eCommerce News Australia logo
The latest digital commerce news for Aussie businesses
Partner content
Story image

Interview: commercetools explores the realities of the 'commerce possibilities chasm'

By Sara Barker
Wed 7 Jul 2021

When commercetools recently hosted Modern Commerce Day last month, the event brought together some of the world’s biggest brands like Audi, Mars, Boohoo.com, and LEGO to discuss how state-of-the-art commerce technology helps them to innovate and grow.

Behind those big brands is a commerce principle that can work for any organisation, no matter what their size or industry. We spoke to commercetools territory director Joshua Emblin to find out more.

While technology has enabled commerce in one way or another since the 90s, the way it worked has changed dramatically. In the past, organisations would look to IBM and Oracle's systems while IT teams implemented these products in their own organisations. Emblin says those commerce systems were built to serve a single purpose: product sales. 

“Over the next 15-20 years, it evolved - there was more marketing, more merchandising, and more content-led experiences. Commerce became less of an IT project and more of a marketing tool.”

Along the way, smaller players popped up on the scene, slowly relinquishing Oracle and IBM’s control. Emblin calls this the commoditisation of commerce. Shopify is a perfect example - anyone can create an online store in merely hours.

One thing is for certain - things will continue to change. commercetools has the perfect way of describing this conundrum: it’s called the ‘commerce possibilities chasm’.

“This chasm is where organisations are today. It’s everything that they have done and invested in to get themselves to this point. It’s also what organisations see as the future state in a modern commerce realm. The chasm is what is organisations need to do to bridge this gap,” explains Emblin.

Organisations can leverage learning from global organisations like Audi and follow in their footsteps, but the main goal is to ensure all organisations get across that chasm to be confident, healthy, and trading successfully.

“This is where modern commerce is heading - it’s taking commoditisation of commerce one step further and creating composable commerce.”

Composable commerce combines best of breed products and a stack assembly that is best for every organisation’s needs.

With this much change, it means organisations must leave the commerce principles of old behind, and look forward to a new world of more integrations, moving parts, and more relationships. Emblin says a best of breed stack will open up more business flexibility and a better user experience. 

He points to a Gartner study that found 80% of organisations are moving towards a composable commerce architecture.

“The modelling that Gartner did was based on organisations that have made the move and outgrown the market between 2-4 times. They adapted easily to the market and added new features or functionality as the market demands, like a faster website or a better shopping experience. This is a huge step away from commerce being confined to the IT domain."

Beyond the concepts of commerce commoditisation and composable commerce, there is a truth that all organisations should take to heart: Make a start on modernising your commerce - now, if possible.

“Customers are now expecting product available online, or same-day click and collect, or perhaps they want to pay via a digital wallet. They notice which organisations are keeping up, and which ones aren’t,” Emblin explains.

“If you don’t innovate and evolve your business, your storefront will lose out to competitors and customer loyalty will be eroded over time. Amazon’s success in Australia is an example - Amazon promises fast delivery, but the department stores can’t keep up with service levels or offerings. People who were traditionally anti-marketplace or anti-Amazon now see the appeal of that convenience - and it’s cheap.”

Organisations are not powerless - they don’t have to lose out to Amazon. But they do need to keep their digital assets at the forefront of their strategy, and they need to remember that the customer is the priority.

It’s a powerful argument for modernising commerce, but putting this advice into practice is another story altogether.

When commercetools pioneered the MACH architecture in 2018, the aim was to create a new eCommerce architecture that represents the key tenets of modern commerce: flexibility, performance, and user-friendliness.

MACH is an acronym for microservices API first, cloud-native, and headless technologies. Its core principles favour best-of-breed approaches within enterprise software like commerce, to help organisations to be more agile, more flexible, and move faster.

Emblin explains, “You don’t have to view migration to modern commerce as a ‘big bang’ approach. There is an approach called the strangler pattern, which suggests that organisations slowly ‘choke’ older systems, shaking loose bits and pieces and replacing them with modern stacks.”

“Our ongoing strategy at commercetools is about enabling retailers by providing them with the best underlying technology. Retailers then build the world-class experiences that they want to deliver to their customers.”

In the Pacific region, commercetools works with brands including Qantas, Kmart, and Koala Sleep, to name a few. 

Qantas initially had a legacy commerce platform laden with technical debt, but the business was heading towards microservices. It chose to break down its larger stack into more composable pieces.

