Today "B2B " News and Relevant News on "B2B " as Parts

Keyword: B2B

Century Park Law Group - News Center

4a- Ways Youra- eCommercea- Checkout a-Isa- Hurting Youra- Business

Does your checkout need a checkup? For nearly all eCommerce businesses, the answer is an emphatic yes, according to Elastic Path partner, Stripe. In a recent study that surveyed leading B2B and B2B eCommerce sites and customers, Stripe discovered that 96% of sites in North America, as well as 95% in Asia-Pacific and 94% in Europe, had at least five basic errors in their checkouts. The problem not only spans regions but also organizations of all sizes, from startups to large, established eCommerce sites with teams focused on increasing conversions.

You might be wondering whatas so bad about a few minor checkout hiccups. It all comes down to friction. The longer and more complicated the checkout process, the more likely that customers will get frustrated and give up: 19%, or nearly 1 in 5, of the eCommerce customers in Stripeas study said theyad abandon a transaction if checking out took more than a minute. The numbers were even higher in Europe and Asia-Pacific, where 21% and 34% indicated they wouldnat stay. Even if customers manage to complete the purchase, they could end up leaving with a negative impression of your company which can negatively impact repeat purchases.

With all this in mind, itas clear that optimizing your checkout is critical to your eCommerce siteas growth and success. It can be a big task, but the sooner you start, the sooner youall reap the benefits. Just follow these steps.

Step 1: Identify Trouble Spots

Even small snags in the checkout process can have a big impact on customer frustration. Stripeas research found that the most common errors fall into four main categories:


Check Out Our Elastic Path Payments Product

Simplify accepting payments for all channels, drive topline revenue and increase ROI, and get best of breed payments with a trusted partner.

Go to Elastic Path Payments

1. Checkout Form Design Minor optimizations such as address auto-complete, descriptive error messaging (i.e., alerting customers when they try to use invalid cards), and credit-card number formatting can speed the checkout process along and increase conversions. But Stripe found that nearly half of top businesses made at least three mistakes in this area, including 51% that didnat support auto-complete and 36% that didnat format numbers in blocks of four. 77% also did not offer an option to save payment information for future purchases, creating an obstacle to repeat business. 2. Mobile Optimization With 50% of customers doing most of their shopping from a mobile device, and more than 50% of all eCommerce traffic coming from smartphones, itas clear that mobile eCommerce is here to stay. However, shoppers abandon carts on mobile devices at more than twice the rate of desktop, often because of mobile-unfriendly practices that make checkout difficult. These include not supporting mobile wallets such as Apple Pay (76% of North American businesses surveyed) and Google Pay (88% of North American businesses surveyed), and not having a responsive form that automatically resizes for a mobile deviceas smaller screen. 3. Localization As eCommerce grows globallyait reached $26.7 trillion in 2021amore and more companies are finding they need to support purchases from international customers. This is where localization becomes important. A full 40% of customers outside the US and Canada prefer to pay with a method other than a credit card, such as a digital wallet or bank transfer, and expect sites to offer them the option to do so.

In a separate study, Stripe found that businesses enabling popular European payment methods saw a 40% increase in incremental sales. In addition, buy now, pay later methods such as Klarna and Afterpay not only appeal to international customers in Europe, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand but can help boost sales in the US and Canada by offering the ability to pay in installments.

4. Buyer Trust and Security Security during checkout is a delicate balance. Customers want a secure payment experience, but some security measures add time and friction to the process. One of the ways eCommerce websites can help alleviate the problem is by enabling customers to check out as guests, without collecting or storing their personal information. Another option is to allow customers to log in through their social media accounts, which keeps their information on a site they already trust. However, Stripe found that 18% of sites surveyed didnat allow guest checkout, and 90% didnat allow customers to check out by connecting to a social media profileaboth missed opportunities to build trust.

Step 2: Optimize and Correct

To optimize your checkout, youall first need to do an audit of your current process. To learn more, read the latest research from Edgar, Dunn & Company, commissioned by Stripe: The State of North American Checkouts in 2021. It covers in-depth detail about the five most common problem areas, including best practices and tips on what to look for. Once youave figured out where any issues lie, you can correct them, starting with the ones that are easiest to implement and will remove the greatest amount of friction.

eCommerce Landscape 2022 a-

Weave put together sixteen quadrants of top eCommerce vendors in these categories: eCommerce platforms, Search, Payment, Loyalty/Rewards, CMS, CRM, PIM, Conversational Commerce/Chatbots, ERP, Email Marketing, Social Media, System Integrators, Tax, Analytics, & OMS.a-a- a-

Whatas Driving Innovation?a-a-

  • Using AI to cross and upsell, and visualize purchases (virtual dressing/show rooms)
  • Subscription models
  • Buying behavior influenced by a strong sustainability practice
  • Multichannel customer support
  • Personalized marketing
  • Growing B2B segment with enabled automation
  • Growing D2C segment

How to Stay Competitive:a-

  • If you sell everything, youall end up selling nothing. Carve out your niche by knowing your customer. Successful brands create demand for their products by speaking to customers shared beliefs, lifestyles, and goals
  • Map the customeras buying journey from end-to-end with specific touchpoints
  • Monitor customer data and respond to it with testing and engagement
  • Optimize the experience for all devices

Barriers to Entry:a-

  • Taxing
  • Customs
  • Cybercrime, security issues
  • Intellectual property issues

Why Do People Shop Online?a-a-

  • Convenience
  • Safety
  • Faster/zero shipping
  • Broader access to brands
  • Reviews
  • Better pricing

With So Many Pros to the Online Shopping Experience, What is a Major Drawback?a-a-

Not being able to touch, feel, or try a product prior to purchase (51%) followed by possible breakage, no physical store experience, no interaction, fraud, and delivery issues.

Source: 50 Consumers Online Shopping Behavior Trends [Survey] 2022 ( a-

With the experience of online shopping driving its popularity and growth, brands must optimize the journey every step of the way. By removing friction points (simplified checkout, diverse payment options, quick loading pages, advanced search, mobile optimization), the path to purchase is easy. Leveraging loyalty programs, AI-powered technology to predict behavior, and merchandising options are crucial tools to conversion and retention.a-a-

How Are Customers Finding Brands?a-a-

In the initial brand awareness period, retail websites and physical stores (see showrooming), influence a customeras first pass at a product; however when the buying journey heats up it shifts to more word-of-mouth (product reviews) and social media (social proof) impacts.a-a-a-

What Are People Buying Online?a-a-

It may not be surprising to find that electronics and tech top the list for the most popular items purchased online, however, with a saturated market, niche items have emerged in popularity such as shapewear, travel accessories, and health and beauty products.a-a-

Source: 50 Top Trending Products To Sell Online in 2022 for High Profits (


See How Elastic Path Delivers Unique Customer Experiences

The Elastic Path Demo Library features multiple demos that showcase the power and scale of our products.

