Guide to Composable Commerce
The world has changed, and gone are the days where traditional website only experiences are enticing for consumers. At the same time, modern digital brands want to find their unique advantage and bring it to market fast while IT leaders are looking for ways they can advance the business in step with the consumer demands, disruptive trends, and emerging opportunities.
To truly capitalize on your commerce strategy, you will need to ditch traditional commerce platforms and embrace an approach that will empower your team to take back control of your digital commerce strategy and execute at the speed of customer needs. That approach is Composable Commerce.
According to analyst firm Gartner, becoming a “composable enterprise” is the innovation strategy of leading digital business organizations. This involves decomposing traditional monolithic systems by leveraging decoupled, packaged business capabilities (PBCs) to uniquely compose application experiences.
Traditional legacy solutions consist of rigid and opinionated architectures that prevent brands from having the control they desire to implement custom backend logic changes to satisfy their complex business requirements.
A Composable Commerce approach advocates moving away from full-stack eCommerce platforms, towards building a best-of-breed solution from smaller sized, “Lego block” components. Rarely does a full-stack, all-in-one application (whether home-grown or licensed from a vendor) fully satisfy the unique requirements of a business long-term, and therefore adopting a Composable Commerce approach ensures today’s solution can stay in-step with tomorrow’s demands.
There are four key tenets that define the composable approach:
In this guide, each tenet is dissected to provide a clear understanding of the importance of each one to the approach and the benefits associated. It is important to note that all four tenets working together cohesively is critical to receiving the full benefits that Composable Commerce has to offer. As we step into each tenet chapter, we will also provide best practices to consider and examples of how brands have already adopted and deployed the approach to elevate their digital strategy.
Chapter 1: Modular
Composable Commerce was designed to be fully modular, which means that each component is a self contained system that can be deployed independently. A modular architecture is key to supporting more agile delivery, faster time to market and improved customer experiences across all devices and touchpoints. Modularity has been difficult to achieve with traditional incumbent platforms due to its rigid architecture, but with the use of packaged business capabilities (PBCs), modularity is seamless.
Chapter 2: Open
Now that you have a better grasp on using modular components to build your composable solution, the next question is - “How nicely do the components play together?”
Composable Commerce was designed with open standards. Open commerce technology enables interoperability between services for seamless integration (and removal) of components while also preventing vendor lock in. This eliminates the need to extend your platform through plug-ins, modify monolithic backend code or build siloed experiences.
This will be ideal for teams who want to pick and choose from the best vendors that have spent time to perfect their individual integration offering, rather relying on your platforms suggested proprietary vendors.
Open Standards are approaches, designs, and industry adopted ways to facilitate interoperability across different products and services. Generally open standards are publicly discussed, developed, approved, and maintained via a collaborative process. Hence open source communities are one originator of open standards.
When defining composability, a large variety of adopted and supported open standards are available. Generally, the more modular the architectural design can be, the more likely a user experience will be seamless, thus speed of build.
Chapter 3: Flexible Technologies
In order to activate your freedom to choose and assemble your modular structure, you will need flexible technologies. For many ecommerce applications, “going headless” is the first baby step towards a flexible architecture. However, the next step beyond headless commerce towards ultimate flexibility involves adopting technology that embraces not one or two, but all MACH principles along with JAMStack.
Chapter 4: Business Centric Solutions
Beyond the application itself, how can composable components give business leaders end-to-end control over new experiences? By Providing business user tooling, supporting evolving business models and fostering Business-IT collaboration.
Is “Going Composable” Right For Your Organization?
Change comes at a cost in time / effort & money. And the larger the change, each of those factors are increased. Combining these factors with clear business needs and drivers, go a significant way to helping answer the “going composable” question without extensive analysis.
So if we:
- Have a rapidly changing/competitive market that needs innovative experiences which can be designed in a persona centric way, deployed quickly anyway and use a few common features to help sell (Product). Composable Commerce is a must.
- Are a growing business who today have an ecosystem of open source and simple integrations as we like to control our ecosystem and in the future may change a piece, but must have a cart and payment to sell. Composable Commerce is a must.
- Run our business on a complex set of applications that takes months to change, simply to provide product & inventory updated to our sales reps / buyers and dealers in different experiences quickly. Then it’s time to look at Composable Commerce.
A Composable Commerce application allows an organization to be more flexible and adapt to business change rapidly with less friction, and less risk introduced into the backend environment. Because “Lego bricks” can be swapped in and swapped out for best-of-breed, a composable enterprise can stay perpetually modern without having to endure a rip-and-replace re-platforming or full-stack upgrade ever again. To learn more from one of our internal experts book a meeting with us today.