerce Consultant and former VP, Ecommerce, Medline Industries McMcMahon is an innovative B2B ecommerce executive with a track record of delivering strong business results through digital strategy, data curation and analysis, and project leadership. In 2019, he founded Holistic B2B Consulting Services, a consulting firm specializing in ecommerce and marketing strategy. LinkedIn Paul Miller, eCommerce Consultant and Senior Advisor, McKinsey & Company Miller has successfully launched numerous brands on the web and has crafted winning, profitable, large scale operations in the process. He’s team builder with a knack for finding and hiring great talent - and an equal ability to motivate and retain great people. In addition to his role at McKinsey, he is founder and CEO at Paul Miller Digital Solutions. LinkedIn Michael Noble, CEO & Co-founder, Apruve  Noble is the co-founder of fintech Apruve, a real-time B2B credit network that connects suppliers, their buyers and banks to extend revolving lines of credit to purchase against. He is also the founder of Nitch, a B2B social network to connect buyers and suppliers within their specific "niche."   LinkedIn   Kevin O’Brien, Director Digital Supply Chain Management, Caterpillar  O’Brien has previously held Director eCommerce and Director of Online Presence roles at Caterpillar.  As a globally experienced executive with extensive experience in transformational technology deployment, he has had experience as both a business and technology leader for Caterpillar. LinkedIn Devashish Saxena, VP, Chief Digital Officer, PPG Saxena is a customer-focused visionary and strategic leader with a remarkable track record of driving €1.3 billion digital business growth while consistently shepherding deep business transformation. As CDO, he leads PPG’s digital transformation through enhancement, connectivity, automation, insights and innovation. LinkedIn Shalin Shah, Vice President, Global eCommerce Market Development Strategy, UPS Shah  previously held leadership roles at Georgia-Pacific and was responsible for leading sales and customer specific capabilities in ecommerce.  LinkedIn Sonesh Shah, President of Rotary Tools (Dremel) Bosch Previously as head of digital at Bosch, Shah was responsible for all digital transformation efforts for the North America division for Power Tools, including IoT / New Business Model Development.  LinkedIn Chloe Thomas, Founder, eCommerce Master Plan   Thomas is a trusted advisor to ecommerce business owners and marketers to further grow their businesses. In addition to speaking and advising, she is also the author of five books on the topic of ecommerce and regularly contributes to news outlets and business white papers. She also has a podcast of the same name, eCommerce Master Plan and has created virtual seminars specializing in B2B commerce.  Twitter LinkedIn Rence Winetrout, Global VP, Digital & Data Science, Molson Coors With over 20 years of success helping companies grow, compete, innovate and win, Winetrout is an effective strategic leader. In his role with Molson Coors, he’s leading aglobal team of digital marketing, ecommerce and advanced analytics experts across multiple global regions, which include the US, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Asia. Winetrout is a respected digital innovation industry speaker and will be featured at B2B Next.  LinkedIn Brendan Witcher, VP & Principal Analyst, Digital Business Strategy, Forrester  Witcher is a coveted advisor focused on the intersection of digital and physical with expertise transforming brands on a global scale. He possesses a proven track record and expertise at leading cross functional digital transformations. He’s frequent speaker who is passionate about building high performing teams and breaking down barriers of organizational silos.   LinkedIn
    Topics: leader, ecommerce, strategy, follow, digital, marketing, experts, b2b, business, director, global, vp.
  • 27 Marketing Podcasts That Inspire HubSpot's Content Team - Podcasting is here to stay. According to Insider Intelligence, there are over 117 million podcast listeners in the U.S. alone, a 10% increase from last year, and that figure is expected to rise.
    Topics: listen, business, podcasts, podcast, listeners, inspire, social, marketing, content, hubspots, team, strategies, media, digital, marketers.
  • 3 Sure-Fire Ways to Drive More Online Demand for Your Products - Use these three levers to drive the best online traffic to your product pages.
    Topics: products, conversion, surefire, quality, need, product, consumers, digital, demand, brands, content, traffic, online, ways, destiny, drive.
  • 57% of micro and small businesses are committed to combining online and physical sales, reveals GoDaddy study - The GoDaddy Entrepreneurship Survey 2021 reveals that 6 out of 10 entrepreneurs ventured into online sales due to the pandemic, but will not give up their physical stores
    Topics: reveals, committed, small, godaddy, digital, entrepreneurs, mexico, combining, business, study, online, stores, sales, physical, social, micro, networks.
  • 6 Types of Advertising Brands Are Investing In This Year - And just like that, another year is (almost) in the books. As marketers begin to map out their 2022 marketing plans, it's the perfect time to dust off the crystal ball and predict what will shape the industry over the coming year.
    Topics: marketing, types, marketers, media, ads, advertising, social, investing, tiktok, youtube, brands, video, digital.
  • 7 Business Models for Monetizing Digital Content - This post was originally published Novemeber 4th 2012 and has been updated to include more descriptions and add relevancy.   In our latest webinar Monetizing Content in a World of Digital Disruption I covered a number of examples from across industries of innovative ways to get paid for digital products and content. While I encourage you to check out the replay for all the juicy details, this post recaps the various business models represented by the examples. Let's go. Just free "Just free" is a legitimate business model, though not a sustainable one (unless you're lucky enough to get bought out by a big fish). Many startups charge nothing in order to get a critical mass of users and word of mouth before figuring out how to profit (think Twitter in its early years). While it's not a viable long-term strategy, it can make sense in the short-term. (Remember, no business is married to just one business model over the life of a product or service.) Simply free may also be a way to drive sales in another channel. For example, the software is free, but the company makes money on services and/or sister products. Subscriptions The subscription model is common for all types of digital content - software, gaming, e-newspapers, e-magazines, telco services and streaming content (Netflix, Hulu, Spotify). Many of these types of content use paywalls. A paywall is a method restricting content to members that pay a fee to the platform. They perform by interrupting content and urge viewers to subscribe to create an account. Paywalls may be presented immediately, after a free trial, or be "metered," appearing after a certain number of page views or content views/listens. 78% of newspapers use a metered paywall, which allows them to generate more ad revenue than shutting visitors out. Publishers can experiment with "soft paywall" alternatives like Google Consumer Surveys and Double Recall - interactive surveys and ad-units that provide inexpensive market research for brands and greater recall than banner ads. Selling content by subscription is getting harder for newspapers, and publishers must figure out how to mitigate disruption from news aggregator apps like Apple News, The Week and Flipboard. Curated news is gaining popularity, but it threatens the appeal of subscribing to individual publications while at the same time potentially drawing in new customers. For example, the New York Times allows its subscribers full access to stories through Flipboard, while non-subscribers see only the top 10 stories in full text. Non-subscribers are given the opportunity to subscribe, and teasers within Flipboard may create that desire to unlock full access. However, revenue driven through Flipboard must be shared with Flipboard. We have even seen habits shift to a Twitter-like summary of the news, rather than full articles. A 17 year-old recently raised millions in capital for his app that shrinks daily news down to 3 or 4 paragraphs. Says the teen founder “I designed Summly because I felt that my generation wasn’t consuming news in the traditional way any more." However, other subscription verticals like gaming, software and media are thriving, themselves disrupting the old model of ownership of physical products. Microtransactions Microtransactions are what they sound, piece-meal access to digital content and applications, being either pay-to-play (streaming content, time-limited access to content or applications) or pay-to-own (download a track, movie, article, image, etc.) This model pre-dates the common use of the Internet - think pay-per-view movies and sports and arcade games. iTunes is a prime example of a microtransaction model, and O'Reilly publishing has been offering books by the chapter for years. Newer examples include Google's freshly launched micropayments option for Wallet users (a paywall alternative for publishers). The question remains whether this model will work for news and magazine articles, which are typically one-time reads, where music and video track downloads are more sticky.   Deliver unique customer experiences Get a custom demo to see how Elastic Path will help you deliver the unique customer experience you've always imagined. Check out Demos Freemium The hallmark of freemium model is offering basic features for a product or services to consumers at no cost but charging a premium fee to access more advances features. There are a few variations of this model: Free and paid version (e.g. lite use and power use, personal vs. business use, ad-supported vs. ad-free, basic vs. enhanced features, etc.) Free with in-product transactions (e.g. virtual goods and currency in-game, which accounts for 72% of Apple App Store revenue) Free and premium with microtransactions (buy ad-free Angry Birds, buy levels and goods within the game) Ad-supported freemium Ad-supported free products are common across digital verticals, from newspapers and magazines to games and software, on-demand video, music services and social networks. But it goes beyond banner ads. Viggle was an example of innovative ad opportunities in the mis 2000's Its second-screen app (companion to television) is not only free for users, but rewards users for engagement with TV shows and ads through its own loyalty program. Points accrued from check-ins to favorite TV shows, ad viewing, trivia and other actions are redeemable for real gift cards like Starbucks, Amazon, Groupon, Fandango and Facebook. This differentiates it from other second-screen apps like GetGlue. Another differentiator is its own proprietary audio recognition technology (similar to Shazam) that verifies a user is watching a program. The company's also created new ways to watch TV, like MyGuy, a fantasy sports app that allows you to pick your star player for a game, and win extra points when your player is doing well. Ad revenue comes from TV networks looking to promote their shows and brands that advertise within the app. A TV show pays for point value, which increases the attractiveness of checking into the show. They may also pay for placements in other contests and promotions. The long-term goal for Viggle was to become an AdWords-like platform where network shows use real-time bidding to drive tune-ins and engagement for their shows. Unfortunately Viggle's goals were shortlived with the advancement of more technology Today we have Google Play Movies & TV and AMC app which continuously provide content you may be interested in to keep you on the app. For example, if you are watching a tv show they have prompts to upsell sound track and additional content based on what you are watching.  Freemium hardware Back in the mid 2000's there use to be Kindles with ads and sponsored screensavers are available at a discount price. This was great for its time, but over the years we have shifted digitally and most freemium models have been provided for software instead like with DropBox and Trello. For DropBox you get access to a limited amount of storage space for free but if you want to get more, you have to pay a premium. Similarly, Trello gives access to all of its boards for free but if you want to integrate it the app with any other system, you have to pay a premium. Affiliate The affiliate model is essentially based on commissions. This model allows your company to be compensated for generating traffic, leads, or sales to another company's products and services. These are usually tracked through coded affiliate links. Let's take a look at Shazam for example. Shazam is an audio recognition app that helps you discover or remember who sings that song you're hearing right now. "Tagging" a song searches its database and presents the answer along with affiliate links to download tracks or buy tickets to local gigs. Shazam began as all-free, and moved to a freemium model. Its free version was limited to 5 song tags per month, and unlimited access for a one-time payment of $4.99. Down the road, Shazam dumped its freemium scheme for free-for-all access, a move that can potentially increase it's revenue greatly. Providing everyone unlimited tagging widens its opportunity for affiliate revenue. More tags = wider funnel. Licensing Services like Spotify license content from record labels and independent artists, Hulu and Netflix from Hollywood. Software products white-label. Publishers syndicate content. There are many examples of licensing digital goods. Beyond content, innovators can license their proprietary technology to others. Shazam could license audio recognition technology to other companies to add an additional revenue stream. API-as-a-product Many content producers are sitting on piles of existing and legacy content that can be remixed into new experiences and licensed to third parties. I covered Pearson's API on the Elastic Path blog, along with 7 other wicked applications of commerce APIs. Data-as-a-product The Last.fm music service sits on a mound of listener data, and can offer advertisers highly targeted campaign opportunities. An example is for Puma's Deadmau5 running shoe. The brand was able to target the band's fans within a social network using Last.fm's technology features. Selling data is an opportunity for additional revenue for digital products and services that collect it. Derivative products Similarly, pieces of content can be remixed into new products, or derivative products, used internally or licensed to developers. Two examples mentioned in the webinar are Hark and Eyewitness. Hark is a YouTube for audio clips from popular movies, TV shows and even political quotes (how timely). It streams sound files and enables social sharing and embedding, with links to rent or buy full content from Amazon. Guardian's Eyewitness mobile app features its famous photographs, repurposed for iPad. The app is freemium, sponsored by Canon (a fitting partnership). Free users get a daily photo, paid users get an extra 3 photos per day and sports photos for £1.49 per month. More examples can be found in our webinar, available on demand: Monetizing Content in a World of Digital Disruption.
    Topics: app, users, products, digital, free, monetizing, business, access, tv, revenue, models, model, content.
  • 7 Business Models for Monetizing Digital Content - In a recent webinar, Monetizing Content in a World of Digital Disruption, we covered a number of examples from across industries of innovative ways to leverage eCommerce best practices to get paid for digital products and content.  While we encourage you to check out the replay for all the juicy details, this post recaps the various business models represented by the examples. Let's go.   Just free "Just free" is a legitimate business model, though not a sustainable one (unless you're lucky enough to get bought out by one of the big players in the market). Many startups charge nothing in order to get a critical mass of users and word of mouth before figuring out how to profit (think Twitter in its early years). While it's not a viable long-term strategy for most companies, it can make sense in the short-term to gain momentum. (Remember, most businesses are not married to just one business model over the life of a product or service.) Offering your digital content for free may also be a way to drive sales in another channel. For example, the software is free, but the company makes money on services and/or sister products.   Subscriptions The subscription model is common for all types of digital content - software, gaming, news, magazine, telco services, and streaming video and music content (Netflix, Hulu, Spotify). Subscriptions has also gained popularity in recent years beyond digital content, spanning many different industries embracing eCommerce using a digital native approach, including rent the runway, theblacktux, and stichfix, just to name a few. Many of these types of content use paywalls. Paywalls may be presented immediately, after a free trial, or be "metered," meaning that the paywall appears after a certain number of page views or content views/listens. 78% of online news organizations use a metered paywall, which allows them to generate more ad revenue than shutting visitors out. Publishers can experiment with "soft paywall" alternatives like Google Surveys that provide inexpensive market research for brands and greater recall than banner ads. Selling content by subscription is getting harder for online news outlets, and publishers must figure out how to mitigate disruption from news aggregator apps, sites like Google News, and distribution via social media platforms. Curated news is gaining popularity, but it threatens the appeal of subscribing to individual publications while at the same time potentially drawing in new customers. For example, the New York Times allows its subscribers full access to stories through an Apple News subscription, but otherwise they require a direct subscription in order to consume content. We may see habits shift to a Twitter-like summary of the news, rather than full articles. Offerings such as the Skimm have gained in popularity in recent years, because they make consumption of news content easy for generations that don’t want to read a full newspaper or scroll through endless articles. However, other subscription verticals like gaming, software, and media are thriving, themselves disrupting the old model of ownership of physical products for several years now.   Microtransactions Microtransactions are what they sound, piece-meal access to digital content and applications, being either pay-to-play (streaming content, time-limited or volume-limited access to content or applications), or pay-to-own (download a track, movie, article, image, etc.) This model pre-dates the common use of the Internet - think pay-per-view movies and sports and arcade games. In its heyday before music streaming services like Spotify, iTunes was a prime example of a microtransaction model, and O'Reilly publishing has been offering books by the chapter for years. The question remains whether this model will work for news and magazine articles, which are typically one-time reads, where music and video track downloads are more sticky.   Freemium The hallmark of freemium is offering a free and paid (premium) version. There are a few variations of this model: Free and paid version (e.g. lite use and power use, personal vs. business use, ad-supported vs. ad-free, basic vs. enhanced features, etc.) Free with in-product transactions (e.g. virtual goods and currency in-game, which accounts for 72% of Apple App Store revenue) Free and premium with microtransactions (buy ad-free access to games, or buy access to new levels and goods within the game)   Ad-supported freemium Ad-supported free products are common across digital verticals, from newspapers and magazines to games and software, on-demand video, music services, and social networks. But it goes beyond banner ads. Viggle is an example of innovative ad opportunities. Its second-screen app (companion to television) is not only free for users, but rewards users for engagement with TV shows and ads through its own loyalty program. Points accrued from check-ins to favorite TV shows, ad viewing, trivia, and other actions are redeemable for real gift cards like Starbucks, Amazon, and even bitcoin. Another differentiator is its own proprietary audio recognition technology (similar to Shazam) that verifies a user is watching a program. The company's also created new ways to watch TV, like MyGuy, a fantasy sports app that allows you to pick your star player for a game, and win extra points when your player is doing well. Ad revenue comes from TV networks looking to promote their shows and brands that advertise within the app. A TV show pays for point value, which increases the attractiveness of checking into the show. They may also pay for placements in other contests and promotions. The long-term opportunity here is for second-screen providers to become an AdWords-like platform where network shows use real-time bidding to drive tune-ins and engagement for their shows. The viability of this depends on the consumer experience, and if consumers will be willing to adopt this approach, which will be required to make its app the way people watch TV.   Looking to implement a headless approach? Our comprehensive guide to getting started with headless commerce will teach you more about the architecture, how to work with the front-end of your choice, and how to choose a platform that fits your needs. Read the Guide   Freemium hardware Kindles that include ads and sponsored screensavers are available at a discount price. This may catch on with other device manufacturers.   Affiliate Shazam is an audio recognition app that helps you discover or remember who sings that song you're hearing right now. "Tagging" a song searches its database and presents the answer along with affiliate links to download tracks or buy tickets to local gigs. Shazam began as all-free, and moved to a freemium model. Its free version was limited to 5 song tags per month, and unlimited access for a one-time payment of $5. Down the road, Shazam dumped its freemium scheme for free-for-all access, a move that can potentially increase its revenue greatly. Providing everyone unlimited tagging widens its opportunity for affiliate revenue. More tags = wider funnel. Licensing Services like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music license content from record labels and independent artists, Hulu and Netflix from Hollywood. Software products white-label. Publishers syndicate content. There are many examples of licensing digital goods. Beyond content, innovators can license their proprietary technology to others. Shazam could license audio recognition technology to other companies to add an additional functionality and revenue streams. API-as-a-product Many content producers are sitting on piles of existing and legacy content that can be remixed into new experiences and licensed to third parties. As the API economy continues to grow across all industries, this approach has gotten more and more popular for digital content distribution. I covered Pearson's API on Get Elastic, along with 7 other wicked applications of commerce APIs. Data-as-a-product The Last.fm music service sits on a mound of listener data, and can offer advertisers highly targeted campaign opportunities. An example is for Puma's Deadmau5 running shoe. The brand was able to target the band's fans within a social network using Last.fm's technology features. Selling data is an opportunity for additional revenue for digital products and services that collect it. Derivative products Similarly, pieces of content can be remixed into new products, or derivative products, used internally or licensed to developers. Two examples mentioned in the webinar are Hark and Eyewitness. Hark is a YouTube for audio clips from popular movies, TV shows and even political quotes (how timely). It streams sound files and enables social sharing and embedding, with links to rent or buy full content from Amazon.   Guardian's Eyewitness mobile app features its famous photographs, repurposed for iPad. The app is freemium, sponsored by Canon (a fitting partnership). Free users get a daily photo, paid users get an extra 3 photos per day and sports photos for £1.49 per month.   More examples can be found in our webinar, available on demand: Monetizing Content in a World of Digital Disruption.
    Topics: models, app, products, revenue, model, content, access, shows, monetizing, free, digital, business, tv.
  • 7 Simple Digital Marketing Hacks for 2022 - Digital marketing trends are changing constantly. Each year brings new marketing strategies that need to be identified and integrated into the gameplans of large and small businesses alike, otherwise, there's serious money left on the table.
    Topics: content, audience, simple, using, video, small, search, google, digital, marketing, lsas, hacks.
  • 7 questions that every novice entrepreneur asks, resolved by the director of Mercado Libre - Today, I would say that being an entrepreneur is taking a risky path that begins with seeing an opportunity where others see a problem.
    Topics: asks, today, model, director, digital, ecommerce, questions, novice, resolved, need, mercado, business, strategy, entrepreneur, libre, good, product.
  • 8 Hacks to Make Your Digital Agency More Productive - The more billable tasks you complete, the more money your agency makes. The less time you spend on admin and non-billables, the more you can spend on valuable client work.
    Topics: agencies, productive, work, youve, clients, small, agency, digital, productivity, youre, business, hacks.
  • 9 of the Best CRMs for Digital Agencies - As an agency, there comes a point when a customer relationship management (CRM) tool becomes an essential part of your business.
    Topics: project, users, agencies, best, crms, agency, management, digital, marketing, crm, sales.
  • A practical guide to consolidate your business in the digital world - Compared to the United States of America, where 50% of sales are concentrated in two retailers (Amazon and Walmart), e-commerce in Mexico is still a territory that is maturing.
