Is headless commerce the future of eCommerce?

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Is headless commerce the future of eCommerce?

Why is Headless E-commerce needed?

Along with the advancement of technology consumers and their habits are also changing. Consumers in the current day and age demand full control over how and at what time should they purchase. Ecommerce businesses today are now faced with a crisis for satisfying their customer’s needs. Customer expectations are continuously rising. 

The time when consumers would walk into stores or go onto a website using a desktop computer in order to buy something is in the past. Today’s generation needs everything at the end of their fingertips; they want to buy things online with no or minimal effort. So, they resort to their mobile phones, AIs, voice-controlled IoT devices, wearables like smartwatches, or even through their gaming consoles. 

The dynamic world of eCommerce is drastically changing. The question is the retailers ready for it? In simple words, we can say that eCommerce has lost its head. The consumers are getting more used to consuming content and making purchases through various touchpoints every passing minute. They are quick to make purchases from their IoT devices or through progressive web apps, resulting in legacy eCommerce platforms are having a hard time to keep up with this fast pace world eCommerce is entering now.

After analyzing a survey conducted in partnership with Retail Dive and BigCommerce, it is to be concluded that around 86% of business leaders are experiencing a hike in customer acquisition costs (CAC), or in simple words, they are having a harder time grabbing the attention of their target audience. As paid media cost is directly proportional to online competition, a greater competition means paying more money. In these times having a strategy to attract organic traffic is absolutely vital for survival. 

For the business to capture the short-attention-span of the consumers, they have to create a virtual experience that lures the customers in. In order to do that we need to engage the consumer via easy-to-find content or by other means. It is endlessly up to the site to then needs to convert these visitors into potential customers with a frictionless digital journey. The trick used by many retailers these days to keep these potential consumers engaged in their content-lead digital stores is by headless commerce. 

Headless E-commerce, e-commerce for the IoT age:

Headless e-commerce is essentially a separation of the front-end presentation layer (that is visible to the consumer) from the back-end eCommerce solution (that manages all commerce functionality). But before we go any further we would like you to get familiar with the term IoT (Internet of Things).

IoT is a system that consists of interrelated devices or mechanical and digital machines, each of them is provided with unique identifiers (UIDs). They basically have the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.  Now that we have that out of the way we’ll go back to clear the air about headless eCommerce.

The front-end (mostly, templates or themes) can be considered the ‘head’ of the system. Hence, in a headless platform, the front-end has been separated and removed, which leaves us only the backend. The back-end developers in charge can then make use of APIs to deliver things to the desired screen or device. Meanwhile, front-end developers can alter the way in which the content is presented to the target customers using the framework they so desire. 

The whole point of decoupling the front-end and the back-end is that it facilitates flexibility, so it is easier for the retailer to design a structure freely. It completely separates the visual aspects and the technical business aspects of an e-commerce business, which makes the process more user-friendly.  Hence, we can say that Headless E-commerce is the ideal choice for the coming IoT age.

Reasons to adopt Headless E-commerce:

Headless E-commerce increases the speed

Now that back-end and front-end aren’t strongly intertwined together, the retailer only must concentrate on the front-end and the way it’s presented. This fashion makes it easier to form changes speedily. Through this, the retailer is in a position to form swift changes as soon as possible with respect to consumer demand or technology changes. They will now sustain with every changing demand and immediately release new touch-points without having to reallocate their entire platform.

To keep up competitiveness

A headless commerce platform enables you to deploy rapid updates without impacting your back-end system. And you’ll easily make any changes to your front-end to coincide with the speed of the ever-changing consumer technology. Major commerce brands employ a traditional platform usually to roll out an update every few weeks. Compared to the giant companies; they deploy updates every few seconds — reducing both the quantity and duration of outages.
When a front-end system isn’t tightly coupled to the back-end, you don’t need to roll out an update to the whole system, only a part of the system. So, you’ll deliver what your consumers want more quickly and still remain competitive.

Headless commerce allows more customization and personalization

Many monolithic platforms restrict you to templates and themes for the frontend. If you wish to own a custom experience that incorporates your own brand’s look-and-feel, a headless solution makes it much easier to truly build those creative visions of your designer without finding yourself hitting restrictions.

It may be a cheaper alternative

Some headless solutions could also be less expensive to run on the scale than traditional platforms because each microservice scales to fulfill demand. for instance, during a flash sale where you’ll see traffic spikes, your carts and payment systems would scale independently to fulfill the demand, then reduce down during quieter periods,

It provides you with a longer time to market

If you are to manage to create a multi-channel or omnichannel retail experience with a conventional eCommerce platform, some time to plug is going to be painfully slow, and scaling is going to be arduous.

A headless commerce platform, on the opposite hand, enables brands to specialize in building front-end experiences on different devices and touchpoints, because the content and products are housed centrally and delivered via API to anywhere. This facilitates faster time to plug when adopting new channels, entering new regions, then forth.

Used for integration

Being able to seamlessly tailor your architecture to fulfill your own business circumstances is usually the key to a successful eCommerce strategy.

Introducing the headless approach allows you to decide on best-of-breed tools for various parts of your eCommerce project and simply glue them together and orchestrate them in a way that they work seamlessly.

Having separate tools for various parts of your overall architecture makes it easier in the future to swap parts out and replace it with more modern versions without having to form changes to your full eCommerce stack.

Makes optimization easier

With legacy, monolithic platforms, it can often take weeks or maybe months to be able to make updates and changes to your eCommerce store meaning the flexibility to simply react to changes within the consumer technology landscape are proscribed. Consumer behavior moves fast, and if you can’t sustain with what they require, your eCommerce business may suffer.

These days, testing and optimizing your experience is essential to winning customers. Amazon and Netflix are two prime samples of companies constantly iterating on their user experience to work out what works for his or her market, and you ought to be ready to do the same for your business. Headless commerce makes it very easy to deploy changes; you’ll be able to run multiple tests without delay and optimize supported these as quickly as you wish to constantly improve your commerce experiences.

Makes the consumer experience better

Even though customer needs change over time, they must still receive regular customer experience across all devices and channels.

In addition, people want to shop from eCommerce brands that understand their needs across all channels. This goes beyond the standard “people who bought X also purchased Y”. The back-end already has information about the consumer. It uses this data to power the personalization engines on CMS, mobile apps, and social channels.

Transactional facilities to the existing user interface

If you have already got a content site for your products but it’s not yet transactional as an example, with headless commerce, your separate program layer which is plugged into the backend logic without disrupting your overall site.

Improves website performance

Due to the separation of front-end and back-end, headless commerce solutions tend to figure things faster, be more interactive, and easier to take care of.

Conclusion:

Headless e-commerce is a coming of age solution to existing problems in the e-commerce business. It is the solution to cater to the short attention span of the upcoming consumer market.

A decoupled system has a lot of advantages is able to satisfy the need of the seller as well as the consumer. Decoupling can essentially be considered the future of e-commerce. With the ever-changing trend in technologies, it is a very good way to treat things individually. As they are easier to update according to the current trends.

By |2020-10-10T12:45:49+05:30July 3rd, 2020|Mobile Apps, UI/UX Design|Comments Off on Is headless commerce the future of eCommerce?

About the Author:

Sonal Mehta is a Content Lead at Solulab, USA based leading Blockchain Technology, mobile apps and software development agency, started by Ex vice president of Goldman Sachs, USA and Ex iOS lead engineer of Citrix. Solulab help build startups - we are a no-sweat technical partner for early stage entrepreneurs to launch ideas from scratch and for later stage startups to build more quickly and affordably.

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