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Top 2022 resources on services

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  • - The Shopify Experts marketplace provides a way for you to connect with Shopify professionals from multiple categories. It's Shopify's way of offering a simple hiring website where merchants can seek out assistance, filter based on expert type, and check out… Continue reading 15 Best Shopify Experts for Web Design, Marketing, And More
    Topics: store, marketing, content, web, setup, best, custom, development, design, experts, services, shopify.
  • 22 Top Local Business Directories - Claiming your company's profile on local business directories is an easy way to increase awareness, offer info on your products and services, create opportunities for positive reviews, and improve your search rankings. Best of all, the listings are free. Here is a list of local directory sites.
    Topics: business, free, businesses, premium, services, directories, claim, local, listings, search, directory.
  • 26% of Brits use food/drink subscription box service - Subscription box services are becoming increasingly popular in the United Kingdom. Driven by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns more and more Brits have signed up for one or more subscription box services. Especially food, drink, recipe boxes and male grooming drive the growth in the subscription… Continue reading
    Topics: subscription, box, euros, service, food, boxes, brits, billion, united, fooddrink, kingdom, market, services.
  • 3 ways fintech companies can help retailers launch financial services - As retailers expand banking opportunities, they will need help positioning their products, keeping them safe and selling to end users. Now is your chance to make connections in that world.
    Topics: ways, services, launch, financial, companies, start, accounts, retailer, gain, need, retailers, techcrunch, help, fintech.
  • A Brief History of Disability Pride [+Why Businesses Should Embrace It] - As a legally blind woman, it took me years to disclose the full extent of my disability to employers. When I did, I downplayed my blindness as "just a bit of nearsightedness," or I had to give a disclaimer of, "It's never held me back and I have references to prove it."
    Topics: special, disabled, act, disability, history, pride, brief, great, services, month, mental, disabilities, embrace, businesses.
  • A Marketer's Short & Sweet Guide on Diversification - To consider the potential payoff of product diversification, let's start with an example.
    Topics: diversification, audience, product, marketers, brand, marketing, products, customers, services, sweet, company, guide, market, short.
  • A step towards the democratization of online sales - In a country that has a 62% preference for the use of cash as a form of payment, the ability to build a bridge between the physical world and digital transactions could result in one of the most important challenges in this digital transformation.
    Topics: consumers, online, continue, digital, democratization, step, services, latin, sales, payments, payment, financial, cash.
  • Amazon issues rare apology in India over drama series - Amazon on Tuesday issued a rare apology to users in India for an original political drama series over allegations that a few scenes in the nine-part mini series hurt religious sentiments of some people in the key overseas market. The series, called “Tandav,” has faced criticism from some people in India — including a few […]
    Topics: issues, group, rare, services, scenes, series, apology, content, amazon, techcrunch, streaming, rules, india, prime, video, drama.
  • Amazon rolls out in-store pickup for products ordered from local retailers - Amazon is rolling out “Local Selling,” a set of services that allow local and regional retailers to offer both in-store pickup and fast delivery to nearby customers. With this new option, sellers can offer in-store pickup for products and services to shoppers in specific ZIP codes. In some instances, customers will be able to purchase […]
    Topics: techcrunch, stores, sellers, retailers, products, rolls, delivery, amazon, services, instore, local, customers, ordered, pickup.
  • April 2021 Top 10: Our Most Popular Posts - Our mission since 2005 is to publish independent content to help ecommerce merchants. What follows are the 10 most popular articles that we published in April 2021. Articles from early in the month are more likely to make the list than later ones.
    Topics: product, popular, list, posts, business, content, optimize, services, updates, youtube, read, merchants.
  • Are Seasonality & the Economy Impacting Marketers in Q4? [Traffic & Conversion Data from 150K+ Companies] - This time each year, nature – as well as marketing – slows down as we head into colder seasons.
    Topics: services, companies, data, saw, utilities, conversion, impacting, seasonality, yoy, marketers, 150k, seeing, media, marketing, q4, trade, transportation, traffic, economy.
  • B2C Europe acquired by Maersk - A.P. Moller – Maersk, a major container logistics company from Denmark, has announced its intention to acquire B2C Europe, a Dutch logistics company that’s specialized in B2C parcel services in Europe. B2C Europe offers all kinds of logistics services, including international parcel & return services, outsourced fulfilment activities and customs… Continue reading
    Topics: maersk, services, logistics, europe, acquired, company, parcel, look, customers, b2c, integrated.
  • - Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online. To make money with affiliate marketing, all you need is to join an affiliate program from a merchant, and start promoting their products. However, while it seems simple,… Continue reading Best Affiliate Management Services for 2022
    Topics: marketing, affiliate, partner, brands, management, affiliates, help, best, businesses, services.
  • - If you’ve been questioning the value of customer relationship management (CRM) software, you can stop now. A recent study by…
    Topics: team, crm, customer, software, compared, business, management, best, features, sales, services, email.
  • - Financial companies are often under immense public scrutiny. A single mistake could lead to a scandal that destroys a company’s…
    Topics: services, help, financial, best, agencies, firms, media, business, firm, agency, specialize, pr, company.
  • - It’s paramount for businesses of every kind to create a positive brand image, more so now than ever. This is…
    Topics: services, best, fintech, help, london, agencies, firms, media, marketing, firm, agency, pr.
  • - The value of NFTs has skyrocketed in recent months as non-fungible trading rapidly grows in popularity. So, how can you…
    Topics: services, best, help, agencies, media, marketing, nft, agency, blockchain, projects, social.
  • Brazil’s Petlove raises $150M from Riverwood, SoftBank to sell pet products and services online - Petlove&Co, a São Paulo-based digital platform for products and services for the pet market, announced today that it has raised about $150 million (R$750 million) in a funding round led by Riverwood Capital. The round is nearly double that of what Petlove has raised in its history. The company started its life as PetSuperMarket when […]
    Topics: company, round, raised, pet, techcrunch, million, petlove, online, softbank, sell, raises, services, market, according, total, riverwood, products.
  • Byrd nabs $56M to grow its European e-commerce logistics and fulfillment network as an alternative to Amazon - Shopify put a spotlight on the role and significance of logistics and fulfillment in e-commerce when it snapped up Deliverr for $2.1 billion last week to gain its own, direct foothold into providing those services for its e-commerce customers a la Amazon. Now, an up-and-coming startup in fulfillment in Europe has closed a round of […]
    Topics: software, european, fulfillment, logistics, nabs, customers, byrd, warehouse, ecommerce, prime, services, network, amazon, merchants, techcrunch, grow.
  • - Whether your company is in Canada or you'd like to ship to Canadian customers, it's important to find a Canada-focused fulfillment service that provides fast shipping, high-quality storage environments, and affordable rates. The goal of this article is to identify… Continue reading Canada Fulfillment Services for Brands Inside Canada (And Shipping there)
    Topics: fulfillment, shipping, shiphype, services, costs, inside, products, brands, shipbob, orders, canada, shopify.
  • China gets serious about antitrust, fines Alibaba $2.75B - Chinese regulators have hit Alibaba with a record fine of 18 billion yuan (about $2.75 billion) for violating anti-monopoly rules as the country seeks to rein in the power of its largest internet conglomerates. In November, China proposed sweeping antitrust regulations targeting its interent economy. In late December, the State Administration for Market Regulation said […]
    Topics: state, techcrunch, market, gets, antitrust, break, weeks, app, 275b, china, services, serious, fines, alibaba, violating, tech.
  • Designing a Successful Client Onboarding Process - New business is great! But getting projects off the ground can quickly weigh you down. Use a few tools to systematize the process and streamline operations!
    Topics: onboarding, clients, client, process, youll, project, information, services, need, woocommerce, designing, successful.
  • Do Kwon’s Terra trauma and drama lives to see another day - There are some events in your life that you look back on and think to yourself, “Wow, that was a really tough time.” We all have memories like that and I think the crypto community definitely shares one (or more) of those experiences together. For example, the Terra/LUNA collapse back in May. So when Terraform […]
    Topics: kwon, week, techcrunch, interview, services, crypto, bitgo, trauma, kwons, galaxy, drama, podcast, firm, financial, terra, lives, day.
  • Dutch delivery service StoreShippers launches in Ireland - StoreShippers, a same-day-delivery service that collects and delivers from store, has launched its services in Ireland. The Dutch logistics company is now active in 7 countries across Europe. The Amsterdam-based company offers its ship-from-store services in over 150 cities in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, and… Continue reading
    Topics: local, dutch, launches, ireland, shipfromstore, services, storeshippers, logistics, delivery, stores, service, orders, shipping.
