Google Alert - e-commerce

And the e-commerce giant continues to expand: its new Stockton shipping center will be Amazon's fourth facility in the city, and its 11th in the county, ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 8:15 pm
Gucci on Saturday launched an e-commerce site featuring refurbished vintage Gucci pieces alongside capsule collections by young designers chosen by Gucci ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 7:18 pm
And if any e-commerce site is looking to compete against Amazon, ... likely be The Trade Desk's connected TV (CTV) business that will power the top line.
Posted: September 25, 2021, 4:51 pm
The experts stressed proper monitoring of transaction tracking system with maintaining a moral value to prevent fraudulent behaviours of e-commerce ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 4:12 pm
The battle between e-commerce firms to tap the festive season is intensifying further as Walmart-owned Flipkart is preponing the launch date of its biggest ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 3:56 pm
How can the rise of e-commerce boost fintech partnerships across regions such as the Middle East and Africa (MEA)?. MEA is traditional with shopping.
Posted: September 25, 2021, 3:00 pm
CPD's Executive Director, Dr Fahmida Khatun moderated the session alongside, e-commerce experts, researchers, development practitioners, academics, business ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 2:37 pm
Here's a closer look at Costco's fiscal fourth-quarter business performance. ... Management also noted that its e-commerce app now has more than 10 million ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 2:26 pm
Third, is the need to build a focused e-commerce exports policy. Indian exporters' competitive advantage must be nurtured and developed, and the Foreign Trade ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 2:26 pm
As of May, Klarna purchases made up more than a quarter of rue21′s e-commerce sales. A logo sign outside of a rue21 retail store location in Chambersburg, ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 2:01 pm
Social shopping marketplace Poshmark POSH -2.01% is down more than 75% from ... it was late to the party: Founded in 2011, Poshmark came after e-commerce ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 1:52 pm
E-commerce platform Something's Brewing is expanding its footprint to offline stores across the country. The company's flagship store in Bengaluru will be ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 1:41 pm
Business. Updated on: Saturday, September 25, 2021, 06:59 PM IST. E-commerce sales heat up: Flipkart is changing ' ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 1:30 pm
First it was H&M launching an e-commerce platform looking at helping people resell clothing. Then it was Walmart and Urban Outfitters. Now Hudson's Bay Co., ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 1:07 pm
E-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart line up new launches and offers to woo shoppers during the festive season, holding multiple sale events that are ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 12:56 pm
In fact, at the same time e-commerce giant Amazon is working to keep its ... but all of them together make Walmart a very easy name to keep shopping with.
Posted: September 25, 2021, 12:56 pm
Existing regulations, if fairly enforced could help bring discipline in e-commerce, entrepreneurs and experts said.
Posted: September 25, 2021, 12:09 pm
"Those local businesses that have added or enhanced their e-commerce platforms have navigated the pandemic better" than those that didn't, Smith said.
Posted: September 25, 2021, 12:00 pm
Amazon: AI for e-commerce. Amazon has been knee-deep in AI for years, using the technology to know which products to offer users on its e-commerce platform, ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 11:37 am
The head of the Egyptian tax authority, Reda Abdel Qader, revealed that the authority's e-commerce unit is working on counting, tracking and registering ...
Posted: September 25, 2021, 11:37 am


Janna Brockmeyer is a manager of software development and has been a part of our team for over three years. She started her career with us as a software developer and was recently promoted to be a people manager. She is based in Vancouver and in her free time enjoys golfing, fishing and hanging out with her cats. Keep reading to learn more about Janna and what it’s like to be a manager on the engineering team.

Q: What are you are most proud of since being promoted?

Janna: Since being promoted to a people manager, I have been excited in helping people grow, find new experiences within our team and trying to make sure they are growing, learning, and are challenged every day. I want to make sure the people I work with have a say in what they are developing with our product manager.

Q: What is typically the highlight of your day or week?

Janna: The highlight of my week is getting to chat with my teammates and find out how they are doing and what they need help. I try to remove whatever impediments they may have and helping them out whenever I can.

Q: How would you describe the culture at Elastic Path?

Janna: Elastic Path has a collaborative culture. You can ask various team members not only on your own team but other teams or departments for help. Everyone is willing to assist you and answer any questions you might have.

Q: How has your experience been since shifting to remote work?

Janna: Since switching to remote work, my cats have enjoyed having me home. However, I miss the office, I look forward to going back into the new Vancouver office space and being able to interact with coworkers very soon.

Q: How has Elastic Path contributed to your career progression/development?


Q: Thinking back, what were the reasons that made you join Elastic Path? What are the reasons you choose to stay?

Janna: The reasons that made me choose Elastic Path was the culture, the people, the atmosphere, the collaborative nature, and the hang outs we have on Wednesday and Fridays. I also wanted to learn about eCommerce. I like learning about the back end of eCommerce and being able to interact with many companies and not being tied to a single company, in which we are trying to put a particular ecommerce store out for.

Q: What do you love about Elastic Path?

Janna: What I love about Elastic Path is the people and the collaborative nature, you can ask a random question and someone on the team can answer the question or find you the individual who can answer your question. Overall, the people at Elastic Path love to see each other remotely and being able to hang out whenever we can during zoom calls. There is a support system behind everyone in the company.


Stay tuned for our next “Inside Elastic Path” series. If you are interested joining our team, check out our open listings and apply today.

Author: Michaela Sell
Posted: September 24, 2021, 4:38 pm

If you are evaluating software (regardless of type) you’ve likely completed many google searches. Whether to find alternative vendors to consider or to read reviews, we find that our customers rely heavily on Google to kick off their search process. Often, these searches result in buyers reviewing lots of different vendor information, including analyst reports such as Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.

After the recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce published, we’ve had several questions from customers and prospects about how to use the report, how to understand where Elastic Path was placed, and what we have to say about our cautions & strengths. This blog seeks to provide clarity on these topics!

How To Use The Gartner Magic Quadrant

The Gartner Magic can be a helpful resource to understand various different markets and the various vendors within those markets. We recommend using it as a tool to help you understand the vendor landscape for digital commerce. For the most recent Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce, it is important to remember that the data collection process began in April 2021 and the report is not published until September 2021, so a lot can change in the five-month period.

For that reason, we would encourage you to reach out to vendors directly to learn about their latest offerings. In addition, a commonly used asset for most of our customers during their evaluation process is the eCommerce Buyers Guide. This is a great tool to help you understand which solutions are a fit for your specific business needs.

Elastic Path Is a Visionary

This year Elastic Path was proud to be positioned as a visionary. Gartner defines visionaries as:

Visionaries demonstrate the ability to disrupt established commerce markets through innovation. They may incorporate new technologies or architectural approaches into their platforms, use creative pricing strategies or focus on a narrow market segment. They often win new customers quickly because they have identified an underserved niche in the market — one not addressed by Leaders or Challengers

Elastic Path Cautions & Strengths in the Magic Quadrant

For every vendor in the Magic Quadrant Gartner includes strengths and cautions. These call-outs are a source of information for brands as they begin to evaluate vendors. Since Gartner is just one source, I would encourage brands to speak to vendors directly regarding both their challenges and strengths. With this understanding established, I’d like to take this opportunity to speak to the Magic Quadrant cautions and strengths for Elastic Path.


1) Execution

The first area of caution from Gartner was execution:

“Elastic Path had much slower customer growth compared to the competition, and its network of service partners barely changed from the year before. Since the acquisition of Moltin’s technology in January 2020, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud still has a gap to fill to achieve feature parity with Elastic Path Commerce, and has not migrated many customers from Elastic Path Commerce”.

