Digital transformation can be a scary word to an ecommerce professional. It often involves a long, painful overhaul of your systems – and the benefits aren’t seen right away. But thanks to a move towards separating your ecommerce presentation layer into the cloud, you can get business results fast and fear-free.
Decouple to Keep Up with Pace of Change
Ecommerce systems are typically systems of record combined with sophisticated rule engines speaking to a database. These are stable systems that rarely require much change. On the other hand, new device types and sizes, new interaction paradigms, and dynamic fashion trends ensure customer expectations are always changing. This situation is further exacerbated as more digital channels come into play (VUI, Chat commerce, etc.). Of course, you can’t do an entire transformation each time customer expectations shift, but now you can add a front-end commerce experience layer that you can change regularly without impacting your backend systems. This layer can run in the cloud, even if your underlying commerce services remain on-premise offering the best of both worlds.
In this model, an API of data services decouples the customer experience layer from the backend. This allows for rapid changes to the front-end without disrupting the backend system.
Start with the Customer
With a full replatform being a long and costly affair, typically ecommerce backend systems are a few versions behind. The ecommerce solution itself often has a monolithic architecture with fully fledged presentation layer information coming directly from the system of record, sometimes called the storefront or templating. Other components and 3rd party tools are then added in an ad hoc manner as point solutions. The resulting stack has issues with performance and can be difficult to upgrade, modify, or even just maintain.
We’re not suggesting you ignore your backend and just add a customer experience layer, most retailers will still need to do a digital transformation to support the seamless future of commerce, but the key is where you start – and you should start with your customer. Your customer doesn’t care if your backend systems are a mess, they care if the experience is bad.
With a commerce experience layer in the cloud, retailers can embark on their journey towards this ideal headless architecture not only without pain, but with short-term benefits. The superior customer experience will boost revenue to fund and de-risk the migration of the backend systems.
Self-Fund Your Digital Transformation
For example, the Mobify Platform uses a platform-neutral data store and integration layer to decouple the Progressive Web App experience from the backend system. Even without a well-structured API, Mobify can use a retailer’s existing desktop HTML as a data layer to power a mobile Progressive Web App. The front-end visual aspects are independent of the data sources behind them. The Mobify Platform can also power the tablet, desktop, in-store kiosks and native apps from a single codebase with voice and chat commerce on the future roadmap. This allows a retailer to transition across to data services, custom APIs, or even a complete replatform while leaving the customer experience layer untouched, massively simplifying transformation projects.
In this way retailers can take advantage of the Mobify Platform to get short-term tactical benefits and ROI, which in turn leads to a self-funding digital transformation project without the risk.