Together with commercetools and a MACH architecture, Qantas worked for two years to improve its loyalty store and wider commerce platforms started with a loyalty store. Now, its wine store and accommodation store also enjoy a more modern commerce architecture.

“It has been really exciting to meet leaders who have decided to bridge the possibilities chasm. They’re coming into it with eyes wide open. They want to learn about commerce, and they see the possibilities that they're going to open up for their business, their customers, and their careers by being thought leaders and early adopters. They have the guts to say let’s do this and jump in,” says Emblin.

He harks back to the stories and insights that were shared at Modern Commerce Day - organisations like Boohoo explained how they turned their business around in three months. 

“Boohoo had an idea, learned along the way, and achieved incredible results. As more customer stories like that are shared and more Australian retailers make the shift, we’ll see a lot more organisations coming on board. It’s an exciting time.”

You can still watch all the highlights here. For an even more in-depth summary of the event, read the Modern Commerce Day report.  

Learn how MACH technologies can transform businesses.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
CrescoData
SPS network now available to CrescoData eCommerce customers
CrescoData, a Pitney Bowes Company and PaaS business in the commerce space, says its customers can now connect to the SPS Commerce Retail Network.
Story image
Omnichannel
Lexmark launches A/NZ first with retail publishing solution
Lexmark, a global imaging and IoT solutions leader, launched its Publishing Platform for Retail (PPR) in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Cybersecurity
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
Customer experience
Research unveils precarious customer loyalty for retailers
New research has found customers are reassessing established brand loyalties as their priorities and behaviours shift.
Story image
SAS
New SAS service overcomes subscription fatigue for media companies
SAS has launched SAS 360 Match which helps media companies move towards a AVOD model to generate revenue as subscribers cancel.
Story image
Cybersecurity
New precedent for cybersecurity after legal judgement of RI Advice
In an Australian first, the Federal Court has found that RI Advice failed to adequately manage cybersecurity risks.
Story image
Sustainability
Hootsuite 2021 Impact Report shows workforce more diverse
Hootsuite has released its annual 2021 Impact Report detailing the results of its social impact initiatives following the launch of its corporate guiding principles.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Mastercard and Openly partners to boost privacy and security
Mastercard and Australian company Openly have teamed up to provide organisations a complete view of their supply chain privacy and cyber risk posture.
Story image
CRM
Freshworks launches new CRM with Shopify availability
Freshworks has launched a new customer relationship management (CRM) solution, which has also been made available on the Shopify apps store.
Story image
Xero
More solutions updates and developments from Xero announced
Xero has announced a raft of new globally available solutions, features and product updates for the month of May, along with future developments soon to be rolled out.
Story image
Lightspeed
Lightspeed launches all-in-one marketing platform in A/NZ
ECommerce provider, Lightspeed has launched a new all-in-one marketing solution, Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Fintech
Incumbent banks must embrace data-centric capabilities
Retail banks are lagging in their ability to offer true omnichannel experiences, as customers pivot to competitors that offer more personalised experiences.
Story image
trust
9/10 Aussies to stop spending if personal data compromised
"Based on the patterns we are seeing among Australian consumers, it is evident that trust in a brand is exceptionally important."
Story image
SaaS
Forrester Research names BigCommerce a Strong Performer
BigCommerce has announced it has been named a Strong Performer by Forrester Research in both the Forrester Wave: B2C Commerce Solutions, Q2 2022 and the Forrester Wave: B2B Commerce Solutions, Q2 2022 reports.
Story image
Machine Learning
Moloco launches updates to Cloud Demand-Side Platform
The latest updates focus on improving performance through intelligent budget allocation, automating workflows through smart campaign UI/UX, and ad creation.
Story image
Microsoft
FIS Modern Banking Platform now available on Microsoft Azure
FIS says the partnership will expand its digital online banking to markets like New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Thailand
Story image
Fintech
Airwallex launches new bank feed integration with NetSuite
Airwallex has launched a new bank feed integration with NetSuite, developed in partnership with NetSuite solution partner, Onlineone.
Story image
Data
Aussie data & analytic execs not confident in data strategy
Less than half of Australian data and analytics leaders are confident in their data strategy as siloes and lack of culture prevent innovation.
Story image
Online shopping
A/NZ shoppers plan to spend less, be more selective
For retailers, 2022 is set to be a year of introspection as shoppers across Australia and New Zealand indicate they plan to spend less.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Laybuy launches new AI chatbot Hugo using Ambit tech
