News, insights and information from the rapidly changing world of eCommerce designed for the online B2B and B2C merchant! In the November 2020 Edition.....
Holiday specials brought to you by select Kadro online merchant customers
A look back and at today for Kadro's first customer - REEDS Jewelers
Technology Partner of the Month - Vertex, a leading provider of business tax software and services
Did you know about Kadro's Marketplace services?
Kadro's Site Analysis & Optimization Services (SAOS) can help to ensure that performance issues don't interfere with your online business.
Meet Elyse Robillard, Kadro's Senior Project Manager
Kadro named a North Carolina Top Performing E-Commerce Developer
Explore recent blog posts
SAVE-AT-HOME HOLIDAY SPECIALS BROUGHT TO YOU BY SELECT KADRO CUSTOMERS
Groomers, kennels, veterinarians, breeders, and active pet enthusiasts have access to over 10,000 national-brand and exclusive PetEdge-brand products through our website and catalogs.
Browse through our wide collection of affordable shoes by designers, clothing, footwear, and accessories for women, men, and children.
Founded in 2002, SeaDek® Marine Products, part of Hyperform Inc., is a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative marine decking materials and lamination for OEM boat builders in the marine industry as well as to boat owners seeking custom products. Made from closed cell PE/EVA foam, SeaDek Marine Products offers safe and comfortable alternatives to marine traction products currently on the market.
Get special holiday savings from these Kadro online merchants by visiting our holiday promotions page! Holiday savings end 12/31/20.
Since 2001, Kadro has worked with REEDS Jewelers as their eCommerce solutions provider and partner. Over that time, we have delivered on multiple site redesigns, a re-platforming, the implementation of a number of custom site features and integrations, and evolved REEDS online business to an omni-channel solution.
We believe that this relationship speaks well of our ability to evolve with the needs of our clients, our extensive eCommerce expertise, and our commitment to customer service which has resulted in the common experience of satisfied and loyal clients.
Looking back a few years, in March 2018 Kadro and REEDS successfully launched the re-platform of REEDS.com B2C website onto Magento Commerce. The success of this project was largely measured by achieving functional parity with well-established business processes and mission critical back-office integrations required to operate their online business. It was a large collaborative effort between REEDS' eCommerce and IT teams, Kadro, and a number of other technology partners.
More recently, we worked with REEDS on a redesign of their website. You can see it here at https://www.reeds.com/.
News, insights and information from the rapidly changing world of eCommerce designed for the online B2B and B2C merchant!
In the October 2020 Edition.....
- Kadro named one of the Top Performing E-Commerce Developers in North Carolina
- SeaDek Marine Products - World leader in innovative marine non-skid flooring makes the switch to Kadro
- Technology Partner of the Month - Braintree, A Paypal Service
- Kadro's Site Analysis & Optimization Services (SAOS). Don't let site performance issues interfere with your online business.
- Meet Allison Holadia, Kadro Customer Support Specialist
- Magento 2.4 - Packed with new features designed to enhance the B2C and B2B customer experiences
- Explore our latest blog posts
Kadro named one of the Top Performing E-Commerce Developers in North Carolina
The team at Kadro received some exciting news this month from Clutch, the internationally-renowned B2B rating and review platform. Kadro was named one of North Carolina’s top e-commerce developers for 2020. Clutch praised Kadro's e-commerce strategy, consulting, design, and development expertise! According to Clutch and their research, amongst all providers in North Carolina, Kadro is consistently one of the best!
Founded in 2002, SeaDek® Marine Products, part of Hyperform Inc., is a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative marine decking materials and lamination for OEM boat builders in the marine industry as well as to boat owners seeking custom products.
In 2019, SeaDek moved their eCommerce website from an ASP/.Net implementation to Magento Commerce cloud. Sadly the move to Magento Commerce was not a good experience and resulted in a highly unstable implementation, many of the Magento platform's capabilities not being effectively utilized and the SeaDek team growing frustrated as they faced constant site and operational issues that were compounded by lack of support and responsiveness from their systems integrator at that time.
To combat this business-impairing situation, in June 2020 SeaDek hired Kadro. The objectives of the new relationship were:
Jason Gardner, VP Marketing & Advertising at Hyperform, Inc. framed the situation and subsequent SeaDek/Kadro relationship this way...
