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Top 2023 resources on solution

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  • - The best contact form apps for Shopify are fantastic tool for ecommerce store owners. With these handy add-ons for Shopify, companies can provide their customers with a convenient and straightforward way to reach out with any questions or concerns they… Continue reading 10 Best Contact Form Apps for Shopify for 2024
    Topics: toppricing, solution, forms, apps, free, best, contact, paid, form, email, shopify, app, starting.
  • - The best ecommerce platforms for Printful users leverage native integrations and APIs to ensure you can easily automate various aspects of your print-on-demand business model. Printful is easily one of the most popular print on demand solutions in the market… Continue reading 11 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Printful Print on Demand (2023)
    Topics: tools, best, selling, platform, printful, month, demand, store, solution, print, ecommerce, sales, platforms, payment.
  • 13 Customer Service Skills You Need to Provide Memorable Customer Support - Go beyond help desk software and call scripts to get to know the 13 skills that are needed to deliver great customer service. From active listening to improvisation to resilience, here's what you need to know to develop customer service skills for you and your team. More
    Topics: provide, skills, memorable, reps, need, customers, customer, skill, solution, brand, support, service, product.
  • 3 Key Concerns When Evaluating a New Composable Commerce Approach - A little over a year has gone by since Composable Commerce was pioneered and subsequently caught fire in the eCommerce world. How are players embracing the movement? Is it all that it was cracked up to be? Does a Composable Commerce approach overcome the 3 main concerns practitioners have when evaluating an eCommerce solution? Namely, concerns around Total Cost Ownership, rapidly adapting to market & consumer needs, integration with other tools. Partnering with Ignite research, we extensively surveyed professionals in the sector to get a feel for their understanding and journeys so far. Spoiler: most practitioners are well on their way to adopting a Composable Commerce approach if they haven’t already implemented one. The benefits, in some cases, surpassed expectations, with the overriding opinion that this is only the beginning. Before we dive into the nuances, let us briefly recap what Composable Commerce is. A far cry from the ‘traditional monolith’ platforms that started the eCommerce wave, Composable Commerce allows a company to leverage the “best-of-breed” solutions that power facets of their eCommerce engine, allowing them to create bespoke experiences to delight their customers. In a nutshell, it is an approach that leverages modern technology like microservices, APIs, Cloud, Headless, and JAMstack (JavascriptJavaScript, APIs, markup), in an open ecosystem that truly enables a practitioner to build an eCommerce experience that enables achieving and surpassing your business-centric goals. Composable Commerce: Key Concerns With Existing eCommerce Platforms Of the respondents, a whopping 95% believed that Composable Commerce is the future of their business. Why? While priorities may differ, respondents across industries agree on the key concerns of their current eCommerce solution. The top 3 areas are: Quickly adjusting to market and consumer needs (37%) Integrating with other tools (36%) The high total cost of ownership (35%) Practitioners recognize these issues and more importantly, how Composable Commerce can help them tackle those concerns now and in the future. While 58% of respondents already employ a Composable Commerce approach, of those who do not currently use a Composable Commerce approach, 62% are researching, and a further 29% are evaluating options.   Let’s Talk Total Cost Ownership A crucial concern in the evaluation of an eCommerce platform, the total cost of ownership(TCO), there are pleasant surprises in store with a Composable Commerce approach. Of those that have implemented a Composable Commerce solution, over 80% expected to see Total Cost of Ownership savings over the next 3 years. Breaking down these savings, 62% expect a 25% reduction in costs over the next 3 years, and 19% of respondents expecting savings of 50% over the same time. By design, Composable Commerce is built for change. Need to implement a self-check-out option to keep up with the market? It is an easy and quick addition with a Composable Commerce approach, in contrast to a traditional monolith platform’s implementation. On a monolith, the implementation would usually incur higher developer costs, more lengthy and painstaking testing, and in some cases relying on an implementation partner’s availability. For a more detailed breakdown of what to expect on the cost front, check out our guide to total cost ownership here. While the benefits from a TCO perspective will continue to roll in well into the future, what about getting started with a Composable Commerce approach? A significant change in methodology can be daunting with the perceived complexity of this approach. Unsurprisingly, however, 81% of practitioners using a composable approach were able to implement it within 6 months! In addition, those who have implemented a Composable Commerce approach say that it took only one month to implement additions from third parties to their commerce solution.   Looking to implement a headless approach? Our comprehensive guide to getting started with headless commerce will teach you more about the architecture, how to work with the front-end of your choice, and how to choose a platform that fits your needs. Read the Guide   Is Composable Commerce Right for Your Business?   Catch yourself thinking “but is this really a fit for my unique business?” We get it, differentiating your brand and products is tough to do in today's saturated marketplace. The true power of a Composable Commerce approach is the ability to control and deliver a unique and unparalleled experience for your customers across touchpoints both old and emerging. Another key concern of practitioners is the ability to manage and add to their commerce solution themselves. Once again, the proof is in the pudding. Of those that implemented a Composable Commerce solution, 50% of respondents were making changes on their own to keep up with the evolving needs of their customers. You guessed it, that also means further savings. Additionally, they also reported that integrating with other tools (53%) and providing a consistent user experience (52%) was now easier than before. The benefits are spread across the business and technology teams, which makes a Composable Commerce approach a no-brainer in our eyes. What does that mean for your business? Implementing third-party tools, following the “best-of-breed” approach allows you to quickly optimize existing or add new channels. Let’s take another example if you notice there may be an upside in switching search capability on your eCommerce offering. Composable Commerce allows you to make the swap significantly faster than if it were to be changed (if at all possible) in a traditional monolith platform. This freedom and speed allow you to optimize your experience to delight your customers, delivering and surpassing your business goals.   Next Steps See what else the other respondents had to say, check out the full report here. Ready to take the plunge? We'd love to connect and see how we can make Composable Commerce work for you, sign up for a demo here.
    Topics: solution, evaluating, concerns, respondents, ecommerce, approach, business, cost, total, commerce, composable.
  • 5 Considerations For Deciding If Composable Commerce Is Right For you - Composable Commerce could be just thing you were looking for to elevate your eCommerce strategy. Find out if it is right for you.     Here are the top five considerations for deciding if Composable Commerce will be right for your business. The commitment to digital differentiation. You believe digital is an intrinsic part of your commerce strategy that allows you to outpace competitors. So website experiences are only one part of the puzzle, and you want to be able to continuously innovate and optimize with truly differentiated commerce experiences to retain and attract new customers. Flexible architecture is a must. You desire to design your unique vision and iterate without any interdependencies. By leveraging the back and freedom of MACH and the front and flexibility of JAMstack, you want to set your team up to deliver your unique vision with little technical debt. Out-of-the-box isn't enough. You're unsatisfied with these out of the box features and see the benefits of a building and designing your custom fit solution for your precise needs. By building with Composable services, you want to eliminate that bloating in the backend that usually causes your slight to be slow that are associated with those unwanted features from out-of-the-box platforms. Quick adaptability. You recognize the need for an agile solution to support your business centric functions. Whether it be an unprecedented pandemic or just another changed customer habit, you want to be able to use quick-starts as well as business analytics and business tooling, to be able to react quickly and outperform competitors. And, lastly, cost reduction. You want to drive revenue through innovation without hurting your pocket. Due to the rigidity of traditional legacy platforms, customization and other changes impact both time to market and your budget. You want a solution to deliver the best for your business while also remaining in your CFO's good graces. If these considerations resonate with you, then it may be time to upgrade to a Composable Commerce solution. If you'd like to learn more about the Composable Commerce solution and how Elastic Path may help, feel free to reach out to us, we'd be happy to help you out.
    Topics: strategy, help, business, unique, deciding, commerce, composable, considerations, able, right, solution, vision.
  • 5 Ways to Capture Millennial and Gen Z Customers - The rise of Millennial and Gen Z powerhouses and how they are shaping the shopping landscape, forcing companies to adapt or risk being left behind.
    Topics: solution, shopping, connected, millennial, flexible, millennials, gen, online, payment, z, payments, experiences, businesses, capture, banking.
  • 7 Problem Solving Skills Marketing Managers Need & How to Improve Them - Think back to a time you had to solve a problem but didn't have all of the right information. What did you do? Situations like this pop up all the time at work and put your problem solving skills to the test.
    Topics: need, manager, managers, problem, skills, marketing, improve, solution, help, solutions, solving, team.
  • 7 Ways SEO & PPC Can Work Together in 2021 - If your SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) teams exist in complete silos, it's time to change that.
    Topics: solution, page, keyword, ways, seo, search, marketing, work, organic, results, ppc, keywords.
  • - If you’re a wannabe UK entrepreneur looking to dabble in the waters of eCommerce, you’re in the right place. Today we’re reviewing ShopWired, a UK-centric eCommerce platform. More specifically, we’re listing ShopWired’s most notable features and pricing so that hopefully,… Continue reading A ShopWired Review: Is This The Best Solution for UK Entrepreneurs?
    Topics: best, solution, uk, products, shopwired, customer, customers, variations, entrepreneurs, review, platform, product, stock, create.
  • Achieving E-Commerce Success Is Easier Than You Think - To help companies of all sizes jump-start and accelerate their digital growth, Adobe worked with a number of solution integrators and agencies to develop Rapid Deployment Packages (RDPs). What started as proofs of concept in late 2019 gathered huge momentum through February and March 2020 and is accelerating into 2021. Red more.
    Topics: ecommerce, strategy, starter, achieving, digital, set, think, solution, partners, packages, easier, sizes, businesses, success, growth.
  • Announcing Composable Commerce XA™: De-Risk Composable, Multi-Vendor Solutions - I’m in the lucky position of talking to prospects and customers every day, a true privilege. A consistent topic of conversation is the changing dynamics of maintaining applications as technology becomes increasingly more loosely coupled, composed with microservices from multiple vendors to assemble business capabilities that become the foundation of the next generation of enterprise applications. According to the Annual APIs and Integration Report 2021, 81% of the 950 organizations surveyed use microservices today and 95% of organizations believe that microservices are or would be extremely or very important to their operations. At this point, we are rarely discussing why microservices, but rather how to employ them successfully in the enterprise. From those conversations, there are three primary themes that I consistently hear: Security  Integrations  Risk  Elastic Path is the only vendor in that it addresses each of these. Security – Elastic Path offers the only SOC2 compliant microservices platform for Commerce. Integration – We announced the Composable Commerce Hub last year, offering business-ready Pre-Composed Solutions and integration Accelerators to simplify the process on connecting multi-vendor approaches to eCommerce. In this blog, I am going to dig into the topic of risk when considering composable microservice, or MACH, approaches to digital commerce.   7 Considerations for Choosing the Right eCommerce Solution Check it out to discover the top 7 factors every business needs to consider as you navigate the selection process and ensure you select the platform that's right for you - even if it isn't Elastic Path. Get the Guide Let's Consider Risk  One of the biggest changes in this new, composable approach to microservice-based applications is the shift in responsibility for the application risk. What actually is application risk? It’s the risk of an issue, a bug, or an outage that impacts application performance in production. When a company purchases a monolithic commerce platform, one of the primary benefits is the vendor typically delivers all the capabilities of that commerce platform. There are always integrations, but the bulk of the capabilities come from a single vendor. As a result, the vendor assumes all of the application risk for the commerce platform. If there’s a problem, the customer calls the vendor and the vendor assumes the responsibility to respond, triage and find a resolution. This clear chain of responsibility changes with loosely coupled applications composed of microservice APIs from multiple vendors. In this new world, there is a substantive shift in application risk – moving from the monolithic software vendor to the application owner. In this new approach, the application owner maintains business relationships with multiple vendors. Support is typically limited by each vendor to the boundaries of their microservice. In most cases, a systems integrator fills in the gaps – selling billable hours to manage integrations and the “application” itself. In this case, ultimately the application risk is shouldered by the application owner themselves, rather than any single vendor. When a problem arises, members of the application owner team must: Determine, on their own or with their systems integrator, where the problem resides Triage the problem at hand Identify the vendor(s) responsible for the issue Determine how the issue impacts other connected microservices in the application Find a path to resolution to get the store up and running   Assurance for the Best Commerce Experiences  Assurance for the Best Commerce Experiences Composable Commerce XA™ (experience assurance), addresses this challenge straight on by being the first-and-only solution to reduce the application risk of multi-vendor solutions. Composable Commerce XA™ is a new offering that combines a multi-vendor architecture review, proprietary integration data flow monitoring, and a holistic approach to resolving issues for applications composed from multiple vendors. With Composable Commerce XA™, Elastic Path changes the dynamic between API microservice vendor and consumer of that service, shifting to partner with our customers. Rather than raise our hands and say, “it's not our problem”, we work closely with our customers to find a solution together. This change from service provider with a “use at your own risk” approach to an application partner with a “we are in this together” mindset is powered by both technology and approach. As part of each customer’s onboarding, Elastic Path completes an architecture blueprinting review where a customer’s multi-vendor solution is identified.  This process ensures our team is aware of all the components that make up their Composable Commerce solution so that we can accurately identify services and monitor the application should any issues arise. An API gateway will facilitate integrations through the Elastic Path Commerce Cloud suite of services to ensure active data connections and monitor connections for issues that may impact the overall application experience. In the event an issue occurs, Elastic Path will partner with our customer to identify the source of the issue, work proactively with our customer across their multi-vendor solution to bring all parties to the table, and assist our customer in returning the store to expected operation quickly. Composable Commerce XA™ addresses the third of three common enterprise concerns when they consider microservice-based solutions for their digital commerce applications. By partnering with customers to respond to issues when they arise, rather than draw lines where a service boundary ends, Elastic Path builds trust with our customers, so they know that we are on their side. Our application blueprint review and integration monitoring service give us and our customers the visibility and insights we need to resolve issues quickly, eliminating the time-consuming and often frustrating process of figuring out all the moving pieces in a multi-vendor solution during a crisis. Working together with our customers, we are focused on delivering great customer experiences.  
    Topics: elastic, vendor, application, commerce, announcing, solutions, risk, solution, xa, multivendor, composable, path, microservices, customers, derisk.
  • Announcing New Pre-Composed Solution™ for B2B Commerce - B2B Digital Transformation: Easier Said Than Done Your customer: “How much does that cost?” You: “Well… that depends.” As a B2B business, maybe you don’t do set pricing. You can’t do it. Maybe your offerings are too complex. Maybe you like to treat every single customer differently. Maybe you manufacture from base materials that are vulnerable to rapidly fluctuating commodity prices. Maybe you’ve just always done it that way. Regardless, you have your reasons and so your business relies on quoting. But you’ve held back from implementing automated, digital quoting because of the perceived complexity and expense. The ubiquity of digital commerce, however, has set different expectations and it’s no longer good enough for you to entice your buyers with an amazing discovery experience only to end up at a “Please call for pricing” pop-up. A New Approach to B2B Digitization With our new Pre-Composed Solution™ for B2B Commerce, co-developed in partnership with Systems Integrator DigiCommerce, B2B brands can quickly launch and optimize the automated, digital B2B commerce experiences (including quoting!) that your buyers demand. Powered by Composable Commerce, an approach that enables brands to bring their unique digital vision to life by leveraging multiple best-of-breed vendors composed together into a complete business-ready solution, brands no longer have to compromise between the rigid B2B commerce solutions of the past or taking on the risk of stitching together modern technologies. This solution composes core B2B commerce functionality (like Account Management, complex catalog support), Role-Based Access, etc.) from Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, with pre-built digital experiences for B2B buyers and sellers to make quoting, and other core B2B experiences, possible. Power The Convenient Experiences Your Buyers Demand These pre-integrated B2B features are used to power the digital-first experiences that your customers demand.  The granular system of Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), allows your customers to fully model their organizational structure – who can order what and for how much, who can transact, etc.  Within this controlled context, your customers can easily: Create carts (orders) manually or via convenient CSV upload Share carts across their organization Save carts for later use including often repeated orders View all their orders and their status Submit an order for quote, as well as modify and re-submit Accept a quote and transact via credit card or purchase order Split the resulting order fulfillment across multiple delivery addresses …And Digitize The Key Processes Your Account Reps Rely On The same RBAC system allows you to model your side of the equation – who manages what, who can set prices, approve quotes, etc. right down to who manages Betty’s accounts when she’s on vacation. Your account reps can easily see the orders of their assigned accounts in detail and manage them accordingly.  In addition, the Pre-Composed Solution™ also comes with a powerful built-in dashboard that provides, to those with adequate permissions, rapid analysis of all orders across the entire organization. Another great capability comes from the fact that essentially everything your customer can do with their order, so too can an account rep. This enables what is known in the B2C world as buying on behalf of or shopper impersonation. Maybe some of your customers are a little old-school or maybe they’re in the field and just can’t get to their computer. In these cases, the rep can create the order, share with the customer, provide the quote, and move it along in the process. When you combine that ability with our flexible catalog and multiple price book model, you’ve instantly (and inexpensively) put a powerful tool in the hands of your field reps whether they be online, on the phone, or on the road. Whereas your end customers drop by your site, conduct some business, and move on, your employees live in these systems all day every day. There are still plenty of folks out there (even one is too many in my opinion!) who spend hours tabbing their way through complex legacy “green screen” systems to get the job done. One of the most enduring benefits of this solution will be just how pleasant it is to use. Despite packing in a lot of really high-powered functionality, this Pre-Composed Solution™ offers a UX that is highly intuitive and logical in its flow and a UI that is clean, giving the users power with an easy learning curve and no cognitive overload. Your team is busy keeping the customer satisfied. The last thing they need is to struggle with their tools. Transformation + Trust = The Future of B2B eCommerce Your core business isn’t easy. If it was, someone else would be doing it for less. Our highly flexible solution acknowledges the inherent complexity in what you sell and how you sell it, and helps you transform from what has been a high-touch offline process to a new frictionless digital experience for your customers without jeopardizing your most valuable asset – their trust.
    Topics: quoting, order, digital, maybe, customer, commerce, announcing, experiences, customers, b2b, solution, precomposed.
  • - In today’s AppScenic review, we’re looking at a modern ecommerce solution, created to empower companies with the tools, suppliers, and solutions they need for dropshipping. Created by three founders with a passion or online selling, AppScenic offers an all-in-one platform… Continue reading AppScenic Review (2023): A Valuable Tool for Dropshipping?
    Topics: solution, appscenic, tool, dropshipping, plus, products, store, tools, suppliers, platform, review, features, valuable.
  • - The best Print on Demand sites in India provide would-be entrepreneurs with convenient and cost-effective way to start selling online. With the right platform, business leaders can add unique designs to a host of products, and sell them to customers… Continue reading Best Print on Demand Companies in India (2023)
    Topics: business, demand, companies, best, india, products, print, solution, shipping, printing, range, customers, options.
  • Briqpay raises 2 million euros - Briqpay, a Swedish company that offers solutions for B2B payments, has just closed a seed round of 2 million euros. The funding round was led by Swedish private equity firm eEquity. With the help of this money, Briqpay wants to become the leading B2B payment supplier. Almost a year ago,… Continue reading
    Topics: system, b2b, swedish, million, solutions, euros, round, briqpay, eequity, solution, raises, payment, ecommerce.
  • Business Proposals: How to Write One and Where to Find Templates and Examples - Here’s our guide to writing a winning business proposal. Learn which sections to include, how to reach out to prospective clients, and where to find templates and examples.More
    Topics: proposal, prospective, templates, proposals, examples, summary, youre, cover, solution, write, client, clients, business.
  • - Slovenia-based startup CartFox is launching a new feature: post-purchase SMSes. The company offers automated abandoned cart text messages to online retailers. With the new function, sellers can give customers additional discounts after placing an order. ROI of 4500% or more CartFox was founded last year and offers an automated abandoned…
    Topics: feature, customers, text, online, store, messages, company, postpurchase, cartfox, cart, sms, solution, used, abandoned, launches.
  • Cdiscount launches marketplace solution for other retailers - Cdiscount has announced it will launch an online marketplace solution that can be used by other retailers. The complete solution, which takes care of technology, offer, and logistics, enables physical and online retailers to develop their own marketplace operations. Cdiscount moving deeper into the popular marketplace market is no surprise.… Continue reading
    Topics: online, retailers, marketplace, cdiscount, million, growth, french, launches, logistics, solution, ecommerce.
  • - There are a host of different payment platforms that you can partner with to process payments for your digital business. However, finding the right one is often difficult, especially when you consider the variable rates and different features offered by… Continue reading Checkout.com Review (2022) – Fees, Solutions, and Features
    Topics: major, risk, solution, fees, platforms, different, support, payment, payments, store, solutions, features, checkoutcom.
  • Composable Commerce Hub Celebrates 1 Year - The Composable Commerce Hub, the first and only open exchange of business solutions powered by an ecosystem of leading digital commerce providers, was launched last November. The Composable Commerce Hub powered the movement to make Composable Commerce accessible to all brands, not just those with large, experienced technology teams, by providing everything commerce teams need to compose, launch, and optimize their commerce experiences with speed and ease. Today, more than 25 technology providers and system integrators have joined this movement including Algolia, Amplience, Bloomreach, Born, Bounteous, Contentful, DigiCommerce, Jetti, Myplanet, TA Digital, ObjectEdge, PayPal, and Stripe. This year we’ve seen the addition of 14 Pre-Composed SolutionsTM. For those unfamiliar with the term, Pre-Composed SolutionsTM are fully business-ready solutions, which combine Elastic Path commerce capabilities, with partner integrations, and key customizations so that brands can launch fast and customize on-demand, without the complexity of stitching together numerous parts. Here are a few highlighted solutions: Pre-Composed SolutionTM for D2C Web: A complete solution that eliminates the risk of headless commerce and enables D2C brand to rapidly launch and optimize highly differentiated digital experiences. This solution is built by Myplanet and pre-integrates Elastic Path Commerce Cloud with Amplience, Algolia, Google Analytics, Dynamic Yield, and Segment. See a demo. Pre-Composed SolutionTM for B2B Commerce: A business-ready solution proving a quick start to rapidly launch complex B2B experiences. This solution, developed in partnership with DigiCommerce, combines core B2B functionality from Elastic Path Commerce Cloud with pre-build digital experiences for B2B buyers and sellers. Watch the demo. Pre-Composed SolutionTM for Subscriptions: A complete subscription management solution for brands who want to create and customize personalized subscription services to their unique product requirements and customer needs. This solution, developed by Pixie Labs, is built on top of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud and is pre-integrated with Stripe, Postmark, and an analytics dashboard built by Pixie Labs. Join us on December 14th at 11:30 AM ET to see a live demo of this solution. Save your seat. Pre-Composed SolutionTM for Rapid D2C: This solution gives brands the flexibility and speed (with a 90-day launch guarantee) to easily launch their unique D2C experiences including emerging channels such as social, chat-bot, voice assistants, digital shopping malls and the Internet of Things (IoT). Also known as CommerceFactory, this solution is built by TA Digital and is pre-integrated with Acquia, Elastic Search, CyberSource or Stripe, Avalara, and Vertex. See a demo.   Need a subscription management solution? Join industry experts live to see first hand how you can easily create unique, personalized subscription services in our upcoming webinar. Register for Webinar Beyond launching Pre-Composed SolutionsTM, customers are experiencing the benefits. A large-scale publisher was able to launch a new subscription service in just 27 days. Teilor, a luxury jewelry brand, brought their personalized, engaging in-store experience online using the Pre-Composed SolutionTM for D2C Commerce built by Myplanet. We look forward to the next year of growth for the Composable Commerce Hub. If you would like to get involved with the Composable Commerce Hub, check out this blog post.
