Ecommerce is changing faster than you and I can even imagine. Technologies are developing and new technologies are coming to play. The way we buy things and how we buy things online is also changing too and the modern retailer should be aware of the opportunities available to them through headless commerce.
Many of us are getting used to visiting various posts and articles and decide to make a purchase. This content could be served via a website or an app and at this point, some eCommerce platforms struggle to keep up with the demands of the consumer and not able to display content in other methods. This will reduce the opportunities for the retailer as it stops them from reaching a new audience but it also means that their competitor could step in and win a new client!
Smart voice assistants, Amazon Dash button and various in-store interfaces are giving the customer a new way to read about product information, reviews and even place orders. In a nutshell, and what this means is that we are all embracing in the modern ear of the internet and many online retailers don’t! This article about headless commerce will hopefully provide the information needed to help retailers make the move.
Major brands are staying ahead and keeping up with demands of the consumer and many of them are now benefiting from making the move too. However, for some, they are still wondering how they can get involved without having to spend a small fortune on development or purchasing an expensive piece of software. There is an easy solution to this problem and it’s called headless commerce.
So, what exactly is headless commerce?
The architecture of headless commerce underpins the eCommerce solution with headless content management capabilities. What this means is that a CMS that stores, manages and delivers content without having a frontend layer for the delivery. With a headless solution, the frontend (which would typically be the theme or template) has been decoupled and removed, this would leave only the backend functioning. A developer can then use an API to deliver the eCommerce content, like products, articles, reviews to any device. Frontend developers can work on how they can present this content using any framework or platform they wish to use.
Headless commerce is the way forward and a solution which is ready for the way we all use the internet to purchase things.
Ecommerce systems have been aware of this and have wised up. What this means is that they have a predefined frontend that is tightly coupled with the backend. So, if there are custom features with additional code, the system is structured and configured to deliver the content in the form of websites and perhaps native mobile applications.
The headless commerce architecture delivers a platform using an API which comprises of a backend data model. Because the system is not tightly coupled with the backend the eCommerce brand can deliver content, products and payment gateways to many IoT devices we use daily like watches, and Alexa and Google Home Hub devices.
Web developers which develop on traditional eCommerce platforms can come up against many restrictions when setting up an eCommerce store for a client. Any modifications would require significant development to the site, the database and the code as well as the front of the site too.
By removing the front-end platform the developer can create a user journey which is customised to the store owner and how they want the site to work, to look and to function. This means that the developer does not need to modify the database or code because all they have to do is to make simple API call, good hey! So, in theory, this type of solution can reduce the overall time it takes to develop a store! This will mean that the retailer can quickly market their brand online and win business.
However, something which needs to be brought up is the fact that there would be no front-end theme or design used. Everything would have to be created. This would involve your graphic designer creating a theme and layout and the developer building it. This will obviously carry a cost and something which you need to be aware of before you go down the path of headless commerce. Designing a layout and building a theme to incorporate the design will take time. You will need to create designs for your standard pages, product pages, product categories, blog and so on. Don’t forget they will also need to be designed for mobile and tablet devices as well as traditional desktops. So, you will need to do lots of planning before you set off.
Modification & Personalisation
Ecommerce systems, which are available to store owners today, are typically setup with a predefined experience for both the customer and site administrators. However, some of these systems allow for no (or limited) modification. If you are ok with this and happy with the functionality provided by these eCommerce systems then that is great.
With headless commerce the store has much more flexibility and can adopt a user experience which is bespoke to their core business and perhaps the industry which they are in. There is much more capability for the store owner, and developer, the heavily customise the store experience and user journeys. You have much more control on how your site functions, as well as how it looks. This also provides flexibility for admin users and the people who update the website.
When Should You Adopt a Headless Solution?
If you are a business which is serious about eCommerce then the answer is ‘now’. Many major brands which we all use are leading the way for smaller brands to only follow them. Some of these brands are seeing their profits increase significantly because of adopting a headless commerce solution.
Having a headless content management system (CMS) will help you to serve your content everywhere, and anywhere! For eCommerce brands, this means that you can display your products, product reviews, videos and articles to any channel which has emerged or which will emerge in time! Moving to a headless commerce solution will allow you to sell your products through various channels providing you with new and exciting opportunities.
Creating stores which use the headless commerce approach can also be setup in just a few days, rather than weeks. This means that not only a business can save money on development but they can also quickly market their brand and the products they sell.
Headless commerce gives you the options to integrate with any system. You can add your brand to any new device, which will help you to reach out to more customers at the same time.
We hope this article has provided you with some information you need to adopt a headless commerce approach.
Looking For More Information on Headless Commerce?
Looking for some help and advice on headless commerce? Speak to an eCommerce specialist on our site or contact us and let us point you in the right direction. Send us details of your request and we will be in touch.