Why Headless eCommerce is (not) a Pain in the Neck
The world of Commerce technology is shifting at an incredible speed. More solutions are hitting the market every day. Market trends like Headless and behemoth suppliers of eCommerce solutions have you believe you need a complex environment with many integrations, microservices and development hours before you can sell your product online.
Where on the other hand there is the best of suite, aka the platform approach. Reducing complexity by a great deal, but often seen as a strategy that will restrict you to build a solution catered to your specific needs.
Today we dive into how you can get the best of both worlds!
Guest speaker and leading sr. analyst Joe Cicman at Forrester talks about why headless commerce is a pain in the neck. He talks about his experiences on how vendors and the market is perceiving Headless (some of it is hilarious). And he will dive into how organizations can accelerate and serve the modern Connected Customer in B2B & B2C.
And Product Owner and Dynamicweb MVP Arnór Geir Halldórsson at Advania, an international IT agency that aims to create value and making life easier for its clients, will dive into several customer cases and how they took a headless strategy and turned Dynamicweb into a best performing headless eCommerce environment that is driving increased value.
During this webinar you will learn about:
- How portals and Headless eCommerce support 67% of B2B sales
- How Headless eCommerce can lower cost to serve, and increase customer value
- How platform suites can be united with a headless commerce strategy
- What to be aware of when implementing your headless strategy
- A customer’s decision to implement Dynamicweb as a compleet headless eCommerce solution [by Advania]
- How this customers case saw performance boost by choosing headless
Eric: Welcome to today's webinar. We have an exciting topic today. Why headless eCommerce is not a pain in the neck. We will be talking to Forrester's leading analyst, Joe Cicman, who will go deeper into customer journeys as well as how to approach eCommerce and then the headless eCommerce project, and then after that, we will be handing it over to Arnor from Advania. Arnor is the product eCommerce manager at Advania and also a DynamicWeb MVP. So with that, I think we have an exciting, deeper webinar ahead of us, and on that, I would like to hand it over to Joe. Joe, take it away.
Joe: Thanks, Eric. Hi, everyone. I'm Joe Cicman. I'm a senior analyst here at Forrester Research and I cover marketplaces, digital experience platforms, and B2B commerce. Today, I'm going to talk to you about headless commerce and why it's a pain in the neck, and I'm going to put it into context to help you understand how it relates to your digital strategy so that you can understand its value.
Joe: It's not your fault you don't understand headless commerce. Great products have great names that express what they are and why they're good, like doghouse or sugar-free gum, but headless commerce, that's confusing and it's poorly messaged, and so to illustrate this, we're going to run two tests right now. So test number one, tell me if you know what the following things are and if they're good. Horseless carriage, painless dentist, headless commerce.
Joe: Okay. So round two. Tell me if any of these quotes help you. They're anonymized from vendors during the briefings in our most recent wave of research. "If you don't like having a head for your headless, then you can run your own." "Competitors call themselves headless, but they don't include a head, " and my favorite, "Let me make it simple: Headless means many, many, many heads."
Joe: So are you a cave dweller for not understanding headless commerce? No, you're not. You're a rational thinker. You know what a dog is, what a house is, and what a doghouse is. You also know what a digital touchpoint is. That's ahead and there's many of them, and you know what commerce is. Both are good, so how can one be better if it doesn't include the other? With headless commerce, there's an exception, and learning exceptions to a rule introduces cognitive load. You know cognitive load. It's the thing that you eliminate from digital experiences to achieve better customer outcomes.
Joe: So, for example, in his book "Outliers," Malcolm Gladwell attributes relatively poor math skills to English words for 11, 12, and 13, because the rest of the number system is rational. 21, 22, 23. Cognitive load impairs learning, and the headlines in recent years about headless commerce ironically so introduced quite a bit of cognitive load. The exception is one thing, but it's only one complexifying factor. When people talk about headless commerce, what they say about it varies based on their frame of reference.
