Top 2022 resources on future
Best future resource in 2022.
Learn more about future to improve your e-commerce strategy.
20 Stats That Make the Case for Co-Marketing Today and in the Future
As a billionaire inventor and CEO, the fictional Tony Stark, also known as Marvel's Iron Man, worked his way to the top of the corporate ladder while repeatedly saving the world on the side.
Topics: comarketing, case, brand, brands, content, stats, partners, today, partnerships, partnerize, partner, adidas, future, social.
3 Reasons the Future is Still Bright for Small Retail
Brick and mortar retail will survive and thrive post-pandemic. Here's how they can compete with the e-commerce market.
Topics: shop, brickandmortar, future, close, large, retailers, small, retail, customers, reasons, stores, bright.
4 views on the future of retail and the shopping experience
While the present is largely bleak, preparing for the future has retailers adopting technologies faster than ever. Their resilience and innovation means retail will look and fee different when the world reopens.
Topics: future, mascarenhas, views, shopping, ways, experience, techcrunch, need, thinks, retail, retailers, adopting, look.
43% of Swiss want to shop less after corona
Many people in Switzerland have permanently changed their shopping behavior due to the corona pandemic. Almost half of Swiss consumers want to consume less in the future. In several product and service categories, the amount of money spent is expected to decline. In recent months, a lot of consumers in… Continue reading
Topics: shopping, shop, travel, switzerland, online, future, clothing, swiss, corona, behavior, money, spending.
5 Content Marketing Ideas for October 2019
For some business, the challenge is not understanding how content marketing is supposed to work, but rather knowing what to write about or what to make a video about. Thus, this article offers five content marketing ideas for October 2019. You are welcome to use these ideas for your business.
Topics: company, products, national, future, technology, navy, day, customers, ideas, marketing, content.
5 predictions for the future of e-commerce
The direct-to-consumer wave is a critical enabler for the e-commerce progress we expect to see over the next decade as we strive toward inevitable 50% penetration.
Topics: retail, worldweve, value, predictions, merchants, future, rate, ecommerce, marketplace, techcrunch, online, infrastructure, penetration.
6-Figure in Sales Before Launch and Building a Sustainable Future
After seeing the amount of waste created by single-use items caused by COVID-19, Miles Pepper and Martica Wakeman created re-fillable sanitizer dispensers made from reclaimed ocean-bound plastic and launched Sanikind. Backed by thousands on Kickstarter, Sanikind raised over $300,000 before its launch. In this episode of Shopify Masters, Martica shares the journey of managing a successful crowdfunding campaign and navigating logistical delays with manufacturers.More
Topics: 6figure, really, youre, thats, sustainable, kickstarter, future, sanitizer, going, launch, lot, sustainability, know, product, sales, building.
7 Ways to Analyze Black Friday, Cyber Monday Sales
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are complete. Marketers should scrutinize the results for insights on future promotions. There are multiple approaches. In this post, I'll review seven ways to analyze the results from Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Topics: sales, black, overall, example, analyze, profit, cyber, future, online, promotions, ways, customers.
A Bright Future: SomewhereWarm Joins WooCommerce
Since 2011, extension developers SomewhereWarm have empowered thousands of store owners to do more with WooCommerce. Passionate advocates of WordPress and open-source software, they’re the team behind some of the most popular extensions available in the WooCommerce.com Marketplace today: Product Bundles, Composite Products, and Gift Cards. Ten years on, we’re excited to announce that SomewhereWarm […]
Topics: somewherewarm, excited, woocommercecom, support, marketplace, joins, team, terms, future, work, extensions, bright, woocommerce.
API Business Models and How They Future Proof eCommerce
If you are looking to differentiate or solve unique and complex eCommerce strategies, then you are likely looking at Headless Commerce approaches. This also means, you are getting up to speed on API business models and the many eCommerce use cases they enable. APIs can be described as the connective tissue that enables a multi-solution architecture to deliver business value.
However, with composable, microservice-based architectures it goes beyond simply enabling your next eCommerce use case and into a “future proof” strategy that unlocks infinite flexibility that can quickly adapt to changes in buyer behavior and expectations. Couple that with the fact every new generation of buyer is more and more tech-integrated with how they live their lives, this future proofing concept is more critical than ever for eCommerce leaders to explore when evaluating commerce technology.
Recap on API Business Models, 2012
API business models define how companies make money from using APIs. So as an eCommerce manager you are likely looking to design an architecture using multiple solutions that use APIs in different ways to make money. Understanding how API business models work, should give you a good perspective on how different vendors price their technology or services so that you can create a business plan for how you want to invest in solutions and potentially enable your architecture to participate in the API market.
The biggest challenge is how fast API business models are evolving. Back in 2013, we explored API business models in a blog titled, "18 API Business Models Deconstructed," which was based on a presentation called "Open APIs: What's Hot, What's Not?" by John Musser of ProgrammableWeb. Back then Mr. Musser explored 18 different business models that are built off 4 core API revenue approaches - Free, Developer Pays, Developer Gets Paid and Indirect - see below the visual hierarchy:
Last year, ProgrammableWeb published a revised report where they expanded the model to include 40 API business models and a revised hierarchy that moved away from the 4 revenue approaches and instead based it on Internal vs. External business models + an Outlier group, which I am sure will be the basis for this model to expand in the coming years. With so many eCommerce buyers researching whether Headless Commerce solutions is the right investment, we thought it would be a good idea to review the latest report and further examine how APIs are playing an ever-increasing role in developing a best-in-class eCommerce business model.
If you want to review the full 2020 report from ProgrammableWeb you can read the summary and download the full PDF from their site here.
2020 API Business Models
To contrast the 2012 report, below is the new hierarchy visual of the 40 API business models. In our article today, we are not going to review all 40 API business models in detail, but instead focus on the ones that have the most relevancy to eCommerce use cases.
External vs. Internal APIs
Since the hierarchy has changed, maybe we first define the two top branches of the model. As explained by David Berlind, Editor in Chief, ProgrammableWeb, in the 2020 report, the top of the hierarchy - internal and external APIs - are not synonymous with Private vs. Public APIs. For example, an API that is used to connect your eCommerce platform with a 3rd party payment provider is external but is most definitely not public (which tends to define APIs made available to any developer, anywhere, regardless of source).
The way to think about internal vs. external is within the context of firewalls and hosting. If you are connecting systems together within your corporate firewall, then you are using internal API business models and if you are connecting an application/platform to a 3rd party or externally hosted service or application, then you are using external API business models. Another way to think about it is all public APIs are external, but not all external APIs are public, and all internal APIs are private.
Think About Business Goals First
eCommerce experts we speak with tell us more and more that one of the primary goals of their eCommerce strategy is to "future proof" their eCommerce investment. That means most eCommerce leaders are getting up to speed quickly and putting together a business plan for how to move to a headless, API-first solution. However, to gain the efficiencies and effectiveness of an API-first architecture, you need to think about how you want to enable your business using technology and how that can affect your eCommerce use cases in the short, medium, and long term. For example, if you are exploring the business value of deploying a composable, API-first architecture to enable your eCommerce goals, then you likely will be investing in cornerstone technology that uses external API business models which you will then integrate with internal systems that you want to re-use as an MVP approach.
One of the most compelling use cases for moving to an API-first architecture I read about during the pandemic was from Best Buy. Best Buy had made the decision back in 2011 to enable BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) to help create a competitive differentiator. This required a re-platform of their legacy monolithic architecture to an API-first headless architecture. The goal back then was to stay competitive with the pressures of Amazon, but I would love to know if at the time they realized how much of a “future proof” architecture they were creating. No one could predict the pandemic, and when Best Buy had to shut down stores because they were not considered “essential,” it could have been a death blow considering the likes of Walmart and Target were able to stay open and Amazon was already a via competitor online.
However, their API-first architecture allowed them to pivot to a 100% contactless curbside pick-up model in a matter weeks. This enabled them to keep 80% of their forecast revenue without having a single customer set foot in their stores. This made Best Buy one of the many pandemic success stories, as they were able to grow revenue by 3%+, which is something only the “essential” big box and grocery chains were able to do. There are tons of stories about Best Buy’s success online, this Forbes article offers a good overview of what they did from a business side perspective, but it would not have been possible to move quickly if they hadn’t digitally transformed to an API-first architecture back in 2011-2014.
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
Types of Internal APIs
Companies that have layers upon layers of legacy infrastructure will need to build a legacy modernization plan that focuses on deconstructing monolithic architectures and creating more service-based and reusable components. The outcome of this approach will help to reduce costs, create new re-usable components that were previously hardwired and ultimately improved efficiency of the business. For eCommerce specifically, modernizing the architecture can enable unique omnichannel experiences, by focusing on unlocking data and then using it in new ways to present content, pricing, and customer support experiences across mobile, Web, IoT or instore. Today's digital economy makes multi-channel the expected norm of buyers, even more so after the pandemic.
