News & Insights

Why you shouldn’t build business logic into your frontend

When we started building Zocalo, our MACH-based eCommerce enablement tool, we brought our decades of experience as digital commerce consultants to the design process. We looked at where eCommerce platforms were 5, 10, and 15 years ago, thought back to all of the poorly built system architectures we’d been brought in to shore up or... Read More

Is MACH/headless eCommerce right for you?

To celebrate the launch of Avatria’s new composable commerce accelerator, Zocalo, we wanted to share a few blog posts about some of the thinking that guided our development of the tool. When it comes to eCommerce architecture, there are two main options: traditional (also known as monolith) and headless. Traditional eCommerce architecture relies on a... Read More

The Analytics Missteps Too Many Companies Make

One of the fun (albeit challenging) aspects of analytics consulting is that you get to work with a lot of clients in a number of roles. Because of the nature of the work, you’re typically juggling a few different clients at any given time, and because of the way many clients treat analytics work (we’ll... Read More

How to Make eCommerce Sustainable

For many, contemporary eCommerce seems to be inherently unsustainable, given the environmental downsides of shipping ever more packages to locations all over the world. Between the existential threat of climate change and an increasing demand among consumers and workers for socially conscious businesses, a growing number of companies are attempting to determine whether more eco-friendly... Read More

Lessons in Machine Learning: Optimizing Revenue

Introduction Avatria Convert is an eCommerce optimization tool that, among several capabilities, provides machine learning-derived product sorting that can be applied to product list pages (PLPs) or search engine result pages (SERPs). In other words, when a customer navigates to a category page, Convert will sort the items so that the most relevant results are at the top... Read More

Improve Conversion by Getting More Out of Your Search Engine

Did you know that over 70% of shoppers never make it to the second page of a product category and almost 90% never make it past the first page of search results? How many do you think even make it to the bottom of that first page? In today’s age, it is critically important that the products your customers are... Read More

How We’re Celebrating Pride Month at Avatria

June marks LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the United States to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Like many companies, Avatria has a Diversity and Inclusion group that has prepared programming that is aimed at promoting awareness of LGBTQ+ issues. We want to promote awareness of LGBTQ+ issues because we want to foster a workplace that is safe... Read More

WCAG 3.0: The Next Step in Digital Accessibility

On January 21st, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released the first public draft of a new generation of the WCAG Accessibility guidelines: WCAG 3.0. WCAG 3.0 has a number of significant differences from WCAG 2.x, not just in the site requirements, but also in how the standard is measured and applied. The 2.x guidelines... Read More

Giving Back: Lessons in Open Source

Our Open Source Story As an organization, Avatria has always admired the advancements made to the software development community via open-source technology. Back in 2015 we kicked off our first open-source project, called “ydeploy,” an SAP Hybris build and deployment automation tool. But since then, between client work, product development, hiring, and other internal initiatives, we’ve found... Read More

Tips for COVID-19 and Beyond: Building Company Culture Remotely

We’re officially at the one-year mark of the pandemic, which means it’s been over 365 days since any of us were in the office together. And while we won’t turn this post into a lament for face-to-face meetings, team lunches, or the six-pack of beer that’s surely gone bad in the office fridge, we do... Read More

Considering Upgrading to SAP Commerce 2011? Read this first.

At the end of November 2020, SAP Commerce debuted their latest release, “2011.” After spending some time poking around the release, we wanted to provide a quick overview for those interested in the newest version. When considering upgrading SAP Commerce, it’s important to understand why SAP has introduced these changes. This means taking a deeper look... Read More

How Far Do Customers Browse on eCommerce Sites? Not as Far as You Think.

For pretty obvious reasons, we at Avatria are obsessed with the way eCommerce consumers shop. Understanding shopping behavior is crucial to both building world-class eCommerce products and providing our clients with the best advice possible. You can learn a lot simply by osmosis—by talking to eCommerce managers and developers day in and day out about... Read More

How to Know if a Neural Network is Right for Your Machine Learning Initiative

Deep learning models (aka neural nets) now power everything from self-driving cars to video recommendations on a YouTube feed, having grown very popular over the last couple of years. Despite their popularity, the technology is known to have some drawbacks, such as the deep learning “reproducibility crisis”— as it is very common for researchers at... Read More

Digital Commerce for an Accessible World

This October is the 75th National Employer Disability Awareness Month, and the Department of Labor’s theme for this year is “Increasing Access and Opportunity.” At Avatria we’ve seen a number of instances where web accessibility is neglected, and we’ve been a part of building accessible eCommerce experiences for clients of all types and industries. This October we... Read More

Tips for COVID-19 and Beyond: Home Workspaces

Like much of the rest of the world, we’ve been working from home an awful lot since March. Under normal circumstances we love getting face-to-face time with our coworkers and clients, but as these are far from normal circumstances, we’re doing our part to stop the spread of the virus by staying home. To help... Read More

Considering upgrading to SAP Commerce 1905? Read this first.