“After a nightmarish development phase and long-delayed launch with another development company we were left with a half-baked website that lacked functionality and wasted valuable money and resources. Poor communication, lack of quality control and extensive use of offshore developers resulted in a horrible experience.
Making the switch to Kadro made all the difference. From the start, they visited with our department managers and team members to understand our company and our needs both short term and long term. Communication has been clear, concise and timely and the quality and efficiency of the work has exceeded expectations."Kadro went to work in the transition and rescue of the SeaDek.com Magento site performing a detailed review of the site's implementation as well as conducting a thorough Requirements Discovery session with the SeaDek team to fully understand the current website implementation challenges, eCommerce business challenges, and a go-forward plan to provide the support and development that SeaDek needed. Kadro's assessment and subsequent plan were geared towards establishing system stability and enabling the SeaDek team to focus on growing their business versus fighting website issues on a daily basis.
TO READ THE FULL STORY VISIT THE SEADEK PORTFOLIO PAGE ON THE KADRO WEBSITE AND TAKE A LOOK AT THEIR CURRENT WEBSITE.
Technology Partner of the Month
Braintree provides the global commerce tools people need to build businesses, accept payments, and enable commerce for their users. Braintree permits the use of many payment methods including alternative payment methods such as PayPal, Venmo, ApplePay and GooglePay. With Braintree and Magento 2, merchants get comprehensive payment options to allow customers to pay via their preferred method, the potential for more mobile revenue via a fast, simple checkout process, robust fraud protection & PCI compliance, and expansive global reach via a network of more than 300 million active consumers (Paypal 2020 Q2 data).
Turbo Boost Your Magento Website with Site Analysis & Optimization Services (SAOS) from Kadro
Site running slow? Inconsistent performance? Need a partner who has the expertise to improve your website's performance? We can audit your website environment and propose solutions to your site’s functionality and performance woes.
Say hello to Allison Holadia, Customer Support Specialist at Kadro
The famed football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “It takes months to find a customer… second to lose one.” This statement has been validated by volumes of survey data over the years and I suppose a bit of common business sense as well. It’s surely true that customers quit doing business with a company due to bad experiences and thus businesses must approach every support interaction as an opportunity to delight or displease.
Good customer support starts with the human touch, often boosted by a dose of technology. It's reinforced by the understanding that customer support/service is the cornerstone of the business and the foundation of the customer experience.
It is with this brief preface that we introduce Allison Holadia, Kadro’s Customer Support Specialist. Like many at Kadro, Allison has been with the company for quite a few years now. She started in 2007 after leaving the eCommerce Department at a long-time Kadro customer (the first customer actually), REEDS Jewelers. Given her familiarity with Kadro and its services, Allison was a natural fit.
Also like others in the company, Allison wears many hats. No literally, she has lots of hats and wears them. But she also “wears lots of hats” when it comes to her role at Kadro.
Knowing the customer and their website(s) reinforces the support process…
Allison has been an integral part of many new website launches and upgrades over the years. Regardless of the project size, Allison considered each to be a major project. "It’s exciting to be part of a new website project from start to finish," mentioned Allison. A current project Allison is participating in is the new Hungry Harvest project. She is the QA lead on this website, so she’s responsible for all aspects of testing. Being part of the QA testing team allows Allison to get to know the new website in great detail. This familiarity spills over to other types of website projects like upgrades which typically include the addition of new features and functionality. When support issues come up, it really helps to have this hands-on familiarity with both the customer and their website which adds context and relevance to the support request or issue.
Great people meeting an array of business and technological support challenges…
Kadro really is a place full of great people. The staff exhibits a true team attitude which makes working at the company a very positive experience. Everyone is always willing to help and teach others when needed. And no day is ever the same. For Allison, each day’s course is charted by the variety of support issues and new website feature requests received. These make each day unique providing her and other team members with a new sets of challenges to meet and more interesting projects to undertake.
She can go the distance… in the long run… (and swim and cycling)
Outside the office, Allison’s hobby and favorite interest (other than her 2 kids of course) is training and competing in triathlons. She has competed in multiple sprint triathlons, as well as many half and full marathons. She has competed in three half Ironman’s (70.3 miles) and finished her first full Ironman last year (140.6 miles).
