How to know you’re outgrowing your ecommerce monolith?

How to know you’re outgrowing your ecommerce monolith?

How to know you’re outgrowing your ecommerce monolith?

How to know you’re outgrowing your ecommerce monolith?

Author

Folkje Lips

Director of Product

Category
Educational

Date

Nov 24, 2021

You may have even heard of the terms ‘Headless’, ‘Composable Commerce’, or ‘Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)’. However, you may have questions about the value of this approach for your specific situation and worry about the complexity of the transition. And you might wonder if it is something you should consider. If this is the case, this blog is for you.

Introduction

If you clicked on the link to this blog, it most likely means that you already know that the ecommerce market is slowly but firmly moving towards a ‘best-of-breed’ and modular approach, as this is showing many benefits over a monolith, ‘one-stop-shop’ solution. You may have even heard of the terms ‘Headless’, ‘Composable Commerce’, or ‘Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)’. However, you may have questions about the value of this approach for your specific situation and worry about the complexity of the transition. And you might wonder if it is something you should consider. If this is the case, this blog is for you.

Introduction

If you clicked on the link to this blog, it most likely means that you already know that the ecommerce market is slowly but firmly moving towards a ‘best-of-breed’ and modular approach, as this is showing many benefits over a monolith, ‘one-stop-shop’ solution. You may have even heard of the terms ‘Headless’, ‘Composable Commerce’, or ‘Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)’. However, you may have questions about the value of this approach for your specific situation and worry about the complexity of the transition. And you might wonder if it is something you should consider. If this is the case, this blog is for you.

Introduction

If you clicked on the link to this blog, it most likely means that you already know that the ecommerce market is slowly but firmly moving towards a ‘best-of-breed’ and modular approach, as this is showing many benefits over a monolith, ‘one-stop-shop’ solution. You may have even heard of the terms ‘Headless’, ‘Composable Commerce’, or ‘Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)’. However, you may have questions about the value of this approach for your specific situation and worry about the complexity of the transition. And you might wonder if it is something you should consider. If this is the case, this blog is for you.

Ecommerce on monoliths

Most ecommerce shops you see today run on a monolith ecommerce system: one platform that encompasses all, or almost all, ecommerce services a merchant requires. Services like product -, order -, stock – and customer management, search, some business intelligence, some marketing and of course a frontend. A good example is Shopify, but also Adobe Commerce, BigCommerce and Shopware deliver these ‘one-stop-shops’ for ecommerce. And if you’re a small business, selling a few products, doing low amounts of transactions, not making much changes, you’ll be happy to work with this solution. After all, there are advantages to working with one ecommerce system: you only have to deal with one vendor. Developers that can work with these systems are more readily available than developers who can work with modern technologies such as React, Vue and NodeJS. And you don’t have to think much about what services you’ll use. You just use what’s available on your platform.

But if your use case is a bit more complicated, if you are growing, if you want more products, more flexibility to adapt your offering, your prices, your user experiences, you might find that your one platform is too limited for you.


Ecommerce on monoliths

Most ecommerce shops you see today run on a monolith ecommerce system: one platform that encompasses all, or almost all, ecommerce services a merchant requires. Services like product -, order -, stock – and customer management, search, some business intelligence, some marketing and of course a frontend. A good example is Shopify, but also Adobe Commerce, BigCommerce and Shopware deliver these ‘one-stop-shops’ for ecommerce. And if you’re a small business, selling a few products, doing low amounts of transactions, not making much changes, you’ll be happy to work with this solution. After all, there are advantages to working with one ecommerce system: you only have to deal with one vendor. Developers that can work with these systems are more readily available than developers who can work with modern technologies such as React, Vue and NodeJS. And you don’t have to think much about what services you’ll use. You just use what’s available on your platform.

But if your use case is a bit more complicated, if you are growing, if you want more products, more flexibility to adapt your offering, your prices, your user experiences, you might find that your one platform is too limited for you.


Quick fixing your issues

You might first want to explore quick fixes to solve your problem. If you need more functionality, you could look for plugins or direct integrations to add to your current platform. If you have too much traffic for your shop to handle, you could ask your hosting provider to add more servers. Or you could contract a specialised agency or hire more devs to improve the performance of your webshop. These are all good options that can have a measurable impact on the customer experience of your shop. Mind you, the author of this blog has a Magento and hosting background herself, so she’s fully aware of the possibilities in that area. Especially if you are quite content with your platform, but only have one specific problem with your current store, one of these fixes can be a perfect solution for you.

