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Forget your ecommerce platform, it’s time to lose your head

Forget your ecommerce platform, it’s time to lose your head

Scott Reis

Today we're joined by our CEO and Founder - David Wiltshire, who talks us through the future of ecommerce and why a composable approach is the way forward. 

I’ve been involved in the ecommerce since about 2006. It wasn’t without some stumbling blocks; in fact, I was nearly bought out of the business until an impromptu quiz show win gave me the resources I needed to carry on.

Since then, I’ve been passionately working with clients across the globe to improve their websites, data integrations, and offer innovative software solutions to problems uniquely affecting the world of ecommerce.

One of the major perks of having that experience within the industry is insight; not just into how individual companies can be helped, but into how ecommerce as a whole may change as the future reveals new technologies and ways of doing things.

It’s important to remember, after all, that the internet is only just nearing its 40th birthday - and the web as we know it today is vastly different and more advanced than its origins in the decade of Tetris and Spandau Ballet.

And, although online shopping can be traced back decades, ecommerce has only just become mainstream. In fact, back in 2011, ecommerce made up just 7% of total retail sales in the US; a figure which has nearly tripled in only ten years.

So companies shouldn’t feel obligated to stick with the way things are done currently, just because it seems to be working. We’re in the early stages of a growing industry, and like with any new approach, there’s a phase of trial and error.

That’s why we’ve been looking at a MACH architecture for ecommerce. To do away with legacy vendors, and provide our clients with true freedom over their operation.

The MACH approach to ecommerce

Microservices based, API-first, cloud-native SaaS, and headless - that’s MACH. It’s about having an open and best-of-breed technology ecosystem.

But what does that even mean? With MACH, companies deploy individual pieces of business functionality, exposed through an API, which are independently developed and managed. All integrated software leverages the cloud - not just for storage and hosting, but also for scaling and automatic updates.

It also means the front-end of a website is completely decoupled from the back-end, giving brands more freedom of expression with how they present themselves and develop their customer experience.

Talking about what MACH is is important, but what does it mean for your customers? How can it improve your business and push you to the forefront of your industry?

Why MACH?

With a standard platform-centric, suite-based approach, companies are stuck with out-of-the-box solutions which might perform satisfactorily, but don’t allow you to fully realise your potential or go above and beyond your expectations. And while the prices for implementation might be more up-front and predictable, what’s difficult to account for is your return on investment (ROI). How much revenue are you losing because you’re stuck with the wrong software solutions? Is the lack of tech stack flexibility inhibiting your growth?

A MACH approach to ecommerce does, admittedly, mean more work at the initial stage; you’ll need to evaluate individual vendors to find best-of-breed solutions, and initial prices may be slightly higher than relying on legacy platforms and suites.

But the potential gains aren’t to be scoffed at. Imagine every individual part of your business being taken from the best software solutions possible, yet still connected and working together in unison.

And by uncoupling the front and back ends of your website, you can more easily improve page speeds and offer personalised experiences to your customers. Not to mention the ease at which you can swap out underperforming integrations.

Why we believe in composable ecommerce

I’ve always believed that satisfying clients should be the primary focus of my business ventures. That’s why a headless approach has appealed so much to me, and why I’m aiming for Patchworks to become a trusted enabler of MACH architecture.

Composable ecommerce doesn’t just provide flexibility and freedom for our clients; it changes how we do business, too. Our typical model is to rely on integrating key business processes with ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento. But sometimes the tech that we know would be the right choice for a client simply isn’t compatible with certain providers, and they’re limited to a platform’s out-of-the-box software solutions.

That’s counterproductive when you’re trying to personalise your customer experience. The internet is open-source and free; so why can’t ecommerce be, too? Why should you be limited in your aspirations by platforms which don’t meet your ROI goals?

As an integrations provider, Patchworks is uniquely positioned to be able to connect businesses looking to lose their head and focus on cloud-based microservices. It’s easy to get comfortable and rely on legacy ecommerce platforms, but perhaps it’s time to open up the concept of MACH to the mainstream - and embrace a new way of doing ecommerce.

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