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Unlocking the power of ‘Composable tech’ for better retail experiences

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Author: Sarah Jarvis, Communications and Propositions Director of Eagle Eye

As the world of retail continues to become more and more competitive and with consumers desperately seeking value in the face of inflation, businesses are racing to provide seamless and highly personalized experiences to their customers. To succeed in this endeavor, they must harness the power of today’s technology while remaining adaptable to ever-changing customer demands. Enter the concept of a composable tech stack, one of martech’s newest buzzwords  which promises to enable the execution of real-time, personalized omnichannel experiences at scale.


What is Composability?

Before we go any further, we thought it was important to clarify the definition of composability or composable architecture. As Gartner puts it, “Composable business means creating an organization made from interchangeable building blocks.” The MACH Alliance, an industry group who advocate for “future-proof, open and best-of-breed enterprise technology ecosystems” provide a number of explanations here, the most detailed one being:

“With this approach, complex systems are built by combining smaller, independent components that can be easily combined and reconfigured to meet the specific needs of a given project. This approach is often referred to as MACH architecture and often leverages a headless approach to customer experience as it allows for the creation of systems that are composed of interchangeable components, with each component having a specific function and purpose. This allows for greater flexibility and scalability, as individual components can be easily swapped out or updated without affecting the overall system.”

So now we know what it is, the question is, what should you do about it?


Composability: A Retailer’s Goal

As Juan Mendoza, CEO of The Martech Weekly, aptly puts it, “If composability is about the internal business processes and technology coordination, then omnichannel is about the external experience provided by the customer to make it more consistent, congruent, and readily available when customers want to interact with a brand. Omnichannel is the experience goal; composability is the organizational goal.”

In essence, composability is what you need to achieve harmony between your internal processes and external customer experiences. Businesses the world over are frantically working to overcome the challenges that stand in the way of delivering seamless, personalized interactions. This is where a composable tech stack comes into play.


Crafting Your Unique Customer Experience

The world of retail is evolving faster than any of us could have predicted. As a result, it is essential for organizations to build a customer-centric technology strategy that is as future-proofed as possible. As Forrester states, “building a future fit technology strategy is essential for driving customer-obsessed business growth. To achieve this, organizations must assemble strategic technology platforms that bring the most value to their companies and their customers.”

So, why is the concept of composability gaining traction? It’s because businesses need to take control of their architectural destiny in order to meet customers’ needs today. Legacy technology and processes are preventing retailers from being able to deliver on their customer promises. Only when they unshackle from these will they be able to create personalized experiences, delivered in real-time to every customer, wherever they happen to be.

No longer should businesses be forced to choose between rigid technology solutions that don’t quite fit their vision. Instead, they need a platform that empowers them to configure their martech stack around their brand identity and their own unique customers.


Endless Possibilities with Composability

If long-term customer engagement and advocacy is the goal, then a loyalty program is the vehicle to getting there. But these programs can and should mean different things for different businesses. They should be designed around your own customers to ensure that you can remain loyal to them and serve them in the best and most personalized way possible. This could mean launching a points-based loyalty program, a tiered loyalty scheme, a membership-based perks program, gamified challenges, a multi-brand coalition and more – whatever you decide, a composable approach to your tech stack will enable you to deliver your proposition today whilst providing the ability for it to evolve with your business.

We firmly believe that a tech stack should be orchestrated around your customers and your business strategy, not the other way around. With our microservices-based, composable platform, AIR, we’re enabling businesses all over the world to just this, delivering omnichannel personalization at an unprecedented scale.


The Composable Tech Stack for Personalization

We believe that there are three core components required to make this vision of omnichannel personalization a reality. At Eagle Eye, we talk about this as the “Three Layer Cake”:

  • Customer Experience Layer: You need to provide a world-leading customer experience which is consistently delivered across all channels
  • Transactional Layer: You need a scalable, high-performance transaction processing layer to execute personalized experiences across all customer touchpoints
  • Data Layer: You need best-in-class advanced analytics and/or AI to determine the personalized experiences that should be delivered to each customer in order that you can reward the behaviour you seek

We believe that enterprise customer facing businesses are best served through composing the tech stack that works for them, deploying and integrating the best-of-breed applications and microservices within each of these layers to enable them to build and execute their own unique customer engagement and personalization strategies.

Eagle Eye AIR sits firmly in the Transaction Layer and provides the most flexible and extensible set of transactional services for the world’s leading businesses. Our omnichannel, headless, high-performance promotions and loyalty management platform supports the scalable issuance, management and redemption of highly personalized promotions and rewards across all customer touchpoints. In fact, we’re currently executing more than 750 million personalized experiences to end consumers all over the world every single week. We do this in a myriad of configurations, with each of our customers deploying their own set of modules to enable them to deliver against their unique customer promise.


The Eagle Eye Way

At Eagle Eye, we’ve been championing this approach to software development since our inception, as our Director of Technology, Max Kruger explains here. It’s why we have the privilege of partnering with some of the world’s largest and most-loved retailers, because our composable software enables us to flexibly deliver the right solutions to serve these complex businesses. Our platform, AIR, has been built to offer enterprise businesses the full digital marketing toolkit which can be tailored to serve the needs of their own customers.

What sets us apart is our focus on delivering a composable set of capabilities for each of our customers. Rather than plugging in a one-size-fits-all platform, we collaborate with our clients to define the right solution for their specific needs, integrating with their wider martech stack to deliver a seamless omnichannel experience.

Composable technology accelerates innovation and to win in this ever-evolving landscape, businesses must continually innovate in order to provide their customers with market-leading, differentiated experiences. By building a composable stack, businesses can pave the way for endless possibilities and unrivaled flexibility in orchestrating their tech solutions.

The future of customer-centricity is here, and it’s driven by composability.

About the Author

Sarah Jarvis is the Communications and Propositions Director of Eagle Eye. With over 15 years of experience as a Retail Marketing Leader in the loyalty industry, she has worked with some of the world’s largest retailers and FMCG brands to help them drive profitable growth by prioritising the customer in their decision-making processes. Her expertise spans loyalty program design, CRM, personalisation, data analytics, data commercialisation, and the technical implementation of initiatives that bring retailers and brands closer to their customers. Her know-how of what drives loyalty and effective personalisation can be seen in the 2nd edition of Omnichannel Retail: How to Build Winning Stores in a Digital World, which she co-authored with Tim Mason in 2023.


About Eagle Eye

Eagle Eye is a leading SaaS technology company enabling retail, travel and hospitality brands to earn the loyalty of their end customers by powering their real-time, omnichannel and personalised consumer marketing activities.

Eagle Eye AIR is a cloud-based platform that provides the most flexible and scalable loyalty and promotions capability in the world. More than 750 million personalised offers are executed via the platform every week, and it currently hosts over 200 million individual loyalty members for businesses worldwide. We are trusted to deliver a secure service at hundreds of thousands of physical POS destinations worldwide, enabling the real-time issuance and redemption of promotional coupons, loyalty offers, gift cards, subscription benefits and more.

The Eagle Eye AIR platform is currently powering loyalty and customer engagement solutions for enterprise businesses all over the world, including Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and John Lewis & Partners, JD Sports, Pret a Manger, Loblaws, Southeastern Grocers, Giant Eagle and the Woolworths Group.

In January 2023, the Group acquired France-based Untie Nots, an AI-powered personalised promotions business, adding Carrefour, E. Leclerc, Auchan and other leading brands to its European customer base.

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