Online Shopping Experience Across Multiple Channels
Customers want a smooth user experience across all platforms, including mobile, IoT, and Progressive Web Applications (PWA). By giving customers a seamless and customized purchasing experience, e-commerce enterprises must stay up to customer expectations and create long-term value.
Delivering outstanding micro experiences at scale throughout the client journey is challenging, mainly when doing so requires constant improvement of your company, resources, and technology. Even the most minor errors can start a chain reaction of failures that causes platform disruptions and awful client experiences.
eCommerce companies are searching for a more complete and smooth solution to reinvent their platforms and prepare to become adaptable to handle the rising problems. But unfortunately, many people look to headless eCommerce as the solution.
What Is Headless eCommerce?
Headless eCommerce is the practice of separating the front-end design pattern – the side that interacts with customers—from the back-end architecture or the tools that operate in the background and support your system’s uptime and eCommerce capabilities.
There are several benefits that brands can gain from using a headless eCommerce infrastructure. Some of the main benefits include:
- Flexibility: By decoupling the frontend and backend of an eCommerce platform, headless eCommerce enables companies to easily make updates and changes to the front or backend independently of one another, which can result in a more nimble and responsive website or mobile app.
- Better Omnichannel Experience: Brands can create new touchpoints with customers by creating new sales channels, including chatbots, social media, etc.
- Improved scalability: As the backend and front end are separate, the system can be easily scaled as the business grows without worrying about compatibility issues between the two parts.
- Better customer experience: By using headless commerce, you can easily integrate third-party services, such as personalization, tracking, analytics, and more, to provide a more engaging and personalized customer experience.
- Enhanced security: Headless eCommerce systems allow for better data segregation and protection. The site or application is much more secure with all the customer data on the back-end.
- Developer-friendly: Developers have more flexibility when working with a headless infrastructure as they can choose their frameworks and development tools, which can increase productivity and improve the system’s long-term maintenance.
How Does Headless eCommerce Work?
Headless eCommerce refers to a system in which the backend of an eCommerce platform, which includes the database, inventory management, and order processing, is decoupled from the front end, typically a website or mobile app.
Going headless requires a shift from a commerce-led to a content-led approach using APIs (application programming interfaces).
A software interface known as an API enables communication between two programs. For example, the presentation tier on the user’s front end passes API queries to the server side on the back-end system for headless commerce design to function.
For example, to execute an order placed on your device, the presentation tier (for example, the app screen) transmits an API request to such order management solutions and online payment in the protocol stack.
The control plane then connects with the application layer and presents the ordering process to you when the application server has finished processing, registering, and processing your order.
The front end of autonomous eCommerce websites uses the same technique, whether shown on a kiosk, mobile phone, wristwatch, or virtual shop. This is since the back end of a virtualized commerce system can communicate with anything ready to make the appropriate API calls.
Additionally, the front end needs to concentrate on showing data to the user and does not need to do any programming. Consequently, a headless website gives an eCommerce organization excellent flexibility and omnichannel capacity.
Headless eCommerce enables the development of new digital experiences that are not possible on traditional eCommerce platforms by providing ease of integration to the existing system, but it also allows for a better omnichannel strategy since you can easily create new channels of sales and new touchpoints with the customer.
Also, since all the data is stored on the back end, the site or application is much more secure. Also, it simplifies development and maintenance, eliminating the need to synchronize updates and new functionality across multiple systems.
Headless eCommerce Vs. Traditional eCommerce Platforms
The frontend display layer and the backend data and transaction layer of your eCommerce structure are separated by headless platforms. Due to the dissociation, the back-end operation of a headless system may, with the aid of APIs, power several front-ends. Conversely, a traditional monolithic business model only includes one front end and forbids you from altering the front end without modifying the back end layer.
Solutions for headless eCommerce give clients consistent content exposure. In addition, it enables them to complete their purchasing adventure using various digital devices efficiently.
The front end uses an API to send information about customers selecting items or making purchases to the back end, which processes and presents it appropriately on the front end. The user is limited to purchasing from traditional online retailers using a conventional platform.
Benefits of Headless eCommerce
Utilizing the advantages of headless eCommerce can put your eCommerce organization on the route to expansion if you want to expand it.
1) Seamless Compatibility
Since APIs back headless eCommerce options, they are significantly more straightforward to integrate with new or current systems than other types of solutions.
For example, it is straightforward to integrate several specialized solutions with only a headless eCommerce platform, such as membership management solutions or advertising automation systems.
Headless platforms do not require many changes after the primary connection is established, guaranteeing that your data is sent quickly. This is in contrast to monolithic e-commerce systems, wherein you may be required to employ extensions that need regular updates and security fixes (because there are no APIs).
