digital transformation

Talk Commerce - Mike Micucci

The Future of Omnichannel Commerce: Insights from Fabric CEO Mike Micucci

I recently had the pleasure of hosting Mike Micucci, CEO of Fabric Commerce, on the Talk Commerce podcast. With his deep experience in ecommerce, including leadership roles at Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Mike shared fascinating insights into how composable commerce and AI are revolutionizing the omnichannel retail experience. In this post, I’ll highlight some of the key takeaways from our conversation.

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The Power of Composable Commerce

Mike explained that composable commerce provides retailers the flexibility to build the experiences they want while still benefiting from a unified backend platform. Fabric’s composable platform allows retailers to seamlessly manage the full commerce lifecycle, from merchandising to order fulfillment.

As Mike put it, “Commerce doesn’t stop at checkout. It’s just getting started.” I couldn’t agree more. Composable commerce empowers brands to craft unique customer journeys that extend beyond the buy button.

Accelerating Omnichannel with Fabric

For retailers looking to enhance their omnichannel capabilities, Mike outlined two key approaches with Fabric’s platform:

  1. Incrementally add discrete services like real-time inventory or advanced promotions to their existing tech stack
  2. Implement a comprehensive omnichannel solution by leveraging Fabric’s pre-built “primitives” – mini-apps that accelerate time-to-market and reduce complexity

Having seen many retailers struggle with siloed systems and inconsistent experiences, I’m excited by Fabric’s vision for a unified omnichannel platform. It’s a game-changer.

The Transformative Power of AI

Mike and I also discussed the transformative potential of AI in commerce. While many retailers have adopted basic machine learning for product recommendations, Mike envisions AI driving significant operational improvements.

By harnessing data across merchandising, fulfillment, and returns, AI can enable dynamic pricing, intelligent inventory allocation, and proactive decision-making. As Mike noted, this was previously only possible for retail giants like Amazon. But with platforms like Fabric democratizing access to advanced AI, every retailer can now unlock this potential.

The implications are vast – I believe we’ll see AI fundamentally reshaping how brands operate and engage customers in the coming years.

Unifying Digital and Physical Retail

Finally, Mike emphasized the importance of blending digital and physical experiences into one cohesive customer journey. Fabric’s platform empowers retailers to offer seamless omnichannel scenarios – browse online, purchase in-store; buy on mobile, pick up curbside; endless aisles in fitting rooms – all on a single platform.

This unified approach powered by robust APIs is key to meeting modern customer expectations. I’m thrilled to see composable commerce and platforms like Fabric making this level of integration achievable for retailers of all sizes.

Boosting Performance and Flexibility with Fabric’s Ethos

One aspect of Fabric’s approach that stood out to me was their ethos of “boost what’s there, make it better and faster.” Mike explained how this allows retailers to incrementally adopt Fabric’s services to enhance their existing infrastructure, rather than ripping and replacing everything at once.

This modular approach, enabled by composable architecture, gives brands the agility to tackle their most pressing needs first, then layer in additional capabilities over time. From my experience, this agile mindset is essential for success in today’s fast-moving retail environment.

The Symbiosis of Composable Commerce and Omnichannel

Throughout our discussion, it became clear that composable commerce and omnichannel retail are intricately linked. The modularity and flexibility of composable architectures perfectly align with the demands of omnichannel selling.

As customer journeys increasingly criss-cross between digital and physical touchpoints, retailers need the ability to rapidly compose and recompose experiences. Fabric’s platform, with its comprehensive suite of APIs and pre-built components, makes this level of agility possible.

Empowering Store Associates with Clienteling

One exciting use case Mike highlighted was clienteling – equipping store associates with tools to deliver personalized, high-touch service. Historically, clienteling has been challenging due to disconnected systems and data silos.

But with a unified platform like Fabric, associates can now access customer profiles, past purchase history, product information, and inventory data in real-time. This empowers them to deliver the kind of consultative, omnichannel experiences that drive loyalty and revenue.

As brick-and-mortar retail rebounds post-pandemic, I believe clienteling will be a key differentiator. Composable commerce makes it achievable at scale.

As I reflect on my conversation with Mike, I’m struck by the vast potential of composable commerce to reshape retail. By breaking down monolithic systems into modular, API-driven components, retailers can finally achieve the speed and flexibility needed to thrive in the omnichannel era.

Moreover, the convergence of composable architectures and AI opens up exciting new possibilities. From dynamic pricing to predictive merchandising, retailers can now harness data and intelligence in previously unimaginable ways.

Of course, technology is just one piece of the puzzle. Retailers must also foster a culture of agility, experimentation, and customer-centricity. But with platforms like Fabric providing the technological foundation, I believe we’ll see a new generation of retailers redefining what’s possible in omnichannel commerce.

If you’re as passionate about the future of retail as I am, I invite you to listen to my full Talk Commerce podcast episode with Mike Micucci. And if you’ll be at Shoptalk, swing by the Fabric booth to see their technology in action.

The retail renaissance is here – and it’s composable. Let’s embrace this exciting new era together.

