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Going Headless: Governing Content and Capabilities Guest Blog

A

The need for purpose-built marketing capabilities has created a demand for modular backend services, resulting in a move away from monolithic Digital Experience Platform (DXP) solutions. Expectations for Digital Experience (DX) are now greater than ever, and we continue to see growing budgets dedicated to digital transformation. To set our clients up for success, we work with them to provide the most flexibility from the start. This includes orchestrating content from multiple sources as well as leveraging Machine Learning to unlock the value of customer data and drive one-to-one interactions across channels at scale.

Adopting a decoupled architecture lets us combine capabilities from multiple vendors and capabilities developed internally. This gives us the ability to produce solutions tailored to our client's business that can be extended over time as capabilities become available. Single platform DXPs offer predictability by providing best practices around implementation and workflows. The finite set of capabilities, however, that make a DXP predictable becomes an obstacle as needs evolve.

Decoupled systems help solve some of the limitations of the single-platform approach. Combining backend services allows organizations to compose the best-of-breed solutions tailored to their needs. But tailored fit and adaptability provided by decoupling systems create the need for additional governance since we lose the guardrails that we get with a single-system solution.

When we say headless, decoupled, or composable, we are talking about business capabilities delivered through APIs that can be combined into larger solutions. Moving to a composable architecture brings power and flexibility, but also requires a more API-centric mindset, and in many cases, a new way of doing things therefore we need to approach it as a program for it to scale. If we look at large-scale adoption, here are things to consider as you get going:

  • Have business goals and sponsorship;
  • Start with a strategic pilot;
  • Identify a team(s) with proper skills and augment where necessary;
  • Design the Experience Architecture;
  • Have a Design System;
  • Establish Experience Operations.
  • Define Your Goals

    You will need to clearly define a set of goals around headless and the business value they unlock. Goals should be easy to understand and ideally have a value and be bound by a cost and date, something like, "The improved user experience delivered by decoupling systems will increase conversion by 3 percent during holiday peak."A Whether it's capabilities, cost, and/or agility, get it out there. It will serve as a general reference and provide plans to demonstrate value in early releases.

    The move to a decoupled system will impact how departments collaborate, and communicating goals clearly across the organization is key to getting the alignment needed for success. Leadership needs to buy into the broad vision early and understand the near-term goals to provide the support required to make the project successful.

    A headless program will span multiple teams and will most certainly face some initial headwinds. Aligning on the long-term aspirational vision, some achievable short-term goals, timing, and the value youare looking to bring to the business will help leaders embrace the program and help teams understand how it will impact them.

    You will be explaining things often and to a variety of audiences. We recommend using clear language that is accessible to all levels. Having shared goals defined, understood, and supported by leadership will get the buy-in needed to succeed and avoid many headaches.

    Run a Pilot Program

    A successful pilot simplifies messaging by quickly demonstrating value, building the trust needed to unlock the budgets for more significant initiatives. A well-designed pilot avoids the institutional headwinds common to high-visibility projects by acting as the reference model for introducing new processes and capabilities.

    Making the pilot low-friction and showing tangible results provides valuable evidence needed for internal stakeholders to buy-in. A well-designed pilot illustrates the story around the tools, gets adjacent teams thinking about their use cases, and avoids getting people too caught up in technical details. Make it something you can deliver in less than a quarter.

    In contrast, more significant initiatives have more organizational inertia to overcome and get more political. When taking a monolithic or a hybrid approach, where we weave headless features into a preexisting system, we increase the institutional complexity, slowing progress and introducing risk. By starting with a successful high-visibility pilot, you demystify the tools which reduce stress and prepare the organization for some of the operational change associated with updated workflows.

    Assemble a Team

    There is no out-of-the-box for headless. The primary team will start to establish the standard practices around decoupled systems and support them through enablement. That will require experienced business and technical leads with a clear vision defined by business goals and the resources to deliver the vision with fidelity.

    The initial team will be responsible for architecting and delivering the pilot and the vision for expansion. A decoupled architecture requires heightened collaboration between creative and technical departments. Therefore, the primary team will need to have the right cross-functional hard and soft skills to bridge any communication gaps. As the project evolves out of the pilot phase, units that can operate autonomously will start working more closely as a shared core model gets established.

    It is essential to have the right mix of institutional knowledge and experience to hit the ground running. A standard solution is to set up hybrid teams using both internal and external resources. Use consultants to act as guides for the initial phases. Experience is critical, use contracted talent to augment your internal team as they develop expertise on the platforms and best practices.

    Also, contract resources to smooth any spike in resources needed to launch the initiative. Individual product vendors can provide excellent guidance within their platform. Still, their expertise and worldview remain skewed to their product, so they are not incentivized to guide the high-level architecture.

    Define your Taxonomy and Experience ArchitectureA

    Content is the fundamental building block of a composable architecture. We need a structured approach to content in order to drive successful journeys. The taxonomy formalizes how we classify and catalog content. By standardizing the types of content and structure, we can work at scale. The taxonomy gives us the structure to define metadata which simplifies content management and provides the hooks needed to deliver connected cross-channel experiences, personalization, and machine learning, across touchpoints and business units. A well-crafted taxonomy gives us the hooks we will need to introduce the advanced features the business is asking for.

    Experience Architecture articulates the user journeys we need to deliver and acts as a guide for mapping personalized content. We have to account for evolving content and data sources like UGC, search, analytics, customer data, machine learning, and an array of personalization engines which will be combined to deliver contextual experiences across channels.

    We have the content and signals to design highly personalized customer experiences. But we need to account for the business user experience. There need to be well-defined processes and interfaces for business users or journey creation will become a bottleneck. An optimal authoring experience is intuitive and designed around how the business operates, allowing team members to do routine tasks independently without hopping between systems. The internal authoring experience that manages interactions with back-end systems needs to be defined in a way that remains intuitive. The Experience Architecture and taxonomy give us what we need to define the high-level architecture that can evolve as our marketing capabilities grow over time.

    Establish Design System

    Design Systems unlock the communication between marketing and engineering. To deliver personalized content, marketing needs to deliver more content faster. Creative has a different cadence than engineering, which becomes a point of contention. A solid design system that embraces the principles ofA Atomic DesignA provides a vocabulary that abstracts content creation from the engineering needed to deliver it.

    A complete design system lets the marketing folks design, author, and publish across channels without the help of a developer. But more importantly, it provides a framework for marketing to request enhancements using a common language. It then allows engineering to develop the enhancements with technical rigor in a reusable way that integrates with company data and personalization platforms. Finally, the design system establishes the vocabulary that engineering can work with to build, support, and evolve the tools marketing uses all day.

    A design system is a set of standards to manage design at scale by reducing redundancy while creating a shared language and visual consistency across different pages and channels. - Nielsen Norman Group .otro-blockquote{ font-size: 1.2em; width:100%; margin:50px auto; font-family:gilroy; font-style:italic; color: #555555; padding:1.2em 30px 1.2em 75px; border-left:8px solid #ea7317 ; line-height:1.6; position: relative; background:#EDEDED; } .otro-blockquote::before{ font-family:gilroy; content: "\201C"; color:#ea7317; font-size:6.5em; font-weight: 600; position: absolute; left: 2px; top:-20px; } .otro-blockquote::after{ content: ''; } .otro-blockquote span{ display:block; color:#333333; font-style: normal; font-weight: bold; margin-top:1em; }

    Experience Operations: How We Deliver Experiences at Scale

    Experience Operations (XOps) streamlines the operational tasks required to deliver experiences with better velocity and stability. Analogous to DevOps, XOps is a set of processes that optimize the reliable deployment of new and updated experiences by combining QA and Operations with content creation.

    With a defined experience architecture and design system, we have a blueprint for building journeys and their associated experiences. But we need processes that give business users'A ability to access capabilities and assemble experiences regardless of the mix of content services available. We also need to provide creatives the agility to design experiences while fostering creativity and experimentation.

    As the platform scales with the business, we need to maintain delivery and authoring usability. We need an architecture that can grow as our audience grows while delivering complex experiences during peak traffic. We also need a simple and powerful authoring experience to serve many business users with minimal enablement.

    UsingA Packaged Business Capabilities (PBC), we can break monolithic systems into logical blocks of composable elements that can pivot to the needs of the business and gracefully scale. In addition, building content and experience pipelines simplify and accelerate production by automating testing and deployment at the experience level. And finally, by breaking functionality into smaller business-specific components, we can build continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) tools that bring speed and reliability.

    Composable Architecture Offers a Competitive Advantage

    Successfully implementing a composable architecture offers a competitive advantage by adding capabilities, increasing marketing agility, and unlocking creativity. Moving to a decoupled architecture can be complex, but with a bit of planning and solid communication, it is possible to demonstrate value quickly. Most importantly, it unlocks customer value by providing the best-in-class user experience they deserve.


    Elastic Path Spring Product Innovation Recap

    eCommerce sales have continued to grow despite a challenging period between the years 2020 and 2021. And if weave learned anything from this time period, just setting up a simple website isnat enough to drive revenue growth. In fact, in order to remain relevant and stay ahead of the curve, itas essential to keep abreast of the newest eCommerce technological innovations.

    At Elastic Path we understand the importance of launching engaging, new features and experiences for your customers so that you can increase brand loyalty. That is why one of our top priorities is on continuous product innovation to support your business in an ever evolving market. In fact, we release 2x more than other headless, microservices solutions.

    This past spring our product and engineering teams have worked around the clock on multiple innovations within our Elastic Path Commerce Cloud product. These innovations were made to be immediately accessible upon release and many customers have already begun to leverage them throughout their digital strategy. These updates include:

    • Product Content Management
    • Composable Commerce XATM(Experience Assurance)
    • Roles Based Access Controls (RBAC)
    • B2B account management structures
    • GraphQL server additions
    • ... and more.

