Customers want the same experience whenever and wherever they interact with a brand. They want it to be high quality, engaging, and span multiple channels, matching their expectations at every touchpoint.
The modern customer journey isn’t linear, but it needs to be consistent for consumers, something that composable commerce can help facilitate. This article will explain ways brands can leverage composable commerce to improve the omnichannel customer experience.
#Traditional commerce bottleneck
An omnichannel customer experience requires brands to give customers a consistent experience across multiple offline and online touchpoints, no matter where the customer interaction occurs.
The traditional commerce stack, built on a monolithic architecture, combines all the tools a business needs into one all-in-one system. This typically includes a commerce solution, CMS, personalization engine, analytics, and other tools. This might seem like the ideal option for achieving an omnichannel customer experience, but it’s easier said than done due to certain bottlenecks.
Lack of best-of-breed options
Monolithic commerce solutions include various tools to manage different aspects of the commerce experience, from commerce to content and analytics. However, these tools were often combined from acquisitions and aren’t necessarily the best options on the market or for a particular business. This lack of best-of-breed options may make it difficult to orchestrate an omnichannel experience.
Limited flexibility and scalability
Traditional commerce solutions are built with a monolithic architecture. This tightly integrated singular system offers everything in one place. Still, it also makes it challenging to adapt to changes or scale specific components as required without extensive development work on the entire system. The lack of modularity means that agile development and incremental updates aren’t possible, increasing the cost of initial development and ongoing maintenance.
An omnichannel customer experience requires businesses to evolve their tech stack to add new functionality over time. When customers want content on a new channel, companies must find a way to add it. Sometimes, this includes adding a new tool to facilitate that channel. If these channels and tools are successfully added, it can lead to data silos, where customer information, inventory data, and other crucial details are compartmentalized.
Consistency is the cornerstone of an omnichannel experience. However, with a traditional commerce system, inconsistencies in performance are much more common. Certain features, such as content management or personalization, may perform differently or be less efficient on some channels, negatively impacting the user experience.
Vendor dependency and lock-in
With the entire system managed and maintained by a single vendor, businesses depend on that vendor to innovate. If the vendor cannot add new features and evolve with the times, an omnichannel customer experience is harder to accomplish. Switching to another vendor also becomes more complicated because of the lack of flexibility.
#How does composable commerce work
Composable commerce is an approach to digital commerce that centers around selecting best-of-breed components and combining them into a custom commerce stack that fits business needs.
Companies can build a commerce stack using the components that work best for them. For example, they can find different vendors and tools to integrate instead of relying on one eCommerce platform’s built-in content management system, DAM, payment gateway, and PIM capabilities. This can be done incrementally until the company has an eCommerce stack that works for them.
Assembling these packaged business capabilities (PBCs) enables businesses to lean into the flexibility and adaptability of composable commerce to create tailor-made solutions. For one company, it might make sense to have an intuitive checkout experience to make things easier for customers. A robust search function might be critical for another business with an extensive catalog of hundreds of thousands of products. It is possible to blend the right components in an ideal way through composable commerce.
Headless commerce vs. composable commerce
Many companies are already familiar with headless commerce, which provides frontend flexibility. Both headless and composable commerce leverage APIs to connect the frontend and backend layers, but composable commerce goes further.
With headless commerce, the frontend of the eCommerce shop is decoupled from the backend. This means that companies can custom-build shopping experiences for any channel, whether a desktop as they did when using traditional commerce or for a mobile device, digital kiosk in the mall, social media channel, or even a smart TV. However, the backend can be tightly coupled depending on the eCommerce platform.
On the other hand, composable commerce introduces a completely modular and flexible approach where third-party solutions can be easily integrated on the backend just as easily as frontend experiences can be published to different channels on the frontend.
#How is composable commerce relevant to omnichannel experience
Composable commerce enables businesses to select the right tools and components that fit their unique business strategy. This flexibility allows them to create an omnichannel customer experience and avoid the pitfalls of a one-size-fits-all monolithic solution.
Increased flexibility and agility: Composable commerce offers increased flexibility and adaptability, enabling brands to change their omnichannel strategy based on economic conditions, priorities, or business requirements.
Improved data management: Facilitating an omnichannel experience requires businesses to pull data from multiple sources. With composable commerce, the silos that can prevent them from doing this are removed, enabling teams to build a cohesive experience that remains consistent throughout the customer journey.
