What is Composable Commerce?
The traditional way of setting up an online business was to use an all-in-one (one-size-fits-all) eCommerce platform. With a platform as a foundation, you didn't have to develop everything yourself, you had support for most of your processes, and you knew that things would work as intended - at least most of the time.
The problem is that eCommerce consumers today are highly demanding, they expect a world-class experience, or they will shop somewhere else. Success is measured in milliseconds, and the only way to keep up is to get better and faster.
In that context, an all-in-one platform becomes a hindrance - because how can a standardized platform keep up with specific demands from all of its customers? The only answer is to build the features and implement the upgrades that will benefit a majority of customers. Unfortunately, that often means you will have to compromise on your customer experience at some point. In addition, most platforms use older technology with interdependent modules and infrastructure that isn't natively cloud-based, resulting in low development velocity and longer reaction times at peak seasons.
The need for something else is apparent.
Enter Composable Commerce
At its core, a composable approach to eCommerce means that you can integrate the components that will best support your processes into your commerce ecosystem. In addition, this best-of-breed strategy allows you to build and constantly refine your customer experience, setting you aside from the competition with an always up-to-date shopping experience.
Composable Commerce with Brink Commerce API as the foundation
Defining a Composable Commerce ecosystem is probably impossible; it all depends on the services you want to offer your customers. However, the composable approach involves several vital principles. Here are a few.
Composable Commerce is modular. Modular architecture allows you to pick the exact components you need to support your processes and package them into your own bespoke ecosystem. You can choose the best order and cart engine, the best service for tax compliance, the best PIM, and the best CMS, to name a few. If you can pick what you want, why not choose the very best component, focused on only doing one thing as good as possible? The best for your business, not the ones integrated into an all-in-one platform. You can evaluate each part to find the one best suited for your needs without worrying about how it will affect the rest of the ecosystem.
Here's an example showing a basic ecosystem setup:
Your chosen components should be built according to open standards, allowing the parts to integrate seamlessly through modern APIs. And if it's easy to integrate, you're also able to quickly replace a component that no longer can support your processes the way you need. Open standards also mean no lock-in effects where you have trouble accessing your data from other systems.
Furthermore, a product or service will seldom fit right into your ecosystem out of the box. Open Standards will allow for customization and setup to suit your specific needs.
Composable ecosystems should focus on the needs of your business, not the other way around. With the composable approach, it's easier to add and remove tools and services depending on your shifting needs. As a result, your organization will always have what they need to solve problems.
Headless and serverless
Although technically not part of the composable commerce definition as it was written originally, headless architecture and serverless infrastructure should also be considered crucial for a successful transition.
The headless architecture allows businesses to build independent customer experiences without backend limitations. The front-end (for example, the customer-facing website) communicates with the backend through comprehensive APIs and is completely separated from the backend processes, resulting in an infrastructure allowing for device and framework agnostic development.
It's common that headless and composable commerce are used to explain the same principle, but there are differences.
The serverless infrastructure, or execution model, offers an environment where you don't have to worry about capacity planning, configuration, or maintenance. A serverless application uses no provisioned servers. Instead, computing is done in short bursts with the results persisted to storage and is therefore highly resource-efficient. Serverless execution allows businesses to scale up capacity in milliseconds automatically. In addition, serverless applications are often distributed in several data centers allowing for low-latency shopping experiences wherever your customers may be.
Why should you make the transition to Composable Commerce?
Composable ecosystems are flexible. As a result, these ecosystems are often leaner, faster, and better suited for constant technological advances. For example, Gartner predicts that organizations focusing on composable commerce will soon outpace the competition by up to 80% in implementing new features.
The transition to composable commerce is not as complicated or time-consuming as one might think - if you know the pros and cons. Implementing component by component is possible with a modular solution and the right partner. As a result, businesses can often get their new ecosystem up and running much faster than traditional re-platforming projects.
Composable Commerce vs. traditional platforms
As mentioned earlier, for basic eCommerce operations, a conventional do-it-all platform has all the bases covered, more or less. So it's excellent when launching a small business or when you don't have a mature enough tech team. But, when your business grows, your plans may not align with the product roadmap of your supplier. You may need other things than what they are developing. This is a common growth pain for many fast-growing merchants. Here's where Composable commerce comes in. It allows you to take control of your roadmap, develop the front-end functionality your customers expect, and add the components you need to support new processes.
All in one, most processes covered
(Almost) no technical skills needed
One partner (not counting PSPs, TA, Warehouse, etc.)
Composable Commerce pros:
Add exactly what you need to your ecosystem fast
Set your own development pace
Future-proofed setup, you have control
Where does Brink Commerce API come in?
Brink Commerce API is just that; a commerce API. We see it as the foundation for Composable Commerce. It's built to handle the most critical eCommerce process: orders; the order engine can handle massive amounts of orders worldwide. Furthermore, it enables you to integrate all the components you need in your ecosystem. You can add, remove or replace functions for any market as you see fit. On top of that, Brink Commerce API is framework agnostic, allowing for any front-end technology you want to use. This enables you to build just the customer experience you want.
Lets talk about Composable Commerce
Read more about Composable Commerce
Brink Commerce API is Composable
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Composable Commerce Checklist
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Pros and Cons of Composable Commerce
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