Go to Demo Library

eCommerce Platforms:

Adobe Commerce Cloud (Magento)a-




Elastic Patha-a-a-






Salesforce Commerce Clouda-a-

SAP Commerce Clouda-








Amazon CloudSearcha-

Apache SOLRa-


Azure Cognitivea-a-








Funnelback a-

Google Clouda-

Handshake by Perficienta-a-































Digital Rivera-



Fat Zebraa-a-







Latitude Paya-



Mercado Pagoa-a-






Payment Clouda-

Payment Depota-




Progressive Leasinga-










Till Paymentsa-






Annex Clouda-


Captain Upa-





Eagle Eyea-


Five Starsa-


Hashtag Loyaltya-





Loyalty +a-



Open Loyaltya-a-



Preferred Patron Loyaltya-


Qualtrics CustomerXMa-


Salesforce Experience Clouda-


Talon. Onea-



White Label Loyaltya-a-



CMS: a-







Brand Makera-





Core Mediaa-a-









Live Storya-a-


Market Pagea-a-




Royal Cybera-a-


Salesforce Marketing Clouda-






Order Groovea-


Stax Billinga-a-


Stripe Billinga-a-


Zuora RegPacka- a-




Brand quada-

Catalog Buildera-a-



Creative Forcea-







Sales Layera-




Conversational Commerce/Chatbots:


Amazon Lexa-






Flow XOa-

IBM Watsona-a-


Microsoft Bota-

Mobile Monkeya-a-


Pandora Botsa-







Microsoft Dynamicsa-


Oracle NetSuitea-



SAP Business Onea-



Email Marketing:






Campaign Monitora-


Constant Contacta-












Salesforce Marketing Clouda-a-



Sendlane a-



Social Media: a-

Cloud Campaigna-

Conversational Clouda-




Marketing 360a-



Salesforce Marketing Clouda-


Sprout Sociala-

System Integrators:


BORN Groupa-


Deloitte Digital




Sutrix Group

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)a-



TA Digital (Formerly TechAspect)

Publicis Sapient a-

Slalom Consulting

Apply digital

Sirius Computer Solutions

EY Consulting


New Elevation












Momentum (onX)

Object Edge










Tech Mahindra



Les Fabricans


McKenna Consultants





ATNA Technologies


DB Consulting

IAP Japan












Deck Commercea-a-






Fusion Factorya-





Logic Brokera-a-



One Stocka-



Publicis Sapienta-

Quickbooks Commercea-


Ship Stationa-a-




Subscribe Proa-









Data Domea-a-

Dynamic Actiona-a-

Fathom Analyticsa-

Fenix Commercea-a-


Get Feedbacka-





Idea Tarmaca-







Piwik PROa-a-






Simple Analyticsa-


Treasure Dataa-a-



Avalaraa- a-

CCH Sure Taxa-a- a-

Digital Rivera-a- a-

Global-ea-a- a-

TaxJara- a-


Thomson Reuters Onesourcea-a-



Three Steps to Evaluating Your Strategic Roadmap for D2C Adoption

Post-pandemic, brands have a surmounting pressure to re-evaluate their channel and sales strategies as direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel adoption increases, and the need for a nurturing customer experience is in demand. In tandem, brands are offered conflicting advice from channel partners, recommending staying away from D2C adoption. To guide brands, Gartner has created a strategic roadmap to support companies in making the right strategic decisions and technology investments to increase brand adoption, revenue, and future-proof their digital commerce vision. In this blog we break it down into three steps:

Step One: Your Current State

The pandemic forced brands to re-think their go-to-market strategy. Due to the shift in shopping behaviors over the past few years, the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) and branded manufacturer industries were the early adopters. However, D2C can be implemented across industries, from healthcare and medical devices to automotive and more. Reasons for holding off on adopting a D2C channel include the following:

  • Mounting pressure from channel partners to stay away from D2C due to the presumed fear of cannibalizing the partnership
  • Lack of company structure to support individual transactions and everything that comes with it (i.e., packaging, managing shipping and returns, customer support)
  • Lack of an eCommerce presence - brands may only have content-based sites with the inability to support a transaction

Whatever the reason, brands that fail to embrace D2C may fail to see future growth in monetary terms, brand awareness, customer adoption, and brand loyalty, to name a few.

Step Two: Plan for Your Future State

Gartner believes that the future of digital commerce will include a mix of strategies and technologies that many companies may already have today. Gartner also believes that having an eCommerce strategy and indirect channels like a marketplace are not mutually exclusive. Building a multi-channel strategy can increase customer adoption by going where your customers are across channels. Doing this will drive customer loyalty and in turn increase geo-expansion and revenue.

In the not-too-distant future, weall see an increase in D2C sites where customers will have a variety of products available to them, often with the ability to create a subscription. The subscription offering will be unique to a brand's site, as this feature is not typically available through indirect channels. The benefit of incorporating subscriptions include recurring revenue and indirect customer loyalty.

When adopting a multi-channel strategy, Gartner recommends diversifying your SKUs across channels to create curated experiences versus offering all products in one channel. For example, you may feature an entire product line of pillow covers on your site but offer a limited-edition line of pillow covers on a 3rd party marketplace to create a sense of exclusivity and customization for that audience.

Interested in Learning More About Managing SKUs?

Managing a large amount of SKU variations can become complex, learn how you can manage unlimited catalogs across channels 5x faster, with Catalog Composer.

Learn More

Creating a multi-channel strategy will also open a world of ever-expanding data sets from products to customers and customer ordering preferences. Merging data from different channels will enable brands to create multidimensional strategies to further optimize their digital commerce vision. Gartner notes that in a future optimized state, companies will leverage from data sources such as:

  • Web analytics from direct digital commerce sites
  • Point-of-sale (POS) data from owned retail stores
  • Digital shelf analytics from online marketplaces, retailers, and social channels
  • Rating and review data from direct and indirect channels
  • Data and analytics from order management and fulfillment systems

Step Three: Creating a Migration Plan

Migrating from your current state to your future state will depend on your companyas digital maturity. As a starting point evaluate the following:

  • The technology you have in-place
  • What technology do you need to get to a future state?
  • The size of your company and the number of brands and products that will be incorporated into the plan
  • Strategize how you will sort your products across channels

To learn more and leverage next-step recommendations from Gartner download the report here.

