What’s Really Behind the Accelerated Uptake of Composable Technology in B2B?

What’s Really Behind the Accelerated Uptake of Composable Technology in B2B?

This post was written by Michael Scholz, VP Product and Customer Marketing, commercetools

While many enterprises — especially in the B2B sector — still fall for the “Nobody gets fired for buying IBM” mantra as many practitioners still place their bets on well-known SaaS brands, the shift from legacy to composable tech is now loud and clear. 

2024 will undoubtedly see a faster pace of digitization across manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers, with most B2B companies choosing composable technologies for commerce, search, CMS, and more.

The last few years have seen a new era in digital commerce for B2B, so much so that Gartner predicts that a staggering 80% of sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels as early as 2025. 

Contrast this to the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when an estimated 60% of B2B companies had either zero or limited ecommerce capabilities. In a span of a few years, the B2B commerce sector has experienced an almost 180-degree change.

At the same, however, a remarkable surge in B2B buyer demands continuously outpace the digital capabilities of the majority of organizations. While 75% of B2B buyers say they prefer a rep-free sales experience, 43% of them are more likely to regret a purchase made via digital self-service alone than traditional, rep-led buyers (26%). These figures show the divide between what customers expect and what’s actually delivered by B2B commerce solutions.

Many B2B organizations have reached the ceiling with their current tech stacks based on legacy solutions and need to scale. They realize that the secret to success in digital commerce is the ability to meet the ever-shifting customer needs — now and in the future. This realization is underscored by the fact that 95% of B2C and B2B C-suite executives believe customer needs are changing faster than they can keep up. 

A composable approach enables companies to achieve exactly that.

commercetools b2b composable technology

With composable commerce solutions behind the scenes, B2B companies are better equipped to utilize best-of-breed solutions, such as Constructor’s robust search capabilities, instead of relying on off-the-shelf solutions that aren’t really on par with their business requirements (and the expectations of their customers, by extension).

At the same time, it’s possible to mitigate the inherent complexities of B2B with composable commerce: For instance, providing role- and individual-specific content based on interactions, behavior, purchases and search with predictive analytics and AI, it’s now possible with the flexibility of composable solutions. Robust, flexible, and configurable product modeling capabilities will take the B2B landscape by storm as a way to manage complexity while delivering simplicity.

Another current example of the flexibility of composability is how easy it is to iterate, experiment, and integrate Generative AI (GenAI) capabilities into B2B digital commerce. 

A myriad of use cases are popping up, including improving product detail pages (PDPs), spearheading data hygiene initiatives, boosting hyper-personalization, facilitating dynamic content adaptation, better managing complex catalogs, and optimizing pricing as well as AI-powered search capabilities. For B2B organizations, removing the complexity of innovation and integration with GenAI applications is a huge advantage.

5 Reasons Why Composable Commerce Is Taking Off

While the need to meet customer needs continues to be the key driver for B2B organizations to embrace composability, other factors in this equation further accelerate this uptake, namely:

1. Pre-composed solutions accelerate time to value

Many technology professionals fear that a digital project may take years and cost millions of dollars. They’re rightfully concerned, as 70% of digital transformations fall short of their objectives, go over time or budget, and don’t always show results for sustained internal interest and support. That’s where pre-composed solutions like commercetools Foundry come in.

With a pre-configured set of components, features, best practices, and launchpads, the adoption of composable commerce becomes much easier and faster, especially for new-to-digital businesses.

Since a pre-composed solution typically provides already integrated components that are ready to use, it also allows for greater flexibility and customization so businesses can scale and grow without constraints.

2. A larger availability of no-code/low-code solutions

Low- and no-code tools enable business practitioners — such as marketers as well as content and product managers — to have a more active role in digital commerce initiatives through easy-to-use business user tooling. 

Not only does this accelerate time to market to create new promotions, manage discounts, and set up new sales outlets, but you can also improve employee productivity and manage commerce data seamlessly end-to-end.

3. More mature GenAI datasets help implement composable commerce

GenAI will have a role in simplifying the uptake of composable technologies as large language models (LLMs) are trained on data that may help B2B companies generate and debug code, and even simplify integrations.

Accessible documentation empowers users by providing deep insights and easy navigation through extensive information. When information is readily available and datasets are trained, GenAI can offer valuable insights, code suggestions, and more.

For example, commercetools provides AI-powered developer assistants and a code generator to help companies embrace composable commerce faster. In addition, you can use an Auto-GPT plugin with synced capabilities with LLMs that are trained on our data to help you write code that’s nearly production-ready.

4. The rise of incremental rollouts instead of “big bang” migrations

More and more organizations are adopting an incremental approach instead of risky “big bang” migration methods. An incremental approach is an invaluable method for companies to develop and integrate each component into the digital platform gradually, which reduces risk and sets up a virtuous cycle of release-win-learn-iterate.

For example, B2B companies can start with a smaller scope, such as digitizing a product catalog and checkout, instead of trying to create a complete digital commerce experience from day one. This minimum viable product (MVP) approach enables you to establish a first base for what the rest of your commerce solution will look like — and optimize it over time. Also, an incremental approach enables businesses to integrate best-of-breed solutions with ease, creating a tailored technology stack that meets business needs.

We expect that more B2B companies, especially mid-market firms, will invest in laser-focused projects to automate labor-intensive processes such as manual ordering, cross-border ecommerce, or omnichannel capabilities.

5. More B2B-specific accelerators and implementation partners come into play

Navigating the world of digital commerce doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor. With more B2B-specific accelerators and implementation partners entering the sector, you can leverage their expertise to get to market faster.

You can also utilize them throughout the digital journey as needed for innovation initiatives big and small. In fact, Forrester predicts that 50% of B2B firms will boost partner ecosystem technology and process investment in 2024. 

Go Composable to Take Advantage of Best-of-Breed Solutions

With the flexible and scalable approach of composable commerce, your business is empowered to meet customer expectations as they evolve. By leveraging pre-composed solutions alongside incremental rollouts, the use of B2B-specific accelerators, and integrating best-of-breed solutions with ease, B2B firms are poised to reap the benefits of digital commerce faster.