The e-commerce industry has seen a significant transformation in the past ten years alone, driven by the rise of social media, the proliferation of mobile commerce, and the dominance of Amazon in the market, not to mention the constant evolution of customer expectations and habits.
Thus, how can internet merchants stay abreast of emerging trends and react promptly to technological advancements? Furthermore, how can e-commerce platforms satisfy the needs of the contemporary consumer?
Come to the headless market.
The separation of a website’s frontend display layer, which consists of elements like text colors and styles, graphics, graphs and tables, buttons, etc., from the backend ecommerce functionality, such as infrastructure, checkout, pricing, and security, is known as headless commerce architecture.
Developers can integrate an e-commerce system on the backend that handles all commerce activities, and use their preferred frontend technology to create high-quality content experiences.
Over $1.65 billion in capital was obtained for headless technologies in 2020–2021, according to Forbes, and this amount is sure to rise as more ecommerce companies scramble to stay up to date with emerging trends.
The main distinctions between headless and traditional commerce, as well as the advantages of headless solutions and how our own merchants are benefiting from them, will all be covered in this guide.
- Headless Commerce vs. Traditional Ecommerce
- The 3 Best Headless Commerce Platforms
- Headless Commerce Benefits
- Headless Commerce Use Cases
- Opening Up Flexibility: Real-World Headless Commerce Examples
- The Good and the Beautiful.
Headless Commerce vs. Traditional Ecommerce
The motivation for switching to new e-commerce models is flexibility.
The headless architecture is able to provide businesses with an unmatched level of flexibility because the customer and technical sides of the website are separated. This is crucial in today’s industry. Because of this versatility, marketers may design a distinctive front-end customer experience.
The aforementioned all-in-one monolithic model is the most conventional kind of e-commerce. Before headless came around, a lot of brands employed monolithic strategies, and a lot of agencies even suggested them for enterprise and well-established companies.
The IT department has complete platform management with a monolithic architecture, which might be advantageous if a frontend experience requires a great deal of customisation. Furthermore, everything is packaged together on legacy e-commerce platforms, which simplifies system setup and the use of pre-installed tools.
However, monolithic tactics might impede innovation due to their lengthy time horizons for going to market and expensive development. Rich merchandising, customisation, and design choices are very limited, and integrating your existing systems may be challenging.
Systems for headless commerce provide enterprises with the commerce capabilities they require.
Brands can use headless’ robust APIs (application programming interfaces) to construct e-commerce experiences.
With exquisite labor, it is possible to incorporate even the most complicated commerce requirements, from fully customized React.js or Angular sites to a content management system. Content doesn’t have to be sacrificed by brands in order to integrate it with flexible, agile e-commerce.
Commerce-led or commerce-first models delegate some control over infrastructure connectivity to IT teams and employ APIs for data orchestration. The quantity of API calls that are available on a SaaS platform is crucial to ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
One option for a SaaS platform design is Open SaaS, which has the following features:
- large or limitless numbers of API calls.
- several terminals.
- well-written developer manuals.
- In a product plan, API development is heavily prioritized.
The frontend/presentation layer and the backend/server-side are combined into an all-in-one solution for platforms that use monolithic technologies. While this does simplify and streamline the process of setting up your online store, enterprise-level firms may encounter certain challenges.
For this reason, a lot of companies are switching to MACH from a monolithic strategy.
MACH, which stands for microservices, API-first, cloud-native SaaS, and headless, is a kind of composable architecture. Unlike monolithic architecture, which is incapable of swiftly adapting to digital change, MACH architecture gives you the freedom to select the technology that best suits your company’s needs both now and in the future.
The 3 Best Headless Commerce Platforms
Shopify is among the most well-known brands in eCommerce.. It has a sizable app store and is a reliable and safe platform.
Shopify was a typical eCommerce platform for a very long period. But all of a sudden, thanks to its GraphQL API, it could be used with Shopify Plus for headless commerce, bringing it into the present era and securing its position as one of the most significant and reliable platforms on the planet.
