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Modern architecture for ecommerce
Many enterprises struggling with legacy, monolithic commerce platforms are seeking greater business agility and want to innovate faster than they do currently.
As digital adoption accelerates, businesses are looking for intelligent, evolving, and composable commerce to modernize modularly, compose multiple best-of-breed technology solutions, products, and capabilities to deliver more personalized and curated experiences to individual customer needs.
With the evolving market dynamics and the demands from customers for engaging experience and personalized interaction, enterprises are foraying into new business models (B2C, B2B, D2C, marketplace) and geographies, as a logical extension of their current digital commerce capabilities.
As trends in ecommerce modernization seed a new generation of commerce and content-driven solutions, just moving to ‘headless commerce’ alone may not be enough. When evaluating options for digital transformation, enterprises need to consider some key components to drive future capabilities. Composing these components together in a modern commerce architecture will help business and digital commerce teams to realize the agility and flexibility needed for success.
Headless commerce is gaining momentum
Headless commerce can be described as the separation of the front-end presentation layer and the back-end commerce functionality of an ecommerce application (Figure 1).
Though this approach is not new to enterprises, it has gained significant momentum of late, becoming a major focus for ecommerce organizations in their quest for business innovation and agility. Decoupling the front-end from the back-end will make it easier for enterprises to have an experience-driven commerce site and give front-end teams more control for rapid deployments to keep experiences fresh.
Move beyond headless for intelligent commerce architecture
However, headless commerce alone does not ensure the full benefits of flexibility and business agility that an intelligent modern architecture provides to commerce.
A modern commerce architecture comes with a modular mobile-first front-end, microservices-based composable commerce services, open API-based design, and cloud-first approach with an easily expandable partner ecosystem.
Modern commerce architectures–iMACH (intelligent, micro-services-based, API-first, cloud native, headless)—are becoming inherently intelligent, composable, with elastic scalability providing flexible business controls and enabling autonomous operations.
Many successful retailers have infused intelligence to the digital commerce platform leveraging AI-ML to differentiate themselves from competition. IKEA, for example, uses an AI engine that provides personalized and real-time recommendations to customers, helping the business improve the AOV (average order value) by over 2% and click-through rate by over 30%. Similarly, Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry use AI-ML-powered smart chatbots to help customers discover new collections, complete the look, and suggest similar products.
Modern architecture drives innovation
The transformation from a monolithic ecommerce platform to a modern architecture is the future of digital commerce.
It will allow enterprises to drive innovation; engage intelligently and relevantly and create exceptional digital experiences for customers; and scale their business with partner ecosystem.
This transformation is not just a technology change, it will involve shifts in business processes, vendor relationships, enterprise resource skills, capabilities, and team compositions. Selecting the right technologies, solutions, and partners is the key to success in this change. New solutions weave one or more of the key components (Figure 2) together, reducing the complexities and risks of working in multi-vendor and multi-cloud environments while still providing the benefits of a modern architecture and microservices-based applications.
These end-to-end modern digital commerce solutions will make the overall transformation process for enterprises faster, less costly, and easier to manage. They will also provide business agility and extreme flexibility at all layers for enterprises to deliver at speed and scale, give them exclusive control and ownership of content and customer data that will help to orchestrate personalized digital experiences.
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