Top 2022 resources on management
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10 of the Best Ad Management Tools for 2021
Time is one of the most valuable resources we have — that's why efficiency is something so many people strive for. The good news is that there are a plethora of marketing tools available today with the power to help you boost productivity and streamline monotonous processes or tasks — ad management tools are among the many options.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about what ad management is, outline high-quality ad management software, and explain why they're beneficial for all businesses.
What is advertising management?
Advertising management is overseeing different marketing activities and responsible individuals to ensure that campaigns are running effectively and target marketings are being reached.
Depending on your business needs, advertising management can focus on various metrics that contribute to campaign success, like ROI or conversions or media placements that make sense for where your target audiences are.
As there is often a lot to keep track of, many teams choose to use advertising management tools, which we’ll cover below.
Topics: platform, help, campaigns, ads, target, tools, management, ad, best, advertising, data, marketing.
12 PPC Tools & Software to Help Your Ad Campaigns Crush It
PPC, or pay-per-click, campaigns can be a great way to gain traffic, leads, and ROI. In fact, businesses make an average of $8 for every dollar they spend on Google Ads.
Topics: tools, help, ad, ads, data, bing, allows, campaigns, management, google, ppc, crush, software.
13 Free Open-source Content Management Systems
Here is a list of open-source content management systems. Many have large developer communities that provide platform updates and thousands of themes and extensions. All of the systems are free, though they also offer paid plans for hosting services.
Topics: content, sites, free, cms, management, site, websites, systems, themes, opensource, features, price.
15 Automation Ideas for Delivering Excellent HR Support
Human resources is the glue that holds together your most valuable asset: your team. And in 2022, HR's greatest ally is tech. According to G2, there are over 21 types of HR software on the market, including apps for employee wellness, employee benefits, and time tracking, to name just a few.
Topics: excellent, streamline, automate, apps, automation, employee, ideas, hr, team, delivering, best, management, support, data.
15 Social Media Management Tools for 2020
Social media management tools can help you to plan and publish posts and campaigns, measure engagement, and find out what people are saying about your brand and competitors. Here is a list of social media management tools to try in 2020.
Topics: posts, schedule, plans, engagement, price, tools, content, media, publish, social, management, start.
15 Time Management Skills, According to HubSpot Marketing Managers
It's late and you're working on a project that's due soon.
Topics: youre, managers, management, day, team, skills, according, tasks, manager, marketing, hubspot, project, working, work, task.
16 Free Project Management Software Options to Keep Your Team On Track
92% of U.S. workers feel that they could collaborate better with their colleagues.
Managing multiple projects at once, delegating tasks, and collaborating across teams is difficult on a good day — but can become downright impossible when unforeseen obstacles get in the way. The data proves that project management is no walk in the park for most of us.
Topics: create, track, software, tasks, projects, tool, task, management, teams, free, project, options, team.
20 Technical Skills Every Marketer Needs
Traditionally, the marketing field emphasized creative thinking over technical skills. But to build a successful career as a marketer today, you need more than a knack for pitching ideas and coming up with clever copy.
Topics: soft, media, management, marketer, skills, need, marketing, job, technical, skill, needs, data.
20 Time Management Apps to Help You Produce More & Procrastinate Less
As an entrepreneur, 24 hours in a day never feels like enough. If you're looking to maximize your productivity then check out these time management apps!
Topics: plan, set, apps, app, ios, procrastinate, management, free, youre, tasks, team, produce.
3PL Founder: ‘I’m in the Exceptions Management Business’
Jay Sauceda launched his ecommerce fulfillment company, Sauceda Industries, in 2013 in Austin, Texas. He says packing and shipping products is easy. What's difficult, he stated, is managing unforeseen events.
"The shipping business is, essentially, the exceptions management business," he told me.
Topics: clients, 3pl, shipping, launched, sauceda, founder, management, orders, exceptions, business, ship, im, company, day, fulfillment, warehouse.
4 Management Styles to Strive For and 4 to Avoid
Growing up, a few of my baseball coaches were some of the most ruthless and demanding people I’ve ever met. They used fear to push my team to our physical and emotional limits, intimidated us with cruel ultimatums, and didn’t really seem to care about us as people. They did everything they could to win — and punished us when we didn’t.
Topics: employees, leadership, vision, avoid, managers, team, styles, management, theyre, strive, style, work, teams.
5 Contact Management Tips to Make Your Business More Productive
Proper contact management is essential to keep your business productive and organized. But while technology offers countless solutions to effectively manage contacts at scale, without good processes your contacts can get messy very quickly.
Topics: tips, right, different, contact, email, apps, business, contacts, need, productive, management, data.
5 Human Resource Management Functions Every HR Manager Needs to Know
There’s something every single company needs to operate, regardless of the industry or product, and that’s people.
Topics: needs, management, resource, employees, functions, human, hr, process, resources, know, company, manager, work, culture.
5 Things I Learned About Product (and People) Management This Year
This last year has been a blur. At the start of 2016 I was working in Product Management at Twitter, and then I moved to the other side of the world to work at Atlassian in Sydney, Australia. Despite the massive geographic and timezone change, I've learned a lot from both places about being a better product manager.
Topics: team, problem, things, learned, ship, management, feedback, ive, product, solving, customers, youre.
50,000 SKUs Later, Here Are the Lessons We’ve Learned About B2B Ecommerce
Over the past 30 years, our company has served thousands of retailers. But, to grow our business, it became more…
Topics: ecommerce, technology, going, pdf, skus, management, lessons, inventory, business, online, distributing, learned, later, b2b, weve.
6 Contact Management Best Practices for Small Businesses
As a small business or startup, you've got a lot on your to-do list: increasing awareness of your brand, converting leads into customers, and supporting customers post-sale. And, of course, there's all the admin behind the scenes.
Topics: right, best, marketing, crm, customer, contact, business, need, practices, small, management, businesses, data.
6 Signs Your Growing Business Needs PIM Software
Here are six common signs that indicate a business should revisit its current operational workflows and evaluate how leveraging a lightweight product information management solution (built with the power and performance demands of large-scale enterprises) can help them scale and grow. Read more.
Topics: management, product, merchants, information, data, workflows, growing, end, needs, software, business, signs, pim.
6 time management tips for fulfillment managers
Oversee order processing, monitor inventories, and most importantly, manage a team of logistics professionals in an effective and efficient way - that’s just the top of the list of what fulfillment managers have to think about and solve daily. Here are six tips and techniques to implement into daily work processes to ensure the warehouses run like clockwork.
Topics: management, warehouse, implement, information, team, sure, good, managers, maintenance, way, work, systems, fulfillment, tips.
7 Effective Ways to Automate and Grow Your Business
There's more scope for automation in your business than ever before. With automation, you can schedule emails to be sent at the perfect time, follow up with leads that have abandoned their cart, sync data between apps, and notify team members of new tasks.
Topics: marketing, automation, customer, grow, email, management, apps, business, ways, look, automate, data, effective.
79 Marketing Tools and Software for Every Business & Budget
In the world of marketing, it seems like there are always new tools, tips, tricks, and trends to discover and incorporate into your marketing strategy. How is it possible to keep up with them all?
As a marketer myself, I often wish I had a better sense of all of the tools available to me -- and what sets each of them apart -- so I can make more informed decisions on how to create and optimize content.
Topics: hubspot, marketers, budget, business, create, marketing, content, software, video, team, tools, tool, management.
8 ways to digitally enable sales reps through B2B ecommerce [+ Infographic]
Equipping sales with digital tools helps them do their job faster, serve accounts better and close more deals. Don’t miss these 8 digital tools that can help empower B2B salespeople.
Topics: reps, digital, ecommerce, sales, b2b, pricing, infographic, management, ways, mobile, customers, enable, digitally, order.
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.
99 eCommerce Acronyms
If you've ever found yourself scratching your head at a 3-letter acronym in an ecommerce related article or document, this post is for you. We've compiled 99 of the most common 3 letter acronyms you'll find in online business, from a wide range of functions including IT, marketing, web development, SEO, web analytics, web design and logistics. Roll over any acronym to see its title, or click its link to see a full definition. Or quiz yourself, and see how many of these acronyms you know off the top of your head!
3PL3rd Party Logistics
AOVAverage Order Value
APIApplication Programming Interface
BOMBill of Materials
BPABusiness Process Automation
BPMBusiness Process Management
CDNContent Delivery Network
CMSContent Management System
CODCash on Delivery
CPACost Per Action
CPCCost Per Click
CPICost Per Impression
CPMCost Per Mille
CRMCustomer Relationship Management
CROConversion Rate Optimization
CSCCard Security Code
CSEComparison Shopping Engine
CSRCustomer Service Representative
CSSCascading Style Sheets
CTRClick Through Rate
CVCCard Verification Code
CVVCard Verification Value
DFOData Feed Optimization
DNSDomain Name System
DOMDocument Object Model
DTPDays to Purchase
EAIEnterprise Application Integration
EDIElectronic Data Interchange
ERPEnterprise Resource Planning
FAK Freight All Kinds
FAQFrequently Asked Questions
FTPFile Transfer Protocol
FUDFear, Uncertainty and Doubt
HCIHuman Computer Interaction
ISPInternet Service Providers
KPIKey Performance Indicator
LPOLanding Page Optimization
LSALatent Symantic Analysis
LSILatent Symantic Indexing
LTLLess Than Truckload
MMSMultimedia Messaging Service
MP3MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3
NLPNatural Language Processing
OOSOut of Stock
OPMOutsourced Program Management
ORMOnline Reputation Management
PCIPayment Card Industry
PIMProduct Information Management
POSPoint of Sale Terminal
PPCPay Per Click
QSAQualified Security Assessor
RDFResource Description Framework
REPRobots Exclusion Protocol
RFIRequest for Information
RFPRequest for Proposal
RFQRequest for Quotation
RFTRequest for Tender
RIARich Internet Application
ROIReturn on Investment
RSSRich Site Summary
SASStatistical Analysis System
SEMSearch Engine Marketing
SEOSearch Engine Optimization
SLAService Level Agreement
SMOSocial Media Optimization
SMSShort Message Service
SOAService Oriented Architecture
SOWStatement of Work
SSIServer Side Includes
SSLSecure Sockets Layer
TCOTotal Cost of Ownership
TLDTop Level Domain
TLSTransport Layer Security
TOSTerms of Service
UCEUnsolicited Commercial Email
UGCUser Generated Content
USPUnique Selling Proposition
UVPUnique Value Proposition
VARValue Added Reseller
VATValue Added Tax
VTPVisits to Purchase
WAIWeb Accessibility Initiative
WAOWeb Analytics Optimization
WAPWireless Application Protocol
WMLWireless Markup Language
WMSWarehouse Management System
W3CWorld Wide Web Consortium
XMLExtensible Markup Language
Topics: service, logistics, value, system, rate, management, ecommerce, optimization, acronyms, security, protocol, web.
A Complete Sana Commerce Review
B2B eCommerce and B2C businesses acting as manufacturers, distributors, or wholesalers face many challenges, the most important of which is ensuring their customers are happy. To help leave a smile on your customer's face, using the right eCommerce software platform…
Continue reading A Complete Sana Commerce Review
Topics: order, customers, ecommerce, customer, review, erp, commerce, online, management, complete, product, sana.
A Comprehensive Guide to Organizational Development
Imagine it’s 2005, and a small drinkware business opens up in the center of town. Although they have a simple website to provide store information and field online inquiries, their collection of customized mugs, shot glasses, and more continuously grow in popularity due to loyal customers and word of mouth.
Topics: organizational, processes, changes, management, development, individual, model, guide, organization, comprehensive, interventions, process.
Alibaba undergoes major management reshuffle
Alibaba is reassigning roles to four of its executives in one of the biggest reshuffles in its recent history, the company announced on Monday morning. Maggie Wu, the e-commerce titan’s former chief financial officer, will step down next April and be replaced by Toby Xu, current deputy CFO. Wu will continue to be a partner […]
Topics: reshuffle, stock, kong, wu, alibaba, alibabas, zhang, major, firms, techcrunch, cfo, unit, undergoes, management.
All B2B startups are in the payments business
There’s a massive amount of revenue on the table, and it’s just too easy to blow this opportunity and alienate clients in the process.
Topics: trillion, b2b, companies, techcrunch, startups, management, payments, payment, clients, platforms, payfacs, business, transactions.
Are Big Changes Coming to the Ecommerce Stack?
Headless content management systems and site generators are driving a new content-centric web. The changes could be coming to ecommerce, at scale, very soon.
Topics: ecommerce, coming, systems, site, headless, content, management, shopify, big, platforms, product, gatsby, changes, stack.
Benefits of Google’s Search Ads 360, Revamped
Google's updated Search Ads 360 is a big improvement. The interface is consistent with Google Ads. New features include easier cross-platform management, among others. We explain.
Topics: google, revamped, googles, ads, include, features, benefits, management, advertisers, search, sa360, interface.
Best Affiliate Management Services for 2022
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online. To make money with affiliate marketing, all you need is to join an affiliate program from a merchant, and start promoting their products. However, while it seems simple,…
Continue reading Best Affiliate Management Services for 2022
Topics: marketing, affiliate, partner, brands, management, affiliates, help, best, businesses, services.
Best CRM Software & Services Compared for 2022
If you’ve been questioning the value of customer relationship management (CRM) software, you can stop now. A recent study by…
Topics: team, crm, customer, software, compared, business, management, best, features, sales, services, email.
Best Free CRM in the UK (May 2022)
The best free CRM UK companies can access is a crucial investment in the future of your brand. With the right customer relationship management tool, you can unlock the insights you need to strengthen your connection with your target audience.…
Continue reading Best Free CRM in the UK (May 2022)
Topics: access, free, sales, management, tools, customer, need, uk, marketing, support, crm, best.
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):
Headquarters: London, UK
Number of employees: 134
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.
Headquarters: Berlin, Germany
Number of employees: 676
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.”
Headquarters: San Franisco, CA, USA
Number of employees: 229
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.
Headquarters: Denver, CO, USA
Number of employees: 134
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).
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA
Number of employees: 18
Company overview: Builder.io enables teams to build and optimize digital experiences on any site or app. No coding required, and developer approved.
Headquarters: Miami, FL, USA
Number of employees: 28
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.
Headquarters: Lexington, MA, USA
Number of employees: 20
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.
Headquarters: Czech Republic
Number of employees: 245
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
Headquarters: Basel, Switzerland
Number of employees: 177
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.
CMS Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA
Number of employees: 172
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.
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA
Number of employees: 36
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.
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA
Number of employees: 58
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.
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Next, we look at traditional CMS vendors that can be run in Headless mode (again, in alphabetical order):
Headquarters: Boston, MA, USA
Number of employees: 1,173 (note: Acquia provides a portfolio of software solutions, including but not limited to CMS)
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.
Headquarters: San Jose, CA, USA
Number of employees: over 28k (note: Adobe provides a portfolio of software solutions, including but not limited to CMS)
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.”
Headquarters: Mountain View, CA, USA
Number of employees: 608 (note: Boomreach provides a portfolio of software solutions, including but not limited to CMS)
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.
Headquarters: Hamburg, Germany
Number of employees: 143
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.
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, USA
Number of employees: 1,663
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
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.
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.
Best Mailing List Software to Improve your Email Marketing Strategy
When I first began my marketing career, I was envious of emails.
Topics: best, emails, mailing, easy, email, improve, management, campaign, create, tools, list, strategy, tool, software, marketing.
Best Social Media Management Tools
In the world of social media marketing, there are hundreds of tools and software with features capable of helping you with different aspects of your social media strategy. These tools — also known as social media management tools — can assist with social media creation, collaboration, planning, scheduling , sharing, analysis, and more.
Topics: content, social, free, best, customer, tool, team, management, clients, media, tools.
Best eCommerce Order Management System
Any eCommerce platform requires applications to manage necessary functions. One of those applications is an OMS or Order Management System. Let’s get into what these systems are and provide examples of top providers in the market today.
What is an Order Management System?
Businesses across channels or eCommerce businesses and sellers use an OMS to streamline and automate the sales and fulfillment process from POS to delivery. An OMS system is multi-dimensional and faceted; it touches all aspects of your business from the customer to your sales channels and products, to inventory levels, customer service, and all aspects of the ordering process from printing and packing to shipping.
In the securities market, an order management system is used to transact orders in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Brokers and dealers use an OMS when filling orders for various types of securities and can track the progress of each order throughout the system. An OMS in the Financial markets may also be referred to as a trade order management system.
What should an effective OMS do?
The purpose of an eCommerce OMS is to automate the order fulfillment process so you can focus on decision-making and relationship building. An OMS speeds the process to fulfillment, so your customers are satisfied, and your business model stays solvent. Forecasting capabilities within an OMS can also prevent stockouts – a costly consequence for businesses of all sizes. Here are a few OMS providers and what differentiates them in the market. What works for your business?
You may ask yourself a few questions:
How well will it integrate with my content platform?
What features do I need?
How fast can I make changes to processes?
What's my budget?
What OMS systems work best with my business model/channel?
Can I customize it for alternate payment methods and discount pricing?
Do I need options for multiple currency management?
How will my business change in the next 3-5 years, and will this system scale?
While this isn’t a complete list by any means of all the providers in the market, one of these may resonate with you based on your specific needs.
See Why Headless Commerce is the Future of Commerce
Imagine a Commerce Experience and See it Come to Life with Headless eCommerce Platforms by Elastic Path.