Many buyers that come to Elastic Path describe their eCommerce project as a Digital Transformation. In the context of APIs that means investing in an eCommerce platform that can integrate with existing and ever-expanding technology ecosystems.
Digital Transformation has led to the rise of Headless Commerce architectures, where APIs are used to connect a back-end commerce platform with a variety of front-end experiences such as CMS, IoT, Mobile, etc. That created a path to multi-channel, but the original headless eCommerce solutions were still a back-end monolith that made it very labor intensive to optimize/add new experiences on the various and in many ways disconnected front ends. Business logic was engineered in siloes with very few reusable components. The transformation is now moving to a fully composable, microservices-based architecture. Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is an example of this new approach, which is now leading to faster time to market of multi-channel, multi-brand, multi-geo and B2B scenarios where each customer in B2B or B2C, becomes a "segment of one" when it comes to catalogs, pricing, and product availability.
In B2C, retailers are well under way to modernizing their customer experiences by integrating online and offline channels – for example BOPIS is becoming almost common place even in niche retail markets. Buying experience are becoming more interactive and engaging and physical inventory can be kept in the warehouse and shipped directly to you or called up on demand whether you are instore, in your car or on the couch. Knowing things will continue to evolve and buyer expectations will be more and more digital driven, future proofing with a composable, API-first architecture is more and more critical to explore now than ever.
In B2B, digital transformation is just getting started as companies are looking for ways to blend online sales with the complexities of account management that won’t cannibalizing top revenue generating channels like resellers and distributors. B2B account management can be a mix of managing repeatable transactions and transactions that have custom pricing and contracts, bespoke onboarding, unique delivery logistics, personalized service, and support. The big opportunity in B2B eCommerce however is the buyer does not want to meet with the account team just re-order the same parts, consumables or schedule a service call. They also want to self-service how they explore new product offerings, and don’t always want to take a meeting to explore and purchase new offerings, especially when there is already a relationship in place. Add to this the fact that “the buyer” is not an individual with a single persona, but rather a complex team of buyers across multiple personas and decision-making influence.
Companies looking to implement a more MVP approach to B2B eCommerce, we will want to ensure it adds value to the relationship while also optimizing the internal account team support of the account. So digital transformation is not just about using an API-first architecture to enable a headless front end (buyer experience), it is equally important to integrate reusable assets on the back end like ERP, CRM, OMS, etc., making sure the customer and account team have clear single version of the truth across every transaction.
An example in B2B that I was personally introduced to in my consulting days was Caterpillar. They had a technology that could monitor every machine’s performance in the field, and they the machine would “phone home” a status back to a central database at both CAT HQ that dealers could access. The idea for enabling eCommerce was to connect this data with their parts store and dealer services that can fulfill an order before the machine breaks down. This turned the construction vehicle into an IoT digital experience, allowing customers to participate in a program where parts and service were ordered automatically and delivered to the machine in the field based its location. This not only adds frictionless ecommerce to their business model – value to the customer, but it also enabled more control of machines warranties and service histories so that their dealer account teams can use the data to upsell and cross-sell new machines. Learn more about what CAT did here.
Companies that are new to eCommerce or are putting together a business model with eCommerce as the core of their revenue strategy will want to consider investing in digital native solution providers to create their own digital native architecture. This will enable them to future proof their business and create endless market leading experiences as they grow in their market. This type of investment also requires some technical skill, but as more Pre-Composed Solutions™, business-ready pre-integrated commerce applications, become available cross an ecosystem of digital native tools and partners – we think even the smallest eCommerce investments will move down the API-first path vs. SaaS monoliths with cookie cutter templates.
In addition to starting your eCommerce with a digital native approach, we are seeing more and more companies that invested in monolithic “starter” eCommerce platforms looking to re-platform right around the $2-$5M annual revenue mark so that they don’t get locked into a platform that ultimately hingers rapid growth of the business through agility.
Types of External APIs
If you are evaluating a solution like Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, then you are adding a Partner API Business Model to your architecture.
Platforms like ours enable "Ecosystem" external API business models, where we make APIs available to our rapidly growing partner network to develop new solutions that can be resold across many customers. This the basis for our Pre-Composed Solutions™ and Accelerators that we in turn resell to our end customers in collaboration with the partners that developed the solution. Most major application cloud provides have a version of this, for example most folks are familiar with is the AppExchange on Salesforce. Customers typically would not manage these connectors as they come pre-built with the partner solution and are supported under a Composable Commerce XA™ services model.
If you are connecting your goods or services to external sites for referrals that drive traffic to your site, you likely have developed an Affiliate API business model. Some of these API models go beyond linking, tracking and revenue share contracts – Air Malta, for example, opened its booking system via a web services affiliate API to enable partner carriers to book flights directly with Air Mala without the customer having to leave the partner site where they started.
Partner - Resell
Since many modern eCommerce architectures require a mix of legacy and digital native solutions, there is likely a need to purchase a custom developed APIs to bring these systems together. Many of Elastic Path’s business partners provide these types of options so that major back-end systems like ERPs don’t have to be replaced to transform into reusable components of an API-first, headless commerce architecture.
One strength of Elastic Path is working in regulated industries like Telecommunications and Healthcare. As a result, many of our customers need to consider how they include API Business Models into their eCommerce workflows to ensure they meet government and industry-based rules and regulations when it comes to things like PII (personal identifiable information) data and financial transactions. An example of an industry standard API Business Model we see every day is SWIFT. This allows for all banks to engage with commerce using a common data structure, working and security considerations. This model is also evolving into a “pay later” option that allows for online transactions to be essentially financed on the fly, so the vendor gets paid in full and the customer gets options to select a bank backed finance program in real time while checking out.
Many eCommerce tools that leverage an API-first architecture operate their business model using a productized approach. Essentially, they offer more functionality and access to API services based on the tier of product you are on or consumption of the APIs you use.
Contentful, a CMS Elastic Path partners with is a great example of an Upsell API Business Model. They offer a developer kit to get started with their solution and you can start connecting back-end services using their RESTful APIs, however if you need more enterprise horsepower you can upgrade to their enterprise plan to get access to the GraphQl Content API. Salesforce CRM is another example of a upsell API. The only way to get access to their suite of APIs is to be on the Enterprise or Unlimited plan, which increases the cost per user by 6-12x compared to their lowest tier of service, Essentials.
Every seller’s eCommerce architecture has at least one (but likely several) payment providers integrated with it. The payment providers use their APIs to connect and process payments and charge a per transaction fee. They monetize by charging for each call and/or a percentage of each transaction value. Such APIs are often integrated into scenarios like eCommerce stores or point-of-sale devices. eCommerce platform providers tend to offer pre-developed solutions that become virtual plug and play, but if your eCommerce platform is API-first, with some straightforward development you can connect to just about any provider in world. With currency like BitCoin and more online banking options – this is become a competitive differentiator as buyers have preferences for how they want to pay digitally.
Marketing APIs is when the API is a value-add component to how a company markets and sells its product or service using an open and accessible API model. Elastic Path Commerce Cloud provides this type of API business model to is end customers so that they can connect our eCommerce solution with legacy and new digitally native applications and services. This is known as a Packaged API business model. As the customer, you are paying Elastic Path a license fee to gain access to the platform features and APIs that can be used to connect with both internal (behind your firewall, like an ERP, CRM or Relational Database) and external data sources/applications (payment providers, tax services, etc.). Elastic Path does not charge per API call, but instead we enable our customers to increase revenue across omni-channel experiences for which our license fee is aligned on either a revenue or transaction-based metric.
You can learn more about our pricing model on Elasticpath.com.
Thank You for Reading
Hopefully this article has helped bring some context around APIs business models and eCommerce use cases they enable. The exciting journey we are all on with a API-first, composable commerce architecture is that we can create almost infinite buying experiences and integrate that in any existing back-end business process or external service. We look forward to taking this journey with you!
Topics: proof, apis, apifirst, architecture, business, future, api, commerce, ecommerce, models, external, model.
Adapt for the Future with Facebook Conversions API
Times are changing: greater consumer privacy means more intricate work for advertisers. But stores can still thrive on Facebook — the one tool they'll need.
Topics: conversions, advertisers, api, future, data, woocommerce, pixel, control, facebook, advertising, privacy, adapt.
Amazon India partners with Future Retail
Amazon India has partnered with the nation’s second-largest retail chain to expand its sales in there.
Topics: products, amazon, retail, physical, retails, future, india, sales, services, grocery, partners.
Amazon accuses estranged Indian partner Future and Reliance of fraud in newspaper ads
Amazon’s two-year effort to halt a $3.4 billion deal between its estranged partner Future Group and Reliance Retail took a new turn on Tuesday as tens of millions of Indians woke up to find the U.S. e-commerce giant airing its grievances in several newspapers. Amazon has accused Future Group (which runs the nation’s second-largest retail […]
Topics: estranged, reliance, retail, stores, fraud, violation, ads, substratum, group, amazon, orders, techcrunch, partner, newspaper, remove, indian, future, tribunal.
