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Headless commerce sees your store’s “head” (its front-end architecture) decoupled from the back-end. This pioneering form of site architecture has seen a surge in popularity over recent years, as merchants seek higher levels of control and flexibility over their stores, without the need to sacrifice the ability to scale rapidly.
Headless commerce is about more than just a merchant's operational experience – rising customer expectations in terms of speed and performance also play a significant role. With the advent of Internet of Things devices and progressive web apps (PWAs) all delivering speedy experiences, being able to provide a slick commerce customer journey is increasingly essential.
Replacing design constraints with a simple API call, and facilitating a much more customizable, adaptable development process, headless commerce means that you can push changes quicker and run a more responsive and refined online operation.
When it comes to the apps and tools with the ability to help your business in relation to headless Ecommerce, you’re chasing two key benefits – speedy deployment and enhanced site performance. The latter might look like lightning-fast page loads (so impactful on conversation rates), more unique and adaptive customer experience and a quicker time to value.
Headless architecture unlocks your ability to get ideas live in minutes, without a lengthy development process. Getting landing pages live in rapid response to an emerging opportunity is a great example of this, and a range of apps such as Shogun and Unstack can help – ensuring you’re pushing great-looking pages live by replacing the “missing” front-end element of your platform.
If you’re an Ecommerce brand looking to go truly omnichannel (and in a future proof way – i.e. able to adapt to incorporate new channels as they emerge) then headless architecture is a great option for ongoing content management and API connectivity.
Page loads matter to all Ecommerce sellers, but if your audience is mostly using mobile devices, you’ll want the additional speed that a headless approach can offer.
Selling within a fast-moving, competitive vertical? The quick turnaround and rapid response of headless commerce will equip you to keep up with your close competitors. Similarly, the capacity for enhanced A/B testing of landing pages, along with personalized content, means you’ll be in a great position to track and respond to conversion optimization opportunities.
You can expect the high level stakeholders that would oversee any other replatforming migration to be actively involved in going headless. Your Head of Ecommerce will likely spearhead the move, taking responsibility for its completion and ongoing success.
After you’re up and running with headless architecture, you’ll find that your marketing team will have plenty to say about the applications they’ll need to help them do their job. This is because the loss of a front-end impacts their existing workflows in a few significant ways – notably the loss of a “WYSIWYG” environment for content creation, and a heavier reliance on other departments to push content live.
As an “API-first architecture,” a headless approach means that adding applications is incredibly easy. Additionally, with your entire dataset available via API, you can start to get clever with the way your operation is structured and connected, linking your inventory, back-office, ERP, marketing channels and more.
Therefore, seek out solutions which enhance this opportunity – you’re essentially taking a “modular” approach, so you can select the best fit for your business at every stage of operation. The headless CMS you decide on will need extra special consideration, as it will serve as the foundation for your digital storefronts.
Ultimately, to be successful when building out a headless commerce solution, let your decisions be driven by your core reasons for the change – better flexibility, speed and control. Your options are limitless, and a headless approach makes experimenting to find the perfect solution for your business easier than ever before.