Composable Commerce

Take back control of your commerce experiences.
Want to see it in action? Watch the Composable Commerce Miniseries

 

What is Composable Commerce?

 

Composable commerce is the modern approach by which eCommerce teams are empowered to select and assemble various “best of breed” commerce solutions and compose them to satisfy their exact business requirements.

Instead of trying to force-fit standard “out-of-the-box” eCommerce functionality to fit your needs, composable commerce leverages modern technologies and approaches like MACH (microservices, APIs, Cloud, and Headless) and JAMstack (JavaScript, APIs, & Markup) architectures to adapt to the rapidly changing market dynamics now and in the future.

 

Gartner Logo

 

"By 2023, organizations that have adopted a Composable Commerce approach will outpace competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation."


Gartner Composable Commerce Report

 

The 4 Key Tenets of Composable Commerce

 

Modular

It leverages fully modular-designed solutions to independently deploy and swap commerce components at your convenience.

Open

It utilizes interoperable applications to seamlessly integrate with all other applications within the system and prevent vendor lock-in.

Flexible

It enables differentiated and engaging customer experiences, to stand out against competitors and retain customers in a saturated “online-buying” market.

Business Centric

It allows for rapid iteration to respond to changing business requirements over time and lowers the cost and risk of innovation.

 

Composable Commerce Ecosystem

The Composable Commerce Ecosystem is comprised of all the applications necessary to power the architecture.

Take a closer look

Composable Commerce Ecosystem

 

 

Traditional platforms: Why are we shifting away from them?

 

A traditional commerce platform comes equipped with a set of pre-existing functionality, bundled together as an “all-in-one” solution, from a single vendor. The platform approach has been largely positive, as businesses ventured down the path of doing business online for the first time and consumer expectations, at the time, drove the requirement for mostly simple, standardized commerce experiences.

Virtual Shopping

1) Consumer expectations for modern, engaging experiences have skyrocketed over the past several years, mostly as a result of the leading internet giants raising the bar in terms of what consumers expect. We are more hyper-connected than ever before, and customers expect to be able to buy goods and services whenever and wherever they are. This has forced commerce businesses to rethink the tech stack used to power their online businesses so they can keep pace, let alone innovate and differentiate, in a saturated B2C market.

B2B Commerce

2) Gone are the days when customers only expected eCommerce experiences from B2C companies. B2B focused companies are trying to embrace this new era but are coming upon roadblocks to deliver experiences as seamlessly as B2C companies have done in the past. Most B2B instances are more complex by nature and are therefore struggling to launch profitable eCommerce initiatives with traditional commerce platforms, because they just can’t support their complex business requirements.

No “One Vendor” can provide the best functionality for all applications you need for running your eCommerce experience. So, by going with this option you stand the risk of having basic capabilities of your complete tech stack; losing the ability to control and customize the functionality of your eCommerce Platform; and trying to fit your business requirements to their architecture.

 

 

Composable Commerce: How is it changing eCommerce experiences?

 

The Composable Commerce design principle leverages "best-in-class" commerce services, to deliver all the functionality you would have previously gotten exclusively from one eCommerce platform. This new approach utilizes the various vendors that provide much more robust functionality for the one thing they do, rather than relying on one vendor to produce standard functionality fit for everyone. Gartner also explains of how Composable Commerce is for the future.

Composable Commerce embraces uniqueness, differentiation and understands that “functionality fit for everyone” will not be enough. The composability technique empowers you to literally select and assemble functionality for your specific business requirements. Let this not be confused with being left alone on an empty canvas with just a bunch of vendors. This new approach is designed to be a web of vendor-supported technologies that emphasizes round the clock and assured support, reliability and security from a vendor like Elastic Path.

An example of a typical composable commerce stack would include best-in-class services covering all the capabilities commonly included in a traditional eCommerce Platform, such as order management, inventory, Salsify product information management (PIM), TaxJar for tax, shipping, fulfillment, Contentful for the content management system (CMS), and Stripe for the payment gateway, just to name a few. There is a healthy balance of functionality from your supported vendor and external expert commerce services within the stack, which eliminates the possibility of compromising for certain functionality for your commerce experience. This architecture caters to both your business and technical needs.