With Shopify Plus’ headless commerce feature, you have total creative control over what you publish to post across many channels and devices.
All of the various systems that run your company, such as your CRM, PIM, CMS, and ERP, to mention a few, can be integrated. Applications are available for numerous well-known services, including Apple Business Chat, Slack, Mailchimp, and Google Sheets. Additionally, third-party markets like eBay and Amazon can be integrated with.
This platform is well-known for its dependability and for having an intuitive content management system and dashboard.
Shopify provides a complimentary trial, with standard options commencing at $29 monthly. The monthly cost of the enterprise-level Shopify Plus SaaS solution is $2,000. To see how much utilizing the platform will cost you—including transaction fees and credit card rates—use a Shopify fees calculator.
What Kind of User Interface Is It?
Shopify has a neat user interface with menu options that are easy to understand. It works well for both user-facing and back-end applications.
Which Integration Types Are Available?
Shopify may be integrated with your ERP, PIM, CMS, and CRM, among other platforms. Additionally, it offers apps for a number of services, including Apple Business Chat, Slack, Mailchimp, and Google Sheets. It even has system integrations with Amazon and eBay.
Is the Customer Service Good?
Shopify offers phone and live chat assistance in addition to community forums and a help center. There is also a comprehensive help center with a multitude of articles to select from.
Is it Adaptable?
You can alter checkout processes, items, discounts, themes, and payment methods with Shopify Plus.
Recommended reading: Consult our comprehensive tutorial on launching a headless Shopify store.
Magento (Adobe Commerce)
Magento is a headless commerce platform that is highly adaptable. It is currently branded as Adobe Commerce. With this solution, web developers can design unique applications that meet the needs of their clients. It also comes with a number of cloud-based omnichannel solutions that simplify the blending of online and traditional retail sales.
You can keep track of what you have in stock at all of your locations—including stores and warehouses—with the help of the renowned inventory management system provided by the company. Since this data is updated in real time, you’ll always know exactly what’s accessible.
Magento is well-known for its sophisticated data visualization capabilities in analytics. You can easily export your data to an email, which will give you insights into things like average order value over a selected period of time, lifetime value, and retention rates.
Custom integrations can be made with Magento using the REST and SOAP web API frameworks. Integrations for accounting, marketing, PIM, ERP, CRM, CMS, and inventory management are just a few of the things you can make.
Adobe Commerce pricing is available upon request.
What Kind of User Interface Is It?
With its central dashboard and sidebar menu, Magento boasts a simple user interface that makes it easy to access the main functionalities of the platform.
Which Types of Integrations Are Offered?
The REST and SOAP web API frameworks can be used to build unique connections with Magento. This enables you to build integrations for your accounting platform, marketing tools, PIM, ERP, CMS, and inventory management systems.
Is Customer Service Up to Par?
With the aid of the Adobe Commerce Help Center, you can enhance your e-commerce store experience with a range of assistance solutions. To address any specific difficulties, customers can also open a support ticket. A multitude of helpful resources and information are also available, including the most pertinent data about your site, diagnostic and monitoring tools, and best practices.
Can I customize it?
Magento is incredibly configurable, but to make the most of it, you may need to have significant experience and knowledge of development.
German headless commerce platform Spryker provides solutions for both B2C and B2B businesses.
Being a platform-as-a-service solution, it uses over 900 API modules in its marketing. This is a popular cloud-enabled solution among enterprise-level businesses. It allows you to grow your business without being constrained by technological limitations.
For this reason, well-known businesses like Toyota, Prym, and Lekkerland have faith in it. Online stores for Spryker can be created entirely from scratch. It even offers professional advice to assist you with this from start to finish.
Spryker’s headless commerce experience is powered by their GLUE API. You can choose to combine both big legacy platforms and smart gadgets with it. IoT touchpoints can also be used for recurrent eCommerce purchases, which will make it easier for you to keep your devoted clientele. Your average order value will rise along with client loyalty as a result of this.
