Our resources are some of the most highly regarded in ecommerce. They are utilised by brands, platforms and agencies around the world to navigate the complex world of modern commerce, enhancing knowledge and guiding strategy.

Case Studies







What Are the Benefits of Composable Commerce?

Composable commerce has undeniable benefits, from improved site performance to enhanced flexibility. Explore these advantages, and what they could mean for your brand, in this article.

Written By
Mia Willmott

Staying ahead in ecommerce requires a combination of great tech, strong customer experience and the ability to innovate and adapt. For the last few years, the benefits of composable commerce have piqued the interest of many brands and CTOs, promising to offer these factors in abundance.

Whilst the full picture is more nuanced, there are undoubtedly advantages and opportunities that composable architectures can offer over traditional monolithic systems.

Before we get into this article, if you want to dive into the details of composable commerce, we recommend reading our CTO’s Guide to Headless and Composable Technologies on Shopify. This extensive resource, crafted by Swanky’s Head of Technology, explores the benefits of composable commerce, alongside other areas such as key definitions, technologies and approaches, costing, implementation and more.

Advantages of composable commerce

It’s worth noting that the specific advantages of a composable architecture will be unique to each retailer’s setup. Factors like catalogue size and complexity, international reach, content and creative needs, and more will all have an impact.


1. Enhanced site performance

One of the most significant advantages of composable commerce is the potential for enhanced performance and speed.

By decoupling the frontend presentation layer from the backend commerce engine, retailers can leverage modern web technologies and techniques to optimise online stores. The most popular web development frameworks, such as Next.js and Remix, leverage React. This JavaScript library utilises a virtual Document Object Model (DOM) for “reactive” state management, rendering near-instant updates to the UI.

This is possible because full page requests and reloads aren’t required; instead only the minimum amount of data is fetched from the server side to perform changes to the existing UI. These frameworks can also employ pre-rendering and smart caching strategies. By generating static HTML pages at build time and intelligently caching dynamic content queries, the processing that needs to happen on each request is minimised, resulting in faster initial load times.

Additionally, leveraging edge networks and serverless computing further boosts performance by bringing content and computation closer to the end-user, thereby reducing the latency in fetch requests. This is also an effective way to automatically handle traffic spikes, by distributing the computation and assets globally.

All of this translates into increased site speed, which has been shown to positively impact engagement, conversion rates, and overall customer satisfaction.


2. Increased opportunities for creativity and immersive brand experiences

Leading ecommerce brands are increasingly seeking to create immersive, high-impact experiences for their online stores. Modern web technologies like interactive animations, 3D graphics, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) are popular tools for building these sorts of experiences and driving customer engagement. However, implementing these within a traditional, monolithic ecommerce platform can be challenging.

A composable architecture allows developers and designers to use the latest tech to craft rich, interactive experiences without being constrained by the limitations of the commerce platform. No longer does a CTO have to dampen the ideas of a design team, but can instead encourage creativity, knowing that it can be housed within a robust framework.

This is a great example of how composable commerce reduces the limitations and compromises ecommerce brands sometimes have to make when using a monolithic platform.


3. Advanced content and data management

Whilst Shopify Online Store 2.0 can provide a lot of flexibility for content management on Liquid theme storefronts (thanks to “Sections Everywhere” and dynamic content sources), this remains fairly rudimentary compared to the capabilities of more advanced, headless content management platforms such as Sanity. Plus, blog and page content on Shopify is limited to relatively basic WYSIWYG editors.

Content management can be enhanced on Shopify by integrating third-party apps, but opting for a headless setup can offer huge benefits for brands who place a premium on creative content and require more advanced content publishing capabilities. Using a composable architecture allows brands the chance to connect best-of-breed technologies for both CMS and ecommerce, and reap the benefits of this pairing.


4. Greater flexibility when selling internationally

Internationalising a brand requires careful consideration and strategic planning to ensure all the practical elements like tax, warehousing, and logistics are in place. Composable commerce can offer significant advantages when it comes to managing the complexities of selling in multiple markets.

