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Sitecore Commerce in Azure: The Future is Headless

  • Posted on May 17, 2019
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
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A great way to understand and decipher commerce technology trends is to look at events like the National Retail Federation (NRF) which takes place in New York City every year and focuses on what is next in the retail industry. Among many trends, the Internet of Things (IoT) stood out in its own category. The IoT could help not just to improve real customer experience, but also drive technology innovation behind the curtain.

With the release of Sitecore Experience Commerce, developed based on Microservice Architecture, Sitecore positioned itself as a leader in digital commerce engines. Now even smaller businesses can deliver Amazon-class experience to their users; the best-of-breed headless commerce system offered by Sitecore can help users purchase through various touch points from IoT devices to modern web and mobile apps. Ordering with a click of a button or through a voice assistant is not just possible, but significantly easier to implement via out of the box services.

In this blog, we will look at how easy it is to implement a one-click button purchase with Sitecore Experience Commerce 9. A similar approach can be applied to the implementation of One Click or Instant Order for your headless commerce platform.

 

Step-by-step: how to integrate IoT with Sitecore
Integrating Sitecore Commerce 9 with IoT device is a straight-forward process. To get started, you need an Amazon Dash Button or Azure IoT enabled device. In this blog, I used the MCXChip IoT DevKit, available for quick purchase online for under $50.

Next, provision Sitecore XC9 Instance and ensure Sitecore Connect Engine Context is accessible to Azure space. Out of the box, Sitecore has provisioned all API endpoints needed to enable online ordering in a headless way. For the purpose of this blog, I have created a simple Custom Sitecore Commerce Orchestration Plugin. Now, we can place orders over a single end-point.

In order to integrate Sitecore with the IoT device, we are using Azure Serverless Architecture, specifically Event Hub to establish message communication between the device and the cloud and Azure Functions to process incoming and outgoing messages generated by the device and Sitecore.

Expanding commerce opportunities with IoT
As we demonstrated in this article, integration of Sitecore and IoT is a straight-forward process. It is just a matter of time until we start seeing different IoT integrations that don’t just aim to simplify the user purchasing journey, but also help control inventory and optimize commerce delivery routines. IoT is here to stay and businesses need to be prepared to embrace the new headless commerce paradigm.

To learn more about achieving business results with IoT and Commerce, connect with our team of experts.

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