Digital Merchandising Best Practices

No argument that eCommerce sales skyrocketed in the last two years, as the world turned to mobile devices to buy everything from a weekas worth of groceries to a new couch for the family room. But even as the world opens up post-pandemically, eCommerce retail sales maintain the top spot on the leaderboard. Projections point to upwards of $7 trillion in sales by 2024.

Whatas happened to merchandising as weave made the shift from brick-and-mortar to a virtual store and cart? Plenty. How do you translate an in-store experience into an engaging digital one that leads a shopper to Buy Now sight unseen? Letas dive into the world of eCommerce merchandising and find out how retailers create a path to purchase from the physical to the digital experience.

What is Digital Merchandising?

Also known as eCommerce or online merchandising, digital merchandising is the practice of marketing goods in the digital space. Just as you map product placement and displays in-store with branding considerations to draw the customer over, the same actions happen in a virtual store to entice the shopper from their chosen device. Product merchandising is about having the right assortment, and showcasing it at the right time to the right customer. You are essentially creating content; and given the 2024 online sales projections retailers canat afford to sit this one out.

Make a Plan & Get Campaigning

You may have a number of goals for your business; youave targeted a specific sales growth percentage or doubling down on the number of promotions per month, or youad like to grow your loyalty program for top spenders. Whatever the case may be, once youave set the goals itas now time for strategizing. Youave stated the what - now you need to flesh out the how.

Personalization: Itas a New Day for Data Collection

When it comes to eCommerce merchandising campaigns itas ok to get personal. In fact, itas mission critical. With the death of third-party cookies, retail marketers are forced to revisit how they collect data and lean in on first or zero-party solutions to power personalized shopper experiences. Research shows todayas shoppers care how you get their data and what you do with it.

aSeventy percent of consumers like personalization, as long as brands are using data theyave shared directly.a

Source: Twilio

A Common Personalization Trap: The Creep Factor

There are many schools of thought on how much personalization is too much. I think we can all agree that ultimately personalization should best serve the customer and fulfill a need. Stepping outside the boundaries and creating an inaccurate assumption defeats the purpose of winning trust.

For example, Iam a pet owner. I often browse and shop online for pet food and supplies and have tried the numerous subscription services based on this category But that also means over the years Iave had to inevitably say goodbye to pets. Here is a snapshot of the types of personalization I could experience based on the data capture:

Zero Party: The cat food you liked in our poll is now BOGO

First Party: The pet carrier you browsed last month is on clearance

Second Party: Congrats on the kitten! Need pet insurance?

Third Party: Itas hard to lose a furry friend. Next time, check out our pet caskets and internment services

Youall notice as we progress through each scenario, the degree of personalization falls a bit further into the off-putting range. What you ideally want to do is solve a problem or create a convenience; not push the limits of knowing too much.

aPersonalization can mean a lot of things, so itas important to understand what a marketer thinks it is and how itas creepy. This can often clear up initial concerns. Then for us, the guiding personalization principle is to figure out if and how it adds value to the end usera|a

Source: Paul Munkholm, Kettle

Interested in Learning More About eCommerce Merchandising?

Discover 10 areas to optimize your eCommerce merchandising strategy for your business and more with our playbook.

Go to Playbook

Ecommerce Merchandising Trends and Tips to Consider

Many of todayas digital merchandising tips and trends are based in AR/VR technology, embraced in greater numbers by Gen X and Millennial groups. A few examples of these tactics include:

  • Virtual dressing or try-on rooms allowing shoppers to try clothing or makeup swatches from any device, wherever they are, before purchase
  • aSee it in your rooma capabilities for furniture or dA(c)cor accessories to replicate digitally what the item will look like in a shopperas home or space (a useful deterrent from returns)
  • Social networks like Pinterest and Instagram have leveraged this technology in their algorithms. Studying how they strategize and leverage it in the path to purchase in-app can be useful if youare looking to see more AR/VR in play
  • Implement 360 plug ins and enable virtual product tours across devices

It really depends on your product assortment and what youare able to invest in as far as technology a you need to assess what works best for your business. Bear in mind how critical it is for shoppers to get the same level of comfort and confidence they do from an in-store experience and a face-to-face conversation with a retailer - having a unique experience is key to engaging (and keeping) todayas shopper.

Product Merchandising

Product merchandising is key to all types of channels. And what eCommerce has shown us is the complexity around merchandising. In todayas eCommerce landscape retailers have multiple digital storefronts, complex pricing needs to reflect flash or scheduled sales, loyalty pricing, or bundling models.

A Rapidly Changing Landscape

Ecommerce changes rapidly so itas important to be on top of whatas trending in digital merchandising technology and how that affects your customer. The in-store experience is not going away; instead the merging of the physical and virtual is now the combined commerce narrative. Operating and streamlining the experience in both worlds is becoming the norm.

Above all a make it easy, friction-less, predictive, and personalized (appropriately), from discovery to purchase. Answer questions for your customers before they even know they had them. Build trust and confidence from the first time they click on your site or app. Make shopping with you an unforgettable experience they simply canat do without.

eCommerce Platform TCO Comparison: BigCommerce, Adobe Commerce (Magento), Commercetools, Shopify & Elastic Path

This post was originally published on June 30, 2019 and has been updated for relevancy.

When itas time to choose an eCommerce platform, everyone wants to know which solution will be the best one for their business. But more often than not, the next question is aHow much does it cost?a Ideally, we all want the best bang for our buck, but itas easy to get distracted by the displayed pricing on a website, or the lack thereof. Sometimes we end up jumping for a cheaper priced solution and shying away from those vendors that donat display their pricing on the website, because we think itall be too costly. Only to find out, your acheapera solution is more expensive, because you were unaware of all of the additional cost you would incur.

At Elastic Path, we happen to be one of the vendors without upfront pricing because our pricing is truly customized to a businessa needs. However, to help you understand how your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) would compare to other vendors on the market, we will outline all the factors that you should be taking into consideration when evaluating your eCommerce solution. Weall also make reference to some of the top eCommerce vendors on the market such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud, BigCommerce, Adobe Commerce (Magento), and Commercetools to give you a better idea of where Elastic Path is positioned in comparison.

To get a true understanding of your total cost of ownership, and you will need to take into account both your first-year costs as well as your future costs. These costs include but arenat limited to:

  • Base software fee / Licensing fee
  • Implementation cost
  • Third party integrations cost
  • Cost of changes

In this article, we will first dissect each category of cost you should be considering followed by a breakdown of the total cost you can expect over a typical contract period for the aforementioned vendors.

Base Software Fee/ Licensing Fee

The base software fee or licensing fee is what we like to refer to as the aupfronta pricing. These fees tend to reflect either monthly or yearly licensing fees, which can be: Tier based, continuous revenue based or percent of sales based.

