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How to Build a Best-Of-Breed Product Offering

By: James Gagliardi
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This post was originally published on the Adobe Blog.

In today’s competitive and ever-evolving ecommerce industry, it’s crucial for brands to offer unparalleled shopping experiences. And as customer expectations continue to rise, these online merchants face a wealth of challenges to keep up and stand out from the pack.

Keeping up with consumers

Consumers expect their shopping experiences to be seamless, personalized, and accessible anytime, on any device. In fact, it has been reported that 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. Additionally, 70% say connected processes and seamless customer journeys are just as important in winning their business.

Furthermore, today’s consumers have more buying choices on more channels than ever before. The key to differentiating your brand is to deliver superior customer experiences throughout the entire buying journey. Providing these kinds of experiences give brands the opportunity to build lasting relationships with customers and grow long-term profitability.

This shift in expectations and the new standards placed upon the retail industry have led brands to take a different approach to their ecommerce offerings.

Out with the old, in with the new

In the early days of ecommerce, leading technology providers offered fully-managed, end-to-end commerce capabilities. However, these predefined solutions lacked the agility and heightened experiences that fully-integrated, open-architecture models can offer.

Full-stack solutions are no longer the answer

We’ve reached a point where the breadth and depth of global merchants’ demands can’t be met by a monolithic, end-to-end ecommerce provider. Traditional ecommerce models, often dependent on single-vendor driven technologies, are unable to keep up with the speed of ecommerce innovation and shifting customer desires. They’re challenging and costly to reconfigure, and the coupled infrastructure leaves little room for customization and personalization.

The shift to best-of-breed commerce

To stay competitive, merchants need solutions that are agile and responsive to rising customer demands, changing trends, and new technologies. Stitching together carefully selected capabilities and harnessing the power of APIs to connect and communicate between decoupled systems allows brands to do just that.

This best-of-breed approach — commonly referred to as headless commerce — is all about making the buying process consistent, frictionless, and secure for today’s consumers. It’s critical to integrate technologies that will provide things such as simple user interfaces across devices, easy checkout processes and preferred payment methods. Sharing relevant product offers and unique recommendations with shoppers based on data accessed throughout the customer journey is crucial to personalizing the shopping experience.

Is “headless commerce” right for your brand?

Headless commerce has quickly become a strategic choice for many, but it isn’t a one-size fits all proposition. Brands that have an already-established infrastructure but struggle to add tools and capabilities to their existing technology — and thus move slower than competitors — would likely benefit from a headless strategy. And if your brand is looking for the flexibility to fully control and customize the shopping experience and connect with your customers in new ways, this API-driven route might be right for you.

Combining best-in-class solutions for your specific needs with a fully-open architecture enables merchants to meet complex customer needs and exceed their expectations, drive brand loyalty, and unlock new revenue streams.

What we’re seeing in the industry

Many ecommerce platforms are now fully open and able to integrate with other leading solutions. We’ve seen our clients begin to build new online stores by combining best-of-breed technologies to reach new customers around the globe. For example, combining Adobe Experience Manager with Adobe Commerce, and Digital River’s global payments and risk protection services offers merchants robust capabilities and superior agility.

Adobe Commerce + Digital River

Our clients are using our ability to process payments, calculate and collect taxes, combat fraud and ensure compliance as an integrated component of their overall commerce solution. They now have the flexibility and full control of their end-to-end customer experience with Adobe Commerce Cloud, which deeply integrates Adobe Commerce with Adobe Analytics Cloud, Adobe Marketing Cloud and Adobe Advertising Cloud to provide a comprehensive experience solution. And with the help of system integrator partners, it’s easier than ever for brands to customize and extend these technologies to suit any business use case.

Combining these industry-leading capabilities benefits companies and consumers alike. The modular, secure, and repeatable solutions help brands provide seamless experiences to their customers and quickly expand to new global markets with ease. The ability to launch a new store in a new country in weeks is a game changer for brands that have historically been constrained by monolithic technologies.

The new normal

The ecommerce industry has fundamentally shifted as consumer preferences and expectations continue to change and rise. Now, headless commerce and best-of-breed technologies are no longer just industry buzzwords — they’re critical to the success of your modern ecommerce business.


Connect with us to learn more about how your brand (and your customers) can benefit from a best-of-breed ecommerce solution.