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COVID Vaccine Makers Prepare for a Variant Worse than Delta

Companies are updating vaccines and testing them on people to prepare for whatever comes next in the pandemic

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Senate Debates Uncertain Future of U.S. Spaceflight

A congressional hearing about NASA’s budget and activities offered more questions than answers about the International Space Station, orbital debris hazards and returning astronauts to the moon

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Will Face '29 Days on the Edge'

The observatory must complete about 50 major deployments after liftoff

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Nominees for a Science Award Were All White Men -- Nobody Won

A protest by a group of scientists has ignited spirited discussions about the persistent lack of diversity in such awards

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

We Need to Ground Truth Assumptions about Gene Therapy

Researchers, practitioners and patients must balance the discipline’s promise with its reality

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

COVID Quickly, Episode 17: Vaccine Lies and Protecting Immunocompromised People

Today we bring you a new episode in our podcast series COVID, Quickly. Every two weeks, Scientific American’s senior health editors Tanya Lewis and Josh Fischman catch you up on the...

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

What Dune Reveals about Reproductive Control and Eugenics

A new adaption offers an opportunity to revisit the overlooked biology in Herbert’s classic tale

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Pathogen-Sensing Mask Could Detect COVID Infection

Freeze-dried genetic circuits could reveal the presence of SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, MRSA, and more

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Disturbing Answers to the Mystery of Tuskless Female Elephants

Poaching brings evolutionary pressure for tusklessness

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Pandemic Economic Recovery Could Worsen Climate Change Health Impacts

By continuing to subsidize fossil fuels, recovery plans could exacerbate threats from diseases such as malaria, cholera and dengue fever

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

An Unblinking History of the Conservation Movement

In her new book Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction, science journalist Michelle Nijhuis looks into the past of the wildlife conservation field, warts...

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

What Dune Should Teach Us about the Beauty of 'Wastelands'

There are deep-rooted connections between sustainable deserts and a sustainable future

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

This Simple Experiment Could Challenge Standard Quantum Theory

Measuring the time it takes particles to travel between two points may offer the best-yet test for Bohmian mechanics

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Fossil Fuel Development to Exceed Global Climate Targets

Planned oil, gas and coal production is not in line with countries’ pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Electoral Engineering and the Freedom to Vote

Securing basic voting rights should take priority over more elaborate reforms

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How Airborne Microplastics Affect Climate Change

Like other aerosols, these tiny particles scatter and absorb sunlight, influencing Earth’s temperature

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Four Success Stories in Gene Therapy

The field is beginning to fulfill its potential. These therapies offer a glimpse of what’s to come

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How Can an Elephant Squeak Like a Mouse?

New research using a camera that can “see" sound” shows some elephants can produce high-pitched buzzing with their lips.

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The Quest to Overcome Gene Therapy's Failures

Tragic side effects plagued the field’s early years, but researchers are finding ways to minimize the risks

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Will Giving COVID Booster Shots Make It Harder to Vaccinate the Rest of the World?

Wealthy countries have bought up most of the available vaccine doses for booster shots but still have far more than they need

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Disabled Astronauts Blaze New Space Trails

Efforts are underway to make space missions more accessible

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Lucy, the First Mission to Jupiter's Asteroids, Could Reveal Solar System Origins

The NASA spacecraft will loop past the never before explored Trojan asteroids during a 12-year journey

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The Definition of Gene Therapy Has Changed

Over the past few years, the discipline has evolved in significant ways

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Gene Therapy Is Coming of Age

Various approaches are approved for treating blood cancers and a few rare disorders—they may soon become standard care

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Heat Waves in Seville Will Be Named and Ranked like Hurricanes

The Spanish city is the first to undertake such a scheme in an effort to better warn residents of the health threats from heat

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

COVID Vaccine Makers Prepare for a Variant Worse than Delta

Companies are updating vaccines and testing them on people to prepare for whatever comes next in the pandemic

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Senate Debates Uncertain Future of U.S. Spaceflight

A congressional hearing about NASA’s budget and activities offered more questions than answers about the International Space Station, orbital debris hazards and returning astronauts to the moon

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Will Face '29 Days on the Edge'

The observatory must complete about 50 major deployments after liftoff

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Nominees for a Science Award Were All White Men -- Nobody Won

A protest by a group of scientists has ignited spirited discussions about the persistent lack of diversity in such awards

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

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An Introduction To Quasar Framework: Building Cross-Platform Applications

Quasar is an open-source Vue.js-based cross-platform framework that allows you, as a developer, to easily build apps for both desktop and mobile using technologies such as Cordova and Electron and writing your code once. The app weall build will store and get its data from Firebase, meaning that we will also be seeing how to use Firebase in Quasar.

How To Build A Real-Time Multi-User Game From Scratch

This article highlights the process, technical decisions and lessons learned behind building the real-time game Autowuzzler. Learn how to share game state across multiple clients in real-time with Colyseus, do physics calculations with Matter.js, store data in Supabase.io and build the front-end with SvelteKit.

Respecting Usersa Motion Preferences

The `prefers-reduced-motion` media query has excellent support in all modern browsers going back a couple of years. In this article, Michelle Barker explains why thereas no reason not to use it today to make your sites more accessible.

Building The SSG Iave Always Wanted: An 11ty, Vite And JAM Sandwich

Back in January 2020, Ben Holmes set out to do what just about every web developer does each year: rebuild his personal site. In this article, he shares his story of how he set out to build his own build pipeline from absolute ground zero and created aSlinkitya.

Building An API With Gatsby Functions

In this tutorial, Paul Scanlon explains how to build an API by using Gatsby Functions and what you need to keep in mind when deploying it to Gatsby Cloud.

Smashing Podcast Episode 42 With Jeff Smith: What Is DevOps?

In this episode, weare talking about DevOps. What is it, and is it a string to add to your web development bow? Drew McLellan talks to expert Jeff Smith to find out.

Solving CLS Issues In A Next.js-Powered E-Commerce Website (Case Study)

Cumulative Layout Shift is one of the hardest core web vital to debug. In this article, we go through different tools to investigate CLS, when to use them(and when not), and solutions to some of the CLS issues we faced in our Next.js-based e-commerce website.

A Simple But Effective Mental Health Routine For Programmers

In this article, weall look at why taking care of our work-life balance is important, how to develop a simple and effective mental health routine, and the most common and efficient techniques you can use to make your custom routine.

Tips And Tricks For Evaluating UX/UI Designers

Customers may start using your app because you offer a unique product, but user experience is what makes them stay. For that, you need excellent UX designers, and the know-how to spot them when hiring.

Smart CSS Solutions For Common UI Challenges

Writing CSS has probably never been more fun and exciting than it is today. In this post weall take a look at common problems and use cases we all have to face in our work and how to solve them with modern CSS. If youare interested, weave also just recently covered [CSS auditing tools](https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2021/03/css-auditing-tools/), [CSS generators](https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2021/03/css-generators/), [front-end boilerplates](https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2021/06/useful-frontend-boilerplates-starter-kits/) and [VS code extensions](https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2021/05/useful-vs-code-extensions-web-developers/) — you might find them useful, too.

Upcoming Live Workshops On Front-End & UX (Oct 2021–Jan 2022)

Do you like a good interface design challenge? What about accessibility testing and design systems? Or maybe Next.js and advanced CSS? With our new online workshops on front-end & design, we cover all of it. Ah, and [here's what our workshops are like](https://vimeo.com/616485526).

Useful React APIs For Building Flexible Components With TypeScript

React with JSX is a fantastic tool for making easy-to-use components. Typescript components make it an absolute pleasure for developers to integrate your components into their apps and explore your APIs. Learn about three lesser-known React APIs that can take your components to the next level, and help you build even better React Components in this article.

Bridging The Gap Between Designers And Developers

UXPin has recently launched a new feature called aMergea. This tool aims to break through the chasms of design and development, all while improving the agility and quality our teams expect. This new technology may cause some rethink on how the whole design team and engineering team collaborates.

The Autofill Dark Pattern

A adark patterna is a deceptive UX pattern that tricks users into doing things they may not really want to do. In this article, Alvaro Montoro does a little experiment to find out how much privacy is taken away from users across three different browsers.

Composable CSS Animation In Vue With AnimXYZ

Most animation libraries like GSAP and Framer Motion are built purely with JavaScript or TypeScript, unlike AnimXYZ, which is labelled athe first composable CSS animation toolkita, built mainly with SCSS While a simple library, it can be used to achieve a lot of awesome animation on the web in a short amount of time and little code.

Building A Static-First MadLib Generator With Portable Text And Netlify On-Demand Builder Functions

In this article, weall be building an interactive fiction experience in which a user can insert words that match parts of speech given by the content creator. Letas go!

Freebie: COVID-19 Icon Set (56 Icons, AI, EPS, SVG, PNG)

Every once in a while, we publish [freebies](https://www.smashingmagazine.com/category/freebies/) related to different occasions and themes. We hope that with this icon set, every designer will be able to find their own use case and contribute to saving lives. Free for personal and commercial use.

