Composable architecture and the power of customization

User experience should be a top priority when building a website. So how exactly does one create a positive user experience? With technology, of course.
Published
September 15, 2022
Category

Partners

Have you ever visited a website and had to click more than four times to find what you’re looking for? Whether it’s drop-down tabs, search bars, or ‘404 Not Found’ dead ends, none of this is helpful.

Now, imagine how your customers feel when they can’t find what they are searching for. In fact, 69.82% is the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate. User experience should be a top priority when building a website. So how exactly does one create a positive user experience? With technology, of course.

Composable architecture and its components allow for extensive behind-the-scenes customization for any type of audience. We are beyond simple one-page WordPress layouts. Customers expect more from brands and businesses.

This is where composable architecture becomes a part of the story. Composability is the ability to remain highly adaptable and resilient despite external (or internal) forces and — as many have noted — it is the way of the future for successful businesses.

What does this mean?

Composable architecture makes the interactivity of APIs (Application Program Interfaces, a software that allows applications to communicate with one another) smoother for digital channels.

Think about everything you do online: shopping, ordering pizza, booking appointments and more. On the outside, it appears that these online services are running smoothly. However, the average person is unaware of how backend processes work. 

Composable architecture has the ability to reach individual backend products and services. In doing so, said architecture can create and extend solutions as needed or remove/replace individual tech components to address rapidly evolving business requirements. Given this, all parts of online services run smoothly. Whenever a change is required, the business needn’t grind to a halt.

Composable architecture allows you to create a supporting structure with many different building blocks. It is as if you are playing a game of Tetris and can fit all the blocks together in multiple combinations to suit your needs. This prevents you from relying too much on a single component or process. With a variety of microservices available, you can select the best fit for individual features.

Headless content management systems support digital asset management (DAM) capabilities, such as workflows. For example, a client might have a marketing group or a specific role that is sourcing marketing materials or assets, whether for ecommerce, residential property, or real estate. At Havas, we're working with JBG Smith on a project with a similar set of requirements.

There are a number of factors to take into consideration, such as the following: 

  1. You might want a photographer to submit photos, which can be approved and programmatically transformed to fit your digital experience. This is what DAM provides.  

  2. With composable architecture, you need to be able to search for your experience. As a result, the onsite search could be powered by a product from Algolia or Coveo. 

  3. It is important to be able to personalize experiences and tailor them to individuals. This might come in the form of faster location and tailored engagement on desired online content. Such personalization could be powered by Uniform or Conscia. In particular, Conscia provides personalization of digital experiences and search capabilities.  

These products can be used together and individually. There are often crossovers between them and with each being API-driven, the goal is to have seamless integration. An application that connects these different services and allows your team to access these capabilities is crucial.

Havas works with clients such as Today’s Shopping Choice, Scene+ and Pizza Pizza to build similar applications. Ecommerce personalization is vital and is all about creating a more tailored experience for your customer. We turn to Contentful for our client CMS needs and rely on them for effective and relevant composable architecture solutions. 

Pros and cons of composable architecture 

Composable architecture is not suitable for everyone, especially companies with smaller, simpler experiences. The overhead and complexity of CA will not have a lot of value, for example, for a four-page marketing site.

However, it does make sense for global organizations with several lines of business, each of which requires a multi-page marketing site. This is why it is so popular for ecommerce sites.  

Challenges

  • Complexity: With a composable approach, you deal with multiple vendors, which can be used for CMS, DAM, personalization and SEARCH. For small businesses and teams, there can be a lot of overhead to manage.

  • Cost: You must pay for each of these CA services and manage relationships with them. If something goes wrong, there isn’t one phone number to call. Instead, you will need support across the board. 

Benefits

  • Flexibility: Ecommerce personalization is at your creative fingertips and changes to the solution are more straightforward. This could mean swapping out the search bar, for example.

  • Simplification: In most cases, should you need to replace one product or service with another, you have to do a complete overhaul of the platform or stack. This is not the case with CA.  

  • Competitive advantage: If one vendor’s product doesn’t have the features you need, you can use another. As well, you are not beholden to a single vendor. Given this, there is price competition. In turn, you can put pressure on vendors to innovate, ensuring that you get the best technology at the best price.  

Ultimately, composable architecture provides a platform where nearly anything is possible. Companies can provide customers with meaningful online interactions and customized digital experiences. Contentful is a natural fit for content management in any composable architecture solution.

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