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Headquarters: Bristol, UK
Brightpearl allows for different types of fulfillment options such as partial or multi-location, or through Amazon. They are touted for their ease of doing business and their customer support team. While they are a more expensive option, they score high with customers when it comes to data integration functionality.
Headquarters: New South Wales, Australia
Fluent Commerce has out-of-the box functionality with the flexibility to launch quickly and a rapid time to value. They are known for scalability as your business needs change. Speed to market and adaptability are key strengths.
Headquarters: Bath, England
Jetti streamlines operations by automating drop shipping. It integrates well into any platform whether that is eCommerce, accounting functions, or shipping couriers connected through your store. Synced information connecting inventory and pricing so you have a clear picture of the state of business, as well as the ability to upload catalogs and other product data sources as needed.
Headquarters: Newark, Delaware
Orderhive offers a wide range of features to manage complexities with a reasonable price tag; including custom tagging for order identification, pre-order, backorder, or partial fulfillment situations, and the ability to convert in multiple currencies.
Capitalizing on its credibility in the accounting software market, QuickBooks Commerce is known for its flexibility and affordability in the OMS category. The application integrates well into other eCommerce platforms and offers business intelligence tools to aid in decision making.
Headquarters: Chicago, IL
An especially useful tool for companies in the B2B wholesale channel. Robust product features such as sales forecasting and tax automation.
Headquarters: El Segundo, CA
Skubana comes with a learning curve given its extensive offering. A single dashboard provides insights by channel, warehouse, and product. Forecasting tools and sales reports are available to help with daily and long-term decision making as needed.
Headquarters: Swansea; Austin, TX; Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Veeqo offers a few extra features for retailers such as performance reports and the ability to manage purchase orders and create labels and invoices.
Headquarters: Chennai, India
Zoho Inventory is known as a small business solution with both paid and free versions. All the functionality you’d expect such as tracking inventory and sending updates to customers regarding orders, however you can’t use the product offline. You do have the ability to connect with other Zoho products. Ideal for value in a small business and they do score well for continuous product improvements.
Moving Ahead With Automation and Convenience in Mind
We know. This can be a daunting decision especially when it comes to making business decisions in a rapidly changing landscape. But Elastic Path can simplify your complexities and business needs.
Take the time to research and drill down to what really matters in your eCommerce strategy and goals.
How can we help?
For more information and insights, check out this ebook: Order Management API for eCommerce
Topics: product, market, system, oms, fulfillment, business, management, best, systems, order, commerce, ecommerce.
Cash Flow Management: Why Cash Flow Can Be Even More Important Than Profit
Cash flow management is one of many reasons it's so hard to get a new business off the ground, and it becomes even more difficult when there's a crisis. If you're looking for one area to focus on that will have a dramatic impact on your business, this is it.More
Topics: management, revenue, important, flow, business, money, expenses, cash, youll, need, profit.
Content Management Systems (CMS) and the Front End
What your customer sees and how they interact with your content matters. User experience is at the forefront of eCommerce success stories, and a key part of that experience is how you as a business create and manage content.
A Content Management System (CMS) is software that helps you create, manage, and change content with rudimentary knowledge of code, or even no knowledge of code at all.
Here we’ll take a look at different use cases for a CMS and how it relates to front end development. Let’s begin with a few basic comparisons:
Front End – anything the user sees and interacts with, or rather the look and feel of your site and functionality like cart and navigation with no interaction with the code or development. Most often called the public facing portion of your site.
Back End – what goes on in the server side. The analogy is a car engine with all its complexities; the back end consists of API, business logic, data storage, and user authentication; what largely is the developer’s world.
When it comes to CMS, it’s usually managed as back-end functionality and it determines the content shown on the front end for any visitor on the site. A few examples of popular CMS names in the marketplace include Wix, Drupal, or WordPress. These applications allow for admin changes without the responsibility of knowing code. However, the confusing part is there are technically both front and back-end functionalities to a CMS. Let’s look at three CMS types:
Traditional CMS – Like the names we’ve mentioned above, a traditional CMS allows an admin to create, publish and edit content with an easy front-end interface like an HTML editor. The file and codes are stored in a back-end database to run the CMS platform. The issue with a traditional CMS is the front and back ends are tightly coupled which results in a limited pre-built application which results in limited control as to where content goes.
Headless CMS – this term comes from the decoupling of the front and back-end functions of the CMS. A headless CMS is deemed “front end agnostic”; there is no default presentation layer. What this means for eCommerce brands? In a headless CMS world, you are free to distribute content to as many “heads” as you desire driven by APIs. That may be smartphones, dedicated apps, or any channel of your choosing.
Bear in mind when choosing a Headless CMS you’ll need to build out a front end customized for your needs. The great news is there are vendors who specialize in providing these development services.
Watch our CEO Jamus Driscoll talk with Patrick Friday, CEO and co-founder of Vue Storefront about the differences between front end as a service and a CMS in an installment of the web series, “The One Question”.
In essence, a traditional CMS appeals to the marketing side of the house, and the headless side to the developer. While there are benefits to both, a hybrid approach is another option.
Consider this scenario: marketers who may have little knowledge of the tech stack are dependent on IT support to get changes made to reflect the business need. This creates tension, bottlenecks, and stalled responses to change. And there’s more…
Phase- driven innovation – You may start with website and rollout to channels gradually. Think of this as an omnichannel strategy eventually evolving into a dedicated app, or a broader business model (B2B, B2C, D2C)
Integrate more tooling – once you’ve adopted a hybrid approach, you’ll have better experiences with analytics and CRM tools
Empower your team – adopting a hybrid CMS allows for less friction between the business and tech sides
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
Take an at-a-glance comparison of each CMS type:
Ideal for marketers
Manage page structure and templates
Little flexibility where content ultimately goes
Flexibility to push content anywhere driven by APIs
Better user experience
Not as marketer friendly when changes arise
Heavier dependence on IT
The same flexibility for omnichannel content through APIs
Ease-of-use interface for marketers
The Choice is Yours
The ultimate decision of which option will work best really depends on your business needs and your team’s makeup. Consider how and who will be managing your resources, and what customer facing experiences you’re looking to create in a commerce platform.
Topics: cms, approach, systems, headless, user, code, business, end, backend, create, content, management.
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.
During Covid, Ecommerce Founders Can Invigorate Their Companies
Entrepreneur-lead businesses can become unwieldy as they grow. To survive, founders often must embrace a management system and delegate responsibilities. "An entrepreneur slips and falls off the edge of a cliff. On his way down, he manages to grab onto the end of a vine," wrote Gino Wickman, in his book, "Traction."
Topics: covid, invigorate, companies, ecommerce, work, entrepreneur, system, businesses, eos, founders, management, scaling, entrepreneurial, vine.
E-commerce explosion driving worldwise warehouse boom
An e-commerce-driven warehouse boom will see 57,000 more distribution centres in operation by 2025 then existed last year.
Topics: chain, boom, explosion, growth, management, systems, worldwise, warehouse, software, market, facilities, supply, ecommerce, wms, driving.
EQT acquires freemium graphics and stock photo marketplace, Freepik
Freepik, a Malaga-Spain based website which offers a curated freemium marketplace of vector graphics and stock photos fed by a community of contributing designers and photographers, is being acquired by investment and private equity firm EQT. The EQT Mid Market Europe fund has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake of Freepik from […]
Topics: freemium, global, freepik, graphics, marketplace, digital, content, stock, users, partner, techcrunch, network, acquires, freepiks, eqt, management.
Ecommerce CMS: Why Content Still Reigns and 11 CMS to Get Your Message to Your Potential Customers
It’s hard to dispute the power of the written word. Good content has the power to communicate information, to educate,…
Topics: business, cms, online, wordpress, best, content, ecommerce, store, marketing, management, platform.
Ecommerce Product Releases: February 3, 2022
Twice a month we publish a rundown of new services and products that could help merchants. This installment includes headless commerce, AR, AI, and more.
Topics: releases, fulfillment, catalog, ecommerce, shopping, announced, management, platform, access, product, commerce.
Elastic Path Summer Product Innovation Recap
As the summer continues to wind down and fall begins to creep in, we have a lot of new things to look forward to. Some of us are getting ready to go back into offices; sending our kids back to school; starting new journeys; and long awaiting the normalcy to gather for holidays with our loved ones. But even with all these new beginnings, one thing remains the same, consumers will be SHOPPING - And as such Elastic Path continues to innovate and make updates to our products to ensure that brands are able to provide the best eCommerce shopping experiences for their customers.
This summer at Elastic Path, we focused primarily on enhancing existing feature capabilities within Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. These enhancements address a variety of concerns from locale support to advanced pricing. While we have made a plethora of changes, this article focuses on the major updates to the solution. These include:
The Launch of Catalog Composer
Account Management Enhancements
Advanced Pricing Support
Product Content Management Enhancements
And Promotion Enhancements.
