Top 2023 resources on platforms
Best platforms resource in 2023.
Learn more about platforms to improve your e-commerce strategy.
10 Social Media Trends Marketers Should Watch in 2022 [Data + Expert Tips]
Over the past two years, we've seen a shift in the way brands promote their products or services on social media.
Topics: expert, marketing, social, content, tips, brands, brand, media, watch, data, audiences, platforms, marketers, trends.
100ms secures $20M to power next generation of live video apps
Live video conferencing infrastructure startup 100ms, based in India and the U.S., has raised $20 million in Series A funding to power the next generation of live video apps, coming barely five months after closing a seed round. This latest round was led by Falcon Edge’s Alpha Wave Incubation, with participation from Matrix Partners India […]
Topics: startup, infrastructure, online, platforms, techcrunch, live, 20m, apps, secures, 100ms, power, video, generation, months, product, build.
11 Platforms for Headless Commerce
Headless commerce separates the frontend from the backend of a brand's web presence, in an API-first architecture. Headless technology can provide significant advantages in design and performance. Here is a list of platforms that facilitate a headless approach for ecommerce merchants.
Topics: platforms, ecommerce, frontend, headless, platform, provides, commerce, backend, storefront, api, content.
13 Platforms for Blogging
A blog can help establish expertise and drive consistent traffic. Here is a rundown of 13 free or nearly free platforms for publishing a blog.
Topics: blog, price, publish, content, free, premium, platforms, start, create, website, platform, blogging.
19 Open Source Ecommerce Platforms
Open-source ecommerce platforms offer businesses a customizable option for launching an online store, with active support communities, how-to resources, and directories of third-party developers.
Topics: platform, free, open, features, online, commerce, multiple, store, offers, opensource, ecommerce, platforms, source.
20 Platforms to Sell Digital Products
Creators and merchants are producing innovative ebooks, courses, software, and more. Here's our all-new update of ecommerce platforms that sell and manage digital goods.
Topics: goods, plans, courses, digital, software, platforms, products, platform, sell, price, start.
20 Social Media Marketing Myths to Leave Behind in 2022
Like any major marketing strategy of the past decade, social media has had plenty of time to accumulate some big myths.
Topics: content, strategy, marketing, myths, social, leave, audience, tiktok, users, platforms, brand, media.
3 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Tailor Their Ecommerce Strategy for Maximum Growth
Ecommerce continues to grow. Here are three things that entrepreneurs need to do in order to find success with it.
Topics: free, strategy, sellers, tailor, growth, ecommerce, online, smbs, consumers, maximum, customers, platforms, shipping, entrepreneurs, shopping, ways.
5 Social Media Challenges Brands are Facing in 2022, According to 500+ Marketers
Topics: challenges, media, marketers, facing, platforms, social, roi, create, content, challenge, creating, according, audience, brands.
8 New Social Media Platforms Marketers Should Watch in 2022
According to 2021 HubSpot Blog Research, most marketers search for new or emerging social media platforms on a weekly or monthly basis.
Topics: media, tiktok, platform, video, marketers, platforms, users, social, app, watch, audience.
A wave of LatAm fintechs are laying down new global commerce rails
When it comes to e-commerce, the world is smaller than ever. Developing a new global financial infrastructure capable of supporting a world dominated by digital commerce is a massive challenge.
Topics: wave, rails, fintechs, america, latam, transactions, merchants, techcrunch, need, latin, payments, ecommerce, different, platforms, commerce, laying, global.
After 20 years of ecommerce, change is the only certainty
Designing, building, and launching a website is just the beginning of an ecommerce business. Attracting and converting visitors is the next, all-important step. A website alone does not guarantee anything. But the most critical factor in long-term success is the ability to change and adapt.
Topics: products, business, platforms, need, site, platform, change, prices, certainty, ecommerce, website.
Amazon and Google face UK CMA probe over fake reviews
The UK’s competition watchdog, the CMA, has opened another investigation into Big Tech — this one targeted at Amazon and Google over how well they handle (or, well, don’t) fake reviews. The Competition and Markets Authority has taken an interest in online reviews for several years, as far back as 2015. It also went after […]
Topics: probe, amazon, action, platforms, google, cma, reviews, face, investigation, example, store, fake, techcrunch, uk.
Apple announces ‘Tap to Pay’ feature that will allow iPhones to accept contactless payments
Apple has announced plans to introduce a new Tap to Pay feature for iPhone that turns the device into a contactless payment terminal. The company says that later this year, U.S. merchants will be able to accept Apple Pay and other contactless payments, including Google Pay, by using an iPhone and a partner-enabled iOS app. […]
Topics: payment, iphones, app, techcrunch, platforms, allow, feature, tap, pay, contactless, announces, payments, apple, merchants, iphone, later.
As post-pandemic e-commerce booms, Rally raises $6M for headless checkout platform
You might have heard of “headless” content management systems, whereby you can run a CMS without being locked into a front-end platform. Well, a similar movement is coming to e-commerce. The latest incarnation of this movement is the news that “headless checkout” startup Rally Commerce Inc. has secured $6 million in seed funding. The wider […]
Topics: merchants, headless, booms, commerce, rally, platform, ecommerce, 6m, funding, postpandemic, checkout, build, raises, platforms, techcrunch, ventures.
Beardbrand’s Technology Stack: Platforms, Apps, Services
An ecommerce company is a collection of platforms, apps, and service providers. That's certainly the case with Beardbrand, the company I launched in 2012. James Wilson is Beardbrand's growth marketing manager. I asked James to describe our technology stack, hoping that the decisions we've made (good and bad) can help other merchants.
Topics: page, beardbrands, google, stack, yes, apps, technology, services, shopify, weve, pretty, platforms, great, website, beardbrand.
Best 10 Virtual Event Platforms To Host Your Next Event
Are you planning a virtual event and not sure which platform to use?
Topics: virtual, features, host, events, registration, looking, platforms, support, youre, best, event, platform.
Best No Code Platforms and Software for 2022
Building new business processes used to be a complicated system of APIs, app development, and endless integrations. But we’re well into the 21st century now. There has to be a better solution for building amazing and automated business systems without…
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Topics: build, software, marketing, youre, code, email, platforms, features, business, website, web, best.
Best Online Course Platforms for Instructors
After months of testing, we have chosen the safest, quickest and simplest to use online course platforms for instructors to create and start selling courses . You'll be able to start selling within a few hours – with no programming…
Continue reading Best Online Course Platforms for Instructors
Topics: reeves, instructors, ethics, start, online, selling, course, sons, page, platforms, link, limited, subscribe, service, best.
Best SMS Marketing Software : Top SMS Marketing Platforms for 2022
Just about everyone uses a mobile phone regularly these days, which makes SMS the perfect platform for marketing products and…
Topics: platforms, send, customers, marketing, campaigns, customer, text, messages, best, software, sms.
BigCommerce Named a Strong Performer Among B2B and B2C Ecommerce Platforms by Industry Report
At BigCommerce, we strive to provide the best tools and resources to help merchants across the world make the most…
Topics: strong, b2c, different, wave, ecommerce, named, industry, categories, b2b, tools, platforms, performer, trusted, report, forrester, bigcommerce.
Can I Run Multiple Digital Business Models With One Commerce Platform?
Over the last year at Elastic Path, we have seen more and more brands who need to run digital commerce for multiple business models. Whether they are a B2B business launching D2C for the first time, or a D2C brand getting into B2B2C for the first time, more and more companies are looking for solutions to help them power all routes-to-market. In this post we will:
Explore this trend
Discuss why Salesforce Commerce Cloud struggles to support multiple business
Explain how we support all routes-to-market with one platform at Elastic Path
The State of the Market: Majority of Brands Power Multiple Models
And we aren’t the only ones witnessing this trend. In Gartner’s latest “Survey Analysis: Digital Commerce Revenue Skyrockets With B2B Surpassing B2C” report, they share the same phenomenon. According to their analysis:
67% of respondents are doing both B2B & B2C in some capacity.
What Is Causing This Shift?
Based on what we have seen and industry analysis, I think there are a few reasons why brands are embracing multiple business models:
Opportunity to Drive Revenue: If you are able to successfully launch and manage multiple digital business models at once, your total addressable market increases. This means you have more people to sell to and therefore more revenue to collect. Of course, running multiple models will increase your total cost, but if done correctly, your margin will increase too.
Increased Acceptance of Digital: I sound like a broken record but, the Pandemic encouraged plenty of buyers and customers to come online for the first time ever. This is especially true for many B2B businesses who previously never had digital channels. With the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic more B2B brands were forced into figuring out digital commerce since it was the only way to connect with their buyers. Since then, we have seen many of these brands updating or enhancing their eCommerce technology to meet new needs.