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

    Product Content Management

    Traditionally, commerce platforms have had their catalogs, products, hierarchies, and pricebook functionality coupled into a single capability, creating painstaking rigidity. As such, brands have been forced to implement expensive and time-consuming work arounds to support their unique assortments and pricing per catalog. This has resulted in delayed time-to-market for new products, stifled innovation for new routes-to-market types, and painstaking catalog updates.

    The new Product Content Management service in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, provides branded manufacturers with a flexible and seamless way to launch and manage offerings across a range of business scenarios, including different geographies, touchpoints, brands, account types (e.g., tiered reseller pricing, reward pricing, etc.), and business models.

    With three new fully decoupled microservices, users can expect to be able to:

    • Create and manage an assortment of products, price books, and catalogs across multiple brands, business models, account types and touchpoints.
    • Design and deploy product configurators with dynamic pricing, discounts, and custom attributes for your brand.
    • Improve customer browsing experiences and therefore, conversion rates Leverage existing product data schema when importing product data

    Learn more about Product Content Management.

    Composable Commerce XATM(Experience Assurance)

    As the eCommerce industry continues to deviate from traditional aall-in-onea eCommerce platforms, towards MACH-based, Composable Commerce solutions, we have been forced to move away from single point contacts for issues. While creating multi-vendor solutions, composed with preferred technology partners can be highly attractive, it also introduces risk and uncertainty of who to call when an issue arises, how to identify the root cause of the issue, and how to resolve the issue across your solution.

    Composable Commerce XATM was created to enable Elastic Path to monitor integration data flow, quickly and easily identify the source of an issue across a multi-vendor solution, and work with the customer and their other partners to resolve the issue. This simply means in the event of an identified issue, Elastic Path will serve as the primary point of contact throughout the process of managing issue resolution across a multi-vendor solution.

    With Composable Commerce XATM your eCommerce teams can expect to:

    • Reduce time troubleshooting with rapid issue identification
    • Simplify issue resolution process with a single point of contact
    • Leverage enterprise-level response SLAs to ensure your store is up and running

    Explore more about Composable Commerce XATM

    Roles Based Access Controls (RBAC)

    Running an enterprise-grade online business will often require multiple internal teams to support the businessa go-to-market and optimization strategies. As such, there will likely be a variety of teams with varying responsibilities that need access to your eCommerce solution to perform individual tasks.

    The release of Roles Based Access Controls from Elastic Path allows organizations to quickly and easily assign roles so that each team can fulfill their responsibilities without disruption to the other teamas workflows. This has been game changing for B2C, B2B, and B2B2C companies in operationalizing their teams.

    With Roles Based Access Control, users can now be assigned to the following roles and granted access to distinct functional and features on Elastic Path Commerce Cloud:

    • Basic
    • Seller Admin
    • Marketing & Sales
    • Support
    • IT Developer

    Explore more about Roles Based Access Control.

    B2B Account Management

    Businesses operating with a B2B use case are often selling to other businesses with multiple buyers in the buying cycle, within the same organization. To operate at optimal scale, businesses need to maintain complex account structures across varying roles and authoritative access.

    Account Management for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud facilitates seamless buying experiences across multiple buyer accounts while maintaining a personalized sales touch.

    With the release of B2B Account Management your teams will have the ability to:

    • Create, view, and edit accounts (Seller Admin)
    • Add, view, and edit users to the accounts (Seller Admin)
    • Create orders and view order history for their account (B2B Buyers)

    Explore more about B2B Account Management

    GraphQL Server

    In the developer ecosystem, thereas usually some indecisiveness about whether to choose REST vs GraphQL for development. Though there are some technical differences, both can help you achieve your business goals and the choice will usually come down to preference. Traditionally, at Elastic Path, we prefer REST because it follows HTTP protocol standards. However, we recognize that many may prefer GraphQL, for the familiarity or the perceived ease of frontend development.

    As such, we have released the GraphQL Server for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud to allow a wide range of developers to easily build and support shopping experiences. The Graph server provides:

    • The ability to build shopping experiences using Elastic Path Commerce Cloud and GraphQL
    • The convenience of wrapping APIs from different systems and vendors with a single GraphQL endpoint

    To get started, you can clone the Github repo and follow the instructions in the readme.

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


    10 Best Payment Gateway Providers

    Imagine this: you are shopping online (for business or personal items)for a specific item. After hours (or days or weeks!) ofwatching reviews ofYoutubeandInstagram reviews, browsing and searching online, narrowing down your top choices, and finally deciding on a specific product a you canat check out! Yourchosenpayment isnat accepted and no matter what you do,you keep getting an error. You know your card is approved and has been working so it must be something with the website. You werefinally happywith yourpurchasing decisionand then this happens. It is so frustrating!

    An imperfect shopping experience, whether the homepage wonat load, the search is broken, or you just canat check out, negatively impacts yourview of the brand. For brands to choose to sell online, these lackluster shopping experiences are always painful to discover, especially when they prevent shoppers from successfully checking out.

    Brandswho prioritize customer experiences know that it isnat all about beautiful content and personalized recommendations.Ensuring you have the correct technology to power quick and easy purchasing experiences is also crucial. A key element of this experience is poweredbydigital commerce payment vendors and a key aspect of payment vendors are payment gateways. This blog post with explain the importanceand provide an overview of toponlinepayment gateways.

    What is a Digital Commerce Payment Vendor?

    Digital commerce payment vendors should be treated as a necessary and strategic part of your complete commerce solution.According toGartner:

    Digital commerce payments are electronic payments, often made with real-time authorization, that are used to support digital commerce transactions. Digital commerce payment vendors provide some combination of a payment gateway, payment processing, acquiring services, payment security and fraud detection.

    Brands often use multiple payment vendors based on their customer preferences, geographic location, and ease of integration.There are a variety of digital commerce payment vendors each with different strengths and weaknesses that may them a fit for specific types ofbrands

    What is an Online Payment Gateway?

    Onlinepaymentgatewaysareoften part of digital commerce payment vendoras complete offering.According toGartner:

    Payment gateways initiate payments at the request of merchants and return the responses to those merchants. They offer preexisting connections and certified integrations with key payment acquirers and processors, and many have integrations with other providers within the greater digital commerce ecosystem.

    There are multiple types of online payment gateways, each relevant for different brands based on their technology stack and customer needs. A key difference in online payment gateways is agnostic, dedicated, and directed.

    Agnostic Gateways

    These connect to a variety of differentpaymentprocessorswhere the brand has a relationship with those processors.This meansthat brands can build one experiences on the front end for customers. But, on the backend they have the flexibility to swap their chosen processors as their needs change. Whether that be for geographic expansion or inclusive of a newpayment method (ex:AmazonPay), brands can swap without impacting the front experience. Examples of agnosticonline paymentgateways include Cybersource and ACI Worldwide.

    Dedicated Gateways

    These are the opposite of agnostic online payment gateways. They are owned by the payment facilitator and are used solely to connect to thatprocessor.Examples of dedicated online payment gateways are Adyen, PayPal Braintree, and Stripe.

    Directed Gateways

    These arelikeagnostic because they connect to multiple processors.But,the brand does not have a relationship with the processor.Instead, the gateway vendor directs traffic to the relevant processor as needed for each transaction. Examples of directed online payment gateways are checkout.com andBluesnap.

    Why do I need an onlinepayment gateway?

    Simply put, you need an online payment gateway to processcredit card transactions. Payment gatewaystransfermoney between your customeras account tobrandas accountby passing credit card information and transaction information.

    10 Best Payment GatewayProvidersForDigitally Driven Brands

    Amazonpayments

    With Amazon Pay, Amazon customers can paywith their existing amazonwithout leaving your website. Contracts withAmazonpaymentscan be 2.9%+ $0.30 for domestic U.S. transactions.Amazonpaymentshas a lot of key integration partners and consulting agencies as well.

    Adyen

    A single platform for global payment coverage wherever you operate your eCommerce business out of. Easy to add additional sales channels that are consistently up to date with regulations like GDPR, PSD2 and PCI compliance.Ayden supports a large array of Payment Methods and pricing is listed here in their tool: https://www.adyen.com/pricing.

    Authorize.net

    A Visa solution, Authorize.net accepts credit cards, contactless payment andeChecksin person and on the go.Winner of aTheStrawheckerGroup Awarda for aBest API Integrationa two years in a row, Authorize.net has an all-in-one option that is 2.9% +$0.30or the Gateway only that is $25 amonthand $0.10 per transaction with a daily batch fee of $0.10.

    Braintree

    APaypalservice, with 20+ years of eCommerce payment experience, Braintree integrates with a large variety of payment methods,including Venmo in the U.S.Braintreeoffersglobalcoverage for130+ currencies in 45+ regions.They offer aStandard Pricinga which is on par with the rest of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction or tailored custom pricingbasedon volume and business model.

    CardConnect

    CardConnectprovides a variety of solutions for multiple business needs for payment gateway integration.Pricing options includetheir Basic Plan (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction) or the Pro plan (1.89% + $0.23 with $19.95/month fee).CardConnectalso runs aInterchange Optimizationa to ensure the lowest Credit Card fees and rates for your payment gateway.

    CyberSource

    Alsoa Visa Solution, CyberSource touts its 260+ fraud detectorsand,offers payment acceptance in 97% of all countries and territories in the world.A single platform solution that offers many of the features of other payment gateways on this list with a lot of content tailored forbusinessusers and for developersutilizingthe gateway API.

    PayPal offers two different options for payment gateways, based on needs:

    PayPal Express Checkout

    A solution for any size business that wants to incorporatePaypalaccountsas a means toquickly login andcheckouton their website. A direct API that can integrate into most systems and a team to help with integration if needed.Available in 202 countries and 25 different currencies.Charge a 3.4% + $0.30 per transaction, and international sales are 4.4% + a fixed fee per transaction based on the currency.

