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Top 2021 resources on product

Best product resource in 2021.
Learn more about product to improve your e-commerce strategy.

  • 10 Ways to Dress Up Your Fashion Ecommerce Strategy - “By 2022, brick-and-mortar retail spaces will be little more than showrooms,” wrote BigCommerce co-founders Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper —…
    Topics: trends, examples, brands, customer, retailers, sites, online, fashion, ecommerce, shoppers, product, customers, industry.
  • 13 Businesses With Brilliant Global Marketing Strategies - Guess what? Global marketing is no longer reserved for brands with deep pockets, nor is it a huge hassle for marketing managers who handle all marketing efforts. In fact, a global presence is possible for any business with a creative strategy and an understanding of world markets. Let’s go over what a good global marketing strategy looks like and the best examples worldwide.
    Topics: businesses, countries, marketing, brand, global, product, imitate, strategies, international, strategy, different, regions, brilliant.
  • 13 Examples of Sustainable Ecommerce - Here is a list of sustainable ecommerce sites, for inspiration. These sites create change through environmental, economic, and social action and awareness.
    Topics: green, create, shop, products, ecommerce, sustainable, responsible, impact, partner, ethical, product, examples.
  • 15 Ways to Come Up With an Idea for Your Online Store - The hardest part of starting an online business? Coming up with a great idea! Here are 15 ways you can discover great online business ideas.
    Topics: come, ideas, store, idea, online, business, start, ways, strategy, ideatostore, products, product.
  • 20 Holiday Marketing Campaign Examples + Marketing Tips for 2021 - Every year, as soon as Halloween is behind us, it seems like the floodgates open. Without warning, there are holiday marketing campaigns everywhere, with countless businesses rushing to cash in on a spending frenzy. There are holiday emails, social media posts, and TV ads — oh, my. It might seem like holiday marketing is out of control. But some brands do it very, very well.
    Topics: commercial, opening, loved, holiday, tips, hinge, campaigns, season, ad, campaign, product, examples, marketing.
  • 25 Realistic Ways to Make Money From Home in 2022 (+ 5 To Avoid) - The lure of fast and easy cash gigs may seem like a great idea, but will only keep you on a hamster wheel of trading your time for cash. Want to really make money from home? These nine tactics will help you build valuable skills and earn extra cash online.More
    Topics: ways, online, product, avoid, care, start, realistic, money, store, selling, products, business, sell.
  • 26 Lucrative and Low-Cost Small Business Ideas to Start This Year -   You don’t need a big budget to kickstart an ecommerce business. Check out these 26 low-cost ideas to inspire your own business venture.More
    Topics: ideas, products, lucrative, idea, small, online, start, product, sell, youre, need, business, lowcost.
  • 28 Case Study Examples Every Marketer Should See - Putting together a compelling case study is one of the most powerful strategies for showcasing your product and attracting future customers. But it's easier said than done. In this post, we’ll go over the definition of a case study and the best examples to inspire you.
    Topics: results, studies, marketer, case, study, page, learnings, company, product, examples, client, information.
  • 3 Rule-breaking Product Pages, Designed for Conversions - Most ecommerce platforms have a standard layout. Their product page designs are relatively conventional, with a left-to-right display and a dominant image. Calls-to-action almost always appear near the top, especially on mobile. But the norm isn't always the best.
    Topics: desktop, images, page, mobile, purchase, shoppers, rock, pages, designed, look, conversions, rulebreaking, product, cta.
  • 4 Simple, Proven Ways to Improve Your Customers' Ecommerce Experience - Do you find yourself competing in a crowded ecommerce niche? Creating a little more wiggle room for yourself is easy.
    Topics: create, ways, website, simple, improve, shipping, proven, experience, ecommerce, customer, robust, customers, store, product.
  • 4 Suggestions to Improve Convenience for Consumers - When it comes to ecommerce, customers expect smooth experiences and convenience -- you need to meet those expectations.
    Topics: ecommerce, suggestions, product, online, customer, social, experience, consumers, shopping, convenience, improve.
  • 4 Things I Learned From My Ecommerce Business in the First Year - At the end of the day, online businesses are all about people.
    Topics: business, ecommerce, customers, clients, product, things, learned, client, technology, platform, industry, floral.
  • 41 Types of Marketing Your Brand Can Invest In - Like many of the people who currently work in the industry, digital marketing was born in the 1990s. Since then, the industry has evolved at breakneck speed, sprouting many more types of marketing.
    Topics: customers, types, brand, email, marketing, product, audience, brands, strategy, invest, customer, social.
  • 5 Things Gen Z Will Spend Money On & Why Marketers Need to Care - With a purchasing power of more than $143 billion, Gen Z is expected to shake up the retail industry.
    Topics: spend, millennials, products, need, marketers, things, product, age, report, generation, gen, brand, clothing, money, z, care.
  • 5 Things Online Businesses Can Do Today to Increase Conversion Rate - Moves you can make quickly, and which will have dramatic impact.
    Topics: online, average, rate, customer, conversion, customers, product, things, today, buying, website, increase, businesses, work.
  • 6 TikTok Tools for Shopping - TikTok is the latest social media platform to focus on ecommerce. TikTok unveiled its shopping platform at its inaugural World event, with new tools to help brands and merchants sell to TikTok's users. The release is a culmination of recent efforts to integrate shopping into TikTok.
    Topics: integrate, tools, users, shopping, tiktok, social, products, product, merchants, ads, showcase.
  • 8 Ideas to Get Your Small Business Started on TikTok - TikTok is the place to be if you’re running a business, but you might not know where to start. Here are some ideas for content to post on TikTok to start converting views to sales, with advice from someone who’s done it.More
    Topics: customers, way, youre, tiktok, business, small, erin, started, videos, ideas, products, product, showing.
  • 8 Top Payment Processors - If you’re launching any sort of business you’ve thought about payment processing. With so many choices in the marketplace, the selection process can be a daunting one depending on what works best for your business. A solutions-based eCommerce partner will help you choose a payment processor with the following in mind: Integrated payments and checkout – a seamless flow between payments and checkout increase both conversion and payment completion rates   Better pricing and total cost of ownership – getting the best rates and forecasting for what’s ahead   A simplified experience – choosing a best-in-class provider so you go to market faster with confidence When comparing payment processors we recommend you ask the following questions of the vendors your evaluating: What’s your product offering? How many types of payment are accepted? Are you adopting a more modern platform or are they legacy? What is you geographic coverage? Do they have an interactional reach? Are you priced competitively? How transparent is you pricing structure? Are there membership, setup, or possible hidden fees? What software and hardware do I need? And how is it bundled? What is your approach to integration? Having asked these questions with our own partners, and consulted the research on the myriad of payment processors and merchant services in the marketplace, here’s a Who’s Who of payment processors with some of their signature strengths: PayPal Website: paypal.com A strong performer with a robust product offering including fraud detection, point of sale, alternative payment options (like Venmo and PayPal consumer accounts) and financing options such as BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later). PayPal is well-suited for both enterprise and small/midsize businesses. Additional wins: transparent pricing, ease of use, and dedicated customer support. Stripe Website: stripe.com Analyst-backed and built for larger operations, Stripe offers a broad product menu including card issuing and treasury services, and worldwide acceptance and settlement. Stripe is an exceptionally good fit for eCommerce-based businesses. They offer flat rate pricing and don’t charge monthly subscription fees. Additional wins: highly customizable, streamlined checkouts across devices. Adyen Website: adyen.com Aside from a solid product offering, Adyen presents a tech-forward approach with a wide international footprint. Additional wins: No setup or monthly fees, customizable solutions. Braintree Website: braintree.com Owned by PayPal, Braintree is known for its diverse payment options especially in the digital wallet category. It integrates well with eCommerce businesses, but also offers in-store payment capabilities. Cybersource Website: cybersource.com Owned by VISA, Cybersource’s product offering is uniquely backed by the gold standard of security. Square Website: squareup.com For a business looking for more out-of-the-box solutions, Square offers a straightforward point of sale system geared towards mobile devices. It’s especially compatible with restaurant, retail, and professional service environments. Square offers value-adds for additional fees such as customer loyalty programs and appointment scheduling. Stax Website: stax.com Designed for high volume mid to large sized businesses, Stax offers membership tiers and value add-ons by tier including accounting software integration and a customizable portal. Klarna Website: klarna.com Another BNPL solution, Klarna offers point-of-sale loans through an app or in-store experience. This option is useful for big ticket purchases where an initial down payment is made, and subsequent payments are drawn from a credit or debit card. Typically interest-free, late fees are assessed for failed payments. Buy Now Pay Later is an increasingly popular consumer financing option.   Ultimately, choose what's best for you Payments are a complex yet integral part of the eCommerce experience. Elastic Path can help you ask the right questions when determining what works best for your business needs and the expectations of your customers.
    Topics: pricing, businesses, processors, product, best, fees, payment, additional, payments, offers, business.
  • 9 Best Youtube Ads of 2021 and 2020 - Back in 2007, a research firm estimated that the average person saw up to 5,000 ads a day.
    Topics: video, starts, youtube, life, product, best, brand, ad, takes, ads, susan.
  • AKUA lands $3.2M to turn kelp into burgers - AKUA aims to replace the unsustainable part of food — factory farming — with regenerative ocean farming.
    Topics: 32m, kelp, burgers, techcrunch, boyd, burger, product, company, lands, food, ventures, plantbased, akua, myers, turn.
  • Amazon may have lied to Congress about its business practices, lawmakers say - Five members of the House Judiciary Committee have accused (PDF) Amazon’s top executives of either misleading or blatantly lying to it about its business practices and said they are considering an investigation following publication of two damning reports last week. Reuters and the Markup reported last week that Amazon uses the data of third-party sellers on its […]
    Topics: committee, lawmakers, amazon, business, letter, techcrunch, congress, investigation, say, week, lied, testimony, product, practices, amazons, sworn.
