Commerce Composer overview

The Commerce Composer tool gives you the freedom to quickly create and assemble the contents of your store pages without involving IT. By using a library of prebuilt layout templates and widgets, you can manage store page layouts directly in Management Center. The Commerce Composer tool offers a streamlined workflow that improves your productivity and reduces time-to-market for your campaigns.

From the Commerce Composer tool, you can compose a layout for a new or existing store page by following four basic steps:

Steps to compose a page
  • 1 To start composing your page, choose an existing store page that requires a new layout, such as a category page or the home page. You can choose multiple pages if you want them to share a layout. Or, if the page does not exist, you can create a page right in the Commerce Composer tool. To do so, provide a URL keyword and other SEO information about the page, and a new URL is instantly created for your store.
  • 2 Select a layout template to use as a starting point.
  • 3 Design a layout for the page. First, set a schedule and priority for the layout. Then, fill the slots in the layout template with one or more widgets from the Commerce Composer widget library. Each widget displays a different type of page content. Some widgets require you to define their content, whereas other widgets retrieve content automatically.
  • 4 In store preview, view your layout and switch between different view ports to simulate desktop, mobile, and tablet device screen resolutions. Then, generate a shareable URL so that you can view your layout on actual devices outside of Management Center.

How the Commerce Composer tool can benefit your business

The Commerce Composer tool puts the power to create and manage pages and layouts in the hands of business users. Tasks that were previously handled by store developers, such as creating new pages and arranging elements within a page, can now be completed directly in Management Center. By taking advantage of the Commerce Composer tool, as a business user, you can:
  • Launch new marketing campaigns quickly and efficiently because you have complete control over store page creation and assembly.
  • Use a rich set of templates and widgets to design compelling pages that offer shoppers a personalized browsing experience.
  • Enjoy a more streamlined approach to page content management by using fewer Management Center tools and screens.
  • Continue to use the powerful precision marketing capabilities that are offered by the Marketing tool, such as web activities and marketing experiments. These capabilities are supported in a number of widgets in the Commerce Composer widget library.
  • Apply layouts consistently across categories and other page types by using the same layout template or layout for multiple pages.
  • Create layouts for specific devices (desktop or mobile), and responsive layouts that adapt to any device.
  • Quickly enable third-party widgets to enhance your page designs.

The Commerce Composer tool supports the following key HCL Commerce capabilities:

  • Workspaces: The pages and layouts that you create in the Commerce Composer tool can be managed in a workspace.
  • Extended sites: Widgets are published at the site level, making them available to all stores in an extended site.
  • In-context preview and click-to-edit: These two store preview functions help you move more efficiently between the Commerce Composer tool and store preview while you are working on pages and layouts.

In addition, IT developers can use the Data Load utility to load new pages, widgets, layout templates, and layouts directly to the database so that they are available in the Commerce Composer tool.

Initial setup for the Commerce Composer tool

When your company decides to adopt the Commerce Composer tool, you must decide which store pages to manage in the tool. For example:
  • Your company might decide to manage category pages, the home page, the search results page, and all general content pages in the Commerce Composer tool. Pages with layouts that change over time are good candidates for the Commerce Composer tool.
  • For other pages, such as account and check-out pages, your company might continue to use existing page management methods. If so, these pages cannot be accessed in the Commerce Composer tool.

Your company must also decide whether any or all pages that are managed in the Commerce Composer tool will follow a responsive web design (RWD) pattern.

For the pages that you decide to manage in the Commerce Composer tool, web designers and IT developers must prepare suitable layout templates and widgets. To speed up this process, HCL Commerce provides a set of layout templates and a Commerce Composer widget library to use as a starting point. Both the templates and widgets follow a responsive web design pattern.

After IT developers load your custom layout templates and widgets to Management Center, you can begin creating and managing pages and layouts in the Commerce Composer tool. Over time, IT developers can load new layout templates and widgets, and remove templates that are no longer used.

Access control

The following Management Center roles have full access to manage business objects in the Commerce Composer tool:
  • Seller
  • Marketing Manager
The following Management Center roles have read-only access to the Commerce Composer tool:
  • Sales Manager
  • Workspace Task Group Approver