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Jason Nyhus - Shopware - Etail West

Live from eTail West with Shopware’s Jason Nyhus: Insights and Innovations

I had the pleasure of welcoming Jason Nyhus, the General Manager at Shopware US, who shared valuable insights into Shopware’s journey, its mission in the US market, and the innovative strides the company is making in the eCommerce space. As a long-time listener but a first-time attendee, Jason brought a fresh perspective to the table, underlining the importance of innovation, open source, and meeting the specific needs of the mid-market merchant.

Shopware’s Mission and Cultural Impact

Starting with a background on Shopware, Jason Nyhus highlighted the company’s 20-year history and its foundation by two brothers with contrasting strengths in art and science. This combination has fostered a unique company culture capable of challenging norms and embracing significant changes, such as going open source and transitioning the company’s business language to English, despite being based in rural Germany.

First-Person Insight:

As someone deeply involved in the eCommerce world, it was fascinating to hear about Shopware’s bold decisions and cultural dynamics. The company’s commitment to open source and continuous innovation resonates with the changing needs of the global market.

Shopware’s Approach to Innovation

Jason emphasized Shopware’s innovative approach, particularly its decision to invest in AI capabilities and focus on improving merchant efficiency. With 13 or 14 live AI capabilities now embedded in the product at no extra charge, Shopware is setting new benchmarks for what eCommerce platforms can offer.

First-Person Insight:

The conversation around AI and innovation was particularly engaging. It’s clear that Shopware is not just keeping up with trends but is actively shaping the future of eCommerce with its visionary perspective.

The Importance of Serving the Mid-Market

A significant part of our discussion revolved around the unique challenges and opportunities in serving the mid-market. Jason pointed out the critical role of providing enterprise-class capabilities at SMB budgets and the necessity of a supportive community of developers and scalable marketing stories.

First-Person Insight:

Jason’s insights into the mid-market segment were eye-opening. It’s a reminder of how platforms need to adapt and innovate to serve this diverse and often overlooked segment effectively.

Looking Ahead: The Future of eCommerce in 2024

As we wrapped up our conversation, Jason shared his optimistic outlook for the eCommerce industry in 2024, highlighting the increased activity and energy in the sector. This optimism is backed by Shopware’s impressive growth and the potential for digital transformation among mid-market merchants.

First-Person Insight:

Jason’s optimism for the future of eCommerce is contagious. It’s clear that despite the challenges, there are vast opportunities for growth and innovation in this space.

Etail Wrap up

My conversation with Jason Nyhus was not only enlightening but also inspirational, providing a glimpse into the future of eCommerce through the lens of Shopware’s journey and innovations. As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of commerce, it’s clear that innovation, open source, and a deep understanding of the market’s needs will be crucial for success.

For those looking to dive deeper into the world of eCommerce and learn more about Shopware’s innovative solutions, listening to the full episode of Talk Commerce is a must.

Talk-Commerce-Arno Ham

The evolving expectations of B2B buyers: A digital transformation imperative with Arno Ham

Hello everyone, I’m Brent, your host, and today I’m excited to share with you an insightful conversation I had with Arno Ham, the CTO of Sana Commerce. Arno, with his extensive experience in technology and a deep passion for B2B e-commerce, shared some fascinating insights into the world of B2B commerce, the challenges it faces, and the solutions Sana Commerce provides.

Meet Arno Ham: The Tech Enthusiast

Arno Ham, with over 20 years of experience in technology and a background in computer science, is a man who lives and breathes technology. As the CTO of Sana Commerce, he oversees everything tech-related, from product management and development to professional services and customer service.

But Arno is not just about work. He’s a family man who loves spending time with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys running, cooking, and outdoor activities. He also has a penchant for visiting museums and indulging in good food.

The World of B2B E-commerce

Our conversation took a humorous turn when I asked Arno if a joke should remain free or if someone could charge for it in the future. Arno, with a chuckle, suggested paying for it, emphasizing that nothing comes for free in this world.

On a more serious note, we delved into the world of B2B commerce. I recalled a previous interview with Michelle, the CEO of Asana, and highlighted the growing importance of B2B commerce. Arno then took us through the backbone of Sana Commerce and what they are currently promoting.

The Challenges and Solutions in B2B Commerce

Arno shed light on the challenges of pricing in B2B and the complexity that arises when dealing with a large number of customers and products. He explained that the explosion of data and the need for rapid changes in the business world make it difficult to synchronize pricing information and ensure accurate stock levels.

Arno emphasized the importance of maintaining good relationships with customers and the need for agreements that go beyond just pricing. He also highlighted the changing expectations of younger business owners who want a seamless digital experience in B2B, similar to what they experience in B2C.

Interestingly, Arno mentioned that 40% of B2B transactions still happen offline, but there is a growing demand for digitization. He discussed the challenges faced by older generations in adapting to digital transformation and the need to transfer their knowledge into a digital experience.

Sana Commerce: Bridging the Gap in B2B E-commerce

Arno then introduced us to Sana Commerce’s role in this changing landscape. While Sana provides a great frontend solution, they also integrate with other frontends and ERP systems. Arno emphasized the importance of specialized vendors for specific needs, such as product information management systems. He mentioned that Sana integrates with various systems like CRM, customer data platforms, and product information management systems.

