what is commerce as a service ecommerce

What is commerce-as-a-service?

And why it’s a must-have for your ecommerce business

A smarter, easier approach to ecommerce

Let’s face it: ecommerce can be a bit broken. Sure, it’s better than fulfilling orders by email or fax — but if you’re suffering from the vicious cycle of ecommerce replatforming, third party app proliferation, constant integration, and never ending investment, then you’re no stranger to frustration, wasted time, and disappearing budgets. What if your ecommerce platform worked the way you wanted it to? The solution is here and it’s called commerce-as-a-service (or, CaaS). Read on to find out how this revolutionary approach to ecommerce works, why it matters to your business (and customers!), and how you can use a commerce-as-a-service platform to free you from the headaches of traditional online retail.

Commerce-as-a-service: what it means and why it matters

You’ve probably heard of software-as-a-service (SaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS) — internet-based applications that help you improve how you run your business. Instead of managing clunky software on your own servers (and dealing with the expense of maintenance), your company can tap into world-class enterprise software without a hefty investment in technology infrastructure or staff.

So, what is commerce-as-a-service? It’s a full-stack ecommerce technology package available as a service for rapid deployment and continuous optimization. Put simply, commerce-as-a-service is a powerful, all-in-one ecommerce platform designed specifically to help brands achieve the same level of selling power as their major enterprise competitors. Leave it to the big guys to build and maintain their own software solutions. Commerce-as-a-service lets you focus on what matters most: your customers.

See also:
Commerce-as-a-Service 101

CaaS vs. SaaS

You’re probably thinking, “Well, we’ve already got an ecommerce platform. Sure, it’s got problems, but they all do…don’t they?” Or maybe you’re thinking, “We’ve solved our ecommerce problems (for now) by buying yet another platform to handle order management/warehouse fulfillment/customer loyalty/marketing insights…”

Sure, each of those SaaS solutions may do one thing really well, but none was designed from the ground up to manage tech, data, operations, and marketing — all the necessities for today’s healthy ecommerce businesses — in a unified, integrated platform. That’s what sets CaaS apart.

The fact is, it’s impossible to stay ahead of the technology and innovation required to deliver a world-class ecommerce site. Instead of draining your time, budget, and sanity trying to manage an insufficient SaaS solution or wrangling multiple platforms, commerce-as-a-service streamlines and simplifies online sales, so you can focus on the good stuff: revenue recognition, customer relationships, and increasing your competitiveness.

See also:
Why SaaS Isn’t Enough to Grow an Ecommerce Business

Elements of a commerce-as-a-service platform

The great thing about commerce-as-a-service is that it’s a single platform that contains everything you need to take your online sales to the next level. It’s designed specifically to help ecommerce brands supercharge sales, reach peak efficiency, and see how campaigns and products really perform.

Instead of a janky daisy-chain of disparate technology, commerce-as-a-service unifies your technology, marketing, data, and operations on a single, powerful platform. Let’s take a look.


Your storefront is your company’s face to the world. Your ecommerce platform should be ready to keep up with the sleek look and seamless functionality today’s customers expect.

  • Optimized UX
  • Content management
  • Catalog management
  • Promotions
  • Cart
  • Payments
  • Social

Back Office

Jumping over to a new platform to manage your back office wastes valuable time and adds avoidable complexity. A CaaS platform lets you manage all your back-office tasks in one place. Bam!

  • Order management
  • Warehouse management
  • Reverse logistics
  • 3PL/B2B/Dropship
  • Fraud
  • Tax


SaaS platforms overload you with data, but good luck figuring out what do with it — or if it’s even the right data in the first place. CaaS platforms are constantly collecting data that matters to your organization and presenting it in a meaningful way to genuinely improve your decision-making.

  • ROI analytics
  • Smart discounts
  • Smart shipping
  • Smart returns
  • Dynamic CX

Partner Integrations

Nogin plays well with others. We’ve researched and selected the industry’s best third-party solutions to enhance our CaaS stack. Still want to keep what you already have? No problem. We integrate just fine.

  • SMS
  • Email
  • Search
  • Personalization
  • Loyalty
  • Reviews
  • Sustainability

How commerce-as-a-service helps your business (and profits and bottom line…)

Commerce-as-a-service isn’t a slick new name for the same old software solutions. It’s a legit new way to tackle complicated ecommerce challenges that no other single platform can touch. By drilling down into the realities of ecommerce — the business needs, customer demands, and efficiency challenges — then developing an all-in-one enterprise platform to specifically address these needs, commerce-as-a-service delivers a pre-integrated enterprise ecommerce solution that lets you go toe-to-toe with your biggest competitors.

See also:

9 Reasons Your Ecommerce Profit Margins Are Suffering >

How to Recession Proof Your Ecommerce Business >

How CaaS supercharges your marketing efforts

Managing and maintaining a world-class ecommerce site is usually an uphill battle. It’s impossible to stay ahead of the technology and innovation curve without sinking all your resources into finding top-notch tech talent. Meanwhile, your agency may not be delivering the results you expected, but you can’t tell whether the problem is with them…or with something else, like your site’s performance or platform limitations you’re not even aware of.

With commerce-as-a-service, you’re free to shift your marketing team’s focus to, well, marketing. CaaS platforms include robust social, SEO/SEM, affiliate marketing, creative content tools, email marketing solutions, and more. Or, you can keep using the platforms you already have in place and pull everything onto your CaaS solution. Pre-integration means you don’t have to worry about how everything works together. They just work. Commerce-as-a-service solutions deliver more bang for your marketing buck through the entire funnel.

Why commerce-as-a-service is an IT team’s dream come true

Your IT team is full of dedicated professionals who are asked to do everything from re-setting lost email passwords to keeping your org’s essential tech infrastructure healthy. These people are smart, but they’re not magicians. Trying to maintain a complicated web of ecommerce solutions is like trying to renovate a house of cards: minor issues in one area can cause the whole thing to fold. And guess who’s left to pick up the pieces?… Your tireless IT team once again to the rescue.

Commerce-as-a-service solutions launch your business to the forefront of enterprise ecommerce technology without draining your IT team’s focus or forcing you to hire (and train and retain) expensive new talent. You get a powerful, high-performing ecommerce site that can go head-to-head with your biggest competitors. The plug-and-play infrastructure of CaaS means that instead of assembling a disparate set of technologies (that, let’s face it, don’t always play nicely together), you can plug straight into a proven ecommerce platform designed specifically to make online retail easier. Commerce-as-a-service means your IT teams can spend more time focusing on your core business activities instead of putting out (figurative, hopefully) fires.

CaaS turns D2C logistics into your competitive advantage

You need to run a profitable and on-brand D2C channel — but it’s a constant struggle to overcome industry-specific and macro-level headwinds in today’s ultra-competitive environment. D2C comes with so many headaches. Some in the store: How do I best handle discounts and free shipping while mitigating returns? Some in the warehouse: How do I keep my costs down associated with pick-pack, reverse logistics, customer service, and slow-moving products?

Commerce-as-a-service was literally designed to free you from logistical headaches, so you can use your technology to operate smarter, faster, and more profitably. CaaS draws from a single pool of inventory for your B2B, B2C, and dropship customers, handling all three flows of logistics while integrating with your existing infrastructures, including warehouse software, ERPs, order fulfillment, and other third-party systems.

Commerce management, order management, product inventory management, channel management, and shipping management no longer weave a complicated web. Instead, commerce-as-a-service combines every logistical detail into a single source of truth, so you can see exactly what’s happening at every point in your ecommerce supply chain in real-time.

The bottom line: commerce-as-a-service makes complex ecommerce simple

Winning at D2C means keeping dozens of balls in the air and hoping everything works well together. But the time spent babysitting various technology solutions pulls attention from your core business demands and future growth strategies.

Commerce-as-a-service solves this issue once and for all. A CaaS platform equips your teams with powerful, practical technology and useful, accurate information. Massive multinational retailers employ huge (aka expensive) teams to set up, monitor, and maintain their ecommerce platforms. Instead of perpetually lagging behind in the ecommerce tech race, commerce-as-a-service lets companies with realistic budget limitations jump to the front of the starting line.

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Yes, we’re ecommerce nerds, but don’t worry, we’re still relatable. And we’re passionate about helping brands like yours thrive. Schedule a conversation with us and we’ll show you how our enterprise ecommerce platform can help you grow your revenue and win D2C ecommerce.