It’s been almost three years since Gartner® boldly announced that “composable commerce must be adopted to move toward future-proof digital commerce experiences.” The research firm advised that organizations that didn’t embrace the approach by 2023 would most likely be left in the dust.
It seems that brands are finally taking note, and composable commerce, hand in hand with MACH™ architecture as its co-pilot, is finally taking flight. If your brand is preparing to embark on this journey, one of the first things you’ll discover is you have a lot more choices to make than the last time you set up your technology platform.
Since the composable approach is based on modularity, there’s no monolith platform to buy, instead, you purchase individual best-in-breed components — including a Frontend solution. Since there are many choices on the market, you want to make sure the one you choose supports the composable approach, delivers a CX experience that exceeds user expectations and helps lower your TCO.
Comparing vendors and software is all part of the composable commerce value equation, which is a good thing. But, in an effort to make at least one decision easier, we thought we’d help you get started by offering up the five most important things you should look for when choosing a Frontend solution for your business.
1. Designed for headless
This is non-negotiable. Whether you’re looking for a frontend or a backend solution, be wary of any product or vendor that touts itself as “headless compatible.” You want to choose a frontend that is truly decoupled and was built as a stand-alone product.
By separating the frontend presentation layer from the backend business logic, your developers are able to create custom user experiences without disrupting operations on the backend. This improves the flexibility, scalability and speed of your frontend solution. You can connect any data and services that bring value to your business using APIs. giving you the freedom to jump on new trends, respond to market changes, add new products, expand into new categories and markets — basically, accomplish whatever is needed to grow your business.
2. Integrated developer-friendly toolset
You’ve probably struggled with building a website before – having to accept or work around the limitations placed on you by your technology or your IT team. By choosing a solution with ready-to-use developer tools and workflows, your team can focus on building features that push your brand forward instead of struggling with complex wiring.
The toolset should provide a comprehensive set of features, including a robust code editor, debugging tools and automated testing frameworks. commercetools Frontend is built with ready-to-use components designed for the most common commerce cases, including product listings, categories, cart, checkout, and more. These help your developers work efficiently and makes it incredibly easy to launch new pages in minutes, campaigns in hours, and sites in days.
3. No-code user interface
Trust us, this is truly a game changer. By choosing a Frontend with a no-code user interface, you make it easy for non-technical team members with little to no coding experience to design and build frontend experiences without relying on developers. Not only does it empower them to experiment with campaigns and promotions that can generate revenue, but it also reduces the costs of developing these types of marketing initiatives as well as the associated costs.
In addition, it also simplifies maintenance, as non-technical users can make changes to the frontend application. For example, they can update a price, add a new product or remove a discontinued one at any time without risk.
We went live on Headless just four months after project kick-off. With commercetools Frontend, we're now able to launch new country sites within as little as two weeks. [Plus], almost every piece of content in our store is editable by the business teams with a few clicks.
4. Powered by PWA
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are a new generation of web applications that combine the best of mobile apps and websites to ensure reliable, fast, engaging experiences on any device.
Choosing a Frontend solution powered by PWA gives you the assurance that you’ll be able to deliver high-performance applications seamlessly across devices, networks and browsers. As an added bonus, they have lower development and maintenance costs, so they support lower TCO for your business.
commercetools Frontend is powered by Netlify — the highly performant Edge network and hosted on the Google Cloud. Combined with PWA delivery, you can be confident you have a solution in place that is lighting fast and optimized for auto-scaling.
5. Thriving partner ecosystem
Finally, a thriving partner ecosystem is essential — and not only for your Frontend solution but for your entire composable commerce transformation,
The solution you choose should be able to offer you a network of developers, vendors and other stakeholders that provide technical support training and resources. Having this at your disposal can reduce the learning curve, accelerate development and ensure you get the most possible value out of your Frontend.
At commercetools, everything we do is to help make it easier for you to deliver commerce that supports your overall business success. That’s why we integrated commercetools Frontend as a best-in-class frontend-as-a-service in-house solution that seamlessly connects with our Composable Commerce backend. It gives you all the benefits of a headless implementation without sacrificing time to market and makes creating high-impact digital storefronts fast, easy and risk-free while helping lower your technology costs.
Read “How to launch the frontend of a modern commerce architecture with commercetools” to find out more about the benefits of embracing commercetools Frontend solution.