Headless Commerce: The Evolution of E-Commerce and Path to Profitability

Nogin Coresight Webinar

Register for this Webinar here.

E-commerce has evolved into a cornerstone of the global economy, causing particular disruption in the retail sector over the past few years. The rise of e-commerce has heightened the importance of effective e-commerce infrastructure and the need to address profitability challenges. Just as retailers have adapted to the changing environment and ever-evolving competition, so have the e-commerce infrastructure and tools adapted to support these retailers.

On Wednesday, February 2, 2022, at 11am ET, Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, will be joined by Jan-Christopher Nugent,  CEO at Nogin, to discuss how online retail players can increase their profitability by adopting e-commerce infrastructures that prioritizes flexibility, scale and innovation. Coresight Research will present analysis of proprietary survey data to understand the perspectives and action plans of US retailers as they relate to e-commerce infrastructure.

During the discussion, we will answer the following key questions:

  • How has e-commerce infrastructure evolved over time to satisfy changing consumer and retailer needs?
  • What profitability challenges do retailers face?
  • How do headless e-commerce solutions compare with legacy software systems?
  • How can headless commerce impact e-commerce profitability?

Nogin Names Jay J. Ku EVP & Chief Commerce Officer

Jay Ku Joins Nogin

Marketing and strategy executive to oversee brand management and content at leading Commerce-as-a-Service platform; will direct teams focused on driving exponential growth across 30+ brands

Veteran marketing and strategy executive Jay J. Ku has joined leading Commerce-as-a-Service (CaaS) platform Nogin as EVP and Chief Commerce Officer.

In his new role, Ku will oversee the Tustin-based company’s brand management and creative teams. These include ecommerce specialists, performance marketers, planners, buyers, retention marketers, writers, and designers focused on driving sales across 30-plus brands like Hurley, Kenneth Cole, bebe, FRYE, ModCloth, Justice, and Honeywell. He reports to Nogin President Geoffrey Van Haeren.

“Using Nogin’s proprietary Intelligent Commerce platform, Jay’s teams deploy store optimizations and targeted marketing tactics designed to boost sales and profitability through smarter promotions, sophisticated audience segmentation, and maximized conversion rates,” said Van Haeren. “The brand team sits at the center of the wheel — coordinating all efforts between brand management and creative, as well our product, engineering, fulfillment, customer service teams, and the client. Jay is uniquely qualified to direct those efforts, which are all focused on driving exponential growth for the brands on the Nogin platform.”

Ku brings over 15 years of experience in marketing, strategy, partnerships, and business development at Los Angeles-based companies. Most recently, he spent five years as SVP, Marketing & Strategy and Society6//Leaf Group. In that capacity, he directed all brand and performance marketing efforts for the company’s Society 6 artist-driven home décor brand, which generated over $150 million in annual revenue.

Prior to that, from 2014 to 2017, Ku was SVP, Marketing & Strategy, at Participant Media, where he led strategy and campaign development at TAG, the company’s social impact agency. During that time, he worked with everything from start-ups to Fortune 50 brands to drive consumer awareness, engagement and action around important social issues.

Previously, from 2007 to 2014, Ku was Head of Partnerships and Marketing at GOOD.Is//GOOD Corps//Upworthy. In that role, he oversaw all marketing to drive revenue for GOOD Magazine, GOOD.Is, and GOOD/Corps. He began his career in 2006 as Manager, Business Development and Content Marketing at Helio, LLC, a former, mobile virtual network operator on the Sprint network. The Los Angeles resident holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Harvard University. Ku also had a five-year career as a professional cyclist, racing for the TIAA-CREF team as well as the US National Team, He’s also a Board Member of the National Parks Conservancy.

Making eCommerce Smarter

Jan Nugent

Nogin awarded the CIO Review’s “Most Promising eCommerce Technology Solutions Providers of 2021”

This article originally appeared in CIO Review and is reproduced here with permission.