A Guide To CSS Debugging

Debugging in CSS means figuring out what might be the problem when you have unexpected layout results. Weall look at a few categories bugs often fit into, see how we can evaluate the situation, and explore techniques that help prevent these bugs.

Local Testing A Serverless API (API Gateway And Lambda)

Have you ever struggled with testing cloud services locally? Specifically, have you ever struggled with locally testing an API that uses API Gateway and Lambda, with the Serverless framework, on AWS? In this article, Tom Hudson shares a quick overview of how easy it is to quickly set up your project to test locally before deploying to AWS.

How To Build An Expandable Accessible Gallery

In this article, weall be looking at how to set up a gallery that is expandable as well as accessible with a few tips and tricks along the way. Letas get started!

How To Implement Search Functionality In Your Nuxt App Using Algolia InstantSearch

Many websites have some sort of search feature because it helps users navigate through their content easily. Implementing it the right way can be tricky and might not give a good user experience. In this tutorial, we will be integrating Algolia, a popular and powerful search service for the best experience on our Nuxt site.

A Time Of Transition (October 2021 Desktop Wallpapers Edition)

Get your desktop ready for fall and the upcoming Halloween season with a fresh batch of desktop wallpapers. Created with love by designers and artists from across the globe, they come in versions with and without a calendar for October 2021.

Using Modern Image Formats: AVIF And WebP

In this article, weall highlight how modern image formats (AVIF or WebP) can improve compression by up to 50% and deliver better quality per-byte while still looking visually appealing. Weall compare whatas possible at high-quality, low-quality and file-size targets.

Improving The Accessibility Of Your Markdown

You can find Markdown in many places on the Internet. This article covers different aspects of Markdown and how it interacts with other technology.

Letas Dive Into Cypress For End-to-End Testing

Is end-to-end testing a painful topic for you? In this article, Ramona Schwering explains how to handle end-to-end testing with Cypress and make it make it not so tedious and expensive for yourself, but fun instead.

Rebuilding A Large E-Commerce Website With Next.js (Case Study)

We made the switch from a more traditional integrated e-commerce platform to a headless platform with Next.js. Here are the most important lessons learned while rebuilding a large e-commerce site with Next.js.

Free Online Workshop: Frustrating Design Patterns And How To Fix Them

Youave seen them before. Confusing and frustrating design patterns that seem to be chasing you everywhere you go, from one website to another. Itas time to fix them for good in a [free Smashing online workshop](https://smashingconf.com/online-workshops/workshops/vitaly-friedman-frustrating-patterns/) next week.

Simplifying Form Styles With `accent-color`

The new CSS `accent-color` property makes it quick and easy to roll out our brand colors to certain form inputs by leveraging user agent styles. In this article weall take a look at what it does and how to use it alongside `color-scheme` for simple, accessible checkboxes and radio buttons — and imagine how we might use it in the future.

Keyword Selected: commerce

Meet the Elastic Path Leadership Team: Part 2

Welcome back to Part 2 of our Meet the Elastic Path Leadership Team! We are excited to showcase the rest of our leadership team below.

 

Jamus Driscoll - Chief Executive Officer

Connect with Jamus on LinkedIn

Jamus is the driving force behind the vision and strategy for Elastic Path. Jamus joined Elastic Path following its acquisition of Moltin, where he was the CEO.

Jamus has a twenty-year track record of taking high-performing Startup companies to market. Prior to Moltin, Jamus held a number of executive roles at Demandware (now Salesforce Commerce Cloud), a commerce platform company that pioneered the use of the cloud for mission-critical, revenue generating business applications. Jamusa tenure at Demandware spanned a decade from Startup to Initial Public Offering and ultimately an acquisition by Salesforce.com in 2016.

Q&A with Jamus

1. What excites you most about Elastic Path daily?

Witnessing the constant creativity, innovation, and passion from our team.

2. How do you foresee Commerce changing in the future? How will Elastic Path help customers maneuver said changes?

Oh boy. Big question. The short answer is that for all the work we as an industry have done, weave only created the first use case on the web, the website. And for the most part, this was created in a day when we all thought the web was a adestinationa and used the same language that we used to describe a store (catalog, cart, checkout, etc.). Everything has changeda|the web is not a destination, itas a data fabric that underpins every dimension of businessa|to capture that, commerce is not a aplatforma, itas a function, that can be brought together in any mode to serve the needs of the business, across any medium that is reliant on the Web (and itas all reliant on the web)

3. What is your favorite book and or movie and why?

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Itas a terrific arching story, full of all sorts of relatable lessons, and one that all my 4 kids enjoy, so itas become a common reference for all of us.

4. Tell us something about yourself, that isn't on LinkedIn or your resume.

I love to work with my hands and am always building something.

 

Harry Chemko - Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer

Connect with Harry on LinkedIn

Harry is a consummate entrepreneur, having started Elastic Path in 2000 when he was fresh out of university. With only a $15,000 start-up loan from a non-profit organization, Harry's optimism and energy drove the business forward, turning Elastic Path into the world's leading provider of commerce software designed to maximize revenue from the next generation of digital experiences. In 2005, Harry received the Young Entrepreneur Award for being the youngest CEO on the PROFIT Hot 50.

Today, Harry is responsible for leading corporate strategy and driving Elastic Path's vision. He believes that in this connected world, digital commerce is all about generating business value from great digital experiences across all touchpoints. A successful digital commerce platform must help enterprises unlock that value and generate revenue.

Q&A with Harry

1. What excites you most about Elastic Path daily?

Some of the most creative, passionate, customer obsessed people in the industry work at Elastic Path, and theyare all a lot of fun to work with. I love seeing what our teams come up with day in and day out! I get super excited watching our deployment slack channels and seeing how quickly we are releasing new features to the platform.

2. How do you foresee Commerce changing in the future? How will Elastic Path help customers maneuver said changes?

Commerce is the core operating system for successful digital businesses. And we see that becoming more and more critical over time. Digital businesses need the flexibility to never be limited by their commerce platform, coupled with agility and speed to achieve this. Our pre-composed solutions, microservices architecture, and business support model are designed work together to help them achieve their commerce ambitions without the risk.

3. What is your favorite book and or movie and why?

Itas really hard to name a favorite book, but Iam currently reading The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous. I think that the changes happening in fintech right now are going to revolutionize the world of commerce.

4. Tell us something about yourself, that isn't on LinkedIn or your resume.

I grew up in a small town in Northern BC, where we farmed and for the most part lived off of what we grew and raised.

 

Brad Habansky - Senior Vice President, Sales

Connect with Brad on LinkedIn

Brad Habansky is the Senior Vice President of Sales, leading account management, pre-sales, and customer success. Brad has over 25 years of technology sales and sales leadership experience, most recently with Oracle, Salesforce and Commercetools. At Commercetools, Brad was the 6th U.S. employee and was responsible for initiating sales efforts in North and South America. Brad was responsible for Sales, Partners and Sales Engineering at Commercetools. During Brad's time at Commercetools, he signed the first enterprise customers in the U.S. and led continued growth of both new customers and the U.S. Sales organization. This growth, led to the acquisition of Commercetools by Insight Partners at the end of 2019. Brad is passionate about building sales teams, creating effective sales processes, and driving customer success.

Q&A with Brad

1. What excites you most about Elastic Path daily?

The talent we have as an organization, across the board excites me. Also, the product. We have a product that address a need in the market. And at this point, we are the only MACH vendor with a catalog that can handle the complexity of post 2020 organizations.

2. How do you foresee Commerce changing in the future? How will Elastic Path help customers maneuver said changes?

I think commerce is changing with the growth of API's. Not only by commerce vendors, also payments, CMS, search. I think eventually pulling API's together to address complex use cases will become easier and easier. I also see the checkout process becoming more and more commoditized.

3. What is your favorite book and or movie and why?

Favorite book would probably be Eckart Tolleas The Power of Now. Changed my thinking on everything. Or anything written by Erik Larson. I love history. Movie, man thatas hard.

4. Tell us something about yourself, that isn't on LinkedIn or your resume.

Stuff thatas not on linked in, I'm married with 3 children. Pretty boring, I would guess 😊. We love to travel as a family. We decide to stay in the city to raise our family. We have Cubs tickets, so big part of our Summers. Love going to Lake Geneva in Wisconsin, to get a break from the city.

 

Ready to Get Started with Headless Commerce?

Discover the steps for getting started, how to implement your front-end, considerations for choosing the right platform and more with our full guide.

Read the Guide

 

Tiffany Spizzo - Vice President, Global Channel & Alliances

Connect with Tiffany on LinkedIn

Tiffany Spizzo has joined Elastic Path as Vice President of Global Channel and Alliances. Spizzo will work closely with the Elastic Path executive team to strategically expand and empower Elastic Path's partner network. Tiffany has been in ecommerce since 2010 and most recently joins us from Shopgate, where she was the VP Global Business Development and Strategic Partners. Prior to that, she implemented partner programs at firms like Volusion and Mozu, prior to their acquisition by Kibo. She then went on to Kibo and headed partnerships there across a multi-platform commerce suite that included ecommerce, order management, personalization, and point of sale.