With the release of these new innovations, Elastic Path is making it easy to support your complex eCommerce strategy across multiple business models such as B2C, B2B, B2B2C, and DTC. Learn more about all of our product innovations here.
The traditional catalog management we see today was built over a decade ago, before brands had even begun to think about addressing multiple geographies, deploying multiple touchpoints, and launching multiple brands all under one umbrella. Therefore, there’s no surprise why addressing the aforementioned concerns have been so difficult. Traditional catalog management, until today, has been extremely rigid, and usually results in brands spending excessive time and money to customize their unique catalog needs, only to still delay time to market and hold back the organization.
Catalog Composer by Elastic Path, previously introduced as a part of Product Content Management in March, alleviates these complexities by leveraging the industry’s only decoupled catalog architecture, to empower brands to rapidly compose and continuously optimize products and pricing into unlimited, unique catalogs across all your routes-to-market such as multiple brands, accounts, geographies, touchpoints, and business models. Catalog Composer will be key in managing catalogs across your B2B, B2C and B2B2C business models 5x faster than any other eCommerce solution.
Learn more about Catalog Composer
Account Management Enhancements
Elastic Path Commerce Cloud previously only leveraged Open ID Connect to enable user authentication with external identity providers such as Okta and Ping. However, we have now implemented a new password profile support that enables users to log in using a username and password, instead of only relying on an OpenID Connect profile. Now your team has the ability to create user authentication info to be associated with either Password Profiles or OpenID Connect Profiles. These APIs can also be used for account member authentication.
Explore more about Account Members with Password Profiles
Advanced Pricing Support
In a competitive market, eCommerce owners are always thinking of ways to stay ahead of the competition and increase their value. One such way we see this done is by deploying a variety of pricing strategies. Elastic Path has released both Volume Pricing and Sales Pricing to help with your strategies.
Volume Pricing now allows you to offer different pricing for minimum quantities of items that your customer purchases. This means when a customer has added a sufficient quantity of an item and meets the minimum quantity specified, all items in that cart will be discounted.
On the other hand, Sales Pricing grants you the ability to advance-schedule the specific time and date for sale prices books to go live. This will be great for stores that want to schedule season pricing in products without creating a new pricebook or catalog request.
Explore more about Volume and Sales Pricing
Product Content Management Enhancements
Since the launch of Product Content Management, customers have found it so easy to import, enrich and organize their product data in one central location. To make Product Content Management more customizable, we have added templates and attributes to configurations, support for multi-byte languages and locale support. Templates and attributes allow you to attach a specific set of custom fields to your products in Product Content Management. Multi-byte language support extends Product Content Management to support languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters, making your offered languages more inclusive. And lastly, locale support allows you to localize product names, descriptions and other strings if your store supports multiple languages.
Explore more about Product Content Management enhancements
Promotional offers play a major role in a customer’s shopping cycle and can make a significant difference in cart value. Elastic Path has updated and added new promotions to be offered throughout your eCommerce journey.
Bundle Discount - Bundle discounts allow your team to offer bulk discounts when selected products are purchased together.
Free Gift Discount - Free Gift discounts allow your teams to offer a free item when a specific product or a group of products are purchased.
Usage Per Line Item - Usage Per Line Item promotions grant your team the ability to set usage per line item for all promotion times. This allows you to limit the buyer to use the promotion for a specific number of times.
Max Application Per Cart Limit- This promotion update allows your team to limit the quantity available for purchase at the promotion price.
Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is equipped with a variety of other promotions that you can explore here.
We are thrilled to continue innovating here at Elastic Path. If you would like to keep up to date on our newest product innovations, explore our product innovation page for major updates and our product changelog for all major and minor updates.
Topics: elastic, product, content, summer, multiple, path, recap, innovation, management, catalog, support, pricing, products.
Everything You Need To Know About Performance Appraisals
As a manager, your ability to inform your teams about the successful high-impact behaviors they exhibit or skills that need further development is a critical practice in determining your business’ overall ability to reach its goals and find success.
Topics: commentspositive, work, management, need, employees, improvement, performance, appraisals, manager, appraisal, meet, employee, know.
Everything You Need to Know About Contact Management
You probably have thousands upon thousands of contacts in your database. With all those contacts to keep track of, you need all the help you can get when it comes to managing your vast contact network.
Topics: contacts, information, contact, database, tool, need, know, management, crm, business, data.
Five ways eprocurement can revolutionize supply chain management
eProcurement platforms allow businesses to rationalize supply chain and eProcurement processes, providing greater accountability and facilitating collaborative supplier relationships. EProcurement on its own isn’t a complete solution to supply chain cost management, but it is an essential component in creating collaborative supplier relationships, reducing error, and taking control of spending and procurement.
Topics: relationships, revolutionize, supply, procurement, eprocurement, spending, management, supplier, platforms, businesses, ways, chain.
Francisco Partners acquires Consignor Group
Consignor Group, a Nordic delivery management software company, has been acquired by Francisco Partners. The private equity firm pays 1.5 billion Norwegian kroner (almost 140 million euros) for the deal. Founder Peter Thomsen will continue as CEO and a 30 percent shareholder in Consignor Group. Thomsen founded Consignor in Oslo,… Continue reading
Topics: ecommerce, nordic, management, company, thomsen, delivery, consignor, acquires, partners, group, francisco, software.
From bootstrapped to a $2.1B valuation, ReCharge raises $227M for subscription management platform
ReCharge, a provider of subscription management software for e-commerce, announced today that it has raised $227 million in a Series B growth round at a $2.1 billion valuation. Summit Partners, ICONIQ Growth and Bain Capital Ventures provided the capital. Notably, Santa Monica, California-based ReCharge was bootstrapped for several years before raising $50 million in a […]
Topics: customers, growth, techcrunch, oconnor, million, management, raises, subscriptions, valuation, platform, bootstrapped, saw, 21b, subscription, products, 227m, ecommerce, recharge.
Get guaranteed rent for your home from new startup Doorstead
Missing out on a month’s rent because you can’t find a tenant is a huge loss. Searching for someone to fill a home takes work, while property managers are incentivized to price your place too high, leading to costly vacancies. But new startup Doorstead wants to take on the risk and the work for you. […]
Topics: property, management, owners, rent, tenants, startup, waliany, days, doorstead, techcrunch, offer, guaranteed.
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
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.
Headless Commerce: A Digital Differentiator
When anything loses its head, the results are typically less than pleasant, but that’s not the case with headless commerce. Read on to learn why many merchants are warming up to the idea.
Topics: management, apis, approach, digital, commerce, differentiator, development, headless, ecommerce, experience, merchants.
How Brand Management Has a Direct Impact on Your Bottom Line
If your business was a person, your brand would be its personality. It’d be how you introduce yourself to new friends (er, customers) and how you build a trusting relationship with them. Your brand is a living, breathing entity … and it’s your job to help it grow and improve.
Topics: include, notable, brand, management, line, branding, assets, company, impact, agency, marketing, direct, customers.
How Broadcast Journalism Helped Me Pivot to Social Media Management
Pivoting from a career in broadcast journalism was a big decision for me.
Topics: pivot, management, comes, helped, broadcast, writing, social, im, journalism, content, marketing, media, learned.
How HubSpot Manages a Giant Website With a Tiny Team
I can’t write a single line of code.
So, it was a big surprise to me when I was asked to lead our new global web strategy team three years ago.
Topics: manages, team, strategy, pages, web, management, website, user, giant, tiny, business, hubspot, conversion, site.
How To Get Ahead of The Competition with Easy-to-Launch eCommerce Subscription Services ?
Prior to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a shift in customer buying habits, as more and more shoppers were in search for convenience and preferred to complete their purchases online. So it’s no surprise that after the COVID-19 stay-at-home measures were implemented, the demand for online subscription services spiked. Shoppers fell in love with the ease and convenience of online shopping for their favorite products and having it automatically delivered to their door steps, without putting their health at risk. In 2020 alone we saw a 48% increase in subscription enrollment, with $3 Billion in orders in the physical goods eCommerce subscription space, with no signs of it slowing down even after the end of the pandemic.
As such, it is a great time for retailers to enter the market and add subscriptions services to their existing physical products or simply start from scratch. By deploying subscription services, it puts brands in an ideal position to drive predictable and sustained revenue, while also generating increased customer loyalty with more affordable buying options. Gartner even predicts that, “By 2024, leading commerce organizations will generate 10% of online revenue from services, such as subscriptions, attached to physical products.” However, they also state that while “75% of organizations selling direct to consumer will offer subscriptions services by 2023, only 20% will succeed in increasing customer retention.”
Why’s that you may ask?
