The Ultimate Guide to Composable E-Commerce

The Ultimate Guide to Composable E-Commerce

Discover the power of composable e-commerce.
Learn how to build your e-commerce sales platform with our ultimate guide.

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Table of Contents

Welcome to the world of composable e-commerce, where the power to build your business is literally at your fingertips.
Think of composable e-commerce solutions as playing with Legos but for grown-ups.
This ultimate guide will show you how e-commerce systems are constructed brick by brick. We’ll explore the what, why, and how of composable e-commerce, giving you the tools and resources to understand this powerful platform and what it can do for your business.
So, roll up your sleeves, and let’s start building!

First up, What Is Composable E-Commerce?

Composable e-commerce is a modern approach to building an e-commerce platform that’s as unique as your business.
Composable commerce is all about flexibility and customization.
Imagine a set of building blocks, each representing a different function of an e-commerce platform:
With composable e-commerce, you pick and choose the blocks you need and stack them together to build your own custom platform.
No more one-size-fits-all solutions. No more unnecessary features. Just a platform that fits your business like a glove. That’s the beauty of composable e-commerce.
It puts you in control, allowing you to build a platform that meets your specific needs and can easily adapt as those needs change.

What is MACH Architecture in E-Commerce?

MACH stands for Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless. It’s a set of design principles that are becoming increasingly popular in the world of e-commerce.
MACH is based on Agile methodology, meaning MACH systems are flexible, scalable, adaptable, and quick to develop.
Let’s break down each component:


Think of microservices architecture as having a team of specialists. Each specialist has a specific job and does it really well.

In an e-commerce setting, you might have:

→ One specialist who's really good at keeping track of inventory,
→ Another who's an expert at verifying user identities, and
→ Another who's a whiz at processing payments.

Each of these specialists works independently. They don't need to know the ins and outs of what the others are doing. They just focus on their own job. But they can also communicate and work together when they need to, like passing a baton in a relay race.

This setup allows each specialist to work on their own schedule and pace. If one specialist needs to learn a new skill or upgrade their tools, they can do so without disrupting the others. This means the team can adapt and grow more easily as the business needs change.

In other words, a microservices architecture is like having a team of specialists who can work both independently and together, making your e-commerce operation more flexible and efficient.


APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, are like waiters in a restaurant. They take your order (a request for some data or action), go to the kitchen (the system where the data lives or the action takes place), and bring back what you asked for (the data or the result of the action).

In an API-first approach, these APIs are treated like VIPs. They're a crucial part of the design process from the very beginning.

This approach is like designing a restaurant to provide the best possible service to the customers. Everything from the kitchen layout to the menu is designed with the customer's needs in mind.

Because of this, APIs designed in an API-first approach can easily take orders from and deliver to a wide range of customers, no matter where they're seated (i.e., they can work with different applications across various platforms).

This makes it easy for different parts of a system (or even different systems) to talk to each other and work together, just like a well-coordinated team of waiters in a restaurant.


Cloud-native refers to applications that are built and hosted in the cloud. These applications are designed to take full advantage of cloud computing frameworks, which offer benefits like scalability, resilience, and flexibility.

This of it like this: Instead of constructing a house on a fixed piece of land (like a traditional computer server), you're building it on a cloud that can move and change shape (like the internet).

This cloud-native house can grow bigger when you have more guests (scalability), it can stay afloat even if part of it gets damaged (resilience), and it can change its layout to suit your needs (flexibility).

In the world of e-commerce, having a cloud-native application means your online store can serve more customers when it gets busy, stay up and running even if there's a problem, and adapt quickly as your business grows and changes.

Cloud-native systems are having a super adaptable, always available, and ever-expanding online store.


A headless architecture separates the front-end and back-end of an application. This allows developers to make changes to one end without affecting the other, providing a lot of flexibility in terms of user experience.

When applied to e-commerce, MACH architecture allows businesses to build highly flexible and scalable e-commerce platforms.

MACH systems can easily integrate with other systems, scale as the business grows, and provide a seamless, consistent user experience across multiple channels and touchpoints.

This aligns perfectly with the principles of composable commerce, making MACH a popular choice for businesses looking to build a custom e-commerce platform.

How Do Modern E-Commerce Architectures Work Together?

Monolithic, headless, MACH, and composable are all architectural approaches that can be used to build an e-commerce platform. Each has its own strengths and can be used in different scenarios. However, they’re not mutually exclusive and can often work together to create a more flexible and powerful e-commerce solution.
Here’s how:

Monolithic Architecture

In a monolithic architecture, all the components of the e-commerce platform are interconnected and interdependent.
While this approach can be simpler to develop and deploy initially, it can become complex and rigid as the business grows.
However, it’s important to note that elements of monolithic architecture can still be used within a larger, more flexible architecture. This is most applicable for specific components that don’t require frequent updates or scaling.
Construction of a new apartment block

Headless Architecture

As we’ve seen, a headless architecture decouples the front-end (what the user sees) from the back-end (where the data and business logic live).
This separation allows for greater flexibility in presenting content across different channels and devices.
A headless approach can be used with both monolithic and composable architectures and is a key component of MACH.
flexible & scalable

MACH Architecture

MACH, of course, stands for Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless.
It’s an architectural approach that combines these four principles to create a highly flexible and scalable e-commerce solution.
A MACH architecture can incorporate elements of both monolithic and composable architectures, depending on the specific needs of the business.
ecommerce for construction: Background of laptop with hands overlaid with ecommerce icons
custom combinations

Composable E-Commerce Architecture

Composable architecture is all about building an e-commerce platform using different “building blocks” that can be combined in various ways to meet the business’s specific needs.
The composable approach to e-commerce is highly flexible and can incorporate elements of monolithic, headless, and MACH architectures.
For example, you could use a monolithic approach for a specific component that doesn’t require frequent updates, a headless approach for delivering content across different channels, and a MACH approach for the overall architecture.