Q&A with Tiffany

1. What excites you most about Elastic Path daily?

The impact that we are having on customers that have struggled for so long to compromise and conform their business to unyielding technology. Being in ecommerce for a length of time, I feel like we have all come across that customer use case that we took home at night and that kept our minds racing, knowing that there had to be a better way to tailor to their unique business needs and solve their specific pain points. I truly believe we accomplish at Elastic Path and it is thrilling!

2. How do you foresee Commerce changing in the future? How will Elastic Path help customers maneuver said changes?

If we go back a decade in ecommerce (feels longer) there was a best-of-breed approach that was attractive to many but virtually impossible to facilitate due to the boundaries and restrictions of technology at the time. This forced us into a monolithic world that put businesses into boxes and prevented further innovation. To datea|the only choices have been out-of-the-box cookie cutter solutions or custom builds from scratch and tied the business to proprietary development that few would know, and most could never manipulate or enhance. These options presented immense struggles for businesses with high growth potential, complex business models and plans for omnichannel expansion. We are now at a point that we can break apart the monoliths and offer our customers a way to address both their business and technological needs. Elastic Path makes this unbelievably easy for our customers by bridging the gap between flexibility, customization, and control.

3. What is your favorite book and or movie and why?

Too many to pick favoritesa|always been a struggle for me as there are so many amazing influences and inspirations in literature and cinema. I even have difficulty picking a favorite color to tell my daughter because I love them all too much.

4. Tell us something about yourself, that isn't on LinkedIn or your resume.

Perhaps this is something I donat often highlight on channels like LinkedIn, but hope it comes across if you know me. I am most proud of my family and being the mother to the most amazing (super feisty and independent) little girl. Also passionate about cooking, bit of a foodie, and love to host. Famous amongst some (very small circles) for home cooking with flarea|and of course wine.

 

Tara Collins - Vice President, People and Culture

Connect with Tara on LinkedIn

Tara leads the People & Culture and Facilities teams at Elastic Path. With a long tenure in building teams, designing programs, and leading through change, Tara will focus on ensuring our people programs and practices are firmly established, driving a culture and performance which attract and retain top talent within our markets.

Tara brings over 15 years of Human Resource experience supporting executive leadership at industry leading organizations across industries such as hospitality, real estate and retail. Throughout her career, Tara has established relationships through executive coaching, change leadership and as a devoted employee advocate.

Tara holds a Bachelor of Arts from Queenas University and a post graduate certificate in Strategic Human Resources Management from Royal Roads University.

Q&A with Tara

1. What excites you most about Elastic Path daily?

This is such a unique time to be part of an organization that is on the cusp of incredible growth and change at this stage of maturity. We have the expertise of a seasoned group of subject matter experts, combined with new additions and ideas for innovation, all driving us to create opportunities for our employees and customers that havenat existed in the past. This team is uniquely posed to achieve great success.

2. How do you foresee Commerce changing in the future? How will Elastic Path help customers maneuver said changes?

I see commerce becoming increasingly accessible to a global community, blasting through barriers that existed historically. In my opinion this opens up a world of possibility, potential and learning which works to lower barriers that have may have previously deterred some. It enables visibility for a much broader audience, sparks curiosity and encourages pushing beyond what weave previously thought possible.

3. What is your favorite book and or movie and why?

Any and all works by Haruki Murakami. I am a huge fan of fiction in my down time and Murakamias language, imagination and style are simply magic.

4. Tell us something about yourself, that isn't on LinkedIn or your resume.

I have a goal to retire on a farm, where I can care for a herd of rescue animals, or at the very least several dogs, and where my partner can ski daily during the winters. We have our eye on Sun Peaks in the interior of BC at the moment, but I am wide open to recommendations if anyone has a utopic location to share.

 

Mukesh Judge - Vice President, Cloud Operations, IT & Support

Connect with Mukesh on LinkedIn

As VP, Cloud Operations, IT and Support, Mukesh brings decades of experience in information technology to Elastic Path. In this role, Mukesh provides leadership to the Cloud Engineering, Operations, Customer Support, IT, and Security teams. He is driven to ensure a reliable, secure, and high performing commerce service for customers. Mukesh is passionate about helping businesses use technology to develop their strategic advantage.

Prior to Elastic Path, Mukesh served as a Senior Leader at Cogeco Peer 1 overseeing IT Engineering and Operations, Business Systems and Service Delivery.

Outside of work, Mukesh lives an active lifestyle with his family and is involved in hockey, cycling and hiking.

 


How to set up volume pricing with Elastic Path

In the eCommerce industry, weare always looking for ways to increase conversion rate, maximize average order value, and maintain brand loyalty. One such way that eCommerce merchandisers entice their customers to purchase a larger quantity of their products, is to employ a volume pricing strategy. In this article, we will be discussing what volume pricing is, the benefits of employing a volume pricing strategy, and how to set it up in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud.

 

What is Volume Pricing?

Volume pricing refers to the pricing structure that creates discounts for large quantity purchases. In this type of strategy, specific unit prices are assigned to a quantity range for a product. So this means a customer will get a discounted price per unit, based on the quantity range their purchase falls in. This essentially leads to overall higher discounts for the customer when their purchase falls in a higher quantity range. Letas take a look at an example to better demonstrate this strategy.

Letas say you run a home improvement business, and you have decided to apply a volume pricing strategy with the following ranges:

A customer who chooses to buy 85 units of tiles will only pay 85 x $35 = $2975; compared to 85 x $50 = $4250 that they would have been subjected to pay if volume pricing wasnat deployed. By deploying this strategy you get the opportunity to clean out some of your inventory and make way for new products, while your customer saves $1275.

 

Benefits of Using Volume Pricing

Deploying a volume pricing strategy for products in your catalog can be beneficial for your business.

 

It encourages customers to buy more.

When you offer volume pricing for products, it usually motivates customers to purchase higher quantities so they can receive the discount. This in turn leads to higher sales for your business.

 

It helps to move out inventory.

If your store still contains products that didnat have a high demand during the season, you can deploy a volume pricing strategy to clear our expiring products or simply make way for new ones. This allows you to minimize inventory and at the same time minimize overall shipping cost as well. This type of strategy becomes specifically handy during holiday seasons like Christmas, Easter and Halloween.

 

It could help with converting new customers.

Offering volume pricing to new customers, could cause your business to convert more new customers compared to your competitor. As the strategy has initiated a customeras first purchase, you will now have the opportunity to gain their regular price sales, as well as potential sales for other products as well.

 

It could help with maintaining customers.

Similarly to converting customers, you could also deploy the same strategy to only allow volume pricing to loyal customers. This sense of exclusivity could compel them to shop with your business rather than shopping with your competitor.

 

It could increase your customer base.

By offering this type of value to your customers, you could create affinity towards your brand. This could lead to more customer loyalty, as well as word of mouth marketing to your customersa friends, enticing them to also shop at your store.

 

How Do I Set Up Volume Pricing With Elastic Path?

Setting up volume pricing in Elastic Path is quite simple. Here is a short demo below:

We hope this was helpful. Visit our demo library to explore other features with Elastic Path Commerce Cloud


Can Elastic Path Handle My Large Product Catalog?

It will come as no surprise that the adoption and growth of digital commerce continues to skyrocket amongst branded manufacturers.

According to a recent Gartner Survey, digital commerce revenue increased by 25% from 2019 to 2021. And, 67% of respondents surveyed were powering both B2B and B2C Digital Commerce as part of their strategy.

This survey data reflects what we see in market: more brands coming to Elastic Path with increasingly expansive and complex commerce strategies.

This blog seeks to answer the common questions we receive from brands with growing digital commerce businesses who need an eCommerce platform that scales. We will cover:

  • What does scalability mean for digital commerce?
  • Common scalability concerns for growing brands
  • How Elastic Path Commerce Cloud handles these common concerns

What Does Scalability Mean for Digital Commerce?

Gartner defines scalability as athe measure of a systemas ability to increase or decrease in performance and cost in response to changes in application and system processing demands.

Examples would include how well a hardware system performs when the number of users is increased, how well a database withstands growing numbers of queries, or how well an operating system performs on different classes of hardwarea. As more brands double down on digital, whether expanding to support new geographies, new brands, new business models, or new touchpointsa they need an eCommerce solution that can scale with them.

Simply put, digitally-driven brands need commerce technology that will empower their growth and not hold them back. Scalable commerce technology maintains its speed as you increase your number of customers, SKUs, hierarchies, promotions, customizations, and attributes.

