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commercetools B2B accelerator

The commercetools B2B MACHcellerator: Composable Commerce on the Fast Track

B2B ecommerce is often far more complex than it’s retail counterpart, meaning the platforms, integrations, and designs behind such a commerce offering are also more complex, more time consuming, and more costly to implement, maintain, and continually improve. Traditional ecommerce acceleration frameworks can help, but the majority focus more on retail or simpler B2B use-cases, often paying nothing more than lip-service to the more advanced requirements of B2B buyers such as price books, permission levels, approvals, and quoting to name a few.

At McFadyen Digital, we speak with ecommerce leaders on a daily basis hearing these same observations time and time again, so we’ve decided to do something about it. By assembling the collected knowledge of our team of technology and strategic experts, we have created the “commercetools B2B MACHcellerator with coFE Catalyst“. This accelerator focuses squarely on the needs of modern B2B ecommerce organizations and leverages a composable MACH (Microservices-based API-focused Cloud-hosted Headless) approach to synthesize a wide array of reusable individual components into a highly orchestrated ecommerce acceleration framework. This framework leverages commercetools‘ recent Frontastic acquisition, now known as commercetools Front End (coFE), to deliver a modern headless UX experience.

What is MACH and why is it important to modern ecommerce?

MACH Composable Commerce High Level Overview

MACH Composable Commerce High-Level Architecture Overview

A MACH-based approach, emphasizing Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless architectures, is crucial for ecommerce operators seeking agility, scalability, and future-proofing in the digital marketplace. By deconstructing functionality into microservices, businesses can independently develop, deploy, and scale components, enhancing operational efficiency. The API-first methodology ensures seamless integration and flexibility, allowing for rapid adaptation to market changes and easy incorporation of new technologies. Cloud-native solutions offer scalable and resilient infrastructure, reducing operational overhead and improving performance. The headless architecture separates the frontend and backend, enabling businesses to deliver omnichannel experiences and quickly adapt to evolving customer preferences. This approach aligns with the needs of modern commerce organizations, facilitating robust, flexible, and scalable ecommerce ecosystems that can drive innovation and growth in the competitive digital landscape.

McFadyen Digital is a founding member of an organization who is championing this approach, The MACH Alliance, who launched in June of 2020 rooted in the common belief that the interoperability and open architecture of modern software will propel current and future digital experiences. What drew McFadyen to MACH was our alignment regarding approach to technology architecture, strategic planning, and the belief that shared knowledge and experience benefits ourselves and our greater communities. Here, we will collaborate with partners and competitors alike (“collaboratition”, anyone?) in order to provide the best insights, case studies, and actionable intelligence in the market. As the aphorism goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

The MACH approach to technology is consistent with McFadyen Digital’s own approach. While modern advances have enabled new levels of flexibility and openness in architectural design, we’ve been integrating complex systems and platforms for over 37 years. Entering the commerce-space 27 years ago, our reputation for handling the most complex of projects was rooted in a knowledge of what makes for a successful tech stack…the ability to integrate best-of-breed solutions at every turn.

Why would a B2B company be interested in the commercetools B2B MACHcellerator with coFE Catalyst?

The B2B MACHcellerator is the first and only accelerator specifically designed for complex B2B use cases while leveraging the power of commercetools Front End (coFE) and containing a native marketplace connector for further expansion to a multi-vendor model. The results are up to a 40% timeline reduction for up to a three month gain for a traditional ecommerce site and up to a four-month gain for a multi-vendor commerce platform.

Those who use this acceleration framework get a complete cloud-native elastic-architecture-based B2B ecommerce site with 16 Epics covering 280 features available from the start. These pre-built B2B features form the basis of an elite modern buying experience out of the box. Furthermore, our reference front end coFE Catalyst store is included and ready for custom branding. The “Marketplace Accelerator for commercetools” is an optional pre-built extension allowing for rapid connection to the most popular marketplace and drop shipping platforms on the market, such as Mirakl and Marketplacer.