Prior to the release of Shopify Markets in 2021, internationalisation and localisation were some of the primary use cases for adopting a headless approach on Shopify. The platform’s rigid, single-storefront architecture posed challenges for retailers looking to serve multiple markets, including managing content, translations, localisation, multi-currency, SEO, and fulfilment.

While Shopify Markets has made cross-border selling simpler in many cases, there remain some limitations. This can still necessitate running multiple expansion stores, each with its own Shopify Markets setup for the regions it serves.

Composable architectures can provide greater flexibility for managing international stores while presenting a unified user experience and consolidated store management framework. Content can be tailored and localised according to regions, providing greater control over the customer journey – and ultimately leading to higher conversion rates. (Note that this customisation is also true of native markets with Store 2.0.)


5. Richer personalisation

It is widely acknowledged that delivering personalised experiences to customers improves engagement, increases average order value (AOV) and boosts customer lifetime value (CLV). Moreover, the ROI of personalisation in ecommerce can be significant.

A benefit of composable commerce is the opportunity to leverage data from multiple sources to tailor content, product recommendations, and promotions to individual users. Personalisation is of course possible, and ever-evolving, on a monolithic Shopify setup thanks to the ecosystem’s app store providing endless opportunities for data-driven personalisation.

However, retailers can utilise the flexibility and control provided by a composable approach to create significantly more tailored customer experiences, with enhanced capabilities such as feature flagging and more performant rendering of individualised user experiences. AI and machine learning is increasingly powering this level of personalisation and will likely continue delivering customised experiences that entice users and boost the ROI of personalisation.


6. Measuring success and continuous improvement

Finally, one of the key benefits of a composable approach is the ability to measure the success of different initiatives and continuously optimise the customer experience. With a decoupled architecture, it’s easier to implement robust analytics and tracking across the entire customer journey.

Retailers can use this data to gain deep insights into customer behaviour, identify areas for improvement, and rapidly test and iterate on new features and experiences. By taking a data-driven approach to optimisation, retailers can ensure that their composable stack is always working to drive business results and meet evolving customer needs.

Moreover, the implementation of changes can be simpler thanks to API connections and full-stack frameworks, since swapping out a system does not entail a complete reengineering. Instead, working on and reconfiguring the API layer is all that’s required. This facilitates an iterative approach to site improvement, allowing your store to keep in step with advances in tech, design and user experience, without the need for large-scale migration and reengineering projects.

Is composable commerce right for your brand?

Whilst there are some compelling benefits of composable commerce, this sort of approach isn’t right for every brand. For many, the relative ease and ever-increasing extensibility offered by a Shopify store are more than adequate for their ecommerce needs. However, for brands wanting to integrate best-in-breed technologies or craft immersive experiences for customers, composable commerce should be considered.

To understand more about the use cases for a composable architecture, read our CTO’s Guide to Headless and Composable Technologies on Shopify. This comprehensive resource also considers how to best manage an ecommerce project of this nature.

If you’re not sure whether you should be opting for a composable stack, get in touch with our solutions team today for an initial chat about your business and your goals for the future.

Talk ecommerce with us

Ready to grow your ecommerce business? Let’s talk.


Join the Swanky Community

Want to receive regular updates and inspiration to help your business stay ahead of the game? Subscribe to our newsletter and join the community of ecommerce leaders successfully navigating the world of online retail.

What are the Benefits
  • Be at the forefront of industry trends

    We develop and implement ecommerce tactics for industry-leading brands on a daily basis. Be the first to hear exclusive insights and learnings.

  • Get a monthly dose of inspiration

    Receive our newsletter straight to your inbox, packed full of useful marketing tips and growth strategies for your online store.

  • Join a community of fellow leaders

    Get to know like-minded entrepreneurs in the digital transformation space. Share experiences and learnings from your ecommerce journey.