    Topics: launch, elastic, commerce, solution, path, digital, subscription, b2b, hub, celebrates, experiences, composable, built.
  • Customize or Configure: Which eCommerce Approach is Right For Your Business? - Having the right tech stack in place can be a game changer for any business - it can provide you with the agility to outmaneuver the competition, delight your consumers, and drive explosive growth in revenue. In the eCommerce space, the right type of solution for your business is one of the most important decisions you will make, and it can be a daunting task given the two main options available are so vastly different. Some prefer the traditional legacy Out-Of-The-Box option that you can configure, while others prefer the services-based option that you can build to your specific needs. We wouldn’t go as far as to say one is better than the other, but there will be a better option for you based on your business requirements. Therefore, it’s more important to understand how they differ and which one will be more compatible for your business. At the end of the day, the experience you provide to your consumers, and the resulting eCommerce sales you achieve, ride on choosing the best suited digital commerce technology to drive your business. In this article, we’ll give you a brief overview of what it means to work with an Out-Of-The-Box platform versus building with a services-based solution, key criteria for choosing one and how Elastic Path plays a role in helping you to achieve your ideal state.   What is a Configurable Commerce Platform? A configurable platform typically provides brands with a bundled set of functionality to drive their online commerce business. All of these functionality were developed and deployed by a single vendor and packaged together as a single unit, for brands to leverage its pre-built/out-of-the-box functionality to get up and running quickly. Traditional eCommerce platforms that offer out-of-the-box functionality include Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Magento, SAP Hybris, Shopify and Oracle. This means that these platforms will have an end to end solution that include features from storefronts, content management, and search to shopping carts, order management and shipping and fulfillment. For the features that are not outright available out-of-the-box, vendors have worked with third party solutions to build services that can be plugged into the platform to extend the existing functionality. For example, if you have chosen Salesforce Commerce Cloud as your choice of commerce platform, you could use a paypal or stripe plugin in order to process your payment transactions.   What to Expect When Working With a Configurable eCommerce Platform? The primary and most obvious benefit of working with a configurable platform, is that you get all the features you need from a single vendor. Therefore you can expect: The platform costs will be cheaper than services based solutions. There will be one centralized vendor to turn to for everything you need– whether something needs to be fixed or you simply want to make a change. All features are pre-integrated with each other for easy usability. Little to no technical background will be required to operate the platform. Your eCommerce experience can be up and running quickly. All of the aforementioned benefits are true if you want to deploy a basic website with simple business requirements. However, the more customizations and complex requirements your brand has to address, the more these benefits dissipate. You see, these platforms were built in the vendor’s vision of how an eCommerce platform should work. As such, they provide eCommerce teams with fields and templates that allow them to customize and configure their eCommerce experiences to a certain degree within their guidelines. However, the second you try to veer from the predefined box they have outlined for you, your eCommerce teams are forced to spend more time and money configuring your platform to your unique requirements. So how do you know if this option will be right for you?   Is A Configurable Platform Right For My Business? Here are a few key considerations for choosing an configurable platform: You want a standard store up and running fast You need a fairly straight-forward store for selling standard goods or services (e.g. t-shirts via website only) You want to develop your store without the help of an agency or partner You are comfortable that the “out of the box” themes and templates sufficiently meet your requirements You want to leverage simple configurations and settings such as SKU variation, multi-currency, multi-language, and tax variations by state, etc. You want to leverage all eCommerce functionality via one vendor If at least 50% of these considerations resonate with you then a configurable out-of-the-box platform may be a good fit. If you want a better idea of whether or not a configurable  platform may be right for your business, take our platform evaluation quiz and get expert advice from the Elastic Path team.   Want to See How Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is Future Proof? Launch and optimize innovative experiences fast, with a modern, headless, SaaS, API-first, & microservices-based commerce platform. See the Future of eCommerce   How Has The eCommerce Landscape changed? The configurable platform approach has been largely positive as brands ventured down the path of doing business online for the first time, when consumer expectations drove the requirement for mostly simple, standardized commerce experiences. However, consumer expectations for modern, engaging experiences have skyrocketed over the past several years, mostly as a result of the leading internet giants like Amazon, Facebook, and Google. These businesses raised the bar in terms of what consumers expected, forcing commerce businesses to rethink the tech stack used to power their online businesses so they could keep pace, innovate and differentiate their brand. As a result, over the past 3-4 years, a market that was previously dominated by a few, large configurable, out-of-the-box platform vendors is now fortunate to have dozens of best-in-class commerce services providing much more robust functionality for the one thing they do. This has paved the way for services based solutions.   What Is Meant By A Services-Based Solution? A services-based solution leverages best-in-class services to deliver all the functionality you would have previously gotten exclusively from your out-of-the-box eCommerce platform.A typical services-based commerce stack would include best-in-class services covering all the capabilities commonly included in a traditional out-of-the-box eCommerce platform, such as order management, inventory, Salsify product information management (PIM), TaxJar for tax, shipping, fulfillment, Contentful for the content management system (CMS), and Stripe for the payment gateway, just to name a few. Modern services-based solutions include vendors such as Elastic Path, Commercetools, VTEX and Fabric. This means that while you can achieve an end to end solution with these platforms you and your team and/or hired agency will be responsible for building your unique solution.   What To Expect When Working With A Services-Based Solution? The primary benefit of working with a services-based solution is the complete control and flexibility you receive to design your commerce stack with best in class services to meet your specific business requirements. Therefore, you can expect: To have the best service for each eCommerce functionality. To build your solution you want the first time rather than configuring an out-of-the-box platform. A high degree of flexibility to customize your eCommerce experiences. A higher platform cost, but a significantly lower cost to make changes to your solution. To be able to work with a variety of developers to bring your unique requirements to life.   While all the aforementioned benefits are true, you will have to take into account that a more customized solution may take some more upfront time and cost. In addition, you will also be trading in working with just one vendor, to many vendors, that your team will have to focus on integrating together for a seamless eCommerce experience. So while you can achieve your unique vision, you often take on more of the burden of building it. So how do you know if this option will be right for you?   Is A Services-Based Solution Right For My Business? Here are a few key considerations for choosing services based solution: You want your eCommerce solution to your exact requirements, not configure a template. You have a technical team, systems integrator or agency to help with building your solution. You rely on your brand to differentiate you in market and you want to ensure that differentiation is reflected in your digital commerce. You have an eCommerce strategy that includes multiple business models (e.g. B2B, B2C, and/or B2B2C), use cases, experiences, etc. You want to be able to rapidly adjust your eCommerce solution to meet outpace competitors and meet market needs. You want to enable omnichannel experiences with one solution. You want to leverage complex configurations and settings such as price variation, account management, budget and spend limits and more. If at least 50% of these considerations resonate with you then a services-based solution may be a good fit. If you want a better idea of whether or not a services-based solution may be right for your business, take our platform evaluation quiz and get expert advice from the Elastic Path team.     Interested in Learning About Elastic Path Commerce Cloud? Launch and optimize innovative experiences fast, with a modern, headless, SaaS, API-first, & microservices-based commerce platform. See the Future of eCommerce   Where Does Elastic Path Fall On the Platform Spectrum? Elastic Path leverages a services-based approach to empower brands to build their Composable Commerce solutions. Composable Commerce is an approach that enables business and tech teams to bring their brand’s unique digital vision to life by launching and continuously optimizing digital commerce experiences that leverage multiple best-of-breed vendors composed together into a complete, business ready solution. Traditional services-based solutions come equipped with MACH based technology (Microservices, API-First, Cloud-Native, Headless) that grant you the flexibility to design your unique solution. But as we mentioned earlier, eCommerce teams are often left to deal with the complexities of designing and configuring the solution. Composable Commerce from Elastic Path on the other hand leverages not just MACH, but also assets like partner integrations, a marketplace filled with jumpstart solutions if you need to get up and running quickly, as well as full support to compose and optimize your unique solution. Therefore, when you choose to work with Elastic Path you no longer have to compromise between the speed of configurable, out-of-the-box platforms and complexity of services-based solutions. This is all made possible by 3 main components of the Elastic Path Offering: The Core Commerce Solution- Elastic Path Commerce Cloud offers a Composable, omnichannel architecture which is designed with simplicity in mind so that you can deliver any use case or experience with built-in core commerce functionality, eliminating the need for messy customizations to be built and managed. Business Ready Solutions- At Elastic Path we have the Composable Commerce Hub which is a modern vendor marketplace that provides business-ready solutions so that brands can move with the speed of their business demands. It brings together a robust library of Pre-Composed Solutions™ and Accelerators into one central location, so brands can deliver business results in weeks, not months by eliminating the complexity of “composing” from scratch. Solution Assurance - Elastic Path offers Composable Commerce Experience Assurance ™ which gives brands who are embracing a multi-vendor approach peace of mind. This experience assurance de-risks composable, multi-vendor commerce solutions by providing holistic integration monitoring and one central contact when issues arise. So, instead of navigating across numerous vendors as you have to do with other MACH-based solutions, Elastic Path partners with you to manage and resolve all issues.   We truly hope this helped you to better understand how to choose between configuring an out-of-the-box platform and building a services-based solution. As always if you have any questions or just want to learn more about how Elastic Path can help you to achieve your business goals, feel free to reach out us! 
    Topics: solution, outofthebox, solutions, configure, ecommerce, commerce, elastic, business, platform, right, path, servicesbased, customize, approach.
  • DIY retailer Castorama installs click-and-collect lockers in Poland - Castorama has installed its own click-and-collect lockers in Poland. The solution is called CastoMat and allows customers from the French DIY to pick up their orders whenever they like. The company says the huge increase in ecommerce sales and the growing popularity of click-and-collect has accelerated its attempt to work… Continue reading
    Topics: lockers, store, solution, poland, retailer, castorama, using, goods, installs, customers, collection, diy, pick, clickandcollect.
  • Debunking Myths of SaaS (+ Why Software-as-a-Service is a Viable Option for Enterprise Business) - Inside San Francisco’s largest convention center one March day in 2000, Siebel CRM Systems was hosting a huge conference. Outside,…
    Topics: solution, saas, debunking, bigcommerce, myths, software, enterprise, open, source, organizations, ecommerce, platforms.
  • Ecommerce Microservices: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - This post was originally published on October 21, 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and relevancy in the market. Hardly a day goes by without an article about eCommerce microservices. Microservices are small services that are loosely coupled, independently deployed and are organized around business capabilities that enable the rapid, frequent and reliable delivery of large complex applications. Though they were established a decade ago, Microservices still remains as a hot new paradigm for commerce back end among many commerce practitioners. While many developers are experimenting with microservices and others are embracing them head on, others have continued to shy away from them because of the perceived complexity and risk.Over the next upcoming years however, we do expect many more practitioners to get on the microservices bandwagon as concepts like Composable Commerce continue to democratize working with Microservices architectures. In the meantime, we want to continue to educate the market on what to expect when adopting a Microservices Architecture. Therefore in this article we will quickly highlight the good, the bad and the ugly about ecommerce microservices everyone should know about. The Good: Microservices offer unparalleled flexibility and modularity when it comes to standing up a new customer experience and rapidly adding additional ones. Microservices share nothing: platform, deployment and data storage are all independent. If a developer needs to make a new microservice and s/he works in Javascript, they can just do it in Javascript. They don’t need to learn a new language in order to keep growing the platform. Developers can work in parallel and release all day long, which significantly reduces time to market for any new application. This is the complete opposite of a full-stack monolithic suite where the majority of functionality lives in a single service that is tested, deployed, and scaled as a single unit. It requires integration phases of the project, quality assurance, etc. to make sure the platform works as one unit because it shares everything. Expanding it into other touchpoints and devices requires a significant amount of customization, making it cost-prohibitive to explore new ideas.   The Bad: When companies are moving from a monolith to a microservices eCommerce solution it can be very difficult depending on the process that is taken. Imagine, you have already invested in a monolithic pattern that you have established through your company. You would have already had your licenses from institutions like Oracle, and have your infrastructure and organisational inertia to continue business as usual. Then, if you choose to replatform your solution that was not built from ground up with APIs and microservices based, you could incur quite a bit of problems. You may end up having to lay off or retrain workers; have duplicative data and connections; lose control of the database and overall are left with a distributed monolith to handle the cross-functional concerns. However, if you end up choosing an API-first, Microservices-based commerce solution like Elastic Path, then it becomes a lot easier. Of course, microservices will require a higher digitally mature team, but teams are able to incrementally replace their monolithic system that makes the management, retraining and implementation of your new solution more seamless. The Ugly: The real downside of microservices is the complexity the mini-services introduce into the architecture. Developers end up needing a microservice to search for a microservice. The more microservices are being used, the more there is a risk of things getting out of control. In her post, Goodbye Microservices: From 100s of problem children to 1 superstar, Alexandra Noonan of Segment described the pain developers went through with the explosion of the microservices and what they did to end it. Another great story, What I Wish I Had Known Before Scaling Uber to 1000 Services, is from Matt Raney, Chief Systems Architect of Uber. You end up breaking the services into so many pieces that you no longer know what is going on. You can’t bring change because every time you make a tiny change and you think it is independent, it actually turns out not to be. To make matters worse, you may run into a problem where you may not know how a particular service exists. You couldn’t rebuild it if it died. You don’t know how to make changes to it because the person who made it is gone. You end up in a pretty big mess. One way we have begun to address these issues is with the Packaged Business Capabilities(PBC’s) with Composable Commerce. Many may think PBCs and Microservices are the same, but not really. All Microservices are PBCs but not all PBCs are microservices. The key difference is business capability, and the acid test is whether a microservice is designed to deliver a well-defined business capability, recognized as such by business users. By packaging these microservices to specifically satisfy business needs, users will experience reduced complexity, enhanced clarity, and business centric planning. Learn more about how they are beneficial to your business here. To sum up: Great News! Defining the structure of the data required to perform the service is key. Exactly the same structure of the data is returned from the server, therefore preventing excessively large amounts of data from being returned. After all, if you set things up the proper way and learn from the mistakes the pioneers have made, you are on your way to success!
    Topics: way, developers, bad, microservices, good, business, solution, microservice, data, know, ecommerce, ugly, commerce, end.
  • Ecommerce compliance solution Eurora raises 2.5 million euros - Eurora, which offers compliance solutions for cross-border ecommerce companies, has raised 3 million dollars (2.54 million euros). With the money, the Estonian company wants to bring its tool to a million Chinese merchants. Eurora uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically manage cross-border VAT, duty amounts and declarations. The… Continue reading
    Topics: payment, solution, chinese, transactions, compliance, expand, crossborder, whitepaper, ecommerce, day, eurora, solutions, raises, euros, million.
  • - London-based startup Kuai Commerce has raised 2.4 million dollars (2.22 million euros) in a funding round. The capital injection will be used to launch an ecommerce solution that helps European merchants to sell their wares in the East. Cross-border ecommerce is a way for merchants to reach an even bigger…
    Topics: sell, chinese, million, social, ecommerce, raises, commerce, brands, kuai, startup, solution.
  • - EverCommerce is a relatively unheard-of concept in the ecommerce marketplace at this point – but it’s quickly generating attention. Designed to be the leading service commerce platform, Evercommerce promises business leaders a vertically tailored set of integrated SaaS solutions supporting… Continue reading Evercommerce Review 2023: All the Pros and Cons You Need to Know
    Topics: cons, tools, solutions, pros, marketing, need, evercommerce, companies, billing, management, payment, know, review, service, solution.
  • Everli partners with Kaufland in Poland - Everli, the Italian ecommerce marketplace formerly known as Supermercato24, has announced a partnership with Kaufland in Poland. The partnership allows people from 17 cities in Poland to order groceries from a Kaufland store through the Everli website or app. The partnership has started today and enables customers from supermarket chain… Continue reading
    Topics: products, grocery, supermercato24, service, kaufland, everli, poland, solution, partners, partnership, role.
  • - Ecommerce platform Floodlight has raised 6.4 million dollars in a seed funding round. The company offers a smart business account where ecommerce business owners can manage and optimize their finances. “This seed round is an exciting validation of our platform and its potential to meet the needs of unserved SMEs”,…
    Topics: million, smes, company, raises, seed, ecommerce, solution, offers, floodlight, round, customers, business, euros.
  • Four New Countries and Launch of Multi-Currency for WooCommerce Payments - Our native payment solution, WooCommerce Payments, is available in four more European countries! If you’re a merchant in Spain, France, Germany, or Italy, you can now benefit from a secure and fully integrated solution that supports new local payment methods. In this latest iteration of WooCommerce Payments, we’ve also introduced Multi-Currency. You now have the […]
    Topics: know, local, store, available, customers, solution, woocommerce, countries, multicurrency, launch, payment, payments.
  • Fulfilment solution Bigblue raises €3 million - Bigblue, a logistics provider from France, has raised 3.6 million dollars (3 million euros) in a seed round. The startup wants to build an end-to-end fulfilment solution in Europe. Bigblue isn’t a fulfilment company itself, but it works with several ones to handle post-order processes for online stores. The company… Continue reading
    Topics: stock, bigblue, wants, round, retailers, store, million, fulfilment, logistics, online, solution, raises.
  • Full Suite Monolith or Best-of-Breed Solution- Part 2: Cost - Choosing between a Full Suite Monolith or Best-of-Breed Solution can be a difficult discussion. Some brands are looking for an all in one solution while other brands are looking for a more customizable solution. So which will be the right fit for you? In this episode of Taco 'Bout Composable Commerce, Devon Hillard from Black Magic Consulting gives us the first consideration for choosing full suite monolith or best-of-breed solution: Cost   Shaneil Full suite monolith or best-of-breed solution. This can be such a tricky one for brands to decide on, because on one hand, some businesses want something that's quick and easy to set up, so they'd rather have one vendor provide everything only to find out that, that set up could be a bit too rigid for their requirements. Now, on the other hand, we have businesses that want something that's highly innovative and highly customizable, like best-of-breed solutions. But that's usually associated with more complexity and can seem a little bit more daunting to compose. So which one is going to be right for you? Well, today we have Devon Hillard from Black Magic Consulting, and he's here to Taco 'Bout It. The last thing that you mentioned, I believe, is costs. So what are your thoughts on that ?   Devon Cost, obviously, super important to any business. It's a little tricky, I think, with eCommerce solutions that we're talking about because you can range from, you know, Shopify, which may be a great solution for certain companies. And that's, you know, $59 a month. Up to large, monolithic eComm on prem installations, that might cost you $5Million to launch with And so you have this giant range just on the monolithic side. And then, if you start looking at Composable options, we're talking about best-of-breed vendors. That could be a handful of relatively affordable SAS offerings, or it could be 25 or 30 disparate systems, some of which are quite expensive. And then you also have the integration work of tying all that together, figuring out how you deploy that glue in that front end. So there could be, you know, kind of any range of costs of upfront launch. I think in general, the Composable Commerce approach might have a higher up front cost than at least some of the cheaper SAS based, like Shopify, etc., solutions. But the big thing to look at isn't just what does it cost to launch? What does it cost to get going? But long term over the next five years? Over the next 10 years, what does it cost to roll out new features to stay competitive in the commerce landscape and to be agile, enough to be really successful and kind of grow that business? And that's where I think the best-of-breed approach, where you're leveraging flexible solutions, you have an integration layer. That could really buy you a lot of efficiency. And that means it takes less development time to roll out new features, and that means it costs less. So your overall kind of total cost of ownership for a Composable solution may well be much lower than a monolithic approach, even if the up front cost was lower for that monolith. Just because the ongoing development and maintenance of that platform might take a lot more man hours, frankly. So it's not an easy answer. There's no simple answer that this is cheaper and this is more expensive. But it's definitely something that every company should look at and figure out what they think that kind TCO looks like and where they're going to make a smart investment for the future.   Shaneil Yeah, I think you said something that was so important Devon, and it's I think a lot of people get caught up with just thinking about the up front cost and you're right enabled for us to be able to keep up with our competitors and keeping up with our customer expectations as well. We probably will have to be rapidly iterating and making changes and adapting to the new world, like he had said with COVID. So it's so important to not just consider your upfront costs but your total cost. The cost of not just getting live, but staying live.   Devon Absolutely. I think that if you look at most companies, especially ones that have sort of a larger technical force in house, where they're doing that development or they're using a third party extensively your costs, you're loaded costs, especially for your head count, and you're tooling to run the site to build new features, to do QA, to do deployments, to do your monitoring; that is not an insignificant investment and can easily out shadow your cost to launch on your up front kind of licensing fees. So I think it really is important to look at the longer term and to say, you know, hey, you know, if I'm gonna be pushing out 50 feature releases a year, you know, where can I save money or what's gonna cost me more or less? Based on the efficiency of the system and the ease of rolling out new features and making changes. And I think that's where Composable solutions and, frankly, more modern solutions where you have more of an API driven approach and you have folks who are, you know, the running headless, for instance, and you can make significant changes to the UI and UX, including even sort of business flows without doing back end releases, without touching back end systems is a huge advantage there. From both an agility standpoint, but that translates down to a cost standpoint as well.   Shaneil So we've spoken about the three different points that brands need to consider. With your extensive experience, tell us how Black Magic Consulting will actually help us move towards these differentiated experiences for the future.   Devon Certainly. So we I mean, like I mentioned earlier, I've got 22 years of experience in the Enterprise eCommerce world. The rest of my team has similar levels of experience in marketing strategy, all kinds of components to being a successful eCommerce business and direct hands on experience at dozens of Fortune 1000 companies. And what that allows us to do is to come in with a client and say, you know, look very carefully where they are, where they want to go, what the competitive landscape looks like, what their strengths are, evaluate their digital maturity and help figure out what the best course forward looks like. And that could be to stay the course with the platform they're on, that could be to jump ship entirely to something new. It could be a gradual transition, leveraging a headless approach. There's lots of options, and it really is all about finding the right solution for the right business. And I think that's something that our experience really gives us a leg up on providing the best kind, of course forward for large businesses.   Shaneil Absolutely well, Devon, thank you so much for walking us through your thought process of choosing between a full suite and best of breed. If you have any questions of whether or not you should be taking a different approach, and if you want a consultation with Devon and please feel free to reach out to us, we would be happy to help you out!