Common Digital Commerce Scalability Concerns

At Elastic Path, the majority of our customers have ambitious growth targets. In order to hit those goals, purchasing scalable commerce technology is key to their success. For this reason, we receive many questions during evaluation processes about our ability to scale. Some of the most common questions include:

  • How many SKUs can you support?
  • Will you be able to support my sale or Black Friday bandwidth increase?
  • How many sites can I run from a single instance?
  • Can I have multiple prices for the same product?
  • Can you support multiple items in a cart or order? (especially relevant for B2B)

Continue reading to learn how we stack up against the needs of growing digitally-driven brands.

Understanding How Elastic Path Commerce Cloud Scales

In summary, Elastic Path is committed to being the commerce technology of choice for our customers when they launch and as they scale. We are constantly improving our systems to handle the ever-increasing needs of brands. In fact, in the last fifty days weave improved the capacity of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud by 50%.

If youare evaluating commerce technology, you likely want to understand specifics. Based on the common questions mentioned above, there are a few key areas we will touch on when it comes to scalability.

Letas start with the most universally popular question across brands:

  • aHow many SKUs can you supporta or aCan You Support My Large Product Catalog?a
  • Our Catalog Composer and Product Content Management capabilities can support millions of SKUs. So, in short, the answer is YES! We can support your large product catalog.
  • aWill you be able to support my sale or Black Friday bandwidth increase?a
  • Yes, Elastic Path was built to scale for whatever high volume shopping days are part of your brand strategy, whether that be Black Friday through Cyber Monday, pop ups, product drops, or semi-annual sales. Our testing methodology includes twice daily performance tests to ensure that brand needs are being met, regardless of day of the week.These daily tests make up one small aspect of the robust program our Performance Engineering team has built to ensure success on your busiest days. A great example of this scalability comes from an Elastic Path customer who needs to support the sale of new iPhones when they drop. This leading US wireless provider and technology company successfully scaled to meet the increasing demands of consumers. On iPhone launch day, they were able to power 4k product calls/minute, 8k order API calls/ min, 60,000 devices sold (peaking at 3.5k in 15 mins), and 450 concurrent carts/min with 0 downtime.
  • aHow many storefronts can I run from a single instance?a
  • Unlike other MACH solutions that have a limit of 500 storefronts per instance, with Elastic Path Commerce Cloud you can support an unlimited number of sites (or storefronts) from one instance. Brands who do not use Elastic Path and need more than 500 storefronts will have to pay for each additional instance. For some businesses, 500 may seem like a large number. But, for B2B businesses who need a unique storefront per account they often have 1,500-2,000 storefronts meaning 3-4 individual instances that need to be deployed and maintained. In short, this limitation ends up costing dollars and resources long term. At Elastic Path our solution was built to enable customers to use one instance and one centralized data source for all sites. This means that brands can support shared cart across brands, power large multi-account B2B digital commerce strategies with no extra cost, and eliminate the manual task of updating and managing products across instances.  

    See Catalog Composer In Action

    Check out our on-demand demo to see how Elastic Path Commerce Cloud makes it easy to manage unlimited unique catalogs for any business.

    Watch Demo The story of reMarkable demonstrates the ability of Elastic Path to support multiple sites running from the same instance. reMarkable, a manufacturer of digital notepads, came to Elastic Path looking for a partner to drive their planned launch and global expansion. In 8 weeks they scaled up from a pre-order site to a fully functioning commerce business running across 39 country-specific storefronts, in 10 currencies. And, during major product launches (like the drop of a new notepad) they scale to 70% increase in orders, with no problem.
  • aCan I have multiple prices for the same product?a
  • Yes. In Elastic Path Commerce Cloud you can create unlimited price books which means you can have multiple prices for the same product. Some examples of when this is important:
    • You want to syndicate the same product assortment to eBay, Amazon, and Walmart but each channel has different pricing for the same products.
    • You want to power your large B2B business where each account has different negotiated pricing for the same product assortment Both of these use cases can be natively supported with the price book capability in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud.
  •  
  • aCan you support multiple items in a cart?a
  • Yes. With Elastic Path Commerce Cloud your customers can create unlimited carts and add up to 100 items in each. Based on our experience in market, we have found this limit to meet both B2B and B2C requirements.

In summary, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud can scale to support your large product catalog, and so much more. With Catalog Composer and Product Content Management you have the control to create all the unique product experiences your brand needs to stay ahead of the competition and delight customers- no compromises required.


What is a PIM solution? How they work and why you need one.

As a business grows, their product information becomes siloed and dispersed, becoming harder to organize, access, and use. Product attributes, imagery, detailed descriptions, and supplier information eventually become extremely difficult to manage, slowing workflows and impacting customer experiences.

To alleviate this pain point, many brands evaluate Product Information Management (PIM) solutions. Akeneo, a global leader in Product Experience Management solutions, defines PIM as providing aa single place for businesses to collect, manage, and enrich their product informationa.

PIM solutions can help businesses overcome some of the major challenges with managing and utilizing product information as they continue to grow. This article delves into how PIM solutions work, some key considerations for businesses looking to implement PIM systems, and the various advantages offered by PIM.

What is a PIM Solution and Why Is It Useful?

Over the past few years, commerce has shifted towards a digital-first approach, with customers demanding more streamlined digital experiences and new options for digital self-service. To adapt to these new trends and prove ROI, Marketing, IT, and Commerce teams are responsible for delivering digitized product information, quickly and clearly. A PIM solution helps brands to manage product information, improving their ability to quickly retrieve and use key data to power digital buying experiences.

Implementing a PIM solution helps a brand ensure that quality data is organized for internal use and multichannel distribution, consolidating relevant product information onto a single platform. With the rapid digitization of sales and continued expansion into new channels, opting for a PIM solution can help connect different channels to preserve product data quality. Some of the key capabilities offered by PIM solutions include:

  • Improving product data quality across all channels
  • Tracking product progress and completion
  • Managing and modifying relationships between products
  • Collecting data from existing sources
  • Cleaning and centralizing scattered data
  • Specifying priorities across different data sources
  • Enriching product information
  • Translating product information into different languages
  • Linking images, media, and documents to different products
  • Building customized product feeds
  • Curating and creating product sheets
  • Analyzing and tracking product performance

Marketers, eCommerce Managers, and Data Analytics teams can all utilize PIM to collect, enrich, streamline, and improve product information and data across multiple channels. This can significantly improve customer experiences, while helping businesses gain an edge over their competitors by getting to market quicker while reducing overheads and wasted resources.

How does PIM work?

A PIM Solution collects, manages, and enriches data in a single place. The figure below visualizes how PIM works at a high level.

  • Product information and data is collected from various internal and external data sources, ranging from ERP systems to suppliers.
  • The information is loaded into the PIM solution, which allows users to enrich, maintain, and translate the data
  • User management tools, business rules, and validation workflows support the enrichment and maintenance of data
  • Product information can then be distributed to various commerce channels, including eCommerce platforms, marketplace listings, and mobile applications
  • A PIM uses various data types, such as:

    • Technical Data a Specifications and measures (e.g. - material, colors, ingredients
    • Usage Data a Descriptions (e.g. a how-to, where-used)
    • Emotional Data a Product stories and rich descriptions (e.g. a imagery that builds strong, emotional connections with buyers)
    • Media Files a Images, PDFs, Videos

    Businesses typically have a large amount of different types of data that support a single product throughout its lifecycle. Using a PIM system helps streamline product information management and speeds up the process between retrieving, improving, and displaying the data. For example, a PIM system can load descriptive product information that uses a combination of emotional data and media files as content into a catalog management solution.

    Here, products may be grouped into target markets, based on usage and technical data. Some of the key information that businesses can use a PIM to manage include:

    • Essential Product Data a SKUs, product names, product descriptions, UPCs
    • Marketing Data a Keywords, target personas, SEO elements
    • Design Specifications a Style sheets, assembly instructions
    • Channel Information a Google categories, mobile descriptions
    • Supplier Manufacturer Data a Spreadsheets, certifications, bills

    Who needs a PIM Solution?

    PIM Solutions can be useful to all types of brands, B2C, B2B2C, or B2B, who aim to deliver frictionless, consistent, and engaging digital experiences that drive growth and improve their relationships with customers.

    Implementing a PIM solution can help streamline data across different channels. This is particularly useful for marketing, merchandising, and product management teams, as siloed and fragmented data can make it difficult to obtain and present a clear view of product information.

    Companies that anticipate or are currently entering a growth phase should particularly consider PIM solutions. With new customers and expansion into different channels, information will become increasingly scattered and siloed. As a result of this, teams may waste time and resources on managing and maintaining product data, both internally and with external groups.

    Additionally, firms that are currently struggling with managing product information or are spending excessive time and resources on managing data should also look to PIM as an effective method to collecting and cleaning their data. This will help to avoid missed opportunities, lost revenue, and falling market share to competitors.

