As a serial entrepreneur, Bård has spent the last two decades pushing the boundaries of internet craftsmanship. His background started in software engineering and as an entrepreneur, his experience spans from software architecture, product management, business strategy to international sales.
As CEO of Crystallize, he is leading our team in building the ultimate headless eCommerce service.
Blog Posts (75)
Reimagining Sweef.se: A Case Study on Enhancing Performance and User Experience Through Next.js and Crystallize
Sweef.se, renowned for its unique, high-quality, on-demand furniture at reasonable prices, is doing it by offering not just furniture but Sweden's comfiest furniture, fostering a culture of comfort, quality, and individual expression. They needed solid tech to back their efforts to deliver that via their digital storefront.
The previous platform, PrestaShop, although functional, lacked the flexibility and speed essential for delivering a superior user experience and managing the complex product configurations offered by Sweef.
Betting on a monolithic approach in the age of omnichannel demand, composable commerce, and best-of-breed tech stacks is an arduous task doomed from the beginning. So, instead of going the beaten path of eCommerce, they took a leap of faith and opted for a headless approach.
Do you want to build an eCommerce storefront using SvelteKit, Houdini, Tailwind, and with product information from the Crystallize GraphQL API? Well, look no further. We have created an open-source boilerplate that connects the dots for this stack.
Have you ever wondered why certain products make such a lasting impression? What separates Apple from any other tech brand or Starbucks from any other coffee shop? The secret lies in their stories. And guess what? You don't have to be a renowned brand to leverage this power.
Rich storytelling is the core of Crystallize headless commerce. Re-imagine eCommerce and a case study of a project that brought Crystallize to life are all about product storytelling. After all, Crystallize is conceptualized as a single source from which you can tell the story behind your brand and product with ease and build a stronger customer experience by inspiring and informing your audience on every channel of interest (resulting in higher conversion rates, a more sticky customer experience, and fewer interactions via customer support of course).
Every product has a story; it's all about how you tell it (and who's backing your efforts).
According to Semrush, 50% of brands are still not using structured content. This means that the content a half of businesses out there create isn't reaching relevant people or at least isn't doing it nearly as successfully as it could be.
The online world is more crowded and competitive than ever, making it difficult to stand out and get noticed. And don't get us started with AI stuff that is published/made at a staggering rate. On top of all that, your audience's expectations are higher than ever: they want personalized, relevant, and engaging content everywhere they go online.
All this is made possible with structured content.
Structured content enables you to do more with your content. Not only does it enhance the user experience by providing precise navigation and consistency, but it also improves search engine optimization (SEO) by increasing relevance and improving ranking.
Implementing structured content on your website is becoming a crucial step to drive traffic, engage users, and achieve online success.
But first …
Gartner magic quadrant view, business expectations, industry leaders' opinions, most popular solutions… best of articles come in all shapes and sizes. This one of ours about eCommerce platforms is a bit different… we hope.
Driving customer acquisition, optimizing the eCommerce experience, fostering loyalty, and scaling operations are the reason why brands opt out for Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) approach in business and marketing. But is it for everyone, and how do you start with it?
NextJS on the front + Crystallize on the back for content management and subscription management for new blazing-fast BUNAD Magasinet website.
Gullpila delivers engaging live and on-demand HD video content to Odds Ballklubb football club fans and represents a new direct revenue stream for the club.
The benefits and competitive advantages of headless commerce are many. When done right, of course. Let’s look at some of the primary advantages that a proper headless commerce buildout can provide.
Our journey to reimagining eCommerce is not about adding features. It's about delivering core, modern commerce business requirements and future-proofing tech stacks.
The frontend frameworks ecosystem is booming so much that finding the right one for your online business/store has become challenging (at best). We’d love to help. This post is all about that.
The Jamstack strategy is gaining momentum these days, and rightfully so. Benefits such as better performance and easier scaling alongside better developer experience come to mind immediately. One of the main reasons we got into the business of reimagining ecommerce is giving devs the freedom to BYOF (bring your own front end). To tailor-make the front end and build a process for continuous deployment for fast iterations and deliver the best possible customer experience.
To make it even easier to start a Gatsby JS ecommerce project, we combined our Crystallize PIM with Gatsby, a modern React-based framework, to build out a super scalable Jamstack headless commerce solution. The results are staggering. Pagespeed score of 100 and a 3ms average response time when scaling out with 500 concurrent users on Vercel. Fast.
It makes no sense, but it is true. The reason for waiting in line is that many online stores are running on outdated technologies that simply do not scale, like Elkjøp in Norway or Jeffree Star.
Creating a seamless and engaging on-site customer experience is the ultimate goal for everyone running an online store. Besides your product/service, your store performance and product videos ensure you get the much-needed attention.
Video is dominating the digital marketing landscape and contrary to what you may have heard there are a couple of ways you can easily add them to your Jamstack website.
