Last Updated on January 21, 2022

Traditional ecommerce platforms provide a one-size-fits-all solution from a single vendor. Many strive for the essential capabilities to set up and run an e-commerce store. It is excellent for businesses that have just taken a step on the e-commerce aisle and need standardized & straightforward experiences.

But now, in the 3rd decade of the 21st century, this is no longer the case. The inclusion of new digital touchpoints for which the original platforms weren’t built for, the ever-increasing customer expectations for a better digital experience, and the rise of digital commerce as the primary channel for businesses have changed all of that.

The old traditional e-commerce platforms are just like the old couch stuck forever in its original form. Today’s new ecommerce retailers need a platform that can keep up with the pace of changing consumer behaviors and expectations. Companies are reconsidering their ecommerce technology and shifting away from traditional e-commerce platforms.

There is hardly any vendor that can offer all the features required to deliver e-commerce experiences to meet customers’ demands. That’s the reason why many online retailers are moving to Composable Commerce. In this article, we will go through all aspects of Composable Commerce.

Composable Commerce

In its 2020 report, Gartner coined “Composable Commerce,” referring to a modular digital commerce approach. This approach will allow the selection of best-in-breed solutions for each unique business required to integrate a customized tech stack. It uses modern technologies and techniques such as MACH (Microservices, API, Cloud, Headless) and JAMstack (JavaScript, APIs, and Markup) to meet the changing market dynamics. There are 4 central tenets of the Composable Commerce:

Modular

Composable Commerce follows an agile methodology for faster time to market and better experience at all touchpoints. Thus every component, whether a cart, CRM, payment method, etc., can be deployed independently.

Open

You can use the best solutions using accelerators, 3rd party solutions, pre-composed solutions, etc.

Flexibility

As you can create your customized unique stack, you can deliver exceptional customer experiences specially curated for your customers.

Business Centric

Businesses can make changes in their digital strategy, use new business models with fewer unintended consequences.

Benefits of Adopting Composable Commerce

As digital technology evolves and some retailers find new ways to innovate, businesses must react centrally quickly to changing customer expectations. Also, after the coronavirus pandemic, the digital commerce competition is now higher than ever. Customer acquisition has become the biggest challenge.

The proponents of Composable Commerce say that this modular approach provides agility to the businesses they need for delivering better customer experiences and staying ahead of their competitors.

1. Create your own personalized experiences

In its report, Gartner was most focused on the customer experience factor. There are multiple touchpoints in today’s e-commerce industry such as in-store, online, social channels, marketplaces, IoT devices, etc. Customers are interacting with brands in ways never seen before.

Today’s customers choose to follow a brand or person, and it is different from showing ads in a search box. Just a few years ago, the buying experience started from a search, but now it is happening on social media platforms, through content, direct, and a few customers are starting from search.

Creating a customer journey considering all these factors needs high flexibility, which wasn’t feasible in the early days of e-commerce. But providing this extra layer of customization is worth it as 60% of the customers say that they are loyal to the brand that delivers a better customer experience.

2. Rapid response to the changing business needs

In March 2020, when almost the whole world was locked inside their residences, and all the shops were shut, some businesses were more prepared than others to adjust to changing customer needs and expectations.

Stores that we’re able to provide services to buy online, pick up in-store, or curbside pickup to eliminate any chance of close contact were able to close profits even in the pandemic. Pick up in-store has been by 195% due to the pandemic. Adopting this functionality is difficult, but it can be a massive problem in a monolithic system. A modular Composable Commerce approach allows you to address the questioning functionality without risking other modules of your e-commerce system.

3. Reduction in Customer Acquisition Costs

The two significant factors of the rise in customer acquisition costs are increasingly saturated advertising channels and changing consumer perceptions. Paid ads dependency isn’t a sustainable solution. Thus, many enterprise brands use content-or experience-led commerce, which shows a modular approach to the technology stack. The two main strategies for reducing customer acquisition costs are creating content to publish through your channel and improving the overall digital experience.

4. Avoid Vendor Lock-in

Monolithic traditional software reduces the flexibility of the client. If you find a better product from another company, you still have to wait until your contract expires or spend extra for the migration. But in a modular build, you can swap components in and out when it is suitable for your business.

Demerits of Adopting Composable Commerce

There are numerous advantages of a composable commerce approach, which shows why many enterprise companies are turning in that direction. However, there are some roadblocks as well that you should also consider.

1. Managing multiple vendors

In monolithic software, you have to deal with only vendors, which saves your time. Negotiating terms, subscriptions, T&C, integrating with the software takes a lot of time for 40-50 vendors compared to just a few.

2. High digital maturity levels required

Composable commerce is like lego blocks without any instruction manual to piece together, i.e., it is pretty complex. It is difficult, time-taking and thus expensive to put together all those lego pieces to satiate customers. It requires a high level of maturity for cross-functional collaboration among sophisticated developers.

3. Infrastructure change and monitoring tool needs

Switching to a microservices architecture will change the infrastructure and tools you need to monitor those different microservices. These changes will be required, and factor into the total ownership cost.

Implementing a Composable Commerce Solution

The re-platforming process takes considerable time and effort, but there is good news in this regard. Fortunately, switching from a monolith to a composable commerce platform can be done incrementally or gradually by reducing the dependency on the core monolith.

In this approach, you will first decide which capabilities should be decoupled and when to separate your entire monolith to a microservices system.

If you are interested to learn or implement composable commerce solutions then reach out to us an ecommerce development company providing reliable services globally.

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Author

CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.

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