    Topics: think, know, cost, monolith, kind, right, bestofbreed, thats, costs, solution, solutions, approach, suite.
  • Full Suite Monolith or Best-of-Breed Solution- Part 2: Digital Maturity - Choosing between a Full Suite Monolith or Best-of-Breed Solution can be a difficult discussion. Some brands are looking for an all in one solution while other brands are looking for a more customizable solution. So which will be the right fit for you? In this episode of Taco 'Bout Composable Commerce, Devon Hillard from Black Magic Consulting gives us the first consideration for choosing full suite monolith or best-of-breed solution: Digital Maturity Shaneil Full Suite monolith or best-of- breed. This can be such a tricky one for brands to decide on, because on one hand, some businesses want something that's quick and easy to set up, so they'd rather have one vendor provide everything. Only to find out that set up can be a bit too rigid for their requirements. Now, on the other hand, we have businesses that want something that's highly innovative and highly customizable, like best of breeds solutions. But that's usually associated with more complexity and can seem a little bit more daunting to compose. So, which one is going to be right for you? Well, today we have Devon Hillard, from Black Magic Consulting, and he's here to Taco' Bout it! So with these pros and cons, what are the main things that businesses should be looking out for in deciding whether or not they should go with full suite or best-of-breed? So speed, flexibility, agility. Those are becoming even more important. So now that we've spoken about features, what's next?   Devon I think the next thing really is for company to understand their digital maturity. And you mentioned that earlier in our discussion. But when we talk about Composable Commerce or best-of-breed commerce solutions, we are really talking about taking, you know, could be two or it could be dozens of independent solutions and weaving them together into a complete offering. And that requires either a kind of strong in house technical team and knowledge and investment in being a technology company, as well as, a commerce company and a retail company. Or it means a very strong partnership with a system integration partner who has that leadership, that knowledge and that technical skill set to design, build, and maintain that integration network of those kind of components to build the overall solution. So, I think digital maturity is a really big piece of whether or not a company could be successful with a Composable Commerce approach or not. And there's no shame in saying, "Hey, we're focused on being a retailer. We're not, you know, really invested in being a technology company, and we don't have you know, that level of strong technical team in house and we don't have that kind of partnership with a third party integrator." There's no shame in that. Better to admit that upfront than to stumble down a road that you simply can't maintain as you're going.   Shaneil Absolutely, I think we've echoed that point so much, we're not saying one is necessarily better than the other. But based on the circumstance that you're in or the situation that you're in, you may not be at the level of digital maturity required to deliver a Composable Commerce approach. Absolutely. And the last thing that you mentioned, I believe, is cost. So what? What are your thoughts on that    
    Topics: suite, composable, youre, solution, really, company, bestofbreed, monolith, commerce, thats, right, think, digital.
  • Futureproof eCommerce: What Does it Mean & Why it Matters - With every year, new trend reports aim to predict the future for the years to come. Within the world of eCommerce, we've seen drastic shifts in customer behavior and expectations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, these proved to accelerate the future predictions rather than depart from expectations. While some brands were able to adapt quickly, many struggled to keep up and eCommerce managers were left wondering first, how to catch up and second, how to ensure their brands wouldn’t fall behind in the future. This post will walk through the importance of 'futureproofing' your eCommerce solution and why you prioritize it now versus in the future. What is Futureproofing? Simply put, futureproofing is ensuring your eCommerce solution will continue to deliver value for your brand into the future. That's not to say that a single solution will last forever. Instead, it ensures that your eCommerce solution will continue to keep up with your needs as they change. For example, the ability to easily support new experiences like mobile-self checkout or, seamless integrate new technology. For a breakdown of crucial commerce trends, check out our Gartner's Predicts report post. Why Legacy Monolithic Solution Is Vulnerable Monolithic eCommerce software (or, legacy all-in-one solutions) by design provide interlinked functionality from a single package. Because each commerce function is 'tightly-coupled,' a monolith solution requires extensive work to customize or add new functionality. To learn more about monolithic solutions and how they compare to more modern headless solutions, check out our post here.  Most monolithic solutions have long release cycles; they will need several months to add a feature like curbside pick-up or mobile self-checkout, two experiences that gained massive importance during the pandemic. Adding new experiences to a monolith is constrained by the very nature of its architecture. Since each component is 'tightly-coupled,' they are not designed to work with new features easily. Any customizations or additions mean that long hours of implementation and testing are required to ensure a new experience works with the entirety of the rest of the existing monolith. Due to these long release cycles and the lack of control over them, brands running a monolithic eCommerce solution had no possibility of quickly spinning up these experiences, losing customers to competitors that were on future proofed solutions that allowed the rapid addition of these new experiences. Gartner sums it up well, "Monolithic digital commerce applications cannot support the agility and flexibility needed to support fast-moving digital business. Organizations will need to move toward composable commerce to keep up with the pace of change in customer demand."   Want to See How Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is Future Proof? Launch and optimize innovative experiences fast, with a modern, headless, SaaS, API-first, & microservices-based commerce platform. See the Future of eCommerce What is Composable Commerce? Is it the Solution? In a nutshell, Composable Commerce is an approach to digital commerce that enables your brand to create a 'best-for-me' solution comprised of third-party vendors and core commerce capabilities that fit your brand's unique needs. It offers a variety of benefits over a traditional monolithic solution, including and not limited to: Speed to market Speed to optimize/ change as needed Flexibility to tailor a solution with third-party features to fit your brand Unmatched scalability with could-native architecture Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Business-centric solution to manage multiple customer touchpoints across several channels (B2B, B2C, B2B2C, etc.). Microservices based features are designed to function independently, making them easy to add, remove, or swap as the market and your brand’s goals evolve To learn more about Composable Commerce, check out our guide here. A Composable Commerce approach is well equipped to seamlessly add functionality on the fly as your business goals and customer habits evolve. Take mobile touchpoints as an example; with Millennials making up a large percentage of buyers in today's market, it is as vital as ever to have a state-of-the-art mobile commerce experience to fit their expectations. Failing to add a mobile-self checkout or having an app or mobile site that is slow to load can lead to lost conversions and, ultimately, revenue. See our post to learn more about page load speeds and how they impact your bottom line. A composable approach isn't only about keeping up with the Joneses. It also ensures that you have the flexibility to test and innovate with third-party solutions for a particular functionality to ensure that you create a solution that works best for your brand's needs. For example, experimenting with adding a voice-enabled chat bot or AR showrooms to test if they improve your conversion rates. Compared with the underwhelming, restricted 'what you see is what you get' reality of a monolith solution, a composable approach allows continuous improvement and innovation. Free from coming up with workarounds to a monolithic solution, your eCommerce team can focus on quickly delivering customer experiences that help your brand stand out amongst the competition. What About 5 Years Into The Future? If you’ve been in digital commerce for a while, you’re probably experienced in wholescale re-platforming. At this point, you are likely wondering if there is a way to escape the never-ending cycle of re-platforming. It is a costly journey that your brand may have undertaken multiple times already. The reality is, with a SaaS-based, Composable Commerce solution, a full-scale re-platforming is not a concern in the next 5 years. While no solution will last forever, with a Composable Commerce solution, your brand will be in the best possible position to evolve with the rapidly changing world of eCommerce. You will never have to wait for a new 'release' of a monolithic solution to provide a consistent multi-experience offering to your customers. Ready for the future? Talk to us today to see how Elastic Path can help your brand solve your eCommerce needs today & tomorrow.
    Topics: means, future, futureproof, ecommerce, commerce, experiences, brands, matters, composable, solutions, monolithic, solution, brand.
  • - The print-on-demand business is on the up. So it’s undoubtedly a business area worth digging into a little deeper. In fact, the global print-on-demand market is expected to reach $10,810m by 2027. That's a projected growth of almost 34% per… Continue reading Gelato Print on Demand Review: Is This POD Solution Worth Considering?
    Topics: options, print, demand, worth, gelato, products, considering, gelatos, review, product, shipping, sell, solution, order, pod, images.
  • - Ecommerce international expansion software provider Glopal has raised 20 million euros in a Series A funding round. The startup will expand its operations in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States with a recruitment drive. Additionally, it will use the funding to invest in its technology. Sales increased 3…
    Topics: million, solution, expansion, accelerate, startup, growth, round, crossborder, international, raises, funding, glopal.
  • Headless Commerce vs. Traditional Commerce Platforms - Those who are looking to continuously innovate and improve their customer’s commerce experiences are probably already familiar with the term “headless”. But what is Headless Commerce? How does it differ from a traditional monolith platform? And, which approach is right for your business? This post will help to answer those questions so that you can decide what type of commerce solution is right for your business. What is Headless Commerce? To put it simply, headless commerce” is a term used to describe a software architecture pattern where the frontend code / UI layer (the head) is separated from the backend logic engine (the body), hence “decoupling”. What is a Traditional Commerce Approach? A traditional approach to designing complex software involves a monogamous system, based on huge libraries that create internal dependencies to allow their components to work with each other. Typically, the components associated with a traditional model must run in a specific order for the entire system to work as expected. Understanding the Differences: Headless Commerce vs. Traditional Commerce Solutions Before exploring which solution is best suited for your business, you need to be very clear on your current digital strategy, the challenges you may be facing, and your goal outcomes. It could be that you have outgrown your existing eCommerce solution. Or perhaps you want to refresh your storefront with something more eye-catching than every other copycat out-of-the-box solution.  A headless commerce solution can offer you flexibility based on a modular architecture to innovate and customize where it really matters for your customers. On the other hand, maybe you need to launch a relatively simple business (small to medium product catalog, with one to two routes to market) ASAP. In this  case, a monolith solution might be best for you.  A traditional monolith commerce approach is a proven way to stand up a website for individual sellers and smaller enterprises. Leveraging the ‘out-of-box’ components from Shopify or Magento, for example,  is a good option if they suit your business needs. At this point, you might be thinking, ‘If they have everything I need, what is wrong with a traditional approach?’ Let us break down the ideal use cases of a monolith platform and some of the scenarios where this antiquated approach starts to show signs of crumbling. Cut Your eCommerce Solution Research in Half Take Our 2-Minute Assessment and Get Access to a Unique Recommendation Based On Your Answers Take the Survey Strengths of a Traditional Monolith Commerce Platform A core strength of traditional software is that it was built for a single deliverable: an all-in-one, tightly coupled system that is fairly easy to deploy and test. This can be an advantage for smaller organizations without an in-house development team, and without complexities within their product offering or business model.  However, change is inevitable and imminent. When critical updates are needed, it becomes a challenge for the tightly bound front and back ends of a monolith commerce platform. When a change is made to one end, you risk adversely affecting the other and facing shutdown. Changes are costly and time-consuming.  Weaknesses of a Traditional Monolith Commerce Platform If you intend to continuously optimize your commerce experiences to meet customer needs, you should consider the long-run TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) implications of a monolith when aligning your business-centric goals to the choice of an eCommerce platform. Moreover, some monolithic software is distributed as packaged applications that are deployed on-premise, and customized to meet individual business needs. Due to the heavy data handling, a full onboarding process with these platforms generally takes, at minimum, six months and involves delegating a trained field engineer to work full-time on a single task Why Do Some Brands Still Use Rigid Commerce Platforms? For some, the main problem with headless commerce is the perceived complexity that comes along with unlimited flexibility, the thing that also makes them so powerful. It opens the door to  innumerable possibilities for taking creative approach to creating commerce experiences that both delight your customers and allow you to achieve your business goals. This may be a problem for all those who are used to templates and pre-packaged software that dictates the user experience and takes away the decision-making process. Therefore, headless commerce probably isn't the right choice for you if you're after a more out-of-the-box store where all architectural decisions have been made for you. When is Headless a Good Choice? Here are a few scenarios where headless commerce makes the best sense for your business compared to a monolith:  You have growing and complex business requirements, such as multiple brands.  You want a customized solution that can be integrated with existing systems.  You want more opportunities to personalize the experience to customer demands and create increased conversion rates.  You are looking for a solution that is both developer- and admin-friendly.  Decoupling the frontend removes any constraining dependencies with the backend, and opens a free pathway to innovate the frontend without any restrictions. What that means for your company’s frontend developers is they can solely focus on providing highly innovative content without the need to worry about the backend. In contrast to a monolith or legacy platform, every time an update is needed, or you wish to implement a new feature, all of this can be developed in isolation. In other words, with a headless commerce approach, there is never going to be any site timeout due to development work. Headless commerce, therefore, gives your teams the flexibility to innovate at an unprecedented pace, reducing your TCO in the long run. Developers love headless commerce, but what about the business side of it? Is it a good idea to invest in headless, and burden customers with potential site timeouts? Due to a separate display logic, any headless commerce application tends to work faster, is more responsive, and is easier to maintain or update. In some cases, an update to a headless commerce platform may not need a dedicated developer to make these changes, saving the potential resource cost and thereby bringing down the long-run TCO.  A headless approach is also better prepared for localization and translation to reach a global audience. It is also better equipped to add in new Omnichannel experiences like mobile self-checkout or any other experiment your brand wants to explore.   The Path Toward Headless Commerce Already have a monolith platform in place? Does that mean you are destined to be constrained by what is already on the platform? Thankfully, the answer is no. Headless commerce will allow you to add already existing business-critical functions or modules into this new approach if you wish. While moving from one monolith to another usually would incur significant down-time and cost, which might be why you are here evaluating your options. Switching away from a monolithic platform to a headless commerce solution provides more flexibility.  With the flexibility of headless commerce, you are able to take a staggered approach to any headless commerce solution where pieces are shifted over in stages, allowing you to slowly migrate to a fully headless solution.  If you’re looking to launch quickly with a best-of-breed approach, we’ve designed Pre-Composed Solutions. These are business-ready solutions that are built on top of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud and pre-integrate core commerce capabilities, 3rd party solutions, and any customizations so brands can quickly deploy headless commerce experiences.  Security & Compliance Issues Security is at the forefront of any organization, big or small. Your customers trust you with personal information that, if in the wrong hands, leads to disaster. In the U.S. alone, someone becomes the victim of identity theft every 14 seconds. Cybercrime is on the rise as more personal details are stored and shared across devices and systems.  When choosing a headless commerce platform from Elastic Path, you are backed by rigorous security standards you won’t find with other providers. No other competitor has both SOC 2 Type II and HIPPA-enabled compliance. You can rest easier knowing that your customers’ information is safeguarded at all times to the highest established standards.  Consider Talking to an Expert Who Has Been in Your Shoes  Choosing the right commerce platform can be a daunting decision. We know what is at stake when you make changes to an existing solution.  But the good news is you are not alone. Our experts are ready to talk with you about what is next and makes the most sense for your eCommerce business today and into the future.  Editor’s Note: This post was originally published January 1st, 2019 and has been updated for relevancy on December 9, 2022.
    Topics: customers, approach, headless, monolith, commerce, software, vs, solution, platform, platforms, traditional, business.
  • Headless Microservices vs. 'Retrofitted' Headless - The eCommerce platform market has and continues to evolve as rapidly as customer preferences and expectations. For instance, innovations like curbside pick-up that became popular during Covid-19 are here to stay, and brands need the technology to keep up. While customer expectations continue to rise, many brands find that their traditional eCommerce platform cannot keep up with these drastic shifts in buyer patterns. Making the necessary optimizations to keep up ends up blowing eCommerce budgets. One alternative to these rigid platforms is headless commerce. But, with more traditional platforms now offering 'headless' solutions, many brands ask us -is there a difference between one headless provider and the next? This post will help answer the questions around the different approaches, and crucially, what solution is right for you? What is Headless? Are There Different Types of Headless? In a nutshell, a headless approach is the 'decoupling' of the front-end layer (the customer-facing storefront)and the back-end (where business rules & logic live). This separation empowers brands with the control to customize an experience that best suits your customer across touchpoints. When headless was pioneered by Elastic Path back in 2012, brands could finally leave their out-of-the-box, traditional platforms that only powered cookie-cutter experiences behind. With headless commerce, they had the flexibility to create unique experiences that would showcase their brand differentiation, accommodate for any complexity or unique requirements, and, most importantly, delight customers. Fast forward to now, some traditional eCommerce platforms or tightly coupled monoliths are adding in an API layer to offer the core functionality of their back-end services & claiming to provide a 'headless' solution. While they are technically headless, not all headless solutions are the same. The key difference is where these platforms started and how far they can deviate from their foundations.     These 'retrofitted' headless solutions offer a customizable front-end by exposing the core features through an API layer. When compared to headless microservices solutions, they still lack in terms of customizability of the back-end. By contrast, in a headless microservices approach, each microservice in the back end exists as a separate module. What this means for your business is that you can pick and choose the core commerce capabilities that work best for your goals, and easily compose a solution that includes "best of breed" vendors (like search, OMS, ERP, etc.). Also enabling you to quickly swap core commerce microservices or third-party solutions in and out as customer expectations and business requirements evolve. Continue reading to learn more about the differences between these two approaches.   Retrofitted Headless: A Brief Breakdown A retrofitted headless solution is perfectly capable of smoothly operating a business model that it was designed for. In most cases, a retrofitted headless solution would fit a solely direct-to-consumer selling model or even a relatively straightforward B2B scenario if what you are looking for is an out-of-the-box approach that meets all your brand's basic needs. A monolithic back-end is excellent when tackling standard processes and issues for businesses with simple requirements or those looking to launch eCommerce for the first time. Where it does begin to crumble is when new features or customizations for the tightly coupled back end are needed. For example, if your brand needs a specific order flow based on the B2B accounts you have, or if you need to add an option for mobile self-checkout, customization of a retrofitted headless solution will be complex. It would require the support of a dedicated SI or an in-house development team, not a luxury all brands can afford in perpetuity. While a new feature isn't impossible to add onto a retrofitted platform, the costs and time to market implications are drastically different compared to a headless microservices approach. Even when a new feature is simple enough to add on, the time to launch will be dramatically slower due to the interconnectedness of the tightly coupled back end (the components locked together in the image) of these retrofitted headless solutions. The rigidity of these platforms requires extensive testing of each linked component to ensure a new addition has not broken any of the functionality of any of the other connected components. Furthermore, the risk of a stop-gap addition like the ones mentioned above or a voice-enabled chatbot not meeting your brand's needs into the future remains high. Without the option to try another offering in a retrofitted headless architecture, your brand could be stuck in a 'what you have is what you get' situation. That is not ideal in a world that continues to move at a break-neck speed, adopts newer technology, and changes in buyer behavior.   A New Approach, Built for the Innovative Brands On the other hand, a headless microservices solution will allow your brands to achieve evolving goals when it comes to delivering an unparalleled experience for your customers. Each service in a headless microservices architecture is created to operate independently with a set of inputs. Each independent service does not rely on the operations of other separate microservices. Think of them like an independent service, where it takes inputs on one end, and any processes are completed within this independent service with a defined set of outputs at the other end. Add on another microservice, and the two can seamlessly operate based on the consistent inputs and outputs without needing to know or influence the processes in the predecessor (represented by the stand-alone octagons in the image above). Why should you care? The benefits are threefold: Flexibility: Pick and choose necessary microservices to achieve your brand's goals, no extra bells & whistles, and the freedom to add or remove microservices as your goals and your customers' needs change. Scalability: Since each microservice was built to operate without dependencies, each of them will be able to scale seamlessly with the benefits of the cloud. Speed: With a headless microservices architecture, you can rapidly add microservices to implement new experiences. Or add functionality required in a new geographical market as needed. The extensive development and testing of customizing a retrofitted architecture are no longer an obstacle, allowing your eCommerce team to innovate and, crucially, deliver a stand-out experience for your customers.   Where is the Catch? Of course, no solution is perfect. While no solution is perfect, some fit needs better than others. A common challenge for embracing a headless microservice solution is re-platforming from your traditional eCommerce platform. The costs and time commitment can feel prohibitive, but many brands overcome this with a staggered implementation approach. This method of slowly replacing pieces of a monolith with microservices is a tried-and-true path for transformation. Another option to overcome long implementation timelines could be leveraging a Pre-Composed Solution TM. These are business-ready solutions that are pre-composed from Elastic Path commerce capabilities, 3rd party integrations, and customizations so that brands can quickly deploy experiences; with greater flexibility and less risk. Browse our Pre-Composed Solutions™ here.   A headless microservices approach comes with potential cost issues as well. When a brand needs several specific third-party microservices implemented to tailor to its model and goals, the costs of each third-party microservice coupled with the implementation costs for each can add up to a significant amount. While the initial purchase price can be high in this scenario -in some cases higher than re-platforming to a retrofitted headless solution- the benefits around Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are proven in the long run. Once adopted, a headless microservices architecture, therefore, negates the need for further costly customizations and lengthy innovation cycles. For a deeper look at TCO and the benefits of a microservices-based headless solution, view our guide.  Ready to explore a headless microservices approach? Give us a shout. We're happy to help guide you through the process of determining what the best fit for you is. Chat with us now on drift at the bottom right corner of your screen or request a demo to see the flexibility, speed, and capabilities of a headless microservices platform today!
    Topics: vs, headless, platforms, microservices, brands, solutions, add, solution, ecommerce, approach, retrofitted.
  • Hokodo raises over €10 million to scale across Europe - Hokodo, a B2B buy-now-pay-later provider, has raised 12.5 million dollars (10.28 million euros) in a Series A round. The London-based fintech startup will use this money to extend its services across Europe. The funding round is led by Mosaic Ventures, with participation from Notion Capital and angel investors including Taavet… Continue reading
    Topics: payment, online, offer, million, raises, europe, sales, scale, solution, klarna, merchants, hokodo, terms.
  • Hot Takes on the Top ERP and Inventory Tools - Scott Scharf is co-founder of Catching Clouds, the leaders in e-commerce accounting that offer a solution for entrepreneurs who struggle with understanding – or even getting – accurate financial information about their business. Scott collaborates with his co-founder and wife, Patti Scharf, who is a CPA that provides the deep accounting expertise, while Scott focuses […]
    Topics: platforms, solution, erp, planner, different, tools, hot, implementing, scharf, scott, takes, inventory, ecommerce.
