There are many trends and innovations happening in the e-commerce industry, so many that it is hard to know which one is worth pursuing. At RHUX Analytics, we are always challenging ourselves and learning about the latest technologies that could help our clients be more successful. Luckily we have built great partnerships with companies that are at the forefront of the newest trends.
One of our most valuable partnerships is with Shogun, a powerful e-commerce platform that empowers brands to drive higher conversions and revenue via exceptional e-commerce experiences. We recently got a chance to interview the CEO, Finbarr Taylor, about his company and his opinion on the direction of the e-commerce industry.
Shogun launched back in October of 2015 and since then they have been growing exponentially, becoming one of the top-ranked e-commerce platforms. The company started creating a page builder for Ruby on Rails and then pivoted exclusively to serve the e-commerce market, leading to the launch of their first product Shogun Page Builder. Now brands all over the world use Shogun's drag-and-drop Page Builder to customize their Shopify and BigCommerce storefronts. It is a pretty simple product to use as “it plugs into your existing native storefront of whichever e-commerce platform you’re using, and it helps augment that storefront and build all kinds of nice-looking pages and content.” Their services could not have come at a better time when the acceleration of direct-to-consumer business in the last year has increased tremendously. Finbarr recognized that ”the pandemic has forced a lot of businesses to accelerate their online strategy and a lot of new businesses have been coming online and needing tools that enable non-technical people to build their e-commerce stores.“ Shogun’s mission to help people create exceptional e-commerce experiences is so important to them that —not only have they raised $35 million to empower brands to have their own, high-converting e-commerce sites — they’ve also expanded their original vision to build a second product, Shogun Frontend. A way for more brands to realize the benefits of headless commerce via progressive web apps (PWAs). Even though the definition of “exceptional e-commerce experiences'' changes over time, Shogun's vision will always be focused on helping businesses build best-in-class storefronts.
After our conversation with Finnbar, we are confident that Shogun's huge success is not only based on its high-quality products but also its meticulously curated company culture. He attributed this to three main themes — transparency and integrity, respectfulness and empathy, and individual growth. He also shared that to have a good work culture, there have to be systems in place that bring those values back to the forefront of whatever you are doing, such as in the way you hire, conduct performance reviews, etc. Now the Shogun team is distributed across more than 25 countries around the world and growing!
Since innovation and growth are rooted in their company it was only natural for them to keep finding ways to enhance websites. About two years ago, Shogun decided to launch their headless storefront product, which helps more brands realize the benefits of headless commerce in a low-code environment.
Emerging Trend #1: Headless Commerce
The word “headless” is a hot topic of conversation buzzing around in the e-commerce industry right now. So, what is it, exactly? Finnbar sums it up very eloquently with “people mean a lot of different things when they refer to headless commerce definitions. For Shogun, it’s simple. It’s essentially using different pieces of technology for the back-end versus the front-end of your site. You can adopt modern technology that makes your store faster, more powerful, and easier to edit.”
Ultimately, a headless storefront allows e-commerce stores to optimize their customers and potential customers' experiences by speeding up site performance and allows companies to customize and improve how the store looks, feels, and operates in a virtual space. From CEOs to developers, to marketing and operation teams, this technology has a lot to offer.
Emerging Trend #2: Composable Commerce
Composable Commerce is a fresh, new idea making its way into more and more leadership conversations. Finnbar described this concept as the notion that you can “pick and choose the best components of each part of your e-commerce stack” instead of relying on one or two platforms for the entire store. There is flexibility in utilizing different partners to provide each element of your user experience, such as the store front end, the store back end, checkout and payment, and so much more. “The ability to manage all of your products and be able to break down and pick different parts of the stack for your company and brand, and to be able to manage each part individually,” is extremely impactful for both the customer experience and for the company’s management of their store.
This trend aligns well with Shogun’s company mission, which is
“to provide exceptional e-commerce experiences, which today can be defined as a super-fast, beautiful website that works well on mobile. Most sites out there are not this, so Shogun’s mission is to help their customers achieve this and more using headless technology, taking storefronts to the next level and elevating them to best in class.”
If your company has plans to migrate to a headless website in the future, or if your company has already made the switch, you may find that data collection and analytics work a bit differently. Analytics in general can be kind of a black box, with a seemingly endless number of capabilities and custom settings that can be implemented based upon your company’s business goals and the data that provides the most value. That’s where our expertise at RHUX Analytics fits in. We help companies maximize their marketing campaign evaluations, customer trends, and site performance through clean, actionable data collection. Our partnership with Shogun has enabled us to get a deeper insight into headless storefronts and how analytics can be integrated in the best way possible.