What Is Composable Commerce?

One-size-fits-all solutions are no longer in vogue. Brands are moving towards a composable ecosystem where applications are API-first and can integrate easily with any other best-of-breed solution. Composability is a fundamental requirement for keeping up with rising consumer demands and technological advancements across the globe.

According to a Gartner survey of CIOs and top executives, companies with a high level of composability expect a 7.7% increase in revenue in 2022. In contrast, low-composability companies expect revenues to rise by only 3.4%.

Adopting a composable commerce architecture involves integrating several best-of-breed solutions, such as shopping cart, order management system (OMS), headless product configurator, personalization engine, promotion engine, analytics, and customer relationship management (CRM).

In this article, you’ll learn about composable commerce and its impact on your enterprise agility and revenue.

What Is Composable Commerce

Composable commerce is another notch above headless commerce, enabling easy integrations with other tools to build your ultimate eCommerce tech stack. Unlike traditional and monolithic commerce platforms that are vendor-locked and complex to scale, composable commerce facilitates enhanced flexibility and agility, vendor independence, and customized shopping experiences.

Like all composable platforms, it is a combination of independent, API-first, SaaS-based solutions that align with the principles of MACH architecture, including shopping cart, OMS, payment integrations, promotions engine, and PIM. These solutions are independent of one another but can be combined to deliver exceptional, customer-centric digital experiences.

Composable commerce and headless commerce are often confused, but while they are similar concepts, they are not the same. Composable commerce is not unlike composable DXP, but with extra focus on eCommerce functionality. Headless commerce, on the other hand, focuses on decoupling the frontend interface from the backend logic of your eCommerce engine, enabling it to serve as an ideal foundation for your composable commerce setup.

Let’s take a look at some of the basic tenets of a composable commerce platform:

  • MACH architecture: MACH derives its name from four essential building blocks of modern applications: Microservice-based, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless architecture. Implementing applications that follow these principles enables you to respond quickly to changing market demands and extend the functionality of your eCommerce store.
  • Customer-centricity: While monolithic eCommerce systems are built on complex and rigid structures that make them difficult and expensive to customize, composable commerce provides a flexible platform with the scalability to meet present and future business goals. It allows companies to develop innovative business models, transform their digital strategies, and create unique customer experiences without being limited by their infrastructure.
  • Modular architecture: Implementing a microservice-based infrastructure leads to faster time-to-market, rapid innovation, and improved shopping experiences.
  • Open ecosystem: Because of their API-first nature, composable commerce platforms empower businesses to quickly deploy cutting-edge, omnichannel storefronts and shopping experiences by leveraging third-party apps, headless commerce platforms, and pre-built solutions.

Composable Commerce vs. Monolithic eCommerce Platforms

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of composable commerce over monolithic eCommerce platforms:

Omnichannel eCommerce Experiences

The world is currently littered with a variety of digital touchpoints and devices across mobile, web, email, social media, AR/VR, 3D visuals, and more. Having a commerce solution that provides a consistent shopping experience across all of these platforms is vital, and the headless nature of a composable commerce architecture enables businesses to implement consistent omnichannel experiences.

Personalized Shopping Experiences

Monolithic eCommerce platforms have a generic, template-based eCommerce design. These UIs are typically unable to showcase your brand’s uniqueness and distinguishing characteristics. This is obviously not ideal, as personalized shopping experiences lead to a 20% boost in customer satisfaction and loyalty.

A composable commerce architecture helps you build entirely custom interfaces and a shopping presence for your brand, which leads to increased customer satisfaction and engagement.

Agility to Innovate

All retailers want to see a reduction in their churn rate—and key to ensuring this is the agility to innovate, adapt, and create dynamic marketing campaigns. Due to their vendor-specific nature, most monolithic commerce platforms are limited in the services they support and can be difficult to integrate with other best-of-breed solutions.

In contrast, having a composable architecture allows you to quickly adapt to market and customer requirements, helping you stay ahead of the competition.