    Topics: world, search, digital, sales, optimization, consider, options, client, practical, good, store, service, business, consolidate, guide.
  • Albertsons sets off Firework’s livestream, shoppable video experience on website - Albertsons is the first U.S. grocer to utilize Firework's platform to create, host and curate its own short-form and livestream video to improve customer engagement.
    Topics: using, fireworks, digital, customers, customer, techcrunch, albertsons, video, experience, shortform, content, sets, added, website, shoppable, livestream, humayun.
  • Amazon launches Smart Commerce in India to help offline stores launch digital storefronts - Amazon said it will help neighborhood stores across India launch their own digital storefronts to better serve their customers, the latest effort by the e-commerce giant as it attempts to leverage the dense network of offline stores in the key overseas market. Amazon on Wednesday launched Smart Commerce, a new offering that will allow stores […]
    Topics: help, storefronts, india, neighborhood, smart, amazon, techcrunch, offer, offline, online, digital, stores, launch, serve, commerce, launches.
  • An Introduction to NFTs - Non-fungible tokens are a hot topic. Some claim that NFTs are the future of artwork — viable, profitable investments. Detractors wonder if NFTs are a short-term novelty. In this post, I'll describe NFTs and how they are created, purchased, and sold.
    Topics: created, nft, sold, technology, million, nfts, computer, introduction, demand, digital, blockchain.
  • Are Big Changes Coming to Digital Ads in 2022? - Could aggressive ad targeting go away? A confluence of proposed U.S. privacy legislation, federal rule changes, and a decentralized web suggest a coming digital ad transformation.
    Topics: information, individual, ads, digital, targeting, privacy, changes, advertising, surveillance, coming, tech, big, ad.
  • Are Stablecoin and CBDC the Future of Digital Currency? - Stablecoin and central bank digital currency may offer the benefits of buying and selling with cryptocurrencies without the worrisome price swings. Blockchain-driven transactions could benefit the ecommerce industry.
    Topics: bitcoin, value, transactions, dollar, future, exchange, currency, governments, cbdc, tether, digital, stablecoin.
  • Best Headless Content Management Systems (CMS) Vendors - If your business is committed to growing revenue through digital channels, and wants to be able to continuously iterate and optimize your website’s look and feel to keep up with ever evolving customer expectations, then you know how important it is to have a robust system for your team of marketers and merchandisers to manage your digital properties. For decades now, teams have leveraged Content Management Systems (CMS) to manage and deliver dynamic content across the web. However, with the increased adoption of headless architectures in the CMS space, and the proliferation of new CMS vendors, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose the best CMS for your business. In this article you will learn all about Content Management Systems (CMS), the difference between “headless” and traditional CMS offerings, and get a concise overview of all the major vendors that provide Headless CMS offerings so you can select the best CMS for your project.   What is a Content Management Systems (CMS)? Let’s start off by understanding what a CMS is all about. A Content Management System is a software solution that powers the content on your website and other browser-based digital properties, and allows users to publish and manage website content without needing to build a custom website front-end in code. CMSs will often provide pre-built templates that make it fast and easy for users to create, publish, and update web pages with new content – such as new copy, images, and more. As digital channels have become a critical battleground for businesses to interact and transact with their customers, partners, suppliers, etc – the importance of Content Management Systems has increased considerably. Like most other types of software applications, CMSs used to be primarily sold as on-premise software that you would buy, deploy, and manage on your own – but have increasingly moved to the cloud and are sold as Software as a Service (SaaS), which lowers the total cost of ownership for companies and increases the agility at which they can manage their digital properties.   What does it mean for a CMS to be “Headless”? “Headless” is a concept that has gained increasing popularity in recent years, across a variety of application types, use-cases, and industries. It refers to the decoupling of the front-end of an application (i.e the user interface) from the back-end. Using a headless approach is appealing for some projects because it provides more flexibility in how the back-end functionality is able to be configured. This is because in a headless architecture you are accessing the back-end functionality directly via APIs (application programming interface), vs using a traditional architecture (i.e. non-Headless) where the front-end and back-end are fused together into a single application and you can only access and configure the back-end functionality through that application’s native front-end user interface. However, a drawback of a headless architecture is that now you have two or more application components to integrate and manage, vs just a single application. With a headless architecture, you (or a counterpart in your IT department, System Integrator, or Digital Agency) will also have to be comfortable working with APIs in order to get your headless application architecture up-and-running.   Looking to implement a headless approach? Our comprehensive guide to getting started with headless commerce will teach you more about the architecture, how to work with the front-end of your choice, and how to choose a platform that fits your needs. Read the Guide Top factors to consider when selecting a CMS vendor: Selecting the right Content Management System for your business is not unlike selecting any other piece of software. It all comes down to matching your business and technology requirements to the various vendor offerings in the market. That being said, some of the primary factors to consider: Headless vs Traditional: as discussed above, deciding whether going with a Headless CMS architecture or a traditional approach is one of the key decisions you will need to make. This will come down to your desired flexibility, uniqueness of your business model, and digital maturity (either in-house or through an SI or digital agency). On-premise vs SaaS: this one is fairly self-explanatory. You will need to decide if you want (or need, due to regulatory or other requirements) to host your CMS on your own or use a SaaS-based solution. Integrations: you will need to map out what else you will need your CMS to integrate with (e.g. analytics, personalization, ratings and reviews, eCommerce, A/B testing, chat, etc), and determine if those integrations are pre-built and ready to use, or if you will need to build those integrations yourself. Digital channels: you should think about your businesses revenue strategy for the 2-3 years and determine if you will only need a browser-based website, or if achieving your revenue goals over the next few years will require you to activate additional digital channels that may not be supported by a CMS (e.g. IoT, Kiosks, etc).   Best Headless CMS vendors you should be considering: There are a LOT of Content Management System vendors in the market. And as much as analyst firms or peer review sites will try to rank the “best” CMS vendors, the reality is that there is no one best, there’s just the best for you. To that end, we’ve tried to provide an honest overview of the major Headless CMS vendors in the market, so you can pick the one that best addresses your specific needs. First, we will start with a list of the native Headless CMS vendors (in alphabetical order): Amplience Headquarters: London, UK Number of employees: 134 Website: www.amplience.com Company overview: Amplience powers digital-first brands and retailers with the freedom to do more. Their low-code Content Management System, Digital Asset Management, and Digital Experience Management platform allows more than 350 of the world's leading brand teams to manage content, not code. The result is a rapid ROI for their clients who are delivering data and insight-driven customer experiences that drive deeper, more valuable customer relationships. Amplience supports the industry's transition to Microservice, API-first, Cloud and Headless (MACH) technologies, is MACH certified and an executive member of the MACH Alliance.   Contentful Headquarters: Berlin, Germany Number of employees: 676 Website: www.contentful.com Company overview: Contentful helps digital teams assemble content and deliver experiences, faster. Their open and flexible content platform adapts to how digital builders work to meet business goals through easy customization and deep integration with any tech stack. Digital teams can reuse and automate content across devices and channels, so they can worry less about content maintenance and more about their customers. With offices in hubs including Berlin, San Francisco, and Denver, and a global team distributed across every time zone, they help thousands of businesses across the spectrum of digital maturity to move fast and meet customer demands. Contentful supports IKEA, Vodafone, Electronic Arts, and over 30% of the Fortune 500 to deliver market-leading digital experiences at scale through every stage of the customer journey. As stated in the Forrester Wave™: Agile Content Management Systems (CMSes) Q1 2021 report, Contentful has “a well-articulated vision for helping companies become digital first, plus the capabilities to help them get there.”    Contentstack Headquarters: San Franisco, CA, USA Number of employees: 229 Website: www.contentstack.com Company overview: Contentstack was the pioneer in API-first, headless CMS technology. They accelerate and simplify content management across today's and tomorrow's digital channels, including web, mobile and IoT. From desktops to smart phones, from kiosks to smart watches, from billboards to jumbotrons, from dashboards to VR headsets – content is delivered with the push of a button and optimized for every screen, device, and channel.    Crownpeak Headquarters: Denver, CO, USA Number of employees: 134 Website: www.crownpeak.com Company Overview: Crownpeak provides the leading, enterprise-grade, cloud-first Digital Experience Management (DXM) platform. The Crownpeak DXM platform empowers Fortune 2000 companies to quickly and easily create, deploy and optimize customer experiences across global digital touchpoints at scale. Besides featuring content management, personalization, search, and hosting, it is the only digital experience platform that includes built-in Digital Quality Management (DQM) to ensure brand integrity, best practices, and web accessibility compliance. Recently, Crownpeak acquired Evidon, the leading provider of simple technical solutions to complex digital Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) challenges, including a new Universal Consent Platform, designed to help companies comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).    Builder.io Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA Number of employees: 18 Website: www.builder.io Company overview: Builder.io enables teams to build and optimize digital experiences on any site or app. No coding required, and developer approved.  Dotcms Headquarters: Miami, FL, USA Number of employees: 28 Website: www.dotcms.com Company overview: dotCMS empowers users to build, deliver, and scale memorable and lasting customer experiences with their cloud-based or on-premise content management system. Used by Fortune 500 companies, SMBs, and digital agencies alike, dotCMS enables organizations to create, reuse, store and manage content with key features, including content authoring, multi-channel deployment, role-based access, REST-APIs, workflows, and analytics. dotCMS allows marketing teams to take control of their content with a NoCode authoring environment, including drag and drop builders for content, templates, layouts and more. Managers can use the system’s search feature to retrieve documents as well as index content and assets of a website. Additionally, the built-in SEO tool helps teams analyze keywords, compare pages, and optimize website visibility across various search engines. Built as an API-first platform, dotCMS offers best-of-breed capabilities that mean users can easily integrate with third-party applications they already use like Marketo, Hubspot, Salesforce, SAP, Magento, Google Analytics, and more.   E-spirit Headquarters: Lexington, MA, USA Number of employees: 20 Website: www.e-spirit.com Company overview: e-Spirit™—maker of the FirstSpirit Digital Experience Platform and best-in-class hybrid headless CMS—helps businesses engage customers and increase revenue with personalized, content-rich digital experiences anytime, anywhere. Savvy digital marketers across all industry sectors rely on the FirstSpirit platform for individualized and synchronized content delivery across all channels to differentiate their companies and compel their users to action. e-Spirit’s FirstSpirit Digital Experience Platform, offered through a SaaS or on-premises model, helps businesses engage customers and increase revenue with personalized, content-rich digital experiences anytime, anywhere. Savvy digital marketers across all industry sectors rely on the FirstSpirit platform—which includes a hybrid headless CMS, AI-driven personalization and omnichannel marketing capabilities—for individualized and synchronized content delivery across all channels to differentiate their companies and compel their users to action. e-Spirit, a Crownpeak company, has offices in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific. Customers include international brands and corporations such as BASF, Bosch, Belk, GNC, Nintendo, Olympus, Santander Bank, Carter’s, and many others.    Kentico Headquarters: Czech Republic Number of employees: 245 Website: www.kentico.com Company overview: Founded in 2004, Kentico Software is a software vendor with 17-year experience in developing the best way to work with content. They are proud of being a Czech company with global impact that, without any external funding, managed to develop two products that help you tell your stories —Kentico Xperience and Kentico Kontent. We are headquartered in the Czech Republic with offices in the US, UK, Netherlands, Singapore, and Australia. They have 1,000 digital solution partners and our products power 30,000 websites across 120 countries. Customers include Gibson, Starbucks, Ingram Micro, Mazda, Kingspan, Hyundai, Vogue, and Allergan. Kentico Xperience is a fully integrated digital experience platform (DXP) combining content management system (CMS), digital commerce and digital marketing including marketing automation and personalization in a single comprehensive platform. Mid-market clients love Xperience because it helps them deliver complex digital experience to their customers. #DXP recognized by analysts Kentico Kontent is a recognized leader in headless CMS that empowers enterprise content teams to manage all their content in a single repository while freeing developers to build engaging digital experience by using the latest technologies of their choice. #NoCompromises with #ComposableDXP   Magnolia Headquarters: Basel, Switzerland Number of employees: 177 Website: www.magnolia-cms.com Company overview: Magnolia is a leading digital experience software company. They help brands outsmart their competition through better customer experiences and faster DX projects. Get full headless flexibility and seamless workflows across best-of-breed digital experience stacks. Global leaders such as Tesco, Avis, Generali and the New York Times all rely on Magnolia for maximum reliability, high-speed project implementation and exceptional omnichannel experiences.    Netlify CMS Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA Number of employees: 172 Website: www.netlify.com Company overview: Netlify is a Platform as a Service that integrates and automates all services that go in to making modern web projects. From free personal blogs to huge enterprise solutions, Netlify provides instant global performance.   Prismic.io Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA Number of employees: 36 Website: www.prismic.io Company overview: Prismic provides a headless CMS with an API. They aim to simplify editing content on your website and make work enjoyable for developers, marketers, and content teams.   Sanity  Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA Number of employees: 58 Website: www.sanity.io Company overview: Sanity is the platform for structured content that lets teams build exceptional digital experiences. By treating content as data, modern organizations use their APIs to build optimal editing workflows and share content between systems to increase digital velocity. Their mission is to be the most versatile system for creating and distributing digital content to any device, application or channel.   Need help evaluating Headless CMSs? Our team of experts is ready to chat with you about your particular project requirements and recommend a headless CMS based on your unique needs. Whether you're evaluating Elastic Path or not. Chat with an expert Next, we look at traditional CMS vendors that can be run in Headless mode (again, in alphabetical order): Acquia Headquarters: Boston, MA, USA Number of employees: 1,173 (note: Acquia provides a portfolio of software solutions, including but not limited to CMS) Website: www.acquia.com Company overview: Acquia is the open digital experience platform that enables organizations to build, host, analyze, and communicate with their customers at scale through websites and digital applications. As the trusted open source leader, they use adaptive intelligence to produce better business outcomes for CX leaders.   Adobe Headquarters: San Jose, CA, USA Number of employees: over 28k (note: Adobe provides a portfolio of software solutions, including but not limited to CMS) Website: www.adobe.com Company overview: Adobe is the global leader in digital media and digital marketing solutions. Their creative, marketing, and document solutions empower everyone – from emerging artists to global brands – to bring digital creations to life and deliver immersive, compelling experiences to the right person at the right moment for the best results. In their own words: “In short, Adobe is everywhere, and we’re changing the world through digital experiences.”    Bloomreach Headquarters: Mountain View, CA, USA Number of employees: 608 (note: Boomreach provides a portfolio of software solutions, including but not limited to CMS) Website: www.bloomreach.com Company overview: The Bloomreach Experience Platform (brX) competes in three core categories: Engagement (CDP and marketing automation), Content (headless content and experience management), and Discovery (e-commerce search, merchandising, recommendations, and SEO). They connect both customer data and product data to personalize all customer touch-points, leveraging our patented AI to recommend, predict, and segment. This empowers the marketer to create individual experiences, increase revenue, strengthen customer loyalty, and improve efficiency. With a global footprint, Bloomreach powers over 25% of all e-commerce experiences across the US and UK, and supports 300+ global enterprises including Neiman Marcus, CapitalOne, Staples, NHS Digital, Bosch, Puma, and Marks & Spencer. Their global network of certified partners includes Accenture Interactive, WPP, and market-leading commerce platforms.    CoreMedia Headquarters: Hamburg, Germany Number of employees: 143 Website: www.coremedia.com Company overview: CoreMedia is the company behind Content Cloud, the product that empowers marketing professionals to master the rapid rollout of personalized, content-rich global campaigns without the need to code. Content Cloud makes brands more agile and enables them to successfully stage more product drops per year with less resources and higher quality. CoreMedia Content Cloud also provides a powerful platform for frontend and backend developers to innovate. CoreMedia Content Cloud empowers developers to build personalized experiences and integrate their own choice of best-of-breed services with ease. CoreMedia Content Cloud is architected to be the "missing piece"​ for both headless content and commerce systems, as well as existing eCommerce and Marketing applications which typically lack sophisticated tools for creating and previewing content-rich digital experiences. CoreMedia Content Cloud is an open, best-of breed, API-driven solution that combines a headless content repository with an advanced Web-based UI that allows editors to access content from any source and preview front-end customer experiences in real time. CoreMedia Content Cloud’s omnichannel content delivery engine can expose content in a media-neutral format to be rendered by any target channel – from websites and mobile apps to point-of-sale kiosks and shelf displays. CoreMedia Content Cloud ships with a set of pre-built productized integrations with leading eCommerce and marketing tools including IBM Watson Commerce, SAP Commerce Cloud, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and Elastic Path. Sitecore Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA Number of employees: 1,663 Website: www.sitecore.com Company overview: Sitecore delivers a digital experience platform that empowers the world’s smartest brands to build lifelong relationships with their customers. A highly decorated industry leader, Sitecore is the only company bringing together content, commerce, and data into one connected platform that delivers millions of digital experiences every day. Leading companies including American Express, ASOS, Carnival Cruise Lines, Kimberly-Clark, L’Oréal and Volvo Cars rely on Sitecore to provide more engaging, personalized experiences for their customers. Website: www.sitecore.com Conclusion: In conclusion, a “headless” approach to your Content Management can offer tremendous benefits, in terms of the additional flexibility and agility in how you configure and manage your website content. But going headless is not for everyone, as it can sometimes introduce additional complexity into your application architecture.   Disclaimer: Elastic Path provides a Composable, API-first, Headless Commerce Platform, so we are admittedly biased to a “Headless” approach, but we tried our best to provide an honest view of the pros and cons of “going headless” in general, whether for CMS, eCommerce, or any other application use-case. Also, given that our digital commerce platform is CMS-agnostic, we work with almost all of the CMS vendors listed in this article.
    Topics: digital, platform, company, experiences, overview, cms, management, content, systems, headless, website, vendors, best.
  • BigCommerce 2021 Annual Report: Another Year of Digital Growth and Disruptive Innovation - As the pandemic-accelerated growth of ecommerce continued into 2021, the world experienced yet another transformational year of digital growth, and…
    Topics: download, innovation, ecommerce, pdf, sent, info, bigcommerce, worlds, growth, disruptive, report, annual, digital.
  • Builder.io aims to make developers happy with its no-code approach to digital storefronts - Builder.io provides a drag-and-drop visual editor and headless content management system so that marketers can update websites without developer support.
    Topics: nocode, digital, create, founder, aims, pages, headless, commerce, techcrunch, growth, developers, sewell, happy, approach, storefronts, company, product, builderio, funding.
  • Can Elastic Path Handle My Large Product Catalog? - It will come as no surprise that the adoption and growth of digital commerce continues to skyrocket amongst branded manufacturers. According to a recent Gartner Survey, digital commerce revenue increased by 25% from 2019 to 2021. And, 67% of respondents surveyed were powering both B2B and B2C Digital Commerce as part of their strategy. This survey data reflects what we see in market: more brands coming to Elastic Path with increasingly expansive and complex commerce strategies. This blog seeks to answer the common questions we receive from brands with growing digital commerce businesses who need an eCommerce platform that scales. We will cover: What does scalability mean for digital commerce? Common scalability concerns for growing brands How Elastic Path Commerce Cloud handles these common concerns What Does Scalability Mean for Digital Commerce? Gartner defines scalability as “the measure of a system’s ability to increase or decrease in performance and cost in response to changes in application and system processing demands. Examples would include how well a hardware system performs when the number of users is increased, how well a database withstands growing numbers of queries, or how well an operating system performs on different classes of hardware”. As more brands double down on digital, whether expanding to support new geographies, new brands, new business models, or new touchpoints– they need an eCommerce solution that can scale with them. Simply put, digitally-driven brands need commerce technology that will empower their growth and not hold them back. Scalable commerce technology maintains its speed as you increase your number of customers, SKUs, hierarchies, promotions, customizations, and attributes. Common Digital Commerce Scalability Concerns At Elastic Path, the majority of our customers have ambitious growth targets. In order to hit those goals, purchasing scalable commerce technology is key to their success. For this reason, we receive many questions during evaluation processes about our ability to scale. Some of the most common questions include: How many SKUs can you support? Will you be able to support my sale or Black Friday bandwidth increase? How many sites can I run from a single instance? Can I have multiple prices for the same product? Can you support multiple items in a cart or order? (especially relevant for B2B) Continue reading to learn how we stack up against the needs of growing digitally-driven brands. Understanding How Elastic Path Commerce Cloud Scales In summary, Elastic Path is committed to being the commerce technology of choice for our customers when they launch and as they scale. We are constantly improving our systems to handle the ever-increasing needs of brands. In fact, in the last fifty days we’ve improved the capacity of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud by 50%. If you’re evaluating commerce technology, you likely want to understand specifics. Based on the common questions mentioned above, there are a few key areas we will touch on when it comes to scalability. Let’s start with the most universally popular question across brands: “How many SKUs can you support” or “Can You Support My Large Product Catalog?” Our Catalog Composer and Product Content Management capabilities can support millions of SKUs. So, in short, the answer is YES! We can support your large product catalog. “Will you be able to support my sale or Black Friday bandwidth increase?” Yes, Elastic Path was built to scale for whatever high volume shopping days are part of your brand strategy, whether that be Black Friday through Cyber Monday, pop ups, product drops, or semi-annual sales. Our testing methodology includes twice daily performance tests to ensure that brand needs are being met, regardless of day of the week.These daily tests make up one small aspect of the robust program our Performance Engineering team has built to ensure success on your busiest days. A great example of this scalability comes from an Elastic Path customer who needs to support the sale of new iPhones when they drop. This leading US wireless provider and technology company successfully scaled to meet the increasing demands of consumers. On iPhone launch day, they were able to power 4k product calls/minute, 8k order API calls/ min, 60,000 devices sold (peaking at 3.5k in 15 mins), and 450 concurrent carts/min with 0 downtime. “How many storefronts can I run from a single instance?” Unlike other MACH solutions that have a limit of 500 storefronts per instance, with Elastic Path Commerce Cloud you can support an unlimited number of sites (or storefronts) from one instance. Brands who do not use Elastic Path and need more than 500 storefronts will have to pay for each additional instance. For some businesses, 500 may seem like a large number. But, for B2B businesses who need a unique storefront per account they often have 1,500-2,000 storefronts meaning 3-4 individual instances that need to be deployed and maintained. In short, this limitation ends up costing dollars and resources long term. At Elastic Path our solution was built to enable customers to use one instance and one centralized data source for all sites. This means that brands can support shared cart across brands, power large multi-account B2B digital commerce strategies with no extra cost, and eliminate the manual task of updating and managing products across instances.   See Catalog Composer In Action Check out our on-demand demo to see how Elastic Path Commerce Cloud makes it easy to manage unlimited unique catalogs for any business. Watch Demo The story of reMarkable demonstrates the ability of Elastic Path to support multiple sites running from the same instance. reMarkable, a manufacturer of digital notepads, came to Elastic Path looking for a partner to drive their planned launch and global expansion. In 8 weeks they scaled up from a pre-order site to a fully functioning commerce business running across 39 country-specific storefronts, in 10 currencies. And, during major product launches (like the drop of a new notepad) they scale to 70% increase in orders, with no problem. “Can I have multiple prices for the same product?” Yes. In Elastic Path Commerce Cloud you can create unlimited price books which means you can have multiple prices for the same product. Some examples of when this is important: You want to syndicate the same product assortment to eBay, Amazon, and Walmart but each channel has different pricing for the same products. You want to power your large B2B business where each account has different negotiated pricing for the same product assortment Both of these use cases can be natively supported with the price book capability in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud.   “Can you support multiple items in a cart?” Yes. With Elastic Path Commerce Cloud your customers can create unlimited carts and add up to 100 items in each. Based on our experience in market, we have found this limit to meet both B2B and B2C requirements. In summary, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud can scale to support your large product catalog, and so much more. With Catalog Composer and Product Content Management you have the control to create all the unique product experiences your brand needs to stay ahead of the competition and delight customers- no compromises required.
    Topics: need, path, digital, commerce, support, product, storefronts, elastic, brands, handle, catalog, large.
  • Can I Run Multiple Digital Business Models With One Commerce Platform? - Over the last year at Elastic Path, we have seen more and more brands who need to run digital commerce for multiple business models. Whether they are a B2B business launching D2C for the first time, or a D2C brand getting into B2B2C for the first time, more and more companies are looking for solutions to help them power all routes-to-market. In this post we will: Explore this trend Discuss why Salesforce Commerce Cloud struggles to support multiple business Explain how we support all routes-to-market with one platform at Elastic Path The State of the Market: Majority of Brands Power Multiple Models And we aren’t the only ones witnessing this trend. In Gartner’s latest “Survey Analysis: Digital Commerce Revenue Skyrockets With B2B Surpassing B2C” report, they share the same phenomenon. According to their analysis: 67% of respondents are doing both B2B & B2C in some capacity.   What Is Causing This Shift? Based on what we have seen and industry analysis, I think there are a few reasons why brands are embracing multiple business models: Opportunity to Drive Revenue: If you are able to successfully launch and manage multiple digital business models at once, your total addressable market increases. This means you have more people to sell to and therefore more revenue to collect. Of course, running multiple models will increase your total cost, but if done correctly, your margin will increase too.   Increased Acceptance of Digital: I sound like a broken record but, the Pandemic encouraged plenty of buyers and customers to come online for the first time ever. This is especially true for many B2B businesses who previously never had digital channels. With the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic more B2B brands were forced into figuring out digital commerce since it was the only way to connect with their buyers. Since then, we have seen many of these brands updating or enhancing their eCommerce technology to meet new needs.   Ability to Leverage Existing Resources: While adding a new business model to your digital commerce strategy will always involve some effort, you have the benefit of being able to maximize existing resources. This includes everything from your existing supply chain to the technology that you have invested in and implemented. More often than not, these resources can be repurposed in some way when adding a new business model.     What is the Difference Between Salesforce Commerce Cloud & Elastic Path Commerce Cloud? Salesforce Commerce Cloud customers are turning to Elastic Path for a single platform for support their entire commerce strategy across B2B, D2C, and B2B2C. See the Comparison   Finding a Commerce Platform to Support Multiple Business Models I decided to write this blog because, as previously mentioned, we have seen a huge uptick in the number of brands specifically looking to run digital commerce for multiple business models. This means that we have been answering many questions about how we do this at Elastic Path versus how other commerce platforms do it. Consistently, this question seems to be focused around a Salesforce Commerce Cloud comparison. For the rest of this blog, I will speak to that in detail. Unpacking How Salesforce Supports Multiple Business Models At Salesforce, they have four separate platforms commerce. First, there are two B2B platforms, one comes from the Cloudcraze acquisition and one is an updated B2B commerce solution built on Salesforce Lightning (a component-based framework for app development) that will eventually replace Cloudcraze. Second, there are also two B2C platforms. The most famous is the acquired Demandware technology which is not, and never will be, built on Lightning since it is a legacy stack. Salesforce has also built a specific platform on lightning for B2B brands who want to add D2C. Plus, if you want to use CPQ, that is an entirely separate purchase not included in any of the above mentioned solutions. Are you confused yet? In short, this means that the vast majority of brands will have to select and work with two separate platforms. There are some key challenges with this approach: Multiple Disparate Commerce Teams: when you have separate platforms, you generally need separate teams with differing types of experience to run each technology. This can create a silo internally which, unfortunately, often leads to inconsistent branding experiences externally. And, while B2B and B2C experiences should be different, they should have some aspect of branding continuity across them.   Confusion: having multiple solutions can complicate internal communications, strategy conversations, and general organization. Often times managing these totally separate, but related, platforms creates confusion that interrupts internal productivity.   Cost: While your license cost may be the same whether or not you use one or multiple platforms, you will have to pay double for many other aspects of your strategy. For instance, two implementations, separate customizations across platforms, additional team members to work on each product, and more. There are some situations where you may be told by Salesforce that you can run both your B2B and B2C commerce on one platform. While it is technically possible, we would urge you to evaluate this approach with caution for a few reasons: You can technically support lite B2B with the legacy Demandware platform however it has severe limitations. A good example of this is that you cannot support true account-based pricing. While tiered accounts are available, it is impossible to set up pricing for different accounts who have specific negotiated pricing. Based on our experience, this is a pretty core feature for B2B brands and not supporting it would be massively detrimental.   On the other hand, you can support a lite B2C site with legacy Cloudcraze but, the storefront is incredibly basic and unlikely to meet the needs of any brand who wants to power B2C digital commerce. And, if you have aspirations to power omnichannel B2C experiences, this platform will simply not be robust enough for your needs. To summarize, while it is possible to support B2B and B2C with one Salesforce platform, the customer experience you could power for one business model would be very basic and likely involve an extreme amount of custom work to even come close to meeting your requirements. Unpacking How Elastic Path Supports Multiple Business Models At Elastic Path we believe that brands should be able to power their commerce business across business models, brands, geographies, campaigns, and channels with one platform. For that reason, we built Elastic Path Commerce Cloud to support every business model a brand may want to power today or launch tomorrow. While customers like Pella Windows & Doors and Hobie Cat power their D2C experiences on Elastic Path, others like eMed are selling their B2B products using the same platform. There are two key capabilities that make this possible. First, our Product Content Management capability allows brands to import, enrich, and organize their product data in whatever way suits them. This means that you can bring in product data for both B2B and B2C models (if different) from whatever external sources that you may have. Then, you can create unique pricebooks per model, or even per account in a B2B scenario. You have the ultimate flexibility to assign multiple pricebooks to the same product so that a B2C customer would pay $20, but B2B Customer A would pay $18 and B2B Customer B would pay $16. This is all brought to life by our Catalog Composer capability which allows you to compose unlimited catalogs from products assortments (known as hierarchies) and price books. These two capabilities give brands the flexibility to manage products, prices, and catalogs to support any business model from one place. And, for those who are concerned about how to get started with a Composable Commerce approach, at Elastic path we have Pre-Composed Solutions™ for B2B, B2C, and D2C to help you quickly launch with any business model. Pre-Composed Solutions™ are business-ready, complete solutions built on top of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud that pre-integrated core commerce capabilities, third party solutions (like search, CMS, and personalization), and any other customizations to bring a specific use case or business model to life in record time. By removing the manual effort of composing, or integrating, multiple technologies, these solutions minimize the risk of a Composable Commerce approach. Especially for those who need to power multiple business models.   To summarize, for any brand who currently runs multiple business models across digital channels, or for brands who plan to expand their digital routes-to-market in the future, I would encourage you to choose a digital commerce platform that makes supporting multiple business models as simple as possible. If you aren’t sure how to get started, one of our commerce experts would be happy to walk through your digital commerce strategy and provide some suggestions.
    Topics: run, elastic, business, b2c, digital, commerce, support, brands, platform, b2b, platforms, multiple, models.
  • Charts: Q4 2021 Digital Advertising Spend - Digital advertising spend for physical products increased in Q4 2021 but at a slower rate than Q4 2020. In this week's charts, we show the spending levels across categories and platforms.
    Topics: advertising, q4, charts, report, search, shopping, growth, paid, spend, digital.
  • Composable Commerce Hub Celebrates 1 Year - The Composable Commerce Hub, the first and only open exchange of business solutions powered by an ecosystem of leading digital commerce providers, was launched last November. The Composable Commerce Hub powered the movement to make Composable Commerce accessible to all brands, not just those with large, experienced technology teams, by providing everything commerce teams need to compose, launch, and optimize their commerce experiences with speed and ease. Today, more than 25 technology providers and system integrators have joined this movement including Algolia, Amplience, Bloomreach, Born, Bounteous, Contentful, DigiCommerce, Jetti, Myplanet, TA Digital, ObjectEdge, PayPal, and Stripe. This year we’ve seen the addition of 14 Pre-Composed SolutionsTM. For those unfamiliar with the term, Pre-Composed SolutionsTM are fully business-ready solutions, which combine Elastic Path commerce capabilities, with partner integrations, and key customizations so that brands can launch fast and customize on-demand, without the complexity of stitching together numerous parts. Here are a few highlighted solutions: Pre-Composed SolutionTM for D2C Web: A complete solution that eliminates the risk of headless commerce and enables D2C brand to rapidly launch and optimize highly differentiated digital experiences. This solution is built by Myplanet and pre-integrates Elastic Path Commerce Cloud with Amplience, Algolia, Google Analytics, Dynamic Yield, and Segment. See a demo. Pre-Composed SolutionTM for B2B Commerce: A business-ready solution proving a quick start to rapidly launch complex B2B experiences. This solution, developed in partnership with DigiCommerce, combines core B2B functionality from Elastic Path Commerce Cloud with pre-build digital experiences for B2B buyers and sellers. Watch the demo. Pre-Composed SolutionTM for Subscriptions: A complete subscription management solution for brands who want to create and customize personalized subscription services to their unique product requirements and customer needs. This solution, developed by Pixie Labs, is built on top of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud and is pre-integrated with Stripe, Postmark, and an analytics dashboard built by Pixie Labs. Join us on December 14th at 11:30 AM ET to see a live demo of this solution. Save your seat. Pre-Composed SolutionTM for Rapid D2C: This solution gives brands the flexibility and speed (with a 90-day launch guarantee) to easily launch their unique D2C experiences including emerging channels such as social, chat-bot, voice assistants, digital shopping malls and the Internet of Things (IoT). Also known as CommerceFactory, this solution is built by TA Digital and is pre-integrated with Acquia, Elastic Search, CyberSource or Stripe, Avalara, and Vertex. See a demo.   Need a subscription management solution? Join industry experts live to see first hand how you can easily create unique, personalized subscription services in our upcoming webinar. Register for Webinar Beyond launching Pre-Composed SolutionsTM, customers are experiencing the benefits. A large-scale publisher was able to launch a new subscription service in just 27 days. Teilor, a luxury jewelry brand, brought their personalized, engaging in-store experience online using the Pre-Composed SolutionTM for D2C Commerce built by Myplanet. We look forward to the next year of growth for the Composable Commerce Hub. If you would like to get involved with the Composable Commerce Hub, check out this blog post.
    Topics: launch, elastic, commerce, solution, path, digital, subscription, b2b, hub, celebrates, experiences, composable, built.
  • Creative adtech is on the cusp of a revolution, and VCs should take note - Here are five reasons why VCs should consider ratcheting up their investment into adtech startups building the next generation of creative tools:
    Topics: revolution, adtech, targeting, funding, ad, techcrunch, digital, vcs, note, cusp, creative, tech, startups, ads.
  • Cybersecurity is a priority for Latin American consumers: report - A Mastercard study found that consumers have become more proactive and 9 out of 10 say they are aware of cyberattacks.
    Topics: latin, cybersecurity, information, mastercard, important, report, data, consumers, priority, american, digital, security, protection, personal.
  • DTC Brands, Amid Disruptions, Should Seek New Sales Channels - Starting a digital direct-to-consumer brand has never been easier. But growing that brand into a successful business may have become more difficult.
    Topics: sales, brands, amid, disruptions, business, relatively, dtc, seek, digital, facebook, tools, advertising, scale, channels, competition.
  • Defense to Offense: Leveling Up Your Business Strategy in the New World - It's time to start thinking about how your pandemic strategy can help you in the post-pandemic world.
    Topics: strategy, longterm, offense, quick, business, world, businesses, digital, leveling, going, robust, defense.
  • Digital Creators Need Email Marketing - A list of engaged email subscribers is among the best promotional tools for creators who sell digital products. For many of those creators, it could also be a path toward earning a living. The creator economy has a problem.
    Topics: need, making, youtube, income, email, creator, digital, include, products, product, creators, marketing.
  • Digital Merchandising Best Practices - No argument that eCommerce sales skyrocketed in the last two years, as the world turned to mobile devices to buy everything from a week’s worth of groceries to a new couch for the family room. But even as the world opens up post-pandemically, eCommerce retail sales maintain the top spot on the leaderboard. Projections point to upwards of $7 trillion in sales by 2024. What’s happened to merchandising as we’ve made the shift from brick-and-mortar to a virtual store and cart? Plenty. How do you translate an in-store experience into an engaging digital one that leads a shopper to Buy Now sight unseen? Let’s dive into the world of eCommerce merchandising and find out how retailers create a path to purchase from the physical to the digital experience. What is Digital Merchandising? Also known as eCommerce or online merchandising, digital merchandising is the practice of marketing goods in the digital space. Just as you map product placement and displays in-store with branding considerations to draw the customer over, the same actions happen in a virtual store to entice the shopper from their chosen device. Product merchandising is about having the right assortment, and showcasing it at the right time to the right customer. You are essentially creating content; and given the 2024 online sales projections retailers can’t afford to sit this one out. Make a Plan & Get Campaigning You may have a number of goals for your business; you’ve targeted a specific sales growth percentage or doubling down on the number of promotions per month, or you’d like to grow your loyalty program for top spenders. Whatever the case may be, once you’ve set the goals it’s now time for strategizing. You’ve stated the what - now you need to flesh out the how. Personalization: It’s a New Day for Data Collection When it comes to eCommerce merchandising campaigns it’s ok to get personal. In fact, it’s mission critical. With the death of third-party cookies, retail marketers are forced to revisit how they collect data and lean in on first or zero-party solutions to power personalized shopper experiences. Research shows today’s shoppers care how you get their data and what you do with it. “Seventy percent of consumers like personalization, as long as brands are using data they’ve shared directly.” Source: Twilio A Common Personalization Trap: The Creep Factor There are many schools of thought on how much personalization is too much. I think we can all agree that ultimately personalization should best serve the customer and fulfill a need. Stepping outside the boundaries and creating an inaccurate assumption defeats the purpose of winning trust. For example, I’m a pet owner. I often browse and shop online for pet food and supplies and have tried the numerous subscription services based on this category But that also means over the years I’ve had to inevitably say goodbye to pets. Here is a snapshot of the types of personalization I could experience based on the data capture: Zero Party: The cat food you liked in our poll is now BOGO First Party: The pet carrier you browsed last month is on clearance Second Party: Congrats on the kitten! Need pet insurance? Third Party: It’s hard to lose a furry friend. Next time, check out our pet caskets and internment services You’ll notice as we progress through each scenario, the degree of personalization falls a bit further into the off-putting range. What you ideally want to do is solve a problem or create a convenience; not push the limits of knowing too much. “Personalization can mean a lot of things, so it’s important to understand what a marketer thinks it is and how it’s creepy. This can often clear up initial concerns. Then for us, the guiding personalization principle is to figure out if and how it adds value to the end user…” Source: Paul Munkholm, Kettle Interested in Learning More About eCommerce Merchandising? Discover 10 areas to optimize your eCommerce merchandising strategy for your business and more with our playbook. Go to Playbook Ecommerce Merchandising Trends and Tips to Consider Many of today’s digital merchandising tips and trends are based in AR/VR technology, embraced in greater numbers by Gen X and Millennial groups. A few examples of these tactics include: Virtual dressing or try-on rooms allowing shoppers to try clothing or makeup swatches from any device, wherever they are, before purchase “See it in your room” capabilities for furniture or décor accessories to replicate digitally what the item will look like in a shopper’s home or space (a useful deterrent from returns) Social networks like Pinterest and Instagram have leveraged this technology in their algorithms. Studying how they strategize and leverage it in the path to purchase in-app can be useful if you’re looking to see more AR/VR in play Implement 360 plug ins and enable virtual product tours across devices It really depends on your product assortment and what you’re able to invest in as far as technology – you need to assess what works best for your business. Bear in mind how critical it is for shoppers to get the same level of comfort and confidence they do from an in-store experience and a face-to-face conversation with a retailer - having a unique experience is key to engaging (and keeping) today’s shopper. Product Merchandising Product merchandising is key to all types of channels. And what eCommerce has shown us is the complexity around merchandising. In today’s eCommerce landscape retailers have multiple digital storefronts, complex pricing needs to reflect flash or scheduled sales, loyalty pricing, or bundling models. A Rapidly Changing Landscape Ecommerce changes rapidly so it’s important to be on top of what’s trending in digital merchandising technology and how that affects your customer. The in-store experience is not going away; instead the merging of the physical and virtual is now the combined commerce narrative. Operating and streamlining the experience in both worlds is becoming the norm. Above all – make it easy, friction-less, predictive, and personalized (appropriately), from discovery to purchase. Answer questions for your customers before they even know they had them. Build trust and confidence from the first time they click on your site or app. Make shopping with you an unforgettable experience they simply can’t do without.
    Topics: sales, pet, todays, merchandising, personalization, practices, digital, experience, data, ecommerce, best, virtual.
  • Digital restaurant startup Zak orders up new capital on mission to be ‘Toast of LatAm’ - As food operators themselves, ZAK founders saw first-hand last year the toll it was taking on restaurants that needed to quickly reinvent themselves during the pandemic.
    Topics: restaurant, mission, brazil, market, digital, restaurants, grandes, latam, capital, company, management, million, toast, startup, zak, techcrunch, orders, food.