  • How 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 to Avoid Channel Conflict When Launching a D2C Website For the First Time - Times have changed for branded manufacturers who traditionally sold only through third party dealers. At Elastic Path, we see proof of this every day. More and more brands are eager to expand their reach and connect with customers by selling directly to them. These brands often come to us looking for a partner to help them drive new digital revenue through D2C AND keep their existing dealer relationships. In this post, we will dive deep into this trend and explain how Elastic Path can now help businesses avoid channel conflict when launching a D2C (direct-to-consumer) thanks to our newly launched Pre-Composed Solution™ for Dealer-Enabled D2C Commerce.   Why D2C Now?   There isn’t one single reason why brands are embracing D2C with more enthusiasm now than ever before. But, there are several contributing factors to consider: Customers want to buy direct: As customers become more comfortable with purchasing via digital channels, they are less likely to visit their local brick and-mortar distributor. Instead, they want to go straight to the brands website to quickly and easily make a purchase. According to a PYMNTS report, “the use of online direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels to purchase consumer-packaged goods (CPG) has grown by 50.1 percent since the pandemic began” Pressure to drive growth with digital: Many brands are feeling the pressure from their c-suites and boards to drive increased digital commerce revenue. Whereas digital commerce was once a small portion of total revenue, we now see it making up a larger share of businesses focus. Brands are looking for new ways to increase this revenue source, such as launching D2C. Freedom to innovate & differentiate: When a brand adds a D2C channel, they no longer have to conform to dealer regulations. This empowers them to display a broader product range, control their pricing and discounts, use their preferred content, and speak in their own brand voice. Brands long for this control as it means they can finally create truly unique experiences that differentiate them from the competition and “wow” customers. As markets become more crowded, this differentiation is critical. The Covid-19 Pandemic: There are two main reasons the pandemic accelerated digital commerce growth. First, many brick-and-mortar stores closed up shop for safety reasons. This meant that brands who relied heavily on in-person shopping needed to find another way to drive revenue. Many of these brands, went direct-to-consumer for the first time. A second reason was availability. During the pandemic many dealers struggled to stay fully stocked on key products. The manufacturers of those brands prioritized keeping their limited products to sell directly to consumers for the highest ROI. According to eMarketer, US D2C eCommerce sales grew 45.5% last year—generating $111B and making up 14% of total retail ecommerce sales. Facing the Reality of Channel Conflict It’s clear that there is a massive opportunity for brands who want to launch D2C commerce for the first time. But before going all-in on D2C, brands need to consider how their new D2C business will impact their existing dealer partners and if it will cause channel conflict. Simply put, channel conflict is when two or more partners in a sales channel oppose each other. In this case, brands need to make sure that they are not competing against their dealer partners. Neglecting to evaluate channel conflict to the point where you alienate your dealers can cause brands to: Lose access to customers who have strong, loyal relationships to your brand, specifically through your dealers Lose a vital distribution channel, especially when it comes to brick-and-mortar Blindside your dealer partners, damaging relationships and negatively impacting your bottom line   Adapting a Multi-Channel Strategy   If this sounds like a challenge your business is currently facing, do not fear! Many brands have navigated channel conflict when launching D2C commerce for the first time and you can too. A thoughtful, multi-channel strategy can help you reap the benefits of both going D2C and keeping your dealer partnerships intact. For example, enabling consumers to purchase on your direct site and picking up at a dealer location. Brands who embrace a multi-channel strategy are able to drive rapid growth, power convenient experiences for your customers (regardless of how they choose to shop), and supercharge brand differentiation. But how do I adopt a multi-channel strategy? Great question. One of the key enablers to successfully going multi-channel is technology. Flexible digital commerce technology that empowers brands to customize per their unique use cases, easily integrate with core third party technology, and launch in weeks, not months –is key to multi-channel success. That is exactly why Elastic Path is announcing our new Pre-Composed Solution™ for Dealer-Enabled D2C Commerce, built by our partner Cnetric.   Pre-Composed Solution™ for Dealer-Enabled D2C Commerce Elastic Path eliminates the complexity of launching a dealer-integrated D2C channel by pre-assembling core commerce functionality from Elastic Path with Contentful for CMS, Algolia for search, and Stripe for payments. Go to Solution New: Pre-Composed Solution™ for Dealer-Enabled D2C Commerce   At Elastic Path, we understand the need to balance speed to business results and the ability to customize for your unique use cases. While API-first commerce is a great fit for innovation, some solutions are extremely time consuming to launch and optimize. That is exactly why we offer Pre-Composed Solutions™. These business-ready solutions are pre-composed from a combination of Elastic Path commerce capabilities, 3rdparty 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 Dealer-Enabled D2C Commerce, built by Elastic Path partner Cnetric, reduces the complexity of composing and launching a net-new D2C channel by combining core commerce capabilities from Elastic Path, a D2C storefront built on REACT , Contentful for content management, Algolia for search, and Stripe for payments. This solution also eliminates channel conflict by integrating a dealer portal for fulfillment management so that orders placed online can be picked up in store or shipped from store. Plus, since this solution is built using microservices-based architecture and Cnetric’s Universal Commerce Framework, it’s easy and fast to optimize on demand as customer needs and competitive pressures change. Brands can switch out preferred third party technology such as their CMS or search provider in as little as 30 minutes. Core functionality includes: D2C web & mobile storefront built on REACT Pre-Integrated Best-of-Breed Technology Contentful for CMS Algolia for search Stripe for payments Builtt on Cnetric's Unicerval Commerce Suite which enables low code/no code swapping of technology partners as neeeded Fully Integrated dealer portal Inventory management updates process in real-time to the storefront Pickup and delivery order processing with order status updates to customers Support for curbside pickup   We'd love to connect on how this Pre-Composed Solution™ for Dealer-Enabled D2C Commerce could help you launch a D2C channel without creating channel conflict. Reach out today or, join us for a live “All Demo-No Pitch” session of this Pre-Composed Solution™ on August 25th. Register Here.
    Topics: path, precomposed, launching, d2c, channel, solution, website, brands, dealer, conflict, avoid, elastic, digital, commerce.
  • - In the past, many B2B businesses have been slow to adopt ecommerce. One eMarker report forecasted that only 9% of…
    Topics: b2b, sales, team, online, dont, solution, features, help, selling, ecommerce, right.
  • How to Launch a New D2C Channel in 90 Days or Less - The Continued Rise of D2C Commerce: In Gartner’s latest Digital Commerce Market Share Analysis, a key theme was continued exploration of new business models for brands looking to double down on their existing successful digital commerce businesses.  Specifically they shared: “Exploration occurs into direct-to-consumer (D2C) for manufacturing and consumer packaged goods (CPG) verticals due to the disruptions in distribution channels.” Brands in these industries, and others, have seen an opportunity to explore direct-to-consumer (D2C) commerce for the first time.  In this blog post, I share some top reasons for why we are seeing an increased investment in D2C. But, in short: Customers want to buy direct Brands are feeling the pressure to drive growth with digital A D2C model means brands can innovate and differentiate on their own terms The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated digital adoption & disrupted product availability Fast & Flexible & Budget Friendly: Can You Have All Three? 10 years ago the needs of brands embracing digital were simple. Driving digital revenue was as easy as launching a basic website and the expected timeline to implement or make a significant change was 9-18 months. Traditional platforms were a perfect fit for these brands, it provided everything they needed to launch eCommerce out of the box and promised to scale with their enterprise business. But, the digital world has drastically changed in the last 10 years. Now having a website is table stakes.  D2C brands feel the constant pressure to differentiate their digital presence through omni-channel experiences, out-innovate the likes of Amazon, and keep up with customer needs with engaging experiences that outshine the competition. We are not only seeing the need to launch D2C, but the need to design unique brand-centric experiences and launch them fast, without breaking the bank. This is easier said than done. The reality is, the majority of eCommerce platforms on the market provide can’t offer all three. Fast: Traditional platforms like Shopify might promise speed to market but, their technology is rigid meaning if you’d like to customize their base offering (for example: launch D2C in multiple countries or give merchandisers complete flexibility to create dynamic product bundles), it will require expensive and time-consuming workarounds.   Flexible: MACH-based platforms like Commercetools promise flexibility to design and launch the D2C experiences of your wildest dreams BUT, their offering is made up of 100s of APIs that only a company with an extremely high digital maturity could take advantage of.  We often hear from brands who have run a POC with Commercetools only to find the technology too complex to actually meet their unique needs in a timely manner.   Cost-Effective: While on paper both Shopify and Commercetools may seem cost effective, their inability to provide solutions that are both fast & flexible means that brands will have to compensate with custom work that drives up TCO. For brands looking for a simple way to deliver their unique digital commerce experiences (even when they are complex!) in a cost effective way, there is no good option. This problem is exactly what we seek to fix at Elastic Path.  We provide Composable, API-first Headless Commerce solutions that make it simple for brands with complex requirements to deliver unique digital commerce experiences. While our modular microservices-based architecture and business-centric core commerce capabilities provide flexibility, our Pre-Composed Solutions™ ensure brands can get to market rapidly, without blowing their budgets. These business-ready solutions are built on top of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud and pre-integrate core Elastic Path capabilities, 3rd party integrations, and any necessary customizations.  By pre-composing everything brands need to fulfill a specific use case, we eliminate the risk of having to custom-piece together your own solution and we ensure speed to market. New: Pre-Composed Solution™ for Rapid D2C Commerce: Today we are excited to announce the latest addition to our library of Pre-Composed Solutions™: a Pre-Composed Solution™ for Rapid D2C Commerce, also known as CommerceFactory, built by Elastic Path Partner TA Digital.  After the success we had with a similar Pre-Composed Solution™ on Elastic Path Commerce, it was a no-brainer for us to co-develop a 2nd Pre-Composed Solution™ for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud in order to take advantage of the explosive growth we’re seeing with our MACH-based offering for high-growth brands. This solution gives brands the flexibility and speed to easily launch their unique D2C experiences, without blowing their budget. Key benefits include: Reduce technical complexity by eliminating manual integrations and ground-up site builds   Launch in 90 days, guaranteed, with a fully-managed, pre-integrated solution   Reduce IT costs with “ready-to-launch" solution that removes the need for extra delivery or dev work   Drive customer loyalty & revenue with intuitive and engaging D2C customer experiences across channels It reduces the risk and time commitment associated with embracing a multi-vendor solution by pre-integrating Acquia for CMS, Elastic Search for search, CyberSource or Stripe for payments, and Avalara & Vertex for tax and shipping.  Plus, since it is built on flexible microservices architecture, brands can easily customize their experiences at launch or months or years down the road. Core features include: Enterprise CMS functionality such as content workflow, drag & drop content, dynamic image scaling, support for multi-language, visual page builder and more   D2C experiential design focus including large imagery support, promotion banners, SEO friends, full width design, and more   Mobile optimized including cross-platform cart, PWA, and quick payment methods   D2C enterprise commerce functionality such as bundling, advanced promotions, catalog syndication, Google, Facebook, & Instagram integration, guest checkout, guided shopper, single page checkout and much more We’d love to connect on how this Pre-Composed Solution™ for Rapid D2C Commerce could help you launch a D2C channel in 90 days or less. Reach out today to learn more.
    Topics: digital, experiences, days, brands, precomposed, path, d2c, commerce, solution, elastic, launch, channel.
  • Lowering Total Cost of Ownership Through iPaaS Adoption - SaaS applications help businesses create well-functioning systems in this digital age, but they bring more value to the organization when connected. Read more.
    Topics: lowering, ecommerce, businesses, business, tco, total, ownership, data, systems, adoption, solution, ipaas, cost, costs, software.
  • - Whether you’re just getting started in ecommerce or you’re already a seasoned seller, it’s plain that the right ecommerce solution forms the basis of your business.  Regardless of which review you read online, Shopify is bound to be mentioned as… Continue reading Medusa Review (2023) – An Open Source Alternative to Shopify?
    Topics: shopify, alternative, functionality, ecommerce, medusa, medusajs, open, review, source, medusas, youre, solution, features.
  • MikMak launches in Europe - Ecommerce marketing startup MikMak has launched in Europe and Canada. Its ecommerce enablement and analytics software are now available for European brands. The expansion follows after the company raised 10 million dollars in a Series A funding round in August. It’s been a good year for MikMak, which already saw… Continue reading
    Topics: launches, solution, mikmak, company, understand, ecommerce, shopping, launch, europe, software, brands.
  • Mondi introduces thermo-insulated packaging - UK packaging company Mondi has introduced its latest ecommerce product. It’s called BCoolBox and it’s a recyclable packaging solution that keeps perishable food cool while in transit. It uses thermo-insulation to keep items chilled below 7 degrees Celsius for up to 24 hours. Keeping the food chilled happens without using… Continue reading
    Topics: stays, packaging, store, solution, thermoinsulated, mondi, product, retailers, bcoolbox, introduces, chilled, online, food.
  • Montonio is building the payment and checkout solution to rule them all - Meet Montonio, an e-commerce checkout solution created by a small startup based in Tallinn, Estonia. The company just raised a $12 million Series A funding round (€11 million) led by Index Ventures. It wants to become the only tech partner you need to run a small and medium e-commerce shop. Montonio is a multi-faceted product […]
    Topics: product, building, handles, ventures, techcrunch, solution, payment, montonio, startup, pay, process, rule, company, payments, checkout.
  • New to Payment Solutions? Start Here - Gateways, processors, aggregators — payments can sound complicated. Keep it simple: start here to find the best solution to accept payments on your store!
    Topics: woocommerce, start, gateways, solution, solutions, payment, store, gateway, transaction, fee, processor, merchant.
  • Next Level RFP for Evaluating an eCommerce Provider - We’ve all been through the RFP process from vendor to customer. The hours of research and preparation, template creation, and ultimately a fair amount of cutting and pasting. Is a one size fits all approach effective to an RFP when selecting an eCommerce partner? Here’s our take… Less static, more speed and agility Traditional RFPs look more like a series of boxes to check; from the must haves to the nice to haves, peppered with timelines, the players involved for approval, pricing, and demos/free trial availability. When choosing an eCommerce partner, this static approach may not be as effective or accurate in evaluating your business needs. A prolonged process without context around the future needs of your business is antithetical to choosing a good partner (or partners) who play well in the digital commerce sandbox, and who meet your needs, today and as you scale. When we talk about future proofing your eCommerce platform, it’s essential to talk about where you are and where you’re going. While it’s impossible to have a finite level of certainty from an environment so heavily rooted in change, the conversations are vital towards solutions versus outcomes. Speed is of the essence. You’re looking for implementation in weeks versus months. You need Proof of Concept (POC), and you need it sooner rather than later. For your consideration: an alternate approach to the RFP Step 1: Assemble Your Team Gather the key players from the business and tech side of your team and ask yourselves some key questions: How are you growing the business?   Who is involved (business teams, tech teams) and what’s in it for them?   What are your revenue goals?   What is your business model or models?   What is your digital maturity?   Need help evaluating eCommerce Providers? Connect with an Elastic Path expert to answer all of your questions, set up a demo, access a free trial, or discuss pricing options. Get in Touch Low – You’re new to digital commerce with little to no tech support in house with no intention of bringing in a team currently. You see the benefit of an eCommerce solution but don’t see it as integral to the here and now of your business. Your ideal fit from a provider is a more out-of-the-box platform like Shopify. Medium – If you have marketers, merchandizers, and a tech team in house, or hired through an SI, to execute and manage your platform you most likely fall into this category. You’re looking for low risk, simplified solutions, and you understand the importance of digital commerce to your business. Elastic Path offers customizable options to fit where you currently are on the eCommerce journey and where you’re going. High – If you have a dedicated team in house where you’ve already adopted or are looking to adopt a development operations methodology, you’re in the high maturity category. You aspire to be an innovator and leverage the newest technology to gain a competitive advantage in the market. Elastic Path offers a headless, API-first, multi-vendor commerce platform ideal for your needs now and as you grow. Step 2: Initial Research When evaluating providers, look at some key factors as you comparison shop: How does the provider stack up against others?   What are their values and mission as a company?   What are their business capabilities?   Who are their partner vendors?   Who are their customers? What pain points has this provider solved for them? Step 3: Initiate the Conversation When evaluating providers, look at some key factors as you comparison shop: Once you’ve identified where you are and what you’re looking for, request a discovery call from the provider(s) who meet those requirements and best fit your needs. Come to that initial conversation with use cases and your desired outcomes. You may have specific needs around promotions, catalog management, or cart/checkout in six months or under to market. Bring these key goals to the table so a provider gets a clear understanding of your needs and possible solutions. The benefit is two-fold; you may also discover a particular provider isn’t a proper fit. A big timesaver for both of you! Wondering what else to ask? We’ve put together a list of great questions to evaluate providers. What you need to know about Elastic Path For both medium and high digital maturity companies, we offer differentiated experiences with an API-first, headless approach to commerce. Here are a few resources to help you evaluate us: eCommerce Platform Buyers Guide Elastic Path Pricing Demo Library Additionally, while we believe there are better ways to make the right selection, we understand that some organizations are committed to RFPs. If you’re in that situation, here’s how we can support your RFP process.
    Topics: tech, needs, key, providers, provider, platform, level, rfp, business, digital, solution, youre, ecommerce, team, evaluating.
  • Online wholesale retailer Boxed taps Aeon for Asia expansion - Boxed, the New York-based online retailer that sells and delivers bulk-sized groceries, makes its foray into Asia by partnering with Aeon, one of Asia’s largest brick-and-mortar retail operators. Unlike its consumer-focused business in the U.S., which has been described as “Costco for millennials,” Boxed is exporting its nascent software-as-a-service solution to Aeon in Malaysia. As […]
    Topics: million, aeon, retail, huang, expansion, techcrunch, online, retailer, business, ecommerce, wholesale, software, robots, asia, solution, taps, boxed.
  • Payrails emerges from stealth with $6.4M led by a16z to build the OS for payments - Payments — taking and paying out money — remains a fragmented and complex area for merchants, marketplaces and others that do business with multiple parties online. As it grows — from $1.5 trillion today to $2.9 trillion by 2030 — that complexity will grow, too. Today, a startup is coming out of stealth with a […]
    Topics: stealth, techcrunch, build, a16z, system, delivery, payments, hero, os, payment, money, work, solution, solutions, led, payrails, 64m, emerges.
  • PricingHub raises 2 million euros - PricingHub, a French pricing solution provider, has raised 2 million euros. With the money, it wants to further develop its price optimization platform. PricingHub already raised 1.8 million euros from French venture capital firm Elaia, business accelerator Lafayette Plug and Play and business angels last February. A recent refundable advance… Continue reading
    Topics: pricing, pricinghub, retailers, sensitivity, million, euros, price, raises, french, worsened, solution, stock.
  • - Printful vs Print Aura: Which POD solution is best for today’s business owners? On the surface, Printful and Print Aura have a lot of similarities. Both solutions are “print on demand” platforms, which allow companies to add their own custom… Continue reading Printful vs Print Aura: Which POD Solution Should You Choose?
    Topics: shipping, items, options, vs, custom, products, aura, choose, pod, solution, printful, tools, print.
  • - Choosing the best ecommerce platform for your business is one of the first and most important steps you’ll need to take when diving into the online world. Whether you’re starting your online brand for the first time, or just expanding… Continue reading Quick Step by Step Guide to Choosing the Best Ecommerce Platform
    Topics: guide, platform, quick, online, ecommerce, need, best, help, solution, youre, store, step, tools, business, choosing.
  • Rational Decision Making: The 7-Step Process for Making Logical Decisions - Psychology tells us that emotions drive our behavior, while logic only justifies our actions after the fact. Marketing confirms this theory. Humans associate the same personality traits with brands as they do with people — choosing your favorite brand is like choosing your best friend or significant other. We go with the option that makes us feel something.
    Topics: logical, rational, 7step, organic, process, decisions, traffic, decision, solution, email, making, social, problem, growing, solutions.
  • - French software solution for services marketplaces, Scnd, has raised 4 million euros in a funding round. The company wants to use the capital injection to expand its ecommerce solution, as well as strengthen its position in the market. Scnd is a French SaaS solution for the service industry. The company…
    Topics: ecommerce, tech, solution, united, euros, industry, existing, service, company, million, funding, scnd, round, secures.
  • - There are many different order fulfillment solutions available for ecommerce businesses, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. In this article, we'll compare ShipBob and Amazon FBA, two of the most popular options, to… Continue reading ShipBob Vs Amazon FBA: Which Is The Best Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Solution?
    Topics: solution, amazon, products, businesses, inventory, fba, customer, best, fulfillment, shipping, vs, ecommerce, order, shipbob.
  • - When it comes to ecommerce order fulfillment, there are two leading platforms that stand out above the rest: ShipBob and ShipStation. But which is the best solution for your business? To help you make the decision, we’ve put together a… Continue reading ShipBob vs Shipstation: Which Is The Best Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Solution?
    Topics: solution, businesses, inventory, software, shipstation, best, fulfillment, shipping, vs, ecommerce, order, shipbob.
  • - In today’s Shippo review, we’re taking a behind-the-scenes look at a popular shipping and fulfillment service for today’s growing ecommerce market. As an all-in-one shipping solution for management, partnerships, label printing, and insurance, Shippo aims to provide business owners with… Continue reading Shippo Review (2023): An Easy-To-Use Shipping Solution For SMB Merchants
    Topics: solution, fulfillment, service, shippo, access, tools, review, platform, merchants, labels, support, customer, smb, easytouse, shipping.
  • - Struggling to decide between Shopify vs Printful for your growing business? Ultimately, it’s not a like-for-like comparison. While both Shopify and Printful are excellent tools for business leaders looking to develop their own online venture, they’re very different solutions. With… Continue reading Shopify vs Printful (2023): Which Solution Do You Need?
    Topics: solution, shipping, create, shopify, printful, vs, store, fulfillment, need, products, sell, online, tools.
  • - This question can be harder to answer than it might seem. After all, on the surface, both Shopify and Shopkeep have a lot of excellent functionality and capabilities to offer today’s business leaders. With both tools, you can create a… Continue reading Shopify vs Shopkeep: Which POS Solution is Best for your Business?
    Topics: vs, lightspeed, access, companies, shopify, business, hardware, shopkeep, ecommerce, best, tools, solutions, pos, solution.
  • - Shopify vs Teespring, which solution should you be using for your business? It might seem like a simple question, but it’s not a like-for-like comparison. Shopify is a comprehensive commerce platform, designed to help businesses create and run various types… Continue reading Shopify vs Teespring (2023): Which Solution is Best for You?
    Topics: business, custom, online, products, social, tools, vs, platform, solution, best, store, teespring, shopify.
  • Smart Fintech launches payment solution SmartPay - Smart Fintech, an open banking third party provider from Romania, has officially launched SmartPay. This is said to be the first alternative payment solution that is authorized by the National Bank of Romania. Smart Fintech wants to execute “several thousand” payments per month this year through the newly launched solution… Continue reading
    Topics: bank, launches, solution, open, payment, banking, financial, romania, fintech, smartpay, smart.
  • SmartRoutes wants to expand across Europe - SmartRoutes, an Irish provider of delivery route planning software, has plans to expand its operations across Europe and the United Kingdom. It also plans to double its team for the second year in a row to meet the demand for its service. The company, founded in 2017 by brothers David… Continue reading
    Topics: software, solution, europe, route, irish, expand, wants, company, planning, smartroutes, operations, plans.
  • - In today’s SmartrMail review, we’re looking at one of the most convenient email and SMS marketing solutions, specifically designed for ecommerce store owners. One of the simplest tools for automated advertising and customer messaging, SmartrMail has made a real impact… Continue reading SmartrMail Review: Everything You Need to Know
    Topics: know, need, ecommerce, smartrmail, marketing, emails, review, email, plus, designed, solution, sms, customers.
