According to the latest report by Gartner on the Hype Cycle for Digital Commerce, 2018, released in August 2018, there are high expectations for API-based commerce as retailers makes strides in putting their store experiences into a customer-centric context. This is critical as consumers now have the power to drive the way they want to shop (what Garner calls C2U, or “Commerce to you”), as they respond to a wide range of digital and physical shopping experiences.
To cater to ever-changing digital demands, traditional static retail components need to quickly catch up before they become obsolete. New immersive experiences, omnichannel thinking and frictionless stores shape the direction retail needs to take.
API building blocks pave the way
API-based digital commerce is at the peak of the inflated expectations phase of Gartner’s Hype Cycle. As they explain, using APIs is vital for any business that wishes to stay on top as it helps streamline the high expectations of the technology stack. As customer journeys become more and more fragmented, firms need to rely on interchangeable and seamless cross-channel interactions; agile and flexible APIs are essential to keep up with the high demand for cutting-edge technological solutions.
Progressive web apps streamline experiences
To further help with a smooth transition into a purely API-based system, Gartner recognizes the importance of the componentized microservice architecture that allows to deploy any digital solution into any existing platform and multiple channels in a fast, reliable and secure manner. They also stress the importance of the emerging technology of progressive web applications that have a look and feel of a mobile application, but due to their browser-based nature eliminate the need to download or install them on a device. This alone greatly optimises the performance of an application, as all data in use is cached into the browser.
With such an abundance of technology to choose from and the colossal volume of innovations available each year, it is becoming more and more difficult for a company to create an adequate budget. They need to invest in technology, but also make sure that said technology won’t become obsolete in years to come.
Elastic Path provides an API-first, Headless Commerce Service that is listed among the providers who abandoned the costly and rigid platform-oriented approach in favor of the independent, headless commerce components that easily plug into any system or device. Our progressive web applications and microservices were praised for their agility, high quality and speed-to-market outcome. We’re very proud to have achieved this honor so early in our formation, and to be captured amongst a crowd of worthy industry leaders. Watch this space for more unique and flexible experiences, coming soon.