  • Dropbox Shop launches in open beta to allow creators to sell digital content - Dropbox Shop, a platform that allows creators to sell digital content directly to their customers, is now available in open beta, Dropbox announced on Tuesday. The company is also introducing new updates to the platform and adding tipping capabilities. You can now also customize your storefront and URLs and embed HTML codes. Dropbox Shop launched […]
    Topics: available, open, digital, creators, content, backup, launches, techcrunch, beta, shop, users, sell, dropbox.
  • EU’s digital rule-book reboot could fumble dark patterns ban and trader checks, warns BEUC - When the European Commission presented its Digital Services Act (DSA) proposal in December 2020, it listed beefed up consumer protections as a headline goal for the flagship update to the bloc’s rules for digital services. But now, as negotiations over the draft law are in the final stretch, where EU co-legislators hash out the detail […]
    Topics: rulebook, council, eu, warns, platforms, online, trader, patterns, marketplaces, fumble, eus, data, techcrunch, dark, dsa, reboot, digital, presidency.
  • Ecommerce Product Releases: April 17, 2022 - Ecommerce merchants enjoy non-stop innovation from vendors and service providers. The installment of “Product Releases” includes updates on social commerce, the metaverse, brick-and-mortar, selling on Amazon, and more.
    Topics: merchants, discovery, digital, announced, ecommerce, product, pinterest, commerce, services, releases, shopping, platform.
  • Ecommerce Product Releases: May 17, 2022 - This installment of "Ecommerce Product Releases," our twice-monthly rundown of new services that could help merchants, includes digital currencies, checkout tools, freight logistics, and more.
    Topics: digital, service, releases, product, returns, shipping, merchants, instagram, fulfillment, customer, ecommerce, platform.
  • European ecommerce was worth 757 billion euros in 2020 - In 2020, ecommerce within Europe has kept on growing. The total worth of European ecommerce grew to 757 billion euros. This is a 10 percent growth from 690 billion euros in 2019. Over the last years, there has been a steady increase in the number and share of online shoppers… Continue reading
    Topics: digital, euros, european, europe, total, growth, ecommerce, sector, worth, online, transformation, billion.
  • Everything Brands Need to Know About the Metaverse - Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the internet and social media helped us connect with our coworkers, friends, and loved ones during times of extreme isolation.
    Topics: vr, digital, brands, land, metaverse, need, meta, metaverses, users, worlds, know, virtual, horizon.
  • Forward Kitchens cooks up $2.5M to transform existing kitchens into digital storefronts - Forward Kitchens provides a turnkey tool for restaurants to set up an online presence.
    Topics: cooks, transform, forward, digital, poddar, create, food, 25m, restaurants, kitchens, techcrunch, online, storefronts, restaurant, existing.
  • Gartner Predicts 2022: B2B eCommerce Orgs Will Miss the CX Mark - Through extensive research and trend monitoring, industry analyst Gartner releases a report of yearly predictions. The blog series kicked off with a focus on their first prediction, the impact of unified commerce; while the second installment sheds light on how B2B eCommerce organizations are and should be tackling digital optimization with the customer experience at the forefront. Here’s what they had to say:  “By 2025, 60% of B2B sales organizations’ digital sales optimization projects will not meet customer experience goals because of focusing on operational targets only.” Data Collection Without Understanding or Intent Gartner finds that while data collection is indeed a driving force behind how organizations set priorities and goals, that information is not properly interpretated towards improving the customer experience. Best case scenario, an organization may adopt new technologies to automate sales or customer service functions but miss the greater opportunity for customer experience wins. The challenge, Gartner posits for these companies to make the shift from operationally focused to a customer-centric approach. While in pursuit of building the perfect data beast, they’ve lost sight of the customer; oftentimes missing the mark completely on where the customer really is on the buying journey. The remedy from the problematic process-forward to the customer-forward approach is an 11-step path on how best to build strong customer relationships. Gartner references a few key steps highlighting an active listening stance, and being open to stepping outside the conventional when it comes to the customer to better earn their trust. Analyst Recommendations To counteract the shortsighted effect of process or efficiency- based digital commerce, Gartner suggests the following for B2B eCommerce organizations as they move towards transformation: Adopt modern technology designed to meet the customer where they are such as conversational AI and engagement analytics; leverage the appropriate technology with the intent to better understand your customer Take an honest, open look at your KPIs to determine which are operationally driven versus CX focused Assess your CX initiatives to ensure balance; avoid organizational silos where CX doesn’t lead the charge towards a unified digital transformation   Looking for a B2B eCommerce Solution? Elastic Path is Transforming B2B Commerce Experiences Quickly & Efficiently While Driving Substantial Revenue Growth. Chat with an expert today to see how our flexible, composable solutions can speed up your time to market, reduce costs, and improve your customer experience. Talk with an eCommerce Expert Elastic Path Delivers on Multi-Channel Experiences One of the key advantages of choosing an Elastic Path platform for your B2B eCommerce needs is its flexibility across business models spanning B2B, B2C, and B2B2C. Navigating the complexities of each channel is a challenge; instead of piecing together fragmented solutions you now have the power and agility to control commerce capabilities in whatever space you’re in from a single platform. Consider the flexibility of creating unique catalogs across multiple markets, and delivering personalized account-based pricing. The focus moves away from simply order taking, to cultivating customer relationships with differentiated experiences. Check out our guide for choosing the right eCommerce solution for you. Read a full list of Gartner’s 2022 Predictions  and stay tuned for more highlights from their extensive research and survey findings.
    Topics: orgs, mark, path, b2b, digital, ecommerce, experience, customer, gartner, commerce, organizations, cx, miss, sales.
  • Gartner Predicts 2022: Total Ownership Wins the Day - In the wake of massive disruption to the eCommerce industry begins a new year of challenges and changes. Each year Gartner makes market predictions based on trends and research. We’ve covered two predictions in the series regarding unified commerce and the B2B customer experience, and now a third prediction with core responsibilities and roles within digital commerce org strategy. Here’s what Gartner predicts: “By 2025, organizations with distributed responsibilities for digital commerce  will outperform those without by 25% in revenue growth.” From IT-Only to All Hands-on Deck Digital commerce strategy and implementation has traditionally been treated as an IT project. Simply build a website, and they will come - a purely transactional relationship. As digital commerce exponentially grew in recent years, most notably within the last two years of pandemic affect, an omnichannel experience is mission critical. The requirements became more sophisticated, and ownership expanded beyond a special project status managed by a handful of developers or a CIO. To create the seamless experience customers now demand, (and will happily go elsewhere to find), digital commerce evolved into a multi-disciplinary enabled transformation; the roster had to expand, and fast. Everyone from marketing, sales, IT, finance, customer support, and logistics is integral to the success of an organization’s eCommerce strategy. Gartner supports this shift with findings from their 2021 Digital Commerce State of the Union Survey: 84% of respondents indicated there can be more than 12 primary leaders of a digital commerce initiative. The remaining respondents cited no primary lead for a digital commerce strategy. Similar questions posed in a 2019 survey produced the same results. A shift has occurred towards a digital commerce approach of total ownership distributed across the organization. Bottom line: a siloed environment is the death of CX. When fostering innovation and a truly friction-free customer journey a vertical organizational structure may seem more efficient, but it creates barriers to growth; more often than not the structure results in perceived boundaries among teams stifling forward motion and worse yet, adversely affecting your customer’s experience as they move through each stage. A frustrated customer will soon no longer be your customer. Interested in Learning More About Elastic Path Commerce Cloud? Launch and optimize innovative experiences fast, with a modern, headless, SaaS, API-first, & microservices-based commerce platform. See the Future of eCommerce Provide the Path of Least Resistance Frictionless, low barrier access to you and your products or services is key to the customer experience. The easier you make it for your customer, the better performance and metrics will be. According to Gartner’s findings here’s where to focus: Establish a coordinated technology vision across the organization with multiple business leaders, with emphasis on integrating sales into the digital commerce motion Identify points of business interaction within the vision and ensure representation to meet those needs cross functionally Establish goals and KPIs to support the entire CX journey, requiring multiple teams and collaboration The results from a coordinated vision and integrated digital commerce strategy, according to Gartner, include better performance as mentioned, and increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Stemming from increased customer confidence, organizations should also see a decrease in customer acquisition cost. Distributed teams and the Composable Commerce Approach The Composable Commerce approach towards digital commerce supports distributed teams/coordinated vision strategy. From its foundational principles in modularity, flexibility, an open ecosystem, and a business-forward mindset, leading with a distributed team supports bringing together the business and tech leaders for the greater good of digital commerce, ultimately creating differentiated customer experiences quickly and cost effectively. When we look at the partner ecosystem within the Composable Commerce approach, there are parallels as you develop and scale your digital commerce platform - you are free to engage with vendor and tech partners without being locked into a particular service or partner. You use what resources you need to accomplish your unique business goals. A second parallel comes from the beginning of your replatforming journey as you’re considering what to do or where to go next. A key action is to get all the players in the room to determine where you are now and map out your digital commerce vision. That team roster may look different from company to company, but it should involve a diverse representation. As Gartner points out marketing, sales, customer service, supply chain, IT, and finance all should have a seat at the table. Read a full list of Gartner’s 2022 Predictions  and stay tuned for more highlights from their extensive research and survey findings.
    Topics: predicts, teams, vision, experience, distributed, survey, gartner, digital, customer, business, commerce.
  • Gartner Survey Review: Digital Commerce Revenue Skyrockets with B2B Surpassing B2C - Industry analyst Gartner released an eye-opening look at the digital commerce landscape, largely influenced from pandemic aftershock. Based on evidence from 2021’s State of Digital Commerce Report, and 2020’s B2B Digital Commerce research, the survey examines digital commerce through the lens of multiple verticals and business models. The results are in. Significant shifts occurred in the presence of digital commerce platforms, but also a turn towards B2B initiatives versus what has been historically B2C led. Let’s take a quick look at some of the survey’s key statistical findings: By 2025, 75% of B2B manufacturers will sell to their customers directly via digital commerce   By 2023, 15% of medium-to-high gross merchandise value (GMV) digital commerce organizations will have deployed their own marketplaces, thereby creating a digital ecosystem on their path to digital business   By 2024, 15% of B2B organizations will use digital commerce platforms to support both their customers and sales reps in all sales activities The New Normal: Digital commerce is becoming more mainstream. According to survey results, manufacturing leads the charge in B2B focused digital commerce initiatives. In an environment once dominated by retail, more industries across the board are adopting the digital path. Further point of interest is that as B2B businesses were hit hard by COVID-19, they were forced to adapt from a digital perspective at alarming speed to survive - or took the opportunity to accelerate their digital strategy given their new circumstances. Maturity influences decision making: Another key insight involves the digital maturity of buyers. As B2B buyers become more tech savvy, their experience expectations change. They expect more self-service options to avoid calls or emails and better business tooling; ultimately, they want a shift to a digital sales experience –an intuitive platform that anticipates their needs as a human representative once did. The drive to cut cost: So what is at the core of the shift to digital commerce? The Gartner survey points to 4 key drivers; one of which is cost savings, stemming from the automation of the sales process to a more self-service model. Cost savings is more on the minds of B2B organizations; in fact, according to the survey, almost three times as many B2B companies cited it as a motivator versus their B2C counterparts. Omnichannel experience remains a pain point: A major hurdle to achieving a robust digital commerce presence, as outlined by Gartner’s survey, is how a B2B company may struggle with the customer experience across channels.They struggle with the complexities and access to the tools for an optimized experience; if their existing customers can’t have a comparable, or even better than digital experience than what they currently have, they will not participate. This leads to additional insights gleaned from the survey on how B2B companies are increasingly looking for more composable solutions they can easily deploy and scale, especially those companies with large enterprise clients. Food for thought: additional survey statistics: By 2023, 80% of organizations using AI for digital commerce will achieve at least 25% improvement in customer satisfaction, revenue or cost reduction   By 2023, 75% of organizations selling directly to consumers will offer subscription services, but only 20% will succeed in increasing customer retention Take a deeper dive into the digital commerce landscape as it stands today by downloading your free copy.
    Topics: sales, customers, survey, surpassing, gartner, skyrockets, review, commerce, key, b2b, organizations, experience, customer, digital, revenue, b2c.
  • Headless Commerce + Headless CMS: The Perfect Combination? - Brands embracing digital commerce channels to expand and grow revenue streams online have embraced experience-driven commerce for over a decade, using headless commerce and eCommerce APIs to allow content management systems (CMS) and digital experience platforms (DXP) to power the front end, rather than be restricted to the features and functionality offered from traditional, out-of-the-box with commerce platforms where the front-end and the back-end of the application were designed as a single, monolithic application. Why use a CMS with your headless commerce platform? In addition to more robust content capabilities, CMS-powered commerce offers the following benefits to digital commerce teams: Supports rich, interactive experiences that showcase the brand Unifies websites -- brands no longer need to use a sub-domain for the eCommerce store that requires its own systems (with the cost, maintenance and user friction a separate commerce store entails) Enables business users to make content updates independent of IT and schedule cutovers Enables back-end developers to make updates without worrying if it might break something “up front” May extend content to flexible, mobile-first front end frameworks such as React.js, Vue.js, Ember.js et al for Single Page Applications (SPAs) and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) -- depending on your environment Since the rise of content-driven commerce, both commerce and content management platforms have continued to evolve. Today’s modern commerce platforms go beyond simply decoupling the front end to enable CMS-driven commerce to embrace multi-touchpoint extensibility and support any touchpoint - and to make life easier for developers. Content management solutions have gone headless for the same reasons. Decoupled vs Headless CMS Like legacy ecommerce platforms, content management systems were traditionally developed and deployed as monoliths with all components tightly coupled within a single code base, making development, scalability, and extensibility challenging and complex. And as with digital commerce, such CMS solutions were built primarily for a browser-only world, before the rise of mobile, wearables, IoT, voice commerce, and other modern digital commerce touchpoints. Decoupled Content Management Many CMS vendors have taken the first step towards embracing a headless architecture by decoupling the front-end from the back-end content repository, thus separating content creation from delivery. With a decoupled CMS, the “head” (i.e. the front-end user interface that the end-customer interacts with) is provided with the CMS solution, but its use is optional. The CMS’ API can connect to any front end in place of or alongside the application’s head. This decoupling enables content to be deployed to multiple front end environments, and also allows a website to be redesigned or significantly updated without reimplementing or restarting the CMS. True Headless Content Management True headless content management applications don’t provide any head, assuming the organization using the CMS wants to build and deploy content to their own, customized heads with the flexibility to swap-in and swap-out best-of-breed solutions over time and more easily adapt to the ever-changing market preference for the latest and greatest front-end JavaScript frameworks of the moment, which has only gained in popularity as of late with the rise of the JAMstack movement. But the key differentiator between decoupled and headless content management is flexibility and control. True headless allows custom content and experiences to be served from the same content hub to multiple front ends and devices, tailored to their context. Content assets can be remixed and recomposed based on what makes the most sense for the experience and device form factors. For example, mobile apps can have their own look and feel, show or hide custom content, reformat content or support their own user journeys. Or, touch screen applications can show selective content, formatted for their location, purpose and screen resolution. Similarly, you can reuse a buy button, form, banner, or any design element across any experience. It’s not uncommon for an enterprise to run multiple, siloed CMSes to cover all their channels, touchpoints, and business units. This approach is sometimes intention and sometimes merely a factor of large companies with different groups operating with autonomy over technology selection decisions. With headless content management, virtually any experience can be powered from a single CMS without restrictions or sacrificing custom content to satisfy all channels. Ready to Get Started with Headless Commerce? Discover the steps for getting started, how to implement your front-end, considerations for choosing the right platform and more with our full guide. Read the Guide Better Together: How Headless Commerce + Content Management Support the Agile Enterprise Deliver truly unique and contextual experiences across touchpoints Enterprises that embrace headless commerce and eCommerce microservices to quickly spin up new and innovative experiences shouldn’t be held back by monolithic content platforms! Headless commerce-plus-content ensures omni-channel experiences are optimized for both form and function. Support greenfield projects without a legacy rip-and-replace The best part of an agile technology environment based on both a headless commerce platform and a headless CMS is the ability to launch new projects - even experimental or greenfield projects - without investing in separate, siloed platforms, introducing risk into the legacy environment, or taking months or years to deploy. Future-proof your environment API-driven solutions offer the ability to unlock the full potential of Composable Commerce, thereby providing the flexibility to swap-in and swap-out best of breed solutions as the needs of the business change over time, and avoiding being locked in to a rigid, monolithic technology stack. For  headless commerce, today this means leveraging lightning-fast front end frameworks like React.js and its cousins to serve mobile-friendly single page applications (SPAs) and progressive web apps (PWAs). As new technologies and devices come down the pike, they can simply bolt-on to what you’ve built on your back end. When headless content management isn’t right for you As with headless commerce, headless content isn’t right for every organization. Headless CMS is best for teams with seasoned developers (or a trusted agency or System Integrator) who have the requisite skills needed to build and maintain front-end frameworks that will be powered by the headless CMS, and the organization must have the appetite to deploy unique experiences across touchpoints, and the need for agility. However, in today’s mobile-first, multi-touchpoint world, a decoupled CMS at minimum is suitable for most enterprises and ensures modern front ends such as SPAs and PWAs are supported. We hope that this article was helpful in explaining more about the rapidly growing trend of brands using both headless commerce platforms and headless CMS solutions together to accelerate digital innovation, increase agility, and unlock new digital revenue channels.  
    Topics: digital, experiences, platforms, commerce, cms, management, headless, content, frontend, solutions, perfect, combination.
  • Here's what restaurants need to take advantage of digitization - These are some of the challenges of the restaurant sector in this digital age and how we can face them.
    Topics: order, diners, need, restaurants, heres, ease, sector, main, digitization, digital, restaurant, industry, advantage.
  • How Digital Marketing and Advertising Can Help Grow Your Ecommerce Business - Powerful digital marketing initiatives for 2022 that will make ecommerce retailers stand out in the crowd.
    Topics: business, engine, search, marketing, media, social, advertising, help, grow, shopping, users, digital, ecommerce.
  • How Small Brands and Entrepreneurs Can Navigate the New Era of Digital Retail - The pandemic sped up innovation in retail. Entrepreneurs can seize this moment of opportunity.
    Topics: entrepreneurs, navigate, products, identity, shopping, store, retail, small, world, product, data, digital, brands, era.