    PayPalPayflowPro Express Checkout

    PayPal Payflow Pro works in 202 countries and with 25 currencies. Withtwo different plans available, thePayflowLink is $0/month with checkout hosted byPaypal. ThePayflowPro option is unlimited checkoutcustomization to make your checkout unique to yourbusiness. The cost is only $0.10 per transaction for one of the lowest rates available.

    Square

    Square provides aflexiblepayment gateway withnumerouscustomization options and a $65B ecosystem of payments to minimize your payment risks.Square also allows payments onApps, existing software integrations and more with ease. Squareis a leader for in-person payments. Transaction costs are 2.6% and $0.10 for each.

    Stripe

    Stripe boasts one of the most technologically advanced payment gateways with hundreds of features and improvements yearly to stay ahead of industry shifts, deploying their production API 16x a day on average.With 135+ currencies and payment methods supported in over 35countries,Stripe has decent global coverage.Stripe charges 2.9% + $0.30 for each transactionandoffers custom packages with product and volume discounts available.

    Stripe Payment Intents

    A Stripe API that can handle complex paymentflows. Some of the advantages of this API are automatic authentication handling, no double charges, no idempotency key issuesand support for SCA and other regulatory changes.


    Pride at Elastic Path

    June is Pride month globally and we asked our employees what Pride meant to them.

    Pride is a time to recognise how far we have come in the fight for equal rights, and how far we have left to go. It's when our community comes together to celebrate every victory and grieve everyone that we have lost to hate and violence.

    Pride means inclusivity and expression. To be your best self everywhere, without judgement.

    Pride is a celebration of those who identify on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

    Our goal in celebrating and honoring Pride is to ensure our employees understand that it started with protests and violence, not the pride parades that we see today. To accomplish this, weave shared daily content on Slack to both educate and begin conversations amongst the team. Content shared spans how to be an ally, to how to talk to children about LGBTQ2S+, to the history of the flags.

    The impact of sharing this content is already being felt in a positive way. Upon realizing that not all flags representing the LGBTQ2S+ groups were available as reactions on our Slack platform, employees took it upon themselves to ensure more were added to be more inclusive and that people who may not themselves in the traditional pride flag were seen.

    Later this month weare hosting Pride-themed game shows via QUARMEGA. This is sure to be a fun time putting the learning weave all been doing this month to the test.

    While Pride is only one month long, weare committed to supporting this community all year long. aWhen I came out at work, Elastic Path updated the bathroom signage to be more inclusive and worked with a D&I consultant to release a video about gender, sexual orientation, and pronouns to guide the conversation around the new signs and my change in pronouns.a Learn more about our commitment to Diversity & Inclusion.


    New Release: B2B Account Management

    The recent release of Account Management for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud empowers B2B brandswith the core functionality needed to support the account structures that their businesses require to perform at scale and the B2B shopping experiences that their buyers expect.

    Account Management

    This release provides the following capabilities

    • Ability to create, view, and edit accounts (Seller Admin)
    • Ability to add, view, and edit users to the accounts (Seller Admin)
    • Ability to create orders and view order history for their account (B2B Buyers)

    These capabilities enable B2B brandsto support B2B shopping experiences where buyers are transacting on behalf of their organization. Consider a B2B faucet manufacturer (Seller) and big-box retailer (Buyer). The seller can create an account for a big-box retailer and add multiple account members e.g., John and Jane to that account. After John and Jane create orders for their account, they can view account order history which will include orders from both John and Jane.

    Beta API

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

    What's Next?

    We plan to add features incrementally and release frequently. Soon you can expect dashboard support for managing accounts. Today account members can login using OpenID Connect, soon they will be able to login using username and password. These are just a couple of examples of whatas next. As new features are released, they will be added to Elastic Path Commerce Cloud changelog.

    Get Started

    With Account Management capabilities brands and B2B buyers can more effectively manage their B2B transactions. Use the postman collection to try these new Account Management APIs. Additional details on this new feature can be found in the documentation.


    GraphQL vs Rest: New Server for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud

    The recently released GraphQL Server for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud provides a GraphQL implementation of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud APIs to support shopping experiences. This release enables developers more familiar with GraphQL, as compared to REST, to more easily build shopping experiences.

    GraphQL vs REST

    We often get asked about REST vs GraphQL. In our experience you can do almost anything with both REST and GraphQL. There are some technical differences, but nothing that's a roadblock in achieving a business goal. The choice between RESTand GraphQLcomes down to preference. An analogy would be that humans communicate in many languages - English, French, Mandarin, German etc. Some languages might be "better" for some things. However, there are very specific nuances and can oftentimes be difficult for a non-native speaker. People would prefer to speak in their native language, solely due to preference and comfort level. The same goes for choosing between GraphQL and RESTFUL APIs.

    At Elastic Path, we prefer RESTbecause it follows HTTP protocol standards. This enables us to keep our APIs clean and simple, and REST APIs can take advantage of all the efforts to improve web performance at every level. As an example, it is relatively simple to use browser caching and CDNs to optimize HTTP requests.

    At the same time, we also recognize that GraphQL makes some things easier for developers consuming APIs. You may prefer GraphQL because you are familiar with it, or that it makes it easier to wrap different APIstogether, or any other reason by which GraphQL makes the front-end development easier for you. We certainly want to give you the choice of using the technology that works for you.

    GraphQL Server for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud

    The GraphQL server provides the following capabilities:

    • Ability to build shopping experiences using Elastic Path Commerce Cloud and GraphQL
    • Convenience of wrapping APIsfrom different systems and vendors with a single GraphQL endpoint

    The GraphQL server is easy to consume. The readme provides steps on how to set it up on your machineand deploy to the cloud. As the source is available to you, you can add additional data sources to wrap multiple APIs from different systems and vendors. You can also use something like Apollo Federation to aid with this.

    GraphQL in Action

    The GraphQL server comes with GraphQL Playground which is an interactive, in-browser GraphQL IDE. Hereas a simple query to fetch nodes and products in a storefront.

    Get Started

    To start building shopping experiences with Elastic Path Commerce Cloud and GraphQL, clone the Github repo and follow the instructions in the readme.


    Composable Commerce is Changing the eCommerce Game: A Conversation with Harry Chemko

    Harry Chemko, our co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, recently sat down with Digital Commerce 360 to chat all things Composable Commerce, an approach that enables marketing, merchandizing, and sales teams to bring their brand's unique digital vision to life by launching and continuously optimizing digital commerce experiences that leverage multiple best-of-breed vendors composed together into a complete, business-ready solution. The below interview is an excerpt from the 2021 eCommerce Platforms for B2B and B2C report. Get access to the full report.

    DC360: Why is composable commerce important to ecommerce businesses?

    Harry: Composable commerce empowers ecommerce businesses to control their digital destinies, differentiate from the competition and drive revenue. Itas business-centric, has a modular architecture and an open ecosystem. Due to the modular nature, brands can rapidly build, deploy and continuously optimize their ecommerce site. Gone are the days of lengthy, complicated and expensive customizations.

    DC360: What challenges does composable commerce help companies address?

    Harry: Many brands cannot create innovative ecommerce experiences or adhere to brand guidelines, without a huge price tag and a lot of development time. But with composable commerce, they can innovate fastawithout added costs due to modular architecture and open ecosystem.

    DC360: What role has the pandemic played in accelerating the importance of composable commerce?

    Harry: The pandemic has played a huge role in accelerating the importance of composable commerce. It was a prime example of how fast the business needs can change, and the technology needs to keep pace. A specific example was the need for companies to spin up buy-online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) quickly. With composable commerce, this was simple and fast, resulting in a new revenue channel during an auspicious time for many companies.

    DC360: What steps should ecommerce businesses take to implement composable commerce strategies?

    Harry: Businesses need to start by evaluating whether Composable Commerce is the right approach for them. They should ask themselves several questions: Does my business operate in a rapidly changing or competitive market? Does making changes to my ecommerce platform take months and cause lots of headaches? Do I have a complex business that operates in many geographies or have many sub-brands? If yes, itas time to create a plan to replatform to a composable commerce approach.

    Elastic Path helps companies embrace composable commerce through its Composable Commerce Hub, which provides an open exchange of business solutions powered by an ecosystem of digital commerce providers. Regardless of a brands technical expertise, the Composable Commerce Hub enables any company to quickly and easily compose, launch, and continuously optimize unique, revenue-driving digital commerce experiences. Several precomposed solutions and accelerators are available on the Composable Commerce Hub that make getting started simple and fast. And because itas headless, these solutions allow a quick start for companies to get up and running fast while still enabling them to easily customize later.

    DC360: Why is it important for companies to adopt composable commerce sooner than later?

    Harry: Composable commerce is a new approach that is game changing for companies. They no longer need to compromise between innovative but risky do-it-yourself commerce solutions or safe but cookie-cutter traditional SaaS ecommerce platforms. Composable commerce empowers companies with the control they need to create Innovative revenue-driving experiences at the scale and speed of their business.


    Product Data Management + Catalog Functionality: The Heart of eCommerce

    The product data management and catalog functionality are the heart of any eCommerce solution, as they define what can be sold to customers and how quickly new products can be brought to market across different channels. Plus, it's likely that many different teams at an organization, from engineering to merchandising, will be involved in managing products and catalogs. All of this together makes the technology you choose to use for this piece of your eCommerce strategy extremely important.

    But, the majority of eCommerce platforms, built their catalog functionality 10-20 years ago when the digital needs of brands were simpler than what they are today. At the time of their creation, being online with a simple site was enough to drive revenue growth. Brands didnat need to power experiences across multiple geos, business models, touchpoints and more a all requiring their own unique catalogs. Plus, product assortments did not change as rapidly and continuously, meaning that speed to launch and optimize products and catalogs was not crucial to an eCommerce teamas success.