Ability to Leverage Existing Resources: While adding a new business model to your digital commerce strategy will always involve some effort, you have the benefit of being able to maximize existing resources. This includes everything from your existing supply chain to the technology that you have invested in and implemented. More often than not, these resources can be repurposed in some way when adding a new business model.
What is the Difference Between Salesforce Commerce Cloud & Elastic Path Commerce Cloud?
Salesforce Commerce Cloud customers are turning to Elastic Path for a single platform for support their entire commerce strategy across B2B, D2C, and B2B2C.
See the Comparison
Finding a Commerce Platform to Support Multiple Business Models
I decided to write this blog because, as previously mentioned, we have seen a huge uptick in the number of brands specifically looking to run digital commerce for multiple business models. This means that we have been answering many questions about how we do this at Elastic Path versus how other commerce platforms do it. Consistently, this question seems to be focused around a Salesforce Commerce Cloud comparison. For the rest of this blog, I will speak to that in detail.
Unpacking How Salesforce Supports Multiple Business Models
At Salesforce, they have four separate platforms commerce. First, there are two B2B platforms, one comes from the Cloudcraze acquisition and one is an updated B2B commerce solution built on Salesforce Lightning (a component-based framework for app development) that will eventually replace Cloudcraze. Second, there are also two B2C platforms. The most famous is the acquired Demandware technology which is not, and never will be, built on Lightning since it is a legacy stack. Salesforce has also built a specific platform on lightning for B2B brands who want to add D2C. Plus, if you want to use CPQ, that is an entirely separate purchase not included in any of the above mentioned solutions. Are you confused yet?
In short, this means that the vast majority of brands will have to select and work with two separate platforms. There are some key challenges with this approach:
Multiple Disparate Commerce Teams: when you have separate platforms, you generally need separate teams with differing types of experience to run each technology. This can create a silo internally which, unfortunately, often leads to inconsistent branding experiences externally. And, while B2B and B2C experiences should be different, they should have some aspect of branding continuity across them.
Confusion: having multiple solutions can complicate internal communications, strategy conversations, and general organization. Often times managing these totally separate, but related, platforms creates confusion that interrupts internal productivity.
Cost: While your license cost may be the same whether or not you use one or multiple platforms, you will have to pay double for many other aspects of your strategy. For instance, two implementations, separate customizations across platforms, additional team members to work on each product, and more.
There are some situations where you may be told by Salesforce that you can run both your B2B and B2C commerce on one platform. While it is technically possible, we would urge you to evaluate this approach with caution for a few reasons:
You can technically support lite B2B with the legacy Demandware platform however it has severe limitations. A good example of this is that you cannot support true account-based pricing. While tiered accounts are available, it is impossible to set up pricing for different accounts who have specific negotiated pricing. Based on our experience, this is a pretty core feature for B2B brands and not supporting it would be massively detrimental.
On the other hand, you can support a lite B2C site with legacy Cloudcraze but, the storefront is incredibly basic and unlikely to meet the needs of any brand who wants to power B2C digital commerce. And, if you have aspirations to power omnichannel B2C experiences, this platform will simply not be robust enough for your needs.
To summarize, while it is possible to support B2B and B2C with one Salesforce platform, the customer experience you could power for one business model would be very basic and likely involve an extreme amount of custom work to even come close to meeting your requirements.
Unpacking How Elastic Path Supports Multiple Business Models
At Elastic Path we believe that brands should be able to power their commerce business across business models, brands, geographies, campaigns, and channels with one platform. For that reason, we built Elastic Path Commerce Cloud to support every business model a brand may want to power today or launch tomorrow. While customers like Pella Windows & Doors and Hobie Cat power their D2C experiences on Elastic Path, others like eMed are selling their B2B products using the same platform.
There are two key capabilities that make this possible. First, our Product Content Management capability allows brands to import, enrich, and organize their product data in whatever way suits them. This means that you can bring in product data for both B2B and B2C models (if different) from whatever external sources that you may have. Then, you can create unique pricebooks per model, or even per account in a B2B scenario. You have the ultimate flexibility to assign multiple pricebooks to the same product so that a B2C customer would pay $20, but B2B Customer A would pay $18 and B2B Customer B would pay $16. This is all brought to life by our Catalog Composer capability which allows you to compose unlimited catalogs from products assortments (known as hierarchies) and price books. These two capabilities give brands the flexibility to manage products, prices, and catalogs to support any business model from one place.
And, for those who are concerned about how to get started with a Composable Commerce approach, at Elastic path we have Pre-Composed Solutions™ for B2B, B2C, and D2C to help you quickly launch with any business model. Pre-Composed Solutions™ are business-ready, complete solutions built on top of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud that pre-integrated core commerce capabilities, third party solutions (like search, CMS, and personalization), and any other customizations to bring a specific use case or business model to life in record time. By removing the manual effort of composing, or integrating, multiple technologies, these solutions minimize the risk of a Composable Commerce approach. Especially for those who need to power multiple business models.
To summarize, for any brand who currently runs multiple business models across digital channels, or for brands who plan to expand their digital routes-to-market in the future, I would encourage you to choose a digital commerce platform that makes supporting multiple business models as simple as possible. If you aren’t sure how to get started, one of our commerce experts would be happy to walk through your digital commerce strategy and provide some suggestions.
Topics: run, elastic, business, b2c, digital, commerce, support, brands, platform, b2b, platforms, multiple, models.
Checkout.com Review (2022) – Fees, Solutions, and Features
There are a host of different payment platforms that you can partner with to process payments for your digital business. However, finding the right one is often difficult, especially when you consider the variable rates and different features offered by…
Continue reading Checkout.com Review (2022) – Fees, Solutions, and Features
Topics: major, risk, solution, fees, platforms, different, support, payment, payments, store, solutions, features, checkoutcom.
Chord.co Founders: Future of DTC Platforms Is Headless
Henry Davis and Bryan Mahoney anticipated in 2018 an avalanche of direct-to-consumer companies that served smaller, niche audiences. Chord, a DTC-first ecommerce platform, is their answer to bringing sophisticated, "headless" technology to smaller firms. "We like to call Chord the first headless platform with a brain," Davis told me.
Topics: platforms, founders, future, dtc, headless, platform, brands, going, content, technology, glossier, chord, thats, chordco, customer.
Cloud Integration: 6 Best Cloud Integration Platforms & Tools
Cloud-based applications make it possible for marketing teams to connect with customers, conduct critical research, and make data-driven decisions that can help boost ROI.
Topics: teams, apps, connect, businesses, data, best, integration, applications, apis, cloud, platforms, tools.
Clubhouse vs. Twitter Spaces (+ How Other Audio Platforms Match Up)
When a new social media app goes viral, you can almost guarantee that at least one of the social tech giants will test a similar, competitive feature.
Topics: match, feature, clubhouse, twitter, live, instagram, spaces, platforms, social, vs, audio, rooms, media.
Cross-Posting in 2022: What Is It & Why You Should Use It
Every year, a new digital platform emerges. In the last year alone, Discord, Twitter Spaces, and Twitch have all become very popular with consumers all around this world.
Topics: content, crossposting, media, cross, platforms, multiple, video, platform, posting, social.
Daily Crunch: Alibaba faces antitrust probe
Chinese authorities investigate an e-commerce giant, Google may be tightening its grip on research and VCs weigh in on the year’s biggest surprises. This is your (briefer than usual) Daily Crunch for December 24, 2020. The big story: Alibaba faces antitrust probe China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said that it’s investigating the e-commerce giant […]
Topics: giant, google, crunch, research, alibaba, grip, company, extra, platforms, vcs, antitrust, daily, faces, probe.
Debunking Myths of SaaS (+ Why Software-as-a-Service is a Viable Option for Enterprise Business)
Inside San Francisco’s largest convention center one March day in 2000, Siebel CRM Systems was hosting a huge conference. Outside,…
Topics: solution, saas, debunking, bigcommerce, myths, software, enterprise, open, source, organizations, ecommerce, platforms.
Did #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt Give Amazon the "Social Commerce" Push It Needed?
It appears that social media platforms and online marketplaces are each heading in each other's direction.
Topics: amazon, tiktokmademebuyit, users, media, marketing, shopping, commerce, tiktok, social, online, inspire, platforms, needed, push, business.
Don’t Overlook Technical SEO in 2021
Good ecommerce and blogging platforms should, by default, take care of most technical search engine optimization concerns. But this doesn't mean B2B and B2C ecommerce companies can ignore technical SEO in 2021.