New channel opportunities: As new channels emerge, brands need the ability to publish content and create shopping experiences. Composable commerce allows them to capitalize on any new channels with the help of flexible systems such as a headless CMS or by integrating other modular tools.
More consistency: A consistent tone style and messaging across multiple touch points is essential for an omnichannel customer experience. Composable commerce enables this by enabling brands to publish content to multiple channels and view the complete customer journey in one place to ensure the same quality experience is present at each touchpoint.
Enhanced personalization capabilities: Personalization significantly impacts an omnichannel customer experience, both in attracting new customers and in retaining customers. 62% of business leaders have improved customer retention through personalization.
Composable commerce provides enhanced personalization by enabling brands to pull relevant customer data from multiple sources and then have a complete picture of the customer journey so that they can tailor it to unique audience needs.
Speed to market: Maintaining an omnichannel customer experience requires businesses to publish quickly as new channels emerge and integrate them into the customer journey. Sometimes, this requires new technologies to make it possible.
With composable commerce, businesses can quickly add or swap out tools without extensive development work as they might need with a monolithic system. This enhances the speed to market for new products and applications.
#7 ways to improve your omnichannel customer experience with composable commerce
Composable commerce offers numerous benefits centered around flexibility and adaptability. But how can you use this to improve an omnichannel customer experience? Here are 7 ways:
1. Make your products available on multiple channels
With composable commerce, eCommerce stores can make products available on multiple channels. Instead of just a desktop eShop, virtual stores can be launched on channels such as Instagram or TikTok, mobile apps, and other on-the-go devices. Composable commerce enables brands to manage their products from one location and oversee the entire customer journey.
2. Compose content to suit different use cases
Since composable commerce supports better data management, it offers the benefit of increased reusability. ECommerce brands can use this to compose content for different use cases. For example, the product images and descriptions a fashion brand uses in a blog post telling a story about how a designer found inspiration can be adapted to create a detailed digital buyer’s guide or lookbook for premium users and listed on the main product page before checkout.
The content for each use case can be easily managed in the backend using a headless CMS like Hygraph. Product availability and pricing data can be pulled from an eCommerce platform, while product descriptions and other detailed information can be pulled from a PIM solution.
3. Leverage best-of-breed tools
Instead of relying on traditional or legacy tools that don’t allow you to innovate, use composable commerce to leverage best-of-breed software. Dr. Oetker had been searching to upgrade the websites, apps, and portals for all brands under its portfolio.
To build this experience, they chose Hygraph due to its composable architecture and intuitive user experience. This enabled them to embrace composable commerce with best-of-breed tools like Algolia as a search API, Salesforce CDP, a PIM solution, and marketing tools like Google Tag Manager.
4. Optimize application performance
Composable commerce allows brands to optimize their application performance, which makes customers happier and improves the omnichannel experience. Vision Healthcare sought to launch a new eCommerce stack for its multiple brands.
They leveraged Hygraph because it allowed them to build a composable system and improve speed to market, unifying the tech stack and swapping out outdated components. This led to a stable yet flexible stack, which meant no more crashes and the ability to update content and replace components as necessary.
5. Introduce agile workflows
With composable commerce connecting the various tools in the tech stack, it’s possible to build agile workflows so that internal teams can move quickly and create the omnichannel customer experiences customers desire.
6. Reduce TCO and increase ROI
Monolithic systems are more susceptible to security breaches, force you to pay for tools that might not be used to their full potential, and require frequent maintenance. Composable commerce, however, allows you to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the eCommerce system by selecting the tools you need. This will enable you to focus on increasing return on investment (ROI) and enhancing the customer experience, such as launching new loyalty and promotion programs.
7. Increase scalability
Composable commerce allows brands to swap out outdated components for modern solutions. This makes it easier to increase scalability to deal with more demand and respond faster to new customer expectations.
Improving the omnichannel customer experience rewards customers by providing a consistent experience on the channels where they want to shop when they want to shop on them. By leveraging composable commerce to build a customized stack, compose content for different use cases, increase scalability, and reduce TCO, it is easier for businesses to deliver that omnichannel experience.
A headless CMS like Hygraph as part of your composable commerce stack allows you to provide personalized experiences while catering to different use cases and requirements, whether blog content, a product catalog, or a promotional loyalty program. These can be launched using Hygraph’s user-friendly interface and integrating various tools, including PIM, eCommerce, CRM, and analytics platforms.
Learn more about building a composable commerce stack to improve the omnichannel experience by contacting us for a product demo.