Introduction SAP Commerce 1905 was released in May of 2019, and is set to have an “End of Mainstream Maintenance” on August 29th, 2021. Since it’s now been over a year since its release, there’s been plenty of time for multiple patches to address any bugs with the version. After recently upgrading a client’s version of... Read More

Tips for COVID-19 and Beyond: Remote Onboarding

Though the human and economic cost of COVID-19 takes up most of the headlines (and rightfully so), many people are using the pandemic as an opportunity to reevaluate long-running and unchallenged assumptions about how we structure our businesses and society. For many people in tech, the necessity of the office has been challenged so often... Read More

What COVID-19 Means for Digital Commerce in the Long Term

The effects of COVID-19 on the global economy will likely be long-lasting and fundamentally change how companies around the world do business. While digital commerce is subject to the same factors that influence the rest of the world, it also provides businesses with a unique set of tools. There have been a number of short-term impacts, but... Read More

Effective Code Branching Strategies for Software Teams

With the school year officially over at most universities, we’re moving into one of the most exciting times of the year here at Avatria: welcoming the newest crop of recent grads into our ranks. Without question, there are approximately one million different preparations that need to be made when onboarding a junior employee to a... Read More

Blueprint for Building a Global Commerce Site

Building a successful global business is a never-ending juggling act. With what can seem like an unlimited number of moving parts, compromises feel inevitable. Efficiency is traded for simplicity. Optimal long-term solutions are traded for quick and dirty fixes. These tradeoffs can be especially problematic for e-commerce businesses. For companies aspiring to go global, what... Read More

Encourage Growth by Empowering Employees

When I agreed to join Avatria, I was just a couple of weeks shy of the one-year mark at my first job out of college. It had been an eventful year. I’d graduated, moved halfway across the country, started my first full-time job, made new friends, and even began taking improv classes at iO (I know, I... Read More

The Short-Term Impact of COVID-19 on Digital Commerce

As COVID-19 sweeps its way through communities around the globe and the world stays at home to help stop the spread of the virus, it has become abundantly clear that significant structural changes are inevitable across society. Businesses of all types have closed at a shocking rate, and while the impact of these closures varies... Read More

eCommerce on Steroids: The Unique Challenges of Building a B2B Website

As an eCommerce consulting firm with major clients in both the B2C and B2B worlds, a major component of our training program for new hires focuses on the key differences between these two spaces. Employees fresh out of college, or coming from non-eCommerce backgrounds, can easily overlook just how different two websites with similar goals... Read More

Appointment Service Design for eCommerce Applications, Part 2 – Technical Considerations

Designing an appointment service for your eCommerce application requires a comprehensive understanding of your business, close cross-team collaboration, and thorough technical architecture. In my last post about appointments, I introduced a couple considerations that would help frame your thinking for the technical design for such a service, including the importance of the race condition, as well as... Read More

Live Chat is not a Panacea for UX Problems

If you’ve been on the support page of a company’s website lately, you’ve probably been introduced to a live chat widget. “How can I help you?” it probably said, from the bottom corner of your browser. There was probably an avatar of a smiling customer service representative, and maybe even their name in the chat... Read More

Marrying the Digital and Physical Shopping Experiences: Buy Online and Pick Up In-Store

As more and more consumers opt for a digital shopping experience, businesses with a brick-and-mortar presence are faced with a critical question: how do they maintain the relevance of their physical stores while managing to compete with their online competitors? Increasingly, retailers with a foot in both worlds are experimenting with a creating a shopping... Read More

A Fractured Landscape: Global Data Privacy Regulations and Digital Commerce

As web-based technology has grown and matured over the last decade, a glaring gap has emerged in the digital privacy strategies of many businesses who operate online. As these strategies have diverged, the distance between how customers view their privacy rights and how businesses view their privacy obligations has similarly grown. With the media and... Read More

Considering an online marketplace? There’s no time like the present.

Ever since Amazon and Ebay established themselves as two of the internet’s first true eCommerce titans, business leaders around the world have studied the trailblazers, looking for insights that can be applied to their own businesses. In recent years, particular attention has been drawn to the business model that serves as each company’s foundation—the marketplace.... Read More

eCommerce Equalizer: Avatria Convert Featured on DM News

We’re excited that announce that Avatria Convert has been featured on DM News! In the profile, Avatria partner Harry Thakkar explains the problem Avatria Convert solves for eCommerce sites, and highlights the significant improvement Convert’s customers have seen to their conversion rate when using the product. Read the full article here:

Maximizing the Value of Minimum Viable Product

When enterprise software projects fail, it is usually not from a lack of skilled developers, detailed requirements or meticulous controls. They fail when development efforts are not focused on achieving clearly defined solutions to tangible business challenges. They fail when the internal stakeholders they purport to benefit feel no connection to or ownership of the... Read More

