The term composable commerce refers to the way the solutions are set up: Separate building blocks, best-of-breed applications, all with different business capabilities, composed into one coherent solution. When you build your commerce solution using a composable approach, you have unlimited flexibility to:
- add new functionality
- fail fast
- do right
- take risks
- push boundaries
- develop your business according to changed customer behavior
All while maintaining perfect performance, speed and quality. You get all these superpowers in one solution. But will your organization leverage the superpowers? This all depends on the business culture.
Collaboration in a composable organization
The flexibility of a composable commerce solution isn’t limited to the consumer experience.
One of the most tangible values is that your organization easily can customize the tools they use in their daily work to exactly what they need. To do this, they need to work closely with their development team.
Let us illustrate this with an example:
Customer Services would like to be able to make changes to e-commerce orders that have already been placed. They ask their in-house/partner developer to solve it for them. The developer builds the back-end functionality and plugs it in to the commerce platform. The user interface that Customer Services are working in can easily be adapted to manage this new functionality. When the new functionality is live, there might be some iterations and small UI tweaks before the usability for Customer Services is exactly what they need.
With this way of working, an organization can solve problems collaboratively, in a very efficient manner. Every person in the organization has unique skills and knowledge. When you connect the people and let them work together to constantly adapt your tools to the needs that arise, then you have composed a well-oiled machinery, a best-of-breed organization.
What kind of culture is required to work composable?
If we use the example of Customer Services again, we can identify a few important aspects:
- They know that their tool is customizable and that new functions can be added easily.
- They know that the dev team can help them customize it.
- They have the mandate to ask the dev team to make their daily work life easier.
- They have an open communication and close collaboration with their dev team.
- They test and iterate to find the best solution and the best usability.
If you compare these bullets with those defining what a composable commerce solution can do, you will see some similarities. And that is the point here: The culture and the organization need to be built around the same principles as the tech layer.The most important aspects are communication between all parts of the organization, and the ability to iterate. To test, fail, learn and improve. An old-fashioned organization, where mandates are in the way for innovation through iteration, will slow everything down. And reduce the chances of keeping up in modern commerce.