A relatively recent term coined by Gartner, Composable Commerce refers to a modular digital commerce approach. This means that businesses can choose best-of-breed solutions to build a customized tech stack that meets their unique business requirements.
What Composable Commerce Means
Composable Commerce is the idea that businesses should be able to select “best-of-breed” commerce components instead of “off-the-shelf” bundles, combining them into a custom application tailored for their business needs, without vendor lock-ins.
In other words, software solutions based on Composable Commerce are made up of packages of components called PBCs (Packaged Business Capabilities) that can be used individually and connected with other vendors, as needed. PBCs are bundled features that perform specific business functions. They are the building blocks that allow Composable Commerce to transform technical aspects into experiences that are tailored to specific business objectives. These components communicate with each other through Application Programming Interfaces (API) without needing to know how they are implemented, thus simplifying app development, and saving time and money.
By 2023, organizations that have adopted a composable approach will outpace competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation.Gartner
Composable Commerce optimizes the implementation of complex projects, simplifies maintenance, and reduces the cost of ownership. All its components are interchangeable and implemented independently, and the integration of each module with any app is guaranteed at the highest level. Moreover, composability allows for a high level of customization thanks to the development of specific solutions in line with a company’s own business objectives.
The composable architecture enables companies to create faster, safer, richer, more robust, and more reliable digital experiences in an easy way, especially when compared to the traditional approach to building and selecting software.
Difference between Composable Commerce, Headless Commerce, and Traditional Commerce.
Traditional commerce, as it was a couple of decades ago, offered monolithic architectures as the only option for e-commerce companies. Monolithic software is one big codebase, meaning the functionality and customer-facing parts are tightly connected and all served in one place. In a monolithic platform, the software is built as a single, indivisible unit. Companies had no choice but to build and constantly update and maintain these increasingly complicated structures.
In a way, monoliths would seem to be simpler. All the necessary components are contained in one system. However, as time passed, many brands experienced challenges and problems with these all-in-one structures.
Monolithic platforms work by definition with tightly coupled front-end and back-end systems. In order to update them, developers must modify the underlying database code and the front-end platform. This can be very time-consuming. As a consequence, any update necessary can slow down the cycle and make it more difficult for companies to make quick updates and offer the latest solutions to their customers. Moreover, since the parts are coupled and dependent on each other, whenever one piece of the puzzle doesn’t fit, it can bring down the entire system.
Headless Commerce involves decoupling the front-end presentation layer from the back-end e-commerce engine. The front-end of most e-commerce sites is the part that controls what customers see. Headless platforms allow greater flexibility, as it is possible to replace the front-end without affecting back-end operations. The chosen front-end communicates to the e-commerce back-end via API calls.
With a headless approach, you can easily change a lot of functionalities, but there’s a limit. The back-end technology system is still a monolith and it needs to go through considerable work to support fundamental changes in the business model. As an example, BOPIS, same-day delivery, or curbside pickup are functionalities that can be implemented only through the technology partner, at their pace. On the other hand, Composable Commerce and PBCs build a fully decoupled setup that allows you to pick solutions and functionalities that better suit your business needs.
Composable Commerce can be considered part of a headless commerce strategy, but it offers built-in CMS functionalities that also non-technical customers and users can understand and master. Composable Commerce is an approach that has matured over time to meet the real business need at the heart of it all: to easily build the unified, seamless experience that customers expect. While headless commerce helps companies to create a platform-centric approach, Composable Commerce focuses on customer experience and business results.
Benefits of Composable Commerce
The interchangeability of the PBCs helps to keep up with ever-changing market demands. A single module can be upgraded without impacting the others, thus reducing the need for full re-platforming. The easiness of swapping modules makes sure the whole e-commerce platform is always up-to-date.
Reduced cost & lower risks
Composability simplifies, accelerates, and reduces costly integrations and maintenance. Moreover, it allows for convenience when picking only the services that are needed.
Installation of new integrations is possible with a single click. You can bid farewell to time-consuming add-ons that necessitate endless building and configuring.
If your technology party doesn’t provide certain functionalities, you can turn to a huge choice of third-party applications and add the ones which are perfect for your tech stack.
Adaptability makes it easier to connect, configure, and test different integrations. Experimenting with new features will facilitate the discovery of the best solutions for the unique business needs of a company.
More control & business focus
With the availability of flexible tools and functionalities, it’s easy to be in full control through total system integration, focusing on the objective of developing solutions ready to meet your customers' needs.
Composable Commerce: for whom?
B2B companies choose Composable Commerce to improve the efficiency and performance of their digital touch points. This technological approach allows B2B companies to address market and/or customer segments relevant to them. As a matter of fact, personalization plays a big role in this.
Thanks to Composable Commerce, a company can select and integrate what it considers to be the best commerce solutions on the market. The goal is to satisfy the company's business objectives and to build the right path to achieve them. In some respects, B2B customers are not so different from B2C ones: they also need a buying experience that is seamless at every touch point. Therefore, modern e-commerce has to be agile, fast, and scalable. And this is exactly what Composable Commerce allows companies to do: achieve maximum efficiency through high customization, flexibility, and speed.
Do you want to learn more about Composable Commerce? Deep dive into the topic with Spryker and we’ll tell you how composability can improve your e-commerce business today.Expert Guide to Composable Commerce
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Gartner predicts that by 2023, organizations that have adopted a composable approach will outpace competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation.Read now