Composable commerce: Discover the next generation of eCommerce innovation
Composable commerce is the term used to describe the next generation of eCommerce technology solutions, designed to give eCommerce leaders more choice and flexibility when selecting the capabilities they need to deliver best-in-class experiences for their teams and customers.
Simply put, with composable commerce, you assemble several best-of-breed technologies (CMS, eCommerce, PIM, DAM, OMS etc.) into a common solution that can be used for all your customer channels. This is a fundamentally different approach to the eCommerce platforms of the past, which have evolved to be hard to manage, all-in-one monolithic platforms, typically very good in one area of capability but usually weaker in the other areas, often leaving you feeling constrained and frustrated by the limitations of the software.
Why composable commerce?
If you’re feeling constrained by the limitations of your eCommerce platform, or you resent spending significant levels of time and money to keep your legacy platform up-to-date at the expense of any customer experience innovation or business growth, then a strategic move to composable commerce is an option you should be considering.
Composable commerce pioneers
Our team has been pioneering eCommerce experiences for over 20 years and has focused on composable commerce since 2018. If your current eCommerce platform doesn’t play well with other key systems, is hard to manage, takes too long to roll out improvements and is expensive or difficult to upgrade, or if your business is feeling constrained by your platform, we can help you plan a strategic, future-ready way forward with composable technologies.
We were one of the first UK digital agencies to specialise in composable technologies.
Proven track record
We have three fully referenceable composable commerce clients with combined online sales of over £120 million per year.
Faster time to value
We modernised Interflora to a composable architecture in under 10 months!
The benefits of going composable
The trend for monolithic, all-in-one eCommerce software suites is over, and modern composable technology stacks, which Forrester and Gartner highly rate, are being widely adopted across the industry by forward-thinking brands; here’s why:
1. Better customer experiences
Design the experiences your customers want without customising your core eCommerce platform. Because composable technologies are fully decoupled from the front-end, you can design and build the experiences your customers want without customising your eCommerce platform.
2. Faster innovation
Composable technologies are easier to work with, meaning you can increase the rate of development your teams can deliver. This is vital in keeping up with your competitors, responding to customer feedback and delivering business outcomes.
3. Greater agility and flexibility
A composable, API-first microservices architecture will decouple your solutions, allowing you to simultaneously deliver multiple streams of work across different areas of experience. You will no longer need to wait for one improvement to be released before you can start to work on another area, meaning you will be able to release more features, more often with less risk.
4. Use data at source
With a connected ecosystem of API-first technologies, you no longer need to replicate and copy data in and out of systems to make it accessible to other systems or front-end channels. This is a crucial advantage of composable architectures; moving data directly between systems reduces the opportunity for data to go out of sync or be out of date, giving a better experience to the users who rely on that data.
5. Happier teams
Design and Engineering teams want to work with modern technologies and do innovative, high-value work. They don’t enjoy low-value support and maintenance activities which do not make the best use of their skills and experience. Because composable solutions are easier to support and maintain, they can liberate your high-calibre product teams to focus on delivering more innovative, experience-improving work.
6. Future proofing
A composable commerce replatform will be the last major re-platforming project you will ever need to do. By adopting a composable approach, all your component technologies and front-ends will be decoupled and connected via a mediation layer, meaning if you ever outgrow something or want to change one component of your solution, you can simply change just that one piece without impacting the entire composable ecosystem.
This is fundamentally different from re-platforming to an all-in-one monolithic technology, where everything is so closely coupled together that integrating into a new system would require extensive engineering effort and intensive testing and would usually require a long code freeze until the work is completed.
7. Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Each piece of technology in a composable architecture will be cloud-native, SaaS-based technology. This means the vendors will be responsible for maintaining and upgrading your technologies as part of your subscription fees. This releases budget and resources that previously would have been ringfenced for keeping your platform online and up to date to be used for more innovative activities. It also means your hosting infrastructure can scale up and down automatically according to demand so that you are only paying for the levels of cloud services that you are consuming.
8. A universal solution for all channels
This is a significant advantage of composable architectures. Each piece of composable technology can service all your front-end channels via a single mediation layer, providing your front ends with the data they need directly from the source systems.
Historically, if you had a monolithic website and a mobile app, you would have to build and maintain a dedicated integration solution for both channels, which required multiple integrations and resulted in higher maintenance and support overheads.
9. No compromise on technology capability or connectivity
With composable architecture, you are liberated from the old-school, all-in-one monolithic technologies that try to do everything in one box. These monoliths may have been great at eCommerce, but they were often awful as a CMS or personalisation engine; they were also challenging to integrate without customising the core platform.
Composable architectures solve this by bringing together a mix of best-of-breed technologies that, when assembled together, combine to create a solution that meets your requirements without customisation or compromise. And by their very nature, composable technologies will always be open to integration as they are built API first, meaning they are intended to be connected to other systems.
10. Happier business users
Business users want to be free to trade their eCommerce channels without a dependency on development teams. But many legacy eCommerce solutions cannot support this independence or meet the expectations of the business without significant platform customisation. And the more you customise a platform, the harder it is to maintain or customise in the future.
In a recent market survey by commercetools, more than two-thirds of respondents (68%) said it takes their company three months or longer to take new commerce solutions to market and half of respondents (50%) reported that their organisation’s technologies had limited their ability to innovate as quickly as needed.
Modern, best-of-breed technologies are built to fully enable business users with their powerful back-office tooling and featured rich APIs, meaning business users can manipulate front-end experiences with greater independence than ever before. And when they do need developer support, the speed of delivery is much faster because the development only happens in the front-end, with no impact on any back-end system.
How do we do it
Switching to a composable architecture cannot happen overnight, and it’s easy to get it wrong. We can help create your composable adoption strategy, select the right mix of technologies and design and implement the new experiences; here’s how we do it…
The Profound way
Customer-first composable commerce agency
For us, everything starts with the customer. Only once we understand the experiences your customers and business users want and what the strategic goals of your business are can we start having insightful conversations about the right technology mix for the future and the operational change required. This is why our team will begin with a tailored, consultative Discovery engagement before starting any implementation work.
Discovery and definition
Delivered by our experienced Strategy and Consulting team, our Discovery phase typically lasts around a month. It will focus on five key areas: your customers, your brand, your business, your technology landscape, and your data.
At the end of Discovery, we will have defined the future state customer experience, the composable technology to enable it, the operational changes and investment required to get there, and any technical proof of concepts needed before making any significant investment in technology licensing or implementation.
Digital transformation and implementation
Our high-calibre, cross-functional delivery team will design and build your new composable commerce solution. The size and shape of your delivery team will depend on the outcomes of Discovery, the speed of transformation required, the complexity of integrations and the level of involvement from your delivery teams – we are incredibly comfortable augmenting our team with clients' delivery teams.
Support and continuous improvement
Modern eCommerce websites should continuously evolve using insight and customer feedback to improve experiences and stay ahead of competitors. Our Support team are here to keep your site performing smoothly post-launch, whilst our eCommerce Optimisation team will help you plan and execute a strategic roadmap of continuous improvements and CRO initiatives.
Our composable technology partners
We will only recommend technology that’s right for your business. However, we only partner with next-generation, best-of-breed composable platforms (often referred to as headless or MACH technologies). This principle enables us to design unconstrained experiences whilst architecting flexible eCommerce ecosystems that can scale and adapt as your business grows or changes.
Search and discovery
PIM and DAM
Loyalty & reviews
Clients we've helped go composable
Attend a composable commerce adoption bootcamp
Need help understanding if composable commerce is right for you or how you can make the switch? Sign up for our composable adoption bootcamp: