Following three straight years of uncertainty and rapid change, 2023 looks like it will offer more of the same — but with even more challenges for a wide range of enterprise businesses. And ecommerce won’t be immune.
In times of uncertainty and change, enterprises must make smart technology investments. They need to invest in modern technology that enables — not hinders — delivering cutting-edge shopping experiences. Without a flexible commerce solution, it’s next to impossible to drive growth, especially during economic downturns.
In 2023, we’ll see composable commerce — a modular approach that allows merchants to customize their tech stacks by choosing interchangeable solutions to suit their unique business requirements — emerge as the preferred model for forward-thinking B2C and B2B merchants.
Let’s consider why enterprises should move away from monolith platforms and explore how composable commerce solutions provide the flexibility necessary to adapt to consumer and business needs of the future.
Why Monolith Technology Holds Back Enterprises
For many years, the go-to approach 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. Enterprises need technology solutions to enable selling across more channels, allowing them to reach more shoppers where they are and get a better return on their investment.
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, using APIs to connect the systems to each other.
Developers can use front-end frameworks that they’re already familiar with, and marketers can use a CMS to make quick changes to promotions, content and more — and at the end of the day, it enables greater efficiencies by giving staff the tools they need to remain agile.
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.
Examples of How Composable Supports Customization
If you’re not yet sold on composable commerce, just look at Black Diamond, a leading US manufacturer of climbing, skiing and mountain sports equipment. Leveraging a composable approach, Black Diamond was able to integrate content and stories throughout its ecommerce site. For example, if a shopper was looking to read stories about the brand’s ambassadors or athletes, they are presented with a clear path from the homepage to quickly get to content or products. This design ensures that the essence of the Black Diamond brand is ever-present throughout the site experience.
While content and commerce are connected on the site, behind the scenes, the separation of the front-end and back-end enables Black Diamond’s US and EU marketing teams to have direct access and capability to manage the site and campaigns — without having to rely on developers to make changes.
Another great example of composable in action is BigCommerce merchant Solo Stove. A US outdoor cooking retailer, Solo Stove sought to go headless with its Europe website in order to easily transact in different currencies and display translations — while still having the back-end familiarity of BigCommerce. With so much success on its headless EU site, the company soon decided to transition its US site to headless as well.
“As we implement the US headless site, it’ll be the same process, where we won’t need to train on new systems, and we’ll be able to optimize the front-end experience without needing to change anything on the back-end,” explained Joe Bagazinski, Senior Website Product Manager at Solo Stove.
Finally, Burrow chose a composable solution with BigCommerce to offer customers access to many things not found in non-standardised 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 value of the BigCommerce headless solution has been huge for Burrow, specifically in enabling us to craft a unique shopping experience,” said Kabeer Chopra, Co-Founder and CPO of Burrow.
Composable commerce gives merchants the freedom to mix, match and combine best-in-breed tech vendors to create a customized and robust stack that responds to unexpected change. While a monolithic, one-size-fits-all approach used to be sufficient, it is now antiquated and won’t sustain enterprise business innovation and longevity. Now is the time to make digital investments that will provide flexibility during near-term challenges and a strong competitive advantage when the economy rebounds.
Download the full content in the guide The Time to Modernize is Now: Why Enterprises Need a Composable Commerce Solution.