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Composable Commerce 101: Definition, Technology & Advantages

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital commerce, a new paradigm has emerged, known as Composable Commerce. This approach is revolutionizing the way businesses build and manage their online presence. At its core, Composable Commerce is about selecting and assembling various commerce components and services to tailor a commerce ecosystem that perfectly fits business needs.

composable commerce cover image

Evolution of E-commerce to Composable Commerce

The journey from traditional e-commerce to Composable Commerce has been driven by the need for greater agility and customer-centric experiences. Traditional e-commerce platforms, often monolithic in nature, have many limitations that hinder their ability to meet the evolving demands of the market and the customers. Some of these limitations are:

  • Changes require huge input from developers, making the platform slow to update and expensive to maintain

  • As the website grows, it becomes more difficult to achieve good performance measures, such as speed, security, and reliability

  • Each time a new feature is added, the whole codebase needs to be updated, increasing the risk of errors and bugs

  • The platform is not compatible with other systems and technologies, limiting the integration and customization options

Composable Commerce, with its modular architecture, offers a solution that is both flexible and scalable, allowing businesses to innovate and adapt quickly. Composable Commerce enables businesses to:

  • Choose the best components for their needs, from different vendors or providers, and assemble them into a cohesive platform

  • Update and replace components easily, without affecting the rest of the platform or the user experience

  • Leverage the latest technologies and innovations, such as AI, cloud, and headless, to create personalized and engaging experiences

  • Achieve higher performance and efficiency, by optimizing the resources and processes of each component

Composable Commerce is the future of e-commerce, as it empowers businesses to deliver the best value and experience to their customers. And no wonder. Ongoing customer behaviors’ changes, frequent market shifts, and competitors’ efforts in gaining customer’s attention. This is the reality e-commerce business must operate in.

As a result, e-commerce is abandoning rigid platforms and is more often heading towards solutions that grant more freedom and independence in quick updates and upgrades. According to Elastic Path, ease of making changes was the most important factor for 46% of companies that adopted composable approach to e-commerce.  

What is Composable Commerce?

Composable Commerce is characterized by its use of modular components, each serving a specific function within the commerce ecosystem. These components are designed to work together seamlessly, yet they can be independently developed, updated, or replaced without disrupting the entire system.

How It Differs from Traditional E-commerce Platforms

Traditional e-commerce platforms are like big, heavy, and rigid blocks that you have to use as they are. They are monolithic all-in-one bundles that limit your choices and possibilities

Composable Commerce is different. 

It’s like playing with Lego bricks that you can add, change, or reshape at any moment. You can freely choose what bricks your application is made of and how they connect to each other. It’s easy and powerful at the same time.

  • You can use existing third-party apps or integrations that suit your needs

  • You can build your own, custom microservices that reflect your uniqueness

  • You can mix and combine them to create new functionalities and experiences

  • You can arrange and influence interactions between them to optimize your processes and performance

If you need to, you can switch one tool you are not happy about for another, at any time.

They are interchangeable and cooperative.

They can be designed on the front end in any way you want.

And there are thousands of them. You can take one that perfectly fits your business needs or specificity.

Composable Commerce is the new way of building e-commerce platforms that gives you more freedom and flexibility. It lets you create the best solution for your customers and your business.

Benefits of composable commerce

Composable commerce is based on the idea of using modular components, called packaged business capabilities (PBCs), that can be easily connected, exchanged, or removed depending on the situation. Composable commerce offers many benefits for e-commerce businesses, such as:

  • Agility and flexibility: Composable commerce allows businesses to quickly adapt to changing customer demands, market trends, and technological innovations. By using PBCs, businesses can add, modify, or replace functionalities without affecting the rest of the system. This reduces the time and cost of development and testing, and enables faster time-to-market and continuous improvement.

  • Scalability and performance: Composable commerce enables businesses to scale up or down their e-commerce platform according to their growth and traffic. By using cloud-based PBCs, businesses can leverage the power and security of cloud computing, and avoid the limitations and risks of on-premise solutions. Composable commerce also improves the performance and reliability of the e-commerce platform, as each PBC can be independently deployed and monitored.

  • Customer experience and differentiation: Composable commerce empowers businesses to create unique and engaging customer experiences across multiple channels and touchpoints. By using PBCs, businesses can customize the look and feel, the functionality, and the content of their e-commerce platform, and offer personalized and relevant offers and recommendations to their customers. 

  • Ease of integration: Composable commerce also enables businesses to integrate with various third-party services and tools, such as payment gateways, analytics, social media, or chatbots, to enhance the customer journey and satisfaction.