  • E-commerce logistics startup Hive buzzes following $34M investment - Hive levels the logistics playing field by streamlining fulfillment so that DTC companies get the same inventory management, cost structure and customer notifications that big brands use.
    Topics: team, investment, started, services, fulfillment, hive, round, company, following, ecommerce, buzzes, logistics, 34m, delivery, startup, brands, times, techcrunch.
  • E-commerce-as-a-service platform Cart.com picks up $98M to give brands scaling tools - The company provides software, services and infrastructure to small businesses so they can scale online.
    Topics: round, platform, company, services, tools, techcrunch, 98m, companies, cartcom, funding, ecommerce, tariq, picks, brands, ecommerceasaservice, scaling, million.
  • Ecommerce Product Releases: April 17, 2022 - Ecommerce merchants enjoy non-stop innovation from vendors and service providers. The installment of “Product Releases” includes updates on social commerce, the metaverse, brick-and-mortar, selling on Amazon, and more.
    Topics: merchants, discovery, digital, announced, ecommerce, product, pinterest, commerce, services, releases, shopping, platform.
  • Ecommerce Product Releases: December 16, 2021 - Here is a list of product releases and updates for mid-December from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on content creation, app development tools, digital goods, chargebacks, pay-later financing, and video editing.
    Topics: brands, million, app, ecommerce, announced, studio, services, pay, releases, customers, product, platform.
  • Ecommerce Product Releases: January 17, 2022 - Twice a month we publish a rundown of new products and services to help merchants. This installment includes ecommerce design, SMS marketing, next-generation search, live video shopping, conversational commerce, and advertising on Amazon.
    Topics: ecommerce, services, provider, commerce, product, platform, shopping, amazon, releases, brands, search.
  • Ecommerce Product Releases: May 2, 2021 - Here is a list of product releases and updates for late April from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on storefronts, payment services, tax compliance, fraud protection, and virtual photo and video shoots.
    Topics: tax, releases, ecommerce, services, fraud, sales, platform, product, available, stores, research, businesses.
  • Ecommerce Product Releases: May 3, 2022 - Twice a month we publish a rundown of new services, updates, and collaborations that could help merchants. This installment includes updates on augmented reality, international transactions, small business marketing, and more.
    Topics: releases, business, product, ecommerce, ar, aws, merchants, platform, services, announced, small.
  • 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 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: September 16, 2021 - Here is a list of product releases and updates for mid-September from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on team productivity tools, small business financing, subscription sales, logistics, and managing campaigns on Amazon.
    Topics: platform, merchants, announced, square, services, companies, ecommerce, payment, product, releases, commerce, partnership.
  • Embedded procurement will make every company its own marketplace - The embedded fintech movement has just begun, but there is already a sister concept percolating: embedded procurement, which will allow businesses to buy things they need through vertical B2B apps.
    Topics: procurement, software, marketplace, financial, services, fintech, vertical, fresha, turn, embedded, company, techcrunch, companies.
  • Ensuring Quality in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud - At Elastic Path, having a quality mindset is the key to providing our customers with the best commerce experience. Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is a composable, microservices-based commerce solution which offers simple, flexible, and powerful APIs. Microservice architecture means Elastic Path Commerce Cloud has a set of loosely coupled, collaborating services. Each service has its own responsibility. However, a set of services need to collaborate to fulfill the needs in most user journeys. For example, a simple user journey where a shopper wants to checkout will require the authentication service for identifying the shopper, catalog service to serve the products plus the cart, orders, inventory, and payment services for checkout. To ensure this journey is working consistently every day after every release, we need thorough testing strategy in place. The following will highlight how testing is done in our software development lifecycle. How do we ensure quality in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud? The engineering team at Elastic Path has defined a test pyramid, inspired by the work of Martin Fowler and Chris Richardson, that follows industry best practices. The pyramid represents the complexity and speed of test execution. From bottom to top, tests at the bottom layer (e.g., Unit Tests) are more isolated (less complex) and faster (speed). The tests at the top (e.g., end-to-end tests) are more complicated in terms of setup and slower because they require a fully deployed environment and various configurations of the software. The diagram on the right describes the service and its relationship to the platform. A service is within a blue box whereas the purple boundary is a group of services integrated together (a deployed functional environment). Test Overview What are the different types of tests we run to ensure quality? Unit Tests Unit tests are the lowest level of the tests. They are the most fundamental layer, focused on a class and functional methods. Unit tests provide the fastest feedback and have minimal dependencies on other parts of the service because they do not require a deployed service. The tests are mostly written in the same language as the production code. The goal is to ensure the business logic within a class and method is tested both positively and negatively. Component Tests Component Tests test a service in isolation from other services. The goal is to ensure the service responsibilities are as expected. The tests are on API level. For example, a POST request to add items to cart is tested by providing the required headers and requested body. Then the success response is validated to ensure the returned status code and body has the right information. We use Cucumber for the test cases and the backing code is in Typescript or Go, depending on the service. The test cases cover all the business requirements that a service is responsible for, including data persistence and event processing. In addition, integration tests with database and messaging are also implemented here. There are test cases to ensure data persistence between the business logic and database. There are also test cases to ensure events are emitted for any API requests that need to emit certain events for consumers to consume. This level of test requires the service and the dependencies (database, message broker) to be running. Contract Tests These tests ensure that service to service communication works as services, often owned by different teams, evolve independently. When a service (consumer) talks to the other service (provider), there is a Contract between them. The consumer expects the provider to provide an agreed response. For example, if a specific field in the provider response (e.g., customer_name) is changed (e.g., to shopper_name), this will break the consumer as it expects customer_name. In this case, it is a breaking change and can impact our customers. We adopt Pactflow as our contract testing broker. The contracts are stored in the Pactflow server. Both provider and consumer services will download the contracts and verify if the contract is still valid during the test run. This gives us confidence in communication between the paired services. End-to-End Tests The goal of these tests is to ensure that services are configured and work correctly in a deployed environment. Our end-to-end tests are written from an end user's perspective. We follow BDD and write tests in Cucumber. Each test scenario describes an end-user's journey when using the public APIs. We have two distinct types of user profiles - a seller or store admin, and the buyer or shopper. Each user profile has different journeys. For example, a seller has journeys like catalog management, promotions management, and orders management. While the shopper has journeys like browsing, registration, and checkout. The tests are executed every time there is a new deployment from any service code changes. This is to ensure the commerce experience is still performing as expected. Any failures stop further release process. In addition, we have scheduled jobs that run the tests against the production environments to ensure the production has no outage or unexpected behaviors. UI Tests We have Commerce Manager which is a web-based user interface that allows business users to manage their stores. The UI tests ensure that each page and their components are functioning as expected. Store admin journeys such as creating products, managing catalog, price books, promotions, orders, and other store settings need to be tested. The test scenarios are written in Cucumber format for readability and the implementation is SeleniumJS. The test uses Chrome driver to simulate the browser and selenium commands to execute the browser interactions (e.g., clicking on buttons). UI testing is usually the slowest of the tests. We utilize the parallel testing feature which allows us to run multiple tests at one time. This significantly cut down our test cycles. To achieve parallel testing, tests are designed to be isolated from each other. This allows us to run any single test at any time without dependencies. Summary At Elastic Path, our entire team is committed to quality. The Test Pyramid outlined above is the guideline that our engineering team follows to ensure our customers have a reliable platform to run their businesses. All tests are run in a continuous delivery pipeline. This gives us confidence in the quality of changes being released to production for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. Stay tuned for future blog posts where we will talk about the non-functional testing we do for performance and security.
    Topics: service, ensure, ensuring, run, path, commerce, cloud, tests, testing, quality, elastic, test, services.
  • Extend raises $260M on a $1.6B valuation to expand its warranty and protection plan services - A company that has built a new approach to the business of extended warranties — providing a cost-effective and efficient way for retailers or brands to offer them; and an easy way for consumers to buy and file claims against them — is today announcing a huge round of funding as it looks to take […]
    Topics: plan, retailers, consumers, techcrunch, expand, services, warranty, warranties, way, extended, raises, valuation, extend, business, offer, protection, plans, 260m.