  • Amid Facebook Ad Turmoil, Supply.co Retrenches - Patrick Coddou is a direct-to-consumer pioneer, having launched Supply.co in 2015. The company designs, manufactures, and sells premium shaving products — all to great success. Until April 2021. That's when Apple launched iOS 14.5, upending Facebook's ability to hyper-target ads. Coddou's company relied on sales from those ads.
    Topics: facebook, marketing, supplyco, kickstarter, turmoil, retrenches, amid, lot, ads, hired, im, ad, company, product, ive.
  • - In this BDroppy review, we'll provide a clear look at the platform, all it promises, and if it does exactly what it's supposed to in comparison to the competition. Before you opt for a platform to run your online business… Continue reading BDroppy Review (Nov 2021): All You Need to Know About the Fashion Dropshipping Platform
    Topics: dropshipping, nov, fashion, catalog, platform, features, amazon, bdroppy, shipping, product, know, plan, review, need.
  • Break One Rule and Break It Hard: Disrupting the Soda Industry with a Healthy Spin - Ben Goodwin and David Lester used innovative product development, the power of science, and the emotional significance of nostalgia to create Olipop. More
    Topics: spin, hard, flavor, product, going, theres, break, youre, soda, healthy, thats, data, lot, really, disrupting, rule, industry.
  • Brought Back to Life: How Pantee Uses Deadstock to Upcycle the Fashion Industry - With an eye towards building a sustainable fashion brand, Amanda and Katie McCourt set out to scale a brand that turns “deadstock” t-shirts into underwear. Through hours of research, customer interviews, and an uber successful Kickstarter campaign, the two sisters built Pantee.More
    Topics: underwear, way, life, product, things, industry, upcycle, good, pantee, fashion, lot, different, really, weve, deadstock, brought, kickstarter, uses.
  • Builder.io aims to make developers happy with its no-code approach to digital storefronts - Builder.io provides a drag-and-drop visual editor and headless content management system so that marketers can update websites without developer support.
    Topics: nocode, digital, create, founder, aims, pages, headless, commerce, techcrunch, growth, developers, sewell, happy, approach, storefronts, company, product, builderio, funding.
  • Can Elastic Path Handle My Large Product Catalog? - It will come as no surprise that the adoption and growth of digital commerce continues to skyrocket amongst branded manufacturers. According to a recent Gartner Survey, digital commerce revenue increased by 25% from 2019 to 2021. And, 67% of respondents surveyed were powering both B2B and B2C Digital Commerce as part of their strategy. This survey data reflects what we see in market: more brands coming to Elastic Path with increasingly expansive and complex commerce strategies. This blog seeks to answer the common questions we receive from brands with growing digital commerce businesses who need an eCommerce platform that scales. We will cover: What does scalability mean for digital commerce? Common scalability concerns for growing brands How Elastic Path Commerce Cloud handles these common concerns What Does Scalability Mean for Digital Commerce? Gartner defines scalability as “the measure of a system’s ability to increase or decrease in performance and cost in response to changes in application and system processing demands. Examples would include how well a hardware system performs when the number of users is increased, how well a database withstands growing numbers of queries, or how well an operating system performs on different classes of hardware”. As more brands double down on digital, whether expanding to support new geographies, new brands, new business models, or new touchpoints– they need an eCommerce solution that can scale with them. Simply put, digitally-driven brands need commerce technology that will empower their growth and not hold them back. Scalable commerce technology maintains its speed as you increase your number of customers, SKUs, hierarchies, promotions, customizations, and attributes. Common Digital Commerce Scalability Concerns At Elastic Path, the majority of our customers have ambitious growth targets. In order to hit those goals, purchasing scalable commerce technology is key to their success. For this reason, we receive many questions during evaluation processes about our ability to scale. Some of the most common questions include: How many SKUs can you support? Will you be able to support my sale or Black Friday bandwidth increase? How many sites can I run from a single instance? Can I have multiple prices for the same product? Can you support multiple items in a cart or order? (especially relevant for B2B) Continue reading to learn how we stack up against the needs of growing digitally-driven brands. Understanding How Elastic Path Commerce Cloud Scales In summary, Elastic Path is committed to being the commerce technology of choice for our customers when they launch and as they scale. We are constantly improving our systems to handle the ever-increasing needs of brands. In fact, in the last fifty days we’ve improved the capacity of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud by 50%. If you’re evaluating commerce technology, you likely want to understand specifics. Based on the common questions mentioned above, there are a few key areas we will touch on when it comes to scalability. Let’s start with the most universally popular question across brands: “How many SKUs can you support” or “Can You Support My Large Product Catalog?” Our Catalog Composer and Product Content Management capabilities can support millions of SKUs. So, in short, the answer is YES! We can support your large product catalog. “Will you be able to support my sale or Black Friday bandwidth increase?” Yes, Elastic Path was built to scale for whatever high volume shopping days are part of your brand strategy, whether that be Black Friday through Cyber Monday, pop ups, product drops, or semi-annual sales. Our testing methodology includes twice daily performance tests to ensure that brand needs are being met, regardless of day of the week.These daily tests make up one small aspect of the robust program our Performance Engineering team has built to ensure success on your busiest days. A great example of this scalability comes from an Elastic Path customer who needs to support the sale of new iPhones when they drop. This leading US wireless provider and technology company successfully scaled to meet the increasing demands of consumers. On iPhone launch day, they were able to power 4k product calls/minute, 8k order API calls/ min, 60,000 devices sold (peaking at 3.5k in 15 mins), and 450 concurrent carts/min with 0 downtime. “How many storefronts can I run from a single instance?” Unlike other MACH solutions that have a limit of 500 storefronts per instance, with Elastic Path Commerce Cloud you can support an unlimited number of sites (or storefronts) from one instance. Brands who do not use Elastic Path and need more than 500 storefronts will have to pay for each additional instance. For some businesses, 500 may seem like a large number. But, for B2B businesses who need a unique storefront per account they often have 1,500-2,000 storefronts meaning 3-4 individual instances that need to be deployed and maintained. In short, this limitation ends up costing dollars and resources long term. At Elastic Path our solution was built to enable customers to use one instance and one centralized data source for all sites. This means that brands can support shared cart across brands, power large multi-account B2B digital commerce strategies with no extra cost, and eliminate the manual task of updating and managing products across instances.   See Catalog Composer In Action Check out our on-demand demo to see how Elastic Path Commerce Cloud makes it easy to manage unlimited unique catalogs for any business. Watch Demo The story of reMarkable demonstrates the ability of Elastic Path to support multiple sites running from the same instance. reMarkable, a manufacturer of digital notepads, came to Elastic Path looking for a partner to drive their planned launch and global expansion. In 8 weeks they scaled up from a pre-order site to a fully functioning commerce business running across 39 country-specific storefronts, in 10 currencies. And, during major product launches (like the drop of a new notepad) they scale to 70% increase in orders, with no problem. “Can I have multiple prices for the same product?” Yes. In Elastic Path Commerce Cloud you can create unlimited price books which means you can have multiple prices for the same product. Some examples of when this is important: You want to syndicate the same product assortment to eBay, Amazon, and Walmart but each channel has different pricing for the same products. You want to power your large B2B business where each account has different negotiated pricing for the same product assortment Both of these use cases can be natively supported with the price book capability in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud.   “Can you support multiple items in a cart?” Yes. With Elastic Path Commerce Cloud your customers can create unlimited carts and add up to 100 items in each. Based on our experience in market, we have found this limit to meet both B2B and B2C requirements. In summary, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud can scale to support your large product catalog, and so much more. With Catalog Composer and Product Content Management you have the control to create all the unique product experiences your brand needs to stay ahead of the competition and delight customers- no compromises required.
    Topics: need, path, digital, commerce, support, product, storefronts, elastic, brands, handle, catalog, large.
  • Casual Observations on Social e-Commerce - While my purchases via social media are limited in scope, I’m fascinated and admittedly a bit hooked on what’s new on these apps for sale. I’ve spent more than a few hours scrolling when my intent was to unwind and shut off screen time. Oh well. There are worse habits I’m sure… I’m not surprised to learn that in the last two years, social media traffic has increased 100% to online stores, or that about 70% of consumers search social media for potential buys. With so much time spent on sites like Instagram and Facebook documenting and sharing our lives, it makes sense to turn to those same platforms to inform our buying decisions. The existence of influencers on these apps further drives that purchase when I’m ready to live my best life in that handmade sterling silver earring and bracelet set, frolicking on the beach, with not a care in the world. As I peruse social media for the next thing I must have, I’ve noticed a few app’s best practices catch my eye, and keep my cart full.   Instagram Envy: The effects of a global pandemic forced people to shop and sell their wares in new ways. Instagram invested heavily in the new social marketplace and I’m here for it. The effortless, and downright gorgeous layout in-app makes it easy to search my favorite brands and what the latest makers have on deck. I scroll the top navigation bar for more shops, live feed, tutorials or collections, and one of my favorite tabs the “Drops” – where I find the latest and greatest in the brands I follow, complete with a Get Reminder date for when the drop is official. Do I really need what’s coming this fall from the casual cool of Adidas loungewear? The answer is no, but oh how I love to look. In my cart the now? A sample collection of original greeting card designs and handmade enamel pins from a small stationery company. I love to send hand-written cards for all occasions to the people in my life, and in a past life I was once a greeting card writer. (No, writing them is actually not that easy.) Checkout is pretty streamlined with a variety of credit card and a few secure mobile payment options – and just like that, within a matter of days I’ve got a cheery addition to my greeting card library. Plus, I’m supporting a small business. All good things in my book. As I was scrolling the other night, I noticed an alternative use of the story stickers that typically drive sales to a featured product. Within this celeb’s story, it was used as an in-story link for a charity donation. Yes! I will donate to the charity ride. And thank you for asking!   TikTok Shopping Madness: I’m relatively new to TikTok and its frantic pace, but I admit it’s growing on me. I find I can’t resist live video of a cat dressed in a chef’s hat baking a pie, while Louie Prima’s rendition of “Pennies From Heaven” coos in the background. Incredibly endearing, addictive, and worth a follow. The app opened the commerce floodgates recently, an endeavor 18 months in the making. It’s relatively new to market, but in a recent Yahoo article the company reports a descriptor of what the new capabilities offer: “With product links, brands can feature one or more products directly from organic TikTok videos and direct users to product pages. Live shopping offers real-time demos or live streamed product showcases with concurrent links to buy products and services. Collection ads allow brands to add custom, swipe-able product cards to in-feed video ads, while dynamic showcase ads can serve personalized, targeted ads based on users’ interests”. If the experience is anything like their 1 billion-strong mix of eclectic users and influencers, it will be worth the ride. Bring on the baking cats. Pinterest: The Matron or Social e-Commerce: She’s got style, she’s got class. Pinterest is the place for people who love to curate, browse, and enjoy collaborating with other good taste makers. The setup is flawless. I’ve chased down many a handbag or a duvet cover I spotted in-store to comparison shop on the app. While it can sometimes be frustrating to click on a new favorite only to find it out of stock, the app does a thorough job of filling your feed with alternate items. Because I follow several food/entertaining boards, related content is pushed to my shopping page, so I won’t miss a recipe or reason to celebrate around the table. Not to mention the pleasure I get creating fantasy boards of dreamy Italian vacations, and shiny new Airstreams just begging for a national park tour. Social e-Commerce is here to stay in sweeping ways: Social e-commerce sales rise year after year as a whopping 3 billion people flock to social media. As people seek out more personal shopping experiences, social e-commerce provides an open space where big brands and small proprietors alike can create and market to those exact experiences – much to the growth of their bottom line and influencer status.  
