Implementation of digital initiatives is risky hard work. According to 4PM, 70% of IT projects either run over budget, don’t meet the required deadlines, don’t achieve planned business objectives or utterly fail. If a digital initiative revolves around the implementation of a headless commerce solution at it’s core, the risks become even more apparent. This is especially relevant for the growing number of D2C brands. Majority of these brands are looking for a comprehensive commerce solution that supports global business, multiple touchpoints and can work with several brands and product lines. Yet, they often don’t have large IT departments to support large and complex IT projects. In this blog post we will discuss challenges in detail and how the six Pre-Composed Solutions launched by Elastic Path and Myplanet address them.
Headless Commerce implementation challenges
In any headless commerce initiative there are three major aspects of solution implementation and operation:
- Integration of multiple independent business applications. Integrations are one of the most time consuming aspects of implementation. Even if you are integrating applications with well-defined APIs and integration points, the process still takes significant amount of effort due to applications having different data schemas and other complexities.
- Touchpoint on-boarding. The whole point of composing a solution is for customers to be able to buy. So, depending on business goals, a brand will onboard one or multiple touchpoints such as web, mobile app, chatbot and others. In pursuit of differentiated experiences, brands will often consider creating touchpoint applications from scratch, but as you can imagine the process is lengthy and risky.
- On-going changes. Of course, after the solution is implemented, the process doesn’t end. The business needs to react to shifts in customer demand and market environment by making rapid changes to the touchpoints and commerce layer. The challenges with the most traditional commerce solutions is that to make those changes, the business has to rely on IT which takes time and reduces speed to market.
The risk and complexity associated with selecting, integrating, deploying, operating, and supporting solutions from multiple vendors is prohibitive for most organizations. To eliminate this risk, brands often stick to templated cookie-cutter solutions that do not allow them to differentiate against competition.
Taking the risk out of the headless equation
So, a million-dollar question: how do you eliminate the risk in headless commerce implementation? To achieve this a brand should look for a solution with following aspects:
- Pre-integrated applications. If all applications are pre-integrated in a solution – it dramatically accelerates time to market, since you don’t have to start integrating from scratch. This is true even if there are still certain configurations or customizations to be done before the integration is fully production ready.
- Pre-built reference applications. No matter what anyone tells you, creating front-end applications from scratch is hard work. Ready-to-go reference applications allow you to get started quickly and cut down on touchpoint onboarding time. You want to have access to as many reference applications as possible including web, mobile, chatbot etc. And of course, these applications should be developed with best practices in mind including PWA, JAMStack and others.
- Front-end componentization. As mentioned above, brands will often strive to create unique experiences and make rapid changes to address shifts in market environment. A library of front-end components allow you to quickly create new experiences with ready-to-go components. It also accelerates time for any changes and delivers consistent experiences since the same components are re-used.
- Business user tooling. Commerce needs to move at the speed of business. To achieve this, it is important to empower business to make changes to front-end and commerce layer independently from IT. Every mature commerce platform provides robust business user tooling, for front-end this is rarely the case. This is why having a design studio for business users to quickly make front-end changes can be very beneficial.
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6 New Pre-Composed Solutions
The six new Pre-Composed from Elastic Path and Myplanet seamlessly combine the flexibility of the headless, API, and microservices-powered commerce platform from Elastic Path, out-of-the-box integrations with Amplience (CMS), Algolia (Search), Dynamic Yield (Personalization), Segment (CDP), and Google Analytics (GA Enhanced eCommerce), and pre-built business capabilities into a unified, ready-to-deploy solution. It allows D2C brands to rapidly implement their best of breed solution, create unique commerce experiences to differentiate against competition and make changes at the speed of business.
- D2C Web Solution: Out-of-the-box support for Headless, API, tools, and microservices technologies
- D2C Conversational Commerce Solution: Customers can build cards and purchase products directly from their preferred chat experience
- D2C Marketplace Solution: Making it easy for brands to get started with direct to consumer marketplace business models
- D2C Retail Solution: Deliver premium omnichannel retail experiences
- D2C Social Commerce Solution: Take control of your merchandising feeds and advertising channels within the top platforms
- D2C Mobile Solution: Connect seamlessly with customers on mobile devices
These Pre-Composed Solutions provide brands the full control to deliver unique, content-rich digital commerce experiences across web, mobile, marketplace, chat, social, and retail touchpoints. And they can be used individually or together. They enable D2C branded manufacturers to overcome the top eCommerce challenges and focus on what matters– creating unique, content-rich experiences that drive revenue growth, rather than dealing with the complexity of stitching together solutions from multiple vendors. Benefits include:
- Launch fast with out-of-the-box integrations.
- Customize fast with a user-friendly Design Studio of commerce experts that simplifies personalizing according to brand guidelines and creative needs.
- Monetize any touchpoint across web, mobile, chat, marketplace, social, and retail.
Pre-Composed Solutions are available on the Composable Commerce Hub, an open exchange of business solutions powered by an ecosystem of leading digital commerce providers. This open exchange empowers brands to unlock the full benefits of the Composable Commerce movement by providing everything eCommerce teams need to quickly and easily compose, launch, and continuously optimize unique, revenue-driving digital commerce experiences.