  • Flytrex raises $40M to build its drone-based delivery service across suburbs in the US - Flytrex, the Israeli startup working with Walmart, Chili’s, and others in North Carolina in pilots for a drone-based delivery service targeting suburban consumers, has picked up $40 million in funding to continue developing its hardware and software, as well as more business partnerships, as it awaits regulatory nods to expand its service to more markets […]
    Topics: north, hardware, bash, flytrex, delivery, customers, suburbs, carolina, build, drones, raises, service, techcrunch, services, dronebased, 40m.
  • Founded by ex-Braintree and PayPal execs, Pagos raises $10M to offer API-driven payment intelligence - Pagos, a payment intelligence infrastructure startup founded by former Braintree and PayPal execs, has raised $10 million in seed funding. Started earlier this year, the remote-first Pagos is building a data “platform” and API-driven micro-services that it says can integrate with any payment stack. The end goal is to drive better performance and “optimization” of […]
    Topics: techcrunch, pagos, raises, founded, execs, payments, payment, customers, paypal, intelligence, team, companies, offer, bäck, services, data, exbraintree.
  • Francophone African super app Gozem grabs $5M to expand and offer more services - Gozem, a super app that provides a host of services — including transport, e-commerce and financial services in Francophone Africa — has raised $5 million in Series A financing, the company confirmed to TechCrunch. The Togo- and Singapore-based company received investment from AAIC, Thunes (TransferTo), Momentum Ventures (SMRT), Innoport Ventures (Schulte Group), CMC Ventures (National […]
    Topics: company, costamagna, app, africa, techcrunch, grabs, expand, model, super, gozem, african, offer, francophone, financing, ventures, drivers, services.
  • French logistics startup Cubyn raises 35 million euros - Cubyn, a logistics startup from France, has raised 35 million euros in funding. The Paris-based company wants to use this money to expand its fulfillment and delivery services across Europe.The latest funding round was led by Eurazeo and Bpifrance Large Venture, with participation from First Bridge Ventures and Fuse Venture… Continue reading
    Topics: cubyn, startup, round, expand, delivery, million, services, euros, raises, french, funding, logistics, fulfillment.
  • Fresha raises $100M for its beauty and wellness booking platform and marketplace - Beauty and wellness businesses have come roaring back to life with the decline of COVID-19 restrictions, and a startup that’s built a platform that caters to the many needs of small enterprises in the industry today is announcing a big round of funding to grow with them. Fresha — a multipurpose commerce tool for independent […]
    Topics: fresha, 100m, businesses, customers, marketplace, free, payments, company, raises, wellness, platform, booking, software, services, techcrunch, beauty.
  • Fresha, a business platform for salons, spas and beauty and wellness pros, extends Series C by $52.5M at a $640M+ valuation - The beauty and wellness industry, annually worth some $4 trillion, is underpinned by tens of thousands of businesses and millions of professionals carrying out haircuts, treatments and workouts. Today, a company called Fresha, which provides a software stack to help them run those operations, is announcing new funding of $52.5 million to continue building out […]
    Topics: wellness, freshas, extends, beauty, customers, spas, platform, businesses, pros, services, salons, valuation, tools, techcrunch, zeqiri, fresha, series.
  • Gokada to launch ride-hailing service in two Nigerian cities as part of super app plans - When two of Indonesia’s biggest companies — ride-hailing company Gojek and e-commerce marketplace Tokopedia — joined forces as GoTo Group last month, a key highlight from the merger was that the last-mile delivery space is still a huge global trend. In Nigeria, the e-commerce and last-mile delivery market is projected to be worth more than […]
    Topics: plans, super, service, app, platform, services, cities, ridehailing, launch, gokada, delivery, company, techcrunch, food, lagos, nigerian.
  • Google eyes TaskMate global launch after Kenya rollout - Google has today launched TaskMate in Kenya, a crowdsourcing app that lets people use smartphones to do tasks and get paid, tapping the growing gig economy. The tech giant said it has rolled out the beta version after a year-long experiment in the East African country and is preparing to introduce it to other countries […]
    Topics: kenya, taskmate, google, eyes, rollout, africa, economy, techcrunch, global, services, launch, businesses, app, platform, tasks.
  • Google fails to overturn EU’s €2.42B Shopping antitrust decision - Google’s challenge to a 2017 EU antitrust finding against its shopping comparison service (Google Shopping) has been largely dismissed by the General Court of the European Union. It’s an important win for the Commission’s antitrust division, which — in recent years — has brought a string of enforcements against big tech, including multiple decisions against […]
    Topics: market, googles, overturn, decision, shopping, services, court, fails, google, eus, commission, search, general, antitrust, comparison, techcrunch, 242b.
  • Greece’s Viva Wallet raises $80M for its neobank targeting small business merchants - Challenger banks continue to make significant waves in the world of finance, with smaller outfits luring customers away from incumbents by providing an easier way for them to not only engage with basic banking services, but to tap into a wave of technology that brings more personalization and often better deals into the equation. In […]
    Topics: targeting, merchants, greeces, wallet, services, techcrunch, help, loans, viva, raises, payments, expand, european, neobank, business, small.
  • Holiday Shopping Fails – 2021 Sales Fall Short - Another holiday shopping cycle bites the dust, and the results are in: nothing for the record books. AdWeek reported lower projections, with the biggest returns projected for Cyber Monday. Amid supply chain issues and a national labor shortage, it seems shoppers made the bulk of purchases earlier in the season to ensure no disappointments on Christmas morning, as retailers offered deep deals as early as October to get a jump on the season. Not surprisingly the most sought-after items include high-definition TVs, next gen smartphones, devices, gaming systems, household appliances, and the latest toys for the kid, or the kid-at-heart, who has everything. A few key numbers and findings: Online sales reached $8.9 billion on Black Friday, slightly below last year, according to data from Adobe Analytics Physical store traffic rose from last year, but still well below pre-pandemic levels Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services are on the rise, and in recent months several major retailers now offer the option at point-of-sales both in-store and online Curbside pickup remains steady since the pandemic began, while other shopping behaviors have waned. According to Adobe, curbside services were used in 20% of all online orders placed on Black Friday. For the month of November, curbside services were up 78% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019 And now on with the show… Holiday shopping woes abound in the Twittersphere and among the TikTok nation, with pain points ranging from no inventory to coupon missteps, and overall lackluster shopping experiences. Here are snapshots of a few #fails: When the deal is really anything but: No availability for highly anticipated new product launches on the busiest shopping day of the year is in this shopper’s mind not just a fail, but one of epic proportions:   While some retailers do accept expired paper coupons, in the case of online codes for an on-demand service, it requires an extra step to chat with customer service when the code fails – or when you don’t even get to redemption because the offer is marked with an expired date. Inconsistency on sale models and pricing, whether intended or triggered by a glitch in your inventory system, damages the trust you work so hard to build with your customers. And when you do find that unicorn of a deal, your size seems to be the only dreaded out of stock: While this instance could be chalked up to tough luck, or maybe this shopper has niche taste beyond a 4K Ultra HD TV, a deeper dive could suggest you aren’t listening to what your customers want. Again, glitches can ruin the experience; especially when you’ve been led to believe you are “next in line”… Despite all the inevitable #fails along the way, many shoppers found they got exactly what they were looking for at the right price, either in person or online. I shopped Small Business Saturday by purchasing handmade items from some of my favorite local artists. But even if you didn’t have the best experience, some shoppers dug deep and found a certain amount of humor in the situation: And brutal self-awareness: We can’t forget our Black Friday shoppers who braved the in-store experience, only to find curious merchandizing decisions: (Video Source) And well, at least you aren’t this guy: (Video Source) That’s a wrap on holiday shopping 2021…it turned out to be more of a bear than a bull, one could say. Stay tuned for more insights and trends as we continue to navigate shopping habits in these unprecedented times.
    Topics: holiday, shopping, fall, prepandemic, service, fails, shoppers, sales, black, retailers, online, experience, services, short.