Amazon is acquiring a 49% stake in India’s Future Coupons
Amazon, which has invested more than $6 billion in India’s growing internet market, just invested a little more as it moves to expand its presence in the country’s brick and mortar space that drives much of the sales in the nation. The U.S. e-commerce giant is acquiring a 49% stake in Future Coupons, a group […]
Topics: future, coupons, ecommerce, indias, amazon, market, techcrunch, retail, acquiring, regulatory, billion, india, stake.
Amazon partners with India’s second largest retailer to sell its goods online
Amazon is deepening its relationship with India’s second largest retail chain, Future Retail, as the e-commerce giant widens its footprint in one of its key overseas markets. The two said on Monday that they have entered into a long-term business agreement to expand the reach of Future Retail’s stores through Amazon India marketplace. Future Retail […]
Topics: partners, second, amazon, india, online, care, sales, retail, largest, indias, stores, techcrunch, sell, goods, future, chain, products, retailer.
Amazon pledges $20 billion in exports from India by 2025
Amazon said on Wednesday that it aims to export locally produced Indian goods worth $20 billion by 2025, doubling its initial goal of $10 billion set for the same time frame as the e-commerce group attracts more than 100,000 exporters in the key overseas market. It took the company — which launched its exports program, […]
Topics: msmes, exports, pledges, export, reliance, techcrunch, india, country, retail, future, billion, amazon.
Amazon reportedly in talks to buy a 9.9% stake in India’s Reliance Retail
Amazon may join its global rivals Google and Facebook in backing one of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s ventures. The American e-commerce giant is in preliminary talks to acquire a 9.9% stake in Reliance Retail, local TV news channel ET Now reported Thursday afternoon, citing unnamed sources. Reliance Retail, founded in 2006, is the largest retail […]
Topics: buy, jio, retail, reliance, stake, industries, million, reportedly, amazon, india, techcrunch, future, platforms, talks, indias.
Amazon sends legal notice to India’s Future Group over deal with Ambani’s Reliance Retail
Amazon has sent a legal notice to Future Group, India’s second largest retail chain, for breaching the terms of its contract by selling a significant portion of the business to Ambani’s Reliance Retail. Future Group announced in late August that it was selling its retail and wholesale business, as well as its logistics and warehousing […]
Topics: business, reliance, india, legal, amazon, techcrunch, indias, group, deal, notice, stake, future, sends, retail.
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.
Are subscription services the future of fintech?
As subscriptions become an increasingly alluring business model, fintechs will be forced to consider whether or not this proven strategy is worth the risk.
Topics: fintechs, users, financial, companies, subscription, techcrunch, future, worth, survey, services, subscriptions, fintech, leimer.
As Allbirds goes public, sustainability is the mantra of the future
Allbirds started with a humble, natural wool shoe, but it is not merely an apparel company today. It has become a materials innovation company disrupting how clothes are made.
Topics: allbirds, company, goes, public, job, mantra, sustainable, today, future, techcrunch, sustainability, industry, companies, likely, simply.
Bloomreach CEO: Future of Retail Is Marketplaces, Brands
Raj De Datta, CEO and co-founder at Bloomreach, said it succinctly, "The future of retail is marketplaces which require scale. But, the future of retail is also brands. The industry is seeing an explosion of small brands setting up shop online."
Topics: future, small, retail, sales, retailers, ceo, marketplace, bloomreach, sell, brands, datta, ecommerce, marketplaces.
Brick-and-mortar travel agents still have a future – if they adapt
With today's digital age and millennial generation, thriving as a brick-and-mortar travel agents has been challenging, but possible, says global travel technology company Amadeus.
Topics: physical, retail, travellers, brickandmortar, stores, asia, agents, future, agencies, reality, pacific, travel.
Calii bags $22.5M to build Latin America’s grocery shopping future
The mobile grocery app automates the supply chain, enabling customers to choose over 5,000 products delivered via a network of micro-fulfillment centers in less than two hours.
Topics: grocery, company, products, 225m, arrambide, techcrunch, market, montemayor, bags, items, calii, savings, shopping, supply, build, americas, latin, future.
Can social and e-commerce transform the future of the open web?
WooCommerce began life as WooThemes, a small design firm that didn’t look very different from the many others that created WordPress themes.
Topics: transform, acquisition, automattic, know, web, social, techcrunch, woocommerce, themes, future, billion, wordpress, open, automattics, woo, company, ecommerce.
Cannabis e-commerce startup Jane Technologies raises $100M after stellar growth
Don’t call Jane Technologies the Amazon of weed. Instead, think of Jane Technologies as the Shopify of weed, and it’s an important distinction. While other startups attempt to build a destination marketplace like Amazon, Jane Technologies is trying something more powerful. The company is building the backends for dispensaries that are quickly taking their cannabis […]
Topics: raises, think, growth, 100m, future, startup, stellar, cannabis, technologies, jane, sales, techcrunch, ecommerce, online, build, company.
Celebrating 10 years of WooCommerce
It all started with a line of code: Today, Monday 27 September, marks a very special day for us here at WooCommerce, as we are celebrating our 10th birthday! Woo! A lot has happened over the past 10 years, and we’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings. Join us on a trip down […]
Topics: launched, future, theme, wordpress, woocommerce, ecommerce, celebrating, team, woothemes, wooconf, automattic.
Charting a New Path Forward: How to Plan Your Ecommerce Investments for the Future
It’s not often that widespread change happens overnight, but that’s how it felt for much of the U.S. in mid-March…
Topics: ecommerce, investments, advertising, investment, website, future, marketing, impact, retailers, experience, plan, forward.
Charts: Future of B2B Events
The pandemic appears to have reset priorities of B2B event attendees and vendors. Both now value digital experiences as much as in-person, according to a recent survey.
Topics: virtual, study, survey, shows, respondents, charts, important, vendors, surveyed, future, events, b2b.
Chord.co Founders: Future of DTC Platforms Is Headless
Henry Davis and Bryan Mahoney anticipated in 2018 an avalanche of direct-to-consumer companies that served smaller, niche audiences. Chord, a DTC-first ecommerce platform, is their answer to bringing sophisticated, "headless" technology to smaller firms. "We like to call Chord the first headless platform with a brain," Davis told me.
Topics: platforms, founders, future, dtc, headless, platform, brands, going, content, technology, glossier, chord, thats, chordco, customer.
Community is the Future of Shopify
A community is a valuable asset that will keep your brand constantly moving forward.
Topics: customer, members, customers, sales, marketing, merchants, shopify, facebook, ecommerce, community, future.
Covid-19, NFC, and the Future of Contactless Payments
Once touted as the future, contactless payments never achieved mass popularity. Shoppers preferred the familiar swipe, dip, PIN-entry, and signature. The Covid-19 pandemic will likely change that as consumers are now more conscious of what they touch.
Topics: device, contactless, credit, nfc, future, card, covid19, devices, payment, field, details, payments.
Dubai-Based Emerging Markets Property Group, Owner Of Bayut And Dubizzle, Raises US$200 Million Ahead Of An IPO "In The Near Future"
Currently present in more than 50 cities, EMPG operates classified platforms across emerging markets, with a focus on the MENA and South East Asia regions.
Topics: khan, million, ipo, markets, near, future, need, owner, empg, group, bayut, mena, property, good, platform, raises, looking, us200, dubizzle, company.
Ecommerce Acceleration Is the Future. Don't Get Left Behind.
The global ecommerce market is exploding, and 2022 is shaping up as the year of the accelerator.
Topics: achieve, left, future, technology, traffic, dont, brands, right, accelerators, scale, acceleration, ecommerce, data.
Electric Vehicles Are the Future of Last-mile Delivery
The rise of ecommerce has catapulted electric vehicles to prominence. Concern about greenhouse gas emissions is driving the move away from diesel delivery vehicles towards trucks and vans using alternative power sources. Electric vehicles with a range of up to 150 miles are ideally suited to "last mile" deliveries, those with a limited radius.
Topics: miles, trucks, washington, electric, ups, subsidiary, delivery, lastmile, vans, vehicles, future.
Extra Crunch roundup: DTC strategy, IPO analysis, Zoom’s future product plans
TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 is underway! Tickets are still available for the three-day virtual event, which encompasses everything from Ryan Reynolds' lessons on "fast-vertising" to Startup Battlefield.
Topics: alex, company, dtc, class, techcrunch, plans, wilhelm, writes, zooms, companies, extra, range, future, product, ipo, roundup, revenue, ai, strategy.