For those not familiar with what an Ironman competition is, it’s an endurance multi-sport race consisting of swimming, cycling, and running over various distances. But 140.6 miles? Really? Now that’s impressive!
With the physical and mental demands of competing in endurance events, it’s not surprising that Allison spends a great deal of her spare time participating in swimming, biking and running training.
Should you have the occasion to be on the phone or emailing support at Kadro, you’ll likely have the opportunity to communicate with Allison. If you do, take a minute to ask how her training and competing is coming along.
Magento 2.4 - packed with great enhancements to make the customer experience even better
Magento is a powerful, flexible, reliable and popular commerce platform used by hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide. And the latest version of Magento adds to this legacy with great new features for both B2C and B2B eCommerce and omni-channel merchants. Here a peek at just a few.
There's so much more. Contact a Kadro representative to learn more about Magento 2.4 and how it can help make your vision for selling online a reality!
Recent Blog Posts
More informative blog posts! Stay tuned for future announcements.
The team at Kadro just received some exciting news from Clutch Analyst Jake Cox! He called to let us know that internationally-renowned B2B rating and review platform, Clutch, named Kadro one of North Carolina’s top e-commerce developers for 2020, praising our e-commerce strategy, consulting, design, and development! Now’s a particularly unique and important time to invest in your existing eCommerce business or to consider starting one, so we value that we’re being recognized as a great investment for businesses. According to Clutch and their research, amongst all providers in North Carolina, Kadro is consistently one of the best!
"We are honored and pleased to be recognized by Clutch as a leading B2B company in the United States. Since Kadro's founding in 2001, we have worked diligently to build a company founded on technical expertise, responsiveness to changes in the eCommerce market, outstanding customer service, and superior project outcomes. Accolades such as this and the positive words from many satisfied Kadro customers serve as a testament to the success of our ongoing efforts,” said Ariel Mordetsky, VP of Revenue at Kadro.
Clutch is the world’s leading B2B ratings and verified reviews platform. Located in the heart of the District of Columbia, Clutch has a team of dedicated analysts who conducts reviews with clients from around the world. Then, their editorial team independently verifies the content and curates it into the case study style format that Clutch offers, ensuring that you are receiving all the information that you need as you purchase B2B services! Clutch is the gold standard for B2B ratings and reviews, and we’re honored to maintain a stellar review average on the platform!
In a recent review, the owner of Garman Homes praised Kadro’s e-commerce development!
We’re incredibly grateful to all of our satisfied clients! To join their ranks, please contact us today!
See Kadro’s complete Clutch profile by clicking this link…. https://clutch.co/profile/kadro
The most important thing to note about the way the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped retail is that the change is not for the short term.
Shopping might return to something closer to what it was in February 2020, but it will never be the same. The staying power of the significant move to online shopping, the embrace of curbside pickup and the arrival of new online shoppers is evident from the magnitude of the trends and their endurance.
The numbers tell the story. The mass movement to buying online was the sort of social change you see in the midst of dramatic world events. In the first full month of the pandemic, global online sales on Signifyd’s Commerce Network doubled year over year. In month two, they were up four times.
The increase in sales began to settle down as consumers realized stockpiling wasn’t necessary. But they realized something else, too. Shopping online was convenient, provided a greater selection and fit with their lifestyles. Even in August — five months into the pandemic — ecommerce sales were up 34% over August 2019.
Looking at how consumers are shopping provides further evidence that there has been a tectonic shift — and not a change that will settle back to the way things were. Before the pandemic, curbside pickup was practically a novelty, save for some big boxes offering grocery pickup. In 2019, only 17 of the Internet Retailer 1000 offered curbside pickup, according to Digital 360.
Today, the number of retailers offering the service is hard to pin down due to the acceleration of the trend. But it’s evident that curbside has become a go-to for plenty of shoppers. Signifyd’s Pulse data shows that buy online, pick up at the curb sales grew nearly 500% in April, compared to the beginning of the year. While that figure has also simmered down a bit, curbside sales were still up about 250% during the first week of September.
So, where people are shopping has changed dramatically — the move from in-store to online. How people shop has changed dramatically — buy online, pick up in-store or at the curb orders are soaring. But the factor that is likely to cause the most lasting change is the dramatic change in who is shopping online.