Joe: So for example, if you are listening to someone at a brand that operates an eCommerce site, they might say, "I just re-launched my company's eCommerce site. I'm psyched that put AEM in front of ATG and I got my feds crushing GMV growth. I do headless commerce." Now if you're listening to a SaaS salesperson, they might say, "I sell software. I blew away my quota. People love this API and FA stuff more than they love bopus non-gmo lattes. I sell headless commerce."
Joe: If you're listening to a very proud product manager from a SaaS vendor, they might say, "I am your savior. You need what I am because I'm the most important thing in commerce's heads. I am headless commerce." So that's the messy landscape of chatter around headless commerce. The word is irrational and people talk about it from fluctuating frames of reference. So no wonder you're sick to your stomach.
Joe: Let's set aside the technology jargon for a few minutes, because I want to put the topic of headless commerce in perspective and I'm going to ask you to shift your perspective to that of your customer. The new connected consumer poses a challenge for brands, and digital business pros like you need to understand how your customers connect across three dimensions. Devices, platforms, and channels, and map your portfolio of experiences so that you're present where your customers are.
Joe: As a digital business pro, your goal is to create a portfolio of experiences that maps to how your customers can act. The model for thinking through that is something that we call the 3D connected consumer. Three dimensions, devices, platforms, and channels now define how consumers are connected. Brands need to serve their customers wherever they are in these complex ecosystems. You need to take a fresh look at how your customers connect as you craft your technology and platform portfolios.
Joe: Customers use combinations of devices, platforms, and channels that many firms don't support. So to all your digital business pros out there, you need to understand your customers digital ecosystems in order to map your portfolio of experiences to how your particular customers connect.
Joe: Today's customer journeys are not simple and brands aren't in control of how the customer goes through that journey. Your digital experience platform is how you build experiences to support buyer journeys that are non-linear and in the buyer's control, and the talent you employ to build these journeys, your practitioners, well, they need the flexibility built into their tools, because they don't have time to constantly rely on developers.
Joe: Your practitioners are building journeys for a new type of business buyer. So for years now, Forrester has been writing about how B2B buyers are behaving more and more like consumers every day and some of this is generational preferences of the millennials. In fact, 73% of millennials in the workforce are involved in purchasing decisions, but it's not limited to millennials. That boomer CFO, well, she's designing and ordering her new car online without ever visiting the dealer showroom.
Joe: So any way you slice it, you are increasingly selling to buyers with consumer-grade digital preferences and they're levying those expectations on you. I've emphasized your practitioners who craft digital journeys for your business buyers, but this isn't just about better employee experience. Great customer experience leads to business growth. This is the formula behind Forrester's CX Index, which quantifies the business benefit of having a loyal customer. It calculates the potential revenue from improved retention, enrichment, and advocacy loyalty.
Joe: So, for example, customers with excellent experiences have a higher likelihood to recommend and to recommend to many more people. Getting customer experience right leads to loyalty, which is retention, enrichment, and advocacy, and that is what drives business growth. The revenue impact for a one-point improvement in the CX score is different for each industry.
Joe: In a world of the connected consumer, what's the role of technology and where will this play out and how should you think about it? Well, it'll happen in mobile, where mobile is an orchestrator. It's not just your competitors that you need to worry about, it's all the other digital experiences that your customers encounter in both their professional and personal lives, and in 2020 when things got hectic, they were having a lot of digital experiences. The industry went through ten years worth of eCommerce growth in just the first three months of the pandemic. So you're looking at more consumers as well as business buyers, turning to eCommerce and experiencing just how good or bad brands are at delivering at digital.
Joe: Again, getting customer experience right leads to loyalty, which is retention, enrichment, and advocacy, and that drives business growth, but your business buyers still need you to be there in person, so to speak. They still have complex problems and they need experts to help them identify the right solution.
Joe: In 2021, Forrester conducted the latest iteration of our deep study on B2B buying and in that second year of the pandemic, 67% of all global B2B sales went through a vendor sales rep. Why is that? Well, because many products still aren't fit for pure digital selling and buyers have complicated pains that require complex solutions and review from committees, and during the pandemic, when so much got disrupted, people had to operate their businesses differently and we're looking for domain expertise from their sales reps to figure out how to pivot and what gear they needed to do it.
