Class of 2021 Stepping into the Future of Ecommerce: A Recap

Most will probably agree this is a fair representation of 2020:

Thankfully, 2021 is in sight. At SD, we’ve already left 2020 behind and are looking to the future. A few weeks ago we put together a Masterclass with some of our partners at Adobe, Klaviyo, Bolt, and Yotpo and we virtually graduated into a commerce-first world. For those of you that weren’t able to join us live – have no fear! Over the next week we’ll be recapping some of the things we learned in two posts or you can download the whole commencement experience here.

The Class of 2021 event kicked off with a special session from Worth Darling, Director of Retail Innovation at Vans. He shared insights around brick and mortar stores and their connection to commerce within brands. Worth began his discussion by sharing this quote: “By 2040, 95% of all purchases will be done via commerce (NASDAQ).” – Retail Reset Report, The Future Collective.

To quote Worth’s response to this, “We are on this journey, this inevitable journey to a digital commerce dominated marketplace.” We couldn’t agree with you more Worth; and that’s why we are here to help everyone create exceptional commerce experiences. Worth and Phillip continued to discuss trends, insights, challenges, loyalty, and much more together. Don’t miss out and download it here.

The stage was then passed to our second professor, Joe McCarthy, Director of Performance Marketing at Klaviyo. Klaviyo is an email marketing platform created for online businesses — featuring powerful email and SMS marketing automation. Joe walked us through relationships and how to harness the relationships we’ve built and continue to build to drive more revenue in 2021. Joe shared some amazing insights from data Klaviyo has collected and reviewed over the past year.

Joe taught us all a very important lesson; there has never been a greater opportunity to build relationships. How can we capitalize on this opportunity? Listen to Joe’s session for all his tips here.

Joe the passed the torch to our great partners at Adobe, Jess Goulart and Tory Brunker who shared how you can modernize your commerce growth. Jess and Tory talked about the impact 2020 has had on retail and reviewed some key trends they’re seeing to help you connect with consumers and drive digital growth.

Plan for the future with help from the tips and predictions Jess and Tory shared and some fun they had discussing Moroccanoil dry shampoo and Adobe Max with Phillip by downloading the session here.

Next up, Loren Kelley from Bolt Checkout took the stage to share trends in checkout. With nearly 13 years of experience, Loren walked us through great checkout/payment experiences, as well as the bad ones and how to avoid those mistakes.

To learn some best practices on how to avoid cart abandonment and how to optimize your checkout experience download the session video here.

After a short coffee break and a fun commerce poll – we got right back to it with one of Something Digital’s greatest, Caitlin Mekita! Caitlin is our Vice President of Strategic Engagement and works with her team to help grow our clients’ businesses. Who better to talk to our audience about planning strategically for 2021? To quote Caitlin, “We’re going to focus a little less on the ‘what’ you’re going to do to in 2021 and more on the ‘how’ you’re going to get it done.”

And that she did! Caitlin touched on how to create a great roadmap to see growth, from laying a foundation to executing those plans and measuring success. Check out her full session here.

With two more sessions left, Yotpo’s VP of Product Marketing Josh Enzer took the stage and discussed how evolutions in shopper behavior will shape commerce. Josh covered major shifts in commerce and the top 3 changes for the new year. He covered where we were, where we are, and where we are heading.

By identifying the shifts in commerce today and the changes for 2021, Josh helped us prepare for the future of commerce and ask the question, “In a world where millions of businesses are competing for your customers’ attention, how do you win?” Check out his full session by downloading it here.

To close out commencement, our host Phillip Jackson came back to the stage and was joined by the amazing CEO and founder of personalized boutique agency Proof the Future that provides one-to-one digital and brand strategy, Ingrid Milman Cordy (and her super cute furry co-speaker .)

Ingrid spoke with Phillip about how to choose an agency, when it’s the right time to do so, when to rely on help from outside your organization or to build a team inside the brand. Check out Phillip and Ingrid’s full discussion here!