Tier-based means that there is a predefined price that your company will get locked into based on your current and expected revenue. Elastic Path and Commercetools are examples of microservices-based vendors that do tier pricing by revenue. The Elastic Path model is based on your transaction volume, which can be structured by Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) or by the number of orders processed (used more regularly for B2B companies).

For example, our pricing starts at $50,000 for companies who are just getting started and have revenue under $10 Million. Our pricing strategy allows you to plan your estimated growth over the next three years, lock in pricing, and allow you to plan for your spend in the future. This promises guaranteed pricing and clarity year over year so you can make plans for the future, not to mention the economies of scale driving the unit costs down as your revenues grow.

By continuous revenue, we mean the strategy by which vendors price their customers based on the revenue tier that theyare in, but automatically bump them up to the next pricing tier as soon as they go over. Weave seen vendors such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and Adobe Commerce (Magento) use this type of strategy.

By percent of sales-based pricing, we mean the strategy by which vendors take a small percentage of your Gross Merchandise Volume. Salesforce Commerce is an example of a vendor that uses this type of model. For example, Salesforce Commerce Cloud takes 1-2% of your GMV annually. So, at $10 Million in revenue, you can expect to pay around $100K to $200K. This type of model can be quite attractive because thereas no immediate upfront cost and it scales based on how your business performs.

However, there is also an additional annual fee of $150K that is mandatory to begin. This is a great example of hidden costs that you may not be aware of upfront. Generally, you can expect to pay a lower premium with modern Composable Commerce solutions than with an all-in-one solution like Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Check out our TCO guide to learn more.

The last component of the base cost is the hosting costs. With most modern cloud-based solutions, the hosting cost will also be tier-based on volume. Hosting costs are evenly comparable across most modern cloud-based eCommerce solutions.

Implementation Cost

Implementation costs are usually the most feared by businesses as it is perceived as the highest costs they will incur. These will usually be dependent on the cost of your developer and the time it takes to build the frontend and backend of your system. However, if youare in the market for an out-of-the-box solution, the majority of your cost will be dependent on the changes and customizations you will need to alter your pre-built solution. For brands with a unique brand vision and requirements, there will most likely always be customizations needed, and therefore, we recommend working with an agency or systems integrator. Here are a few of the tasks you can expect an agency to complete, that will determine your implementation costs:

  • Frontend development
  • Backend development
  • UI/UX design
  • Software systems integrations
  • Omnichannel design

Increasingly, we see customers looking to adopt a modern Composable Commerce approach use a progressive replatforming approach. This essentially means replacing your existing commerce solution (usually an all-in-one legacy solution) piece by piece. The benefits are two-fold: first, you can replace the component that is causing significant pain in your current solution quicker than a full-scale replatform. Catalog management, or easily customizable cart/ checkout capabilities are common first steps. The second benefit is on the cost front, where the development and customization costs are lower than a complete replatform can be evenly spread across the progressive replatforming process.

For a more detailed break-down of implementation costs, check out our blog post.

Third Party Cost

Third party costs are a little bit more intricate. When we think about this cost, we think about either plugins that are supplied by your platform as an application, or API integrations from third party vendors. The purpose of these integrations are to essentially extend your existing platform with other functionality. Some of the core third-party integrations include: content infrastructure, search engines, sales tax management, product information management (PIM), and shipping solutions. These costs will differ from vendor to vendor depending on if you leverage the third party as a plugin to your out-of-the-box solution, or buy a specific vendor solution for your Composable Commerce solution.

This can be a significant factor for brands that are looking to tailor their commerce solution to their needs with a Composable Commerce approach. They will not need to pay for components they do not use or need compared to an all-in-one solution. In some cases, brands that are already on an all-in-one solution like Salesforce will also add on higher performing third-party solutions to replace the out-of-the-box offering. Search is a good example of this, where brands will choose to implement a leading AI-driven search solution but ending up having to pay for both the third-party solution and the unused native solution from their monolithic provider.

Cost of Changes

One of the most important costs that are often neglected or forgotten are the costs associated with making changes to your solution. Most times we tend to plan and make decisions for anow,a but when the time comes and you are faced with costly changes that you werenat prepared for, it can be very detrimental to your fiscal budget planning. In addition, if youare the type of brand that wants to keep up with the ever-changing times, updates and changes are inevitable and therefore it is imperative you understand what those costs will look like in the future. Typical changes you will need to prepare for include:

  • Upgrades to your commerce software
  • Maintenance of your system
  • Upgrades or changes to your third-party technology partners
  • Changes in the backend functionality to fit your business requirements
  • Addition of new user experiences to keep up with customer expectations

These changes can become costly very quickly with traditional legacy platforms, as their rigid structure makes changes more difficult, thus driving up developer costs. Composable Commerce solutions on the other hand are more flexible by nature and therefore will end up lowering your overall total cost of changes in the future. As each businessa requirements will be different, we will not be able to provide an estimate of these costs across each vendor.

However, from feedback from past customers, on average, Composable Commerce solutions like Elastic Path and Commercetools, lower cost of changes by 40% when compared to rigid legacy platforms like Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Learn more about the expected cost of changes in our TCO guide.

Now that we've dissected the various cost categories, we have provided an overview of the total costs you can expect either on a monthly or annual basis for a few of the top legacy and Composable Commerce solutions on the market.


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

BigCommerce Essentials

Plan BigCommerce Standard BigCommerce Plus BigCommerce Pro Yearly Sales $50,000 $180,000 $400,000 Monthly Pricing $29.95 $79.95 $299.95

The pricing represents their upfront license fee. At these rates, you get your average out-of-the-box store with zero customization, providing you with all the features you need to get a basic store up-and-running. Keep in mind the additional costs you may not be considering when choosing BigCommerce, they automatically bump you to the next tier if your actual sales exceed the threshold.

BigCommerce Enterprise

BigCommerce Enterprise offers all the core features, along with the addition of some premium features including unlimited API calls, price lists, and support. Their pricing widely varies based on the average order value and the average number of orders processed per month. Based on conversations from some of their sales representatives, the pricing plan ranges anywhere between $400 and $20,000 monthly.

To learn more, check out our comparison between BigCommerce and Elastic Path. 


Shopify is the market leader for SMB customers looking for an out of the box eCommerce website. Shopify customers give up flexibility, meaning that they'll need to be comfortable running their eCommerce website according to Shopify's templates and structures - but for many companies, that is fine because they're just looking for a standard website.

