December 8th, 2022 | 3 MIN READ

Breaking Up with Your Commerce Monolith: Part 3 (Starting Small with Paro)

Written by author_profile_images Bryan House

Bryan is the SVP of Product and Customer Success at Elastic Path. Previously, Bryan was the Chief Commercial Officer at Neural Magic, a deep learning software startup where he ran Product, GTM, and Customer Success. An Acquia founding team member, he helped lead the company to $170+M in revenue. His expertise spans machine learning, digital experience platforms, and open source technology. 

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When it comes to composable commerce, how do you “break up” with your monolith, and where can you get started? I covered these topics in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, in case you missed it. The TL;DR version: Switching to composable commerce doesn’t have to be hard. One popular way to approach it is by starting with a smaller brand in your portfolio, or experimenting with a new line of business that doesn’t interfere with a primary revenue stream.

One great “start small” composable commerce use case comes from Paro, an AI-powered marketplace for finance and accounting solutions. This fast-growing tech startup didn’t have time to waste with its commerce implementation. As a hands-on, sales-driven organization, Paro wanted to test a self-service line of business that empowered finance/accounting professionals and freelancers to work directly together through simple online engagements.

“We wanted to step into digital self-service for our clients, and use this experiment as a way to see if ecommerce made sense as a channel for us,” said Kody Myers, director of product at Paro, in the video linked above. “As we are able to get traction, we can scale up and get into offering more complex services online.”

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To introduce these new offerings effectively, Paro wanted its business leaders to be able to manage the product catalog without having to rely on engineering. That way, the stakeholder who owns ecommerce could add products or services, change pricing, and manage the catalog over time. 

The Elastic Path composable commerce architecture – including the Product Content Management functionality and API-first approach – fit with Paro’s engineering team’s methodology. The team prioritized headless systems that allowed them to think about the best front-end interactions for the customer. Plus, using composable commerce gave engineering the flexibility to experiment and use the best-of-breed technologies they wanted.

Paro successfully launched the portal in five months and leveraged Elastic Path technology partners, including Algolia for search functionality and Stripe for payment processing. 

Since non-technical users can change the product catalog and make updates, Paro can launch new services or digital products quickly. This level of experimentation allows the company to gather more information from their clients on what works and what doesn’t work – without the opportunity cost and real cost of change that comes with a monolithic commerce platform.

From experimenting with a smaller brand in your portfolio to adding a new product, service, or sales channel, testing composable commerce in a controlled environment makes a ton of sense. Starting small helps you move fast and experiment with a new commerce implementation, without risking delays or jeopardizing a primary revenue stream. From there, it’s easier to see what works and doesn’t work from a technical and business perspective and make changes on the fly. 

Thinking about making the switch to composable commerce? Get in touch with us to find out the best path to get started.

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