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Jan 31, 2023 | 10 minute read

5 Things You Need to Deliver On the Promise of Composable Commerce & How We Do It At Elastic Path

written by Hannah Jarrett

It’s rare to find a digital commerce leader who isn’t feeling the pressure to grow revenue. In order to increase key KPIs like conversion, AOV, and customer lifetime value, you need to “wow” customers with innovative experiences like shop-the-room, virtual try-on, & pop-up shops and seamless product discovery through product configurators, loyalty-only catalogs, dynamic bundles, and more.  

In fact, McKinsey says brands who improve customer experiences increase revenue by 15% and lower cost by 20%.  So, it’s a no-brainer, right?

Dated Legacy Platforms Are Holding You Back

While your aspirations are high, your current commerce platform is hindering your growth and slowing you down.  From ATG to Salesforce, these “all-in-one” platforms were built with good intentions - to provide everything you need to launch a website.  

But as technology evolves and customer expectations continue to rise, legacy platforms just can’t keep up.  The truth is, these “all-in-one” offerings are inflexible and dated with mediocre pre-integrated functionality. 

If you find yourself using one of these solutions, you’re likely piecing together multiple third-party integrations and spending a significant amount of time on expensive custom development work just to keep up with customer demands.  By the time you are able to make changes, they no longer feel like innovation. As a result, these dated platforms are leading to poor site performance and disappointing customer experiences, thus lost revenue.

Enter: Composable Commerce

If the delays and expense of legacy platforms are your current reality, you’ve probably heard of Composable Commerce as an alternative. This approach has intrigued business and technical teams with promises of innovation and speed-to-market. Composable Commerce solutions leverage MACH-based architecture to allow brands to integrate modular, best-of-breed solutions together to meet unique business initiatives.

With Composable Commerce, teams are empowered to focus only on the components they need to deliver against their specific business objectives.  That could be anything from updating their cart to modernizing their product experiences to a complete replatform

According to Gartner
By 2026, the speed of digital innovation will improve by 60%, relative to 2022, for organizations that have established mechanisms to reuse composable digital commerce modules.

With Composable Comes Complexity 

Okay so Composable Commerce is just what you need, right? 

While Composable Commerce can improve your speed to innovate and open the door for creative growth and expansion, the complexity of integrating, operating, and troubleshooting a multi-vendor solution while running mission critical commerce is daunting, time consuming, and expensive.  Plus, brands are faced with the uncertainty of who to call when they have an issue with some aspect of their digital commerce experience.  Instead of a single platform, they are left navigating and triaging across their multi-vendor solution. 

The most common concerns we hear about transitioning to a Composable Commerce approach are: 

  • Do I have to build a frontend?  Do I need an SI for that? 
  • How much will the frontend build cost?
  • Who does the integrations?
  • How much will it cost to develop & operate? 
  • How does it get updated?
  • Where is it hosted?
  • Does my team have the skills to make this work?
  • Who do I call if something goes wrong?
  • How do I monitor that everything is working together?

Making Composable Commerce A Reality With Elastic Path

What if there was a way for teams to get both the flexibility to innovate of Composable Commerce and the operational support of an all-in-one platform?

Elastic Path gives commerce leaders like you complete freedom to design initiative-specific, “best-for-me” commerce solutions composed of both Elastic Path products and third-party technology. Common third-party integrations can be activated in just a few clicks, saving you devops time.  Our first-of-a-kind multi-vendor monitoring and support de-risk your composable solutions by providing a single source of truth to identify and resolve issues.   

In short, you need five elements to make Composable Commerce a reality:

  1. Modular, best-in-class core commerce 
  2. Accelerated frontend builds 
  3. Simplified Integrations: build, manage, and monitor with ease
  4. Centralized support
  5. A trusted commerce ally to guide you on this journey 

Let’s dive into how exactly we deliver on the promise of Composable Commerce, without the risk.

Modular, Best-In-Class Core Commerce 

At Elastic Path all of our products are designed using MACH architecture.  This means that they are inherently modular and can be easily combined with a brand’s preferred third party technology providers.  But you’ve probably heard those exact two sentences from a variety of different commerce vendors.  So what makes our core commerce unique? 

At Elastic Path, we believe that strong underlying product and catalog management capabilities can make or break your ability to deliver unparalleled customer experiences. Like we said at the start of this blog, McKinsey found that brands who improve customer experiences increase revenue by 15% and lower cost by 20%.  

So, we’ve re-invented product experience management to give your team complete flexibility to design and launch differentiated experiences across every route-to-market, without heavy reliance on IT for custom hacks and expensive workarounds. 

Our EP Product Experience Manager (PXM) combines Commerce PIM, Product Merchandising, and Catalog Composer capabilities into one central place where merchandisers can design and launch the unique product experiences that they’ve always dreamed about but their legacy platform has held them back from bringing to life. 

   We needed a solution that empowered our business team to own our catalog without relying on our engineering team for daily support. The  catalog functionality from Elastic Path fit that need, implementation was a breeze, and our business team can confidently manage the catalog as they continue to develop our eCommerce experience." Kody Myers, Director of Product, Paro

EP PXM empowers teams to create the experiences that their customers expect. Some examples include: 

  • Hot swapping catalogs in minutes to support flash sales, pop-up shops, or product drops
  • Supporting unique pricing strategies like geo-based pricing, b2b-account based pricing, or loyalty-catalog pricing without having to duplicate and manage multiple versions of the same product 
  • Powering dynamic bundling without any custom code 
  • Merchandising on the variation level so you can support specific product merchandising strategies, like launching a “Pink Products” assortment for Breast Cancer awareness month 
  • AND so much more… 

With EP PXM, your teams can finally keep up with business requirements without expensive custom development work just to make it happen. Want to see EP PXM in action? Check out our demo library.  

