Is Going Headless The Right Choice For Your Online Retail App?
Is it right to call headless commerce a future of online selling? Yes definitely!
You don’t have to believe my words, let’s take an example.
Headless commerce is not a new concept, but as COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly revolutionized every part of the buying journey, headless commerce is boldly paving their way in ecommerce.
The basic concept of “headless commerce” is to DECOUPLE the storefront’s back-end system to streamline the online store’s omnichannel strategy.
“Amazon is a leading brand of ecommerce, selling products via multiple channels including browser, app, virtual assistance, smartwatches and more- is a perfect example for the retail industry to understand how Amazon has strengthened their ecommerce efforts by embracing this strategy.”
According to the Clutch survey, the ecommerce industry influenced by headless commerce has noticed:
- A steep rise in the online marketplace.
- Shifting user focus from desktop to mobile screens for shopping.
- Huge rise in online marketing and advertising.
Majority of enterprise ecommerce platforms were created in the era of desktop screens running web browsers so the desktop audience would be the primary targeted audience for commerce. But now, users are purchasing from screens of any size using mobile apps, wearables with no screens, social media feed like Instagram, Snapchat and more.
So with every passing day, more digitally enabled and networked devices are added to the environment. Therefore, the only safe assumption we can make is to bring constant changes in the ecommerce stores to meet the market’s growing needs. And if you are thinking that without hiring an ecommerce developer, you can easily cope up with the emerging changes and be able to prepare your website for the future market, then you are mistaken at this point.
As per Statista, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 3.53 trillion US dollars, expected to grow to 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022.
While it is challenging to take advantage of every new technology, but by leveraging headless commerce for your online store, there is a better chance of surviving in the competitive ecommerce market future.
With headless commerce, you can make super-fast changes to your storefronts without affecting your store’s back-end functionality. Also, with the integration of headless commerce, you can quickly optimize your storefront and deliver a seamless shopping experience to the users. No matter which channel they are making a purchase, headless commerce can cut down the loading time and make things run on lightning-fast speed.
So in this post, we have covered everything that helps you understand about headless ecommerce, how it impacts your online store and the future of this strategy…
- Headless Commerce: Understanding The Basic
- How is Headless Commerce Different From Traditional Ecommerce?
- The Pros and Cons of Headless Commerce
- How Does Headless Ecommerce Impact Your Customers?
- How Do You Get Started With Headless Ecommerce?
- Will Headless Commerce Stay in Future?
Sounds Good! Let’s dig in…
Headless Commerce: Understanding The Basic
Undoubtedly, headless commerce is raising its head in ecommerce pace and empowering retailers to deliver an outstanding experience to the customer. But what exactly is headless commerce?
It is an ecommerce strategy that separates the backend from the storefront. It provides you with the freedom to design the frontend of a website with any CMS (WordPress, Drupal, etc) and connects it to an ecommerce backend like Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce and more. With this, you can easily make changes to the front end (the part visitors see and interact with), without disturbing the functionality of the backend (that handles behind-the-scenes administrative functions of the site).
In simple words, the headless commerce system is a standalone ecommerce management system that allows enterprises to completely customize the frontend of the store and ensure an excellent experience to the users.
Put another way; headless commerce setup can ensure streamlined omnichannel selling, faster testing and implementation, and seamless shopping experience to the users across channels. Also, headless commerce is designed in a way to support a range of frontend systems including desktop, mobile sites, third-party platforms, voice assistants and more.
Since headless commerce allows retailers to manage all of their inventory and orders from a single platform, it reduces the time it takes to perform on multi-channel update. Therefore, many brands lead their way in delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Few of the popular headless commerce stores are; Big Green Egg, Breville, Young Tribe and more.
How Is Headless Commerce Different From Traditional Ecommerce?
With the changing psychology of users purchasing largely from multiple devices and screen sizes, it won’t be wrong to say that headless commerce is steadily overtaking the traditional e-commerce in a number of ways.