  • How Was Elastic Path Positioned in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce? And, Why? - If you are evaluating software (regardless of type) you’ve likely completed many google searches. Whether to find alternative vendors to consider or to read reviews, we find that our customers rely heavily on Google to kick off their search process. Often, these searches result in buyers reviewing lots of different vendor information, including analyst reports such as Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. After the recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce published, we’ve had several questions from customers and prospects about how to use the report, how to understand where Elastic Path was placed, and what we have to say about our cautions & strengths. This blog seeks to provide clarity on these topics! How To Use The Gartner Magic Quadrant The Gartner Magic can be a helpful resource to understand various different markets and the various vendors within those markets. We recommend using it as a tool to help you understand the vendor landscape for digital commerce. For the most recent Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce, it is important to remember that the data collection process began in April 2021 and the report is not published until September 2021, so a lot can change in the five-month period. For that reason, we would encourage you to reach out to vendors directly to learn about their latest offerings. In addition, a commonly used asset for most of our customers during their evaluation process is the eCommerce Buyers Guide. This is a great tool to help you understand which solutions are a fit for your specific business needs. Elastic Path Is a Visionary This year Elastic Path was proud to be positioned as a visionary. Gartner defines visionaries as: Visionaries demonstrate the ability to disrupt established commerce markets through innovation. They may incorporate new technologies or architectural approaches into their platforms, use creative pricing strategies or focus on a narrow market segment. They often win new customers quickly because they have identified an underserved niche in the market — one not addressed by Leaders or Challengers Elastic Path Cautions & Strengths in the Magic Quadrant For every vendor in the Magic Quadrant Gartner includes strengths and cautions. These call-outs are a source of information for brands as they begin to evaluate vendors. Since Gartner is just one source, I would encourage brands to speak to vendors directly regarding both their challenges and strengths. With this understanding established, I’d like to take this opportunity to speak to the Magic Quadrant cautions and strengths for Elastic Path. Cautions 1) Execution The first area of caution from Gartner was execution: “Elastic Path had much slower customer growth compared to the competition, and its network of service partners barely changed from the year before. Since the acquisition of Moltin’s technology in January 2020, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud still has a gap to fill to achieve feature parity with Elastic Path Commerce, and has not migrated many customers from Elastic Path Commerce”. Below I will provide some color on Gartner’s points: Customer growth: As noted above, in January 2020 Elastic Path acquired Moltin and re-branded the product as Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. As with most acquisitions, the first-year post-acquisition was focused on aligning our teams and developing a product roadmap for success. However, in the last six months (which were not evaluated by the Magic Quadrant) we have seen a major uptick in customer growth, specifically for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, including new customers Harper Collins, ISSA, JAMF, and more. We see this momentum as a clear sign of our execution and growth trajectory. Feature Parity: At Elastic Path we have two products: Elastic Path Commerce Cloud (via acquisition of Moltin in January 2020) and Elastic Path Commerce (our original product). Each product offering meets a different set of technical requirements and business needs for brands. You can learn more about our two products here: Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is our composable, API-first, microservices-based Headless Commerce solution. This product is for digitally driven branded manufacturers who need the control to go-to-market and quickly optimize across business models (B2B, B2C/ D2C, B2B2C), geos, brands, and touchpoints with ease. Some of our Elastic Path Commerce Cloud customers include Deckers Brands, Pella Windows & Doors, and Hobie Kayaks. Elastic Path Commerce is our purpose-built Headless Commerce platform for telco, utilities companies and those who sell regulated goods. This product gives brands the absolute control over their data and infrastructure with the ability to deploy on-premise or via private cloud. Some of our Elastic Path Commerce customers include Republic Services, T.Mobile, and Comcast. We will continue to serve the diverse needs of brands with these two products. For this reason, we do not feel that feature parity between our products is a relevant evaluation criterion. Our Elastic Path Commerce Cloud product roadmap is driven by customer feedback and market trends, not our need to develop feature parity across products. Elastic Path Commerce Cloud has the core capabilities, third party integrations, and multi-vendor experience assurance for brands who want to power digital differentiation across multiple routes to market. Migration Plans: Similarly, to the previous point, it’s important to remember that Elastic Path Commerce and Elastic Path Commerce Cloud are best suited for different types of customers. We are committed to continuing to serve those customers and their use cases with two separate solutions. We have seen several Elastic Path Commerce customers consider a future on Elastic Path Commerce Cloud as the use cases it fulfills are more closely aligned with their needs but. Since we are the only vendor that provides both an on-premise offering that allows for ultimate control (Elastic Path Commerce) and a cloud offering (Elastic Path Commerce Cloud) that allows for ultimate flexibility and speed, our clients don’t have to jump vendors to leverage a solution that best fits their needs. Our goal is to support our customers on the product that best fits their needs, therefore, we disagree with Gartner’s sentiment that we should be trying to migrate our customers to Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. 2) Product positioning The second caution from Gartner was “Product Positioning”: "Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is positioned as the cutting edge product due to its microservices, API-first, cloud-native and headless (MACH) architecture, and the vendor uses this messaging often in its overall marketing. Yet a majority of customers are still on Elastic Path Commerce, which contributes the most to Elastic Path’s revenue. I have already shared some key points on this caution above but, in summary, while Gartner views our two-product strategy as a challenge, we see it as a strength. We have two products for two different types of customers. Based on their unique needs, we make a recommendation on the best product fit for them. 3) Out-of-the-Box Functionality: The third caution from Gartner was “out-of-the-box functionality”: "Compared to the competition, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud has fewer OOTB user roles and configuration options, promotions, and the analytics dashboard is barely usable. It also lacks key B2B functions such as workflows and organizational hierarchy.” There are two key facts to consider when reading Gartner’s caution around out-of-the-box functionality: As I stated in the introduction, this report was submitted in April 2021 which was 5 months ago. Our rate of release at Elastic Path is extremely rapid and we have completed about 25+ releases since then (10+ more releases that our nearest competitor). This caution does not take into account many of our newly released or enhanced capabilities such as Catalog Composer, Product Content Management, upgraded Promotions, enhancements to B2B functionality like Role-Based Access Control & Account Management, and much more. I’d encourage anyone evaluating commerce solutions to check out the changelog for a detailed look at all releases, or the Product Innovations page for a summary of key releases with demos. In addition, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is a composable solution meaning we prioritize offering core commerce capabilities combined with a flexible, open framework and robust third-party integrations so that our customer can compose “best-for-me" commerce solutions. We do not intend to offer all functionality out-of-the-box because we know no vendor can be the best at everything and we know our customers would prefer to integrate their chosen search, personalization, OMS, etc. vendors. We believe that the vendor that provides the most out-of-the-box functionality is the vendor that locks you in and doesn’t allow for ongoing innovation and optimization. For that reason, we will never have the same level of out-of-the-box functionality that platforms like Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Magento have. And, we’re perfectly happy with that! If you’re struggling to determine what type of vendor is best for your commerce strategy, check out our Buyer’s Guide to learn more. Strengths In addition to challenges, the Magic Quadrant also calls out strengths of each vendor. We are thrilled with the areas of strength that we were recognized for in the Magic Quadrant this year, they include: Architecture: Gartner celebrated Elastic Path for our API-first implementation style for both products and specifically called out the cloud-native and modular architecture of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. This modern, de-coupled architecture allows us to release faster than any other commerce vendor so that new capabilities are always available for our customers. And, since Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is 100% cloud-native, version-less (unlike other microservices solutions), and backwards compatible our customers never have to worry about upgrades or scalability. Extensibility: Elastic Path was recognized by Gartner for our Composable Commerce Hub which enables brands to more easily leverage a Composable Commerce approach whether they want to custom compose their solution from accelerators, or rapidly launch with a business-ready Pre-Composed Solution™. These assets reduce the time and hours it takes brands to design, launch, and optimize a multi-vendor solution by completing some, or most, of the integration work for them. Industry Span: Gartner recognized us for our vast industry span from brand manufacturing to life sciences to telecom. This span is thanks to our two-product strategy which enables us to meet the needs of a variety of different use cases and industries. When a prospect approaches Elastic Path, we work with them on an individual basis to determine their specific needs and make a recommendation on which product will best meet them. For this reason, we have been able to grow our community to include a wide range of happy customers. What Gartner Missed While we do feel that the visionary definition describes our strategy to make innovative, modern commerce technology accessible to all brands, there are some key elements of our offering that Gartner missed and you should be aware of. Pre-Composed Solutions™: While Gartner did mention “pre-integrated applications”, they did not provide much color on this element of our offering. We believe that MACH (microservices, APIs, cloud, headless) architecture is a key element of innovative commerce (Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is built on MACH) but, in order for brands that do not have a highly experienced and digitally advanced team to take advantage of this technology they need the composition element to be de-risked. Pre-Composed Solutions do just that. These business-ready solutions pre-compose Elastic Path commerce capabilities, 3rd party applications, and key customizations to provide the fastest way to launch and start driving revenue while leveraging a Composable Commerce approach. By pre-integrated Elastic Path and third-party solutions (like Algolia for search, Contentful or Amplience for CMS, etc.), we remove the manual effort of stitching multiple solutions together from your team’s to-do list. Our library of Pre-Composed Solutions™ includes use-case specific assets for advanced B2B commerce, dealer-enabled D2C commerce, omnichannel commerce, retail-specific commerce, and more. Catalog Composer & Product Content Management: Catalog and product data management in today’s commerce platforms is dated and rigid. These solutions were built before brands had multiple dynamic routes-to-market and therefore, cannot support multiple accounts, business models, brands, geographies, or touchpoints without expensive and time-consuming customizations or workarounds. At Elastic Path we’ve reinvented catalog management so that you can finally keep up with the omnichannel needs of your business. Catalog Composer is built on the industry’s only fully decoupled omnichannel catalog architecture, introduced as part of Product Content Management, where products, hierarchies, and price books are all independent services within Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. These capabilities streamline the otherwise arduous process of creating and managing eCommerce catalogs, resulting in a 5x time reduction compared to other eCommerce solutions. Composable Commerce XA™: Another perceived area of risk with Composable Commerce centers around managing a solution composed of numerous different applications, all with their own support teams. For many brands questions like “Who do I call when an issue arises? How do I identify the root cause? Who will help me resolve it?” get in the way of committing to headless, microservices commerce. Composable Commerce XA™ includes multi-vendor proprietary monitoring and holistic issue management so brands have one single place to call when an issue arises and a trusted partner to navigate the issue across their solution. With Composable Commerce XA™ brands can confidently embrace a Composable Commerce approach- without the risks of managing multiple solutions. In summary, while Gartner is a trusted partner of Elastic Path and many other vendors and brands, the Magic Quadrant should be used as one source for brands completing commerce evaluations, not the only source. In addition to the Magic Quadrant, one of the primary resources our prospects find helpful when evaluating commerce vendors is the eCommerce Buyers Guide. Click here to learn more now!
    Topics: product, brands, magic, commerce, customers, gartner, path, elastic, digital, cloud, solutions, quadrant, positioned.
  • How You Should Evolve Your D2C Brand as Digital Marketing Evolves - Just because you have data from the last couple of years, it doesn't mean you're sitting on gold.
    Topics: website, marketing, works, evolve, think, data, customers, d2c, build, digital, ads, brand, advertising, evolves.
  • - I have been an Account Manager and Consultant for a large portion of my career before making the switch to sales and marketing operations a few years back. I recently joined Elastic Path in January of 2021, where I am really enjoying working in the eCommerce market and learning a ton. While I had some exposure to eCommerce in my past, specifically when I managed the Lenovo account as consultant, I constantly find myself internalizing how eCommerce impacts B2B account managers. Earlier this year, Elastic Path announced its BETA release of Account Management for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. While B2B eCommerce teams have been clamoring for more feature rich experiences that enable the B2B buyer to get full account level visibility into transaction history, there are considerations the business will need to consider ensuring so that the customer experience is seamless and aligned across new digital and past account management processes. I will explore some of these areas and provide some recommendations for how to get the account team, marketing team and eCommerce team aligned. Market Trends in B2B eCommerce Back in 2015 Forrester analyst Andy Hoar forecasted that 1 million US B2B salespeople will lose their jobs to self-service eCommerce by the year 2020.  With a prediction like that, it is not surprising that account managers felt a threat to their jobs and had a skeptical outlook on how eCommerce experiences would benefit their customers.  With the pandemic hitting in 2020, it is not clear if this prediction came true, but eMarketer published a study last year that predicts double digit YoY growth of B2B eCommerce through 2024.  Adoption of B2B eCommerce is no doubt accelerating and aligning a B2B eCommerce strategy with existing account management teams could be the most critical success factor.     Time = Money Every account manager that is worth their salt has reflected on the fact that if they could only find more time in the day, they could manage more customers and make more money.  Now think about all the repeatable tasks you might be doing as an account manager that could be automated or self-service enabled for the buyer.  This is where eCommerce can be a major ally to the account manager and enable the low effort buying experience customers want.  Processing order forms for consumable parts, adding more user licenses to the active contract, amending the contract to increase monthly supply, helping to coordinate service calls, managing renewal paperwork, etc.  eCommerce enabling and automating these experiences with over the course of a month, likely free up more time for account managers to engage with customers in value-added conversations vs. pushing internal process through.  The research says that the customer would prefer to manage these tasks without the account manager involved anyway, so why is the account manager wasting value time doing it for the customer?  Gartner recently reported “43% of B2B customers would prefer not to interact with a sales rep at all, leaving the long-term future of in-person B2B selling in significant doubt for even the most complex of purchases.” Recommended Action: Account managers likely have a list of repeatable tasks the eCommerce and marketing automation teams can use to design more self-service buyer experiences.  Once the experience is online, account managers then can show customers how they can use them, enabling a more positive experience for the buyer that they can pass on to other buyers at the account to expand revenue opportunities between the buyer and seller.   Selling "Inside" of Digital Humans are creatures of habit and as an account manager you can add value to your customer by learning how to operate inside of the digital buying experience.  What that means is, account managers can engage with the buyer while in the digital workflow and enable a low effort experience that creates value and helps buyers gain more confidence in your product/brand.  Essentially you turn the buyer into an educated advocate, and you give them the resources they need to educate others at the account internally.  Success in this area requires tight collaboration with marketing, as the Website needs to have the content buyers seek during the selling process.  Account managers can help identify and create the experiences that work best for buyers.  That content also needs to show strong differentiation – which is typically the main reason sales creates PPT for each customer meeting.  They need to show how different the solution they sell is compared to competitors.  Recommended Action: Ensure account managers know the Website inside and out.  Limit the use of attaching static content to email and instead promote the use of links and content online when nurturing customers through a buying process.  Consider putting core documents like MSAs, Terms and Conditions and Quoting tools online that the buyer and selling can use together when engaging.   Looking to implement a headless approach? Our comprehensive guide to getting started with headless commerce will teach you more about the architecture, how to work with the front-end of your choice, and how to choose a platform that fits your needs. Read the Guide Account Managers + Chat = eCommerce Gold Account managers have more tools at their disposal than ever to understand buyer engagement and communicate with buyers. eMail and LinkedIn have become the norm for account managers in how they communicate with buyers online, and while those are digital experiences, they are also very static and do not meet the buyer on your Website when they are engaging in an active buying decision.  In B2B the more an account manager is in sync with buyers’ active digital behavior, the more they will be meeting the buyer in a low-effort, digital experience when it is best for their schedule.  In B2B there are almost always questions that need human assistance to gain confidence needed to make a purchase decision, which is why Website chat has become so popular in B2B and almost mission critical when coupled with eCommerce.   Chat has become the leading contact source within the online environment, with 42% of customers using chat versus email (23%) or other social media forum (16%). (Source: J.D. Power) However, the gap with most B2B sellers, it that most resources that staff live chat are junior business development resources and they will do their best to take in the information and route it back to the account manager for follow-up.  However, as eCommerce is enabled in B2B, buyers are in active buying processes while they are on your website. The best buying experience will be to have the account manager online, ready to answer questions that in turn enable the buyer to feel confident about making a purchase in that moment.  Marketing and sales technology operations have tools available to enable this always on “segment of one” for account managers.  It just requires getting involved with the technology, ensuring your customer data is updated and accurate and making yourself a part of the channel your customers want to use when online making a purchase decision.  For the account manager, they can consider this is the new “closing while on the golf course” model.  Instead of closing the deal playing golf with your buyer, you can be out on the course with your friends, significant other or maybe enjoying a peaceful round on your own.  Recommended Action: Account managers need to insist that they get access to more “always on channels” that engage with customers online and in an active buying process.  Marketing is more than willing to enable these tools, the missing link is account managers willing to make digital communications (beyond email) an integrated part of their daily lives at work.  We are doing it with Facebook, Texting, Tick-Tock, and Instagram part of our personal lives.  Why not add it to our work lives, customers will appreciate you being there. Buyer Confidence is Critical When a buyer is online and presented with the option to buy using an eCommerce experience, the most critical factor is confidence that their decision will be a good one.  This is true for both B2C and B2B buying decisions.  However, unlike B2C purchases, the B2B buyer is likely making a decision that will affect their entire team or maybe even the entire organization.  Confidence is even more critical in B2B and without the account manager to answer questions or help find content and documents that build trust between the seller and buyer, you may struggle to gain buyer adoption online.  A Gartner survey of nearly 1,000 B2B customers reveals that those who report a high level of decision confidence are 10 times more likely to make a high-quality, low-regret purchase.  Confidence is created when the buyer can clearly understand and articulate the differences between your offering and the competitions’.  As outlined in the Gartner study, account managers that become part of the digital experience can “help customers make sense of all the information they encounter, explaining implications, alternatives, and undiscovered opportunities in an understandable and compelling way.” This combined with better digital experience guided by what worked in live account manager meetings of the past will be a critical success factor for B2B eCommerce success. Recommended Action: Bring the account team into your eCommerce project and have them input on what does and does not work to process the sale.  Ask how they create differentiation and get their input on where things are too “look-a-like” with the competition. Use this as an opportunity to not only create new low-effort digital experiences for buyers, but also enable the account management to internalize how they can be “inside” the experience with the customer.   
    Topics: buyer, managers, account, management, impacts, manager, digital, b2b, ecommerce, customers, experience, online.
  • How to Break Into the Creator Economy in a Digital Age - More than 50 million people worldwide consider themselves to be creators -- here's how they're doing it.
    Topics: creator, writers, media, age, economy, break, youre, successful, digital, social, way, content, products.
  • How to Launch a New D2C Channel in 90 Days or Less - The Continued Rise of D2C Commerce: In Gartner’s latest Digital Commerce Market Share Analysis, a key theme was continued exploration of new business models for brands looking to double down on their existing successful digital commerce businesses.  Specifically they shared: “Exploration occurs into direct-to-consumer (D2C) for manufacturing and consumer packaged goods (CPG) verticals due to the disruptions in distribution channels.” Brands in these industries, and others, have seen an opportunity to explore direct-to-consumer (D2C) commerce for the first time.  In this blog post, I share some top reasons for why we are seeing an increased investment in D2C. But, in short: Customers want to buy direct Brands are feeling the pressure to drive growth with digital A D2C model means brands can innovate and differentiate on their own terms The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated digital adoption & disrupted product availability Fast & Flexible & Budget Friendly: Can You Have All Three? 10 years ago the needs of brands embracing digital were simple. Driving digital revenue was as easy as launching a basic website and the expected timeline to implement or make a significant change was 9-18 months. Traditional platforms were a perfect fit for these brands, it provided everything they needed to launch eCommerce out of the box and promised to scale with their enterprise business. But, the digital world has drastically changed in the last 10 years. Now having a website is table stakes.  D2C brands feel the constant pressure to differentiate their digital presence through omni-channel experiences, out-innovate the likes of Amazon, and keep up with customer needs with engaging experiences that outshine the competition. We are not only seeing the need to launch D2C, but the need to design unique brand-centric experiences and launch them fast, without breaking the bank. This is easier said than done. The reality is, the majority of eCommerce platforms on the market provide can’t offer all three. Fast: Traditional platforms like Shopify might promise speed to market but, their technology is rigid meaning if you’d like to customize their base offering (for example: launch D2C in multiple countries or give merchandisers complete flexibility to create dynamic product bundles), it will require expensive and time-consuming workarounds.   Flexible: MACH-based platforms like Commercetools promise flexibility to design and launch the D2C experiences of your wildest dreams BUT, their offering is made up of 100s of APIs that only a company with an extremely high digital maturity could take advantage of.  We often hear from brands who have run a POC with Commercetools only to find the technology too complex to actually meet their unique needs in a timely manner.   Cost-Effective: While on paper both Shopify and Commercetools may seem cost effective, their inability to provide solutions that are both fast & flexible means that brands will have to compensate with custom work that drives up TCO. For brands looking for a simple way to deliver their unique digital commerce experiences (even when they are complex!) in a cost effective way, there is no good option. This problem is exactly what we seek to fix at Elastic Path.  We provide Composable, API-first Headless Commerce solutions that make it simple for brands with complex requirements to deliver unique digital commerce experiences. While our modular microservices-based architecture and business-centric core commerce capabilities provide flexibility, our Pre-Composed Solutions™ ensure brands can get to market rapidly, without blowing their budgets. These business-ready solutions are built on top of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud and pre-integrate core Elastic Path capabilities, 3rd party integrations, and any necessary customizations.  By pre-composing everything brands need to fulfill a specific use case, we eliminate the risk of having to custom-piece together your own solution and we ensure speed to market. New: Pre-Composed Solution™ for Rapid D2C Commerce: Today we are excited to announce the latest addition to our library of Pre-Composed Solutions™: a Pre-Composed Solution™ for Rapid D2C Commerce, also known as CommerceFactory, built by Elastic Path Partner TA Digital.  After the success we had with a similar Pre-Composed Solution™ on Elastic Path Commerce, it was a no-brainer for us to co-develop a 2nd Pre-Composed Solution™ for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud in order to take advantage of the explosive growth we’re seeing with our MACH-based offering for high-growth brands. This solution gives brands the flexibility and speed to easily launch their unique D2C experiences, without blowing their budget. Key benefits include: Reduce technical complexity by eliminating manual integrations and ground-up site builds   Launch in 90 days, guaranteed, with a fully-managed, pre-integrated solution   Reduce IT costs with “ready-to-launch" solution that removes the need for extra delivery or dev work   Drive customer loyalty & revenue with intuitive and engaging D2C customer experiences across channels It reduces the risk and time commitment associated with embracing a multi-vendor solution by pre-integrating Acquia for CMS, Elastic Search for search, CyberSource or Stripe for payments, and Avalara & Vertex for tax and shipping.  Plus, since it is built on flexible microservices architecture, brands can easily customize their experiences at launch or months or years down the road. Core features include: Enterprise CMS functionality such as content workflow, drag & drop content, dynamic image scaling, support for multi-language, visual page builder and more   D2C experiential design focus including large imagery support, promotion banners, SEO friends, full width design, and more   Mobile optimized including cross-platform cart, PWA, and quick payment methods   D2C enterprise commerce functionality such as bundling, advanced promotions, catalog syndication, Google, Facebook, & Instagram integration, guest checkout, guided shopper, single page checkout and much more We’d love to connect on how this Pre-Composed Solution™ for Rapid D2C Commerce could help you launch a D2C channel in 90 days or less. Reach out today to learn more.
