Uniform blog/Understanding commerce architecture
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Uniform
Posted on Jan 5, 2023

4 min read

Understanding commerce architecture

As they become more savvy, today’s consumers set high standards with constantly changing demands. Fact is, the nature of our fast-paced digital world champions the quest for the best—and consumers deserve it. That’s why leveraging commerce architecture to deliver the best digital experience possible is paramount. 
This guide explains the finer points of composable commerce architecture, a prerequisite for building a compelling online presence. 

What is modular architecture?

No longer confined to the default features of a one-size-fits-all storefront, the modern e-commerce platform boasts components for use at myriad third-party software providers—as long as developers can handle the integration component: the API. With modular architecture, a key component of composable commerce, you can pick and choose the best components for your platform.
A platform-agnostic storefront spells freedom for you to build a world-class digital experience composed of the elements that make sense for your products and that fulfill CX needs. Ultimately, your consumers benefit the most. 

MACH and composable commerce

Features based on the much-acclaimed MACH (Microservices based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, and Headless) technologies, which are at the core of commerce architecture, must function properly in the composable framework. So, exercise caution while implementing those features for your e-commerce platform. Above all, don’t ever build a glue code-ridden, problem-filled “MACH monolith.”

Benefits of cloud and API technology

Composable commerce architecture is largely facilitated by cloud and API technologies.

APIs in e-commerce

For over a decade, e-commerce platforms have been leveraging APIs to implement features like shopping-cart experiences, checkout procedure, payment processing, and order fulfillment, which occur seamlessly, day in and day out. Behind-the-scenes maintenance is all handled by the third-party API provider.
The API model renders composable architecture modular, complete with plug-ins: product catalog, product recommendations, search (through Algolia, for example), inventory management, offers, pricing, shipping, payment gateways. You can integrate them all with most platforms with only a few mouse clicks. 

Cloud in e-commerce

Cloud technology optimizes the experience you create through APIs and the like. Specifically, cloud offers these benefits for e-commerce:
  • A headless, SaaS-based environment for APIs.
  • Scalability for your customer base, products, and services.
  • Fast page loads.
  • Lower cost due to the pay-as-you-use business model.
In addition, cloud makes APIs truly headless. If housed within the traditional suite or on an archaic delivery system like CD-ROM, those APIs wouldn’t be able to accommodate millions of businesses or e-commerce platforms in seconds, as they do today.

Benefits of modern commerce architecture

Modern commerce architecture fosters competitiveness through the key benefits below.

Flexibility

Because composable commerce is modular, companies can pick and choose best-of-need technologies with which to customize their internal and external digital experiences. All told, composable architecture leads to fast adaptation to the constantly evolving consumer needs and market trends.

Market responsiveness

Speed is crucial for businesses to respond to opportunities or challenges. With a composable commerce architecture, you can quickly accommodate emerging market demands for products, services, or features and keep up with the high level of customer service expected by consumers. Examples are the advances in payment methods, such as Apple Pay, Shop Pay, the click-and-collect service, etc.

Time to market

In this hypercompetitive environment, businesses must move quickly to capitalize on market opportunities or stay ahead of competitors. A composable commerce architecture reduces time to market by simplifying the development process and feature integrations.

Innovation

With a composable architecture, businesses can experiment with and test new concepts in a safe environment without disrupting their existing systems' mission-critical processes.

TCO optimization

A commerce architecture optimizes the total cost of operations (TCO) by doing the following:
  • Simplifying development through a microservices and API-first structure.
  • Reducing maintenance costs.
  • Raising scalability on the cloud.

How do I build an effective commerce architecture

Commerce architecture’s flexibility, modularity, and ease of integration make it simple to transition to that framework gradually and securely. A prudent way is to structure your migration feature by feature to find out what best suits your business model, progressively adding composable solutions to meet critical KPIs. Feel free to address the remaining features with traditional tools but don’t sacrifice functionality.
No matter whether you’re working with composable tools or migrating from a legacy  framework, Uniform’s innovative platform offers two major advantages:
  • Optimization of the personalization of your architecture, which results in an immersive, appealing experience.
  • The ability to combine content and data from multiple sources, which leads to agility and efficiency in building consumer experiences.
Schedule a free demo to learn the specifics.