Deciphering eCommerce: MACH, Headless and Composable FactFinder is at the heart of commerce due to our modular and headless approach. But what does that even mean? Here’s a crash course in terminology. Headless. Composable. MACH. Best-of-breed. For an industry that aspires to simplicity and clarity, eCommerce can include a lot of jargon. The problem is that all these buzzwords are often interchanged, making it hard to understand what means what – and therefore how best to benefit. Which is a shame, because fundamentally they are all good things for making rapid changes to your on-site experience. Let’s start with Headless. The simplest way to describe Headless commerce is that it’s an approach that separates the front-end (the head) from the back-end. This allows for more flexibility in delivering digital experiences across multiple channels and devices. In contrast, the more traditional ‘monolithic’ platforms are built on an architecture where the front-end and back-end are tightly integrated and come as a single package or suite. Customisation is hard. Innovation stalls. Everything just takes that much longer to fix. In a Headless system, you can adopt best of breed services from different vendors, and these can be plugged into multiple heads and channels as needed. It works too. Headless systems are better for scaling omnichannel experiences. You can integrate new tech as and when it comes on the scene, which is competitively smart. You can adapt quicker to sudden events (such as a global pandemic) – achieving more customised experiences for greater differentiation. All of this freedom results in what every business really wants: better conversion rates and more sales The H in MACH A common error is thinking that Headless is the same as MACH™ architecture. In fact, Headless is one component of MACH – the H at the back – which contributes to the MACH goal of making eCommerce a modular environment where innovation and rapid change are simple to do well. The M stands for microservices – independent building bricks that allow the owner greater agility with best-in-class (specialist) services rather than all-in-one (generic) packages. Great for scaling fast and for autonomous management. The A is for API-first approach – every component in the stack can speak to its neighbour, no matter the vendor. C is for cloud-native – meaning the whole eCommerce system runs on a cloud-based platform (rather than on-premises servers), which again promotes scalability, while reducing the risk of cyberattack and crash. So, is MACH the same as composable commerce? Whereas MACH is a set of principles to build flexible, scalable, and modular eCommerce systems, composable commerce is an approach that emphasizes assembling eCommerce capabilities from best-of-breed, specialized services via APIs. This allows organizations to compose their own preferred constellation of technologies. Far removed from the old monolithic block, composable commerce is a fluid, agile state in which every component is pluggable, scalable and switchable, giving the business an in-built ability to evolve with customer needs. Use FactFinder as an example FactFinder is a well-established headless solution that provides an API to connect into ALL eCommerce platforms and microservices. We comply with the technology standard which provides our customers with a safe and future-proof solution. Yet, technology is not the be-all and end-all with FactFinder. We understand that our solution needs to deliver business value and be usable by business people and not just tech pros. The pandemic encouraged many businesses to replace their legacy eCommerce solutions with a more composable approach. Although this strategy has its clear benefits, some businesses are finding that their eCommerce ecosystem has become bloated with too much software that can overlap and is difficult to manage. FactFinder and other industry experts including Forrester encourage a more balanced approach. The Group of Analysts recently conducted an interview with Emily Pfeiffer, principal analyst at Forrester, who recommends choosing just one or two areas in the commerce tech ecosystem and bringing in a unified platform that provides a larger selection of functionality, but within the single platform and administered with a single user interface. FactFinder also advocates for this approach, of buying a core, then building around it. We’ve helped our customers do just this. For example, Medion, one of the largest consumer electronics companies in Germany, offers composable commerce with FactFinder at the heart of its business. Whether FactFinder is at the core of the system or a core component, we focus on what we are good at – superior product discovery. Written by: Claire McConville Published in Industry Insights eCommerce Previous Post Atlas AI: The New Frontier in eCommerce Product Discovery Next Post FactFinder unveils GPT Synonyms – the intelligence of Large Language Models just a click away.