Below I will provide some color on Gartner’s points:

Customer growth:

As noted above, in January 2020 Elastic Path acquired Moltin and re-branded the product as Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. As with most acquisitions, the first-year post-acquisition was focused on aligning our teams and developing a product roadmap for success. However, in the last six months (which were not evaluated by the Magic Quadrant) we have seen a major uptick in customer growth, specifically for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, including new customers Harper Collins, ISSA, JAMF, and more. We see this momentum as a clear sign of our execution and growth trajectory.

Feature Parity:

At Elastic Path we have two products: Elastic Path Commerce Cloud (via acquisition of Moltin in January 2020) and Elastic Path Commerce (our original product). Each product offering meets a different set of technical requirements and business needs for brands. You can learn more about our two products here:

  • Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is our composable, API-first, microservices-based Headless Commerce solution. This product is for digitally driven branded manufacturers who need the control to go-to-market and quickly optimize across business models (B2B, B2C/ D2C, B2B2C), geos, brands, and touchpoints with ease. Some of our Elastic Path Commerce Cloud customers include Deckers Brands, Pella Windows & Doors, and Hobie Kayaks.
  • Elastic Path Commerce is our purpose-built Headless Commerce platform for telco, utilities companies and those who sell regulated goods. This product gives brands the absolute control over their data and infrastructure with the ability to deploy on-premise or via private cloud. Some of our Elastic Path Commerce customers include Republic Services, T.Mobile, and Comcast.

We will continue to serve the diverse needs of brands with these two products. For this reason, we do not feel that feature parity between our products is a relevant evaluation criterion. Our Elastic Path Commerce Cloud product roadmap is driven by customer feedback and market trends, not our need to develop feature parity across products.

Elastic Path Commerce Cloud has the core capabilities, third party integrations, and multi-vendor experience assurance for brands who want to power digital differentiation across multiple routes to market.

Migration Plans:

Similarly, to the previous point, it’s important to remember that Elastic Path Commerce and Elastic Path Commerce Cloud are best suited for different types of customers. We are committed to continuing to serve those customers and their use cases with two separate solutions. We have seen several Elastic Path Commerce customers consider a future on Elastic Path Commerce Cloud as the use cases it fulfills are more closely aligned with their needs but.

Since we are the only vendor that provides both an on-premise offering that allows for ultimate control (Elastic Path Commerce) and a cloud offering (Elastic Path Commerce Cloud) that allows for ultimate flexibility and speed, our clients don’t have to jump vendors to leverage a solution that best fits their needs. Our goal is to support our customers on the product that best fits their needs, therefore, we disagree with Gartner’s sentiment that we should be trying to migrate our customers to Elastic Path Commerce Cloud.

2) Product positioning

The second caution from Gartner was “Product Positioning”:

"Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is positioned as the cutting edge product due to its microservices, API-first, cloud-native and headless (MACH) architecture, and the vendor uses this messaging often in its overall marketing. Yet a majority of customers are still on Elastic Path Commerce, which contributes the most to Elastic Path’s revenue.

I have already shared some key points on this caution above but, in summary, while Gartner views our two-product strategy as a challenge, we see it as a strength. We have two products for two different types of customers. Based on their unique needs, we make a recommendation on the best product fit for them.

3) Out-of-the-Box Functionality:

The third caution from Gartner was “out-of-the-box functionality”:

"Compared to the competition, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud has fewer OOTB user roles and configuration options, promotions, and the analytics dashboard is barely usable. It also lacks key B2B functions such as workflows and organizational hierarchy.”

There are two key facts to consider when reading Gartner’s caution around out-of-the-box functionality:

  • As I stated in the introduction, this report was submitted in April 2021 which was 5 months ago. Our rate of release at Elastic Path is extremely rapid and we have completed about 25+ releases since then (10+ more releases that our nearest competitor). This caution does not take into account many of our newly released or enhanced capabilities such as Catalog Composer, Product Content Management, upgraded Promotions, enhancements to B2B functionality like Role-Based Access Control & Account Management, and much more. I’d encourage anyone evaluating commerce solutions to check out the changelog for a detailed look at all releases, or the Product Innovations page for a summary of key releases with demos.
  • In addition, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is a composable solution meaning we prioritize offering core commerce capabilities combined with a flexible, open framework and robust third-party integrations so that our customer can compose “best-for-me" commerce solutions. We do not intend to offer all functionality out-of-the-box because we know no vendor can be the best at everything and we know our customers would prefer to integrate their chosen search, personalization, OMS, etc. vendors. We believe that the vendor that provides the most out-of-the-box functionality is the vendor that locks you in and doesn’t allow for ongoing innovation and optimization. For that reason, we will never have the same level of out-of-the-box functionality that platforms like Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Magento have. And, we’re perfectly happy with that! If you’re struggling to determine what type of vendor is best for your commerce strategy, check out our Buyer’s Guide to learn more.
  • Strengths

    In addition to challenges, the Magic Quadrant also calls out strengths of each vendor. We are thrilled with the areas of strength that we were recognized for in the Magic Quadrant this year, they include:

  • Architecture: Gartner celebrated Elastic Path for our API-first implementation style for both products and specifically called out the cloud-native and modular architecture of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. This modern, de-coupled architecture allows us to release faster than any other commerce vendor so that new capabilities are always available for our customers. And, since Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is 100% cloud-native, version-less (unlike other microservices solutions), and backwards compatible our customers never have to worry about upgrades or scalability.
  • Extensibility: Elastic Path was recognized by Gartner for our Composable Commerce Hub which enables brands to more easily leverage a Composable Commerce approach whether they want to custom compose their solution from accelerators, or rapidly launch with a business-ready Pre-Composed Solution™. These assets reduce the time and hours it takes brands to design, launch, and optimize a multi-vendor solution by completing some, or most, of the integration work for them.
  • Industry Span: Gartner recognized us for our vast industry span from brand manufacturing to life sciences to telecom. This span is thanks to our two-product strategy which enables us to meet the needs of a variety of different use cases and industries. When a prospect approaches Elastic Path, we work with them on an individual basis to determine their specific needs and make a recommendation on which product will best meet them. For this reason, we have been able to grow our community to include a wide range of happy customers.
  • What Gartner Missed

    While we do feel that the visionary definition describes our strategy to make innovative, modern commerce technology accessible to all brands, there are some key elements of our offering that Gartner missed and you should be aware of.

    • Pre-Composed Solutions™: While Gartner did mention “pre-integrated applications”, they did not provide much color on this element of our offering. We believe that MACH (microservices, APIs, cloud, headless) architecture is a key element of innovative commerce (Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is built on MACH) but, in order for brands that do not have a highly experienced and digitally advanced team to take advantage of this technology they need the composition element to be de-risked. Pre-Composed Solutions do just that. These business-ready solutions pre-compose Elastic Path commerce capabilities, 3rd party applications, and key customizations to provide the fastest way to launch and start driving revenue while leveraging a Composable Commerce approach. By pre-integrated Elastic Path and third-party solutions (like Algolia for search, Contentful or Amplience for CMS, etc.), we remove the manual effort of stitching multiple solutions together from your team’s to-do list. Our library of Pre-Composed Solutions™ includes use-case specific assets for advanced B2B commerce, dealer-enabled D2C commerce, omnichannel commerce, retail-specific commerce, and more.
    • Catalog Composer & Product Content Management: Catalog and product data management in today’s commerce platforms is dated and rigid. These solutions were built before brands had multiple dynamic routes-to-market and therefore, cannot support multiple accounts, business models, brands, geographies, or touchpoints without expensive and time-consuming customizations or workarounds. At Elastic Path we’ve reinvented catalog management so that you can finally keep up with the omnichannel needs of your business. Catalog Composer is built on the industry’s only fully decoupled omnichannel catalog architecture, introduced as part of Product Content Management, where products, hierarchies, and price books are all independent services within Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. These capabilities streamline the otherwise arduous process of creating and managing eCommerce catalogs, resulting in a 5x time reduction compared to other eCommerce solutions.
    • Composable Commerce XA™: Another perceived area of risk with Composable Commerce centers around managing a solution composed of numerous different applications, all with their own support teams. For many brands questions like “Who do I call when an issue arises? How do I identify the root cause? Who will help me resolve it?” get in the way of committing to headless, microservices commerce. Composable Commerce XA™ includes multi-vendor proprietary monitoring and holistic issue management so brands have one single place to call when an issue arises and a trusted partner to navigate the issue across their solution. With Composable Commerce XA™ brands can confidently embrace a Composable Commerce approach- without the risks of managing multiple solutions.

