What are eCommerce microservices and why are they important?

What are eCommerce microservices and why are they important?

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All types of businesses are moving to microservices-based solutions out of a need for scalability, agility, and reduced downtime (among other things, as we’ll get to in a minute). Globally, 85% of enterprise businesses currently use microservices, with the rate of adoption also high among mid-sized businesses at about 75-84%.

Microservices enable eCommerce businesses to move away from the rigid all-in-one monolithic systems that make it difficult—if not impossible—to keep up with changing trends in consumer shopping behaviors, expectations, and the need for seamless omnichannel experiences.

Below, we provide a definition for eCommerce microservices, list some of the key benefits of moving to this approach, and explain how it can make it possible to deliver exceptional omnichannel shopping experiences.

What is eCommerce microservices architecture?

eCommerce microservices architecture is a modular approach to designing eCommerce software. With a microservices approach, all services within the software solution operate independently of each other.

This differs from monolithic eCommerce systems where  the core features (e.g., shopping cart, product listings, payment processing, fulfillment, etc.) are linked to the frontend user interface (e.g., the online storefront that customers use).

In monolithic systems, updates and revisions to backend functions can impact front-end user experience, create website downtime and slow down the entire development process. Monolithic systems also limit your ability to customize functions and respond quickly to changing trends and new technology.

With an eCommerce microservices architecture, new functionality can be added to the backend, with each function operating independently from the others, allowing developers to customize the platform in a modular fashion.

Services are added into the system as needed and can continually be layered into the system, making it essentially “future-proof.”


List of Kibo microservices

Examples of some of microservices available in Kibo’s platform

Benefits of eCommerce microservices

eCommerce microservices make it possible for businesses to evolve and extend their eCommerce capabilities quickly and much more easily than with monolithic systems. Businesses are free to experiment with new functionalities, technologies, and capabilities.

Some key benefits of eCommerce microservices include:

  • Constancy: Because microservices operate independently of each other, they can be isolated from the larger platform ecosystem when troubleshooting issues. This equates to more constancy since the trouble with one microservice will have minimal or no impact on the larger system. Each microservice can be developed, tested, and launched independently without risking the stability of the platform.
  • Fast time to market: Decentralization gives you the ability to test new technologies, architectures, and solutions quickly. It also allows developers to work with the platforms and languages they prefer, rather than limiting them to one platform or programming language. That means you can continue testing and deploying the latest eCommerce technology without having to rebuild the entire system (or taking it offline for long periods of time to rebuild/upgrade parts of it).
  • Easier to scale: One of the biggest advantages that microservices offer is that they’re modular and scalable. You only use what you need. The ability to add new features and functions using a modular “roll out” approach means that new functionality can be implemented much more quickly, giving you a faster time-to-market for cutting-edge features that will make you stand out from the competition.
  • Reduced downtime: Decoupling services reduces development time when adding new features and minimizes total system failure if something goes wrong with one service.  The overall system can continue operating while troubleshooting the problematic service, creating better resilience.
  • Reduced codebase complexity: Individual microservices are less complex to maintain and update because they’re decoupled from the larger system.  With a monolithic system, the entire codebase needs to be updated for major changes. This isn’t the case with microservices which act as independent systems within a system.

eCommerce microservices are flexible and allow businesses to deploy the products, services, and capabilities that make sense for their unique needs.

Why are eCommerce microservices important?

Retailers are embracing microservices as part of a headless approach to commerce because it’s the only way to keep up with the rapid pace of industry change and rising customer expectations.

Headless commerce platforms like Kibo decouple the eCommerce platform front end (e.g., your online storefront) from the back end (your data and transactions layer).

Decoupled microservices support headless operations by providing the ultimate flexibility with customization and scalability. They allow you use only the products, services, and capabilities you need and scale up as you grow.

An eCommerce microservices approach also lets you connect all the moving parts of your commerce ecosystem across online and offline channels, allowing you to deliver a unified customer shopping experience.

This is important because consumers are embracing hybrid methods of shopping like click-and-collect and buy-online-pickup-in-store (up 125% and 52% last year, per AdAge.)

Consumers, faced with store closures and ongoing uncertainty due to the pandemic, are watching what they spend and where they spend it. They’re rewarding retailers who can deliver good shopping experiences. According to PwC, customers are willing to pay up to 16% more on products and services when they feel appreciated.

The flexibility and scalability of microservices give retailers the ability to meet customer expectations for seamless omnichannel experiences. Microservices make it possible to “future-proof” your commerce platform because new capabilities and functions can be added as needed.

They also make it much easier to deliver a connected shopping experience with applications that expand functionality and personalize the shopping experience with recommendations, reviews, and targeted offers.

Flexibility, agility, and speed

Kibo’s unique eCommerce microservices architecture is part of our Unified Commerce Platform. We use shared services across all products including Kibo B2B and B2C eCommerce, Kibo Order Management, Kibo Personalization, and Kibo POS products.

Since all products built in the Kibo Unified Commerce Platform share the same set of microservices, retailers can deliver personalized omnichannel customer experiences. This is possible thanks to a 360-degree customer view, centralized commerce technologies, and the ability to deliver industry-leading shopper journeys.

Our platform uses decoupled microservices to support headless operations, allowing for even more flexibility. You can future-proof your commerce approach and develop highly customized shopping experiences with Kibo’s eCommerce microservices-based platform. Learn how.

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