In the past, customers were solely depending upon desktop sites to make a purchase, but now they are using everything right from voice assistants, Instagram page to amazon and mobile apps. Managing inventory and order through multiple channels is one of the additional headaches for the store owners. It becomes challenging to provide a consistent experience using legacy.
So here’s how it differs from traditional ecommerce:
From the perspective of customer experience, it is essential to leverage headless commerce as it simplifies the omnichannel approach and allows customers to add a product to their cart through any device or screen.
The Pros and Cons of Headless Commerce
If you plan to jump on the headless commerce bandwagon, then here are the few things you need to know now…
- Headless Commerce Lets you Move At Lighting-Speed
With headless commerce, developers can easily make changes in the frontend with no regard to backend login. You can make rapid updates and changes to the content without having to redeploy your entire e-commerce platform. Most of the ecommerce platforms are making weekly updates, but Amazon updates its content every 11.7 seconds, ultimately minimising the number and duration of outages.
- Headless Commerce Offers Better A/B Testing For Conversion Optimization
Usually, an ecommerce app development company takes weeks or months to release an app, so it means that the ability to react to changes in customer behaviour and run testing for greater optimization further takes a long time. Hence, optimization is compromised.
But with headless commerce in place, you can try many templates and test different approaches. This strategy enables you to gather all your testing infrastructure, across different channels, in one place. To make this task easier and sorted for your site, you can choose to hire a web development company. Because quality testing and content optimization techniques are the key to success and enables you to win over customers.
That’s how Amazon gets to know about its customer’s behaviour so well by running endless experiments, making constant changes, measuring the impact of those changes on the customers and optimizing the results. Since headless commerce makes it so fast and easy, therefore, the testing ratio would be 10 to 100 times faster than usual retailers.
- Headless Commerce Empowers You To Create Effective Omnichannel Strategy
The online buying experience is all about omnichannel than ever. According to the survey, it is long back confirmed that consumers are shopping across the various platforms including Amazon, eBay, Snapchat, app and more.
So that’s where headless commerce brings a high level of flexibility, which is impossible to use the traditional full-stack solutions.
- Expand The Reach Of Your Brand
With headless commerce solution, you can easily make your brand fit any screen size and device. With the quick updates and changes in the frontend, you can make it possible for users to access your brand from any device. With headless commerce, building a network of new audiences and exploring new opportunities is not a far fetched task for the software development company.
Key Benefits of Headless Commerce for Operational and Technical Improvement
- Offering the latest data to all touchpoints and personalised customer journeys with unique features.
- Enhance mobile app developers’ experience by allowing specialised backend developers and increase their production speed; whereas frontend developers will be able to create new experiences by simply manipulating the data that they need.
- Implementing new services more comfortable for the app developers and also integrating it with the IT systems including PIM, ERP or CRM.
But, You May Go Out Of Budget To Setup Headless Store
By decoupling the front-end of the website from the eCommerce platform, you will lose access to some functionality. Right from page building, previewing of the content changes to presentational layers (account info, checkout flows, content), there is more development needed and add up the cost to the front-end ownership.
And, the Initial Cost of Headless Commerce Setup is High!
To build headless commerce, you need to hire ecommerce developers expert in frontend UI designing. Generally, this is a time-consuming process and leads to a higher cost, so to further complicate the matter — make sure your team is capable enough to troubleshoot the errors their own.
How Does Headless Commerce Impact Your Customers?
For any retailer, whether it be a startup or a leading brand, there’s only one thing that always matters — how to expand their reach or meeting new customers and societal their expectations.
While few brands are approaching direct-to-customers using ecommerce development solutions, whereas other companies are making changes in their operations like Michaels- that come up with new content in a week.
Since customers always strive to embrace new ways of interacting with brands, so headless applications and websites will impact to the customers in this way:
- Instant Changes and Optimization
As your business introduces new content to its front end with headless Commerce, it will immediately be reflected to customers. Getting something new on the page, will keep glueing users to the screen for longer. And this is what Social media actually do to make their users addictive to their account. Whereas sites built with traditional commerce architecture takes minutes to reflect those changes that actually affect the user experience.
