November 25th, 2020 | 5 MIN READ

What is a Pre-Composed Solution & How Does it Accelerate Time to Market?

Written by Hannah Jarrett

Hannah Jarrett leads Product Marketing at Elastic Path.  In this role, she focuses on bringing differentiated products to market that help digitally-driven brands drive revenue growth. 

As we approach 2021, more and more brands are doubling down on their digital commerce strategy. Why? We all know that the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed more consumers than ever before online.  In fact, the US Census Bureau reported that “In the U.S., the increase in online retail sales penetration in one quarter between 1Q20 and 2Q20 equals what was achieved in the past five years.”   But, Covid-19 is just the accelerant.  Brands have had digital commerce projects on their roadmaps for years and, for years, they have been delayed, or, slowly completed.   

Why do digital commerce projects take so long to complete?   

Simply put, it’s not as easy as it sounds.  Building, deploying, and optimizing differentiated digital commerce is no simple task.  When a business decides they want to elevate their digital commerce strategy, one of the first steps is to explore commerce platforms.    

Often brands start with the vendors that they have heard of- Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Shopify, Magento, etc.   With their strong reputations in market and comprehensive out-of-the-box functionality, these providers feel like a safe choice.  But, once brands start to think about their innovation roadmap, the rigid nature of these solutions becomes a problem.  When a change needs to be made in an attempt to adjust to customer needs, quickly move against competitive pressure, or adapt to market environments (curbside pickup in Covid-19 times), these “safe” platforms becomes a nightmare.  

At this point, companies often pivot to explore a different type of commerce platform, one that empowers their teams to innovate at the speed their business and customers' demand.   After some research, brands discover MACH-based technologies (microservicesAPIs, cloud, and headless), which appear to offer the flexibility and control to build for their exact needs.  But innovation dreams are quickly crushed as the risk associated with stitching together many moving pieces (core commerce functionality, partner technologies, extensions, etc.) become a reality.   While MACH-based solutions promise a unique implementation, the perceived time, resources, and technology design work required go live are extremely daunting.  Brands feel the pressure to get digital commerce “right” and they can’t deal with any potential risk.  

At the end of the day, brands are left with two choices for commerce platforms: 

  1. Safe but, cookie cutter  

  1. Innovative but, risky 

Neither of which will empower them to outpace competitors, keep up with customer needs, and hit ambitious growth targets. 

How can brands overcome the commerce compromise?   

Fortunately, there is a third options, known as Composable Commerce-as-a-Service, an API-first, Headless Commerce solution powered by Elastic Path. This offering harnesses the Composable Commerce approach to remove the risks associated with other MACH-based technologies by providing the full solution required to rapidly unlock revenue growth.   

Last week, Elastic Path launched the Composable Commerce Hub, a key component of our Composable Commerce-as-a-Service offering.  This open exchange of business solutions powered by digital commerce’s leading technology providers makes the power of DIY and the confidence of Shopify accessible for all.  The Composable Commerce Hub includes two types of assets, Accelerators and Pre-Composed Solutions, that fulfill different needs for different brands.  Today, we are going to focus on Pre-Composed Solutions.  

What is a Pre-Composed Solution?   

Pre-Composed Solutions make it easy for brands to launch a complete, commerce solution so that they can start driving revenue in weeks, not months.   These are business-ready solutions are pre-composed from Elastic Path commerce capabilities, 3rd party integrations, and customizations so that brands can use to quickly deploy experiences; with greater flexibility and less risk. 

Whereas with typical MACH-based solutions users have to stitch together numerous moving pieces, Pre-Composed Solutions eliminate this time consuming, expensive, and daunting task.  Instead, the pieces are pre-stitch and ready to go.  The beauty of Pre-Composed Solutions is that the solutions are still built with the same flexible architecture of MACH so that optimizations and updates are easy to complete on-demand.   

What can you do with a Pre-Composed Solution?   

In the Composable Commerce Hub you can explore a variety of Pre-Composed Solutions that were built by Elastic Path partners to support everything from specific experiences to ready–to-launch websites for different business models.   Two examples include: 

CommerceFactory: Retail Industry Solution from TA Digital 

CommerceFactory pre-integrates Elastic Path’s API-first Headless Commerce platform with Drupal’s best in class Open Source CMS.  CommerceFactory ships with content creation functions such as templating, workflow and change management to manage modules, templates, and assets for all marketing initiatives.  It includes pre-built retail functionality such as one-page checkout & quick cart, product compare, ratings & reviews and more.  

A global sewing machine manufacturer recently implemented CommerceFactory. According to their CIO, "Of the 15-plus launches I’ve been part of during my career, this was one of the best!” 

Bison: B2B & B2C Commerce Solution from Born 

Bison is a pre-composed, feature rich solution with a digital experience front-end powered by Bloomreach and a robust SaaS commerce engine delivered by Elastic Path.  Bison  integrates multiple moving parts, alleviating the need for the customer to create an entire digital commerce ecosystem. Bison includes product grid merchandising, related articles with PDP, digital enrichment of product data within PDP, facet management, SEO, Content-as-a-Service, and Experience-as-a-service. 

Both of these solutions, empower brands to embrace headless commerce without the risk of delays and budget overages, so that they can start generating digital revenue sooner.  

You can explore our rapidly growing library of Pre-Composed Solution here.  And, if you want to join the Composable Commerce Movement by submitting a Pre-Composed Solution to the Composable Commerce Hub we would love to work with you.  Join us here

 

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