Topics: overlook, technical, environments, search, ecommerce, seo, dont, product, include, businesses, platforms.
EU’s digital rule-book reboot could fumble dark patterns ban and trader checks, warns BEUC
When the European Commission presented its Digital Services Act (DSA) proposal in December 2020, it listed beefed up consumer protections as a headline goal for the flagship update to the bloc’s rules for digital services. But now, as negotiations over the draft law are in the final stretch, where EU co-legislators hash out the detail […]
Topics: rulebook, council, eu, warns, platforms, online, trader, patterns, marketplaces, fumble, eus, data, techcrunch, dark, dsa, reboot, digital, presidency.
Ecommerce Platforms: Choosing The Best Ecommerce Software For Your Business (Whether You’re A Startup, New Store or Enterprise)
If you’re brand new to ecommerce, determining your ecommerce platform partner which will run 90% of your business is an important, but many times complicated step. There is no “best” platform overall, it really does depend on your specific needs, but you should know exactly what to look for so you can choose the best ecommerce platform for your particular business and business model.
Topics: youre, 2020s, software, store, reviews, business, features, shopify, selling, best, platform, platforms, great, ecommerce, comparison.
Europe urges e-commerce platforms to share data in fight against coronavirus scams
European lawmakers are pressing major e-commerce and media platforms to share more data with each other as a tool to fight rogue traders who are targeting consumers with coronavirus scams. After the pandemic spread to the West, internet platforms were flooded with local ads for PPE of unknown and/or dubious quality and other dubious coronavirus […]
Topics: platforms, scams, coronavirus, techcrunch, urges, today, commission, share, europe, content, consumers, ecommerce, digital, fight, data, illegal, disinformation, pandemic.
Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads: Which is Better for Your Brand?
If you're reading this article, it's likely because you're considering running digital ads.
Topics: platforms, facebook, better, google, search, youre, ads, users, campaign, target, platform, vs, brand.
Find Your Online Marketing Mix: Tools You Need to Succeed
Mix up your online marketing! From free to paid, explore the best tools you need to get noticed, convert visitors into customers, & follow up for maximum impact
Topics: email, need, marketing, online, google, business, mix, platforms, tools, best, succeed, ads, media, customers.
Flyp wants to give power resellers enterprise-grade e-commerce tooling
There is no shortage of platforms out there to sell your old stuff. From thredUp and The RealReal to Facebook Marketplace to eBay, the tech world has long sought to capitalize on the generally wasteful attitude of consumerism over the last half century. But lurking among these platforms is a group not often thought about, […]
Topics: used, wants, inventory, enterprisegrade, resellers, ecommerce, group, ventures, platform, power, tooling, million, startup, techcrunch, flyp, platforms.
France and the Netherlands signal support for EU body to clip the wings of big tech
The French and Dutch governments have signalled support for EU rules that can proactively intervene against so-called gatekeepers, aka “structuring platforms” or “large digital platforms with significant network effects acting as gatekeepers” — or, more colloquially, ‘big tech’. They have also called for a single European body with enforcement powers over such platforms — and […]
Topics: commission, support, techcrunch, wings, france, clip, intervention, market, netherlands, digital, platforms, breaking, press, eu, tech, position, recent, signal, body, rules.
Google partners with Shopify on online shopping expansion
Google today announced it’s partnering with Shopify, giving the e-commerce platform’s more than 1.7 million merchants the ability to reach consumers through Google Search and its other services. The integration will allow merchants to sign up in just a few clicks to have their products appear across Google’s 1 billion “shopping journeys” that take place […]
Topics: integration, search, techcrunch, platforms, online, shopping, googles, shopify, products, google, partners, merchants, expansion.
Government To Introduce Framework To Check Fake Reviews On E-Commerce Platforms By Next Week
The consumer affairs secretary said that, probably, India will be the first country to have developed frameworks for fake review management
Topics: india, entrepreneur, week, framework, consumer, ecommerce, introduce, frameworks, issue, affairs, singh, check, platforms, fake, reviews.
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 vs. Traditional Commerce Platforms
Those who are looking to continuously innovate and improve their customer’s commerce experiences are probably already familiar with the term “headless”. But what is Headless Commerce? How does it differ from a traditional monolith platform? And, which approach is right for your business?
This post will help to answer those questions so that you can decide what type of commerce solution is right for your business.
What is Headless Commerce?
To put it simply, headless commerce” is a term used to describe a software architecture pattern where the frontend code / UI layer (the head) is separated from the backend logic engine (the body), hence “decoupling”.
What is a Traditional Commerce Approach?
A traditional approach to designing complex software involves a monogamous system, based on huge libraries that create internal dependencies to allow their components to work with each other. Typically, the components associated with a traditional model must run in a specific order for the entire system to work as expected.
Understanding the Differences: Headless Commerce vs. Traditional Commerce Solutions
Before exploring which solution is best suited for your business, you need to be very clear on your current digital strategy, the challenges you may be facing, and your goal outcomes. It could be that you have outgrown your existing eCommerce solution. Or perhaps you want to refresh your storefront with something more eye-catching than every other copycat out-of-the-box solution.
A headless commerce solution can offer you flexibility based on a modular architecture to innovate and customize where it really matters for your customers. On the other hand, maybe you need to launch a relatively simple business (small to medium product catalog, with one to two routes to market) ASAP. In this case, a monolith solution might be best for you.
A traditional monolith commerce approach is a proven way to stand up a website for individual sellers and smaller enterprises. Leveraging the ‘out-of-box’ components from Shopify or Magento, for example, is a good option if they suit your business needs.
At this point, you might be thinking, ‘If they have everything I need, what is wrong with a traditional approach?’ Let us break down the ideal use cases of a monolith platform and some of the scenarios where this antiquated approach starts to show signs of crumbling.
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Strengths of a Traditional Monolith Commerce Platform
A core strength of traditional software is that it was built for a single deliverable: an all-in-one, tightly coupled system that is fairly easy to deploy and test. This can be an advantage for smaller organizations without an in-house development team, and without complexities within their product offering or business model.
However, change is inevitable and imminent. When critical updates are needed, it becomes a challenge for the tightly bound front and back ends of a monolith commerce platform. When a change is made to one end, you risk adversely affecting the other and facing shutdown. Changes are costly and time-consuming.
Weaknesses of a Traditional Monolith Commerce Platform
If you intend to continuously optimize your commerce experiences to meet customer needs, you should consider the long-run TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) implications of a monolith when aligning your business-centric goals to the choice of an eCommerce platform.
Moreover, some monolithic software is distributed as packaged applications that are deployed on-premise, and customized to meet individual business needs. Due to the heavy data handling, a full onboarding process with these platforms generally takes, at minimum, six months and involves delegating a trained field engineer to work full-time on a single task
Why Do Some Brands Still Use Rigid Commerce Platforms?
For some, the main problem with headless commerce is the perceived complexity that comes along with unlimited flexibility, the thing that also makes them so powerful. It opens the door to innumerable possibilities for taking creative approach to creating commerce experiences that both delight your customers and allow you to achieve your business goals.
This may be a problem for all those who are used to templates and pre-packaged software that dictates the user experience and takes away the decision-making process. Therefore, headless commerce probably isn't the right choice for you if you're after a more out-of-the-box store where all architectural decisions have been made for you.
When is Headless a Good Choice?
Here are a few scenarios where headless commerce makes the best sense for your business compared to a monolith:
You have growing and complex business requirements, such as multiple brands.
You want a customized solution that can be integrated with existing systems.
You want more opportunities to personalize the experience to customer demands and create increased conversion rates.
You are looking for a solution that is both developer- and admin-friendly.
Decoupling the frontend removes any constraining dependencies with the backend, and opens a free pathway to innovate the frontend without any restrictions. What that means for your company’s frontend developers is they can solely focus on providing highly innovative content without the need to worry about the backend.
In contrast to a monolith or legacy platform, every time an update is needed, or you wish to implement a new feature, all of this can be developed in isolation. In other words, with a headless commerce approach, there is never going to be any site timeout due to development work.
Headless commerce, therefore, gives your teams the flexibility to innovate at an unprecedented pace, reducing your TCO in the long run. Developers love headless commerce, but what about the business side of it? Is it a good idea to invest in headless, and burden customers with potential site timeouts?
Due to a separate display logic, any headless commerce application tends to work faster, is more responsive, and is easier to maintain or update. In some cases, an update to a headless commerce platform may not need a dedicated developer to make these changes, saving the potential resource cost and thereby bringing down the long-run TCO.