It was a few hours overflowing with great discussion, questions posed, data, tips, predictions, and some pretty great jokes. Be sure to check out all the sessions for a more detailed look at the takeaways from the event and join the Class of 2021. Download the full commencement experience here.

Still have questions or looking for help to strategically plan for 2021? Reach out to us and let us be your partner in growth!

Join the Class of 2021 & Step into the Future of Ecommerce


We’re leaving 2020 behind (finally!) and stepping into the future! Something Digital, Adobe, Klaviyo, Bolt, and Yotpo  have come together and put on our professor hats to guide you, the Class of 2021 with all the tips and tricks you need to continue build your digital presence.

Sign up for classes here

The *first 100 students to both register and attend* will receive a graduation gift box filled with all sorts of SWAG from SD and our co-teachers!

Class Schedule:
• 1:00pm ET | Welcome
• 1:05pm ET | Opening Keynote with Worth Darling, Vans & Phillip Jackson, Something Digital
• 1:20pm ET | Session with Joe McCarthy, Klaviyo
• 1:50pm ET | Modernizing Your Commerce Growth with Tory Brunker & Jess Goulart, Adobe
• 2:20pm ET | Trends in Checkout with Loren Kelley, Bolt
• 2:50pm ET | Coffee Break
• 3:00pm ET | Session with Caitlin Mekita, Something Digital
• 3:30pm ET | Session with Yotpo
• 4:00pm ET | Closing Keynote
• 4:20pm ET | Q & A
• 4:30pm ET | Congratulations – that’s a wrap!

We can’t wait to see you there!


Be sure to check out some of our other great content here & contact SD with your questions!

The State of The Customer Experience: Digital Panel

Everyone makes assumptions about what customers expect when they interact with a brand but how can we separate fact from opinion?

To answer that question, our partner Nosto surveyed 1,100 consumers to learn exactly what makes an ideal customer experience for them. Some of the insights are predictable, others are anything but. Now that we have an idea as to what consumers expect from an experience with a brand, the next task at hand is to find ways to deliver on those expectations.

To that end, Phillip Jackson, Chief Commerce Office at Something Digital, hosted the experts in a webinar to analyze the results that Nosto collected so that you can carve out an action plan. That webinar, The State of the Customer Experience, is available free and on demand. This blog post highlights just some of the insights revealed in the 45-minute webinar.

First, let’s meet our panelists.

In the upper righthand corner is Jan Soerensen, General Manager North America for Nosto, a standalone personalization platform that lets marketers personalize all of their brand’s touchpoints to the customer. To his right is Jake Cohen, Director of Product Marketing, Klaviyo, a marketing platform that helps ecommerce teams create, nurture and grow relationships with customers and prospects. Below Jake is Phillip Jackson who hosted the panel discussion, and to Phillip’s left is Olivia McNaughten, Product Marketing Manager, Yotpo. The Yotpo platform offers a full suite of solutions for customer reviews, visual marketing, loyalty programs, and referrals.

Phillip: One of the things we heard in the survey was that consumers expect omni-channel access to goods, although 53% said they interact with a brand most often on websites. What do you make of those finding Jake?

Jake: On the one hand if you’re a digital brand, 100% of your customers interact with you on your website because that is how they must buy from you. The purpose of the other channels is to nurture the relationship by sending information, community reviews, first-access to new products, and other things that are of real value to customers and prospects. Just take care to send information via channels your customers and prospects have opted into.

Phillip: Jan, 57% of consumers said they found a seamless experience across multiple channels, which is a bit surprising because within the industry, we see seamlessness across all touch points as a challenge. Why is that?

Jan: It’s a result of personalization. Personalization allows brands to meet their customer’s expectations, which in turn deliver better, more consistent experiences. There are many ways to approach personalization, one is based on maturity of the customer relationship. Early in the relationship marketers may want to go with a dual tap approach, starting with a pop-up with an offer and perhaps an exit-intend. Obviously, the site should cookie the users so they don’t become dependent on discounts.