    In summary, while Gartner is a trusted partner of Elastic Path and many other vendors and brands, the Magic Quadrant should be used as one source for brands completing commerce evaluations, not the only source. In addition to the Magic Quadrant, one of the primary resources our prospects find helpful when evaluating commerce vendors is the eCommerce Buyers Guide. Click here to learn more now!

    Author: Hannah Jarrett
    Posted: September 23, 2021, 1:40 pm

    At Elastic Path, having a quality mindset is the key to providing our customers with the best commerce experience. Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is a composable, microservices-based commerce solution which offers simple, flexible, and powerful APIs.

    Microservice architecture means Elastic Path Commerce Cloud has a set of loosely coupled, collaborating services. Each service has its own responsibility. However, a set of services need to collaborate to fulfill the needs in most user journeys. For example, a simple user journey where a shopper wants to checkout will require the authentication service for identifying the shopper, catalog service to serve the products plus the cart, orders, inventory, and payment services for checkout.

    To ensure this journey is working consistently every day after every release, we need thorough testing strategy in place. The following will highlight how testing is done in our software development lifecycle.

    How do we ensure quality in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud?

    The engineering team at Elastic Path has defined a test pyramid, inspired by the work of Martin Fowler and Chris Richardson, that follows industry best practices. The pyramid represents the complexity and speed of test execution.

    From bottom to top, tests at the bottom layer (e.g., Unit Tests) are more isolated (less complex) and faster (speed). The tests at the top (e.g., end-to-end tests) are more complicated in terms of setup and slower because they require a fully deployed environment and various configurations of the software.

    The diagram on the right describes the service and its relationship to the platform. A service is within a blue box whereas the purple boundary is a group of services integrated together (a deployed functional environment).

    Test Overview

    Elastic Path Commerce Cloud

    What are the different types of tests we run to ensure quality?

    Unit Tests

    Unit tests are the lowest level of the tests. They are the most fundamental layer, focused on a class and functional methods. Unit tests provide the fastest feedback and have minimal dependencies on other parts of the service because they do not require a deployed service.

    The tests are mostly written in the same language as the production code. The goal is to ensure the business logic within a class and method is tested both positively and negatively.

    Component Tests

    Component Tests test a service in isolation from other services. The goal is to ensure the service responsibilities are as expected.

    The tests are on API level. For example, a POST request to add items to cart is tested by providing the required headers and requested body. Then the success response is validated to ensure the returned status code and body has the right information. We use Cucumber for the test cases and the backing code is in Typescript or Go, depending on the service.

    The test cases cover all the business requirements that a service is responsible for, including data persistence and event processing. In addition, integration tests with database and messaging are also implemented here. There are test cases to ensure data persistence between the business logic and database. There are also test cases to ensure events are emitted for any API requests that need to emit certain events for consumers to consume.

    This level of test requires the service and the dependencies (database, message broker) to be running.

    Contract Tests

    These tests ensure that service to service communication works as services, often owned by different teams, evolve independently. When a service (consumer) talks to the other service (provider), there is a Contract between them. The consumer expects the provider to provide an agreed response. For example, if a specific field in the provider response (e.g., customer_name) is changed (e.g., to shopper_name), this will break the consumer as it expects customer_name.

    In this case, it is a breaking change and can impact our customers. We adopt Pactflow as our contract testing broker. The contracts are stored in the Pactflow server. Both provider and consumer services will download the contracts and verify if the contract is still valid during the test run. This gives us confidence in communication between the paired services.

    End-to-End Tests

    The goal of these tests is to ensure that services are configured and work correctly in a deployed environment.

    Our end-to-end tests are written from an end user's perspective. We follow BDD and write tests in Cucumber. Each test scenario describes an end-user's journey when using the public APIs. We have two distinct types of user profiles - a seller or store admin, and the buyer or shopper. Each user profile has different journeys. For example, a seller has journeys like catalog management, promotions management, and orders management. While the shopper has journeys like browsing, registration, and checkout.

    The tests are executed every time there is a new deployment from any service code changes. This is to ensure the commerce experience is still performing as expected. Any failures stop further release process. In addition, we have scheduled jobs that run the tests against the production environments to ensure the production has no outage or unexpected behaviors.

    UI Tests

    We have Commerce Manager which is a web-based user interface that allows business users to manage their stores.

    The UI tests ensure that each page and their components are functioning as expected. Store admin journeys such as creating products, managing catalog, price books, promotions, orders, and other store settings need to be tested. The test scenarios are written in Cucumber format for readability and the implementation is SeleniumJS. The test uses Chrome driver to simulate the browser and selenium commands to execute the browser interactions (e.g., clicking on buttons).

    UI testing is usually the slowest of the tests. We utilize the parallel testing feature which allows us to run multiple tests at one time. This significantly cut down our test cycles.

    To achieve parallel testing, tests are designed to be isolated from each other. This allows us to run any single test at any time without dependencies.


    At Elastic Path, our entire team is committed to quality. The Test Pyramid outlined above is the guideline that our engineering team follows to ensure our customers have a reliable platform to run their businesses. All tests are run in a continuous delivery pipeline. This gives us confidence in the quality of changes being released to production for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. Stay tuned for future blog posts where we will talk about the non-functional testing we do for performance and security.

    Author: Kevin Cheng
    Posted: September 22, 2021, 11:00 am

    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 positions itself as an eCommerce platform for high volume brands, with  two main payment plans: Essentials Plan and Enterprise Plan. 


    BigCommerce Essentials 








    Yearly Sales




    Monthly Pricing




    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 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 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 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. 


    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.

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    Author: Shaneil Lafayette
    Posted: September 21, 2021, 3:58 pm

    If it’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic showed us, it was that disruption was inevitable - and we surely have seen that in the eCommerce industry. Over the past two years, businesses have had to adapt to a new normal and accommodate for new customer expectations throughout their eCommerce strategy. B2B businesses specifically have felt an unprecedented amount of pressure to expand their B2B offerings and align more with B2C shopping experiences. One such way that B2B businesses have begun to expand their offering is to extend their business to offer B2B2C eCommerce experiences.

    While the concept of B2B2C eCommerce has recently caught on and has been making headlines, B2B2C eCommerce has actually been around for quite some time now, but we may not have labelled the efforts as such. B2B2C eCommerce is still also a tricky business model to maneuver, which could have caused the slow rise in popularity. However, with the advancement of technology, businesses are getting in a better place to tackle this market.

    For those who are unfamiliar with B2B2C eCommerce, you’re in the right place. In this article we will break down what it is, how it differs from other business models, the benefits and challenges of adopting a B2B2C eCommerce model, and how Elastic Path may help to support your business.


    What is B2B2C eCommerce and how does it work?

