The rise of composable eCommerce: MACH-L architecture and its benefits

The pursuit of flexibility might result in an expensive, uncontrolled and complex solution without delivering the agility we wanted to have in the first place.

And if headless is not the best strategy? And if after the go-live, future changes might not be as easy as you expect? These are some of the concerns raised by Gartner in its report called Composable Commerce Must Be Adopted for the Future of the Applications, June ‘20.

According to the report, the hype around “headless” approaches can cause organizations to lose focus when the actual requirement is for “many heads” and that’s crucial to the strategy of each business.

Therefore, organizations wishing to embark on the journey towards the future of applications should have a high level of digital maturity in place, warns Gartner’s consultant.

The rise of Composable Commerce: one possible solution

Monolithic applications have lost their traction during the last few years mainly due to the lack of flexibility and agility to evolve at the speed digital businesses require. Retailers are not accepting any more long projects of 18 months and millions of dollars invested on a slow-wagon from 1920. Today’s customers are demanding faster answers.

VTEX platform layers

The adoption of loosely-decoupled architecture platforms based on packaged business capabilities (PBC), where the back-end evolves independently from the front-end seems to be the only solution.

The decoupled nature of a modern front-end has become an enabler for the acceleration of a composable application approach.

This approach is so powerful that companies who have adopted the composable strategy will outpace their competitors by 80% in terms of new feature implementation.

Although the solution seems to be more clear, the final answer is not there yet. Are we moving towards a long-term race? Are we providing the best architecture solution in the mid and long term or will it be another “hype” that might incur in future problems similar to the headless?

The challenge: what applications should I use to compose my solution?

With the rise of the composable and the maturity of the marketplace, there are endless options to build the solution. Therefore, what has emerged to be easier and faster to build is becoming complex again. As vendors, we are failing to provide sustainable solutions.

Instead of keeping it simple and follow Gartner’s recommendation of “starting modular, composable commerce journey with low-hanging fruit, providing achievable goals that have clear business benefits”, I’ve seen projects with dozens of 3rd-party integrations and even new “heads” where there is no customer or profits.

Composable approach

Therefore, finding a solution that can cover most of the requirements providing a comprehensive solution will: Avoid complex implementation projects, improving time-to-market;

Orlando Gadea Ros, Black & Decker Director

What to expect from VTEX: the sweet spot of a composable-headless solution

VTEX approach

VTEX is a disruptive technology because it combines the scalability and security of a SaaS solution with the flexibility of a low-end development framework, which can be used to create from basic online stores to complex IoT and augmented reality tools.

How?

Although the hype around headless is quite new, VTEX adopted it back in 2011. In the past couple of years, we have been building the most comprehensive tool in the market that encompasses PIM, pricing, promotions & merchandising, subscriptions, DOM, CMS, AI-powered recommendation and search, marketplace, in-store suites and much more

Business areas don’t need to rely on SIs or IT teams to build their strategies. Throughout the VTEX back-end, it is possible to input all business requirements: attributes, multi price table, currencies, languages, shipping policies. Besides that, VTEX has a drag-&-drop native CMS that helps the marketing team to build landing pages and customise the content.

Ready-to-use front-end extensible React and Gatsby components to build from the home page to the checkout. To enhance the user experience, VTEX has also multiple native features such as PWA, pre-fetching, CSS compression and others.

VTEX IO is a cloud-native low code development platform that helps you deliver business solutions faster. From smooth, PWA-ready web stores, to custom admin interfaces and back-end integrations, VTEX IO offers an opinionated set of frameworks that allow you to evolve fast and safely.

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Rafael Campos

More than 15 years of experience in the digital industry. I’ve participated in more than 500 projects in 10 countries. Passionate about digital transformation.