A headless approach is also better prepared for localization and translation to reach a global audience. It is also better equipped to add in new Omnichannel experiences like mobile self-checkout or any other experiment your brand wants to explore.
The Path Toward Headless Commerce
Already have a monolith platform in place? Does that mean you are destined to be constrained by what is already on the platform? Thankfully, the answer is no.
Headless commerce will allow you to add already existing business-critical functions or modules into this new approach if you wish. While moving from one monolith to another usually would incur significant down-time and cost, which might be why you are here evaluating your options. Switching away from a monolithic platform to a headless commerce solution provides more flexibility.
With the flexibility of headless commerce, you are able to take a staggered approach to any headless commerce solution where pieces are shifted over in stages, allowing you to slowly migrate to a fully headless solution.
If you’re looking to launch quickly with a best-of-breed approach, we’ve designed Pre-Composed Solutions. These are business-ready solutions that are built on top of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud and pre-integrate core commerce capabilities, 3rd party solutions, and any customizations so brands can quickly deploy headless commerce experiences.
Security & Compliance Issues
Security is at the forefront of any organization, big or small. Your customers trust you with personal information that, if in the wrong hands, leads to disaster. In the U.S. alone, someone becomes the victim of identity theft every 14 seconds. Cybercrime is on the rise as more personal details are stored and shared across devices and systems.
When choosing a headless commerce platform from Elastic Path, you are backed by rigorous security standards you won’t find with other providers. No other competitor has both SOC 2 Type II and HIPPA-enabled compliance. You can rest easier knowing that your customers’ information is safeguarded at all times to the highest established standards.
Consider Talking to an Expert Who Has Been in Your Shoes
Choosing the right commerce platform can be a daunting decision. We know what is at stake when you make changes to an existing solution. But the good news is you are not alone. Our experts are ready to talk with you about what is next and makes the most sense for your eCommerce business today and into the future.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published January 1st, 2019 and has been updated for relevancy on December 9, 2022.
Topics: customers, approach, headless, monolith, commerce, software, vs, solution, platform, platforms, traditional, business.
Headless Microservices vs. 'Retrofitted' Headless
The eCommerce platform market has and continues to evolve as rapidly as customer preferences and expectations. For instance, innovations like curbside pick-up that became popular during Covid-19 are here to stay, and brands need the technology to keep up. While customer expectations continue to rise, many brands find that their traditional eCommerce platform cannot keep up with these drastic shifts in buyer patterns.
Making the necessary optimizations to keep up ends up blowing eCommerce budgets. One alternative to these rigid platforms is headless commerce. But, with more traditional platforms now offering 'headless' solutions, many brands ask us -is there a difference between one headless provider and the next? This post will help answer the questions around the different approaches, and crucially, what solution is right for you?
What is Headless? Are There Different Types of Headless?
In a nutshell, a headless approach is the 'decoupling' of the front-end layer (the customer-facing storefront)and the back-end (where business rules & logic live). This separation empowers brands with the control to customize an experience that best suits your customer across touchpoints.
When headless was pioneered by Elastic Path back in 2012, brands could finally leave their out-of-the-box, traditional platforms that only powered cookie-cutter experiences behind. With headless commerce, they had the flexibility to create unique experiences that would showcase their brand differentiation, accommodate for any complexity or unique requirements, and, most importantly, delight customers.
Fast forward to now, some traditional eCommerce platforms or tightly coupled monoliths are adding in an API layer to offer the core functionality of their back-end services & claiming to provide a 'headless' solution. While they are technically headless, not all headless solutions are the same. The key difference is where these platforms started and how far they can deviate from their foundations.
These 'retrofitted' headless solutions offer a customizable front-end by exposing the core features through an API layer. When compared to headless microservices solutions, they still lack in terms of customizability of the back-end. By contrast, in a headless microservices approach, each microservice in the back end exists as a separate module.
What this means for your business is that you can pick and choose the core commerce capabilities that work best for your goals, and easily compose a solution that includes "best of breed" vendors (like search, OMS, ERP, etc.). Also enabling you to quickly swap core commerce microservices or third-party solutions in and out as customer expectations and business requirements evolve. Continue reading to learn more about the differences between these two approaches.
Retrofitted Headless: A Brief Breakdown
A retrofitted headless solution is perfectly capable of smoothly operating a business model that it was designed for. In most cases, a retrofitted headless solution would fit a solely direct-to-consumer selling model or even a relatively straightforward B2B scenario if what you are looking for is an out-of-the-box approach that meets all your brand's basic needs. A monolithic back-end is excellent when tackling standard processes and issues for businesses with simple requirements or those looking to launch eCommerce for the first time.
Where it does begin to crumble is when new features or customizations for the tightly coupled back end are needed. For example, if your brand needs a specific order flow based on the B2B accounts you have, or if you need to add an option for mobile self-checkout, customization of a retrofitted headless solution will be complex. It would require the support of a dedicated SI or an in-house development team, not a luxury all brands can afford in perpetuity. While a new feature isn't impossible to add onto a retrofitted platform, the costs and time to market implications are drastically different compared to a headless microservices approach.
Even when a new feature is simple enough to add on, the time to launch will be dramatically slower due to the interconnectedness of the tightly coupled back end (the components locked together in the image) of these retrofitted headless solutions. The rigidity of these platforms requires extensive testing of each linked component to ensure a new addition has not broken any of the functionality of any of the other connected components.
Furthermore, the risk of a stop-gap addition like the ones mentioned above or a voice-enabled chatbot not meeting your brand's needs into the future remains high. Without the option to try another offering in a retrofitted headless architecture, your brand could be stuck in a 'what you have is what you get' situation. That is not ideal in a world that continues to move at a break-neck speed, adopts newer technology, and changes in buyer behavior.
A New Approach, Built for the Innovative Brands
On the other hand, a headless microservices solution will allow your brands to achieve evolving goals when it comes to delivering an unparalleled experience for your customers. Each service in a headless microservices architecture is created to operate independently with a set of inputs. Each independent service does not rely on the operations of other separate microservices. Think of them like an independent service, where it takes inputs on one end, and any processes are completed within this independent service with a defined set of outputs at the other end. Add on another microservice, and the two can seamlessly operate based on the consistent inputs and outputs without needing to know or influence the processes in the predecessor (represented by the stand-alone octagons in the image above).
Why should you care? The benefits are threefold:
Flexibility: Pick and choose necessary microservices to achieve your brand's goals, no extra bells & whistles, and the freedom to add or remove microservices as your goals and your customers' needs change.
Scalability: Since each microservice was built to operate without dependencies, each of them will be able to scale seamlessly with the benefits of the cloud.
Speed: With a headless microservices architecture, you can rapidly add microservices to implement new experiences. Or add functionality required in a new geographical market as needed. The extensive development and testing of customizing a retrofitted architecture are no longer an obstacle, allowing your eCommerce team to innovate and, crucially, deliver a stand-out experience for your customers.
Where is the Catch?
Of course, no solution is perfect. While no solution is perfect, some fit needs better than others. A common challenge for embracing a headless microservice solution is re-platforming from your traditional eCommerce platform. The costs and time commitment can feel prohibitive, but many brands overcome this with a staggered implementation approach. This method of slowly replacing pieces of a monolith with microservices is a tried-and-true path for transformation. Another option to overcome long implementation timelines could be leveraging a Pre-Composed Solution TM. These are business-ready solutions that are pre-composed from Elastic Path commerce capabilities, 3rd party integrations, and customizations so that brands can quickly deploy experiences; with greater flexibility and less risk. Browse our Pre-Composed Solutions™ here.
A headless microservices approach comes with potential cost issues as well. When a brand needs several specific third-party microservices implemented to tailor to its model and goals, the costs of each third-party microservice coupled with the implementation costs for each can add up to a significant amount. While the initial purchase price can be high in this scenario -in some cases higher than re-platforming to a retrofitted headless solution- the benefits around Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are proven in the long run. Once adopted, a headless microservices architecture, therefore, negates the need for further costly customizations and lengthy innovation cycles. For a deeper look at TCO and the benefits of a microservices-based headless solution, view our guide.
Ready to explore a headless microservices approach? Give us a shout. We're happy to help guide you through the process of determining what the best fit for you is. Chat with us now on drift at the bottom right corner of your screen or request a demo to see the flexibility, speed, and capabilities of a headless microservices platform today!
Topics: vs, headless, platforms, microservices, brands, solutions, add, solution, ecommerce, approach, retrofitted.