“From a technology perspective, there is a great divide in e-commerce,” highlights Jan-Christopher Nugent, co-founder and CEO of Nogin, an Intelligent Commerce Company that is helping brands improve their performance by providing a new approach to e-commerce software and a host of outsourced services. On one end of the spectrum, there is legacy enterprise e-commerce software that is robust, scalable, and has massive capabilities but is inflexible, slow and expensive to deploy, and very rigid to optimize.

On the other end, there are nimble SMB e-commerce storefront solutions that leverage apps to be effective for simpler stores but have fundamental architectural issues that make them unsuitable for enterprises. “For brands and retailers, providing an exceptional experience to the consumer is a must. However, keeping pace and maintaining reasonable profit margins has been a challenge for the market. Nogin solves that with our unique Commerce as a Service approach to the market,” avers Nugent. The Tustin, CA-based company offers a cloud-based, full-stack, e-commerce platform that includes R&D, sales optimization, and machine learning, so stores drive exponential results. For those who need more, Nogin also provides artificial intelligence-driven marketing, fulfillment, and expert support to help global brands keep pace with big retail giants and drive predictable profitability.

The Nogin Intelligent Suite features superior catalog and full-stack capabilities, a market-leading algorithm, and AI advancements at its core. Nogin blends enterprise-class technology with the flexibility and nimbleness of a commercial solution on the front-end to deliver customers the high-performing, seamless online experience they demand while liberating margins and driving growth. The Nogin Data Scientists, along with AI, process millions of interactions, analyze activity across a brand’s entire operation, and have the potential to act in real-time to help businesses unlock growth, cut costs and identify the source of lost revenues.

“Today brands and retailers are on an island once they replatform, and it’s not really working. With Nogin’s cloud technology and services approach, all boats rise with the tide. We are driving the tech to grow sales, cut shipping, returns, fulfillment costs, and push those capabilities out to all clients,” adds Nugent. Nogin’s high-performing, multi-tenant, and multi-community Intelligent Core feature flexible architecture designed to efficiently manage e-commerce operations, complex catalogs, and sophisticated order management systems to power a business’ day-to-day operations.

Additionally, Nogin’s Commerce as a Service cloud approach constantly invests in R&D, thereby eliminating the need for clients to ever replatform. Nogin’s proprietary software continuously updates with new features for advancement and better results. Imagine getting an update that increases your conversion rate by 20% overnight. With Nogin, it is a reality. Brands and retailers that partner will Nogin can drive consistent and predictable profitability because the platform provides access to all the resources a brand needs. The solution unlocks benchmarks, best practices, and behavioral data with no hidden or extra cost while combining customer, industry, and market intelligence, all wrapped in one platform that gets smarter after every conversion.

Over the last seven years, Nogin has helped notable brands, including Honeywell, Hurley, Bebe, Justice, ModCloth, Lululemon, and True Religion, not only meet their goals but exceed expectations in all facets of their e-commerce business operations. For example, a Fortune 500 client needed to launch eight stores globally with multi-currency, multilingual, and omnichannel capabilities. Working with a traditional enterprise provider would have cost them approximately $20 million and taken over two years to roll out globally. Instead, by plugging into Nogin’s intelligent e-commerce platform, they developed multiple region and language-specific catalogs, with 11 different unique payment methods—all managed from a single catalog.

“The brands went live globally in 90 days on Intelligent Commerce across the entire online demand chain for 5% of standard fees and with the help of Nogin’s experts do over $100MM online. We are now helping them roll out additional divisions”, says Nugent. In the last five years alone, Nogin has grown 1100% profitability. The company will continue to drive Commerce as a Service for brands and retailers to drive exponential results over DIY and Legacy Commerce. “Our goal is to continue to advance our Intelligent Commerce Platform and spin-off apps of high touch technology to drive exponential results for the SMB market as well,” concludes Nugent.