A smart aleck would say everybody. But the significance behind the wisecrack is that a whole new cohort of consumers are shopping online for the first time. And the trend is enduring.
The number of new shoppers buying from the more than 10,000 merchants on Signifyd’s Commerce Network more than doubled at its peak in May. We define a new shopper as a consumer we have not seen on the Commerce Network in the past year.
More important than the number of new shoppers flocking to ecommerce during the pandemic is the fact that those first-time buyers return to shop online again. About half of those new shoppers make multiple online purchases within 30 days of their first purchase.
It makes sense, right? Someone who hasn’t shopped online or hasn’t shopped online in some time, finds there aren’t other options with non-essential stores closed and with the best advice being avoid leaving home. So, she or he orders online. And the experience is a little unfamiliar — searching for products, typing a credit card number into a form, maybe creating an account. But the goods arrive with no complications and pretty quickly, too.
At that point, the new shopper knows the drill; the buying process is familiar. Maybe she or he has some information autofilled, which makes things easier still. And so the shopper buys more from more places more often and in fact becomes one of those who makes multiple online purchases for weeks.
All this has catapulted ecommerce years into the future. Pre-pandemic, eMarketer predicted e-commerce would grow 19% in 2020. Signifyd data shows e-commerce growing at an average of 139% a month for the five full pandemic months of the year.
Of course, maintaining that torrid growth rate requires that retailers keep their new customers once they acquire them. Those new customers are arguably a retailer’s most valuable in that they required relatively little acquisition cost, compared to the pre-pandemic days of bidding up digital ads on Google, Facebook and Amazon.
To that end, retailers will want to build marketing campaigns that cater to new customers through promotions, personalized suggestions and loyalty programs. As importantly, retailers will want to audit their entire buying journey. The goal is to make sure the merchant is providing exceptional site search, seamless checkout, instant fraud review, timely delivery and responsive customer support.
After all, the world of retail has changed. And no one wants to be left behind.
Insights for September 2020
The first Weekends Only showroom opened its doors in 1997, which established the foundation for the 5 stores open in the greater St. Louis area today. More stores followed in Castleton, Indiana (greater Indianapolis area) in May 2015 and in Greenwood, Indiana in February 2018.
Weekends Only employs a unique retail concept with their showrooms only open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. This allows them to save their customers time and money, providing a non-commission, shopping and purchase experience that adds value to customer's lives.
The company added to its brick & mortar footprint in 2013 with the implementation of their first e-commerce site, making all deliverable items available any day of the week.
Weekends Only moved their eCommerce solution to Magento Commerce in 2017-18, but ended up facing many challenges.
So in late 2018, Kadro begin working with Weekends Only to address the website and backend integration issues they faced.
Here is what Scott Antrobus - Product Manager, Digital Enterprises - Weekends Only Furniture & Mattress had to say about the Weekends Only and Kadro relationship.
“Before partnering with Kadro, we worked with two very different Magento Solution Partners with limited results. After a rocky launch with the first, we decided to "upgrade" to a "Platinum" partner to ensure that all future development followed best practices. Unfortunately, we saw a lot of the same problems resulting from poor communication and hand-offs to overseas developers.
We learned from the challenges of those relationships that we needed a partner who could be agile and accessible without compromising quality and structure. After meeting with a long list of potential partners with indistinguishable technical capabilities, we selected Kadro because of their flexible and direct communication, transparency, and integrity. Since then, Kadro has helped us achieve stability and substantial growth, and have proven to be a solid partner that we can trust and rely on.”
Kadro conducted a thorough discovery session with the Weekends Only team to identify and prioritize each of the on-going issues and challenges they faced with operating their new eCommerce site. That resulted in multiple development and build cycles to address the open issues and to achieve stability for their online business.
Subsequent to the site stabilization phase of this project, Kadro developed many more features and functionality for Weekends Only.
With consistent sales growth experienced over the years, Weekends Only is proud to hold a place in Furniture Today’s list of Top 100 U.S. Furniture Stores.
TO READ THE FULL STORY VISIT THE WEEKENDS ONLY PORTFOLIO PAGE ON THE KADRO WEBSITE.