- Ensuring Rich User Experiences and Interfaces
Since headless commerce provides the ability and flexibility to customize every element of the site that users interact with, therefore, it is a better chance to bring more creativity with the content and make experiments with a template design.
Apart, the compatibility of headless commerce ensures your website run seamlessly on all devices and formats. Whereas, with traditional ecommerce websites, you have to go for responsive design to minimize the risk of disappearing the element on different devices.
How Do You Get Started With Headless Ecommerce?
So now you know what exactly is headless commerce, its cons and pros and how it is going to impact your users. If you are all set to get started with headless commerce, then here are some key points that you need to consider:
- Required Dedicated Coding Skills
To get started with headless commerce, you need to look for an ecommerce app development company backed by dedicated frontend developers and enables you to customize the structures that perfectly fits the needs. Headless commerce requires dedicated development and design skills, so make sure you have the right team with all the expertise for transitioning.
2. Discover Target Channels
While users are leveraging multiple channels to buy products, but you need to decide which channel you will be targeting along with your own storefront — Voice assistant, An mobile app, Amazon, social media and more.
Equally, you also need to understand whether it is possible to integrate with your existing ERP, CRM, OMS and financial infrastructure?
So it is important to understand which channels you are targeting and which core systems you need to connect to.
3. Pick a Headless Commerce Platform
There are several choices of headless commerce platforms to choose from, each one is available with its own unique blend of benefits. The leading service providers Magento, BigCommerce and Shopify that offers you headless functionality.
While Shopify is the best option for enterprises having large budgets, BigCommerce can offer customized solutions in its enterprise package featuring unlimited API calls, premium account services and more. And Magento offers solutions with great performance and higher security.
4. Final Transitioning To a Headless Structure
Implementing a headless commerce system to your site actually involves a great effort as you need to transfer and collate data (inventory) from different systems to one central database. The only purpose of doing this is to make your core system compatible to communicate with your new platform.
But before moving all your core systems to the new platform, make sure you have a clear overview of the architecture. To make this possible, you also need to choose your APIs to make it functional.
5. Establishing Ongoing Processes and Conduct Testing
Many processes will need to be carried out in-house to make it run smoothly. Separating your frontend from backend is a tough job, as developers are responsible for updating information regularly and also need to check across the channels to avoid disastrous consequences in the long-run.
The headless solution is for you if…
You are interested in creating:
- Mobile Application: Android, iOS, Flutter, React Native, NativeScript, CrossPlatform
- Single-Page Application (SPA): React, Angular, Ember and Vue
- Static Websites on the Base of Jekyll, Hexo, Hugo
- Customized frontend page that suits your services and product type
- Content driven brand
- An commerce to your existing CMS that you have invested in
- A smooth and hitch-less digital experience across multiple devices.
Will Headless Commerce Stay in Future?
With the increasing number of smartphone users, shopping psychology of the customers are also being changed over the years. Therefore, sticking to any stand alone technology will not help you survive in this thriving online retail industry.
Since the online selling industry is constantly changing, but only few technologies have come a long way and ecommerce development companies have already understood this point. As per the Google search data from the last few years, headless commerce is strongly paving its way into online selling platforms and has become a staple in the industry.
With the range of benefits from streamlined inventory/order management to lighting fast testing, headless commerce is surely here to stay in future as well. In fact, it becomes important for online retailers to integrate this technology to their store if they really want to keep their foothold strong in this thriving competitive market as online shopping is all about delivering hassle free user experience.
Conclusion: Ready To Get Started
With the increasing innovation in technologies, the buying journeys are now not just limited to creating immense traffic on site. But also enhance other touchpoints of the buyers that demand flexibility, personalization and speed. Several full-stack solutions are unable to provide these benefits as frontend and backend systems are coupled.
And that’s where headless commerce comes into play.
Headless commerce approach not only decouples the frontstore from backend but also provides you complete flexibility to customize the content. It enables you to meet growing needs of the customers and deliver an amazing shopping experience to the customers across multiple channels.
So if you are all set to welcome Headless commerce to your retail business, then it is the time to look for a software development company backed by dedicated frontend developers and ensure you excellent services