  • How To Get Ahead of The Competition with Easy-to-Launch eCommerce Subscription Services ? - Prior to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a shift in customer buying habits, as more and more shoppers were in search for convenience and preferred to complete their purchases online. So it’s no surprise that after the COVID-19 stay-at-home measures were implemented, the demand for online subscription services spiked. Shoppers fell in love with the ease and convenience of online shopping for their favorite products and having it automatically delivered to their door steps, without putting their health at risk. In 2020 alone we saw a 48% increase in subscription enrollment, with $3 Billion in orders in the physical goods eCommerce subscription space, with no signs of it slowing down even after the end of the pandemic. As such, it is a great time for retailers to enter the market and add subscriptions services to their existing physical products or simply start from scratch. By deploying subscription services, it puts brands in an ideal position to drive predictable and sustained revenue, while also generating increased customer loyalty with more affordable buying options. Gartner even predicts that, “By 2024, leading commerce organizations will generate 10% of online revenue from services, such as subscriptions, attached to physical products.” However, they also state that while “75% of organizations selling direct to consumer will offer subscriptions services by 2023, only 20% will succeed in increasing customer retention.”   Why’s that you may ask? Firstly, while consumers are easily enticed to purchase subscription services, they tend to cancel those that don’t create extended value and deliver superior end-to-end user experiences. Once they find that the subscription is too limited, they often aren’t able to justify the value and cancel, leading to a high churn rate for brands. And secondly, it’s difficult for brands to continuously drive convenience, offer personalized and curated choices, and grant exclusive access for their subscription services, when they leverage traditional out-of-the-box subscription management solutions. These types of solutions lack the flexibility to create personalized subscription experiences or are excessively expensive and time consuming to do so. This leaves brands incapable of keeping up with customer demands, which leads to high churn. So how should brands who are interested in entering the subscription services market go about doing so? In this article, we will dive into understanding if you need a subscription management solution and explain how Elastic Path can help businesses excel when launching subscription management services, thanks to our newly launched Pre-Composed SolutionsTM for Subscriptions.   Do You Need A Subscription Management Solution? It’s important to first understand if your business even needs a subscription management solution. Oftentimes, brands think they need a “subscription management” solution, when what they really need is a “recurring billing” service. These terms are used interchangeably quite often, even though they serve different purposes. Subscription management is the organization and oversight of the interaction between the business and its customers. This could include: Handling customer information and communications Customizing precise subscription packages Managing bundles and promotions Providing access to customer analytics and more. While recurring billing is the process of: Generating periodic invoices for customers Tracking and collecting payments on a predetermined basis And storing payment information   So as you can see, the two are indeed not the same, but are actually complementary to each other. However, when paired together, they do create a good solution for both managing the services, and what we might see as the most important part, collecting payments that go towards your revenue. Therefore, if you’re the type of brand that is just looking for a way to allow your customers to sign up with their payment credentials, and have a payment be automatically collected for a specified period, then a standalone recurring billing service may be right for you. However, if you’re the type of brand that is interested in: Developing schematic pricing Offering limited exclusive discounts Leveraging dunning management to communicate with customers Customizing customer-specific subscription bundles And integrating with an eCommerce solution that allows you to create a unique shopping experience Then a subscription management service may be right for you. So how can you get started and get up and running quickly? With the new Pre-Composed Solution™ for Subscriptions built by our partner Pixie Labs.   New: Pre-Composed Solution™ for Subscriptions At Elastic Path, we understand the desire to innovate and test new business ventures quickly, while also minimizing risk. That’s exactly why we offer Pre-Composed SolutionsTM. These business-ready solutions are pre-composed from a combination of Elastic Path commerce capabilities, third-party integrations, and customizations that brands can use to quickly deploy a commerce solution; with greater flexibility and less risk. Our new Pre-Composed Solution™ for Subscriptions, built by Elastic Path partner, Pixie Labs, on top of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, provides a complete subscription management solution that allows for B2B, B2C, and D2C brands to quickly create and customize unique subscription services for their customers, that drive predictable and scalable revenue channels. In addition to the Elastic Path core commerce capabilities, this solution comes pre-integrated with: Stripe for payments Postmark for email services And an analytics dashboard to allow brands to build differentiated subscription services from scratch, or as an addition to their existing Elastic Path implementation. As previously mentioned, traditional subscription management solutions are often rigid and come predefined, which makes it difficult for brands to create custom subscription services. This Pre-Composed Solution™ reduces the time and complexity of configuring customer-centric subscription services, and thus empowers brands to get ahead of their competition faster. Additionally, the ultimate flexibility of the microservices architecture also enables brands to quickly experiment with new approaches that could give them sustained advantages in their market. Therefore, brands can now feel empowered to create differentiated subscription services that keep their customers engaged and satisfied, allowing them to succeed in increasing customer retention and driving more sustained revenue. With the joint solution from Pixie Labs and Elastic Path, brands will have access to a complete end-to-end eCommerce subscriptions solution that offers: Speed to Market: You can get up and running in weeks and update with ease as market demands and product offerings change. High configurability: You will be able to cater to customer specific subscription preferences that usually involves complex bundling of products, pricing, and promotions. Sustained and predictable revenue: By offering more cost-effective models to customers through subscription services, you will be able to yield a higher retention rate, which would lead to more predictable revenue. Reduced Cost: You’ll be able to reduce your overall total cost of ownership by eliminating the need to license multiple software vendors, to achieve your personalized subscription management solution. We'd love to talk about how this Pre-Composed Solution™ for Subscriptions could help you launch your subscription management services in record time. Reach out today or join us for a live “All Demo-No Pitch” session of this Pre-Composed Solution™ on December 14th. Register Here.  
    Topics: brands, subscriptions, ecommerce, customer, services, solution, easytolaunch, path, subscription, elastic, management, ahead, precomposed, competition.
  • How Virtual Care Can Close Healthcare Disparities - Advances in virtual technology and changing patient preferences show promise for increasing care access and present an opportunity for budding healthcare entrepreneurs.
    Topics: close, services, providers, health, virtual, patients, problem, visits, care, healthcare, inperson, doctor, disparities.
  • - You may have heard of the Shopify Experts marketplace and considered it as a way to make money selling your services. If that’s the case, it’s essential to understand the fundamentals of the marketplace and what it takes to become… Continue reading How to Become a Shopify Expert (From Start to Finish)
    Topics: start, services, store, shopify, partners, experts, clients, merchants, expert, business, marketplace, finish.
  • How to Register a Domain Name in 4 Steps - A good domain name will stick with you for years to come. Learn how to check domain availability in the DNS and register your domain with major domain name registrars.More
    Topics: steps, purchase, register, add, website, youll, domain, youre, price, click, services, domains.
  • I kinda dig the Instacart growth plan - Yes, Instacart is getting into selling software.
    Topics: techcrunch, plan, delivery, tech, billion, instacart, company, growth, valuation, kinda, services, dig, million.
  • Indian giant Tata takes on Amazon and Ambani’s Jio with super app Tata Neu - The Indian conglomerate Tata Group, a $103 billion company whose business spans multiple industries from salt and software to telecom and steel, is ready to embrace consumer technology. The 154-year-old giant has been working – and internally testing – its audacious plan to offer a range of services from e-commerce and grocery to hotel stays […]
    Topics: services, group, indian, significant, digital, loyalty, app, super, giant, neu, tata, jio, consumer, ambanis, takes, techcrunch.
  • India’s Simpl raises $40 million for its buy now, pay later service - Bangalore-based fintech startup Simpl has raised $40 million as it looks to expand its online buy now, pay later service’s offerings in the world’s second-largest market. Valar Ventures and IA Ventures led the six-year-old startup’s Series B round. LFH Ventures and some existing investors also participated in the round, said the startup, which has raised […]
    Topics: service, pay, customers, indias, ecommerce, startup, services, raises, million, checkout, later, ventures, buy, experience, techcrunch, merchants, simpl.
  • Kenya’s MarketForce raises $2M, plans to focus on its B2B retail marketplace RejaReja - A 2016 study by global consultancy PwC states that an estimated 90% of sales in Africa’s major economies come through informal channels like markets and kiosks. In sub-Saharan Africa, 90% of these household retail transactions are carried out via a network of about 100 million MSMEs.  Africa’s retail payments, mostly cash-based, is expected to reach […]
    Topics: product, round, b2b, marketforce, plans, services, kenyas, payments, marketplace, africa, retail, distribution, focus, techcrunch, raises, rejareja, platform.
  • Last-mile Delivery Attracts New Services, Providers - With the holiday shopping season approaching, retailers and carriers are rolling out new delivery services. Smaller third-party providers are also entering the market, as last-mile delivery remains the most troublesome part of the package handling process.
    Topics: company, ups, providers, usps, amazon, packages, program, package, services, lastmile, delivery, attracts, fdc.
  • May 2021 Top 10: Our Most Popular Posts - Since 2005, we’ve published thousands of articles, podcasts, and webinars to help ecommerce merchants. What follows are the 10 most popular articles that we published in May 2021. Articles from early in the month are more likely to make the list than later ones.
