What is Composable Commerce? - Front-Commerce

The future is modular, are you ready?

The concept of modularity has gained traction in many fields such as design, our lifestyles and commerce.

For commerce, modularity is no longer just an interesting consideration. Technological advancements, market trends, and the specific needs and preferences of businesses and consumers have pushed modularity to become the dominant paradigm.

And it has has many benefits: such as flexibility, adaptability, and the ability to tailor solutions to specific needs. But it also has its challenges and limitations.

Modular systems can be more complex and harder to understand than monolithic systems, which may make them seem more difficult to use and manage, and complicated to put in place. All of which clearly makes us doubt the efficiency of a such system in terms of cost, development and the all important ROI.

“95% of e-commerce practitioners believe composable commerce is the best approach.” – Elastic Path

What is composable commerce?

Composable commerce is a flexible, modular e-commerce architecture tailored to a retailer’s specific needs. A ‘Best-of-Breed’ approach is used when selecting components, or micro-services, that are then stacked, or combined, to build a custom platform. Each micro-service is loosely connected via APIs, and their data is then shared & communicated via these APIs. All put together this approach creates a complete, business ready solution that is more easily maintained, evolutive, optimized and high performing.

What is the difference between headless commerce and composable commerce?

Headless commerce is an e-commerce architecture that separates the front-end of a website from the back-end systems that manage the commerce functionality. This allows businesses to use any front-end technology they want, (mobile app, desktop, voice etc.) to interact with the back-end systems and make purchases.

Composable commerce, on the other hand, is a concept that emphasizes the flexibility and modularity of e-commerce systems. In a composable commerce system, businesses can choose from a range of different components, or “microservices,” to build the e-commerce solution that best fits their needs.

In short, headless commerce is focused on the separation of the front end and back end, while composable commerce is focused on the modularity and flexibility of the system. Both approaches have the goal of making it easier for businesses to build and manage their e-commerce systems, and both approaches can be combined.

Do I need to adopt headless commerce before composable?

While headless commerce and composable commerce are often discussed together, they remain two distinct concepts with different goals and implications for an e-commerce architecture.

You do not need to adopt a headless architecture before composable architecture but it can be a useful approach. It is not unusual for a merchant to move to a headless architecture first. This allows for better control over risks, costs and isolating performance results to specific areas of the business. But ultimately, the best approach will depend on your specific needs and goals.

A front-end agnostic from the back-end has many advantages. Being able to use any front-end technology you want is beneficial to a composable system. It allows a brand to create a more customized and user-friendly experience for their customers, and it can also make it easier to integrate new sales channels and features.

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The benefits of a composable architecture:

  • An e-commerce can tailor its system to specific needs and preferences, rather than having to use a pre-packaged system that may not provide everything needed
  • Businesses can easily add or remove components and evolve their architecture without disrupting the system
  • New features can be added and experiments with different technologies can be carried out easily making it simpler for businesses to innovate & respond quickly to changing market conditions
  • It can be easier to troubleshoot and fix problems when they arise and it can be easier and more cost-effective to upgrade to new technologies as they become available.

A positive impact on your e-commerce results

Web performance

A composable commerce architecture can improve web performance. The modularity of the system makes it easy to add, remove, or even switch out, components without disrupting the overall functionality of the system. This means that businesses can optimize their e-commerce to improve performance and user experience, without having to make sweeping changes that could have a negative impact.

Not to mention, each micro-service can be chosen, or optimized, individually for performance. For example, implementing a PWA front-end can dramatically improve page load times, which in turn will drive conversions rates.

Conversion rate

Composable architectures can also provide several benefits that could potentially lead to increased conversions, such as greater flexibility and adaptability to changing customer needs, faster deployment & iteration of new features, and better system performance and reliability.

However, the relationship between composable architecture and online conversion rates is not straightforward, and it would ultimately depend on how you implement and use the architecture. Other factors, such as the quality and relevance of your products or services, the effectiveness of your marketing and sales strategies, and the overall user experience of your website or application must also be taken into account.


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