Composable Commerce

Composable commerce and microservices - explained with tomatoes

Dec 07, 2020

Digital commerce platforms are evolving quickly, and a new type of architecture will change the game for retailers, very soon.

According to a Gartner survey;

  • By 2023, companies with a composable tech solution will be 80% faster than their competitors, in implementing new features.
  • By 2023, 30 % of commerce companies will need a dedicated API product manager in their organization, to handle the modernization of commerce applications and the underlying architecture.
  • Packaged Business Capabilities, (PBCs) will be used by 10% of retailers by 2024

Below, we briefly explain Composable commerce, Packaged Business Capabilities, microservices and why many digital retailers will need an API product manager in a near future. If it still doesn't make sense how they are connected - we use a cooking metaphor to explain it all.

What are microservices?

Microservices is a developer concept and refers to how software is composed. A number of small, independent services communicating over well-defined APIs form a microservice, which in turn can be one part of a Packaged Business Capability (PBC), explained below.

What are Packaged Business Capabilities - PBCs and Composable Commerce? A Packaged Business Capability (PBC) is typically composed by several software components- microservices. The composition of microservices provides a tangible business capability, bringing value to the business operations. Composable commerce refers to a solution that consists of several Business Capabilities, modules that enable specific features or functionalities.

To achieve agility and flexibility in delivering experiences, modular packaged business capabilities (PBCs) are brought together to form composable digital commerce platforms that align to the future of applications.

The integration of new modules in a composable commerce solution often occurs close to the customer experience layer. This allows digital retailers to quickly change and adapt the composition of modules according to customer needs, and to build an experience that goes beyond the e-commerce purchase. This constant adaptation will be the core responsibility of an API product manager, a role which Gartner predicts will be needed by 30 % of retailers by 2023 .

A cooking metaphor explaining composable commerce and microservices

Italian San Marsano tomatoes are grown with one specific purpose, to be the main ingredient in a world class tomato sauce. The composition of the San Marsano tomato, with thin peel, soft seeds and juicy pulp is ideal for that purpose. Microservices are these separate, ideal features of the tomato. The tomato is a PBC, or a module, carefully grown and harvested for a specific purpose. San Marsano tomatoes are cooked together with other carefully selected ingredients, modules. The tomato sauce is the commerce solution, the dish you serve your customers.

Together the ingredients bring a unique taste and value for the dinner guests. And just like dinner guests, consumers want inspiration and new features, not the same dish every time. Retailers need to be able to quickly put together new ingredients, according to new trends and customer behavior. With a modular approach, they can easily cook something new, with the API product manager as the chef.

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