Joe: Now, that study also indicated that another 33% of all global B2B sales go through a combination of rep-assisted and self-service e commerce. Looking more closely into self service, the study found that 7% of global B2B sales are transacted through a marketplace. So does Forrester expect these ratios to hold or to continue trending? We'll answer that question for your own business, we have a model that you can use right now.
Joe: Most businesses offer a range of products that address a range of business problems. So use this grid to segment your product portfolio. The horizontal axis is the complexity of your customer's buying process. So, for example, if one field tech can buy one replacement part, that's low complexity, but because your buyer needs to get support from her peers, approval from her upline manager, and the go-ahead from the governance committee, that becomes high complexity.
Joe: Now, the vertical axis is the complexity of the product and you can think about this as the amount of knowledge the buyer requires. This one is affected by the particular individual buyer you happen to be working with. Then once your products are on the matrix, overlay these four boxes the way you see them here. These are your selling motions that you're going to apply to your customers buying motions and this will tell you the ratios that you can expect for your business. When you do your own user research and journey design, you can actually build self-service ECommerce experiences that handle what, today, requires assistance from reps.
Joe: Offering your customers all of these methods to buy from you is called an omnichannel selling strategy. It combines the best of the online and offline worlds, and it's key to building a future-proof eCommerce strategy.
Joe: Getting customer experience wrong makes things go in the other direction and that translates to pain not only for you, but it translates to pain for your customer as well. Friction leads to mistakes, delays, and decrease purchase confidence and all that erodes loyalty. Keep in mind that these are your customers jobs. You know how you react maybe just internally when suppliers let you down or make things harder than they need to be.
Joe: When you engage business buyers where they are and the product data on your site is clean, it allows those buyers to easily research, select, and purchase from you, and from there, self-service eCommerce lowers your cost to serve customers so that you can focus more on acquisition of customers that buy more from you and remain your customers, tell their peers good things about you, and help you avoid needing to replace them.
Joe: So what's the lure to convince customers to adopt your digital commerce experiences? Well, consumers and business buyers alike seek convenience, and they don't always want to visit you, even virtually to engage with your brand, nor do they want to fumble through unwieldy experiences, pinching, zooming, searching, and filling in address forms repeatedly, exhaust them. So brands need to lighten the cognitive load on their customers by removing friction from their experiences.
Joe: Consumers expect brands to meet or even surpass their expectations. So to lighten the cognitive load and remove friction from experiences, brands need to do three things and we're going to step through those one at a time now.
Joe: The first thing brands need to do is take a page from the banking playbook. Banks realized decades ago that they couldn't just put ATMs at bank branches if they wanted to reach customers. They needed to put them in airports, grocery stores, malls, and gas stations and the same applies to digital. Consumers already own iPhones. They already use Google Maps. They already talk to Alexa. So brands need to place their services appropriately. Brands need to meet customers where they are.
Joe: The second thing that brands need to do is offer choice. So consumers use more than one channel to complete the same task depending on their context. If a consumer is riding a bus to work in the morning, she may type phrases or touch icons to navigate through a song playlist to avoid disturbing other passengers, but if she's driving to work and has to be hands-free, she may use voice to accomplish the same task. Brands need to give customers a choice of channels.
Joe: The third thing brands need to do is not fall behind. The cost of delighting customers can be high and first movers bear the burden of teaching customers new tricks. More often than not, your customers expectations in digital are set by an experience outside your industry. So, for example, consumers expect the same process transparency for an auto insurance claim as they do for a fast -food order.
Joe: Digital business pros like you need to examine comparable processes or ideas outside of your company. Brands need to keep pace with or even stay ahead of consumer expectations. Every time customers are exposed to an improved digital experience, their expectations for all digital experiences are reset to a new and higher level and more often than not, your customers expectations in digital are set by an experience outside your industry.