Hot Takes on the Top ERP and Inventory Tools
Scott Scharf is co-founder of Catching Clouds, the leaders in e-commerce accounting that offer a solution for entrepreneurs who struggle with understanding – or even getting – accurate financial information about their business. Scott collaborates with his co-founder and wife, Patti Scharf, who is a CPA that provides the deep accounting expertise, while Scott focuses […]
Topics: platforms, solution, erp, planner, different, tools, hot, implementing, scharf, scott, takes, inventory, ecommerce.
How I Grew the HubSpot Podcast Skill Up Audience by 271% in Two Months
This post is a part of Made @ HubSpot, an internal thought leadership series through which we extract lessons from experiments conducted by our very own HubSpotters.
Topics: podcasts, manager, platform, grew, audience, listening, season, placements, months, platforms, playerfm, skill, podcast, ad, hubspot.
How Social Apps Like BeReal., Poparazzi & VSCO Can Help Marketers Learn About Gen Z
In April, BeReal – a social media app that hosts many Gen Z users, saw 315% YoY daily download growth. Meanwhile, another popular Gen Z app called Poparazzi is seeing 96,100 downloads per month (just from the Apple App Store.).
Topics: app, friends, marketers, help, apps, brand, social, vsco, platform, gen, platforms, media, learn, z, users, poparazzi, bereal.
How Your Audience Could Shift in Web 3 [Executive Insights + Podcast Episode]
If you work in tech, media, or even marketing, you've likely heard a lot of buzz around Web 3.
Topics: podcast, business, episode, audience, product, internet, marketing, feedback, customers, going, executive, shift, community, platforms, web, insights.
How to Create Product Variations With Elastic Path Commerce Cloud?
Since the emergence of eCommerce, marketers, merchandisers, and catalog managers have been continuously tasked with the difficult responsibility of creating streamlined online experiences that mimic the personalized, in-store shopping experiences that we are all accustomed to. However, rather than having customers available to interact with your products and sales associates directly, to help them easily find exactly what they’re looking for, your teams now have to design new functionality to achieve the same goals.
One of the more challenging functionality that eCommerce teams have struggled with is product variation. As a merchandiser, you want to be able to clearly present all the options you have available for your products to make it easier for customers to visualize them and influence a potential sale. This is no easy feat with antiquated, traditional eCommerce platforms. In this article we’ll walk through how you can easily tackle product variations with Elastic Path Commerce Cloud.
What are Product Variations?
Product variations refer to the options that are available for customers to choose from, that relate to a parent product. This can be better explained using footwear. Let’s say you manage a shoe store that sells the Runner 5000 running sneaker (the parent product). That running sneaker could come in different: colors (black, blue, white, gold); fits (standard, wide, narrow); sizes (6-13); and fabrics (canvas, nylon, recycled). Each combination built from these options is known as a child product, and together all make up the complete product variation list for that parent product. The same idea could be applied to our phones that come in different colors, sizes, and memory storage, or our furniture that comes in different dimensions, materials, fabrics and more.
Product variations essentially represent the combination of options by which a parent product varies. Providing these variations under a single product brings great value to the customer, as it grants them a way to easily navigate between the various combinations and find exactly what they’re looking for instead of searching through endless product listing pages. However, many traditional legacy platforms have not been able to keep up with the needs of eCommerce teams to create and manage their product variations.
The Problems Merchandisers Face Today
Most traditional platforms like Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Shopify, and even modern solutions like Commercetools, only allow for 200 variations at a time. This can be quite burdensome for fashion, apparel, furniture, and cosmetic brands that come in thousands of variations. Due to the limitation in variations, eCommerce teams are usually forced to devise strategies for how they can break up their high degree of product variations into smaller categories, in order for them to work within their platform’s restraints. This ultimately leads to less efficiency, delayed launches and less time left for experimentation and innovation with other digital strategies.
Lack of Customizations
In addition to variation limits, traditional legacy platforms also lack the flexibility to allow eCommerce teams to customize their child product variations. Traditionally, when child products are generated from a parent product, they inherit all of the same product attributes, such as price and product details etc. These platforms were built in a way that causes products and attributes to be tightly coupled together. This makes it very difficult to isolate and customize each child product to allow for separate merchandising. For example, let’s say you wanted to spin up a Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, that would group all pink products under a new category with sale prices. Rather than being able to leverage your pre-existing product data to build your new category, you would be forced to build each product again with the new corresponding pricing for that campaign. This type of process limits the ability for your merchandising team to move quickly and capitalize on unique campaigns that appeal to your customers.
However, with the newly launched product variations inside of Product Content Management from Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, these problems are issues of the past!
Interested in Learning More About Elastic Path Commerce Cloud?
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How Can I Create and Manage Product Variations with Elastic Path?
Product Variations from Elastic Path eliminates the need of coping with painstaking workarounds and allows you to create and manage up to 10,000 variations in seconds. Compared to traditional platforms that only allow for 200 variations, this is a 50X increase in the industry standard. In addition, the decoupled architecture of Product Content Management also allows you to leverage one product data repository to build and customize many catalogs within the same store, for multiple uses. This means brands will now have the flexibility to use their existing product data and customize different attributes and child products to build different catalogs for different users and occasions for innovative merchandising.
Follow along with the video below and see how easy it is to set up your product variations.
You can also follow along with the steps below:
Step 1: Navigate to Products under Product Content Management in the menu to the left.
Step 2: Navigate to Configurations under Product Content Management in the side menu bar.
Step 3: Navigate to Variations under the Configurations menu.
Step 4: Click “Add Variation” to create your new variation.
Step 5: Name your variation.
Step 6: Click “Next” to add your options.
Step 7: Create a name and a description for each option you create. (Ensure that there are no spaces in your naming convention. You can use hyphens “-” to separate words). Add as many variations until you need.
Step 8: Add as many variations until you need.
Step 9: Repeat steps 4-8 until you have recorded all of your variations.
Step 10: Navigate to your parent product under Products in the side menu bar.
Step 11: Click into your parent product and navigate to the Variations tab.
Step 12: Click “Associate Variation” and each variation you want to be associated with the product.
Step 13: Once you have associated all the desired variations, under Child Products click “Rebuild Variations” and you’re done!
Once you’ve built your child products, all child products will appear under the Products and you will have access to customize each child product as you see fit. It’s that easy!
This has already begun to save many of our customers a lot of time and hassle when merchandising their products. We hope this was helpful and as always, if you have any questions on how this functionality works or would like to learn more, you can always reach out to us!
Topics: commerce, parent, product, child, products, cloud, path, variation, navigate, platforms, ecommerce, elastic, create, different, variations.
How to Know If You Have Outgrown Your Commerce Platform
Your commerce platform is a critical piece of your strategy that can enable your brand to deliver unique customer experiences and drive revenue growth for your brand. But not all platforms are created equal and some actually hinder a brand’s ability to bring their vision to life.
Whether it’s a dated reference architecture, clunky functionality, or antiquated pricing, brands find themselves held back instead of propelled forward by their technology.
After speaking with many brands who are in the process of evaluating new commerce platforms, we have noticed a trend: those struggling tend to still be using dated, legacy commerce platforms.This simple fact can often go overlooked as brands stick with what they know and don't recognize how much of a hindrance their current commerce platform may be.
Read on to see some of the common signs that your brand has outgrown your commerce platform and how transitioning to a more modern microservices-based platform can alleviate some of those ailments.
Some of the common complaints we hear include spending too many resources on workarounds, waiting on IT teams to implement costly projects to add functionality, and increasing cost without continuous innovation. This results in a half-baked execution of your vision and underwhelming performance.
If this sounds familiar, you are likely running a legacy all-in-one (monolithic) platform. When they first emerged in the early 2000s, legacy commerce platforms like Magento, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and Shopify were designed to address a wide plethora of basic commerce needs with a single offering. Indeed, they were successful in meeting the needs of the time.
But, with the demands of customers evolving, the rigid nature of these platforms leaves brands being outpaced by competitors who have invested in new technology.
Several point-providers for specific functionality have stepped in to provide a better solution than the relatively simplistic offerings from legacy all-in-one commerce platforms. With a Composable Commerce approach, you can leverage these best-of-breed third-party solutions and a headless commerce platform to develop a solution that delivers the customer experiences and performance your eCommerce teams envision.
Struggles With Speed Limiting Your Brand's Growth
The first sign that you have outgrown your commerce platform is inability to move fast.
When evaluating the performance of your current commerce solution, speed is essential. We can talk about speed in two key facets—first, the speed of your platform, i.e., what your customers experience. Slow page load times or poor mobile experiences can lead to lost revenue. To learn more, check out our post here.