Phillip: Changing topics a bit, do you recommend limiting discounts?

Jan: Discounting and couponing should be a stand alone discipline. A brand’s goal should be to minimize it as much as possible, which they can do by creating segments of people who don’t need a discount to purchase or repurchase. It’s a good idea to reduce the number of unnecessary discounts, and there are marketing tools that can automate that decisioning by identifying and segmenting which consumers have a strong affinity to a brand and suppressing those offers.

Phillip: When the survey respondents were asked what helps them make a purchase, 76% said reviews, followed by discounts, photos, word of mouth and loyalty points. Olivia, why do reviews trump discounts?

Olivia: Consumers are swayed by social proof. Our research has shown that 77% of shoppers actually prefer customer photos over professionally taken pictures. To that point, 98% of customers seek reviews when making a purchase decision because it helps them feel more confident that their decision is the right one for them.

Phillip: Can user generated content (UGC) be featured outside of the dotcom site to promote repeat purchase or retention?

Jake: Absolutely, and to find proof just consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which says that for people to feel truly safe and comfortable they need a few things. First is food, shelter and water, the second is belonging. People want to feel they’re not alone, and they’ll go to extremes to do that. I also recommend Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence. He termed the coin “social proof” in that book.

If you can capture [user generated] content from people in the tribe who are connected to your brand and disperse it to others who are not, you can demonstrate social proof and invite them to belong. The next question is mechanical: how do we do that? We’ve mapped that out.

[Editor’s note, Jake describes that map in detail in the webinar]

Phillip: Let’s talk about the home page, 58% of consumers say content on the home page is relevant to them. Is that because we’re doing a great job at crafting more personalized experiences, Jan?

Jan: We’re a lot better but we still have a long way to go. By way of example, let’s compare it to email. Marketers are really good at creating email series — welcome series, customer lifetime value series, category affinity and so on. There are so many campaigns we run offsite that we can and should run them onsite as well. The direct-to-consumer brands are good at this. When a new customer arrives on a site it shows branding and social proof. As customers progress in their relationship, the home page emphasizes loyalty. Even if your brand doesn’t have a bunch of products or personas, you can do a lot around life cycle and life time value.

Olivia: People take many routes to reach your homepage; it’s not linear. One of the most important things brands can do  towards providing a consistent experience is to implement social proof in every touch point. Once they enter your website the trust is already there, so your homepage can focus on your brand. The best thing you can do there is showcase your brand through your community.

Phillip: Thanks to our panelists for all of their insight. This post covers just a small fraction of what they’ve shared. I highly recommend watching the free webinar at your convenience for:

  • A deep-dive into the current state of customer experience based on survey results
  • Expert opinions on why certain customer experience trends are meeting consumer demands
  • Actionable insights and into how ecommerce brands can optimize their customer experience strategy to meet consumer expectations.


Watch the full webinar here or let us know if you have any questions.

Measure Your Maturity: Power Your DTC Retail Business Growth Webinar

Growing an ecommerce business can be tough and figuring out how mature a company is can be even more difficult. SD’s Chief Commerce Officer, Phillip Jackson and Klaviyo’s Director of Performance Marketing, Joe McCarthy have brought you a webinar to help you decipher those next steps using SD’s BULLSEYE maturity quiz and Klaviyo’s expertise in owned marketing.

To check out the full webinar click the link below.

Measure Your Maturity: Power Your DTC Retail Business Growth Webinar


Visit SD at IRCE 2019


Planning to attend IRCE on June 25-28 in Chicago? If you have not already registereduse code: EXIV817960 to save $200 off registration.


Join Something Digital, Vertex, and Attentive for a guided architectural booze cruise on the river with cocktails, canapés and music on Tuesday, June 26th at 5:30 pm. RSVP here (note this is a merchant/retailer only event).


BULLSEYE! Stop by booth #2061 to take our free Ecommerce Maturity Quiz and identify the tactics appropriate for your growth objectives.  Book some time with one of our experts now!

