January 20th, 2022 | 6 MIN READ

Top Elastic Path eCommerce Integrations

Written by Pranav Bahadur

Pranav Bahadur is a Product Marketing Manager at Elastic Path living in the Boston area.

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An Introduction to eCommerce Integrations

Like many other brands, your business is likely seeking to drive digital growth by providing best-in-class digital experiences for your customers. In that case, you've no doubt already heard about the benefits of Headless and Composable Commerce. While a Composable approach to eCommerce offers unparalleled flexibility and performance, the burning question "beyond the commerce platform, what else do I need?"

A vital benefit of a Composable approach is the ability to integrate best-of-breed third-party solutions for services like search, CMS, payments, etc. Choosing whom to partner with for services is essential to realizing your brand's ideal digital customer experience. This post will use our 15+ years of experience in Headless Commerce to cover the most common integrations brand's looking to innovate and grow their revenue focus on, why these partners are crucial, and a brief look at some of the offerings in each segment.

A Brief Summary of Composable Commerce

Before we dive into some of the critical eCommerce integration categories, it is helpful to briefly summarize what Composable Commerce is and its main benefits and drawbacks.

Composable Commerce is an approach that enables business and tech teams to bring their brand's unique digital vision to life by launching and continuously optimizing digital commerce experiences that leverage multiple best-of-breed vendors composed together into a complete, business-ready solution.

Rather than forcing an 'out-of-the-box' commerce platform to fit your brand's needs, a composable approach allows your team to select the partner that best suits your needs and seamlessly integrates it with your commerce platform. The best-of-breed vendors in each space offer highly specialized - and usually functionally superior- alternatives to services that a legacy all-in-one platform can deliver. In some cases, brands running one of these legacy all-in-one commerce platforms are paying double, once for the sub-par feature included in their commerce platform and again for the better performing third-party solution.

Every decision in eCommerce comes with some drawbacks. With Composable Commerce, one of the main drawbacks is the cost and risk of managing multiple vendors. If your brand's goals include vendors for several eCommerce integration categories, the individual price of each of these SaaS offerings can add up quickly. Other Composable Commerce vendors can leave issue resolution and monitoring to you, a risk some brands are unwilling to take. We recommend our Composable Commerce XA™ offering, the industry's only experience assurance offering that de-risks a composable architecture by providing a single source of identifying issues in your eCommerce stack. To learn more about Composable Commerce XA™, click here.

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Search & Product Recommendations

Search, and product recommendations are often at the top of the feature list for brands looking to modernize their eCommerce platforms. In the past, search functionality may have been one of the boxes to check off on a long list of requirements when selecting an all-in-one commerce platform. Today, the cutting-edge brands are acutely aware of the impact a best-of-breed search capability can have on the performance of their eCommerce stores.

A best-of-breed search vendor will help achieve your brand's potential by delivering relevant suggestions to customers and keeping them in your store with lightning-quick search results. Modern search solutions allow brands to curate the most relevant results according to their customers' unique preferences. With a 'good enough' approach to search & recommendations, you leave money on the table and will continue to suffer from sub-par conversion rates, ACV, etc.

That isn't to say that a 'modern' search functionality will be the answer to all your brand's eCommerce search needs. As with other categories in a Composable Commerce approach, a particular vendor may be a better fit for your brand, depending on your needs and customer experience objectives. Check out some of our top search partners to learn more about their specific offerings.

Algolia

Google Cloud Search

Handshake

Elastic Search

Content Management Systems (CMS)

A modern Composable Commerce approach typically leverages a 'headless' commerce solution - like Elastic Path Commerce Cloud. A headless commerce solution decouples the core back-end commerce functionality from the 'front-end' experiences that customers see and use.

Interested in Learning More About Elastic Path Commerce Cloud?

Launch and optimize innovative experiences fast, with a modern, headless, SaaS, API-first, & microservices-based commerce platform.

See the Future of eCommerce

What is a CMS?

A Content Management System is a software solution that powers the content on your website and other browser-based digital properties and allows users to publish and manage website content without needing to build a custom website front-end in code.

Since the digital battleground for brands has focused on delivering stand-out experiences for customers, many CMS options have different strengths. They will vary on crucial differentiators like low/ no-code, content automation, templates, etc.

The benefits of a modern CMS solution include:

  • The ability to deliver consistently excellent digital experiences across touchpoints
  • Rapid performance
  • Ease of use
  • Lower cost (especially for the cloud-based SaaS CMS solutions)

These CMS solutions free your merchandising and marketing teams to quickly execute game-winning strategies without having to rely on an IT team, as they did in legacy CMS offerings.

There is no 'best' CMS tool to leverage; instead, we recommend brands pick a CMS tool that matches their needs and operational goals. Here are a few of the popular CMS solutions from our Accelerators hub.

Amplience

Bloomreach

Contentful

Acquia

Read our post here for a more in-depth look at the top CMS solutions.

Payments Providers

The payments landscape has changed significantly in the recent past. Contactless payment is the most prominent current trend. Other developments include fraud detection, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), Point of Sale (POS) device integration, one-click checkout, etc. These allow brands to make the final purchase stages a seamless and pleasant experience for their customers.

Many popular payment vendors come pre-integrated with a headless commerce platform with a Composable Commerce approach. All you need to do is link an account in a few easy steps to leverage the benefits of these payments providers.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the choice of payment provider comes down to what fits your brand's needs the best. Some brands need to work with particular vendors because they are the standard in a specific geographical market. In contrast, others will leverage several payment solutions, accommodating existing partners and additional providers to ensure they offer the most convenient payment method across all of their current and future touchpoints.

The benefits of a leading payment solution include security, buyer convenience, speed to launch new touchpoints (many payments solutions have pre-build offerings to address use cases). Additionally, at enterprise levels, custom pricing leads to a lower overall total cost of ownership (TCO).

Some of our top payments partners include:

Stripe 

PayPal

Braintree

Adyen

Conclusion

In summary, the top integrations for a Composable Commerce approach are search, CMS, and payments. Each of these categories has multiple vendors, each with its strengths. There is rarely a 'best' vendor amongst them. Instead, based on your brand's needs, your final selection should be based on the best fit for your brand.

Check out the complete list of accelerators on our hub here.

For brands looking to get up-and-running quickly, we offer Pre-Composed Solutions™. These are business-ready solutions, which combine Elastic Path commerce capabilities, partner integrations, and critical customizations so you can launch in a matter of weeks, not months.

Still, need help picking a best-for-me vendor in any other these categories? Please chat with us today to see how your brand can achieve and exceed your eCommerce goals.

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