Arno’s Advice for the Future of B2B

As we moved towards the end of our conversation, I asked Arno for advice on digitization and moving forward in the B2B space. Arno suggested starting conversations with B2B buyers and understanding their needs, especially as younger generations prefer digital solutions. He advised forming a multidisciplinary team within the organization to drive digital transformation holistically. Arno also highlighted the importance of aligning incentives for the sales team to embrace the digital shift.

Wrapping Up

Arno concluded by plugging Sana Commerce as a solution for businesses looking to start or improve their B2B e-commerce storefronts. He mentioned that Sana integrates with Microsoft Dynamics and SAP, and invited listeners to check out his podcast, “B2B Waves.”

This conversation with Arno Ham was a deep dive into the world of B2B e-commerce, its challenges, and the solutions that Sana Commerce provides. It was a pleasure to have him on the show, and I hope you found his insights as valuable as I did.

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Unraveling the Power of Composable Architecture with Chris Bock, Co-founder of Netlify

Unraveling the Power of Composable Architecture with Chris Bach

Hello everyone! I recently had the pleasure of hosting Chris Bach, the co-founder of Netlify, on my podcast. As the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of Netlify, Chris also sits on the advisory board of Market Lines, an industry body focused on headless and composable architecture. Besides his professional pursuits, Chris has a passion for cars and motorsport, which adds an interesting dimension to his personality.

A Passion for Cars and Borderline Humor

Our conversation started with a light-hearted discussion about Chris’s love for cars, both old and new, especially those related to racing. We also discussed his participation in the free joke project, where I shared a joke about an antique globe. Chris found it amusing, describing it as borderline humor.

The Box Family and Headless Composable Commerce

In a humorous twist, I asked Chris if he had any relation to the famous Box family of writers. Chris jokingly responded that Sebastian Box stole his last name for fame but is unrelated to famous writers. Our conversation then took a more serious turn as we delved into the topic of headless composable commerce. Chris explained that headless refers to separating the core commerce functionality into an API, allowing flexibility in building different digital experiences. He highlighted the advantages of headless, such as faster time to market and the ability to customize digital experiences.

Understanding Composable Architecture

When asked about the term “composable” and its relation to headless, Chris explained that composable architecture goes beyond just separating the front end and back end. It involves using self-contained systems that can be decoupled and connected through APIs, allowing for more flexibility and interchangeability.

Different systems like CMS, e-commerce engines, and marketing engines are separate entities in traditional setups. However, with composable architecture, these systems can be decoupled and connected through APIs, allowing for more flexibility and interchangeability.

The Challenges and Solutions of Composable Architecture

Despite the benefits, maintaining such an architecture without a platform like Netlify can be challenging. Organizations face bottlenecks and complexities in consuming the APIs and delivering a seamless digital experience to customers. This involves handling secrets, setting up staging and production environments, managing caching, and ensuring security scans, among other tasks.

Netlify, as a composition platform, aims to address these challenges by providing a unified workflow and orchestration. It allows developers to build composable architectures by pulling in different components and APIs, while also offering standardized ways to connect with legacy systems and manage releases. Netlify’s value lies in simplifying the process, reducing overhead, and enabling faster time to market.

The Power of Composable Architecture and Netlify’s Role

Chris Bach emphasized the power and advantages of composable architecture and how Netlify plays a crucial role in enabling organizations to adopt and maintain such architectures effectively. He discussed the challenges faced by businesses and organizations when it comes to building advanced applications and digital experiences. He highlighted the limitations of traditional infrastructure and the complexity that arises when multiple players are involved in the implementation process.

The Benefits of Adopting Composable Architecture

Adopting a composable architecture offers benefits such as brand differentiation, better security, scalability, and reduced costs. Chris advises businesses to consider the cost of doing nothing and the operational overhead of sticking to the old ways. He also emphasizes that composable architecture does not require building a new monolith but can be implemented gradually, starting in a corner and expanding from there.

Closing Thoughts and Contact Information

In closing, Chris mentioned Magento 1 as an example of a traditional monolith that businesses struggle to move away from due to technical debt. He contrasts this with composable architecture, where small pieces of technical debt can be swapped out as needed.

Chris also provided various ways to contact him, including email, LinkedIn, and filling out a form on their website. He mentioned that Netlify is always open to having non-committal conversations about digital challenges or specific topics like making a headless version of a content management system successful. I am grateful for the insightful conversation with Chris and look forward to sharing more such enlightening discussions with you all. Stay tuned for more!

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Howard Tiersky

Howard Tiersky | Digital Transformation

This week we interview Howard Tiersky, the CEO of From – The Digital Transformation Agency. Howard helps executives win in today’s digital world. He is Wall Street Journal’s best-selling author of “Winning Digital Customers, The Antidote to Irrelevance”. Howard has been named one of the Top 10 Digital Transformation Influencers to follow today by IDG. As an entrepreneur, he has launched two successful companies that help large brands transform to thrive in the digital age.

We have a great conversation around the digital experience, how customers navigate it and what a business owner should do to stay relevant in today’s world.