Fast-Tracking the Future of Commerce: A Recap of Shopify Reunite
If you couldn't catch the live event or want to get more details on what we announced, here are all the highlights from Reunite 2020.More
Topics: available, fasttracking, shopify, soon, reunite, online, merchants, recap, products, future, commerce, customers, local, business, store.
Flush with new capital, Foxtrot’s ‘convenience store of the future’ is coming to a location near you
Foxtrot is reimagining the convenience store experience by seeking out the best food items by local artisans along with its core offerings of coffee, ready-to-eat cafe meals and wine.
Topics: foxtrots, stores, convenience, company, coming, store, retail, way, future, foxtrot, flush, location, capital, techcrunch, locations, near, lavitola.
Future Retail, Amazon’s estranged partner in India, scales down operations
Future Retail, India’s second largest retail chain, is scaling down its operations to reduce losses, it said, the latest casualty in its years-long battle with estranged partner Amazon. The firm, led by Kishore Biyani, said in filings to the stock exchanges that it has been finding it “difficult to finance the working capital needs,” and […]
Topics: deal, estranged, india, indias, retail, scales, amazons, amazon, operations, techcrunch, working, partner, future, indian, chain.
Futureproof eCommerce: What Does it Mean & Why it Matters
With every year, new trend reports aim to predict the future for the years to come. Within the world of eCommerce, we've seen drastic shifts in customer behavior and expectations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, these proved to accelerate the future predictions rather than depart from expectations. While some brands were able to adapt quickly, many struggled to keep up and eCommerce managers were left wondering first, how to catch up and second, how to ensure their brands wouldn’t fall behind in the future. This post will walk through the importance of 'futureproofing' your eCommerce solution and why you prioritize it now versus in the future.
What is Futureproofing?
Simply put, futureproofing is ensuring your eCommerce solution will continue to deliver value for your brand into the future. That's not to say that a single solution will last forever. Instead, it ensures that your eCommerce solution will continue to keep up with your needs as they change. For example, the ability to easily support new experiences like mobile-self checkout or, seamless integrate new technology.
For a breakdown of crucial commerce trends, check out our Gartner's Predicts report post.
Why Legacy Monolithic Solution Is Vulnerable
Monolithic eCommerce software (or, legacy all-in-one solutions) by design provide interlinked functionality from a single package. Because each commerce function is 'tightly-coupled,' a monolith solution requires extensive work to customize or add new functionality. To learn more about monolithic solutions and how they compare to more modern headless solutions, check out our post here.
Most monolithic solutions have long release cycles; they will need several months to add a feature like curbside pick-up or mobile self-checkout, two experiences that gained massive importance during the pandemic. Adding new experiences to a monolith is constrained by the very nature of its architecture. Since each component is 'tightly-coupled,' they are not designed to work with new features easily. Any customizations or additions mean that long hours of implementation and testing are required to ensure a new experience works with the entirety of the rest of the existing monolith. Due to these long release cycles and the lack of control over them, brands running a monolithic eCommerce solution had no possibility of quickly spinning up these experiences, losing customers to competitors that were on future proofed solutions that allowed the rapid addition of these new experiences.
Gartner sums it up well, "Monolithic digital commerce applications cannot support the agility and flexibility needed to support fast-moving digital business. Organizations will need to move toward composable commerce to keep up with the pace of change in customer demand."
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What is Composable Commerce? Is it the Solution?
In a nutshell, Composable Commerce is an approach to digital commerce that enables your brand to create a 'best-for-me' solution comprised of third-party vendors and core commerce capabilities that fit your brand's unique needs. It offers a variety of benefits over a traditional monolithic solution, including and not limited to:
Speed to market
Speed to optimize/ change as needed
Flexibility to tailor a solution with third-party features to fit your brand
Unmatched scalability with could-native architecture
Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Business-centric solution to manage multiple customer touchpoints across several channels (B2B, B2C, B2B2C, etc.).
Microservices based features are designed to function independently, making them easy to add, remove, or swap as the market and your brand’s goals evolve
To learn more about Composable Commerce, check out our guide here.
A Composable Commerce approach is well equipped to seamlessly add functionality on the fly as your business goals and customer habits evolve. Take mobile touchpoints as an example; with Millennials making up a large percentage of buyers in today's market, it is as vital as ever to have a state-of-the-art mobile commerce experience to fit their expectations. Failing to add a mobile-self checkout or having an app or mobile site that is slow to load can lead to lost conversions and, ultimately, revenue. See our post to learn more about page load speeds and how they impact your bottom line.
A composable approach isn't only about keeping up with the Joneses. It also ensures that you have the flexibility to test and innovate with third-party solutions for a particular functionality to ensure that you create a solution that works best for your brand's needs. For example, experimenting with adding a voice-enabled chat bot or AR showrooms to test if they improve your conversion rates. Compared with the underwhelming, restricted 'what you see is what you get' reality of a monolith solution, a composable approach allows continuous improvement and innovation. Free from coming up with workarounds to a monolithic solution, your eCommerce team can focus on quickly delivering customer experiences that help your brand stand out amongst the competition.
What About 5 Years Into The Future?
If you’ve been in digital commerce for a while, you’re probably experienced in wholescale re-platforming. At this point, you are likely wondering if there is a way to escape the never-ending cycle of re-platforming. It is a costly journey that your brand may have undertaken multiple times already. The reality is, with a SaaS-based, Composable Commerce solution, a full-scale re-platforming is not a concern in the next 5 years.
While no solution will last forever, with a Composable Commerce solution, your brand will be in the best possible position to evolve with the rapidly changing world of eCommerce. You will never have to wait for a new 'release' of a monolithic solution to provide a consistent multi-experience offering to your customers.
Ready for the future? Talk to us today to see how Elastic Path can help your brand solve your eCommerce needs today & tomorrow.
Topics: means, future, futureproof, ecommerce, commerce, experiences, brands, matters, composable, solutions, monolithic, solution, brand.
Gen Z is Entering The Workforce: 30 Stats Marketing Managers Need to Know
It's hard to believe Gen Z is already old enough to start working.
Topics: know, entering, managers, social, gen, linkedin, generation, generations, need, stats, z, millennials, marketing, theyre, skills, workforce, future.
How 5G will power the future of movement via the Internet of Vehicles (IoV)
5G and the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) has the potential to transform the way we move people and things from one place to another. In a city setting, IoV and 5G will act as city planners and logistics managers rolled into one. Data and automation will optimize traffic light coordination and send garbage trucks on automated routes. The city of the future? Anything engineers can imagine.
Topics: vehicles, 5g, drivers, world, power, iov, future, way, movement, city, video, potential, internet.
How Will Online Buying Evolve in 2022 and Beyond?
By now we are all familiar with what the global pandemic did to buying behavior and how that affected some of the world’s biggest brands. We had winners and losers, and the common denominator between winning and losing came down to agility to transform customer engagement or the fact that the business was deemed “essential” by the government.
You can see below some very recognizable brands could not survive the impacts of the pandemic.
However, it would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall to know how many of these brands were discussing or maybe even in the process of budget planning to transform using digital experiences leading up to February 2020.
The buyer trend for more online and digital experience was already present in the market pre-pandemic, which is why some were ahead of the game as early adopters, but why companies did not prioritize would be interesting 2020 hindsight to learn from.
Now that that the dust is settling, we are moving from reactive to a more proactive planning for eCommerce and while there was a rush to pivot online back in 2020, our buyers are now discussing how to improve and or replace what was in place and looking to “future proof” their eCommerce approach going into 2022.
Future proofing the eCommerce experience is all about how you invest in technology and ensuring the foundational components are flexible and adaptable to the unknown future of buying experience and back-office workflows.
What was once a bleeding edge experience that differentiated brands is quickly become part of the standard expectation of the buyer.
Just consider a basic use case we all live with every day. We are not far from a time when most restaurants big or small had very little in the form of online presence and only the big brands like Dominos or Applebee’s had a way to order and pay online for delivery and take out.
Then came the “delivery marketplaces” like Uber Eats and Grub Hub which expanded the opportunity to digitally order your dinner and providing more local restaurants a channel to sell online.
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Living up in Southern NH (which is only 32 miles from Boston – so not the back woods by any means), there were not many options for either just before the pandemic. We were lucky to find a menu online and we had to pick up the phone to place an order for delivery or pick-up.
Within a matter of months every restaurant trying to survive, big or small, had dedicated parking for online ordering, they all had menus online and ways to purchase using credit card or PayPal. Some of the bigger chains spun up mobile apps to try and create a brand presence and accommodate multiple locations within a buying area.
I can tell you firsthand that some did it well, but most took an MVP approach that had buyers like me going back to the phone only because the food is good. The few that did it well have earned new business from me, but they are the exception vs. the rule and sad to say they are the bigger chains with deeper pockets.
Now that life is getting back to some normalcy just having a shopping cart online or mobile app is not going to be enough. Buying behavior has shifted and we the buyer are expecting better, multi-channel experiences. We don’t want to go to the store because we half to, we are going back because we want a day out of the house, and we might not even buy anything. If I need something I just go online and order it.