    Some of the specific individuals that should consider a PIM software are:

    • Marketers looking to deliver a consistent omni-channel product experience
    • eCommerce Managers that want to prioritize product data quality to drive online sales
    • Retailers hoping to strengthen or create relationships with suppliers
    • Brands attempting to build or boost customer loyalty and satisfaction
    • Managers seeking methods to reduce overheads and wasted resources
    • Data Governance teams who want to track and meet compliance needs
    • Strategy experts considering new approaches to get to market faster than competitors
    • Sales teams that aim to sell more through better content and data accessibility
     

    Product Content Management with Elastic Path

    At Elastic Path our Product Content Management capability offers many of the core features of a PIM solution including data consolidation, enrichment, organization, and syndication.  While it does not include robust workflow functionality, the core set of features are sufficient to meet the needs of many brands evaluating a PIM solution.  Plus, since it is part of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud product it seamlessly works with our Catalog Composer capability, enabling brands to create the unique and complex product- centric experiences their business needs.  

    Key Statistics and Additional Benefits of using a PIM

    PIM has grown rapidly over the past few years, and more companies are expected to adopt PIM in the future. Customersa expectations for high quality, thorough, and accurate product information is expected to rise, and companies are investing in PIM to meet these demands.

    Furthermore, compared to IT-led Master Data Management (MDM) initiatives, implementing a PIM system is faster and more cost effective, simultaneously offering a myriad of measurable business benefits. Below are some statistics that highlight the growth of and key trends in PIM:

    • The PIM category has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 25.3%, reaching over $15 Billion dollars in 2021
    • The global PIM market is projected to reach $59.25 billion by 2027
    • Asia-Pacific is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR of 28.3%
    • PIM Software has been projected to be one of the most lucrative segments in the 2020-forecast period
    • The emergence of COVID-19 is expected to increase the demand for and growth of PIM
    • Cloud-based PIM solutions are expected to grow at the highest rate during the 2020-forecast period
    • PIM automates up to 80% of typical manual tasks

    With its anticipate growth and the efficiencies it offers, PIM provides teams with the ability to enrich their product information, keep it clean and consistent, and improve customer experiences. Some additional benefits of utilizing PIM are:

    • Increasing sales conversion rates: Higher quality data that incorporates different data types can boost customer conversion rates. Using a PIM solution can further help marketing teams make media and product descriptions specific to different channels.
    • Improved customization: Firms can use PIM solutions to scale more effectively, as product experiences can be tailored and customized to match the specific needs and profiles of different customers.
    • Boosted speed: PIM tools provide companies with a competitive edge, enabling them to streamline data collection and product information enrichment processes to get to market more quickly.
    • Support for growth: As companies scale and grow, data becomes increasingly scattered and siloed. Implementing a PIM system early on can help brands avoid missing out on opportunities and wasting resources as data management becomes harder with anticipated growth.
    • Decreased product returns: Research shows that incomplete or inaccurate product information are the key drivers of product returns. Product returns can increase costs and can cause a firm to lose customers; PIM reduces return rates by eliminating data errors and using validation processes to help deliver complete and correct information.
    • Higher team productivity: PIM solutions automate many manual tasks, helping product marketing teams focus on building strong and compelling product descriptions. PIM systems also support the enrichment of data through built-in workflows, improving collaboration and productivity across different departments.
    • Catalyzing expansion: By reducing the amount of time spent on managing current products and existing data, teams have more opportunities to research and innovate. PIM solutions provide the tools needed for omnichannel marketing, while also offering translation, review, and publishing tools to support entry into new regions or markets.

    PIM is changing the game

    For many brands, a PIM solution can be a game changer. By solving common data and information management issues, providing a variety of tools for expansion and customization, and supporting productivity across different teams, PIM can help firms improve current processes and create high-quality product data.

    Deploying a PIM can improve the level of control, organization, and speed within your marketing team, whether your firm is a B2B or B2C. The PIM market is expected to continue its rapid growth, and more and more firms are adopting a PIM solution that fits the needs of their organization.

    Implementing a PIM solution early on can support your firms growth and support future expansion, simultaneously improving customer experiences, retention, and brand image.


    How Will Online Buying Evolve in 2022 and Beyond?

    By now we are all familiar with what the global pandemic did to buying behavior and how that affected some of the worldas biggest brands. We had winners and losers, and the common denominator between winning and losing came down to agility to transform customer engagement or the fact that the business was deemed aessentiala by the government.

    You can see below some very recognizable brands could not survive the impacts of the pandemic.

    However, it would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall to know how many of these brands were discussing or maybe even in the process of budget planning to transform using digital experiences leading up to February 2020.

    The buyer trend for more online and digital experience was already present in the market pre-pandemic, which is why some were ahead of the game as early adopters, but why companies did not prioritize would be interesting 2020 hindsight to learn from.

    (Source)

    Now that that the dust is settling, we are moving from reactive to a more proactive planning for eCommerce and while there was a rush to pivot online back in 2020, our buyers are now discussing how to improve and or replace what was in place and looking to afuture proofa their eCommerce approach going into 2022.

    Future proofing the eCommerce experience is all about how you invest in technology and ensuring the foundational components are flexible and adaptable to the unknown future of buying experience and back-office workflows.

    What was once a bleeding edge experience that differentiated brands is quickly become part of the standard expectation of the buyer.

    Just consider a basic use case we all live with every day. We are not far from a time when most restaurants big or small had very little in the form of online presence and only the big brands like Dominos or Applebeeas had a way to order and pay online for delivery and take out.

    Then came the adelivery marketplacesa like Uber Eats and Grub Hub which expanded the opportunity to digitally order your dinner and providing more local restaurants a channel to sell online.

    Building a marketplace of you own?

    Discover how Elastic Path Commerce Cloud can power and support your marketplace.

    Learn More

    Living up in Southern NH (which is only 32 miles from Boston a so not the back woods by any means), there were not many options for either just before the pandemic. We were lucky to find a menu online and we had to pick up the phone to place an order for delivery or pick-up.

    Within a matter of months every restaurant trying to survive, big or small, had dedicated parking for online ordering, they all had menus online and ways to purchase using credit card or PayPal. Some of the bigger chains spun up mobile apps to try and create a brand presence and accommodate multiple locations within a buying area.

    I can tell you firsthand that some did it well, but most took an MVP approach that had buyers like me going back to the phone only because the food is good. The few that did it well have earned new business from me, but they are the exception vs. the rule and sad to say they are the bigger chains with deeper pockets.

    Now that life is getting back to some normalcy just having a shopping cart online or mobile app is not going to be enough. Buying behavior has shifted and we the buyer are expecting better, multi-channel experiences. We donat want to go to the store because we half to, we are going back because we want a day out of the house, and we might not even buy anything. If I need something I just go online and order it.

    So, this shift is not only changing the experience online it is also changing how we interact in person.

    While I am not a fortune teller that can predict what new buying trends will emerge in 2022, I did want to share some customer experience examples every brand and retailer needs to be doing to just meet buyer expectations.

    When reading this, If you consider these things are hard to do because of the eCommerce technology you have today, then that is a major signal that you might need to start looking for a different, afuture proofa eCommerce solution.

    Also keep in mind, the biggest question you need to ask the technology vendors is not can you do this or show me where you have done this a but rather how fast did your customers do this, how much did they have to customize the solution to make it work? If you can transform quickly, you will never be able to keep up with the ever-changing and increasing buyer expectations.

    Blending Online and Offline is already the expectation

    Retailers that quickly merged online and offline experience with options like Curbside pick-up were on the winning side of the buyer shift that happened in the pandemic.

    I briefly mentioned this in another article I recently wrote as being one the keys to Best Buyas winning without being aessentiala. Digital Commerce 360 did a study earlier this year on the topic and below shows just how much this experience has been adopted from December 2019 (pre-pandemic) to August 2020.

    What is interesting is now we are starting to see the effect this having on how the physical experience is shifting.

    Companies are looking to invest in smaller retail space that is optimized for pick-up and delivery. In fact, I would not be surprised to see dedicated drive thru lanes for services like Uber Eats and Grub Hub and maybe even loyal online buyer pick up window at McDonalds coming soon.

    And I can even envision adistributiona sites where there is only a kitchen so that companies can operate in lower cost industrial districts vs. paying higher rent on Main Street.

    These points illustrate why afuture proofa decisions for technology need to be more cloud-based and composable, per Gartner Groups "By 2023, organizations that have adopted a Composable Commerce approach will outpace competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation."

    Other use cases that blend of online and offline:

    • Contactless checkout. Provides a unique buying experience where there is never a que to pay. Even the self-service lines are getting longer as less clerks run registers. This allows the buyer to skip the line all together and your staff can spend more time helping customer 1x1 on the floor and stuck behind a bar code scanner.
    • Having a data driven catalog solution means you can ensure the in-store experience is the same as online. Buyers can see product in the store and even if it is not available in that store, they can find it online with the same price and option to purchase and ship to their home. The data and availability is in full sync with your warehouses.

    Sell your brand direct to great trust and loyalty

    Marketplaces and retail sites are great ways to get your product exposed, but then you are just a commodity stuck presenting your product the same way as your competition.

