Why it’s a spooktacular time for brands and retailers to exorcize the nightmares of legacy tech once and for all

Why it’s a spooktacular time for brands and retailers to exorcize the nightmares of legacy tech once and for all

Dasha Cherniavskaia
Dasha Cherniavskaia
Head of Product Marketing, commercetools
Published 31 October 2023
Estimated reading time minutes

Don’t let legacy tech suck the life out of your business! From sinister checkout glitches to scaling horror stories, legacy tech is always ready to jump-scare customers and haunt success. Here, learn how you can finally ghost technologies that hold you back by adopting composable commerce. Your customers — as well as your team — will fang you very much. 

Why it’s a spooktacular time for brands and retailers to exorcize the nightmares of legacy tech once and for all

We all hear how much consumer expectations have shifted toward digital and omnichannel experiences. We also know that delivering on those customer-centric promises is only possible with high-performance technology that not only meets those expectations but also exceeds them. And yet, many brands and retailers still leverage legacy technology that is inflexible and the opposite of agile, which ends up causing many issues that scare the pants off customers. 

That’s not surprising though, as legacy eCommerce platforms have been around since the birth of online shopping and managed to capture the lion’s share of B2C enterprise clients. For many companies still using legacy systems, changing technology comes with potential constraints that range from vendor lock-in and a lack of budget to inertia and internal resistance to change. 

The problem is that these platforms are essentially outdated, monolithic systems that aren’t built for the digital-first world we live in. Brands and retailers running on legacy tech aren’t able to respond to consumer needs on the fly, which erodes their competitive edge, loyalty and revenue prospects over time. 

Do you smell a rat in your eCommerce infrastructure but aren’t sure what’s wrong exactly? Let’s explore 4 spooky signs that show why legacy tech isn’t working anymore and the reasons composable commerce is a fa-boo-lous approach for your business.   

1. The horror stories of slow websites and limited scalability

Nobody likes to see a loading spinner on a website for a long time: Indeed, 47% of users won’t wait longer than two seconds for a website to load. And yet, a frightening 73% of users experienced a mobile website that was too slow to render. The scary result? Slow-loading websites cost retailers US$2.6 billion in lost sales each year. 

Clearly, consumers have raised the bar and now expect ultra-fast performance, no matter the device they’re on, and they aren’t afraid to depart sites with prolonged loading times or non-responsive pages. 

If your website is slow regardless of how many visitors land on your website, imagine the crashes it may face during heavy traffic peaks like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Not only is your team scrambling to meet demand with capacity but also your business is missing out on immense revenue opportunities.  

The composable fa-boo-lous answer: 

If your website faces speed and performance issues, this is largely due to legacy eCommerce systems that still rely on on-premise or cloud-hosted infrastructures. Unlike a cloud-native SaaS, such platforms cannot scale online capacity on the fly: To scale capacity, they have to do it manually by adding or upgrading servers. 

With cloud-native infrastructure as one of the core traits of composable commerce, your business leverages the infinite scale of cloud computing providers such as Google Cloud or AWS, which accelerates performance and meets capacity requirements as demand grows. 

During the holidays, instead of being the war room monitoring, we should take a cruise ship to The Bahamas and just kick back and watch. Because that's how simple, how easy the deployment is, how easy the system runs. And the fact that you can just auto-scale without going to buy hardware and take three months to set it up and configure it — that's a big change for us compared to what we were doing before.
Omar Koncobo

IT Director, eCommerce and Digital Systems, Ulta Beauty

2. The checkout graveyard

A poorly designed checkout process can cast a dark spell on the effectiveness of your buying journey. After all, speed, convenience and security are the three ingredients that consumers look for in a best-in-class checkout flow. 

When businesses are unable to create frictionless experiences, 17% of customers abandon their online shopping carts because of complicated checkout procedures, and more than 50% of American consumers give up on a purchase within only two minutes. As glitches during the checkout experience remain common for businesses relying on legacy platforms, it’s no wonder consumers ghost their shopping carts so easily! 

More than transaction failures, security concerns during checkout are also a problem legacy platforms aren’t equipped to handle. For instance, scores of legacy eCommerce tech run on outdated software or rely on third-party plugins or extensions with their own security issues, which make them more vulnerable to security breaches than composable systems.  

The composable fa-boo-lous answer: 

Streamlining the checkout process is crucial for brands and retailers to reduce abandoned carts, raise the average order value, and even cross-sell and upsell products by implementing product recommendations and personalization features. 

Customizing checkout experiences is easily possible with composable commerce, as you can tailor the checkout process not only to meet customer expectations but also to differentiate your brand from competitors. You can add new payment methods and personalization features like discounts or loyalty programs, create guest checkout possibilities, and more. 

We’ve built one payment method and one checkout and we’re now using it across multiple channels. What that means is, that it actually reduces the cost of ownership, but the bigger win is the experience. We can launch a new promotion or something new on the website and now these in-store experiences get them automatically. We can turn them on and off, but it instantly delivers that satisfaction to the customer.
Adam Warne

CIO, River Island

Moreover, the impact of composable is not hocus pocus in the security department: By leveraging modern security measures, such as encryption, intrusion detection and threat monitoring to safeguard customer data and financial information, a composable approach proactively addresses security concerns. Plus, composable commerce can carefully select and integrate third-party components while regularly monitoring and updating them to address vulnerabilities.

3. The woes in inventory mismanagement

Limited real-time visibility into inventory levels results in inaccuracies that impact omnichannel experiences, such as BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store), as well as your overall conversion rates. Think about it: If a consumer lands on your website and wants to buy a product, then finds out during checkout that the product isn’t available, you’ve just lost a customer. 

It’s crucial to provide instant inventory information across all channels and throughout every stage of the buying experience. However, legacy solutions are cursed with an inherent inability to match this need due to data silos, manual processes, integration issues, and even a lack of automated reordering processes. The consequences are not only customer dissatisfaction but stockouts and overstocking that become increasingly harder for your company to manage. 

The composable fa-boo-lous answer: 

Composable commerce platforms are designed to integrate with various data sources and systems within an organization via API-based architecture, including inventory management solutions, point-of-sale (POS) systems and your eCommerce engine. 

The result? A seamless integration that allows for real-time data flow, ensuring that inventory information is up-to-date and accurate.

One of the most significant benefits is our streamlined stock management, which is crucial for our operations and a major asset for our company. Previously, we would spend a considerable amount of time trying to reconcile our sales with our inventory, ensuring everything was aligned. Thanks to commercetools, this has become a seamless process, saving us valuable time and effort.
Lorenzo Sfarra

Backend Developer, Treedom

4. Lost in the haunted woods of unmet customer expectations and faster competitors

A recent research by the MACH Alliance uncovered that 89% of C-level executives said that customer expectations are increasing all the time and 85% of them recognized that it’s vital to deliver improvements to customer experiences at speed. For companies dependent on legacy tech, it’s witchful thinking at best to believe that meeting customer expectations in such a constantly changing business climate is possible. 

With legacy tech, it’s hard to expand to new countries easily, create a multi-brand strategy or provide true omnichannel experiences. Integrating or upgrading new features requires tremendous effort and energy, as moving the pieces of a monolithic platform without downtime or a complete crash isn’t a simple task. If your business relies on a legacy platform, you probably have experienced this innovation paralysis countless times!    

To add insult to injury, your slow innovation rate has a direct impact on customer churn as faster-to-innovate competitors can lure your customers with sweet experiences that you’re still unable to match. 

The composable fa-boo-lous answer: 

It’s key for your business to keep up with customer expectations at speed, and a composable approach enables you to do just that. More than flexibility and agility, composability is all about crafting unique customer experiences through customization.

Migrating to a composable architecture was absolutely the right move for Salling Group. Now we can respond to customer expectations and market changes a lot faster with such a flexible and scalable solution. We reduced operational costs massively by switching from SAP to commercetools, plus increased traffic, conversion rates and more. Composable really is the future of commerce for the Salling Group.
Ismael Garcia

Digital Technology Chief, Salling Group

For brands and retailers eager to unleash the magic of infinite scale, unlimited flexibility and reduced costs, composable commerce is the mighty solution you’ve been waiting for!

No tricks, just treats: Strategies to going composable

Despite the fact that 82% of C-level executives say concerns about the economy have increased the need to adapt and modernize their IT architecture, there’s still pushback to move forward with composable commerce. 

Regardless of whether the reason to postpone modernization stems from budgetary constraints, internal resistance to change or historical investments in legacy tech, the cost of procrastination is clear: Not only does your company face the chilling specter of bloated IT budgets due to increased maintenance and hosting costs, but technical debt will continue to rise. Additionally, your company will continuously miss out on monetization opportunities during Black Friday-like events or increase customer attrition due to poor and low performance. 

Don’t get to a point in which your competitiveness is at risk. It’s simply not worth waiting any longer to modernize your eCommerce with a composable architecture: The benefits your business can reap are already proven by a myriad of leading companies, including Sephora, Mars, Treedom, Audi and so many more. 

To unlock the benefits of composability, you can plan a gradual legacy-to-composable migration. This phased approach lets you move each functionality from the monolithic application to composable and greatly reduces complexity and the sense of overwhelm for your team. And, of course, finding the right commerce vendor that best fits your needs will accelerate ROI over time. To find unbiased and clear resources to help you in this journey, check out the Gartner® Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce as well as the Critical Capabilities for Digital Commerce

So, why commercetools? As a leader in the field recognized by market analysts like Gartner, commercetools provides a spooktacular composable commerce platform that will turn your eCommerce nightmare into a dream come true. All you have to do is not wait for the next crisis — and tap into this opportunity today. 

The next step? Leverage our fang-tastic 60-day free trial and check out for yourself that moving from legacy to composable is simpler than you think! 

Dasha Cherniavskaia
Dasha Cherniavskaia
Head of Product Marketing, commercetools

Dasha leads Product Marketing at commercetools. Software engineer by profession but a creative at heart, she found her happy place in marketing. With 15 years of experience in tech, she concurs that “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Loves problem-solving, big libraries and 80s music.

Related Blog Posts