    Topics: digital, experiences, days, brands, precomposed, path, d2c, commerce, solution, elastic, launch, channel.
  • - Many people might have thought that crypto was a fad but the data points to the fact that it is far from a fad. There are various use cases for cryptocurrencies and the technology that powers it, the blockchain. It… Continue reading How to Sell NFTs on Shopify – The Complete Guide
    Topics: website, guide, creating, selling, payment, sell, nft, shopify, nfts, complete, store, digital.
  • In the Race Between Amazon and Google, Who Will Be Victorious? - Consumers are shifting from search-engine-based purchasing journeys to online marketplaces and other options.
    Topics: amazon, digital, google, commerce, victorious, consumers, search, purchase, retailer, race, significant, shoppers, online.
  • Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart to acquire an online pharmacy marketplace to foray into healthcare space - Walmart-backed Flipkart is acquiring online pharmacy startup SastaSundar to enter the healthcare segment in India as the e-commerce battle intensifies in the world’s second-largest internet market. Flipkart said it has signed definitive agreements to acquire a majority stake in SastaSundar, but did not disclose the size of the deal. Eight-year-old SastaSundar was last valued at […]
    Topics: pharmacy, space, online, marketplace, indian, flipkart, india, sastasundar, valued, giant, techcrunch, foray, digital, million, healthcare, startup.
  • Indian giant Tata takes on Amazon and Ambani’s Jio with super app Tata Neu - The Indian conglomerate Tata Group, a $103 billion company whose business spans multiple industries from salt and software to telecom and steel, is ready to embrace consumer technology. The 154-year-old giant has been working – and internally testing – its audacious plan to offer a range of services from e-commerce and grocery to hotel stays […]
    Topics: services, group, indian, significant, digital, loyalty, app, super, giant, neu, tata, jio, consumer, ambanis, takes, techcrunch.
  • Introducing the BigCommerce 2021 Partner Awards Finalists - It’s time for the BigCommerce 2021 Partner Awards! Marking the fourth year of the program, the BigCommerce Partner Awards is…
    Topics: finalists, awards, solutions, bigcommerce, customer, design, clients, partner, ecommerce, online, introducing, experience, business, digital.
  • Latin America’s second wave of digital transformation - Over the past year, Latin America has been covered heavily in the international news as the COVID-19 pandemic led many to question our endurance in the face of a crisis.
    Topics: tech, unicorns, insurance, digital, techcrunch, company, pandemic, second, latin, transformation, wave, value, americas, companies, regions.
  • - Welcome to The Make it Big Podcast, a bi-weekly audio series about all things ecommerce by BigCommerce. In 2021, digital…
    Topics: today, digitalmarketer, richard, digital, understand, customer, marketing, lindner, podcast, think, started, day, watch, trends, big, copy, youre.
  • Make it Big Podcast: The Current and Future State of B2B Ecommerce - Welcome to The Make it Big Podcast, a bi-weekly audio series about all things ecommerce by BigCommerce. In this episode,…
    Topics: ecommerce, future, podcast, custom, online, experience, state, b2b, seeing, buyers, shopping, headless, digital, current, big.
  • Marcus Murphy and Oli Billson Share Leading Trends for UX and Digital Innovation at Make it Big 2021 - Digital innovation is moving at a speed we’ve never seen before — which means constantly changing customer expectations. At BigCommerce’s…
    Topics: theyre, platforms, leading, message, murphy, innovation, oli, customers, think, billson, ux, brands, customer, share, trends, know, really, ways, digital, marcus.
  • Meet the Elastic Path Leadership Team: Part 1 - We wanted to take this time to introduce you to our leadership team – you may see some new faces in the mix and we can’t wait to tell you more about these individuals.   Brenton Brown - Chief Financial Officer Connect with Brenton on LinkedIn Brenton is responsible for Elastic Path's revenue strategies, profitability enhancement and cash flow. Brenton was most recently Senior Vice President at Peer 1 Hosting, one of the world's leading web hosting providers specializing in managed hosting, colocation and cloud services. Prior to that, Brenton worked in Business Development at Signacert, a leading company specializing in continuous compliance monitoring automation. Brenton also spent five years with Intel Capital, Intel Corp.'s venture capital arm in both Europe and the U.S. Q&A with Brenton 1. What excites you most about Elastic Path daily? The people, and the challenges presented every day. Building companies is exciting and relentless. We are lucky to have a fantastic team of entrepreneurs that inspire and challenge each other day in and day out. It is often joked, “Why do we do this!?” And the answer, never needs an answer. 2. How do you foresee Commerce changing in the future? How will Elastic Path help customers maneuver said changes? As the transformation from analogue to digital accelerates, I believe the concept of “buying something” becomes an antiquated concept. Our needs become imbedding in life; the refrigerator knows we are out of milk and orders for delivery our preferred brand. Our wants become experiences. This will apply throughout B2C B2B2C and B2B as customer expectations are mirrored in business. Elastic Path has, and continues to, enable our customers to deliver these our emerging digital world. 3. What is your favorite book and or movie and why? The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. It is an annual read and reminder that while personal and team experience grows, there is no playbook for building a fast-growing company in an emerging technology market. And that the right decisions, are often the hardest. 4. Tell us something about yourself, that isn't on LinkedIn or your resume. Whether snow, street or surf, if you can ride a plank sideway on it, I am in!   Riccardo La Rosa - Senior Vice President, Engineering and Operations Connect with Riccardo on LinkedIn Riccardo is responsible for Product Development and Operations for all digital commerce solution offerings at Elastic Path. Riccardo has 25 years of demonstrated success in building digital products and developing world-class technical teams. His background includes product development, digital transformation, technology architecture for early stage to Fortune 500 companies, with extensive experience delivering industry leading PaaS/SaaS services. Prior to Elastic Path, Riccardo was the Vice President of Engineering for Acquia, which was acquired by Vista Equity Partners at the end of 2019. During his tenure at Acquia, he was instrumental to launch new products, which led to double digit growth and significant gross margins improvement. Prior to this he was VP of Engineering at global agency Isobar, the digital arm of Dentsu Aegis Media. Q&A with Riccardo 1. What excites you most about Elastic Path daily? We work on very interesting problems every day, from building new features to auto-scaling our infrastructure to support our client events. The teams we have at EP are incredibly talented and everyone has been incredibly supportive during these interesting times. 2. How do you foresee Commerce changing in the future? How will Elastic Path help customers maneuver said changes? I remember placing orders online once every couple weeks, now I do it multiple times per day. Commerce is part of what we do every day and we need to meet our customers and their customers where they want, which at times is not just a web site. We solve this problem with the simplicity of our headless solutions. 3. What is your favorite book and or movie and why? In this last year one of the books I've enjoyed a lot is Where the crawdads sing by Delia Owens. Intriguing story embedded in a beautiful natural setting. 4. Tell us something about yourself, that isn't on LinkedIn or your resume. I love to spend time outside with my family playing/watching soccer/futbol, hiking and mountain biking.   Bryan House - Senior Vice President, Product and Customer Success Connect with Bryan on LinkedIn Bryan is the SVP of Product and Customer Success at Elastic Path, where he leads the UX and product management teams. Previously, Bryan was the Chief Commercial Officer at Neural Magic, a deep learning software start-up where he ran Product, GTM, and Customer Success. An Acquia founding team member, he helped lead the company to $170+M in revenue. His expertise spans machine learning, digital experience platforms, and open-source technology. He is known as a serial entrepreneur and has spoken at digital business conferences around the globe. Bryan has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a degree in Brewing from the Siebel Institute of Technology, the oldest brewing school in the United States. Before becoming Senior Vice President of WW Account Management at Acquia, Bryan ran product marketing for content management solutions at EMC Documentum. He also brewed beer professionally for 8 years. Q&A with Bryan 1. What excites you most about Elastic Path daily? Our customers are what get me the most excited each day at Elastic Path. I am obsessed with making our customers and partners successful with their digital commerce objectives. To accomplish this, I focus my time on building teams that are passionate about solving problems for our customers, and then enabling our customers and partners to address those challenges with a combination of products, enablement, and a shared sense of purpose. 2. How do you foresee Commerce changing in the future? How will Elastic Path help customers maneuver said changes? In my opinion, the future of Commerce will be “best for me” approaches to quickly build and launch new commerce experiences. The monolithic, all in one era of commerce is over, replaced with API-first approaches to developing modern applications. This trend is changing is happening across enterprise technology markets broadly, impacting how people evaluate, develop, and deploy new technologies to deliver business objectives. The digital commerce market will follow suit. To help our customers and partners navigate this change, my product teams are focused on making the process of evaluating and building commerce solutions with our products easier than ever. Accelerating time to value for both developers and business users and eliminating friction along the way is one of our key objectives. By doing so, we enable our customers and partners to spend more time building exceptional, differentiated digital commerce experiences - while we take care of the complex bits behind our APIs. 3. What is your favorite book and or movie and why? I have two favorite books of late. The first is Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman. His insights into how our minds work, the heuristics we each use to make decisions, and the tricks we all fall prey to are fascinating. The second book is a novel, Slade House by David Mitchell. A mystery thriller set in London - a creepy, fun read that keeps you unsettled to the end. 4. Tell us something about yourself, that isn't on LinkedIn or your resume. I am a big music fan and have a tendency to go down the rabbit hole with artists, now that all the music they’ve ever recorded is available on our phones. Recently, it’s been Miles Davis’ electric period, Sun Ra, and currently I’m lost in Bob Dylan. Movies, books, podcasts, and playlists, all the things.   Ready to Get Started with Headless Commerce? Discover the steps for getting started, how to implement your front-end, considerations for choosing the right platform and more with our full guide. Read the Guide   Greg Lord - Vice President, Marketing Connect with Greg on LinkedIn As Vice President of Marketing, Greg leads go-to-market strategy for Elastic Path, including product marketing, demand generation, brand, content marketing, corporate communications, analyst relations, events, field marketing, customer marketing. Greg is focused on providing both technical and business leaders with content and programs that help them deliver innovative commerce strategies that accelerate revenue growth. Greg joined the Elastic Path team through the Moltin acquisition, where he held the role of Vice President of Marketing. Prior to Moltin, Greg held marketing and sales leadership positions at SmartBear, Akamai, and Intel. Greg began his career in IT systems management. Greg has a bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems from Bentley University and a MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Q&A with Greg 1. What excites you most about Elastic Path daily? Hands down, the team. We have an amazing team that is smart, dedicated, and a ton of fun, and it’s what I love about my job. I also really enjoy the digital commerce space because it’s so broad reaching and dynamic, and has become even more mission-critical for our customers in the face of the pandemic. 2. How do you foresee Commerce changing in the future? How will Elastic Path help customers maneuver said changes? Digital commerce is becoming more and more immersive into our daily lives. eCommerce isn’t a place we go to shop anymore, rather eCommerce is woven into how we live our daily lives. For example, you can order via phone through an amazon Alexa, through an in-car dashboard, right within an email, and more. 3. What is your favorite book and or movie and why? I have a few favorite books – Extreme Leadership, Atlas Shrugged, and for all you content marketing geeks out there, They Ask You Answer. In terms of movies, I love watching Home Alone every Christmas season. 4. Tell us something about yourself, that isn't on LinkedIn or your resume. I have three young kids, and through them have developed a deep passion for coaching youth sports. It’s so fun and gratifying to work with young kids to help them realize their full potential, build their confidence, and understand the importance of teamwork and sportsperson-ship.   Tara Collins - Vice President, People and Culture Connect with Tara on LinkedIn Tara leads the People & Culture and Facilities teams at Elastic Path. With a long tenure in building teams, designing programs, and leading through change, Tara will focus on ensuring our people programs and practices are firmly established, driving a culture and performance which attract and retain top talent within our markets. Tara brings over 15 years of Human Resource experience supporting executive leadership at industry leading organizations across industries such as hospitality, real estate and retail. Throughout her career, Tara has established relationships through executive coaching, change leadership and as a devoted employee advocate. Tara holds a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University and a post graduate certificate in Strategic Human Resources Management from Royal Roads University. Q&A with Tara 1. What excites you most about Elastic Path daily? This is such a unique time to be part of an organization that is on the cusp of incredible growth and change at this stage of maturity. We have the expertise of a seasoned group of subject matter experts, combined with new additions and ideas for innovation, all driving us to create opportunities for our employees and customers that haven’t existed in the past. This team is uniquely posed to achieve great success. 2. How do you foresee Commerce changing in the future? How will Elastic Path help customers maneuver said changes? I see commerce becoming increasingly accessible to a global community, blasting through barriers that existed historically. In my opinion this opens up a world of possibility, potential and learning which works to lower barriers that have may have previously deterred some. It enables visibility for a much broader audience, sparks curiosity and encourages pushing beyond what we’ve previously thought possible. 3. What is your favorite book and or movie and why? Any and all works by Haruki Murakami. I am a huge fan of fiction in my down time and Murakami’s language, imagination and style are simply magic. 4. Tell us something about yourself, that isn't on LinkedIn or your resume. I have a goal to retire on a farm, where I can care for a herd of rescue animals, or at the very least several dogs, and where my partner can ski daily during the winters. We have our eye on Sun Peaks in the interior of BC at the moment, but I am wide open to recommendations if anyone has a utopic location to share.   Darren Hedges - Vice President, Business Transformation and Professional Services Connect with Darren on LinkedIn Darren Hedges is the Vice President, Business Transformation and Professional Services. He leads the Business Transformation Group and the Global Professional Services team. Darren has over 25 years of technology change leadership and professional services experience. Over the course of his career, Darren has led teams at Disney Interactive Studios, Electronic Arts, LucasArts (A LucasFilm Company) Eidos, holding various leadership roles for interactive entertainment, franchise, and application development. Darren is driven to create and enable passionate development teams, build effective and scalable development processes, and drive customer implementation success. Q&A with Darren 1. What excites you most about Elastic Path daily? The people in PS, the PS projects, the clients that we work with and the business and commerce challenge we help them overcome every day. 2. How do you foresee Commerce changing in the future? How will Elastic Path help customers maneuver said changes? It’s already happening, commerce everywhere, the ability to transact from any device in any shape way or form. EP already enables their customers in this first wave, but as technology evolves and methods transcend the card, digital wallets, NFT devices and currencies, EP will be right there taking a leadership position and pushing the boundaries of what commerce means and how business, individuals and companies act and react to it. 3. What is your favorite book and or movie and why? Favorite Movie – Airplane – I could watch that movie a thousand times (and I nearly have) and it would still make me laugh. The casting was perfect with Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty and Leslie Nielsen, the script genius and the Zucker brothers and Jim Abrahams are masterful in their writing and directing craft. 4. Tell us something about yourself, that isn't on LinkedIn or your resume. Before I went into Project Management and interactive entertainment, I used to be a ship to shore crane operator in my early working years I’d spend long winters huddled in a small box suspended 500 feet above a rocking container ship loading and unloading containers freezing. That being said the summer months perched on top of a crane has their advantages, so there are upsides!
    Topics: help, team, path, elastic, meet, customers, vice, president, teams, leadership, business, commerce, digital.
  • NayaPay secures $13 million, largest seed funding in South Asia for its messaging and payment app - Pakistan-based fintech platform NayaPay has raised $13 million in a seed round to roll out its multi-service messaging and payment app, and to build payment acceptance and financial management tools for businesses in the South Asian country. NayaPay CEO and founder Danish Lakhani told TechCrunch that the super-app allows people residing in Pakistan to send […]
    Topics: pakistan, south, techcrunch, seed, million, funding, secures, bank, payment, messaging, payments, round, digital, largest, capital, nayapay.
  • Neil Patel Shares Breakthrough Digital Marketing Strategies at Make it Big 2021 - Your ecommerce strategy’s foundation lies in three areas: attracting, converting and retaining your customers. At BigCommerce’s 2021 Make it Big Conference…
    Topics: search, breakthrough, really, patel, seo, right, click, site, seeing, shares, neil, commerce, thats, big, digital, marketing, strategies.
  • Neuro-ID takes in fresh capital to combat fraud from all of our taps, types and swipes - The company captures real-time customer behavior so companies can see who is genuine, and who is fraudulent, and identify the root cause of customer friction.
    Topics: digital, fresh, types, fraud, combat, swipes, techcrunch, taps, capital, customer, analytics, customers, series, million, takes, neuroid, revenue, funding.
  • Next Level RFP for Evaluating an eCommerce Provider - We’ve all been through the RFP process from vendor to customer. The hours of research and preparation, template creation, and ultimately a fair amount of cutting and pasting. Is a one size fits all approach effective to an RFP when selecting an eCommerce partner? Here’s our take… Less static, more speed and agility Traditional RFPs look more like a series of boxes to check; from the must haves to the nice to haves, peppered with timelines, the players involved for approval, pricing, and demos/free trial availability. When choosing an eCommerce partner, this static approach may not be as effective or accurate in evaluating your business needs. A prolonged process without context around the future needs of your business is antithetical to choosing a good partner (or partners) who play well in the digital commerce sandbox, and who meet your needs, today and as you scale. When we talk about future proofing your eCommerce platform, it’s essential to talk about where you are and where you’re going. While it’s impossible to have a finite level of certainty from an environment so heavily rooted in change, the conversations are vital towards solutions versus outcomes. Speed is of the essence. You’re looking for implementation in weeks versus months. You need Proof of Concept (POC), and you need it sooner rather than later. For your consideration: an alternate approach to the RFP Step 1: Assemble Your Team Gather the key players from the business and tech side of your team and ask yourselves some key questions: How are you growing the business?   Who is involved (business teams, tech teams) and what’s in it for them?   What are your revenue goals?   What is your business model or models?   What is your digital maturity?   Need help evaluating eCommerce Providers? Connect with an Elastic Path expert to answer all of your questions, set up a demo, access a free trial, or discuss pricing options. Get in Touch Low – You’re new to digital commerce with little to no tech support in house with no intention of bringing in a team currently. You see the benefit of an eCommerce solution but don’t see it as integral to the here and now of your business. Your ideal fit from a provider is a more out-of-the-box platform like Shopify. Medium – If you have marketers, merchandizers, and a tech team in house, or hired through an SI, to execute and manage your platform you most likely fall into this category. You’re looking for low risk, simplified solutions, and you understand the importance of digital commerce to your business. Elastic Path offers customizable options to fit where you currently are on the eCommerce journey and where you’re going. High – If you have a dedicated team in house where you’ve already adopted or are looking to adopt a development operations methodology, you’re in the high maturity category. You aspire to be an innovator and leverage the newest technology to gain a competitive advantage in the market. Elastic Path offers a headless, API-first, multi-vendor commerce platform ideal for your needs now and as you grow. Step 2: Initial Research When evaluating providers, look at some key factors as you comparison shop: How does the provider stack up against others?   What are their values and mission as a company?   What are their business capabilities?   Who are their partner vendors?   Who are their customers? What pain points has this provider solved for them? Step 3: Initiate the Conversation When evaluating providers, look at some key factors as you comparison shop: Once you’ve identified where you are and what you’re looking for, request a discovery call from the provider(s) who meet those requirements and best fit your needs. Come to that initial conversation with use cases and your desired outcomes. You may have specific needs around promotions, catalog management, or cart/checkout in six months or under to market. Bring these key goals to the table so a provider gets a clear understanding of your needs and possible solutions. The benefit is two-fold; you may also discover a particular provider isn’t a proper fit. A big timesaver for both of you! Wondering what else to ask? We’ve put together a list of great questions to evaluate providers. What you need to know about Elastic Path For both medium and high digital maturity companies, we offer differentiated experiences with an API-first, headless approach to commerce. Here are a few resources to help you evaluate us: eCommerce Platform Buyers Guide Elastic Path Pricing Demo Library Additionally, while we believe there are better ways to make the right selection, we understand that some organizations are committed to RFPs. If you’re in that situation, here’s how we can support your RFP process.
