In the race for increasing market share, business and user requirements have expanded, and ecommerce tech infrastructure has become more complex and intertwined. As a result, composability has become an attractive option for online B2B and B2C businesses across many areas — particularly, e-commerce. But what exactly is composability, and why aren’t existing solutions delivering it?

What Is Composable Architecture?

Headless commerce architecture consists of a user experience solution connected to a back end merchandising/order management platform.  With composable e-commerce, users select best-of-breed components and combine them through connected APIs, thereby enjoying agility and seamless management. Some examples of functions are search, shopping cart, checkout, CMS, or personalization. Composable architecture supports the process of scaling storage, databases, networks, and computing functionality in a flexible fashion. These components are further distinguished with the headless category through their utilization of pure, microservice-based architecture.

Through a powerful yet flexible framework, all customer experience information becomes available in the user’s APIs, which are then linked to front-end components. This results in new business initiatives being delivered to the customer seamlessly, quickly, and with minimal reliance on other parties. For instance, marketers and digital leaders can utilize their own internal teams for the full lifecycle of the site. Similarly, design and creative teams can work independently from development and integration teams, thanks to the service-oriented nature of the platform.

The Benefits of Composable Front Ends

The perks of composable digital experience platforms (DXPs) span far and wide. For one, users of composable front ends experience between 25 and 50% improvement in their total cost of ownership or production. Moreover, product teams gain actual control of the product information, since they don’t have to wait for IT or development to make any changes. This enhances workflows and experiences, while also freeing up IT to function solely in their area of expertise in terms of providing site optimization, speed, and maintenance.

Moreover, composable DXPs allow businesses to engage with customers more easily and respond to their evolving needs rapidly, leading to a unified experience across all channels and a single brand experience across all touchpoints. They also offer unparalleled flexibility, as users can assemble their own commerce stack for the freedom to create a completely customized front-end experience while also controlling back-end operations. Finally, there’s no vendor commitment. Since features in composable back-ends can be swapped out, there’s no need to become locked in with a single vendor, which in turn creates an innovation mindset among vendors.

With these compelling benefits, it’s no surprise that composable front ends are quickly emerging as the new normal.

Why Legacy Approaches Can’t Keep Up

As the shift towards composable DXPs accelerates, it’s become increasingly apparent that “one-size-fits-all” legacy approaches just can’t keep up. The solutions which are currently offered by platform firms including Adobe, Sitecore, and Episerver don’t have the flexibility to be truly composable. Instead, they have rigid architecture which doesn’t lend itself to a fully headless approach. These monolithic platforms have limited capabilities that ultimately leave users stuck; it’s more difficult to create new sites, apps, and features that provide a truly unique and rewarding customer experience.

The ability to add new formats and channels with ease is a major advantage of composable DXPs. Plus, they’re more affordable, as they allow users to leverage existing solutions. With faster implementation, increased agility, and better overall user experiences, no legacy solution will be able to compete with the evolving needs of businesses and customer expectations in the ways that composable DXPs do.

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