2) Real-world Omnichannel Competence
When it pertains to increasing online sales, omnichannel marketing is incredibly successful. According to data, omnichannel is preferable to a single channel for both a 250% rise in purchase frequency and a 13% rise in the average value of orders (AOV).
A headless solution is helpful in this situation because of a sell-everywhere approach. As a result, you can interact with those clients at various stages of their purchase cycle.
3) Cost-Effective for Enterprises In Long Run
A headless system can benefit your company in the long run in terms of its flexibility, even though the initial expenses of deploying one may be expensive.
You may quickly adapt your website to evolving consumer preferences without adding additional employees or financial resources. Additionally, you may save money on anything from hosting bills to website upkeep to product licenses.
4) Headless Approach – An Edge Over Rivals
A headless digital platform allows quick updates to the front end (your webpage) without impacting the back end. With conventional systems, workflow snags and disruptions may result from eCommerce launch changes.
On the other hand, within one year of switching to AWS, programmers at Amazon were delivering code (upgrading their website) on average every 11.7 seconds. The agile approach also reduced the number and length of outages, which increased income.
A headless platform allows improved customer service. For instance, you do not need to perform a back-end adjustment whenever you wish to add incentive programs or a recommended retail feature to your website, even if some upgrades are necessary for usability and security.
5) Experimentation Quickly
Your business may conduct countless trials with headless commerce, including:
- Launching new products or features
- Experimenting with different discounts and promos
- Experimenting with various page layouts
- Enhancing the quality of user experiences
All this is possible without worrying about breaking things or requesting that your design team upgrade your back-end systems every time the front end is modified.
Headless eCommerce Offers an Amazing Shopping Experience Across Channels and Devices.
We have already witnessed how headless eCommerce helps businesses. The advantages of headless commerce for consumers are listed below:
The headless eCommerce strategy allows online businesses to test personalization methods without affecting their back-end infrastructure, which is a significant gain for the design and development work and customers.
Personalization helps to increase brand recognition and long-term consumer interactions significantly.
The consumer data gathered across all interactions may be used by advertising agencies to build relevant promos and offers. In addition, it would further resonate with customers and render it a fantastic shopping session for them.
2. More rapid time to market
Consumers may be picky. Therefore, businesses must satisfy their demands at the right time and place to maintain a competitive advantage.
Headless commerce enables you to introduce new offers at far cheaper costs and reduced lead times than conventional systems, helping you stay on top of the most recent trends and innovations. In addition, user interface modifications take less time for software developers to implement.
3. Unified cross-channel consumer experience
Organizations can maintain consistency in data and functionality by employing similar APIs to enable additional consumer touch points.
Consumers today utilize a variety of channels to find and purchase goods, and these connections are an offshoot of your brand.
Customers may ease payments without often visiting the online shop with the help of headless eCommerce solutions, which provide a coherent presence all over the platforms without re-architecting your complete platform.
For instance, by including the “Shop Now” capability in their postings, marketers may turn their Instagram profile into a smartphone storefront.
Headless eCommerce Architecture
There are three headless alternatives based on how the back end is created. First, we either construct a back end based on microservices or integrate a platform (such as e-commerce or CMS) into the core.
Centered On an E-Commerce Platform Driven By API
If you require greater UI design freedom, but your website’s business logic is relatively conventional, you have an option. With this architectural style, you may avoid developing the back end because the eCommerce feature is already built in.
Typical e-commerce features include:
- Catalogs of products and internet marketing.
- Managing product price.
- Content management for products.
- Features for online payments and checkout.
- Beginning order fulfillment.
- Managing the efficiency of sales.
Centered On CMS Powered Via API
Your option if
- You are developing a website with plenty of material, often for soft-sell marketing.
- A CMS-based website must include an eCommerce element to function.
Your basic document management features include the following:
- Templates for customizable content.
- Digital asset administration.
- Creating material for several channels.
- Integrated SEO tools.
Architecture Based on Microservices
You are determined if you consider many user journey situations and underpinning business operations, which makes your e-commerce solution more complicated.
- centered on the necessary business competencies.
- Unrelated to one another, they were created and implemented.
- Rapid design, testing, and deployment.
- Linked by API calls.
- Assigned to independent design teams.
Few Myths about Headless eCommerce
In the world of e-commerce, headless eCommerce is a relatively recent development, and like any complicated new subject, there may be some misunderstanding or incorrect information floating around. However, the term “headless” encompasses more than simply this division; it also refers to the exciting ideas that will be open to online merchants after this division has occurred.
Myth No. 1: It is Risky to Establish a Headless Economic Structure
As with any latest tech, there are worries about the possibility of dangerous, protracted data transfers or substantial alterations with headless eCommerce. The fact is that switching to a headless design does not necessitate any changes to data or infrastructure. In reality, your company’s ideal headless eCommerce option should be safe both during implementation and after it is operational.
