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Today’s consumers want complete control over when and how they make purchases. The days of making purchases by either walking into a store or accessing a website on a desktop computer are long gone. Consumers want to be able to make purchases on the go using their laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and voice-activated technology. This consumer desire is fulfilled for your eCommerce firm with headless commerce. In this article, we’ll examine what headless commerce is, how it operates, the advantages and drawbacks of utilizing it, as well as who to get in touch with to avail premier Headless Commerce Development Services.
Forbes reports that more than $1.65 billion in capital was collected for headless technologies in just 2020–2021; as more ecommerce companies scramble to stay up with the times, this figure is only going to rise.
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Simply put, headless commerce is an eCommerce system that separates the front end, represented by a template or theme, from the back end. This separation enables you to decouple development and concentrate solely on customer interaction without worrying about having an adverse effect on important backend systems and processes, resulting in a much more refined user experience. From smartwatches to in-store kiosks, headless commerce enables firms to quickly adapt and adjust their offerings. It can operate “headlessly” from the same back end thanks to these various frontend interfaces.
A change from a commerce-led to a content-led approach employing APIs is necessary for headless commerce. It is a software interface that allows two programs to communicate with one another. To run any Headless commerce system, the display and application layers exchange API requests back and forth.
The driving force for brands to switch to new eCommerce models is flexibility.
The headless architecture is able to provide businesses an unmatched level of flexibility, which is essential in today’s market, because the customer side of the site is disconnected from the technological side. With this freedom, marketers may design a distinctive front-end customer experience.
The all-in-one monolithic ecommerce model outlined above is the most conventional. Before headless came into play, many brands adopted a monolithic strategy, and many agencies even suggested it for large-scale and well-established companies. A monolithic architecture has the advantage of giving the IT department complete platform management, which could be useful if a frontend experience requires extensive customization. Also, everything is packed together in traditional ecommerce platforms, making system setup and tool usage simple. However, monolithic solutions can have lengthy development cycles and large development costs, which can stall innovation. Also, there isn’t much room for creative modification, design, and merchandising choices, and it could be challenging to combine your current systems.
More opportunities for personalization and improving the customer experience are available with headless commerce. Any backend CMS is not in charge of the frontend experience when adopting a Headless design. Merchants have a choice between a pre-existing frontend design, a premade template, or something created from scratch. With decoupling, developers can design distinctive brand experiences for fresh channels that satisfy the needs of the intended audience. The use of APIs allows for the delivery of material and transactions to websites, programs, mobile devices, and social media platforms. There is potential to offer a front-end user experience that enables greater personalization, the capacity to react to changing customer behavior, and a user experience that is always evolving.
Here are some of the common benefits of headless commerce.
You may make quick changes without affecting the eCommerce logic because your backend and frontend are no longer closely related. You simply need to worry about upgrading the frontend. Meaning, you can swiftly introduce new transactional touchpoints without having to redesign your entire eCommerce platform. As the learning curve is substantially lower with APIs, your developers—regardless of their level of experience—can influence your eCommerce strategy.
Several monolithic platforms limit you to frontend templates and themes. A headless solution makes it much simpler to construct those creative concepts without running into limitations in instilling a personalized experience.
Headless commerce enables your developer to design using whichever language or framework they are most comfortable with. As opposed to traditional eCommerce platforms that mandate a specific programming language. This lessens the learning curve for implementing a headless solution. Also, gives your developers greater freedom to mimic the experience that you had in mind.
Headless solutions can be cost-effective at larger scales than traditional platforms. This is because each microservice can operate independently. This allows them to be adjusted to meet changing demand, especially during peak periods such as flash sales. The advantage of this flexibility is that it enables businesses to scale up and down quickly and efficiently. This makes headless solutions a desirable choice for businesses that experience fluctuations in their traffic and sales volumes.
