Modern commerce moves quickly, and keeping pace with technological advancements isn't merely an option — it's a necessity. As businesses adapt to a digital-first world, understanding the key terms shaping the future of commerce becomes paramount. In this edition of our glossary series, we'll unravel three critical tech terms: Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs), Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and Product Information Management systems (PIMs).
PBCs: Fueling commerce efficiency
Packaged Business Capabilities, often referred to as PBCs, are a fundamental component of a modern commerce strategy. In essence, PBCs encapsulate pre-built, reusable sets of business functionalities and processes that can be seamlessly integrated into an organization's eCommerce ecosystem. These capabilities cover a wide spectrum of functions, from inventory management and order processing to customer relationship management and payment gateways.
By accelerating the development and deployment of critical functionalities, PBCs provide businesses with a distinct advantage. Rather than reinventing the wheel with every project, organizations can leverage these pre-packaged modules to enhance their digital commerce operations. This not only reduces time-to-market but also minimizes development costs.
Think of a PBC as the business-user term for a set of APIs that provide a specific function. Each capability is likely to (but not required to) map back to a microservice behind the scenes. PBCs are the building blocks for composable commerce in Gartner®'s terminology. They can also be seen as mapping back roughly to a MACH®-based microservice.
Chief Strategy Officer, commercetools
PBCs are like a craftsman's toolbox filled with specialized tools. These tools, which are pre-built and reusable, seamlessly integrate into an organization's digital framework. They effortlessly fit together to construct complex and tailored business solutions, just as a craftsman selects and uses tools from their toolbox to create a finely crafted masterpiece. PBCs simplify the development process and offer businesses the flexibility to assemble the components they need to achieve their unique objectives.
PWAs: The future of seamless user experiences
As online shopping continues to thrive, the importance of providing a seamless and engaging user experience is at an all-time high. Enter Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, which represent a cutting-edge approach to web development and user interaction.
PWAs combine the best of both worlds by blending the accessibility of a website with the functionality of a native mobile application. These web applications are designed to be responsive, fast-loading and highly reliable. They leverage modern web technologies, including service workers and web app manifests, to offer features such as offline access, push notifications and home screen installation.
Frontend-as-a-service provides a build-and-buy approach that gives brands the ability and flexibility to develop individualized frontends from scratch…[including] fast-loading and highly performant storefronts no matter the shopper's device with PWAs.
Product Marketing Manager, commercetools
Imagine you're embarking on a hiking trip in an area with variable terrains and unpredictable weather. Instead of carrying multiple bags for different situations, you have a single, well-equipped backpack to get you through the trip. Similarly, PWAs offer users a dependable and adaptable experience, ensuring that essential tools and information are readily available, regardless of the digital terrain they traverse. Just as the items in your backpack help you adapt to the various hiking conditions, PWAs adjust their functionality to the user's device and network status, providing efficiency, portability and adaptability.
PIM: Mastering product data
Effective product management is a strategic imperative in today's crowded eCommerce landscape. A Product Information Management system, or PIM, plays a pivotal role in achieving this goal.
A PIM is a centralized software solution designed to facilitate the efficient creation, enrichment, management and distribution of product information across various sales channels. It serves as a single source of truth for product data, ensuring consistency and accuracy in product listings, descriptions, images and pricing.
[W]e have a solid PIM that’s easily usable as a standalone, market-leading product. Many organizations just want to start with a PIM or some other granular piece of our platform. That’s the beauty of composable commerce — easily mix and match different components from different vendors.
Chief Strategy Officer, commercetools
Imagine an art curator maintaining the consistency and quality of an art exhibition across multiple galleries worldwide. For eCommerce businesses, a PIM is the essential curator of their digital product gallery. With a PIM, businesses can effortlessly manage product details, ensuring that the same artistic brilliance shines across their website, mobile app and third-party marketplaces.
In conclusion, as commerce continues its digital transformation journey, understanding these three key terms — PBCs, PWAs and PIMs — are essential for staying competitive in the modern business landscape. Incorporating these technologies into your eCommerce strategy can lead to enhanced efficiency, improved customer experiences and, ultimately, greater success in the world of online commerce. Stay tuned for more insights as we unravel the language of modern commerce.
If you’re considering embarking on a digital transformation journey to help drive your future success, don't miss out on the chance to experience the remarkable potential of composable commerce firsthand. Sign up for a free 60-day trial to test drive the commercetools Composable Commerce solution. Whether you choose to start from scratch or experiment with the pre-loaded B2C fashion retail data provided, it’s a great opportunity to explore its capabilities and features at no cost and no risk. Your composable future awaits!