Create digital experiences as unique as your customers with composable commerce

To keep up with your customers, you need a flexible and adaptable commerce solution. Composable commerce, a term dubbed by Gartner in June 2020, offers a modular approach to digital commerce that’s based on composable architecture. With a composable solution, you can choose the best-of-breed tools and services and easily assemble them into a dynamic tech stack.

At the core of composable commerce is the concept of “composability” – the ability to mix and match different functionalities and services, allowing you to create a tailored and seamless customer journey.

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What is composable commerce?

Composable commerce is an innovative approach to building ecommerce systems that leverage modular, interchangeable components to create flexible and tailored shopping experiences.

It empowers you to rapidly adapt and integrate new functionalities, providing a seamless and personalized journey for customers while driving scalability and efficiency.

How does composable commerce work?

If you think of a classic ecommerce platform, it’s one big package. It’s an all-in-one solution. Composable commerce takes this architecture and breaks it into modular, independent components.

These components, often called “microservices,” manage specific functions or features of your online store, like the shopping cart, payment processing, inventory management, and more. Each microservice operates independently and communicates with other services via APIs (application programming interfaces).

You can mix and match these microservices to create a tailored ecommerce ecosystem that fits your needs. The flexibility lets you choose the best solution for every aspect of your online store, rather than being tied to a single all-in-one platform. You might opt for a product catalog service from one provider, a frontend from another, and a personalized recommendation engine from a third vendor.

Learn more about microservices »

Composable architecture vs composable commerce

Composable architecture is a software design approach that uses modularity and flexibility to create more maintainable, scalable, and adaptable applications.

Composable commerce is a specific application of the composable concept within ecommerce and digital commerce platforms. It refers to building an ecommerce platform using a set of composable, API-driven services.

Read more: What is composable architecture? »

Composable commerce uses the composable architecture approach and applies it to ecommerce solutions.

Watch our short video describing composable architecture below.

The origins of composable commerce

Gartner famously coined the term “composable commerce” in 2020, when they published a report about the modular approach to the modern tech stack.

This perspective closely resembles the microservices approach, but it places greater emphasis on packaged business capabilities (PBCs) rather than solely on microservices.

Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs) and microservices are related concepts that play a significant role in the development of flexible and modular software systems. While they share some similarities, they differ in their primary focus and scope.

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Packaged Business Capabilities:
Packaged Business Capabilities refer to self-contained, pre-built business functionalities or services that can be easily integrated into an application. These capabilities address specific business needs and are often provided by third-party vendors or external systems. PBCs are meant to be reusable and can be composed together to form a more extensive business application or system.

Both PBCs and microservices promote modularity and reusability, but they differ in their level of granularity. PBCs are pre-built, ready-to-use business functionalities that may be broader in scope, while microservices are finer-grained and focus on smaller, more isolated components.

PBCs often come from external vendors or third-party sources, whereas microservices are typically developed and managed by the internal development team.

Microservices are an architectural approach that addresses the overall design of a software system, while PBCs focus specifically on encapsulating and delivering business capabilities.

Learn more about microservices »

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Key benefits of composable commerce

Tailor your online store with modular components, with greater flexibility and customization to meet your unique business needs and customer preferences.

Experiment and innovate by integrating new technologies and services seamlessly.

Scale individual components independently, optimize performance and ensure for a smooth shopping experience, even during peak traffic periods.

Avoid the costs associated with implementing and maintaining a single comprehensive platform, and ultimately reduce expenses while still delivering top-notch experiences.

Easily integrate with third-party services and tools, streamline operations and enhance the overall customer experience.

Ensure your business can readily adopt and integrate advancements, and stay ahead of the competition while meeting evolving customer expectations.

Deliver exceptional customer experiences and boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Switch or upgrade individual components without being tied to a single vendor, and reduce vendor lock-in risks.

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Composable commerce FAQs

Composable commerce allows businesses to build flexible online stores by integrating modular, interchangeable components. Unlike traditional ecommerce platforms, Composable Commerce enables customization and rapid adaptability to changing market needs.

Composable commerce enables greater flexibility and customization by breaking down the ecommerce architecture into modular components that can be easily mixed and matched to suit specific business requirements.

Yes, composable commerce can be integrated with existing ecommerce platforms and technology stacks, providing businesses with the opportunity to enhance their current setup without the need for a complete overhaul.