    Topics: im, ads, observations, live, ecommerce, brands, media, product, ive, card, shopping, casual, social.
  • Conversion Lessons from the Luggage Industry - The pandemic challenged online luggage merchants to find unique ways to entice consumers to purchase items they might not put to immediate use. Led primarily by independent, direct-to-consumer manufacturers, successful mid-priced luggage and travel-bag sites are setting the pace for conversion practices.
    Topics: shoppers, images, customers, conversion, luggage, industry, product, unique, purchase, price, lessons, products, videos.
  • Curated wants to be the expert in your pocket when making that next big purchase - Consumers answer a few questions about the products they are looking for, and Curated will match them to a category expert who provides a list of personalized recommendations.
    Topics: product, pocket, expert, vivas, series, purchase, big, curated, used, shopping, right, techcrunch, company, million, wants, making, round.
  • Daring Foods bites into third round in 12 months as plant-based chicken product enters Walmart - The company saw 900% growth over the past 12 months and will be using the new funding to support that growth and new innovation.
    Topics: product, plantbased, walmart, mackay, chicken, months, enters, growth, company, round, products, million, daring, foods, techcrunch.
  • Data Tracking: What Is It and What Are the Best Tools - When data is surfaced, organized, analyzed, and applied effectively, you have the power to delight more customers and improve your business’s bottom line. But first, you need to obtain all of that valuable information.
    Topics: tools, web, page, tracking, best, track, tool, website, product, data, user, customer.
  • Defining Influencers and Creators Requires a Venn Diagram - The difference between a "social media influencer" and an online "creator" may be no difference at all. Defining these terms has more to do with opinion or perspective than it does actual divergence.
    Topics: content, diagram, service, product, influencers, sinkwitz, creators, influencer, venn, defining, creator, difference, audience, requires.
  • Digital Creators Need Email Marketing - A list of engaged email subscribers is among the best promotional tools for creators who sell digital products. For many of those creators, it could also be a path toward earning a living. The creator economy has a problem.
    Topics: need, making, youtube, income, email, creator, digital, include, products, product, creators, marketing.
  • Ecommerce Product Releases: November 1, 2021 - Here is a list of product releases and updates for late October from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on fraud protection, product protection, international commerce, social commerce, local selling, cybersecurity training, and more.
    Topics: creators, services, releases, local, protection, amazon, products, announced, product, sellers, ecommerce, global.
  • Ecommerce Product Releases: November 15, 2021 - Here is a list of product releases and updates for mid-November from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on shoppable video, B2B fulfillment, social commerce, shopper protection, and shipping enhancements.
    Topics: google, product, integration, platform, video, announced, tiktok, shipping, releases, merchants, ecommerce.
  • Ecommerce Product Releases: November 30, 2021 - Here is a list of product releases and updates for late November from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on live-stream shopping, holiday shipping, drone deliveries, direct-to-consumer marketing, buy-now pay-later services, cloud training, and sustainable ecommerce.
    Topics: services, cloud, program, aws, service, free, releases, platform, network, customer, merchants, product, ecommerce.
  • Ecommerce Product Releases: October 17, 2021 - Here is a list of product releases and updates for mid-October from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on email marketing, digital payments, subscription tools, social commerce, Amazon integration, WooCommerce, and live video shopping.
    Topics: payments, product, platform, subscription, woocommerce, godaddy, free, integration, shopify, merchants, releases, ecommerce, hubspot.
  • Ecommerce Product Releases: October 3, 2021 - Here is a list of product releases and updates for late September from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on augmented reality tools, conversational commerce, social commerce, small business financing, fraud protection, and buy-now, pay-later.
    Topics: ecommerce, products, payments, partnership, users, platform, product, brands, commerce, online, releases.
  • Elastic Path Mobile Self-Checkout: Digitizing in-Store Experiences -   This post was originally published on March 24th. 2019, and has been recently updated for comprehensiveness. Experiences to reach the modern consumer The average consumer uses six touchpoints before buying an item. Whether it’s Instagram or an interactive display, each one of these touchpoints is an opportunity to inspire consumers with product information or brand experiences. But, why stop there? Why inspire consumers, only to then dampen their enthusiasm with an intricate labyrinth of pre-purchase steps which leads them through a thorny journey of navigating through channels and downloading interfaces just to pay for an item? Or alternatively, why make them wait in line at a store to check out just because legacy technologies make it hard to give consumers what they want, when they want it? In an age of the digitally-empowered customer, delivering great digital experiences is an essential strategy and business imperative. Mobile mindshift has given consumers a much wider sphere of influence. These days, most of the product or service information flow, once in the hands of retailers, is predominantly controlled by consumers who share their experiences and opinion online for everybody to have access. This is why embracing this new customer journey ensures that a company remains competitive, and is able to monetize the digital experience expected by the consumer. “Experience” is the keyword here. Experience is shaping a new wave of thinking. The bigger the “wow” moment the better chance of engaging the customer all the way through to the actual purchase. It’s all about delighting the consumer on two dimensions. Being present to actively engage the consumers and, at the same time, doing it in a way that makes the brand stand out. Contained in this concept, the experience becomes the shop. As soon as the interaction is established, when the consumer is deep in an experience with the brand, the transaction can happen. Right there. In the moment.   “Retail is no longer about channels, but about creating experiences and giving consumers control to shop how and where they want,” Harry Chemko, Chief Strategy Officer at Elastic Path.   The once fashionable term “omnichannel” now simply means trying to put together basic functionality that will work for multiple platforms with the focus on the media rather than the consumer. At the same time, “experiences” means jumping straight to the moment where the brand and the consumer meet and where value is created. The notion of experience is no longer constrained to the media retailers use to reach out to the consumer, rather than finding perfect timing to induce unforgettable feelings, and with that, invite the consumer in. These trends are why many CMOs and CIOs are focusing more of their budgets on the customer’s digital journey, shifting their key responsibilities from a typical IT overseer to an increasingly strategic and cutting-edge business innovator. Leading-edge companies know that experience-driven strategies can help them compete more effectively through customer service and digital innovation, rather than on price or operational technology alone. They are aware that providing a customer-centric experience will make a brand unique, and thus, unforgettable.   The challenge of transforming retail Modern digital marketing has developed in numerous ways, resulting in incredibly creative sales opportunities to inspire consumers. The best campaigns are memorable, exciting and innovative; they make their way into social media channels, they become conversation topics. Which is fantastic. However, they all end up hitting that inevitable wall when they reach the shop floor: long lines and time-consuming checkout processes, especially during key peak hours like holidays. According to the survey made by a technology provider, Riverbed, almost all (98%) respondents admitted that technology, particularly cloud-based solutions that have a potential to improve the customer experience is key to transforming the digital retail experience. More than half (53%) are positive that the way forward is to deploy applications that reduce friction from the shopping process. The challenge nowadays is not to advertise a product in a way a consumer wants to buy it, but to keep the consumer’s interest long enough for them to go all the way through the entire customer lifecycle, right up until checkout.   Meet Elastic Path mobile self-checkout: the first app-free solution to dazzle the masses The Elastic Path mobile self-checkout solution allows customers to completely skip lines and kiosks, and check out using their smartphone. Mobile self-checkout empowers in-store shoppers to use their phones to avoid the otherwise intricate labyrinth of a typical checkout flow. It brings digital marketing into the very tangible context of the brick-and-mortar store, finally blurring the lines between the digital and the physical world. It also takes self-checkout a step further offering an app-free solution. For the first time ever, consumers can go through an app-centric experience without undergoing the laborious process of finding and downloading an application that drains their phone’s data usage, battery and space. Workflow The workflow is smooth and streamlined: a customer navigates from their phone to a short URL, scans the product’s barcode, and checks it out using Apple Pay, Google Pay or a credit card. The “app-less” approach makes the whole process even faster and more user-friendly. This progressive web app, optimized for mobile, is designed to behave like an app, but being fully browser-based, it’s compelling to the consumer as it behaves like a native application, and even better for the implementer, as they have the flexibility, speed and freedom of native browser tooling. Quick link A shortened URL or “quick link” makes the entire checkout experience as simple as typing in the user-friendly hyperlink. Visually appealing reduced link length promotes the feeling of trustworthiness.   