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Oct 4, 2023 | 6 minute read

Commerce iPaaS: Why It's Different from iPaaS and Why You Need One

written by Elastic Path

In the fast-evolving world of technology, businesses need to adapt swiftly to stay relevant. This is especially true for the world of commerce, where customer experience, data orchestration, and process automation play critical roles. Enter the Commerce iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service). At first glance, it might seem similar to the more general iPaaS, but when we delve deeper, their differences become apparent. In this article, we’ll explore why the Commerce iPaaS is distinct from its more general counterpart and why it might be the missing piece in your commerce puzzle.

What is an iPaaS?

Firstly, to understand Commerce iPaaS, it’s essential to clarify what iPaaS stands for. Integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) is a suite of cloud services designed to integrate applications, data, processes for both on-prem and cloud solutions. It aids businesses in creating a unified and automated system that streamlines operations and enhances efficiency. This is done by linking disparate systems and facilitating data flow among them.

The Commerce iPaaS

Ecommerce platforms have their unique set of challenges. These platforms need to handle massive amounts of transactional data, customer details, inventory management, payment gateways, and much more. They must integrate to an organization’s existing solutions, such as an ERP, CRM and frequently, a custom built system unique to the organization. Additionally, eCommerce platforms also integrate into a variety of other commerce-centric solutions such as search, marketing and personalization solutions. A general iPaaS, while efficient, might not be tailored specifically for these commerce-specific challenges.

The Commerce iPaaS arose out of this need. It's an integration platform specifically designed to tackle the nuances and specific requirements not only of eCommerce platforms, but also, and more importantly, for eCommerce teams.

Key differences between a Commerce iPaaS and iPaaS

Specialization for Commerce

As the name suggests, Commerce iPaaS is tailor-made for commerce businesses. It’s crafted with built-in tools and connectors that facilitate the seamless integration of commerce platforms, CRMs, ERPs, payment gateways, and other commerce-related software. A Commerce iPaaS should facilitate the integration of key commerce ecosystem partners in such a way that organizations don’t spend precious time and dollars standing up, hosting, and managing core commerce solutions such as search, content, etc. A complete Commerce iPaaS should include a library or marketplace of such standard integrations, making them easy for commerce teams to utilize.

Want to reduce the cost and time of orchestrating and managing composable solutions?

Talk with us about Composer, the only commerce-intelligent iPaaS.

Commerce Team Ownership

As the name suggests, the Commerce iPaaS, is part of the commerce platform, and as such, is owned and managed by the commerce team. This allows commerce teams to implement and innovate much more quickly. Without a Commerce specific iPaaS, commerce teams face many challenges:

  • Integrations to other commerce-oriented solutions can eat away at budgets and timescales.
  • Commerce teams must rely on the broader IT organization in order to implement and host their integrations. This means that commerce specific requirements are put in the queue alongside the broader organization requirements.

Enhanced Data Management

Ecommerce businesses deal with a vast amount of data. Commerce iPaaS offers specialized data transformation and mapping tools that cater to commerce data structures, making data handling and management more efficient.

Scalability for peak times

Unlike regular businesses, eCommerce platforms can experience sudden traffic surges during sales or holiday seasons. Commerce iPaaS is designed to scale accordingly, ensuring consistent performance even during peak times.

Why Do You Need a Commerce iPaaS?

Tailored Solutions

Every eCommerce business, whether B2B or B2C, has its unique needs. A Commerce iPaaS facilitates a more tailored solution that caters to these specific needs, ensuring seamless integration.

Faster time to market

With pre-built connectors and tools designed for commerce, businesses can deploy new functionalities much faster. Whether it’s a standardized integration for search, or a bespoke integration to your custom inventory solution, a commerce-specific iPaaS allows commerce teams to deploy new functionality and innovation much more quickly.

Enhanced Customer Experience

With all your solutions integrated seamlessly, your business can provide a smoother and more efficient customer experience, which is crucial for customer retention and brand loyalty.

Reduced Operational Costs

By automating and integrating multiple processes, Commerce iPaaS can significantly reduce operational inefficiencies and costs.

What if my organization already has an iPaaS?

Many organizations might have already invested in an enterprise-wide iPaaS. Does this obviate the need for a commerce iPaaS? Quite the opposite! One of the biggest challenges commerce teams face is the ability to deliver new features and innovations quickly and efficiently. Many of these innovations are delivered through adding additional solutions to the commerce architecture. For example, upgrading search capabilities, adding personalization, and improving promotions are common areas in a commerce architecture that organizations focus on to provide differentiation. When an organization already has an enterprise-wide iPaaS, the commerce team can leverage that solution, but because they do not own it, they must rely on their IT partners for support as well as have their innovations put in the same queue as other teams requiring integration. This slows down the pace of innovation for commerce teams.

When commerce teams have their own dedicated iPaaS, they are able to deliver new capabilities and innovations much more quickly than if they were relying on the enterprise-wide solution.

Consider a Commerce iPaaS solution

While both iPaaS and Commerce iPaaS platforms aim to provide businesses with integration solutions, the latter stands out for eCommerce platforms because of its specialization. As eCommerce continues to grow and evolve, having tools and systems that cater specifically to its challenges will be paramount. So, if you’re in the eCommerce space and are looking to integrate various platforms and processes, or if you want to add innovative third party solutions that allow you to differentiate your offering, it might be time to consider a Commerce iPaaS solution.

If you’re already considering a Commerce iPaas solution, try Elastic Path Composer, the only commerce intelligent iPaaS on the market. Composer de-risks composable commerce and makes it faster, easier, and less expensive to orchestrate and manage a composable solution.

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