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E-Commerce, Digitization, successful digital commerce

Composable Commerce, Explained for 2023


Global e-commerce sales surpassed an incredible $5.7 trillion in 2022. With such a booming market, the need for customized solutions is becoming more apparent. Customers prefer personalized experiences with their preferred brands, and businesses want to tailor their e-commerce platforms. For both sides, customization is key to success. This is where Composable Commerce comes in.

A concept first coined by Gartner, Composable Commerce enables businesses to build scalable and customizable e-commerce platforms that best fit their unique requirements.


"While we become increasingly detached from physical stores, the need for specialized knowledge, helpful information, interesting insights, and real-world experience is still something that shoppers crave. To master these new challenges, a composable MACH infrastructure helps companies to serve customers with a "Rich, Relevant & Real-time" shopping experience at every touchpoint."

- Boris Krstic, Co-Founder and CEO of Actindo

Boris Krstic, Co-Founder and CEO of Actindo


What is Composable Commerce?

Composable Commerce is a software architecture that separates the frontend and the backend of a business, allowing you to pick and mix best-of-breed technologies, for a flexible and agile e-commerce architecture.

It leverages modern technologies like MACH (Microservices, API, Cloud, Headless) and JAMstack (JavaScript, APIs, and Markup) to make it truly modern and future-ready. The frontend and backend of the software communicate via API, and each component on the platform can be replaced without impacting other parts of the system.

Unlike Traditional Commerce platforms, in Composable Commerce you can choose components from different vendors and compose them into a single platform. These components are called Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs).

Would you like to learn more about Composable Commerce and the benefits for your company? Our experts will be happy to advise you on the best approaches for your plans without obligation, arrange a consultation now.

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What are Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs)? And how do they differ from Microservices?

Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs) are often confused with Microservices. These two terms are similar and complementary, but not the same. Microservices can be understood as the small functions or features of a platform, while Packaged Business Capabilities are a collection of Microservices. As the name suggests, PBCs are built around providing a specific business function through clear and well-defined business tasks.

Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs)

These Packaged Business Capabilities are the building blocks of Composable Commerce. Whereas Traditional Commerce platforms are inflexible and incapable of handling the growing demands of a business, Composable Commerce allows businesses to build an agile commerce platform designed for modern touchpoints.

The 4 Principles of Composable Commerce

  • Modular: Each component can be deployed independently, interchanged, or removed. This allows greater agility, faster time-to-market, and improved customer experiences across all devices.
  • Open ecosystem: For better customization, different systems, solutions, and external applications can be seamlessly integrated and linked in a Composable Commerce platform.
  • Flexible: Modern and flexible concepts such as MACH and JAMstack architectures allow you to create a completely customized solution. You can create individual commerce experiences that are tailored exactly to the needs of your customers.
  • Business-oriented: A fully customizable system allows you to react quickly and cost-efficiently to evolving market requirements and increases the potential for innovation. At the same time, the system's scalability ensures that your business can adjust to changing needs with greater agility, enabling you to stay ahead of the competition. New strategies and business models can be implemented easily without being slowed down by outdated IT structures.

Traditional Commerce vs Headless Commerce vs Composable Commerce


Benefits of Composable Commerce

Composable Commerce is an approach that allows businesses to build a customized e-commerce platform using Microservices, rather than a Traditional Commerce platform. It offers several benefits to businesses, including:

  • No vendor lock-in: With Composable Commerce, businesses are free to choose the best-of-breed applications from different vendors and compose them into a seamless technology platform. That means you no longer depend on a single vendor to satisfy your business needs.
  • Scalability: When you’re just starting, a one-stop solution might seem like the easier option. But as your business grows and adapts to its customers, you’ll need a platform that is unique to your business. Composable Commerce gives you the ability to add features that make it easier for your customers to engage with your e-commerce.
  • Flexibility: The only thing constant about the future is change, and your business needs to be ready for it. You can meet evolving customer expectations, technologies, and even a pandemic-driven market with agile software that allows you to make changes without compromising the entire platform.

    Download the Free Whitepaper: Crisis Robust: Digitizing the SME Sector  

  • API-first approach: Having an API platform means you can avoid the lengthy process of integrating multiple components. An API connects your components with ease, and allows you to make changes without setbacks.
  • Reduced cost: With Composable Commerce, you can choose and pay for the specific features and vendors you want, instead of an out-of-box deal with unnecessary, costly extras.
  • Speed: Using a microservices architecture in Composable Commerce allows for faster development and deployment of new features and functionality. This can help businesses to quickly respond to changes in the market or customer needs.