Microservices architecture The Elastic Path mobile self-checkout is a progressive web application (PWA) using a reliable and scalable RESTful API built from “pick and choose” microservices. The self-checkout service utilizes Elastic Path’s APIs - creating a cart, adding products to the created cart, processing the checkout and payment, while Elastic Path’s backend allows the solution to integrate seamlessly with any existing infrastructure, including POS systems. In more detail, once a customer scans the barcode with the smartphone’s camera, the app uses the barcode information to request a product from the Products API. The relevant product is returned to the interface and displayed with information such as price and product description. On adding the product to a cart, the Elastic Path mobile self-checkout solution communicates with the Carts API to create a cart with a unique reference number to add the product to. The app seamlessly creates carts and requests product data over and over without the user having to interject. They can add as many products to their cart as they wish. To check out a cart, a customer only needs to provide their email address which will be used to send an email receipt. They can then pay for the order using their preferred payment method, be it a mobile wallet or Apple/Google Pay. Behind the scenes, the mobile self-checkout seamlessly communicates with the pre-defined Payment Gateway API to authorize and capture billing information making the payment transaction possible. To the consumer, they are probably unaware of any transitions. To the implementer,Elastic Path’s API abstracts the necessary interactions with various payment gateways into a standard set of  API calls. Elastic Path offers a wide choice of payment integrations such as Stripe, CardConnect, Braintree, Adyen, or manual (for custom integrations like PayPal) and so on. Additional integrations like email allows payment confirmation to be sent right into the customer’s inbox automatically and as part of the normal Elastic Path checkout process. This solution substantially decreases time needed for the resources to communicate with each other. A customer can scan, checkout and pay for up to 5 items in well under one minute. Secure solution Once the product has been scanned, checked out and paid for, a customer receives an online receipt that serves as proof of purchase. The order confirmation screen has been carefully designed in such a way to prevent malicious actors to easily fool retail store employees. The animated and interactive proof of purchase makes it impossible to fake via a screenshot or a back- engineered image. The communication between resources happens over the secured HTTPS protocol, and as such is hidden from search engines to ensure any usage stays localized to each store. All interactions are encrypted, and they use a secure connection. This enhanced security layer is especially important for the sensitive data transfer required when paying for goods. It also assures that no confidential data, like a customer’s email address can be stolen or misused. Additionally, since the entire experience happens through a single URL nothing that’s been used for purchase will remain on the device.   Customer-centric approach   Empowering experience Self-checkout stands for consumer independence. The customer has full control over the entire process of purchasing goods. This power-shifting experience combined with the freedom to check out at any time makes them feel more trusted and welcomed in the store. Time well-spent Customers can finally focus on their main goal, shopping! Mobile self-checkout takes away all unnecessary distractions for both parties engaged in the shopping process. A customer no longer has to locate and queue at the checkout to pay for goods, and a store employee no longer needs to spend excessive time at the cash register, swiping cards and bagging products. With this in mind, customers can spend more time browsing and less time waiting in line, combating worries for those whose time is in short supply, e.g. shopping in between appointments or during a lunch break. Appealing to instincts Mobile technology is reshaping basic human behavior and instincts. On average, a smartphone user reaches for their phone approximately every six minutes to do everything from checking the weather, reading an email, or sending a text to getting directions, buying something online, or discovering new products suggested by carefully targeted social media campaigns.They have an expectation that they can get what they want, anytime, in a strictly defined context, personalized to their specific way of living. The ability to self-checkout on one’s phone is a natural step in commerce evolution. Fast and intriguing Attention spans and patience are a delicacy in the world of mobile eCommerce. Studies show that it takes 2.8 seconds to distract a person4. Slow-loading pages not only drive customers away from the page but very often from the brand itself. Even just a delay of one extra second can result in losing a customer or their loyalty. This is where Elastic Path’s mobile self-checkout comes to the rescue offering a checkout solution that is not only appealing to customers thirsty for innovative technological experiences, but is also optimized for speed (it takes an average of two seconds to get from a full cart to a checkout page). Up-sell and cross-sell opportunities Now freed from the checkout, store employees can finally focus on the core task - assisting with shopping and promoting the brand. This means spending more meaningful time with the consumer, providing relevant information about the product, or suggesting alternative solutions. Walker’s Customers 2020: A Progress Report states: “Customer Experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by the year 2020.” It’s time to embrace the changes, and focus on the exponentially growing needs of a consumer, instead of engaging in mundane processes that can be substituted by technology. Data capture to personalize experiences When asked about top data management challenges in the ENK Annual Analytics in Retail Study, 42% of retail respondents indicated that data capture was a top data management problem. Just 39% currently use in-store analytics and 36% are looking to implement better in-store analytics in the next 24 months. Elastic Path’s self-checkout solution facilitates this process, and allows for more direct and personalized marketing campaigns aimed at people who walk into a store with a mobile device already in their hands. This type of customer relies heavily on mobile-provided information, and would benefit greatly from such advertising approach. Targeted marketing communication catering to specific individual needs makes a business far more approachable. According to Return Path’s Email Intelligence Report, inept marketing communications account for 70% of today’s spam complaints. Modern consumers expect meaningful and highly relevant information to feel valued and respected by a company that attempts to reach out with their advertising campaign. Aimed at early adopters As PWC accurately points out, early adopters are known for their excessive spending habits, especially when a gadget or new technology is involved. According to their own survey, more than 1,000 consumers nationwide found that early digital adopters are less price-conscious, and are more drawn to the latest mobile novelties. Grow faster with less Instead of having a spacious traditional checkout area manned by at least a couple of cashiers, a mobile self-checkout option allows retailers to invest in small and relatively inexpensive kiosks and pop-ups to help grow their business. This leaves more space for product displays. Having the ability to check out anywhere also changes the way we physically purchase goods. You could capture a consumer right at the point of discovering a product before the doubt of purchase creeps in. Physical shop layouts can also be freed from the standard patterns we see day in, day out, liberating the design of spaces to encourage and invite customers to stay beyond their usual “dash in and out” purchase. Reduced costs According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employer costs for employee compensation averaged $36.32 per hour worked in March 2018, particularly during quiet periods, be it right after a huge sale, in between seasons or just that time of day when the customers turnover is scarce. Self- checkout can significantly cut back costs of staff upkeep. Lower overheads, in this case, won’t have any impact on the service provided, as the laborious checkout process would already have been taken away from them.   Self-checkout at work  The Elastic Path APIs offer a Headless approach to commerce, providing limitless flexibility over the device a transaction is to take place on. The example below showcases Stance, the first store to use the mobile self-checkout progressive web app implementation.   Stance case study Elastic Path powered self-checkout has already been deployed for Stance, an innovative California-based apparel retailer. Once a customer walks into a Stance store and picks up an item they’re interested in, they can then scan it, checkout and pay through their phone.   “We are really excited to be at the forefront of the retail experience by offering a truly hassle-free self- checkout experience in our stores. People don’t want to wait in line, and they don’t want to download an app to avoid a line either. This solution combines the richness of a physical retail store visit with the convenience of eCommerce to give our guests the best experience possible. We believe it will raise the bar in terms of what customers will come to expect from retailers,” says Paul Zaengle, Executive Vice President of direct-to-consumer at Stance.   Stance Architecture Stance self-checkout solution is powered by the Elastic Path API backend using a number of microservices plugged into their existing website and integrated with their specific POS system and payment gateway. The payment experience is optimized through the Stripe platform running alongside the Elastic Path APIs. Succeed with Elastic Path The solution is now available to all customers as a reference application that can be customized to unique business needs. The Elastic Path APIs can connect to existing catalogs, payment gateways and POS systems, allowing retailers to manage store catalogs, inventory and order processing with their existing systems if desired.   Quick and painless implementation Elastic Path uses an API-first approach to remove the constraints of traditional commerce. Thanks to flexible APIs, developers can build rich, vibrant commerce experiences. Retailers can embed commerce in any device, social application, or digital display, including smart televisions. They can build beautiful commerce experiences without being confined to a template, and make use of an easy, intuitive UX to use as boilerplate to develop the entire infrastructure around. To learn more about how you can implement your mobile-self checkout experience as a part of your Composable Commerce architecture please reach out to one of our internal experts. We'd be happy to help.         Stay on top of industry trends with the latest blogs and articles from our eCommerce experts.   i { -webkit-transition: color .25s ease-in-out; -moz-transition: color .25s ease-in-out; -o-transition: color .25s ease-in-out; transition: color .25s ease-in-out; color: rgba(68, 68, 68, 1.0) !important; } .subscribe--bar.module_15628520315781867 .btn:hover > i { color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 1.0) !important; } ]]>
    Topics: customer, digitizing, elastic, instore, experience, consumer, selfcheckout, product, ebook, experiences, mobile, customers, checkout, path.
  • Finding Sweet Success with Sugar Free Beverages - One fateful dinner party led Cristina Ros Blankfein and Jennifer Ross to ideate the zero sugar beverage products behind Swoon. In this episode of Shopify Masters, Cristina shares with us their approach to finding and working with flavor scientists, manufacturers, and trade shows.More
    Topics: sugar, finding, products, lot, success, free, thats, things, product, different, beverages, sweet, simple, really, customers.
  • How Bushbalm Developed Skincare for Down There and Everywhere - Bushbalm’s 8-figure success and its array of “skincare for everywhere” products have come a long way since its ideation moment. In this episode of our Bushbalm miniseries, David Gaylord shares the origin story of the brand's first product, with insights on formulation, package design, and scaling production. Learn how Bushbalm found production partners and worked through its production challenges to land deals with major retailers. More
    Topics: skincare, really, lot, developed, bushbalm, youre, product, products, know, business, weve, actually, say.
  • How Ecommerce Startups Can Navigate the Supply Chain Logjam - Consumer expectations of speedy delivery and an unprecedented supply chain backlog have come into conflict. Which will give first?
    Topics: led, logjam, chain, twoday, vendors, supply, ease, access, unprecedented, navigate, startups, amazon, delivery, product, ecommerce, global.
  • How Small Brands and Entrepreneurs Can Navigate the New Era of Digital Retail - The pandemic sped up innovation in retail. Entrepreneurs can seize this moment of opportunity.
    Topics: entrepreneurs, navigate, products, identity, shopping, store, retail, small, world, product, data, digital, brands, era.
