How Composable Commerce Elevates the Brand Experience: Hydrow + Contentful + Next.js


Behind the scenes and invisible to the end user, systems architecture impacts all aspects of the customer journey. From personalization and website speed to storytelling and UX, platform selection is crucial. Supporting innovation and improvement, composability is an opportunity to ensure effective consumer engagement throughout the digital ecosystem.  

Headless - the broader decoupling of services from experiences, and composable - which specifically considers various media formats and channels, is a distinction. What is the best option to optimize interactions for consumers while increasing internal creative agility and technical efficiency?

“Composability serves major benefits,” according to Contentful. It’s a “new way of thinking about (and working with) content.” Excitingly, in terms of commerce, composable content is not tied to a specific channel or platform. Consistency, speed, and relevance are maximized across interfaces.

For Hydrow, creators of the premier, immersive rowing machine plus live outdoor reality workouts, synchronicity is key. Momentum matters. To showcase their best-in-class fitness destination, the D2C brand instituted a composable commerce solution that delivers faster, richer content interactions. This flexible foundation was the opportunity to improve upon their integrated training application, commerce site, and blog.

Leveraging the power of Contentful and Next.js, hosted by Vercel, Hydrow delivers a premium and precise experience, with both internal and consumer benefits. Empowering the editorial and marketing teams to author changes without developer intervention means website updates happen in real-time. This priority capability impacts many facets of content including pricing, promotions, and product updates.

With a goal to free content and make it endlessly reusable, the Contentful Composable Content Platform succeeds. The title of a recent strategy article sums it up nicely: It just works. Reuben Kabel, Senior Vice President, Engineering at Hydrow notes: “Contentful allowed us to define a scalable and extensible content model that allowed non-technical users to compose and author pages and site experiences quickly and without development support. It also offered the ability to iterate on those components in non-production environments and support localization, publishing approval, and rich preview capabilities.”

Usage of only cloud-native APIs and CDNs provides world-class scalability and the elasticity to easily support high traffic events like social activations. Kabel continues, “Vercel and Next.js offered us the ability to pre-render the vast majority of our pages and push them to edge caching, offering incredible front-end speed to end users. Incremental static regeneration (ISR) also gave us enough flexibility to keep statically generated pages up to date with dynamic data.” 

In a great piece for Contentful, Reuben Kabel, SVP Engineering, Hydrow, Zach Selby, Director of Architecture for Digital Platforms, Hydrow, and Robin Rogowski, full stack developer at Wunderman Thompson Commerce and Technology (formerly Gorilla Group) overview the architectural decision-making, discuss goals and refinements, and offer a strategy perspective: “It just works: Hydrow’s instant publishing workflow with Contentful and Next.js.”

Wunderman Thompson Commerce & Technology specializes in providing end-to-end commerce solutions for customers across verticals. As Hydrow’s solutions partner, WTC&T has confidence in composability and in Contentful, the leading composable content management system. From security to performance, this versatile, API-first architecture ensures an efficient approach that “orchestrates content from multiple sources and publishes it to any digital channel.” It just works. Please contact us to learn more about the power of composable commerce for your brand.