What is Composable Architecture

Want to check out more information about Composable Architecture and its solutions?

We covered this topic in depth in one of our articles!

Technological Foundations of Composable Commerce

Composable Commerce is not just a concept, but a reality that is enabled by cutting-edge technologies. To understand how Composable Commerce works, we need to look at the four main pillars that support it: microservices architecture, API-first approach, cloud-native infrastructure, and ultra-fast frameworks. These technologies allow businesses to create modular, flexible, and scalable headless e-commerce platforms that can adapt to any challenge and opportunity.

Microservices Architecture

At the heart of Composable Commerce is the microservices architecture. This approach breaks down the commerce platform into smaller, independent services that communicate through well-defined APIs. Each microservice is focused on a single business capability, which simplifies development, enhances performance, and facilitates scalability.

API-First Approach

An API-first design is another cornerstone of Composable Commerce. It ensures that all components and services can interact with each other and with external systems through APIs. This approach enables a more agile development process and allows for easy integration with other technologies.

Cloud-Native Infrastructure

Composable Commerce leverages cloud-native infrastructure to provide a resilient, scalable, and cost-effective foundation. Cloud-native technologies, such as containers and orchestration systems, allow for rapid deployment, scaling, and management of commerce services across multiple environments.

You can easily host and deploy e-commerce stores on cloud platforms like Vercel, Netlify, or Cloudflare Pages. This results in improved speed and performance. Why? They were created with the composable approach in mind, allowing for the use of performance-focused techniques like incremental static regeneration or deferred static generation.

Use of ultra-fast frameworks for the composable frontend

The last but not least pillar of Composable Commerce is the use of ultra-fast frameworks for the front end, or the visual layer of a website. These frameworks, such as Next.js, Vue.js, or Gatsby.js, enable developers to create stunning, interactive, and high-performance websites and apps. They offer many benefits, such as:

  • Customization: You can design the front end in any way you want, using any UI library or component you prefer. You can also tailor the user journeys and experiences to your specific needs and goals.

  • Visual Aspects: You can create beautiful and engaging websites and apps that attract and retain customers. You can also use animations, transitions, and effects to enhance the visual appeal and usability.

  • Performance: You can achieve fast loading times, smooth navigation, and optimal SEO. You can also leverage features like server-side rendering, static site generation, and image optimization to improve performance and efficiency.

Ultra-fast frameworks are the perfect choice for Composable Commerce, as they allow you to create the best front end for your e-commerce platform. They complement the other pillars and enable you to deliver a superior customer experience. You get all of them at the same time, without the need to resign from any of these aspects – which is the case for monolithic, traditional e-commerce.


Want to learn more and get insights into headless commerce solutions?

Check out our article and discover the benefits of going headless in online stores!

Core Components of Composable Commerce

In the realm of Composable Commerce, the core components serve as the building blocks that allow businesses to craft a flexible, scalable, and customer-centric commerce solution. These components are designed to be independent, interoperable, and easily replaceable, providing the agility needed to adapt to the ever-changing market demands. Let’s delve deeper into the core components that constitute the backbone of Composable Commerce.

Commerce Engine

The commerce engine is the powerhouse of the Composable Commerce ecosystem. It orchestrates the core functionalities such as product catalog management, pricing, promotions, cart management, and order processing. A robust commerce engine ensures seamless transactions and a smooth checkout experience for customers, regardless of the channel they use.


  • Shopify

  • Shopify Plus

  • Commercetools

  • Elastic Path

  • Commerce Layer

Content Management Systems (CMS)

A Content Management System (CMS) in Composable Commerce is pivotal for creating, managing, and delivering content across various touchpoints. It allows businesses to maintain brand consistency and deliver personalized content, which is crucial for engaging customers and enhancing their shopping experience. Within a composable architecture, a specific type of CMS is used, called headless CMS.

Headless CMS are content management systems that separate the presentation layer (where content is displayed) from the backend (where content is stored and managed). Headless CMS allow you to manage content in one place and deliver it to any digital channel you choose through APIs. This gives you more flexibility and control over how you present your content to your customers


  • Storyblok

  • Sanity

  • Strapi

  • Contentful

  • Prismic

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are integral to understanding and managing customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. In Composable Commerce, a CRM system helps businesses to deliver personalized experiences, build customer loyalty, and drive sales by leveraging customer insights.