Worrying about data loss, inappropriate transfers, or other mistakes is normal. Still, the ideal headless platform allays these worries by integrating your existing systems, absorbing data, reorganizing it into a uniform schema, and sending the data via APIs to the front-end user experience.
By switching from a conventional origin functions design to a client-server model, efficiently delivering this data results in quicker site speed, enhanced efficiency, and enhanced security protocols.
Myth No. 2: Headless eCommerce Configurations Are Used Across the Board
The diverse needs for a headless eCommerce transformation depend on various factors, including the size of your business, your in-house design team, and more. Retailers need to understand that only some headless eCommerce projects are done equally and that picking the wrong approach might lead to more issues than it resolves.
To prevent this, evaluate the backgrounds of the organizations you entrust with implementing a headless eCommerce architecture, particularly the programming and engineering best practices of your design team.
Your technical talent’s experience will determine if your headless e-commerce infrastructure is successful, whether you design it yourself or purchase a solution. Failure to do so could lead to revenue loss from malfunctioning or defective elements that are delayed in rolling out.
Myth No. 3: A headless e-commerce platform cannot grow along with you
The ideal headless eCommerce system will be adaptable and fluid to handle changing demands using a microservices model for an eCommerce site. Headless eCommerce can be helpful if a shop relies on a standard framework that is beginning to limit the brand via sluggish site loading times, inaccurate stocking data, or discarded carts.
Retailers may utilize some of the optimal solutions for other parts of their website at Nacelle, like a headless content administration system (CMS) or a pricing information management (PIM) service, while maintaining their current e-commerce infrastructure, such as Shopify Plus.
Headless commerce has the potential to alter our understanding of e-commerce fundamentally, and not simply because it dramatically speeds up load times, which frequently results in improved exchange rates and other critical performance metrics. By generating a native app-like encounter on a mobile web browser and empowering shops to go mobile-first, Headless addresses several CX pain points.
Few Examples of Headless eCommerce
Going API-first has wholly revolutionized the eCommerce sector. Numerous firms, from well-known names to specialized partakers, have quickly embraced the headless strategy. Here are a few instances:
Example 1: K2 Sports
K2 Sports is a conglomerate of well-known companies and innovators in the sports equipment industry, including alpine skis, skateboards, snow boots, in-line skaters, and Nordic ski gear.
According to a study by Contentstack, K2 wanted to save money and felt constrained by their old platform, Salesforce Commerce Cloud. SCC was not a SaaS solution, which hindered them from attaining their globalization objectives. Therefore they were accountable for the maintenance expenditures.
They decided to use BigCommerce as their front-end CMS and Contentstack as their back-end CMS. After revamping, the business used its new headless system to establish eight trademarks and 16 websites in less than nine months, allowing it to concentrate on content production. K2 has improved productivity by 50% and can construct websites 75% quicker. It can also post content 90% faster.
Example 2: BabyList
BabyList is a global online baby registration that enables parents to ask for odd presents, including contracts for diaper solutions and things from other websites. To provide its clients with seamless shopping experiences, the business employs Shopify Plus as its headless solutions provider.
The API provides the necessary information to the consumer as soon as they take action, such as putting something in their basket, verifying, or examining their purchase status.
How to Get Started with Headless eCommerce
The majority of designers are not programmers, and the majority of programmers are not designers. Based on a single representation of information, eCommerce platforms offer programmers APIs and tools to create synchronized, brand-consistent engagements across platforms. The creative teams optimize customer satisfaction and interface to increase consumer participation and conversions.
Because a commerce platform is flexible, your programmers may create quickly with complete autonomy over all tools, code, APIs, and third-party collaborations. Give developers the resources and training they need with the help of the eCommerce Cloud Development Center to keep on top of the innovation stats and surpass the competitors.
It is a free public site for finding, sharing, and developing business apps. Developers may use it as their primary resource for knowledge and direction while creating original experiences.
The top headless commerce platforms for 2023 are listed below:
- Shopify Plus
- Commerce Layer
- Magento Commerce (now Adobe Commerce)
- Salesforce Commerce Cloud
The solutions listed above provide outstanding eCommerce features and optimization possibilities that may help you produce an excellent online experience. In addition, you may use these services to build unique front-end and back-end services for your clients, keeping your store pertinent to their requirements.
Replatforming E-commerce as the Last Step
Replatforming is recognized to minimize overall replatforming expenses. However, it involves some preliminary work and financial commitments if you move from a monolithic to a headless platform.
Before making any changes, you must fully comprehend your present platforms, such as the scripting language it employs, the degree of integration it facilitates, and the potential for modification as and when required.
What Headless eCommerce Platform is Right for you
Your firm can increase its subscriptions by choosing a decoupled system over a monolithic design to have the flexibility you want. Chargebee can let you grow your membership services on your eCommerce site by using this headless framework.
