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Is Your Platform Ready for Modern Commerce?

Find out by answering these five questions

Can your commerce platform handle the demands of today’s shoppers? The answer may not be as simple as it seems. Many older, established providers have been making a real effort to modernize their technology to meet the fast-changing needs of retailers and brands. But despite the surface updates, they may still be built on top of an outdated core, one that was designed and built for a different era.

Much of the ecommerce landscape consists of technologies that have been around for over a decade—some, before the first iPhone was launched. Not only was commerce done differently at that time (for example, desktop-first vs. mobile-first), but available technologies and software practices were different as well (such as monolithic vs. microservices architectures, or on-premise vs. cloud-native).

Key milestones in the history of digital commerce

Five years ago, when we at Reaction Commerce set out to reimagine the core of commerce, we knew the future would bring rapid changes—for both shopper behavior and business technology. That’s why we’ve built an open, flexible commerce engine with a microservices architecture, so merchants can easily create and customize their shopper experiences, regardless of channel. It’s why we made Reaction event-driven and reactive by default, to keep data in sync and to enable real-time performance management across channels. In other words, it’s why we built Reaction to be a truly modern commerce engine.

Much of the ecommerce landscape consists of technologies that have been around for over a decade—some, before the first iPhone was launched.

Here are five questions you should ask about your current commerce platform. The answers will tell you a lot about whether it’s truly made for modern commerce, or merely legacy technology with some modern features bolted on.

1. How customizable is it?

We’re not just talking about custom page layouts and custom templates—can you customize your shopping cart, optimize your checkout flow, add new payment methods?

How optimized are the UIs for your shop operators and developers? To compete in today’s fast-paced commerce landscape, selling online should be as easy as buying online. Which means that no matter who the user is—shopper, operator or developer—they need to be equipped with market-leading tools to succeed.

2. Does it support cross-channel experiences?

How customized are your experiences for your channels? Is your platform designed to enable the best user flow and page layout for each channel and device, or is it built around templated experiences? The shopper journey is not linear. Commerce isn’t just online. The majority of global commerce still happens offline, so retailers and brands who adopt a holistic commerce mindset will win. It’s not enough to simply add new touchpoints, but to build a seamless end-to-end experience throughout the customer journey.

3. Is it headless?

That is, is the frontend customer experience independent from the backend business systems? Does your business have the flexibility and control to enable shopping on any mobile device or wearable tech? How can you deliver your brand experience via social or voice commerce?

With more digitally-enabled devices being constantly added to our world, there's no way to predict the complete picture of commerce channels. With headless commerce, your frontend interface can move at the speed of consumer technology, allowing you to make rapid updates without impact to your backend system.

4. Is it agile?

If your business needs change, can you easily introduce a new sales channel? How hard will it be to add a subscription service, or digital content rentals, or a B2B offering, to your existing service line?

5. Does it offer a single source of truth for your entire customer journey?

Can you derive end-to-end insights into your customer’s buying journey, irrespective of where they came from, how they interacted with your brand, and where they shopped? Does your platform integrate data from online, in-store, and marketplaces like Amazon or eBay? And finally, can you use that data to establish a single source of truth across your commerce systems: OMS (order management system), ERP (enterprise retail planning), ecommerce, and others?

A truly modern commerce solution is built on an open, API-driven, and real-time tech stack. When evaluating your commerce platform, it’s important to know where you stand. Getting clear, thorough answers to the questions above can help you see whether your business is ready for the future, or tied to technology that’s stuck in the past.


Innovate faster with Reaction.

The open, API-first Reaction Commerce platform lets you respond more quickly to customer needs—and stay ahead of the competition. See if Reaction is the right solution to help drive growth and innovation for your commerce enterprise.

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