Adobe Experience & Magento

Something Digital will be at Magento Imagine 2019

Imagine was a blast last year and the Something Digital team can’t wait to see what Magento has in store this year!

SD turns 20 this year, visit booth #121 and celebrate with us! Stop by to get some premium swag or talk to one of our experts on design, development, marketing and more! Feel free to reach out in advance, any one of our experts can be booked through Brittany at

[Win Something]

Drop off your business card or join our Mercury Stamp Game for a chance to to win a MacBook Air, Malin+Goetz Skincare Set or Nintendo Switch! Winners will be announced at the following times:

  • Monday, May 13 at 6:00PM
  • Tuesday, May 14 at 6:00PM
  • Wednesday, May 15 at 12:00PM


[Join Something]

We’re pretty proud of our SD team members represented onstage this year at Imagine. If you want to catch one of the sessions you can see the schedule below.


  • Margaux 2, 11:15AM-12:00PM: Anheuser-Busch InBev: B2B Digital Transformation at a Global Scale
    • Featuring: Carrie Weidenbach & Jonathan Tudhope, Something Digital
  • Lafleur 1, 2:30-3:15PM: Optimizing Mobile Conversion: 7 Surprising Results from a Magento Community Study
    • Featuring: Caitlin Mekita, Something Digital
  • Encore Theater & Latour 2, 4:00-5:30PM: General Session and Keynote
    • Featuring: Phillip Jackson, Something Digital



  • Encore Theater & Latour 2, 9:00-10:30AM: General Session and Keynote
    • Featuring: Phillip Jackson, Something Digital
  • Encore Theater & Latour 2, 6:15-8:00PM: General Session and Keynotes
    • Featuring: Phillip Jackson, Something Digital



  • Encore Theater & Latour 2, 11:00AM-12:30PM: General Session and Commerce Sneaks
    • Featuring: Phillip Jackson, Something Digital


We look forward to seeing you in Vegas!!!

Ecommerce Footwear Guide

Shoes Lead the Way: How Footwear Brands are Pushing Commerce Technology Limits

Something Digital had the pleasure of sponsoring Logicbroker’s second annual Connected Commerce conference, this year taking place in New York. Connected Commerce was created to unite brands and retailers all while bringing the brightest minds and the best of technology together. The 1-day summit featured thought leadership around scaling digital commerce operations and delivering exceptional customer experience.

This year, Phillip Jackson, SD’s Ecommerce Evangelist had the opportunity to be one of the keynote speakers at CC18. His talk ‘Shoes Lead the Way: How Footwear Brands are Pushing Commerce Technology Limits’ discussed how footwear brands are finding creative ways of solving challenges – from supply chain to authentication and counterfeit. From creative partnerships to Augmented Reality — from Secondhand Commerce to hyper-custom personalize creations, footwear brands are leading the way for technology and social-driven commerce.

In this talk he highlights the importance of addressing the market challenges a footwear merchant will face such as inventory, exclusivity, bots, and merchandising as well as changes in consumer expectations. Many consumers now look for free shipping not just cheap shipping and paying for shipping can be a deal breaker for many online shoppers. Consumers are looking for curated shopping experiences and expect 24/7 customer service and the ability to shop anywhere no matter where they are or what device they are using. This talk discusses how these merchants are beginning to overcome some of these challenges all while staying unique to their brand.

Interested in hearing more? Watch his full talk here.

If you couldn’t make it to Connected Commerce this year and are sad you missed out, save the date because it’s coming back to NYC September 19, 2019.


GrowNYC Service Day

Here at Something Digital, our team loves to give back to the place we call home! Once a year, we partner with a local non-profit organization that helps better our NYC community. This year we are proud to have served GrowNYC at their Governors Island Teaching Garden location.