So, this shift is not only changing the experience online it is also changing how we interact in person.
While I am not a fortune teller that can predict what new buying trends will emerge in 2022, I did want to share some customer experience examples every brand and retailer needs to be doing to just meet buyer expectations.
When reading this, If you consider these things are hard to do because of the eCommerce technology you have today, then that is a major signal that you might need to start looking for a different, “future proof” eCommerce solution.
Also keep in mind, the biggest question you need to ask the technology vendors is not can you do this or show me where you have done this – but rather how fast did your customers do this, how much did they have to customize the solution to make it work? If you can transform quickly, you will never be able to keep up with the ever-changing and increasing buyer expectations.
Blending Online and Offline is already the expectation
Retailers that quickly merged online and offline experience with options like Curbside pick-up were on the winning side of the buyer shift that happened in the pandemic.
I briefly mentioned this in another article I recently wrote as being one the keys to Best Buy’s winning without being “essential”. Digital Commerce 360 did a study earlier this year on the topic and below shows just how much this experience has been adopted from December 2019 (pre-pandemic) to August 2020.
What is interesting is now we are starting to see the effect this having on how the physical experience is shifting.
Companies are looking to invest in smaller retail space that is optimized for pick-up and delivery. In fact, I would not be surprised to see dedicated drive thru lanes for services like Uber Eats and Grub Hub and maybe even loyal online buyer pick up window at McDonalds coming soon.
And I can even envision “distribution” sites where there is only a kitchen so that companies can operate in lower cost industrial districts vs. paying higher rent on Main Street.
These points illustrate why “future proof” decisions for technology need to be more cloud-based and composable, per Gartner Groups "By 2023, organizations that have adopted a Composable Commerce approach will outpace competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation."
Other use cases that blend of online and offline:
Contactless checkout. Provides a unique buying experience where there is never a que to pay. Even the self-service lines are getting longer as less clerks run registers.
This allows the buyer to skip the line all together and your staff can spend more time helping customer 1x1 on the floor and stuck behind a bar code scanner.
Having a data driven catalog solution means you can ensure the in-store experience is the same as online. Buyers can see product in the store and even if it is not available in that store, they can find it online with the same price and option to purchase and ship to their home. The data and availability is in full sync with your warehouses.
Sell your brand direct to great trust and loyalty
Marketplaces and retail sites are great ways to get your product exposed, but then you are just a commodity stuck presenting your product the same way as your competition.
However, you need to have a place where you can control the online experience and have that work seamlessly with the marketplaces and retails you also may use – online and offline. If you currently are managing the information about your products and services in silos across these channels, you may not be operating on a “future proof” platform.
Many eCommerce vendors claim multi-channel as a strength, but really, they are just enabling loosely couple separate instances that require a ton of user and technical support to operate effectively across channels.
Adding to this complexity and something that is at the heart of Elastic Path’s customer base is multi-brand and multi-geo. In order to have a seamless experience across this ecosystem you need to consider how well your current platform enables this integration on both the customer experience and back-office operations. The bigger and more diversified your company gets, the harder this will get.
While the quick to deploy cloud monolith might look attractive to get started. You will soon outgrow it if you are successful, and you will likely fail to scale with an experience buyers will expect as a standard in the near future, as more and more buying happens across digital channels.
Want curbside pick up or contactless checkout?
Elastic Path enables you to quickly and easily spin up new digital purchasing pathways so you can keep up with modern customer demands and scale your business.
Channel variety will continue to diversify
Think about why major brands had to be on main street or in the mall? Foot traffic.
They knew that just by being visible to buyers when they went out shopping would help drive revenue, even if they if what they were selling was not the main reason a buyer went out.
Now that the buyer is spending more time online and the internet can reach everyone no matter if they are at home, work or on vacation the new main street is social media. But it is not enough to just promote you brand with ads and sponsored posts.
You need to have a personal presence and you need to make it easy to transact within the social experience. Using social will continue to rise according to most experts and the statistics are amazing for how things look today, considering MySpace came on the scene less than 20 years ago. Below are some stats compiled by Hootsuite earlier this year.
It will be in the best interest if the social platform and seller to utilize open, standard ways to connect – aka APIs. But not just any API, these connections need to flexible and capable of connecting without custom code.
This again underscores the importance of having a modern, composable eCommerce platform designed to connect in a modern cloud world.
Buying Online will become the experience
Back to the mall one more time. Remember when going to mall meant hanging with friends, going to music store to check out the latest album or heading to Footlocker to check out Nike’s latest new kicks.
All that is gone, but we are still visual and social beings. The experience online needs get better in this area to win. If the experience online is not a good one and your product does not create an emotional bond with buyer, you will lose. But it will go beyond cool websites and mobile apps as technology like VR/AR being to take hold.
According to Goldman Sachs, the market for AR and VR in retail will reach $1.6 billion by 2025.
The fact is most current eCommerce platforms are not ready to meet the unknown future, which is why we are seeing growing interest in the market for headless commerce solutions.
However, companies that want to future proof eCommerce need to think beyond the CMS and Mobile as the head – they need to image a world where everything we interact with can become an interface to transact. That is why you need to consider platforms that have been built from the ground up using open API architectures.
To those platforms, the “head” can be just about anything you can imagine it to be.
Topics: future, buyer, going, ecommerce, customer, buying, online, evolve, need, brands, experience.
India antitrust watchdog suspends Amazon’s 2019 deal with Future, imposes fine
An Indian antitrust watchdog has revoked the approval it had granted for Amazon’s 2019 investment in a Future Group unit and imposed a fine of about $26.3 million to the American e-commerce giant for concealing facts. The Competition Commission of India said Amazon, which invested in Future Coupons in 2019, “suppress[ed] the actual scope and purpose […]
Topics: group, amazon, deal, indian, retail, indias, techcrunch, watchdog, fine, order, india, future, antitrust, largest, reviewing, amazons, imposes, suspends.
India approves Reliance’s $3.4 billion deal with Future Group, brings new headache to Amazon
The Indian watchdog Competition Commission (CCI) of India said on Friday it has approved the $3.4 billion deal between the nation’s two largest retail giants, Future Group and Reliance Retail, posing a new headache for American e-commerce group Amazon, which had raised objections over the deal. The CCI, the Indian antitrust body, said in a […]
Topics: deal, order, brings, techcrunch, largest, india, retail, indian, reliance, group, headache, amazon, billion, future, reliances, approves.
Indian court rejects retail giant Future Group’s plea against Amazon
An Indian court rejected Future Group’s plea that sought to prevent its partner Amazon from interfering in — and blocking — the Indian retail giant’s $3.4 billion asset sale deal to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, delivering a glimmer of hope to the American e-commerce firm that has invested more than $6.5 billion in the world’s […]
Topics: indian, groups, retail, amazon, techcrunch, plea, reliance, singapore, group, india, future, rejects, giant, court, deal.
Indian stock exchanges approve $3.4B Reliance and Future deal in setback for Amazon
Indian stock exchanges on Wednesday approved the $3.4 billion deal between retail giants Reliance Retail and Future Group in yet another setback for Amazon, which has invested more than $6.5 billion in the world’s second-largest internet market and sought to block the aforementioned deal. The Bombay Stock Exchange said in a notification that it had […]
Topics: setback, retail, sebi, india, exchanges, techcrunch, deal, future, stock, reliance, approve, group, indias, court, indian, amazon.
India’s Reliance Retail to acquire Future Group’s units for $3.4 billion
Reliance Retail, India’s largest retail chain, has found a much simpler way to expand its dominant position in the country: Acquire most of the second largest bricks-and-mortar retailer. On Saturday evening (local Indian time), Reliance Retail said it has reached an agreement with Future Group to acquire the latter’s retail and wholesaler business, and its […]
Topics: billion, techcrunch, group, groups, acquire, stores, future, indias, reliance, retail, units, business, ecommerce, firm.
India’s Supreme Court rules in favor of Amazon to stall $3.4B Future and Reliance deal
India’s apex court on Friday ruled in favor of Amazon to stall the sale of Future Group to Reliance Industries in a major victory for the American e-commerce giant in the key overseas market — and a blow to the nation’s richest man Mukesh Ambani. The Indian Supreme Court said the order by a Singapore […]
Topics: amazon, indias, court, deal, retail, stall, future, reliance, ecommerce, techcrunch, supreme, industries, order, indian, favor, rules.
Influencer Marketing, Part 8: Analyzing Performance
You’ve made it to the end of my series on influencer marketing. To date, I've defined influencer marketing and addressed why merchants should use it. I've explained how to set goals, how to pick the right channels, and more. In this final, "Part 8" installment, I'll describe a process to analyze performance.
