Regardless of where your customers are interacting with your business, whether that be in person, on mobile, or laptop, they expect the interaction to facilitate their desires. How your company delivers on these desires is not relevant to them.
A Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey has recently revealed that increased usage of digital technology, digital channel flexibility, and an expectation of better CX were notably the biggest shifts in customer behavior.
Shifting towards customer-centricity, which entails prioritizing the needs of customers, goes beyond superficial changes.
In this article, we’ll deepen our understanding of how composable commerce enhances customer experience by offering retailers the flexibility to integrate best-of-breed solutions, personalize interactions, and scale their systems to meet customer demands. We will examine the benefits, challenges, and best practices associated with adopting a composable approach.
Current Retail Landscape: Navigating a Changing Industry
Gone are the days when merely delivering a quality product or service was sufficient to win.
Enterprises now acknowledge that the true differentiating factor for their brand lies in the realm of "customer experience”: users expect experiences that are meaningful, relevant, seamless, contextual, and personalized.
Contextual relevance is another key aspect that customers want. They expect brands to recognize their unique circumstances, understand their preferences, and deliver tailored experiences that anticipate their needs.
Moreover, customers are increasingly seeking authenticity and transparency from the brands they engage with. They value honesty, ethical practices, and brands that align with their values.
Customers today are more informed, connected, and empowered than ever before, and they expect nothing less than exceptional experiences.
Frictionless experiences have become the standard, with customers demanding smooth interactions across different touchpoints. They want intuitive interfaces, easy-to-use websites and apps, and streamlined processes that save them time and effort. Any friction or inconvenience in the customer journey can lead to frustration and, ultimately, a negative perception of the brand.
Composable commerce has emerged as a game-changer, offering unprecedented flexibility, scalability, and customization to retailers.
Composable Architecture: The Future of Retail
Considering that retail is now widely digitalized, composable commerce can be achieved through the use of modular IT architectures, known as Composable Architectures.
Composable architecture is an essential shift from traditional monolithic commerce platforms towards a modular, API-driven architecture. It enables retailers to build unique, tailored experiences by seamlessly integrating best-of-breed solutions from multiple vendors, rather than being locked into a one-size-fits-all platform. This empowers retailers to quickly adapt to changing market dynamics, experiment with new technologies, and deliver personalized experiences.
Highly adaptable and customizable platforms with low-code components are ideal for building composable experiences. They must have essential characteristics like the following:
- Microservices: small independent services that are responsible for a specific function.
- APIs: provide a standard way for components to communicate and interact with one another.
- Cloud-Native: to create highly scalable, flexible, and resilient applications that can rapidly upgrade to meet customer needs.
- Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs): a collection of autonomous, independent, and API-driven components that can be assembled together to build any application.
Composable architectures enable composable commerce, which leads to a "plug-and-play" mentality, allowing retailers to select and integrate specific functionalities, such as product catalogs, shopping carts, payments, inventory management, and more, from a wide variety of specialized vendors. This modular approach not only fosters innovation but also operational efficiency, as retailers can choose the solutions that align most closely with their customers’ needs.
Unlocking Retail Success: The Advantages of Composable Commerce
Composable Commerce offers a myriad of benefits for retailers looking to thrive in an ever-evolving market. Below, we delve into the advantages that make this approach a game-changer for the Retail industry.
- More efficient development: By building smaller, mutually independent, decoupled components, developers can choose the most appropriate technology and language for each module. This approach can lead to software that is more efficient, performs better, and provides high-quality user experiences.
- Improved flexibility: Through the utilization of composable architecture, the process of replacing or modifying components becomes effortless, enabling greater flexibility and adaptability to evolving business requirements.
- Unprecedented scalability: Fragmenting a system into smaller components facilitates the ability to scale specific parts independently, rather than scaling the entire system. As new modules and extensions become available, companies can easily incorporate them into their personalized setups and this allows the software to adapt and evolve alongside users, continuously meeting their changing preferences and demands.
- Enhanced reusability: PBCs are designed to be reusable and this saves time and resources, allowing companies to focus on adding unique value and innovation to their projects.
- Accelerated Deploy: In a monolithic architecture, even a small change requires a complete deployment of the entire system, with the need to reboot the entire instance. With a composable architecture, on the other hand, it is possible to incrementally deploy only those components that need upgrading, leaving the rest of the system operational and reducing downtime risks. This results in faster, more secure, and incremental deployment activities.
Use cases: Real-World Examples of Composable Commerce in Retail
To truly understand the transformative power of Composable Commerce in the retail sector, we turn our attention to real-world use cases. These concrete examples will inspire and provide valuable insights into the practical application of Composable Commerce within the retail landscape.
When it comes to software personalization, composability plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall client experience and customization possibilities, leading to higher customer satisfaction and increased productivity.
- Modular architecture: Functionalities are broken down into separate components and each module can be customized independently, allowing retailers to mix and match functionalities according to their specific needs and preferences. This modularity makes it easier to personalize the software by adding or removing specific features without affecting the core functionality.
- Integration of third-party extensions: Companies can add functionalities developed by other parties, expanding the software's capabilities and enabling a personalized experience based on the customer's preferences.
Ability to innovate
In the context of technology, composability plays an essential part in accelerating the pace of innovation.
- Rapid Prototyping: Components can be rapidly assembled to create prototypes of new products or services. This enables retailers to test various ideas and concepts quickly, reducing the time and cost of development.
- Continuous Experimentation: Businesses can experiment with different combinations and configurations easily.
Empowering Retail Transformation: Mia-Platform Solution
In the rapidly evolving retail landscape, businesses require innovative solutions to stay competitive. Mia-Platform stands as a prime example of how composable IT architectures are revolutionizing the retail industry. Mia-Platform offers a dynamic and scalable approach, allowing retailers to customize their systems with ease and agility.
In particular, Mia-Platform is helping its Retailer clients to approach composability by offering:
- Mia-Platform Marketplace: A comprehensive software catalog that gathers and offers reusable modular components, accelerating the development and evolution of applications.
- Mia-Platform Fast Data: A collection of pre-built microservices that decouple data from enterprise systems, re-aggregate it, and provide real-time, 24/7 access to channels. This ensures consistent information across systems and applications.
- Mia-Platform Console: An Internal Developer Platform (IDP) meticulously designed to streamline cloud-native development and operations. It encourages the adoption of a microservices approach, allowing you to rethink your architecture for enhanced efficiency.
Composable commerce enhances the customer experience by providing flexibility, personalization, seamless omnichannel interactions, scalability, and fostering innovation. By tailoring the commerce solution to specific business needs and customer expectations, companies can deliver exceptional experiences that drive customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, business growth.
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