Pricing details are not disclosed to the general public by Spryker. The business’s website provides a demo.
What Kind of User Interface Is It?
The homepage of Spryker displays orders and offers in an extremely straightforward UI. There is a side menu that has a reasonable number of buttons.
Which Integration Types Are Available?
Spryker is compatible with large-scale legacy systems. For a complete list of available integrations, visit Spryker’s partners page on its website.
Is it Adaptable?
Spryker offers a range of partner services that enable customization. Algolia, for instance, can assist you in developing a unique search feature for your store. You can include PayPal as a feasible payment option with the PayPal connection. With the increased freedom these services offer, you can design the headless commerce platform of your dreams.
Headless Commerce Benefits
Both a content-led and a commerce-led e-commerce approach have certain advantages.
Headless commerce strategies that focus on content and experience can offer brands the following benefits:
- cutting-edge technologies to build innovative, quick websites.
- Comfort and adaptability for front-end developers.
- total control over the construction of the website.
- Innovation can be effectively marketed without negatively impacting backend procedures.
- Time to market for global GTMs and omnichannel.
- reduced expenses for acquiring new customers and conversion rates.
Furthermore, headless commerce offers a plethora of opportunities for firms seeking a content-led approach in the first place. The adjustments that can take place in the digital e-commerce market are genuinely endless.
Let’s examine some of the main advantages of headless trade.
Flexibility and familiarity for developers.
With headless commerce, marketers can work with any frontend they choose—a CMS, DXP, PWA, or custom solution—while still utilizing the e-commerce platform that functions best as the engine for their online store. .
Headless development enables teams to maintain workflow efficiency and streamline procedures while utilizing programming languages or technologies that they are already familiar with.
Headless solutions may future-proof your brand by enabling you to make changes to your frontend without needing to replatform on the backend as trends change and your business grows. Frontend developers can customize frameworks and add back-office features to your current system using APIs.
By treating each new functionality separately and integrating new features as your site expands, you can avoid starting from scratch when building a new website by utilizing a headless solution.
Brands can test new tech in a headless setting. Developers are liberated from the limitations of a standard content management system and can construct anything they want by severing the connection between the frontend and backend.
The theme or template that determines what buyers see is called the frontend, or “head,” of the majority of e-commerce websites. Because you can connect a CMS, DXP, or Internet of Things (IoT) device that is specifically intended for creating experience- or content-led commerce, headless offers for more flexibility in content distribution. At that point, changing the frontend won’t have an impact on the backend.
Create fast websites.
Keeping your website loading time fast is essential when buying online. In fact, 70% of customers claim that page speed influences their choice to make a purchase from an online merchant, and a Google study found that the likelihood of a bounce rises sharply for every few seconds that a page takes to load.
Additionally, the speed at which a website loads influences search engine rankings for both desktop and mobile queries; the slower your site loads, the less likely it is that it will rank highly.
Fortunately, content can be centrally stored on a headless e-commerce platform and distributed globally through APIs. Compared to conventional e-commerce systems, our approach enables substantially faster delivery and produces excellent client experiences.
Complete ownership over site architecture.
For further control, the content delivery application and content management application environments are divided on a headless commerce platform.
Brands that are satisfied with their current frontend solution and require more from their backend system are among the reasons they switch to headless development.
Brands may add or improve what doesn’t work and preserve what works with headless.
Your possibilities for creating novel front-end experiences could be restricted in a classic monolithic system.
On the other hand, you can include new technologies and adjust to emerging trends while using a headless solution. Your marketing team will thus be free to create and innovate various user experiences for various channels without interfering with your backend operations.
Speed to market for international and omnichannel GTMs.
Now combine all of the aforementioned benefits and apply them to the process of microbrand or geographic launches.
A headless solution is simple to replicate globally, optimized for search engines worldwide, and integrated with the entire data orchestration infrastructure once the system is set up.
