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.
The 4 Key Tenets of Composable Commerce
Composable Commerce Ecosystem
The Composable Commerce Ecosystem is comprised of all the applications necessary to power the architecture.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Security ensured with Composable Commerce
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 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).
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