We have server-side rendered React using an early version of the Next.js framework on the front end and Crystallize powering the backend for complete product information, product storytelling, and order fulfillment management.
Not your average list but a comprehensive 19-point eCommerce SEO checklist with everything you need to know to optimize your store and successfully grow organic traffic and revenue.
Subscription ecommerce business models have seen fantastic growth in recent years. With Crystallize being at the forefront of it, now is the time to dive into the ins and outs of starting, running, and scaling an eCommerce subscription business.
A different, heavily opinionated look at the future of eCommerce. Let’s talk about the eCommerce trends like owned channels, community building, sustainability, App commerce, and B2B commerce that I think will dominate 2022.
Check out the top reasons your ecommerce platform needs to be blazing fast if the satisfied customer is not a good enough explanation.
Remember the unicorn designer? The designer also knows how to build that markup with HTML and CSS - or even in React. Well, the times have changed. Google launched the core web vitals for measuring site speed and the bar is raised. It is now significantly harder to get a 90+ score in PageSpeed Insights for mobile than just a few weeks ago. Site speed affects Adwords pricing as well as SEO ranking. As a result, the designers of today have to take into account site speed as part of the design process.
We've talked lengths about site speed and performance affecting your search engine ranking and organic traffic but did you know site speed affects Adwords pricing and ranking as well?
A headless approach to PIM means having a service ready to manage product information in seconds. Product information and content are delivered via an API. No templates, no web pages, only structured content. Pure developer bliss.
With the rapid growth of tools and solutions available in the space now is probably the best time to move your online store to Jamstack eCommerce architecture.
Genuine internet craftsmanship is performed by experienced UX designers, front-end developers, and information architects. The combined focus on customer experience, frontend performance, and beautiful reusable information architecture is rocket fuel for SEO, conversion and click-through rates, and reusable content services.
The differentiation is in the execution—in the details.
Hyperlinks are one of the most important aspects of content creation, copywriting, and website management in general. And we should all know by now how to use hyperlinks properly, right?
Instead of building a better PIM, CMS, eCommerce, or order management service, we wanted to design an API layer you need to market and sell your products on any channel, at any scale, and in any way you want it. A perfect product story engine, if you will.
PIM is your centralized product information system from which the product data is distributed to all relevant stakeholders, teams, and sales channels.
New sales channels appear every day. Instagram now has a shopping tab, WhatsApp is getting one, TikTok is jumping onto the eCommerce wagon, and purchasing groceries from your smart fridge has become a reality. If your online store is your only sales platform, then you’re seriously missing out.
Yes, we get it.
First, it’s creating content for your website. Then, it’s creating content for mobile. It’s creating social media sales channels, smartwatches, and other IoT devices. Moreover, the number of these will only increase in the future.
And who has a team that large? Not many! But hey, that’s why you’re here because this is where headless commerce shines.
Headless commerce and headless architecture have gained much traction lately, so the market for headless commerce is projected to expand to around USD 2.2 billion by 2023. Over six in ten retail companies plan to migrate to headless commerce platforms by 2024, while over 20 percent already use them (source: headless commerce stats 2024).
Core Web Vitals, INP, LCP, Cumulative Layout Shift, FID, Webpagetest.org, Google Lighthouse, Pagespeed Insight, CrUX. We're sure you've stumbled upon one of these in your quest to improve front-end performance, right?
But how do you measure performance? And why do you need to be data-driven and continuously monitor, optimize, and build a performance testing and optimization culture?
Let's explore that. Let's go millisecond hunting.
By using structured data to describe your web pages you are contributing to a more semantic web. This is a web where we describe the data being shown and not just how it should look, making it machine-readable. Structured data is also used by Google to enhance search results. Here is how you can add, test, and verify that your web pages are properly structured for the semantic web - as Google sees it. An important skill for better Internet craftsmanship.
Polymorphic comes from Greek where poly means many and morph means forms. Related to content it basically means that the content can have many forms. In the context of content modeling and Crystallize this allows you to define multiple editorial choices for specific content.
There is a shift in the way we buy and use the software. Most software is today rolled out as API services using a saas business model. Basically democratization of technology. You get full access to all features and pay for usage. No feature differentiation based on size. By creating a best-of-breed headless stack you can achieve a bigger focus on innovation rather than building and maintaining commodity services.
Google is updating its ranking algorithm in June of 2021 to include the page experience scores. The goal is to reward websites that have a great page experience and to put extra pressure on slow websites. In short, you get better rankings in organic search and pay less for Google Ads if you score well in-page experience. Core web vitals will then be part of the page experience score.
Site speed matters we know that. But how does speed affect your SEO efforts and, ultimately, ranking? To figure that out we did a Monstera Obliqua identification and care keyword test project.
How fast and well your website can handle serious amounts of simultaneous order placements can make or break businesses. It depends on your chosen ecommerce platform, of course. So we tested ours.
