Headless Commerce — A New Era Of Ecommerce
- Does your ecommerce director want a customized checkout flow?
- Is your marketing team planning to launch a new promotional campaign?
These all tasks sound daunting at first, but what if all these things can be done easily without having to reconfigure your back-end technology?
Yes, it’s possible under headless commerce.
With the ecommerce market projected to grow $6.54 trillion by 2022, merchants now have new, more complex needs around for their online store. That’s a significant part of the reason why headless commerce is becoming a buzzing word in today’s world.
Also, with ongoing transitions in customer behavior and expectations, voids for new approaches to digital marketing are created like Headless Commerce. It’s rooted on an electronic communication standard popularly known as Application Programming Interface (API’s), headless spotlessly distinguishing the front-end user experience from logic-driven back end.
Usually when anything loses its head, the outcomes are less than pleasant, but headless commerce is an exception. By opting, headless the separation of the front end from the back end creates a robustic, API-based approach to Web development, providing competitive edge varying from accelerated marketing initiatives to real omnichannel experiences.
Although, there are still dark shadows related with what this term defines and not how to implement it. But, the best part is — you are heading in the right direction.
“The Monolithic Days” — Where Ecommerce Started
When ecommerce made its debut, enterprise level merchants looking for options to establish themselves involved buying into a vendor’s software solution that boost the development and deployment process by offering a ready-to-use webstore framework.
With faster coding from scratch, ecommerce developers in Dubai were prescribed a templated ecommerce experience aligned along specific processes, workflows, and rules dominated by the vendor. This crafted dependencies in which front-end updates had to be developed, deployed, and managed together with the back-end.
This, in return, confined commerce customization, prolonged integration times, and developed concerns opting technologies to expand on new engagement channels — among other listed stuff.
In all fairness, these systems were more capable to meet client needs at the time. At that time, ecommerce was in its infancy stage, defined by a linear customer journey and simple online shopping experience. Interaction was limited to the desktop computers in the home or the work stations, at it’s best.
But, these days, the most visionary business leaders saw the unfurled potential in ecommerce.
But, with the proliferation of smaller, portable desktops and internet-oriented smartphones, “monolithic” ecommerce platforms instantly found themselves
surrounded with a reality they were not ready for.
Also Read: Useful Tips To Find The Best Ecommerce Developers in Dubai
Three Ways To Digital Commerce
The present era of digital commerce has introduced demurs that full-stack commerce solutions have difficulty in matching footsteps in copying due to their operating limitations.
This often led to the development of API-based commerce approaches that minimize — or eradicate — the creative restrictions implied by systems with deep integration of front-and back-end systems.
In an ecommerce context, API’s work as a flexible communications layer that relays information between the front and back end of a site. Working with API’s, professionals allow the creation of multiple front-end apps that access the features and data of an operating system, apps, or other services.
These already listed digital messenger form the foundation of today’s three essential approaches to digital commerce architecture:
Experience Driven : “Hybrid”
Talking about experience-driven (Hybrid) approach, the focus is on a core commerce engine with a separate digital experience or Web content management platform portraying as the presentation layers.
As you know, front-end capabilities are related to a commerce API’s logical back-end or more distinctive integrations. Hybrid delivers the benefit of headless content management while still offering marketers hands-on content control, providing a gradual, phased approach as opposed to a full transition to headless.
Commerce Oriented : “Full Stack”
The commerce-oriented approach revolves around a primary commerce platform, including storefront supported by a partner ecosystem for customizing the customer experience.
As APIs are often available to extend commerce potential to touchpoints like native mobile apps. This approach is proliferating among small to mid-market businesses, as it offers rapid development and time to market without needing advanced technical knowledge.
The e-commerce companies in the UAE offer experienced management for a growth-oriented business in the lookout for more advanced solutions.
API-Based : “Headless”
Headless commerce is an exclusive differentiation of a website’s front end from the logical back end, allowing both to operate independently. Utilising commerce APIs to gratify services between the two halves improves flexibility to power a wide array of omnichannel scenarios.