 

Business Benefits: 

  • Monetize any customer touchpoint. 
  • Deliver highly differentiated commerce experiences to stand against competitors. 
  • Enable commerce experiences with complex business requirements with pinpoint control and precision.

 

Technical Benefits: 

  • Eliminate vendor lock-in risk with the ability to swap in/out components on demand over time as needed.
  • Rapidly respond to changing business requirements.
  • Leverage modern technology standards to reduce costs and increase operational efficiencies like system management and staffing.

 

MACH Architecture

 

Microservices
Microservices

A dynamic arrangement of loosely coupled units that each draw from their own data and capable of functioning individually, as well as coherently with each other. The decoupled nature increases speed and productivity, while its flexibility in program languages usage, increases scalability and autonomy across cross-functional teams.

API
API- First

The customizable API-First approach is responsible for composing multiple services into a commerce stack that allows you to choose what’s needed for your precise business requirements; be it technology stack, integrations, or feature requirements. This eliminates the bloat of the platform and unnecessary complexity and rigidity that comes with standardized plugins, without compromising on the design or consumer experience.

Cloud
Cloud

The cloud native architecture provides insurmountable scalability to launch fast and reliable experiences to a large consumer base. There's no need to miss a beat during peak traffic instances due to seasonal business, as the platform will automatically scale for your needs. Launch across all channels of your choice with assured speed, performance monitoring and data security. 

Headless
Headless

The headless approach fosters infinite flexibility to design, iterate and launch differentiating experiences on the front-end, independently at your own pace without risk of tampering with old experiences. This level of flexibility enables you to support any and all touch points to ensure a seamless experience for consumers to finish their purchase on any device at their convenience.

Security ensured with Composable Commerce

 

Communication via HTTPS protocol

The encrypted HTTPS protocol ensures that all data passed between the web API and browser remains private and integral with no additional strain on system performance. Most modern browsers use HTTPS as a preferred means of communication, following that trend makes the browsing experience faster and smoother.

Authorization through a token

Authorization regulates a set of actions permitted per user type and complements authentication. The most common method is OAuth, which combines authorization and authentication. It imposes a token that authenticates a user, and then, as part of the authorization process, expires with time and revokes privileges. A user needs to verify credentials so that a new token can be generated. Token types allow developers to impose further restrictions on the system, read-only permissions (implicit) or full access (client credentials).

Authentication through an API key

An API Key is typically generated per user, and it’s a unique value that authenticates a user. Without an API Key, it’s relatively easy to exploit the system and steal user data, like usernames and passwords.

Composable Commerce Resources 

 

 

Composable Commerce Webinar

Join Mike Lowndes, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner and Sal Visca, Chief Technology Officer at Elastic Path for an On-Demand webinar on the principles of Composable Commerce where together they will discuss what it is, why it matters and how it can cater to both your business and technical needs.

Register for the Webinar

 

Using Composable Commerce to Power Omnichannel Experiences

The average modern consumer uses six touch points before buying an item. Each touch point is an opportunity to inspire consumers with product information or brand experiences. The smoother the transaction, the more chances the goods will land in the hands of the consumer.

Read the Blog Post

 

A Guide to Composable Commerce

This white paper addresses the common questions about Composable Commerce, why this approach is leading the future of commerce, the key principles for adapting the architecture, how it addresses common challenges business organizations are facing and the composable commerce ecosystem partners you can utilize to power your commerce experiences.

 

Read the eBook

Self Checkout with Composable Commerce

Take a look at a sample Composable Commerce Architecture of the mobile self-checkout experience that uses Elastic Path API to plug into a third party POS system, payment gateway and product inventory management platform, to create a progressive web app allowing customers to follow a simple URL to scan and checkout a product on their mobile without having to wait in line.