The Keys to Healthy Dev-QA Relationship

Any successful software project requires two things: quality developers and quality testing resources. Even the best developers will make mistakes, and it’s critical to have a team on hand to find bugs before users have a chance to. However, given that the nature of the QA role is to find issues in the developers’ work,... Read More

Migrating to the SAP Commerce Cloud – Notes from SAP CX Live 2018

SAP just wrapped up their annual CX Live event in Barcelona, Spain. We were excited to see that a good portion of the event was focused on the new SAP Commerce Cloud. The value proposition of Digital Commerce in the cloud has always been the same: improve operational efficiency, reduce time to market, scale on demand to meet... Read More

Salesforce Acquires CloudCraze: What it means for both companies and their customers

On March 12th Salesforce entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Chicago-based CloudCraze. This should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with events in the enterprise eCommerce space over the past several years. Indeed, as early as June of 2016, when Salesforce announced its acquisition of Demandware, Avatria’s Anando Naqui suggested that one next... Read More

Appointment Service Design for eCommerce Applications

There are appointments in many different eCommerce scenarios. Whether it’s in the form of a movie ticket, an airplane ticket, or an oil change, each appointment scenario requires specific business rules and technical decisions to properly design its system. Assuming that you’ve chosen a service to serve as the appointment master, this design will outline the necessary steps... Read More

Why Online Retailers Should Care About Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is once again in the headlines as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prepares to vote on repealing open internet rules on December 14th. With this vote, the previous rules set by the FCC may be overturned, revoking Net Neutrality, and allowing internet service providers (ISP) to prioritize web traffic and offer services based on... Read More

Staffing: Delivering with Your Implementation Partner

Commerce implementations are fast paced and require a lot of time and effort from the implementation team. However, the time and effort is equally as important for the companies that bring in this team of consultants. These companies often need a well thought out division of labor and work-stream ownership to support the overall project.... Read More

Self-Service: Impact Beyond the Customer

When customers are unable to interact with a business’s digital storefront in an autonomous manner, it can often cause frustration for the customer and lead to unnecessary customer service overhead for the business.  If you shop online think about why you do so and what you expect from the sites where you shop; there’s a... Read More

Commerce Solutions and the Creative Process

During commerce implementations, technology companies and technology teams often focus only on just that: technology. The emphasis is on the platform, the code, and its development and testing. While these are critical elements of all commerce projects, it is important to not overlook the creative process. This vital track of work consists of team members... Read More

Elite BAs may not Develop Code, but are Pivotal to Project Success

In my experience, there has been a misconception that solid Business Analysts are pretty easy to find and are interchangeable within an eCommerce project. What I have come across is that finding very strong BAs that are difference makers on a project is not so easy; and having a great one is essential to overall quality... Read More

Want to improve operational efficiency? Increase order automation.

Every business strives to improve operational efficiency in an effort to reduce overhead and free up resources for strategic initiatives.  One of the ways that retailers accomplish this is by reducing or eliminating the number of times a person has to interact with an order before it is fulfilled.  This concept, often referred to as Order... Read More

Considering upgrading SAP Hybris 5.x to 6.x? Read this first.

Companies consider upgrading their software for many reasons.  Whether they decide to upgrade to take advantage of new functionality, address platform defects, or maintain platform support from the vendor, each company that upgrades can improve their chances of success by following the guidelines below for upgrading from SAP Hybris 5.x to 6.x. Guidelines for Upgrading There... Read More

What Salesforce’s Acquisition of Demandware Means for Commerce

On June 1, Salesforce announced its $2.8B acquisition of Demandware, the market leader in cloud-based eCommerce. In doing so, Salesforce launches Commerce Cloud, part of Salesforce’s cloud ecosystem and jumps headfirst into the world of digital commerce. The deal is expected to close on July 31, 2016. The platform commerce space has seen a number of... Read More

Find Your Match: A Look at Purpose-Built Commerce Solutions

You are a company that is looking for a new commerce solution, and you don’t know where to start. How do I pick the right product? Can I narrow down my list of potential suitors right off the bat? Most likely, and it’s possible to find a product that is built closer to your specs... Read More

Mitigating the Causes and Effects of Scope Creep

Even well-executed eCommerce implementations that are launched on time and budget fail to meet client expectations. Often times no single group (client, consultant or third party) is at fault, and the root cause can be traced back to either differences in the understanding of the body of work to be implemented or changes to that... Read More

Cloud Infrastructure Automation Shows Promise in Infancy

Many of today’s retail companies are no longer interested in hosting and maintaining their own digital storefronts, preferring instead to focus their resources on innovation that drives a channel-less experience for their end-consumers.  This has created a rapidly expanding opportunity for technology implementation companies to provide Managed Services for their customers.  In fact, it has... Read More

Why Bad Product Data Disrupts eCommerce Implementations

There are many challenges in “getting it right” when it comes to product data, and we will dive into this topic in the context of an eCommerce implementation. This may be a refresher for some, or a fair warning to others that may not have the experience, but in either case it should provide valuable... Read More

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