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How Adobe Commerce Drives E-commerce Success For Our Partners

18 Apr 2024

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With more than 26 million e-commerce websites in the world, competition for your business is fierce, whether you operate in Egypt, Saudi Arabia or anywhere else in the world.

Thanks to the move towards online retail sales, the MENA e-commerce market size is expected to reach U.S. $57 billion in 2026, according to the latest EZDubai e-commerce report . This growth of e-commerce in the MENA region can be attributed to many factors, among them:

  • Increasing Internet usage and the rise of 4G services
  • Improving infrastructure
  • Supportive government policies and tech initiatives
  • The increasing popularity of digital payment platforms
  • The rise of online grocery shopping in the wake of COVID
  • Increased economic stability
  • A young, tech-savvy population
  • Urbanization throughout the region

To stay competitive, your business must connect with consumers and adapt to emerging purchasing habits — otherwise you risk stunting the growth of your online business. You need to make data-driven decisions that can overcome the obstacles you will encounter as you grow.

At Robusta Technology Group, that’s what we do best. We’ve helped clients throughout the region using what has become the best-known all-in-one solution for e-commerce.

I’m talking about Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento Commerce), which offers the features and flexibility it takes to build multi-channel e-commerce experiences for B2B and B2C businesses on a single platform.

Let’s explore why Adobe Commerce is our e-commerce platform solution of choice. But first, what exactly is Adobe Commerce?

History of the Adobe Commerce Platform

From catalog to payment to fulfillment, the Adobe Commerce of 2024 is a leading open-source enterprise e-commerce platform that's endlessly flexible, extensible, and scalable.

Released in 2007 as “Magento Commerce,” the platform was designed for modularity and flexibility, giving users the ability to handle any future upgrades that would be required to meet their business objectives.

Later acquired by eBay and then sold to Adobe, today the rebranded “Adobe Commerce” handles over $100 billion in gross merchandise volume.

Back then, since merchants needed a future-proof commerce platform, Magento was developed as an open-source platform. And since it was free to download, it naturally was met with instant success.

By 2009, a paid enterprise version based on the open-source platform was introduced. In 2011, eBay acquired Magento and immediately began development to modernize the architecture of the platform. In 2015, eBay sold Magento to a private equity group and in 2018, Adobe acquired Magento for $1.68 billion.

In early 2021, they rebranded the enterprise version of the platform to Adobe Commerce, with Magento remaining the free-to-download product.

In simple terms, Adobe Commerce is the paid enterprise version of Magento, with some additional premium features added.

Adobe Commerce’s Open-Source Tech Stack

Let's talk about Adobe Commerce's architecture.

Adobe Commerce's backend code is written in PHP. The default theming uses JavaScript and some libraries like Knockout.js and RequireJS, all powered by MySQL databases. Adobe has released a progressive web app front end that you can chose instead of the traditional theming. It's built in React and uses the UPWARD proxy server architecture and connects to the platform using GraphQL.

Like most platforms, RTG uses XML to configure customized functions. And because it's open source, there are some tools (such as Redis and Composer) that we can use as well.

This open-source tech stack gives Adobe Commerce some strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths:

  • Flexibility: We can build unbelievably complex user experiences and integrations with the platform.
  • Third-party community support: Since the Magento days, this has been one of the most active ecommerce platform communities there is, so it’s easier to find experienced developers and third-party tools that lower your time to market.
  • A suite of enterprise applications: Tools like Experience Manager integrate with Adobe Commerce for enterprises that have the budget to take their enterprise budget to take their user experience up a few notches.

Weaknesses:

  • Maintenance: Like any open source software, you’ll have to patch it and update it as new features come out and security flaws are found.
  • Learning Curve: Adobe Commerce requires more technical knowledge to develop and maintain because there is an entire hosting infrastructure to consider. This is where Robusta Technology Group can help!

A ‘Future-Proof’ Approach To E-Commerce

Adobe has started to accelerate the development of enterprise functionality with tools like Live Search, AI-powered Product Recommendations and their PWA Studio project. All of these new enterprise features are being released as individual SaaS microservices. Indeed, the enterprise e-commerce space is moving towards composable commerce microservices architecture.

At the same time, Adobe Commerce Cloud (the cloud edition of Adobe Commerce) offers all the features of Adobe Commerce along with enhanced Adobe Cloud infrastructure hosting. This setup allows developers to work more efficiently, with environments for development, staging, and production. This means smoother performances and quicker deployments.

What Makes The RTG Approach Unique?