Joe: The pandemic reinforced how technology improves the economics and capabilities of every business. Using new digital capabilities is ten times cheaper and faster to adapt your workforce, engage customers, create offerings, harness partners, and operate your business even among uncertainty. Digitally advanced firms embrace digital's new rules of business using technology at the core to create customer value.
Joe: Okay. So now back to the technology. The technology on its own doesn't magically make you win. No differently than owning free weights will make you physically fit. They're just an ingredient. They're just a means to achieve your goal, and that goal is your digital strategy.
Joe: Start by understanding your customers and crafting journey maps that call out the digital interactions that are meaningful. Then score each of those digital interactions along two dimensions, the benefit to the customer and value to your firm, and then prioritize those digital interactions based on the scores. Think of that as a stack-rank backlog. Then select the right technology to bring those digital interactions to life. More often than not, taking a headless commerce approach to those digital interactions will result in you having more flexibility, and that flexibility means you can deploy and iterate those digital interactions faster with less cost and with less technical complexity.
Joe: Now, let's go see what that looks like. On the left is an eCommerce platform that tightly couples the frontend, the Webshopping experience into the platform. Sometimes this means fewer moving parts, but those parts only move in the ways the vendor predetermined and this can slow you down, it can make changes harder than you'd like, or it can force you to upgrade everything in order to get one small change just on the frontend.
Joe: On the right side of this slide is an eCommerce platform that doesn't have a tightly coupled frontend. In fact, you bring your own frontend. Sometimes that's a native mobile app. Sometimes that's a progressive web app, what they call a PWA. The programming skill for these is fittingly known as a frontend developer.
Joe: The frontend is just one part of a full eCommerce platform. Having that one part isolated from the rest of the platform means it's less complex to make frontend changes. So by metaphor, think of the dongles you have on your laptop. You can attach external displays, connect to projectors, or connect to a TV. You can swap all of those out without also needing to swap out your entire laptop, and that's the power of decoupled or loosely coupled platform components. That's the power of a decoupled frontend. This gives your technology the power to be adaptable, and as a digital business pro, you want your technology teams to be adaptable in order to keep pace with your creative strategy.
Joe: Building your own robust and adaptable technology platform from scratch can get complex, and it can be challenging for your teams to assemble if they start with a bunch of disconnected parts. Modern eCommerce solutions allow you to sidestep the work of assembling every part of your platform stack from scratch. So look for a solution that's pre-integrated with major parts of a platform like PIM and Order Management.
Joe: There's a lot of vendor content out there on the Internet talking about flexibility and how it can enable you to do anything you want, and while it's true, sometimes you just want to buy a great car, not build a great car from scratch.
Joe: Understanding digital moments is critical to any experience strategy. When you understand how your customers connect with you across devices, platforms, and channels, that gives you an actionable frame of reference for designing your journey maps. When you can speak your customers language and your teams all speak the same language, then you can align to win, serve, and retain those customers. It's a matter of perspective. So thanks for your attention. I hope you got a lot out of it.
Eric: Thank you, Joe. That was really interesting. I really liked your elements of talking how headless eCommerce can help stage a customer journey for B2B and eCommerce, and where you also talked about how it can help drive performance in delivering for agencies, which is a nice bridge to where we go in a moment. In addition to it and then we can hand it over, I would like to mention I really like your example about the computer dongle. Just plug in whatever head you need and work from there and I think that that's a great example on how to simplify explaining headless eCommerce.
Eric: On that note, I would like to thank you. We might circle back to you later, but at this moment we have Arnór from Advania. Advania is one of our great partners who make all these great solutions happen for our customers. Arnor, himself is the product owner and DynamicWeb MVP. On that note, Arnór, please take it away.
Arnór : Thank you, Eric. Hello everyone. My name is Arnór Geir and I am the product owner for DynamicWeb eCommerce solutions at Advania, Iceland. Over the past few years, we've been moving our eCommerce solutions into a headless architecture, and last fall, in partnership with one of our clients, we released our first headless DynamicWebshop. We're going to dive a little bit into our journey of beheading our architecture, what kinks and bumps we've run into along the way, and what the future holds in store.