Many brands will have ongoing projects to improve their stores' performance and see minor improvements on specific key metrics with changes to their CDNs, marketing tags, personalization engines, etc.
However, these improvements are often incremental at best and generally lead to hitting a wall with what is possible with legacy architecture. Achieving the ideal 'under 4s' load time mark can be out of reach with a legacy commerce platforms' tightly coupled capabilities and reference architecture code base.
With an API-first architecture, typical in Headless Commerce platforms like Elastic Path, achieving lightning-fast load times is simple because these solutions were designed around the speed and scalability delivered of cloud infrastructure. The second facet of 'speed' is how quickly (and easily) you can add on functionality like a mobile checkout touchpoint, best-in-class search capabilities, or a payment gateway to deliver experiences that your customers expect.
With legacy platforms, brands often embark on costly extension projects requiring specific developer expertise. For example, those using Salesforce Commerce Cloud are only able to hire Salesforce developers and architects who cost $12,000 more per hire.
Not only is it more expensive to undertake these projects, but they will also take significantly longer due to the architecture of the legacy commerce platforms necessitating extensive testing to ensure all connected pieces are working after making any additions.
Ready to Consider Replatforming?
If your business has outgrown your current ecommerce platform, check out our webinar, "Replatforming Tips to Embrace Composable Commerce," for advice on how to move to a more modern solution.
Watch the Webinar
Business Teams Frustrated by Bottlenecks
The second sign you have outgrown your commerce platform is rigid functionality that requires customization to meet your requirements. These bottlenecks to improvements can break down into two route causes.
We often hear that marketing and merchandising teams struggle to keep pace with customers' demands since they need to wait on the IT team to implement seemingly simple changes.
A prime example of this is when merchandising teams want to launch unique strategies like dynamic bundles, complex pricing, or child-variant level merchandising, but their commerce platform does not support it without custom developer work. And, this challenge isn’t just with legacy platforms, we see the same issues arise with some of the MACH-vendors in today’s landscape. Your merchandising team will end up with delayed time to market and missed opportunities all thanks for the lack of flexibility of catalog and merchandising capabilities.
With Catalog Composer from Elastic Path, merchandisers can rapidly create complete catalogs that tailor to specific needs of your customers across channels, touchpoints, and geographies with ease.
A similar challenge occurs for making frontend updates. With a legacy commerce platform, the ability for merchandisers to make quick changes to the storefront can simply be impossible. Instead, they have to submit a ticket to IT and wait until it is tackled. On the other hand, with a composable architecture, brands can choose a frontend technology and CMS (Content Management System) that allows business users to make these changes.
This approach saves resource hours while also providing significantly more flexibility when delivering the vision of a unique front end that caters to the complexities of your specific business.
Planned Expansions Hindered by Your Current Commerce Platform
The third sign you have outgrown your commerce platform is inability to expand your digital business to meet revenue goals.
At Elastic Path we see brands looking to increase their digital revenue by expanding to new business models (like B2B or B2B2C), geographies, brands, or touchpoints. Unfortunately, many legacy platforms were built in the early 2000s when this type of expansion was irrelevant. Therefore, their technology struggles to keep up with these new business needs without customization.
In the case of business model extension where each model comes with its complexities, legacy platforms like Salesforce offer a wholly different product to cater to these needs. For example, brands who want to power both B2C and B2B need to run two entirely separate platforms. Running two platforms can double up the headaches caused by the problems discussed above but will also mean that you are paying license fees and staffing for both products individually.
It is important to note that with other modern Headless Commerce vendors, you will need to use and pay for multiple platform instances rather than separate products to cater to use cases like multi-geo, multi-account, B2B, etc.
The complexity introduced in these cases with the need for several differentiated catalogs with distinct hierarchies and pricebooks can be impossible to manage with a single instance. Additional instances are needed since other Headless Commerce vendors lack the flexibility a de-coupled catalog architecture provides.
Catalog Composer delivers this flexibility with unlimited catalogs that allow you to create bespoke catalogs 5x faster for every route-to-market from a single instance of the platform.
Even without channel expansion plans, brands looking to add functionality are forced into complicated implementations with a legacy commerce platform. A good example is payment gateways.
Some legacy platforms might have the ability to add a specific third-party vendor to add Buy Now Pay Later capabilities. Managing multiple vendors for each payments capability is something two-thirds of brands are looking to avoid.
Check out Elastic Path Payments to learn how you can easily accept payments across channels, touchpoints, and geographies from a single payment offering.
Omnichannel commerce platforms like Elastic Path Commerce Cloud allow you to run all the channels and touchpoints your brand needs from a single instance of the platform. This way, you are cutting down on the Total Cost of Ownership while providing a better customer experience.
Struggling to Increase Margins with an Expensive Commerce Platform
As you will have noticed, a common challenge across many of the issues that brands face when outgrowing a legacy commerce platform is a high Total Cost of Ownership.
By moving away from a legacy platform to a Headless Commerce platform, you can increase your top and bottom-line revenues as these benefits add up across lower platform fees, less expensive implementation projects, or simply lowering the cost associated with your team needing to manage the complexity of a legacy solution.
For a more comprehensive look at how you can lower your Total Cost of Ownership, check out our guide here.
Chat with us today if any of the common signs above hit close to home. We would be happy to help determine how to successfully circumvent the issues holding back your brand's growth and establish a commerce solution that fits your needs today and into the future.
Topics: commerce, platforms, know, functionality, needs, platform, legacy, architecture, speed, brands, specific, outgrown.
How to Maintain Brand Consistency Across All Mediums
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How to Use Google to Showcase Your Small Business' Products for Free (Infographic)
A simple guide to using Google to get your products in front of its hundreds of millions of users.
Topics: infographic, guide, small, platforms, youre, products, facebook, success, showcase, business, free, businesses, google.
Ivorian e-commerce startup ANKA, formerly Afrikrea, raises $6.2M pre-Series A
A study by McKinsey & Company on general e-commerce activities in Africa says consumer spending will reach over $2 trillion in the next three years. Much of this spending falls under the importation of products, primarily influenced by consumer demand and the positioning of major e-commerce platforms in Africa. Afrikrea, an Ivorian startup founded in […]
Topics: anka, startup, afrikrea, 62m, sellers, marketplace, africa, platforms, company, ivorian, raises, round, techcrunch, channels, preseries, ecommerce.
LinkedIn Launches Live Audio Events: How They'll Differ from Clubhouse & Twitter Spaces
Twitter has Spaces. Facebook has Live Audio Rooms. Clubhouse has…Clubhouse. Now, LinkedIn is grabbing a seat at the table with its own audio feature.
Topics: platforms, clubhouse, twitter, brands, launches, spaces, events, audio, event, differ, users, live, theyll, linkedin.
LinkedIn vs. Facebook: Which Is Best for Your Business?
The slew of social media channels available today can paralyze even the savviest business owners.
Topics: ads, business, facebook, groups, thought, platform, leadership, linkedin, best, ad, platforms, vs, youre.
Marcus Murphy and Oli Billson Share Leading Trends for UX and Digital Innovation at Make it Big 2021
Digital innovation is moving at a speed we’ve never seen before — which means constantly changing customer expectations. At BigCommerce’s…
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Mastering Email Deliverability in 2022
The first step in a successful email marketing campaign is getting the message to recipients' inboxes. But that's often harder than it appears. Email guru Carolyn Nye explains in the terrific piece.
Topics: emails, mastering, bounces, spam, users, email, platforms, deliverability, senders, sender, providers.
Media Buying 101: What It Is and How It Works [+15 Platforms to Use]
Ever wonder who is behind those banner ads on the sites you visit the most? Or the Super Bowl ads we talk about for weeks after they've aired? The answer is media buyers.
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Navigating Social Media Advertising in 2021: How to Choose the Right Platform and Ads for Your Brand
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Not every creator economy startup is built for creators
The inherent tension within the creator economy lies between the promise of financial freedom and the realization this freedom comes at a cost.
Topics: startups, creator, techcrunch, startup, tools, platform, economy, mcloughlin, built, need, creators, platforms, youtube.
One-Click Checkout Platforms: Which Option is Right For You?
We’re sharing & comparing the top one-click checkout providers & diving deep into how they can transform your customers' shopping experience.
Topics: platform, click, payment, checkout, providers, oneclick, option, provider, customers, fast, sellers, right, platforms.
Open Source Ecommerce vs SaaS Ecommerce: Finding the Right Fit for Your Ecommerce Business
The ecommerce industry has been continually growing and changing over the last few decades, and those changes accelerated with the…
Topics: source, software, ecommerce, business, open, need, vs, saas, platform, platforms, magento.