    Business-to-Business-to-Consumer eCommerce, otherwise known as B2B2C eCommerce, in its simplest term, refers to when a business utilizes a third party business to sell directly to their end consumer. This is not to be confused with white-labeling, when a company sells an unbranded product to a third party business, and allows them to sell the product/services as their own. This model combines the elements of a B2B and B2C business model where “Business A” partners with “Business B” to deliver “Business A’s” products and services to the “Customer.” While a variety of applications live under the B2B2C umbrella, this is the simplest form of B2B2C operations.

    UberEats is a great example of a B2B2C strategy deployed. Uber Eats (Business A) sells its delivery service to a plethora of restaurants, groceries and shops (Business B) which then allows them to sell the delivery services to buyers (Customers). Amazon also deploys a similar strategy in which they sell eCommerce hosting, warehouse storage and delivery services to businesses that have a product or service that they want to sell, and offer it to customers that use the Amazon platform.


    B2B vs B2C

    What is the difference between B2B, B2C and B2B2C?

    The emergence of B2B2C in the market has caused quite a bit of confusion among the differences between B2B, B2C, and B2B2C models in eCommerce. So what are the differences?


    B2B eCommerce: Business-to-Business

    B2B eCommerce refers to the sale of goods or services between businesses via online channels.. Take for example, an office furniture company. This type of business would traditionally be labelled as a B2B business because its primary targets are other businesses. One example of the largest global eCommerce websites that deploy a B2B strategy is Alibaba. Alibaba’s main selling strategy is to connect both B2B buyers and sellers within their platform instead of selling directly to customers.


    B2C eCommerce: Business- to-Consumer

    B2C eCommerce on the other hand, refers to the sales of goods or services directly to consumers. B2C eCommerce is one of the most common and easiest eCommerce models to launch, making it consumers #1 preferred choice of shopping. Take for example, an online clothing boutique. This type of business would traditionally be labelled as a B2C business because its primary targets are direct consumers. An example of one of the largest B2C eCommerce websites is Walmart. Walmart’s main selling strategy focuses on marketing and selling the majority of their products to consumers.

    The main difference between a B2B and B2C business is the business strategy they deploy to cater to their intended audience. For example, B2B businesses offer multiple pricing, volume discounts, and leverage an account manager to manage issues, while B2C businesses offer a single pricing tier for customers, a streamlined checkout process and leverage customer service instead to cater to issues.


    B2B2C: Business-to-Business-to-Consumer

    Now what do B2B and B2C have to do with B2B2C eCommerce? With the combination of these two business models, B2B businesses can now access all the benefits of B2C eCommerce that they were missing, without having to take on the B2C operations and responsibilities they intentionally avoided before. Now B2B companies will no longer have to be siloed from the customers, and instead have direct access to customer data so that they can help with rapid responses and improvements of their products.



    What are the advantages of the B2B2C eCommerce model?

    Easy Control of Data

    Traditional B2B journeys end when the manufacturers sell to their retailers. From there, retailers are able to sell at their preferred price point, apply their preferred marketing and sell to the consumers. By deploying a B2B2C model, manufacturers can now manage their brand all the way to the end consumer and access all the information without friction.


    Extended Customer Base

    B2B businesses usually have a smaller pool of businesses to sell to. By expanding to a B2B2C model, manufacturers can now leverage their partners’ customer base, boost their brand awareness and thus increase their overall product sales.


    Reduction of Middle-people

    As mentioned previously,B2B manufacturers tend to lose sight of the product and service once they have handed it to the retailer, thus allowing middle people to offer higher prices and take a cut off profits. By adopting a B2B2C model, manufacturers can now streamline the supply chain and eliminate those opportunities.


    Increased Efficiency of Supply Chain

    Typically B2B manufacturers have issues with delivering to customers in a timely manner. By adopting a B2B2C model, manufacturers can eliminate delivery partners and instead allow customers to get their goods more quickly.



    What are the challenges of the B2B2C eCommerce model?

    While adopting a B2B2C model offers a variety of benefits, there are two main challenges you should be aware of.


    Sharing Customer Base

    When a manufacturer partners with a B2C business, both businesses will now be sharing the same customer base. The B2C business might be hesitant to share such valuable customer data that would lead to the manufacturer’s benefit. Both businesses might also be hesitant to split profits. We encourage businesses to discuss the concerns as early as possible and create an equally beneficial proposal to ensure a smooth transition into partnership.


    B2B User Experiences

    Another thing that B2B businesses continue to struggle with today, is providing B2C-like experiences across their eCommerce journey. B2B businesses will need to ensure that they have an adequate eCommerce solution and strategy across their all partner-sellers to maximize ROI. We encourage businesses to search for an eCommerce solution that is API based and with MACH based technology to ensure that they can design a highly customizable solution and make changes on demand while also maintaining full control of their solution. Of course not all MACH based solutions are alike and therefore you can use a Systems Integrator or Agency to evaluate vendors based on your specific requirements.


    B2B2C with Elastic Path

    How does Elastic Path help with fulfilling your B2B2C requirements?

    The intricacies of supporting a B2B2C business model can be quite strenuous on eCommerce vendors due to a high degree of flexibility, control, and customizability demanded. However, Elastic Path makes it easy to rapidly digitize your B2B2C ecosystem with the power of its API-First Headless Microservices solution, advanced Product Content Management, flexible Catalog Composer and the dependable support of Composable Commerce XATM. Therefore, your business will be equipped to:

    • Manage and deploy highly customized experiences for both you and your customers
    • Grant the appropriate level of control to ensure unified commerce experiences using only one solution
    • Continuously scale at the demand of your business

    To achieve the aforementioned benefits, you can leverage a variety of specific commerce capabilities including:

    • Hierarchy org management
    • Individual branding and controls
    • Cloned stores
    • Flexible pricing
    • Access based profiles and controls
    • Consolidated analytics reporting
    • Pre-Composed Solutions for quick starts

    In addition to these capabilities, Elastic Path will also ensure to onboard your team with sales and support training, provide guidance on the solution architecture and also be your first line of support for your entire solution so your eCommerce strategy is always in good hands.

    So whether you’re an ISV who wants to add a white labelled commerce offering, a distributor or supplier network looking to provide value added commerce offerings to your business customers, or a fin-tech or bank organization looking to offer commerce functionality to your business customers, there is a place for you at Elastic Path. To learn more about B2B2C at Elastic Path feel free to reach out to one of our internal experts. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have.

    Author: Shaneil Lafayette
    Posted: September 20, 2021, 2:05 pm

    This post was originally published on March 11, 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and relevancy in the market.

    Why a Hybrid Customer Experience is Essential for Today’s Consumer

    There are 2.14 billion digital shoppers today. Having an eCommerce strategy has become not just a nice-to-have, but a vital component of any business’s long-term success; And the recent expansion of IoT, proliferation of smart devices, global crises like COVID-19, and trending mobile apps like TikTok, have forced businesses to shift their focus, expand their online presence, and accelerate their digital strategy.

    After all, that’s where the customers are, right?

    While yes, many consumers today do prefer shop online as it can be more accessible and cater to personal preferences, it’s not the end of the brick-and-mortar store. As it turns out, based on a 2019 study, many customers actually prefer a hybrid experience over one that is entirely online or in-person.

    In fact, customers that shop using more than one channel have a 30% higher lifetime value than those that only use one.

    What exactly is a hybrid customer experience?

    The hybrid experience is a commerce experience that combines elements of both eCommerce and in-person shopping experiences, whether that’s in-store, at an event, or over the phone.

    A good example in understanding the hybrid experience is how many companies now let customers order products online and pick them up at one of their local stores. Many businesses also now allow customers to return items they ordered online to a local store to receive a refund or even cash. We’ve even recently seen the adoption of in-store mobile self-checkout and COVID-19 introduced the concept of curbside pickup.