    Topics: tech, needs, key, providers, provider, platform, level, rfp, business, digital, solution, youre, ecommerce, team, evaluating.
  • Omnichannel, a key element for the future of commerce in Mexico - If you are a business owner and looking to increase your sales during this pandemic, this interests you.
    Topics: key, future, business, payment, different, commerce, omnichannel, physical, digital, element, technology, online, sales, businesses, mexico.
  • Pakistan’s B2B marketplace and digital ledger platform Bazaar raises $30 million - A one-year-old startup that is building a business-to-business marketplace for merchants in Pakistan and also helping them digitize their bookkeeping is the latest to secure a mega-round in the South Asian market. Bazaar said on Tuesday it has raised $30 million in a Series A round. The new financing round — the largest Series A […]
    Topics: ledger, market, digital, b2b, million, techcrunch, platform, marketplace, pakistan, bazaar, merchants, startup, product, investors, category, raises, capital, partners, pakistans.
  • Papier inks $50M Series C to in a run to lead the online stationery market - Papier, a startup leveraging technology to bring very non-tech products into the world, has raised some funding to continue expanding its business on the heels of strong demand for its personalized notebooks, planners, cards and other paper-based stationery that it sells online. The London startup has raised $50 million, a Series C that it will […]
    Topics: brand, atighetchi, papier, online, technology, digital, today, way, series, stationery, run, products, startup, consumers, techcrunch, inks, market, c, lead.
  • Porsche expands online marketplace to include US inventory of new cars - Porsche Cars North America has added its entire U.S. inventory of new cars to its online marketplace as the company seeks to keep up with customer demands and the industry's shift to digital commerce.
    Topics: shift, digital, search, cars, online, inventory, marketplace, vehicle, techcrunch, includes, expands, tool, dealership, porsche, include, customers.
  • Preferred payment methods in Europe 2021 - Online retailers in Europe need to offer all kinds of payment methods if they want to reach as many customers as possible. Every country has its own preferences. Let’s have a look at the preferred payment methods in Europe in 2021. There are so many online payment methods in Europe.… Continue reading
    Topics: wallets, method, payment, methods, card, bank, visa, preferred, europe, cards, digital, online.
  • Product Photography, Part 5: Choosing a Camera - I'm frequently asked to recommend a camera. Sometimes folks inquire about the camera I use to display my artwork online. But both queries miss the point. Knowing how to use a camera is far more important than the unit itself. Nonetheless, choosing a suitable camera is critical.
    Topics: lighting, lenses, product, d3500, photography, digital, canons, smartphone, dslr, camera, choosing, eos.
  • SMEs in Mexico register a 100% increase in sales through the digital channel during the first half of 2021 - For 34% of Mexican SMEs, online sales became their only source of income during the pandemic.
    Topics: mexico, digital, increase, sell, selling, sales, channel, half, presence, register, companies, online, smes.
  • - Creators need ways to monetize their work. Whether you’re a musician, YouTuber, streamer, artist, or writer, the ultimate goal is to make money from your creativity, whether that means selling content subscriptions, merchandise, videos, or graphics. Unfortunately, it’s not always… Continue reading Sellfy Review (Dec 2021): An Affordable and Beautiful Storefront for Selling to an Established Audience
    Topics: sellfy, affordable, review, email, storefront, online, marketing, add, audience, beautiful, product, products, sell, store, digital, selling, dec, established.
  • SendOwl, a platform for selling digital goods, raises $4.5M from Defy.vc, Stripe and others - SendOwl, a platform used to sell and deliver digital products, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding from Defy.vc, with participation from Stripe and other investors. SendOwl enables creators and businesses to sell digital goods such as e-books, podcasts, online courses, memberships, coaching services, live remote events and more. Users are able to do so […]
    Topics: defyvc, sell, sendowl, selling, digital, products, raises, sees, techcrunch, plotke, product, growth, stripe, goods, 45m, platform.
  • Stablecoin, CBDCs Could Improve Ecommerce - Digital currencies have the potential to expand ecommerce, lower transaction fees, eliminate chargebacks, and prevent fraud. So far, however, volatility and its fear have stopped most merchants and brands from accepting cryptocurrencies. But this could be changing.
    Topics: improve, digital, card, fees, merchants, bank, payment, cbdcs, ecommerce, currencies, transactions, stablecoin, stablecoins.
  • Starbucks to launch NFTs this year, offering access to ‘unique experiences and benefits’ - Would you like an NFT with your Starbucks latte? The coffee giant this week announced its plans to enter the web3 space with the launch of its own NFT collection later this year, where the individual digital collectibles also provide their owners with access to exclusive content experiences and other benefits, it said. The company […]
    Topics: web3, digital, launch, benefits, experiences, techcrunch, offering, nfts, unique, access, business, stores, nft, company, technologies, starbucks, ceo.
  • Swiftly quickly gets brick-and-mortar stores set up to cater to online customers - Swiftly provides the technology tools that democratize the technology lead, enjoyed by Amazon and Walmart, to the rest of the industry.
    Topics: customers, cater, techcrunch, store, brickandmortar, set, gets, online, swiftly, million, quickly, retailers, digital, kim, grocery, ecommerce, technology, company, stores.
  • Tech firms face higher levies as Kenya plans to double digital service tax - Kenya plans to double the digital service tax (DST) to 3% beginning July this year, as the government taps the growing online economy to increase its domestic revenues and narrow fiscal deficit. It is expected that the new rates, proposed in the Finance Bill by the country’s Treasury department, will be passed by the lawmakers. […]
    Topics: plans, firms, companies, services, treasury, higher, tech, service, dst, techcrunch, tax, revenues, digital, face, levies, kenya.
  • The 13 Worst Digital Marketing Mistakes to Avoid & How to Fix Them - We are currently living in the age of the internet, and that means your business must cater to it. Promoting your business, your brand, and your product or service can all benefit from digital marketing.
    Topics: social, marketing, having, fix, customers, worst, avoid, site, traffic, business, mistakes, web, website, digital.
  • The Good End comes more digital than ever, your business cannot be left behind - Do you remember your reaction the last time you tried to buy something online and the page did not allow you to see all the options, or did not accept the payment method you were planning to use?
    Topics: social, customers, comes, products, left, business, online, digital, entrepreneurs, experience, sales, strategy, good, end.
  • The New Way to Retire: Start a Digital Business - How retirees can become 'second act' entrepreneurs by acquiring an online business.
    Topics: youve, opportunity, amazon, start, way, youre, products, business, starting, digital, online, looking, retire.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Strategies & How to Improve Your Digital Presence - Would it be correct to assume a major part of your marketing strategy today is digital? Probably.
    Topics: strategy, ultimate, improve, content, marketing, strategies, business, plan, paid, youre, digital, guide, customers, media, presence.
  • The Who, What, Why, & How of Digital Marketing - With how accessible the internet is today, would you believe me if I told you the number of people who go online every day is still increasing?
    Topics: seo, channels, digital, content, marketing, audience, website, media, social, strategy.
  • The network effect is anti-competitive - Social networks and online marketplace providers have become digital dictators with complete control over their territories.
    Topics: app, effect, service, techcrunch, social, resellers, digital, anticompetitive, marketplace, business, online, tech, control, network.
  • The truth about Apple Pay for ecommerce - This post was originally posted in 2010 and has been updated for relevancy. Is Apple Pay the Way for Digital Wallets? Mobile wallets have infiltrated digital commerce, offering a way to streamline checkout across desktop, mobile, and apps. Eliminating the need to remember or carry shipping addresses and credit card numbers, digital wallets such as Apple Pay reduce errors and boost conversions. But is Apple Pay right for your checkout? Apple Pay by the numbers As of September 2019, there were approximately 441 million Apple Pay users worldwide, up from 292 million users in the corresponding period of the previous year. An estimated 48 percent of iPhone users had enabled Apple Pay. Research shows Apple’s availability is on the rise by 20%. They suggest this number comes out of a need for merchants and banks to align payment with shopper behavior and preference, as well as the eCommerce boom during the pandemic. Further findings show increases in the following as of 2020: Desktop adoption increased to 28 of 100 sites compared to 23 a year ago, up 22% Mobile jumped to 39 of 100 sites versus 28 last year, up 39% iOS apps were 43 of 100 compared to 36 last year, up 20% Supporting banks increased to 5,480 globally, up 29% Looking to improve your mobile experience? Check out our guide to mobile commerce and discover it's benefits, hurdles to overcome, and why it's should be an important focus of your business. Read the Guide Building a case for Apple Pay Apple Pay may be worth a trial when: Your mobile traffic is greater than 75%, with a high percentage of iOS users You serve a younger, tech-savvier customer base that both uses and prefers mobile wallets You don’t already offer two or more alternative payments (e.g. PayPal, MasterPass, Visa, Amazon Pay) -- too much choice can lower conversion Account creation is optional, not required Disadvantages to Apple Pay It’s unknown if the zero-fee trend will continue as Apple Pay gains popularity High upgrade costs for retailers on devices and training; due to these costs retailers may be slow to adopt or avoid it which affects availability While Apple Pay is increasingly offered by ecommerce platforms and payment gateways, it’s not a silver bullet for digital merchants. If you’re struggling with mobile conversion, ensure you’re regularly improving mobile checkout usability and site performance.
    Topics: way, wallets, users, apple, truth, mobile, digital, ecommerce, youre, sites, pay.
  • Top Elastic Path eCommerce Integrations - An Introduction to eCommerce Integrations Like many other brands, your business is likely seeking to drive digital growth by providing best-in-class digital experiences for your customers. In that case, you've no doubt already heard about the benefits of Headless and Composable Commerce. While a Composable approach to eCommerce offers unparalleled flexibility and performance, the burning question "beyond the commerce platform, what else do I need?" A vital benefit of a Composable approach is the ability to integrate best-of-breed third-party solutions for services like search, CMS, payments, etc. Choosing whom to partner with for services is essential to realizing your brand's ideal digital customer experience. This post will use our 15+ years of experience in Headless Commerce to cover the most common integrations brand's looking to innovate and grow their revenue focus on, why these partners are crucial, and a brief look at some of the offerings in each segment. A Brief Summary of Composable Commerce Before we dive into some of the critical eCommerce integration categories, it is helpful to briefly summarize what Composable Commerce is and its main benefits and drawbacks. Composable Commerce is an approach that enables business and tech teams to bring their brand's unique digital vision to life by launching and continuously optimizing digital commerce experiences that leverage multiple best-of-breed vendors composed together into a complete, business-ready solution. Rather than forcing an 'out-of-the-box' commerce platform to fit your brand's needs, a composable approach allows your team to select the partner that best suits your needs and seamlessly integrates it with your commerce platform. The best-of-breed vendors in each space offer highly specialized - and usually functionally superior- alternatives to services that a legacy all-in-one platform can deliver. In some cases, brands running one of these legacy all-in-one commerce platforms are paying double, once for the sub-par feature included in their commerce platform and again for the better performing third-party solution. Every decision in eCommerce comes with some drawbacks. With Composable Commerce, one of the main drawbacks is the cost and risk of managing multiple vendors. If your brand's goals include vendors for several eCommerce integration categories, the individual price of each of these SaaS offerings can add up quickly. Other Composable Commerce vendors can leave issue resolution and monitoring to you, a risk some brands are unwilling to take. We recommend our Composable Commerce XA™ offering, the industry's only experience assurance offering that de-risks a composable architecture by providing a single source of identifying issues in your eCommerce stack. To learn more about Composable Commerce XA™, click here.   Search & Product Recommendations Search, and product recommendations are often at the top of the feature list for brands looking to modernize their eCommerce platforms. In the past, search functionality may have been one of the boxes to check off on a long list of requirements when selecting an all-in-one commerce platform. Today, the cutting-edge brands are acutely aware of the impact a best-of-breed search capability can have on the performance of their eCommerce stores. A best-of-breed search vendor will help achieve your brand's potential by delivering relevant suggestions to customers and keeping them in your store with lightning-quick search results. Modern search solutions allow brands to curate the most relevant results according to their customers' unique preferences. With a 'good enough' approach to search & recommendations, you leave money on the table and will continue to suffer from sub-par conversion rates, ACV, etc. That isn't to say that a 'modern' search functionality will be the answer to all your brand's eCommerce search needs. As with other categories in a Composable Commerce approach, a particular vendor may be a better fit for your brand, depending on your needs and customer experience objectives. Check out some of our top search partners to learn more about their specific offerings. Algolia Google Cloud Search Handshake Elastic Search Content Management Systems (CMS) A modern Composable Commerce approach typically leverages a 'headless' commerce solution - like Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. A headless commerce solution decouples the core back-end commerce functionality from the 'front-end' experiences that customers see and use. What is a CMS? A Content Management System is a software solution that powers the content on your website and other browser-based digital properties and allows users to publish and manage website content without needing to build a custom website front-end in code. Since the digital battleground for brands has focused on delivering stand-out experiences for customers, many CMS options have different strengths. They will vary on crucial differentiators like low/ no-code, content automation, templates, etc. The benefits of a modern CMS solution include: The ability to deliver consistently excellent digital experiences across touchpoints Rapid performance Ease of use Lower cost (especially for the cloud-based SaaS CMS solutions) These CMS solutions free your merchandising and marketing teams to quickly execute game-winning strategies without having to rely on an IT team, as they did in legacy CMS offerings. There is no 'best' CMS tool to leverage; instead, we recommend brands pick a CMS tool that matches their needs and operational goals. Here are a few of the popular CMS solutions from our Accelerators hub. Amplience Bloomreach Contentful Acquia Read our post here for a more in-depth look at the top CMS solutions. Payments Providers The payments landscape has changed significantly in the recent past. Contactless payment is the most prominent current trend. Other developments include fraud detection, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), Point of Sale (POS) device integration, one-click checkout, etc. These allow brands to make the final purchase stages a seamless and pleasant experience for their customers. Many popular payment vendors come pre-integrated with a headless commerce platform with a Composable Commerce approach. All you need to do is link an account in a few easy steps to leverage the benefits of these payments providers. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the choice of payment provider comes down to what fits your brand's needs the best. Some brands need to work with particular vendors because they are the standard in a specific geographical market. In contrast, others will leverage several payment solutions, accommodating existing partners and additional providers to ensure they offer the most convenient payment method across all of their current and future touchpoints. The benefits of a leading payment solution include security, buyer convenience, speed to launch new touchpoints (many payments solutions have pre-build offerings to address use cases). Additionally, at enterprise levels, custom pricing leads to a lower overall total cost of ownership (TCO). Some of our top payments partners include: Stripe  PayPal Braintree Adyen Conclusion In summary, the top integrations for a Composable Commerce approach are search, CMS, and payments. Each of these categories has multiple vendors, each with its strengths. There is rarely a 'best' vendor amongst them. Instead, based on your brand's needs, your final selection should be based on the best fit for your brand. Check out the complete list of accelerators on our hub here. For brands looking to get up-and-running quickly, we offer Pre-Composed Solutions™. These are business-ready solutions, which combine Elastic Path commerce capabilities, partner integrations, and critical customizations so you can launch in a matter of weeks, not months. Still, need help picking a best-for-me vendor in any other these categories? Please chat with us today to see how your brand can achieve and exceed your eCommerce goals.
    Topics: digital, ecommerce, search, commerce, cms, solutions, composable, integrations, approach, vendors, brands.
