The challenge was to build an omnichannel ecommerce experience in ten days.
How hard could that be, right?
An undertaking as big as building anything omnichannel usually takes, at the barest minimum, several weeks, more realistically, many months and requires some serious planning, project management, cross-functional collaboration, and a big budget.
With hurdles like these, along with others like, we all had to do our day jobs, made the 10-day challenge too tempting to pass up. Especially in light of the fact that build our site would be in collaboration with a group of MACH Alliance members using some of the best-of-breed modern, API-first technologies available today.
How’d we do? I’m happy to report that along with the team at Conscia.ai and industry-leading, composable technologies, Contentstack, commercetools, and BILDIT, we built a personalized ecommerce experience that was delivered on multiple touchpoints and devices in just 10 Days. (Slightly under, actually).
The group recently recapped the process during a recent, Conscia.ai-hosted webinar.
A summary of our experience follows, or you can watch a replay of the webinar here.
Earlier this year, we worked with another group of MACH Alliance members on a similar initiative, The Swag Store. Both challenges share some common objectives: prove that MACH lives up to the promise of making it simple to “plug and play” a variety of solutions within one tech stack and deliver the agility to test and improve any part of the composable building process.
The omnichannel challenge also had some additional goals:
- Debunk the myth that brands need expensive suites. Using composable and API-first technologies makes monolithic stacks a thing of the past.
- Prove that omnichannel is easier. Building omnichannel experiences is easy when using an orchestration platform and composable architecture.
- Create a channel-agnostic personalized experience. The flexibility of composable architecture allowed us to personalize by using criteria such as persona, segment, brand affinity, and membership level regardless of channel.
From Cloudinary’s standpoint, we also wanted to emphasize how critical the visual media layer is in a composable omnichannel experience. A composable media layer adds efficiencies to both how creative teams work along with how rich media content is created, optimized, and delivered. With Cloudinary’s Digital Asset Manager, everyone in an organization can manage and collaborate from a single source of truth for all teams and systems.
Cloudinary also customizes and optimizes media on the fly, no matter the file size, format, device, or internet speed. These optimizations speed up load times on sites across the omnichannel experience and improve Google Core Web Vitals (CWV).
Cloudinary brought the composable media layer to integrate more optimized image and video experiences,the rest of the MACH stack included:
- Content. Contentstack served as the store’s central content management hub and provided a unified user experience up and down our stack.
- Commerce. Customers today are natively omnichannel. To address this, commercetools was chosen to host the product images, pricing, naming information, and search in a way that is fast, flexible, and functional to address the channel fluidity of today’s consumers.
- Mobile. BILDIT’s platform made it easy to build a mobile app to create an omnichannel experience that extended beyond a website.
- Orchestration. Conscia’s digital experience platform enabled the omnichannel challenge team and created a centralized place to connect and control all composable and API-first services involved.
Adaptability and agility are must-haves for retailers and CPGs to succeed in omnichannel. This can be a challenge for small to midsize companies with small developer teams. One way to solve this is by using composable, API-first technologies such as the ones we used in this challenge.