Topics: campaign, learned, postmortem, analysis, stakeholders, performance, influencer, marketing, data, future, goals, stick, analyzing.
Jiji acquires Cars45 as it looks to build a future outside classifieds
Once heralded as disruptive marketplaces, classifieds are giving way to transactional marketplaces. Yet, some classifieds in the West like eBay have evolved with time, acquiring competition operating both models. In Africa, this occurrence is happening, in part at least, for the classifieds businesses that haven’t fizzled out. Jiji, one of the largest marketplaces for classifieds […]
Topics: outside, jiji, acquires, looks, company, cars45, transactional, marketplace, olx, business, classifieds, africa, build, future, techcrunch, group.
Kindle’s China future in doubt after disappearing from online shelves
Since Kindle began shipping in China nearly nine years ago, the e-book giant has garnered a loyal following in the country. The journey has never been easy, thanks to regulatory hurdles around digital content. Recently, there are signs that the Amazon-owned e-book business is scaling back some of its operations in China. Kindle’s official store […]
Topics: china, shelves, techcrunch, doubt, amazon, books, official, disappearing, kindle, versions, store, online, chinese, future, ebook, kindles.
Luxury marketplace Not Just a Label sells personalised goods
Contemporary fashion designer network Not Just a Label (NJAL) is launching a luxury marketplace for exclusive, one-of-a-kind pieces
Topics: label, goods, personalised, luxury, sells, designers, weeks, industry, platform, unique, njal, retail, marketplace, fashion, future.
Make it Big Podcast: Hybrid Retail and the Future of Commerce with Melissa Campanelli
Welcome to The Make it Big Podcast, a bi-weekly audio series about all things ecommerce by BigCommerce. We live in a hybrid world.…
Topics: online, podcast, big, store, commerce, shopping, going, future, think, retail, campanelli, obviously, feel, hybrid, melissa.
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.
New WooCommerce Navigation Prototype: Call for Testers
Enjoy a first look at the new WooCommerce navigation prototype & weigh in on how it impacts store management. Get early access & shape the future of Woo!
Topics: testers, taking, future, way, management, navigation, woocommerce, woocommercewere, prototype, testing, woocommercewe, store.
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.
Partnering with Kanarys to Support the Future of Diversity, Equity and Belonging
HubSpot’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) best practices has played an essential role in our success and we know that it can for all companies in the HubSpot community. We’re seeking to help our customers achieve their best performance through adopting these practices too.
Topics: customers, support, dei, identify, programs, kanarys, future, practices, equity, diversity, belonging, companies, partnering, best, hubspot.
Re-commerce, the future of sustainable retail
Consumer demands: modern, digital, conscious, mean that business models must adapt to a new reality.
Topics: investment, especially, economy, retail, selling, recommerce, companies, necessary, industry, fashion, secondhand, sustainable, future.
Reliance calls off $3.4 billion deal with Future Group
Reliance Industries “cannot implement” its $3.4 billion deal to acquire core parts of retail chain Future Group after the latter’s secured creditors rejected the offer earlier this week, India’s most valuable firm said in a stock exchange filing on Saturday. “The Future Group companies comprising Future Retail Limited (FRL) and other listed companies involved in […]
Topics: deal, calls, scheme, indian, shareholders, techcrunch, group, billion, companies, reliance, future, creditors, retail.
Reliance, Future Group ignore Amazon protest on $3.4B deal
Reliance Retail, India’s largest retail chain, said on Sunday evening that its proposed deal to acquire Future Group’s assets for a whopping $3.4 billion — against which Amazon has filed a legal proceeding — is fully enforceable under the Indian law and it intends to complete the deal “without any delay.” Mukesh Ambani’s firm issued […]
Topics: ecommerce, reliance, future, amazon, ignore, india, business, deal, group, indian, retail, 34b, techcrunch, protest, arbitration.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review
I have been carrying both of Samsung’s new foldables on my person when I leave the house for the last few days. It’s mostly for testing purposes, of course, but there’s also a fun game I like to play when I see people I know. I pull them both out, stick them in front of […]
Topics: form, screen, flip, future, company, techcrunch, fold, samsung, z, good, foldable, review, galaxy, phones.
Schwarz Gruppe acquires online platform real.de
Schwarz Gruppe, a major retail group that owns Lidl and Kaufland, has acquired Real.de from SCP Group. Real.de is one of the largest online marketplaces in Germany. SCP Group didn’t own Real for very long. In February of this year, the investment firm acquired Real from Metro AG. Now, the… Continue reading
Topics: gruppe, future, schwarz, realde, trading, platform, retail, online, acquires, group, business, kaufland.
Shoptalk 2022 Recap: What We Heard and Saw in Vegas
Shoptalk was back in 2022, a four-day event that's has been dubbed the 'biggest retail conference of the year.' Considering the years we all spent in various states of separation, getting back to in-person events was a welcome change of pace.
It was full of long-overdue meetings between old friends and colleagues in the industry, a chance to make new connections, and be inspired by the passion, dedication, and ingenuity of the players in the industry.
Elastic Path was in the thick of it, even taking over the Vegas strip.
On the show floor, we enjoyed hosting some fireside chats with our fabulous customers Serena & Lily, Pella, and Deckers Brands at our booth.
Our customer Serena & Lily shared some of what they are looking to accomplish in creating new customer experiences online.
“Part of the fun of design and our brand is putting together a room that feels very you. We want our website to replicate the experience in our design shops, where design advisors help customers through the design process. We don’t currently have that online, so we want to create experiences that allow for that. That is a future goal for us.” Check out the full live stream here
or see how Pella is looking at establish a new direct to consumer model. “As the consumer expectation is shifting and digital is becoming more influential on how a customer learns about our products and ultimately configures and purchases, we want to be on the forefront of that by being one of the first national windows & doors distributors to have that presence and own that space online."
Keep an eye out for a few others coming soon. Beyond sharing the stories of our customers, we met and heard from a variety of brands, partners, and thought leaders in the commerce space. This post will run through some key takeaways and predictions about the future of retail that were making waves at Shoptalk 2022.
What We Heard on The Show Floor
The excitement on the show floor was palpable. Brands shared their challenges and latest wins, vendors demoed their latest technology, and industry experts predicted the future. Let's dive into a few common themes we heard:
Composable Commerce is Here
The first was that the Composable Commerce Movement is now firmly established and is here to stay. Brands have recognized the benefits of this approach by leveraging best-of-breed solutions to quickly launch and optimize brand-centric experiences. Learn more about the Composable Commerce Movement here.
It is no longer a question of when it will take over as the de-facto commerce approach. Instead, some of the brands still on older monolithic architecture (all-in-one solutions) were trying to get to grips with how they could break free of the restrictions and innovate with new experiences that their customers have come to expect.
Partner-First For Commerce Success
The second theme was best-of-breed partners critical to a successful Composable Commerce approach to deliver innovative experiences. These partnerships were heavily represented in two ways, first from the presence of some of our partners like Vue Storefront, Bloomreach, and Amplience championing a headless Composable Commerce approach by showcasing the experiences they were instrumental in delivering.
Along with Elastic Path, we work with our partners are crucial in powering a complete solution, like our new Pre-Composed Solution™ to deliver best-of-breed merchandising & commerce experience management.
And secondly, exciting development backing a Composable Commerce approach was seeing the litany of new technology providers that fill essential gaps in existing commerce technology stacks.
From AI vision powered solutions to create product data to live streaming partners that will be a crucial new channel in the coming years for retail brands to deliver their messages and products in a seamless and frictionless way. I would be remiss not to mention the buzz around the possibilities the Metaverse offers.
Though exciting, the consensus was that it was one for the three to five-year vision. Some brands like Forever 21 & Pacsun are already experimenting with NFTs for the Metaverse. Watch this space to see how the strategies shake out and where retail is headed in the Metaverse.
Brands Are Outgrowing Monolithic Solutions
A third theme was hearing from numerous brands that they struggle with their existing commerce platforms like Salesforce Commerce Cloud. To highlight three common complaints:
1. Brands are suffering from complicated catalog management due to the restrictive design of these traditional solutions. If this sounds familiar, learn how Catalog Composer can help alleviate those ailments with a faster, easier, and infinitely more flexible solution to a core commerce capability.
2. Another common complaint from brands on traditional commerce platforms was the fear of re-platforming. We often heard, "we just re-platformed; we're not ready to do it all over again yet." Thankfully, the answer is it's easier than ever to get started on a Composable Commerce journey.
You can replace the pieces causing the most headaches first and follow that up with others at your own pace. We like to call this approach "progressive re-platforming," a solution to start using highly extensible modern technology so your brand can be ready for the rapid and seismic changes the retail space will see soon.
3. The third common complaint we heard was around speed. This problem is twofold, first is the speed of adoption of new channels and experiences. Slow innovation and adoption on traditional monolithic platforms apply to both established cases (like venturing into the B2B space, new geographies, etc.) and innovation with new channels like live-streaming and eventually even into the Metaverse.
