MACH - Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless - are the four principles that guide the team at commercetools. We sat down with Territory Director, Joshua Emblin, to discuss some of the leading retail trends we can expect to see in Australia, and what it means to go headless in 2021.
commercetools recently hosted Modern Commerce Day, a virtual event that featured retailers like Boohoo.com, PPG, Audi, Salling Group and Mars. There, the businesses explored new projects, and shared how the movers and makers of MACH architecture use this state-of-the-art commerce tech to innovate and nurture growth.
Each of these 34 sessions have been converted into an easy-to-read report, with key takeaways from the event that spans across a broad range of categories. This report aims to help inspire change and growth for brands that find themselves stuck in the ‘Commerce Possibilities Chasm™’ – a term coined by the commercetools team for when both businesses and tech teams are underdelivering on the possibilities commerce offers today. From stories to data and real-life examples, the report offers an in-depth view into the strategies from some of the leading e-commerce platforms globally.
While MACH is a recent term created by commercetools in 2018, it has already changed how businesses are approaching the possibilities of retail in the future. A report from Gartner suggests that by 2023, organisations that have adopted a composable commerce approach enabled by MACH architecture will outpace their competition by 80 percent.
Before we go any further, let’s break down what ‘composable commerce’ means. “Composable commerce uses best-of-breed and best-in-class technology from various vendors rather than relying on a single vendor to provide a standard functionality that is supposed to work for everyone,” Emblin tells us.
“Also, as a founder of MACH alliance, we have seen membership grow to 35 members, many of whom are leading CMS, DXP vendors in their fields, who believe in one vision: that future-proofing enterprise technology results in the best digital experiences.”
When asked which of the leading e-commerce trends will have the most significant impact on the Australian industry, Emblin gave us a simple answer. “Flexibility for innovation is a key driver for conversations with retailers in Australia.” In order to achieve flexibility and innovative ideas within a business, retailers need to introduce services that enable them to reach their goals faster. That’s where headless commerce comes in. “Retailers have caught on that going headless helps to lower the total cost of business ownership,” Emblin explains.
With new and upcoming technology, there will be some concerns about its effectiveness, expenses involved and work associated with setting it up. However, Emblin tells us that the benefits of MACH outweigh the concerns. “Imagine the cost savings that a retailer can pass on to their consumers without compromising on customer experience,” he explains.
An example Emblin gave Power Retail was Denmark’s largest grocery retailer – The Salling Group – which was able to achieve a 75 percent reduction in operating costs. Furthermore, Harry Rosen reported zero percent downtime, in spite of its e-commerce business tripling in size, and experiencing a 150 percent increase in its page views per session.
Simply put, the service enables retailers in three key areas: “Speed to market, innovation and adoption of new features.”
What about costs? “Many people think that by going headless it will be expensive, as it means buying different pieces of software and integrating everything together,” he tells us. “On the contrary, going headless means selecting best-of-breed technology; the best software piece that helps you to reduce tech debt, reduce headcount and free up resources.”
“That being said, going headless is best for retailers who find themselves having to do customisation and localisation to ensure the best omnichannel experience for their customers,” Emblin shares.
Another misconception about headless commerce is that it’s only for retailers of a certain size. Contrary to popular belief, enabling headless commerce allows retailers the ability to scale and leverage on economies of scale. “Going headless helps small retailers to compete with big businesses,” Emblin tells Power Retail. “It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is or how many offices you have, modern commerce makes you a global brand. Even if your footprint is small, launching a promotion, stocking up for a holiday or finding that your product is suddenly in high demand, should never cause panic within your company.”
In the future, it’s the architecture that helps bridge the gap between the big and small players that will revolutionise the industry in itself. “Retailers will recognise that the future of commerce is in a fast, flexible, headless, cloud-native platform that provides new revenue streams and accelerates results,” he shares.
Ultimately, the future of e-commerce is about being agile and nimble – this enables retailers to “pivot to market changes quickly; staying ahead of the competition and providing the best-in-class omnichannel experience to meet changing customer needs,” Emblin says.
Learn more about MACH and how it can benefit your e-commerce platform here.
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