Demystifying Microservices for Ecommerce

Why are business leaders increasingly moving away from legacy platforms and architecture in favor of more nimble environments?

In today’s “anything can transact” world, the pressure is on to accommodate new customer journeys and touchpoints, as well as maintain and improve internal systems to suit the unique needs of the business across channels.

monolithic, SOA, microservices platform

Monolithic platforms are simply too difficult to accommodate the requirements of a modern digital business. Microservices offer the flexibility and efficiency that businesses need to rapidly shift strategies, continually evolve their commerce experiences, and continuously improve core business processes.

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The Evolution of Commerce Platforms

Barbie Girl by Aqua.  IBM Net.Commerce 2.0. Princess Diana’s Funeral.  ATG eCommerce 4.1. The first Mars Pathfinder lands successfully.  Intershop Online is available on CD with a 30 day trial.

Customer expectations have evolved considerably since 1997, even as many commerce packages are still mired in architectural choices made two decades ago. Looking back, we can see three major waves of architectural choices:

The Monolith – 1995 – 2010

Most existing commerce applications were developed in the 1990s, and their architecture reflect the best practices of that time – a single monolithic application with a tightly coupled front end and back end. As digital commerce has evolved, it’s proven challenging and time-consuming to keep pace with customer expectations. Changes in any area of the application require extensive testing, and as the application gets older, it gets more brittle as more and more functions are glued into it.

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Monolithic Commerce Platforms: Too Big to Succeed?

In today’s digital commerce age where new customer journeys, routes to market, digital touchpoints, business models and technologies rule, there remains a chasm between customer expectations and what an enterprise can deliver with legacy systems.

Customers don’t care that something’s difficult, costly or risky to build and deliver. They don’t appreciate that your IT group works on quarterly release cycles. They don’t understand how much technical debt you’re drowning in, or how much refactoring and regression testing your organization is not willing to do. They just feel the pain of their experience gap (that company B seems to handle just fine).

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Posted in Ecommerce, Microservices, Thought Leadership

[Press Release] Skava announces it’s joining the Adobe Exchange Partner Program

SAN FRANCISCOMay 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ –Skava, a leading provider of cloud microservices for ecommerce, has announced its joining the Adobe Exchange partner program at the Community level.

“Skava is very excited to be part of Adobe Experience Cloud’s growing ecosystem. We look forward to offering unique digital shopping experiences with Adobe and integrating our modern ecommerce microservices to power these experiences,” said Arish Ali, CEO of Skava.

Skava Commerce, a microservices-based, ecommerce platform, is built to meet and exceed customer expectations in today’s hyper-competitive, mobile-first world and empower brands to go to market faster and innovate continuously.

By bringing together Skava’s leadership in microservices for ecommerce with Adobe Experience Manager’s leadership in experience management, brands can explore new ways to capture shoppable moments and discover synergies.

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How to adopt microservices into your existing ecommerce strategy

Microservices are becoming an important part of an enterprise strategy. Brands can no longer afford to be held back by rigid, outdated technologies that require redundant processes and expensive resources. They must be disruptive.

Many enterprise brands have started with a monolithic ecommerce platform to power customer-facing experiences. Now, digital disruptors, such as Amazon, Netflix, and Uber have paved the way to building and embracing a microservices-based architecture and deliver consistent brand experiences across all channels. 

In a previous blog post, What are microservices and why you should care, we dove into the world of microservices and its key benefits compared to archaic monolithic platforms. Without a big bang transition, microservices can be adaptable in your current enterprise strategy and beneficial to your overall business. 

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Top 4 characteristics to look for in an ecommerce platform

“Quality is not what happens when what you do matches your intentions. It is what happens when what you do matches your customers’ expectations.”  – Guaspari

When selecting an ecommerce platform, it’s important to select a platform that will allow you to meet your customer’s digital expectations today, as well as be flexible enough to grow with their evolving needs. The customer expectation bar is climbing rapidly and selecting an ecommerce platform, which can grow with you is critical.

While there is a wealth of information available about the features of ecommerce platforms, it is not often clear how the specific features and functions translate into finding the right ecommerce platform for your situation. This guide focuses on how to evaluate an ecommerce package on the merits of its architecture and flexibility.  This document was created based on countless conversations with customer and product focus groups, industry analysts and our own research, which tries to look at the high level.

Skava Commerce platform

The Skava Commerce platform is built using modular microservices architecture. Its microservices allow you to ideate and release updates quickly, iterating on new features over the course of days instead of months.

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A User-Centered Look at Cart Abandonment

One of the things we like to do at Skava is to take a common ecommerce problem and put it under the light of user-centered design to see what solutions can be found.

Today, I’d like to explore cart abandonment and propose that it may not be the problem we assume it to be, and that on one level it may simply be a byproduct of an emerging consumer behavior. And maybe solving cart abandonment isn’t simply about optimizing your checkout flow, but about taking a closer look at your customer experience.

First, let’s take a step back and look at the cart itself, how people use it, and what makes it so easy to abandon. The digital “cart” (shopping bag, basket, trolley, carrito, etc.) is a metaphor taken from way back in ye olden shopping days. Imagine back then at the village marketplace, you’d put a ham hock in your basket and at that point you really only have two lawful choices: pay for the ham hock or take the ham hock out. Limited interactions: A or B. Buy or don’t buy. It’s a blunt instrument, right? Yet somehow we’ve hung onto this age-old cart metaphor and made it a staple of our modern digital stores, even though today’s shopper is a far cry from the medieval ham hock buyer.

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Showcase a Microservice: PIM is key in omnichannel commerce

Skava’s Showcase a Microservice blog monthly series highlights a Skava microservice in greater details and allows you to learn more about the Skava difference. As part of our Showcase a Microservice series, this month, we’re showcasing PIM – Product Information Management.

Rich, accurate, and well-managed product information is on the critical path of every customer  journey. From researching products on multiple digital touch points to checking price and inventory within the store, PIM is a key investment to deliver and maintain that customer journey with consistent, accurate content.

What is a PIM?

A PIM, short for Product Information Management, is a centralized system that gathers, enriches, manages, and distributes your brand’s product and marketing information. PIM helps you deliver and manage product information consistently and seamlessly across different devices and channels, and allows your customers to easily find what they are looking for across myriad of items on your catalog.

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6 Simple UX Tips to Improve Checkout Conversion

As a UX designer, we are always looking for ways to push the needle for our clients in the ecommerce space. Here is a quick list of things we have seen in the design industry to boost conversions and keep users coming back for more future purchases.

1. Break up your content into bite-sized pieces

The checkout and onboarding process can be very tedious. One thing to consider for a higher success rate in completion is to break all the steps into sections and add visual indicators. This does two things:

  • Allows the user to process the amount of information needed to be filled out without getting overwhelmed
  • A visual progress indicator helps the user see that they are almost complete

01-bite-size-info

2. Standardize all field and form entries

It’s important to evaluate all the information being presented to the user and ask yourself:

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[SlideShare] The Appification of Web Commerce

Dave Barrowman, vice president and head of innovation for Skava, presented at Shoptalk in Las Vegas this month about the Appification of Web Commerce. Barrowman presented cool new, exciting technologies that are available today and make ecommerce better in the coming years. These emerging technologies allow you to deliver increasingly app-like retail experiences on the web from native apps to single page apps and more.

Check out the SlideShare below to learn more and watch Dave’s presentation here.

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