With a Composable Approach, adopting these new channels is significantly more accessible since new integrations can be delivered in weeks rather than running a complicated months-long project on a monolith.
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The second aspect of the speed complaints is overall site speed. In traditional monolithic architecture, there are limits on the results from site speed optimizations that developers can hope to achieve. The limiting factor is often the monolithic architecture in itself. Fortunately, these performance limits do not exist with a Composable Commerce approach's decoupled architecture. To learn more about how site speed can impact your brand, check out our blog.
Key Predictions About The Future Of Commerce
Beyond the chatter on the floor, there were more general points of discussion on the future of retail.
1) Stores Are Back!
With much of the world emerging from the pandemic, brick-and-mortar stores are beginning to regain prominence. Some brands like Warby Parker, which started as an online-only glasses shop, now is seeing the positive impact of having physical stores. However, where these stores are delivering value is removed from traditional values like location and access to customers.
An interesting theme emerged around the "influencer potential" that people in-store could have. By having store associates be a touchpoint to build the voice and identity of a brand, they can be an instrumental part of telling a brand’s story. Particularly as brand authenticity continues to gain momentum as a central pillar in positioning strategy as it resonates well with today's customers as gen Z becomes a more active part of the overall retail picture.
2) New Customers = New Expectations.
Beyond the usual tropes of customers who "want it now," an exciting theme developed around delivering context-relevant solutions—for example, someone looking for a summer dress during the peaks of winter. A search like this signals the current mindset of that buyer. They are looking forward to the near future.
Tomorrow's customers expect a buying journey that is relevant to that context and introduces complexity and nuance to strategies brands can adopt to provide such a buyer journey. Whether this spans multiple channels and touches, a Composable Commerce approach is well suited to solve for such complexity by empowering brands to incorporate best-of-breed personalization and content management system (CMS) vendors into their composed solution.
3) Customer Loyalty is Evolving.
"Personalization is the new loyalty" was a phrase repeated in multiple sessions. What does that mean? Like the context-relevant buyer journey, providing a frictionless shopping experience relevant to an individual shopper is going to be a vital part of building customer loyalty.
As customer expectations evolve, two points: personal relevance and brand authenticity, will be the key drivers of loyalty. As with most hot button issues in the commerce world, plenty of vendors offer personalization solutions that can be incorporated into your brand's Composable Commerce solution.
4) Investors are Focusing on Profits Again.
This new focus will be crucial to the success of any retail brand in the future. It is a significant shift away from recent years, where customer adoption was the main focus, and the high 'burn rates' fuel those adoption numbers being a side note.
With profitability coming to the forefront, ensuring that your costs are manageable from an eCommerce perspective will be vital as brands endeavor to deliver customer-centric experiences into the future. Check out our Total Cost of Ownership guide to learn more about using a Composable Commerce approach can help reduce costs compared to traditional monolithic platforms.
Shoptalk was an exciting return to in-person events, packed with enthusiasm and innovative ideas. Is your brand ready for the future of retail?
Chat with us today to see how we can help your brand or see how our Pre-Composed Solutions™ can kick-start your Composable Commerce journey.
Topics: retail, brands, commerce, recap, approach, experiences, future, customers, customer, brand, shoptalk, saw, composable, heard, vegas.
Social Commerce Is the Future of Marketing. Are You Ready?
Here's how to take advantage of the platform that offers customers easy access to impulse buys and hard-to-locate items.
Topics: social, site, parts, sales, ready, socialmedia, online, commerce, marketing, platform, buyers, future, users.
Take a Side in the Future of the USPS
In the last 15 years, the United States Postal Service has lost around $90 billion. It has often failed to meet delivery expectations. And yet, the USPS is vital for many ecommerce companies. By law, the USPS must deliver to every address in the United States six days per week. This makes the USPS a common and often good choice for last-mile delivery specifically and ecommerce generally.
Topics: billion, united, delivery, private, losses, usps, packages, ecommerce, plan, future.
TechCrunch+ roundup: Automattic TC-1, federal startup grants, ‘getting s*** done day’
Our latest longform look at a notable tech company examines Automattic, “the leading commercial complement to the open-source WordPress publishing platform.”
Topics: day, getting, automattic, s, company, techcrunch, roundup, post, tech, startup, future, tc1, startups, grants, federal, open, chinese, mobile.
The Automattic TC-1
Sixteen years in and now valued at $7.5 billion, Automattic has found a multitude of strides, even as it strives to own ever more of the media market.
Topics: automattic, minutes, techcrunch, media, social, source, future, tc1, project, open, ecommerce, commercial.
The Best Ecommerce Software Meets Your Business Needs Now and in the Future
Choosing the right ecommerce software is one of the first steps to your entrepreneurial success.More
Topics: customer, meets, future, best, ecommerce, needs, shopify, business, support, paid, features, online, software, available.
The Future Needs More Black Businesses
Investment in Black-owned businesses is a path towards closing the racial wealth gap, strengthening communities, and creating economic opportunities for everyone. The future, therefore, relies on Black entrepreneurs. But systemic racism and centuries of oppression have created barriers to funding and ownership. How do we build a future that includes more Black businesses?More
Topics: capital, entrepreneurs, wealth, william, needs, community, black, gwen, business, jannah, future, businesses.
The Future of Advertising [Expert Predictions & Data]
In a world of banner blindness, I'm sure you're concerned about the future of advertising. If you're in marketing, I'll bet it's one of your bigger concerns.
But it's a new dawn and it's a new day. And as technology and advertising continue to evolve, so will your strategies.
Topics: tv, future, advertising, predictions, digital, ads, ad, mobile, data, programmatic, expert, video, billion.
The Future of Content Strategy
Content marketing has seen a lot of changes during the past few years.
Many of these changes can be attributed to the rapidly evolving search landscape as well as a huge shift in the way people are actually discovering content.
Topics: search, future, content, way, topic, keyword, page, strategy, engines, cluster, pillar, core.
The Future of Data Localization in a Globalized World
How the balkanized landscape of data in motion - and the widely differing regional regulations protecting it - pose challenges for transnational businesses.
Topics: privacy, global, countries, data, companies, world, theres, globalized, information, flow, future, localization.
The Future of Social Video: A Brief Look Into What's Next [Expert Predictions + Data]
Over the past few years, video has become one of the most compelling ways for brands to tell their stories on social media.
From the instant popularity of Facebook Live videos to Instagram increasing their video length from 30 to 60 seconds, marketers are using the power of video to communicate their business' personalities and brand stories, to express creativity, and to build emotional connections with fans and followers.
Topics: brief, youtube, expert, media, content, future, data, videos, look, whats, predictions, facebook, platforms, brands, video, instagram, social.
The Future of Work Is in These 3 Things
People are changing the way they work. The root of this change is the growing acceptance of flexibility in the workplace. So, when we talk about the future of work, we have to focus on what’s influencing change.
Topics: customers, specialized, employees, work, future, video, remote, value, workers, culture, things.
The future is here! The 5 new advertising trends to succeed in this Good End
Considering the particularities of 2021, I leave you five essential strategies for the start of this high season.
Topics: future, strategies, advertising, data, users, mobile, end, high, succeed, season, trends, ads, consumers, good.
The future of ecommerce and ecommerce predictions 2018 to 2020
The future of ecommerce and ecommerce predictions 2018 to 2020 According to most people, E-commerce is basically the buying and selling of products over the internet. That, however, is too simplistic and narrow of a definition. If you take into account all of the components that make up E-commerce, you will realize how much more […]
Topics: ecommerce, future, predictions.
The future of ecommerce: From marketplace seller to the exit of your company
Electronic commerce in Mexico reached 316,000 million pesos in 2020. Are you doing it right?
Topics: entrepreneurs, order, future, seller, exit, continue, ecommerce, grow, companies, exponential, marketplace, digital, company, growth, stores.
The future of remote work is text
It’s impossible to talk about Automattic without talking about remote work. The company is a role model and innovator in this area: It has been entirely remote since 2005, and at 1,700 employees, it has helped prove that a remote workplace culture can succeed at scale. But “remote” has taken on a different meaning than […]
Topics: text, automattic, meeting, need, think, techcrunch, employees, post, future, remote, work, working, company.
The future of voice recognition
This post originally published in 2019 has been updated for accuracy and relevance.
Voice recognition devices are a growing trend especially when used in a shopping capacity. Research shows that 32% use voice-activated search daily instead of typing, and that 43% shop online with voice-activated devices.
It makes sense the likes of Amazon, Google and Apple would stay ahead of the curve with voice-enabled devices as the public moves more towards voice search on the internet.
Such technological advancements are essentially the driving force behind changing consumer behavior. What’s more, as they begin to advance, people are increasingly becoming reliant on voice recognition devices that soon it will be inconceivable to imagine life without them. They’re already a staple in many households across the globe.