  • HubSpot

  • Zoho

  • Salesforce

Order Management Systems (OMS)

Order Management Systems (OMS) are essential for managing the order lifecycle from the point of purchase to delivery. An OMS in a Composable Commerce setup ensures that orders are processed efficiently, inventory levels are updated in real-time, and customers receive timely updates about their orders.


  • Sales Pro

  • NetSuite

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365

Product Information Management (PIM)

Product Information Management (PIM) solutions play a critical role in managing product data across multiple channels. A PIM system ensures that accurate and consistent product information is available to customers, which is vital for making informed purchasing decisions.


  • Bluestone PIM

  • Akeneo PIM

  • Propel PIM

  • Salsify PIM

  • inRiver PIM

composable commerce migration diagram

Planning a migration to a composable commerce solution?

Check out our article and learn how to get this process right and why is it worth it.

Search and Personalization Engines

Search and personalization engines enhance the shopping experience by providing relevant product recommendations and search results based on customer preferences and behavior. These components are key to increasing conversion rates and customer satisfaction.


  • Algolia

  • Elasticsearch

  • Bloomreach

  • Yext Search

  • Constructor

  • Coveo

  • Searchspring

Payment and Tax Management

Secure payment processing and accurate tax calculation are fundamental to building trust with customers. Payment gateways and tax management systems ensure that transactions are processed securely and taxes are calculated correctly, based on the latest regulations.


  • Stripe

  • Avalara

  • Adyen

  • Vertex

Integration and API Management

Integration and API management tools are the glue that holds the Composable Commerce architecture together. They enable different components to communicate and work together seamlessly, facilitating the integration of third-party services and legacy systems.


  • n8n


  • Zapier

  • Mulesoft

  • Apigee

Analytics and Reporting

Analytics and reporting tools provide valuable insights into customer behavior, sales performance, and operational efficiency. These tools help businesses to make data-driven decisions and optimize their commerce strategy.


  • Triple Whale

  • Google Analytics

  • Algopix

By leveraging these core components, businesses can create a Composable Commerce platform that is tailored to their unique needs, providing the flexibility to innovate and the agility to respond to market changes swiftly. This modular approach empowers companies to focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences and driving growth in the digital commerce landscape.


Composable Commerce solutions give your business a lot of advantages - discover what headless CMS can do for you too!

Implementing Composable Commerce

Strategic Planning and Roadmap

Implementing Composable Commerce requires a strategic approach. Businesses must assess their current capabilities, define their digital commerce goals, and create a roadmap that outlines the steps to achieve a composable architecture. This includes selecting the right components, setting up a development environment, and establishing a timeline for integration and deployment.

Choosing the Right Technology Partners

Success in Composable Commerce often hinges on the technology partners you choose. It’s essential to work with providers that offer flexible, interoperable solutions and have a proven track record in microservices and API-first commerce technologies.

Integration with Existing Systems

Integrating Composable Commerce components with existing systems can be challenging but is crucial for a seamless operation. Businesses need to ensure that new components can communicate effectively with legacy systems, which may require API management solutions or middleware -highlighting the importance of legacy system modernization for ensuring compatibility and enhancing system functionality.

Final Thoughts on the Composable Approach

Composable Commerce represents a paradigm shift in digital commerce, emphasizing flexibility, modularity, and customer focus. It's a strategic framework that allows businesses to select and integrate the best-of-breed services and applications to create a tailored commerce solution. This approach is driven by four core principles, often referred to as MACH: Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless.

Microservices are independent, modular services that handle specific business functions and communicate via APIs. This structure enables easier maintenance, faster updates, and better scalability.

API-first design ensures that all services are accessible and controllable through APIs, facilitating seamless integration and interaction between different systems and components.

Cloud-native infrastructure leverages modern cloud technologies like containers and orchestration tools, providing resilience, scalability, and cost-efficiency.

Headless architecture separates the front-end presentation layer from the back-end logic, allowing for greater flexibility in delivering content across various channels and devices.

The composable approach is not just a technical architecture; it's a business strategy that fosters agility and innovation. It allows companies to rapidly adapt to market changes, integrate new technologies, and deliver personalized customer experiences. By decoupling services and focusing on interoperability, businesses can avoid vendor lock-in and choose the best tools for each function, leading to improved performance and customer satisfaction.

In summary, Composable Commerce is set to redefine the future of e-commerce by offering a flexible, scalable, and customer-centric approach that aligns with the dynamic nature of the digital marketplace. It empowers businesses to innovate and stay competitive in an ever-evolving landscape.

Let's talk about Jamstack and headless e-commerce!

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