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Sep 26, 2023 | 3 minute read

How Composable Commerce Can Power Your Unplatform™

written by Abisola Adeyemo

If you’re read any of our content recently, you may have heard my coworkers talking about a new concept - Unplatforming. I’ve received many questions about this concept and the similarities and differences from composable commerce. In this blog, I’ll dive into how the two approaches relate to each other.

Evolution of the commerce landscape

The commerce landscape is undergoing a significant transformation from complex, comprehensive, multi-year replatforming projects , to modular, initiative-specific projects that focus on achieving business objectives iteratively.

Given the economic climate and the ever increasing demands of customers, brands are looking for ways to optimize their digital experiences WITHOUT a massive replatform. At Elastic Path, we’ve taken heed to this new market shift and are advocating for a new approach that supports commerce innovation, piece by piece.

Enter the Unplatform™ vision.

An approach that rejects replatforming

The Unplatform is defined simply as follows: a commerce architecture comprised of decoupled independent products, bound together with a connective framework that reduces the complexity of building, orchestrating, hosting and managing integrations for your multi-vendor solution.

This approach gives commerce leaders the freedom to design their architecture from best-in-class components to meet their unique business needs.

Composable’s Role

For many, this will sound similar to a composable commerce approach. So how is the Unplatform different from composable commerce?

The Unplatform builds upon composability. Without a composable architecture you cannot successfully Unplatform.

Let’s break down exactly how composable commerce can power your Unplatform.

Modular Architecture

The tenets of composable commerce include modular architecture, open ecosystem, and business centric solutions.

A modular architecture gives brands the flexibility to design, orchestrate, and iterate commerce experiences with ease. This is the core of the Unplatform. With this modular architecture, brands are empowered to quickly and easily swap out various independently deployed “best-for-me” services such as cart and checkout, catalog management, or a frontend. In an Unplatforming approach, this modular architecture enables standalone products to work seamlessly together, empowers brands to solve the specific business challenges that are keeping them back from executing on their commerce vision - without a full replatform.

Proponents of a composable commerce approach prides itself on the ability to select best-of-breed third party technologies to meet specific business needs. The open ecosystem and the business centric approach with composability is what an Unplatform demands. The composable architecture empowers brands to choose initiative-specific “best-for-me” solutions. This leads me to the next point, iterating and innovating over time.

Iterating and innovating over time

The beauty of the Unplatform is that it gives brands the freedom to choose whether they want to go through a comprehensive replatform OR innovate gradually by deploying independent solutions to meet specific business requirements. The decoupled, modular-based architecture of composable commerce solutions enables both of these processes. Because brands aren’t bound to rigid, dated architecture that makes innovating slow and cumbersome, they can leverage these independent solutions, products, and best-of-breed services to build their commerce solution the way they see fit.

Unplatforming in the real world

Elastic Path customer Pella initially came to Elastic Path seeking a flexible cart & checkout solution to power complex checkout flows for their customized windows & doors. With their success of implementing their checkout experience without a complex replatform, Pella is working with Elastic Path to further optimize their business.

Composable commerce has truly paved the way for the Unplatform. It is the foundation for this approach. At Elastic Path we are uniquely positioned to support Unplatforming thanks to Elastic Path Composer which provides the integration framework required to bring disparate solutions together.

Ready to explore how you could Unplatform with Elastic Path? Start a free trial, so you can deliver on your big ideas today!

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