    Topics: product, services, descriptions, popular, posts, list, read, ecommerce, updates, companies, tools, merchants.
  • Morocco’s Chari valued at $100M in bridge round as it looks to pilot BNPL services - Moroccan B2B e-commerce and retail startup Chari confirmed to TechCrunch that it has secured a bridge round at a $100 million valuation. The bridge round welcomed new investors Khwarizmi Ventures, Air Angels and Afri Mobility, the venture capital arm of AKWA Group. They join existing investors (Y Combinator, Rocket Internet, Global Founders Capital, Plug n […]
    Topics: looks, moroccos, shop, pilot, company, valued, round, chari, services, money, techcrunch, owners, bnpl, bridge, debt.
  • Most Brits cancel product subscription in first year - Even though subscription commerce is very hot, most brands are having problems with retaining their customers. Research shows that a staggering 98 percent of consumers in the United Kingdom cancel their product subscription services within the first year. Subscription ecommerce is a market that has grown significantly over the last… Continue reading
    Topics: product, services, uk, shows, subscription, cancel, brits, need, shoppers, products, average, consumers.
  • Nexi, the Italian payments giant, buys Germany’s Orderbird for $140-150M to expand its SMB strategy - More consolidation is apace in the world of payments: Nexi, the Italian fintech that scooped up rivals Danish-based Nets and then Italy’s SIA to create a $12.5 billion European payments giant, has made another acquisition, this time to dig deeper into financial services for small and medium businesses in the region. It has fully acquired […]
    Topics: nets, nexi, smb, company, services, italian, point, techcrunch, orderbird, expand, million, sale, strategy, germanys, giant, businesses, payments.
  • Nigeria’s ThankUCash secures $5.3M to build infrastructure for cash back, deals and BNPL services - Loyalty, deals and rewards services are a rarity in most African markets. The unit economics and other factors such as currency instability make such businesses hard to pull off in the region. Yet ThankUCash, a platform launched in 2018 by Connected Analytics, has managed to thrive, proving that not all is gloomy in the deals, […]
    Topics: merchants, customers, secures, thankucash, build, nigerias, cash, infrastructure, deals, buy, later, company, bnpl, pay, services, techcrunch, rewards.
  • Polish fintech Booste raises 12 million euros - Booste, a Polish financing platform for ecommerce merchants, has raised 12 million euros in a Series A funding round. The fintech company will use the money to expand its services to the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Netherlands. The funding round was led by DialCom24, a well-known Polish fintech investor.… Continue reading
    Topics: webinar, booste, fintech, euros, services, expand, raises, ireland, million, financing, united, kingdom, polish.
  • Press Release Distribution: Top 10 Services + 4 Mistakes to Avoid - To thrive as a small business, you need press coverage. But, unfortunately, coverage doesn't just come naturally – you need to work for it.
    Topics: journalists, coverage, contact, release, mistakes, distribution, youre, services, email, avoid, press, pr, send.
  • Printful Review: Sell High Quality Dropshipping Products - Wondering if Printful is worth the hype? In this Printful review, we break down Printful's pros & cons so you can decide if they work for you.
    Topics: dropshipping, hype, products, worth, product, customers, review, services, dont, ecommerce, printfuls, business, printful.
  • Professional Invoice Design: 26 Samples & Templates to Inspire You - Invoices and infographics may seem like two entirely different business materials, but they actually have one key thing in common: they both exist to convey information. However, while infographics are known for employing colorful designs and data visualizations, invoices are typically pretty straightforward.
    Topics: using, services, samples, professional, invoices, information, templates, inspire, invoice, clients, business, template, youre, design.
  • Puls Technologies lands $15M to provide on-demand home repair service - The average refrigerator door is opened and closed 20 times per day, but with everyone at home during the pandemic, that rose to over 100 times, sparking an increase in door repair requests.
    Topics: lands, services, service, business, repair, puls, technologies, 15m, technicians, company, million, repairs, warranty, provide, ondemand, techcrunch.
  • Rivian Write-down Moves Amazon to Q1 2022 Net Loss - Amazon posted a Q1 2022 net loss, its first since 2015. Contributor and financial guru Marcia Kaplan looks at the numbers.
    Topics: rivian, quarter, loss, company, prime, billion, net, q1, services, amazon, moves, sales, writedown.
  • SafeBoda bets on super app to boost recovery from pandemic slump - Powered by 25,000 motorcycle taxis at the start of 2020, SafeBoda was at its peak, ferrying thousands of pillion passengers in cities across Uganda and Nigeria. And then the COVID pandemic hit, throwing everything into a spin. Containment measures like work from home directives meant a slump in business, which was worsened by the lockdowns, […]
    Topics: safeboda, app, techcrunch, wallet, slump, motorcycle, pandemic, super, business, recovery, industry, taxi, boost, service, users, riders, bets, services.
  • Same-day delivery apps need more than speed to survive post-pandemic - Consumer satisfaction hinges on more than the amount of time it takes to move an order from an app to the customer’s door.
    Topics: speed, order, customers, technology, postpandemic, sameday, model, delivery, apps, customer, services, survive, techcrunch, need, app, business.
  • Sell more on Good End and Christmas with WhatsApp catalogs - ASEM and WhatsApp come together to teach MSMEs to use this platform at the end of the year.
    Topics: companies, business, catalogs, end, services, catalog, collections, christmas, sell, products, asem, msmes, good, initiative, whatsapp.
  • Sendcloud nabs $177M led by SoftBank to double down on SaaS — shipping as a service - E-commerce has undoubtedly seen a huge boost in growth in the last year and a half of COVID-19 living, with people turning to the web and apps to shop for essentials and not-so-essentials to keep their social distance, and using delivery services to receive their goods rather than picking things up in person. Today, a […]
    Topics: delivery, nabs, 177m, services, ecommerce, way, techcrunch, customers, retailers, market, service, saas, growth, led, softbank, double, shipping, sendcloud.
  • Set up a Professional Photo Studio Anywhere with FlashBooth - Because your products deserve the best ecommerce assets.
    Topics: studio, set, services, products, things, youre, professional, portable, small, flashbooth.
  • Set up a home beauty business? This is the new trend to undertake - Interest in buying beauty and personal care items online has increased 11% during the pandemic.
    Topics: undertake, delivery, business, set, products, create, way, services, trend, service, sector, beauty, confidence.
  • Silverflow nabs $17M for its updated, cloud-based take on payments processing technology - When it comes to online payments, the front end of the system has seen a massive amount of disruption in the last several years, with companies like Stripe, Adyen, PayPal, Square and others building APIs that make it very simple for online merchants to integrate easy payment services into their checkout flows. But when it comes […]
    Topics: cloudbased, providers, data, updated, payments, services, technology, legacy, silverflow, techcrunch, systems, nabs, 17m, processing, payment, transactions, vries.
  • Stripe expands its infrastructure play with Data Pipeline to sync financial data with Amazon and Snowflake - Stripe — the payments giant valued at $95 billion — is on a product sprint to expand its services and functionality beyond the basic payments that form the core of its business today. Today the company took the wraps off Data Pipeline, an infrastructure product that will let its users create links between their Stripe […]
    Topics: snowflake, infrastructure, sync, payments, play, financial, amazon, techcrunch, users, business, services, expands, user, data, stripe, pipeline, product.
  • Super raises $50M to cover home repairs and maintenance via a subscription model - The real estate sales market has been in an upswing this year, and today a startup that’s addressing one of homeowners’ biggest needs — repair and maintenance services, and specifically the stress of sorting these out when things break down — is announcing some funding on the heels of strong growth. Super — which has […]
    Topics: number, service, plans, super, model, insurance, business, cover, services, maintenance, 50m, ramer, raises, ventures, subscription, repairs, techcrunch.
  • Tata to open up super app Neu to outside brands - Tata Group plans to expand the family of services it offers on its recently launched Tata Neu super app to include services from outside the Indian conglomerate group, the company’s top executive said, as the 154-year-old salt-to-software giant looks to make a dent in the consumer technology space. Tata Neu — which clubs together nearly […]
    Topics: group, super, open, brands, offerings, neu, outside, technology, firm, tata, services, launched, techcrunch, app.