    These hybrid experiences are driven by an integrated ecommerce strategy and solution that allows companies to carry not only brand messaging, marketing tactics, and product information across channels, but also customer data. This means businesses can give customers a more seamless, frictionless experience.

    Their account information can be accessed by in-store representatives or pulled up on different devices, and shoppers can hunt for product data such as pricing or in-store availability.

    At the end of the day, consumers can take that next step of their journey when and how they want. That level of convenience is one of the core underlying behaviors that drive all shoppers today.

    Why all businesses should consider a hybrid approach

    In 2016 and 2017, customer experiences that were fully online experienced a one percent decline, while customer experiences that were hybrid actually increased by one percent. For large companies, a one percent change in either direction can represent either a loss or gain of hundreds of millions in revenue.

    Today, in 2021, companies that can build and deliver strong multi-channel engagement for their customers can actually see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue.

    Here are a few additional compelling trends and stats that highlight the importance of leveraging a hybrid customer experience:

    • Consumers of all ages – including 62% of Baby Boomers and 58% of Gen Zers, still prefer buying from a physical store (Source)
    • 63% of shopping occasions begin online (Source)
    • 45% of brick-and-mortar buyers check online reviews before buying (Source)
    • 50% of Consumers Expect to Buy Online and Be Able to Pick Up In-Store (Source)
    • 39% of consumers are unlikely or very unlikely to visit a retailer’s store if the online store does not provide physical store inventory information (Source)
    • 71% of in-store shoppers who use smartphones for research say their device has become more important to their in-store experience (Source)
    • 56% of consumers have used their mobile device to research products at home with 38% having used their mobile device to check inventory availability while on their way to a store and 34% who have used their mobile device to research products while in a store. (Source)

    Given some of the stats above, it apparent that in-store moments matter to customers, whether they’re stand alone or augmented by a digital concept.

    The reason why the hybrid experience was deemed better than online or traditional experiences is mainly about convenience. Customers aren’t necessarily looking for a specific shopping experience. Instead, they are looking for the best overall shopping experience for their wants and needs. Customers today demand shopping experiences that are simple, lack any friction, and can cater to their preferences and timeline.

    The emotional response to the shopping experience is another important factor. Less friction, more personalization, and better convenience will satisfy consumers, and a positive emotional response increases brand affiliation and can result in positive reviews, word-of-mouth, more revenue and less churn.

    When a company’s overall shopping experience is pleasant, customers tend to remember that and often become repeat customers as a result.

    Ready to Bring Your Hybrid Commerce Strategy to Life?

    Make any touchpoint transactional and build unique commerce experiences catered to your brand with an Omnichannel approach. Check out our comprehensive guide to learn more.

    Read the Guide

    Hybrid Customer Experience Example 1: Carvana

    Carvana for example, is typically an online-only car company founded in 2012 that embraced the hybrid experience in a creatively big way. The company’s business model involves selling slightly used vehicles online for less than what traditional car dealers sell them for. Customers can order cars online and have them shipped to their homes. They then have seven days to decide whether to keep them or return them for a full refund.

    But Carvana customers also have another option. They can travel to a Carvana location and pick up their new vehicles in person if they want. And to make things interesting, the company has created what it calls a “car vending machine,” which is a five-story automated car storage and retrieval system.

    Carvana customers are given a large token. When placed in a token receptacle, the system is activated and the vehicle they selected is pulled from inventory and placed right in front of them – just like a vending machine In the Carvana example, and with other companies that have embraced the hybrid experience, the important takeaway is customers aren’t necessarily looking for a traditional retail experience or an online experience.

    They are looking for a shopping experience that makes them feel like a valued customer. It’s about offering customers a superior shopping experience, and it’s a strategy you can embrace with your eCommerce business to take it to the next level, win over more customers, and close more sales.

    Hybrid Customer Experience Example 2: Birchbox

    Birchbox is another prime example of a brand that that took their mastery of online ecommerce and expanded to physical locations. Birchbox, founded in 2010, is a global online monthly subscription service for beauty products and cosmetics. They offer a wide variety of skin care products, makeup, perfumes, and other organic-based beauty lines to consumers in the US, the UK, France, Spain, Belgium, and Ireland.

    In 2014, four years after launching their online-only business, BirchBox dove head-first into in-person retail and opened their first brick-and-mortar shop in New York City’s Soho neighborhood. Consumer data showed that shoppers in New York had a 3x higher lifetime value than any other customer. In an attempt to cater to their most loyal customers, they wanted to offer a personalized, in-person experience.

    Customers can build custom boxes, in-person, just like they might online, but they’re also able to get the knowledge and expertise of the BirchBox representatives, ask questions, and get an even more personalized experience.

    Where Birchbox excelled was how they carried their online brand experience and messaging to an in-person experience. Consumers could still pick-and-mix while choosing from the top 100 products and brands that Birchbox had to offer. Even the store coloring and concepts matched their digital store, from the color and styling to the packaging. 

    Developing your hybrid experience strategy

    If you want to cash in on the benefits of the hybrid shopping experience, you’ll need to develop a strategy to implement hybrid solutions in your own eCommerce business.

    There are many different ways you can do this, and a strategy that works for one company isn’t necessarily going to work for another. Still, there is a general approach to developing a strategy that does work well for most businesses.

    The first thing you want to do is to brainstorm ways you can transform your eCommerce business from a solely online or in-person venture into a hybrid business. What are some ways you can improve the customer experience by adding a physical or digital element to your business? Write down everything that comes to mind and then carefully consider each idea to see if it makes sense financially for you to pursue.

    The next thing is to implement your idea to see if you see an increase in customer loyalty and repeat business.

    If you do come up with more than one idea, it’s important to experiment with only one idea at a time. That way you will be able to easily determine the things that work and those that don’t. Consider split testing your ideas. Measure shopping outcomes prior to implementing ideas and after so you can have a clear comparison of the results.

    You also want to consider investing in the latest technologies if a technological solution will be a part of your strategy. How long has a particular technology been around? You don’t want to run into a situation where you invest in a technology only to find out something better and/or more affordable is about to be released.

    Which companies offer the technology you are interested in? Take the time to evaluate different options to see which company offers the best solution for your needs. Other factors to consider when evaluating options include how much customer support is offered, availability of product training, and overall ease of use.

    Finally, when developing your hybrid experience strategy, it’s vitally important to always remember what customers are looking for. It isn’t an issue of online versus offline. Rather, it’s about the overall shopping experience.

    The purpose of developing a hybrid strategy is to increase brand loyalty. Anything that takes away from that goal should be discarded.

    Do’s and Don’ts of Building a Hybrid Customer Experience

    • Do Ensure Your Messaging is Consistent Both Online and In-store
    • You want your customers to have the same brand experience walking around your brick-and-mortar shop as they do when browsing online. This can include your graphics, copy, sinage, and even product labeling or packaging. They don’t need be identical, but should give your customers the vibe they know and love.
    • Don’t Try to Make the In-Store Experience the Exact Same as Your Digital Experience
    • In fact, you don’t want it to be. In-store shopping is a much more sensory experience than a digital one and should be treated as such. People shop in-person still because they like to see, smell, feel, or try on the products they’re evaluating, and this is something brands should take advantage of. Take Sephora, the retail beauty giant. The brand look and feel and messaging is the same across the website and in-store experience, but when you go in person, you can smell the perfume when you walk in. You can get physical free samples and even get your makeup done at the counter.
    • Imagine Sephora decided to remove all that, but you could still use their digital app in-store to virtually ‘try on’ the newest lipstick color. Doesn’t quite make sense, does it?
    • Do Offer the Same Level of Communication and Education as You Do Online
    • Customers want to feel like they’re getting the same value as they do when hunting for product information online. You’ll want to ensure your ground staff has been trained on company branding, messaging, and are knowledge on product information. Having one-on-one recommendations come from an in-store representative feels personal, one of the other core trends consumers crave today.