Read about how to go composable without breaking your long-term suite contract:

Read more »

Common challenges in implementing composable commerce include ensuring seamless integration between various components, maintaining security and data privacy, and selecting the right mix of services to optimize the overall performance.

That’s where having an experienced partner makes all the difference.

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Composable commerce significantly impacts the user experience, allowing you to create personalized and engaging journeys for your customers, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and increased loyalty.

Composable commerce is suitable for businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises, as it provides a scalable and adaptable solution to meet diverse business needs.

Composable commerce addresses scalability and performance challenges by enabling businesses to scale individual components independently and leverage best-of-breed solutions for optimized performance.

Choosing the right components for Composable commerce requires careful consideration of business goals, existing infrastructure, and compatibility with the desired customer experience.

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Headless commerce vs composable commerce

What’s the difference between headless and composable commerce? Headless commerce refers to an architectural approach where the frontend (presentation layer) and backend (commerce functionality and business logic) of an ecommerce platform are decoupled or separated.

Headless commerce focuses on decoupling the frontend from the backend, allowing for independent frontend development and optimized user experiences across different channels. Composable commerce, on the other hand, emphasizes modularity and the ability to compose various commerce services to build a tailored ecommerce platform.

Headless commerce mainly addresses the separation of concerns between presentation and functionality layers, while composable commerce focuses on the modularity and reusability of specific ecommerce capabilities as separate services.

Rapala headless commerce solution »

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Vaimo LaunchPad: composable commerce accelerator

Taking on composable may seem challenging, like putting together a piece of Ikea furniture without the manual.

Our Launchpad accelerator is your user manual, guide, and roadmap. We’ve invested hundreds of hours meticulously selecting, testing, and integrating all the pieces to ensure seamless compatibility—so you can skip the hassle.

While you enjoy the freedom to modify components, the Vaimo LaunchPad provides a sturdy foundation and empowers your MACH-based composable strategy.

Learn more about Vaimo LaunchPad»

Who can benefit from composable commerce?

  • Large enterprises with complex and diverse ecommerce needs that require a high level of customization and flexibility
  • Startups and rapidly growing businesses that want to experiment with new features and services on the fly
  • Global brands with a multi-channel presence that need to integrate with diverse third-party services and create consistent, personalized customer experiences across all touchpoints
  • Niche or specialized companies that require specific functionalities that may not be available in one-size-fits-all platforms
  • Businesses that expect their ecommerce requirements to change over time
  • Companies that experience seasonal fluctuations in traffic that need to ensure optimal performance without overspending on resources during slower times
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Our work

  • Rapala fish lures

    Rapala’s headless commerce solution

    Founded in the 1930s, Rapala is a renowned manufacturer of fishing lures and other fishing-related products. Today, the company is considered one of the world’s…

    View project
  • Image of laptop screen featuring Runnings website

    Runnings

    Runnings is a privately held retailer selling an extensive selection of pet supplies and sporting goods, including hunting and fishing equipment, clothing and footwear, lawn…

    View project
  • Discovery for Tarkett

    Tarkett Group is a leader in the flooring industry and sport surfaces industry, with over 140 years of experience, and works with other top flooring…

    View project

How Vaimo can help

Here’s how we can help you: 

  • We work closely with you to understand your business goals, data ecosystem, and unique requirements.
  • We guide you in selecting the right platforms and tools for your solution.
  • We develop a headless frontend architecture and carry out any needed integrations smoothly.
  • We’ll provide continuous support, monitoring, and optimization of your solution to ensure it remains aligned with your evolving business needs.

Talk to us today »

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Composable partners we work with

Leveraging Adobe's headless architecture and API-driven services to compose and integrate specific ecommerce functionalities as independent services or microservices. Enjoy seamless customization, flexibility, and integration with other systems, with a powerful foundation for building modern, composable ecommerce solutions.

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Commercetools offers a set of modular, API-driven commerce services that can be independently composed and integrated into various applications or channels. This lets you build a flexible and scalable ecommerce solution, where different functionalities can be mixed and matched to suit specific needs, resulting in a more customizable and adaptable commerce platform.

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The field of ecommerce is constantly evolving. At Vaimo, we stay at the forefront of technical developments and continuously bring on new tools and skills as needed.

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