First, let’s understand what the MACH Alliance is and what it isn’t.
The MACH Alliance is a marketing alliance started by commercetools to promote the acronym MACH, which they coined to refer to Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless Commerce technologies.
MACH-based technologies and architectural approaches have grown in popularity in recent years as a more modern alternative to traditionally monolithic system architectures, especially in the eCommerce space where digital transformation is paramount for brands in retailers to maintain a competitive advantage.
A question that we hear from time-to-time is “Given that Elastic Path offers one of the leading MACH-based commerce solution in the market, it would seem like an obvious fit for Elastic Path to be a member of the MACH Alliance - so why doesn’t Elastic Path participate in the MACH Alliance?” So we thought we would write a blog to help answer this question!
There are two primary reasons we are not in the MACH Alliance:
1) Breadth of our offerings
In order to address the digital commerce needs of modern brands, we offer two commerce platforms. MACH-based technologies are often a great fit, but are not always the best architectural approach based on a customer’s specific needs, so we don’t want to force customers into a specific type of architecture or deployment methodology.
Instead, we aim to provide the right solution that addresses each customer’s unique requirements. Even though we believe our approach of providing multiple product offerings to help customers solve their digital commerce challenges is the most customer-centric approach, commercetools only wants “pure play” MACH vendors in their marketing alliance, which we find curious but totally respect – they coined the term, so they can invite whomever they want.
Here is some context on our two headless commerce offerings:
- Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is our composable, API-first, microservices-based Headless Commerce solution (bleeding edge MACH). This product is for digitally driven branded manufacturers who need the control to go-to-market and quickly optimize across business models (B2B, B2C/ D2C, B2B2C), geos, brands, and touchpoints with ease. Some of our Elastic Path Commerce Cloud customers include Deckers Brands, Pella Windows & Doors, and Hobie Kayaks.
- Our other commerce platform, Elastic Path Commerce, is headless (and in fact pioneered the headless commerce market when it launched in 2011), but is not microservices-based. Elastic Path Commerce is a purpose-built Headless Commerce platform for telco, utilities companies, and those who sell regulated goods.
This product gives brands the absolute control over their data and infrastructure with the ability to deploy on-premise or via private cloud. Some of our Elastic Path Commerce customers include T.Mobile and Swisscom.
2) Focus On Customer Outcomes
As a company, we’re focused on empowering our customers to deliver business outcomes – because at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters. Even though we offer one of the most modern MACH-based digital commerce solutions on the market, we do not see the value in promoting technology for the sake of technology.
As a marketing alliance, the MACH Alliance has created some buzz in the market focused on MACH technologies, which is great, but they are not focused on providing actual solutions that help customers solve problems and deliver business outcomes.
This is an important point, because even though MACH technologies offer tremendous benefits in terms of architectural flexibility and control, they also introduce additional complexity that can be very challenging for many organizations to manage.
So instead of focusing on commercetools’ on the MACH Alliance marketing group, we decided instead to invest our time/energy focused on helping customers solve their most pressing digital commerce challenges to unlock new business growth. This led us to spearhead the Composable Commerce Movement.
The Composable Commerce Movement is an industry-wide movement, comprised of an ecosystem of leading digital commerce technology and solution providers, such as Alogolia, Contentful, Amplience, Bloomreach, Coveo, InRiver, PayPal, FluentCommerce, Born, Bounteous, MMT Digital, Perficient, Object Edge, Nortal, Myplanet, Sutrix, TA Digital, Corra, DigiCommerce, & Hycom.
Through the Composable Commerce Movement, this ecosystem of digital commerce leaders has developed a wide portfolio of pre-built solutions available in the Composable Commerce Hub, which helps brands to reduce the risk and complexity of using MACH-based technologies and empowers those brands to rapidly deliver business outcomes.
This approach eliminates the need for brands and retailers to take on the burden of building and supporting MACH-based solutions themselves in order to take advantage of the flexibility benefits these modern technologies offer. With the solutions available in the Composable Commerce Hub, brands and retailers can launch “pre-built” solutions based on MACH technology in a matter of days, and then easily customize their digital commerce experiences over time.
The Composable Commerce Movement is all about empowering the business, not just geeking out on the tech (which is also fun to do!).
I hope this post was helpful in answering a question that we commonly receive. If interested in learning more about Composable Commerce or our industry-leading MACH-based commerce platform, just give us a shout.