In August this year, Salesforce launched the Composable Storefront, “a fully-customizable, headless digital storefront” that enables you to make changes on your eCommerce site with speed and flexibility. This lowers costs while increasing engagement and sales. The Salesforce ecosystem now includes pre-built packages for headless implementations, centered around Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC).

In this article, we discuss Salesforce Composable Storefront, its use in headless commerce on the front end, its features and benefits, and how to implement it in your eCommerce store.

Using headless commerce on your eCommerce front end

The SFCC Composable Storefront is a great way to use headless commerce for the front end of an eCommerce website. Many developers leveraging headless commerce focus on the back end of the website, including their databases and processing, but don’t focus much on the front end. The Salesforce Composable Storefront is a very effective tool in this regard.

Headless commerce – the separation of the front end and back end of the eCommerce store – gives brands the freedom to build new experiences to engage their customers, in a simpler way. This architecture significantly reduces the complexity of development and time to market to roll out new functionalities. Using headless commerce for the front end, businesses can customize digital storefronts quickly and affordably, without causing disruption.

Since headless commerce offers great possibilities and potential, brands are beginning to take note. According to the Salesforce State of Commerce Report, the industries most likely to embrace headless architecture in the coming years are health and beauty, food and beverage, and media and communications.

A single platform is often the better fit for small and medium-sized businesses than headless architecture, as it presents fewer hassles and demands less technical knowledge. However, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for larger businesses with greater business volume. Headless architecture is arguably the future of enterprise eCommerce development. As SFCC is primarily an enterprise-oriented eCommerce platform, their investment in making headless architecture easier fits with their overall strategy.

The Salesforce State of Commerce Report found that businesses implementing headless commerce experienced the following benefits:

  • Increased agility (77% of respondents)
  • Website changes in hours (32% of respondents)
  • Excellence at digital commerce (55% of respondents)

58% of businesses that have implemented headless commerce attribute their company’s overall success to digital commerce, and 80% of businesses without headless commerce plan to implement it in the next two years.

How do you utilize headless commerce? It uses APIs, experience managers and specialized tools, and emphasizes the need for a dependable IT partner. One such partner that we’ve found to be extremely efficient and effective is SFCC, including its composable storefront for front end development.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s approach to headless architecture

Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s Composable Storefront is a digital commerce solution intended to help you, as an online retailer, to go headless faster. This secure platform empowers you to leverage headless architecture in order to accelerate time to market and reduce costs. Your digital storefront is the face of the brand – it’s what your users interact with, browse through and where they make their purchases. That means it needs as much attention as any other part of your eCommerce website. However, product managers may not give it top priority when it comes to development, or implementing headless commerce.

By decoupling the storefront and user experience from data and business logic, you can compose your own unique brand identity and experience using a customizable, scalable solution, in the form of Salesforce Commerce Cloud composable storefront.

Why use SFCC’s composable storefront?

Salesforce Commerce Cloud composable storefront is designed to be modular. That is, each component is an independently deployable system. Since it is based on open source standards, these systems can be customized using open integration patterns and extensibility models. Using customizable API services – which could be designed by tech vendors, business or integration partners – the entire storefront can be easily designed to suit your needs.

The composable storefront leverages modern flexible technologies for agility, including microservices, APIs, cloud, headless, and Jamstack (JavaScript, APIs, and markup language) architectures.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s Composable Storefront comes with a great list of pre-packaged tools and integrations. That means you can select – and receive quotations for – your functionalities without needing to negotiate with multiple vendors or limiting yourself to a cookie cutter eCommerce experience.

Composable storefront is also empowered with:

  • Progressive WebApp technology
  • Prebuilt packages
  • AR, social media and chatbot features
  • 60-second deployment and sub-second page loads
  • Full-stack flexibility (you can choose from a range of API-first back end solutions for each part of the tech stack, such as search, loyalty, payments, etc

Thanks to these benefits of flexibility, agility and modularity, you can take full control of your front end solution. It lowers the cost and risk associated with innovation as it simplifies edits and iterations.

Is there a particular industry that should opt for the SFCC composable storefront?

Not really. The composable storefront is suitable for B2B, B2C and D2C businesses who require UI/UX flexibility and are interested in regularly updating their storefront to meet the latest industry standards. However, headless commerce isn’t a universal fix for every business. Since we’re talking about cloud-first technology, it does involve upfront investment in time, technical knowhow and all other resources, so each business needs to take a call on whether or not that is of value to them based on their frequency of updates and need to be on the cutting edge. And that’s true of SFCC composable storefront as well. Larger eCommerce businesses in highly competitive spaces, including fashion and jewelry, could be a good fit.

I’m convinced. How do I migrate from my traditional commerce setup to the Salesforce Commerce Cloud composable storefront?

While the SFCC API plugin enables you to customize and create your own headless commerce solution, composable storefronts work as a comprehensive reference framework and tool. They constitute a comprehensive solution that is pre-packed with all the integrations that you need. The SFCC composable storefront comes with various elements, right out of the box, which you can use to get started with your migration. These include:

  • Project templates, including a customizable storefront that implements “core e-commerce flows from home page to checkout”
  • A rendering system that works on both client side and server side
  • A routing system that enables the injection of data from Commerce API to components
  • Integration with the B2C Commerce API and Open Commerce API (OCAPI)

While SFCC composable storefronts do simplify the process of headless development, we would recommend that you work with a trusted implementation partner who has experience working with SFCC, such as Ziffity.

When you decouple your front end from your back end, you speed up iteration and release cycles. That means you can keep your storefront experience fresh, easily. With its strong ecosystem of integrations, partners and transparent pricing, Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s Composable Storefront streamlines the implementation of headless architecture in your eCommerce store. With the right implementation partner, SFCC headless commerce migration becomes simple. Contact Ziffity today to learn more about how to get started.