  • Tech firms face higher levies as Kenya plans to double digital service tax - Kenya plans to double the digital service tax (DST) to 3% beginning July this year, as the government taps the growing online economy to increase its domestic revenues and narrow fiscal deficit. It is expected that the new rates, proposed in the Finance Bill by the country’s Treasury department, will be passed by the lawmakers. […]
    Topics: plans, firms, companies, services, treasury, higher, tech, service, dst, techcrunch, tax, revenues, digital, face, levies, kenya.
  • The Next Big Opportunity for Entrepreneurs - E-commerce for services includes everything from cleaning services to legal services to medical care, beauty, hospitality and beyond.
    Topics: massive, opinions, services, medical, setting, big, entrepreneurs, updated, ecommerce, store, looking, opportunity.
  • The Top 16 Best Email Marketing Services in 2022 - Email marketing continues to be a critical strategy for marketing (and sales teams) across an array of industries and business types, and an email marketing platform is one of the first additions to a marketer's tool belt — and for good reason.
    Topics: plans, automation, best, marketing, email, campaign, campaigns, emails, services, service, offers, free.
  • Travel booking app Hopper upgrades its valuation to $5B on secondary sale - Hopper, the mobile travel booking startup and app that lets users book flights, hotels, cars, and — most recently — short-term home rentals a la Airbnb and VRBO, has been on a fast pace of growth in the wake of Covid-19 travel restrictions loosening up in the last year, with 70 million downloads to date […]
    Topics: upgrades, booking, company, capital, revenues, secondary, companies, sale, share, valuation, 5b, techcrunch, hopper, services, travel, million, app.
  • UK’s Paysend raises $125M at a $700M+ valuation to expand its all-in-one payments platform - With more people than ever before going online to pay for things and pay each other, startups that are building the infrastructure that enables these actions continue to get a lot of attention. In the latest development, Paysend, a fintech that has built a mobile-based payments platform — which currently offers international money transfers, global […]
    Topics: techcrunch, paysend, 700m, services, today, raises, uks, platform, companies, allinone, built, business, million, valuation, company, expand, payments, money.
  • Uberall raises $115M, acquires MomentFeed to scale up its location marketing services - Location-based services may have had their day as a salient category for hot apps or innovative tech leveraging the arrival of smartphones, but that’s largely because they are now part of the unspoken fabric of how we interact with digital services every day: We rely on location-specific information when we are on search engines, when […]
    Topics: uberall, techcrunch, raises, scale, 115m, apps, location, momentfeed, company, social, acquires, information, business, customers, marketing, companies, services.
  • Walmart announces GoLocal, a last-mile delivery service for other retailers - Walmart today announced a new delivery service business called Walmart GoLocal, which allows other merchants, both large and small, to tap into Walmart’s own delivery platform to get orders to their customers. Merchants can choose to use the service for a variety of delivery types, including scheduled and unscheduled deliveries, including same-day delivery, and they […]
    Topics: retailers, lastmile, delivery, walmarts, customers, merchants, techcrunch, walmart, announces, services, service, golocal, local.
  • Walmart expands its home services offerings via new partnership with Angi - Walmart is expanding into home services. The retailer today announced a new partnership with Angi (previously Angie’s List), which will make service professionals available to Walmart customers in nearly 4,000 stores across all 50 states. When Walmart customers shop in-store or online, they’ll be able to also book an Angi professional for any of 150 […]
    Topics: offerings, techcrunch, expands, handy, angis, partnership, customers, angi, retailer, projects, services, installation, walmart.
  • What does the new era of location intelligence hold for businesses? - Throughout the COVID-19 recovery era, location data is set to be a core ingredient for driving business intelligence and building sustainable consumer loyalty.
    Topics: discovery, business, techcrunch, consumer, search, data, location, hold, businesses, intelligence, does, users, era, services.
  • What is HIPAA Compliance? - Bringing your commerce strategy online and digitizing your business solution is oftentimes a no brainer as it drives more convenience for your customers and creates an overall better customer experience. However, when your business strategy requires your customers to share Protected Health Information (PHI) such as medical records, health insurance records or billing details, your eCommerce strategy becomes more complex. Businesses that operate with this type of information need to ensure that they can remain secure per the federal law known as HIPAA. So what is HIPAA and how does Elastic Path help to support your business’ HIPAA compliance?   What is HIPAA? HIPAA, formally known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, is a federal law created to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the HIPAA Privacy rule which establishes important protections of individually identifiable health information also known as Protected Health Information (PHI), when created, received, maintained, or transmitted by a HIPAA covered entity (health care plan, health care provider, healthcare clearinghouse) or business associate (A person or organization using or disclosing individually identifiable health information to perform or provide functions, activities, or services for a covered entity.) These protections include: Limitations on uses and disclosure of the information Safeguards against appropriate uses and disclosures Individuals rights with respect to their health information While businesses don’t receive a certification for meeting HIPAA compliance rules, a failure to meet these guidelines could result in significant fines, lack of loyalty, and loss of customers. Therefore it is imperative for your eCommerce business to be fully compliant.   How Do I know If My eCommerce Business Needs To Be HIPAA Compliant? The simple answer is, if you are handling any type of Protected Health Information (PHI), your business will need to be HIPAA compliant. So this means any type of healthcare businesses along with their business associates (BAs) will require HIPAA compliance in order not meet regulatory guidelines. Examples of these types of businesses include: Dentists, doctors' offices, insurance companies, pharmacies, and optometrists, while examples of their Business Associates include: Billing companies, answering services, and shredding companies. Of course this not an exhaustive list, so we recommend only using this as a baseline and working with a lawyer to determine where your business stands.   How Do I Find a HIPAA Certified eCommerce solution? While you can work with eCommerce solutions for your HIPAA compliant website, there is currently no certification recognized by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for HIPAA compliance for eCommerce solutions, and therefore you will not find a “HIPAA Certified” eCommerce vendor. Complying with HIPAA is a shared responsibility between the Covered entity and the Business Associates. Covered entities are ultimately responsible for evaluating their own HIPAA compliance and working with their vendor to form a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) that specifies each party’s responsibilities when it comes to PHI and ensure the security of their data assets to ensure HIPAA compliance.   Can I Still Work With Elastic Path To Build My HIPAA Compliant Website? Yes, you can! While you won’t find a HIPAA certified vendor, Elastic Path works with your business and business associates to continue to deliver a unified commerce experience without interrupting your HIPAA compliance.    In summary, achieving HIPAA compliance is a must for any business storing Protected Health Information and you can certainly work with Elastic Path to maintain HIPAA compliance while still delivering your unique eCommerce experiences. If you’re still unsure about how your business can work with Elastic Path to meet your requirements, feel free to set up a call with one of our internal experts to understand how we can help to achieve your goals.
    Topics: path, compliance, elastic, services, work, business, information, hipaa, health, ecommerce.
  • What the Disruption of the Online Marketplace Means for Your Small Business - As commerce moves fully online, the business model offers even more benefits for savvy entrepreneurs.
    Topics: talent, marketplaces, businesses, means, business, remote, disruption, small, services, work, sellers, marketplace, offer, online.
  • What the Future of Ecommerce Looks Like - Recent events have shown that new developments are necessary to keep the sector as vibrant and profitable as before.
    Topics: ecommerce, companies, future, business, shift, human, past, solutions, products, staff, services, able, looks.
  • Whistl opens three UK fulfillment sites - Logistics company Whistl has announced it will open three new fulfillment sites in the United Kingdom. To accelerate its expansion into online fulfillment, Whistl opens depots in Lutterworth, Northampton and Plymouth. The largest new building will be almost 28,000 square meters big and will be located within Magna Park South,… Continue reading
    Topics: fulfillment, uk, square, services, whistl, meters, sites, company, depot, opens, northampton.