  • How This Gender-Defying Clothing Company is Tailoring its Operations - When Kelly and Laura Moffat were looking for clothes for their wedding, they were faced with a mutual frustration for the options. The styles in the women’s section didn’t feel right and menswear options didn’t fit right. The shopping experience inspired Kelly and Laura to launch Kirrin Finch, a gender-defying fashion label that's focused on using sustainable and natural fabrics. In this episode of Shopify Masters, we chat with Kelly and Laura about becoming accidental designers and how working through the pandemic challenged them to grow in new ways.More
    Topics: operations, genderdefying, things, product, going, right, lot, really, clothing, customer, thats, tailoring, think, company, shirt.
  • How This Sustainable Fashion Brand Rebuilt to Bounce Back from Stagnant Sales - Kristi Soomer created Encircled as a womenswear brand focused on sustainable, comfy, and stylish clothing designed as essential pieces for travel. Since launching in 2012, the brand has grown from designing for traveling light to living light, creating pieces that do more with less in customers’ closets. In this episode of Shopify Masters, Kristi shares with us the process of working with designers and how pitching her business on national TV propelled her business.More
    Topics: lot, stagnant, sustainable, started, brand, sales, really, rebuilt, thats, work, weve, bounce, customers, business, fashion, product, products.
  • How an Eco-Friendly Laundry Brand Eliminated Big Retail From Their Business Model - Jonathan Propper built Dropps over the last three decades with the resolve to create a better laundry detergent for both people and the planet. From selling in brick and mortar clothing shops to leveraging TikTok for customer education, Jonathan shares what he’s learned about how to scale, market, and develop a product that sells.More
    Topics: ecofriendly, going, consumer, content, laundry, thats, retail, way, brand, eliminated, model, big, really, products, business, product.
  • How to Create a Picture Perfect Ecommerce Website With Product Photography - The human brain can process images in only 13 milliseconds — which means you don’t have much time to make…
    Topics: product, options, mustfollow, light, images, camera, photos, products, youll, photography, tips, youre, tools, quality.
  • How to Create a Product Launch Email [Outlines + Templates] - There are few times more exciting in a company than during a product launch. Anticipation brews and a sense of optimism emerges around the prospect of a growth in market share. Still, a question always arises when a new product launches: do enough people know about this launch for it to be successful?
    Topics: product, company, list, customers, templates, update, launch, outlines, email, create, line, subject, employees.
  • How to Sell More with Google: Your Guide to Success - Since launching in 1998, Google has evolved from a leading search engine to a powerful sales and marketing channel that…
    Topics: product, shoppers, bigcommerce, listings, ads, free, guide, products, google, campaigns, success, sell, shopping.
  • How to Sell on Twitter With These 13 Tips - Connecting with your audience on social media might seem as simple as a post and a follow, but it’s actually a lot more complex.
    Topics: media, tips, twitter, social, selling, profile, product, users, business, sell, tool.
  • Inside Elastic Path with Nikola Radic - Our Inside Elastic Path blog series features Nikola Radic, a Principal Performance Engineer, who has been with Elastic Path for 8 years. Nikola’s role consists of optimizing the Elastic Path Commerce product to meet customer expectations and improve user experience. Learn more about Nikola and what he loves about our company. Q: Can you describe a usual workday as a Principal Performance Engineer? Nikola: My day can be very different, depending on whether I work on a customer issue or on a regular task.  Customer issues usually require my full attention and a quick and effective solution. Regular tasks may include (but are not limited to) the development of new performance features, fixing non-urgent performance issues, optimizing build pipelines etc. Generally, my ultimate goal is to improve the efficiency of both, the product and the development process. Q: In your current role is there something you are most proud of? Q: How would you describe the culture at Elastic Path? Nikola:In two words, the people and culture. However, the culture overall at Elastic Path is unique, and simply amazing. There is so much collaboration between teams, the people are friendly, and willing to help at any possible moment. Q: Thinking back from when you first joined Elastic Path, what led you to join the company? Nikola: I came across Elastic Path when looking for jobs before moving to Canada. I have had experience working in the eCommerce area before, and Elastic Path stood out to me. The culture and the job description aligned with everything I was looking for, which is what caused me to apply and join the company! Q: If you had to say to someone that was considering on applying, what would you say?   Nikola: Elastic Path is a great company to work for, and it is very rewarding, so I recommend applying. I also enjoy how we can further our skills in our role, and take professional development courses with our allowance to learn new things. Q: What is your favorite movie? Nikola: My favorite movie would have to be the first Matrix movie, and if you have not seen it, check it out!
    Topics: performance, elastic, work, path, role, customer, inside, radic, development, nikola, regular, product, culture.
  • Instagram Is Getting Rid of the Swipe Up: What It Means & How to Use the New Link Sticker - If you've been on Instagram for a few years now, you've likely watched the evolution of influencer marketing unfold.
    Topics: feature, social, swipe, post, links, getting, followers, link, product, sticker, means, instagram, rid.
  • - It may sound surprising, but dropshipping has been a profitable form of business model for fulfillment since the 1960s, even before the internet was around. Mail order catalog companies like CompuCard partnered with larger retailers like JCPenney and Sears to… Continue reading Is Dropshipping Worth It? Find Out the Truth About Dropshipping Success
    Topics: customers, dropshipping, dropshippers, business, truth, products, product, youre, success, shipping, worth, customer.
  • Kiwi Bio aims to free irritable bowel syndrome sufferers from restrictive diets - The company has been busy strengthening its supply chain to gear up for scaling its product. Additionally, it hired a head of growth and a community engagement and success manager.
    Topics: bowel, free, foods, restrictive, syndrome, company, diet, kiwis, techcrunch, sufferers, bio, food, kiwi, ibs, liu, product, irritable, fodzyme, diets.
  • Leveraging customer feedback and data to iterate on your product - We held a panel during Disrupt with Jean-Denis Grèze of Plaid, Stephanie Mencarelli of InVision and Pete Thompson of eBay on being data driven, segmenting your user base, iteration speed and more.
    Topics: iterate, data, youre, segmenting, mencarelli, customer, techcrunch, forms, leveraging, feedback, thompson, say, important, things, product.
  • Luma raises $4.3M to make 3D models as easy as waving a phone around - When online shopping, you’ve probably come across photos that spin around so you can see a product from all angles. This is typically done by taking a number of photos of a product from all angles, and then playing them like an animation. Luma — founded by engineers who left Apple’s AR and computer vision […]
    Topics: angles, easy, raises, product, 3d, 43m, products, luma, phone, images, neural, models, techcrunch, rendering, waving, photos, company.
  • Make it Big Podcast: Optimizing Checkout for a Frictionless User Experience - Welcome to The Make it Big Podcast, a bi-weekly audio series about all things ecommerce by BigCommerce. In this episode,…
    Topics: big, frictionless, checkout, average, order, user, fast, podcast, click, product, payment, optimizing, payments, buy, way, experience.
  • Make it Big Podcast: Sustainability Meets Commerce: Building a Brand with an Impact with Justin Wang - Welcome to The Make it Big Podcast, a bi-weekly audio series about all things ecommerce by BigCommerce. As the creators…
    Topics: wang, think, society, big, commerce, sustainable, really, impact, sustainability, companies, building, brand, things, thats, justin, podcast, product, meets.
  • Make the most of iOS 15’s updates to the App Store - With iOS 15.0's new updates come new opportunities for developers, giving them more freedom and opportunity to test and market their work across this OS.
    Topics: ios, app, testing, 15s, developers, process, page, impact, techcrunch, store, updates, product.
  • Marketing for Startups: A Three-Step Guide to Creating Your Strategy - Marketing for your new startup is exciting. You’ve put time and effort into creating your product or service, and now you need to make sure your market is as hyped about it as you are.
    Topics: creating, social, guide, content, threestep, youre, startup, startups, build, strategy, helping, start, product, media, marketing.
  • Microsoft partners with Shopify to bring merchant listings to Bing, Edge and Microsoft Start - Earlier this year, Google unveiled a partnership with Shopify that gave the e-commerce platform’s more than 1.7 million merchants the ability to reach consumers through Google Search and other services. Now, Microsoft is announcing a similar deal. The company recently said it’s teaming up with Shopify to expand product selection across its own search engine, […]
    Topics: edge, shopping, company, shopify, merchant, bing, bring, google, merchants, search, partners, product, microsofts, techcrunch, microsoft, listings, start, amazon.
  • Navigating Social Media Advertising in 2021: How to Choose the Right Platform and Ads for Your Brand - Amid constant adjustments to social media algorithms and search engine rankings, it can feel near impossible to get your content…
    Topics: platforms, social, customers, ads, advertising, media, target, product, effective, platform, ad, users.
  • PPE Provider Thrives on Influencers (and Hollywood) - Roman Zrazhevskiy's company, Mira Safety, sells protective gas masks. It launched in 2018. The masks protect against tear gas, chemicals, and, yes, viruses. Still, reaching prospects was a challenge.
    Topics: influencer, content, thrives, marketing, influencers, masks, affiliate, ppe, movie, love, hollywood, provider, product, write.
  • Packhelp raises $45.6M to expand its custom packaging biz - Warsaw-based Packhelp has been riding the boom in e-commerce and on-demand delivery to scale a business that helps even the smallest brands wrap their wares in eye-catching custom packaging, while counting giants like H&M and Uber Eats among its customers, too. Since being founded back in 2015 — launching its custom packaging design platform in […]
    Topics: 456m, supply, sustainability, customers, carbon, packhelp, sustainable, million, product, biz, techcrunch, packaging, round, custom, expand, raises.
  • Product Photography, Part 10: Lines as Design Elements - The design elements of a photo include lines, color, shapes, light, texture, and negative space. The use of such elements in product photography can make or break its appeal to shoppers. This is the 10th installment in my series to help ecommerce merchants take better product images.
    Topics: viewers, water, design, point, image, line, diagonal, eyes, elements, example, photography, lines, product.
  • Product Photography, Part 11: Image Editing - Editing is a critical step in producing product photos that engage ecommerce shoppers. If you can’t make what you’re selling stand out, consumers will not likely buy it. This is the 11th installment in my series on helping ecommerce merchants create better product images.