Top Tech Trends Reshaping eCommerce in 2021 and Beyond

Tech Trends of 2021

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a big shift happening in the eCommerce space — consumer shopping habits are changing! As consumers continue to gravitate towards the convenient and seamless experience of shopping online in a post-pandemic world, eCommerce companies have been forced to adapt to remain competitive. Let’s look at some of the top tech trends you need to watch out for in 2021 and beyond.

Top Tech Trends in eCommerce

According to a study by Adobe, the eCommerce industry is expected to grow to $1 trillion by 2022 in the US. Due to the lasting impacts of the pandemic, consumers are now more willing to shop their favorite brands online instead of brick-and-mortar stores. (This is great news for eCommerce stores!) 

Whether it be through optimizing a digital marketing strategy or improving the overall customer experience, eCommerce companies must be willing to flex with the changing times to stay ahead. Here are some of the top trends you need to know as an eCommerce retailer.

Augmented Reality is Creating an Interactive Shopping Experience

With online shopping becoming the norm, augmented reality (also known as virtual reality or mixed reality) is the next big thing in eCommerce. Many sites are already using it to great effect in creating an immersive experience for customers. 

In the past, customers could only virtually access products using headsets like the GearVR or Oculus Rift; however, with the help of augmented reality technology, consumers can access most goods using a smartphone, tablet, or even desktop. 

As more companies continue to adopt augmented reality,  customers can easily use their devices to check out what a product looks like before purchasing. Some examples of companies who already use augmented reality include:

  • Ikea – With the Ikea Place app, users can virtually place true-to-scale pieces of furniture in their home to see if it will fit in a certain place. Not sure if the nightstand will match a room? Users can also use the app to see if a specific piece of furniture  matches the rest of the furniture!
  • L’Oreal – The L’Oreal Makeup app allows users to virtually try on makeup to see if certain makeup items would look good on them or not. This app makes it easy for consumers to shop without having to leave the comfort of their home. 
  • Warby Parker – Eyeglasses company Warby Parker has an app where consumers can try on different glasses styles by swiping through their collection while holding the camera close to their face. As a bonus, the company even allows customers to select a few glasses to try on in real life too — for free! Pretty cool right?

Fun Fact: Did you know that only 1% of retailers are using AR in the customer buying experience? For eCommerce brands, this is one great way to get ahead of the competition while increasing post-purchase satisfaction rates.

4 Tech Trends Infographic
4 Tech Trend Infographic

Chatbots are Improving the Customer Experience

Chatbots have been a huge gamechanger for digital storefronts. They allow companies to communicate with customers in a more personalized manner while increasing conversions. 

Chatbots can perform tasks like answering customer queries, resolving problems, or fetching product information from the website 24/7. If a chatbot cannot resolve a certain customer problem, the chatbot will then redirect the user to a live agent to help them out further. By using chatbots, companies can see an improved ROI and customer satisfaction rate while decreasing overall customer service costs. This is why so many companies today are adopting chatbot technology to grow their business. 

Fun Fact: Studies show that 69% of consumers prefer chatbots because of their ability to provide quick replies to simple questions. (This just goes to show that this is one trend you won’t want to overlook!)

Social Shopping is Paving the Way

Another trend to watch out for is social shopping. Social shopping is one of the fastest-growing avenues of revenue for eCommerce companies today. The rise of social media  and the ease of sharing information has made shopping on social media a reality for billions of consumers around the world. 

Retailers are realizing that consumers want to make informed decisions on what they purchase and where they shop. And, social shopping features through Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms have made it easy for consumers to shop for new and exciting products without having to leave their favorite social media platforms. With the help of social shopping features, online shopping has truly never been easier. Social shopping will be one trend in particular that will continue to drive revenue upward for both small and large businesses for years to come. 
Fun Fact: 84% of shoppers research a product via social media before purchasing.

Artificial Intelligence and Your eCommerce Store

Consumers don’t only want a personalized brand experience, they expect it. And, Artificial Intelligence (AI) enables retailers to take their brand experience to the next level through crafting a tailored experience that’s unique to the end-user.  