Quick fixing your issues

You might first want to explore quick fixes to solve your problem. If you need more functionality, you could look for plugins or direct integrations to add to your current platform. If you have too much traffic for your shop to handle, you could ask your hosting provider to add more servers. Or you could contract a specialised agency or hire more devs to improve the performance of your webshop. These are all good options that can have a measurable impact on the customer experience of your shop. Mind you, the author of this blog has a Magento and hosting background herself, so she’s fully aware of the possibilities in that area. Especially if you are quite content with your platform, but only have one specific problem with your current store, one of these fixes can be a perfect solution for you.

When is quick fixing not enough?

If, however, you have a more complex issue, or more than one problem area, or you expect growth and want to prevent problems in the future, it’s a different story altogether. To see if this is the case for your shop, check all the issues below that apply to you:

- Your development process is often clogged by updates that don’t deliver direct customer value, because every update in one small area actually requires you to update the whole system.

- Your desired feature roadmap is very far off from your feasible feature roadmap.

- You have issues with your frontends’ performance.

- You see a service you like ‘in the wild’, that your platform doesn’t connect with.

- You hate one of your current services but don’t want to exchange it for another one, because that’ll take too much time and will most likely lead to a cumbersome period of testing and accidental downtime before it works.

- You freeze all deployments a month before Black Friday, afraid you’ll break your shop.

- You want to build a custom feature, but your developers’ estimation of how much time and money that will cost you on your current platform is mindblowing.

- You want to expand to another country, currency or language but your platform doesn’t allow it.

- You expect serious growth and are worried about the future performance and flexibility of your shop.

- You need a very specific payment method that the payment providers connected to your platform don’t offer.

- Your platform requires you to purchase multiple licenses for your multiple storefronts and you don’t want to spend that much money.

- Your ecommerce platform is increasing their license fee because of your growth and you feel locked-in.

- Developers grumble about ‘spaghetti’ and they don’t mean their food.

Have you checked ‘yes’ on two or more of these issues? That most likely means that your current platform is not up to your needs anymore. You have outgrown a monolith architecture and are more than ready to explore SOA for your business. Or as it is currently popularly called: Composable Commerce. If you want to know more about this, you can read our blog about Composable Commerce.

In short, this architectural approach, when done right, gives you more flexibility, reliability, easier customization, a better fit between your potential market and your customer experience, happy developers and an open path towards growth. 

When is quick fixing not enough?

If, however, you have a more complex issue, or more than one problem area, or you expect growth and want to prevent problems in the future, it’s a different story altogether. To see if this is the case for your shop, check all the issues below that apply to you:

- Your development process is often clogged by updates that don’t deliver direct customer value, because every update in one small area actually requires you to update the whole system.

- Your desired feature roadmap is very far off from your feasible feature roadmap.

- You have issues with your frontends’ performance.

- You see a service you like ‘in the wild’, that your platform doesn’t connect with.

- You hate one of your current services but don’t want to exchange it for another one, because that’ll take too much time and will most likely lead to a cumbersome period of testing and accidental downtime before it works.

- You freeze all deployments a month before Black Friday, afraid you’ll break your shop.

- You want to build a custom feature, but your developers’ estimation of how much time and money that will cost you on your current platform is mindblowing.

- You want to expand to another country, currency or language but your platform doesn’t allow it.

- You expect serious growth and are worried about the future performance and flexibility of your shop.

- You need a very specific payment method that the payment providers connected to your platform don’t offer.

- Your platform requires you to purchase multiple licenses for your multiple storefronts and you don’t want to spend that much money.

- Your ecommerce platform is increasing their license fee because of your growth and you feel locked-in.

- Developers grumble about ‘spaghetti’ and they don’t mean their food.

Have you checked ‘yes’ on two or more of these issues? That most likely means that your current platform is not up to your needs anymore. You have outgrown a monolith architecture and are more than ready to explore SOA for your business. Or as it is currently popularly called: Composable Commerce. If you want to know more about this, you can read our blog about Composable Commerce.

In short, this architectural approach, when done right, gives you more flexibility, reliability, easier customization, a better fit between your potential market and your customer experience, happy developers and an open path towards growth. 

What will this cost?

Of course, moving towards a new architecture is a big step for a company to take, and requires a lot of strategic thinking and a shift in people and budgets. Your team needs to be ready for a faster-paced future, where tech is no longer the bottleneck. You will be able to leverage the full potential of their creativity, but the transition requires a different mindset and new internal processes.  

