COMPOSABLE COMMERCE - WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT'S WORTH IMPLEMENTING IN E-COMMERCE
#1 What is Composable commerce?
Composable commerce is a concept of building e-commerce based on a modular architecture, where each component is scalable, interchangeable, and can be connected with the rest of the architecture without affecting other services that make up the application. Composable technology allows for quick adaptation to changing business needs and enables faster scalability of the e-commerce platform. As a result, Composable commerce gives brands the tools for full control over business development and allows for rapid changes in the technological stack and business operations, ultimately facilitating growth.
#2 History of Composable commerce
The term Composable commerce was introduced by Gartner in 2020 in the Magic Quadrant report. It defined it as a way for companies to build a unique e-commerce experience by combining technologies that best fit their mission and organizational goals.
#3 Difference between monolithic architecture and Composable
Monolithic architecture is the traditional approach to software design, where all functionalities are integrated into a single application. In the case of e-commerce businesses, a platform with such a structure may have limitations because making changes in such an ecosystem may require a complete re-write.
Composable commerce architecture, on the other hand, allows companies to create their own digital vision for their brand by combining the best solutions provided by various service providers into one system. In this approach, individual elements communicate with each other through APIs, making it easier to customize and improve specific parts of the architecture.
Composable commerce is a more decentralized and flexible approach to building e-commerce architecture, as opposed to the monolithic architecture, which is more integrated and challenging to modify.
#4 Headless, Microservices, MACH
Headless is an architecture in which the frontend and backend of an application are separated and communicate with each other through APIs. Headless allows for independent development and scaling of each part of the application.
The Headless Commerce frontend (e.g., in the form of a Progressive Web App - PWA) and backend are decoupled and work independently. By adding additional "blocks" of functionality, such as PIM, checkout, or SSO, a Composable commerce architecture can be achieved, where components from different service providers can be freely chosen and combined into a coherent whole.
Microservices are an approach to building applications based on breaking them down into smaller, independent components. Each microservice is responsible for a specific functionality and communicates with others through APIs.
MACH is an acronym that stands for Microservices, API, Cloud, and Headless. It consists of four key elements: business model, application architecture, cloud infrastructure, and integration with external systems. It is a holistic approach to designing and implementing e-commerce applications by collaborating various technologies to ensure scalability, reliability, and system efficiency.
#5 Magento 2 and Composable commerce
Magento 2 is an e-commerce engine that, despite being monolithic, can serve as an excellent foundation for building an architecture based on the Composable commerce approach. Magento is one of the few platforms that allow for such a flexible business environment. It enables handling millions of store orders with high system availability and reliability. Additionally, thanks to the availability of multiple integrations and high-quality extensions, it provides platform owners with the freedom to customize their stores according to their needs. When complemented with appropriate microservices, it can create a demanding, scalable, and efficient e-commerce platform.
Combining Magento 2 with the Composable commerce approach allows for selecting the best e-commerce solutions and combining them to create a unique application tailored to the specific business needs.
#6 Technological Perspective of Composable commerce
The composable approach involves combining different modules of functionalities, each serving a specific purpose, to create the most optimal solution. As a result, it involves building an online sales platform using a "best-of-breed" strategy, where each element is optimized to support business goals and KPIs.
Gartner predicts that by 2023, organizations adopting the composable commerce approach will outperform their competition by 80% in terms of the speed of introducing new functionalities. Therefore, the technological perspective of composable commerce is forward-looking, and the implementation of this approach has the potential to bring significant business benefits.
Example of composable architecture
#7 Benefits of the Composable commerce Approach
Implementing an e-commerce store with the Composable commerce approach brings numerous benefits, including:
Scalability: E-commerce built on the Composable approach is easy to scale with the growth of B2B and B2C businesses. One platform can handle multiple stores or catalogs, both B2B and B2C, targeting different markets and with different functionalities.
Competitiveness: Composable stores are more competitive and allow for a rapid response to dynamically changing e-commerce markets. Frontend changes (e.g., PWA) can be made easily and quickly to improve SEO and user experience without the need to replace the backend of the platform.
Improved customer experiences: Composable commerce enhances the shopping experience by allowing the customization of the e-store according to individual customer needs and preferences. It also improves the speed of the platform.
Flexibility: The Composable approach enables quick adaptation of the store to changing market needs and requirements.
Efficiency: Composable commerce makes the process of creating and developing a store more efficient and faster.
Time and cost savings: Implementing e-commerce using the Composable approach saves time and money by automating many processes and eliminating the need to rewrite code from scratch during migration.
E-commerce is growing in strength year by year, and the competition is fierce. Implementing e-commerce with the Composable commerce technology allows for delivering better shopping experiences and better adaptability to customer needs, which can contribute to increased popularity of the store and better financial results for the company.
#8 How to Implement Composable commerce successfully?
Successful implementation of the Composable architecture requires careful planning of the e-commerce architecture change process. Building such a platform is a process, not a one-time project. If you already have a functioning e-commerce store, it is worthwhile to start with an audit of the current store to diagnose which elements require the most improvement or development. Then, you can begin to build the Composable architecture based on existing elements (e.g., extracting the front or PIM from the monolithic system) and then adding additional components that address specific functions of the monolith.
If your current system is already too outdated to serve as a stable foundation for a new platform, planning a comprehensive migration is worth considering, but it doesn't have to be the final architecture immediately. You can start with a combination of applications that address your most critical business and technological needs, such as a PWA frontend, a PIM for product knowledge management, a performant and optimized checkout to prevent order loss, and a convenient CMS for content management on the website. Only then can you gradually add more components.
A good solution is to implement a more comprehensive e-commerce system like Magento 2, supplemented with a small set of applications, and then gradually "pulling out" various areas of e-commerce from Magento and replacing them with dedicated microservices. This approach reduces the risk of mistakes and incorrect assumptions, especially if it's your first experience with Composable commerce.
#9 CASE STUDY: Kubota
Most available PWA solutions on the market usually require a separate backend e-commerce engine to function as a complete online store. Thanks to the Composable approach, the designed solutions support both Magento 2 platforms and are designed as one of the components of a larger, customized Composable commerce infrastructure.
In the case of Kubota, the architecture includes, among others:
Magento 2 platform,
microservices, e.g., CMS, checkout, PIM, API,
integrations, e.g., Baselinker or User.com,
The API used in this project was utilized to create a bot that allows users to purchase KUBOTA products through Messenger using BLIK payment.
The goal of the architecture and backend was to increase stability and performance and improve communication between systems. By using the Composable approach, the KUBOTA store consistently achieves record-breaking sales success without a decrease in system performance.
To learn more about our implementation for Kubota, check out the full article.