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How to future proof your e-commerce business
September 7, 2022
It won’t be news to you that online commerce has transformed, with unprecedented speed, in recent years.
When the pandemic shuttered stores, internet retailing picked up the slack. As consumers made the rapid shift from the mall to the sofa, their expectations for those digital experiences soared just as quickly. Businesses that were agile enough to keep up with those demands thrived. Those that weren’t…well, you know.
As we look ahead, it’s becoming clear that much of this transformation will be permanent. That means companies need to prepare now to keep up with expectations that will only continue to increase.
So, how does a business future-proof its commerce to keep up with customers? Locked-in legacy platforms are obviously not the answer. A composable commerce strategy definitely is.
Based on our eBook, Gain the Competitive Edge with Composable Commerce - created with our partners from commercetools and EPAM - here are the basics of what composable commerce is, and how it can help your overall e-commerce strategy.
What is composable commerce?
A composable commerce approach brings together best-of-breed components within an open architecture to meet a customer's specific needs. That composability enables you to pick and choose the best solutions from different vendors, and easily combine them into a catalog of APIs that deliver the best possible overall solution for a particular organization or situation.
A composable approach frees you to select the right solution for each task. Choose this CMS, and that PIM. Go with this order management system, and that payment processor. The result is the total commerce solution that’s right for your industry, your customer, and your own unique needs.
A composable e-commerce tech stack created just for your needs also empowers marketers to control their own strategies, and do what needs to be done to create personal and relevant shopping experiences. That means IT is free from endless trouble tickets and change requests, and can focus their brains and energy elsewhere.
What’s wrong with the old way? A lot, actually
When the pandemic hit, plenty of businesses quickly discovered their cutting-edge e-commerce platforms were anything but. An all-in-one solution that may have been built in the 90s simply couldn’t provide what shoppers wanted: a flexible, personalized, easy-to-navigate commerce experience.
With these old-school systems, integrating new tech was complicated (if not impossible), developing new content and experiences was pricey and resource-thirsty, and vital data and metrics were hidden away. On top of all that, marketers were shut out, with only IT people able to make needed changes. This set-up is a great way to kill creativity, squash innovation, and ensure you’re unable to quickly respond to constantly changing customer needs.
When you’re free from the rigidity of an old monolith platform, each element of your ecosystem is the best at what it does. And, you can expand or eliminate capabilities as the situation evolves. (And it definitely will evolve.)
It’s not a fad. It’s a movement
More organizations are realizing the potential benefits of composable commerce every day. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Acquia found that the inability to modernize and adapt existing eCommerce solutions quickly enough is the biggest problem respondents faced. As a result, 43% or them have either already adopted a composable approach, or are in the process of doing so.
So, what does a composable approach look like in action? The Singer Corporation provides a compelling example. Acquia Partner TA Digital helped this iconic brand transition from a costly, underperforming, monolithic commerce platform that delivered a rigid, unsatisfactory customer experience to an API-first, cloud-native platform with high availability, scalability, and flexibility. Results included a 25% boost in sales, reduced cart abandonment, and increased customer engagement. You’ll find all the details about Singer’s success here.
Making a composable transformation happen
While many business leaders are aware of the long-term benefits of a composable solution, finding the resources to make the switch happen is often another story. Relying on a dedicated internal team of architects and developers isn’t always an option. Fortunately, there are other ways.
Many are finding that an experienced system integrator (SI) is the key to a successful composable transformation that doesn’t exhaust resources. The longer-term payoffs, including cost savings, faster time-to-market, and the ability to respond quickly to customer demands, make the short-term expense extremely worthwhile.
Other organizations are opting to outsource the transformation entirely, choosing a full-service digital transformation and product engineering provider, (such as EPAM) to build and implement their composable solution.
The Acquia Partner Ecosystem is a great place to find the transformation provider best suited to steer your own composable journey.
Change, change, and more change
While it’s certainly a big deal, the rise of the composable approach isn’t the only technological transformation happening in the eCommerce arena. Retailers of all types are experimenting with new technologies that can help further enhance customer experiences.
From augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tools that enable a shopper to see how that sofa looks in their actual living room, to over-the-top TV that puts that amazing dress an actress is wearing into a shopping bag with just a click, there are more ways than ever before to make commerce happen everywhere, easily. (With more on the way.)
Interested? There’s so much more
Now that you have a firm grasp of the power of a composable commerce approach, you’re ready for the full story. Our eBook provides much more important information, including a detailed look at composable in action for real-life Acquia/EPAM client VitalAire. Download your free copy now.
The future of e-commerce is already here. And it’s composable. Is your organization on board?