A world in which your ecommerce tech stack is a competitive advantage and not a liability isn’t impossible. It’s composable.
Market demand changes from one minute to the next—not just from seismic factors like COVID-19 or an economic downturn, but from new or seasonal trends and evolving consumer expectations. Think of it this way: in retail, you’re only one TikTok trend away from a missed opportunity. A composable commerce architecture benefits large brands and retailers by offering a future proof way to adapt to change (wherever that change comes from).
In this article, you’ll learn four key benefits that you can gain from adopting composable commerce for your organization. But before we get there, let’s take a second to review what composable means.
Composable: A Definition
Composable commerce refers to an ecommerce tech stack that is built of interchangeable building blocks called microservices. This architecture differs from the traditional, monolithic “all-in-one” ecommerce platform designed to handle many different needs.
Composable commerce works by integrating microservices together in a headless architecture (where the software’s front end and back end are decoupled from one another). For example, you might build a custom solution from components such as order management, product information management, digital storefront, and product discovery.
In composable commerce, software components can share data and communicate with each other using APIs. Reducing or removing the technical debt and development time it takes to update the monolith, a composable architecture makes it easier to combine components to meet specific business requirements.
In 2023, many companies are embracing composable MACH technologies (Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, and Headless) as part of their digital transformation.
Here are four reasons why:
- Increased speed and flexibility
- Improved customer experience
- Better insights and decision making
- Enhanced collaboration and partnerships
Increased speed and flexibility
Composable commerce allows businesses to quickly adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs by launching new products, services, or initiatives. Monolithic architecture simply doesn’t offer this level of agility. In a buyer-driven market, that can mean losing out on competitive advantage.
Consider the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost overnight, many businesses had to shift their entire fulfillment model:
Retail and grocery were both hit hard in 2020, but composable software enabled an omnichannel response to these complex business problems. For example, with the help of composable commerce solution commercetools, European grocer REWE quickly scaled fulfillment when Germany entered lockdown in the spring of 2020.
Besides responding to market changes quickly and generating more revenue, composable architecture also also simplifies the integration of adjacent solutions. Built to be platform agnostic, composable components can easily integrate with each other by nature.
Take Constructor, which offers an API connector to product information management solution Akeneo. The API makes it easy to integrate all product data from Akeneo to power Constructor solutions like search, browse, and recommendations. What might have taken months to integrate with a monolithic platform can now be achieved in just a few clicks.
Improved customer experience
Because it’s easy to rearrange the building blocks that make up a composable commerce platform, forward thinking companies are now investing in customer experience in new ways. Composable architecture offers a base to create cutting-edge omnichannel experiences in a way that’s cost effective.
Want to leverage AI technology in your product search to increase revenue and conversions? You can. Want to add personalized recommendations or experiment with guided selling online? You can do that too.
And at this point, these experiences aren’t just experimental — they’re proven to contribute to customer satisfaction and loyalty. 60% of consumers become repeat customers after a personalized retail experience.
For example, providing a personalized shopping experience was incredibly important for the ecommerce team at lifestyle brand Life Is Good. Using AI and machine learning, Life Is Good can personalize for individual customers based on the behaviors they make onsite. These behaviors inform personalized product recommendations and shopping experiences based on affinity (such as a love of dogs), geography, clothing size, gender, and a number of other factors.
The ROI of this level of personalization and omnichannel experience is clear. After implementing Constructor, Life Is Good saw a 5% increase in revenue per visit and a 2% increase in conversion rate.
But even with the boost that comes from personalization, this type of investment is often too expensive for monolithic platforms. This gives companies three options:
- don’t do it (not ideal)
- spend budget hiring data engineers to solve problems that composable architecture has already solved (also not ideal)
- start leveraging composable solutions instead.
Better insights and decision making
While it’s great to enable personalization, composable technology can also help companies make better predictions.
Historically, it was incredibly time consuming at best (and impossible at worst) to analyze data across platforms. With billions of inputs and actions everyday on large ecommerce websites, how can you tell the signal from the noise?
Instead of manually connecting the dots, AI and machine learning technology — paired with an API-first approach to the flow of data — can help surface these insights automatically. It’s not only possible but much easier to collect, store, and analyze commerce data from various sources and channels.
Surfacing insights becomes easier because you can pull data from one platform to another for better insights. For example, when you combine Akeneo product attributes and Constructor product discovery, you might be able to gain new insights. What price point do buyers convert on when they enter a particular search query like “warm sweaters”? What colors are most on trend when customers visit the “sofas” category page?
Companies can use this data to make more informed decisions because there is now a more efficient way to analyze it. Billions of data points are all but impossible for humans to interpret at scale. But technology designed to leverage data across platforms can identify trends, predict customer behavior, and optimize other areas of the business like purchasing and marketing.
If you know that customers in New York buy earrings but those in Los Angeles prefer bracelets, what could you do? Would it affect your buying decisions, your ad content, your onsite product rankings, your personalization? That’s the agility and intelligence that composable commerce enables.
Creating better business outcomes together
The speed and flexibility of composable commerce, combined with the potential for next-level analytics, doesn’t just benefit your business. It can also enhance your collaborative relationships with your partners and suppliers—and even vendors themselves.
Foodl, a B2B food and beverage marketplace for the hotel and catering industry, adopted a composable approach as it transitioned to omnichannel during the pandemic. Using headless solution Vue Storefront “opened up a way for adding third-party services, smoothing the UX and molding it to reflect the B2B customer journey across multiple touchpoints.”
B2B marketplaces are complex, composed of many buyers and sellers and typically involving a long customer journey as the purchasing decision requires multiple steps and stakeholders. Foodl tailored their system to the business, allowing them to better meet the needs of their partners and customers.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Not only does transitioning to composable commerce improve collaboration with partners, but it also opens you up to better relationships with your software vendors.
Composable vendors are often “best of breed” solutions, offering premium customer service and support. Why? Because it’s in their best interest. They know that composable software can easily be replaced by a competitor, so it’s important to build strong relationships and retain customers over time.
See For Yourself
There’s one other benefit to composable commerce that we haven’t mentioned yet: digital transformation doesn’t mean you have to change everything at once. With composable solutions you can make incremental improvements over time to your ecommerce tech stack.
Where to begin? In uncertain economic times, the wisest investments are the ones that lead directly — and provably — to ROI. Constructor both improves your product discovery experience and optimizes specifically for the top-line business metrics you care about like revenue and conversion rate. And what’s more, you can make us prove it with a live value assessment on your site before you pay us a dime.
See how Home24 drove a double-digit lift in search conversion rate with Constructor.