Grow your eCommerce subscription plan by leveraging Chargebee’s agreements with all the top headless commerce platforms. Headless eCommerce systems will aid in professional business scaling because of their flexibility and capacity for managing various shops.
The trend of eCommerce is headless eCommerce, without a doubt. But are you prepared to use headless eCommerce to provide a top-notch consumer experience?
How To Choose the Right Headless E-commerce Platform/ Things to Consider Before Selection
Each eCommerce platform offers unique features and capabilities. However, you must check that your eCommerce platform includes the qualities listed below to benefit your company. strong catalog
- Adaptable pricing
- Personalization of websites
- Versatile shipping
- Online store analytics
- Integration with Google Merchant
- Google+ integration
- System of customer reviews
- Calculating taxes and accounts automatically
- Several payments option
- Only customers view Headless business
List of best Headless eCommerce Platforms
Finding the ideal headless eCommerce platform for you might be challenging because many excellent options are available.
We have developed this comparison table mainly with the top eight options to help make your decision-making process more straightforward. Next, we will review each instrument’s functions, customer service choices, and other aspects.
The most effective headless servers are, in alphabetically:
- Adobe Commerce
- Commercetools Contentful
- Core DNA Elastic Path Commerce Cloud
- Salesforce Commerce Cloud
- BigCommerce Enterprise
- OroCommerce Enterprise
Hire An Experienced Developer for the Implementation
Hire eCommerce Designers to acquire a rich functionality of online eCommerce systems backed by years of expertise and the newest technology developments. The eCommerce specialists carefully examine your needs to offer you a tailored solution to create the finest possible eCommerce shop for your company. In addition, some seasoned eCommerce professionals have expertise in designing solutions for various businesses. They include startups, mid-sized enterprises, and even professional ones.
Some eCommerce Programmers are prepared to provide you with the most significant digital front to assist you in keeping up with the competition with a tailored, responsive web design, smooth integration, simple website maintenance, and other options. In addition, you may select from a number of our payment and engagement options based on your needs, finances, and other factors. Employ eCommerce programmers who will collaborate with you to deliver the finest outcome.
Best Front-end Frameworks for Headless eCommerce Platforms
Next.js is the most excellent framework, followed very closely by Gatsby and Vue Storefront. Leading e-commerce businesses are paying the most significant attention to Next.js. The evidence speaks for itself, so it works so well with BigCommerce.
There are many front-end frameworks—hundreds or perhaps thousands. We will not attempt to evaluate every single one because it would be unrealistic; instead, we will focus on the key figures. To support headless eCommerce implementation, we will also maintain this review’s attention on the tools and resources made accessible for each platform.
In case you wish to go on, here is a list:
- Storefront Vue
Making a sensible decision to include any of these alternatives in the design of your headless eCommerce site will enable you to provide an unmatched customer experience! Of course, you have many different platforms to run a headless eCommerce shop. Jekyll, Hugo, and Vuepress are a few names worth mentioning. We did, however, wish to stay with the most well-liked choices.
What Are The Challenges of Headless Commerce
Although headless eCommerce solutions have evident advantages, making the switch is complex and only for some. Here are a few issues to be aware of if switching to a headless server is something you are thinking about.
1. Expensive ownership
Since most headless systems do not provide a front end, you will need to factor in the expense of purchasing one. Additionally, due to its pay-per-use design, the overall cost of ownership increases as more integrations are added.
2. Complexity And Flexibility Go Together
Smaller teams may find it challenging to maintain dispersed systems as opposed to a single service. However, it will be simpler for multiple groups to manage because there will be several suppliers to engage with and diverse teams working on the different building parts.
3. Replatforming Is Difficult
While switching to a headless infrastructure has certain long-term advantages, re-platforming an eCommerce site may take time and effort.
The number of front-end interactions and back-integrations you aim for will determine everything. Your timeframes must be carefully considered on a team and corporate level.
Do Your E-commerce Business Need a Headless Approach
Only some eCommerce stores fit the headless strategy. On the other hand, a headless business model is not worth the effort and money if your company operates successfully with a traditional design. It all varies depending on your attempt, so consider your objectives before deciding if the headless method is the most effective means of achieving them.
Headless commerce would be a design that separates the site’s front-end from its back-end eCommerce functions to create an e-commerce system that stores, maintains, and distributes information. However, it can be ideal for your company if you want to generate a more customized and distinctive consumer experience combined with more adaptable development and possess the development assets to execute a technology innovation that swings in that direction.
Finally, You understand what headless eCommerce is? You could lead the charge in developing your business process management or work for a seasoned organization with a proposed design. If this article taught you to believe that a headless e-commerce approach could be the best choice for your company, your next move should be to develop a plan with a seasoned partner.
You could have a higher chance of succeeding with a headless strategy when your business processes get more complicated, and you try to stand out by appealing to quality rather than pricing.