    Topics: program, images, ios, editing, android, product, photography, desktop, image, lightroom, mobile, tool.
  • Product Photography, Part 12: Color Correction and Presets - Color correction is the process of adjusting a photo to match the actual subject. It's among the most important parts of editing product photos, given the importance of an exact color match. This is the 12th installment in my series on helping ecommerce merchants create better product images.
    Topics: colors, presets, photography, images, white, photos, product, exposure, lightroom, image, contrast, color, correction.
  • Product Photography, Part 13: Special Edits - Special post-production edits can help create the perfect product images. This is the 13th installment in my series on helping ecommerce merchants create better product images. In this installment, I'll look at advanced editing techniques.
    Topics: video, special, edits, image, photography, editing, create, product, tools, shadows, tool, white, background.
  • Product Photography, Part 8: Composition Essentials - Photo composition refers to the arrangement of an image's items and elements. For product photography, composition has one goal: create an image that draws a shopper closer to purchase.
    Topics: shoppers, items, composition, photography, image, products, essentials, ill, rule, subject, product.
  • Product Photography, Part 9: Advanced Composition - I discussed in my previous post two compositional rules that could make your product photography more engaging. I'll expand on that subject in this article. This is the ninth installment of my series to help ecommerce merchants take better product images.
    Topics: photography, squares, rule, advanced, lines, product, composition, elements, golden, triangle, supporting, diagonal, focal.
  • September 2021 Top 10: Our Most Popular Posts - Since 2005 we’ve published thousands of articles, webinars, and podcast episodes to assist ecommerce merchants. What follows are the most popular articles that we published in September 2021. Articles from early in the month are more likely to make the list than later ones.
    Topics: read, analytics, posts, updates, shopping, product, list, marketing, popular, social, tools.
  • She Built a Toy Brand to Fill a Market Gap—and Teach a Generation to Love Their Hair - When a seven-year-old Yelitsa Jean-Charles opened her present—a Black Barbie doll—on Christmas morning in 2001, she burst into tears. Little did she know this experience would be the catalyst for an idea that would fill a gap in the toy market and forever change the trajectory of her life. More
    Topics: healthy, idea, roots, toy, generation, gapand, gap, love, built, dolls, product, research, brand, hair, problem, market, teach, yelitsa.
  • Sneaker fit startup Neatsy.ai gets $1M seed after B2B pivot - Sneaker fit startup Neatsy.ai has snagged $1 million in seed funding after a B2B pivot. Investors in the round include Cabra VC, Flyer One VC and some unnamed business angels. The U.S. startup, which was founded back in March 2019 by Artem Semyanov (the former head of the machine learning team at Prism Labs), is now […]
    Topics: product, semyanov, feet, seed, number, sneaker, tech, pivot, neatsy, 1m, shoes, neatsyai, startup, techcrunch, gets, b2b, fit, help.
  • Social Commerce: What It Is & How to Use It in 2021 - Recently, I set an iPhone time limit on my social media use to "45 minutes". I figured 45 minutes would be more than enough. Almost an hour? In between working at HubSpot, catching up with friends, and attending exercise classes, I had no doubt 45 minutes would be plenty of social media consumption.
    Topics: users, ads, social, purchase, facebook, products, commerce, instagram, product, media.
  • TechCrunch+ roundup: 5 pitch deck slides to fix, initial viable product, MLOps acceleration - This is a fantastic time to found a startup, but unless you plan to bootstrap it, you will still need to go through the laborious exercise of crafting a pitch deck.
    Topics: mlops, rates, ml, viable, roundup, founders, deck, metrics, youre, pitch, techcrunch, initial, product, slides, fix, companies.
  • 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 Beauty of Bootstrapping a Business - "Ecommerce Conversions" is my weekly podcast interview with an entrepreneur. I've spoken with merchants, vendors to merchants, wealthy former merchants, and more. But this episode is different. I'm interviewing no one. Instead, I'm addressing a singular topic: bootstrapping.
    Topics: business, bootstrapping, products, focus, beauty, customers, love, money, brands, youre, product, investors.
  • The Best Ecommerce Content for Instagram - Instagram is a marketing powerhouse. But ecommerce merchants often miss the opportunity. Too many focus solely on sharing product images, not connecting with prospects. I've collected in this post seven types of content ecommerce merchants can use on Instagram to connect and engage with followers.
    Topics: customers, page, products, content, share, instagram, social, merchants, ecommerce, product, best.
  • - Welcome to our ultimate BetterCommerce review. The ecommerce space is extremely competitive and without access to the best solutions, your brand may suffer. Large scale enterprises are in the same competing space as midsize and small businesses and this makes… Continue reading The Complete BetterCommerce Review (Oct 2021)
    Topics: bettercommerce, platform, product, ecommerce, oct, provides, features, customer, review, solution, data, business, complete.
  • The Marketer's Guide to Process Mapping - Imagine you’re tasked with baking a cake for a friend’s birthday. You’re not exactly an expert baker, so you hop online and look for an easy-to-follow recipe that will help your dessert be the star of the party.
    Topics: marketers, youve, guide, customers, steps, process, help, youre, product, work, mapping, create.
  • The Price Is Right: 14 Strategies for Finding the Ideal Price for Your Products - Setting prices for your products is a balancing act. If a small business prices products too low, it might see a healthy stream of sales without turning any profit (and we all like to eat and pay our bills, right?). But when products are priced too high, a retailer will likely see fewer sales and “price out” more budget-conscious customers. So, what options do you have?More
    Topics: pricing, product, finding, price, strategy, prices, right, customers, products, higher, retailers, strategies, ideal, costs.
  • The Secret Recipe to Scale a DTC French Bakery - In This episode of Shopify Masters, Anthony Rosemond of Pastreez shares their recipe for success, which includes a dash of email marketing, a splash of memorable packaging, and a healthy serving of maximizing profit margins.More
    Topics: gift, farmers, really, macarons, box, dtc, started, online, scale, french, products, secret, recipe, bakery, product.
  • The Secret To Building a Profitable Sales Funnel With Ecommerce Expert, Ezra Firestone - Moving people from prospect to paying customer can be tough. This guide shows you how to use a sales funnel like a pro and secure more conversions in your online store.More
    Topics: images, profitable, product, ezra, buy, funnel, expert, sales, header, firestone, youre, add, secret, page, ecommerce, building.
  • The Truth About Dropshipping: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method that does not require a business to keep products in stock. Instead, the store…
    Topics: does, business, shipping, actually, sales, ecommerce, supplier, cons, order, work, dropshipping, dont, products, product, pros.
  • - When you start an ecommerce site you realize that there are loads of items that need to be checked, cross-checked, and tested to ensure that your customers have a quality user experience. From the website design to a sleek, quick… Continue reading The Ultimate Checklist for Every New Ecommerce Site (Oct 2021)
    Topics: checklist, ecommerce, link, items, page, site, shipping, product, support, pages, checkout, ultimate.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Campaigns - From P&G’s “Thank You, Mom” to American Express’s “Small Business Saturday” to Dos Equis’s “Most Interesting Man in the World,” marketing campaigns have a way of sticking with us long after an impression or purchase. Why is that? Well, campaigns make companies memorable. They promote a focused effort that guides consumers towards a desired action. They also give brands identity, personality, and emotion.
    Topics: media, marketing, guide, ultimate, campaigns, goal, brand, social, content, campaign, audience, product.
  • Top 10 Things Customers Expect from Your Online Store - Customer experience is key to any online shopping scenario. Shopping behaviors dictate these experiences and if you’re paying attention to your bottom line there are a few rules to follow: 1. Omnichannel Experience: Allow your customers to shop any way they choose. What that usually means is a blended, omnichannel approach from discovery to purchase. Your customer may start in a brick-and-mortar store window shopping for their next couch, but the transaction may occur on a tablet as they settle in for the night streaming their favorite show. What that means for you isa consistently branded, fully optimized experience across all platforms. From store, to smartphone, to laptop, the experience is seamless. 2. Clear Shopping Interface: One of the key detractors for an abandoned cart is always a clean interface with the shopping cart in clear view. One of theUser Interface design champions is Amazon. With the uncluttered layout and icons (including shopping cart), the user is guided through their shopping journey from search to checkout. 3. Visual Appeal: In addition to clear focus towards checkout, shoppers respond to pleasing layouts (more UI driven design). A trend in the mobile commerce world is the adoption of integrated design. More and more apps are turning to animation and card layout design to entice the user to engage in any way they choose. Here is an example of the card layout design. 4. Robust Search: The larger your product catalog, the more important site search is to your ecommerce success. While it's rare to find an ecommerce site without a search box, it happens, even among some of the most famous brands. Search result usability is also important. Customers expect filtered navigation to further refine results by attributes that are meaningful to them (category, price, star ratings, color, size, etc.). Killer search result pages provide filters, the ability to sort results, prices, stock availability, large thumbnail images, product description snippets and add-to-cart/add-to-wish list buttons. When it comes to product search, Elastic Path partners with Algolia to enable product catalog sharing. Elastic Path offers the script to push the catalog from Elastic Path Commerce Cloud to Algolia. With an integration partner for functions like search, you ultimately build better user experiences with easy implementation and quicker speed to market. 5. Customer Reviews: Customer reviews are known to increase conversions by as much as 270%, with a majority of shoppers (82%) seeking out negative reviews. Word of mouth matters, and shoppers not only seek it out they clearly trust it. 6. Chatbots Shoppers: Prefer the ease of contacting a chatbot to resolve cart or order issues versus making a time-consuming live call and be subjected to the dreaded call queue, or the slower pace of waiting on an email inquiry response. Aside from customer support, product suggestions are a chatbot use case to guide your customer towards purchase, much like a personal shopper. You may also see applications in weather, online banking, news, or even ordering a pizza. Chat is good for business. Research shows sales activity transacted through chatbots, digital voice assistants, and messaging is expected to rise from $41 billion in 2021 to $290 billion by 2025 according to Juniper Research. Read more about top chatbot providers in the market. 7. Personalization: With so much competition in the marketplace it’s important for brands to differentiate themselves with unique experiences. A growing demand for personalized shopping, often tied to social media, is highly sought after among online shoppers. With the ability to curate personal collections and browse influencer content, shoppers are enticed by product suggestions specifically tailored to their style. 8. Payment Methods: Allow customers to pay with any method they choose. Alternative payment options like digital wallet options from Apple, Google, or Samsung are widely accepted and favored for their touchless function. A growing trend in mobile payment is the BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) option from vendors like PayPal and Klarna. BNPL provides a broader payment solution for those on a budget who seek big ticket items. 9. Quick Page: Speed The albatross of all shopping experiences. The slow page load. You have a matter of seconds to impress a shopper once they arrive at your site. The good news is you have established metrics and UI/UX design methodologies in your corner to optimize the experience. 10. Easy Checkout: The checkout process can be tedious enough with entering multiple fields on a smaller smartphone screen. It’s frustrating to get so close to the “place order” finish line then have the burden of a forced account sign up. It most likely results in an abandoned cart. Create more options for shoppers by allowing them either path to purchase; create an account, or simply checkout as a guest.