    This dated functionality is often extremely rigid, both in terms of product data and catalog management. Often these solutions impose their own data structures on the application owner making it time-consuming and cumbersome to upload product data from external sources such as PIM, ERP, or even just spreadsheets. In addition, these solutions often tightly link price books and products meaning that entire catalogs need to be duplicated and customized in order to support a brandas unique requirements. For brands who need to support multiple catalogs across geos, accounts, business models, brands, and touchpoints the lack of flexibility in these traditional commerce platforms results in time-consuming and expensive workarounds needing to be built, resulting in duplicative efforts, expensive rework, and delayed time to market and revenue.

    At Elastic Path, we heard these pain points from our customers and committed to finding an alternative way to manage product data and easily create the unique catalogs you need to drive business growth across multiple routes to market. Thatas exactly why we have reinvented product and catalog management, with our new Product Content Management service.

    This new addition to our composable, API-first, microservices-based platform, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, was created to make the daily lives of teams responsible for managing products, pricing, and catalogs at branded manufacturers easier. Product Content Management provides the flexibility to use your existing data structure to rapidly compose and continuously optimize products and pricing into unlimited, unique catalogs across all your routes-to-market such as multiple brands, accounts, geographies, touchpoints, business models, and loyalty tiers.

    This empowers brands to reduce catalog management time by 5X resulting in more consistent user experiences and faster time to market.

    Product Content Management offers the flexibility and ease for brands to:

    • Import and enhance product data using their existing data schema, decreasing the time it takes to get new products live.
    • Create hierarchies, such as multi-level categories or lines, based on their unique internal structures instead of having to create expensive customizations.
    • Manage products and pricing separately allowing for the flexibility to support unique catalogs without custom extensions or manual catalog management.
    • Compose hierarchies (products) and prices into the unlimited catalogs that meet business needs across geographies, customer accounts, touchpoints, brands and beyond.
    • Assign rules to catalogs so that they are dynamically surfaced for the right customers at the right time.

    With Product Content Management, branded manufacturers have the unlimited flexibility to seamlessly create, customize, and manage the products and catalogs they need to support unique business requirements, including: multiple geographies, business models (B2B, B2C, etc.), customer/account types (rewards customers, tiered customers), brands, touchpoints (kiosk, pop-up, web, etc.), etc. Product Content Management puts the control back in the hands of branded manufacturers so they can confidently support and sell their unique products at the correct price and in the proper experience, decreasing time to market, and powering revenue.

    To learn more about how your business could benefit from the flexibility and time-saving simplicity of Product Content Management, contact us today.


    Top 5 Questions on SOC 2 Compliance

    When it comes to selecting an eCommerce solution it is important to base your evaluation on more than just functionality and pricing. You will want to confirm your chosen commerce solution has the high security standards in place to ensure that your systems and data are kept secure. Fail to do this, and you could end up with security compromises like a data breaches or system intrusions, hurting your companyas reputation, customer loyalty, and jeopardizing revenue.

    Security assessments like the SOC 2 evaluation provide a comprehensive and centralized, third party report to ensure youare working with a vendor that has validated they follow the highest standards of security practices, policies, procedures, and operations. SOC 2 compliances reduces time spent on security evaluations and provides the confidence that your data is secure so you can launch and drive revenue faster while keeping your business operating at 100%.

    Familiarize yourself with SOC 2 with the top five questions we hear from prospects:

  • What does SOC 2 Compliance mean?
    • SOC stands for System and Organizational Controls and is based on the Trust Services Criteria. This criteria is focused on the ability to report on the design of controls (and/or testing and operating effectiveness of those controls) for a service organization. The SOC 2 report addresses an organizationas controls pertaining to operations and compliance standards; things like security, integrity, availability, privacy, and confidentiality are all aspects of SOC2.
  • Why is it important to be SOC 2 compliant?
    • SOC 2 is an auditing procedure that ensures service providers securely manage data to protect the interests of organizations and the privacy of its clients. If your chosen commerce partner is SOC 2 compliant it means you can trust that they will do everything possible to protect your data and systems.
  • What is the benefit to the customer for a vendor to be SOC 2 Compliant?
    • SaaS vendors in particular need to be SOC 2 compliant in many instances, especially when they sell to the enterprise. Enterprises are often beholden to a wide variety of security and compliance controls and being demonstrably SOC 2 examined as a vendor gives those enterprise customers the peace of mind they need to do business with Elastic Path.
  • What security practices and procedures are assessed during a SOC 2 Compliance evaluation?
    • SOC 2 evaluates the operational policies, communications, procedures, and monitoring concerning fourTrust Service Categories (TSC):
      • Security a Information and systems are protected against unauthorized access (both physical and logical), unauthorized disclosure, and damage
      • Availability a Information and systems are available for operation and use as committed
      • Processing integrity a System processing is complete, valid, accurate, timely, and authorized
      • Confidentiality a Confidential information is secured, and access is controlled
  • What are the principles of SOC 2?
    • Elastic Path utilizes independent third-party auditors to test the Elastic Path Commerce Cloud platform against the widely accepted security standards controls of SOC 2. These examinations are conducted by a respected audit and security firm that is independent and thorough in its inspections. The SOC2 examination report is intended to meet the needs of a broad range of users that need detailed information and assurance about the controls at a service organization relevant to the security, availability, and processing integrity of the systems the service organization uses to process data. With Elastic Path successfully achieving the SOC2 examination, we can ensure peace of mind to our customers.
  • Learn more about how you can build your eCommerce vision with confidence by visiting our Trust page.


    How You Can Contribute to the Composable Commerce Hub

    Your ability to create unique commerce experiences is crucial for keeping up with customer needs and outpacing the competition. But, creating abest-for-me" commerce solutions that power delightful customer experiences is easier said than done. This need is exactly why Elastic Path advocates for Composable Commerce. Composable Commerce is an approach that enables marketing, merchandising, and sales teams to bring their brand's unique digital vision to life by launching and continuously optimizing digital commerce experiences that leverage multiple best-of-breed vendors composed together into a complete, business-ready solution.

    In an effort to make Composable Commerce more accessible, Elastic Path created the Composable Commerce Hub, our re-invention of the traditional vendor marketplace. The Composable Commerce Hub is home to a variety of assets from integrations, to reference experiences and business-ready Pre-Composed SolutionsaC/. The majority of these assets are created and shared by our partnercommunity. As a partner-first organization, Elastic Path strives to make it easy for our technology partners to contribute assets to the Composable Commerce Hub. By joining the Composable Commerce Hub partners gain exposure within our customer and prospect community and can partner with more branded manufacturers to compose their complete commerce solution.

    The Elastic Path Alliances team is committed to providing resources needed by our partners to move fast and reliably succeed in creating certifiable Composable Commerce assets. While we keep the touchpoints light to respect partnersa desire for process independence, we are always ready to offer help with technical questions, marketing programs, and go-to-market activities when needed.

    The asset contribution process starts with the Asset Contribution Kickoff session involving technical and business members of the Elastic Path Partner Solutions and Enablementteam and representatives of the contributing partner organization. The purpose of this session is to initiate the contribution process, inform the contributing partner of the resources available in Elastic Path to support their effort, as well as to clarify the asset contribution and certification process steps. Steps on the way to asset certification include optional Ideation and design workshops, which are customizable consulting sessions aimed at helping the contributing partner development teams with design or development issues they might encounter in building the asset.

    In order to be certified, the asset has to comply with a number of design, technical, and support requirements. To ensure successful compliance, the contributing partners are provided with the Asset Contribution Guide at the outset. The Asset Contribution Guide contains all the necessary information needed to ensure the development of an asset certifiable by Elastic Path.

    The Composable Commerce Hub Asset Certification Evaluation is a step in the process whereby Partner Support & Enablement technical specialists evaluate the submitted finished asset. When an asset is submitted for certification, it also triggers corresponding parallel go-to-market activities coordinated by Elastic Path Alliances and Marketing teams. If the submitted asset passes the evaluation, assuming a positive outcome of the go-to-market process, the asset is listed on Elastic Pathas Composable Commerce Hub as a certified asset.

    To ensure the long-term viability of assets listed on the Composable Commerce Hub, we are introducing the Asset Re-certification process. For assets developed for Elastic Path Commerce product, the re-certification process is driven by the version changes in the Elastic Path Commerce product and is aimed at ensuring compatibility with the latest version of Elastic Path Commerce. For assets developed for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud product, an asset certification process is an annual event. Upkeep and maintenance of listed assets are critical not just for the long-term viability of the asset itself, but for the credibility and prominence of the contributing partner as well.

    If you have an idea for an asset you would like to contribute to the Composable Commerce Hub, contact us here to get started.


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    Paying off debt? Celebrate in the middle

    Paying off debt? AA Give yourself a tangible reminder … Prudence Debt-Free recently posted on their fourth anniversary of debt reduction, and the numbers are impressive: AA more than $150,000 of debt paid back in four years, which is about 60% of their total. They’re doing the slay-little-dragons-first method, getting rid of three debts in that time: ... Read more

    The post Paying off debt? Celebrate in the middle appeared first on Carnival of Debt Reduction.


    No Credit Needed speeds up mortgage payback with micropayments

    No Credit Needed, a long-time debt reduction blogging colleague, after having gotten rid of his non-mortgage consumer debt, has been chipping away at the big one: his home mortgage. He’s on track to pay off his 15-year fixed rate mortgage three years early, and is aiming to get it paid off five years early. They’re ... Read more

    The post No Credit Needed speeds up mortgage payback with micropayments appeared first on Carnival of Debt Reduction.


