How APIs and Microservices are Transforming the Shopping Experience
By Tessa Roberts
APIs and microservices are transforming the way commerce and content is organized. In a recent webinar, speakers from Bloomreach and commercetools describe how commerce and content was structured in the past and how APIs and microservices are flipping that structure on its head - now and in the years to come. A summary of this transformation is below, and a deeper dive into the power of APIs and microservices in commerce is available via our onDemand Webinar.
Back in the Day…
In the '90s, the all-in-one commerce platform was a thing of beauty. Businesses were bringing out shiny new websites, saying to their customers "Why unsnuggle yourself from your duvet and force yourself into the outdoors, when you can shop from the comfort of your own bed?". It was a revolutionary concept, where consumers could navigate websites and add item after item to their baskets.
The possibilities were endless, the amount of products inumerable, and the time saved unfathomable. Except, as we all know first-hand, consumers became more demanding. It was no longer enough to shop from bed, it was no longer enough to shop from home - I want to shop on the bus while scrolling through Instagram and get that dress for the party tomorrow.
Fast Innovation with Software
So businesses caught on and began to dedicate themselves to their customers. Centralized, monolithic, on premise applications with waterfall style development and quarterly releases were dropped. Instead, a faster, more agile, microservice-based development was introduced to keep up with consumers' ever evolving demands.
The internet giants, like Uber, Facebook and Google, latched onto this idea of speed and leveraged technology to increase the velocity of their business cycles. Rapid product releases, quick iterations and direct customer feedback were made possible through the innovative software that supports them.
Brands Need a Story
But as brands developed faster and became more automated, the human part was left behind. Startups filled this void and came forward with their personalized touch and an emotionally charged founding story. They reached out to customers individually, remembered their names, and told them how their service or product was going to make their lives better.
And customers loved it. They "connected" with the brand and remembered them, even if their price point was slightly higher. Brands began to shift their focus from the product to the person, creating content around the lifestyle and the type of person you will be if you buy the product.
What Will Be Next?
From speed to personalized experiences to emotive stories, we don't know exactly what will be next. The landscape is changing again with hype around technologies like voice assistants, virtual reality and the Internet of Things. What we are sure about is that innovation will happen, and it will happen fast.
And do you know what's especially good at innovating fast? APIs and microservices (we got there). Because technologies are changing so quickly, systems should be agile and API-based to keep up with the pace. An API architecture allows you to modify components without a full re-platform of your core infrastructure. This approach makes it possible to scale using a test and learn culture, and integrate new technologies when they emerge.
Learn more about how APIs and microservices are transforming brands, like Paige and Warby Parker, to experience led commerce in our webinar - watch now.