When it comes to Adobe Commerce-based solutions, RTG aims to develop implementations beyond what you will get from our competitors.

We deliver implementations that take your business to the next level, helping you achieve your sales targets and reach maximum potential with your customer base.

Here are some of the benefits that make our e-commerce implementations stand out.

#Headless Implementation Headless e-commerce is essentially an architecture where the frontend is decoupled from the e-commerce platform and other backend systems. By separating the frontend from the backend, your business has the flexibility to deliver rich content and brand experiences, as well as overall stronger user experience.

An important aspect in our headless implementation is that it is by no means dependent on any external readymade PWA frontend projects like VueStoreFront or PWA Studio; however, we have built our custom VueJS frontend implementation. This ensures we’re not stuck with the limitations of readymade projects in what they support or what they don’t.

All our Adobe Commerce implementations are headless and we believe headless implementations are the future of e-commerce.

#Optimized UI/UX Building our UX/UI on top of headless architecture allows us to cater the UX/UI based on your business sector and your customer needs. It also allows us to implement it on the frontend without any technical boundaries, as the headless architecture eliminates limitations that can happen due to the coupling between the frontend and the backend. This allows the end user to receive an interface that is highly optimized for usability.

Building our UX/UI is not only subjective to the team but also a research-based process. As part of our UX/UI practice, we focus on the best practices yearly based on reports from reputable institutes like Baymard Institute and Nielsen Norman group, which helps us deliver best practices to the users across the different sectors.

#SEO Friendly SEO is a critical aspect of any e-commerce business. It is one of the key factors that helps in the success of reaching the end customers organically (without advertising).

Our solution includes the best practices for SEO that would guarantee top scores according to Google’s measuring tools. Below are the main aspects we consider in our implementation to achieve this:

  • SSR (Server Side Rendering)
  • Canonical URLs
  • Open Graph Tags
  • Trailing slash Redirects
  • Google Rich Snippets Preview
  • Meta Tags and Dynamic Head Elements

#Performance Optimized Implementation A fast e-commerce website is a core reason for a successful customer journey and accordingly more sales conversions.

At Robusta Technology Group, we care about our e-commerce websites’ performance. And we follow the best practices to ensure an extremely fast and smooth customer experience by implementing:

  • Image formats and size optimization (multiple formats and sizes)
  • Lazy loading images
  • PWA and service workers cache
  • Caching heavy queries
  • Lazy loading non-critical components
  • Lazy loading non-critical JS via dynamic import
  • Using image optimization services over CDNs

#Analytics Friendly In a data-driven era, analyzing users’ behavior and gathering data across the different aspects of the user journey to understand the trends and the shift in this behavior allows your business to make decisions based on quantifiable data.

This takes the guesswork out of e-commerce. It enables you to grow in the right directions to serve your customers, enhance their platform usability and drive more sales.

At Robusta Technology Group, we play a crucial role in providing a detailed data layer for the analytics tools that integrate with the implementation. This requires the availability of event listeners for user actions taking place across the journey. This information would consequently propagate to those tools.

We have developed our own data layer that would feed any analytics tool without the need to custom-insert each tool’s listeners in the code. This allows us to seamlessly feed the data in whatever analytics/tracking tool you are already using.

Which brings us to the next point …

#Seamless Integrations with Business Internal Systems For your Adobe Commerce system to work properly, it needs to be integrated with the rest of its digital ecosystem. The e-commerce solution is never a standalone solution. It’s normally part of your business’s established big digital ecosystem.

The touchpoints here are endless. Starting from a single integration with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, we expand to include other internal systems like Internal Order Picking Systems, Internal Points Of Sales, Logistics Systems, and more.

The power of the headless (API based) implementations is key. We depend on this API layer to integrate with those systems either directly or via a middleware layer. Once those integrations take place, the operational cost becomes significantly lower as we achieve data consistency across those systems.

#Third-Party Integrations and Recommendations Third-party integrations in e-commerce come in different flavors and types and it is a common practice that all e-commerce solutions must extend their functionalities via integrations with third parties to cover their customer needs—be it an SMS gateway, Payment Gateway, Chat modules, or search service.

Working with different clients over various implementations enables us not only to integrate with various third-party vendors but also to identify the best vendors in the different areas according to our client needs.

#PWA-Supported PWA stands for Progressive Web Apps—web applications optimized to work on mobile and desktop devices. PWA for e-commerce helps you generate a more user-friendly site by allowing customers to access information regardless of their location or device.

Our headless approach means our implementations are PWA-supported, which combines the flavor of a native mobile app experience with the usability of a responsive website.