    Girl Meets Debt is under $50k

    Nice update from Girl Meets Debt.AA The sum of her personal loan and student loan is now under $50,000! “I haven’t been under the $50k mark in years!!!” she exclaims. She admits that it’s tough to find the energy to stay on track with as much debt as that.AA Judging by her numbers at the ... Read more

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    How not to ask for help with student loan debt

    My main Twitter account was following by @Raising100k a few weeks ago. Apparently this guy’s in a bit of trouble.AA He owes $100k in student loans, and has fallen on hard times.AA Over half of this amount has been accelerated (called due early). Not good.AA But, he has a solution:AA beg. He’s set up a ... Read more

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    Save or pay off debt? See how much it costs

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    Save or pay off debt? Depends on your emergency fund

    If you’re in debt, especially consumer debt, it’s certainly very important to get out of debt.AA The borrower is slave to the lender, after all. As good as getting out of debt is, though, faster isn’t always better.AA If you’re paying down your debt so fast that you have absolutely no cushion in your savings ... Read more

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    How YNAB can put the magic back into the holidays

    When I was in debt, I used to dread the holidays. They were costly, time consuming, and not fun at all. For a while, I thought that was just part of being an adult, but once I got my finances under control using YNAB, the holidays became magical again. For years, my husband and I ... Read more

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    Keyword Selected: gateways

    Going Headless: Governing Content and Capabilities Guest Blog

    A

    The need for purpose-built marketing capabilities has created a demand for modular backend services, resulting in a move away from monolithic Digital Experience Platform (DXP) solutions. Expectations for Digital Experience (DX) are now greater than ever, and we continue to see growing budgets dedicated to digital transformation. To set our clients up for success, we work with them to provide the most flexibility from the start. This includes orchestrating content from multiple sources as well as leveraging Machine Learning to unlock the value of customer data and drive one-to-one interactions across channels at scale.

    Adopting a decoupled architecture lets us combine capabilities from multiple vendors and capabilities developed internally. This gives us the ability to produce solutions tailored to our client's business that can be extended over time as capabilities become available. Single platform DXPs offer predictability by providing best practices around implementation and workflows. The finite set of capabilities, however, that make a DXP predictable becomes an obstacle as needs evolve.

    Decoupled systems help solve some of the limitations of the single-platform approach. Combining backend services allows organizations to compose the best-of-breed solutions tailored to their needs. But tailored fit and adaptability provided by decoupling systems create the need for additional governance since we lose the guardrails that we get with a single-system solution.

    When we say headless, decoupled, or composable, we are talking about business capabilities delivered through APIs that can be combined into larger solutions. Moving to a composable architecture brings power and flexibility, but also requires a more API-centric mindset, and in many cases, a new way of doing things therefore we need to approach it as a program for it to scale. If we look at large-scale adoption, here are things to consider as you get going:

  • Have business goals and sponsorship;
  • Start with a strategic pilot;
  • Identify a team(s) with proper skills and augment where necessary;
  • Design the Experience Architecture;
  • Have a Design System;
  • Establish Experience Operations.
  • Define Your Goals

    You will need to clearly define a set of goals around headless and the business value they unlock. Goals should be easy to understand and ideally have a value and be bound by a cost and date, something like, "The improved user experience delivered by decoupling systems will increase conversion by 3 percent during holiday peak."A Whether it's capabilities, cost, and/or agility, get it out there. It will serve as a general reference and provide plans to demonstrate value in early releases.

    The move to a decoupled system will impact how departments collaborate, and communicating goals clearly across the organization is key to getting the alignment needed for success. Leadership needs to buy into the broad vision early and understand the near-term goals to provide the support required to make the project successful.

    A headless program will span multiple teams and will most certainly face some initial headwinds. Aligning on the long-term aspirational vision, some achievable short-term goals, timing, and the value youare looking to bring to the business will help leaders embrace the program and help teams understand how it will impact them.

    You will be explaining things often and to a variety of audiences. We recommend using clear language that is accessible to all levels. Having shared goals defined, understood, and supported by leadership will get the buy-in needed to succeed and avoid many headaches.

    Run a Pilot Program

    A successful pilot simplifies messaging by quickly demonstrating value, building the trust needed to unlock the budgets for more significant initiatives. A well-designed pilot avoids the institutional headwinds common to high-visibility projects by acting as the reference model for introducing new processes and capabilities.

    Making the pilot low-friction and showing tangible results provides valuable evidence needed for internal stakeholders to buy-in. A well-designed pilot illustrates the story around the tools, gets adjacent teams thinking about their use cases, and avoids getting people too caught up in technical details. Make it something you can deliver in less than a quarter.

    In contrast, more significant initiatives have more organizational inertia to overcome and get more political. When taking a monolithic or a hybrid approach, where we weave headless features into a preexisting system, we increase the institutional complexity, slowing progress and introducing risk. By starting with a successful high-visibility pilot, you demystify the tools which reduce stress and prepare the organization for some of the operational change associated with updated workflows.

    Assemble a Team

    There is no out-of-the-box for headless. The primary team will start to establish the standard practices around decoupled systems and support them through enablement. That will require experienced business and technical leads with a clear vision defined by business goals and the resources to deliver the vision with fidelity.

    The initial team will be responsible for architecting and delivering the pilot and the vision for expansion. A decoupled architecture requires heightened collaboration between creative and technical departments. Therefore, the primary team will need to have the right cross-functional hard and soft skills to bridge any communication gaps. As the project evolves out of the pilot phase, units that can operate autonomously will start working more closely as a shared core model gets established.

    It is essential to have the right mix of institutional knowledge and experience to hit the ground running. A standard solution is to set up hybrid teams using both internal and external resources. Use consultants to act as guides for the initial phases. Experience is critical, use contracted talent to augment your internal team as they develop expertise on the platforms and best practices.

    Also, contract resources to smooth any spike in resources needed to launch the initiative. Individual product vendors can provide excellent guidance within their platform. Still, their expertise and worldview remain skewed to their product, so they are not incentivized to guide the high-level architecture.

    Define your Taxonomy and Experience ArchitectureA

    Content is the fundamental building block of a composable architecture. We need a structured approach to content in order to drive successful journeys. The taxonomy formalizes how we classify and catalog content. By standardizing the types of content and structure, we can work at scale. The taxonomy gives us the structure to define metadata which simplifies content management and provides the hooks needed to deliver connected cross-channel experiences, personalization, and machine learning, across touchpoints and business units. A well-crafted taxonomy gives us the hooks we will need to introduce the advanced features the business is asking for.

    Experience Architecture articulates the user journeys we need to deliver and acts as a guide for mapping personalized content. We have to account for evolving content and data sources like UGC, search, analytics, customer data, machine learning, and an array of personalization engines which will be combined to deliver contextual experiences across channels.

    We have the content and signals to design highly personalized customer experiences. But we need to account for the business user experience. There need to be well-defined processes and interfaces for business users or journey creation will become a bottleneck. An optimal authoring experience is intuitive and designed around how the business operates, allowing team members to do routine tasks independently without hopping between systems. The internal authoring experience that manages interactions with back-end systems needs to be defined in a way that remains intuitive. The Experience Architecture and taxonomy give us what we need to define the high-level architecture that can evolve as our marketing capabilities grow over time.

    Establish Design System

    Design Systems unlock the communication between marketing and engineering. To deliver personalized content, marketing needs to deliver more content faster. Creative has a different cadence than engineering, which becomes a point of contention. A solid design system that embraces the principles ofA Atomic DesignA provides a vocabulary that abstracts content creation from the engineering needed to deliver it.

    A complete design system lets the marketing folks design, author, and publish across channels without the help of a developer. But more importantly, it provides a framework for marketing to request enhancements using a common language. It then allows engineering to develop the enhancements with technical rigor in a reusable way that integrates with company data and personalization platforms. Finally, the design system establishes the vocabulary that engineering can work with to build, support, and evolve the tools marketing uses all day.

    A design system is a set of standards to manage design at scale by reducing redundancy while creating a shared language and visual consistency across different pages and channels. - Nielsen Norman Group .otro-blockquote{ font-size: 1.2em; width:100%; margin:50px auto; font-family:gilroy; font-style:italic; color: #555555; padding:1.2em 30px 1.2em 75px; border-left:8px solid #ea7317 ; line-height:1.6; position: relative; background:#EDEDED; } .otro-blockquote::before{ font-family:gilroy; content: "\201C"; color:#ea7317; font-size:6.5em; font-weight: 600; position: absolute; left: 2px; top:-20px; } .otro-blockquote::after{ content: ''; } .otro-blockquote span{ display:block; color:#333333; font-style: normal; font-weight: bold; margin-top:1em; }

    Experience Operations: How We Deliver Experiences at Scale

    Experience Operations (XOps) streamlines the operational tasks required to deliver experiences with better velocity and stability. Analogous to DevOps, XOps is a set of processes that optimize the reliable deployment of new and updated experiences by combining QA and Operations with content creation.

    With a defined experience architecture and design system, we have a blueprint for building journeys and their associated experiences. But we need processes that give business users'A ability to access capabilities and assemble experiences regardless of the mix of content services available. We also need to provide creatives the agility to design experiences while fostering creativity and experimentation.

    As the platform scales with the business, we need to maintain delivery and authoring usability. We need an architecture that can grow as our audience grows while delivering complex experiences during peak traffic. We also need a simple and powerful authoring experience to serve many business users with minimal enablement.

    UsingA Packaged Business Capabilities (PBC), we can break monolithic systems into logical blocks of composable elements that can pivot to the needs of the business and gracefully scale. In addition, building content and experience pipelines simplify and accelerate production by automating testing and deployment at the experience level. And finally, by breaking functionality into smaller business-specific components, we can build continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) tools that bring speed and reliability.

    Composable Architecture Offers a Competitive Advantage

    Successfully implementing a composable architecture offers a competitive advantage by adding capabilities, increasing marketing agility, and unlocking creativity. Moving to a decoupled architecture can be complex, but with a bit of planning and solid communication, it is possible to demonstrate value quickly. Most importantly, it unlocks customer value by providing the best-in-class user experience they deserve.


