Transforming Online Retail With Composable Commerce
The e-commerce industry has grown tremendously in recent years, topping $1 trillion for the first time ever in 2022. Retailers are expediting their technology investments significantly to keep up with demand and evolving customer expectations. The days of monolithic platforms are gone, replaced with a modular approach that allows retailers to build custom ecosystems that lower overall costs and increase efficiencies.
Although brands are no strangers to headless solutions, many still have some amalgamation of legacy and newer software to bridge their front- and back-end systems, making it clunky, less efficient, and harder to adapt to changing market trends at a moment’s notice. For true adaptability and agility, brands must look at an entirely dissociated architecture known as composable commerce.
Composable commerce challenges legacy platforms' “one-size-fits-all" methodology with a modular, best-in-breed approach. The components, such as product discovery, chatbots and payments integration platforms, are completely decoupled so they can easily be combined, swapped out or replaced, enabling retailers to create a custom configuration for their brands’ unique needs.
The Advantages of Implementing Composable Commerce
The traditional approach to e-commerce consists of purchasing an all-in-one solution from a single vendor. Although this strategy was effective for brands in the past, the limitations of the technology have caught up. Legacy platforms are simply not flexible enough to adapt to changing customer demands, and don’t easily integrate with the other systems and tools retailers need to be competitive today.
The flexible, modular nature of composable commerce mitigates these challenges by giving brands more control over how they build their e-commerce tech stack. This allows them to purchase the best parts and features for their operations while seamlessly retiring those they no longer need.
Other benefits of composable commerce include the following:
- Improved customer experience: With more control over the shopping experience, retailers can create a site that caters to their customers' preferences and habits and deliver it wherever they're shopping — desktop or mobile. For instance, they can incorporate an AI-based product discovery platform for high-quality, omnichannel search results and product recommendations, increasing the likelihood that shoppers can find what they need and add it to their cart.
- Lower costs: By breaking down an e-commerce platform into composable pieces, retailers can cut tech costs by removing features they don’t need. Long term, organizations will also save on the extra costs that often come with overhauling an entire system whenever it needs a major change. Improved integration also means faster time-to-market.
- Improved integration: Given its modular nature, composable commerce favors components that are API-first, SaaS-based, and cloud-native. As a result, composable platforms tend to integrate better and can fit easily into retailers’ other systems, such as inventory management, point-of-sale systems or CRM tools.
- Adaptability and flexibility: Making even minor changes on traditional e-commerce platforms can be expensive and time consuming. With composable commerce, retailers can quickly test new components or configurations without affecting their entire site, allowing for less risk in terms of innovation and experimentation. According to Gartner, organizations that have adopted a composable approach will outpace their competitors by 80 percent in the speedy implementation of new features.
Composable commerce allows retailers to create a retail tech stack that meets their customers’ current and future needs by giving them control over the online shopping experience. These integrations are table stakes for the scalability and convenience required to compete in today’s market. If a brand hasn't started investing in composable solutions, it's behind the curve.
Arv Natarajan heads up the product team at GroupBy, helping to craft the vision and direction of the GroupBy product discovery platform.
Related story: Why Enterprise Retailers Need Composable Commerce to Modernize Their E-Commerce Operations
Arv Natarajan heads up the product team at GroupBy, helping to craft the vision and direction of the GroupBy product discovery platform. Arv brings over 15 years of experience working with enterprise customers in project delivery, customer success and product management across various industries.