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Building a Composable Mindset

Getting started with composable.

Who Is Composable For?

Despite the praise for composable commerce in this article, composable isn't for everyone. There are still cases where a monolith might be the most appropriate option for you. That being said, let's assess two qualities you should examine before deciding to migrate to composable.

Business complexity

For some businesses, like those with simple product types or single locales, composable commerce might be overkill. Composable is best-suited for omniretail brands that operate in multiple locales and markets, across multiple channels, using multiple currencies, or with multiple revenue models.

Digital maturity

Not all businesses have the means or willingness to invest in innovation through technology, a key element of composable commerce. This doesn't mean that monoliths are less advanced than composable platforms, but composable platforms demand a robust tech strategy to manage a curated suite.

Where to Start

So you've determined that your business needs are complex enough that you need a commerce platform that's optimized for complexity. And you're eager to explore tech investments to modernize and differentiate your business. Now what?

A composable migration is non-prescriptive. While some businesses may want to replace every commerce component at once, others might find it more prudent and pragmatic to take a more gradual, measured approach.

A smart place to start is often with the decoupling of your commerce platform’s front-end and back-end—going headless, in other words. Headless commerce, a building block of composable, allows for a flexible front-end that can accommodate customizable content models depending on a customer's touchpoint.

From there, you might consider tackling functions that can provide you with more immediate value. For example, optimizing your data systems, personalization, search, or even smaller components like promotions are great ways to increase your conversion rates and revenue—ultimately helping you to fund larger replatforming roadmaps in the future. But remember, when you’re defining your roadmap, these choices aren’t haphazard. Reflect holistically on both your current pain points and your future business goals.

Mapping Your Future State

Maybe your brand is struggling to launch in a new country. Maybe your product information management (PIM) solution lacks the power to handle your increasingly nuanced product configurations. Or maybe you’re experiencing some of the other common pain points outlined in this piece from commercetools. It’s only by identifying the gap between where you are and where you’d like to be that you can start to build the roadmap to bridge that gap.

You can think of developing this roadmap as the planning process for building a house. If you simply go to an empty plot of land and start nailing boards of wood together, you won't get very far. But if you consult with an architect, draw up blueprints, and create a phased strategy for building, you'll feel much safer and more confident.

In this scenario, the Composable.com Accelerator is the architect. This accelerator provides you with the foundations of a curated commerce suite, so you don't have to assemble digital journeys from scratch.

To illustrate, Indigo—Canada’s largest book, gift, and specialty toy retailer—leveraged the accelerator to establish a phased roadmap. Working alongside our Myplanet team, Indigo identified their need to manage multiple product categories and bridge their in-store and digital experiences to orchestrate a more seamless customer experience. With a roadmap that outlined how to transition their current commerce infrastructure while maintaining operability for their customers, Indigo had a clear path toward their future-ready, flexible, and integrated commerce vision.

Innovation and change can be daunting things, but you never have to do it alone. Our team can guide you through all of the key decisions that will help you determine if composable commerce is right for your brand. By equipping you with headless commerce, retail data engineering, and customer data activation, you'll have full control to shape how customers experience your brand.

If you’d like to learn more, drop me a line or connect with our team at Composable.com!

Author Image

Sarah Ruiter

Senior Retail Technology Analyst, Myplanet

With an educational background in retail management and a career entirely in tech, I combine my two passions to help retailers navigate the complexity of digital transformations. I learn about the business challenges facing retail leaders, diving deep on the expertise and perspectives their experiences offer, to bring the latest information on the evolving world of retail to you.

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