  • - In today’s Streamline Shopify theme review, we’re taking a closer look at the components, features, and capabilities of a popular premium theme for ecommerce store owners. The Streamline theme is one of a wide selection of premium themes available on… Continue reading Streamline Shopify Theme Review: Is it Worth the Cost?
    Topics: streamline, product, theme, customers, solution, review, cost, worth, features, store, shopify, plus, products.
  • SwipBox offers returns in Danish parcel locker network - Online shoppers from Denmark can now return their parcels by putting the box in a parcel locker from SwipBox. Logistics provider Bring, the international unit of Norway Post, is the first to offer this return service via the parcel locker. Bring joined as a carrier on the SwipBox Infinity parcel… Continue reading
    Topics: need, solution, network, logistics, parcels, returns, locker, parcel, danish, return, offer, denmark, swipbox, offers.
  • Ten Tips for Getting Started With Headless Commerce - Headless Commerce decouples the customer facing frontend presentation layer of your eCommerce experience, from the backend commerce engine. This decoupling provides an unmatched level of flexibility that enables you to make changes as your business needs change quickly and easily. Getting started with a Headless Commerce Approach can feel daunting, here are 10 tips to get you started. Evaluate if Headless Commerce Is Right for Your Business Key areas to consider: are you looking to create differentiated commerce experiences or are you happy with out-of-the-box pre-build experiences? Are you looking to be agile and optimize on-demand? Do you have a dedicated technicalteam or are you open to working with a Systems Integrator? Educate Your Team on the Benefits of Headless Commerce For many in your organization, Headless Commerce may be a new concept or their perceptions may be different than your own. By aligning on what it is, and the benefits, you can positively impact the adoption.   Assess the Cost of a Headless Commerce Solution and Determine Your Budget There’s the upfront cost of a solution and there are additional factors that can impact cost such as reference experiences/themes of a website, implementation support, transaction/credit card fees, third-party integrations, hosting, etc. Learn more about total cost of ownership.   Understand the Architecture of Headless Commerce Traditional monolithic platforms provide an all-in-one approach which differs greatly froma modern solution where the frontend “Head” is connected to the backend commerce functionality, through commerce APIs. You can see these differences demonstrated in the diagram below.   Appreciate the Difference Between Retrofitted Headless Solutions and Headless Microservices Solutions A retrofitted headless solution is an all-in-one platform that ripped off the frontend and connected it with bolted-on APIs. Headless microservices solutions are natively built with APIs to provide flexibility on both the frontend and backend.   Evaluate Frontend Options There are three main frontend “head” option types: frontend-as-a-service, digital experience platform, and custom build. Based on the size of your business, skillset of your team, number of products/stores, you will be able to determine which frontend type is best for you. Learn more about these options in the Getting Started with Headless Commerce Guide.   Decide How You Will Implement the Frontend Depending upon the skillset and experience of your team, you may decide to utilize your in-house team, partner with an agency, or partner with a systems integrator. Do you have a partner of record? What technologies are you planning to integrate? What is your budget?   Evaluate Options to Make Headless Commerce Easier There are a number of Pre-Composed Solutions™, pre-integrated business-ready solutions, available on the Composable Commerce Hub that make adopting headless commerce easier than ever before.   Understand the Process of Migrating From a Traditional Commerce Solution to a Headless Commerce Solution Migrating off any platform comes with it’s own set of challenges, we’ve put together a replatforming guide to help you learn the process and we’ve included case studies for your reference to learn from our customers who have successfully replatformed.   Assemble the Right Team to Support Your Headless Commerce Solution Due to the decoupled nature of Headless Commerce, having a dedicated frontend and backend team will be important if you would like to manage the solution in-house. For more information on how to get started with Headless Commerce, check out our comprehensive guide.
    Topics: learn, team, solutions, cost, platform, frontend, commerce, solution, tips, getting, headless, started.
  • - If you’re looking for the best free POS systems, you’re in the right place. Small companies and growing brands have a lot of expenses they need to consider when getting their new venture up and running. However, thanks to innovations… Continue reading The Best Free POS Systems to Explore in 2023
    Topics: access, best, options, business, hardware, solution, systems, pos, tools, features, range, explore, free.
  • - The best POS apps for Shopify are valuable tools for omnichannel retailers. The top Shopify POS apps allow you to synchronize your ecommerce store with the point of sale tools you use in the physical world, such as cash registers… Continue reading The Best POS Apps for Shopify in 2023
    Topics: inventory, app, best, pos, shopify, solution, store, management, apps, payments, tools, order.
  • - The best POS system for small business is a simple, affordable, and reliable tool for managing sales and in-person transactions. A point-of-sale system empowers businesses to take payments from consumers in-store and track the movement of inventory. With a leading… Continue reading The Best POS System for Small Business (Apr 2022)
    Topics: small, shopify, apr, online, sales, range, solution, tools, system, best, business, features, pos.
  • - Welcome to our ultimate BetterCommerce review. The ecommerce space is extremely competitive and without access to the best solutions, your brand may suffer. Large scale enterprises are in the same competing space as midsize and small businesses and this makes… Continue reading The Complete BetterCommerce Review (Oct 2021)
    Topics: bettercommerce, platform, product, ecommerce, oct, provides, features, customer, review, solution, data, business, complete.
  • The End of the Monolith Commerce Platform - As Hemingway so adroitly put it in The Sun Also Rises: Bill: "How do you go bankrupt?” Mike:  "Two ways,  gradually, then  suddenly.”   And what relevance is this to the eCommerce space - well, I believe that we are seeing the tipping point in this space away from the monolith to a faster, more flexible, commerce landscape which delivers real benefit to both an organisation but also to their clients and suppliers - and the pace of change is accelerating. First, let's be clear that the first age of eCommerce when the likes of ATG, IBM Websphere, and Hybris were the only games in town - they were a revelation; delivering a full suite of capabilities that allowed organisations to sell online and make, in many cases, a huge contribution to their profit margins, reach, and brand. However this also came at a cost, not just in development, hosting, and management but also setting strict guardrails on what could be sold, when, and how.  Gradually, the buildup of technical debt (the outstanding development request, enhancements, and bug fixes), the sheer cost of maintenance, upgrades, and changes in the way customers want to engage has meant that organisations had to look at something different. So the second wave of eCommerce came along - lighter weight, maybe headless, maybe SaaS, and increasingly microservices based, and a few companies started to move off their monoliths.  Or perhaps, more factually, they started to explore how they might replace some aspects of the full function stack - the cart maybe or the checkout.  Small steps because one thing that the monoliths did was deliver: You want promotions? Tick.   Multiple catalogue management? Check! Variations and bundles? Step this way. And so on for security, scalability, OMS...   Ready to Consider Replatforming? If your business has outgrown your current ecommerce platform, check out our webinar, "Replatforming Tips to Embrace Composable Commerce," for advice on how to move to a more modern solution. Watch the Webinar and that created a problem to the second generation, they just were not as functionally rich as the monoliths - and if you wanted that then there was often a huge amount of external development to be done. Change was coming but coming slowly. But now it feels that the tipping point has come with the advent of three major changes:  Development of core commerce capability on the new SaaS / Headless / Microservices architecture Composable Commerce allowing for the plug and play implementation of best of breed/need technology The development of migration blueprints enabling a low-risk movement to the new solution Commerce is more than a cart and check out - today's organisations want to operate across multiple business models - B2B, D2C, B2C, and marketplaces.  Further, they need to manage the catalogues that are presented to the different customers; based on geo, channel, brand, spend, segment overlayed with sophisticated promotions, and capable of managing complex bundles - and of course scalability and security is a given. Building on the basis of a MACH (Microservices, API First, Cloud Native, Headless) architecture to deliver these business capabilities, so the merchandiser can get back to their day job is now expected in a solution (and delivered in a few). Composable Commerce builds on the core commerce advances to deliver the non-core commerce required functionality be it Search, CMS, PIM, OMS, Taxation etc. With the correct pre-built integration, be it via Accelerators or Pre-Composed Solutions™ you can choose your technology of choice based on price point, functionality, etc. and build out your tailor-made solution but without the months of custom integration that would have been required previously.  Elastic Path also provides Composable Commerce XA™ - a support offering which de-risks ownership of a solution made of multiple components by providing first line support for the whole application.  You have an issue with the "shop", one number to call, one team to help. Finally, and as important as the previous two advances, is the development of migration blueprints - a known route that covers not only the migration of data, but of functionality and organisational capability. Critically, this input has to come from an SI or agency who has a foot in each camp; with experience implementing a monolith and of working with a next generation composable commerce solution, performed the functional and organisational gap analysis, and developed a repeatable solution to ensure minimum risk moving from A to B. At Elastic Path we recognize that no two solutions are the same, so working with our partners have developed the first of our blueprints; read about the Elastic Path solution for brands migrating off Sales Force Commerce Cloud towards a Composable Commerce approach. In the near future additional solutions for Hybris will be announced. A few brands have migrated from their monolith, or are in the process of doing so, but it has been slow and faltering steps - the "gradual" phase. What is happening now is an acceleration into the "suddenly" phase, supported by the developments in functionality, composability, and migration blueprint. The change is coming, and it's coming faster than you think. Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, our technology, and SI/agency partners are the fulcrum for that change.
    Topics: functionality, solution, end, platform, development, coming, solutions, path, monolith, commerce, composable, migration, ecommerce.
  • The Key Benefits of Using Shopify for Your Business - Ecommerce solutions such as Shopify make it easy for customers to engage with your online business.
    Topics: shopify, benefits, platform, online, solution, tier, store, ecommerce, amazon, using, business, users, key.
  • - The Oberlo shutdown came as quite the surprise to a lot of ecommerce companies on Shopify. For years, Oberlo stood as one of the most popular apps on the Shopify marketplace, offering companies an easy way to import AliExpress products… Continue reading The Oberlo Shutdown: What You Need to Know?
    Topics: know, products, aliexpress, shutdown, store, options, app, features, oberlo, solution, shopify, dropshipping, need.
  • - Welcome to the ultimate MYR POS review. Whether you are a large or small business you require a POS (point-of-sale) system to help you in processing orders and managing your brand. And these days due to the flexibility and functionalities… Continue reading The Ultimate MYR POS Review (Oct 2021)
    Topics: pos, review, myr, ultimate, orders, solution, order, business, quickservice, oct, system, allows, feature.
  • - Welcome to our ultimate Sezzle review. If you run an online business you know how crucial it is to offer your customers the right payment solutions at checkout. Imagine offering only Sripe as the payment option for shoppers on your… Continue reading The Ultimate Sezzle Review (Dec 2021): A Pay Later Service for Online Shopping
    Topics: online, dec, customers, customer, product, ecommerce, pay, shopping, later, credit, solution, sezzle, review, ultimate, payment, service.
  • Top 10 Commerce Headless FAQs - 1. What Is Headless Commerce?  Simply put Headless Commerce is the complete separation of the front-end code/ UI layer from the back-end engine where commerce functionality and business logic exist. This separation is essential to the flexibility of a Headless Commerce platform. It allows the rapid evolution of the omnichannel front-end customer experiences (whether that is across touchpoints or geos) while keeping the business logic for things like product catalogs, shopping cart, promotions, payments, etc. in place. Check out our comprehensive review a more in-depth breakdown of Headless Commerce. 2. What Are eCommerce APIs? And, How Do They Relate to Headless Commerce? Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are designed to enable an application to expose specific services (like order management, pricing information, catalogs, etc.) to other applications. In a Headless Commerce context, an API is what allows backend systems to “talk” and relay information to any front-end/ heads (think customer touch-points like mobile storefronts or IoT devices).  3. What Is the Difference between Traditional & Headless eCommerce? A traditional eCommerce approach, or monolith platform, was built with a strong ‘coupling’ between the front-end experience and the back-end commerce functions. A monolith approach delivers value by offering a multitude of out-of-the-box functionality directly connected to a frontend to quickly stand up a web-based/ desktop browser experience. Fast forward to now, monolithic systems are inflexible when it comes to adding new channels or updating customer experiences.  On the other hand, a Headless Commerce ‘decoupled’ approach allows for the flexibility to implement front-end changes, add new channels, and generate quicker release cycles (for example: testing solely the new addition in a Headless architecture vs. testing the entire tightly coupled systems pre-launch). The differences are tangible in your company’s Total Cost of Ownership.   Ready to Get Started with Headless Commerce? Discover the steps for getting started, how to implement your front-end, considerations for choosing the right platform and more with our full guide. Read the Guide 4. How Much Does It Cost to Run a Headless Commerce Solution? While exact pricing will vary based on the details of implementation and your specific business goals, the cost of your core Headless Commerce software generally depends on order volume and GMV. In addition to your core Headless Commerce software cost, you will also have to consider the cost of any third-party software (like search, personalization, etc.), the cost to build your front end (this may be completed using internal resources for not extra cost), and the cost of integrating all these pieces together. Similar to your core commerce software price, this all depends on your goals, timeline, and scope. That being said, when evaluating the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), a Headless Commerce solution will result in savings from a resource allocation and potentially partner implementation perspective. For a detailed look at TCO, check out our comprehensive guide here. 5. Where Is the ‘Head’ in a Headless Commerce Solution? The flexibility of a Headless Commerce solution extends to the choice of ‘head’ or the customer-facing front-end. While some businesses will choose to build the front-end from scratch, leveraging the APIs of a Headless solution. Others choose to use a separate Content Management System (CMS) to attach one of the many heads (think customer touchpoints or desktop vs. in-store mobile check-out). A Headless solution allows for the freedom to choose which option aligns with your business-centric goals best.  6. Is Headless Commerce Future-Proof?  While no life cycle is infinite, the short answer is yes! While eCommerce trends- and more importantly- customer expectations change rapidly, a Headless Commerce approach allows you to quickly launch a new experience on the front-end (adding curbside pickup or voice-enabled chatbots for example) without impacting the core business logic in the back-end. In contrast to a rigid traditional monolith approach that can take months to implement costly changes, a Headless Commerce approach will allow your business to evolve with customer expectations and experiment with new experiences at an unparalleled pace.  7. How Does Headless Commerce Support Omnichannel?  By removing the traditional ‘middle layer’ that connects the front and back-ends in a tightly coupled monolith solution. A Headless Commerce approach relies on a single source of truth to simplify the architecture by removing the middle layer. Enabling each customer touchpoint to connect back to the same core logic & business functions in a ‘decoupled’ back-end.  8. Why Should You Care about Headless? Are Customers Going to Notice a Difference?  Most customers won’t necessarily notice a difference between a traditional storefront vs. a Headless Commerce experience. What a Headless Commerce approach does allow is a brand to regain control of their customer experience and dramatically speed up experimentation cycles to keep up with customer expectations and company growth. This scalability also impacts overall site speed, a crucial factor according to Google as “53% of mobile visitors abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load”.  Why Is Headless Commerce Being Talked about More? The short answer: customer expectations! While the pandemic fundamentally changed how many businesses operate, it was essentially an exacerbation of the rapid change of pace in customer expectations in today’s world. A Headless Commerce approach’s flexibility, extensibility, and rapid time to market in order to better align with customer expectations and staying one step ahead of your competitors are what is driving the conversations around Headless.  10. How Can I Switch to Headless Commerce Solutions? A complete re-platforming to a Headless commerce approach can be achieved in weeks rather than months with Elastic Path’s Pre-Composed Solutions™. There are a few other options for making the switch as well. A popular approach has been a staggered implementation if you are replacing a monolith solution. Where pieces will progressively be replaced while maintaining business-critical functions. For a more in-depth look at re-platforming, check out our whitepaper on re-platforming.
    Topics: customer, solution, monolith, faqs, headless, business, commerce, approach, cost, traditional, frontend.
  • Top 10 eCommerce Buyer Questions - My team here at Elastic Path manages the buying experiences on the front line of researching and evaluating eCommerce solutions, including business development, chat, Website, and marketing automation.  Being on the front line, my team gets asked many different questions.  Some are very common, like "how much do the eCommerce solutions that Elastic Path provides cost?" But since eCommerce can mean different things to different buyers, we see a wide variety of great questions. Therefore we felt it might be helpful to share what we are hearing to maybe help buyers that are researching headless commerce solutions get insights into what their peers in the market are asking. You can always get your specific questions answered by reaching out to us and we would be happy to have a personalized Q&A.   A Bit of Context Before We Start   Before we get into it, I want provide a bit of context for what it is like being on the front lines of marketing and selling eCommerce platforms and solutions. As I mentioned, eCommerce can mean different things to different buyers depending on the complexity, size and scale of their requirements.  Not to mention, the experience a buyer has working with different eCommerce solutions at different stages of their career. For example a small business owner may only need a simple out of the box solution, like Shopify, that comes with all the basic pieces need to get their products and services online. A rapidly growing emerging business looking to scale up to $50M -to- $100M in revenue might be feeling the need to advance their investment in technology, but they may not know the scope, skills, and architecture required to build and manage a solution that can provide the control and customizations to differentiate its brand. Then there are companies with B2B use-cases that might be looking to digitally transform their business by moving a traditional selling model online to meet customer demand for online engagement that creates more value and improve margins using eCommerce approaches. These B2B companies are likely just starting out with eCommerce, but they need advanced capabilities that can integrate with their existing CRM/ERP architectures. Maybe the buyer is a seasoned eCommerce developer/architect focused on enabling eCommerce as a core business function and looking to modernize and "future proof" their architecture.  But let's be honest they don't need to ask my team questions, they just need access to our product and technical resources to figure out how they want to approach a Proof of Concept (POC) with Elastic Path. The bulk of questions we get on the front lines tend to be from the first three buying groups, and many of those buyers are under pressure to grow and transform their business quickly.  As a result they looking for more control and flexibility to differentiate experiences, improve how they operate and scale up online revenue. Many of the questions we get from these groups indicate they are just starting the path of learning about modern eCommerce technologies - such as microservices, API-centric, composable, headless eCommerce solutions (aka MACH). They may not be fully aware of the skills and budget required to invest in this emerging approach to cloud-based eCommerce. So hopefully the following questions and answers will provide some clarity and if you have more questions - never hesitate to ask Elastic Path for help.   Top 10 eCommerce Buyer Questions   QUESTION: What is the time it takes for a basic implementation? We hear you say two weeks - is that real? ANSWER: Implementation time depends on the scope of the project but some of the Elastic Path customers were able to implement a solution from scratch as quickly as 4 weeks. The key to our fast implementations is a combination of using Accelerators, Pre-Composed Solutions and designing an MVP approach so that we can get customer experiences into market that can flex and evolve vs. trying to boil the ocean with an oversized project plan or build everything from scratch.  QUESTION: I see what your webpage says you are. But who are you really? What is different about you from other vendors? ANSWER: We provide the only commerce solution that combines the flexibility and control of DIY eCommerce (i.e. a custom, home-grown solution) with the turn-key ease of Shopify, Magento, or Salesforce.  Our microservices architecture was built totally de-coupled so that you can customize for your business requirements. Elastic Path vs. Magento (Adobe) Elastic Path vs. Shopify   Vendors like Big Commerce claims to have microservices. Shopify and Magento claim to be headless. The reality is they have taken their monolithic-style platforms and built APIs on top, which means that customizations are incredibly time consuming and expensive.   Elastic Path vs. Commercetools   Vendors like Commercetools promise the control of DIY, but lack the support and guidance to de-risk integrating best of breed technology and partner solutions. Brands who go with this type of solution often find themselves overwhelmed by the complexity.  Elastic Path offers Pre-Composed Solutions which integrate core commerce functionality, partner integrations, and customizations so that getting live is fast.  In addition, we offer Composable Commerce XA which provides operational experience assurance  from Elastic Path services team to triage, manage, and resolve issues across your multi-vendor solution.  When you have an issue (which is not often as our uptime SLA is 99.9%), you have a single throat to choke.   QUESTION: How can Elastic Path provide a way for my 3rd party vendors to manage their selling experience on my marketplace site? ANSWER: eCommerce Marketplaces, especially those who support a third party model, take user experience a notch above traditional digital commerce avenues. Not only are consumers able to save a trip to a physical store, but now they have a one stop shop to compare similar products without switching from site to site. This type of ease of use, convenience, and accessibility continues to attract shoppers presenting an opportunity for many brands to capitalize on.   QUESTION: What is Composable Commerce?  Is it the same as Headless Commerce? ANSWER:  Composable Commerce is an approach that enables brands to bring their unique digital vision to life by launching and continuously optimizing digital commerce experiences leveraging multiple best-of-breed technologies composed together into a complete, business ready solution. Headless Commerce is a component of Composable Commerce, along with other MACH technologies (microserices, APIs, Cloud-native, and headless). Shaneil Lafayette from our Product Marketing team wrote an entire article on this subject, so best to just direct you to her blog: What is Composable Commerce? QUESTION: Does Elastic Path have the capability to handle over 50,000 SKUs? Complex Catalogs? ANSWER: The short answer is yes.  In fact we can support almost infinite SKUs, and by decoupling the way you manage product content, price books, and availability rules we can enable infinite selling experiences on you site using our Product Content Management solution.  We also created a short video that explains how PCM works:   {"preview_thumbnail":"/sites/default/files/styles/video_embed_wysiwyg_preview/public/video_thumbnails/JNY7KimCoV1EHDSCuuNQo2.jpg?itok=AH9fMNXc","video_url":"https://share.vidyard.com/watch/JNY7KimCoV1EHDSCuuNQo2?","settings":{"responsive":1,"width":"854","height":"480","autoplay":0},"settings_summary":["Embedded Video (Responsive)."]}   QUESTION: Does Elastic Path provide a front end solution or Content Management System (CMS)? ANSWER: We are Headless Commerce, so we separate the front-end from the and back-end. Our core platform is the backend which is 100% API-first, microservices-based. That being said, we do have a PWA REACT reference store which serves as a frontend starter kit for our clients. In addition, many clients chose to build their own front end using a JavaScript frontend framework (REACT, Angular JS, Next Js, VueJS, etc) or use a Front-End-as-a-Service like Frontastic or Builder.io. We work with all of our customers to understand their unique needs and can advise you on what approach to frontend would be best for your brand.  QUESTION: How does Elastic Path provide front-end capability and back-end integration with an ERP system?  ANSWER: Because Elastic Path was architected from the API layer up vs. monolithic based headless competitors that retrofitted their APIs, we enable the most open and flexible eCommerce integration framework on the market.  It is one of the reasons we can take an MVP approach to just about any eCommerce project and create new experiences that align with just about any existing architecture.  No matter how complex (or simple) your current architecture we can right size your eCommerce goals and make sure the align with you internal business processes - both human and digital. QUESTION: How are you hosted? SaaS, on-prem, private cloud?  ANSWER: As our CEO Jamus Driscoll likes to say, "Have it your way".  Elastic Path provides flexible deployment models including SaaS, on-premises, and private cloud to address the business needs of any customer.   QUESTION: What development languages does Elastic Path support?  ANSWER: Elastic Path is language agnostic, so you can leverage any front-end language you wish and access the core microservices commerce functionality via standard API calls.  QUESTION: I don't have a large in-house tech team, do I need one to do headless commerce? ANSWER: When looking at any cutting edge technology, there are always learning curves. However, we have developed an ecosystem of capabilities and support to get even an emerging digital savvy team started down the path of headless commerce.  Our foundation is Cloud-based, so you are not dealing with coding the actual platform itself to customize your ecommerce.  Instead you are connecting common systems using an API framework where you likely already have skills inhouse or via existing partnership.  For example the store-front is your CMS, you inventory and pricing might be an SQL database or ERP application, etc.  You then use our business centric composable solutions to manage the data flowing in and out of the eCommerce workflow. Then next way we make headless commerce a reality is by bringing together the best technology and solution integration partner network in the business.  This is one of the fastest growing areas of our business, which is also how we are building core pre-composed solutions new customers can essentially buy and configure with only 20% of the effort. Listening to our customers and thinking different about solutions and support. a. Pre-Composed Solutions were not developed by a back office product team, they are real-world solutions developed by our partners and customer designed to solve real business problems. b. Composable Commerce XA means Elastic Path is your support partner for all the technology within the best-of-breed headless solution you need to succeed. c. Product Content Management service was announced earlier this year to solve one of the oldest challenges in eCommerce, managing/changing online catalogs. eCommerce is now at the core of your revenue strategy and buyers expect the same level of personal experience in a digital world that a sales person or account manager provides, which means it needs to be data driven and capable of delivering an infinite combination of suggestions, pricing, promotions and availability across multiple catalogs, geographies and channels.   Want to learn more about Elastic Path Software? Check out our Demo Library here.