  • Top Market-Driven B2B eCommerce Trends of 2021 - B2B eCommerce has rapidly been changing over the past few years, and 2021 is no exception. With the disruption of COVID-19, new trends have emerged, and the eCommerce landscape is transforming. B2B companies are implementing new strategies to adapt to a changing market and take advantage of a growing online customer base, characterized by rising mobile usage, new expectations for personalization and self-service, and increasing demand for digital connectivity. Below are some of the major Market-Driven B2B eCommerce trends of 2021, as well as some key calls to action for B2Bs to optimize their eCommerce strategy. 1) M-Commerce is on the rise: Mobile has continued to transform the B2B landscape, with more and more consumers demanding seamless, aesthetic, and flexible mobile experiences. Rather than simply comparing product offerings and services across businesses in an industry, consumers are increasingly comparing the digital experiences they have had and have come to expect. Google recently partnered with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to research how mobile has been impacting B2B customers and organizations. Key data shows that:   Mobile influences an average of over 40% of revenue in leading B2B organizations. 50% of current B2B search queries are made on smartphones, with BCG expecting that figure to grow to 70% by 2020. Daily mobile usage per B2B worker is expected to increase from 2 hours to 3 hours, driven by millennials, Gen Z, and the increasing use of smartphones by older workers. More than 90% of B2B buyers reporting a superior mobile experience claim that they would be more likely to repurchase from the same vendor, while only 50% claim so when reporting a poor mobile experience. The effect of mobile on B2B eCommerce is expected to continue accelerating, with B2B leaders doubling down on mobile commerce to increase engagement, drive traffic, and boost customer loyalty. BCG characterizes these trends by the emergence of “a new generation of B2B customers” that “look for the same digital experiences they encounter as consumers”. These individuals have become accustomed to using mobile devices for work, value multitasking across multiple devices, and have shifted away from desktops and laptops in favor of smartphones. Marketers have previously claimed that there is insufficient research to justify prioritization and investment into mobile experiences, citing low mobile conversion rates and poor mobile marketing performances. In reality, while mobile still accounts for a smaller fraction of aggregate sessions on most eCommerce storefronts, B2B mobile leaders are increasingly incorporating M-Commerce into their marketing mix. This has helped them to develop and bolster existing customer relationships, establish their brand for the consideration of prospective clients, and poise themselves to capitalize on the rapid growth of mobile towards reaping future benefits. BCG explains how slow-moving companies that fail to build mobile-optimized experiences and improve mobile integration are at a serious risk of being left behind. B2B businesses should avoid succumbing to “Mobile Doom Loop” thinking, signalled by: Doubts surrounding mobile ROI Fears of mobile underperformance and establishment of a new medium Prioritizing channels with larger contributors to current traffic As of 2021, mobile has continued to expand and proliferate the B2B eCommerce space, and its growth will likely extend over the coming years. B2B marketers must boost their mobile efforts to capitalize on this rapid trend. Here are 5 calls to action for businesses hoping to accelerate their mobile integration: Track buyer experiences across media and devices Invest into building visual and frictionless mobile experiences for customers Adapt data collection to a company’s business model and size Increase mobile advertising while adjusting marketing strategies based on results Simply the B2B purchase process on mobile, de-emphasizing text in favor of rich media 2) Customers are showing a preference for Digital Self-Service: B2B buyers increasingly desire control over their eCommerce experiences, with a strong preference for self-service; seamless shopping experiences in their personal lives have shaped their B2B buying expectations. The COVID-19 pandemic has further pushed B2B sales towards self-service, and research shows that digital self-service will likely remain a dominant element of the B2B go-to-market model. A report published by McKinsey & Company earlier this year detailed results from a global survey, highlighting key takeaways for B2B businesses aiming to adapt their practices in the wake of the pandemic. Results show that: When asked what kind of interaction was most helpful in choosing a supplier, 47% of respondents preferred some form of online self-service. 25% chose “supplier website”, while 22% selected “online material from supplier”. When asked what ordering method they preferred, 46% of respondents chose “using a supplier’s website”. When asked “How do you currently interact with sales reps from your company’s suppliers during the 4 stages of interaction”, an average of 34% of respondents chose digital self-service for the Research, Evaluation, Ordering, and Re-Ordering stages. In comparison, results for 2020 showed an average of only 29% for self-service across all 4 interaction stages, with a 12% increase for self-service in the Research and Evaluation stages. 83% of B2B decision makers feel that the new selling models emphasizing remote interactions and online self-service are as effective as or more effective than pre-COVID-19 models that prioritized direct interactions. 87% of B2B decision makers believe that these shifts in selling models will likely sustain 12+ months after the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of the report show that in the post-COVID world, B2B customers are shifting towards digital interactions and self-service as their primary means of researching and evaluating products. For B2B manufacturers, enabling customers to perform tasks such as ordering, checking stock inventory, and paying invoices online has collectively lowered service costs. Digital self-serve and remote channels free up businesses’ CSRs and sales representatives for higher value services. As a result, customer relationships are strengthened further, as organizations can now allocate time and resources for when customers truly need support. By becoming the new standard, self-service has re-vitalized B2B operations and resource allocation, maintaining its majority hold despite certain geographies now reopening in-person operations and direct sales efforts. Research conducted by Forrester supports and enforces this trend, showing that: 53% of customers prefer to gather information online by themselves 59% of customers prefer not to interact with a sales representative 74% of customers believe that buying from a website is more convenient 86% of customers prefer self-service tools to order, re-order, and check order statuses 93% of customers prefer to buy online when they have decided what to buy Digital self-service has become the new “normal”, dominating the B2B buyer journey and driving B2B manufacturers towards implementing customer self-service portals. Here are 5 calls to action for B2B organizations hoping to re-engineer their sales efforts towards digital self-service: Integrate eCommerce catalogs with rich media, including photos, videos, interactive content, product comparison features, and various self-service tools to support the research and evaluation stages. Provide responsive interfaces and intuitive commands that help buyers save time during the ordering and re-ordering stages. Implement customer self-service portals with the optimal ERP-integrated solution, enabling post-order care that supports independent tracking, invoices, and payment. Adopt an Agile approach and apply it to self-service digital solutions, empowering adaptability, flexibility, and speed when the digital transformation process. Incorporate the voice of the customer while developing self-service digital solutions, gathering feedback to address customer needs and realize requirements prior to rollout. 3) Omnichannel Experiences are the new standard: When given the choice of in-person, remote, and e-commerce channels, buyers have expressed the desire for all three. Omnichannel retailing has become a cornerstone of global B2B sales, establishing itself as the new standard, not the exception. The COVID-19 pandemic has anchored omnichannel interactions in B2B sales, with businesses realizing the importance of omnichannel to centralize various sales channels and customer relationships together. The rise of M-Commerce and mobile, increased social media engagement, and consumer’s growing affinity for self-service have all emphasized the importance of B2B businesses establishing a cohesive omnichannel experience. McKinsey published a report earlier this year highlighting the growing impact of omnichannel on B2B sales. Data shows that: Approximately 80% B2B leaders say that omnichannel is as or more effective than traditional methods 83% of B2B leaders believe that omnichannel selling is a more successful way to prospect and secure new business than traditional sales approaches 85% of US B2B leaders claimed that new omnichannel-based sales models were equally as effective or more effective than previous sales models, indicating a 43% increase compared to the previous year 20% of B2B buyers said that they would be willing to spend more than $500,000 in a fully remote/digital sales model 11% of all B2B buyers would spend more than $1 million in a fully remote/digital sales model 64% of B2Bs intend to increase the number of hybrid sellers over the next six months 85% of B2Bs expect hybrid sellers will be the most common sales role in their organization over the next three years Omnichannel is only expected to grow over the coming years, already proving to be as or more effective than traditional sales methods. This pattern has held true across various geographies, industries, and markets, prominent in countries such as South Korea, Spain, China, and the USA. B2B leaders are confident that investing in and expanding on omnichannel experiences will lead to greater success in a post-pandemic world, reflected by increased expenditure in IT hardware, software, and digital marketing, all directed at optimizing omnichannel retailing. As the rate of digitization increases across various industries, it is imperative that B2B manufacturers boost their digital infrastructure to keep up with the trend towards omnichannel. McKinsey’s report also highlights two key go-to-market changes that are driving the hybridization of sales models in B2Bs: First, although 95% companies expect to be able to connect with customers in physical locations by the beginning of 2022, only 15% of B2Bs expect in-person sales meetings to be the norm. Second, with buyer interest and comfort in digital sales rising, e-commerce has become the most popular route to market for B2Bs, with 41% of leaders saying that it is their most effective sales route. To effectively capitalize on the expansion of omnichannel and maximize its power, B2B organizations must first overcome some key challenges and pain points. Investment into effective infrastructure, facilitating hybrid selling, and adapting to remote operations are all important steps. Here are 3 calls-to-actions: Make remote interactions feel intimate, genuine, and effective, providing proofs of concept, digital demos, and clear visual representations that provide an equal or superior level of insight to physical walk-throughs. Innovate sales approaches using customer feedback, data, and consumer insights to ensure that digital transactions are not a zero-sum game Adopt an Agile approach to facilitate quick and improved pivoting of resources 4) B2Bs are leveraging Marketplaces: Marketplaces have been a major part of B2C eCommerce sales for years, but rapid digitization, changes in consumer preferences, and the effects of COVID-19 have led to accelerated B2B eCommerce sales via online marketplaces. In fact, B2B marketplaces are one of the fastest growing eCommerce channels, with digital sales expected to more than double over the next year. Marketplaces have helped customers to save time and money during the Research and Evaluation stage of their buyer journeys and find a greater variety of solutions to satisfy broad needs. Furthermore, marketplaces have enabled B2B customers to enjoy streamlined shopping experiences that facilitate comparison shopping, a greater sense of security, and an overall superior user experience. B2B marketplaces have exploded in popularity, and key analysis from a report published by Digital Commerce 360 highlights the effects of this trend: There are now 250 B2B marketplaces, in comparison to only 70 B2B marketplaces two years ago. Collective digital sales on commercial trading platforms and industry marketplaces will grow by 130% to $56.5 billion. Marketplaces will account for 3.5% of all business eCommerce sales. Furthermore, Gartner predicts that over 15% of medium-to-high-gross eCommerce brands will have deployed their own marketplaces by 2023, and 70% of all marketplaces launched by 2023 will support B2B transactions. Demand for B2B-ready marketplace management software is expected to rapidly increase in line with these trends, and it is vital that B2B manufacturers take advantage of marketplaces to further their sales. Here are 3 calls-to-action for B2B organizations looking to leverage marketplaces: Find and implement an effective B2B marketplace management software to facilitate the use of and expansion into digital marketplaces Use marketplaces to build relationships with prospective clients, improve personalization efforts, and support customers during their buyer journey Find the right marketplaces and establish your brand identity early, helping your business gain a competitive edge, differentiate your products and services, and improve your marketing efforts 2021 and Beyond: B2B eCommerce showcased new opportunities and high growth in 2021. These are just some of the market-driven trends that represent how B2B companies are adapting to the changes caused by COVID-19, providing customers with fresh digital experiences, and leveraging new technology to deliver on buyers’ expectations. Check out our articles on the Biggest Technology-Driven and Biggest Customer-Driven B2B eCommerce Trends of 2021 to learn more about how 2021 has solidified B2B eCommerce in various industries and how B2Bs can form a new path forward.
    Topics: digital, b2b, omnichannel, selfservice, sales, mobile, customers, marketdriven, experiences, trends, marketplaces, ecommerce.
  • Top Reasons to Not Choose Composable Commerce - Since spearheading the Composable Commerce movement and advocating for its game changing tenets and architecture, we’ve made it our mission to reimagine eCommerce for leading brands. By definition, Composable Commerce refers to a modular digital commerce approach utilizing composable  architecture. The API-first, microservices-based architecture powers solutions to achieve unique business needs in a customized tech stack. Composable Commerce enables marketing, merchandising, and sales teams to bring a brand's unique digital vision to life by launching and continuously optimizing digital commerce experiences that leverage multiple, best-of-breed vendors composed together into a complete business-ready solution. Digital commerce footprints no longer fit the one-size-fits-all model from one vendor. Back in the first wave of the eCommerce revolution businesses ventured online with standardized platforms and minimal control over outcomes. The eCommerce landscape of today is far more demanding. With far more touchpoints, a saturated market, and consumer expectation for modern digital experiences, businesses can no longer rely on outdated legacy platforms that can’t keep up. Out of this demand for innovation in the eCommerce space is the Composable Commerce movement. But, what if the Composable Commerce approach isn’t for everyone? You may have heard Gartner’s prediction that by  2023 organizations who have adopted a Composable Commerce approach will outpace competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation.   A compelling case, but let’s take a look at the reasons why a company may not fit the Composable Commerce model. First and foremost, you may be completely happy with the out-of-the-box functionality of your platform. If your existing solution checks all the boxes for your business for where you are right now, you may not see a reason to replatform.   Get hands on with an Elastic Path Free Trial Start building the commerce experience your unique business demands with a free Elastic Path Commerce Cloud account. Get in touch with us and we will setup a Free Trial store for you for six weeks. Sign up for a free trial The Size of Your Business Smaller operations don’t require multiple vendor partners and integrations that composability affords. New businesses, home startups, and small mom and pop shops (10K and under of GMV), don’t have complex business requirements that would necessitate all the functionality and capabilities of a composable solution. Low-Level Digital Maturity You have low digital maturity if you have little to no in-house technical expertise, and no intention to hire a partner with technical expertise. In addition, your business is likely new to digital commerce and does not yet see it as a fundamental driver of business success. Being low in digital maturity is not a bad thing at all – it’s about finding the best vendor solutions to match your needs. For low maturity companies, out-of-the-box eCommerce solutions are your best investment. Low-Level Complexity If your catalog is fairly simple with limited product variations you don’t need functionality to manage multiple brands, geographies, or hierarchies. In addition, if you’re operating solely in the D2C or B2C channels, without a plan in the short term to expand into new markets (B2B, B2B2C), a flexible, fast, and scalable architecture is not necessary. Again, an out-of-the box solution you can manage without a development team is a better choice. You can always re-evaluate (and replatform) as your business grows. Logistics of Managing Multiple Vendors Adding multiple services and vendors requires a certain level of management. You’re dealing with numerous sales and support teams and integrating with their software. Our answer to that challenge is Composable Commerce XA™, proprietary monitoring technology enabling Elastic Path to monitor integration data flow to quickly and easily identify the source of an issue across a multi-vendor solution. And in the event of an identified issue, we serve as the primary point of contact throughout the process of managing issue resolution across a multi-vendor solution. With the complexity of multiple vendors are these sub factors: Multiple Service Level Agreements Each vendor will have their own Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in a composable solution. With an open ecosystem of vendors, it can be a challenge to predict consistent service levels. Microservices-Based Architecture Can Be Overwhelming Within an eCommerce composable solution, you’ll need to work across separate interfaces and tools. This takes investment of time and money and is daunting to a less technical team. Many companies who are ready to adopt the approach choose a system integrator or agency to provide guidance with the process in lieu of an in-house technical team. A Great Place to Start Today’s eCommerce landscape is fiercely competitive. You’ll need to leverage every tool to remain in the game. Wondering about your next move when it comes to eCommerce? Check out our eCommerce evaluation tool.
    Topics: ecommerce, vendors, vendor, digital, business, solution, reasons, composable, architecture, multiple, commerce, choose.
  • Transforming Digital Experience with Composable Commerce and Co-Innovation - Companies today compete and win through their digital experience. At Bounteous, we focus our efforts on co-innovation and transformative digital experiences to drive results for our clients. We elevate brand experiences through our technology partnerships and unparalleled platform expertise. Elastic Path’s API-first enterprise commerce platform, ability to support complex business models, and open-source technologies provide the ability to create immersive experiences throughout all stages of a customer’s journey. Together we combine our content and commerce expertise to deliver commerce experiences that drive greater ROI. Are you looking for an edge in digital experience? This post will break down how your business can stay innovative and ahead of the curve in the current digital landscape, important factors your business must consider at the start of a digital transformation project and current trends in digital experience that are critical to future success, including insight around Composable and Customer-Centric Architecture. Innovation in the Current Digital Landscape At Bounteous, we exist to help leading companies compete and win digitally by continuously innovating brand experiences that drive transformative results. We believe that innovation begins with a critical insight and that a competitive advantage is attained when a brand can continuously generate and apply those insights. Simply stated, innovation is doing better things and doing things better. Therefore, insights need to be generated for various purposes - to help organizations define their thesis for transformation, create distinct brand experiences, expand and identify customer segments, flawlessly execute to drive conversion, and so much more. We achieve this through our model of co-innovation which is not a project or standalone initiative; it is fundamentally about enhancing the way we work together with our clients to deliver results. We believe that companies today compete and win through their digital experience - and how that digital experience connects to all other aspects of their ecosystem. While that’s been true for a while, we’ve seen it accelerate these last two years as companies need to connect with their customers more and more - and as 1:1 relationships with customers become the norm. Keith Schwartz, Co-Founder & CEO of Bounteous, has introduced the Co-Innovation Manifesto, which includes principles and a call-to-action for business executives seeking to compete and win digitally. We highly recommend you check it out! What to Consider at the Start of a Digital Transformation Project First and foremost, we believe in the power of ‘critical insights’ to inform strategies and experiences we create. We generate critical insights to develop end-to-end strategies that yield the most valuable opportunities for experience and commerce innovation. Innovation is accelerated by a virtuous cycle we call ‘digital flow,’ in which data yields critical insights that enable multi-moment orchestration and continuous experience and commerce innovation. We believe in always having a measurement strategy in place with the right tracking to ensure we can continue to learn from and evolve the digital experience – making it work harder and smarter for you. Lastly, when we talk about co-innovation and collaboration, we talk a lot about the right enablement model that must be in place in order to help our customers mature across talent, methods, tech and data - all of which are critical in achieving a continuous cycle of innovation. These pillars are critical to delivering innovative digital experience. Without the right team, technology, strategy, platform, and data tools, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle. Trends in the Digital Experience (DX) That Are Critical to Future Success Composable Architecture Trends in headless technology have offered breakthrough improvements in customer experience, but implementing headless as isolated projects limit the total business impact. Composable architecture, on the other hand, provides business agility, speed, and reliability by combining efforts logically at the infrastructure level. Composable architecture is a comprehensive approach to consolidating headless initiatives—ultimately bringing agility to the digital experience infrastructure. Think of composable as the big sister of headless DX architecture. Composable requires more initial planning but brings greater long-term savings through process optimization and flexibility. With composable, you can manage the true value of decoupled systems and create the best-in-class solutions for your business—making composable the future of digital experiences.   What does it mean to have a Composable architecture? Discover more about the latest approach to ecommerce, it's three core architectural tenets, and whether or not the approach is right for you. Read the Guide Customer-Centric Architecture In the early phase of a relationship between your organization and a platform partner, it’s crucial for your partner to understand the business need and your customer so the platform customization can be architected with those factors in mind. When you lose sight of your customers by letting technology dictate your approach, you start serving the means rather than the end, meaning you’re implementing technology for its own sake, rather than serving a business purpose. As our digital ecosystems become more sophisticated and integrate multiple platforms as well as bespoke components, we expect to see a growing trend around customer-centric architecture. Co-Innovation When we work together, we succeed together. Often, departments within an organization talk to each other but have their own unique goals and objectives in mind when building a platform rather than a single set of overarching, unifying goals. That tends to create data silos and issues surrounding the points of control around data flow. A good partner can serve as communicative and connective tissue between the departments in an organization. They will help your team look beyond individual department goals and see a cohesive picture that can better inform the implementation. We expect to see more clients demand this kind of mutuality from their partners in the future.
    Topics: composable, data, transforming, insights, experience, platform, coinnovation, experiences, business, commerce, technology, digital, critical.
  • - With iconic internet moments, popular memes, and captivating artwork being turned into high-value digital assets, you may have heard a lot of buzz about NFTs. How could you not? From reputable news outlets to famous celebrities, everyone is either talking… Continue reading What Gives NFT Value?
    Topics: nft, digital, nfts, assets, content, gives, blockchain, price, asset, realworld, value.
  • What My Kids' Roblox Addiction Taught Me About the Metaverse - While business leaders are speculating about the metaverse, our kids are already living in it.
    Topics: social, z, taught, addiction, roblox, metaverse, digital, universes, brands, brand, kids, technologies.
  • What is Web 3 & What Could It Mean for the Future of Marketing? - As we continue to progress into the digital age, a new era of the internet is emerging: web3.
    Topics: digital, future, marketers, internet, consumers, tech, web3, hands, content, marketing, data, mean, web.
  • Why Local Marketing Still Matters in the Digital Age - When budgets are limited, local marketing creates better conversions and more reliable monthly earnings.
    Topics: local, store, matters, national, means, marketing, digital, potential, nationally, shop, online, market, age.
  • Why isn’t Elastic Path part of the MACH Alliance? - First, let’s understand what the MACH Alliance is and what it isn’t. The MACH Alliance is a marketing alliance started by commercetools to promote the acronym MACH, which they coined to refer to Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless Commerce technologies. MACH-based technologies and architectural approaches have grown in popularity in recent years as a more modern alternative to traditionally monolithic system architectures, especially in the eCommerce space where digital transformation is paramount for brands in retailers to maintain a competitive advantage. A question that we hear from time-to-time is “Given that Elastic Path offers one of the leading MACH-based commerce solution in the market, it would seem like an obvious fit for Elastic Path to be a member of the MACH Alliance - so why doesn’t Elastic Path participate in the MACH Alliance?” So we thought we would write a blog to help answer this question! There are two primary reasons we are not in the MACH Alliance: 1) Breadth of our offerings In order to address the digital commerce needs of modern brands, we offer two commerce platforms. MACH-based technologies are often a great fit, but are not always the best architectural approach based on a customer’s specific needs, so we don’t want to force customers into a specific type of architecture or deployment methodology. Instead, we aim to provide the right solution that addresses each customer’s unique requirements. Even though we believe our approach of providing multiple product offerings to help customers solve their digital commerce challenges is the most customer-centric approach, commercetools only wants “pure play” MACH vendors in their marketing alliance, which we find curious but totally respect – they coined the term, so they can invite whomever they want. Here is some context on our two headless commerce offerings: Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is our composable, API-first, microservices-based Headless Commerce solution (bleeding edge MACH). This product is for digitally driven branded manufacturers who need the control to go-to-market and quickly optimize across business models (B2B, B2C/ D2C, B2B2C), geos, brands, and touchpoints with ease. Some of our Elastic Path Commerce Cloud customers include Deckers Brands, Pella Windows & Doors, and Hobie Kayaks. Our other commerce platform, Elastic Path Commerce, is headless (and in fact pioneered the headless commerce market when it launched in 2011), but is not microservices-based. Elastic Path Commerce is a purpose-built Headless Commerce platform for telco, utilities companies, and those who sell regulated goods. This product gives brands the absolute control over their data and infrastructure with the ability to deploy on-premise or via private cloud. Some of our Elastic Path Commerce customers include T.Mobile and Swisscom. 2) Focus On Customer Outcomes As a company, we’re focused on empowering our customers to deliver business outcomes – because at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters. Even though we offer one of the most modern MACH-based digital commerce solutions on the market, we do not see the value in promoting technology for the sake of technology. As a marketing alliance, the MACH Alliance has created some buzz in the market focused on MACH technologies, which is great, but they are not focused on providing actual solutions that help customers solve problems and deliver business outcomes. This is an important point, because even though MACH technologies offer tremendous benefits in terms of architectural flexibility and control, they also introduce additional complexity that can be very challenging for many organizations to manage. So instead of focusing on commercetools’ on the MACH Alliance marketing group, we decided instead to invest our time/energy focused on helping customers solve their most pressing digital commerce challenges to unlock new business growth. This led us to spearhead the Composable Commerce Movement. The Composable Commerce Movement is an industry-wide movement, comprised of an ecosystem of leading digital commerce technology and solution providers, such as Alogolia, Contentful, Amplience, Bloomreach, Coveo, InRiver, PayPal, FluentCommerce, Born, Bounteous, MMT Digital, Perficient, Object Edge, Nortal, Myplanet, Sutrix, TA Digital, Corra, DigiCommerce, & Hycom. Through the Composable Commerce Movement, this ecosystem of digital commerce leaders has developed a wide portfolio of pre-built solutions available in the Composable Commerce Hub, which helps brands to reduce the risk and complexity of using MACH-based technologies and empowers those brands to rapidly deliver business outcomes. This approach eliminates the need for brands and retailers to take on the burden of building and supporting MACH-based solutions themselves in order to take advantage of the flexibility benefits these modern technologies offer. With the solutions available in the Composable Commerce Hub, brands and retailers can launch “pre-built” solutions based on MACH technology in a matter of days, and then easily customize their digital commerce experiences over time. The Composable Commerce Movement is all about empowering the business, not just geeking out on the tech (which is also fun to do!). I hope this post was helpful in answering a question that we commonly receive. If interested in learning more about Composable Commerce or our industry-leading MACH-based commerce platform, just give us a shout.
    Topics: brands, composable, mach, customers, elastic, commerce, isnt, technologies, path, digital, alliance.
  • eBay acquires the sneaker authentication business from partner Sneaker Con Digital - Online marketplace eBay is further investing in its sneaker business with today’s news that it’s acquiring Sneaker Con Digital’s authentication business, which verifies the authenticity of high-value footwear. The business has operations in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and Germany, and had been previously working with eBay to vet the sneakers being bought and sold […]
    Topics: digital, business, ebay, buyer, shoes, techcrunch, authentication, acquires, buyers, authenticity, service, sneakers, sneaker, partner.