While the holiday season is certainly in full swing, fears of Covid-19 transmission have shoppers turning to digital channels instead of bustling malls. In fact, Retail Dive predicts in-store holiday traffic will drop up to 25% this year. With more and more people transitioning to digital for all of their purchasing needs, the pressure for brands to offer engaging and easy to use experiences is at an all-time high.
In order for brands to keep up with customer demands for the convenience and service of in store experiences, they need eCommerce technology that will let them quickly design and deploy innovative experiences. Many brands are now exploring solutions that advocate a Composable Commerce approach to help support these needs. Composable Commerce is the modern approach by which eCommerce teams are empowered to select and assemble various “best of breed” commerce solutions and compose them to satisfy their exact business requirements. That way, they can meet their unique customer needs and quickly adapt to outpace the competition.
On November 17, Elastic Path launched the Composable Commerce Hub, an open exchange of business solutions for digitally driven brands who want to seamlessly compose differentiated commerce experiences. The Composable Commerce Hub makes Headless Commerce accessible to all brands, whether you want to launch fast and customize on-demand with a Pre-Composed Solution or, custom compose a solution for your unique need with Accelerators.
Over the next few weeks we will explore the different types of accelerators that brands can leverage to simplify the composition of their solution. Today, we will dive into Reference Applications.
What are Reference Applications?
Reference Applications are omnichannel applications that provide best practice frameworks for launching specific experiences, like PWA Reference Store, Embedded Commerce, and chatbot. They include all of the front-end components you need for building a compelling shopping experience right out-of-the-box, including catalog browsing, cart, checkout, pricing, and more. You can easily change the look and feel of the reference store to match your brand identity and provide seamless shopping experience across web, smartphone and tablets.
How can Reference Applications help my business?
By providing best practice guides, Reference Applications give brands the confidence to quickly build the innovative experiences that their customers demand. For brands who want to build an experience that is net new to them, Reference Applications kickstart their build and reduce the likelihood that they will make mistakes along the way. So, while the competition is still figuring out how to launch a VR experience, brands who use Reference Applications are already delighting customers.
What are some examples?
The Composable Commerce Hub is home to many reference applications built by Elastic Path or, our leading technology partners. Including:
Build conversational interfaces into any application using voice and text. Amazon Lex provides the advanced deep learning functionalities of automatic speech recognition (ASR) for converting speech to text, and natural language understanding (NLU) to recognize the intent of the text, to enable you to build applications with highly engaging user experiences and lifelike conversational interactions. With Amazon Lex, the same deep learning technologies that power Amazon Alexa are now available to any developer, enabling you to quickly and easily build sophisticated, natural language, conversational bots (“chatbots”).
The Facebook Messenger application empowers brands to integrate your Messenger experience directly into your website. It automatically loads recent chat history between the person and your business, meaning recent interactions with your business on messenger.com, in the Messenger app, or in the customer chat plugin on your website will be visible. Customers can interact with your business anytime with the same personalized, rich-media experience they get in Messenger. You can continue the conversation with people even after they have left your webpage. You don’t need to capture their information to follow up, just use the same conversation in Messenger.
AR Quick Look is a feature of ARKit, Apple’s augmented reality development platform for iPhone and iPad. It’s an application that enables 3D object files to be embedded in Apple’s pre-installed apps, including Safari, Messages, Mail, News, and Notes. With AR Quick Look, you just need to tap on an AR object on your iPhone and you’ll be presented with an interface for placing a 3D object within a live view of your surroundings. You can then move around that object just as if it were really there, and they can even be animated.
Curious about how Reference Applications could speed up your experience delivery timelines? Check out the Composable Commerce Hub to explore all of our Reference Applications in our Accelerator library.