Between 2022 and early 2023, Salesforce, Shopify, Big Commerce, Kibo, Adobe, and others announced their shiny new composable commerce storefronts. Gartner predicted way before that “by 2023, organizations that have adopted a Composable Commerce approach will outpace the competition by 80% in the speed of feature implementation.” Retailers now face a dire need to try and bring in additional revenue streams to keep up with the demands of recession and develop resilience by weaving in agility. This means that if you haven’t yet charted out a composable approach for your e-commerce system, you’re on thin ice.

Don’t take my word for it, here’s what Google’s Trending searches data has to say about this:


Let’s take a deeper look into this, shall we?

Where did this all begin? 

It is safe to say that what we know today as composable commerce started off being called as “headless commerce” by Dirk Hoerig, one of the founding members of commercetools, who today stand tall in Gartner’s magic quadrant for digital commerce. It was a simple enough concept: decouple the backend from the front end, and lo- and behold- a new standard for e-commerce implementations was set.

A quick look at the below infographic will give you an elaborate composable commerce in a nutshell for you.

The transition from “headless commerce” to “Composable commerce”

Headless commerce initially emerged as a solution to the limitations of traditional, monolithic e-commerce platforms. With headless commerce, the front-end and back-end of an e-commerce platform are separated, allowing for greater flexibility and innovation in the user experience. However, as retailers began to use headless commerce more widely, they realized that there were still limitations in terms of scalability, maintainability, and ease of use.

Composable commerce builds on the principles of headless commerce by providing a more flexible and modular approach to e-commerce. With composable commerce, retailers could assemble their e-commerce platform from reusable components, much like building with lego blocks. This enabled them to create unique and personalized experiences for their customers while reducing the cost of development and maintenance.

What makes Composable Commerce unique

  • Offers a composed experience
  • Focusses on developing the modules and front-end features that bring value to your business
  • Out-of-the-box
  • Best of breed
  • Custom built

What are you missing out on if you don’t make the shift?

Big e-commerce giants have made billions off the back of monolithic, legacy platforms that retailers have grown all too familiar with, which a majority still continue to use. Even as the industry makes a shift to composable commerce, with some of these companies offering composable storefronts and other enhancements, here are some things you are bound to miss out on if you delay making the (inevitable) switch:

  1. Missed opportunities for innovation and differentiation: By not using composable commerce, retailers miss out on the ability to create unique and personalized experiences for their customers
  2. Increased costs and slower time to market: If retailers remain fully dependant on the big e-commerce providers to offer them newer features and plug ins, odds are you’re stuck with some features you don’t need while still waiting on important ones that are currently unavailable
  3. Limited scalability: Without the ability to easily assemble new components, retailers may struggle to scale their e-commerce platform as their business grows.
  4. Decreased agility and responsiveness to market trends: Retailers without composable commerce may find it difficult to quickly adapt to changing customer preferences and market trends.

Benefits of commercetools

  1. Composes a truly modular solution for your commerce: Utilize commercetools to access a highly adaptable solution and stimulate innovation, accelerate time-to-market, and eliminate the issue of being bound to a single vendor. Furthermore, it removes the problem of technical debt, giving your business the flexibility to make changes to your technology stack as required.
  2. Flexible for boosting growth: Opting for a composable commerce solution unlocks a range of growth strategies for your business. You can create multiple brands, expand into international markets and adapt to local requirements as necessary. Additionally, this approach allows for the exploration of new business models, including B2C, B2B, and D2C, enabling your business to experiment and find the best fit for your unique needs.
  3. Lowers TCO with versionless, multi-tenant architecture: A multi-tenant infrastructure can attend to numerous customers, allowing your business to enjoy economies of scale that reduce costs and streamline operations. Additionally, commercetools boasts a versionless approach, ensuring that your business is always up-to-date with incremental improvements without requiring any maintenance or upgrades. Adopting cloud-native infrastructure further minimizes total costs of ownership (TCO), as you only pay for the resources that you utilize, leading to significant cost savings for your business.
  4. Language-agnostic infrastructure for a developer-first approach: Empower your tech team with the latest and most open technologies to foster their professional growth. Unlike proprietary, closed systems, commercetools doesn’t require any certifications, and developers can freely code in their preferred language. Besides it is a high-quality, stable, maintainable and developer-friendly software.

Gartner predicts businesses that embrace composable commerce will reduce their IT expenses associated with managing SaaS operations by 50% by 2024.

  1. Creates tailored customer experiences with limitless customizationand extensibility: With commercetools, retailers can leverage customizable functions and adaptable data models to curate exceptional, personalized customer experiences that set you apart from the competition.
  2. Elevate your digital storefront with blazing fast performance and speed: Page speed is a critical factor that influences almost 70% of consumers’ purchase decisions with online retailers. It also plays a crucial role in search engine optimization (SEO) through mobile-first indexing. With commercetools Composable Commerce and Frontend, brands and retailers can provide fast, secure, and reliable shopping experiences to their customers.

What kind of investment/re-architecturing are retailers looking at to use composable commerce?

The investment required to implement composable commerce can vary depending on the specific needs of your e-commerce platform. However, here are some factors that could influence the cost:

  1. Current technology stack: If your current e-commerce platform uses outdated technology, you may need to invest in new infrastructure to support composable commerce.  Developing and integrating microservices and APIs can be a significant investment, especially if your platform does not have existing API infrastructure.
  2. Size of your e-commerce platform: The larger and more complex your platform is, the more investment you may need to make to implement composable commerce.
  3. Training and staffing: Implementing composable commerce may require new skills and training for your team, as well as hiring additional staff with the necessary expertise.
  4. Third-party components: Depending on the specific components you need for your e-commerce platform; you may need to purchase or license third-party components.

In general, it is advisable to work with a vendor or consulting firm with experience in composable commerce to assess the investment required for your specific needs and help plan a smooth implementation. The investment in composable commerce can result in significant long-term benefits, such as increased agility, improved customer experience, reduced costs, and improved scalability.


Composable commerce is the new differentiator of e-commerce, offering retailers a more agile, personalized, and cost-effective way to build and scale their online businesses. By taking advantage of this new paradigm, retailers can stay ahead of the curve and deliver the best possible experiences to their customers.