Sitecore OrderCloud for Headless Commerce

Jan 19 2024

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Bringing commerce forward with Sitecore OrderCloud

The digital world is changing fast and demands personalized customer engagement at every touchpoint. In the new normal, leading brands and manufacturers are bracing up to lead the journey economy built on a customer-first strategy. No second thought that the global pandemic has turned the world upside down, leaving both B2B and B2C brands to redefine their online presence to keep up business continuity and resilience.

With businesses demanding their eCommerce solutions industry-leading, they are sure that conventional methods no longer support the modern requirements of scalability on the go. With that said, composable commerce with headless architectures is the new emerging trend to deal with those evolving business demands.

Through this blog, businesses can learn about Sitecore Order Cloud for headless commerce and how it drives exceptional digital experiences.

Understanding Sitecore OrderCloud

Leader in Digital Experience Platform and Content Hub, Sitecore acquired Four51 OrderCloud in 2021, to design a powerful eCommerce solution for brands to drive omnichannel digital experiences. The OrderCloud platform by Four51 is MACH-certified, fully hosted, cloud native SaaS commerce solution for headless architectures. MACH is an acronym for Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless architecture. Microservices to take advantage of RESTful APIs for seamless integration with other systems, Cloud native technology for scalability and high availability, Headless architecture to give complete freedom to customize the order experiences to new devices, channels, and applications.

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Being built as a B2B first platform for large, complex, and highly distributed organizations, it offers extensible data models including rich features that can cater to a mix of strategies like B2C, B2B, B2B2C, and B2X marketplaces.

Another acquisition under the Sitecore Commerce belt is Sitecore Discover powered by Reflection. Sitecore Discover is a powerful commerce solution that provides product catalog management and visual merchandising features along with AI intelligence.

Why Headless Commerce?

As businesses have become more agile and flexible to cater to increasing customer needs, conventional commerce systems are being replaced by modern headless platforms such as Sitecore OrderCloud. A headless architecture comes into play when custom user experience is the need for everything from order management to private B2B marketplaces. The architecture decouples the frontend from the backend, separating the user experience layer from the business logic or data management layer. The API first approach allows enterprise leaders to deliver omnichannel selling experiences in a frictionless manner. All the omnichannel selling is done using a unified commerce platform across all channels.

Read Further: What is the Future of Personalization in Ecommerce?

Key Features of Sitecore OrderCloud

With Sitecore OrderCloud, sophisticated and multi-faceted businesses, who are striving to extend their online selling capabilities can develop custom online commerce solutions. It can easily be integrated with a brand’s existing technology stack to drive personalized customer engagements across multiple touchpoints.

Infographic: Future of Retail & Commerce in a Nutshell

Here are some important features of the OrderCloud

Omnichannel Integration

OrderCloud acts like a scaffold to commerce operations, being an API-first, headless solution. With its omnichannel integration capabilities, brands can manage commerce operations in a strategic manner by connecting with multiple applications. They can also build limitless application experiences such as buyer shopping experience, order management from 3rd party tool, or setting up a separate application for suppliers or franchises to handle orders.

Enterprise Readiness with Cloud

As software development and delivery are cloud native in OrderCloud, the platform has the strength to handle high-performance by scaling automatically to keep the uptime to maximum. The platform is deployed on Microsoft Azure – one of the most advanced and secure data centers - to ensure all the data and processes remain in a safe and secure environment.

Platform Extensibility

No matter how complex a business use case is, Sitecore OrderCloud is a one-stop solution that can be easily integrated with third-party microservices. For example, if a business might need actions like publishing information to search engines for indexing, shipping estimation, tax calculation services etc. OrderCloud integration through webhooks and integration events allows them to quickly build all these best-in-class functionalities.

Personalized Shopping Experience

OrderCloud is built to support diverse marketplaces as it offers a slew of features for managing products, catalog taxonomy, and pricing. Put simply, brands can manage one superset of products, and then further create segments to deliver unique catalog and pricing details depending on different suppliers and buyer’s groups. Or brands can offer one catalog of products with one base price to all the buyers.

Personalized shopping comes with custom catalogs designing, searching catalogs along with faceted navigation, filtering & sorting, targeted promotions, pricing, and product configurations. The platform enables frictionless purchases across every customer touchpoint by navigating users as per their selected choices and preferences. This personalized shopping experience will encourage buyers to shop more and build trust in the brand.

Why OderCloud Makes Sense to Forward-looking Brands

Sitecore OrderCloud is a flexible and scalable platform built on a headless architecture that allows future-looking businesses to go beyond their shopping cart management experience. They can leverage the power of composability to build and manage multiple different channel strategies using a unified backend, for example, D2C or B2C eCommerce experience, order management, multi-brand, multisite, and omnimarket strategies.

According to Gartner, organizations inclined towards a Composable Commerce approach will accelerate new feature development by 80% faster in comparison to their competitors.

OrderCloud offers seamless integration with Sitecore DXP and other third-part tools via APIs. The platform provides omnichannel management across diverse customer touchpoints. Being a Cloud native SaaS product, the OrderCloud helps brands build continuous agility and resilience to respond to the evolving market needs.

The Bottom Line

Large organizations and enterprises have realized the true potential of being customer-centric to play the game called ‘Creating Digital Experiences’. To win the game, it is important to embrace and implement API-first, cloud native, headless commerce that can help build flexibility as a key capability necessary to outsmart the competition driven by the dynamic market base.

Sitecore and Four51’s OrderCloud make best-of-breed technology stack for your brand to build resiliency while driving personalized shopping experiences for your buyers & suppliers across different marketplaces and customer touchpoints.

As a Sitecore platform certified partner, Icreon is helping global industry leaders and luxury brands to drive digital experiences and profitability. If you’re facing challenges in scaling up your eCommerce capabilities, get in touch with us to make your selling journey smooth and seamless.