In today’s rapid-fire e-commerce environment, retailers and brands need to move at the speed of the consumer. To help, Commercetools has launched Frontend, which allows companies “to compose and deliver digital websites and applications” via the company’s ready-to-use APIs.
According to Michael Sharp, chief product officer at Commercetools, retailers and brands “will have the ability to build new pages in minutes, new features in hours and launch in new regions in a matter of days.” This compares to legacy tech stacks that are clunky and slow, taking weeks and even months to make changes.
In a statement, Commercetools said its Frontend solution “helps businesses gain all the advantages of implementing headless commerce such as unlimited customization, freedom to experiment and scalability without sacrificing time to market.”
Commercetools Frontend is already being used by Flaconi, Lakrids by Bülow, Tom Tailor and Chronext. “In fact, the marketing team at Flaconi, a leading European online beauty retailer, uses Frontend to build dynamic, visually appealing web pages while the company’s technical team focuses on new component development,” Commercetools said in a statement. “As a result, Flaconi is able to support 50 million API calls per day and more than 100,000 skus, all while ensuring a smooth peak order uptake of 300 orders per minute.”
In an interview with WWD, Sharp said customer agility and speed and flexibility “is something that’s really important to us, that’s what we wake up thinking about. The innovation cycles have just gotten shorter and shorter if we think of the last hundred years of commerce, didn’t change too much in the early 1900s, but if we look at the changes that have happened in the last 10 or 15 years, each cycle is coming closer and closer and closer.
“And so, the businesses that are prepared to respond to that, they’re just going to have an advantage in the marketplace,” he explained. “And we see that, at Commercetools, that is our reason for existing. How do we help unlock the innovation that’s in our customers so that they can respond to the increasingly demanding and short cycle times in commerce?”
Sharp said consumers are seeking “awesome, delightful, well-integrated experiences. They want to spend less money. That means the brands sometimes want conflicting things. Brands want the ability to be super innovative, flexible and responsive to move very quickly to the changing market, but they also need to do that in a cost-effective way. And that can be tricky.”
Regarding Commercetools’ value proposition and the challenges retailers and brands face, Sharp said the company has “many of our customers coming to us because they need to move faster in more complex environments. They need to be able to engage with customers across all these different channels, digital and physical, more quickly, more efficiently, but also more flexibly.”
Sharp described the digital e-commerce ecosystem as complex and bogged down by clunky platforms. “A lot of customers come to us because they want to respond to the needs of their customers, but the technology choices that worked for them five or 10 years ago no longer work for them today.”
Sharp said these retailers and brands might be getting services “from a monolith, like a big software blob that does everything, but none of it really well. Everything is just OK. And nothing extraordinary, nothing outstanding. And so that can be pretty limiting. So, they come to a business like Commercetools where our whole value prop is to say, ‘No, no, no, we enable you to be fast, to be responsive, and to do it in a super scalable and cost-effective way.’ It’s the classic, ‘better, faster, cheaper — pick two.’ Our story is actually ‘better, faster and cheaper — pick three.’ It’s a good story to have going into a recession because that’s what we’re unlocking.”
When asked about ROI, Sharp said, “The real bottom line is that you’re going to be spending 20 to 30 percent less on your digital commerce technology. So that’s a great headline story, but by the way, what you’re going to get for spending 20 to 30 percent less is a much more scalable, much more responsive, much more agile environment — instead of relying on this software blob that you can only update every two to three months.”