As the e-commerce industry grows, so does competition. With more and more consumers expecting online stores to value content-focused and customer-centric user experiences, simply having a product available is no longer enough. There is now a market advantage to offering niche and unique products to specific bases of customers. Traditional e-commerce platforms are struggling to keep up, making drastic (and timely) improvements to their online shopping experience to compete. For most e-retailers, the solution is investing in headless commerce.
According to SalesForce, headless commerce is defined as "...a separation of the front-end and back-end of an e-commerce application." Headless commerce essentially allows for the seller to customize their platform for each shopper. More specifically, it focuses on the back-end structures, including infrastructure, pricing, checkout, and security, and streamlines the process via commerce APIs. Conventional e-commerce platforms profoundly rely on code to pass information from the online shopfront where the consumer is making their purchase to the platform's back-end. This can be time-consuming. Headless commerce removes that step– which, in turn, allows developers to easily customize sites without having the back and front rely heavily on each other.
Now, if you're reading this and thinking that this will take so much time, you're right; it's a complex and lengthy process to decouple your back-end system, but its flexibility and adaptivity lead to more benefits than not:
Five Benefits of Headless Commerce
Better Shopping Experience
Part of building a headless commerce structure is utilizing a headless CMS (content management system). A content management system allows for more customization to the overall consumer shopping experience. As we've mentioned above, headless commerce is highly customizable and adaptable to each shopper, fulfilling customer wants for a more user-focused experience. Depending on how headless commerce is set up, this system will solve multiple problems such as improved load time, scalability, brand consistency, more up-to-date inventory information, and overall will help create a better shopping experience.
Change can be challenging for any employee. Having a headless system connected to a modern commerce platform helps with the transition to a headless system. As the system works better for customers, the system also works better for employees. When the back-end work becomes better and more streamlined overall, the front end tends to work better.
Headless commerce allows for easy integration with any system. E-retailers will want to ensure reliable partner integrations to help with business needs such as checkout, inventory, order management, and shipping. Combining reliable partners with headless back-end coding will allow for less setup time for developers. This helps to expand sales opportunities and outreach to more new customers.
Time-saving for IT and Customer Service
Setting up a system the exact way the company needs allows for fewer errors in the overall strategy. Adding in headless configuration, plus reliable partner solutions, means developers have less work to get reliable websites up and running and converting. On top of that, there will be fewer problems for customer service. When a website works great and feels customized for a specific customer, it's typical to see a lower bounce rate, meaning more frequent and happier customers.
Time to Market
Although switching up your monolithic website structure feels like more upfront work, it allows for less time to introduce new features or products on your website in the future. Developers can easily make changes to the front-end platform to mirror recent market trends faster than ever with minimum costly back-end development.
We all understand that reconfiguring your entire website structure is not something to be taken lightly. It is more work than just switching a flip, but the benefits seem to outweigh the cons. A headless back-end infrastructure means a better experience for your customers, which means more brand loyalty and more money in your pocket. If you are an e-commerce business looking for a way to grow and improve, then headless commerce is a great next step.