Headless commerce, a type of website architecture, is something that the businesses are trying to adapt to achieve more flexibility in delivering experience-driven commerce. This blog explains what headless commerce is, its advantages, and the types of business for which this solution works best.
What is headless commerce?
- Headless commerce has its front-end ‘de-coupled’ from the back-end. Both front-end and back-end can function independently in the website architecture.
- Front-end refers to the content and customer experience while the back-end consists of business logic, eCommerce technology stack, and management console, etc.,
- For example, in a headless commerce architecture, you can have a Drupal CMS at the front-end and Magento eCommerce at the back-end.
- APIs are used to establish communication between the front-end and the back-end.
Why headless commerce?
Unifying content and commerce
Headless commerce provides an opportunity to unify both content and commerce. Unlike a monolithic platform which has the same front-end and back-end technology stack, headless commerce can have a CMS, say AEM, at the front-end, while a commerce-specific platform like Magento, at the back-end.
True omnichannel experience
Today’s customers use different channels to access commerce sites. For instance, a customer can order in mobile app and save the items in cart. Later that day, the same customer can do check out in a laptop and schedule for picking up in store. With headless commerce approach, front-end developers can provide extensive features and user-friendly interfaces in an omnichannel business environment yet achieving faster time to market.
Flexibility and scalability
Developing creative front-end interfaces with more flexibility and scalability is another big challenge. In a monolithic approach, this is possible when the project is in the early stages. But over a period of years, introducing new features and customizations will become complex due to the limited capabilities. On the other hand, the headless approach does not complicate the core commerce framework yet achieve flexibility and robustness.
From portfolio to online store
Most businesses, especially in the B2B segment, want to transform their portfolio website to an eCommerce store to enable online purchase. In this situation, the traditional approach will lead to creating a new website for online purchase. However, businesses prefer integrating the data with the existing site’s content management system and this requirement can be fulfilled using headless commerce.
Benefits of headless commerce
Delivering experience-driven stores
For businesses where experience pays, headless commerce is the best choice. Cutting-edge technologies used for creating interactive elements on the home page and product pages keep online shoppers engaged with the brand, especially in omnichannel scenarios. In the personal care industry, for selling makeup kits, brands come up with interactive ideas like color shade comparisons that engage users and gives them clarity of choice and how the product works.
Adapting to frequent front-end optimizations
Marketing team and digital store admins aim at continuously improving conversions and customer experience. A majority of their work involves making changes in the front end like flash sales, seasonal promotions, and user interface enhancements. In traditional eCommerce, such changes demand a complete makeover of both front-end and back-end involving developers’ time and cost. However, in headless commerce, changes in the front-end system can be done by store admins without disturbing the back-end infrastructure.
Providing seamless experience in an omnichannel environment
Customers don’t stick to a particular sales channel to buy online products. They may come across an ad on Facebook and order on Amazon to pick up in store. Needless to say, smart assistants like Amazon Alexa have also contributed to online orders significantly. Headless commerce can help provide a seamless experience no matter which channel your customer chooses to research or order. It widens the opportunity to serve where they are and display products they like to buy.
Achieve less time to market releases
eCommerce is evolving at a fast pace. New technologies and buyer trends, emerge and change every day. To provide cutting-edge user experience, eCommerce brands have to upgrade their store frequently with custom made or plug and play solutions like new payment options, chatbots and more. In a headless commerce approach, brands can achieve less time to market releases.
To conclude, the headless commerce approach is beneficial for businesses that strive to create effective and unique customer experiences in an omnichannel environment. Whether it is quick integration, personalization or saving time and costs, headless commerce can accommodate all.
Looking for a digital agency to implement a headless commerce strategy or Microservices? Ziffity can help you get started.