    Elastic Path Spring Product Innovation Recap

    eCommerce sales have continued to grow despite a challenging period between the years 2020 and 2021. And if weave learned anything from this time period, just setting up a simple website isnat enough to drive revenue growth. In fact, in order to remain relevant and stay ahead of the curve, itas essential to keep abreast of the newest eCommerce technological innovations.

    At Elastic Path we understand the importance of launching engaging, new features and experiences for your customers so that you can increase brand loyalty. That is why one of our top priorities is on continuous product innovation to support your business in an ever evolving market. In fact, we release 2x more than other headless, microservices solutions.

    This past spring our product and engineering teams have worked around the clock on multiple innovations within our Elastic Path Commerce Cloud product. These innovations were made to be immediately accessible upon release and many customers have already begun to leverage them throughout their digital strategy. These updates include:

    • Product Content Management
    • Composable Commerce XATM(Experience Assurance)
    • Roles Based Access Controls (RBAC)
    • B2B account management structures
    • GraphQL server additions
    • ... and more.

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

    Product Content Management

    Traditionally, commerce platforms have had their catalogs, products, hierarchies, and pricebook functionality coupled into a single capability, creating painstaking rigidity. As such, brands have been forced to implement expensive and time-consuming work arounds to support their unique assortments and pricing per catalog. This has resulted in delayed time-to-market for new products, stifled innovation for new routes-to-market types, and painstaking catalog updates.

    The new Product Content Management service in Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, provides branded manufacturers with a flexible and seamless way to launch and manage offerings across a range of business scenarios, including different geographies, touchpoints, brands, account types (e.g., tiered reseller pricing, reward pricing, etc.), and business models.

    With three new fully decoupled microservices, users can expect to be able to:

    • Create and manage an assortment of products, price books, and catalogs across multiple brands, business models, account types and touchpoints.
    • Design and deploy product configurators with dynamic pricing, discounts, and custom attributes for your brand.
    • Improve customer browsing experiences and therefore, conversion rates Leverage existing product data schema when importing product data

    Learn more about Product Content Management.

    Composable Commerce XATM(Experience Assurance)

    As the eCommerce industry continues to deviate from traditional aall-in-onea eCommerce platforms, towards MACH-based, Composable Commerce solutions, we have been forced to move away from single point contacts for issues. While creating multi-vendor solutions, composed with preferred technology partners can be highly attractive, it also introduces risk and uncertainty of who to call when an issue arises, how to identify the root cause of the issue, and how to resolve the issue across your solution.

    Composable Commerce XATM was created to enable Elastic Path to monitor integration data flow, quickly and easily identify the source of an issue across a multi-vendor solution, and work with the customer and their other partners to resolve the issue. This simply means in the event of an identified issue, Elastic Path will serve as the primary point of contact throughout the process of managing issue resolution across a multi-vendor solution.

    With Composable Commerce XATM your eCommerce teams can expect to:

    • Reduce time troubleshooting with rapid issue identification
    • Simplify issue resolution process with a single point of contact
    • Leverage enterprise-level response SLAs to ensure your store is up and running

    Explore more about Composable Commerce XATM

    Roles Based Access Controls (RBAC)

    Running an enterprise-grade online business will often require multiple internal teams to support the businessa go-to-market and optimization strategies. As such, there will likely be a variety of teams with varying responsibilities that need access to your eCommerce solution to perform individual tasks.

    The release of Roles Based Access Controls from Elastic Path allows organizations to quickly and easily assign roles so that each team can fulfill their responsibilities without disruption to the other teamas workflows. This has been game changing for B2C, B2B, and B2B2C companies in operationalizing their teams.

    With Roles Based Access Control, users can now be assigned to the following roles and granted access to distinct functional and features on Elastic Path Commerce Cloud:

    • Basic
    • Seller Admin
    • Marketing & Sales
    • Support
    • IT Developer

    Explore more about Roles Based Access Control.

    B2B Account Management

    Businesses operating with a B2B use case are often selling to other businesses with multiple buyers in the buying cycle, within the same organization. To operate at optimal scale, businesses need to maintain complex account structures across varying roles and authoritative access.

    Account Management for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud facilitates seamless buying experiences across multiple buyer accounts while maintaining a personalized sales touch.

    With the release of B2B Account Management your teams will have the ability to:

    • Create, view, and edit accounts (Seller Admin)
    • Add, view, and edit users to the accounts (Seller Admin)
    • Create orders and view order history for their account (B2B Buyers)

    Explore more about B2B Account Management

    GraphQL Server

    In the developer ecosystem, thereas usually some indecisiveness about whether to choose REST vs GraphQL for development. Though there are some technical differences, both can help you achieve your business goals and the choice will usually come down to preference. Traditionally, at Elastic Path, we prefer REST because it follows HTTP protocol standards. However, we recognize that many may prefer GraphQL, for the familiarity or the perceived ease of frontend development.

    As such, we have released the GraphQL Server for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud to allow a wide range of developers to easily build and support shopping experiences. The Graph server provides:

    • The ability to build shopping experiences using Elastic Path Commerce Cloud and GraphQL
    • The convenience of wrapping APIs from different systems and vendors with a single GraphQL endpoint

    To get started, you can clone the Github repo and follow the instructions in the readme.

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


    10 Best Payment Gateway Providers

    Imagine this: you are shopping online (for business or personal items)for a specific item. After hours (or days or weeks!) ofwatching reviews ofYoutubeandInstagram reviews, browsing and searching online, narrowing down your top choices, and finally deciding on a specific product a you canat check out! Yourchosenpayment isnat accepted and no matter what you do,you keep getting an error. You know your card is approved and has been working so it must be something with the website. You werefinally happywith yourpurchasing decisionand then this happens. It is so frustrating!

    An imperfect shopping experience, whether the homepage wonat load, the search is broken, or you just canat check out, negatively impacts yourview of the brand. For brands to choose to sell online, these lackluster shopping experiences are always painful to discover, especially when they prevent shoppers from successfully checking out.

    Brandswho prioritize customer experiences know that it isnat all about beautiful content and personalized recommendations.Ensuring you have the correct technology to power quick and easy purchasing experiences is also crucial. A key element of this experience is poweredbydigital commerce payment vendors and a key aspect of payment vendors are payment gateways. This blog post with explain the importanceand provide an overview of toponlinepayment gateways.

    What is a Digital Commerce Payment Vendor?

    Digital commerce payment vendors should be treated as a necessary and strategic part of your complete commerce solution.According toGartner:

    Digital commerce payments are electronic payments, often made with real-time authorization, that are used to support digital commerce transactions. Digital commerce payment vendors provide some combination of a payment gateway, payment processing, acquiring services, payment security and fraud detection.

    Brands often use multiple payment vendors based on their customer preferences, geographic location, and ease of integration.There are a variety of digital commerce payment vendors each with different strengths and weaknesses that may them a fit for specific types ofbrands

    What is an Online Payment Gateway?

    Onlinepaymentgatewaysareoften part of digital commerce payment vendoras complete offering.According toGartner:

    Payment gateways initiate payments at the request of merchants and return the responses to those merchants. They offer preexisting connections and certified integrations with key payment acquirers and processors, and many have integrations with other providers within the greater digital commerce ecosystem.

    There are multiple types of online payment gateways, each relevant for different brands based on their technology stack and customer needs. A key difference in online payment gateways is agnostic, dedicated, and directed.

    Agnostic Gateways

    These connect to a variety of differentpaymentprocessorswhere the brand has a relationship with those processors.This meansthat brands can build one experiences on the front end for customers. But, on the backend they have the flexibility to swap their chosen processors as their needs change. Whether that be for geographic expansion or inclusive of a newpayment method (ex:AmazonPay), brands can swap without impacting the front experience. Examples of agnosticonline paymentgateways include Cybersource and ACI Worldwide.

    Dedicated Gateways

    These are the opposite of agnostic online payment gateways. They are owned by the payment facilitator and are used solely to connect to thatprocessor.Examples of dedicated online payment gateways are Adyen, PayPal Braintree, and Stripe.

    Directed Gateways

    These arelikeagnostic because they connect to multiple processors.But,the brand does not have a relationship with the processor.Instead, the gateway vendor directs traffic to the relevant processor as needed for each transaction. Examples of directed online payment gateways are checkout.com andBluesnap.

    Why do I need an onlinepayment gateway?

    Simply put, you need an online payment gateway to processcredit card transactions. Payment gatewaystransfermoney between your customeras account tobrandas accountby passing credit card information and transaction information.

    10 Best Payment GatewayProvidersForDigitally Driven Brands

    Amazonpayments

    With Amazon Pay, Amazon customers can paywith their existing amazonwithout leaving your website. Contracts withAmazonpaymentscan be 2.9%+ $0.30 for domestic U.S. transactions.Amazonpaymentshas a lot of key integration partners and consulting agencies as well.

    Adyen

    A single platform for global payment coverage wherever you operate your eCommerce business out of. Easy to add additional sales channels that are consistently up to date with regulations like GDPR, PSD2 and PCI compliance.Ayden supports a large array of Payment Methods and pricing is listed here in their tool: https://www.adyen.com/pricing.

    Authorize.net

    A Visa solution, Authorize.net accepts credit cards, contactless payment andeChecksin person and on the go.Winner of aTheStrawheckerGroup Awarda for aBest API Integrationa two years in a row, Authorize.net has an all-in-one option that is 2.9% +$0.30or the Gateway only that is $25 amonthand $0.10 per transaction with a daily batch fee of $0.10.

    Braintree

    APaypalservice, with 20+ years of eCommerce payment experience, Braintree integrates with a large variety of payment methods,including Venmo in the U.S.Braintreeoffersglobalcoverage for130+ currencies in 45+ regions.They offer aStandard Pricinga which is on par with the rest of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction or tailored custom pricingbasedon volume and business model.

