What defines a Composable Commerce?

Felipe SilbersteinOctober 01, 2021

Successful businesses put the customers at the center. That's exactly what Composable Commerce does, the natural evolution of eCommerce. These are stores based on static sites with integrations that streamline everything needed for a successful conversion. But in addition, these integrations themselves are a self-contained software cluster with their own cloud-based servers that communicate via APIs.

They work as modular pieces that attach to the site, allowing you to build your platform to suit your business. It's more than just another way of calling web development; a composable platform also transforms the strategy at the organizational level. Not for nothing did Gartner announce "The future of business is composable" in 2020, to announce the virtues of a model of rapid response to changes resulting from the current digital transformation.


From microservices to Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs)

Do you know why people confuse microservices with Packaged Business Capabilities as if they were the same? Although they are quite similar, PBC's are composite units with well-defined characteristics. From now on, we would say that a microservice can be contained in PBC's, but not the other way around.

So, when we talk about microservices, we refer to the idea of disaggregating the features of a site application into different specific programs that communicate via APIs. It is similar to what we have already talked: the philosophy that drives the MACH Alliance in its architecture, based on specialized microservices that deliver so many benefits to the platforms.

On the other hand, PBC's are the basic unit of composable architecture and behave as building blocks or modules. Each feature integrates autonomously, safeguarding the integrity of the platform's backend so that modifications or adjustments in each block do not affect the operation of other components and systems.

This condition is in itself the most significant differentiating factor; all features must be included within the PBC's, so each block is an entire unit by itself communicating only via API, which eliminates critical dependencies between components.

How PBC's are defined in Composable Commerce

According to Gartner, the qualities that define PBC's are complete functionality; that is, it does not condition the platform. It is also called a fully autonomous feature. It is fully integrated and consumed by the end-user, so it is part of the frontend. Microservices can also behave like a large application separated by components included in the backend for greater site efficiency, although it conditions the parts to operate. So, they don't necessarily represent stand-alone business features like these building blocks.

Like microservices, PBCs communicate and integrate using APIs and events to create intuitive application experiences tailored to individual customer needs or preferences while maximizing site speed and security. This new service architecture defines a new way to encapsulate single or multiple applications combined like the business needs.

The basic components of Composable Commerce allow for rapid testing and deployment, providing a highly adaptable and resilient business architecture in the face of real-time uncertainty. Each piece is integrated, scaled, and replaced at any time without affecting other parts that make up the application.


How JAMstack relates to a composable implementation

There are many reasons why JAMstack is part of the new standard in web platform development, but now we will focus on the headless approach. This is a key element in JAMstack that decouples the frontend from the business logic, allowing to adjust the preferences and features for its various channels or digital points of contact.

PBCs are not bound to any specific technology, are self-contained, and cover the essential aspects to solve a particular business function. They reduce the complexity of building an eCommerce by delimiting all microservices into easier deployments. The latter allows non-technical users to be part of the UX creation by having feature-recognizable building blocks, such as a shopping cart or a search engine.

Business needs, and customer behaviors evolve rapidly, so the response must keep pace. With a headless approach, we are no longer constrained to all-in-one solutions, which gives us the freedom to swap out components that meet specific needs. If you grow tomorrow, your provider will scale with you, but if you need to change to a larger one, you will modify the module, making scaling easier and more efficient.

At Reign, we only work with the best partners to achieve top-level results. Our implementations will transform your platform into a fast, secure, and simple experience with a change-ready stack that inhabits an ecosystem of cloud-based services in the form of PBCs.

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