    However, you need to have a place where you can control the online experience and have that work seamlessly with the marketplaces and retails you also may use a online and offline. If you currently are managing the information about your products and services in silos across these channels, you may not be operating on a afuture proofa platform.

    Many eCommerce vendors claim multi-channel as a strength, but really, they are just enabling loosely couple separate instances that require a ton of user and technical support to operate effectively across channels.

    Adding to this complexity and something that is at the heart of Elastic Pathas customer base is multi-brand and multi-geo. In order to have a seamless experience across this ecosystem you need to consider how well your current platform enables this integration on both the customer experience and back-office operations. The bigger and more diversified your company gets, the harder this will get.

    While the quick to deploy cloud monolith might look attractive to get started. You will soon outgrow it if you are successful, and you will likely fail to scale with an experience buyers will expect as a standard in the near future, as more and more buying happens across digital channels.

    Want curbside pick up or contactless checkout?

    Elastic Path enables you to quickly and easily spin up new digital purchasing pathways so you can keep up with modern customer demands and scale your business.

    Learn more

    Channel variety will continue to diversify

    Think about why major brands had to be on main street or in the mall? Foot traffic.

    They knew that just by being visible to buyers when they went out shopping would help drive revenue, even if they if what they were selling was not the main reason a buyer went out.

    Now that the buyer is spending more time online and the internet can reach everyone no matter if they are at home, work or on vacation the new main street is social media. But it is not enough to just promote you brand with ads and sponsored posts.

    You need to have a personal presence and you need to make it easy to transact within the social experience. Using social will continue to rise according to most experts and the statistics are amazing for how things look today, considering MySpace came on the scene less than 20 years ago. Below are some stats compiled by Hootsuite earlier this year.

    (Source)

    It will be in the best interest if the social platform and seller to utilize open, standard ways to connect a aka APIs. But not just any API, these connections need to flexible and capable of connecting without custom code.

    This again underscores the importance of having a modern, composable eCommerce platform designed to connect in a modern cloud world.

    Buying Online will become the experience

    Back to the mall one more time. Remember when going to mall meant hanging with friends, going to music store to check out the latest album or heading to Footlocker to check out Nikeas latest new kicks.

    All that is gone, but we are still visual and social beings. The experience online needs get better in this area to win. If the experience online is not a good one and your product does not create an emotional bond with buyer, you will lose. But it will go beyond cool websites and mobile apps as technology like VR/AR being to take hold.

    According to Goldman Sachs, the market for AR and VR in retail will reach $1.6 billion by 2025.

    The fact is most current eCommerce platforms are not ready to meet the unknown future, which is why we are seeing growing interest in the market for headless commerce solutions.

    However, companies that want to future proof eCommerce need to think beyond the CMS and Mobile as the head a they need to image a world where everything we interact with can become an interface to transact. That is why you need to consider platforms that have been built from the ground up using open API architectures.

    To those platforms, the aheada can be just about anything you can imagine it to be.


    Inside Elastic Path: Joining the Team

    Emily Kathi recently joined Elastic Path as our Senior Content Marketing Writer. She has a Journalism background with past experience as a lead copywriter on creative and marketing teams; telling good stories through blogs, social media campaigns, branding, and advertising. Sheas also freelanced as a feature writer and revitalized web site copy for relaunch. Keep reading to learn about Emilyas position and what is has been like joining Elastic Path.

    Q: How has your first 30 days been since joining Elastic Path?

    Emily: When I first heard about the role at Elastic Path, I was attracted to the role because I'd be creating new content on a daily basis. While I do have experience in the industrial technology space, writing about eCommerce is new to me. The learning curve has been an interesting and exciting journey so far. My Journalism training has definitely prepared me for embracing change with a curious mind. The people at Elastic Path have made my onboarding both open and welcoming, especially the marketing team. Their accessibility has been impressive, and everyone is willing to help me learn and give me the tools to succeed.

    Q: What are your key learnings at Elastic Path so far?

    Q: What made you join Elastic Path?

    Emily: When I first was reading about the job description, the industry seemed so fascinating to me. There is so much opportunity to grow as a writer and so much to learn, I can set my path as an employee at Elastic Path. Though I have only been here for 30 days, I can see the groundwork to grow as individual within my role and my own personal development.

    Q: What would you say to someone who decided to apply for Elastic Path?

    Emily: If you are looking to apply, I would highly encourage it. If you want to grow, stretch, be a better creative thinker, innovator, or look for ways to expand your skill sets, this is the company to work for.

    Q: What is the highlight of your workday/week?

    Emily: So far, itas the weekly marketing team retro every Friday. I appreciate the recap from the work week and hear about what others have accomplished and how weare achieving our sprint goals. The retroas are a time to share wins and reflect on opportunities to learn.

    Q: What do you love about Elastic Path so far?

    Emily: I love the opportunity to work remotely but also be a part of a collaborative, open team. I appreciate having a voice and an open invitation to share input and contribute to a team who values me.

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

    Emily: The culture at Elastic Path is open and transparent. I feel trusted as a professional to share ideas and have a seat at the table. Ideas and information are shared across departments toward common goals.

    Q: What do you like to do during your free time?

    Emily: During my free time I like to cook for my family and friends. I love getting large groups together to share food and have great conversations. . I also like camping, hiking, and skiing. Lately Iave been biking more in the city. Itas been great to get out especially when the weather is warm, to stay active and not use my car so much to get where I need to be. Iam fortunate to live in a walkable neighborhood where I have food and entertainment close by.

    Stay tuned for our next aInside Elastic Patha series. If you are interested joining our team, check out our open listings and apply today.


    Jamstack Conference 2021: How it started, where itas going

    This yearas Jamstack conference featured a 90s theme, complete with an opening reminiscent of Full House and shows of the era: big hair, big cast, and all the cheese you can handle in two minutes. A big win for Netlify as it kept the conference moving along with humor and nostalgia. They even unearthed graphics and video from shows of the day and created new clips throughout as they introduced new sessions. Well done!

    The web is winning  

    Netlifyas CEO Matt Biilman kicked us off on a journey from when the web was considered dead some 20 years ago to where itas winning today. As the shift continues from monolith to API-first, Biilman walked us through what drives innovation in development ops to create more robust and resilient user experiences. He highlighted the continuing saga between multi-page and single page apps, and how content is rendered through various hydration models.

    Biilman was joined in the keynote by a handful of leaders in the community who provided thoughtful insight about the future of Jamstack, including creators from Svelte and Vite.

    A shout out here to Phil Hawksworth at Netlify for his tea time footage; it kept us engaged and entertained. A+ content!

    Breakout star: Laurie Voss

    One of the more insightful sessions came from Netlifyas own data evangelist, Laurie Voss. He presented survey findings from approximately 7,500 Jamstack users, entitled aJamstack is Eating the World.a

    A couple of interesting points within the findings: while full-time developers and engineers lead the charge in the community, 2021 saw a significant rise in student employment. Voss indicated this may be in part to the pandemic, as typically an education shift occurs in uncertain times, and a shift to Jamstack architecture taught as the foundational default.

    Another key point: over 30% of responders reported a shift to remote work in 2021 even after pandemic conditions were lifted. How we work and collaborate has a new face, and how it affects the product (and the emotional state of its workers) is a case study in and of itself.

    I highly suggest checking out Vossa full presentation on YouTube when you have a chance. He goes into more detail on what developers are building, the tools they prefer, and what their priorities are for new projects. His presentation provides further evidence of where Jamstack is going and what the community looks like.

    Additional Jamstack Conference 2021 highlights:

    • The Jamsnacks! Whatas an event without snacks? Peppered throughout the conference were whatas new in apps in just two minutes, or the Jamsnack. Quick-hitting and informative, these were welcome breaks between longer form content and sessions.

    • The Lounge a an opportunity to chat amongst ourselves and get to know more about event sponsors (like Elastic Path!). Bonus:  casual conversation about beloved 90s shows. It was gold.  
    • Lightning Launches a these ran about 10 minutes or so in the Innovation and Tools track and highlighted new products/features on the scene including a demo. Great job to Supabase, Astro, and Sanity for exceptional content and creativity on a time crunch!  
    • Awards a kudos are key in all spaces, and the Jamstack community is no exception. The aJammiesa recognized excellence for company, project, and individual contributor levels in these categories:  
      • Social Impact: A11Y project
      • Ecosystem Innovation: Astro
      • Community Creator: Salma Alam-Naylor
      • Project of the Year: Twilio Console

    Itas a wrap on Jamstack 2021:

    Again, I would highly recommend perusing the content on YouTube, especially since you can pick and choose where to spend time. You wonat have the perk of chatting in real time with fellow Jamstack community members and innovators, but youall get a feel for what the buzz is all about.

     

    Jamstack & Elastic Path:

    Jamstack architecture and the Elastic Path Commerce Cloud product play exceptionally well in the sand box. Together they provide control, speed, and trust in the digital commerce experience. You have the power to deliver a reliable, and truly differentiated solution based on your business needs today, and where you are going tomorrow.  Want to see it in action?

