June 15, 2023 | 5 Min
What Are The Benefits of Iterative Development in Composable Commerce?
In the continuously evolving world of ecommerce, businesses face the challenge of transforming their outdated platforms to meet the demands of modern consumers. The path to composable commerce offers a solution - a modular approach that empowers businesses to build agile and flexible ecommerce ecosystems. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the power of an iterative development approach and how it enables businesses to successfully navigate the transition to composable commerce.
One Step at a Time
Embracing an iterative approach is vital to successfully achieving a composable commerce transformation. Rather than pursuing a large-scale, all-encompassing implementation, businesses instead break down the transformation into manageable increments. Each step delivers immediate business value while paving the way for subsequent progress. This incremental approach allows for quicker adjustments, continuous learning, and reduced risks.
Understanding the Customer Journey Unveils the Path to Success
To better transform the ecommerce customer experience, the customer journey can be broken down and analyzed as separate stages, such as landing pages, homepages, category pages, brand pages, product details pages, and functional areas like search, basket, checkout, orders, and account management. Several steps must be taken to define the customer journey and develop it in an iterative process. Here’s a summary of the process:
Map the High-Level Customer Journey: Create a high-level customer journey map that illustrates the stages your customer typically goes through, from initial awareness to post-purchase engagement. This map visually represents the overall journey and helps you to identify the significant touchpoints and transitions between stages.
Define Smaller Iterative Phases: Break down the customer journey into smaller, manageable phases. Each phase should represent a specific subset of the customer journey, focusing on a particular touchpoint or aspect. For example, you could have phases dedicated to product discovery and product selection, checkout and payment, post-purchase engagement, and customer support.
Break Phases into Smaller Components: Within each phase, further break down the journey into smaller components. These components should represent specific functionalities, features, or interactions within the respective stage. For example, product discovery could include search, product and landing pages or within the checkout phase, components could consist of cart management, address entry, payment processing, and order confirmation. These smaller components will ultimately be allocated to dedicated product teams to develop.
The Benefits of Incrementally Developing Customer Journey Components
By breaking down the customer journey into manageable components, businesses can focus on addressing specific areas one step at a time. This approach offers many benefits:
Incremental Progress: Allowing businesses to tackle smaller, achievable goals in each iteration. Instead of attempting a huge overhaul, the incremental approach focuses on delivering immediate business value at each stage. This steady progress builds momentum, generates early wins, and maintains the confidence and support of stakeholders.
Early Value Delivery: Incremental development enables the delivery of tangible value to end users early in the project. Each increment provides a functional and usable piece of software that can be deployed and utilized, offering immediate benefits to stakeholders. This early value delivery allows for faster return on investment and increased user satisfaction.
Improved Time to Market: By delivering functional increments of the software at regular intervals, iterative development allows for faster time-to-market. Instead of waiting for the entire project to be completed, valuable features and functionalities can be deployed earlier, providing businesses with a competitive advantage and the ability to respond quickly to market demands.
Reduced Risks: When transforming the whole customer journey at once, there is a higher chance of encountering unforeseen issues, bottlenecks, or disruptions. By tackling smaller components, businesses can identify and mitigate risks more effectively, and can test, validate, and refine each piece before moving on to the next. This iterative approach allows for the early detection of challenges and provides opportunities for adjustments and improvements before the transformation scales.
Agility and Adaptability: Enabling businesses to respond quickly to changes, insights, and emerging market trends. As each component of the customer journey is addressed individually, you can adapt their strategies, technologies, and processes based on real-time feedback and evolving customer needs. This flexibility allows for faster iterations, quicker course corrections, and the ability to seize new opportunities as they arise.
Focus and Resource Allocation: Businesses can allocate resources more efficiently by assigning specialized squads to specific components, ensuring dedicated expertise and attention to each area. This focused approach allows for exploration, innovation, and problem-solving, while also preventing resource bottlenecks and ensuring efficient progress across the transformation journey.
User-Centric Optimization: By addressing smaller components individually, you can gain deeper insights into user behavior, preferences, and pain points, which can be used to iterate and adjust the experience, resulting in an improved and more personalized journey for customers. With the incremental approach, customer-centric enhancements are implemented continuously throughout the transformation.
Continuous Feedback and Improvement: Iterative development encourages regular feedback from stakeholders and end users throughout the development process. This feedback loop enables the team to make necessary adjustments, improvements, and refinements in subsequent increments, ensuring that the final product aligns closely with user expectations and requirements.
Now that you know the benefits of iterative development, look out for part two of this two-part blog series, where we’ll cover how to get started with an incremental approach to your digital transformation.