But contrary to what you might think, this transition is not necessarily a disinvestment. With the Deity platform, you can keep using your current system and gradually move parts towards your desired Composable architecture. Working with multiple vendors will mean reorganising your budget, moving parts away from your current platform towards new contracts. But the TCO, Total Cost of Ownership, will in most cases be lower, due to lower license costs, overhead and maintenance costs and cheaper development of new features.  

What will this cost?

Of course, moving towards a new architecture is a big step for a company to take, and requires a lot of strategic thinking and a shift in people and budgets. Your team needs to be ready for a faster-paced future, where tech is no longer the bottleneck. You will be able to leverage the full potential of their creativity, but the transition requires a different mindset and new internal processes.  

But contrary to what you might think, this transition is not necessarily a disinvestment. With the Deity platform, you can keep using your current system and gradually move parts towards your desired Composable architecture. Working with multiple vendors will mean reorganising your budget, moving parts away from your current platform towards new contracts. But the TCO, Total Cost of Ownership, will in most cases be lower, due to lower license costs, overhead and maintenance costs and cheaper development of new features.  

How to proceed?

Ready to take the first step in your exploration? Contact Deity. We have guided dozens of customers in this journey and can shield you from common pitfalls. We’re friendly people and we don’t charge for a first advisory consultation :). And we can set your shop on F.I.R.E.: endless Flexibility, Integratibility, Reliability and Extensibility. 



Deity doesn’t just provide the only true and complete SOA Middleware and Storefront for ecommerce, but we’re also renowned for our solid business advice and great tech support. To give you a sneak preview of how we work together: 

The first step is to map the services you are using, the services you want to use and what your ambitions are for the future. Don’t worry if you don’t have a clear view yet, we’ll support you along the way.

Of course we need you to think about what you want your frontend to look like and what customer experiences you want to deliver. This is where you can really excel.

Then we create a functional drawing of your desired architecture and help you find a great and trusted agency to build all your custom wishes with. 

And of course we support them and you, all the way of your journey.

So reach out to us, we’re ready for you.

Contact us or schedule a demo.

How to proceed?

Ready to take the first step in your exploration? Contact Deity. We have guided dozens of customers in this journey and can shield you from common pitfalls. We’re friendly people and we don’t charge for a first advisory consultation :). And we can set your shop on F.I.R.E.: endless Flexibility, Integratibility, Reliability and Extensibility. 



Deity doesn’t just provide the only true and complete SOA Middleware and Storefront for ecommerce, but we’re also renowned for our solid business advice and great tech support. To give you a sneak preview of how we work together: 

The first step is to map the services you are using, the services you want to use and what your ambitions are for the future. Don’t worry if you don’t have a clear view yet, we’ll support you along the way.

Of course we need you to think about what you want your frontend to look like and what customer experiences you want to deliver. This is where you can really excel.

Then we create a functional drawing of your desired architecture and help you find a great and trusted agency to build all your custom wishes with. 

And of course we support them and you, all the way of your journey.

So reach out to us, we’re ready for you.

Contact us or schedule a demo.

“Deity opens up the world of composable commerce for commercetools merchants by providing a powerful set of building blocks. Deity is a solution to watch, they are one of the next big things in commerce.”

Ivo Bronsveld – Head of Integrations at commercetools
Find out how you can supercharge your business.

“Deity opens up the world of composable commerce for commercetools merchants by providing a powerful set of building blocks. Deity is a solution to watch, they are one of the next big things in commerce.”

Ivo Bronsveld – Head of Integrations at commercetools
Find out how you can supercharge your business.

“Deity opens up the world of composable commerce for commercetools merchants by providing a powerful set of building blocks. Deity is a solution to watch, they are one of the next big things in commerce.”

Ivo Bronsveld – Head of Integrations at commercetools
Find out how you can supercharge your business.

Get in touch

We can’t wait to hear about your ambitions.

Let’s find out how we can bring your business to the future, together.

Jamie Maria Schouren Chief Commercial Officer

Get in touch

We can’t wait to hear about your ambitions.

Let’s find out how we can bring your business to the future, together.

Jamie Maria Schouren Chief Commercial Officer

Get in touch

We can’t wait to hear about your ambitions.

Let’s find out how we can bring your business to the future, together.

Jamie Maria Schouren Chief Commercial Officer