    CardConnect

    CardConnectprovides a variety of solutions for multiple business needs for payment gateway integration.Pricing options includetheir Basic Plan (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction) or the Pro plan (1.89% + $0.23 with $19.95/month fee).CardConnectalso runs aInterchange Optimizationa to ensure the lowest Credit Card fees and rates for your payment gateway.

    CyberSource

    Alsoa Visa Solution, CyberSource touts its 260+ fraud detectorsand,offers payment acceptance in 97% of all countries and territories in the world.A single platform solution that offers many of the features of other payment gateways on this list with a lot of content tailored forbusinessusers and for developersutilizingthe gateway API.

    PayPal offers two different options for payment gateways, based on needs:

    PayPal Express Checkout

    A solution for any size business that wants to incorporatePaypalaccountsas a means toquickly login andcheckouton their website. A direct API that can integrate into most systems and a team to help with integration if needed.Available in 202 countries and 25 different currencies.Charge a 3.4% + $0.30 per transaction, and international sales are 4.4% + a fixed fee per transaction based on the currency.

    PayPalPayflowPro Express Checkout

    PayPal Payflow Pro works in 202 countries and with 25 currencies. Withtwo different plans available, thePayflowLink is $0/month with checkout hosted byPaypal. ThePayflowPro option is unlimited checkoutcustomization to make your checkout unique to yourbusiness. The cost is only $0.10 per transaction for one of the lowest rates available.

    Square

    Square provides aflexiblepayment gateway withnumerouscustomization options and a $65B ecosystem of payments to minimize your payment risks.Square also allows payments onApps, existing software integrations and more with ease. Squareis a leader for in-person payments. Transaction costs are 2.6% and $0.10 for each.

    Stripe

    Stripe boasts one of the most technologically advanced payment gateways with hundreds of features and improvements yearly to stay ahead of industry shifts, deploying their production API 16x a day on average.With 135+ currencies and payment methods supported in over 35countries,Stripe has decent global coverage.Stripe charges 2.9% + $0.30 for each transactionandoffers custom packages with product and volume discounts available.

    Stripe Payment Intents

    A Stripe API that can handle complex paymentflows. Some of the advantages of this API are automatic authentication handling, no double charges, no idempotency key issuesand support for SCA and other regulatory changes.


    Pride at Elastic Path

    June is Pride month globally and we asked our employees what Pride meant to them.

    Pride is a time to recognise how far we have come in the fight for equal rights, and how far we have left to go. It's when our community comes together to celebrate every victory and grieve everyone that we have lost to hate and violence.

    Pride means inclusivity and expression. To be your best self everywhere, without judgement.

    Pride is a celebration of those who identify on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

    Our goal in celebrating and honoring Pride is to ensure our employees understand that it started with protests and violence, not the pride parades that we see today. To accomplish this, weave shared daily content on Slack to both educate and begin conversations amongst the team. Content shared spans how to be an ally, to how to talk to children about LGBTQ2S+, to the history of the flags.

    The impact of sharing this content is already being felt in a positive way. Upon realizing that not all flags representing the LGBTQ2S+ groups were available as reactions on our Slack platform, employees took it upon themselves to ensure more were added to be more inclusive and that people who may not themselves in the traditional pride flag were seen.

    Later this month weare hosting Pride-themed game shows via QUARMEGA. This is sure to be a fun time putting the learning weave all been doing this month to the test.

    While Pride is only one month long, weare committed to supporting this community all year long. aWhen I came out at work, Elastic Path updated the bathroom signage to be more inclusive and worked with a D&I consultant to release a video about gender, sexual orientation, and pronouns to guide the conversation around the new signs and my change in pronouns.a Learn more about our commitment to Diversity & Inclusion.


    New Release: B2B Account Management

    The recent release of Account Management for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud empowers B2B brandswith the core functionality needed to support the account structures that their businesses require to perform at scale and the B2B shopping experiences that their buyers expect.

    Account Management

    This release provides the following capabilities

    • Ability to create, view, and edit accounts (Seller Admin)
    • Ability to add, view, and edit users to the accounts (Seller Admin)
    • Ability to create orders and view order history for their account (B2B Buyers)

    These capabilities enable B2B brandsto support B2B shopping experiences where buyers are transacting on behalf of their organization. Consider a B2B faucet manufacturer (Seller) and big-box retailer (Buyer). The seller can create an account for a big-box retailer and add multiple account members e.g., John and Jane to that account. After John and Jane create orders for their account, they can view account order history which will include orders from both John and Jane.

    Beta API

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

    What's Next?

    We plan to add features incrementally and release frequently. Soon you can expect dashboard support for managing accounts. Today account members can login using OpenID Connect, soon they will be able to login using username and password. These are just a couple of examples of whatas next. As new features are released, they will be added to Elastic Path Commerce Cloud changelog.

    Get Started

    With Account Management capabilities brands and B2B buyers can more effectively manage their B2B transactions. Use the postman collection to try these new Account Management APIs. Additional details on this new feature can be found in the documentation.


    GraphQL vs Rest: New Server for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud

    The recently released GraphQL Server for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud provides a GraphQL implementation of Elastic Path Commerce Cloud APIs to support shopping experiences. This release enables developers more familiar with GraphQL, as compared to REST, to more easily build shopping experiences.

    GraphQL vs REST

    We often get asked about REST vs GraphQL. In our experience you can do almost anything with both REST and GraphQL. There are some technical differences, but nothing that's a roadblock in achieving a business goal. The choice between RESTand GraphQLcomes down to preference. An analogy would be that humans communicate in many languages - English, French, Mandarin, German etc. Some languages might be "better" for some things. However, there are very specific nuances and can oftentimes be difficult for a non-native speaker. People would prefer to speak in their native language, solely due to preference and comfort level. The same goes for choosing between GraphQL and RESTFUL APIs.

    At Elastic Path, we prefer RESTbecause it follows HTTP protocol standards. This enables us to keep our APIs clean and simple, and REST APIs can take advantage of all the efforts to improve web performance at every level. As an example, it is relatively simple to use browser caching and CDNs to optimize HTTP requests.

    At the same time, we also recognize that GraphQL makes some things easier for developers consuming APIs. You may prefer GraphQL because you are familiar with it, or that it makes it easier to wrap different APIstogether, or any other reason by which GraphQL makes the front-end development easier for you. We certainly want to give you the choice of using the technology that works for you.

    GraphQL Server for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud

    The GraphQL server provides the following capabilities:

    • Ability to build shopping experiences using Elastic Path Commerce Cloud and GraphQL
    • Convenience of wrapping APIsfrom different systems and vendors with a single GraphQL endpoint

    The GraphQL server is easy to consume. The readme provides steps on how to set it up on your machineand deploy to the cloud. As the source is available to you, you can add additional data sources to wrap multiple APIs from different systems and vendors. You can also use something like Apollo Federation to aid with this.

    GraphQL in Action

    The GraphQL server comes with GraphQL Playground which is an interactive, in-browser GraphQL IDE. Hereas a simple query to fetch nodes and products in a storefront.

    Get Started

    To start building shopping experiences with Elastic Path Commerce Cloud and GraphQL, clone the Github repo and follow the instructions in the readme.


    Composable Commerce is Changing the eCommerce Game: A Conversation with Harry Chemko

    Harry Chemko, our co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, recently sat down with Digital Commerce 360 to chat all things Composable Commerce, an approach that enables marketing, merchandizing, and sales teams to bring their brand's unique digital vision to life by launching and continuously optimizing digital commerce experiences that leverage multiple best-of-breed vendors composed together into a complete, business-ready solution. The below interview is an excerpt from the 2021 eCommerce Platforms for B2B and B2C report. Get access to the full report.

    DC360: Why is composable commerce important to ecommerce businesses?

    Harry: Composable commerce empowers ecommerce businesses to control their digital destinies, differentiate from the competition and drive revenue. Itas business-centric, has a modular architecture and an open ecosystem. Due to the modular nature, brands can rapidly build, deploy and continuously optimize their ecommerce site. Gone are the days of lengthy, complicated and expensive customizations.

    DC360: What challenges does composable commerce help companies address?

    Harry: Many brands cannot create innovative ecommerce experiences or adhere to brand guidelines, without a huge price tag and a lot of development time. But with composable commerce, they can innovate fastawithout added costs due to modular architecture and open ecosystem.

    DC360: What role has the pandemic played in accelerating the importance of composable commerce?

    Harry: The pandemic has played a huge role in accelerating the importance of composable commerce. It was a prime example of how fast the business needs can change, and the technology needs to keep pace. A specific example was the need for companies to spin up buy-online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) quickly. With composable commerce, this was simple and fast, resulting in a new revenue channel during an auspicious time for many companies.

    DC360: What steps should ecommerce businesses take to implement composable commerce strategies?

    Harry: Businesses need to start by evaluating whether Composable Commerce is the right approach for them. They should ask themselves several questions: Does my business operate in a rapidly changing or competitive market? Does making changes to my ecommerce platform take months and cause lots of headaches? Do I have a complex business that operates in many geographies or have many sub-brands? If yes, itas time to create a plan to replatform to a composable commerce approach.

    Elastic Path helps companies embrace composable commerce through its Composable Commerce Hub, which provides an open exchange of business solutions powered by an ecosystem of digital commerce providers. Regardless of a brands technical expertise, the Composable Commerce Hub enables any company to quickly and easily compose, launch, and continuously optimize unique, revenue-driving digital commerce experiences. Several precomposed solutions and accelerators are available on the Composable Commerce Hub that make getting started simple and fast. And because itas headless, these solutions allow a quick start for companies to get up and running fast while still enabling them to easily customize later.

    DC360: Why is it important for companies to adopt composable commerce sooner than later?

