Is Composable Commerce for You? / A Practical Checklist

Have you ever wondered how to be successful in e-commerce while steering clear of vendor lock-in or the trap of high costs of each change? The solution may be Composable Commerce – a concept of flexible, modular and scalable e-commerce for the integration of various components, technologies and services to create a personalized shopping experience. We have prepared a practical checklist to help you find out whether Composable Commerce is for you. Enjoy reading this article!

Composable Commerce – What Is It About?

Composable Commerce is the opposite of “monolithic,” which is a traditional e-commerce system or platform with one central database. The strength of Composable Commerce lies in its modern, agile approach to building e-commerce from independently operating components. Monolith, on the other hand, is a single, integrated system in which all functionality and components are highly interconnected, dependent and interdependent.

Composable Commerce’s modular architecture allows you to combine, replace or remove individual system components at will, as well as scale them. This way you can be sure that e-commerce will keep up with market changes, trends and changing customer needs, as well as technological innovations.

This approach has several advantages:

  • Flexibility – the use of ready-made, modular components makes it possible to adapt quickly to changing market conditions, customer preferences or technological progress without having to redefine the whole IT infrastructure.
  • Scalability – as each component operates independently, individual pieces of the system can be easily scaled up or down as needed.
  • Personalization – the possibility to create unique customer experiences tailored to specific needs, without being limited by the functionalities available as part of a traditional e-commerce platform.
  • Faster time to market – with the ready-made components, companies can efficiently create, test and deploy new e-commerce functionalities. As a result, they can respond faster to market trends and customer expectations.
  • Cost savings – money is spent only on the system components used, which allows you to keep costs down in the long run.

Composable Commerce – Checklist

Composable Commerce has many advantages, but you must also be aware that this solution will not work in each and every case. If you are wondering if this is a good option for your business, you may have a look at our practical checklist that will help you make a decision.

1/ You are concerned that your store will not be able to cope with increased traffic during sales peaks.

Every industry has periods of increased traffic when the entire system must run at full throttle. Seasonal sales, special offers, Black Friday deals – this is when customers storm online stores and servers get heated to redness. Due to bad shopping experiences caused, for example, by long loading of pages and graphics, as many as 49% of customers will go to competition, and 43% will pass a negative opinion to others – that’s why you need to be sure that your e-commerce can cope with sales peaks and help generate record revenue.

The Composable Commerce approach comes in handy here with its scalability and flexibility. In practice, this means that the system is able to adapt to the incoming traffic and can smoothly handle an increased number of transactions during sales peaks (e.g. Black Friday or Holiday season). With cloud technologies at your disposal, you don’t have to worry about server failures or delays in accessing the store.

2 / You want to introduce new functionalities quickly

Are you planning a large sales campaign and want to introduce, say, next day delivery? Don’t wait for your IT service provider to become available. Just choose the preferred functionality and easily implement it for your store. You can turn any elements on and off depending on your current needs. If you don’t want your business growth to be limited by technology, then modular Composable Commerce solutions based on the API-first approach and cloud infrastructure, will allow you to quickly introduce new functionalities for your online store.

As each component operates independently, development teams can work on different elements at the same time, isolating and testing them as they wish. In this way, new features or improvements can be implemented faster without interfering with the operation of the whole system – no more forced interruptions in access to the online store! Your customers won’t even know you’re introducing changes – until you announce them! With this flexibility you can react to market trends immediately, adapt to customer requirements and constantly enhance your online offering.

3 / You don’t want each subsequent change to cost a lot of money

You care about the development of your online store and introduce many innovative features. At the same time, you are just testing some solutions – only after some time will you see if they are fit for purpose. You don’t want to pay big money for implementing each change. You realize that in the long run, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is the most reliable metric to determine the actual cost of implementation that also takes into account the possible return on investment.

In Composable Commerce you only pay for the pieces you use. The cost of implementing new features depends on the selected components. Some of them may be open-source, while others may require licensing fees or subscription costs. Costs will also depend on the complexity of a given feature, the time need for its implementation and need to integrate it with existing systems. It is worth remembering that integrations with compatible Composable Commerce components will require less effort and will generate less costs.

4 / You don’t want to be dependent on one vendor

You know that tailor-made solutions tend to be the best. This is how you want to build your business too. Being tied to one vendor for a longer period may have some advantages – however, vendor lock-in also involves many different limitations. Firstly, it may restrict the freedom of choice only to solutions offered by the vendor. Downsides may also include higher costs and limited room for negotiation. The selected vendor can freely dictate the price. Third, the vendor may not have time to introduce changes quickly.

