Composable Commerce, MACH Architecture

Is Composable Commerce right for your business? 

Today’s digital-savvy consumers expect ever-faster, personalised and seamless experiences across all channels and touchpoints. This means it’s never been more important for an online retailer to get their digital infrastructure right. 

With some all-in-one solutions, retailers are restricted by the lack of flexibility and agility essential to adapt to the constant changes needed to keep up with – and get ahead of – these growing expectations. 

However, many digital brands are now moving onto a composable tech stack, giving them the ability to push innovation to the forefront of their strategies and react faster to a rapidly-evolving market and digital landscape. 

But what exactly is composable commerce and how can it help your business flourish?

What is Composable Commerce? 

Composable commerce architecture is an approach to digital commerce that allows businesses to build their tech stack using inter-changeable components. 

For decades, bike enthusiasts have built their own mountain and racing bikes, allowing them to buy and put together separately branded frames, seats, tyres, brakes and so on – to suit their needs, capability and budget. If it’s wet outside, they may change the tyres. Going on a longer ride? Change the seat. Taking it more seriously? Maybe try a lighter frame, but reuse the same tyres and other bike parts.  

In the same way, composable commerce allows eCommerce businesses to have a more agile solution by being able to swap components in and out quickly - and the flexibility to try new systems and ideas without spending too much money or time developing the whole platform. 

Composable Commerce, MACH Architecture

Composable or not Composable?

To learn more about the differences between a monolithic architecture, headless commerce and composable architecture, get our white paper.

Where does MACH architecture fit in? 

One of the ways that businesses are going composable is by adopting a MACH set-up – standing for Microservices, API-led, Cloud-based and Headless.

Composable Commerce, MACH Architecture


A MACH set-up allows brands to build scalable systems that best suit their individual needs and development better.  

This method is supported by the MACH alliance, a global not-for-profit industry group that “advocates for open and best-of-breed enterprise technology ecosystems.” 

The aim of the group is to educate and support brands moving to composable set-ups, with ambassadors from brands such as The PUMA Group, Ted Baker and Amazon, that have gone through the process themselves. 

To read more on MACH architecture and how MACH might benefit your business, you can read SQLI’s in-depth two-part series. Part One is here and Part Two, here.

What brands have turned to composable architecture? Find out here.

The benefits of Composable Commerce

A composable commerce solution does not suit every business. It’s about starting a digital journey that will allow your business to evolve with you - where you can continually change parts to suit your business needs.  

If you want to try a better search solution, rather than developing the whole digital store and go through testing the whole site repeatedly, you can simply swap one search solution out for a different one.  

Moving to a composable technology can be expensive and larger technical in-house teams may be needed. Not all businesses need this level of flexibility or have the right technical maturity, or budgets, to go down this route.  

However, some of the benefits of moving to a composable stack, include: 

  • Faster innovation 

  • Greater flexibility  

  • Better scalability 

  • A more bespoke solution 

  • The ability to use Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs) - best-of-breed software

Want to know more about the benefits of moving to a composable tech stack? Read our article, here. 

What to consider before adopting a Composable Commerce approach

Before making the decision to go composable, eCommerce brands should consider: 

  • What are your business goals and needs?  

When you start to look at a composable strategy, you must quickly understand if this aligns with your business goals and needs. What does innovation and flexibility look like to you? Do you have the right developers and tech experts on board? Will you need to employ more? What do you really need out of your search or payment solution? What training will be needed? A much more technically-mature mind-set is needed, so you have to ensure you and your teams understand this. 

Composable Commerce, MACH Architecture


  • Collaborate across the business 

This is not a decision to take lightly. Collaboration with all stakeholders across the business is essential to gain valuable insight into what would support growth in their area of their business and helping them understand what it could mean to their teams. 

Composable Commerce, MACH Architecture


  • Consultation 

Consulting digital experts as early as possible can be invaluable to understanding timeframes, costs and likely roadmaps.  

One of the core strengths of SQLI is helping brands navigate and answer these complicated questions. With decades in digital and with experience of supporting global powerhouses such as Tesco Mobile, Fortnum & Mason, Carlsberg, LVMH, Nespresso and Sharp.  SQLI is in a unique position to be able to advise brands on their individual pros and cons of an all-in-one solution versus a composable set-up - and what components would make best business sense.  

Perhaps a phased approach – and going headless, where the back-end is separated from the front - could be a better option for your business right now, to prepare your teams for a fully composable solution further down the line? 

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