Therefore, using a headless approach, proficiencies can commerce-enable any system, IoT devices, and easily integrate with other content management systems.
Saying Hello To “Headless Commerce”
In simple words, ecommerce has lost its head.
In a nutshell, Headless Commerce is an ecommerce solution in which the front-end is decoupled from the logic back-end. In simple words, it’s an ecommerce solution that stores, manages, and delivers all without a front-end layer.
In this modern commerce architecture, the front-end or probably addressed as head which is usually a template or theme — has been eliminated, leaving aside the backend.
For a better vision, let’s think of it like : Headless commerce offers you to create your front-end with a distinctive web storefront like Mobify that hosts, renders, scales, monitors and safeguard your customer-facing site, whereas back end functionality includes payment processing, order capturing, PCI compliance and the list goes on can be worked on call via APIs from platform like Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Oracle, Adobe or Amplience.
Thus, by joining these two pieces together through an API, you had a headless commerce solution.
Or in other way round, Headless Commerce architecture is developed for the IoT age.
The ecommerce world is drastically transforming but the question is “Are Retailers Ready For It”?
Why Headless Ecommerce Should Be On Your Checklist?
User’s expectations are continually outgrowing. The experienced ecommerce development company makes each and every visit of customers an improved and unforgettable shopping experience that sets the bar too high for the brands itself.
This clearly means the ecommerce arena is inching as a whole and retailers and flourished names need to be capable of moving faster. And, headless commerce offers you the agility to step ahead dynamically.
So, not to run on the risk, I have pocketed three crucial reasons for you to consider headless commerce presently.
1. The Urge To Use Content For Effective Storytelling
Storytelling is an essential aspect of modern consumers. However, a headless approach offers a lending hand to make it easy for firms to fuse commerce and content functionality together throughout the experience seamlessly.
Else, by directly accessing both services through an API, you can deliver inventive experiences that are not confined to constricted templates and unify commerce and content data across all touchpoints.
2. An Increase In Channels
With an upthrust in adopting numerous channels like voice assistants, mobile devices, social commerce, and chatbots, brands now require to consider headless commerce as an integral part of their transformation if they want to stay relevant.
Presently, customers converse with brands through several touchpoints. Brand’s find it daunting to keep the pace with emerging channels unless their front-end is decoupled, making it pretty easy for them to keep up with the pace of channel diversification.
3. Deficit Of Agility
With legacy site architecture that is not easily updated, brands are not moving quickly enough to keep up with customer expectations. As an outcome, they face loss in sales and hurt their customer retention efforts in the process.
Headless commerce let brands stay agile and constantly iterate on customer experience improvements. Even, research firm Forrester says : “Software vendors will refactor their ancient architectures or else they will be left behind. At present, the old world of closed, proprietary stacks is considered a dead software walking. While, in the era where business responsiveness trumps technology coherence and the cycle time of improvement are scaled in days, not years”.
So, what’s the answer to this challenge?
According to Joe Cicman, (Senior Analyst from Forrester), there is three-choice solution that sheath headless commerce:
- Embracing The API Proliferation: There can not be one single vendor. Rather, we require APIs to connect numerous solutions.
- Latest Architecture: There is an urge for a structure in place that also pay attention to digital experience.
- Touchpoint-Agnostic Architecture: Any touchpoint should be braced for a hassle free experience across devices and channels.
To list here, are some of the renowned global brands like Wal-mart, Amazon, Lancome, Nike who have already opted for their online experience by embracing headless commerce.
So, if you want to match the pace and remain competitive, hire ecommerce developers that lead you way forward. The dynamic rate at which new technology emerges need creating a future-proof ecommerce ecosystem that can facilitate your business, making it more agile.
Unskippable Benefits Of Making Your Commerce Headless
The subtle difference between the customer-facing experience and the back-end business logic allows firms a new level of freedom and continuous iterations that foster an ambience of innovation and constant advancement.