Overall, Composable Commerce provides a more flexible, efficient, and cost-effective way for businesses to build and manage their e-commerce platform, allowing them to quickly adapt to changes in the market and provide a better user experience.

Challenges of Composable Commerce

  • Vendor management: The more vendors you have, the more contracts and negotiations you’ll have. For every new microservice you decide to implement, you’ll have to review the terms and conditions involved.
  • Multiple components: When you can choose the best of every technology for your business, it can be a challenge to manage those components as well. You’ll need a well-organized and skilled team to handle the demands of a new and unique platform.
  • Skillset in the internal organization: This brings us to the final point. Your employees need to be trained to handle the new changes in the platform. The internal team might face some challenges during the implementation process and with the new controls they need to learn on the job.

How Composable Commerce is changing online retail


Composable commerce’s biggest strength is being able to customize your own e-commerce setup, fast. To perfectly meet the needs of your business, now and in the future. It allows you to pick and choose the components and functions you need, and isn’t limited to the basic functions of an all-in-one suite. 

However this doesn't mean that you will face a "system chaos", due to fragile point-to-point connections. Thanks to innovative MACH architecture, every application is seamlessly integrated as part of your e-commerce platform for a powerful, optimally networked IT ecosystem.

Composable Commerce focuses on uniqueness and differentiation. You can choose the systems that are perfectly aligned with your business - from your store system to your CRM, to payment and shipping providers. Your entire e-commerce tech stack becomes leaner, faster, more flexible, and much easier to maintain. This not only simplifies your work but also creates an exceptional customer experience across all channels.

>> Read our guide to ERP for E-Commerce <<

Switching to a Composable Commerce platform

Transitioning a Traditional IT landscape to a Composable Commerce platform requires careful planning and implementation to ensure that the platform meets all business requirements and can be used optimally. 

We recommend the following steps to switch to a Composable Commerce platform:

  1. Business requirements: Identify your business requirements and ensure that the Composable Commerce platform meets them. This stage requires the involvement of all departments and stakeholders.

  2. Architecture: Review the current IT landscape and plan the architecture of the Composable Commerce platform. Ensure that all required technologies and systems can be integrated, and that the platform is scalable and flexible. The best way to do this is by implementing the MACH Alliance paradigm.
    M= Microservices
    A= API-first
    C = Cloud-native
    H = Headless

  3. Data management: Make sure that the data management on the platform works optimally. You should be able to update and manage the data in real-time to ensure a seamless shopping experience for the customer.

  4. Integration: The platform must be able to integrate with existing systems and processes to ensure smooth operation.

  5. Security: The security of the platform is critical. Ensure that the platform meets current security standards and has robust security measures in place to protect customer and company data.

  6. Performance: Ensure the platform can provide high performance and fast response time for a positive customer shopping experience.

  7. Training and support: Make sure the team has the necessary skills to use and maintain the platform. Good support from the vendor is also important to ensure smooth implementation and maintenance.

  8. Testing and feedback: Schedule tests and ensure that feedback from customers and employees is incorporated into the further development of the platform.

It is important to work with a team of experienced developers and consultants to ensure a smooth transition and successful implementation.

Actindo Core1 Platform

At Actindo, we have long recognized the trend towards modular IT, and with our Actindo Core1 platform, we offer a flexible all-in-one solution that makes it possible to integrate and centrally control all touchpoints as well as existing (legacy) systems.

It is based on the innovative MACH+ architecture and provides a modular commerce setup and an innovative Headless ERP strategy. It can be deployed both as a central solution and as a scalable layer on top of existing systems, enabling easy modernization of Traditional legacy IT.

Switching from a traditional ERP system to a Composable Commerce approach doesn't need to be a costly mammoth project. Reliable legacy systems can be easily integrated into the modern commerce environment and linked to modern applications with Actindo's Digital Operations Platform.

Platform Overview

If you're interested in getting started with Composable Commerce, book a 30-minute demo call with our experts to find out how. In the call, our experts will give you a full overview of the Actindo Digital Operations Platform and address all your individual requirements and questions.

Composable Commerce summary

Composable Commerce offers a new approach to creating and managing e-commerce experiences that is flexible, scalable, and future-proof. By breaking down traditional monolithic platforms into smaller, specialized services, businesses can leverage the best-in-class capabilities of each component, enabling them to innovate and respond to changing customer needs faster than ever before.

Gartner predicts that businesses that have adopted Composable Commerce will outpace their competitors by 80% when it comes to implementing new features.

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