    Topics: business, questions, solutions, different, commerce, elastic, team, buyer, path, headless, ecommerce, solution.
  • Top Reasons to Not Choose Composable Commerce - Since spearheading the Composable Commerce movement and advocating for its game changing tenets and architecture, we’ve made it our mission to reimagine eCommerce for leading brands. By definition, Composable Commerce refers to a modular digital commerce approach utilizing composable  architecture. The API-first, microservices-based architecture powers solutions to achieve unique business needs in a customized tech stack. Composable Commerce enables marketing, merchandising, and sales teams to bring a brand's unique digital vision to life by launching and continuously optimizing digital commerce experiences that leverage multiple, best-of-breed vendors composed together into a complete business-ready solution. Digital commerce footprints no longer fit the one-size-fits-all model from one vendor. Back in the first wave of the eCommerce revolution businesses ventured online with standardized platforms and minimal control over outcomes. The eCommerce landscape of today is far more demanding. With far more touchpoints, a saturated market, and consumer expectation for modern digital experiences, businesses can no longer rely on outdated legacy platforms that can’t keep up. Out of this demand for innovation in the eCommerce space is the Composable Commerce movement. But, what if the Composable Commerce approach isn’t for everyone? You may have heard Gartner’s prediction that by  2023 organizations who have adopted a Composable Commerce approach will outpace competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation.   A compelling case, but let’s take a look at the reasons why a company may not fit the Composable Commerce model. First and foremost, you may be completely happy with the out-of-the-box functionality of your platform. If your existing solution checks all the boxes for your business for where you are right now, you may not see a reason to replatform.   Get hands on with an Elastic Path Free Trial Start building the commerce experience your unique business demands with a free Elastic Path Commerce Cloud account. Get in touch with us and we will setup a Free Trial store for you for six weeks. Sign up for a free trial The Size of Your Business Smaller operations don’t require multiple vendor partners and integrations that composability affords. New businesses, home startups, and small mom and pop shops (10K and under of GMV), don’t have complex business requirements that would necessitate all the functionality and capabilities of a composable solution. Low-Level Digital Maturity You have low digital maturity if you have little to no in-house technical expertise, and no intention to hire a partner with technical expertise. In addition, your business is likely new to digital commerce and does not yet see it as a fundamental driver of business success. Being low in digital maturity is not a bad thing at all – it’s about finding the best vendor solutions to match your needs. For low maturity companies, out-of-the-box eCommerce solutions are your best investment. Low-Level Complexity If your catalog is fairly simple with limited product variations you don’t need functionality to manage multiple brands, geographies, or hierarchies. In addition, if you’re operating solely in the D2C or B2C channels, without a plan in the short term to expand into new markets (B2B, B2B2C), a flexible, fast, and scalable architecture is not necessary. Again, an out-of-the box solution you can manage without a development team is a better choice. You can always re-evaluate (and replatform) as your business grows. Logistics of Managing Multiple Vendors Adding multiple services and vendors requires a certain level of management. You’re dealing with numerous sales and support teams and integrating with their software. Our answer to that challenge is Composable Commerce XA™, proprietary monitoring technology enabling Elastic Path to monitor integration data flow to quickly and easily identify the source of an issue across a multi-vendor solution. And in the event of an identified issue, we serve as the primary point of contact throughout the process of managing issue resolution across a multi-vendor solution. With the complexity of multiple vendors are these sub factors: Multiple Service Level Agreements Each vendor will have their own Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in a composable solution. With an open ecosystem of vendors, it can be a challenge to predict consistent service levels. Microservices-Based Architecture Can Be Overwhelming Within an eCommerce composable solution, you’ll need to work across separate interfaces and tools. This takes investment of time and money and is daunting to a less technical team. Many companies who are ready to adopt the approach choose a system integrator or agency to provide guidance with the process in lieu of an in-house technical team. A Great Place to Start Today’s eCommerce landscape is fiercely competitive. You’ll need to leverage every tool to remain in the game. Wondering about your next move when it comes to eCommerce? Check out our eCommerce evaluation tool.
    Topics: ecommerce, vendors, vendor, digital, business, solution, reasons, composable, architecture, multiple, commerce, choose.
  • Using Human-Centered Design to Create Better Products (with Examples) - To understand human-centered design, let’s start with what it isn’t.
    Topics: better, consumers, process, product, using, needs, examples, create, problem, products, humancentered, consumer, solution, design.
  • - Shopify Free Trial | Full Shopify Review | Shopify Pricing Plans and Fees Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel Shopify Pricing Video Transcript INTRO Hi everyone, welcome back to our Ecommerce Platforms.com YouTube channel! I'm Tudor, and today we're diving into… Continue reading Video: Shopify Pricing and Fees
    Topics: advanced, plus, fees, video, transaction, features, shopify, lets, solution, pricing, store, plan.
  • - Expense management for your business can be complicated and expensive if you're forced to issue cards from traditional banks.  For example, the exchange rate might not be in your favor, and each card might come with account costs that can… Continue reading Wallester Business Review (2023): Is This Payment Solution for Your Business?
    Topics: payment, plan, wallester, card, expense, solution, cards, virtual, spending, account, review, free, business.
  • What Benefits Will I Receive From Replatforming My Commerce Solution? -   With the advancement of technology and ever evolving customer habits, many companies have been increasingly entertaining the idea of replatforming, but are still hesitant. Why? Well for starters: The task of replatforming can quickly turn into an extensive and expensive project. The past investment of a previous platform is hard to let go of. And the risk of a new investment not working could cost you your job. These are all valid reasons for contemplation, however, replatforming can bring many benefits to your company that you may be missing out on. Benefits of Replatforming Flexible Customization Traditional incumbent platforms were designed to quickly spin up website only experiences to embark on your commerce journey. However, due to the rigid architecture, customization has been quite burdensome and oftentimes impossible. By replatforming to a more flexible solution that leverages MACH based technology, both your technical and business teams could benefit from having more control of designing unique commerce experiences to outpace competitors.   Elastic Scalability Every business’ ideal goal is to continuously grow and maximize on revenue. So the last thing you will want is a solution that is unable to sustain that growth. According to a study conducted by Forrester, Understanding TCO When Evaluating E-Commerce Solutions “74% of businesses have concerns that their platform will not allow them to scale properly.” These kinds of issues can cause slow load time of your website, thus providing a poor experience to customers. To mitigate this risk, you will want to consider cloud-based platforms that ensure your security but allow your solution to scale for peak demand times on your website.   Flexible Integration Traditional platforms were designed in an all-in-one solution, where all functionality was built fit for purpose. This means one vendor provided all your commerce functionality like search, carts and checkout and content management wrapped up in one system. This was great, until other vendors became experts in each area and specialized in creating each commerce functionality to support the market. Though these are attractive, the rigidity of many platforms don’t allow these third party solutions to integrate well or even at all, with your commerce solution. By replatforming to a more agile solution that follows a best-of-breed approach, you could eradicate these limitations and integrate freely.   Consistent Experiences Across Multiple Touchpoints As customer expectations and needs continue to evolve post the pandemic, we are seeing more and more demands for commerce experience across channels, like mobile, voice, chatbots, A/R and more. However, consistent deployment across these channels can be difficult if the frontend UI experience of your system is hardwired to the backend commerce functionality of your system. To create more flexibility for your team to deliver these experiences, you should consider replatforming to a headless commerce platform that eliminates the dependencies. This will be a game changer for customer experience and retention rate as they would have the ability to start a transaction in one place and finish it in another.   Lower TCO And lastly, the most critical issue that is at the top of everyone’s list, cost. Many businesses get drawn in by attractive pricing, only to be surprised by exuberant costs later down the line. Many platforms advertise cost based a standard commerce experience that was pre built it their vision for your company. However, the reality is, each business is unique and will require different changes and customizations. For the majority of these legacy platforms, making changes is the largest factor in the total cost of ownership for your solution, thus causing your eCommerce costs to be much higher than you expected. By replatforming to a Composable Commerce solution, you can reduce your total costs of ownership by approximately 47%. Composable Commerce solutions were built for change, so you can continuously innovate and optimize your solution without the risk of failure and impacting your budget. While these benefits can be attractive, we are still aware that a replatforming project can be quite a bit of work. Therefore, you should: Evaluate if you truly need to replatform Understand the process of replatforming Ensure your business is in the right position to undertake such a project And choose the right vendor to conduct your replatforming project To better help with understanding your potential replatforming process, join us for a live webinar where you will learn expert tips for replatforming to a Composable Commerce Solution. Hear from replatforming experts and hosts of Re:Platform podcast, James Gurd and Paul Rogers about the top tips for both business and technical users and then hear from the Director of Digital Experience at Illumina about how they made the switch from IBM Websphere to Elastic Path.
    Topics: system, commerce, business, experience, replatforming, functionality, cost, benefits, receive, experiences, platforms, solution.
  • What Is A Frontend And How Does It Work With Elastic Path? - When you first visit a website, what’s the first thing you notice? It’s not the available payment providers, it’s not the security measures, it’s not even the products. It’s the design! And as an eCommerce brand, if your design isn’t aesthetically appealing to your customers, you stand the risk of losing your website visitors quickly. This design is hosted in what we call the frontend of your eCommerce experience. Therefore, understanding what your frontend will look like is equally as important as understanding the eCommerce solution that will power your eCommerce experiences. In this article we will break down exactly what a frontend is, your frontend options, and how it works with Elastic Path.   What Is a frontend? The frontend refers to the all the elements that your users see and interact with when they visit your website. These elements include features such as font, color themes, drop down menus, search bars, imagery, click interactions and more. This is why the frontend is most commonly referred to as the customer-facing portion of your eCommerce experience. As the customer-facing portion of your website, your team has the opportunity to use these elements to “wow” your customers, make an impact and create an overall appealing experience while they shop. The frontend is not to be confused with the backend of your eCommerce experience. The backend, otherwise known as the server side of your eCommerce experience, refers the data access layer that holds all your information and powers the functionality for your store. It works by processing, storing, and delivering all the data and functionality to and from the frontend. Therefore, your backend is essentially responsible for bringing your frontend elements to life so that your customers may interact with your store and complete their transaction.   What To Expect From Your Frontend In Traditional Legacy Platforms? Since the emergence of eCommerce, traditional legacy platforms such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Oracle ATG, and SAP Hybris have been built as all-in-one systems, where the frontend and backend were constructed in tightly coupled architectures. Coupling the frontend and the backend brought tremendous benefits at first, as it allowed brands to quickly deploy online stores and manage them with ease using templates that were provided by their vendors. However, as technology advanced over the years, customers were demanding more unique and engaging experiences. This posed a problem for brands utilizing these coupled architectures because they lacked the flexibility be able to customize their unique solution. And even if they did find workarounds for their customizations, they were still time consuming, costly, and had the potential of breaking their eCommerce store, slowing down their website, and leaving customers with a bad experience. Therefore, this type of hyper dependent architecture has not been ideal for brands who want to continuously innovate and update their frontend experiences to keep up with customer expectations. Over the years, the eCommerce landscape has evolved to overcome the rigidity of this type of architecture. Around 2013, a new approach called Headless Commerce emerged, which decoupled the frontend presentation layer from the backend functionality layer, to allow for more creative freedom. Headless Commerce vendors today include Elastic Path, Big Commerce, Commercetools and more.   What To Expect From Your Frontend In Headless Commerce Solutions? The Headless Commerce approach allowed for the frontend and backend systems to exist independently. This meant development teams no longer had to worry about the interdependencies between the two layers, and brands and their teams had more freedom to create and update their frontend presentation layer without the fear of anything breaking. Additionally, as the backend was now able to communicate via APIs, brands were now able to create one frontend layer and have that be utilized across multiple touchpoints such as mobile, and IoT to reach customers in different places.   Interested in Learning More About Elastic Path Commerce Cloud? Launch and optimize innovative experiences fast, with a modern, headless, SaaS, API-first, & microservices-based commerce platform. See the Future of eCommerce   What Frontend Options Do I Have If I Want a Headless Commerce Solution? Customers are oftentimes confused by Headless Commerce because they have only been accustomed to working with all-in-one solutions. So, we often get asked, “If Headless Commerce removes the “head” and decouples the frontend from the backend, does the eCommerce solution still come with a frontend? What are my options?” And well the answer to that is, “Well, it depends.” As you can imagine, more frontend freedom comes with more options, and depending on a company’s current state, there will be different frontend options that will be better suited for them. The frontend option you choose will usually differ based on: ● The size of your business ● The level of in-house resources you want to utilize ● Current skill set of your dev team ● The number of stores you have across your business ● The number of channels you want to deploy across ● The type of products you carry (simple/complex) ● The level of churn ● The size of your marketing/merchandising team ● The level of innovation you want   Based on the assessment of these criteria there are 3 possible routes you could take. 1. Leverage a Frontend-as-a-Service A Frontend-as-a-Service (FEaaS) allows you to build and design your features, and their functionality such as grid layouts and carousels for your product, using minimal coding. If you choose this option, you will utilize an agency or your FEaaS team to carry out your first-time implementation of your frontend with your commerce solution. Once that is completed, your team of marketers, content creators, and merchandisers will have the flexibility to innovate and make updates without reliance on your engineering teams. Examples of FEaaS include Frontastic, Mobify, Moovweb and Mason.   2. Utilize a Digital Experience Platform A Digital Experience Platform (DXP) is a more advanced and fully integrated experience designed to enable the composition, management, and delivery of digital experience across different journeys. DXPs have expanded from traditional CMS to focus on more connected and consistent experiences both across internal teams and consumers. If you choose this option, you will utilize an agency, SI partner, and/or in-house technical team to build and carry out the first-time implementation of your frontend with your commerce solution. From there, it is usually best that you have a dedicated in-house team to manage the frontend solution. Examples of DXPs include: Bloomreach, Acquia, and Adobe Experience Manager.   3. Build Your Custom Frontend A custom built frontend tends to be built from scratch by in-house frontend developers who leverage popular frontend frameworks such as ReactJS, Angular JS, Next JS, VueJS, and follow JAMStack architecture and philosophy. Of course, if you choose this option you will you will require your in-house team or hired agency to build and manage it for you. To learn more about how the aforementioned criteria connects to each frontend option, please take a look at Chapter 3 in our Headless Commerce Guide.   How Do These Frontends Work with Elastic Path? Elastic Path provides industry leading API-First, Headless Commerce solutions to allow you to rapidly build, deploy, and continuously optimize highly differentiated commerce experiences. However, we do not sell frontends for your Headless Commerce Solution. You can think about Elastic Path as the core commerce engine that powers the backend of your eCommerce solution. This means that you will be able to work with your agency, system integrator and/or Elastic Path to determine the right frontend option for your business and deploy its right on top of Elastic Path services. As we mentioned before, as Elastic Path is a Headless Commerce solution, it can be connected to any frontend via APIs, and we will work with your team to fully integrate the two. Therefore, you can have the frontend of your choice that will allow you to create your unique presentation layer that will keep your customers engaged and propel your revenue growth. We hope this was helpful but if you have any more questions or you’re just interested in learning more about our Headless Commerce solution and how we get your solution up and running, feel free to reach out to us.   .otro-blockquote{ font-size: 1.2em; width:100%; margin:50px auto; font-family:gilroy; font-style:italic; color: #555555; padding:1.2em 30px 1.2em 75px; border-left:8px solid #ea7317 ; line-height:1.6; position: relative; background:#EDEDED; } .otro-blockquote::before{ font-family:gilroy; content: "\201C"; color:#ea7317; font-size:6.5em; font-weight: 600; position: absolute; left: 2px; top:-20px; } .otro-blockquote::after{ content: ''; } .otro-blockquote span{ display:block; color:#333333; font-style: normal; font-weight: bold; margin-top:1em; }
    Topics: headless, does, frontend, team, backend, ecommerce, path, solution, elastic, work, experience, commerce.
  • What does a waste management company, floral business, and religious literature seller all have in common? - What could possibly tie the topic of dumpsters, flowers and bibles? In commerce practice we run into all kinds of business problems, the solution to which almost always requires distinctly different approach and, more often than not, a significant amount of customization in order to either fit the solution to the business or bend the business to fit the solution. This blog post will recount the three-week true story of how a team of Elastic Path commerce experts helped three customers from completely different industries achieve successful but, drastically different outcomes with one commerce platform. WEEK ONE: Dumpsters The Customer At the beginning of the trip, on week one, we met with one of the major national waste management companies. The best way to characterize the product catalog of this customer is a small number of service offerings with extremely complex availability and pricing rules. Getting right to the essence of it, waste management is a subscription-based service, not unlike telco for example. The market is competitive, and our customer wanted to get ahead of the competition by eliminating the friction associated with speaking to a representative in order to sign up; reducing confusion by taking the guided selling approach, and removing the barrier to entry by offering a personalized pricing to each customer. At the time of implementation, the client was of mixed digital maturity, varying from very low to moderate. The Challenge Parts of the business were archaic, to say the least, running on manual processes and mainframes, while their service availability and their extremely complex, location-specific pricing were managed on very advanced GIS (geographic information system). As mentioned, their pricing model is complex and a price for a particular service is dependent on the location, term of service whether under contract or not, etc. In addition, this brand wanted a phased roll out: once their B2B and B2C online businesses were stable, they planned to eventually include their commercial line of business, which was at the time solely in the domain of direct Sales interactions. Sure, why not. WEEK TWO: Flowers The Customer Next week we met with one of the largest private floral and gardening businesses in the Midwest. The client wanted to ensure that the cut flower arrangements their consumers ordered online were delivered to the right person, with a correct dedication, and at the specified time. Unlike the last example, this customer had a low digital maturity but, we were still eager to understand their challenge. The Challenge Among other things, we had to integrate with a largely manual distributed fulfillment system. Obviously, the complexity here lies in the formation of the products as well as the fulfillment. The product, a sellable item, is a flower arrangement, consists of several elements plus various flowers in specific quantity. Any issue with any one of these elements makes the product unavailable. Plus, here were also all kinds of free-form, make-your-own flower arrangements. The customer also operated a couple of garden centers, as well as a landscaping materials depot, and their aspirations were to get the gardening and landscaping included in their online commerce presence along with their principal cut flowers business. This, obviously, would involve selling bulk landscaping materials such as sand and gravel online. Need help evaluating eCommerce Providers? Connect with an Elastic Path expert to answer all of your questions, set up a demo, access a free trial, or discuss pricing options. Get in Touch WEEK THREE: Bibles The Customer The week after that we met one of the oldest and most respected publisher and bookseller in North America, specializing in religious literature whose goal was to move away from maintaining their hundred plus brick-and-mortar stores. This customer was of very high digital maturity and needed their commerce technology to easily integrate with their existing microservice and event-based systems. The Challenge Anyone who has implemented commerce will agree with me that selling books is, well, hard, and this was even more interesting than your usual book seller. A massive catalog with their own- and third-party products, significant product variance, and more. Both B2B and B2C buyer journeys were complex, riddled with a variety of group-buy and buy-on-behalf scenarios as well as complex fulfillment requirements. The customer's aspirations were, once fully transitioned to online sales, to get out of their traditional geographical territory which was limited by physical store presence and increase their reach nationally and internationally. They wanted regional and country level distinction, micro-sites, separation of group-buy and products for personal use. So, complex and dynamic, personalized catalog segmentation. What do waste management company, a floral business, and a religious literature seller all have in common? I am not going to sit here and tell you how we implemented all of this in three weeks. The subsequent implementations were appropriately long for each of the cases and depended on the complexity of integration. In the end we ended up with three happy clients. But that's not the point. The point is that we used the exact same commerce system in all three business cases and were able to model the business in our commerce system without customizations or modifications exactly the way the customer wanted. Not only that. We gave our customers the freedom to continue to develop and transform their business with minimal help from IT. All of our customers, regardless of their industry or size wanted to be better than competition, different than their competition. We managed to provide each of our customers with the ability to succeed and grow by giving them the power of effortless differentiation. So what do dumpsters, flowers, and bibles all have in common? They can also be sold with one hyper-flexible commerce solution. Learn how you can start selling your products with Elastic Path Commerce Cloud today.
    Topics: wanted, business, customers, system, service, flowers, dumpsters, commerce, complex, pricing, customer, solution, bibles.
  • - Ecommerce replatforming, or ecommerce migration, is more common than many business owners realize. Over time, the needs of your company and your customers will undoubtedly change. Technology in the ecommerce world will evolve, and your initial ecommerce platform may become… Continue reading What is Ecommerce Replatforming? The Guide to Ecommerce Migration
    Topics: data, site, guide, need, solution, replatforming, ecommerce, youre, migration, platform, process.