    The bottom line

    At the end of the day, you could just continue doing the things that have already made you successful and not bother with embracing the hybrid experience. Why rock the boat? But ignoring the power of the hybrid experience is leaving money on the table.

    Making the hybrid experience a part of your strategy is really about increasing customer loyalty, brand recognition, and revenue. It’s about scaling your business and growing the bottom line.

    Author: Kate Hassey
    Posted: September 17, 2021, 12:00 am

    B2B eCommerce has rapidly been changing over the past few years, and 2021 is no exception. With the disruption of COVID-19, new trends have emerged, and the eCommerce landscape is transforming. B2B companies are implementing new strategies to adapt to the changing consumer needs and take advantage of a growing online customer base, characterized by new loyalty programs, deep personalization options, and AI-based features.

    Below are some of the major customer-driven B2B eCommerce trends of 2021, as well as some key calls to action for B2Bs to optimize their eCommerce strategy.

    Customer Loyalty Programs:

    Almost all B2B marketers strive to find a balance between acquiring new customers and retaining existing customers. However, data shows that:

    • 33% of marketers plan to increase spending on customer acquisition, versus only 18% on customer retention.
    • Additionally, 82% of B2B marketers prioritize lead generation, while 43% focus on customer retention.

    Despite these efforts:

    • The probability of winning a new customer is 5% to 20%, and they account for 70% of a mid-sized firm’s revenue
    • The probability of selling to existing customers is 60% to 70%, and existing customers spend 31% more than new customers on average
    • The cost of acquiring a new customer is 5 to 10 times higher than the cost of retaining an existing customer
    • A 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25% to 95% increase in profits

    With these figures in mind, prioritizing customer acquisition over customer retention can be both costly and risky for B2B firms. By leaving behind an existing customer base, B2Bs can forgo opportunities for upselling and cross-selling, while also losing customer loyalty to potential competitors or customer referrals towards gaining new clients.

    While customer acquisition enables the development of a strong customer base and count, finding a balance between both is vital to maximizing sales and growth. More and more B2B firms are incorporating customer loyalty programs to boost repeat purchases and strengthen customer retention efforts. Loyalty programs such as transaction-based discounts, referral rewards, priority partnerships, and enrollment into reward-based programs have proven cost effective and offered numerous advantages.

    Such programs help businesses to meet the increasing expectations of B2B buyers for strong customer service, while also offering benefits such as:

    • Increased brand awareness
    • Simultaneously supporting customer acquisition and retention
    • Boosted upsell and cross-sell
    • Greater customer referrals
    • Improved brand reputation

    Deliver a smoother B2B experience

    Joinn Bryan Beck and ecommerce experts from Amazon Business and Elastic Path as they discuss the key to delivering a smooth B2B omnichannel experience.

    Watch the Webinar

    Customer Personalization:

    Expectations for personalization have continued to increase, with clients requiring more advanced personalization options and features; buyers are demanding experiences that are tailored to their specific needs.

    According to data from Smarter HQ:

    • 72% of B2B buyers only engage with personalized messaging
    • 69% of B2B buyers are willing to pay more for a personalized experience
    • 67% of B2B buyers will provide personal information to get personal service

    As the role of customer experience expands in B2B eCommerce, brands are investing heavily into personalization. By utilizing technology such as Progressive web applications, Headless, and The Cloud, in addition to implementing new loyalty programs and taking advantage of AI, B2B manufacturers are leveraging data and consumer insights to cater to more niche and unique needs.

    Aside from product recommendations and shopping carts, businesses are prioritizing personalization in key components and functions such as search, catalogs, pricing mechanisms, and merchandising.

    B2B personalization is grounded in boosting efficiency; by making the buyer journey feel convenient and optimized, customers are not only driven to make a purchase, but are also encouraged to buy more.

    B2B personalization should primarily be aimed at driving efficiency and is typically built around offering an improved customer experience throughout the B2B commerce cycle. This helps B2B organizations’ highlight how their buyer experience is superior in comparison to its key competitors.

    B2B manufacturers that successfully implemented new personalization options and put personalization at the forefront of their efforts enjoyed steadily increasing revenues. Methods to offer a customized and personalized buyer experience could include:

    • Enabling corporate accounts
    • Modifying Search to showcase available and obtainable products
    • Implementing digital self-service options
    • Using mini-catalogs to support internal operations and teams along with the buyer
    • Providing personalized and dynamic pricing to increase conversions
    • Creating personalized product recommendations
    • Tailoring content and promotions to provide unique customer experiences and highlight the right information
    • Effectively segmenting the market to better target and market to B2B prospects
    • Showcasing personalized, real-time inventory availability (Available to Promise, ATP)
    • Delivering personalized error messaging
    • Offering personalized account management

    However, it is important that B2B organizations do not become trapped in a B2C personalization mindset. While B2C personalization is based on driving revenue through transactions, B2B personalization drives revenue by optimizing efficiency.

    Rather than simply personalizing content, B2Bs should focus on personalizing the entire user experience by re-evaluating and iterating on key features and functionalities on their platform.

    Artificial Intelligence:

    Artificial intelligence (AI) and its various applications have been a hot topic in business circles over the past few years. Businesses have continued to adopt and integrate AI programs to expand their scale, achieve new targets, and maximize growth.

    Market researchers predict that spending on AI-based systems will rise to over $52 billion by 2021, marking a 50% increase over the previous five-year forecast.

    Key figures show that:

    • The forecasted AI annual growth rate between 2020 and 2027 is 33.2%
    • By 2030, AI will lead to an estimated $15.7 trillion, or 26% increase in global GDP
    • 20% of businesses say automating tasks such as invoicing and contract validation is the second most crucial use of AI
    • 48% of companies use data analysis, machine learning, or AI tools to address data quality issues
    • 51% of eCommerce players have implemented automation technologies across sales, marketing, and customer service teams to ensure a seamless user experience for customers.

    The top three most significant challenges companies face when considering the implementation of AI are staff skills (56%), the fear of the unknown (42%), and finding a starting point (26%).

    Moreover, research and data also support that with its large growth and continued expansion, AI will become increasingly applicable to B2B eCommerce operations. With over 50% of eCommerce firms already incorporating AI in some fashion to develop and improve on existing user experiences, there is high potential for new AI-based features.

