January 18, 2021

How to Build a Best-of-Breed Composable Commerce Experience

4
Minute Read

As eCommerce and customer expectations continue to evolve, brands increasingly need to pick-and-choose from the best-of-breed platforms. This trend has become so prevalent that Gartner developed a new term: Composable Commerce.

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As composable commerce -- and more significantly, customer expectations -- continue to evolve, brands increasingly find themselves wanting to pick-and-choose from the best-of-breed eCommerce solutions.

Legacy eCommerce platforms lack the flexibility brands need to keep up with the changing demands of incredibly connected customers, especially the new B2B buyers who want B2C-like digital experiences.

In order to keep up with customer demands, outpace the competition, and exceed growth targets, digitally-driven brands need eCommerce solutions that empower them with the   flexibility to rapidly launch and continuously optimize digital experiences that differentiate them in market. 

In fact, this approach to eCommerce has become so important that Gartner developed a new term to describe it: Composable Commerce.

The research giant even predicts that “By 2023, organizations that have adopted a Composable Commerce approach will outpace the competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation.”

Composable commerce - PBC Comparison chart

What is Composable Commerce?

Put simply, Composable Commerce is an approach in which you select the best-of-breed commerce components by combining (or “composing”) them into a custom solution built specifically for your teams and customers. 

Composable Commerce leverages Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs) to achieve this scale of composability. Each PBC is a software component that represents a business capability. For example, a PBC could be a business user, promotions, or checkout. PBCs can come from both the commerce solution or a third-party software solution. 

Consequently, Composable Commerce brings together numerous vendors, each offering comprehensive functionality for one piece of commerce. This is markedly different from traditional legacy approaches in which brands relied on a single vendor who produced a one-size-fits-all product.

While they may seem similar, PBCs are not the same thing as microservices. Microservices are when an application is broken down into small, or micro, features. PBCs can be made up of one, or several microservices grouped together.

How is it Connected to MACH Architecture?

As businesses increasingly turn to Headless Commerce and microservices-based technology to create innovative eCommerce experiences, MACH (Microservices, API-First, Cloud-Native, Headless) architecture is an essential part of Composable Commerce. Keep in mind, MACH is a piece of this commerce process, but the approach as a whole offers much more than just MACH.

Microservices

As already noted, microservices architecture can be combined to create PBCs. Traditional platforms typically can’t do this due to their tightly coupled capabilities, which can’t be deployed independently. 

API-First

APIs are critical for accelerating time-to-market. API designs allow developers to quickly develop new applications. With API functionality, brands can also use a composable approach that ties multiple applications together.

Cloud-Native

The cloud ensures scalability and flexibility. It’s easy for businesses to only use the capabilities they need on-demand, rather than having to deploy on-premises. This allows brands to avoid upgrades, and only take advantage of the parts they truly need. 

Headless

Headless solutions are decoupled by design, which allows enterprises to improve the front-end, or customer interface, and extend the application to any endpoints or devices desired. This way, brands can continually deliver multichannel and omnichannel experiences to customers.

Who Should Use Composable Commerce?

While Composable Commerce is an exciting new innovation, it’s not the right solution for all businesses. 

If your brand is looking to move beyond a basic webshop and create differentiated digital experiences that can keep up with your customers - complete with personalization, omnichannel experiences, and more - then Composable Commerce is worth implementing. 

Rather than trying to force an out-of-the-box solution to fit eCommerce needs, a “no single vendor” approach ensures the best functionality for both your business processes, and ever-changing customer expectations. 

Composable Commerce allows businesses to pick-and-choose the features they truly need and rapidly adjust on demand. This provides a faster, more cost-effective model, empowering brands to deliver cutting-edge customer experiences while simultaneously reducing risk and unnecessary expenses. 

As customer demands continue to grow and shift, businesses need to be able to quickly pivot and implement new approaches that meet customer demands. Composable Commerce gives businesses the control and tools to do this, empowering them to innovate now and in the future.

The Composable Commerce Hub from Elastic Path

While implementing Composable Commerce can seem overwhelming, Elastic Path’s Composable Commerce Hub is a great resource.

The hub is an open exchange of business solutions designed specifically for digital brands that want to compose comprehensive commerce experiences. It’s home to both certified and community assets, and even offers pre-composed solutions and accelerators to speed up time-to-market.

Find Jumpstart, Object Edge’s B2B eCommerce accelerator for Elastic Path. This quick-to-implement eCommerce solution gets your B2B business running online in record time. A starter storefront to launch your eCommerce channel, Jumpstart provides the enterprise B2B features you need and ongoing support to drive your eCommerce.

Through the Composable Commerce Hub and their API-first Headless Commerce Platform, Elastic Path brings brands the control of DIY solutions, the simplicity of Shopify, and enterprise scale so that they can finally bring their unique eCommerce vision to life.

Next Steps

Interested in learning more about Composable Commerce? Contact the team of experts at Object Edge for a free consultation call.

About the Author

Sarah Falcon

,

VP Marketing

Sarah is a nimble and creative marketing leader with 15 years of experience in a mix of agencies, B2B, and B2C enterprises. She brings a background in building and driving impactful marketing practices and processes for growing businesses. Sarah has expertise in brand, content marketing, lead generation, and marketing operations. She’s a co-author of the 2019 book on B2B eCommerce Digital Branch Secrets: eCommerce Playbook for Distributors.

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