Why starting with search can help you move from a monolithic to a composable commerce?

Why starting with search can help you move from a monolithic to a composable commerce?

How to implement a composable commerce architecture when you’ve got a big monolithic platform? What should be the business goal that should drive such an evolution? This is a very trending IT challenge for e-commerce players!

What is composable commerce and why it is transforming e-commerce?

Unlike the "monolithic" approach, which involves deploying a single, fully integrated solution for selling online, the composable commerce leverages MACH architecture (Micro-Services, API, Cloud Native, Headless) to enable retailers to assemble and add best-of-breed solutions dedicated to each specific need as they go along.

Composable commerce: the only way to meet consumer demand.

Today's consumers are increasingly demanding personalized, interactive and seamless omnichannel experiences that reach them across multiple digital channels. To help retailers to adapt and meet these demands, digital commerce platforms are more and more made up of interchangeable building blocks (for example a single building block for loyalty program, a single building block for payment). In short, composable commerce is about pooling components for the in-store experience and the online experience.

Composable commerce: a headless vision for creating a flexible, customizable digital commerce ecosystem.

At first, it's very convenient for retailers to have just one e-commerce platform that does everything they need. But day after day, it becomes less and less relevant for this or that function, so they try to trick the platform. After a while, if they want to change a function, they must change the whole platform.

By moving to composable commerce, retailers have a way of completely separating the frontend from the backend and take the best-of-breed solutions on the market. In fact, if a retailer is no longer satisfied with a technology because there are better ones on the market, he can simply change that solution, not the whole thing. And, of course, the retailer is independent and can change supplier if he doesn't reach the expected level.

This means that any changes within the company is much quicker. As a result, retailers get better shopping experiences for their visitors and better web performances. All this is possible thanks to the evolution of browser capabilities and the new JS framework.

Therefore, the benefits for retailers are significant: this architecture makes a major contribution to the independence and agility of their business.

The best way to get started in composable commerce is to start by optimizing the search engine.

When we talk about search, we're talking about semantics, about the ability to understand what people are actually typing and what they really want. It's a very complicated and highly specialized function. That's why, on a monolithic platform, it's very rare to get excellent results.

Of course, retailers can always make evolutions with a monolithic platform, but they’re going to put a lot of IT effort, spend a lot of time and money into manipulating it to get good results. But they won't get it because these technologies aren't designed for it.

Today, search is the first point of sale on the website. This means that if a merchant can increase the conversion rate of search, he increases the overall commission rate of his website. Just look at the cost you have on your traffic, it's completely crazy! So, invest where you can do things that turn a prospect into a customer. Manage your traffic assets.

Why starting with the search engine when adopting composable commerce benefits the IT architecture?

When you're going to a monolithic platform to composable commerce, you must share data between all the components. And when you're doing commerce, there is data that is very important: your product catalog.

When you put the search engine as first component to start your journey to composable commerce, you need to share this product catalog. That means that you are going to extract this catalog from your monolith and feed your best of breed search engine with it. This product catalog is independently managed. And of course, because it's a key asset, it needs to be share, not only to the search engine, but with other components. By doing so, you have a good approach, you take a good step forward the composable commerce.

Plug & Play deployment: a way to start enjoying business benefits without having too many costs.

Plug-and-play deployment gives retailers a very fast time-to-market, with no initial front-end development required. How is this possible?

Sensefuel brings search best practices out of the box, through its own SPA: a search layer who is ready to use and ready to be customized for each of our customer.

We've created an SDK that can accelerate the work of retailers and structure their front-end development in their own technical contexts: whether they're using ViewerJS, Angular, React... or whether they're using a dedicated headless solution, like Vue Storefront, for example. This SDK is fully compatible, and will help them plug everything in.

We are talking about relevance and rules. That's why, right from the start, Sensefuel capitalized on AI to autoconfigure relevance, so our customers can save a lot of time on settings. In fact, our aim was to find a quick and efficient way to composable with the search engine. So, our customers can save time, keep control of the costs, have time to validate that it works, and then, extend the use of our technology to the entire customer journey, i.e. the whole product discovery capabilities.

Retailers have to make sure that the search technology they choose can manage the whole product discovery capabilities.

Product listings, navigation, landing pages, product recommendations... Retailers have to make sure that the search technology they choose can handle all the product discovery on the front end, in other words, all the digital produt discovery.

Site search, product listings, facetted navigation, landing pages, product recommendations, etc. Retailers must make sure that the technology they select can handle the full product discovery on the front end, in other words, all the digital product discovery.

Why should they do this? Because cutting the monolithic platform into too small pieces by piling multiple technologies and solutions will generate a high financial cost and will be very difficult to manage over time.

In summary

The future of e-commerce will inevitably involve a paradigm shift, and Composable Commerce is the keystone! As retailers continue their journey towards a composable commerce architecture, they will be able to choose their main building blocks from different suppliers, thereby acquiring greater agility and fluidity.

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