  • Why Modern Solutions Break Business Model Boundaries - An Analysis of Subscriptions - Information technology is a sea of techno babble, three letter acronyms (TLAs) and jargon, which is not helped by our human condition driving us to compartmentalise and classify everything neatly into clearly aligned boxes, which I have successfully extended with my own lexicon of buzz words over the years. The most common TLAs are focussed on defining transactional business relationships B2C, B2B, D2C...  and the list goes on. This basically works even in our rapidly changing world, although it does leave interpretation open to the individual. Let’s examine this Opening Statement:  Do we need to draw artificial lines between B2C / B2B / D2C / M2Q etc. to get to the right composed solution? Modern Composable Commerce solutions cross both functional and business model boundaries aiming to deliver the most personalised, targeted, enriched and immersive experience for all purchasers. Subscriptions based solutions are a great example of this in action, offering predictable revenues for the selling organisation, whilst increasing options for buyers that drives affordability and positively impacts loyalty. COVID has accelerated in-device and online orders, which subscription offerings maximise, due to our growing consumption-based needs during lock down, which conversely calls for increased choice, on-demand delivery, and flexibility in financial options. Robbie Baxter’s book, The Membership Economy, demonstrates how for agile companies focused on ongoing buyer relationships and providing access instead of just ownership, leveraging subscriptions is significantly impacting recurring revenues. This is further highlighted by Gartner stating the growing importance of subscriptions in our daily lives and predicts that by 2023 - 75% of online offers will be subscription based. The growth of subscriptions is impacting our lives as consumers and the industry generally: CFO Research have outlined that “53% of senior finance executives say at least 40% of organisations’ revenue is recurring”   Deliotte say over 41% of households today subscribe to one or more music streaming service and 69% subscribe to video streaming   PYMNTS.com say “The luxury car subscription market is set to grow by 71% by 2022”   Invesp highlight Average conversion rate by service type is:       • 65% Replenishment       • 52% Curation       • 51% Access Let’s dive deeper into subscriptions, to examine why they operate across boundaries, and are critical to modern trading strategies. Firstly, we generally subscribe to three types of commodities: Physical Goods; Digital Goods and Services, in isolation or in concert. Each commodity shares common characteristics that define them as a subscription: Duration   Renewal processes   Cancelation policies   Payment terms   Price These attributes are critical to both buyers or sellers and determine clear recurring order cycles which help sellers react accurately to supply and demand and buyers quickly assess a cost / benefit analysis. All consumers see this from a value-based purchase perspective, but buyer personas consumption need vary, for example: A procurer at a large hospital will assess the purchase against operational running costs and usages trends.   A manufacturer would define production volumes and profit margins based on the materials required from suppliers in subscription cycles. Arguably the buyer examples open the question “Are these all subscriptions?” and what is the difference between a recurring order vs. manufacturing supply chain vs. subscription. This further dives into the alignment of business and technology needs questions like “Is recurring billing a subscription? Or Is order replenishment a subscription?” I want to recognise that there are fine lines to draw here which can have different interpretations. These differences in language and interpretation provide the 1st supporting point to the opening statement, that we are building artificial boundaries, which we’ll review at the end. Some great customer examples: Blink cat food is a great example of Physical Goods based subscriptions. Providing cat owners the ability to build their own cat food box subscription to meet their specific cats’ needs while giving them peace of mind that they’ll never be caught off guard by an empty cupboard. Starting with a simple trial and graduating to a fully configurable monthly box with personalised discounts all within a few simple clicks while supporting all the base characteristics of great a subscription. Blink was implemented by Pixie Labs, a UK based product development studio and partner of Elastic Path, leveraging Elastic Path Commerce Cloud as the headless commerce solution of choice. Pixie Labs recently launched their new Pre-Composed SolutionTM for Subscriptions which will offer clients selling physical goods a rapidly configurable solution founded on the concepts of Blink, which reduces speed to market and total cost of ownership with a highly customizable subscription management solution which can flex with your needs to ensure complete control over customer experience. CTA reMarkable is a great example of Digital Goods based subscriptions. The recently launched reMarkable Connect subscription services, provide reMarkable customers with the ability to leverage Dropbox or Google Drive integrations to access PDFs which can be uploaded to the reMarkable for reading and dynamic annotation, then sharing via email, to the cloud storage or present live. The reMarkable internal IT team have been leveraging Elastic Path Commerce Cloud for over 5 years and have extended our headless platform with Stripe our premier partner, leveraged by clients for recurring billing-based subscription solutions. Services based subscriptions around various traders is combined the other subscription based or purchasable items. Generally in complex and highly configurable solution offerings to clients & businesses, installation services, maintenance contracts, phone tariffs like T-Mobile and are combined with hardware & software. Today many service based subscriptions are custom built as every service offering is unique to support the the complete services like incident & maintenance services. The baseline attributes required to support service offerings changes the baseline across different business models, requiring a variety of consumption, utilization or distribution approaches, and require allocation of expert services. They help to start building from the baseline attributes, as different business models as the examples above demonstrate, require varying consumption or distribution approaches, and require allocation of expert services. These radically change how the seller markets and release commodities to maximise revenue from the target subscribers, example of addition attributes: These attributes only scratch the surface of possibilities and shouts “With great power comes great responsibility.” I say this as the increasing commercial benefits of subscriptions and our access driven generation of buyers (like my three sons {18, 19, 25}) are: demanding social immersion, experiential engagement, hyper personalisation, low entry costs and simplicity of acquisition. These factors are moving us to what I would call “multi-dimensional subscription configurations” which will combine all purchases & subscriptions into a super subscription set or consumption-based ordering. This also carries the risk of over complicating initial purchasing experiences, and allowing technicians to confuse and scare buyers if not designed with the buyer in mind, and begs the question: Does the most complex model cover all requirements? Well, experience teaches me that the most complete and flexible model “NOT complex” will cover North of 85% of use cases, but never all, and opens a world of potential. This also highlights why there is a growing ecosystem of specialised Subscription software vendor working with this in mind. This serves as the 3rd supporting point to the opening statement. Beyond these basic subscription elements, most running solutions in the wild leverage other touch points which increasingly impacting why subscriptions are becoming more influential, including: Trials, Teasers, Testers, Tasters: Being able to have an initial small order sent home or access to a game you want to test out for a limited usage. As part of the composable subscription solution, inventory and fulfilment could be restricted or the download series will have a timeout set in the entitlement system. The ability to try before you buy is nothing new and is something generally which increases confidence and longevity.   Social & Community: As COVID has proven, we will adapt and overcome and the human desire to interact, communicate, collaborate, and share only burns even brighter online than ever. Coupling this to the fact that many traditional subscriptions offered as part of membership to clubs (crafting, reading, sports .. ). Social and immersive experiences within the eCommerce landscape are at the heart of all great compositions, while leveraging natural and authentic interactions which supports subscribers and allows them to socialise with each other organically growing the future stickiness of the commodity and providing value feedback to the seller.   Loyalty: When we subscribe, especially to a service, the seller wants to build our loyalty to protect their revenue stream. Microsoft and Amazon are great examples as they release additional value-added services and either provide them for free or bundle them for a limited time, and additionally provide services points that can be redeemed as rewards for play and usage.   Promotions: There isn’t a a trading journey or solution operating today that isn’t impacted by some form of promotion and marketing activity. Subscriptions models expand the needs further: i.     First 3 months free and remaining 9 months at 20% off; ii.    Subscribe to this get access to this for 4 weeks free; Additionally handling the promotions at time of renewal and during reverse logistics can be a little unique. Each of these composable components are defined, selected and controlled by the needs and requirements of the business, so transcend baseline concepts of a business model and remove boundaries to trading with all buyer personas. The growing ecosystem of critical touch points is the 4th supporting point to the opening statements that subscription trading models highlight. So let’s wrap up: “Do we need to draw artificial lines between B2C / B2B / D2C / M2Q etc. to get to the right composed solution?” I suggest we should not, let’s look at the supporting point: The overlap in functional and terms, exemplified by subscriptions, shows a wider challenge we face in communicating clearly how to address business needs and impact revenue growth, and trying to bundle everything into a B2B or B2C bucket kills our opportunity to innovate.   Businesses who provide subscriptions want to generate a predictable revenue stream for all commodities they offer. This is designed with a target persona in mind, however the seller wants to open the ability for others to purchase and grow their customer base, whether consumer, reseller, distributor, etc.   The need for open and flexible subscription solutions supports all types of commodities and purchasing terms has not direct correlation to the business model, but the type of commodity and how it will be consumed by the end buyer. Especially with access-based consumption if I’m a business buyer or consumer has little importance.   The expanding Composable Commerce ecosystem demands agility, flexibility, and choice. Subscription models are a collision point requiring interaction across the broader solution landscape while increasing cohesion with the end subscriber to bring value. This is like the 3rd point but is more architectural in nature. When considering the convenience and reduced cost for the buyer, coupled with predictable revenue and increased control over the supply chain, highlights the growing importance of subscriptions in our modern trading world and in my view an important step in the dissolution of boundaries across business models.
    Topics: business, services, break, service, boundaries, based, subscriptions, analysis, subscription, solution, model, great, buyer, revenue, modern, solutions.
