Global e-commerce sales hit around $5.2 trillion in 2021. Projections indicate a substantial 56% surge in the upcoming years, with estimates pointing to a staggering $8.1 trillion by 2026.
Today, if your platform is not composable you are missing the most important offerings your eCommerce platform rewards. A composable platform allows you to make use of best-of-breed solutions for your store leading to endless personalisation capabilities.
Composable commerce is a modern approach to building e-commerce systems that emphasizes flexibility, agility, and customization through the use of modular, interchangeable components. Instead of relying on monolithic platforms, composable commerce allows businesses to assemble their e-commerce ecosystem from various microservices, APIs, and third-party integrations.
Think of composable commerce as constructing a digital store using LEGO blocks. Each block represents a specific function, like product catalog, payment processing, inventory management, recommendation engine, and more. These blocks can be easily added, removed, or replaced to tailor the e-commerce experience to the specific needs of the business.
For instance, consider an online fashion retailer using a composable commerce approach:
- Product Catalog Block: The retailer starts with a basic product catalog module. This module manages product listings, descriptions, and images.
- Payment Gateway Block: They add a payment gateway module to handle secure online transactions. This module integrates with different payment providers to offer a variety of payment options to customers
- Inventory Management Block: To keep track of stock levels, the retailer integrates an inventory management module. It helps prevent overselling and notify when products are running low.
- Personalization Block: Recognizing the importance of personalization, the retailer includes a personalization module. It uses customer browsing and purchase history to offer tailored product recommendations.
- Social Media Integration Block: To tap into social commerce, the retailer integrates a social media module. This allows customers to browse and buy products directly through social media platforms.
- Analytics and Reporting Block: The retailer adds an analytics module that provides insights into customer behaviour, sales trends, and other key metrics.
By combining these modular blocks, the retailer creates a custom e-commerce platform that aligns precisely with their business model and goals. If they want to introduce new features, they can easily do so by integrating additional blocks without having to overhaul the entire system. This approach not only accelerates development but also enables the retailer to stay agile and competitive in a rapidly evolving e-commerce landscape.
In essence, composable commerce empowers businesses to architect their e-commerce solution like a well-fitting suit, with each component tailored to their specific requirements.
Your customers can reach out to you from multiple channels. Omnichannel means your customers get a consistent experience at all the touchpoints. The essence of omnichannel is to seamlessly connect all the touchpoints so marketing and serving the customers is entirely based on all their journey data you have accumulated from all the channels. Your customer may cart a dress online but might want to buy it offline. The customer experience would increase manifold if you know your customers already, hence offering them their liked options.
The goal of omnichannel is to provide customers with a cohesive and convenient journey, allowing them to switch between channels effortlessly while still receiving a consistent brand message and service.
It’s vital your store offers analytics as it allows you to know how you have been performing and where to target your marketing efforts. Analytics empowers you to know what are your customers likings, what are the top-selling products, and more. A comprehensible dashboard and regular reports are essences of analytics.
Business success is highly driven by analysing the metrics and deciding your course of action based on that. Apart from all the basic metrics, a great platform may allow you to get an in-depth customer analysis. You can segregate your audience or customers with its help and create different strategies according to the funnel.
Integrations and API Support
Your platform must be empowered to have third-party vendor integrations, plugins and extensions. It helps with streamlining the processes so you can have efficiency in your operations and enhance the user experience with automation so very little management is required.
The presence of a flexible Application Programming Interface (API) empowers you to customize and expand functionality, catering to your business needs. Integration capabilities ensure scalability, efficient automation, and accurate data synchronization.
It's crucial you understand your business requirements properly so you can assess the available integrations of an ecommerce platform as not all of them offer all kinds of integrations.
Here are some of the most popular plugins you can look for:
- Email Marketing
- Customer Loyalty Programs
- Payment & Shipping
- 3rd Party Digital Tools (for swift integration with tools like CRMs, Marketing automation, and ERPs)
As your business grows, your platform must be able to cater to the growing needs. A scalable platform allows load balancing, can manage high traffic, has multiple stores under one umbrella and offers high uptime. Scaling up should never be a challenge for a growing business in terms of technology.
Some questions that you can consider while evaluating an ecommerce platform are:
- If and how the platform can adapt to scale?
- How much time does it take for upgrades or updates to take place?
- Will the platform be able to accommodate new technologies at scale?
- Will the store be able to make updates during peak traffic periods?
At scale, monolithic platforms give a hard time and suck up huge amounts of costs to be able to accommodate all the changes required and yet do not give even satisfactory results. It’s crucial that you choose a platform where you can publish thousands or lakhs of SKUs and it still works fine.
Cross-border selling capability
A successful business would certainly like to expand its horizons and start with cross-border selling to reach a larger customer base. It’s very important to have an eCommerce platform that allows you to achieve it seamlessly.
A great eCommerce platform allows many features supporting cross-border selling like the creation of multiple price lists to target different markets and makes it easy for you to sell accordingly. Features like multiple domains, localisation and omnichannel selling take your business a notch above if you wish to go international.