Technology Partner of the Month
Amazon Pay offers Amazon customers a fast, convenient, and secure checkout experience backed by Amazon’s technology, innovation and advanced fraud protection. Amazon Pay makes it easy for hundreds of millions of customers to pay for products and services using the information already stored in their Amazon accounts. That means you can reduce cart abandonment, optimize your checkout flow, and easily activate the Amazon customer base. And it quickly and easily integrates into Magento eCommerce stores.
Kadro was featured in a recent Amazon Pay Partner Spotlight piece. Read the spotlight by clicking here!
Say hello to Daniel Friel, VP of Operations at Kadro
Daniel’s Kadro story began in 2004, a mere three years after the company’s founding. He has the distinction of being the first student accepted into the company as part of Kadro’s participation in the Cooperative Education Program at NC State University. The University-sponsored Cooperative Education program permits students to work multiple work-terms in a relevant field to their major to gain first-hand experience in the workforce. Kadro still participates in this meaningful program (see our co-op web page) to this day and routinely retains a number of Computer Science co-op students on rotation during each of the Spring, Summer and Fall school terms. Needless to say, Daniel completed his studies at NC State and earned a BS degree in Computer Science.
Reflecting back to those days in the Co-Op Program, Daniel shared his feelings about the experience. “I've enjoyed watching that program grow from 1 student per semester to the 17 we had this summer. And yes Kadro does hire former co-ops, at least 5 in the last year in fact.
Skip forward 16 years and you’ll still find Daniel in the offices of Kadro (well less so at the moment due to COVID restrictions), but now as Vice President of Operations. Along the way he’s held a number of positions like Software Engineer and Director of Engineering. One could say that he is a living testament to what hard work, perseverance, dedication and smarts can do to help propel a career from student to executive. Keep this in mind you NC State students thinking about participating in the Cooperative Education Program. It can be a great stepping stone to future long-term career success.
WHAT DOES A VP OF OPERATIONS DO AT KADRO?
Wear many hats! Basically this means doing whatever is needed to complete customer eCommerce projects in a timely and efficient manner. The role most definitely extends beyond what would classically be considered operations.
For the last several months, Daniel was focused on delivering petedge.com You can read more about that project in the July 2020 edition of Kadro eCommerce Insights newsletter and also check out the work on their Portfolio page on the Kadro website.
On a broader scale, Daniel continues to help manage a variety of projects, deliverables and resources. He has championed software engineering best practices and code reuse, architected an array of software solutions and helped to improve customer website performance. And he piloted the development of Kadro’s Marketplace Manager product offering.
Given his many years in the company and expertise in software engineering, it's not very surprising that Daniel is also an integral part of the company's interview and hiring process. As we said, he wears many hats.
WHAT DOES DANIEL FIND PARTICULARLY REWARDING ABOUT HIS TIME AT KADRO?
The variety of technical and business challenges the company gets to solve for its customers and of course the many talented people that work here. They are a dedicated team of developers with a passion for problem solving in what most describe as a relaxed, fun environment. “It’s great to have seen Kadro grow from around 10 people to the current 60,” Daniel remarked.
WHAT HAS CHANGED IN THE WORLD OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AND SOFTWARE ENGINEERING SINCE THE EARLY DAYS?
The programming languages and technologies have certainly changed a number of times. Yet at the end of the day, our success is all about helping solve customer’s challenges with whatever tools and technologies are at our disposal.
BEYOND THE OFFICE
Daniel “wears a number of hats” outside the office as well. He’s a big Formula 1 racing fan (me too!), enjoys watching the NFL and gets in a few rounds of golf as time permits. And when he’s not doing all of that, you may find him out walking with his wife, kids and puppy, a 6 month old sheepadoodle named Finn.
Recent Blog Posts
- BOPIS – Spicy Filipino dish or eCommerce business strategy?
- What is one of the biggest challenges to running a successful eCommerce store?
- Your eCommerce Store Customers Want This!
More informative blog posts! Stay tuned for future announcements.
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BOPIS – Spicy Filipino dish or eCommerce business strategy? YES!