  • Why Partner With Elastic Path - Today’s eCommerce requires innovation at speed. Microservices-based, API-first solutions deliver on that innovation by opening the door to differentiated customer experiences. Elastic Path has been an early adopter of the Composable Commerce approach, enabling sales, marketing, and merchandising teams to launch and optimize digital commerce experiences leveraging best-of-breed vendors into one business-ready solution. But you already know this if you’ve come this far. Also no surprise that Composable Commerce runs on an open ecosystem of vendors. With vendor functionality ranging from search, and OMS (to name just a few), we partner with you to create modern, agile commerce solutions based on specific business needs. Together we navigate the complexities to deliver a highly scalable, and easily customizable solution composed of best-of-breed functionality. We’re looking for partners to build our community, reimagine eCommerce, and grow revenue. (That means your revenue too). So why would you partner with Elastic Path? You certainly have plenty of commerce platforms to choose from, the competition is fierce. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you? You don’t want to be left behind when it comes to the latest technology – rigid, slow, monolith platforms are a thing of the past and you want to be a leader in a composable, microservices-based practice   You want a high implementation success rate to build your customers’ trust   You want to be a part of joint GTM strategies and business planning Or, maybe You prefer to work across many modern programming languages based on your preference and skill, without the need for specialized architecture knowledge and language   You find it difficult to deliver on specific client needs working with rigid, monolithic systems. You prefer flexibility and speed in architecture for rapid deployment   You expect extensive documentation, guided tutorials, and self-enablement capabilities If any or even all these points resonate with you, let’s take the discussion a step further. What can you expect from us? A few key attributes of our partner program to consider: No pay to play modeling. Your investment is your time, thought leadership, and desire to create unique commerce solutions. We don’t require any monetary commitment.   State-of-the-art training modules designed for your schedule. You’ll access trainings wherever you are, anytime, at your pace. Our dedicated learning portal provides the knowledge you need to be successful.   Progress through our tiered certification levels and be rewarded as you go with successful implementations and greater access.   Access to support from sales and partner enablement teams through a range of channels. Interested in Partnering With Elastic Path? Elastic Path is the leading independent provider of commerce solutions for digital experiences. We build for our partners, so contact us today. See the Future of eCommerce Our Customers The Elastic Path story would be incomplete without our customers. We’ve helped companies ranging from retail, manufacturing, professional services, consumer goods, healthcare, and hospitality spaces realize their eCommerce goals and bring their brands to life including: Pella Windows and Doors came to Elastic Path with a need to develop an online revenue stream to continually evolve their business. Today Pella has a custom-built configurator that empowers customers to create their perfect windows and doors online, resulting in an elevated path to purchase and reduced cart-abandonment. Paro is a growth platform bringing businesses and expert finance and accounting professionals together through AI technology and acute industry knowledge. Their community of professionals provides a range of services to clients, from bookkeeping and accounting to highly specialized corporate development and strategic advisory. Paro successfully launched a customer portal in 5-6 months with the support of implementation partners Algolia for search functionality, Stripe for payment processing, and GetStream for a chat feature. Luxury jeweler Teilor had aggressive goals to expand their eCommerce presence in the next five years. They were looking for a partner to guide them through the digital transformation towards an omnichannel experience, and the critical future-proofing of the solution as they scale. With the typical buying journey lasting between 4-6 weeks, they needed an experience to balance both the online and in-store components of their customer’s highly personal discovery and purchase. They achieved their desired customer experience through an SI partnership for migration and pre-built solutions to launch quickly. How Elastic Path Differentiates Let me take a moment to familiarize you with more of what Elastic Path has to offer in the way of products, services, and resources. Elastic Path Commerce Cloud: All the Power in a Single Platform With core capabilities ranging from cart/checkout to product content management, to payments, inventory, and account management, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud (EPCC) is a single platform solution across channels, (B2B, B2C, or even B2B2C), brands, and geographies. We’ve eliminated the need for messy workarounds and costly development time. Your development time is significantly reduced for use cases across multiple brands, channels, and touchpoints in a signal instance. But we’ve taken that a step further with value add-ons, services, and solutions: Pre-Composed Solutions™ For those businesses ready to embrace a multi-vendor solution that may be new to Composable Commerce we offer pre-integrated, business-ready packages for a quicker launch with less risk. Capabilities like search or front- end management are built-in and enable easier customizations and management. We’ll also collaborate with SI partners to develop new pre-composed solutions based on customer needs. Elastic Path Payments Powered by Stripe Provide a seamless customer experience at checkout with Stripe’s best-in-class security and fraud management. Improve conversions, support subscriptions, BNPL, and alternative payment methods such as digital wallets. Composable Commerce XA™ Service and support are a touchstone at Elastic Path. One of the common pain points of a multiple vendor solution is support when issues arise. Our answer to this is Composable Commerce XA. We are the single point of contact across vendors and solutions to identify and resolve issues in a timely fashion. This reduces risk and gives customers greater peace-of-mind when managing a composable, multi-vendor solution that could otherwise be overwhelming. Migration Packages We’ve developed the only Salesforce Commerce Cloud Migration Package. After hearing many SFCC customers share the limitations they’ve encountered with an all-in-one platform we answered the call. Through Pre-Composed Solutions, migration services and tools, and the multi-vendor assurance of Composable Commerce XA, we’ve de-risked the transition to Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. Composable Commerce Hub While we’re talking firsts, the Composable Commerce Hub is the first and only open exchange of business solutions powered by an ecosystem of leading digital commerce providers. Whereas traditional vendor marketplaces were home to just partner integrations, the Hub includes all the pieces for a brand to combine with the Composable Commerce platform to quickly and confidently launch with a truly DIY, composed solution. You Would Be in Good Company You’ve heard quite a bit about us. And now we’d like to hear more about you. Take a moment to reach out and connect with us, and feel free check out who’s currently in our expanding directory of Solutions and Tech Partners.
    Topics: services, ecommerce, partner, commerce, partners, customers, path, solutions, support, composable, elastic, solution.
  • Why a Service-Based Business Needs an Online Store and How to Set One Up - Looking for more efficient operations and better margins? Leading service businesses are using eCommerce solutions to grow. Find out if it's right for you!
    Topics: servicebased, online, sell, pay, services, youre, woocommerce, needs, store, information, client, business, clients, options.
  • Yalo raises $50M to build ‘c-commerce’ services for chat apps like WhatsApp - Facebook has long been working on raising WhatsApp’s profile as a channel for businesses to interact with (and sell to) their customers. Today, a startup that has built a suite of tools for retailers and others to build and run those services over WhatsApp and other messaging platforms is announcing growth funding to address that […]
    Topics: customers, techcrunch, services, conversational, emerging, funding, raises, messaging, yalo, chat, ccommerce, build, apps, 50m, markets, commerce, whatsapp.
  • Yelp update to warn consumers Crisis Pregnancy Centers aren’t abortion care providers - Following the overturn of Roe v. Wade, companies have been bolstering efforts and navigating the legal landscape to provide care to birthing people. Yelp is now following suit.  The company announced, in an exclusive first shared with Axios, that it will add a consumer notice to crisis pregnancy centers (CPC) to differentiate them from abortion […]
    Topics: crisis, consumers, businesses, care, cpcs, abortion, provide, centers, information, providers, pregnancy, techcrunch, services, yelp, update, warn.
  • Your Ecommerce Empire Starts Here - Take advantage of this booming industry.
    Topics: learn, store, services, bundle, youll, empire, highly, write, online, ecommerce, entrepreneur, starts.
  • Zip acquisition of Payflex means Africa is ripe for BNPL disruption - Australian buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Zip this week acquired South Africa-based BNPL player Payflex for an undisclosed amount. It’s a piece of news that once again highlights the hype around BNPL services and the quest for global dominance among the leading players. This year we have covered BNPL services from the likes of […]
    Topics: payflex, south, zip, services, company, africa, players, bnpl, techcrunch, disruption, service, markets, ripe, market, means, acquisition.
  • 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.
  • mPharma raises $35 million in round joined by Tinder co-founder’s JAM fund, Bharti executive - Ghanaian health tech startup mPharma is building a network of community pharmacies across Africa as it plans to be the go-to primary healthcare service provider for millions of people residing in the region. MPharma plans to grow its community (Mutti) pharmacies across eight markets in Africa to be the first point of care for patients. […]
    Topics: executive, jam, joined, round, pharmacies, health, techcrunch, raises, care, fund, million, services, africa, pharmacy, mpharma, build, tinder, mutti, community.