Let’s look at some of the essential benefits and why forward-thinking merchants are inkling for this headless approach.
Specially Crafted Customer Experience
Headless commerce offers you the freedom to craft customized UX and shape your brand’s identity without being conventional to pre-defined templates. According to Salesforce, 80% of clients say the experience a company offers is as important as its array of service and products, and roughly around 67% state that their standards for good experiences are much higher than ever.
Differentiating the front and backends allow firms to instantly focus on resources on customer experience without leaving an impact on critical business systems.
Digital Transformation With Omnichannel
Customers don’t consider your brand as different channels — they evaluate the complete experience. Being present in those intent-rich moments when they turn to their device to research or to make a purchase all that makes a difference.
A Research From Harvard Business Review states that 73% of clients use more than one channel curing their shopping journey. Also, omnichannel customers spend 4% more in-store and 10% more online than single-channel customers. But, with headless commerce, you can add new milestones easily without creating a business case for a new backend everytime you want to add a new front-end. This eventually open doors to more integrations, which helps in funneling down silos in consumer-facing operations.
The decoupled architecture allows you to make instant changes without disturbing the back-end, and vice-versa. It also portrays new functionalities and integrations that can be easily applied with much less time, because of the architecture’s openness.
For instance, you can make an instant update for customer-facing content without having to reboot your complete system.
And, as these are decoupled systems, the presentation layer talks with app layers through APIs. Along with this approach, you can craft a data cache layer sandwiched between presentation and app layer. All catalogue or static content requests can be cached at the cache layer. This way, the pace of loading content will be much faster, and the systems will be able to brace more traffic in comparison to a full-stack app.
The Business Agility
Agility and speed are crucial for brands that want to abreast the competition in this dynamically changing world. Headless commerce let you adapt quickly to market changes and to integrate new User Experience changes and also add new functionalities without hindering the back end logic.
A monolithic architecture that ties the UX and the core crafts slow and rigid firms, and companies getting included because they can’t keep up with the pace of change in their market.
Test! Not Guess
Data-driven decision making is the foundation for success in this digital-first world. With a conventional commerce architecture, if you want to conduct UX experiments, you are forced to make changes both front-end and backend code simultaneously.
In contrast, with headless commerce, you are free to experiment with the user experience without making any alterations at the backend. This surrounding will help you receive feedback, test more efficiently, and optimize the UX to harness maximum
Top Headless Commerce Platforms To Look At
The proficient ecommerce developers in Dubai, consider headless commerce as an emerging space, but there is a wide array of ecommerce platforms offering APIs that facilitate or decoupled approach to ecommerce.
The top choices to consider in the space are as follow:
1. Core Dna
Known as a digital experience platform (DXP) integrated with ecommerce functionality, web content management functionality, and APIs, Core DNA is an all-in-one headless commerce solution that empowers omnichannel ecommerce experiences.
Clients like as audio technology brand Tivoli audio, office supply retailer Staples, and Swiss luxury apps manufacturer V-Zug have used this platform as their ecommerce sites.
The users working on Magento 2 can also leverage Magneto APIs, but will require to rely on a third-party web content management system to manage large quantities of content at scale.
3. Shopify Plus
Similarly, Shopify Plus users have access to APIs that can expose product information to third-party systems. Although, a CMS will be required to handle additional content as a scale.
Now, the most important Question -”Is Headless Commerce Right Choice For Your Business?
While considering headless as an ideal choice for commerce approach, it requires to keep the future an uttermost priority.
As headless technologies saturate, broader assimilation into mainstream ecommerce is unskippable, being an early adopter is an advantage. And, to reap the mammoth benefits, all you need to partner is with the best ecommerce development company and proceed at a pace suited to their organizational maturity, irrespective of focused migration or a framed approach.
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Originally published at https://www.xicom.ae on December 28, 2020.