    Topics: shoppers, customers, customer, things, store, shopping, cart, expect, design, online, search, payment, path, experiences, product.
  • Turning Questions into Sales: How to Create an Effective FAQ Page For Your Store - FAQ pages do more than just answer questions about your business. They alleviate purchasing anxieties, improve SEO, and reduce customer support queries. Learn how to create your own FAQ page in this guide and you’ll see the benefits of higher sales and more satisfied shoppers. More
    Topics: sales, effective, questions, product, brand, create, page, customers, customer, answer, pages, faq, store, turning, question.
  • Unpacking the Disruptors of Retail - The modern age of retail faces many challenges, but overcoming these obstacles can drive a company's success.
    Topics: disruptors, ecommerce, quality, crossborder, retailers, consumers, retailer, unpacking, retail, product, logistics, products.
  • Using Rich Snippets for Ecommerce Product Pages - Rich snippets are additional details in organic listings that stand out in search results. Ratings, prices, FAQs, videos — all are examples of rich snippets. "Structured markup" is programming code that creates rich snippets. Any website can contain structured markup — Schema.org is the most popular type.
    Topics: product, pages, markup, organic, search, page, ecommerce, ratings, rich, using, schema, star, snippets.
  • Vimeo snaps up AI video startup Wibbitz and ‘shoppable’ video tech maker Wirewax to expand its enterprise video tools - Vimeo, the B2B video platform that spun out from IAC earlier this year, has made a pair of acquisitions aimed at building out the suite of features and tools it offers to businesses to create and run their own video strategies. The company has picked up short-form AI-based video creation platform Wibbitz, and Wirewax, which […]
    Topics: tools, vimeo, video, wibbitz, company, vimeos, snaps, videos, million, tech, product, startup, shoppable, customers, wirewax, techcrunch.
  • What is Dropshipping? Drop Shipping 101 for Beginners (in 2021) - What is dropshipping? We cover the pros & cons of dropshipping plus the margins, risks & profitability of drop shipping in 2021 and beyond
    Topics: products, drop, beginners, business, customer, shipping, online, customers, supplier, updated, dropshipping, product.
  • - Live shopping, or live stream shopping, combines the worlds of live streaming, social media, celebrity, and ecommerce, and it provides an interesting look into what could be in store for some facets of ecommerce selling in the future. If you're… Continue reading What is Live Shopping: A Guide for Ecommerce Professionals
    Topics: shopping, live, guide, brands, product, instagram, professionals, ecommerce, influencer, stream, social, products.
  • What is a PIM solution? How they work and why you need one. - As a business grows, their product information becomes siloed and dispersed, becoming harder to organize, access, and use. Product attributes, imagery, detailed descriptions, and supplier information eventually become extremely difficult to manage, slowing workflows and impacting customer experiences. To alleviate this pain point, many brands evaluate Product Information Management (PIM) solutions. Akeneo, a global leader in Product Experience Management solutions, defines PIM as providing “a single place for businesses to collect, manage, and enrich their product information”. PIM solutions can help businesses overcome some of the major challenges with managing and utilizing product information as they continue to grow. This article delves into how PIM solutions work, some key considerations for businesses looking to implement PIM systems, and the various advantages offered by PIM. What is a PIM Solution and Why Is It Useful? Over the past few years, commerce has shifted towards a digital-first approach, with customers demanding more streamlined digital experiences and new options for digital self-service. To adapt to these new trends and prove ROI, Marketing, IT, and Commerce teams are responsible for delivering digitized product information, quickly and clearly. A PIM solution helps brands to manage product information, improving their ability to quickly retrieve and use key data to power digital buying experiences. Implementing a PIM solution helps a brand ensure that quality data is organized for internal use and multichannel distribution, consolidating relevant product information onto a single platform. With the rapid digitization of sales and continued expansion into new channels, opting for a PIM solution can help connect different channels to preserve product data quality. Some of the key capabilities offered by PIM solutions include: Improving product data quality across all channels Tracking product progress and completion Managing and modifying relationships between products Collecting data from existing sources Cleaning and centralizing scattered data Specifying priorities across different data sources Enriching product information Translating product information into different languages Linking images, media, and documents to different products Building customized product feeds Curating and creating product sheets Analyzing and tracking product performance Marketers, eCommerce Managers, and Data Analytics teams can all utilize PIM to collect, enrich, streamline, and improve product information and data across multiple channels. This can significantly improve customer experiences, while helping businesses gain an edge over their competitors by getting to market quicker while reducing overheads and wasted resources. How does PIM work? A PIM Solution collects, manages, and enriches data in a single place. The figure below visualizes how PIM works at a high level. Product information and data is collected from various internal and external data sources, ranging from ERP systems to suppliers. The information is loaded into the PIM solution, which allows users to enrich, maintain, and translate the data User management tools, business rules, and validation workflows support the enrichment and maintenance of data Product information can then be distributed to various commerce channels, including eCommerce platforms, marketplace listings, and mobile applications A PIM uses various data types, such as: Technical Data – Specifications and measures (e.g. - material, colors, ingredients Usage Data – Descriptions (e.g. – how-to, where-used) Emotional Data – Product stories and rich descriptions (e.g. – imagery that builds strong, emotional connections with buyers) Media Files – Images, PDFs, Videos Businesses typically have a large amount of different types of data that support a single product throughout its lifecycle. Using a PIM system helps streamline product information management and speeds up the process between retrieving, improving, and displaying the data. For example, a PIM system can load descriptive product information that uses a combination of emotional data and media files as content into a catalog management solution. Here, products may be grouped into target markets, based on usage and technical data. Some of the key information that businesses can use a PIM to manage include: Essential Product Data – SKUs, product names, product descriptions, UPCs Marketing Data – Keywords, target personas, SEO elements Design Specifications – Style sheets, assembly instructions Channel Information – Google categories, mobile descriptions Supplier Manufacturer Data – Spreadsheets, certifications, bills Who needs a PIM Solution? PIM Solutions can be useful to all types of brands, B2C, B2B2C, or B2B, who aim to deliver frictionless, consistent, and engaging digital experiences that drive growth and improve their relationships with customers. Implementing a PIM solution can help streamline data across different channels. This is particularly useful for marketing, merchandising, and product management teams, as siloed and fragmented data can make it difficult to obtain and present a clear view of product information. Companies that anticipate or are currently entering a growth phase should particularly consider PIM solutions. With new customers and expansion into different channels, information will become increasingly scattered and siloed. As a result of this, teams may waste time and resources on managing and maintaining product data, both internally and with external groups. Additionally, firms that are currently struggling with managing product information or are spending excessive time and resources on managing data should also look to PIM as an effective method to collecting and cleaning their data. This will help to avoid missed opportunities, lost revenue, and falling market share to competitors. Some of the specific individuals that should consider a PIM software are: Marketers looking to deliver a consistent omni-channel product experience eCommerce Managers that want to prioritize product data quality to drive online sales Retailers hoping to strengthen or create relationships with suppliers Brands attempting to build or boost customer loyalty and satisfaction Managers seeking methods to reduce overheads and wasted resources Data Governance teams who want to track and meet compliance needs Strategy experts considering new approaches to get to market faster than competitors Sales teams that aim to sell more through better content and data accessibility   Product Content Management with Elastic Path At Elastic Path our Product Content Management capability offers many of the core features of a PIM solution including data consolidation, enrichment, organization, and syndication.  While it does not include robust workflow functionality, the core set of features are sufficient to meet the needs of many brands evaluating a PIM solution.  Plus, since it is part of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud product it seamlessly works with our Catalog Composer capability, enabling brands to create the unique and complex product- centric experiences their business needs.   Key Statistics and Additional Benefits of using a PIM PIM has grown rapidly over the past few years, and more companies are expected to adopt PIM in the future. Customers’ expectations for high quality, thorough, and accurate product information is expected to rise, and companies are investing in PIM to meet these demands. Furthermore, compared to IT-led Master Data Management (MDM) initiatives, implementing a PIM system is faster and more cost effective, simultaneously offering a myriad of measurable business benefits. Below are some statistics that highlight the growth of and key trends in PIM: The PIM category has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 25.3%, reaching over $15 Billion dollars in 2021 The global PIM market is projected to reach $59.25 billion by 2027 Asia-Pacific is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR of 28.3% PIM Software has been projected to be one of the most lucrative segments in the 2020-forecast period The emergence of COVID-19 is expected to increase the demand for and growth of PIM Cloud-based PIM solutions are expected to grow at the highest rate during the 2020-forecast period PIM automates up to 80% of typical manual tasks With its anticipate growth and the efficiencies it offers, PIM provides teams with the ability to enrich their product information, keep it clean and consistent, and improve customer experiences. Some additional benefits of utilizing PIM are: Increasing sales conversion rates: Higher quality data that incorporates different data types can boost customer conversion rates. Using a PIM solution can further help marketing teams make media and product descriptions specific to different channels. Improved customization: Firms can use PIM solutions to scale more effectively, as product experiences can be tailored and customized to match the specific needs and profiles of different customers. Boosted speed: PIM tools provide companies with a competitive edge, enabling them to streamline data collection and product information enrichment processes to get to market more quickly. Support for growth: As companies scale and grow, data becomes increasingly scattered and siloed. Implementing a PIM system early on can help brands avoid missing out on opportunities and wasting resources as data management becomes harder with anticipated growth. Decreased product returns: Research shows that incomplete or inaccurate product information are the key drivers of product returns. Product returns can increase costs and can cause a firm to lose customers; PIM reduces return rates by eliminating data errors and using validation processes to help deliver complete and correct information. Higher team productivity: PIM solutions automate many manual tasks, helping product marketing teams focus on building strong and compelling product descriptions. PIM systems also support the enrichment of data through built-in workflows, improving collaboration and productivity across different departments. Catalyzing expansion: By reducing the amount of time spent on managing current products and existing data, teams have more opportunities to research and innovate. PIM solutions provide the tools needed for omnichannel marketing, while also offering translation, review, and publishing tools to support entry into new regions or markets. PIM is changing the game For many brands, a PIM solution can be a game changer. By solving common data and information management issues, providing a variety of tools for expansion and customization, and supporting productivity across different teams, PIM can help firms improve current processes and create high-quality product data. Deploying a PIM can improve the level of control, organization, and speed within your marketing team, whether your firm is a B2B or B2C. The PIM market is expected to continue its rapid growth, and more and more firms are adopting a PIM solution that fits the needs of their organization. Implementing a PIM solution early on can support your firms growth and support future expansion, simultaneously improving customer experiences, retention, and brand image.