Shopify has 5 primary offerings:

  • Lite starts at $9/month
  • Basic starts at $29/month
  • Standard starts at $79/month
  • Advanced starts at $299/month
  • Shopify+ starts at $2,000/month

There are also gateway fees, which range from 2.4-3% + $.30 per transaction. Similarly, they charge an extra 2% transaction free for purchases not made through Shopify Payments.

Check out our comparison page to learn more about the major differences between Shopify and Elastic Path.


Magento Community Edition positions themselves as an Open Source eCommerce platform that provides businesses with a flexible, digital commerce solution to successfully sell online. Weave already written a more detailed post on our blog that digs into Magentoas TCO. To give you a brief overview of their pricing structure, weall focus on Magentoas two main plans: Magento Open Source and Magento Enterprise.

Magento Open Source

Magentoas aFREEa Open Source plan proves to be a more customizable option when compared to BigCommerce. Be careful - the only thing free about this option is their licensing fee/download. There are few costs hidden in the background:

  • Implementation a $30,000 - $100,000+
  • Hosting a $1000+
  • Themes a $29-$499
  • Maintenance and Support a $30,000+
  • Extensions a $0 - $10,000
  • Third Party Integrations a $6,000

I know what youare thinking, those added up pretty quickly! To be upfront, the price for a more customized store than BigCommerce is going to start somewhere between $30,000 and $100,000 upwards.

Need Help Evaluating eCommerce Solutions?

Connect with an Elastic Path expert to answer all of your questions, set up a demo, access a free trial, or discuss pricing options.

Get in Touch

Adobe Commerce (Magento Enterprise)

Adobe Commerce (Magento Enterprise) is the premium paid version of Magento, designed for those stores that need more than the community edition offers, based on the size of their company, and the level of customization theyare looking for. However, with this option, you have to empty your pockets for a much higher licensing fee. Based on your revenue, Magento displays their upfront price between $22,000/year and $125,000/year.

Of course, this also includes access to more advanced features such as security, mobile commerce, and free professional customer support. However, in addition to including all the core features that the open source version consists of, the same features tend to come at a higher price for this plan. Some of these higher feature costs include:

  • Implementation a $60,000+
  • Hosting a $7000+
  • Themes a $29-$499
  • Magento Certified Gold Partner a  $10,000
  • Extensions a $0 - $10,000
  • Third Party Integrations a $6,000+

Overall, this comes with more customization, but still lacks complete control over your content. The price for this package starts between $100,000 and $250,000.

Overall, Magento Enterprise comes with more customization, but still lacks complete control over your content. The price for this package starts between $100,000 and $250,000 upwards! These are high costs and to make it even worse, Magentoas performance has not been up to standard either, especially when comparing site speed. You may want to consider the costs associated with their slow performing stores when considering your total cost of ownership as well.

Check out our comparison page for a detailed look at each solutionsa capabilities.


Commercetools is a Headless Commerce Platform. To be completely frank, there are no signs of Commercetoolsa pricing anywhere! They seem to be a bit secretive, but we have done our best to provide you with the most accurate information based on feedback from our customers, who shared what Commercetools has proposed to them. These costs include:

  • Implementation a $300,000 - $1 Million
  • License Fees a $200,000/year - $500,000/year
  • Specialized resources a $150,000/year

Click here for a more detailed look at a side-by-side comparison with Elastic Path.

Elastic Path

Elastic Path offers Composable Commerce-as-a-Service, an API-First headless commerce microservices solution. Composable Commerce is a modern approach to eCommerce that is built on the concept of composability, where core commerce functionality and partner integrations can be selected and assembled in various combinations to satisfy specific business requirements, at the speed digitally driven brands need to succeed. Composable Commerce were built on three main tenets:

  • Modular architecture
  • Open Ecosystem
  • Business Centric Solutions

And itas with these tenets that Elastic Path has been able to reduce businessa overall total cost of ownership by up to 50%.

As mentioned before, Elastic Path provides a tier-based pricing based on Gross Merchandise Revenue. Overall based on a $10 Million revenue, pricing would be around $50K for Elastic Path. Elastic Path also offers Composable Commerce Experience Assurance that de-risks the management of multi-vendor solutions by providing an expert 24x7 global support team for all issues. This cost of the feature will be 25% of your annual contract value and capped at $25,000 USD/ year.

Additional costs will include: implementation costs, hosting costs and third-party costs which will lie in the same range of costs for Magento. Where you will end up seeing the greatest cost savings are in the phases of customizations and changes. To get a better understanding of how cost of changes can be 5x lower compared to traditional legacy platforms and Composable Commerce solutions visit our Total Cost of Ownership Guide.

If you have more specific questions regarding Elastic Path costs, please refer to the pricing page here.


Understanding your total cost of ownership is not straight forward and often times we prioritize certain categories of costs and lose overall sight on our expected total cost in the future. As each vendor has different offerings, it will never be easy to compare them across the board. However, if you follow the guide of assessing each category of cost, this will give you and your team a good understanding to make an informed decision. If you have any questions, we are always happy to help - Just reach out to us.

The Myth of Headless Commerce

Headless Commerce is the buzz word that just wonat go away. So much talk about being headless evokes the image of the headless horseman for me. And so, I finally looked him up, to satisfy my curiosity about what he represents. The headless horseman symbolizes a past that never dies and continues to haunt the living. That sounds a lot like what Headless Commerce has turned into lately.

Over my last several years supporting organizations and brands looking to modernize their customer experience, the first qualifier seems to be aare you headlessa? But what does that really mean? When a brand asks a commerce vendor if they are aheadlessa, the answer will always be YES! Every eCommerce Platform available today makes a claim that they can operate in a headless manner.

Letas pause for a moment. What are brands really looking for when they are asking for headless? A read through of the past several (dozen or so) RFPs that have come across my desk indicate that organizations, whether they realize it or not, want the headless horseman. The aheada separated from the body, but still haunted by the past. What do I mean by that?

Organizations want headless, ostensibly to create a more flexible and extensible commerce architecture that will support long term growth. They want more engaging experiences that drive more conversion. They want blazing fast site speed. They want a commerce architecture that will support the rapidly changing nature of commerce.

But simply removing the aheada (or frontend) will not accomplish any of that. When I read an RFP asking for Headless Commerce typically what follows is a ridiculously long checklist of the features from the monolithic platform the customer is currently on. If this approach sounds familiar, then you are inviting the headless horseman into your organization. You will be haunted by a commerce architecture thatas as inflexible and rigid as it has always been. Being aheadlessa just isnat enough to help brands drive revenue growth.

Ready to Get Started with Composable Commerce?

Discover the steps for getting started to truly capitalize your commerce strategy and more with our full guide.