Progressive web apps make the core features of the app accessible offline. They cache data to load content fast on any network and provide a consistent experience across desktop computers, tablets and smartphones.

With Adobe Commerce PWA Studio you can transform the mobile experience to achieve many things, including:

  • Gaining new followers
  • Improving conversion rates
  • Boosting search rankings (SEO)
  • Lowering development costs

A PWA e-commerce platform uses a variety of performance optimization and responsive design strategies—all of which can take your e-commerce business to the next level.

Who is Adobe Commerce Platform Best Suited For?

Adobe Commerce gives online retailers a flexible shopping cart system and control over the look and functionality of their online store. It offers powerful marketing, SEO, and catalog-management tools, as well as so many other features.

Adobe Commerce is a great platform for a shop that you know is going to be big. If you’re a small business making your first move into e-commerce, there may well be less heavyweight solutions that can work better. However, if you have an established retail entity, the funding to back it up, and the time to work on customizing the platform to fit your needs, it very well may be the best option for your online store.

Essentially, Adobe Commerce is optimized to work with thousands of products, tons of traffic, and a huge number of sales.

As an Adobe Partner, it is our go-to solution for our e-commerce clients. The platform’s ability to scale allows stores with only a few lines of products and simple needs to easily expand to tens of thousands of products and complex custom behavior without changing platforms.

While Magento is designed to be utilized as an application by someone who isn't a developer, the average person with no technical expertise is certainly going to hit a wall with Adobe Commerce. Once you begin to integrate with other systems, or introduce tens of thousands of products, businesses often need the assistance of experienced technology partners .

While a lot of e-commerce developers and software companies use Magento because it is template-based and it works, we’ve opted for headless Adobe Commerce implementations and here’s why:

With the traditional (template-based) approach:

  • Frontend and backend are tightly coupled in a monolithic app that limits the scaling options of each one individually
  • Magento’s default theme (Luma) loads tens of javascript files (200 roughly) and 8 css files without adding any customization or extensions. This results in a render-blocking issue that harms your website score in Google ranking calculations, increases page load time and limits page speed enhancement options.
  • Limitation with UX best practices implementations due to forced architecture by Magento default themes
  • Compatibility issues integrating multiple extensions with Magento themes
  • Unable to enhance performance in some cases due to restricting both the technologies of the frontend and backend.

With a headless Adobe Commerce approach you get:

  • Flexibility to build UX experiences with flexible designs that reflect business needs and match your business brand, look and “feel.”
  • Customized modules. And when using ready-made modules, we build the required APIs ourselves. That means we can avoid extensions compatibility issues in the frontend.
  • A cache-first approach in the frontend, delivering enhanced performance.
  • The ability to scale backend servers separately from the frontend server. This gives you a more cost-efficient investment in e-commerce hosting.

A good technology partner like Robusta will guide you in the right direction and help you invest in your online store.

Adobe Commerce and Robusta Studio: A Case Study

One of the biggest grocery supermarkets in Egypt came to RTG to help streamline its delivery process and operations. Specifically, they needed an e-commerce solution for mobile and web ordering .

Robusta Studio was able to digitally transform this client’s operations through a comprehensive software project that included integrating with Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System, building three systems (order taking system, pickers system, and e-commerce system) to digitize the entire operations cycle, and creating a Adobe Commerce store and native iOS and Android apps.

With an e-commerce solution for mobile and web ordering in place, the result was a seamless omnichannel experience for the users, boosting customer acquisition and generating a steady revenue increase month over month.

Remember: Technology is one of the many cornerstones when it comes to e-commerce. There is also business strategy, user experience, launch and growth planning and everything from customer acquisition to loyalty and advocacy to take into account!

While there are many e-commerce solutions available on the market, many of which are easy to use in comparison to Adobe Commerce, none of them could provide this client with the same level of flexibility, ability to scale and feature-laden functions they needed to run a successful e-commerce store.

In our opinion, Adobe Commerce simply outclasses most of the available solutions on the market—especially if you’re planning to go big with your e-commerce!

RTG Can Help You

We expect Adobe to continue to push the architecture toward a series of SaaS-based microservices, all tied together with the open source Adobe Commerce platform, maximizing the benefits of headless implementation for its flexibility and scalability.

To learn more about how to leverage the power of Adobe Commerce for your business, contact us today and we’ll plan a discussion of your needs, your goals, and how best to achieve the e-commerce infrastructure you’ll need tomorrow and for years to come.

Ahmed Abousafy

Ahmed Abousafy

Co-Founder & COO - Robusta

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