Which E-Commerce Modules Are Most Important to an Online Store?

e-commerce modules

Modern e-commerce stores require a feature-rich set of components to provide customers with the best possible shopping experience. The traditional e-commerce architecture tightly couples all these services into a single system. Combining all parts of the e-commerce system into a single platform like this limits what you are able to get out of each service. It is also difficult to scale.

Modular commerce divides the backend components into individual modules. Each is responsible for a single service. Breaking each area of functionality out into its own module provides more flexibility. It cleans up the codebase and makes it easier to deploy new features. Some of the most common e-commerce modules include:

  • Cart and checkout
  • Product information management
  • Order management
  • Pricing and promotions engines
  • Personalization engines
  • Content management
  • Analytics
  • SEO tools

In this post, we’ll examine the three e-commerce modules most integral to an online store: product information management, content management, cart and checkout.

Together, these modules allow you to store your e-commerce data, present it to customers, and capture their orders.

Integral E-Commerce Modules

Product information management

The product information management (PIM) module contains all the information related to the products in the e-commerce catalog. Some of the information managed by PIM includes:

  • SKUs
  • Title
  • Descriptions
  • Attributes
  • Technical specifications
  • Images

PIM also handles the taxonomies and relationships between your products. This allows you to segment the display of products, making it easier for customers to search for the items they are looking for.

PIM acts as a single source of truth. You can upload data from any number of sources. Product details can then be spread to any channel. A single hub for product data helps ensure all information is up to to date and free from errors and discrepancies.

The software connects to other applications through APIs. This allows the other parts of your e-commerce system to search and retrieve important product data.

Content management system

Content management systems (CMS) give e-commerce businesses the ability to create, edit, and publish the content on their website. With a CMS you can customize your website presentation by modifying the layout of your product pages, homepage, or any other part of the online store.

With a modular architecture, the CMS is headless. Instead of being attached to the e-commerce platform or other backend components, it simply makes content available via RESTful APIs. This is essential to creating memorable customer experiences. The headless CMS allows you to create different frontend experiences for different use cases.

Brands and retailers that want to create unique content across multiple channels can use a digital experience platform (DXP) for their content management module. A DXP comes with a headless CMS built-in. It also includes other components such as data and analytics tools, A/B testing software, and user data tools.

This allows marketers to add a high level of personalization to content creation. With a DXP like fabric XM, you are not limited to your own e-commerce site. Through APIs, you can deliver content to mobile apps, IoT devices, or any other sales channel.

Shopping cart and checkout

The shopping cart allows customers to select and hold the products they wish to purchase. It tracks the user’s session, allowing them to leave the site and come back later with items still in their cart.

During the checkout process, the cart collects the customer’s payment information. This information is passed to the third-party payment processor. The details of the order are sent to other modules like the order management system (OMS), inventory management system, and customer relationship management (CRM) system.

The shopping cart has a database to store and retrieve the data necessary for the checkout process. There are three types of data including static, session, and processed data.

Some order management systems like fabric OMS include cart and checkout functionality. With cart and order APIs, you can process orders from any sales channel.

Break Down the Monolith With Flexible Modules

Agility and flexibility are key to today’s brands and retailers. This is why fabric designed its suite of e-commerce services with modularity first in mind. All our services are designed to work independently while supporting integration with your other tools. You can take a best in breed approach to implement one e-commerce module at a time to begin breaking down your monolithic platform.

Topics: Commerce
Bradley Taylor

Tech advocate and writer @ fabric.

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