Read the Guide

So, what is the alternative? How does an organization respond to the pace of change in the market? How do you prepare for the expansion of commerce to touchpoints we havenat even imagined yet? To fully realize the promise of aCommerce Everywherea (more on that in an upcoming post), brands should consider each part of their customer experience independently.

For example, how important is search to how your customers experience your brand? If search experience is important to you, consider it independently from your eCommerce platform, against the requirements and KPIas relevant for your organization. Do you have a large content management team that has robust requirements around driving engaging content? You wonat be able to satisfy those requirements with a built-in CMS in a monolithic commerce platform.

Instead, you should consider separating your content management and your commerce platform. This acomposablea approach to commerce allows organizations to fit solutions to their requirements, instead of having to fit their requirements to the technology.

External composability is important however, this acomposablea approach should also be applied to your evaluation of a Commerce vendoras solution. While every Commerce vendor can reasonably claim to be Headless, few are truly composable. And even fewer have designed their own architecture from that same composable viewpoint. At Elastic Path our APIs are built around packaged business capabilities, each of which is easily composable both with each other and external capabilities (like search, content management, etc.).

Why Your Agency Needs Composable Commerce Solutions in the Mix?

Composable Commerce may have reached buzzword status, but its driving force in todayas eCommerce success stories is unrefuted. Both major and up and coming brands are adopting its approach and architecture to transform the customer experience at speeds faster than ever expected. Todayas customer demands it.

As an agency itas critical to be at the forefront of technology, with every resource at your disposal to deliver on your clientas expectations. Composable Commerce is the right now of eCommerce. Hereas why your agency should join the movement.

Composable Commerce Changes the Game

With the flexibility of modular architecture and the open ecosystem of vendors, brands like never before have more control of user experiences and have the ability to scale at speeds faster than ever before.

One of the Big-Five publishers had outgrown ShopifyPlus, but was worried it would take too long to move to a new eCommerce platform. They migrated in only 54 days using one of our Pre-Composed SolutionsaC/.

Composability supports brands and businesses who need to pivot quickly with growing demand. And if the last two years taught us anything itas that change is constant.

Composable Commerce Supports Complex Business Requirements

In the early days of eCommerce, monolith systems were the gold standard; an out-of-the-box functionality with core features in a one-size-fits-all model. But for businesses (and your potential clients) with more complex needs, this platform canat keep up with demand when itas time to iterate.

Think of businesses with instances of amultisa a multi brands, multi geographies, multi channels, or multi catalogs. This level of complexity requires modularity; the flexibility and speed that a microservices-based, API-first approach offers without the bloat of features not needed and the slow to market speed of a monolith. (If the wheels donat fall off first).

Composable Commerce Opens Up New Partnerships and Revenue

With an open ecosystem of vendors great partners lead to even greater implementations. For functionality ranging from search, tax, chat, payments, CRM, OMS, and more, youare opening the possibilities to develop even better solutions. Through our community of implementation, solutions and tech partners, weave developed unique solutions for brands ready to take the first steps into composability.

Composable Commerce is future-proof. Referencing the modular building block analogy, the components are meant to be swapped for better functionality. There is no locked-in vendor solution, the approach is based on a best for the business need.

For your agency this means growing partner relationships and opportunity to develop unique solutions a great for your reputation as an innovator and great for your revenue to always be building better. You want to stay ahead of the game with your clients, and composability by design is built for change.

Want to See How Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is Future Proof?

Launch and optimize innovative experiences fast, with a modern, headless, SaaS, API-first, & microservices-based commerce platform.

See the Future of eCommerce

No Other Approach Brings Business and Tech Users Together

Speaking of a growth mindset and the power of partnerships, another key tenet of Composable Commerce is its benefits to both business and tech stakeholders. Weave already touched on complex business requirements and the ability to iterate at speed, but letas take another look at what that means for the stakeholders involved.

In a recent Gartner study, 84% of respondents indicated there can be more than twelve primary leaders of a digital commerce initiative. The remaining respondents cited no primary lead for a digital commerce strategy. Similar questions posed in a 2019 survey produced the same results. A shift has occurred towards a digital commerce approach of total ownership distributed across the organization.

So what does that mean? A siloed environment is death to the customer experience. A friction-free customer journey starts with open communication and a shared roadmap among all teams involved. And that opens the conversation to developers, marketing, customer service, and operations teams; wherever data and customer touchpoints can be identified and streamlined in the solution.

A happy customer is confident and ready to purchase. For you as an agency, happy customers lead to conversions, and conversions lead to happy clients.

The Composable Commerce Approach Can Be Gradual

Letas say you have a client on a monolith commerce platform who is reticent, rightfully so, of making the switch to a more composable solution. It can be daunting for a business new to a multi-vendor solution and microservices-based architecture; especially those without an in-house dev team.

The good news is they can gradually transition over one functionality at a time. Letas say they need more self-checkout options at point-of-sale a those integrations can be made with their existing legacy system and launched quickly without disruption to the business.

You can now set the stage for future implementations with total client confidence because youare meeting the client where they are, not forcing a canned sales pitch of services they donat need.

Incredible Opportunities in Growth, Technology, and Industry Reputation

Itas official a eCommerce has gone composable. It will benefit your agencyas bottom line to advocate for its adoption, but also your reputation as a thought leader and innovator.

Read more about our community of Solutions and Tech partners and find out more about joining the Composable Commerce movement as a partner.

Seven DTC eCommerce Trends in 2022

The world of digital commerce is constantly changing, and with the rapid shift to online retailing as a result of the COVID pandemic, 2022 promises to be no different. With this trend in online shopping, the DTC eCommerce industry will only continue to grow. In 2021, U.S. direct-to-consumer (DTC) eCommerce sales reached 129 billion, and are projected to reach 151 this year. Now isn't that crazy!  

As DTC businesses continue to prioritize digital commerce experiences, brands are facing more market competition than ever. With that being said, in this blog, I will give a general overview of seven major DTC eCommerce trends you should keep an eye on for your brand to succeed in 2022.

What is DTC eCommerce?

DTC eCommerce is an eCommerce business model in which brands sell directly to their end customers, as opposed to using third-parties such as wholesalers, distributors, or other retailers. There are many benefits of selling direct to consumers, including:

  • Differentiation: Having full power on decisions, brands can better differentiate themselves as well as their products in the marketplace.
  • Boosted Customer Loyalty: As a result of the direct relationship brands can facilitate with customers, they can build a more loyal customer base.
  • Better Customer Experiences: By being able to have a close relationship with consumers, brands are able to collect direct feedback from them that can be used to create better customer experiences in the future.
  • Direct Control: Without having to rely on parties to sell their products, DTC businesses are able to have direct and full control over their pricing, products, and branding.

