A decade or so ago, a business might have been able to get by with a basic website and a rudimentary order fulfillment system. But in the last few years, digital experience and digital shopping have changed a lot. And the technology driving that experience has also been going through a major evolution. In particular, the rapid rise of composable and headless infrastructure.
What’s composable infrastructure?
As user and business requirements grow, the technology infrastructures in all business areas become more complex and interlinked. For this reason, composability becomes an appealing approach for building a tech stack in many business areas, particularly in eCommerce. But what does ‘composable’ mean?
Composable architecture is the process of scaling storage, networks, databases, and compute functionality in a more agile fashion. In composable architecture, APIs are used to enable flexibility and ecosystem management. Composable commerce refers to the development approach of selecting best-of-breed commerce components and combining them into a custom application built for specific business needs. In this case, different eCommerce functionalities such as search, personalization, shopping cart, and checkout or CMS can be powered by different technologies and then connected through APIs.
Why composable is the new normal
The key to success going forward will be how businesses continue to adapt to customer expectations. How they continue to adapt to the ever-changing landscape. And importantly, how they engage with customers through unified stories across all channels.
Customer expectations are high around speed, personalization, or UX design. And they’re unforgiving in their desire for seamless stories and brand experiences across all touchpoints.
A composable approach is where many businesses are heading now. With the ability to gain the speed, flexibility, and adaptability businesses need, composable infrastructure is providing the freedom that simply isn’t afforded from the one size fits all approach of legacy platforms. Here are just a few advantages of building a composable tech stack for every business:
- Unlimited flexibility: With the ability to assemble your own commerce stack, retailers and brands have the flexibility and freedom to define exactly how their frontend experiences look and how their business operates on the backend.
- No vendor lock-in: Each component and feature in a composable architecture becomes a commodity, allowing businesses to swap components in and out as required. This should also include proprietary orchestration layers that themselves would lead to vendor lock-in.
- Business and technology harmony: Composable commerce brings business leaders and stakeholders together in harmony with developers as they align around business initiatives.
Composable Frontend Platform in a nutshell
How a Composable Frontend Platform works is easy to explain: all information necessary for the customer experience is available through APIs. They’re linked to generic or individual frontend components (building blocks) and the business team can easily build new business models — just like with a homepage builder — and make them available to customers or partners. What’s known today from the classic eCommerce and website technologies such as WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and so on, is now also available for the modern API-based world.
The Composable Frontend Platform is also structured in a service-oriented manner. This allows the business team to work largely independently from the design teams and the design team to work largely independently of the development and integration team. In this way, new features and business ideas can be brought to the customer with maximum speed and minimum dependencies.
However, a service-oriented architecture not only offers advantages over the monolith in terms of dynamics: due to the open architecture, individual components can be exchanged much more easily. For the customer experience, this can mean, for example, that the eCommerce system, the search, or even just the recommendation engine can be exchanged without changing the user guidance or the interface. From a business perspective, this is the most future-proof and agile way to operate and build your own tech stack.
Curious to learn more about getting started with composable commerce? Request a full tour to see how you can create, test, and optimize your customer experience with ease.