    Harry: Composable commerce is a new approach that is game changing for companies. They no longer need to compromise between innovative but risky do-it-yourself commerce solutions or safe but cookie-cutter traditional SaaS ecommerce platforms. Composable commerce empowers companies with the control they need to create Innovative revenue-driving experiences at the scale and speed of their business.


    Product Data Management + Catalog Functionality: The Heart of eCommerce

    The product data management and catalog functionality are the heart of any eCommerce solution, as they define what can be sold to customers and how quickly new products can be brought to market across different channels. Plus, it's likely that many different teams at an organization, from engineering to merchandising, will be involved in managing products and catalogs. All of this together makes the technology you choose to use for this piece of your eCommerce strategy extremely important.

    But, the majority of eCommerce platforms, built their catalog functionality 10-20 years ago when the digital needs of brands were simpler than what they are today. At the time of their creation, being online with a simple site was enough to drive revenue growth. Brands didnat need to power experiences across multiple geos, business models, touchpoints and more a all requiring their own unique catalogs. Plus, product assortments did not change as rapidly and continuously, meaning that speed to launch and optimize products and catalogs was not crucial to an eCommerce teamas success.

    This dated functionality is often extremely rigid, both in terms of product data and catalog management. Often these solutions impose their own data structures on the application owner making it time-consuming and cumbersome to upload product data from external sources such as PIM, ERP, or even just spreadsheets. In addition, these solutions often tightly link price books and products meaning that entire catalogs need to be duplicated and customized in order to support a brandas unique requirements. For brands who need to support multiple catalogs across geos, accounts, business models, brands, and touchpoints the lack of flexibility in these traditional commerce platforms results in time-consuming and expensive workarounds needing to be built, resulting in duplicative efforts, expensive rework, and delayed time to market and revenue.

    At Elastic Path, we heard these pain points from our customers and committed to finding an alternative way to manage product data and easily create the unique catalogs you need to drive business growth across multiple routes to market. Thatas exactly why we have reinvented product and catalog management, with our new Product Content Management service.

    This new addition to our composable, API-first, microservices-based platform, Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, was created to make the daily lives of teams responsible for managing products, pricing, and catalogs at branded manufacturers easier. Product Content Management provides the flexibility to use your existing data structure to rapidly compose and continuously optimize products and pricing into unlimited, unique catalogs across all your routes-to-market such as multiple brands, accounts, geographies, touchpoints, business models, and loyalty tiers.

    This empowers brands to reduce catalog management time by 5X resulting in more consistent user experiences and faster time to market.

    Product Content Management offers the flexibility and ease for brands to:

    • Import and enhance product data using their existing data schema, decreasing the time it takes to get new products live.
    • Create hierarchies, such as multi-level categories or lines, based on their unique internal structures instead of having to create expensive customizations.
    • Manage products and pricing separately allowing for the flexibility to support unique catalogs without custom extensions or manual catalog management.
    • Compose hierarchies (products) and prices into the unlimited catalogs that meet business needs across geographies, customer accounts, touchpoints, brands and beyond.
    • Assign rules to catalogs so that they are dynamically surfaced for the right customers at the right time.

    With Product Content Management, branded manufacturers have the unlimited flexibility to seamlessly create, customize, and manage the products and catalogs they need to support unique business requirements, including: multiple geographies, business models (B2B, B2C, etc.), customer/account types (rewards customers, tiered customers), brands, touchpoints (kiosk, pop-up, web, etc.), etc. Product Content Management puts the control back in the hands of branded manufacturers so they can confidently support and sell their unique products at the correct price and in the proper experience, decreasing time to market, and powering revenue.

    To learn more about how your business could benefit from the flexibility and time-saving simplicity of Product Content Management, contact us today.


    Top 5 Questions on SOC 2 Compliance

    When it comes to selecting an eCommerce solution it is important to base your evaluation on more than just functionality and pricing. You will want to confirm your chosen commerce solution has the high security standards in place to ensure that your systems and data are kept secure. Fail to do this, and you could end up with security compromises like a data breaches or system intrusions, hurting your companyas reputation, customer loyalty, and jeopardizing revenue.

    Security assessments like the SOC 2 evaluation provide a comprehensive and centralized, third party report to ensure youare working with a vendor that has validated they follow the highest standards of security practices, policies, procedures, and operations. SOC 2 compliances reduces time spent on security evaluations and provides the confidence that your data is secure so you can launch and drive revenue faster while keeping your business operating at 100%.

    Familiarize yourself with SOC 2 with the top five questions we hear from prospects:

  • What does SOC 2 Compliance mean?
    • SOC stands for System and Organizational Controls and is based on the Trust Services Criteria. This criteria is focused on the ability to report on the design of controls (and/or testing and operating effectiveness of those controls) for a service organization. The SOC 2 report addresses an organizationas controls pertaining to operations and compliance standards; things like security, integrity, availability, privacy, and confidentiality are all aspects of SOC2.
  • Why is it important to be SOC 2 compliant?
    • SOC 2 is an auditing procedure that ensures service providers securely manage data to protect the interests of organizations and the privacy of its clients. If your chosen commerce partner is SOC 2 compliant it means you can trust that they will do everything possible to protect your data and systems.
  • What is the benefit to the customer for a vendor to be SOC 2 Compliant?
    • SaaS vendors in particular need to be SOC 2 compliant in many instances, especially when they sell to the enterprise. Enterprises are often beholden to a wide variety of security and compliance controls and being demonstrably SOC 2 examined as a vendor gives those enterprise customers the peace of mind they need to do business with Elastic Path.
  • What security practices and procedures are assessed during a SOC 2 Compliance evaluation?
    • SOC 2 evaluates the operational policies, communications, procedures, and monitoring concerning fourTrust Service Categories (TSC):
      • Security a Information and systems are protected against unauthorized access (both physical and logical), unauthorized disclosure, and damage
      • Availability a Information and systems are available for operation and use as committed
      • Processing integrity a System processing is complete, valid, accurate, timely, and authorized
      • Confidentiality a Confidential information is secured, and access is controlled
  • What are the principles of SOC 2?
    • Elastic Path utilizes independent third-party auditors to test the Elastic Path Commerce Cloud platform against the widely accepted security standards controls of SOC 2. These examinations are conducted by a respected audit and security firm that is independent and thorough in its inspections. The SOC2 examination report is intended to meet the needs of a broad range of users that need detailed information and assurance about the controls at a service organization relevant to the security, availability, and processing integrity of the systems the service organization uses to process data. With Elastic Path successfully achieving the SOC2 examination, we can ensure peace of mind to our customers.
  • Learn more about how you can build your eCommerce vision with confidence by visiting our Trust page.


    How You Can Contribute to the Composable Commerce Hub

    Your ability to create unique commerce experiences is crucial for keeping up with customer needs and outpacing the competition. But, creating abest-for-me" commerce solutions that power delightful customer experiences is easier said than done. This need is exactly why Elastic Path advocates for Composable Commerce. Composable Commerce is an approach that enables marketing, merchandising, and sales teams to bring their brand's unique digital vision to life by launching and continuously optimizing digital commerce experiences that leverage multiple best-of-breed vendors composed together into a complete, business-ready solution.

    In an effort to make Composable Commerce more accessible, Elastic Path created the Composable Commerce Hub, our re-invention of the traditional vendor marketplace. The Composable Commerce Hub is home to a variety of assets from integrations, to reference experiences and business-ready Pre-Composed SolutionsaC/. The majority of these assets are created and shared by our partnercommunity. As a partner-first organization, Elastic Path strives to make it easy for our technology partners to contribute assets to the Composable Commerce Hub. By joining the Composable Commerce Hub partners gain exposure within our customer and prospect community and can partner with more branded manufacturers to compose their complete commerce solution.

    The Elastic Path Alliances team is committed to providing resources needed by our partners to move fast and reliably succeed in creating certifiable Composable Commerce assets. While we keep the touchpoints light to respect partnersa desire for process independence, we are always ready to offer help with technical questions, marketing programs, and go-to-market activities when needed.

    The asset contribution process starts with the Asset Contribution Kickoff session involving technical and business members of the Elastic Path Partner Solutions and Enablementteam and representatives of the contributing partner organization. The purpose of this session is to initiate the contribution process, inform the contributing partner of the resources available in Elastic Path to support their effort, as well as to clarify the asset contribution and certification process steps. Steps on the way to asset certification include optional Ideation and design workshops, which are customizable consulting sessions aimed at helping the contributing partner development teams with design or development issues they might encounter in building the asset.

    In order to be certified, the asset has to comply with a number of design, technical, and support requirements. To ensure successful compliance, the contributing partners are provided with the Asset Contribution Guide at the outset. The Asset Contribution Guide contains all the necessary information needed to ensure the development of an asset certifiable by Elastic Path.

    The Composable Commerce Hub Asset Certification Evaluation is a step in the process whereby Partner Support & Enablement technical specialists evaluate the submitted finished asset. When an asset is submitted for certification, it also triggers corresponding parallel go-to-market activities coordinated by Elastic Path Alliances and Marketing teams. If the submitted asset passes the evaluation, assuming a positive outcome of the go-to-market process, the asset is listed on Elastic Pathas Composable Commerce Hub as a certified asset.

    To ensure the long-term viability of assets listed on the Composable Commerce Hub, we are introducing the Asset Re-certification process. For assets developed for Elastic Path Commerce product, the re-certification process is driven by the version changes in the Elastic Path Commerce product and is aimed at ensuring compatibility with the latest version of Elastic Path Commerce. For assets developed for Elastic Path Commerce Cloud product, an asset certification process is an annual event. Upkeep and maintenance of listed assets are critical not just for the long-term viability of the asset itself, but for the credibility and prominence of the contributing partner as well.

    If you have an idea for an asset you would like to contribute to the Composable Commerce Hub, contact us here to get started.


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