The world of digital commerce is changing faster than ever. With consumers placing shopping orders via a few clicks on their phone and deliveries arriving as soon as the same day, customers have become used to next level retail shopping standards and increased expectations from their digital experiences.
In such a fast moving sector, as a retailer you need to get creative and innovative with your B2C e-commerce channel to stand out and stay relevant. In order to stay ahead of the curve, your business needs to be responsive to real time scenarios and quickly implement new features like promotions, discounts, dynamic pricing, tailored offers - or simply be able to adopt the flavor of the season as a theme for the online storefront.
You can’t be tied down by your digital service, software, license, or access key and miss out on best practices. You need a platform that allows you to be led by and adapt quickly to market trends and customer expectations. Let these determine your sales and marketing strategy, communications and delivery options rather than be stuck in slow motion when it comes to staying relevant.
To do so you want your e-commerce platform to work for you and not the other way around. For example, there should be provision to add or modify SKUs and keep track of inventory/stock levels to avoid any failures in order management. To flourish in an interactive business landscape, you also need a reliant communication and feedback channel which gives you total control over customer touchpoints and tracks user satisfaction levels.
The good news is that advanced e-commerce technology is now available that has the flexibility to cater for all these retail requirements. But there is an important first step to take - replatforming to composable commerce - and in this article we’re going to talk you through it.
We will explain exactly what composable commerce is, and why it’s the only choice of forward thinking retailers. We’ll talk about how to make the move to a composable commerce platform, and why it will be the last time you ever need to replatform.
Why should retailers replatform to composable commerce?
Ditching traditional commerce platforms, or ‘monoliths’, and breaking free from vendor lock-in will liberate your digital commerce strategy. From here, you will be able to embrace an altogether more scalable and customizable model with composable commerce and scale your business to new heights.
According to a Gartner report, by the year 2023 organizations that have adopted a composable approach to commerce will outpace their competition by more than 80% when it comes to the implementation and rollout of new features.
Adopting an enterprise-grade composable commerce platform, then, is not only the best way to keep up, it’s also the way to become as competitive as possible and future-proof your business.
What is a monolith commerce solution?
In the past, the only option for setting up an online business was to sign-up to a monolith solution - a basic website running from a single platform. There would be limited customization options, only pre-packaged features and capabilities, and you would sign-up to the provider for a fixed contract, probably over a few years.
Usually in the years of the contract that followed the system would become gradually outdated and unfit for the demands of the business, so as each fixed-term contract came to a close it would be time to shop around, replatform the whole site to the new monolith and lock-in to another vendor’s product before repeating the cycle.
The unenviable job of the IT team would be to manage and troubleshoot this process, always playing catch-up with updates rather than spending time on innovative IT projects that could actually add value to the business.
Allowing a monolith to hold you back from innovation is particularly bad practice in the fast moving retail world. In times where the smallest change to a customer sale could make or break your influence, you can’t be relying on tools that provide roadblocks to innovation. But this needn’t be the case if you are ready for a modular, flexible and scalable composable commerce platform that allows you to exercise your plan of action without any compromises.
What is composable commerce?
Composable commerce leverages the latest MACH technology to make digital architecture completely flexible, adaptable and scalable. The combination of Microservices, an API-first approach, Cloud-based solutions and Headless architecture that decouples the backend from the frontend allows businesses to create their very own, custom-built digital services that will differentiate their businesses.
MACH technology with an API-first approach offers the chance to select a best-of-breed combination of functionalities and services across every touchpoint, from website and mobile to smart speakers, that will all perform and update independently. There is no vendor lock-in, and all updates are taken care of by the technology partners providing each of the microservices.
The digital commerce solution is no longer limited to out-of-the-box features and static solutions, but a dynamic, customer-centric and ever-evolving platform that makes your business easier to do business with than ever before.
How to replatform to composable architecture - the right way
Like any other significant business project, replatforming is usually a complex process that should be implemented using an organized and agile software development method. Clearly defining and then communicating goals, expectations and requirements from the start is essential.
Set a clear idea of the timeline and be aware of the role of different stakeholders involved in the replatforming, as they will all need to be choreographed to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Communicating specific requirements to your replatforming partner and entertaining external ideas or contributions is also a good approach to achieve the outcomes that work best for your business.
For more insights on the project management aspect of replatforming and a step-by-step guide, you can visit the Complete Guide for Migration to a Composable Commerce Solution.
Retailer replatforming, once and for all
By migrating to a composable solution you will be able to design and redesign your own solutions using the best, most suited microservices without any limitations associated with a monolith vendor lock-in. To emerge as a market leader, you will need the ability to adapt and innovate at your own pace, use changing trends to your advantage, control the total cost of ownership, and enable your in-house experts to roll out new features in lockstep with consumer trends.
With a MACH-enabled composable commerce platform you can subscribe to features that can make your retail business truly customer-first, whether that’s through delivery options, customized orders or personalized recommendations and user experiences. And when it comes to managing varying periods of demand, let your platform take care of elastic scalability so that you are ready for super sales around the holiday season and festivals.
Long story short – If the future of your business is your primary concern, your next move should be to say goodbye to your ‘monolithic’ service and replatform to composable commerce.
Why it matters? Because once you have completed this project, you will never have to replatform again.