Our Take On The Best Ecommerce Platforms in the UK
If you aspire to become an independent UK store owner, there's no time like the present! With so many eCommerce platforms to choose from, it's never been easier to launch your own online business. These solutions simplify the whole process:…
Continue reading Our Take On The Best Ecommerce Platforms in the UK
Topics: plan, best, need, uk, features, platforms, ecommerce, platform, free, store.
Shopify expands its payment option, Shop Pay, to its merchants on Facebook and Instagram
Shopify announced this morning it’s partnered with Facebook to expand its payment option, Shop Pay, to all Shopify merchants selling across both Facebook and Instagram. This is the first time Shop Pay will be made available outside of Shopify’s own platform, and represents a significant expansion for the e-commerce platform’s payments technology. The company tells […]
Topics: pay, shopify, option, facebook, payment, available, shop, techcrunch, expands, shopifys, instagram, platforms, merchants, platform.
Social Media Demographics by Platform
Social media marketing can make or break an ecommerce company. But knowing which social site to focus on is often difficult. To that end, I've compiled critical audience demographics for the leading social platforms. What follows will hopefully assist in identifying the best options for your business.
Topics: users, age, distribution, platform, roughly, media, platforms, active, female, demographics, total, social.
The 11 Best Live Webinar Software of 2021
If you’re looking to attract highly engaged leads, interact with your audience, get real-time feedback, and capitalize on exciting guest speakers, the live webinar format is for you.
Topics: software, help, easy, platforms, live, platform, best, webinar, tools, ondemand, webinars, video.
The 13 Best Blogging Platforms for 2022 (& How to Pick One)
Companies that blog get 55% more visitors than businesses that don't. But to get that increased traffic, you need the best blogging platform for your needs and goals.
Topics: features, best, free, seo, blog, content, platforms, blogging, pick, create, ideal, cms, platform.
The 20 Best Video Editing Apps for 2022
Using a video editing app is critical for creating a winning video marketing strategy. And if you're reading this blog post, chances are you already know you should incorporate more video content into your marketing, especially after the rise of remote work.
Topics: features, app, free, best, apps, videos, editor, music, video, platforms, editing.
The 3 Best Evergreen Webinar Software You Need Now
Initially launched in the 1990s, webinar caché once relied heavily on live events. In 2020 however, we saw the webinar space pivot towards the on-demand space.
Lower cost per acquisition, ease of automation, and building trusted archives of useful content has proven to be an effective means of moving customers through the sales funnel.
Topics: software, need, evergreen, content, platforms, live, best, webinar, ondemand, webinars, simple.
The 4 Things You Need to Do to Get (and Keep) Ecommerce Customers
The goal is to show your customers that you are invested in building real bonds with them every step of the way.
Topics: shopping, strategy, products, customers, things, need, platforms, ecommerce, online, service, product.
The 5 Types of Social Media and Pros & Cons of Each
Marketers commonly use social media to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and improve traffic. If you’re tasked with starting a social media strategy for your company, you might be wondering which type of platforms you should be on. Your platform choice will likely change based on your audience.
Topics: social, types, video, instagram, post, facebook, users, pros, media, platform, platforms, cons, posts, content.
The Beginner's Guide to Setting Up a Blog
Did you know that there are more than 600 million blogs on the internet, and that 77% of web-surfers read blogs regularly?
Topics: choose, platforms, need, cms, beginners, blog, setting, support, free, guide, youll, blogging, content.
The Benefits of an Ecommerce Technology Advocate
Managing an ecommerce technology stack is complicated. Many companies could use help. "As the marketplace for ecommerce [software] starts to broaden and becomes more complex, adding platforms and apps [can be] really hard," said Mark Wexler, a founder and partner at Whirlwind Ecommerce.
Topics: software, help, requirements, wexler, benefits, platforms, technology, advocate, website, ecommerce, save.
The Best Social Media Channels for Marketing in 2022, According to Company & Consumer Data
Every day there’s something new on social media.
Topics: consumer, according, marketing, marketers, plan, media, platform, data, channels, platforms, social, facebook, audience, company, video, best.
The Borderless Opportunities For Logistics Startups
By leveraging tech and tapping into the e-commerce boom, India's logistics players are not only democratizing cross-border commerce but are expanding their market horizons
Topics: space, technology, platforms, borderless, global, need, crossborder, businesses, data, logistics, opportunities, india.
The Creator Economy Market Size is Growing: How Brands Can Leverage It
The creator economy has seen exceptional growth over the last few years and will only grow more in the future. So, what does that mean for brands, and how can marketers leverage this booming economy? To answer this question, I spoke to a couple of HubSpot's marketing experts and researched the creator economy's size, growth, and the changes we can expect down the line.
Topics: creators, hudson, size, platforms, market, growing, economy, creator, denhoff, million, content, brands, leverage, media.
The Future of Social Video: A Brief Look Into What's Next [Expert Predictions + Data]
Over the past few years, video has become one of the most compelling ways for brands to tell their stories on social media.
From the instant popularity of Facebook Live videos to Instagram increasing their video length from 30 to 60 seconds, marketers are using the power of video to communicate their business' personalities and brand stories, to express creativity, and to build emotional connections with fans and followers.
Topics: brief, youtube, expert, media, content, future, data, videos, look, whats, predictions, facebook, platforms, brands, video, instagram, social.
The History of SaaS: From Emerging Technology to Ubiquity
When people think about the first software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup, typically Salesforce comes to mind. But while Salesforce began as a…
Topics: cost, saas, internet, businesses, software, revolution, open, platform, history, ecommerce, platforms, business.
The HubSpot Blog's 2022 Social Media Marketing Report: Data from 310 Marketers
In our recent Marketing Trends survey, we learned that social media is the most effective channel marketers leverage, as well as the channel they use most.
Topics: media, strategy, social, platforms, data, report, blogs, platform, content, marketers, marketing, hubspot, plan, leverage.
The Major Shift in Influencer Marketing
Josh Zhang is the Founder and CEO of Gainfluence.com, an influencer marketing agency that is home to some of the best-looking and smartest creators and entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. Josh started Gainfluence while working full-time at Dropbox to provide affordable creatives for every stage of the entrepreneurial journey by partnering with the hottest direct-to-consumer brands. […]
Topics: zhang, marketing, major, shift, underutilized, market, giving, creators, josh, influencer, talk, platforms.
The Plain English Guide to Demand-Side Platforms (DSP)
As a marketer, you might be focused on creating organic content most of the time. But you should keep in mind that paid advertising is just as important.
Topics: english, advertising, ad, sourcebest, platforms, google, dsp, manage, plain, demandside, platform, programmatic, youll, ads, guide.
The Risk of Social Media Marketing
Ecommerce marketing decisions are difficult. Advertising, search engine optimization, social media, content marketing — all involve communicating a message to an audience. But depending on the channel, the marketer may not control the message, its distribution, or even the audience.
Topics: business, shared, owned, youtube, distribution, content, media, social, risk, audience, platforms, marketing.
The Ultimate Guide to Platforms and How They Can Benefit Your Business
Once upon a time, the typical business tool belt was sprinkled with digital tools: email marketing software here, website CMS there, and perhaps software for accounting and tracking sales.
Topics: business, model, ultimate, benefit, platform, technology, content, products, create, guide, businesses, platforms, tools.
This Is Why You Need to Adjust Your Ecommerce-Channel Strategy Today
Ecommerce continues to grow and thrive, but companies must adapt to find real success.
Topics: business, ecommerce, instagram, sell, single, multichannel, adjust, ecommercechannel, channel, today, channels, need, customer, platforms, strategy.
Top 5 Social Advertising Platforms for Ecommerce Sellers
Choosing the right social advertising platform mix is essential to getting the most bang for your advertising buck, increasing your online sales, and maximizing your online store's profitability.
Topics: facebook, media, users, products, sellers, ads, social, advertising, ecommerce, ad, platforms.
Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram? Which Platform(s) You Should Be On
When you begin implementing a social media strategy for your business, one of the first questions you'll ask yourself is this one — Should my business be on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram?
Topics: vs, business, engagement, followers, engage, audience, platforms, platform, twitter, facebook, instagram.
Weav raises $4.3M to knit together a universal API for commerce platforms
Weav, which is building a universal API for commerce platforms, is emerging from stealth today with $4.3 million in funding from a bevy of investors, and a partnership with Brex. Founded last year by engineers Ambika Acharya, Avikam Agur and Nadav Lidor after participating in the W20 YC batch, Weav joins the wave of fintech […]
Topics: universal, platforms, api, weav, raises, commerce, financial, products, weavs, data, founders, techcrunch, knit, 43m, businesses.
