Debunking Myths About Composable Commerce: Why It’s Not as Hard as It Seems 


Adapted from our web event, Condensing the Path to Composable for B2B: An Executive Conversation, with Kelly Goetsch, CSO of commercetools and Ryan Heusinkveld, CEO of Smith.

Composable commerce has been gaining momentum, but it’s not immune to some persistent myths and misconceptions. To shed some light on this topic, let’s dive into some of the most prevalent misunderstandings and offer insights to clarify the true nature of composable commerce. 

Myth 1: Composable Commerce is Always Difficult 

One of the most common and enduring myths about composable commerce is that it’s inherently hard. As composable is conducive to handling highly complex commerce use cases, any correlation to complexity is more a matter of ‘guilt by association’, rather than anything inherent in implementing composable commerce. This bias can make composable commerce appear more complicated than it truly is, when in reality composable is a victim of its versatility in being applied to any number of commerce models and challenges. 

While composable commerce is often applied to solve for the most intricate commerce challenges, these represent only a small sub-set of all composable commerce implementations. Straight-forward implementations, like setting up a t-shirt shop, can be accomplished quickly and efficiently with composable tools, while still reaping the same benefits. The difficulty level depends on the project’s scale and complexity, not the nature of composable commerce itself. 

Myth 2: The Illusion of Back-End Chaos 

Behind-the-scenes in composable Commerce there is another common misconception that composable leads to back-office challenges. The common belief is that even though the front-end user experience may be seamless, the back-end involves complex interactions, leading to administrative challenges, aka chaos. This could not be further from the truth.  

Well architected composable commerce solutions are designed with interoperability in mind. These systems are built to work seamlessly with other components, whether they are internal or third-party integrations. The extensibility and robust APIs that are core to composable solutions ensure that the user experience, both customer-facing and administrative, remains cohesive. The key to overcoming this myth is proper planning. Businesses should take the time to understand how various systems will need to interoperate and then plan accordingly. When done right, composable commerce can offer a high level of cohesion for both the customer experience and internal operations. 

Composable commerce can be tailored to the specific needs of a business, whether it’s a simple ecommerce storefront or a complex enterprise-level system. Likewise, concerns about behind-the-scenes chaos are unfounded, given the system’s design for interoperability and seamless integration. 

In the end, understanding the realities of composable commerce and dispelling these myths is essential for businesses looking to embrace this innovative approach. By doing so, organizations can leverage composable commerce to their advantage, tailoring it to their specific needs and achieving a flexible, efficient, and cohesive digital commerce solution. 

Myth 3: Headless Commerce is the Same as Composable Commerce 

Think of the relationship between headless commerce and composable commerce like that of champagne and sparkling wine. All headless commerce is composable, but all composable commerce isn’t necessarily headless. Headless commerce specifically refers to decoupling the frontend and backend systems to, ideally, provide the flexibility to better manage content and deliver richer customer experiences. Composable commerce the entire tech stack is built using a modular approach, so any component can be swapped out without impacting the entire system. This usually means separate frontends and backends as part of a best-of-breed tech stack, but it is not a requirement. 

For many organizations, going headless is the first step in moving to a fully composable environment, as the architecture needed to enable headless serves as a stepping stone towards composable. Given that there are many starting and stopping points on the path to composable, no two organization’s journeys will be the same.