    Jamstack is certainly key to us as we pursue the best in headless commerce solutions. We were thrilled to be a Jamstack Conference sponsor this year, and I personally enjoyed the deep dive into whatas new! Check out our resource library for more hot topicsa|


    APIs vs Microservices: What's The Difference

    If youare in the eCommerce space, youave likely heard of aAPIsa and aMicroservicesa at least once. Conversations surrounding these terms often circulate when trying to compare eCommerce solutions for practitioners, and when trying to execute tasks for developers.

    aOh well I heard that eCommerce solution has 300 Microservicesa

    aI want my solution to be API-Firsta

    aItas easy to do this with a few API calls, it should only take a few minutesa

    Because APIs and Microservices work so closely together and often overlap in their uses, experts tend to speak about them freely without much context. However, this often leaves non-experts confused about what they really are, how they are used and how they can benefit their eCommerce solution. Thatas why I took the liberty to talk to one of our experts here at Elastic Path, Chris Wraith, Director of Engineering, to provide some context on the basics of APIs and Microservices. Take a peek at our conversation below a

     

    Shaneil:

    Chris, I think itas best to start at the beginning with aWhat is an API?a

     

    Chris:

    The root of APIs comes from Application Programming Interface which really just describes a contract between different parts of a program and a system. In the context of web and eCommerce, when people talk about APIs, what they mean is HTTP APIs, so for example, REST APIs or JSON APIs. But when you boil it down to its roots, itas a contract between a service provider and a client where the service provider agrees to provide something given a certain input.

     

    Shaneil:

    To break it down even simpler, what is an example of a service provider receiving an input?

     

    Chris:

    If we look at an eCommerce example, an example would be if you had an inventory service. An inventory service might have an API called aget inventorya, it takes input of a product, and maybe you will get back something that tells you how many of that product you have. So effectively it's a contract that says, aif you give me this input, I will give you this output and here's how you get that information and here's what I need to provide you that service.a

     

    Shaneil:

    So, APIs are a lot simpler than I thought because they can be used a lot in everyday life.

     

    Chris:

    Exactly! The thing with APIs -- They always have an objective and they always accomplish something. Sometimes it's a simple matter of, if you give me this input and you get this output or sometimes it's you request me to do something, then I'll go off and do that.

    It could even be as simple as a request to calculate the sum of a list of numbers, or it could be more complicated as providing a text transcription when an audio file is inputted. But as you said, they can be used anywhere -- Anything you can encapsulate in a contract or any service you can describe can be an API.

     

    Shaneil:

    So, it seems like APIs have been around for quite some time, so why is there now a huge debate about choosing between API-driven eCommerce solutions and out-of-the-box eCommerce solutions? Because Iam assuming APIs are still working in the backend of the out-of-the-box solution, but probably with just less availability to be customized. Can you help to clarify that?

     

    Chris:

    Well, it depends. When people say that they want APIs in a commerce solution, what they really mean is that they want APIs to be first class citizens. They want the APIs to be the things that they're paying the money for when they buy that particular solution.

    However, when you buy an out-of-the-box solution, what youare most likely to get is a set of templates where the APIs are underneath it all. So, you don't necessarily get access to the APIs, but they are probably still there. In an out-of-the-box solution, providers might not want to share the details of these APIS because they might think of the APIs as only being for them and not for the customer.

    Whereas when API is the thing that the customer is buying, they get to consume those APIs in whatever way they want, across all of the customer journey. This grants the ability to construct that really custom and perfect user journey that you want for your customers and that's the, you know, the uniqueness that you get with Headless Commerce.

     

    Shaneil

    That makes so much sense. The flexibility granted here is key. Is there anything that clients really care about when evaluating APIs with an eCommerce vendor?

     

    Chris:

    Like I mentioned before, the important thing about an API is that it's a contract. So, from the client's point of view, they know that if they provide the particular input to the API they'll get a particular output. And thatas all they really care about. They don't really care how that operation is accomplished; they just want to get back the right output.

    However, one more thing they might think about is how long it takes to fulfill their request. Part of that contract in a lot of cases is what we loosely call the anon-functional requirements,a i.e. how long it would take to process or the performance expectations around it. But generally speaking, clients might care about the inputs, outputs, how long it's going to take and how it performs.

     

    Shaneil:

    Is there a way that a client would be able to know right off the bat if eCommerce vendoras APIs are slow or not?

     

    Chris:

    Well, most service providers will give an idea of how long the requests in their systems are expected to take. At Elastic Path we try to ensure that all of our requests return within a certain time (100 milliseconds). But generally speaking, it's not always something that people publish with their APIs. However, an important consideration when you're buying a solution is whether the API requests will be fast enough for your needs.

     

    Shaneil:

    Thanks Chris. So, letas shift over to microservices. In your eyes, what are microservices?

     

    Chris:

    Well, for me, it's the way of architecting an application. But as you know, there will be a lot of disagreements about what the exact definition is. So, what I like to do with these things is to take them back to first principles and understand why they were designed that way. And for me, microservices is really just about implementing an age-old idea in computing, which dates back to the 60s and 70s, which is just always making sure that things that you build are loosely coupled and highly cohesive.

    What that means is that where you have different parts of the system working together, when they talk to each other via APIs, which weave just spoken about -- those APIs are well defined contracts which creates this sort of loose coupling effect, where changing a something internally in the system in aAa doesnat affect the system in aBa

    And so microservices are really just a design principle that helps with loose coupling and high cohesion. This means that you can have all the related functionality together in a single micro service and still interact with functionality from another part of the system without being tightly woven together to break the function, but still cohesive enough to work in symbiosis.

     

    Shaneil:

    So, how do microservices solutions differ from traditional monolithic solutions?

     

    Chris:

    You know, people bash monoliths all the time, but Monoliths can be well designed as well. It just all comes back to that old software engineering principle of loose coupling and high cohesion. So, this can definitely be achieved in a monolith as well. However, the reason we use microservices is because we think it's easier to achieve that loose coupling and high cohesion. Working with microservices kind of forces you down the right route and makes it much harder for you to make bad design decisions if you're in a well-designed microservices environment.

    When you compare that to doing it in a monolithic set up, it's really easy if you're a developer in a monolithic application to make a decision and add certain functionality in a section it wasnat designed to be in because it also holds similar functionality that you recognize. So, when a developer adds their code in the wrong section, you end up losing that cohesion and introduce tight coupling between components that really shouldnat be coupled together. And that is when you get that scenario where somebody makes a change in aAa and breaks something else in aBa

     

    Shaneil:

    Oh yes, we have heard so much about companies struggling with these issues in the backend of their system and therefore have had to implement continuous regression and quality assurance testing to avoid any breaking. So now that we have a basic understanding of both terms, what would you say is the main difference between APIs and Microservices?

     

    Chris:

    So, an API is like your contract, and it says this is what this particular thing does and the microservices, how you would implement that contract. I will say however that it's not necessarily a 1 to 1 mapping between them. So, you might have an API that has a number of different capabilities in it, and you might have one micro service that implements all of them. Equally you might have another API that sits across two or three different microservices that all come together to implement that particular piece of functionality. So, in all, the difference is that an API is a contract that says agiven this input, you'll get this output,a while microservices is a way of delivering some or all of that functionality.

     

    Shaneil:

    So essentially microservices work in conjunction with APIs to fulfill clientsa requests. So, do you have any final advice for customers regarding microservices and APIs?

     

    Chris:

    Well, if someone is thinking about the way that they should design an eCommerce platform, they will probably want to be thinking about microservices for themselves, but when it comes to choosing an eCommerce provider, they want to be thinking about APIs So my point is, for the bit of the solution that they want to build, it makes sense to build them as microservices because then you get your nice loose coupling high cohesion, that we all aspire. But what you really care about when you're getting services from other people is APIs, because you want to know what youare getting, what you need to give that service to get what you need from it. Thinking about that means that, you know, the bits that you design are well-designed, and you know exactly what you're going to get from all of the providers that are going to come together to form your eCommerce solution.

    Well, I hope this was helpful in understanding the difference between APIs and Microservices. You can explore more about microservices and understand if they may be right for you here. But as always if you have any questions feel free to reach out to us over chat.


    21 Data-Backed Reasons That Point to Why you Should Consider an Omnichannel Strategy in 2022

    Connecting with shoppers has never been as easy, or as difficult, as it is today. There are any number of channels businesses can use to market and sell their products, ranging from their own website or third-party marketplaces, to brick-and-mortar stores or even the traditional sales team.

    While you could probably find a buyer through any of these channels, connecting and converting the right buyers will depend on you reaching your customers when and where they are. That could be on Instagram, in their email inbox, on Amazon, or over the phone.

    While it can be daunting to try and strategize across a variety of different platforms, apps, mediums, and devices, recent buyer data has never been clearer a the single-channel shopper is dying.

