What do a global pandemic, a shipping crisis, inflation and a social media revolution have in common? All have had a profound impact on consumer shopping behaviors in the last several years, upending commerce as we once knew it.
While modern commerce requires the ability to quickly adapt to ever-changing shopper behaviors, agility, however, can be difficult for many enterprises to achieve with their current tech stack.
Legacy technologies and monolith ecommerce platforms not only hinder your ability to deliver cutting-edge shopping experiences, but also limit what your teams can accomplish.
The solution? Composable commerce.
“By next year, organizations that adopt an intelligent and composable approach are going to outpace the competition. This is where it’s important to understand that if you don’t start to explore these opportunities, you could get left behind,” according to Neha Sampat, Founder and CEO at Contentstack.
Let’s consider why enterprises should move away from monolith platforms and explore how composable commerce solutions provide the flexibility necessary to adapt to customer and business needs of the future.
Why Monolith Technology Holds Back Enterprises
For many years, the go-to structure for many ecommerce businesses has been an all-in-one monolithic structure. This approach ties together the front end — the digital storefront — and the back end — the server side.
Although a monolith may work for businesses with limited requirements, once you move into the enterprise space — launching multiple brands or websites, expanding into new regions or selling through several marketplaces and social channels with unified inventory — the needs are much more complex.
“In general, we often feel like we’re behind the ball in engaging with our customers, and we want to do all these really cool, creative things, but we’re stifled with the tools that exist,” Sampat said. “The biggest thing that resonates with me and my entire community of customers is the time it takes to change things and really just wanting to be in a position where we can do more.”
Build for the Future with Composable Commerce
Composable commerce is achieved by assembling and combining Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs). PBCs are software components that meet specific business needs, such as a virtual shopping cart, order management or account management.
Think of PBCs as LEGO pieces. Just like you can join and detach LEGO pieces together to form various shapes, composable commerce allows you to assemble the building blocks of your tech stack to meet the specific needs of your business.
Rather than relying on one vendor for all of your business requirements, taking a composable commerce approach allows businesses to choose best-in-breed vendors to create a robust, functional technology stack that works best for your enterprise business.
“Let’s say your marketing team is already familiar with a CMS. Composable allows you to continue to use the same CMS without making huge transformations in your business just to use a certain ecommerce provider,” Keval Baxi, CEO at Codal, explained. “On the engineering side, they may not know specific theme platforms for ecommerce vendors, but they know their front-end frameworks and how they operate, so they can really just take that and run with it. You have that flexibility to explore outside of that ecosystem.”
Composable also means, should businesses want to replace other commerce components down the line, they’re not locked into a system or a way of doing things — in essence, it’s how businesses build for the future.
How BigCommerce Merchants are Innovating with Composable Commerce
A modular approach offers the agility to deliver innovative experiences at speed and scale to stand out from a growing number of competitors.
“With composable there really are no limitations.” — Keval Baxi, Codal CEO
“You can scale your site immediately into buy online, pick up in-store, multi-territory, multi-language and multi-currency — really adapting to what the consumer wants at a rapid pace,” exclaimed Baxi.
One great example of composable commerce in action is Ted Baker, the UK-based global fashion brand. Utilizing composable commerce along with BigCommerce’s Multi-Storefront solution, the brand has elevated its digital game to deliver a modern, compelling online experience.
Using a single BigCommerce store, Ted Baker operates multiple unique storefronts and leverages the platform’s ever-evolving partner network to strengthen its posture as a digital-first brand.
“BigCommerce’s open API architecture, large and growing set of pre-integrated apps, multi-storefront and ongoing commitment to the principles of composable commerce enables us to quickly and easily innovate new products and services,” said Ted Baker CIO, Leon Shepherd.
GOREWEAR is another great example of how composable unlocks efficiencies. Before making the switch, the team was using multiple ecommerce platforms to manage GOREWEAR and its sister brands. However, the internal staff wasn’t interchangeable because they didn’t know how to use all of the systems.
The brand’s agency, Codal implemented BigCommerce as the ecommerce platform and Contentful as a content and channel management solution. With Contentful, it’s easy for GOREWEAR to manage all of its content — including promotions — across its ecosystem of sites while connecting them all to a singular BigCommerce back end.
Burrow is another example. When searching for ecommerce solutions, the brand discovered that out-of-the-box solutions didn’t have enough flexibility.
Ultimately, Burrow chose a composable solution with BigCommerce to offer customers access to many things not found in non-standardized checkout experiences, including the ability to delay orders and have signature on delivery, as well as the ability to use a headless CMS to create a great digital experience across multiple channels.
The Final Word
As enterprises look to improve their ecommerce digital experiences, adapt to evolving customer expectations and support omnichannel commerce growth, the rigidity of monolith solutions becomes even more apparent.
The flexibility offered by a best-in-breed approach is necessary to achieve these goals, and composable commerce architecture offers just that — along with the freedom to deliver immersive online experiences that customers crave now while building a technical foundation for future success.