Developers are free to focus on creating experiences for customers while keeping the commerce engine separate because the frontend and backend are separated. As a result, neither the frontend nor the backend teams have to wait for the other to finish before continuing to innovate.
Improve conversion rates and lower customer acquisition costs.
Many businesses are seeing an increase in their expenditures associated with acquiring new customers as a result of paid advertising.
Headless is a good method to cut these expenses since it allows your brand to attract organic traffic through an experience- or content-led approach rather than depending solely on paid advertising.
You can operate the same backend while experimenting with other frontend solutions, and vice versa, to discover which optimizes for traffic. You may learn more about your audience and increase your conversion rate more quickly than typical internet firms by testing different templates and doing ongoing tests.
Go truly omnichannel.
Taking a single-channel approach is no longer sufficient, as 73% of customers utilize multiple channels when making a purchase and 76% prefer alternative channels based on context.
Fortunately, becoming headless allows you to advertise your content across all of your current channels as well as any future ones you add. You have the option to add multiple online and offline experiences, such as a mobile application, an online marketplace, or an Internet of Things device like a smart watch or mirror, because you may change your frontend without affecting your backend. Your commerce engine is continuously operating on the backend throughout.
Headless Commerce Use Cases
Headless commerce is useful in almost any use case, regardless of your preferred CMS/DXP (such as WordPress, Drupal, Bloomreach, Adobe Experience Manager, or other CMS/DXPs), PWAs, or custom-built solution using cutting-edge technologies like Gatsby.
To detach the platform’s display layer and plug it in where you need it to function, all you need is an API connection.
The following are the most frequent justifications for combining a distinct front end solution with a decoupled SaaS ecommerce platform:
- PCI compliance mitigation: Since the SaaS supplier assumes the risk, IT staff have less work to do.
- The same applies to fraud prevention and checkout security. Less effort for IT teams because the risk is assumed by the SaaS provider.
- Open architecture and extensibility: Make use of ready-made integrations with CRMs, ERPs, and other systems, or create your own using extra APIs and SDKs.
Your grandiose ambitions that no one system can fulfill right out of the box could be a crucial factor in your decision to go headless. Perhaps you’ve worked with open-source systems in the past and found the customization you need, but you weren’t able to handle the lengthy development cycles and maintenance.
Headless can help you save money and maintenance while preserving customization. Or perhaps you’ve worked in SaaS and discovered that it was stifling your creativity.
The best of both worlds in an open SaaS experience may be had with Headless. APIs give you the freedom to connect systems more fluidly and modularly by allowing you to think beyond the constraints of a single platform or technology.
An e-commerce business might succeed or fail based on how inventive it is and how well it delights customers with distinctive and engaging digital experiences. Being headless can make it simpler to modify and reposition your website to remain innovative.
Content Management System (CMS).
A CMS combined with the headless method is a formidable combination. Since the presentation layer and e-commerce platform are no longer connected in these situations, brands can take advantage of well-known CMSs like WordPress, DXPs like Drupal, or bespoke frontend solutions to provide customers with unmatched experiences that boost conversion rates.
It is best to combine headless commerce with a headless content management system, particularly if you are using an omnichannel strategy. With APIs powering your frontend and backend, you can develop different user experiences and channel-specific content using a single CMS.
The e-commerce platform will offer PCI compliance and inventory management if you select CMS from a SaaS provider; however, it can be integrated with other systems like an ERP, PIM, or OMS tool using APIs.
Globally, WordPress is the preferred content management system for over 30 million websites.
Users can create, manage, and distribute content on any digital channel with Contentful, a headless CMS and API-first content management platform.
Contentful offers customers complete control over their content model, allowing them to select the content they wish to manage, in contrast to a standard CMS. Users can share content via mobile apps, websites, and a multitude of other platforms by using REST APIs.