Being able to use actual data is a great way to stress-test your design. Thanks to the use of API and a pre-made plugin you can now populate your Figma design file with product information from your Crystallize PIM.
The power of structured product information lays in future-proofing the product information. It allows for easier adoption of new delivery channels, like Alexa for example, in your marketing strategies.
The product catalog (PIM) is the heart of any e-commerce solution. In Crystallize we have based our API for the product catalog on GraphQL to have a great developer experience and to provide a low latency API. We wanted the developers to have the freedom when building the user interface, typically in React, without having a back-end that slows them down.
Our friends at Snowball recently stated that fast websites drive sales. In order to succeed in building fast-performing e-commerce websites, you need to make sure your API backend does not slow you down. There are many factors that make out the total perceived and measured frontend performance of a website of course. We are making sure that it is not lagging in our API. Our APIs typically respond in around 5ms.
Crystallize is designed to rapidly launch new subscription-based digital services. Integrated with over the top (OTT) live and on-demand video delivery with AWS Media Services you have a game-changing recipe. Allowing brands to launch new subscription-based streaming services at an unprecedented pace.
We just finalized the legal stuff for Crystallize together with the brilliant team at Bull, what a great name for a legal firm btw. We wanted to have friendly and balanced terms of service to reflect our philosophy and customer focus. Slack, which we think is awesome, set the bar at about 5900 words. The Crystallize terms of service count today 2272 words which is just 38,5% of what the great team at Slack has, and that is including the order form.
If you are making a decision on architecture for a new e-commerce App these days: stay away from monolithic monsters. You should jump on the trend of tailor-making Internet Apps with React and GraphQL. It allows you to control every byte of the delivery and make the user experience just so. It will give you a better user experience, better Google ranking and not to mention: an awesome developer experience.
Matrix-based organization of products enables information architecture that is not easily done with hierarchical or topic map-based organizers. The grid organizer gives you a powerful product information management tool to build powerful taxonomies for your ecommerce. Simply manage products in a grid with drag and drop. Easy.
React is super popular for eCommerce these days. Single-page applications (SPA) are typically the starting point due it their awesomeness. React SPA is however not awesome for SEO and time to first meaningful render. This is where server-side rendering (SSR) with Next.JS comes in. Frontend performance is super-important according to the ecommerce SEO checklist so you need to have fast APIs. GraphQL done properly could help your performance that you should verify with profiling and benchmarking. For eCommerce SEO the good old best practice still applies like title and h1 tag usage.
Topic maps can be used to visualize your SEO strategy as well as building awesome internal navigation. Combined this makes for great internal and external findability. Get found in the search engines. Customers can easily navigate once they land on your website when proper information architecture is applied and connected with semantic topic maps.
At Crystallize we are information architecture geeks, well at least many of us. We believe in the natural state of product information and providing the building blocks so you can create the product shapes that fit your products and market. This is the underlying design criteria when creating the concept of product shapes in Crystallize. So you can build a tailor-made ecommerce experience and ultimately sell more products. In any channel.
With starting my new software venture, Crystallize, I hired a designer as employee number one the second was an illustrator. I wanted to front-load focus on design, user experience, visualization, and content strategy and not have that being an afterthought. Here is why.
Crystallize has had a GraphQL API for the fast delivery of product information from day one. However, we used a REST API for creating, updating, deleting, and general product information management. We have now killed off our REST API entirely and replaced it with GraphQL. Performance and developer experience are the main drivers.
Website speed is very important for ecommerce SEO. Frontend performance should be part of your daily web development routine by using tools like PageSpeed Insights. In the last couple of days, Google has rolled out speed monitoring as part of the dashboard in Google Search Console. This really confirms the importance of frontend performance and it also makes it easier for you to be on top of how your site is developing in regards to speed.
Webhooks are used to orchestrate events in our headless ecommerce service. We have now introduced GraphQL to allow you to select exactly the data you need for each webhook. You do not need to circle back to fetch the data you need. Simple, quick - and you are in control.
Break the silos with central orchestration of product information to enable omnichannel ecommerce. A well-executed omnichannel ecommerce strategy enables you to reuse product information across all channels with the use of a PIM. Channels including web-based ecommerce, native apps ecommerce, in-store ecommerce, point of sales, and even in-store digital signage. Building the foundation for modern design-driven and iterative development based on data and insight.
With site speed becoming an important part of a customer experience making sure that the number of backend requests during runtime has become important.
React Native is a popular framework for building cross-platform mobile apps. With this in mind, we've built React Native ecommerce app boilerplate from scratch, and in this short tutorial, I will explain how to use it.
You can use long-form storytelling to increase engagement by creating authentic experiences. Learn from Patagonia and The New York Times how to build trust and grow your online audience. Emotional stories that inspire are more likely to be shared and if you are lucky even go viral. We have created an open-source eCommerce boilerplate to get you started with long-form storytelling.