Why fabric set out to build an enterprise commerce platform that just works


In the last 20 years less than 20% of commerce has gone online. But, things are changing quickly with several tailwinds at our backs. Today’s coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the trend faster than imagined, and Enterprise & Mid-Market retailers are trying to find the quickest way to pivot. However, these companies have built their commerce infrastructure on old technology built in the late 90s/early 2000s. These platforms are hard to use, fragmented, inefficient, and costly to maintain. They lack security, reliability, and flexibility because they haven’t evolved to meet the needs of the digital-first economy.

Some 54% of business leaders surveyed said that their company’s technology stack was “holding them back from their digital agility goals” and 59% believed that legacy commerce software was the “root cause” of their business’s technology problems, according to an Episerver survey. Needless to say, legacy commerce technology is antiquated and crumbling, in turn making these companies antiquated and crumbling.

At Fabric, we set out to fix these problems.

Additionally, there’s a new “Cambrian explosion” of digital commerce. Today, the entire economy is now online. Every physical product from every location on earth, every entertainment choice from games to movies to streaming media, and every travel, hospitality, and most service experiences start with digital. Yet, the only options in the market starter storefronts for $29 per month, or hire expensive developers to build on old open source platforms. Those options simply don’t support the modern developer who needs the proper building blocks of commerce for their use cases.


Building a modern platform to solve the legacy pain

We grew up as operators at companies who sold billions through eCommerce across owned brand sites, 3rd party marketplaces, Omni-retail, B2B, Services, Classifieds, and every channel from desktop, mobile, native apps, digital retail, social, chat, field sales, chat bots, voice commerce, email, EDI, XML, iOT, and even fax. Yes, we’ve seen every mode of digital commerce!

We’ve lived, breathed, ate, and slept through the pains (SO much pain) of having to work within the confines of old legacy commerce platforms and custom built products. We worked around the clock on holidays and Black Fridays to ensure our websites and apps never went down while you and your families enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner (you’re welcome, by the way).

Most operators seem to be trapped in the “status quo” of these legacy platforms, custom sites, and solutions built for SMBs. This was unacceptable to us. We knew there was a better way for commerce, so we decided to build it ourselves from the ground up. We wanted a commerce platform that is faster, better, cheaper, highly scalable and high performing that filled the following requirements:

  • It has to be quick to implement. Brands and developers have a limited time to make any changes to their commerce infrastructure since no changes can take place during the holiday season. That being said, our platform must take less than 8 weeks to implement at scale. And we built it as modular components, so parts can be added in days.
  • It has to provide value while leveraging the existing commerce infrastructure, whether it’s proprietary or best-of-breed.
  • It does not have to be a complete platform or re-platform as a solution. We want to solve for the immediate problems areas for a customer, and expand to optimize as needed.

At the end of the day, we wanted to build a no-worry platform that just works at scale, ensuring you weren’t missing any more holidays with your family. We wanted to build the most advanced set of commerce technology as building blocks so brands and developers could have a better-than-fighting chance to take on the big marketplace with monopolistic ambitions and 1,000s of developers.


What is Fabric?

We built our technology around the core requirements we envisioned by combining a powerful commerce API engine with intuitive business applications. The Fabric platform includes:

Fabric Experience Platform — a headless experience manager (not a CMS), that can be used to create a new experience on websites built on any modern technology. Whether you fancy Vue, Angular, React or plain old HTML with javascript, our SDK’s allow you to build websites your marketing team can use to create new landing pages, campaigns and basically design & run the entire site experience with ease.

Fabric Headless Commerce Platform — a full suite of multi-channel commerce APIs to power all your sales channels. Fabric’s headless commerce platform provides APIs for all modern experiences — web, mobile, in-store digital, voice, and IoT. Our single-tenant solution allows you to build integrations and extensions without limits.

Fabric CoPilot Applications — a powerful set of business applications for merchants and marketers to manage and drive growth. With an enterprise-grade PIM to support large catalogs, a Pricing and Promotion engine to tailor offers for each of your customer segments, a Segmentation engine to build audiences so you can target content, products, offers and more to specific groups of customers, and an Insights engine to provide reports to drive your business and improve the customer experiences.


Why is Fabric different?

So there you have it. We built the world’s most modular commerce platform, hitting everything on every operator and developer’s wish list (and ours) along with:

Time to Implement — Fabric is built with a core product principle to deploy the solution in weeks, not months. Fabric’s modular architecture can be deployed along with your legacy platform to test and learn instead of traditional high risk, rip and replace.

Tools your team will love — Unlike your legacy platform’s merchant applications, Fabric applications are built for the modern user. Schedule marketing campaigns, price updates & promotions and preview the whole site as it would appear on any given date & time, past or future.

Single-tenant SaaS — Built as a Functions-as-a-Service, Fabric platform is deployed as a single tenant instance in your own exclusive cloud instance. The Fabric platform is completely serverless, ready to take on any volume of traffic, and can be deployed globally in a matter of minutes. REST APIs allow for easy customization and integration.

Fabric is just getting started. We’re working tirelessly to continue developing products that enable companies to simplify growth and deliver the best commerce experiences to their customers. Interested in learning more? We’d love to chat with you. Contact one of our experts for a quick sync or schedule a demo.

Topics: News
Mari Ström

Global strategy and field marketing @ fabric. Previously @ Suplari and Accenture.

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