    Some of the key capabilities of AI that are useful for B2Bs include:

    • Data Analytics: Artificial Intelligence enables complex data analysis across systems, while supporting the capturing, organization, recording, and prediction of missing values. This has helped B2B firms gain new insights about their eCommerce operations. Increased access to data combined with predictive analytics empowers them to incorporate changes, transform marketing efforts, and maximize sales.
    • Personalized product recommendations: Artificial Intelligence uses demographics and activity to create product recommendations, self-educating and iterating to improve over time. Since personalized product recommendations can directly influence conversion rates and affect sales, many eCommerce companies have invested into AI-powered recommendation engines. Thirty-five percent of Amazon sales come from their machine-learned statistical models directed at product recommendation. Amazon launched Amazon Personalize to enable merchants to utilize demographic and user activity data to create recommendation libraries; Personalize studies this data and utilizes algorithms to optimize recommendations, improving sales and conversions.
    • Predictive Analytics and Guided Selling: Artificial Intelligence systems allow B2B manufacturers to maximize their existing resources through predictive analytics. Through the construction of predictions based on multiple data points, combined with self-education for improved predictive analytics over time, AI can help B2Bs adapt to changes in an evolving market, react to competitive pressure, and optimize business decisions and processes in an uncertain environment. With guided selling, AI systems can also help with the identification of deals at risk of not being won and formulate predictions about which specific items may or may not be purchased.
    • Sentiment Analysis: Artificial Intelligence can recognize sentiment in speech, with many eCommerce brands using these analytics to aid buyers reading reviews. According to data from G2, over 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase a product after reading a trusted review. With sentiment analysis, AI systems can create models that help B2B firms understand customer complaints and satisfaction to modify shopping experiences, further combining this with personalization efforts such as personalized product recommendation.
    • Chatbot: Chatbots have become one of the most commonly used AI systems, deployed by businesses of all types. By using natural language processing, chatbots an engage in direct communication with customers or prospective clients, acting as a frontline customer service platform to provide responses about common inquiries, product questions, and FAQs. A report published by bold360 highlighted that 81% of B2B buyers have left a page because they did not want to fill out a form. Chatbots engage users with relevant and contextual information, while removing the need for scheduling or direct communication with sales representatives. The same report highlights a Forrester quote from "The Forrester Tech Tide: B2B Marketing Technologies" report,  “Chatbots add value to B2B marketing by helping buyers progress further into their purchase journeys, improving conversions along the way, and ultimately generating more revenue.” Ranging between lead generation, lead nurturing, scheduling, and frontline sales support, there are numerous applications of Chatbots in B2B eCommerce. An estimated 80% of businesses claim to either already use a chatbot or have plans to deploy a chatbot.

    AI in ECommerce: The Future of the Customer Experience

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    SEO and Educative Content:

    SEO remains a major priority for all eCommerce sites, and this has been reflected in increasing commitment to and investment in educative resources such as blog posts, webinars, and educational tools. While paid search can help B2Bs place at the top of SERPs, its high cost makes it unsustainable and unfeasible in the long run.

    With effective SEO and optimization strategies, B2Bs can rank highly in search engines such as Google and Bing, ensuring that their pages provide the best solutions to a user’s search intent.

    Key statistics show:

    • 41% of large companies consider link building as the most difficult SEO tactic (Source)
    • SEO has 20 times as much traffic opportunity than PPC on both mobile and desktop (Source)
    • 82% of marketers report the effectiveness of SEO is on the rise, with 42% stating it’s increasing significantly (Source)
    • 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing organic presence is a top inbound marketing priority (Source)
    • Google dominates the search engines, accounting for 92.42% of all global desktop search traffic, followed by Bing at 2.61% and at Yahoo 1.9% (Source)
    • Brands and agencies in the USA invested $72.02 billion for SEO services in 2018 alone (Source)
    • Organic search is responsible for 51% of all website traffic, compared to 10% from paid search, 5% from social media, and 34% from other sources (Source)

    This is further reflected by an increasing commitment to content. Content marketing is closely tied with SEO and should be made a priority when aiming to maximize and boost optimization.

    By creating authentic, relevant, and engaging content, firms can ensure that they are informing and supporting their audiences, while also attracting new visitors to their website. This is critical for visibility and relevance, especially as the market becomes saturated with new players, and major firms continue to drive increased traffic.

    Incorporating content such as blog articles, product pages, testimonials, guides, and videos can all create a strong foundation to support other optimization strategies and overall SEO efforts.

    Below are some statistics that highlight the importance of content for eCommerce sites:

    • Websites with a blog typically have 434% more indexed pages than those without (Source)
    • Business websites with blogs have 97% more inbound links, which ultimately helps SEO performance (Source)
    • Refreshing old blog posts with new content and images can boost organic traffic by as much as 111% (Source)
    • 45% of all companies say content marketing is ‘highly integrated’ with their SEO strategy. (Source)
    • High quality content and link building are the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search (Source)
    • About 25% of Google searches have at least one video in them. (Source)

    By implementing new educational resources such as blog posts and guides that feature keywords and trending terms, eCommerce sites can boost ongoing, free, high-converting organic traffic to their site.

    This also prevents over-reliance on paid search and ad spending. Furthermore, the expansion of the eCommerce space with new competitors and trends has made SEO critical for B2Bs aiming to acquire new customers and drive traffic to their website.

    Developing quality content on a regular basis is vital for effective optimization, and this is reflected in the strong benefits presented thus far to websites that have made content such as blog posts and videos a priority. Here are some key calls to action for B2Bs to maximize their SEO strategy and content development:

    • Curate and refresh existing blog posts to feature new images and rich media, while also incorporating keywords
    • Make keyword research a priority, using tools such as SEMRush and Google Analytics to implement the right terms and keywords in your future content.
    • Make Video SEO a priority, optimizing your website’s videos for different search engines.
    • Leverage local SEO to optimize your online presence and attract customers from local searches.

    2021 and Beyond:

    B2B eCommerce showcased new opportunities and high growth in 2021. These are just some of the customer-driven trends that represent how B2B companies are adapting to the changes caused by COVID-19, providing customers with increased personalization, loyalty programs, and content, while leveraging SEO and AI to deliver on buyers’ expectations.

    Check out our blog on the top Market- Driven B2B eCommerce Trends of 2021 and Technology-Driven B2B eCommerce Trends of 2021 to learn more about how 2021 has solidified B2B eCommerce in various industries and how B2Bs can form a new path forward.

    Author: Rudra Bharat
    Posted: September 15, 2021, 11:00 am

    As the summer continues to wind down and fall begins to creep in, we have a lot of new things to look forward to. Some of us are getting ready to go back into offices; sending our kids back to school; starting new journeys; and long awaiting the normalcy to gather for holidays with our loved ones. But even with all these new beginnings, one thing remains the same, consumers will be SHOPPING - And as such Elastic Path continues to innovate and make updates to our products to ensure that brands are able to provide the best eCommerce shopping experiences for their customers.

    This summer at Elastic Path, we focused primarily on enhancing existing feature capabilities within Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. These enhancements address a variety of concerns from locale support to advanced pricing. While we have made a plethora of changes, this article focuses on the major updates to the solution. These include:

    • The Launch of Catalog Composer
    • Account Management Enhancements
    • Advanced Pricing Support
    • Product Content Management Enhancements
    • And Promotion Enhancements.

    With the release of these new innovations, Elastic Path is making it easy to support your complex eCommerce strategy across multiple business models such as B2C, B2B, B2B2C, and DTC. Learn more about all of our product innovations here.


    Catalog Composer

    The traditional catalog management we see today was built over a decade ago, before brands had even begun to think about addressing multiple geographies, deploying multiple touchpoints, and launching multiple brands all under one umbrella. Therefore, there’s no surprise why addressing the aforementioned concerns have been so difficult. Traditional catalog management, until today, has been extremely rigid, and usually results in brands spending excessive time and money to customize their unique catalog needs, only to still delay time to market and hold back the organization.

    Catalog Composer by Elastic Path, previously introduced as a part of Product Content Management in March, alleviates these complexities by leveraging the industry’s only decoupled catalog architecture, to empower brands to rapidly compose and continuously optimize products and pricing into unlimited, unique catalogs across all your routes-to-market such as multiple brands, accounts, geographies, touchpoints, and business models. Catalog Composer will be key in managing catalogs across your B2B, B2C and B2B2C business models 5x faster than any other eCommerce solution.

    Learn more about Catalog Composer


    Account Management Enhancements

    Elastic Path Commerce Cloud previously only leveraged Open ID Connect to enable user authentication with external identity providers such as Okta and Ping. However, we have now implemented a new password profile support that enables users to log in using a username and password, instead of only relying on an OpenID Connect profile. Now your team has the ability to create user authentication info to be associated with either Password Profiles or OpenID Connect Profiles. These APIs can also be used for account member authentication.