The GrowNYC’s Governors Island Teaching Garden is a 21,000-square foot urban farm featuring a ½ acre small-scale farm, fruit trees, an indoor kitchen and solar oven, a green house and much more! The garden aims to engage and educate visitors in all aspects of urban farming. The program offers opportunities for NYC’s underprivileged schools and summer camps to visit the garden and learn the benefits of community gardening and take part in planting, harvesting, watering, and even cooking what the garden has to offer. GrowNYC also teams up with communities around NYC to help build community gardens in low-income neighborhoods.

Our team rolled up their sleeves to participate in tasks such as spreading topsoil, sanding, and building flower beds that would later be used to help low-income communities start their own gardens. Both SD teams had a positive experience with the work they accomplished and partnering with the staff of GrowNYC.

“Our service day with GrowNYC was easily one of my favorite experiences with my colleagues at Something Digital.  It felt so rewarding to have our large group help accomplish projects that would have taken them several days to complete. This service day showed me that we all work really well together inside of the office, and outside as well.”

– Anne Langworthy, Functional Tester

However, it wasn’t all hard work! Our teams enjoyed the fruits of their labor! We savored the taste of the fresh growing berries, were gifted fresh produce from the garden at the end of the day and got a close look at some of the animals in the surrounding farms.

“Our service day at Governors Island Teaching Garden was a ton of fun! Getting out of the office and into the sun was nice, but more importantly I appreciated being able to make a real difference in such a valuable educational resource. We mixed soil, setup planting beds, weeded and applied linseed oil for new planting beds as well. The leaders at GrowNYC were a lot of fun, they even gave us some free, organic produce from the garden at the end! I’ll definitely be going back.”

– Leland Clemmons, Front End Programmer

Volunteering with GrowNYC was a great experience from start to finish. Working with such a professional staff for a great cause and being able to spend the day with coworkers outside of the office, in the sun and dirt, was a blast.

“GrowNYC’s Governors Island Teaching Garden was a ton of fun. We set the foundation for a new garden that they were trying to build.  All the while, we learned about agriculture and how much of an impact it has on our surroundings. Definitely was an educational and fun experience!”

– Ethan Yehuda, Programmer

If anyone is interested in learning more about GrowNYC, visit

Something Digital - magento

Magento Imagine Recap

We knew going into Magento Imagine this year that it was going to be one for the books. With a record number of attendees, SD featured on multiple panels and speaking sessions, and our very own Phillip Jackson as MC we knew we had to make this our best Imagine to date and we have to say, Imagine did not disappoint this year. Amazing sessions, Jamie Foxx as the Marquee Keynote Speaker (if free comedy shows are your thing, they’re ours) and the cherry on top of the sundae? SD taking home the Magento Shooting Star Award!

Imagine was packed this year with a record number of merchant attendees and Magento didn’t disappoint with the content they provided both merchants and vendors. Check out our top three takeaways from Magento Imagine 2018.

1. Magento Cloud is here to stay. If you’re a system integrator (SI) that implemented Cloud when it was first released you may remember some road bumps along the way. At Imagine this year there were an abundance of sessions with both merchants and SIs talking about their experience with Magento Cloud and how they can make it better.

2. Magento is constantly upgrading their platform. Magento made quite a few announcements during Imagine about upcoming features and functionality that will be introduced into the platform. Not to mention Magento 2.3.

3. Magento B2B is going to be big. There was a lot of talk about B2B at Imagine this year and even more B2B merchants in attendance. There was no shortage of sessions about B2B and how merchants can utilize the Magento B2B platform to sell directly to their customers.

We can’t wait until Magento Imagine 2019 (May 13-15)!

See you in 2019 Vegas!


Webinar: What to expect when you’re expecting (after your site launches)

Missed our webinar, but still curious about what to expect after your new site launches? Check out the full webinar below. This webinar will give you a good primer on when it actually makes sense to launch your site and what to expect post-launch. Let the SD team walk you through some common pitfalls and challenges that come along with launching a new site.


Something Digital is a leader within the industry that fully understands the process of going through a new site launch.  Whether you are rebuilding an already existing site or launching a brand new site, this webinar will help you make the best decisions for your newly launched website.

Want to learn more? Contact us!