Laybuy partners with fellow New Zealand company Ambit to launch conversational AI in a bid to support its international growth.
Story image
Adyen
Adyen expands partnership with Afterpay as BNPL payments increase
Adyen has expanded its partnership with AfterPay allowing more of Adyen’s merchants in more countries worldwide to use the BNPL provider.
Story image
Customer experience
Dell Technologies expands edge innovations for retailers
Dell Technologies has announced the expansion of its edge solutions to help retailers quickly generate more value and deliver enhanced customer experiences.
Story image
Customer experience
Digital insight through UCaaS to improve customer experience
One of the most quoted adages in business is "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it" this has been a long-held problem in telephony and customer service.
Story image
Marketplacer
Marketplacer and True Woo partner for wellness marketplace
Marketplacer has announced the completion of a new holistic online marketplace for True Woo, offering a range of products and services targeted at individuals seeking ways to improve their wellbeing.
Story image
Veryfi
Veryfi announces Mobile Receipt Capture for D2C marketing apps
Veryfi has announced a new enhancement to its portfolio, with Mobile Receipt Capture for direct-to-consumer marketing apps.
Story image
Limepay
Limepay launches new digital B2B payment system STACK
Limepay says its new solution will help businesses improve cash flow reliability and deliver secure, convenient payment options
Story image
Forrester
commercetools named a Leader in B2B Forrester report
commercetools has been named a Leader in The Forrester Wave: B2B Commerce Solutions, Q2 2022 report, receiving the highest scores possible in 10 criteria.
Story image
Sensor Tower
Australia’s most downloaded apps revealed in study
Sensor Tower reveals government apps topped the list followed by the usual social media suspects, but local streaming services also made the cut.
Story image
Gaming
Mastercard users can now use rewards points in gaming
Mastercard has launched Mastercard Gamer Xchange (MGX), allowing APAC consumers to convert their rewards points into gaming currency.
Story image
Collaboration
Is video technology the future of retail?
The way we hunt for and buy products has forever changed with innovative technology designed to take customers from their initial curiosity through to purchase
Story image
CRM
Salesforce launches AI-based insights with CRM Analytics
Salesforce announces CRM Analytics, AI-based insights for sales, marketing, and service teams in every industry.
Story image
Phishing
Retail and wholesale at significant risk of phishing attacks
New research from Zscaler has found that many retail and wholesale environments are at significant risk, with a 400% increase in phishing attacks being reported in the last 12 months.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS unveils AI experience to improve kids' batting abilities
SAS has created The Batting Lab, an interactive experience using AI, computer vision and IoT analytics to help kids improve their baseball and softball swings.
Story image
CRM
Zendesk announces new conversational CRM solutions
“The last few years have made it obvious that digital is the front door, convenience is paramount and relationships are anchored in conversations."
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Databricks strengthens AWS partnership with new Lakehouse offering
Customers will experience faster onboarding and unified account administration to make building a Databricks Lakehouse on AWS easier.
Story image
Mobility
Hands-on review: STM laptop bags
The advent of hybrid working has meant we need laptop bags. We got our hands on two of the most popular laptop bags from STM.
Story image
VPN
The most common online scams in Australia
No one is safe from online scammers, and many of these scammers have capitalised on the pandemic, using this confusing time to attack more people than ever.
Story image
Open banking
A look at the rewards and risks of open banking - report
RiskBusiness says its report on open banking finds that while it holds much potential, financial services firms need to ensure they have robust, risk processes.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Great Resignation could severely impact Australian economy
DyFlex Solutions says Australia's services sector makes up more than 70% of the country's gross domestic product, and the Great Resignation has the potential to affect the Australian economy well into the future.
Story image
Phishing
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Manufacturing
HINDSITE wins Aerospace Xelerated Pitch Challenge with solution to support Boeing
Brisbane-based startup HINDSITE was the winner of the first ever Pitch Challenge organised by Aerospace Xelerated in partnership with Queensland XR Hub. 
Story image
Bank
NICE CXone platform integration implemented with Regional Bank Australia
NICE has announced the successful implementation of the NICE CXone platform with Regional Bank Australia.
Story image
Small Business / SMB
Australian small business unsatisfied with traditional banks
"The pandemic put a sudden, massive burden on SMEs globally, and they didn't think banks did enough to help them."
Story image
Compliance
Profectus Group serves up payment analysis for Barbeques Galore
Profectus Group has recently won a deal with Australian retailer Barbeques Galore that is set to serve up expert analysis of rebates and payments for better business outcomes.