commercetools Blog Post How to compose your commerce in 2023
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How to compose your commerce in 2023

Manuela Tchoe
Manuela Tchoe
December 2022

Leading B2C retailers and brands like Trinny London, Trendhim, The Gym Group and more unpack tips and lessons for a successful composable commerce implementation. 

commercetools Blog Post How to compose your commerce in 2023

For too long, brands have been limited by legacy commerce platforms offering one-size-fits-all solutions, which worked “just fine” in a desktop-only eCommerce world. However, with rising customer expectations encompassing omnichannel, mobile-first and personalized experiences, retailers and brands recognize crafting "wow" customer journeys requires maximum flexibility and agility — principles rarely found in legacy platforms.  

Meet composable commerce, the secret weapon for retailers and brands to shape customer experiences the way they want, how they want it. With maximum flexibility and agility, composable commerce enables you to choose best-of-breed solutions that suit your customer experiences. You can expand, contract and/or replace components without dependencies or vendor lock-in. Think of it as LEGO bricks that provide infinite combinations, offering custom, unique ways to differentiate your business.

Brands of all shapes and sizes that have implemented composable commerce experienced a myriad of benefits:

  • Meet customers’ changing demands: Enable omnichannel and personalized experiences with a flexible and agile framework behind the scenes. That way, you can manage multiple touchpoints and personalization tools effectively, plus deliver bespoke content that adapts to customers’ behaviors and preferences.  

  • Enable internal teams to experiment: With a more flexible and agile architecture, developers no longer have to focus on maintenance mode. Composable commerce is about innovation at speed

  • Stand out from the crowd: What happens when brands focus on customer experiences? They create outstanding engagement moments and can truly differentiate from competitors. After all, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. 

How have leading brands leveraged these benefits during and after composable commerce implementations? Here are three main lessons from the Composable Commerce Breakfast 2022 by commercetools and E2X Ltd, featuring heavyweight retail brands. 

#1 - Build vs. buy is now compose and customize

How do you choose between building or buying a commerce solution for your business? The answer is simple: You should do both! That’s what beauty brand Trinny London discovered when it decided to give its infrastructure a makeover. Jay Jetley, Chief Architect at Trinny London, shared that you should “build where you differentiate, buy where you don’t.” For instance, the company tailored the checkout experience while buying standard services like tax management. 

Going down a composable path means the job is much bigger in some ways because you can be flexible in your choices.
Jay Jetley

Chief Architect, Trinny London

Beyond build and buy, the advantage of composable commerce is the possibility of customizing and extending functions without constraints, so leaders like Trinny London can tailor features the way they need, without building them from scratch.

#2 - Experiment and fail fast to succeed faster

Innovation doesn’t exist without constant iteration and experimentation; having the freedom to try things out is vital for retailers to differentiate their brands. This is what composable commerce brought to Trendhim, an international jewelry and accessories retailer for men. 

With a composable stack, it’s easy to try things out, as employees have more control over what they can do and when. For instance, the team at the Scandinavian retailer created an optimization landscape to A/B-test everything they build and see the results come in split by country.

With a composable stack, employees feel like [they have] superpowers.
Martin Christiansen

CTO, Trendhim

That means the culture of “failing fast” (constantly experimenting, plugging in what works and unplugging what doesn’t) helps fast-growing companies like Trendhim respond faster to market opportunities — something only the modularity of composable can empower.

The Gym Group, a leading fitness group in the UK, encountered a similar experience. With agility and flexibility at its core, the company can iterate and learn from new product launches to find out what resonates and what doesn’t. 

Composable gives us more flexibility to get different products into the market.
Jim Hingston

Digital Product Director, The Gym Group

Digital products have been essential during lockdowns and have remained an option for customers that can’t be bothered to go to the gym and need an easy option to exercise wherever they are. Combined with analytics powered by a richer data layer since migrating to composability, the team at The Gym Group can closely monitor what’s not working and take immediate action, responding to customer feedback instantly.

#3 - Forget expensive replatforming projects

Composable architecture leverages top-notch building blocks and connects them independently; swapping components is easy and doesn’t affect the eCommerce engine. Despite this simplicity, there are costs associated with replacing components. 

For LoveCrafts, a community of crochet and other crafting enthusiasts, replacing functions after initial incompatibility or issues is not feasible. That’s why the ability to extend and customize is crucial, as it tailors functions to fit their needs instead of constantly swapping components.

No matter how good your due diligence is, there’s always something that needs customization or doesn’t work the way you expected. And also your business is changing. In the future, you might have requirements that are not compatible anymore.
Halil Köklü

CTO, Lovecrafts

With an enduring model that never gets old, LoveCrafts — and any brand using composable commerce — doesn’t need to replatform again, as it can buy, build and customize bits according to its needs.

Ready to embrace composable commerce?

If you’re convinced that composable commerce is the right solution for your business, the next question arises: How to move from a monolithic commerce platform to a composable architecture?

There are different migration approaches to implementing composability in your business, from a “big bang” method to the “phased migration with the strangler pattern.” While every company is unique, brands usually choose a phased transition.

If you’re unplatforming [with big bang] for two years, you don’t get value in two years.
Martin Christiansen

CTO, Trendhim

Breaking a monolithic architecture into smaller pieces and replacing those with single components step by step gives you better deployment control, unlocking results during the implementation phase. 

The key takeaway from leading brands sharing their experiences with composable commerce is that, after seeing the benefits it brings, they never looked back. Compose your commerce starting now and reap the first benefits in 2023.  

Unlock all 10 tips and lessons from leading brands with composable commerce by downloading our How to Compose Your Commerce in 2023 eBook.

Manuela Tchoe
Manuela Tchoe
December 2022

Manuela Marques Tchoe is a Content Writer at commercetools. She was a Content and Product Marketing Director at conversational commerce provider tyntec. She has written content in partnership with Facebook, Rakuten Viber and other social media platforms.

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