With the help of Contentful’s user-friendly interface, users may give unique roles, rights, and validations to collaborate with others or manage their material on their own.
With its headless website builder, Prismic, digital businesses may achieve growth through maximum performance, powerful branding, and quick iterations.
Prismic is a hosted, proprietary content management system that prioritizes APIs. It provides developers and editors with an intuitive web application for creating and sharing content.
Prismic, in contrast to other solutions, is compatible with all technologies, enabling developers to use the tools and languages of their choice; it permits content teams to work autonomously, updating content in the authoring environment without the need for developers; and because it doesn’t require infrastructure management, marketing teams can start producing and distributing content immediately away.
Contentstack is an innovative CMS that enables developers and marketers to work together on content.
By isolating the frontend content from the backend code, Contentstack is a headless, API-first solution that makes it easier for developers to produce and manage content through RESTful APIs. Teams can publish content across many channels, such as e-commerce websites and mobile applications, by utilizing Contenstack’s technology.
Digital Experience Platform (DXP).
A DXP is a kind of software that helps businesses digitize fast and offer better customer service. A headless CMS system combined with a DXP can produce a solid base.
This partnership’s value stems from the adaptable, API-driven content and its capacity for service integration. This arrangement gives developers and marketers the freedom to collaborate independently and provides flexibility for changes and additions without disrupting the project’s workflow.
Let’s look at a few DXPs that make use of headless commerce.
For large commercial shops, Bloomreach is an ideal headless commerce solution that runs on Windows. The solution powers a unique experience from homepage through checkout with a headless/microservice design and APIs to decrease IT complexity..
Designed to meet the demands of modern performance and scalability, Uniform is a frictionless DXP.
Thanks to their technology, merchants may connect headless and traditional solutions without having to deal with the headache of replatforming.
Amplience is a DXP made to satisfy current and future client needs.
It offers feature-rich, enterprise-level, out-of-the-box DAM (digital asset management), DXP, and CMS capabilities. It works with over 400 brands, ranging from Crate & Barrel to Primark. Using a MACH methodology, Amplience provides users who want to stay up to date with changing trends and produce exceptional digital experiences with a developer-powered, business-enabled solution.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA).
Progressive web apps, or PWAs, are online applications that leverage the newest web technologies to provide users with a native app-like experience. Although they are only standard webpages, they may seem to the user to be native mobile apps or conventional software.
Here are some headless implementation strategies for brands using PWAs on the frontend:
Merchants can create captivating user experiences for all devices using Vue Storefront. All of the main e-commerce backends, including BigCommerce, are readily connected to it.
With features like code splitting and bundling, quick refresh, zero-configuration, hybrid static and server rendering, and more.
Alltogether, Next.js provides all the pre-built tools required to exceed user expectations and speed up websites.
Gatsby is a GraphQL-driven React framework that enhances the developer experience by fusing elements of webpack, GraphQL, React, and other frontend technologies.
Moreover, It manages backend optimizations like code splitting and minification, making it easier and more fun for developers to create beautiful webpages and excellent user experiences.
Opening Up Flexibility: Real-World Headless Commerce Examples
It’s frequently quite challenging to determine, simply by looking at a brand, whether or not it employs headless commerce. This will only become further evident when headless e-commerce gains traction and stops using URL redirects to checkout pages.
Let’s examine a few headless commerce instances for the time being.
The purpose of Burrow, a direct-to-consumer furniture retailer, is to do away with the inconveniences associated with conventional furniture buying.
Moreover, they saw $3 million in sales after beginning in 2017 since their concept was well received. While this was excellent for their company’s expansion, it also meant that their e-commerce platform was already becoming too small for them.
Now, in the end, we hope that through this post you were able to gain knowledge on what is Headless e-commerce. Moreover, if you are looking for an ecommerce development company then you should check out Appic Softwares.
Additionally, We have an experienced team of ecommerce developers that will help you with the development. You can even hire dedicated developers from us and let them manage your store.
So, what are you waiting for?