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Fast joins technology supergroup MACH Alliance

By Thom Armstrong, Vice President of Go-To-Market Solutions and Strategy at Fast

Having worked in e-commerce for more than 15 years, I’ve experienced a lot of technology trends: the move from on-premise to the cloud, the explosion of SaaS, and now, the headless movement – the one I’m most excited about. Which is why I am so happy to announce that Fast is now a member of the premier organization leading the enterprise technology community: the MACH Alliance.

In a headless world, retailers no longer have to rely on a single, monolithic technology platform to provide them with a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, they can tap into a nearly endless array of companies that specialize in one thing and do that one thing phenomenally well, such as search, personalization, content management system, one-click checkout, and more.

As trends take off, however, retailers find themselves deluged by companies trying to capitalize but not with those retailers’ best interests at heart. Support is lacking, features remain outdated, and some continue to stretch the truth about their capabilities. So, how can retailers separate fact from fiction?

Enter the MACH Alliance

The Alliance formed in June of 2020 to create a new and open community for enterprise technology innovation, and its goal is to help enterprise organizations navigate the complex modern technology landscape. The founding members of the MACH Alliance spent considerable time and effort architecting their solutions in what they call the MACH way (Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, and Headless), because they believed this approach would unlock the most value for their customers.

The MACH Alliance is more than its mission statement. It lives its values by thoroughly vetting new members. A service provider can’t just add the word headless to its website and call it a day. MACH certification requires new applicants to pass their comprehensive business and technical certification. I’m incredibly proud that Fast passed this rigorous evaluation, and we have officially become a member of the MACH Alliance.

With Fast as a member, the Alliance gains a pioneer in headless commerce, particularly headless checkout, a technology that allows consumers to make purchases from anywhere in one click. Fast will be a valuable partner in extolling the value of such innovation while also being a great example of it.

In a MACH-based future, we will see exciting new applications of Fast. For example, we could easily spin up shoppable landing pages, taking functionality from various MACH providers such as Algolia for search functions, Amplience or Contentful for content, and BigCommerce or Commercetools for cart. We could collaborate with system integrators like EPAM to provide their customers with best-in-class headless checkout experiences. An added bonus: Algolia, Amplience, BigCommerce, Contentful, Commercetools, and EPAM are also MACH Alliance members.

Why does MACH matter?

To truly appreciate what Fast has built, one needs to go a layer deeper. By being a MACH-based solution, Fast can help unlock value for our sellers quicker than our competition. This didn’t happen by coincidence. Our engineering team’s collective experience in building highly scalable solutions at companies like Uber, Facebook, Apple, and other Big Tech companies is very much in play at Fast.

The foundational Microservices our engineering team built, allows our development teams to work in an agile and independent fashion. This nets out to streamlined product development and faster product releases for our sellers.

Fast’s API-first integration approach allows us to be compatible with all e-commerce platforms. Sellers can use a traditional cart like Salesforce Commerce Cloud or a custom stack. Either way, Fast can support it.

Being Cloud-native allows Fast to scale horizontally and vertically to meet the viral moments or seasonal peak traffic our seller’s experience.

And with our Headless approach, Fast Checkout can live anywhere buyers shop – on the product detail page, in a news article, in a marketing email, or even on a scannable QR code.

We’re witnessing an innovation renaissance in retail

What could once only be achieved by the biggest retailers and with an army of engineers, on-site innovation like the kind Fast provides can now be installed at a click of a button. It has never been more exciting to be in this space, and Fast is thrilled to join other innovators as the newest member of the MACH Alliance.

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