Twenty years ago a friend of mine started an e-commerce company selling baby clothes online. Her venture failed largely because the agency she used to build her website needed to charge $50 every time she changed or added a new product to her bespoke-built online shop. Today she could build her presence herself on Shopify and some of its many affiliates at very little cost for a superb presence.
Online retailers of all sizes and enormous complexity now use pre-built SaaS components to create their e-commerce platforms composing their website from the series of services that best suit their unique needs. The idea that anyone starting a business today would build an online shop from scratch is slightly absurd. Why would you build a service when you can just turn it on?
In the more complex builds, where there are multiple services chosen, the "Composable" components sit in the background and perform specific functions, with their interaction with customers being through a thin display layer. These services are often also referred to as "Headless" because they sit behind the presentation layer (the Head). In the event that, say, a new payments provider offers a better deal than an existing supplier, the retailer can simply swap providers without needing to "rebuild" their website.
This agile approach reduces build cost and project risk enormously. The same advantages can now be harnessed for Professional Services Marketing.
The Legal and Professional Services industries can now free themselves of the high-risk cycle of endlessly rebuilding their web presence by adopting the same approach as retailers and other e-commerce vendors, reducing both risk and time to market.
The main advantages of a composable or headless approach can be summarised as:
‘Risk-free’: Battle-tested building blocks can be used that are understood from the start
Fast: Building from scratch takes a long time (and is expensive) - composable is quick
Future-proof: If new components are needed, they can be clipped in or the Head can be replaced
Controlled budget: Prices can be negotiated with ’like-for-like’ quotations in advance.
Agile: Swap out any underperforming features
Professional Services and particularly Law firms, need to move on from the expensive and cumbersome approach of building their digital presence "from the ground up". The complexity of the project is daunting and the project risk is very significant. Much like my friend with her baby clothes boutique, they need to be able to concentrate on core business by buying best-of-breed, pre-built SaaS components to compose their digital offering.