Arnór : So, to be or not to be? Definitely to be, but why? First of all, no matter what the job, always try to make it fun. That should be our default state of mind always, but also having a headless architecture can greatly improve your flexibility in software development, especially for frontend developers. Having a headless CMS or eCommerce system removes the restrictions of being forced to use a specific frontend framework like Razor, for example, enabling you to pick and choose the frontend framework you like. Be it Vue.js, React, Angular, or just Preact and jQuery.
Arnór : Now, we at Advania had our eyes on Vue.js and having a department of around 35 software developers split into teams based on projects or different types of projects, we find it important to be able to easily scale these teams up and down depending on where hands-on-deck are needed the most. By decoupling the frontend from the backend and defaulting our technical stack to Vue.js frontend, GraphQL for our frontend facing web services, and Bach network for our backends, we flatten a little bit the learning curve that our developers face when switching between teams and projects, making context switching more efficiently.
Arnór : Also, developers tend to be more excited about working in cutting-edge frameworks. So it also helps with keeping our mental health on the smiley face end of the spectrum.
Arnór : Lastly, using frameworks like Vue.js gives us access to a larger, more interesting, and helpful pool of support tools to work with. For example, Dev tools in Chrome and Linters in VSCode instead of dealing with Visual Studio intelligence. This plays a strong part in keeping our mental health on the correct end of the spectrum.
Arnór : Now, let's rewind. Back in 2019, we were still writing all our frontends using standard rates or templates like the DynamicWeb doctrine dictates. Everyone was fairly happy besides, maybe, our frontend developers, but they toed the line in passive-aggressive silence. However, at this time we started running into performance issues due to the amount of data and assets some product pages were requesting. We implemented some extra server caching for live price and inventory data, which certainly made a difference, but the amount of static data we were fetching from DynamicWeb and rendering server sites was still enough to disturb the user experience.
Arnór : We sat down and we did some R&D on how we could move into a more heartless direction, but at the time DynamicWeb didn't have an exposed Web API, so we didn't really have a clean-cut way to get there. So we couldn't go fully headless yet, but we could go nearly headless.
Arnór : Now, nearly headless. How can you be nearly headless? What we did was basically lock our senior frontend developer in a closet until he came out with a proof of concept where he had stuffed Vue.js inside the Razor templates coupled with a DynamicWeb feed template feature. On each product catalog app, we had a Razor template for entering containing Vue.js components and logic that used AX requests to get that from a product or product list feed template set on the same product catalog app in DynamicWeb. These feeds basically pulled data from the DynamicWeb template apps and translated them into JSON app objects.
Arnór : This initially allowed us to split the page load so that the page finished rendering as soon as the static data from DynamicWeb was ready, and once the live price and inventory data from the ERP was ready, the necessary frontend modules were updated. We instantly saw vast improvements in performance. Seeing one of our clients product list pages go from taking a couple of seconds to load to well under a second, giving the user the impression that the page is loaded instantly even though we were still doing the same amount of work in the background.
Arnór : Later we took it some steps further by moving the rendering templates outside the product catalog scopes into costumed pages and paragraph templates and running the product catalog feed separately. At that time, DynamicWeb had started to use the Web API. So we wanted to prepare our template structure so that it would be easier for us to switch over when the time came. This also allowed us to split the feeds into static data and live data feeds, giving it a bit better control over when each set of data got requested by enabling us to lazy load more information like images or other data that you don't necessarily need before finishing the initial page load.
Arnór : The initial page load would finish as soon as the static information response had been processed and then we would update the image carousels prices and enable the uppercut button later. However, we were still running Razor underneath it all. All content pages were still strictly Razor templates, but we started to slowly move as many eCommerce related pages as we could into the new hybrid model, and at one point, the only thing keeping us from having a fully hybrid Vue.js and Razor checkout process was the necessity of using the DynamicWeb checkout handlers to process payments and complete archives.