    Explore more about Account Members with Password Profiles


    Advanced Pricing Support

    In a competitive market, eCommerce owners are always thinking of ways to stay ahead of the competition and increase their value. One such way we see this done is by deploying a variety of pricing strategies. Elastic Path has released both Volume Pricing and Sales Pricing to help with your strategies.

    Volume Pricing now allows you to offer different pricing for minimum quantities of items that your customer purchases. This means when a customer has added a sufficient quantity of an item and meets the minimum quantity specified, all items in that cart will be discounted.

    On the other hand, Sales Pricing grants you the ability to advance-schedule the specific time and date for sale prices books to go live. This will be great for stores that want to schedule season pricing in products without creating a new pricebook or catalog request.

    Explore more about Volume and Sales Pricing



    Product Content Management Enhancements

    Since the launch of Product Content Management, customers have found it so easy to import, enrich and organize their product data in one central location. To make Product Content Management more customizable, we have added templates and attributes to configurations, support for multi-byte languages and locale support. Templates and attributes allow you to attach a specific set of custom fields to your products in Product Content Management. Multi-byte language support extends Product Content Management to support languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters, making your offered languages more inclusive. And lastly, locale support allows you to localize product names, descriptions and other strings if your store supports multiple languages.

    Explore more about Product Content Management enhancements



    Promotion Enhancements

    Promotional offers play a major role in a customer’s shopping cycle and can make a significant difference in cart value. Elastic Path has updated and added new promotions to be offered throughout your eCommerce journey.

    Bundle Discount - Bundle discounts allow your team to offer bulk discounts when selected products are purchased together.

    Free Gift Discount - Free Gift discounts allow your teams to offer a free item when a specific product or a group of products are purchased.

    Usage Per Line Item - Usage Per Line Item promotions grant your team the ability to set usage per line item for all promotion times. This allows you to limit the buyer to use the promotion for a specific number of times.

    Max Application Per Cart Limit- This promotion update allows your team to limit the quantity available for purchase at the promotion price.


    Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is equipped with a variety of other promotions that you can explore here.

    We are thrilled to continue innovating here at Elastic Path. If you would like to keep up to date on our newest product innovations, explore our product innovation page for major updates and our product changelog for all major and minor updates.

    Author: Shaneil Lafayette
    Posted: September 14, 2021, 1:06 pm

    Following the recent blog for the release of Account Management for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, we've now added support so you can start managing your accounts within Commerce Manager, the ability to allow account members to login via a username and password, and support for Addresses for an account.

    Commerce Manager Support

    We first released Account Management via our beta APIs, this most recent release brings the following capabilities into Commerce Manager, our business-user tooling, for Seller Admins:

    • Ability to create, view, and edit accounts
    • Ability to view members of the account added via the api
    • Ability to view orders of the account
    • Ability to create, view, and edit addresses for the account

    The above capabilities now enable you to set up accounts from Commerce Manager which can be leveraged in your storefront and other touchpoints.

    Consider a B2B hardware manufacturer (Seller) and a big-box retailer (Buyer). The hardware manufacturer can now manage accounts in Commerce Manager creating an account for the big-box retailer, additionally an address can be added for use in the checkout process.

    The seller can now add account members John and Jane to the account created, via the api. After John and Jane create orders for their account, the seller can view the order details for both John and Jane from within Commerce Manager.

    Username and Password APIs

    We've also added the support for account members to log in via username and password in addition to the previous login using OpenID Connect. The new capabilities include:

    • Ability to create, view, and edit password profiles for an authentication realm
    • Ability to create, view, and edit user authentication info to an authentication realm
    • Ability to add, view, and edit password profiles for a user
    • Ability to add, view, and edit OpenID Connect profiles for a user

    With these new capabilities, you can now enable account members to authenticate via username and password. This allows you to get started with Account Management without setting up an OpenID Connect Provider for authentication, making it easier to start using Account Management and saving some time in your busy day.

    For a more detailed guide on how to do this check out our How-To guide for Adding Accounts and Account Members.

    What's Next?

    We will be continuing to add features incrementally and release them frequently. You can soon expect to be able to add account members from within Commerce Manager. We'll also be adding Events and Webhooks support for Account Management APIs.

    As new features are released, they will be added to the Elastic Path Commerce Cloud changelog, so, make sure to keep an eye out for that!

    Getting Started

    With these new Account Management capabilities B2B brands and buyers can more effectively manage their transactions. Use the postman collection to try out these new APIs. Additional details on these features are available in the documentation for both Commerce Manager and APIs.

    Beta API Reminder

    The APIs in this release are labelled Beta. These APIs provide early access into the Account Management functionality and enable Elastic Path customers to provide feedback earlier in the development process, before the APIs are finalized. Customer feedback is important to us, as it helps us better understand functional requirements and address problems early.

    Author: Matt Kelly
    Posted: September 13, 2021, 11:00 am

    Steve Ramage is a Senior Software Architect, who has been a part of the Elastic Path team in Vancouver for almost three years. Steve has a master's degree in computer science, and about 11 years of industry experience. Keep reading to learn what it’s like to be a Senior Software Architect at Elastic Path!

    Q: What does a Senior Software Architect do?

    Steve: Senior Software Architects at Elastic Path solve problems using our knowledge across applications, database technologies, and distributed systems so the day to day varies a lot based on where we are needed.

    Q: What gives you the most satisfaction working at Elastic Path? 

    Q: In your current role, is there something you are most proud of?

    Steve: What I am most proud of is our integration of OpenID Connect in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. My first project at Elastic Path was working on our OpenID Connect integration in Elastic Path Commerce. Later when we acquired Moltin, we needed to support OpenID Connect in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. There is a saying that “if you learn nothing when building something, what you built was too easy.”

    But it's not often that you get a second chance to leverage what you learned right away and build something better.

    Q: How would you describe the culture at Elastic Path?

    Steve: Elastic Path is a very friendly place to work, with a lot of openness, transparency, and inclusiveness.

    Q: How has your experience been since shifting to remote work? Have you felt supported?

    Steve: My experience working remotely has been well supported. Since we are a company that has many employees in different time zones, there is a lot of flexibility in terms of remote working arrangements, and it offered and incredible amount of freedom and work life balance.

    Q: How has Elastic Path contributed to your career progression/development?

    Steve: Elastic Path has contributed to my career progression and development in a few ways. One way is that Elastic Path has a generous professional development budget that I have used for training on a number of occasions, such as, Software Architecture, Mongo and Kubernetes. Second, is that the culture here within the teams, are self-organizing and autonomous.

    We are given latitude to find and develop the best solutions, which often involves learning and exploring new technologies.

    Q: Thinking back, what were the reasons that made you join Elastic Path? What are the reasons you choose to stay?

    Steve: I wanted to work at a company that had its technical products as a core part of its business and I wanted to work at a company that had a rich and complex domain as well as tackling problems at scale. Headless API driven commerce ticks both boxes.

    Q: Tell me about something that motivates you before work or during work? (ie. Music, Exercise, Social breaks etc).

    Steve: Something that motivates me is being able to go outside during breaks; whether that is before work or if I need a during the middle of the day. I live near a small mountain, so depending on meetings, I try to go out and ride up the mountain during the day. It’s nice to have a break that gives me a chance to meditate on a solution to a problem. Other hobbies I enjoy are, Cycling, Coding, playing Board Games and Reading.


    Stay tuned for our next “Inside Elastic Path” series. If you are interested joining our team, check out our open listings and apply today.

    Author: Michaela Sell
    Posted: September 10, 2021, 6:45 pm