In a prior blog post entitled Your eCommerce store customers want this!, I pointed out the fact that in today’s world of online commerce customers expect both convenience and choice when it comes to paying for the items they buy online. But what about convenience and choices in other aspects of the online purchase? When actually receiving those online purchased items, not so long ago a consumer had two choices – buy online and have them delivered OR go to a store to buy them and take them home from the store. For what is sometimes termed a pure online retailer, the choices for their consumers remain the same, buy online and get it delivered. But for those merchants who have an eCommerce website and physical store location(s), their consumers often have another option called BOPIS, also sometimes shown as BOPUS or click-and-collect. This hybrid shopping and delivery choice can present a real competitive advantage over the pure online retail experience.
BOPIS. WHAT IS THAT?
BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) is an increasingly utilized tactic for consumers to shop and place orders online and then pick up their purchases at brick-and-mortar stores, sometimes even the same day. BOPIS is a part of the larger multi-channel shopping trend that has been emerging since around 2013 when retailers like WalMart, Target and others began to adopt the tactic. It allows retailers and consumers to merge the online, in-store and mobile experiences when selling products and making a purchase respectively.
CONSUMER SEE TANGIBLE BENEFITS
A customer’s BOPIS purchases will be stored in any number of locations at a retailer’s store - the customer service desk, a storage locker or in a designated BOPIS location for convenient in/at-store pickup. At times, that pickup can occur on a 24/7 basis for extra consumer convenience. To help incentivize BOPIS activity, some retailers offer discounts on BOPIS orders. And the consumer knows for certain that the item is available in advance of a store visit, which in the past could result in out-of-stock disappointments. One additional benefit of BOPIS is the local effect. Consumers get the chance to buy local and pick up from a retailer in their local community which helps to support the local economy and at times local manufacturers as well.
RETAILERS GET BOPIS BENEFITS AS WELL
For retailers, it allows them another path to shape the customer experience by encouraging shoppers to visit their brick-and-mortar stores, while still doing the shopping online. This can provide a number of additional retailer and consumer benefits like providing an avenue for additional sales to occur in-store during pickup, a mechanism for strengthening customer engagement and affording the potential for increased brand loyalty. BOPIS can also reduce retailer delivery and fulfillment costs.
BOPIS CAN PRESENT RETAILER CHALLENGES
Yet BOPIS is not without its challenges for the retailer and their eCommerce systems. The retailer must be able to show inventory visibility in real-time at its store locations so customers know what's currently available and where it is available. With the trend towards greater online shopping continuing and the desire to be as contact-less as possible in retail transactions as part of the COVID response, stores are looking to rethink their layouts to better handle the volume of online orders and to accommodate things like curbside pickup services. They have to also examine their product ordering and inventory processes to ensure that they can fulfill orders quickly and without excessive out-of-stock occurrences. Plus there is the ever-present risk of a greater degree of fraud.
IS BOPIS BEING USED?
According to retail trend information published by Offers.com (2020 Retail Trends), 64% of U.S. adults will use BOPIS in 2020. It seems to be a particularly popular option among busy parents in the 35+ demographic.
Again referencing research published by Offers.com, consumers like not having to pay shipping and not having to wait for an item to ship as key reasons. There are others factors as well like avoiding possible package theft risks when an item is delivered and being able to instantly check their order and return it immediately is there is something wrong.
Not all items are ideal for being included in the BOPIS model, but plenty of today’s most popular product categories work well in this shopping and pickup model such as consumer electronics, apparel and even groceries.
HOW DOES KADRO FIT IN?
For the online retailer, whether you choose to offer BOPIS or not, it’s essential that you choose the right technology partner to help you create and support your ongoing ecommerce business. Kadro offers a broad spectrum of eCommerce services including B2B and B2C eCommerce website development, Marketplace solutions, analysis and optimization services, ERP/OMS/PIM/CRM integrations and more. With a team of knowledgeable, certified Magento 2 developers and as an Adobe Gold Solution Partner, we have been successfully delivering eCommerce solutions for our clients in a wide array of industries since 2001. When you are ready to make your vision for selling online a reality, we are here to help. Give us a call at 877-435-3453 and be sure to spend some time on the website for more information about Kadro and all of our services.
Oh and for those of you curious about the spicy Filipino version of BOPIS, Bopis is a spicy Filipino delicacy made of minced pork lung and heart cooked in onions, garlic, and chili peppers. Popular as an appetizer, it is also commonly served as a main entree. Like adobo, afritada, and other Filipino classics, there are many regional interpretations of this dish. Happy eating!