Headless Commerce On The Rise
If you’re looking for a way to move your e-commerce options into the digital age, headless commerce might be the answer. Today’s digital consumer requires more personalisation and customisation than ever before. Their expectations are sky high, and they want to be able to customise not just the product, but also how they experience it and interact with it.
A headless commerce approach offers businesses the opportunity to connect their customers with a consistent user experience across devices and channels by providing an API-driven backend infrastructure that can be integrated into existing systems or deployed independently of them.
In this way, companies can quickly adapt their business models to meet changing customer needs in real time without having to rebuild entire systems from scratch every few months or years—a process that would require immense resources that only larger organisations have access to now anyway.
More than half of retailers feel they need to change their business models to accommodate this new customer. They want to provide better service, improve their bottom line and enhance the experience of shopping at the store. In addition, they want to improve customer loyalty and retention.
How headless e-commerce works
Headless commerce is a new approach to e-commerce. As an architecture, it uses content management systems (CMSs) to create and manage products, inventory, prices—and everything else you need for an online store.
A headless commerce platform combines the best parts of both a CMS and an e-commerce platform. It gives you more control over your business than a traditional CMS alone can provide. This means you can do things like manage product information in one place (rather than having multiple tools spread out across your marketing team).
Headless e-commerce and content management system platforms work together in headless commerce. If you’re wondering what the heck headless e-commerce is and why it matters, let me break it down for you.
Headless e-commerce is the new way to build e-commerce platforms that is more efficient than traditional platforms. It essentially means removing the front end from your online shopping experience. This may sound counterintuitive at first but there are many ways in which this can improve efficiency and speed up your website experience for consumers.
Headless commerce and content management system platforms can be separated so developers can build solutions faster. Another benefit of separating headless commerce and content management system platforms is that it allows developers to build solutions faster. This is a good thing for developers, customers, and businesses alike.
You must understand how your customer shops – the customer journey – before planning a headless e-commerce project.
A customer journey map is a visual representation of your customers’ journey through the buying process. It shows how consumers interact with your brand, starting with when they become aware of your business and ending with the moment they make their final purchase.
A user’s path will be influenced by multiple factors:
- the potential customer’s goals and preferences
- what other products they’ve bought in the past
- where they are located geographically
- if they have children at home or work full time
All these things will influence what kind of product you should sell them.*
You can draw a customer journey on paper or use software to create one for you (like MarketMuse). Just like a road map will help you find an unfamiliar city as long as it has been plotted out ahead of time by someone else who knows their way around well enough to draw one up for others to follow after them – so too does plotting out your customer’s path help guide them towards making a purchase decision from within their own unique circumstances.”
Larger organisations have been slow to adopt headless commerce because of the time, skill and cost required for implementation. When you’re considering adopting a headless commerce platform, you have to consider the time and cost required versus that of traditional platforms.
Cost: Headless commerce requires a higher investment in terms of both time and cost than your standard e-commerce toolset. The reason for this is that headless commerce platforms are built with specific features in mind that aren’t necessary for basic e-commerce functionality. As a result, the implementation of these tools will require more resources from both your development team and IT department.
Time: Implementing a headless commerce platform will take longer than implementing a traditional one. This is due to two factors: firstly, larger organisations tend to be very thorough in their testing processes when rolling out new software products; secondly, if you’re going through an enterprise sales cycle this can mean up to six months before any kind of adoption occurs (and sometimes even longer).
It is more expensive than traditional platforms, but it offers benefits that save money and boost efficiency in the long run.
Savings come from the ability to create unique experiences for individual customers at scale, which can be difficult and expensive with traditional platforms. This is because you have to build a separate platform for every product or page type you want to offer, increasing costs as well as time spent maintaining each individual site. Savings also come from being able to reuse code and functionality across multiple platforms, so you don’t have to reinvent wheels when building new features — saving time and money.
Developers can use virtually any language or framework with a headless approach, which makes it easier to find skilled developers on existing teams. It is a good fit for teams that are already established, as it allows developers to use the tools they’re comfortable with. It also makes sense for new teams, since you can start building with headless commerce before hiring a fully staffed team. The ability to start small and scale up as you go is another advantage of this approach.
Finally, because it doesn’t require custom software development, it’s ideal for agile or flexible teams who will be able to easily adapt their platform as business needs change over time.
Headless e-commerce platforms require customer experience skills that may take some time to develop or hire.
While the rise of headless commerce has been good for retailers and e-commerce platforms, it’s also led to a new challenge: customer experience. In order to be successful with your headless commerce platform, you’ll need to have some sort of plan in place for ensuring that your customers have a positive experience throughout their journey with you.
The first step is deciding how much time and money you’re able to devote toward customer experience (CX). You can choose from four different options:
- Developing internal resources who will handle all aspects of CX yourself.
- Hiring an external team who specialises in CX management and execution, including tools such as chatbots and live chat software.
- Outsourcing all or part of your CX responsibilities directly through specialised agencies or third parties such as Zendesk (which can help build out entire departments dedicated solely to supporting your company’s needs).
- Automating certain aspects of CX through technology alone — this includes everything from email automation software like MailChimp down through simpler tools like simple form builders like Formstack
If you want detailed, granular data on all customer interactions, it will require integration with external platforms.
For example, if your company sells shoes online and has integrated its e-commerce catalogue with Google Shopping (formerly known as Product Listing Ads), that’s a great start. However, you’ll need to go further and integrate systems like Google Analytics in order to collect and analyse the individual shopper behaviour for each of your products.
Headless commerce is on the rise and it is not hard to see why. With an ever-changing and fragmented ecosystem, headless commerce provides flexibility and performance that traditional, monolithic platforms simply cannot. It allows brands to deliver personalised experiences across all channels without having to worry about the complexity of maintaining multiple sites (or a single site in many cases).