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CommerceAPI - Is the hype real?

We say “Supercharge your commercial excellence” when we talk about the CommerceAPI concept we have developed at Vincit. Sounds like a bold statement? You might even think: “What on earth this concept is all about?” 

I will do my best to explain below why we are not too bold and why we have developed this concept in the first place. 

I have personally worked in and for several companies doing B2B and B2C/D2C digital commerce in various forms for more than 10 years. 

At Vincit, we have well over 100 customers in total doing the same in different industries like brand, retail, wholesale, food and manufacturing. One of the most familiar challenges we see everywhere is the suboptimal experience in the front-end, so in the solutions visible and used by the end customers.

Often the solutions are slow and under-performing in a way or another: they are not able to serve the customer with data and services relevant and important for them, they suffer from various restrictions and limitations due to complex direct integrations to the core systems (such as ERP), and they are not developing and scaling with the growing business needs. 

Some practical examples of the challenges and needs that different companies have:

  • Similar commercial data (e.g. products, prices and availability) would be useful to serve in a modern way with high performance and fast response times from one central place to many different front-end solutions like websites, mobile apps and ecommerce. 
  • Online services are too slow for the various end-users, because they are fetching data real-time or almost real-time from the various backend systems, and they are not designed nor scaled for this sort of use. 
  • Building the integrations to the backend (e.g. ERP) requires a lot of solution specific knowledge and competence, which for example mobile app developers do not often have.  
  • Services and information needed in the frontend solutions extends also often to new areas like delivery tracking, payment handling, order history etc. 
  • New business needs are popping up often and the backend solutions are in a very different development cycle to respond fast enough to capture the potential available.  

What does CommerceAPI offer to improve your digital development and commercial excellence?

I would say that on a high level it is a service layer, acting as an intellectual bridge between the front-end and core (backend) solutions, much like IT or the digital development team works in an organization as a bridge between business and the various technical solutions and vendors. Since we are still talking about a technical solution, I would continue to point out at least these features and advantages right away:  

Accelerate and improve your development in the front-end: 

  • Ready microservices, templates and components to use as in the end-to-end architecture starting from the core services (e.g. SAP ERP) and going to the frontend solutions. This serves as the baseline for the services, tailored to fulfill the different business needs you have in areas of, for example, product data, prices, order history, product availability and many more.
  • Offer readable and understandable integration (REST) API’s for the frontend solutions and developers to use without the need of extensive competence and knowledge about the core backend solutions. 
  • Build new innovative services and commercial capabilities with fast time-to-market to gain competitive advantage.
  • Provide flexibility to run the services in almost any environment (cloud or on-premise) you prefer. 
  • Connect backend systems and data of partners and suppliers to CommerceAPI microservices with flexible architecture.
  • Enable use of customer-specific data in all services providing much more personalized and valid experience for your customers.

Offer scaling, performance and monitoring on a level that the business requires: 

  • Auto-scaling cloud services when the load on the services differs from week, day, hour or minute to another. 
  • Integration APIs that respond in milliseconds rather than seconds, this change is dramatic in the customer experience achieved in the frontend.  
  • All the needed monitoring capabilities to ensure the day-to-day operations plus error and disaster recovery capabilities. 

Modern technology stack with flexibility: 

  • We use for example Kubernetes, Elastic Search, Docker, REST API’s, Azure API Management, Kafka and many other components to build the needed service layer suitable for your business needs. 
  • Most components are open-source, but still commonly used by big corporations globally, so you can rely on technology and not worry about the license costs. 
  • Ultimately CommerceAPI services can be run in any cloud environment (Azure, Google, AWS, SAP Cloud Platform…) or even in on-premise servers if you want.  

We already have many customers using CommerceAPI to improve their digital development and customer experience. Now would be the right time to start discussions on how we could help your company.  

Do you want to supercharge your digital business?