To achieve a successful eCommerce strategy, it’s essential to adapt your architecture to fit your business needs. The headless approach allows you to choose the best solutions for different components of your eCommerce project and combine them seamlessly. This approach enables you to swap out outdated components with newer ones in the future quickly. It’s easier to replace individual tools than to alter your entire eCommerce stack.
Outdated, monolithic platforms can limit your ability to update and make changes to your eCommerce site. This limitation can often take weeks or even months to resolve. It can also hinder your capacity to respond quickly to changes in the consumer technological landscape.
Consumer behavior changes quickly, and your eCommerce firm may suffer if you can’t keep up with what customers demand. The secret to attracting customers is to test and improve your experience. Continuous iteration on user experience is crucial for businesses, and Amazon and Netflix are great examples of this approach. To achieve this, headless commerce can be a useful tool as it allows for the quick deployment of changes. With headless commerce, multiple tests can be run simultaneously, and adjustments can be made depending on the results. This enables businesses to continually improve their commerce experiences, ensuring they remain relevant and competitive.
Headless commerce enables the independent user interface layer to plug and play into the commerce backend logic – without interrupting your overall tech stack – if you already have a content site for your products but it is not yet transactional.
Headless commerce solutions typically operate more quickly, are more responsive, and are simpler to manage or upgrade because the front and backend architectures are separated.
Agreed, headless commerce solutions do entail benefits, making the transition is challenging and definitely not for the faint of heart. You need to be aware of the constraints and obstacles you’ll end up facing if you’re considering moving to a headless platform. Some of the constraints are:
Because the majority of headless commerce doesn’t have a frontend, you should think about the expense before moving to headless. Due to its pay-per-use architecture, the overall cost of ownership rises as the number of integrations does.
For a small team, managing a distributed system rather than a single solution can be challenging. But when you deal with more vendors and have separate teams focus on the various components, it will become easier for larger teams to work together.
Changing to a headless platform has unquestionable long-term benefits, but depending on how many frontend experiences and back-integrations you want to achieve, eCommerce re-platforming can be challenging and time-consuming. When thinking about the timetables at the team and corporate levels, you must be vigilant.
Here are some real-life headless commerce examples businesses implemented to cater a much refined experience for their users.
Since Target battled with Amazon and Walmart, customers regularly moved between various brands. Target conducted a thorough research and discovered that 80% of their customers began and finished their purchases on various devices. The company identified a huge opportunity for growth by bridging this device gap and building a headless commerce architecture to unify the customer journey across numerous platforms. Now, since customers found it simpler to complete transactions, Target saw a rise in online conversion rates.
Burrow is a direct-to-consumer furniture company that was established with the goal of eradicating the inconveniences associated with conventional furniture shopping. They created a modular product that was attractive, cozy, and could be delivered to customers at a reasonable price. After launching in 2017, their concept found favor, and they generated $3 million in sales. Although this was excellent for their company’s expansion, it also meant that they had outgrown their e-commerce platform. Burrow needed a strong backend infrastructure that could expand and scale with them as well as a website where easy adjustments could be made without the need for developers.
Nike’s attempt to capitalize on the younger market segment’s increased use of mobile devices for purchasing went awry. React SPA was used to create a new website, and the front end’s Node.js backend. Nike can now optimize on mobile and across all websites thanks to the new architecture. Resulting in Nike gradually surpassing Adidas in market share.
Not everyone should use the headless commerce method. A more conventional platform can still be a suitable option for you if you’re searching for an all-in-one generic solution where you receive everything you need for an eCommerce site in one box or you need to operate your data and store it on your own internal servers.
But, if you feel that your current eCommerce configuration limits your capacity to provide the kind of customer experience you need or if your conversion rates are being negatively impacted by poor page load times, it is something to critically explore and consider.
Therefore evaluate and analyze your needs as a person and as a business, as well as your long-term objectives and eCommerce vision. If your competitors aren’t already adopting the headless commerce method, switching to headless will give you a high-converting, lightning-fast, and on-brand experience that gives you the upper hand over them.
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