How? AI systems can bring personalization to life through scanning a user’s website search history, preferences, and other buying patterns to give customers product recommendations before they even know what they are looking for. Companies can then use AI to cross-sell and up-sell customers on other products leading to a higher ROI. It’s a win-win for both the consumer and the company.

Dominate the eCommerce Space with Nogin

Sometimes trends should stay trends, but when it comes to the tech trends we highlighted above, you won’t want to overlook any of them. Augmented reality, artificial intelligence, chatbot technology, and social shopping are the now. And, you have the option to either change with the times or stay behind. It’s your choice. What lengths will you go to improve your overall customer experience?

Want to dominate the market? Prep your eCommerce business for exponential growth, profit, and retention by checking out the Nogin Intelligent Suite.


Ryan Gould
Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services

Elevation Marketing

From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations.

Ryan is known for taking complex marketing and business challenges and developing solutions that simplify processes while driving customer outcomes and business value. He also thrives on guiding Elevation teams toward execution of strategies that help companies succeed in new verticals, while staying true to core values and brand integrity.

Is Your ESP Going Extinct?

Is Your ESP Going Extinct?

In June, Oracle announced it will stop selling & supporting their Bronto email marketing platform (aka ESP) in May 2022.  This caused 1,000s of mid-market and enterprise organizations that rely on email marketing, a key part of their ecommerce digital marketing strategy, to take a hard look at streamlining the complexity of all of the tools and providers that power their ecommerce operations.  For those looking to make smart decisions, now is the perfect time to optimize conversion rates with better customer experiences and eliminate the complexity and guesswork of running and growing their ecommerce business.

If you are an ESP Platform onboarding a new and former Bronto customer or you happen to be that former Bronto customer looking for new, innovative and better ways to manage and operate your direct-to-consumer ecommerce presence, you might want to consider a solution that is perfectly positioned to help improve the profitability and operations of your ecommerce business. Everything you need to run an ecommerce business from the ground up, all under one roof. That solution is called Nogin. The right choice for your growing ecommerce business.

Why exactly? Nogin isn’t an ESP provider. While that is true, we are much more all-inclusive than an ESP solution. Nogin changed the ecommerce world with its comprehensive approach to operating commerce as a service that can include your ESP services and much, much more. Think of it as a cloud-based ecommerce platform full of incredible industry-leading technology and services that include infrastructure, strategy, implementation, digital marketing, support, maintenance, performance optimizations, and other solutions that ensure the success of your ecommerce business. Nogin is optimized to deliver significant cost savings and increased sales performance – all from a single point of contact.  We implement intelligent services that deliver exponential results that DIY ecommerce providers, like Shopify, can’t touch and that large scale enterprise solutions, like Magento or Demandware, take years to provide. It’s what we call Intelligent Commerce, and it delivers exponential results for our growing roster of customers.

Joining the Nogin platform allows our customers access to similar capabilities of big enterprise solutions without losing your independence. We help liberate your brand and take on the headaches of ecommerce by providing comprehensive support to elevate every aspect of your business.  Website maintenance, servers, logistics, marketing, and much more. It can not only drain your company of resources, but it can also simultaneously cost you profitability. 

Joining Nogin allows our customers the ability to utilize our suite of managed services. Our clients never have to worry about re-platforming again to adjust to the latest shifts in ecommerce. They also leverage our R&D power, expertise, merchant services, fulfillment, creative, and performance marketing services which deliver similar capabilities of big retail, so you can finally compete like a big retailer. That means you won’t overspend on shipping and fulfillment, offer unneeded discounts, waste money on inefficient marketing. Best of all, we constantly test new strategies with our customers to learn what works and what doesn’t. 

That means your brand will use winning strategies and lose the approaches that don’t. We handle all technical aspects to free you to focus on growing your brand, innovating on new products and engaging with your customers. And that is a new perspective that makes a lot of sense, especially for your bottom line. Get in touch with us below to learn more about our exclusive system that uses intelligent commerce to drive exponential growth.