Skip to Main Content

Jan 19, 2024 | 8 minute read

NRF 2024: Elastic Path’s Key Takeaways

written by Seamus Roddy

The bright lights, the long nights, the cold Manhattan wind – NRF 2024’s Big Show has come and gone, and it was an exciting three days spent with retailers, clients, partners, prospects, and a showroom full of retail pros.

At Elastic Path, we’ve been talking about our main takeaways from the show, and what it means for commerce in 2024. Here’s what we heard and saw at the show – and what we shared with the folks who stopped by our booth.

The human-centered approach to solving commerce problems is the best one

What we heard: Thought we were going to lead with AI? Yes, it was hard to find a session that didn’t have AI in the title, but in a discussion about generative AI and commerce, Cari Covent, Head of AI and Emerging Technology at Canadian Tire Corporation, said that her team used AI as part of a “human-centered approach to solving problems.”

Commerce, at its core, is still about delivering extraordinary experiences for real human beings. At sessions and at our booth, over and over, we heard from brands looking for commerce solutions that made things better and simpler for the people who buy and build and merchandise their products.

What we shared with customers & prospects: Elastic Path helps commerce leaders deliver extraordinary shopping experiences. Our family of modular, composable products both empower merchandisers and reduce the risks and challenges of managing a multi-vendor solution. Our dedicated customer success team – a group of real, live, available humans – works with brands through onboarding, implementation, and onwards to meet customers’ unique needs.

In every conversation, it was clear that each brand has a unique vision for how customers experience their products. I tell brands that Elastic Path thinks of our customers as ‘co-authors’ in creating those types of customer experiences. We’re an extension of our customers’ teams – come to us with unique requirements, and we’re going to work with you to find a solution.

Elastic Path logoRachel DelGrande Vice President, Customer Success, Elastic Path

The market is uncertain – but commerce leaders are ready to innovate

What we heard: Steve Liesman, CNBC Senior Economics Reporter, remarked at one session that over the past few years, “disruption has become our new economic normal.”

Nobody argued with that remark, but throughout the show, what we heard and observed is that despite an uncertain market, brands have an appetite for commerce innovation. Whether using generative AI to create product descriptions or first-party customer data to pursue omnichannel retargeting, brands aren’t pausing innovation because of market uncertainty.

What we also heard, time and again, is that brands don’t see innovation as a big bang, one-time pursuit. It happens gradually, over time, and – in the current market – only when there’s reason to believe it will deliver real value fast.

What we shared with customers & prospects: Achieving commerce innovation doesn’t require a huge replatform or risky investment. At Elastic Path, we offer the Unplatform™ – a flexible approach that empowers teams to solve problems one at a time. Modular, standalone products meet a connective framework so that best-for-me solutions form a cohesive solution. Commerce innovation doesn’t have to wait for interest rates to drop or budgets to explode – we can offer an incremental approach to unlocking exceptional customer experiences.

Companies are in the mood to innovate this year, but they’re focusing on projects based on real data that indicate a quick return on investment (ROI). When I met with commerce leaders, they gave a strong preference for smaller, bite-sized projects – as opposed to ripping and replacing their entire solution.

Elastic Path logoChristine Pochily Director, Sales

Brands aren’t willing to wait forever for real value on their commerce investments

What we heard: Dave Heath, CEO and co-founder of apparel brand Bombas, summed up the sentiment of many NRF attendees when he quipped that for commerce, 2024 was “about going deeper, not wider.”

To Heath, and to attendees we spoke with, that meant focusing on profitability, securing exceptional experiences for existing customers, using data to figure out what’s working, and getting value fast on commerce investments.

2024 isn’t the time for vanity projects, or tech investments with a questionable return on investment. We heard from brands that they couldn’t wait until the 2030s to see value from investments they make this year – and that they couldn’t pursue commerce innovation at the expense of disrupting an existing solution that is generating revenue right now.

What we shared with customers & prospects: At Elastic Path, we’re focused on commerce that drives revenue and conversion. That focus on business success isn’t pie-in-the-sky or a someday proposition. We offer composable solutions that help brands with unique requirements go live with new commerce experiences in 90 days or less. With pre-built, no-code integrations and an iPaaS purpose-built for commerce, Elastic Path Composer reduces commerce solution build time by 50% and composable implementation costs by 60%.

Our Unplatform message resonated with attendees at NRF. People kept saying that they need to show ROI and real value for the investments they’re making. Getting a shorter timeline to results that would boost their business was important to brands – commerce investments were discussed as a route to gain flexibility, become more agile, and support evolving business requirements and performance demands.

Elastic Path logoPaul Olson Vice President, Solutions Engineering, Elastic Path

Commerce is full of buzzwords – “composable” doesn’t have to be one of them

What we heard: Frederico Nicolay, Senior Manager at Latin American food delivery company iFood, started to make a point about customer experiences in one session before stopping himself. “Guys, I know everybody says they personalize, but this is for real,” he said.

The audience laughed, and that’s probably because the commerce industry is full of important concepts that have turned into buzzwords. Personalization, AI, customer experience, omnichannel – everyone says they’re doing it, but are they really?

“Composable commerce” is the same way. On a few occasions, a brand at our booth talked about their current solution and put the phrase “composable” into air quotes. Being locked into mediocre functionality, not having access to leading vendors, monthly deployments – that isn’t composable commerce, even if the phrase “composable” appears on marketing material.

What we shared with customers & prospects: Composable commerce doesn’t have to be a buzzword. At Elastic Path, we power composable solutions that provide real, tangible value for brands. Our family of products is fully modular – they can work independently or together to address real commerce pain points and power remarkable customer experiences. Brands that use Elastic Path aren’t locked into certain functionalities. They tell us what they need and we work together to create a best-of-breed solution that delivers value without requiring a disruptive replatform.

Composable commerce can sometimes feel like a buzzword. To us, composable commerce means getting solutions to business problems fast. Brands kept telling us that they don’t want to take on big risks to create unique commerce experiences. So-called ‘composable’ solutions that require a big replatform to address commerce needs aren’t really composable, and brands are understanding that more and more.

Elastic Path logoNicole Hamm Director, Sales

Wish you had the opportunity to stop by the Elastic Path booth at NRF? Schedule a call today with one of our commerce experts.

Try Elastic Path today

Access a free Elastic Path trial today to see our leading composable commerce solution in action.

Gartner: 20 Tips for Increasing Revenue

Get actionable tips for increasing AOV and conversion rates, minimizing return and shipping costs, and improving operational efficiency.

Loading Form...