Composable Commerce: Building Your Best-of-Breed Ecosystem

A composable commerce architecture consists of several components:

Headless Commerce

A headless commerce platform decouples the frontend and backend, giving you the flexibility to build custom interfaces using any framework or language. The platform still provides all the backend essentials of a traditional commerce platform but without the tightly coupled frontend interface, resulting in faster page load times, better customer experience, higher sales, and boosted revenue.

Examples of headless commerce platforms: Shopify, BigCommerce

Headless CMS

A content management system, specifically a headless CMS, enables businesses to create and deliver content across all platforms. Some headless CMS platforms also offer headless commerce capabilities. They are frontend, agnostic platforms that facilitate omnichannel content delivery.

Examples of headless CMS platforms: Strapi, Contentful

Analytics

Building your online shopping presence without the right software to track its success will have an adverse effect on your bottom line. When building your composable commerce stack, you need an analytics engine that will help you track and measure KPIs for performance, reliability, and continuous improvement. Results from the analytics platform will help you refine and improve your service offerings.

Examples of an analytics engine: Google Analytics, Kissmetrics

Promotions Engine

Another crucial part of a robust eCommerce platform is the promotion and loyalty engine. Enterprises can leverage a promotion engine to deliver tailored offers and discounts to online buyers. This solution can be integrated into your composable commerce architecture, connecting with your CRM and eCommerce engine.

Examples of a promotions engine: Fabric, Talon.One

Search Platforms

An eCommerce platform is incomplete without powerful search functionality that allows site visitors to quickly and easily find products. These search platforms can offer personalized search results, synonyms and typo-tolerant search, voice search, AI-based search functionality, and a recommendation engine. Integrating this search functionality into your composable commerce architecture helps you boost conversions and generate higher sales.

Examples of an eCommerce search software: Algolia, Searchanise

Headless/Custom Product Configurator

A custom product configurator is an eCommerce platform that enables customers to envision and customize the elements of a product according to their specific needs. For example, car configurators allow customers to select their ideal car color, rim designs, tire size, and shape of the car hood.

Aside from that, they can serve as the foundation for your best-of-breed composable commerce architecture. This shouldn't be confused with traditional template-based product configurators. Learn more about the differences between custom/headless configurators vs template-based product configurators.

Examples of a custom product configurator: Salsita 3D Configurator, Configure One

Shopping Cart

A shopping cart is a software module that helps keep track of potential purchases and facilitates a frictionless checkout process. It aggregates and organizes a customer’s shopping list and seamlessly transmits vital information to retailers and payment processors. The critical components of an eCommerce shopping cart include product data, order, and catalog management.

Other essential eCommerce functionality you can integrate into your composable commerce architecture include OMS, PIM, payment integrations, and catalogs.

Examples of an eCommerce shopping cart: Snipcart, SamCart

Build The Ultimate Omnichannel eCommerce Ecosystem

Having an API-driven ecosystem is essential for retailers that dream of enabling limitless commerce experiences for their customers. A composable commerce platform serves as an ecosystem to build your ideal personalized online shopping presence via best-of-breed, API-first components.

To get started with composability, you can integrate a headless product configurator such as Salsita 3D Configurator with other commerce modules such as a promotions engine, search functionality, shopping cart, analytics engine, payment gateway, and ERP.

The Salsita 3D Configurator comes with a robust, API-driven core that enables retailers to create customized configurator experiences that integrate seamlessly with your backend systems. Salsita’s extensive development experience with headless and API-driven integrations helps provide you with a finely-tuned and flexible eCommerce solution.

You can book a free demo to learn more about how the Salsita 3D Configurator can boost your online revenues and increase customer engagement. We are ready to connect with you and answer any questions that you have.

About Salsita

Salsita Software is a web and mobile app agency specializing in compelling frontend experiences. We focus on eCommerce frontends including 3D product configurators.