Pretend for a moment that buying a car meant you could choose from only two basic models: a sports car and a station wagon. There are no SUVs, no pickup trucks, and no vans — just those two options. If all you wanted to do was go for a joyride or bring groceries home from the warehouse club, you wouldn’t think this was a bad arrangement. For anything outside of that, however, you’d be forced to make do with something that isn’t exactly right for your needs. You’d have to make compromises that would always leave you wishing for something more.
This is not too far off from the experience many companies and IT professionals have had when building an e-commerce platform. That’s because, for a long time, software providers offered off-the-shelf solutions that were intended to be one-size-fits-all. If you liked the payment functionality of the platform but not the fulfillment side of it, that was too bad. You were forced to work with what you were given because everything came bundled together with little to no opportunity for customization. However, that’s starting to change thanks to the rise of composable commerce.
What Is Composable Commerce?
Simply put, composable commerce is an approach to building an e-commerce ecosystem that values plug-and-play functionality, giving companies the latitude to build their sites the way they want. Each touchpoint along the customer experience can be handled by a different piece of software, with APIs serving as the connective tissue that makes them all work together.
There are three main traits of these systems:
- Cloud-native: Each component is designed and built to work in the cloud.
- Component-based: Software modules are self-contained, independent, and interchangeable, so they can be added, replaced, or dropped without affecting your entire infrastructure.
- Tech-agnostic: The elements are not locked within a walled garden technology or specific programming languages. In addition, no certifications are required.
This means you have the ability to pick and choose the services that best fit your needs as well as the needs of your customers. You can combine third-party applications with your homegrown apps. No matter how you assemble them, composable commerce means you can expect the resulting technology stack to perform seamlessly and offer the smoothest experience for your customers.
This design philosophy means you can enjoy near-infinite scalability, reduced operating costs, and increased agility to react to changing market conditions or new customer expectations. If you want to learn more about composable commerce and how it can improve your platform’s performance, take a look at the accompanying resource.