What Benefits Will I Receive From Replatforming My Commerce Solution?
With the advancement of technology and ever evolving customer habits, many companies have been increasingly entertaining the idea of replatforming, but are still hesitant. Why? Well for starters:
The task of replatforming can quickly turn into an extensive and expensive project.
The past investment of a previous platform is hard to let go of.
And the risk of a new investment not working could cost you your job.
These are all valid reasons for contemplation, however, replatforming can bring many benefits to your company that you may be missing out on.
Benefits of Replatforming
Traditional incumbent platforms were designed to quickly spin up website only experiences to embark on your commerce journey. However, due to the rigid architecture, customization has been quite burdensome and oftentimes impossible. By replatforming to a more flexible solution that leverages MACH based technology, both your technical and business teams could benefit from having more control of designing unique commerce experiences to outpace competitors.
Every business’ ideal goal is to continuously grow and maximize on revenue. So the last thing you will want is a solution that is unable to sustain that growth. According to a study conducted by Forrester, Understanding TCO When Evaluating E-Commerce Solutions “74% of businesses have concerns that their platform will not allow them to scale properly.” These kinds of issues can cause slow load time of your website, thus providing a poor experience to customers. To mitigate this risk, you will want to consider cloud-based platforms that ensure your security but allow your solution to scale for peak demand times on your website.
Traditional platforms were designed in an all-in-one solution, where all functionality was built fit for purpose. This means one vendor provided all your commerce functionality like search, carts and checkout and content management wrapped up in one system. This was great, until other vendors became experts in each area and specialized in creating each commerce functionality to support the market. Though these are attractive, the rigidity of many platforms don’t allow these third party solutions to integrate well or even at all, with your commerce solution. By replatforming to a more agile solution that follows a best-of-breed approach, you could eradicate these limitations and integrate freely.
Consistent Experiences Across Multiple Touchpoints
As customer expectations and needs continue to evolve post the pandemic, we are seeing more and more demands for commerce experience across channels, like mobile, voice, chatbots, A/R and more. However, consistent deployment across these channels can be difficult if the frontend UI experience of your system is hardwired to the backend commerce functionality of your system. To create more flexibility for your team to deliver these experiences, you should consider replatforming to a headless commerce platform that eliminates the dependencies. This will be a game changer for customer experience and retention rate as they would have the ability to start a transaction in one place and finish it in another.
And lastly, the most critical issue that is at the top of everyone’s list, cost. Many businesses get drawn in by attractive pricing, only to be surprised by exuberant costs later down the line. Many platforms advertise cost based a standard commerce experience that was pre built it their vision for your company. However, the reality is, each business is unique and will require different changes and customizations. For the majority of these legacy platforms, making changes is the largest factor in the total cost of ownership for your solution, thus causing your eCommerce costs to be much higher than you expected. By replatforming to a Composable Commerce solution, you can reduce your total costs of ownership by approximately 47%. Composable Commerce solutions were built for change, so you can continuously innovate and optimize your solution without the risk of failure and impacting your budget.
While these benefits can be attractive, we are still aware that a replatforming project can be quite a bit of work. Therefore, you should:
Evaluate if you truly need to replatform Understand the process of replatforming Ensure your business is in the right position to undertake such a project And choose the right vendor to conduct your replatforming project
To better help with understanding your potential replatforming process, join us for a live webinar where you will learn expert tips for replatforming to a Composable Commerce Solution. Hear from replatforming experts and hosts of Re:Platform podcast, James Gurd and Paul Rogers about the top tips for both business and technical users and then hear from the Director of Digital Experience at Illumina about how they made the switch from IBM Websphere to Elastic Path.
Topics: system, commerce, business, experience, replatforming, functionality, cost, benefits, receive, experiences, platforms, solution.
What Is Content Seeding & How Does It Work? [Examples]
Every summer, I start a vegetable garden. I purchase seeds, plant them in various places in my backyard, tend to them, and with the help of the right weather conditions, help them grow. Why am I talking about gardening on a marketing blog?
Topics: does, reach, influencers, seeding, platforms, promote, work, influencer, target, brand, audience, content, examples.
What I’ve Learned about Ecommerce Platforms
Contributor Christopher Dobroth has spent 16 years in ecommerce. He has used many ecommerce platforms. Here's what he's learned to date.
Topics: ive, ecommerce, worked, need, features, resources, business, bigcommerce, platforms, budget, learned, platform, needed.
What is the Creator Economy?
Creation as we know it has evolved due to the coming and going of certain mediums, control of those mediums, and consumption habits of the average consumer. In the past, media corporations held a considerable amount of control over the…
Continue reading What is the Creator Economy?
Topics: media, work, community, economy, content, money, creators, platforms, creation, creator.
When Retailers Are Ad Platforms
Amazon pioneered the concept of a retailer-driven ad network. Now other retailer marketplaces are selling ads, too. The trend has far-reaching implications.
Topics: ad, traffic, retailers, networks, platforms, revenue, retail, marketplaces, data, brands, ads.
Where Are These Viral Social Media Platforms Now?
From TikTok to Clubhouse to Lasso, it seems like new viral social media platforms are popping up every day. Furthermore, many of the ones that were once en vogue have suddenly waned in popularity. If you’re a marketer, keeping up with these trends can be difficult but necessary in building and maintaining a strong audience.
Topics: media, social, brands, platforms, clubhouse, users, influencer, marketing, tiktok, app, viral, twitter.
Which Social Media Channels are Gaining and Losing Steam? [New Consumer and Platform Data]
These days, it feels like everyone is on social media. But make no mistake, not everyone is on every channel.
Topics: steam, gaining, video, consumer, data, gen, platforms, channels, social, losing, media, z, visited, marketing, youtube, platform.
Which Social Networks Should You Advertise on in 2022?
Whether you use it to supplement your existing inbound marketing efforts or to reinvigorate your entire strategy, social media is an effective tool to meet your marketing objectives.
Topics: users, facebook, media, youre, advertise, networks, business, marketing, platform, social, audience, platforms.
Wholesum raises $50M Series A to roll up third-party sellers on e-commerce platforms
As the boom of the e-commerce aggregator trend continues in Asia, South Korea, the fifth-largest e-commerce market in the world, is rolling up. Wholesum, a Seoul-based e-commerce aggregator, is jumping on the trend of larger firms buying up third-party merchants that would usually sell on e-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay. The company said Tuesday […]
Topics: brand, 50m, global, ecommerce, south, roll, joo, platforms, raises, million, growth, techcrunch, sellers, series, wholesum, brands, thirdparty.
Will Marketers Continue to Use Twitter in 2023? [New Data]
With so many changes coming to Twitter, many wonder if marketing on the platform could be impacted in 2023.
Topics: platforms, continue, plan, data, platform, saying, leave, marketing, experience, twitter, respondents, marketers.
Will the Creator Economy Embrace Ecommerce?
As the so-called creator economy evolves and expands, ecommerce could become a significant revenue channel, helping to create new business models and drive the development of new commerce platforms. The terms "creator" and "creator economy" are a little ambiguous.
Topics: platforms, economy, evolves, creators, content, embrace, commerce, creator, million, youtube, platform, ecommerce.
Your Ecommerce Platform Can Help with That
The coronavirus pandemic has encouraged many entrepreneurs and small-business owners to either start selling online or significantly expand their ecommerce operations. Evidence of this trend can be found in Shopify's June 30, 2020, quarterly report. The company achieved a 28-percent increase in subscription revenue for that three-month period.
Topics: help, customers, products, increase, sell, businesses, platforms, platform, sales, ecommerce, suhonen, online.
a16z backs Rutter’s goal of being ‘Plaid for commerce’
Rutter is building a universal e-commerce API for reading and writing data so that tech customers can integrate with commerce platforms and access financial data points.
Topics: fintech, plaid, a16z, platforms, zhou, backs, company, techcrunch, data, seeing, rutters, commerce, including, goal, ecommerce.
‘Headless’ e-commerce platform Fabric raises $43M
Fabric, a startup powering e-commerce for companies like GNC and ABC Carpet and Home, has raised $43 million in Series A funding. The announcement comes less than four months after Fabric announced its $9.5 million seed round. CEO Faisal Masud said Fabric hadn’t intended to raise more funding so quickly, but given its growth and […]
Topics: techcrunch, ecommerce, customers, funding, masud, fabric, large, platforms, headless, 43m, team, platform, commerce, raises.