Accelerated Frontend Builds 

Another concern we hear from brands who are thinking about dipping their toes in the Composable Commerce waters has to do with building a frontend.  If you are coming off of a legacy platform, you never had to worry about this before.  While you may have had to customize the frontend, you weren’t building it from scratch. 

I can’t tell you how many calls I have been on when a prospect asks “where does the frontend come from?”  or “do you have a frontend starter kit?”.  At Elastic Path we have an answer for this: Composable Frontend.  

Composable Frontend automatically and quickly builds a modular, Next.js frontend based on users’ responses to simple configuration questions. The frontend is generated and pre-integrated with Elastic Path APIs and relevant third-party technology following best practices.   The selection of Next.js, commitment to best practices, and removal of frontend bloat means that any experience built using Composable Frontend will be lightning-fast.  

Whereas a frontend build from scratch would likely take 3-6 months, with Composable Frontend brands (or their SI partners) can cut that time in half.  Plus, your frontend is built using modular components that can be reused or customized per your unique requirements.  AND, unlike other MACH vendors, it’s absolutely free with the purchase of an Elastic Path product.  All in all, Composable Frontend accelerates your time-to-market and reduces your frontend build costs, making Composable Commerce more accessible.  

Integrations Simplified: Build, Manage, & Monitor With Ease 

I think it’s fair to say that the biggest concerns brands have when evaluating Composable Commerce are around integrations:

  • Who does the integrations? Me? You? An SI?
  • How long will each integration take to build? How much will they cost?
  • Do I have to pay for hosting?
  • Who manages and monitors the integrations. 

As Bryan House, our Chief Experience Officer shared in his recent post

“Deploying a “best for me” digital commerce architecture demands the frictionless integration of many technologies — both backend and frontend. Backend integrations drive approximately 60% of the cost of an implementation budget. For a $500K implementation, that’s $300K in costs and months of work.”

We built Integrations Hub, a marketplace of instant-on, low-code integrations, to accelerate time-to-market and reduce the cost of multi-vendor solutions.  Integrations Hub fully manages integrations vastly reducing devops & cloudops resources on your side.  Plus, it provides monitoring and logging so that you can check your integration status at any time. 


Bryan provides all of the details of how Integrations Hub de-risks multi-vendor solutions AND hints at the next phase of this product (spoiler alert: we’re making it super easy for you to compose your own custom, low-code integrations)  in his post

Centralized Support 

Who do I call if something goes wrong?  This is the fourth concern we hear with Composable Commerce.  For brands used to an “all-in-one” platform, there is one number to call when something goes wrong.  But, with a composable, multi-vendor solution, you’re left trying to figure out what solution is causing an issue and then left trying to track down the right support contact. 

At Elastic Path, we launched Composable Commerce XA™ (experience assurance) for centralized multi-vendor solution support.  So when an issue arises on any of your digital experiences, you simply call Elastic Path.  We’ll work to identify the source using our multi-vendor monitoring and then connect with any relevant third-party solutions to resolve the issue.  


Trusted Commerce Ally

Lastly, there’s the reality of trying anything new for the first time.  Real talk: it’s scary as hell- especially when your career, business, and the livelihood of your teammates is on the line.  

At Elastic Path, our number one priority is seeing you succeed.  We stand up for commerce leaders and break down the barriers (cough, cough legacy tech or DIY composable) that prevent you from delivering extraordinary shopping experiences.  We want to be your trusted commerce ally as you embrace the freedom (but also the unknown!) of Composable Commerce.  

To ease your concerns, we’ve built out a team and success frameworks to make the transition to composable less painful and more human! While other commerce vendors are moving away from dedicated, free customer success managers, we are doubling down on our CSM team.  Your CSM will be lock-step with you to provide guidance and support from pre-implementation, through go-live, and beyond to expansion.

   We needed to leverage a partner that was simple while having the opportunity to be complex because we were so complex. Elastic Path balanced out our complexity through simple solutions." Rebecca Hicks, eCommerce Product Manager, Pella Windows & Doors

But we don’t stop there.  The Elastic Path Global Services team is a squad of commerce experts who can help you manage any transition- big or small.  From strategic planning & delivery management to migration & implementation services, working with our Global Services team ensures your success. 

Lastly, any trusting commerce partnership includes a focus on security, compliance, and performance.  At Elastic Path we provide 99.9% uptime, 24x7x365 support, and 100ms response time for API requests.  Plus, we are SOC 2 Type II compliant and HIPAA-enabled.  These commitments ensure you can build with confidence. 

Get Started: Launch in 90 Days with Composable Commerce Essentials

You may be thinking, this sounds amazing, but how long will it take to implement and go live?  How can I accelerate time-to-launch? 

That’s where Composable Commerce Essentials comes in.  This “all-in-one” package enables you to fully implement a Composable Commerce solution that comes integrated with best-of-breed partners, for a fixed price, with a go-live in just 90 days.  

Want to learn more about Composable Commerce Essentials?

Explore Composable Commerce here