  • What is a PIM solution? How they work and why you need one. - As a business grows, their product information becomes siloed and dispersed, becoming harder to organize, access, and use. Product attributes, imagery, detailed descriptions, and supplier information eventually become extremely difficult to manage, slowing workflows and impacting customer experiences. To alleviate this pain point, many brands evaluate Product Information Management (PIM) solutions. Akeneo, a global leader in Product Experience Management solutions, defines PIM as providing “a single place for businesses to collect, manage, and enrich their product information”. PIM solutions can help businesses overcome some of the major challenges with managing and utilizing product information as they continue to grow. This article delves into how PIM solutions work, some key considerations for businesses looking to implement PIM systems, and the various advantages offered by PIM. What is a PIM Solution and Why Is It Useful? Over the past few years, commerce has shifted towards a digital-first approach, with customers demanding more streamlined digital experiences and new options for digital self-service. To adapt to these new trends and prove ROI, Marketing, IT, and Commerce teams are responsible for delivering digitized product information, quickly and clearly. A PIM solution helps brands to manage product information, improving their ability to quickly retrieve and use key data to power digital buying experiences. Implementing a PIM solution helps a brand ensure that quality data is organized for internal use and multichannel distribution, consolidating relevant product information onto a single platform. With the rapid digitization of sales and continued expansion into new channels, opting for a PIM solution can help connect different channels to preserve product data quality. Some of the key capabilities offered by PIM solutions include: Improving product data quality across all channels Tracking product progress and completion Managing and modifying relationships between products Collecting data from existing sources Cleaning and centralizing scattered data Specifying priorities across different data sources Enriching product information Translating product information into different languages Linking images, media, and documents to different products Building customized product feeds Curating and creating product sheets Analyzing and tracking product performance Marketers, eCommerce Managers, and Data Analytics teams can all utilize PIM to collect, enrich, streamline, and improve product information and data across multiple channels. This can significantly improve customer experiences, while helping businesses gain an edge over their competitors by getting to market quicker while reducing overheads and wasted resources. How does PIM work? A PIM Solution collects, manages, and enriches data in a single place. The figure below visualizes how PIM works at a high level. Product information and data is collected from various internal and external data sources, ranging from ERP systems to suppliers. The information is loaded into the PIM solution, which allows users to enrich, maintain, and translate the data User management tools, business rules, and validation workflows support the enrichment and maintenance of data Product information can then be distributed to various commerce channels, including eCommerce platforms, marketplace listings, and mobile applications A PIM uses various data types, such as: Technical Data – Specifications and measures (e.g. - material, colors, ingredients Usage Data – Descriptions (e.g. – how-to, where-used) Emotional Data – Product stories and rich descriptions (e.g. – imagery that builds strong, emotional connections with buyers) Media Files – Images, PDFs, Videos Businesses typically have a large amount of different types of data that support a single product throughout its lifecycle. Using a PIM system helps streamline product information management and speeds up the process between retrieving, improving, and displaying the data. For example, a PIM system can load descriptive product information that uses a combination of emotional data and media files as content into a catalog management solution. Here, products may be grouped into target markets, based on usage and technical data. Some of the key information that businesses can use a PIM to manage include: Essential Product Data – SKUs, product names, product descriptions, UPCs Marketing Data – Keywords, target personas, SEO elements Design Specifications – Style sheets, assembly instructions Channel Information – Google categories, mobile descriptions Supplier Manufacturer Data – Spreadsheets, certifications, bills Who needs a PIM Solution? PIM Solutions can be useful to all types of brands, B2C, B2B2C, or B2B, who aim to deliver frictionless, consistent, and engaging digital experiences that drive growth and improve their relationships with customers. Implementing a PIM solution can help streamline data across different channels. This is particularly useful for marketing, merchandising, and product management teams, as siloed and fragmented data can make it difficult to obtain and present a clear view of product information. Companies that anticipate or are currently entering a growth phase should particularly consider PIM solutions. With new customers and expansion into different channels, information will become increasingly scattered and siloed. As a result of this, teams may waste time and resources on managing and maintaining product data, both internally and with external groups. Additionally, firms that are currently struggling with managing product information or are spending excessive time and resources on managing data should also look to PIM as an effective method to collecting and cleaning their data. This will help to avoid missed opportunities, lost revenue, and falling market share to competitors. Some of the specific individuals that should consider a PIM software are: Marketers looking to deliver a consistent omni-channel product experience eCommerce Managers that want to prioritize product data quality to drive online sales Retailers hoping to strengthen or create relationships with suppliers Brands attempting to build or boost customer loyalty and satisfaction Managers seeking methods to reduce overheads and wasted resources Data Governance teams who want to track and meet compliance needs Strategy experts considering new approaches to get to market faster than competitors Sales teams that aim to sell more through better content and data accessibility   Product Content Management with Elastic Path At Elastic Path our Product Content Management capability offers many of the core features of a PIM solution including data consolidation, enrichment, organization, and syndication.  While it does not include robust workflow functionality, the core set of features are sufficient to meet the needs of many brands evaluating a PIM solution.  Plus, since it is part of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud product it seamlessly works with our Catalog Composer capability, enabling brands to create the unique and complex product- centric experiences their business needs.   Key Statistics and Additional Benefits of using a PIM PIM has grown rapidly over the past few years, and more companies are expected to adopt PIM in the future. Customers’ expectations for high quality, thorough, and accurate product information is expected to rise, and companies are investing in PIM to meet these demands. Furthermore, compared to IT-led Master Data Management (MDM) initiatives, implementing a PIM system is faster and more cost effective, simultaneously offering a myriad of measurable business benefits. Below are some statistics that highlight the growth of and key trends in PIM: The PIM category has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 25.3%, reaching over $15 Billion dollars in 2021 The global PIM market is projected to reach $59.25 billion by 2027 Asia-Pacific is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR of 28.3% PIM Software has been projected to be one of the most lucrative segments in the 2020-forecast period The emergence of COVID-19 is expected to increase the demand for and growth of PIM Cloud-based PIM solutions are expected to grow at the highest rate during the 2020-forecast period PIM automates up to 80% of typical manual tasks With its anticipate growth and the efficiencies it offers, PIM provides teams with the ability to enrich their product information, keep it clean and consistent, and improve customer experiences. Some additional benefits of utilizing PIM are: Increasing sales conversion rates: Higher quality data that incorporates different data types can boost customer conversion rates. Using a PIM solution can further help marketing teams make media and product descriptions specific to different channels. Improved customization: Firms can use PIM solutions to scale more effectively, as product experiences can be tailored and customized to match the specific needs and profiles of different customers. Boosted speed: PIM tools provide companies with a competitive edge, enabling them to streamline data collection and product information enrichment processes to get to market more quickly. Support for growth: As companies scale and grow, data becomes increasingly scattered and siloed. Implementing a PIM system early on can help brands avoid missing out on opportunities and wasting resources as data management becomes harder with anticipated growth. Decreased product returns: Research shows that incomplete or inaccurate product information are the key drivers of product returns. Product returns can increase costs and can cause a firm to lose customers; PIM reduces return rates by eliminating data errors and using validation processes to help deliver complete and correct information. Higher team productivity: PIM solutions automate many manual tasks, helping product marketing teams focus on building strong and compelling product descriptions. PIM systems also support the enrichment of data through built-in workflows, improving collaboration and productivity across different departments. Catalyzing expansion: By reducing the amount of time spent on managing current products and existing data, teams have more opportunities to research and innovate. PIM solutions provide the tools needed for omnichannel marketing, while also offering translation, review, and publishing tools to support entry into new regions or markets. PIM is changing the game For many brands, a PIM solution can be a game changer. By solving common data and information management issues, providing a variety of tools for expansion and customization, and supporting productivity across different teams, PIM can help firms improve current processes and create high-quality product data. Deploying a PIM can improve the level of control, organization, and speed within your marketing team, whether your firm is a B2B or B2C. The PIM market is expected to continue its rapid growth, and more and more firms are adopting a PIM solution that fits the needs of their organization. Implementing a PIM solution early on can support your firms growth and support future expansion, simultaneously improving customer experiences, retention, and brand image.
    Topics: management, need, solution, information, teams, solutions, work, growth, pim, data, product, different.
  • What is the Cost of Headless Commerce? - When talking to brands about the benefits of Headless Commerce, one of the most frequent questions, and often the first, is "how much does it cost?" Spoiler: Before a commerce vendor understands a brands goals and roadmap, the answer is almost guaranteed to be “it depends”. Understandably, brands evaluating commerce platforms are frustrated with "it depends." The truth of the matter is, there isn’t a better answer until knowing more about your brand’s needs and ambitions. This post will summarize what "it depends" on and how a few key areas influence the total cost: Subscription license fees and how it varies   The 'types' of Headless Commerce platforms available and how they impact the cost   Implementation & re-platforming costs The Variable Cost of Headless Commerce Headless Commerce vendors generally have a similar cost structure. While these vary slightly across vendors, usually, our customers don't view these as a significant factor in choosing which Headless Commerce platform is best suited to their needs. Generally, the subscription license cost is based on how much merchandise is sold in a store. Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) based costs are now standard. They range from a fraction of a percentage point to a few percentage points (0.3% - 3%) of GMV, depending on each contract. Usage-based costing is by no means a new cost structure; other SaaS solutions have a similar system - cloud computing is a good example. The other alternative to volume-based pricing is based on the number of orders processed; this alternative is less common since the average order value can vary drastically from one brand to the next. At Elastic Path, typically, the costs start from 50,000 USD/ year and increase based on your transaction volume. The benefit of this pricing structure is the economies of scale, where your unit costs will be cheaper at $1 Billion in order value versus order value of $10 Million. The most critical piece in evaluating what eCommerce solution to buy is comparing Headless Commerce costs compared to traditional monolithic solutions. No surprises here, Headless Commerce is usually cheaper - especially in the long term- than a conventional monolithic platform like Magento, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, or Shopify. For a more detailed look at the cost implications, please read our guide on the Total Cost of Ownership. Beyond the subscription license cost for your core commerce platform, the licensing of third-party subscriptions could also be significant. With modern Headless Commerce solutions following a composable approach, brands can pick which third-party technologies they need to address their commerce goals. Typically, these include connecting the core commerce engine to third-party Search, Content Management Systems (CMS), Order Management Systems (OMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools, personalization, tax & payments. Each of these services will come with its own costs that must be evaluated with each vendor. Ultimately your total cost for third-party solutions will depend on what back-end solutions your brand needs to achieve its commerce experience goals.   Interested in Learning More About Elastic Path Commerce Cloud? Launch and optimize innovative experiences fast, with a modern, headless, SaaS, API-first, & microservices-based commerce platform. See the Future of eCommerce Types of Headless Commerce & Their Costs Headless Commerce solutions can be broadly categorized into two main buckets. 'Retrofitted Headless' and Microservices-based Headless Commerce. In a nutshell - 'retrofitted' Headless solutions were built upon the older monolithic solutions, where the 'head' or front-end has been separated. This allows brands to create better customer experiences since they are no longer bound by only what is available out of the box from a monolithic solution. The drawback of these types of Headless Commerce solutions is that the back-end is still 'tightly-coupled,' where each component is interdependent, resulting in more costly and difficult customizations. In contrast, Microservices-based Headless Commerce solutions are designed so each 'service' or component that makes up a complete solution can function independently and instead 'talk' to each other through APIs. This means that the whole solution is easier to customize and add to in the future as the brand's needs or their customer's needs change. For a more detailed comparison between the two types, check out our headless vs retrofitted post here. There are a few key factors at play when it comes to the costs: Microservice-based Headless Commerce allows you to pick and choose the necessary pieces for your brand. Rather than paying for every feature in a 'retrofitted' Headless solution (due to their tightly coupled back-end architecture).   Future enhancements are cheaper to implement with Microservices-based Headless Commerce. This is primarily due to the lower 'effort' or developer hours needed to customize these solutions.   Microservices-based Headless Commerce is designed to work with the best third-party solutions available for a particular function. Search is a great example, where the capabilities of a monolithic solution will be dwarfed by those of a third-party solution whose sole focus is on this function. Not only are they functionally superior, but a Microservices-based approach negates the need to pay for both the 'out-of-the-box' & a better third-party solution. Understanding what services your brand will need to achieve your eCommerce goals is crucial. Even with a Microservices-based Headless Commerce solution, these costs can sky-rocket for complex solutions that require several third-party integrations, each with its individual cost component. Implementation & Re-platforming Costs At this point, many brands have had to go through a re-platforming as they outgrew their initial solution or realized that their current system was not flexible enough to handle their increasingly complex eCommerce needs. These brands are painfully aware of how expensive a complete re-platform can be and would love to negate the need to do so again soon. See how you can futureproof your commerce solution. A significant portion of the cost of re-platforming is the implementation costs. Whether this is through a System Integrator (SI) or achieved by an in-house development team for brands equipped to do so, the majority of the resources spent in this effort are in the development. Although an SI will be more expensive when broken down into a per hour/ unit basis, it is critical to understand how it might impact your in-house development team's other priorities. As with all other costs, the implementation costs will vary based on a few factors: A phased vs. a full-scale re-platform. The time needed to have a portion of your eCommerce solution moved to a newer solution versus a full re-platforming can vary significantly. Many brands prefer to 'strangle' pieces of their solution as they go to keep costs and performance in check.   How much customization is required for your unique solution? Generally, it is easier and faster to customize a modern Microservices-based Headless solution. With a retrofitted headless solution, brands often have issues with higher-cost developer teams. Two contributing factors: the effort required to implement customization is higher. Sometimes, they need to know the old architecture of an existing solution (which can often be a scarce skill set).   Do you need to start from scratch, or does a similar implementation exist that can be 'tweaked,' saving hours of development and testing time? Check out our Hub of Pre-Composed Solutions™ that allows brands to launch in a matter of weeks, not months. For a more in-depth understanding of eCommerce re-platforming, check out our guide. Bringing it All Together In Summary, your brand's Headless Commerce costs will depend on the factors outlined above. Your total cost will depend on how you choose to: Volume (GMV) based subscription license fees for your core commerce platform along with individual third-party license fees for the entire composable commerce solution.   Your chosen type of Headless Commerce solution implies variance in customizations costs.   Implementation costs from SIs or in-house resources vary if it is a re-platforming and how you choose to transition to a modern Headless Commerce platform. Ready for an estimate of Headless Commerce cost that addresses your brand's unique needs? Talk to us today to get started on your quote.
    Topics: replatforming, headless, solution, solutions, costs, cost, commerce, microservicesbased, thirdparty, brands.
  • What is the difference between Elastic Path & Elasticsearch? - We get this question often. While similar names can be confusing, Elastic Path and Elasticsearch (now known as Elastic) are entirely separate companies that each offer different types of best-in-class products. This post will summarize the differences between the two companies. What is Elastic Path? We provide composable, API-first headless commerce solutions that make it simple for brands with complex requirements to deliver unique digital commerce experiences. Our offering is made up of three main components: two core commerce platforms, the Composable Commerce Hub, and Composable Commerce XA™. Depending on your needs, we offer two commerce platforms, Elastic Path Commerce offers self-hosted headless commerce purpose-built for telecommunications, utilities, and regulated goods industries where brands require total control of your data, and infrastructure is paramount. Elastic Path Commerce Cloud enables brands to build experiences fast, with a modern, headless, SaaS, API-first, & microservices-based commerce platform. The Composable Commerce Hub contains commerce solutions for digitally-driven brands who want to create complete commerce experiences seamlessly. In addition to the Accelerators available for individual services, we also offer Pre-Composed Solutions™. These are business-ready solutions pre-composed with Elastic Path commerce capabilities, third-party integrations, and customizations. You can be up and running with a ‘best-for-me’ composed solution in a matter of weeks, not months. See all our Pre-composed Solutions™ here. Composable Commerce XA™ is the industry’s first and only offering to de-risk a Composable Commerce approach. Many brands struggle with the complexity of managing numerous technologies that make up a complete solution. Composable Commerce XA™ eliminates that risk by providing operational assurance, so if an issue arises from any service that makes up a multi-vendor solution, you have one central contact – Elastic Path. Learn more here. The essence of a composable approach is the ability to pick and choose the best vendors for your brand’s unique and complex needs by selecting the vendors for solutions like OMS, catalog management, and search that deliver the best experience possible for your customers across touchpoint and geographies. What is Elasticsearch? It is one of those leading services specializing in solving a specific problem, search. Elasticsearch is a distributed, open search and analytics engine for all data types. Crucial to any search solution, speed and scalability are a few of their stand-out selling points. Like other services that can be composed into a complete eCommerce solution, Elasticsearch is only one piece of their entire offering, Elastic Stack. Elastic Stack combines Elasticsearch with Logstash (data processing pipeline) & Kibana (data visualization) to provide open and free tools for data ingestion, enrichment, storage, analysis, and visualization. As with many vendors that make up pieces of a composed solution in a headless eCommerce solution, how well one vendor fits your particular use case will depend on what drives value in your business. For example, if you need to visualize indexed data from several sources, the Elastic Stack is a great fit. To learn more about Elastic, check them out on our hub here.   Need to learn more about Composable Architecture? Discover more about the latest approach to ecommerce, it's benefits, and whether or not Composable Commerce is right for your business in our comprehensive guide. Read the Guide Are There Other Search Solutions? Your brand may need to solve a different problem. For example, if you need an AI-powered search or recommendations to deliver brilliant customer experiences on your web store, Algolia is a leader in the search space. You can learn more about Algolia and how it can help your brand deliver results with consistent experiences across touchpoints here. The beauty of an API-first composable approach to eCommerce is that you have the control to pick the service that works best for you. Sticking with search, Coveo is another of our leading partners that enable quick, powerful personalization to deliver a seamless buying experience for your customers. Learn more about how Coveo can learn from data points across channels to build recommendations that help your customers find what they need and your brand reach its goals here. Search is one of the critical components in a modern composable architecture. If you are looking to move to a modern compostable commerce architecture to benefit from the speed, control, and simplicity that it offers, check out our guide to compassable commerce here.
    Topics: composable, search, learn, difference, data, brands, elasticsearch, solution, commerce, path, elastic, solutions.
  • What to Ask When Evaluating Ecommerce Providers - We all know what it's like when you find yourself endlessly scrolling through Netflix to find your next show. The analysis paralysis is real! Choosing an eCommerce provider that best fits your brand can be a similar experience. With an ever-expanding plethora of options, deciding if you need headless for the future, want an all-in-one solution, for now, can be a dizzying task. It's easy to be swayed by flashy marketing, industry group certifications, and a litany of technical buzzwords. The truth is that most providers may not be the right partner based on your goals despite their capabilities and offerings. We often hear stories about that moment of realization well into the evaluation cycle, where a pricing surprise or lack of flexibility hinders your brand's ability to launch and operate an eCommerce setting that works for your customers. This article will equip you with the questions necessary to judge which provider would work best for your brand. Preparation Is Everything: Going into the evaluation process, we have all seen the hundreds of requirements long RFP lists. At Elastic Path, we are focused on delivering a solution that fits the unique needs of our customers. In that time, a key difference has been the customers that come in with a deep understanding of their customers and their brand's goals. Below is a breakdown of some of the critical points across those two groups essential to deciding on eCommerce providers that best suits you: Your Brand: Current solution: Do you have an existing presence already? If you do, what about your current provider is holding you back? This list should not be limited to the technical specifications needed for migration. For example, we've frequently heard that the day-to-day of managing the solution can be very complicated and time-consuming for your eCommerce team. Taking a "this is how it is" mindset of working an eCommerce solution so much so that they often do not realize there is a faster, easier, and more flexible way!   In-house resources: Does your brand have a fully fledge development team that would be able to devote the time to implement and extend a new system? If not, a System Integrator (SI) partner could help when thinking about adopting a headless microservices platform. To speed along the process, our Pre-Composed Solutions™ pre-integrate Elastic Path capabilities and third-party technology, so you spend less time stitching together granular components and start driving revenue faster. Check out a complete list of Pre-Composed Solutions™ here   Do you need an all-in-one solution? The eCommerce space has shifted, with the limits of a legacy all-in-one monolith approach starting to show, with many brands realizing a composable approach better serves them. An all-in-one offering is compelling theoretically; however, it usually means higher costs, more complicated integrations, and frustrating day-to-day working with the solution, not to mention the complex hacks necessary to add on functionality. To learn more about the benefits of a headless microservices approach, check out our blog post here. Your Customers: Where are they? Your customer's buying habits are probably unique to your business. What is irrefutable across all industries, though, is that these habits change. These changes can be drastic shifts like during the pandemic with the proliferation of curbside pick-up or more gradual shifts to mobile checkouts. Either way, ensuring your eCommerce solution can quickly adapt to meet your customers' preferences is crucial to any brand's success.   Who are they? Whether you are strictly online, B2B, B2C, has multiple brands, or somewhere in between, your brand's unique needs likely require the flexibility of an eCommerce solution that can cater to all of your brand's complex requirements. Customizing some eCommerce solutions can prove more troubling and costly than expected. The composable approach, in general, offers tremendous benefits to address those, though there is still nuance in how different solutions enable and charge for these customizations.   What do they want? Every brand strives to delight its customers. Unfortunately, most monolithic eCommerce solutions flat out cannot be modified to realize the experience you want to put forward to your customers. Rather than looking like every other online store, taking back control over your customer experience can be crucial to your brand's success.   Need help evaluating eCommerce solutions? Connect with an Elastic Path expert to answer all of your questions, set up a demo, access a free trial, or discuss pricing options. Get in Touch Finding a Needle in a Haystack: Now that you have considered what is essential to your brand and your customers, the difficulty in choosing a best fit eCommerce solution begins. In a few cases, we've heard of customers being promised the world only to be delivered a POC(Proof of Concept) that sends both complexities to set-up and costs through the roof. To avoid this pitfall, we have put together a list of questions that could help save you time and bring you peace of mind when it comes to ensuring you are picking the right solution for you. How much do you cost & how are costs calculated? Most providers, including Elastic Path, will have a costing based on your particular solution. While it is frustrating to go through the entire evaluation process only to be presented with an astronomical cost estimate at the end, there are a few critical differences in headless microservices solutions that you can identify earlier in the evaluation process. In many cases, a brand may need to run multiple platform instances to handle separate brands or to cater to B2B & B2C clients with individualized catalogs. The cost to change can also vary significantly between solutions. An SI implementation or an in-house developer team costs add up quickly when building a solution that caters to your brand's needs. How much do you customize a solution that fits my needs? Who is going to do it? Even in a situation where your brand has an in-house development team that can launch and support the solution, we've often heard from our customers about the limitations on the platform being problematic once implemented. A few examples could be limits on the number of SKUs, how many catalogs you can run in the same instance, how you can set up time-bound sales, edit your catalog to change how your store is presented to customers, set up multiple catalogs, etc. Being sure to ask early on is an excellent way to get ahead of this future pain or financial surprises. What is a timeline you should expect? For implementation timelines, a good approach when transferring off an older monolithic platform onto a headless microservices solution is a staggered approach, where functionality is built up step-by-step. Both a phased approach or a full re-platform can still take months. For some brands that need a headless solution "yesterday," Elastic Path offers Pre-Composed Solutions™ that enable you to get up and running in a matter of weeks! Check out a complete list here. How do you set up all of your products in the platform catalog? Can you make changes later down the road? Setting up product catalogs in current headless microservices solutions is relatively straightforward. Where the rubber meets the road is in managing the day-to-day and making changes to fit the evolution of your brand. Elastic Path offers the industry's only decoupled catalog architecture. Why does that matter? A decoupled catalog architecture allows you to set up unlimited catalogs, with pricebooks separated from the product listings to offer unparalleled flexibility in how you want to cater to your customers. A few examples include a scenario where a customer only needs a particular set of products (B2B) or offers different prices for the same product (Sales, loyalty customers, etc.). Other solutions may require additional set-up of the same products to cover the needs of multiple catalogs and often numerous instances of the platform that send the costs of running the solution up. The decoupled architecture also means that you are free to change things like product attributes, while other solutions are prescriptive in the "best way" to set up catalogs on their solutions that are then locked in. With irks like the inability to remove a product attribute, if your eCommerce team has experience with other headless microservices platforms or even any of the older monolithic solutions, it's a guarantee that they feel this pain. Catalog Composer gives you the flexibility to change to fit with your evolving needs, so you can focus on delivering an unrivaled experience for your customers. Learn more about Catalog Composer here. What happens when you run into an issue? A composable approach can seem complicated just down to the sheer number of vendors a brand may need for their solution. A significant number of 'build with us' platforms will leave the onus on your eCommerceor developer team to diagnose and address an issue. Elastic Path has a 99.9% SLA uptime; regardless, we still believe in providing a solution that works for you rather than dropping tools in your lap and sending you on your way. Composable Commerce XA™. How can you control your customer experience? The benefit of headless platforms is that you are free to choose a CMS (Content Management System) or DXP (Digital Experience Platform) that best enables you to build a solution that will wow your customers. Making sure your eCommerce solution can allow your team to build and control the experiences you want is a crucial benefit of switching to a headless approach. Check out a complete list of accelerators to leverage when composing a solution to delight your customer here. How can you support my current business model? What about expansion in the future and experimentation? The beauty of a composable solution is that it can be tailor-made to fit your brand's unique needs. Ensuring that your proposed eCommerce solution has those capabilities natively or with a pre-existing integration that only needs to be turned on will go a long way towards your brand's digital success in the future. Building in unique requirements like an extra step at checkout can range from impossible to costly financially and time-wise for older monolithic solutions. Similarly, some solutions will require separate accounts (& contracts!) for a B2B offering vs. a B2C offering. Being aware of your brand's unique needs now and in the future is key to future-proofing your solution. Take, for example, the need to use different payment vendors when adding new geography for your brand. With a composable approach, you can turn payment provider integrations on and off with a simple click of a button. This flexibility also extends to when experimenting with a new customer experience like mobile self-checkout. A composable architecture will free your brand to innovate around what works for your customers rather than what the developers can implement in a short time frame. Still, have questions on what a good fit for your needs is? Please chat with us now, we're always happy to help guide you to ensure your brand has the solution it needs to deliver results for your business and your customers.
