In case you hadn’t heard, composable commerce is the big buzzword for 2023. And there’s good reason everyone is talking about it — it’s been recognized by leading analyst firms including Gartner® and Forrester® as the best eCommerce technology solution for enterprise businesses today.
With its modular development approach that leverages best-of-breed, plug-and-play components such as search, cart or checkout (also known as packaged business capabilities or PBCs), it enables businesses to easily put together a tech stack that fits their exact needs instead of having to work with a pre-built monolith platform. At the same time, it removes all the rigid restraints inherent to those platforms, replacing them with microservices-driven, API-first, cloud-native, headless (MACH™) architecture which provides an environment that delivers the flexibility, agility and scalability businesses need to thrive today.
While composable commerce has been a game changer for brands across multiple industries and business models, including major players like Volkswagen, Cimpress and Belk — it’s possible your business doesn’t need such a robust solution or that your organization isn’t yet ready to embrace composable commerce yet. That’s why we created this checklist. All you have to do is answer the questions in each category. If you find yourself nodding your head “yes” more than shaking it “no,” mentally check that box. The more boxes you check, the more likely it is that migrating to composable commerce is the right move for you right now.
☑️ Do you have a complex product catalog?
Do you have an extensive number of SKUs in your catalog and keep adding more? Are there multiple variables — size, color, dimensions, flavors, etc. — for many of your products? Do you offer customization? Are bulk discounts, bundling packages or customer-specific pricing part of your go-to-market strategy?
The prescribed approach of monolithic platforms doesn’t support the multitude of unique product data use cases enterprise businesses need today. So, you’re stuck having to design your solution their way.
On the other hand, commercetools Composable Commerce can flexibly handle high levels of complexity in product data. Its catalog management feature allows you to get as granular as you need with your product descriptions, create relationships between products and pricing and unify all your data on one backend for thousands of products from different sources. You get to design your solution your way.
Bikes.de offers 6,000 different bicycle models to the end customer, broken down into 33,000 variants in frame shape, color and size. These are, in turn, offered by more than 150 different dealers for different purchase options (click & reserve, click & collect and purchase & shipping). We are now able to implement the resulting complex combinations in a simple, manageable buy box logic with the help of commercetools.
HEAD OF MARKETING, BICO ZWEIRAD MARKETING GMBH
☑️ Do you have a diverse customer base?
Are you selling in multiple countries, with multiple currencies and multiple tax structures? Do you need to deliver different experiences to different markets based on different needs — whether those be cultural norms, customer demographics or something else entirely?
Composable commerce enables you to connect an infinite number of frontends to a single backend so that you can embrace the diversity of your customers and, at the same time, centralize all backend operations. With 10+ brands and sales in over 28 countries, Berlin Brands Group is leveraging commercetools Composable Commerce to launch custom webshops tailored to individual markets.
☑️ Are you currently in a growth and expansion mode?
Are you currently expanding into new markets or exploring adding product categories? If not, is either on your radar as a short or long-term goal? What about testing a new business model?
The beauty of composable commerce is that it establishes an agnostic environment that gives you the freedom to embrace any and all of your big ideas. Koala, the Australian mattress and furniture brand has been able to do just that. Since migrating to commercetools, the company has been able to gain control over every aspect of the customer experience, go from 371 product variants to 674, expand into 16 new categories and open up the South Korean market. As Andrew Sladen, Director of Engineering puts it, “Our time-to-market powered by MACH is off the charts and ideal for a growing company like Koala.”
☑️ Do you need to deliver more personalized customer experiences?
Are your customers satisfied with the experience you’re delivering? It should be easy to answer this question just by looking at your sales figures. If your eCommerce sales growth is stagnant, it’s probably because you're not delivering to your customer's expectations, so they’re shopping elsewhere.
At Harry Rosen, a Canadian menswear company, eCommerce used to be seen as dilutive to the in-store experience. Today, the company has leveraged composable commerce to deliver customer experiences that are providing to be integral to the overall consumer journey. As Tovi Heilbronn, Director of Digital Product & Experience explained, these experiences not only got them through the pandemic but contributed to leadership predicting a 40% increase in digital sales by 2025. “With the tech we have and the people using that tech, we're much more capable of telling the story and selling the value of the products we sell.”
☑️ Are you concerned about the limitations of your commerce technology solution?
Have there been features you wanted to add, such as new payment methods or delivery options, that IT says they can’t do? Do you experience glitches or crashes whenever you make changes — even small ones? Are you too busy trying to keep your systems running to put any resources into innovating your customer experiences?
With composable commerce, all the issues holding you back are a thing of the past, replaced by modern technology that provides an open environment that enables you to make changes and experiment with new features easily and without risk. Plus, because all your components are cloud-native, you get to enjoy auto-scaling capabilities and automatic updates.
☑️ Are your technology costs continually increasing?
Are you spending way too much money on maintaining and upgrading your existing technology? Do your licensing fees keep going up even though you still have to pour money into additional capacity to prepare for big sales events? Do you try not to think about the lost revenue from downtime and crashes?
All of these challenges become old news with composable commerce. Everything about composable commerce helps you lower costs. The SaaS business model means you only pay for what you use. The cloud-native aspect enables auto-scaling so you never have to worry about your site crashing and provides automatic updates. It’s vendor-agnostic, so you’re never locked into anything. It’s headless, so you can add an infinite number of storefronts to a single backend. The list goes on and on.
As Danielle Diliberti, a MACH Alliance Ambassador, Chief Executive Officer at Sommsation and Senior Director in Strategy for Eldridge Industries shared at Modern Commerce Day 2022, “Not only can you have cost reduction, you have cost efficiencies. Rather than paying an extremely expensive licensing fee for one massive system where you're only using 10% of the capabilities, you can design something that really is efficient and effective.” The end result? “If you’re doing a true omnichannel strategy, you’re getting 3, 4, 5x return or bang for your buck.”
It doesn’t matter what you’re in the business of selling; if your commerce technology is creating challenges for you in more than one of the categories above, you’re definitely a good candidate for composable commerce. To learn more about the composable commerce approach and how you can migrate slowly while enabling incremental innovation, read, “What is composable commerce and why does it matter? Your questions answered.”