Business benefits of Headless Commerce
Being able to deliver omnichannel shopping experiences is what keeps your business running. The ability to quickly respond and anticipate to change, is what will ensure your position for the long run. Headless commerce gives you the freedom to create personalized and connected digital experiences across all channels. As an architecture, it allows you to experiment, quickly add new channels, increase your business agility and scale efficiently.
Headless commerce comes with the following six business benefits:
1. Create omnichannel shopping experiences
Headless commerce allows your products, videos, blogs and rich content to be presented and shared on any channel. Your content can be delivered anywhere and everywhere, blended with commerce. With all your back-end systems integrated with your front ends, data flows freely in both directions. That enables data integrity and a 360-degree customer view, through which you can make product recommendations, advertise using retargeting and execute personalized marketing campaigns that stretch over different touchpoints. Whichever channel your customer uses, you can present a seamless and personalized experience that leads to increased customer satisfaction and revenue.
2. Build and customize your architecture
Do you want to use a particular application or unlock a new channel? Using a headless architecture, you decide how a front end is structured. You do not have to stick to a specific templating system or train your employees to follow the exact rules the software vendor laid out. Instead, you can build exactly the user interface your particular customers want and choose the application that suits best. From the inspiration and product pages to the checkout process and fulfilment, each step can be optimized separately. You have full control of what happens in the front end, and you can follow your UX design principles and shape your brand’s identity. This strengthens your brand recognition and results in higher customer conversions and increased lifetime value.
3. Freedom to experiment
Anticipating customer needs requires continuous experimentation. Without the risk of jeopardizing the whole ecosystem, you can experiment and try out things in a headless architecture. For example, if you would like to A/B test specific parts of your commerce websites, build an Alexa skill or a fast and shiny Progressive Web App (PWA), there is room for error in the process without affecting the back-end operations. In contrast, with traditional commerce solutions, you often have to modify front end and back-end code simultaneously, sometimes needing to shut down the entire application for maintenance. With headless commerce, you’ll be able to learn faster and save on development costs.
4. Speed and agility
With the freedom to experiment, you can implement new user interfaces more quickly instead of installing and then maintaining a full-stack software. Development becomes much more efficient because teams can now work in parallel. Due to its decoupled nature, changes can be made to the UI without having to test all the core logic in the back end. Changes can be made on the fly to keep up with the speed of consumer technology. This will give you reduced time-to-market and development efficiency.
5. Scaling with ease
In a traditional monolith software solution scaling typically goes horizontal. But when your architecture is headless, front end and back end can be individually scaled vertically. You only scale what you need. Even if the front end receives a lot of traffic, the back end stays unaffected since they are only loosely coupled. This way, operational costs are reduced and availability is stabilized.
6. Quick deployment in new channels and markets
In a headless scenario, multiple front ends connect to one API and one underlying system. This makes adding new touchpoints easy, as you do not have to worry about maintaining a software “mish-mash.” And if you’re looking to set up a new international website, you can do that in a matter of weeks instead of months due to custom coding. This allows your business to quickly establish presence in new channels and markets and quickly respond to changing customer needs.
Should you go Headless?
Just like every other architecture, there are also downsides next to the business benefits. While these can be tackled by most organizations, it makes the headless commerce approach not suitable for everybody. In our white paper we explain the disadvantages and how to approach these, explore the impact on your organization and give you the facts to build a solid foundation for the choice for headless commerce.
This is the fifth article in our article series on evolutionary architecture. You can learn about the underlying principles such as microservices, API, cloud commerce, headless commerce and event-driven architecture on this page in depth.
Established in the 90's, SQLI is one of the largest European services groups dedicated to the digital business; we are specialised in the design, implementation, global deployment and operation of omnichannel commerce solutions. Many of our clients are market leaders. Our goal is to help them evolve their business model so they can excel in every market or channel. SQLI helps businesses reach B2B and B2C clients with a seamless experience in every channel they're active. Using our expertise in Evolutionary Architecture & Microservices, we can create the right fundamentals for an Omnichannel presence. This results in an e-commerce solution that enables a complete brand experience and drives sales.