Firstly, while consumers are easily enticed to purchase subscription services, they tend to cancel those that don’t create extended value and deliver superior end-to-end user experiences. Once they find that the subscription is too limited, they often aren’t able to justify the value and cancel, leading to a high churn rate for brands.
And secondly, it’s difficult for brands to continuously drive convenience, offer personalized and curated choices, and grant exclusive access for their subscription services, when they leverage traditional out-of-the-box subscription management solutions. These types of solutions lack the flexibility to create personalized subscription experiences or are excessively expensive and time consuming to do so. This leaves brands incapable of keeping up with customer demands, which leads to high churn.
So how should brands who are interested in entering the subscription services market go about doing so? In this article, we will dive into understanding if you need a subscription management solution and explain how Elastic Path can help businesses excel when launching subscription management services, thanks to our newly launched Pre-Composed SolutionsTM for Subscriptions.
Do You Need A Subscription Management Solution?
It’s important to first understand if your business even needs a subscription management solution. Oftentimes, brands think they need a “subscription management” solution, when what they really need is a “recurring billing” service. These terms are used interchangeably quite often, even though they serve different purposes.
Subscription management is the organization and oversight of the interaction between the business and its customers. This could include:
Handling customer information and communications
Customizing precise subscription packages
Managing bundles and promotions
Providing access to customer analytics and more.
While recurring billing is the process of:
Generating periodic invoices for customers
Tracking and collecting payments on a predetermined basis
And storing payment information
So as you can see, the two are indeed not the same, but are actually complementary to each other. However, when paired together, they do create a good solution for both managing the services, and what we might see as the most important part, collecting payments that go towards your revenue.
Therefore, if you’re the type of brand that is just looking for a way to allow your customers to sign up with their payment credentials, and have a payment be automatically collected for a specified period, then a standalone recurring billing service may be right for you.
However, if you’re the type of brand that is interested in:
Developing schematic pricing
Offering limited exclusive discounts
Leveraging dunning management to communicate with customers
Customizing customer-specific subscription bundles
And integrating with an eCommerce solution that allows you to create a unique shopping experience
Then a subscription management service may be right for you. So how can you get started and get up and running quickly? With the new Pre-Composed Solution™ for Subscriptions built by our partner Pixie Labs.
New: Pre-Composed Solution™ for Subscriptions
At Elastic Path, we understand the desire to innovate and test new business ventures quickly, while also minimizing risk. That’s exactly why we offer Pre-Composed SolutionsTM. These business-ready solutions are pre-composed from a combination of Elastic Path commerce capabilities, third-party integrations, and customizations that brands can use to quickly deploy a commerce solution; with greater flexibility and less risk.
Our new Pre-Composed Solution™ for Subscriptions, built by Elastic Path partner, Pixie Labs, on top of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, provides a complete subscription management solution that allows for B2B, B2C, and D2C brands to quickly create and customize unique subscription services for their customers, that drive predictable and scalable revenue channels.
In addition to the Elastic Path core commerce capabilities, this solution comes pre-integrated with:
Stripe for payments
Postmark for email services
And an analytics dashboard
to allow brands to build differentiated subscription services from scratch, or as an addition to their existing Elastic Path implementation.
As previously mentioned, traditional subscription management solutions are often rigid and come predefined, which makes it difficult for brands to create custom subscription services. This Pre-Composed Solution™ reduces the time and complexity of configuring customer-centric subscription services, and thus empowers brands to get ahead of their competition faster. Additionally, the ultimate flexibility of the microservices architecture also enables brands to quickly experiment with new approaches that could give them sustained advantages in their market. Therefore, brands can now feel empowered to create differentiated subscription services that keep their customers engaged and satisfied, allowing them to succeed in increasing customer retention and driving more sustained revenue.
With the joint solution from Pixie Labs and Elastic Path, brands will have access to a complete end-to-end eCommerce subscriptions solution that offers:
Speed to Market: You can get up and running in weeks and update with ease as market demands and product offerings change.
High configurability: You will be able to cater to customer specific subscription preferences that usually involves complex bundling of products, pricing, and promotions.
Sustained and predictable revenue: By offering more cost-effective models to customers through subscription services, you will be able to yield a higher retention rate, which would lead to more predictable revenue.
Reduced Cost: You’ll be able to reduce your overall total cost of ownership by eliminating the need to license multiple software vendors, to achieve your personalized subscription management solution.
We'd love to talk about how this Pre-Composed Solution™ for Subscriptions could help you launch your subscription management services in record time. Reach out today or join us for a live “All Demo-No Pitch” session of this Pre-Composed Solution™ on December 14th. Register Here.
Topics: brands, subscriptions, ecommerce, customer, services, solution, easytolaunch, path, subscription, elastic, management, ahead, precomposed, competition.
How eCommerce Impacts B2B Account Management
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 Create an Editorial Calendar [Examples + Templates]
If you're anything like me, you're consistently working out of at least 20 browser tabs, four journals, a yellow legal pad or two, and a myriad of Post-it notes stuck around your computer monitor.
To the average overseer, it's nothing short of chaos. To the blogger, it's evidence of a (desperate) need for an editorial calendar.
Topics: blog, management, content, create, sheets, google, different, social, team, templates, editorial, calendar, examples.
How to Effectively Manage Leads at Every Stage in Your Sales Funnel
Effective lead management is one of the core principles of any successful business. It means helping the right people become your customers and making it easy for them to buy from you again in the future.
Topics: manage, sync, funnel, lead, data, effectively, effective, leads, team, best, stage, management, right, way, sales.
How to Manage a Remote Team: Your Guide to Virtual Leadership
Managing a team is hard enough in person. But now, managers across the world are faced with the new territory of doing it all online. For some, it’s temporary. But for many, remote teamwork isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future. Even after the dust settles and the pandemic is […]
Topics: teams, best, remote, managing, need, virtual, leadership, guide, tools, manage, way, management, things, team.
Inventory Management 101: The Short Guide for Ecommerce Entrepreneurs
In this post, you'll learn about all the most popular inventory management systems and how to implement them in your ecommerce business, big or small.
Topics: order, sales, businesses, management, store, stock, inventory, demand, using, products, system, ecommerce.
Is chargeback management part of your holiday commerce strategy?
As businesses start to gear up for the peak shopping season, we must not forget to plan for and prevent post-holiday chargebacks. This article will identify the three primary sources for all chargebacks and how to prevent chargebacks before they even happen.
Topics: chargeback, product, commerce, verification, merchants, chargebacks, tools, transaction, management, fraud, holiday, strategy, friendly.
Key Benefits Of An Order Management System
Customer expectations, product demands, and order management systems have changed. As customers increasingly drive the buying journey, merchants must adjust quickly to ensure they are delivering a seamless customer experience in a way that is cost-effective for their businesses. Read more.
Topics: inventory, customer, process, system, customers, business, expect, order, channels, key, benefits, management.
Management by Objectives: Everything You Need to Know
A very famous Cheshire cat once said, "If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there."
Topics: organization, objectives, mbo, goals, employees, performance, specific, understand, management, need, know.
Managing Projects with Gantt Charts
Gantt charts have been around for more than 100 years, but these visual project management tools are still among the best ways to manage deadlines, keeping them on time and on budget.
Topics: path, project, critical, charts, sequence, managing, tasks, projects, management, completed, gantt, floating.
New Release: B2B Account Management
The recent release of Account Management for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud empowers B2B brands with the core functionality needed to support the account structures that their businesses require to perform at scale and the B2B shopping experiences that their buyers expect.
This release provides the following capabilities
Ability to create, view, and edit accounts (Seller Admin)
Ability to add, view, and edit users to the accounts (Seller Admin)
Ability to create orders and view order history for their account (B2B Buyers)
These capabilities enable B2B brands to support B2B shopping experiences where buyers are transacting on behalf of their organization. Consider a B2B faucet manufacturer (Seller) and big-box retailer (Buyer). The seller can create an account for a big-box retailer and add multiple account members e.g., John and Jane to that account. After John and Jane create orders for their account, they can view account order history which will include orders from both John and Jane.
The APIs in this release are labelled Beta. These APIs provide early access into the Account Management functionality and enable Elastic Path customers to provide feedback earlier in the development process, before the APIs are finalized. Customer feedback is important to us, as it helps us better understand functional requirements and address problems early.
We plan to add features incrementally and release frequently. Soon you can expect dashboard support for managing accounts. Today account members can login using OpenID Connect, soon they will be able to login using username and password. These are just a couple of examples of what’s next. As new features are released, they will be added to Elastic Path Commerce Cloud changelog.
With Account Management capabilities brands and B2B buyers can more effectively manage their B2B transactions. Use the postman collection to try these new Account Management APIs. Additional details on this new feature can be found in the documentation.
Topics: account, seller, create, path, release, b2b, management, apis, support, view.
New Release: B2B Account Management Enhancements
Following the recent blog for the release of Account Management for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, we've now added support so you can start managing your accounts within Commerce Manager, the ability to allow account members to login via a username and password, and support for Addresses for an account.