Arnór : Now comes 2021, and as I mentioned at the beginning, we launched our first headless Web shop with our client, S4S, last fall. Earlier that year, they came to us wanting to redo their frontend. They were already running three to five Web shops on a single DynamicWeb instance with a shared functionality between the sites fully integrated with a NAV system, but they wanted to give their users the proper experience of being on a single website.
Arnór : At this point, the DynamicWeb API had started to grow some chest hair. Not as much as Tom Selleck here, but a few hairs here and there. So we sat down and thought, "Are you going to rewrite this project in the hybrid framework and keep maintaining that for the coming years, or are we going to use this opportunity and completely decapitate our architecture?" After thinking about it for about 5 seconds, we decided to go for it. The time was right, the client was going, and the requirements met the theme for a headless architecture perfectly.
Arnór : So how did we do it? We wrote the new frontend in Vue.js completely decoupled from the DynamicWeb solution and project with a designated frontend rendering service that handles all rendering for incoming requests with special pre-rendering for crawler bots like Google and Facebook. We ran the Vue.js frontend as a separate website in the same IIS on the web server that also ran the DynamicWeb solution, and then we use the DynamicWeb API as much as we could and supplement it with JSON feeds where necessary.
Arnór : One of the main challenges was to get the live price and inventory data from NAV to flow through the API to the frontend without having to write it into the database each time. To begin with, we decided to bypass the API with the JSON feed product. We also used JSON feeds for filtering and searching product lists, managing parts, and the checkout processing. At the time, the API did have some methods exposed for managing parts, but since the checkout process is a rather delicate feature, we decided to stick to what we knew and run it on feeds, at least to begin with.
Arnór : Passing all of this through DynamicWeb checkout handlers was also kind of tricky. So we set up a shared custom page in DynamicWeb where we discretely redirected the user through during checkout in order to trigger the necessary checkout handler to process the payment, complete the auditor, and trigger a sales order creation and then allow the checkout handler then simply lead the user back to the receipt on the frontend.
Arnór : The rest remained more or less unchanged. We didn't have to do any massive changes to the current integration framework, but we did make some alterations to the checkout handlers to support inline rendering of the payment templates and handling payments more seamlessly. Other than that, the flow of information between DynamicWeb and the ERP system remains the same.
Arnór : Did anything explode? Of course not. Ridiculous. We're professionals. Jokes aside, though, the launch did go far better than we had expected. When launching any new anything, you always expect the worst, and we were launching around October, November, just before one of, if not the largest eCommerce and retail sales period of the year here in Iceland. Safe to say, it was a strong like a champion, which in turn greatly increased our confidence with the direction that we were moving.
Arnór : Over the years, we've created webshops integrated against various ERP and PIM systems, payment and shipping providers, shifting, data analytics, and business intelligence solutions, and what have you. Usually, these integrations would lie between DynamicWeb and these various third-party systems, but moving into a headless or decoupled architecture opens up the possibilities to do things a little differently and make the frontend more responsible for some of these connections.
Arnór : For example, instead of integrating against a payment provider's API inside a trusted DynamicWeb checkout handler, we can create a standalone client connector that consumes the API and have a frontend to talk to it directly. Then we simply use the dynamic web API to finish and create the order in the ERP system, and this goes for every service the frontend wants or needs to integrate against. After all, it is the essence of the headless architecture, but we also didn't want our frontends directly communicating with multiple different services on multiple endpoints over different protocols or architectural designs.
Arnór : Remember, we wanted to keep our frontend developers from being institutionalize and we also wanted to decrease the learning curve for developers when they move between teams inside the department. So we took a look at the current lay of the land, especially the frontend rendering service, and thought we can do something more with this, and what we came up with looks something like this. What the hell is this? We basically took the frontend rendering service and gave it a little bit more purpose.