An example of a DTC eCommerce brand is Glossier, a company in the beauty industry, which uses the platform Contentful to facilitate their sales channels. Through Contentful and social media, Glossier has created a strong, loyal customer base and enhanced customer experiences. Their instagram page consists of 2.6 million followers with a content mix of customer reviews, product promotions, and influencer partnerships to draw in more customers. Today, Glossier is a billion dollar brand company that sells online beauty products, branching into millennial and Gen Z target audience through brick-and-mortar shops to provide the best brand experience possible.

Top 7 DTC eCommerce Trends

1. Social and Live Commerce for Expanded Shopping Experiences

Shopping on social media platforms and livestreams has become increasingly popular in recent years. According to Swirl, from 2015 to 2020, revenue from online video commerce went from $3.5 billion to $17.6 billion, and that number is expected to be $25 billion by 2023. Platforms such as Instagram offer tags on photos that direct consumers to a brandas website, where they can quickly purchase the product they were viewing. This immersive shopping experience appeals to consumers as they are able to purchase products that are endorsed by their favorite celebrities or influencers. Livestream shopping is similar to QVC (a televised shopping service that showcases live retail programming 24/7), but consumers now have access to the products at their fingertips.


See How Elastic Path Delivers Unique Customer Experiences

The Elastic Path Demo Library features multiple demos that showcase the power and scale of our products.

Go to Demo Library

2. Consumers Becoming Increasingly Sustainability Conscious

Sustainability is at the forefront of consumersas minds nowadays and companies are following suit. According to a global survey, "66% of global consumers would pay more for sustainable businesses and products." With that being said, many brands are becoming environmentally conscious and shifting away from plastic in packaging and now include the origin of materials used, as well as information on how to recycle them. In addition, many companies now include data about their carbon footprint with their customers. Overall, these trends depict the shift in consumer and brand consciousness toward our natural environment, leading to a bright future for eCommerce businesses.

3. Omnichannel Shopping Leading to Better Customer Retention

According to Omnisend, acustomer retention rates are 90% higher for omnichannel versus single channel.a An omnichannel approach to eCommerce is being adopted by companies to make the customer experience more convenient. For example, allowing a customer to shop online but return in-store guarantees that the customer has a seamless shopping experience. Furthermore, integrating digital channels enables a company to maintain a consistent brand appearance across all devices.

4. Personalization Means Better Brand Experiences

Personalizing the customer experience increases the likelihood that the customer makes a purchase and has a positive experience with the brand. According to Accenture, a74% of consumers would find aliving profilesa valuable if they could be used to curate the experiences, offers, and products they receive.a With direct access to customer data, such as browsing history, interests, and searches, brands are able to create unique experiences like hosting a live stream event or even creating a hologram. The ability to personalize also allows companies to more easily adapt to trends, by making changes such as new colorways for products.

5. Delivery and Return Policies Will Become a Key Service Differentiator

Studies have shown that delivery fees and return policies are important factors when customers are choosing where to shop. According to Forrester, aabout three out of five French, UK, and US online adults prefer retailers that offer free return shipping; about two out of five prefer retailers that provide refunds via the original form of payment.a Free delivery and free returns are services that customers strongly desire, and can cause customers to choose one brand over another. Brands who care about the customer experience should invest in streamlining their delivery and return processes.

6. AI Creates Innovative Ideas

AI plays a significant role in omnichannel planning, which enables companies to capitalize on business opportunities in real time. Machine learning is especially useful in forming the demand plan for product attributes, marketing events, and style or color forecasts for the lifecycle of a product. AI automates these processes and drastically reduces the time needed for planners to create manual aSKUsa.

7. Subscriptions Build Up Customer Loyalty

As DTC eCommerce continues to grow, many companies have adopted a subscription model that has shown great success with traditional retailers. A subscription eCommerce service offers consumers a lower-cost way to buy what they need. Around half of companies surveyed in 2019 stated that they would implement subscription services to boost customer retention.

Whatas Next for DTC eCommerce?

DTC eCommerce offers tremendous opportunities for brands due to the growing trend in online shopping. Large retailers such as Nike have already begun to shift their focus to appealing to the needs of online shoppers. The cost savings achieved through DTC eCommerce is directly transferred to the consumer, which leads to people preferring DTC eCommerce brands over traditional retailers.

Also, DTC eCommerce allows companies to be more adaptable and in control of their distribution. In a fast-paced world where trends are ephemeral, a digital presence is vital. Digital commerce enables DTC brands to keep up with consumer trends and gives them a significant advantage over traditional retailers.

Above are just a few of the DTC eCommerce trends that represent how companies are adjusting to the post-pandemic digital world. As companies adopt these trends of sustainability, AI, and personalization, DTC eCommerce will continue to become an approach more companies will look to expand to. For more information on DTC eCommerce, check out our DTC eCommerce page here.

API-first or Dressed-Up Middleware

How to Know if Your Commerce Platform is Truly API-first?

In case you missed it, last week I covered what it means to be API-first, and how thatas different from a code-first approach. In this piece, Iall write more about what API-first means for commerce, and why itas not as hard to implement as you may think.

The lingua franca amongst commerce vendors in 2022 is composable and API-first. Itas why I invested in Moltin years ago and why I joined Elastic Path in 2020 to run the product team. Thereas a foundational shift in how modern software is built and consumed. First software ate the world, then a16zas Martin Casada highlighted in 2017 that world is now available through an API.

Given that aecommercea is a well established market, there are a lot of legacy systems masquerading as API-first, bringing along all their complexity for the ride. One can aAPI anythinga a but, in doing so, one does not become API-first.

When considering a new commerce technology, potential buyers should understand that API-based platforms generally come in two forms:

  • API-first approach: Cloud-native APIs built from the ground-up to simplify communication between systems to facilitate rapid-cycle application development. Stripe is a great example here.  
  • API-secondary approach: Legacy monoliths that have refactored existing architecture constructs and capabilities to make them available via APIs but bring all the complexity of the legacy architecture along for the ride. Most of the companies I worked for in the first decade of the 21st century come to mind here.

The benefit of an API-first approach is that the APIs are lightweight and can be designed to be easily extended to serve a variety of specific use cases. For complex use cases, itas possible for developers to design these APIs to communicate with one another and streamline requests that pull related data in. This approach removes a lot of the complexity that comes with a disassembled monolith.

Legacy monoliths, on the other hand, offer a broad spectrum of APIs to serve a myriad of use cases. While that comprehensiveness may seem appealing at first, it drags along all the complexity originally designed into the monolithic architecture. Refactoring does not eliminate complexity; it simply presents it via new interfaces. As a result, we often see vendors tout their support for tools such as GraphQL as a benefit, when in actuality, a separate orchestration layer serves to combine their many disparate APIs into useful functional requests.