Commerce Manager Support
We first released Account Management via our beta APIs, this most recent release brings the following capabilities into Commerce Manager, our business-user tooling, for Seller Admins:
Ability to create, view, and edit accounts
Ability to view members of the account added via the api
Ability to view orders of the account
Ability to create, view, and edit addresses for the account
The above capabilities now enable you to set up accounts from Commerce Manager which can be leveraged in your storefront and other touchpoints.
Consider a B2B hardware manufacturer (Seller) and a big-box retailer (Buyer). The hardware manufacturer can now manage accounts in Commerce Manager creating an account for the big-box retailer, additionally an address can be added for use in the checkout process.
The seller can now add account members John and Jane to the account created, via the api. After John and Jane create orders for their account, the seller can view the order details for both John and Jane from within Commerce Manager.
Username and Password APIs
We've also added the support for account members to log in via username and password in addition to the previous login using OpenID Connect. The new capabilities include:
Ability to create, view, and edit password profiles for an authentication realm
Ability to create, view, and edit user authentication info to an authentication realm
Ability to add, view, and edit password profiles for a user
Ability to add, view, and edit OpenID Connect profiles for a user
With these new capabilities, you can now enable account members to authenticate via username and password. This allows you to get started with Account Management without setting up an OpenID Connect Provider for authentication, making it easier to start using Account Management and saving some time in your busy day.
For a more detailed guide on how to do this check out our How-To guide for Adding Accounts and Account Members.
We will be continuing to add features incrementally and release them frequently. You can soon expect to be able to add account members from within Commerce Manager. We'll also be adding Events and Webhooks support for Account Management APIs.
As new features are released, they will be added to the Elastic Path Commerce Cloud changelog, so, make sure to keep an eye out for that!
With these new Account Management capabilities B2B brands and buyers can more effectively manage their transactions. Use the postman collection to try out these new APIs. Additional details on these features are available in the documentation for both Commerce Manager and APIs.
Beta API Reminder
The APIs in this release are labelled Beta. These APIs provide early access into the Account Management functionality and enable Elastic Path customers to provide feedback earlier in the development process, before the APIs are finalized. Customer feedback is important to us, as it helps us better understand functional requirements and address problems early.
Topics: commerce, b2b, management, account, members, edit, create, view, capabilities, enhancements, manager, password, release.
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.
Optimizing Your Magento Commerce Site for the 2019 Holiday Season
Tips that Merchants who use Magento Commerce should consider employing to ensure a robust digital holiday season
Topics: cloud, advantage, season, magento, holiday, article, deployment, site, management, commerce, digital, optimizing.
Order Management Systems: How to Pick the Best OMS for Ecommerce
In ecommerce, the merchant and the customer share a common goal: to get the product from customer order entry to…
Topics: orders, customer, management, system, shipping, choose, ecommerce, oms, best, business, order, inventory.
Parrot, a tool for digitizing Mexico’s restaurants, takes in $9.5M
ParrotConnect is a point-of-sale software for restaurants enabling them to digitize and take advantage of the home delivery boom to accelerate growth.
Topics: working, operations, 95m, cebrián, restaurants, tool, parrot, mexico, management, company, parrotconnect, takes, mexicos, pointofsale, techcrunch, software, digitizing.
Personality Tests: a Gimmick or Helpful Management Tool?
My coworkers and I love personality tests. We share them with each other to have fun and get to know each other — an important task since half of our team is remote and sprinkled across the country.
Topics: tool, team, results, tests, personality, gimmick, candidate, seriously, fun, employees, management, helpful, test, theyre.
Product Content Management & Merchandising: Product Design
Merchandisers: We see you. Our goal at Elastic Path is to solve your eCommerce problems. As merchandizers you are tasked with maintaining product and responding to customer and business demand through analysis and insights. No easy feat, especially now more than ever in a highly competitive digital commerce landscape with half the time to complete twice the tasks.
UX/UI Informed Design
We lean on best practices when designing products for the busy merchandiser such as the proven tenets of User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design.
I like to think of UX/UI design as an iceberg. Not of the cold, Titanic-leveling variety; but more of a multi-layered and powerful creation that is more than meets the eye.
Think of UX as end-to-end workflow, and UI as usability; or how you interact with the visual components of the platform to accomplish the workflow.
At its surface, the UI gives us the look and feel of the site; both the graphic and visual design to support the branding, and the ease of navigation. But slip down a level into where the UX begins; where functions like scope and structure live, and the all-important strategy; the how you accomplish your business objectives each and every day.
Improve workflows, reduce pain points
As a merchandiser your world is product management, data, and analytics. You have catalogs and price books to manage, promotions, SKUs, and the task of how best to market what you have in what limited time you have to do it.
We study your business needs and create personas to get a better understanding of workflows and how to solve your pain points.
Your daily struggles may involve adjusting categories, setting up repeat promotions, testing changes, or managing data to gain insight into customers’ buying habits. We study these pain points and come up with core design principles for our products that address problems head on; what you’re looking for is a platform to manage all these specific tasks with a high level of flexibility, accuracy, and consistency.
Our success is your success
Our product’s success depends on you. We look at behavioral and attitudinal aspects of how you interact with the product: how fast did you learn a task? How many features did you use? How satisfied were you overall with its performance? We may also look at a system usability score (SUS) or a net promoter score (NPS) to gauge and further document satisfaction.
Always improving always testing
From there we work to improve the product. How can we improve on existing features in the long and short term like account management, data visualization, promotions, or how new team members onboard with the platform? Our goal is to continually improve, so you and your customers get the most value from a system that grows with you.
How we partner with our customers
Observation and Contextual Interviewing – We watch, listen, and ask questions to better understand how you’re using the product and directly address needs and gaps
Concept Testing – Your input directly affects product improvement and testing
Customer Success – We have a dedicated team to your feedback and success
What does this mean for merchandisers?
You get the latest in product innovation. Real solutions for your problems, with the full support of our product and customer success teams.
Our new functionality, Catalog Composer, offers more flexibility and speed to manage complex catalogs across brands, geos, touchpoints, and business models 5 times faster than more rigid tools of the past.
You don’t need additional development work, or potentially messy customizations and workarounds to manage multiple catalogs as you scale from week, to month, to year.
I invite you to take a tour and see for yourself the power and flexibility of this tool, and how it can transform your eCommerce playbook.
Topics: products, ux, content, promotions, business, problems, management, merchandising, platform, product, ui, manage, design, success.
Reading List: Ben Houston of ThreeKit
“Reading List” is an occasional series where we ask ecommerce professionals to name some of their favorite books and blogs and tell us why. For this installment, we corresponded with Ben Houston, chief technology officer of ThreeKit.
Topics: product, software, great, reading, clear, ben, houston, list, favorite, management, contains, threekit, book, technology, enterprise.
Reputation Management: How to Protect Your Brand Online in 2021
A positive brand image can undoubtedly influence a consumer's decision to buy a product — and, for virtually every business, building a positive brand image starts online.
Topics: reputation, protect, reviews, customers, brand, management, online, consumers, business, customer, experience.
Rethinking Your Premium Content: How to Build a Guided Learning Course
Are you seeing a lower return of effort for traditional premium content like whitepapers, webinars, ebooks and more?
Topics: management, guided, build, premium, marketing, content, rethinking, users, courses, prospects, learning, course, lms.
Robinhood revives checking with new debit card & 2% interest
This time it actually has insurance. Zero-fee stock-trading app Robinhood is launching Cash Management, a new feature that earns users 2.05% APY interest on uninvested money in their account with the ability to spend it through a special Mastercard debit card. The waitlist opens today in the U.S. with the first users to be admitted […]
Topics: techcrunch, balance, revives, robinhood, apy, minimum, management, interest, checking, users, cash, debit, card.
Salesforce adds integrated order management system to its arsenal
Salesforce certainly has a lot of tools crossing the sales, service and marketing categories, but until today when it announced Lightning Order Management, it lacked an integration layer that allowed companies to work across these systems to manage orders in a seamless way. “This is a new product built from the ground up on the […]
Topics: process, systems, tools, arsenal, integrated, customers, think, techcrunch, system, adds, order, management, service, salesforce.
Should You Use a WordPress CMS for Your Enterprise-Level Website?
Let’s take a trip in time together. We’ll go back to May 2003, when after much fanfare and hundreds of…
Topics: solution, plugins, really, content, cms, sites, product, need, site, enterprise, management, companies, wordpress.
Store Management Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs
Busy store? You can’t find more time in the day, but you can use it better! Get the inside scoop: store management tricks, hacks, & tools to boost efficiency.
Topics: tools, great, youre, busy, order, entrepreneurs, customers, store, tips, inventory, instead, emails, management.