Arnór : So instead of just passing the butter, it's now an integration layer that handles all communications between the frontend DynamicWeb and any other third-party system the frontend could want or need to connect with directly, such as payment and shipping providers, and data analytic tools that rely on data from the eCommerce system, and because we're nerds with a niche sense of humor, we never did this, which we'll get back to in the end.
Arnór : Now, if this exposes a GraphQL endpoint for the frontend, resolving the GraphQL query or migration schemes to whatever service we're connecting it to, be it the DynamicWeb view models for the rest API, data requests to JSON feed pages, or data requests directly to NAV business centers, giving us a single endpoint to all of the client's eCommerce related services.
Arnór : Now, we're not replacing the integration frameworks between DynamicWeb and the ERP systems. Those are very much still in place and play an important role. The events that it restricts in DynamicWeb when calling the API or feed pages are still responsible for triggering the live integration services for prices, stock calculations, and so on, but this gives us just a little more freedom in our architecture, meaning that we could if we wanted to, communicate directly with the ERP system.
Arnór : For example, if an app at a list of products and only need to get the customer's specific prices or availability for them, we could add an API controller on top-of-the-line integration framework, have it communicate with it and give it access to these methods directly. Thus, making the lives of our frontend developers a lot easier by letting them work in an environment where they feel more comfortable and confident, while also making it easier for our clients to attach more third-party services to their eCommerce infrastructure.
Arnór : Why is it named Idris? It's really very simple. Idris is not only a great movie actor, he's also got a plethora of skills at his disposal making him a Hollywood one-stop, super shop of awesomeness, and since we were embarking on the journey of creating a one-stop super shop service layer, we couldn't really think of a more fitting name for it. That's all I have for today. I hope you're able to take something positive and informative from this talk. Thank you for your time.
Eric: Arnor, man, that was awesome. Hilarious. It was good, it had depth. I have to admit that I love your ideas slide. I really like how you approach that kind of stuff, in addition to, of course, adding some Tom to the mix as well, I think that that's never a bad idea as well, but it's really interesting to see how, with, of course, using DynamicWeb as a base platform, you guys build on top of that and got it into an experience for the customer. So really exciting. Is there anything else you would like to add because otherwise, we can start wrapping up this webinar, but quite it's exciting this far.
Arnór : Not really.
Eric: Cool, man. Then I would like to thank you for your time, and that brings us then to the last part of the webinar where we can close this down, talking a little bit more about DynamicWeb, and on that note, I would like to introduce a little bit of about DynamicWeb to you. It will not be too long, but just a quick run-through, because at DynamicWeb, we do believe in offering an eCommerce suite that consists out of a CMS, an eCommerce, a marketing, and a PIM solution, and as Arnor was touching on it as well, if you need multiple solutions in one, you have two choices to make, either you can build something from scratch, a best-of-breed, a point solution approach, or choose a platform solution like DynamicWeb.
Eric: Now, going with the Franken stack, the best-of-breed approach means that you need to find multiple solutions, you need to make them work together, have all kinds of integrations, and that adds, usually, risk to a project. It adds cost, ranging from recurring monthly fees to integration and maintenance costs. Then we have the DynamicWeb offering where you have everything you need in one platform, but you can build out where needed. You can have a headless solution, you can build a composable solution, you can take out a microservice like search, or you can replace the whole marketing solution if you want with something like Marketo or HubSpot.
Eric: There are many, many ways of doing that and that is where DynamicWeb chooses to be a platform approach with reducing eCommerce complexity as its main mission. DynamicWeb is global. We are in many parts of the world, ranging from the U.S. to Asia, to, of course, Europe and we do this together with approximately 200 colleagues and over 300 partners like Advania, who gave the talk today. We have well over 4000 customers, hosting over 12,000 web environments.
Eric: It's quite an exciting journey and we keep on growing quite fast, and we have happy customers. If you would like to learn a little bit more, feel free to browse our website or find me on LinkedIn. There's also my email address. Feel free to ask me anything. I will try to answer, if it gets too technical, I will probably forward it to Arnor in this case. On that note, I would like to thank you very much and see you guys next time.