Letas get into these two issues a bit more.


See How Elastic Path Delivers Unique Customer Experiences

The Elastic Path Demo Library features multiple demos that showcase the power and scale of our products.

Go to Demo Library

Simplified Request/Response

Elastic Path Commerce Cloud was purpose-built for the singular function of supporting commerce applications powered by the catalog. That means the request/response model works seamlessly, abstracting away unneeded complexity behind the scenes, rather than surfacing it all for the developer to navigate. For example, a single call is designed to return all the information needed to support building a product details page. An API call for this purpose would return:

  • Full product details and attributes, including custom and product-specific details.
  • Situational pricing, such as rules for a specific channel, customer or other rule-based pricing. For example, a northeast price book vs. a southwest price book can be automatically returned based on request parameters.
  • All available product variations and options, as well as the mapping of those options to the specific child product for adding to cart. This includes all possible iterations of sizes, colors and SKUs.
  • Availability information.

The Elastic Path Commerce Cloud REST APIs have only four ways to interact. For example, following REST standards:

  • To create a product, the products endpoint is called with an HTTP POST request
  • To retrieve, a GET is called
  • To update, a PUT is called
  • To remove, an HTTP DELETE is called.

To contrast, in monolith conversions, there could be dozens of actions required to be called to perform those four simple functions to manage a product. Because Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is built with commerce product information in mind, following REST standards keeps it simple. That way, developers can focus on building out the specific business value instead of navigating the many dozen actions a monolith conversion may require.

No Need for Separate Tools as Intermediaries

As mentioned above, monoliths with hundreds of discrete APIs need orchestration, and will often require a tool such as GraphQL between the APIs and the front end. This is not the case with an API-first platform like Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. Additional orchestration tools are required due to the under-fetching issue common among monolith conversions. By mapping the various APIs to GraphQL and using the query language to combine many APIs together, developers have to do a significant amount of work to get the same result available in a single Elastic Path Commerce Cloud call.

Itas important to consider the performance aspect of this issue. Think about adding a GraphQL call to the backend APIs that then respond to GraphQL, and finally GraphQL responds to the initial request. This adds latency and degrades performance, where Elastic Path Commerce Cloud allows you to call your APIs directly by combining related data into a single call.

Consider the following common extended API use case: a customer wishlist. Normal REST APIs would require several API calls to get the customer data and wishlist items. With Elastic Path Commerce Cloud, the customer API can be extended with a aone to manya relationship to products that are on the customeras wishlist. Then, a single request of the customer record can be made that does not aincludea the products in the wishlist. Or, if the endpoint is called with the query string include=wishlist_products, all of the products on the wishlist will be returned. This avoids the need for an interstitial tool such as GraphQL.

Abstracting Away Complexity with API-first

To sum it up, API-first commerce platforms like Elastic Path Commerce Cloud can make it much simpler to take advantage of the flexibility and combinatorial power of the API economy. It doesnat have to be difficult to assemble a platform of components that create competitive differentiation for your commerce experiences. Or your team can focus on building custom components that matter most to your customers. Regardless of your strategy, to avoid legacy baggage and complexity, API-first is key.

What Does It Mean to be API-first?

If youare building a commerce platform, why reinvent the wheel when the right APIs will do? In his essay, APIs All the Way Down, Packy McCormick suggests that instead of building from scratch, companies can gain a competitive advantage from leveraging APIs. According to McCormickas argument, by building a commerce platform out of APIs, there are two main ways to differentiate: By creating custom solutions paired with API-based components, or by organizing API-based components in a novel or interesting way. (Iall talk more about how that can work later.)

The issue for many companies is the abundance of commerce APIs, which create an unnecessary perception of difficulty. The old way of thinking is based on the illusion of simplicity, wherein one vendor controls the entire commerce stack. Unfortunately, a monolithic software stack creates inertia and an inability to move fast enough to keep up with changing technologies and shopper preferences. As a result, commerce teams are forced to look beyond the monolith to achieve their business objectives a shattering the illusion of simplicity that drove their purchase of a monolithic solution in the first place.

Thatas where a solution like Elastic Path can help, as it provides the logic and building blocks for getting started with an API-first commerce ecosystem. We make it simple to select and integrate the best tools for your business requirements and follow best practices to unleash the combinatorial power of APIs, as opposed to drowning your business and technical teams in complexity.

But how do you know if the technology you select is truly API-first? Many companies attempt to disassemble legacy monoliths and repackage or refactor them as microservices-based, API-first platforms. This approach adds unnecessary complexity, and flies in the face of API-first, cloud native principles meant to accelerate innovation.

In part one of this two-part series, Iall cover what it means to be API-first. In part two, weall dive into what differentiates an API-first company from dressed up middleware.


See How Elastic Path Delivers Unique Customer Experiences

The Elastic Path Demo Library features multiple demos that showcase the power and scale of our products.

Go to Demo Library

The Rise of the Request/Response Model

An API-first approach means thinking of an API as the most important user for an application. In an API-first company, the APIs are often the first thing to be developed, and all new functionality should be exposed as an API. This approach is much different than acode-first,a where developers create an application first, and insert the API at the end. Legacy commerce vendors that are retrofitting their software to work with APIs fall in the code-first category. This approach can be an issue if the original application isnat structured in a way that makes it simple for the API to access data.

API-first isnat as simple as adding an API to the end of an overly complex system. As Chris Sperandio wrote while at Segment, aAPIs are eating the value chain.a In the old enterprise software business model, companies bought packaged applications to streamline certain functions of their business, and these vendors charged extra for external API connectivity. Companies were forced to adapt to the way software vendors did business. Today, software is too interconnected to play that way.

Instead, a request/response model is taking over. API-first companies exist entirely between the HTTP request and response. As Sperandio writes: aCompanies like Stripe and Twilio set themselves apart not only by the sheer amount of operative complexity theyare able to put behind an API, but because of how elegant, simple, and downright pleasant their APIs are to use for developers. In doing so, they give developers literal superpowers.a

The packaged enterprise software suites of the past few decades donat function well in this Request/Response model because they arenat built with APIs in mind. Theyare built as self-contained ecosystems. That means their users are missing out on everything great about an API-first ecosystem: an improved developer experience, higher performance storefronts, reduced costs, faster time to market, and the ability to easily integrate with countless other abest-for-mea services.

Stay tuned for part two of this series, where Iall explore what this means within ecommerce, and what differentiates an API-first company from dressed up middleware.