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Is moving to composable commerce the right choice for your business?

(Source: Bigstock.)

Shifts in how and where consumers shop, and how they spend – changing times are making modern commerce take the world by storm. Many businesses have reacted to volatile market movements by embracing new technology, which helps them pivot and cater to changes more nimbly than legacy e-commerce suites they’ve been stuck with for the longest time.

We would like to introduce composable commerce platforms, which you may have heard from industry analyst Gartner. What is it and why is everyone talking about it? Businesses are quickly realising that every added second spent on their legacy e-commerce suite is costing them customers, revenue and even employees!

What makes composable commerce different? 

Composable commerce represents a shift in the software paradigm where commerce is just one part of a bigger business ecosystem. You are now free to mix and match the best software and features to cater to use cases, instead of being stuck to a monolithic software suite from a single vendor and compromising on functionality.

A good composable commerce platform, like the one from commercetools, is typically built to modern standards and built with “MACH” principles in mind:

  • Microservices, so you can create and change how commerce is set up quickly and easily, and modularity, which allow your teams to deploy those creations and changes as quickly as they can develop them.
  • API-first which allows you to grab APIs as building blocks and develop your commerce experience using the exact features and functions you need, and everything easily integrated with other software in your business ecosystem.
  • Cloud-native for superior scalability (particularly important when handling peak traffic during Black Friday and Christmas, and when one or more of your products goes viral), security and seamless access to productive technologies by cloud vendors like AWS and Google Cloud.
  • Headless, a term describing a decoupled frontend (what your customer sees and experiences) and backend (the data and development that goes into powering the frontend). By separating the frontend and backend, you’re able to work on both concurrently without having to pull your commerce “down for maintenance” and lose precious revenue.

The value of composable commerce

If you’re thinking that composable commerce brings a lot of value to the table, you’re right! The flexibility and scalability offered by such platforms are precisely what allows businesses to set up and react to changes extremely quickly. Delivering a customer experience that’s perfectly suited to what consumers want in days and weeks, instead of months and years, is now a reality.

You may say: that all sounds great, but what’s the catch? It’s no secret that any modern software solution is going to be drastically different from their legacy counterparts. Many legacy e-commerce suites still sold today by established names were originally created for the ‘dot-com’ era, literally 20 years ago, and have not adapted much to shifts in the market since.

We’ll be transparent: the initial transition moving your business from legacy to modern commerce is going to take some work. However, this investment pays off quickly in the short term and delivers extremely high value over the long term. The transition is also smooth – getting your business over to modern commerce can be a painless, downtime-free process with good planning. To make it easier, our in-house experts and extensive partner network are available to facilitate your migration.

Thanks to the flexibility of composable commerce, it’s possible to get set up with a minimum viable product (MVP) to get up and running quickly, and to form a first base for kicking off the platform for use in the rest of your business. Plenty of large businesses in retail, such as Kmart Australia, have been through and successfully completed the move to modern commerce. And they’re already reaping the benefits of the positive change. Learn more about composable commerce platforms and why they’re important for retailers at our website and be sure to check out our blog for resources on that and more.

About the author: Joshua Emblin is Territory Director, APAC, at Commercetools.