    Topics: providers, approach, evaluating, brands, solutions, solution, customers, ecommerce, needs, team, brand, headless, ask.
  • 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.
  • With founders hailing from Colombian unicorn Rappi, payments startup Yuno raises $10M from a16z and LatAm VCs - As the Latin American startup scene has matured, founders and executives of multibillion-dollar companies in the region have started to move on to new ventures. On Wednesday, TechCrunch reported on Mara, a São Paulo-based startup that aims to “reinvent” the grocery shopping experience for the underserved in Latin America, and its $6 million raise. One […]
    Topics: startup, raises, vcs, rappi, companies, pain, payments, solution, unicorn, experience, latam, yuno, hailing, payment, latin, techcrunch.
  • - In this Wix POS review, we’re going to walk you through all the benefits of using Wix for your point-of-sale technology. While most people have already heard of Wix as an ecommerce store-building tool, the company is still quite new… Continue reading Wix POS Review (Nov 2021): Your Complete Guide
    Topics: customers, nov, theres, complete, guide, solution, payments, reader, wix, need, store, review, pos, card.
  • - Zalando launched ZEOS: a brand-new service designed to provide fulfillment solutions to fashion and lifestyle retailers. Zalando is now extending its logistic services to both affiliated and non-affiliated sellers. Zalando introducing ZEOS ZEOS stands for ‘Zalando E-commerce Operating System.’ It is a comprehensive platform offered by Zalando that allows sellers…
    Topics: thirdparty, zeos, platform, solutions, multichannel, retailers, program, solution, fulfillment, european, zalando, zalandos, introduces.
  • eCommerce Microservices Explained: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - This post was originally published on October 21, 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance to the current market. In today’s world, a one-size-fits-all commerce approach won’t get the job done. It is crucial that brands within eCommerce consistently evolve with today’s market demands and the needs of customers. One of the best ways to do this? eCommerce microservices. eCommerce microservices allow you to meet customer expectations in a fast and flexible manner, so you can always stay up-to-date with eCommerce best practices and new technologies.  But are you aware of all there is to know about eCommerce microservices? Let’s break down the good, the bad, and the ugly truth about microservices in eCommerce that brands like yours should know. What Are eCommerce Microservices? Microservices are small services that are loosely coupled, independently deployed, and organized around business capabilities that enable the rapid, frequent, and reliable delivery of large complex applications.  Though they were established a decade ago, microservices are still new to many commerce practitioners. While many developers are adapting to and experimenting with microservices for eCommerce, others have continued to shy away because of the perceived complexity and risk. That’s likely to change in future years, as Composable Commerce makes it easier to work in microservices architecture. As you decide whether an ecommerce microservices architecture is right for you, here’s what to consider: Need help evaluating eCommerce Solutions? Connect with an Elastic Path expert to answer all of your questions, set up a demo, access a free trial, or discuss pricing options. Get in Touch The Good: Benefits of eCommerce Microservices Microservices are known for unparalleled flexibility and modularity. Standing up a new customer experience and adding additional customer experiences can be done fast with microservices technology.  Microservices are fully independent: Separate platforms, deployments, and data storage capabilities exist separately from each other. If a developer needs to make a new microservice and works in Javascript, he or she can make the microservice in Javascript. They don’t need to learn a new language in order to keep growing the platform. This way, any new application can be built quickly and has a reduced time-to-market. This is the complete opposite of a full-stack monolithic suite, in which the most functionality lives in a single service that is tested, deployed, and scaled as a single unit. To get a platform working requires integration phases, quality assurance, and a shared language. Expanding the monolithic suite to include other touchpoints and devices requires a substantial customization, making it cost-prohibitive to explore new ideas.   The Bad: Common eCommerce Microservices Challenges When companies are moving from a monolithic to a microservices eCommerce solution, challenges do arise. After all, having a monolithic pattern means having infrastructure, licenses, and organizational structure built around a monolithic technology. The possible challenges of a full-on replatform of a solution that was not built from the ground up with APIs and microservices include: Laying off or retraining workers Dealing with duplicative data and connections Losing control of your database Adjusting your cross-functional organizational capabilities and communication These challenges don’t override the benefits of an eCommerce microservices architecture. Choosing an API-first, microservices-based commerce solution such as Elastic Path ensures that you have support as you incrementally replace your monolithic system and retrain your team. The Ugly: The Downside of Adopting eCommerce Microservices Without Support The biggest downside of microservices is the complexity that the mini-services introduce into your team’s developer architecture. When eCommerce microservices first came onto the scene, developers found that they were managing multiple microservices at once. It made for unlinked, challenging work and a process that wasn’t streamlined. Some developers have also encountered challenges tracking their changes and work after adopting a microservices architecture. The autonomy and independence microservices provide your team may also mean that the departure of a single teammate renders some of your architecture impossible to edit. For these reasons, having support when adopting eCommerce microservices is essential. One way Elastic Path Commerce Cloud helps is the inclusion of Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs).  PBCs and microservices are not the same. PBCs are a grouping of APIs that serve a specific business capability. Microservices are tightly scoped and specific. PBCs are useful because they reduce complexity, enhance clarity, and are developed via business-centric planning. For brands looking for a business-centric eCommerce solution, PBCs are a strong option – and selecting and managing PBCs is made easier with Elastic Path. Should You Adopt an eCommerce Microservices Architecture? An eCommerce microservices architecture will provide the flexible foundation businesses today need to keep up with the ever-evolving commerce landscape. Implementing a microservices architecture benefits both developers and end users with: Abundant opportunities for customization. With the addition of multiple front-ends, you can easily and seamlessly integrate multiple new touchpoints for customers – all while staying connected to the same back-end. Quick and easy implementation. Due to the decentralization of the development process, microservices allow for rapid implementation of changes. This means you can go to market faster with new updates. A leaner technology stack. Since you are only adding what you truly need, you will be able to enjoy a streamlined and more efficient tech stack.  Front-end traffic won’t impact the back-end. In the past, developers have typically had to adjust the entire system to extend services. With microservices, the front-end and back-end are individually scaled, which means high traffic won’t impact what’s happening in the back-end.  Pick and choose the solutions you want. With eCommerce microservices, you can select services and solutions that specialize in your exact needs and enjoy a specialty-tailored approach. Moving Forward with eCommerce Microservices eCommerce microservices may be a major benefit for your business. While the developers of the past have experienced many pain points when adopting microservices for eCommerce, you can learn from their mistakes and adjust your microservices strategy to achieve business success.  At Elastic Path, we want to ensure that the ugly side of microservices never rears its head. Talk to an expert to discover how our team can help you implement a microservices architecture that fits your business needs and objectives.  
    Topics: ugly, explained, business, good, bad, microservices, monolithic, elastic, developers, solution, architecture, commerce, ecommerce, path.
  • eCommerce Platform TCO Comparison: BigCommerce, Magento, Commercetools & Elastic Path -   This post was originally published on June 30, 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and extended context surrounding the topic. When it’s time to choose an eCommerce platform, everyone wants to know which solution will be the best one for their business. But more often than not, the next question is “How much does it cost?” Ideally, we all want the best bang for our buck, but it’s easy to get distracted by the displayed pricing on a website, or the lack thereof. Sometimes we end up jumping for a cheaper priced solution and shying away from those vendors that don’t display their pricing on the website, because we think it’ll be too costly. Only to find out, your “cheaper” solution is more expensive, because you were unaware of all of the additional cost you would incur.   At Elastic Path, we happen to be one of the vendors without upfront pricing because our pricing is truly customized to a business’ needs. However, to help you understand how your total cost of ownership would compare to other vendors on the market, we will outline all the factors that you should be taking into consideration when evaluating your eCommerce solution. We’ll also make reference to some of the the top eCommerce vendors on the market such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Big Commerce, Magento and Commercetools to give you a better idea of where Elastic Path is positioned in comparison.    To get a true understanding of your total cost of ownership you will need to take into account both your first year costs as well as your future costs. These costs include but aren’t limited to:  Base software fee / Licensing fee Hosting cost Implementation cost Third party integrations cost Cost of changes   In this article, we will first dissect each category of cost you should be considering followed by a breakdown of the total cost you can expect over a typical contract period for the aforementioned vendors.     Base Software Fee/ Licensing Fee The base software fee or licensing fee is what we like to refer to as the “upfront” pricing. These fees tend to reflect either monthly or yearly licensing fees, which can be: Tier based, continuous revenue based or percent of sales based.    Tier-based means that there is a predefined price that your company will get locked into based on your current and expected revenue. Elastic Path and Commercetools are examples of vendors that do tier pricing by revenue. The Elastic Path model is based on your transaction volume, which can be structured by Gross Merchandise Volume(GMV) or by the number of orders processed(used more regularly for B2B companies).  For example our pricing starts at $50,000 for companies who are just getting started and have revenue under $10 Million. Our pricing strategy allows you to plan your estimated growth over the next three years, lock in pricing, and allow you to plan for your spend in the future. This promises guaranteed pricing and clarity year over year so you can make plans for the future.   By continuous revenue, we mean the strategy by which vendors price their customers based on the revenue tier that they’re in, but automatically bump them up to the next pricing tier as soon as they go over. We’ve seen vendors such as BigCommerce and Magento use this type of strategy. For Magento customers with revenue between $5-$10 Million, you can expect a licensing fee of about $50K for Magento Enterprise Edition and $80K for Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition.    By percent of sales based pricing, we mean the strategy by which vendors take a small percentage of your Gross Merchandise Volume. Salesforce Commerce is an example of a vendor that uses this type of model. For example, Salesforce Commerce Cloud takes 1-2% of your GMV annually. So at $10 Million in revenue, you can expect to pay around $100K to $200K. This type of model can be quite attractive because there’s no immediate upfront cost and it scales based on how your business performs. However, there is also an additional annual fee of $150K that is mandatory to begin. This is a great example of hidden costs that you may not be aware of upfront.    Implementation Cost Implementation costs are usually the most feared by businesses as it is perceived as the highest costs they will incur. These will usually be dependent on the cost of your developer and the time it takes to build the frontend and backend of your system. However, if you’re in the market for an out-of-the-box solution, the majority of your cost will be dependent on the changes and customizations you will need to alter your pre-built solution. For brands with a unique brand vision and requirements, there will most likely always be customizations needed, and therefore, we recommend working with an agency or systems integrator. Here are a few of the tasks you can expect an agency to complete, that will determine your implementation costs:  Frontend development  Backend development  UI/UX design  Software systems integrations Omnichannel design    Hosting Cost Hosting costs are typically overlooked by teams when planning their yearly budget, but happens to be one of the most important costs you want to consider. Not because it’s overly expensive, but because the hosting provider you choose will determine the performance of your website. Some platforms offer hosting on premise or in the cloud within their platform, while others allow you to choose an outside hosting vendor to be integrated with their solution.  Elastic Path allows you to choose from a variety of hosting vendors that will best fit your business such as Netflify and Amazon AWS. Your hosting cost is commonly determined by the bandwidth and the seats you require. For example, for a mid-sized company with $10 Million in revenue, you can expect to pay around $1000/month for Netlify.  Platforms like Magento also utilize outside vendors such as Nexcess to provide dedicated hosting. For one dedicated server it says you could pay between $700 and  $800/month. However, due to Magento’s large code base, many customers have informed us that they have had to opt in for higher end hosting options in order to not compromise on speed. On average they have spent around $2000/ month on hosting. Other out-of-the-box platforms such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Big Commerce will typically have hosting included in their licensing cost.   Third Party Cost Third party costs are a little bit more intricate. When we think about this cost, we think about either plugins that are supplied by your platform as an application, or api integrations from third party vendors. The purpose of these integrations are to essentially extend your existing platform with other functionality. Some of the core third-party integrations include: content infrastructure, search engines, sales tax management, product information management, and shipping solutions. These costs will differ from vendor to vendor depending on if you leverage the third party as a plugin to your out-of-the-box solution, or buy a specific vendor solution for your Composable Commerce solution.   Cost of Changes One of the most important costs that are often neglected or forgotten are the costs associated with making changes to your solution. Most times we tend to plan and make decisions for “now,” but when the time comes and you are faced with costly changes that you weren’t prepared for, it can be very detrimental to your fiscal budget planning. In addition, if you’re the type of brand that wants to keep up with the ever changing times, updates and changes are inevitable and therefore it is imperative you understand what those costs will look like in the future.    Typical changes you will need to prepare for include:  Upgrades to your commerce software Maintenance of your system Upgrades or changes to your third party technology partners Changes in the backend functionality to fit your business requirements Addition of new user experiences to keep up with customer expectations These changes can become costly very quickly with traditional legacy platforms, as their rigid structure makes changes more difficult, thus driving up developer costs. Composable Commerce solutions on the other hand are more flexible by nature and therefore will end up lowering your overall total cost of changes in the future. As each business’ requirements will be different, we will not be able to provide an estimate of these costs across each vendor. However, from feedback from past customers, on average, Composable Commerce solutions like Elastic Path and Commercetools, lower cost of changes by 40% when compared to rigid legacy platforms like Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Magento.    Now that we've dissected the various cost categories, we have provided an overview of the total costs you can expect either on a monthly or annual basis for a few of the top legacy and Composable Commerce solutions on the market.      BigCommerce BigCommerce positions itself as an eCommerce platform for high volume brands, with  two main payment plans: Essentials Plan and Enterprise Plan.    BigCommerce Essentials  Plan BigCommerce Standard BigCommerce  Plus BigCommerce  Pro Yearly Sales $50,000 $150,000 $400,000 Monthly Pricing $29.95 $79.95 $299.95 The pricing represents their upfront license fee. At these rates, you get your average out-of-the-box store with zero customization, providing you with all the features you need to get a basic store up-and-running. Two additional costs you may not be considering when choosing BigCommerce: They automatically bump you to the next tier if your actual sales exceed the threshold. You spend an additional $150 per $200k sales increase if you go  higher than the BigCommerce Pro Sales Threshold’ e.g. 800k+ Sales = $700+/month.  In addition to these hidden fees, there are also costs associated with plug-in applications for advanced services, as well as a list of 80 themes that range from $145 - $235.   BigCommerce Enterprise BigCommerce Enterprise offers all the core features, along with the addition of some premium features including hosting, security, and support. Their pricing widely varies based on the average order value and the average number of orders processed per month. Based on conversations from some of their sales representatives, the pricing plan ranges anywhere between $400 and $20,000 monthly.  For some additional context, their TCO Calculator shows that based on a $250,000 yearly revenue you will incur:    Infrastructure cost →  $38000+ Site launch cost →  Design, QA Build: $30,000+  Integrations: $3000  Managed support costs→ $5000   Shopify  Shopify is the market leader for SMB customers looking for an out of the box eCommerce website. Shopify customers give up flexibility, meaning that they'll need to be comfortable running their eCommerce website according to Shopify's templates and structures - but for many companies, that is fine because they're just looking for a standard website. Shopify has 5 primary offerings: Lite starts at $9/month Basic starts at $29/month Standard starts at $79/month Advanced starts at $299/month Shopify+ starts at $2,000/month There are also gateway fees, which range from 2.15-3% + $.30 per transaction.    Magento  Magento Community Edition positions themselves as an Open Source eCommerce platform that provides businesses with a flexible, digital commerce solution to successfully sell online. We’ve already written a more detailed post on our blog  that digs into Magento’s TCO. To give you a brief overview of their pricing structure, we’ll focus on Magento’s two main plans: Magento Open Source and Magento Enterprise.   Magento Open Source Magento’s “FREE” Open Source plan proves to be a more customizable option when compared to BigCommerce. Be careful - the only thing free about this option is their licensing fee/download. There are few costs hidden in the background:  Implementation → $30,000 - $100,000+ Hosting → $1000+ Themes → $29-499 Maintenance and Support → $30,000+ Extensions → $0 - $10,000 Third Party Integrations → $6,000 I know what you’re thinking, those added up pretty quickly! To be upfront, the price for a more customized store than BigCommerce is going to start somewhere between $30,000 and $100,000 upwards.     Discover our eCommerce Platform Buyer's Guide See The 7 Considerations when Choosing the best eCommerce Platform in our comprehensive buyer's guide. There is no "best" and therefore, when choosing an eCommerce solution, you should focus on matching your company's specific requirements to each vendor's offering. Go to Buyer's Guide   Magento Enterprise  Magento Enterprise is the premium paid version of Magento, designed for those stores that need more than the community edition offers, based on the size of their company, and the level of customization they’re looking for. However, with this option, you have to empty your pockets for a much higher licensing fee. Based on your revenue, Magento displays their upfront price between  $22,000/year and $125,000/year. Of course this also includes access to more advanced features such as security, mobile commerce, and free professional customer support. However, in addition to including all the core features that the open source version consists of, the same features tend to come at a higher price for this plan. Some of these higher feature costs include:  Implementation → $60,000+ Hosting → $7000+ Themes → $29-499 Magento Certified Gold Partner - $10,000 Extensions → $0 - $10,000 Third Party Integrations → $6,000+   Overall, this comes with more customization, but still lacks complete control over your content. The price for this package starts between $100,000 and $250,000  Overall, Magento Enterprise comes with more customization, but still lacks complete control over your content. The price for this package starts between $100,000 and $250,000 upwards! These are high costs and to make it even worse, Magento’s performance has not been up to standard either. We have evaluated over 1,000 websites running on a range of eCommerce platforms and Magento came close bottom for website performance as a whole. You may want to consider the costs associated with their slow performing stores when considering your total cost of ownership as well. Commercetools Commercetools is a Headless Commerce Platform. To be completely frank, there are no signs of Commercetools’ pricing anywhere! They seem to be a bit secretive, but we have done our best to provide you with the most accurate information based on feedback from our customers, who shared what Commercetools has proposed to them. These costs include:  Implementation →  $300,000 - $1 Million License Fees →  $200,000/year  - $500,000/year Specialized resources→ $150,000/year   Elastic Path  Elastic Path offers Composable Commerce-as-a-Service, an API-First headless commerce microservices solution. Composable Commerce is a modern approach to eCommerce that is built on the concept of composability, where core commerce functionality and partner integrations can be selected and assembled in various combinations to satisfy specific business requirements, at the speed digitally driven brands need to succeed. Composable Commerce were built on three main tenets: Modular architecture  Open Ecosystem  Business Centric Solutions  And it’s with these tenets that Elastic Path has been able to reduce business’ overall total cost of ownership by 25%. As mentioned before, Elastic Path provides a tier based pricing based on Gross Merchandise Revenue. Overall based on a 10 Million revenue, pricing would be around $50K for Elastic Path.  Elastic Path also offers Composable Commerce Experience Assurance that de-risks the management of multi-vendor solutions by providing an expert 24x7 global support team for all issues. This cost of the feature will be 25% of your annual contract value and capped at $25,000 USD/ year. Additional costs will include: implementation costs, hosting costs and third party costs which will lie in the same range of costs for Magento. Where you will end up seeing the greatest cost savings are in the phases of customizations and changes. To get a better understanding of how cost of changes will compare across traditional legacy platforms and Composable Commerce solutions visit our Total Cost of Ownership Guide. If you have more specific questions regarding Elastic Path costs, please refer to the pricing page here.  Summary  Understanding your total cost of ownership is not straight forward and often times we prioritize certain categories of costs and lose overall sight on our expected total cost in the future. As each vendor has different offerings, it will never be easy to compare them across the board. However, if you follow the guide of assessing each category of cost, this will give you and your team a good understanding to make an informed decision. If you have any questions, we are always happy to help - Just reach out to us.        Stay on top of industry trends with the latest blogs and articles from our eCommerce experts.   i { -webkit-transition: color .25s ease-in-out; -moz-transition: color .25s ease-in-out; -o-transition: color .25s ease-in-out; transition: color .25s ease-in-out; color: rgba(68, 68, 68, 1.0) !important; } .subscribe--bar.module_15628520315781867 .btn:hover > i { color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 1.0) !important; } ]]>
    Topics: commercetools, ecommerce, pricing, platform, based, magento, path, costs, solution, tco, comparison, cost, bigcommerce, vendors, commerce, revenue, elastic.