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.
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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


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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[Press Release] Skava announces its joining the Adobe Exchange Partner Program

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 and designed from the ground up, to meet and exceed customer expectations in today’s hyper-competitive, mobile-first world and empower brands to market faster with continuous commerce innovations.

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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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Can chatbots replace customer service agents?

Implementing a new technology can be a daunting task that requires money, resources, and time. Not to mention full confidence in the technology and solutions you’re investing in. Lately, we’ve been hearing constant talk about chatbots and conversational commerce in the retail industry. The question is, can chatbots replace customer service reps? 

Retailers are constantly looking for more innovative ways to delight customers and disrupt the shopping experience. There’s plenty of noise in the retail industry about new and emerging technologies that are intelligent, sophisticated, and provide real value to the end user, at least that’s what is promised. Let’s dive into what chatbots are, how they’re being used in retail, and how close they are today to replacing customer service agents.

What are chatbots and how do they work?

Imagine logging onto your Facebook to check out what’s going on in your news feed. You want to order flowers for someone special, so you contact the flower company via Facebook Messenger. Within the messenger app, you ask for the flower delivery service. The messenger replies with a few basic questions (occasion, size, type, etc.) Once you figure out what kind of flowers you want to purchase, the messenger responds with a calendar option to select a delivery date, then enter an address, and instantly checkout, all within Facebook messenger. This is just one example of a chatbot.

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What are microservices and why you should care

“A microservices-based architecture is like the LEGO Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon; Lego bricks that you could put together and play with immediately.” At least, that’s what Skava’s Platform Architect, David Levine, says.

The term “microservice” has been a hot topic for the past few years now. Microservices are not a new trend, but rather, a breakthrough in solving monolithic limitations as well as overall business and IT challenges.

Microservices – a granular architectural approach

Microservices are standalone business capabilities, independently deployable, and each with its own dedicated database, well-defined APIs, and an admin console that runs in its own process. An architectural approach to software development, a microservices-based architecture enables businesses to build, test, and deploy faster by using smaller chunks of independent services that communicate over well-defined APIs.

“The goal of microservices architecture, as opposed to monolithic architecture, is to break up things into ‘logical’ forms as they fit together well,” said Levine. “The key is to be independently evolved, in terms of added features, and independently deployed, in terms of running them. It’s a little bit more like Lego blocks and getting that wonderful Millennium Falcon that you can play with immediately and put it all together, and all the pieces work!”

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Anything Can and Will Transact

Dave Barrowman is the VP and Head of Innovation at Skava. Barrowman was asked to submit his predictions for 2018 in the payments and commerce space for an eBook compiled by Check out his predictions! 

[ – February 14, 2018] 2017 saw a transformation and digital maturity of the ecommerce space, with a focus on increasing mobile as the norm, rather than some new emerging area. Likewise, in the brick and mortar space, we’re seeing a core set of omnichannel capabilities, such as BOPIS, ship from store, and the connected sales associate becoming more common. This trend will continue in 2018. And of course, we’ll see further progress on the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning front, as these technologies extend beyond the familiar use cases such as product recommendations.

Ultimately, these trends are becoming normalized as part of the ongoing customer journey. Meanwhile, we’re beginning to see some new emerging and innovative trends that will drive further evolution in the digital commerce space. Continue reading

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Amazon Go is revolutionizing in-store shopping

Amazon is making tremendous headlines with the opening of Amazon Go, a cashierless convenience store (1,800 square feet) in Seattle. Amazon has made several failed attempts while testing internally for over a year and a half. The first of its kind, the automated convenience store fulfilled its promises of “no lines, no checkouts, no registers.”

Available to Amazon Prime members, customers can just walk in, pick up some items, and walk out of the store. The Amazon Go store has a number of cameras and sensors to detect when people walk into the store and when items are removed from shelves. Prime members must scan their phones at the kiosk once they enter the store via the Amazon Go app to be registered. Once the customer walks out with their items in hand, their Amazon account is automatically charged.

“I think this is surely revolutionary the way the store is conceptualized,” said Anil Sangesapu, Senior Director of Product at Skava. “First thoughts of mine were around the technology that made this happen. Starting from how the app gives you a virtual cart as the shopper enters the store, to having every camera (and handoff) track your every move. Think about picking multiple items using both of your hands at the same time while walking down the aisle. That doesn’t sound like an easy problem to solve and get it right 100% of the time.” Continue reading

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