    Topics: management, need, solution, information, teams, solutions, work, growth, pim, data, product, different.
  • What's a Competitive Analysis & How Do You Conduct One? - When was the last time you ran a competitive analysis for your brand? And most importantly, do you know how to do one efficiently?
    Topics: competitive, market, products, content, whats, conduct, competitor, analysis, competitors, sales, marketing, product.
  • Why P2P Marketing Is a Good Alternative to Influencer Marketing - To understand what peer-to-peer (P2P) marketing is, let's start with an example. Recently, I was looking for a new face moisturizer. Of course, I could've trusted the numerous influencers I follow on Instagram, all with strong opinions regarding the "best, most effective" options available.
    Topics: products, customers, consumers, good, alternative, reviews, marketing, influencer, influencers, product, recommend, p2p.
  • Your 24/7 Salesperson: How to Create a Product Buying Guide for Your Store - Buyer’s guides are the fastest way to influence buying decisions and make sales. These landing pages expose people’s struggles, show how your product helps, and acts as a 24/7 sales team that creates new business opportunities for you. Learn how to create one in this guide.More
    Topics: guide, best, buyers, guides, salesperson, readers, store, information, buying, create, online, product, products.
  • Your Startup Guide For Selling Wholesale to Other Retailers - Is selling wholesale worth it as a small business? A $10 trillion industry, wholesale can be a profitable sales channel for any retailer. Learn how to set up your channel and start selling wholesale items today with this guide.More
    Topics: retailers, order, startup, shopify, selling, customers, store, product, payment, guide, business, products, wholesale.
  • eCommerce Marketplaces 101: How Can I Leverage Them? - Earlier this year Gartner boldly stated in their Predicts 2021 Report: COVID-19 Drives Accelerated Shift to Digital and Commerce Model Evolution that, “By 2023, 30% of enterprise marketplaces will transition into a majority third-party seller model for better profitability.” For many businesses, adding a third-party seller model to their Go-to-Market strategy was already a serious consideration, but it has become more top of mind due to the driving changes of COVID-19 on consumer buying behaviors. According to a consumer survey by emarketer, about half of all searches start on marketplaces. So whether you participate in a marketplace as the owner or simply as a partnering contributor, your business will benefit from more consumer impressions across your products and services, thus leading to a higher chance of conversion. For those who are still researching the marketplace ecosystem, this article will highlight how marketplaces are used, the benefits you can expect to reap, challenges we see in the market and how Elastic Path supports a variety of marketplace deployments to support your business needs.   What is an online marketplace? Most are already aware that an online marketplace is a digital platform that facilitates shopping of products and/or services from multiple sources. This evolved definition of marketplaces from the traditional singular seller architecture, has paved the way to now allow a marketplace owner to either function solely as an operator, or sell its own products and services with those of third party sellers. This has been great for offering new strategies for businesses looking to enter the marketplace ecosystem. As a marketplace owner, your business will be well positioned to increase profitability in a variety of ways which we will discuss later. However, you will have to consider which roles and responsibilities you will be willing to take on; for example: Seller onboarding and management, master catalog and taxonomy, order management, rules and processes, fund collection and distribution etc. As a marketplace seller on the other hand, you will have to think about your product and pricing within the marketplace, page designs, marketing, promotions and customer service to ensure your products are good competition for other sellers within the marketplace. We strongly suggest evaluating your roles in a marketplace with a technical consultant to get a better understanding of the considerations you should be taking into account to assess the feasibility of your business plan first.   Benefits Of a Marketplace Model Once you have decided how you want to partake in a marketplace you’ll find that there will be many benefits regardless of whether you chose to be an owner or a third party seller. As an operator: You get to choose the revenue stream that best fits the market niche you want to address: Commission Model: Where you get to charge a percentage or fixed fee for every transaction to merchants. Membership Fee Model: Where you can charge a monthly or yearly fee to both sellers and buyers. Ads and Features Model: Where you charge providers to run Ads within the platform. Listing Model: Where you can charge a business for each listing offer they upload on the platform. You don’t hold any product inventory and thus don’t have to worry about product capital or investments. You’ll be able to generate trust from shoppers and thus increase the likelihood of customers choosing your site to make their purchase. If you already have a product catalog, you can expand it and create more opportunities to up-sell and cross sell to a larger audience.   As a Seller: You’ll be able to increase your earning potential by introducing your products or services to a larger audience. You’ll be able to save cost on an eCommerce infrastructure as your operator handles most of the operation. You’ll gain an instant level of trust because shoppers tend to have stronger confidence and trust in marketplaces. You’ll have a quick testing site for your products or services, thus de-risking an online launch.   Challenges With a Marketplace Model However, online marketplaces still have a few challenges that you should consider.   Vendor Integration With many third party sellers coming together, there will likely be many integrations that will need to work together with the operator’s eCommerce software. When these integrations don’t work in symbiosis, sellers often experience slow inventory updates, difficult price management, and incorrect product matching. Choosing a Composable Commerce solution would be ideal for facilitating a marketplace, as they were built to handle multiple integrations under one solution.   Product Presentation When many sellers come together with their unique branding, it is difficult to keep a uniformed product presentation. Sellers often have different color schemes, image formats, and image quality, leading to a less uniform user experience across the catalog. By choosing a strong Content Management System(CSM) or Digital Experience Platform (DXP), you can ensure that you can offer templates with strict guidelines to unify the experience.   Customer Service With a large catalog of products, it is difficult managing customer service requests. The marketplace owner is expected to assist customers regarding their products, even though they may not have immediate ties or access to each product. We’ve seen marketplace owners relieve this pressure by ensuring as much product information is provided on the site as possible, and minimizing overall customer-to-customer service agent interactions. This is obviously not an exhaustive list of challenges, and once again, we would definitely recommend working with an agency to assess the cost-benefit ratio of your strategy. So how does Elastic Path support your future marketplace business?   How Does Elastic Path Support Your Marketplace Needs? Elastic Path supports customers with marketplace needs whether they want to sell their products and services on an existing marketplace like Alibaba and Amazon, or establish their own marketplace within their industry. To support these needs, Elastic Path offers Product Content Management and Catalog Composer to support all of your complex catalog needs, as well as our marketplace technology partner integration in the Composable Commerce Hub, to create seamless and engaging experiences across multiple touchpoints. Many customers have expressed their fear around venturing into a marketplace model because of the perceived complexity and risk. However, due to the open and flexible architecture that Composable Commerce provides, customers are able to deploy a marketplace by either leveraging their existing eCommerce solution or by building a Composable Commerce solution from scratch with Elastic Path. In addition, for those businesses who want more help with launching quickly, you’ll also be able to leverage one of our Pre-Composed Marketplace Solutions, which is a complete business-ready solution, that eliminates the need to take on the complexity of stitching together everything on their own. We have had customer launches in weeks rather than months with Pre-Composed Solutions. So which marketplace model is right for you? With Elastic Path Commerce Cloud there are three main marketplace operating models that you can choose from. You can choose to: Sell Into An Existing Marketplace: In this model you will be able to sell into an existing marketplace like Amazon and Alibaba by setting up an automated function to push your products to their marketplace and market your products and services in a way to ensure your goods can be sold. Establish a services-only marketplace: In this model you will be to facilitate the sale of services as the operator of the marketplace. As services based marketplaces are less concerned with “shipping and fulfillment,” you can choose to accept payments through the platform or send buyers to the individual sellers and instead put in measures to manage and collect surcharges for facilitating the interactions. Elastic Path works closely with larger marketplace vendors such as Jetti and Mirakl to create seamless integrations to make this process quick and simple. Sell and facilitate transactions on your personal marketplace: In this model you can either choose to sell your branded products alongside other third party sellers or operate solely as the owner. In this model, you will be able to deploy your marketplace on multiple channels, as well as provide a reliable and engaging user experience to ensure customer retention. Elastic Path works closely with our marketplace partners in the Composable Commerce Hub to ensure real time syncing and seamless cohesion of complex integrations. Of course if you have a simpler or more complex need we can always jump on a call to discuss your options. We hope this was helpful, but if you want to know more you can visit our eCommerce Marketplaces page or shoot us a chat on our website. We’d be happy to help!
    Topics: able, leverage, sellers, marketplaces, ecommerce, path, marketplace, products, services, elastic, product, model.