Voice recognition assistants are capable of more than just answering your queries for Google. Thanks to technical due diligence investment, software engineers and developers can continue growing the technology. More applications are being made specifically to be compatible with smart devices, such as smart household appliances.
They can now help humans with tasks around the home such as controlling the heating, turning lights on and off, and using entertainment systems.
Top Advantages of Voice Enabled Tech
Perhaps the biggest advantage of voice enabled device usage is time. It’s much faster to talk than type, so everyday tasks like setting up meetings or reminders, and placing orders becomes more efficient.
What are the most popular activities while using such devices? Top three include:
Adding items to cart
Tracking a package
Beyond boosting productivity, other advantages include increased accessibility to your business or services from those who have physical disabilities where typing is a barrier. It also promotes hands-free working, where notes can easily be dictated and shared instead of typed or written out.
Security breaches and cyberattacks are on the rise as we shift more sensitive information accessibility online. Voice enabled tech protects user identities with an authentication layer particularly useful in the banking and medical sectors.
Looking to Voice Enable Your Commerce Experiences?
With the growth in voice enabled tech and its usage, comes new doors for ecommerce companies. Built effortless, convenient commerce experiences for your customers today.
Important Notes On Voice Recognition
The voice recognition market was valued at USD 10.70 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 27.155 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 16.8% over the forecast period 2021 - 2026. Virtual assistants are driving this growth in retail, banking, and automotive sectors, as well as personal home use.
According to Google, 20% of queries on Google’s mobile app and Android devices are voice searches, and the number is expected to grow exponentially. Google’s voice assistant is now available on more than 400 million devices. As we continue to navigate contactless human interaction during COVID-19, voice enabled tech plays an integral role in those advancements.
Where do we see the most adoption? Given the high population density of the Asia-Pacific region, both China and India are seeing the largest growth rates, especially using voice enabled functions in mobile banking.
The future of voice recognition is looking bright. Given its current global usage both in the home and on the move, it seems as though this technology will only get bigger over the next few years.
Topics: google, usage, voice, future, recognition, growth, tech, devices, voiceactivated, enabled, using.
The maturing mall mix: Pavilion Kuala Lumpur chief talks the future of malls
In May next year, Kuala Lumpur’s next supermall will open in the suburb best known for hosting the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Pavilion Bukit Jalil shopping centre is being developed by the same team behind the downtown Kuala Lumpur Pavilion. Once completed, the 1.8 million sqft development will have a catchment of 1.9 million people, 85 […]
Topics: lumpur, malls, look, pavilion, tell, chief, kuala, centre, talks, future, mix, need, store, stores, mall, maturing, good, shopping.
The road to recurring revenue for hardware startups
Market valuation multiples are typically much higher for companies that benefit from service revenue in addition to sales.
Topics: sales, road, hardware, techcrunch, recurring, startups, service, subscriptions, model, transition, revenue, future, free.
These Influencers Are Computer-Generated: The Future of Marketing, or Untrustworthy Advertising?
More likely than not, you see influencer posts on your Instagram feed daily. In many ways, they become part of your life -- influencing everything from exercise classes you take, to clothes you buy.
Topics: advertising, theres, marketing, influencers, real, influencer, virtual, miquela, post, future, untrustworthy, brand, computergenerated, human.
Using AI to reboot brand-client relationships
Using strategically focused AI, brands can identify what their audiences are doing when they are not engaged in a purchase or using a product or service. The secret here is understanding context.
Topics: customer, ai, reboot, relationships, past, brands, interactions, future, insights, brandclient, data, techcrunch, using, purchase, experience, focus.
Video: What does the future look like for Airbnb in Africa?
As leisure and business travel across Africa increased steadily the last few years, companies like Airbnb looked to countries like Nigeria and South Africa for growth.
Topics: future, airbnb, video, does, think, look, travel, business, nigeria, booming, south, tourism, africa, guests.
Virtual, Hybrid, or In-Person: Business Leaders Weigh In on the Future of Events
In 2019, Microsoft hosted their annual Ignite event in Orlando for one week. It was the most successful Ignite they'd ever had, with well over 27,000 attendees.
Topics: hybrid, event, events, virtual, leaders, youre, future, business, weigh, attendees, inperson, conference, told.
Vollebak, which makes ‘clothes for the future,’ is closing its Series A round
If you’ve ever visited the site of the six-year-old, London-based direct-to-consumer clothing company Vollebak, you’ve likely marveled at the exaggerated descriptions of clothing it sells, including a jacket “designed for a world of megastorms, where ‘waterproof’ is not enough,” a hoodie that promises to repel rain, wind, snow and fire; and and an “ice age” […]
Topics: think, round, closing, thats, jacket, series, space, clothes, clothing, vollebak, future, stuff, really, techcrunch, going, graphene, makes.
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.
What the Future of Automation Looks Like (& How to Get Ahead Right Now)
A far cry from its early days on factory production lines, automation has entered into our organizations and found a place in the operations of every department — and it isn't going anywhere.
Topics: looks, future, customer, work, automation, sales, ai, business, marketing, right, tools, ahead, data.
What the Future of Ecommerce Looks Like
Recent events have shown that new developments are necessary to keep the sector as vibrant and profitable as before.
Topics: ecommerce, companies, future, business, shift, human, past, solutions, products, staff, services, able, looks.
What the new JD superstore says about the future of e-commerce
On Singles Day this year, China’s largest online retailer JD.com launched a 50,000 sqm JD superstore in Chongqing, Mainland China. Nicknamed the E-Space store, the massive, 5G-equipped high-tech complex is designed to flex JD’s strengths in retail technology, logistics, and services. More than 30,000 customers crammed into the store, purchasing over 10 million RMB worth […]
Topics: retail, customers, superstore, future, ecommerce, products, designed, jd, online, espace, jds, store.
What’s the Future of Social Media Advertising?
Many businesses recognize the need for social media advertising. But describing social media ads is a bit like counting raindrops in a thunderstorm. The trends are many, fast-moving, and often gone in a flash. At least one industry practitioner believes social advertising is growing in acceptance despite tracking concerns.
Topics: whats, ryan, future, media, advertising, shops, social, businesses, signal, tracking, ecommerce, facebook.
Who’s building the grocery store of the future?
The future of grocery shopping will be a win-win for both stores and customers.
Topics: whos, techcrunch, customers, shopping, stores, building, customer, items, store, smart, grocery, cart, amazon, future, checkout.
Why Accessible Marketing is the Future, According to an Inclusive Design Expert
One in four people live with a disability in the United States.
Topics: accessible, marketing, work, future, creating, content, accessibility, inclusive, christina, product, expert, design, marketers, according.
Why Integrated Productivity Tools Matter for the Future of Work, According to HubSpot's CMO [+ Announcing an Exciting Partnership]
As marketers, we know first-hand the importance of using effective software.
Topics: better, partnership, team, cmo, help, businesses, hubspot, project, clickup, management, integrated, matter, work, productivity, customers, future, exciting, tools, hubspots.
Why Telemedicine Is the Future of Healthcare
From safety to ease of access, from reduced costs to AI-driven customized care, why virtual appointments are and will continue to be the proverbial win-win-win-win.
Topics: rural, office, miles, healthcare, need, patients, care, telemedicine, virtual, future.
Why You Should Bet On the Future of Ecommerce
In a world of economic uncertainty, the long-term outlook for buying and selling online is bright.
Topics: total, online, shopping, bet, retail, habits, entrepreneurs, market, sales, digital, ecommerce, future.
Will China’s coronavirus-related trends shape the future for American VCs?
There may be dark horses waiting to break out when this pandemic is over. Paraphrasing "A Tale of Two Cities," this is the worst time, but also maybe the best time.
Topics: future, china, coronavirusrelated, deals, usbased, american, investment, chinas, slowdown, trends, techcrunch, week, vcs, shape, vc, venture.
With sales momentum, Bookshop.org looks to future in its fight with Amazon
If Gutenberg were alive today, he’d be a very busy angel investor. With book sales booming during the COVID-19 lockdowns last year, the humble written word has suddenly drawn the limelight from VCs and founders. We’ve seen a whole cavalcade of new products and fundings, including algorithmic recommendation engine BingeBooks, book club startups like Literati […]
Topics: recommendation, bookshoporg, techcrunch, hunter, lists, looks, book, fight, platform, future, bookstores, sales, books, momentum, amazon, company, bookshop.
e-Conomy Africa 2020 - Africa's $180 Billion Internet Economy Future: Google & IFC (Infographic & Report)
Africa’s Internet economy is transforming development on the continent by fostering economic opportunities, creating jobs, and providing innovative solutions to complex challenges, like access to healthcare, education, and finance.
Topics: startups, infographic, digital, african, economy, africa, future, billion, report, ifc, google, venture, potential, growing, internet, africas.