What comprises the MACHcellerator?

commercetools B2B MACHcellerator Architecture Diagram

commercetools B2B MACHcellerator with coFE Catalyst Architecture Diagram

The MACHcellerator program is a holistic approach to modernizing ecommerce platforms, divided into two main phases: Business Requirements and Technical Design. In the Business Requirements Phase, the process is guided by 16 specific Epics, encompassing 280 features that collectively define the scope of the project. These Epics cover critical areas such as Profile/Account Management, Catalog Definition, Pricing & Discounts, Merchandising, and Order Management, among others. The approach is to gather and refine client requirements using these Epics to tailor the functionality of each feature meticulously, ensuring a comprehensive and client-specific ecommerce solution.

In the Technical Design Phase, the architecture of the ecommerce stack is crafted to meet the unique needs of the client, aligning with their technological preferences and security requirements. The design principles of the MACHcellerator emphasize Scalability, with cloud architectures that dynamically adjust to load; Elasticity, to manage resource usage efficiently; and Fault Tolerance, ensuring continuous operation through redundant systems and high availability strategies. These principles are underpinned by a commitment to statelessness, loose coupling, and a microservices architecture, facilitating scalable, resilient, and easily maintainable systems.

The MACHcellerator’s technical framework also prioritizes DevOps practices and Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) to streamline deployment processes, alongside rigorous Security and Compliance measures to protect data and transactions. Cost-Efficiency is achieved through optimized resource use, like serverless computing, while Monitoring and Performance Management ensure optimal system operation. Furthermore, the modular architecture of the MACHcellerator allows for the seamless integration and replacement of components, providing a flexible and future-proof foundation for ecommerce innovation. This approach not only meets the current demands of ecommerce operations but also anticipates future needs, ensuring that businesses remain at the forefront of digital commerce capabilities and continue to exceed customer expectations.

What are the benefits to B2B ecommerce operators?

The commercetools B2B MACHcellerator offers significant benefits for ecommerce operators, especially in the acceleration of the go-to-market process. Traditional B2B ecommerce platforms can experience up to a 40% faster launch, translating to a three to four-month reduction in time-to-market for most use cases. This rapid deployment is facilitated by the MACHcellerator’s ability to start development within days of project kickoff, leveraging a modular build approach that enhances flexibility. Furthermore, the MACHcellerator comes equipped with pre-built integrations and best-of-breed features from the outset, removing the complexity of composable commerce and expediting the development cycle.

Risk reduction is another critical advantage of the MACHcellerator. Its flexible architecture allows for a scalable go-live model, incorporating built-in fallback options to mitigate potential disruptions. The use of pre-built and pre-tested integrations not only speeds up the process but also significantly lowers the probability of errors, enhancing the overall reliability of the ecommerce solution. Additionally, the MACHcellerator integrates security best practices, ensuring that the platform is robust against potential threats right from the start.

Incorporating industry best practices at every turn, the MACHcellerator is tailored for demanding B2B scenarios across various sectors, including manufacturing, chemical and product distribution, food wholesale, oil & gas, and CPG B2B2C. This wealth of experience ensures that the platform can handle complex B2B requirements effectively.

Particularly for B2B operators looking to engage in multi-vendor commerce, the MACHcellerator’s Marketplace Connector for commercetools offers a pre-built middleware solution that simplifies integration with major multi-vendor marketplace and drop ship platforms like Mirakl and Marketplacer. This not only saves up to 40% in development time compared to building from scratch but also ensures seamless interaction across all critical integration points, making the MACHcellerator an invaluable asset for B2B ecommerce operators aiming for efficiency and excellence in their online marketplace endeavors.

How can we get started on our own accelerated commercetools journey?

To learn more, visit the commercetools B2B MACHcellertor with coFE Catalyst page and request a demo or write to the experts at McFadyen Digital at info@mcfadyen.com.

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