But thanks to the open Composable Commerce architecture you can expand your store by working with many partners. You are free to choose modules and pick those solutions that will best meet your needs. You can also negotiate prices and choose the most favorable options, which gives you more cost control. If the relationship with the vendor is suboptimal, you can switch to another one at any time. Elimination of vendor lock-in increases the company’s independence and reduces the risk of failure of the whole system, which in the traditional model depends on a single vendor only.

5/ You want e-commerce to be fully secure

Is your company no stranger to security breaches? Or does your IT team believes that security controls need to be tightened? Security is of paramount importance, especially considering the sensitive personal and financial data processed by e-commerce. Composable Commerce means full control over data, specifically customer, product and transaction data. With a cloud approach, the native system will ensure business continuity and full scalability. As APIs are the basis of Composable Commerce – they are a kind of bridges connecting individual modules – their protection is key. This includes practices such as data encryption during transmission, implementation of robust authentication and authorization protocols, and regular auditing and updating of API security measures.

When selecting the different components for your Composable Commerce platform, you should carefully check the security practices of your vendors. This includes examining their data security measures, their capability to deal with vulnerabilities and their compliance with relevant security standards and regulations.

6/ You want to tailor the platform’s capabilities to your business needs.

When you decide on one of the off-the-shelf e-commerce platforms available on the market, you pay for the full package – it doesn’t matter which functionalities you use and which are still waiting to be tested. If you do not want to pay 100% of the cost for 20% of the functional scope of the system, the flexible concept of Composable Commerce may be a good solution for you. Self-composing the system from individual modules makes e-commerce perfectly suited to your business needs. When you feel it’s time to change or add new elements, no problem – you simply remove or add another functionality, such as a PIM system. This approach makes a huge difference when it comes to optimizing costs, as well as the efficiency and performance of the platform.

7/ You have many systems that need to be integrated

If you have a monolithic e-commerce system, its individual elements may not always get along well together. When this is the case, adding new components may not be that easy, but will require a lot of programming effort and major financial outlays. In Composable Commerce, easy integration of systems is a key aspect, as it enables seamless communication between all applications in the e-commerce ecosystem and ensures efficient operation. The harmonized interaction of all components based on API interfaces provides for effective integration and smooth functioning of PIM, CRM, ERP systems, payment gateways, AI-based tools, marketing automation apps and many others.

8/ You focus on the development of omnichannel and multichannel

You’re well aware that customers today are able to navigate digital platforms with ease, while not giving up on in-store purchases – according to the data, 59% of consumers like to visit stores to see or touch products, even if they plan to buy online. Customers jump from one channel to another, picking solutions that will work best for them at a given moment.

The Composable Commerce approach ensures a consistent shopping experience at every touchpoint with the brand, also thanks to having a Single Source of Truth – shared customers, one product database, one online and offline loyalty program, harmonized promotions, hassle-free returns of online orders in physical stores, etc.). Thanks to composable architecture, you can easily integrate your e-commerce with various sales channels, including social media, brick-and-mortar stores or marketplace platforms.

9/ You want to start selling in new markets and in different languages and currencies

If you are at the stage of planning sales development in the cross-border model and entering new markets, and you need to make new language versions and currencies available in your online store – Composable Commerce can make it all possible. Choose components that have the necessary features. Just launch them, and sell in any language or currency.

10/ You put a very high premium on customer experience

You realize that ultimately it is your customers that make your business successful. Data shows that 75% of them will spend more if the company provides a good shopping experience. How does Composable Commerce support building a positive customer experience? Using flexibility, personalization possibilities, maximizing the adaptation of each sales channel to user expectations, tapping into the innovation potential, and responding fast to market trends.

All this translates into unique customer experiences that increase their loyalty, satisfaction and ultimately increase conversion and drive business. What’s also important is the integration of components related to customer service and support, such as chatbots or live chats with the seller. By ditching the monolith you may also streamline operations such as order logistics or inventory management, thus maximizing total experience.

Summary:

You already have an e-commerce solution that works quite well, but you have encountered some problems. These may be limitations that result from the monolithic build of the system or outdated code. Your e-commerce may also fail to keep up with the growth of your business. You are planning to make inroads into foreign markets, develop sales in the omnichannel model and introduce new features for customers to improve their shopping experience, but your vendor keeps telling you that this just can’t be done. If you feel the issues we have described are your issues, now might be a good time to learn more about the advantages of Composable Commerce.

Let’s talk about Composable Commerce!

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