Case Studies: Composable E-Commerce Systems For The Win

So, you want proof? Fair enough. Let’s look at a few businesses leveraging the power of Composable E-Commerce and Headless E-commerce software to see what’s possible.
Composable E-Commerce Case Study

Deckers , the company behind brands like UGG, HOKA, and Teva, is a big deal in the footwear industry. But when they needed an e-commerce makeover, they chose the cloud-based Composable E-Commerce route with Demandware from Salesforce.

Deckers combined best-of-breed solutions into one powerhouse platform to align with their complex business requirements and diverse brand portfolio. The result? Deckers now have a super flexible, scalable e-commerce platform ready to evolve with their business needs. And with online sales growth of over 80%, we think they made the right choice. Don’t you?
Composable Commerce Remix

Let's talk about Adobe.
These guys aren't just Photoshop whizzes—they're also big players in the Composable Commerce scene. They built their Magento Commerce platform with the composable ethos at heart.

Businesses get to mix and match components like they're curating a killer playlist, creating an e-commerce jam that's perfectly in tune with their needs. With Adobe's Magento, the power's in your hands, and the beat goes on.
Headless E-commerce Case Study

Australian fast fashion brand Princess Polly took the Headless E-commerce route when they decided to tap into the lucrative US market.

They adopted a headless solution on BigCommerce to handle their back-end, while the front-end was designed on a React framework. With this setup, they created a speedy, mobile-first shopping experience that quickly made waves in the competitive US fashion scene.
Headless E-commerce Remix

Now, let's turn up the amp on Fender. These guitar gods didn't just stop at crafting sweet axes—they also riffed a killer solo in the world of Headless E-commerce.

Fender used this approach to build a platform that's as custom and engaging as a face-melting guitar solo. By breaking up the front and back-end, they brought in tech that turned their user experience up to eleven. So now, whether you're browsing for a Strat or a Tele, Fender's online experience hits all the right notes.
These businesses had different needs and chose different routes, but found success in their respective journeys.
So whether it’s Composable Commerce or Headless E-commerce, the key is understanding what your business needs and choosing the solution that can deliver. It’s not a one-size-fits-all world out there, but with the right tools and strategy, it’s a world full of opportunity.

How Are E-Commerce Solutions Being Used to Sell Construction Materials?

Alright, so you’re curious about how the e-commerce boom is hitting the construction world? Strap in because it’s a wild ride.
First off, it’s worth mentioning that selling construction materials online isn’t like selling t-shirts or ebooks. We’re talking about products that can be big, heavy, and complex, with logistics that would give any courier a run for their money.
But hey, we’re living in a digital age, and even the construction industry is ready to ride the wave.
The Digital Marketplace Rockstar

One example is the likes of BuildDirect, a heavyweight in the online construction material world. They've leveraged e-commerce to offer a vast range of flooring products like vinyl flooring, wood flooring, laminate, decking and even carpet tiles.

Their digital platform simplifies the process, giving customers detailed product information, prices, and even delivery options at the click of a button. They're proof that selling construction materials online isn't just possible—it's profitable.
The E-commerce Maestro of Industrial Supplies

Then you have Fastenal, who has embraced B2B e-commerce to sell industrial and construction supplies. They're all about convenience and efficiency, with an online catalog that lets businesses order what they need without the run-around.

And don’t forget about GoBuild360 (wink, wink), the composable e-commerce software geared specifically for the construction materials industry. It’s all about offering a tailored e-commerce solution that meets the unique needs of construction businesses.

Let’s slide into the e-commerce success stories of two heavy hitters in the construction industry: Cashbuild and AfriSam.
Put on your hardhat and lace up your work boots, because these guys are setting the pace and getting the job done right.

The E-commerce Powerhouse of Building Materials

One example is the likes of Cashbuild, a giant in the building material retail world, decided to take a leap into the e-commerce pool—and boy, did they make a splash. By adopting a GoBuild360-powered solution, they didn't just step up their game—they changed the rules. Their sales? Tripled. That's right.

Cashbuild’s new online store turned their revenue dials up to 11. Proving that even in the gritty world of construction material retail, e-commerce is king. For industry leaders like Cashbuild, it's all about offering their busy customers a simplified, efficient, and, let's be honest, ridiculously convenient way to shop for their building material needs.

With GoBuild360 as their digital sidekick, Cashbuild's taking the construction industry by storm, one online sale at a time.
Leveraging E-Commerce to Cement Their Place In The Market

When it comes to producing cement and ready-mix concrete, AfriSam is no small player. As one of the top 100 cement producers in the world, AfriSam has a massive network of suppliers and customers including builder’s merchants, ready-mix suppliers, contractors, and builders.

By leveraging a GoBuild360-powered solution, AfriSam is expanding its market share and strengthening its network. It's about more than just selling products—it's about creating a digital ecosystem that connects suppliers, streamlines processes, and drives growth.

With GoBuild360 at its back, AfriSam is proving that even in an industry as traditional as cement production, e-commerce can mix things up in a big way.

Composable E-Commerce is the Future of Construction Material Sales

So there you have it. E-commerce isn’t just for selling books or clothes—it’s also helping construction businesses like Cashbuild and AfriSam build a digital future that’s as solid as concrete.
Welcome to the new age of construction commerce.
Are you ready to build a superior online experience for your customers?
We’re here to help.

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