The eCommerce world is changing, with a multitude of factors like consumer behavior, device usage, and of course, COVID-19 forcing businesses to take a look at how they are operating online.
Businesses need freedom. That’s the short of it. Freedom to deliver the bespoke digital experiences they want and that their customers are demanding. And in order to deliver, they need technological freedom too. This comes in the form of best-of-breed SaaS solutions where they can compose the commerce architecture they want.
We’ve looked at the key eCommerce trends that are driving the need for MACH — a microservices, API first, cloud native SaaS, and headless approach — helping to deliver the freedom many are searching for.
The blurred lines between content and commerce
Content and commerce were once quite distinct things. But more than ever the lines between them are blurring, playing a part in a more modern customer experience.
With a rapid rise in content consumption especially, businesses are starting to realize not only the power of good quality content and storytelling but also the value it can add and the role it can play when woven throughout the shopper journey.
Social media and the rise in social commerce is a prime example of content and commerce combining. Not only can you now create shoppable content on specific social media platforms but social media gave rise to the increase in shoppers entering eCommerce websites at different stages in the sales funnel. Shoppers are now bypassing the homepage as the traditional first brand interaction, instead coming in at product listing and detail pages, meaning there’s an increased need for businesses to be able to integrate the content shoppers want much deeper into the buyer journey.
These days businesses can’t afford to direct customers away from content pages to purchase elsewhere. Their new strategy must be to bring the content or the purchase to where the customer already is. It could be in the form of integrated content on product pages or shoppable imagery or videos on content pages, there’s an array of ways it can be achieved.
But executing the right balance of content and delivering it at the right times in the buying journey is where it can get tricky. Constrained by legacy technology, many don’t have the flexibility or agility they need to be able to deliver, let alone deliver it seamlessly or efficiently.
The influx of customers online
Yes, 2020 was a defining year for eCommerce. But what COVID-19 did was rapidly accelerate what we were already starting to see in the industry — a rise in online shopping and digital interactions. Obviously, with the restrictions placed on brick-and-mortar stores around the globe as a result of the pandemic, customers had little choice but to head straight to digital channels, but businesses must be prepared for the fact that digital commerce is here to stay long after “normality” is restored.
The key to success going forward will be how businesses continue to adapt to customer expectations, 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, around personalization, around UX design even. And they are unforgiving in their desire for seamless stories and brand experiences across all touchpoints.
Keeping up can be hard. Everything is moving at such a fast pace. Businesses must continue to innovate at pace, at a pace much faster than ever before. Being stuck with large UX backlogs, being constrained by predefined templates and processes, and having content workflows bottlenecked at developers is not going to cut it.
The need for collaboration
Behind the scenes of the eCommerce industry there has been a long-standing dichotomy between teams in eCommerce businesses.
As a result of commerce and content being treated separately, the two respective teams were generally working in silo. And as a result of older technology, many marketing teams were at loggerheads with IT teams, constrained in what they could achieve when all changes were getting bottlenecked with developers.
Driven by other changes in the eCommerce industry, and ultimately a need for things to be better, many know collaboration is now the key to growth. Teams need to be working in parallel and everyone empowered to deliver upon the shared purpose.
Making MACH easy
A MACH-based approach is where many businesses are heading. With the ability to gain the speed, flexibility, and adaptability businesses need, MACH is providing the freedom that simply isn’t afforded from the one size fits all approach of legacy platforms.
But knowing you need MACH and actually implementing it can be two different things. There are levels of digital maturity needed to take on a composable approach, replacing any current systems can be a disruptive and expensive process, and of course, choosing the best-of-breed solutions you’ll need can be overwhelming too, given all the options.
So, where’s the middle ground? Well, it now exists in the form of a Composable, a series of pre-composed solutions courtesy of Myplanet. Built to support retailers deploying true omnichannel experiences, Composable takes the stress out of vendor selection and integrations as it’s all already sorted — and of course, it features a direct integration to Amplience.
If any of these eCommerce trends are forcing your business to adapt, if you too are looking at a composable, MACH approach, then please get in touch with us at Amplience so we can discuss your requirements.