Cost of Ownership
Expansion comes with a lot of costs that add up down the line. It is imperative to keep a check on that if you don’t want to bleed losses. Make sure to have a proper roadmap of your business requirements and opt for a platform that privileges you to pay for what you need. One of the best tech approaches here would be a composable platform that allows you to make use of best-of-breed solutions so you can pay only for what you are using.
You can consider the following to have a rough idea of your TCO:
- What are the licensing fees of the platform?
- Are there transactional/commission-based costs?
- Time span of the contract?
- What is the break-up of the hosting costs?
- What is the break-up of add-on costs?
- Estimated development and implementation cost?
- How much does the maintenance cost?
- What is the estimated recurring fee of the platform?
Analytics and Reporting
Robust analytics and reporting capabilities should be at the forefront of your selection criteria. The ability to gain deep insights into customer behaviour, sales trends, and website performance is essential for making informed business decisions.
Look for a platform that offers comprehensive reporting tools, enabling you to track key metrics such as sales revenue, conversion rates, and average order value.
With proper data in hand, you can tailor your marketing strategies, optimize product offerings, and enhance the overall shopping experience. In the dynamic landscape of eCommerce, the power of analytics and reporting cannot be overstated – it's your compass to navigate towards sustainable growth and success.
40% of people will switch to a different search result if the first one is not mobile-friendly!
Today, a substantial portion of online shopping transpires on mobile devices, so ensuring that your chosen platform seamlessly adapts to various screen sizes is paramount. Look for a platform that offers not only a visually appealing mobile interface but also an intuitive and user-friendly browsing experience.
Responsive design guarantees that your customers can navigate through your products, make purchases, and engage with your brand effortlessly, whether they're using a smartphone or tablet. Also, consider platforms that provide the option of mobile app integration or optimization to tap into the potential of dedicated mobile applications.
As mobile commerce continues to surge, prioritizing mobile responsiveness is a strategic move that enhances your brand's accessibility, customer satisfaction, and overall success in the competitive eCommerce landscape.
Customization and Branding
The capability to customize and reflect your unique branding is an indispensable facet. Your online store should be an authentic representation of your brand identity, and this is where robust customization features play a pivotal role.
Seek a platform that offers a spectrum of design options and themes, allowing you to tailor every aspect of your store – from colour schemes and fonts to layouts and imagery. The ability to seamlessly integrate your brand's aesthetic into the platform ensures a cohesive and memorable shopping experience for your customers.
You can also opt for platforms that provide room for creativity, enabling you to create a distinct and captivating online storefront that stands out amidst the digital noise. The value of customization extends beyond aesthetics; it fosters a sense of connection with your audience, reinforcing brand loyalty and recognition.
As your brand evolves, having the flexibility to adapt your online store's look and feel becomes an asset in maintaining consistency and resonance. In the competitive realm of eCommerce, the power to craft an immersive and personalized brand experience is an essential tool for carving your niche and nurturing lasting customer relationships and composable commerce helps you achieve that with ease.
Crafting an exceptional user experience (UX) is paramount when selecting an eCommerce platform as a growing brand or retailer. With the digital realm dictating your brand's identity, a seamless UX can make or break your customer's perception.
The statistics speak volumes:
- 48% of individuals consider a website's design as the key factor in determining a business's credibility.
- A staggering 94% of first impressions are intertwined with a website's design.
- 70% of users abandon their shopping carts due to poor UX – an alarming rate that underscores the significance of an intuitive and user-friendly interface.
- 32% of customers are inclined to sever ties with a beloved brand after just one negative experience.
- 38% of users halt engagement if they find a website's content or layout unattractive.
The importance of robust search and filtering options cannot be overstated. With advanced search capabilities, customers swiftly find their desired products, enhancing their satisfaction and likelihood of conversion.
Also, offering various payment gateways and guest checkout options is pivotal in eradicating friction from the buying journey.
In a landscape where consumer choices are abundant, delivering an exceptional user experience holds the key to fostering customer loyalty, minimizing cart abandonment, and propelling your brand's credibility.
Marketing and SEO
For a growing retailer, an ideal eCommerce platform should offer these key Marketing and SEO features:
- SEO Optimization: Customizable URLs, meta tags, and sitemaps for improved search engine visibility.
- Analytics Integration: Seamlessly integrate with tools like Google Analytics for data-driven insights.
- Marketing Tools: Discount, coupon, and abandoned cart recovery options to enhance conversions.
- Content Management: Create engaging content for better SEO and brand authority.
- Social Media Integration: Promote products across social platforms for increased traffic.
- Personalization and Segmentation: Tailor marketing to specific customer groups.
- Email Marketing Integration: Build customer relationships through targeted email campaigns.
- Mobile-Friendly Strategies: Optimize marketing for mobile users.
- Multichannel Selling: Manage marketing across various platforms effortlessly.
With these capabilities, your chosen platform becomes a catalyst for enhancing brand visibility, engaging customers, and driving sales in the competitive eCommerce landscape.
The list goes on what a good eCommerce platform must deliver, but here’s the last for this article. A fine platform must have inbuilt growth tools that allow you to position yourself better with the help of content and other digital marketing requisites. SEOs play a vital role in bringing your products into the limelight.
Are you making the right choice?