Lars Birkholm PetersenPosted on Mar 27, 2023
4 min read
Building digital shopping experiences for the modern marketplace
The economic shift in the past years has led to an explosion of e-retailers and payment providers in e-commerce, which is here to stay because of its tremendous accessibility and convenience. Consequently, businesses must embrace omnichannel strategies to attract customers, foster engagement, and nurture brand loyalty.
To win dominance, brands must move beyond rigid legacy platforms to composable architectures for a seamless shopper experience. At a recent webinar, From Preaching to Practice: Composable Commerce with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, I discussed with Igor Faletski, VP of product–commerce at Salesforce, the advantages of composable architectures over legacy platforms and composable’s transformative effects on e-commerce. In particular, we delved into why composable commerce trumps all for the digital storefront and what to do to implement that agile and sustainable approach.
E-commerce demands speed and flexibility
To win customers in fast-moving e-commerce, which was even more accelerated by the COVID pandemic, adaptability, speed, and performance are paramount. That is, consumers must be able to easily find, purchase, and receive products and services where and whenever they want them.
The pros for adopting agile and sustainable platforms include the following:
- Velocity: In a monolithic world, building application components could take weeks or months. To stay competitive, technical and business teams must deliver economical, immersive experiences through more efficient yet less costly innovations.
- Performance: Site performance is a top indicator for indexing pages, but the search engine optimization (SEO) rules are constantly changing. The faster you can offer an enticing shopping experience, the more likely your site will rank high on Google.
- Employee satisfaction: Practitioners can focus on creating engrossing experiences; and developers, on value-add features.
Monolithic no longer works for today’s e-commerce
Even though monolithic applications—all-in-one solutions with self-contained and robust feature suites—have remained a mainstay for the past two decades, you’re locked in to one vendor. Furthermore, the features that are instrumental for meeting consumer expectations could take an inordinately long time to be ready. No way can an inflexible model like that meet the constantly evolving demands of the digital marketplace for being swift and agile.
The response to monolithic has been a pendulum swing—from tools that cater to marketers with digital experience platforms (DXPs) to headless architectures that favor developers but exclude business users from the creation process. Not only that, brands starting on headless must wrestle with a messy stack paralyzed by glue code, which connects headless systems. Any wonder that innovation and team collaboration suffer as a result?
Uniform DXCP and Salesforce Commerce Cloud deliver more value
Out of that chaotic headless world emerged digital experience composition, a new category for designing architectures that beats the legacy suite approach. Of remarkable performance is Uniform Digital Experience Composition Platform (DXCP), with which you can connect underlying systems like commerce, content management system (CMS), product information management (PIM), and digital asset management (DAM) to your front end of choice. Correspondingly, marketers, merchandisers, and other practitioners can work in an orchestration layer in which to scalably assemble and deliver experiences.
Uniform DXCP comprises three layers:
- An API integration, with which you can snap in and swap out technologies from your stack with no costly replatforming.
- A no-code experience builder, with which marketers can create experiences without switching tools or awaiting developer assistance.
- A front end of your choice (a framework like Next.js or Nuxt), which connects to the technologies that drive digital experiences.
To complete the journey to composable, you would pair DXCP with such solutions as Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s Composable Storefront.
Composable commerce accelerates time to market
A key benefit of going composable is that brands can progressively build architectures during the transition. Moreover, by blending customizable, headless solutions like Salesforce Composable Storefront with DXCP, you can easily connect components, such as shopping carts and product catalogs.
To sum up, pairing DXCP with your commerce stack affords you the tools for speedily and adroitly building and managing captivating e-commerce experiences. Plus, instead of being bogged down by a monolithic architecture with limited capabilities, you can pick the components you desire, no holds barred.
A roadmap to composable commerce is the answer
Ready to start your journey to composable commerce? Here are the three phases involved:
- Phase 1: Create a proof of concept (POC), i.e., a small, composable storefront that focuses on one page, like a product detail page, or a few pages.
- Phase 2: Secure stakeholder buy-in by connecting your CMS, DAM, and other components to your existing stack and then assessing agencies with a composable approach that can help you implement the architecture.
- Phase 3: Plan and execute sequentially by enhancing your workflows from design and development to content optimization. Expand your stack’s connectivity and, ultimately, render your organization a center of excellence for composable.
Composable commerce requires transitioning from a closed platform-first to an open value-first architecture. For more insights on the power of a composable commerce stack, watch the full webinar.