Taking the wrong decision or taking it too late is always a risk. By the time you have done the research and got the mandate to execute, the circumstances might have changed. Or, the implementation of the new, trendy functionality will take a month of development, because your ERP version is not compatible, so you need to do a complete tech stack update first.
This is the reality in modern commerce. Trends come and go quickly, and change is the only thing that is constant. The good news is that commerce technology has been adapted to this reality.
Modern commerce technology allows us to;
- Easily create new experiences when there is a customer demand for it
- Use data to tell us how our customers behave, and where we should focus our efforts
- Replace solutions and functionality that are no longer relevant, with other features.
There are many names for this new type of commerce solution. Most of these might scare off non-developers but don’t worry, we will keep this on a very non-techy level. You might have come across these concepts: MACH, Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native or Headless. We will not use those terms here. Instead, we will be talking about building blocks.
Designing your unique e-commerce solution, block by block
A modern commerce solution is always built around the customer journey. A complete customer journey requires a number of building blocks, or business capabilities, such as CMS, ERP, Search, Relevance, live video shopping, checkout etc. In a so-called monolith solution, you get most of these capabilities in one suite, whereas here, with this building block approach, you are spoilt for choice. It is up to you to select the components you need, and the functionalities that your customers require.
When you have the freedom to use any block you want for your solution, you will naturally use the best one on the market, for that capability, a so called best-of-breed system. You also have the freedom to replace any of the building blocks, if you have found a better one, or if you don’t need it anymore.
If you use the above approach and build your own commerce solution with separate interchangeable building blocks, instead of using a suite-based solution, you have gone composable.
Increasingly, commerce organizations use this approach to improve agility and flexibility. And more vendors offer cloud-native modular software solutions. According to Gartner, (who coined the term composable), companies with a composable tech solution will be 80% faster than their competitors, in implementing new features, by 2023.
Whether this approach is right for your company, depends on your business strategy.