Author : Ajay Mohapatra
As consumers increasingly look at e-commerce channels for their various needs, e-commerce companies need to continuously innovate in this highly competitive ecosystem. The need to stay ahead of the game leads to a never-ending quest for redefining every step of the customer journey – right from engagement to buying and post-sales. The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasized this more than ever before. As buying patterns change, customers want to engage with platforms through a channel of their choice; it is therefore crucial for e-commerce companies to be present where the customer is. This underlines the need for an omnichannel approach that not just serves customers, but also ensures a seamless and consistent user experience across all channels. However, the changing market trends often outpaces the speed at which technologies can scale up. Hence, in this sprint, flexibility and agility hold the utmost importance for companies. Headless Commerce can step in and effectively address these concerns. Headless commerce refers to an architecture that decouples the presentation layer of a website from the backend functionalities such as payments or content.
The world’s largest e-commerce player, for instance, is known for constantly re-looking, re-imagining, and re-defining the user experience to keep themselves aligned with what the customer seeks. Given the scale and vast presence, an independent workflow setup can be extremely beneficial. Gartner's report ‘2019 Strategic Roadmap for Digital Commerce’ highlights how digital commerce will be transformed into a bigger ecosystem. The report states, “Digital commerce will no longer be the core of the digital business technology platform. Instead, it will be one key component of a much wider ecosystem that includes an API-first approach, with AI, IoT, and integration with partner ecosystems.” This is where headless commerce is beneficial, as it is modular and can be quickly updated in response to business needs. Let’s understand how a headless architecture can give more power to developers and UI designers by decoupling the front-end and back-end of the application and allowing them to function independently, thereby allowing seamless connection of multiple touchpoints via APIs.
WHAT CAN HEADLESS COMMERCE BRING TO YOU?
Headless architecture can give more power to developers and UI designers by decoupling the frontend and back-end of the application and allowing them to function independently, thereby allowing seamless connection of multiple touchpoints via APIs.
• GREATER FLEXIBILITY: One of the primary benefits of separation of frontend from backend is greater flexibility to front-end developers, allowing them to seamlessly redesign user experiences in accordance with the latest market trends and business demands – no need for modifying back-end databases. Imagine doing this in a traditional e-commerce architecture, which would consume a great deal of time. With the power of APIs, this approach also translates into rapid changes, allowing you to innovate keeping pace with technology and changing demands.
• ENHANCED CUSTOMIZATION AND PERSONALIZATION: Compared to a standardized commerce platform built on traditional architecture, the Headless approach provides you the ability to make the best use of data from multiple touchpoints, allowing you to build robust personalization and design customized customer engagement strategies. This is a crucial element for designing the ultimate shopping experiences for your customers.
• INCREASED ABILITY TO INTEGRATE: Headless Commerce allows your teams to work with an array of tools that are best suited for different parts of your project. This also gives your teams the ability to upgrade in the future without disturbing the entire e-commerce stack.
• ADDING NEW TOUCHPOINTS: Omni-channel is the need of the hour and e-commerce players must be able to add and deploy new technologies and touchpoints in a highly time-bound environment in order to stay relevant. This is made possible through Headless Commerce as multiple frontends connect to one API. Different touchpoints also bring different scaling needs, so separation of back-end and front-end can also bring in better cost optimization.
• FASTER OPTIMIZATION: Business suffers when e-commerce companies fail to keep pace with the changing customer behavior. Optimizing the customer experience is key to build a customer base; however, monolithic, legacy platforms harbour your ability to react to these changes to update your commerce platform accordingly. Headless Commerce allows you to experiment with multiple changes at one time and choose what works best in a given scenario.
• CATALYZING MARKETING IMPACT: Headless architecture facilitates continuous content updates, in line with the latest go-to-market trends. This can help in significantly improving the relevance and boost the outreach of your marketing campaigns and promotions – all these without any limitations of IT.
WHY GOING ‘HEADLESS’ IS CRITICAL TODAY ?
Do you identify as a content driven-brand? Do your customers demand personalization? Are you planning on implementing novel technologies such as Augmented and Virtual Reality? Do you want to provide seamless digital experiences across multiple digital channels? If your answer is ‘yes’, now is the right time to kick start your Headless Commerce journey and scale your brand to another level. Headless Commerce is the way to go in an IoT enabled marketplace and SaaS world. Both traditional retailers and digital native commerce players are looking at augmenting technology to build their platforms. In this direction, a structured approach is pivotal and companies require the right partner in their transformation journey.