    Taking an omnichannel approach to your commerce strategy will become core for your business to meet modern consumer demands, improve your customer experience and ultimately, your bottom line. Businesses like Stance, Bank of America, and Starbucks, are all great examples of businesses with omnichannel experiences.

    But, there is a catch. And it isnat just budget.

    The key to an omnichannel commerce strategy (and how it differs from a multichannel strategy) lies not only in the mix of channels your business is leveraging, but in how those channels integrate and connect the customeras journey.

    Buyers today expect their shopping experience to be as convenient and personalized as possible. If theyare researching online, they might want to know the nearest in-store location they can pick up their desired products up at. If they order online, they might want to return in store. While customer preferences will vary based on your business (the products you sell, your ecommerce business model, industry, and location), the same underlying behaviors impact everyone a and the answer is omnichannel.

    Hereas a few compelling statistics to help convince you that you should pivot to an omnichannel strategy if youare not thinking about it already:

    Customer buying habits are already multichannel...

    • 15 years ago the average consumer typically used two touch-points when buying an item and only 7% regularly used more than four. Today consumers use an average of almost six touch-points with nearly 50% regularly using more than four. (Marketing Week)
    • 59% of shoppersa-surveyed say they research online before they buy to ensure they are making the best possible choice. (Google)
    • 98% of Americans switch between devices in the same day. (Google Research)
    • 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. (Forrester)

    ...And rapidly moving towards omnichannel

    • 50% of shoppers expect that they will be able to make a purchase online and pick up in-store. (Forrester)
    • The number of orders placed online and picked up at bricks-and-mortar stores by customers grew 208% during the pandemic. (Adobe Analytics, 2020)
    • 71% of shoppers agree that it is important or very important to be able to view inventory information for in-store products. (Forrester)
    • 45% of shoppers in-store expect sales associates to be knowledgeable about online-only products. (Forrester)
    • Over 35% of customers expect to be able to contact the same customer service representative on any channel. (Zendesk)

    Ready to Bring Your Own Omnichannel 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

    Omnichannel ecommerce will increase revenue...

    • Companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, compared to 3.4% for weak omnichannel companies. Similarly, strong omnichannel companies see a 7.5% year-over-year decrease in cost per contact, compared to a 0.2% year-over-year decrease for weak companies.a-(Aberdeen Group)
    • Omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel. (Google)
    • Omnichannel customers spend 4% more in-store and 10% more online than single-channel customers. For every additional channel they use, customers spend more money. (Harvard Business Review)
    • Customers that also used 4 or more channels, spent 9% more in-store when compared to just one channel (Harvard Business Review)
    • Marketers using three or more channels in any one campaign earned a 250% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign. (Omnisend)

    ...And improve customer retention

    • Companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement. (Invesp)
    • 74% of consumers are willing to abandon a brand if the purchasing process isn't easy to navigate. (Source)

    An omnichannel strategy will make it easier to deliver consistent, personalized, and seamless the shopping experiences:

    • 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.(Accenture)
    • 67% of consumers think itas important for brands to automatically adjust content based on current context. When brands don't adjust accordingly, 42% of consumers will "get annoyed" that content isnat personalized. (Adobe)
    • 71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal. (Segment)
    • About 73% of consumers will ghost a brand after three or fewer negative customer service experiences (Coveo)
    • 74% of consumers would find aliving profilesa valuable if they could be used to curate the experiences, offers, and products they receive. (Accenture)

    Building a unified customer experience that can be delivered seamlessly across any touchpoint is the path to a future-proofed business. Buyers can either be fickle or have a deep affiliation for your brand and how you engage with them will make or break that bond. Positive experiences will mean less abandoned shopping carts, better reviews and in the end, expanded sales and less churn for your business.

    If youare looking to get started with omnichannel ecommerce, or have already implemented the approach, Elastic Path can help you bring your vision to life and simplify the process with a flexible omnichannel commerce solutions. Chat with an expert today to get started.


    Inside Elastic Path with our Marketing Interns

    Our latest Inside Elastic Path series features the marketing interns and as a marketing intern myself, I could not be any more excited to share my story with you. My name is Michaela and Iam currently pursuing a masteras degree in Integrated Marketing and Communication at Stonehill College. My focus is on content marketing, so writing blog posts like this is right up my ally. We have two additional interns on the marketing team. Cody Tu and Rudra Bharat. Cody is a Graphic Design Intern, who is studying at Massachusetts College of Arts and Design and getting a degree in Communication Design. Rudra Bharat was born and raised in Malaysia and came to the states to study Economics at Boston University. Keep reading to learn more about what itas like to be an intern on the marketing team!

    Q: Can you describe a usual workday as a Digital Marketing Co-Op Intern?

    Rudra: A typical workday starts with meeting with my manager to go over my day-to-day tasks and show any deliverables I have been working on. Once we go over my week, I will work on sprint tasks to work on the deliverables I have for that upcoming week. I also will attend marketing team meetings to go over sprint tasks, and to go over our weekly wins during our Friday retro meetings.

    Q: Can you describe a usual workday as a Content Marketing Co-Op Intern?

    Michaela: As a Content Marketing Co-Op intern, I manage the social media channels for Elastic Path. I create content to highlight on our LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. I pull metrics where we find engagement and followers to increase and find new solutions to attract our audience online. I also assist in the abehind the scenesa working with webinars for Elastic Path and assist in sending emails to register for our aall demo, no pitcha webinars. I have also been writing blogs for our company website!

    Q: Can you describe a usual workday as a Graphic Design Co-Op Intern?

    Cody: I start my day off with meeting with my supervisor to go over my day-to-day responsibilities. Next, I will go into Jira, to check in on tasks for that week. I also double check with other coworkers who have assigned me tasks to make sure we are on the same page before I get started on creating graphics for upcoming assignments.

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

     

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

    Cody: Working on the state of composable commerce report graphics, I am also working through a video portion right now, which is something I am most proud of. I enjoy seeing the data and the graphics come along.

    Michaela: In my current role, something I am most proud of is writing blog posts and seeing them published on our company website. This is new for me, so being able to see your work go live online is awesome.

    Rudra: Being able to see my blog posts being published is something I am most proud of. I havenat written a blog post since this internship experience, and it is something that is new to me as well. I am learning how to focus on specific content to write about, which I find myself learning day to day.

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

    The culture at Elastic Path is very friendly, supportive and community focused. Everyone is willing to help on your own team or other teams if you have any questions. Cody states, that he likes the fact that the marketing team is small, since it is very easy to communicate with peers, coworkers and being able to get tasks done in a short period of time. Rudra also describes the culture as: welcoming, warm, and the company at Elastic Path is like one big family.

    Q: What do you love about Elastic Path?

    Cody: Being able to have a lot of creative freedom, especially working with ads. I am doing AB Testing with the ads. We are trying new videos, new formats, new graphic styles, new animations and trying new designs to the which results are doing better. Michaela: I love the people and the culture at Elastic Path. Everyone is based in different time zones, but we are willing to work later for unanswered questions or late-night chats if needed. Rudra: One thing I love about Elastic Path is that I can meet the more employees at Elastic Path through our acoffee-chatsa we have. This is where we can meet other employees in the company and spend 30 minutes to get to know another individual through zoom and have coffee, lunch or even just a snack. Since I only interact with the marketing team, it has been nice to meet other faces virtually in the company.

    Q: What would you say to someone that is considering on applying as a Co-Op Intern?

    Cody: Expand your horizons, I have been doing a lot of editing and trying new AB tests. I have been able to learn a lot through the past 3 months I have been here, which has been insightful.

    Michaela: If you are looking to work with such an amazing team, and a company that really cares about the people at Elastic Path, I highly recommend on applying. I also would add, that if you are looking for a challenge to apply.

    Rudra: Working at Elastic Path is a great learning experience will open you to work with a committed and passionate team. Everyone on the team uses their knowledge to come together and help one another. I can develop my skillsets from what I am learning in the classroom and apply that to what I am doing in my internship. In my internship, I do a lot of research through my work, whether that is coming up with new marketing revenue aspects or working on marketing campaigns. Being able to challenge myself through my internship is something I enjoy.

    Q: What do you love to do in your free time?

    Cody: I love to play basketball; I play with my best friend every weekend. I have been doing this for a long time, I played back in high school. I also love to play video games; after work I will play with some of my coworkers, which is fun. I also really enjoy cooking.

    Michaela: I love to find time to work out before or after work. Staying fit and healthy is something that motivates me to get my day going. I also enjoy reading and hanging with friends, since I recently moved to Boston!

    Rudra: During my free time I try to read books whenever I can. I also will go outside and find a basketball court, to play pick up or with my friends. I also like to play golf. Back home I would try to find a driving range and hit some golf balls. I also enjoy watching Movies and playing video games. Since I attend school in Boston, I like to explore the city with friends, whether we are just hanging out, or trying new restaurants. Living in a lively city there is never a dull moment.

    Stay tuned for our next aInside Elastic Patha series. If you are interested joining our team, check out our open listings and apply today.


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