TechCrunch+ roundup: Less VC for SV, 2022 marketing predictions, GTM research strategies
The fact that the Bay Area's share of startup funding is shrinking shouldn't be cause for alarm — it's good news for the entire country.
Topics: customer, management, writes, customers, strategies, gtm, marketing, great, techcrunch, vc, investment, factors, visa, roundup, predictions, research, growth, sv.
The 22 Best iPaaS Vendors for Any Budget
As your business grows and evolves, you'll inevitably find yourself adding more applications to your tech stack. If those applications run on different platforms and can't communicate effectively, you're going to run into issues with data loss, duplication of efforts, and bottlenecks that slow your team down.
Topics: vendors, ipaas, api, offers, budget, management, integration, best, workflows, tool, security, data, integrations.
The 34 Best To Do List Apps for Every Entrepreneur
Productivity is everything for the busy entrepreneur. Especially if you’re flying solo or running things with a small-but-mighty team. But when you’re working for yourself, your to do list never ends. That thing goes on forever. I’m one of those old-school people who likes to write down my to do […]
Topics: reminders, need, management, android, tasks, best, task, app, apps, list, add, entrepreneur, iospricing.
The Heart of Commerce: Product Data Management + Catalog Functionality
The product data management and catalog functionality are the heart of any commerce solution, as they define what can be sold to customers and how quickly new products can be brought to market across different channels. Plus, it's likely that many different teams at an organization, from engineering to merchandising, will be involved in managing products and catalogs. All of this together makes the technology you choose to use for this piece of your commerce strategy extremely important.
But, the majority of commerce platforms, built their catalog functionality 10-20 years ago when the digital needs of brands were simpler than what they are today. At the time of their creation, being online with a simple site was enough to drive revenue growth. Brands didn’t need to power experiences across multiple geos, business models, touchpoints and more – all requiring their own unique catalogs. Plus, product assortments did not change as rapidly and continuously, meaning that speed to launch and optimize products and catalogs was not crucial to an eCommerce team’s success.
This dated functionality is often extremely rigid, both in terms of product data and catalog management. Often these solutions impose their own data structures on the application owner making it time-consuming and cumbersome to upload product data from external sources such as PIM, ERP, or even just spreadsheets. In addition, these solutions often tightly link price books and products meaning that entire catalogs need to be duplicated and customized in order to support a brand’s unique requirements. For brands who need to support multiple catalogs across geos, accounts, business models, brands, and touchpoints the lack of flexibility in these traditional commerce platforms results in time-consuming and expensive workarounds needing to be built, resulting in duplicative efforts, expensive rework, and delayed time to market and revenue.
At Elastic Path, we heard these pain points from our customers and committed to finding an alternative way to manage product data and easily create the unique catalogs you need to drive business growth across multiple routes to market. That’s exactly why we have reinvented product and catalog management, with our new Product Content Management service.
This new addition to our composable, API-first, microservices-based platform, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, was created to make the daily lives of teams responsible for managing products, pricing, and catalogs at branded manufacturers easier. Product Content Management provides the flexibility to use your existing data structure to rapidly compose and continuously optimize products and pricing into unlimited, unique catalogs across all your routes-to-market such as multiple brands, accounts, geographies, touchpoints, business models, and loyalty tiers.
This empowers brands to reduce catalog management time by 5X resulting in more consistent user experiences and faster time to market.
Product Content Management offers the flexibility and ease for brands to:
Import and enhance product data using their existing data schema, decreasing the time it takes to get new products live.
Create hierarchies, such as multi-level categories or lines, based on their unique internal structures instead of having to create expensive customizations.
Manage products and pricing separately allowing for the flexibility to support unique catalogs without custom extensions or manual catalog management.
Compose hierarchies (products) and prices into the unlimited catalogs that meet business needs across geographies, customer accounts, touchpoints, brands and beyond.
Assign rules to catalogs so that they are dynamically surfaced for the right customers at the right time.
With Product Content Management, branded manufacturers have the unlimited flexibility to seamlessly create, customize, and manage the products and catalogs they need to support unique business requirements, including: multiple geographies, business models (B2B, B2C, etc.), customer/account types (rewards customers, tiered customers), brands, touchpoints (kiosk, pop-up, web, etc.), etc. Product Content Management puts the control back in the hands of branded manufacturers so they can confidently support and sell their unique products at the correct price and in the proper experience, decreasing time to market, and powering revenue.
To learn more about how your business could benefit from the flexibility and time-saving simplicity of Product Content Management, contact us today.
Topics: catalogs, catalog, unique, management, content, commerce, brands, flexibility, functionality, business, heart, products, product, data.
The Leader's Guide to Effective Change Management
We're reminded daily about how change is coming, and to succeed in business, we must remain agile. That all makes sense in theory, but in practical application, to change how you operate or serve customers is no small feat.
Topics: management, communication, team, change, guide, leaders, managers, step, way, plan, model, structure, effective.
The Ultimate Guide to Community Management
In today's highly digital and connected society, it's funny to think people can still feel disconnected from others. With so many people who communicate online, behind screens, this connected world can actually feel rather lonely at times.
This goes for personal relationships as well as business relationships — specifically between brands and their customers as well as brands and their employees.
So, what is it that has people feeling a disconnect from others and the companies they do business with?
A lack of community.
Topics: content, social, customers, media, members, guide, ultimate, youre, audience, brand, community, management.
The Ultimate Guide to Performance Management: 5-Step Process and Best Practices
Peter Drucker once described customers as the "most important stakeholders." While this may be true, your customers are dependent on one thing.
Topics: goals, best, employee, important, practices, employees, guide, customers, organization, 5step, performance, management, need, process, ultimate.
This startup solves the management of shipments in your ecommerce or physical store and helps you save up to 70% in logistics expenses
The SkydropX statup has the mission of making shipping management easier for ecommerce and all types of entrepreneurs, giving them access to very competitive parcel prices.
Topics: delivery, parcel, shipments, startup, platform, solves, shipping, tool, save, helps, expenses, logistics, skydropx, entrepreneur, management, store, physical, package, business.
Thumbtack acquires home management startup Setter
Thumbtack, a marketplace where you can hire local professionals for home improvement and other services, is announcing that it has acquired Setter. Founded in 2016, Setter provides its customers with video home checkups conducted by experts, then offers personalized plans for how to address any issues. In a blog post, Thumbtack CEO Marco Zappacosta said […]
Topics: setter, zappacosta, offer, turn, company, wrote, wont, techcrunch, startup, acquires, homeowners, management, thumbtack, consultations.
Tips for Successful Inventory Management
Stop manually counting stock and get rid of annoying spreadsheets. Start handling inventory management like a pro! See the six game-changing tools you need.
Topics: products, youll, stock, tracking, sure, stressfree, inventory, management, business, tools, customers, shop, successful.
Top GDPR Compliance Software
Disclaimer: This blog post is not legal advice for your company to use in complying with EU data privacy laws like the GDPR. Instead, it provides background information to help you better understand the GDPR. This legal information is not the same as legal advice, where an attorney applies the law to your specific circumstances, so we insist that you consult an attorney if you’d like advice on your interpretation of this information or its accuracy.
Topics: consent, management, privacy, personal, apps, storage, manage, data, gdpr, compliance, software.
Want to Be a Better Manager? Work on These 7 Management Skills
You’ve worked hard to become a manager and now you feel ill-prepared. Or perhaps you’ve been in your role for a while and feel stuck, stagnant.
Topics: manager, know, team, youve, employees, empathy, work, management, better, skills, mentor, way.
What Are Content Managers, and How Do You Become One?
Content managers build a company’s content strategy, create targeted and relevant content, and distribute marketing communications to audiences online. They are organized, well-versed in fostering a brand voice, and often know their way around a blog post.
Topics: role, management, know, need, content, manager, skills, marketing, youll, managers.
What a Crisis Manager Does and How to Be a Great One
You may be familiar with the adage, “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.” As much as we don’t want to think about the terrible things that can happen in business and life, negative occurrences are inevitable. Whether it’s a product defect that leads to a recall, a security breach that leaves our customer’s data vulnerable, or violence or disasters in the workplace, bad things are bound to happen at some point.
Topics: does, public, business, employees, management, experience, manager, crisis, identify, great, plan.
What is ISO Certification? ISO Meaning and BigCommerce’s ISO 27001 Achievement
At BigCommerce, we were ecstatic to receive the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification. However, unlike winning an Olympic gold medal in downhill…
Topics: bigcommerces, achievement, security, iso, information, data, bigcommerce, business, meaning, risk, standards, management, certification.
What is a PIM solution? How they work and why you need one.
As a business grows, their product information becomes siloed and dispersed, becoming harder to organize, access, and use. Product attributes, imagery, detailed descriptions, and supplier information eventually become extremely difficult to manage, slowing workflows and impacting customer experiences.
To alleviate this pain point, many brands evaluate Product Information Management (PIM) solutions. Akeneo, a global leader in Product Experience Management solutions, defines PIM as providing “a single place for businesses to collect, manage, and enrich their product information”.
PIM solutions can help businesses overcome some of the major challenges with managing and utilizing product information as they continue to grow. This article delves into how PIM solutions work, some key considerations for businesses looking to implement PIM systems, and the various advantages offered by PIM.
What is a PIM Solution and Why Is It Useful?
Over the past few years, commerce has shifted towards a digital-first approach, with customers demanding more streamlined digital experiences and new options for digital self-service. To adapt to these new trends and prove ROI, Marketing, IT, and Commerce teams are responsible for delivering digitized product information, quickly and clearly. A PIM solution helps brands to manage product information, improving their ability to quickly retrieve and use key data to power digital buying experiences.
Implementing a PIM solution helps a brand ensure that quality data is organized for internal use and multichannel distribution, consolidating relevant product information onto a single platform. With the rapid digitization of sales and continued expansion into new channels, opting for a PIM solution can help connect different channels to preserve product data quality. Some of the key capabilities offered by PIM solutions include:
Improving product data quality across all channels
Tracking product progress and completion
Managing and modifying relationships between products
Collecting data from existing sources
Cleaning and centralizing scattered data
Specifying priorities across different data sources
Enriching product information
Translating product information into different languages
Linking images, media, and documents to different products
Building customized product feeds
Curating and creating product sheets
Analyzing and tracking product performance
Marketers, eCommerce Managers, and Data Analytics teams can all utilize PIM to collect, enrich, streamline, and improve product information and data across multiple channels. This can significantly improve customer experiences, while helping businesses gain an edge over their competitors by getting to market quicker while reducing overheads and wasted resources.
How does PIM work?
A PIM Solution collects, manages, and enriches data in a single place. The figure below visualizes how PIM works at a high level.
Product information and data is collected from various internal and external data sources, ranging from ERP systems to suppliers.
The information is loaded into the PIM solution, which allows users to enrich, maintain, and translate the data
User management tools, business rules, and validation workflows support the enrichment and maintenance of data
Product information can then be distributed to various commerce channels, including eCommerce platforms, marketplace listings, and mobile applications
A PIM uses various data types, such as:
Technical Data – Specifications and measures (e.g. - material, colors, ingredients
Usage Data – Descriptions (e.g. – how-to, where-used)
Emotional Data – Product stories and rich descriptions (e.g. – imagery that builds strong, emotional connections with buyers)
Media Files – Images, PDFs, Videos
Businesses typically have a large amount of different types of data that support a single product throughout its lifecycle. Using a PIM system helps streamline product information management and speeds up the process between retrieving, improving, and displaying the data. For example, a PIM system can load descriptive product information that uses a combination of emotional data and media files as content into a catalog management solution.
Here, products may be grouped into target markets, based on usage and technical data. Some of the key information that businesses can use a PIM to manage include:
Essential Product Data – SKUs, product names, product descriptions, UPCs
Marketing Data – Keywords, target personas, SEO elements
Design Specifications – Style sheets, assembly instructions
Channel Information – Google categories, mobile descriptions
Supplier Manufacturer Data – Spreadsheets, certifications, bills
Who needs a PIM Solution?
PIM Solutions can be useful to all types of brands, B2C, B2B2C, or B2B, who aim to deliver frictionless, consistent, and engaging digital experiences that drive growth and improve their relationships with customers.
Implementing a PIM solution can help streamline data across different channels. This is particularly useful for marketing, merchandising, and product management teams, as siloed and fragmented data can make it difficult to obtain and present a clear view of product information.
Companies that anticipate or are currently entering a growth phase should particularly consider PIM solutions. With new customers and expansion into different channels, information will become increasingly scattered and siloed. As a result of this, teams may waste time and resources on managing and maintaining product data, both internally and with external groups.
Additionally, firms that are currently struggling with managing product information or are spending excessive time and resources on managing data should also look to PIM as an effective method to collecting and cleaning their data. This will help to avoid missed opportunities, lost revenue, and falling market share to competitors.
Some of the specific individuals that should consider a PIM software are:
Marketers looking to deliver a consistent omni-channel product experience
eCommerce Managers that want to prioritize product data quality to drive online sales
Retailers hoping to strengthen or create relationships with suppliers
Brands attempting to build or boost customer loyalty and satisfaction
Managers seeking methods to reduce overheads and wasted resources
Data Governance teams who want to track and meet compliance needs
Strategy experts considering new approaches to get to market faster than competitors
Sales teams that aim to sell more through better content and data accessibility
Product Content Management with Elastic Path
At Elastic Path our Product Content Management capability offers many of the core features of a PIM solution including data consolidation, enrichment, organization, and syndication. While it does not include robust workflow functionality, the core set of features are sufficient to meet the needs of many brands evaluating a PIM solution.
Plus, since it is part of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud product it seamlessly works with our Catalog Composer capability, enabling brands to create the unique and complex product- centric experiences their business needs.
Key Statistics and Additional Benefits of using a PIM
PIM has grown rapidly over the past few years, and more companies are expected to adopt PIM in the future. Customers’ expectations for high quality, thorough, and accurate product information is expected to rise, and companies are investing in PIM to meet these demands.
Furthermore, compared to IT-led Master Data Management (MDM) initiatives, implementing a PIM system is faster and more cost effective, simultaneously offering a myriad of measurable business benefits. Below are some statistics that highlight the growth of and key trends in PIM:
The PIM category has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 25.3%, reaching over $15 Billion dollars in 2021
The global PIM market is projected to reach $59.25 billion by 2027
Asia-Pacific is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR of 28.3%
PIM Software has been projected to be one of the most lucrative segments in the 2020-forecast period
The emergence of COVID-19 is expected to increase the demand for and growth of PIM
Cloud-based PIM solutions are expected to grow at the highest rate during the 2020-forecast period
PIM automates up to 80% of typical manual tasks
With its anticipate growth and the efficiencies it offers, PIM provides teams with the ability to enrich their product information, keep it clean and consistent, and improve customer experiences. Some additional benefits of utilizing PIM are:
Increasing sales conversion rates: Higher quality data that incorporates different data types can boost customer conversion rates. Using a PIM solution can further help marketing teams make media and product descriptions specific to different channels.
Improved customization: Firms can use PIM solutions to scale more effectively, as product experiences can be tailored and customized to match the specific needs and profiles of different customers.
Boosted speed: PIM tools provide companies with a competitive edge, enabling them to streamline data collection and product information enrichment processes to get to market more quickly.
Support for growth: As companies scale and grow, data becomes increasingly scattered and siloed. Implementing a PIM system early on can help brands avoid missing out on opportunities and wasting resources as data management becomes harder with anticipated growth.
Decreased product returns: Research shows that incomplete or inaccurate product information are the key drivers of product returns. Product returns can increase costs and can cause a firm to lose customers; PIM reduces return rates by eliminating data errors and using validation processes to help deliver complete and correct information.
Higher team productivity: PIM solutions automate many manual tasks, helping product marketing teams focus on building strong and compelling product descriptions. PIM systems also support the enrichment of data through built-in workflows, improving collaboration and productivity across different departments.
Catalyzing expansion: By reducing the amount of time spent on managing current products and existing data, teams have more opportunities to research and innovate. PIM solutions provide the tools needed for omnichannel marketing, while also offering translation, review, and publishing tools to support entry into new regions or markets.
PIM is changing the game
For many brands, a PIM solution can be a game changer. By solving common data and information management issues, providing a variety of tools for expansion and customization, and supporting productivity across different teams, PIM can help firms improve current processes and create high-quality product data.
Deploying a PIM can improve the level of control, organization, and speed within your marketing team, whether your firm is a B2B or B2C. The PIM market is expected to continue its rapid growth, and more and more firms are adopting a PIM solution that fits the needs of their organization.
Implementing a PIM solution early on can support your firms growth and support future expansion, simultaneously improving customer experiences, retention, and brand image.
Topics: management, need, solution, information, teams, solutions, work, growth, pim, data, product, different.
WooCommerce 4.0: Better, More Efficient Store Management
WooCommerce 4.0 is here! Read all about the new, streamlined dashboard, time-saving store management tools, and enhanced reporting and analytics.
Topics: update, woocommerce, store, efficient, data, tools, way, reports, reporting, better, management.
Working Remotely? Try These 35 Tools for Better Communication, Collaboration & Organization
Today, you and your team are expected to perform at the same level no matter where you're working from.
Topics: tools, allows, try, create, remotely, work, management, remote, better, team, collaboration, working, project, platform, organization, google, communication.
Your CMS Is NSFW
Marketers have a secret -- we hate our CMSes.
Topics: experience, need, website, nsfw, site, content, marketers, businesses, teams, management, cms.